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Surprise!!!

My friend Patricia is having a baby girl (you can find her here in Pequeno Mundo a 3). Princess S is due in just a few weeks, and as soon as she told us the good news, we (a group of sewing friends) decided to start sewing ….

Sewing for a newborn baby is so much fun – everything is smaller than expected (I keep checking if I got my measurements right) and obviously “doll-size” clothes are absolutely adorable.

To be honest, it’s so easy to get a bit carried away and sew an entire wardrobe…

I sew 1 baby dress (crosses in the back) and 2 ruffle neck blouses. The baby dress was made using the Blandine dress pattern from Citronille, a traditional baby dress that crosses in the back and has a full gathered skirt. It’s a size 3 months. Citronille_Blandine_1

This dress was a favorite around here – my girl tried to persuade me to let her have it for her “baby” and when she realized she couldn’t have it, she made me promise I will sew another for her (baby). It’s actually very easy to make so I reckon her baby will have one (or two) pretty soon :)

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Although I usually post mostly clothes I sew for my kids, my “sewing portfolio” also includes sewing that involves the actual kids :)

My kids, especially the younger ones, have a natural attraction to my sewing machine and while I obviously love to nurture that love, I’m often not excited for sharing my sewing with little ones when it involved sewing something that will be worn outsider the house – they still need more practice for stitching straight lines and actually “following” pattern instructions.

One of the few exceptions is when I sew toys or little gifts <3

Hence, enters the upcoming “Pretty Birds!: 18 Simple Projects to Sew and Love” by Virginia Lindsay from the Gingercake patterns (Some of her patterns were already featured here and here).

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Virginia contacted me to see if I was interested in sewing a bird – coincidentally I had just completed a Gingercake’s project (upcoming soon, I promise), so obviously I said yes.  This adorable pattern book features cardinals, hummingbirds, eagles, doves, woodpeckers, robins and many more.

Most of the projects are easy enough for a beginner (and others are more complex, but totally achievable). If you wish to give it a try, the publisher released the owl pattern here.

I was send a pdf version of the book and as soon as I opened it, 2 little bird lovers decided to join the fun. While flipping the pages, my heart was set on the peacock (or the robin), but they both choose the Bluebird (cute I must admit).

Although it wasn’t a difficult project for them, it did took some supervision. Nevertheless, look what they’ve accomplished (with a little help from myself, if I may say so):

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They selected fabric options from my Liberty scrap bin – I wasn’t surprise by their similar options, nowadays they seem to do everything alike.

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I assume that once I managed to find some “sole” sewing time, I’ll be able to sew the peacock quite easily.

Overall, the book includes 18 patterns for sewing your favorite bird and as a bonus, each pattern comes with additional ideas for customizing your bird. Clever, right?

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If you would like to enter to win a special prize of a bird kit and book, there will be 5 winners chosen at the end of the blog tour! Just click the link bellow:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/1017537211/

And don’t Forget to check all the other participants in the Pretty Birds blog tour:

PRETTY BIRDS 

By Virginia Lindsay

Blog Tour Schedule

2/25 You Go Girl!

2/26 Erica B. DIY Style

2/27 CraftSanity

2/28 Recycled Crafts

3/1 Sew Mama Sew

3/2 Lorelei’s Blog

3/3 FaveCrafts

3/4 S is for Sewing

3/5 Lori Greenberg

3/6 Killing It As A Grown Up

3/10 Sweet KM

3/11 Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

3/12 Buzzmills

3/13 Girl Like the Sea

3/15 Cut Out + Keep

Happy sewing,

Ana Sofia

Thank you | Obrigada

I love to sew for my kids, but last Christmas I had the opportunity to sew for a little girl I knew nothing about.

When my friend Patricia challenged me and other sewing friends if we would be willing to sew for a group of children, we happy said: Yes!. Our aim was to use sewing to make pieces that fit the needs of these children and their mothers.

On a not-so-random selection, the recipient of my sewing endeavor was “Princess R.”, a lovely 1 year-old baby girl.

“Princess R.” and her mother as well as many other girls and their mums are supported by Mums & Kids, a Portuguese charity that provides temporary shelter to children and mothers facing social exclusion (you can read more about it here).

