I could not
believe when, a couple of months ago, I received an email from Lotte Martens asking
me if I would like to try their fabrics and participate on their upcoming international
blog. Every time I saw the amazing things my Belgium sewing friends have sewn
with their exquisite fabrics I felt so overwhelmed… And now I feel really lucky
– and flattered! - to be able to try them too!
FABRIC: Grus Crèpe from