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Sewing is an amazing gift when we sew for our children but it’s truly especial when we sew for others. <3

It was an honor to sew for “Princess R.”.

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My heart was so full when I stitched these pieces thinking about the little girl and their mother.

My heart was so happy when I saw my own kid’s getting involved in the process – selecting fabrics, picking buttons and providing me with sewing time so that everything could be ready before Christmas.

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I won’t be blogging about the details of these pieces (bellow, I will add the pattern’s names), because the most important message today is for the special persons that make Mum’s & Kids work possible and for the mothers and children that need our help every day of the year.

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Other sewing bloggers involved this initiative:

Pequeno Mundo a 3

House of Estrela

Fairies, Bubbles & Co.

Sew Happy

Do Guincho

Conversas de Hermanas

Made by Sara

Rita Pirolita

Saídos da Concha

I hope “Princess R.” and her mother loved the new clothes. Sewing for this baby girl was my special Christmas gift.

Thank you <3

Patterns used:

Pinafore dress – Ottobre 1/2009 (also available as individual pattern from Ottobre etsy shop)

Baby ruffle-collar blouse – Ottobre 6/2012 

Corduroy pants – Oliver+S Lullaby Layette Set

(the doll was made using a fabric bought from Ottobre shop that is no longer available).

Thank you for reading ;)

Ana Sofia

The amazing sisters, Emily and Ashley from FrancesSuzanne, are back with a new Flip this Pattern Series: February “Free for All” is currently displaying free sewing patterns for all of us, sewing-lovers.

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I must confess that my will-power is close to nothing when it comes to testing a new pattern (either free or purchased), so I was obviously I was so happy to join the challenge.

Oddly and despite the numerous options, I knew exactly what I wanted to sew: the free reversible vest from Frances Duval Stalla

I had done it before (here), but because I used a faux furry remnant from a local I skipped a few steps from the original pattern: I did not used 3 layers and didn’t add the lovely quilted cap sleeves.

I was determined to do it properly this time, especially because the first version has been quite a hit in her wardrobe (my girl even wears it under her School Days Jacket). Apparently, this vest is very trendy ;)

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The pattern is written in French, but don’t let this prevent you from using it. There are step-by-step instructions and it’s such a simple project (the sizes run from 3/6 months to 6 years).

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Classic style | Adelaide

During the Christmas break I had the chance to organize both my fabric stash (way out of control, but I’m totally hopeless in this matter) and my sewing pattern’s stash.

I wasn’t surprised to see that my fabric stash is getting a bit out of control (too many cuts and prints  that don’t fit my sewing needs anymore) but it did surprised me the amount of patterns that still need to be sewn – and that are fast approaching the end of their size range (meaning that soon my daughter will outgrown them).

Of course, I needed to start by tackling the patterns (as obviously, the fabric stash won’t get used unless I actually sew from it) and picked Children’s Corner Adelaide first.

Adelaide is a dress pattern featuring a knife pleat on each shoulder that is embellished with three decorative buttons on each side. The dress back opening is under an inverted box pleat at center back. The patterns goes up until size 6, which is exactly my daughter’s age (she will be 7 soon and size 6 clothes are getting tight on her). I purchased this pattern from an online sale several years ago (4?), because I was actually intrigued by the construction of the inverted box pleat at the center back.

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There is a 2-part help video that explains how to construct the placket opening at the back and I watch it so many times (I think I mentioned before how much I love CC videos) that I knew I had to try it (this technique also applied to CC Kathy-Kelly dress, which I also purchased. And yes, still need to try).

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It did took me a while (a couple of years, but who’s counting…) to choose a fabric for this dress – I knew I wanted to try the short-sleeve version but needed a fabric with some weight (to provide some structure for the pleats). That’s why organizing your fabric really helps! This vyella (currently on sale) was such a perfect option – plus, I had a matching blue trim waiting to be used ;)

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The dress has a Peter pan collar and puffed sleeves, which are actually quite sweet and perfect for this dress, but my girl is almost 7 (…), so a few mods were needed. Instead of using Adelaide’s sleeves, I used the ones from CC Ruthie (did you know that most collars and sleeves from CC patterns are interchangeable? Great, right?). As for the peter pan collar, I actually sew it and even added the piping, but on the last-minute (and even with everyone’s opinion’s against it), I decided to skip it. I really love the outcome – perfect for my growing girl <3

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Sometimes I feel like I keep showing you exactly the same styles overs and over again, but as much as I would like to convince myself to sew other styles, the true is that what I sew is actually worn a lot and I can’t afford (time and money wise) to sew things that will be tucked away in a closet.

I love vintage patterns (always looking for great finds on eBay or Etsy) but I’m terribly afraid of their sewing instructions (although I’m not as scare as in the beginning, because now I can sew them following my own instructions. Ahaha, almost at least!). Children’s Corner design, especially the older ones like Adelaide, managed to capture the vintage vibe that I love so much, yet their instructions are so easy to follow and the fit is always amazing.

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Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I will be able to sew another Adelaide for my girl (this one has not much room to grow) and I regret not having sewing it earlier – it’s a wonderful dress and it looks adorable on her.

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The dress is not lined, but the instructions very cleverly advise you to use french seams. These are perfect for beautiful insides.

I still have a few Children’s Corner patterns that I need to tackle soon (and some that I still need to post here) and I hope it won’t take me as long to sew as this one.

CC Adelaide#4

Happy sewing,

Ana Sofia

I’m not the best candidate for refashion clothes as much of my own clothes are actually worn to exhaustion (i.e. usually not good enough to refashion) and my kid’s clothes are usually (with a very few exceptions) handed-down to other children.

Obviously, I still have my husband clothes – and these usually are in a pretty good shape – but with older kids (meaning bigger sizes and more fabric involved), refashion becomes more of a challenge.

Yet, when my friend Magda, from House of Estrela, invited to her mini version of the Refashion Month Series I couldn’t say no (and I had actually done it before!). Especially because she had planned a whole week of refashion with Portuguese bloggers only! And, trust me, these ladies sure know how to refashion :)

For my refashion project, I decided to use a knit dress that was gifted to my daughter a couple of months ago. She didn’t like the dress and the style didn’t actually suit her. Nevertheless, I decided to keep it because the knit fabric was extremely nice – great color, medium-weight and so soft inside, but it was actually stashed away in her closet (hence the wrinkles).

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The main issue was the front placket: wonky stitching and military-style buttons, really didn’t appeal to any of us. I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to stitching and although I’m much more flexibility with handmade items (especially mine), I have almost zero-tolerance for wonky stitching in store-bought items.

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Obviously the original front placket had to be removed (love my seam ripper, but this took me forever) and because the sleeves were way too long (the dress is a size 8/9 years dress for my 6 years old girl) I decided to cut and hem them with a Liberty ruffle (the Liberty fabric was also a left-over from a previous project). The ruffle is attached to the sleeve keeping the open sides aligned with the sleeve seam (I cut the ruffle using 1,5 times the sleeve measurement and double my desired length – the ruffle cuff is folded).

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On Coordinating …

Today I’m showing an outfit that almost didn’t make it here.

It was one of my first projects this fall (earlier October) but because it was too hot then to wear it I didn’t take an pictures at the time.

When the weather finally cooled down a bit and my girl finally got to wear it, I didn’t took any pictures (because I forgot these were still to be posted).

So, it took me almost 3 months to finally take any pictures of it – and trust me, by the time these pictures were taken, each piece of this outfit – dress, collar tee and sleeveless vest – had been worn to pieces.

Yet, I really couldn’t miss the chance to post it, because it really reflects the way I (usually) sew for my girl: coordinated pieces that are meant to be layered.

Let me tell how it all began …

It all started with this dress – Mallory by the Children’s Corner – which is a personal favorite. I’ve lost count on the number of versions I’ve made so far and I even purchased the larger sizes when my girl was only wearing the 2 years-size (I was so confident she would be wearing this dress until she was 8 years-old).

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The fit is perfect on her, the pattern is easy enough to sew in one-late night sewing (less than 3 hours) and it actually doesn’t take that much fabric (it is lined, nonetheless).

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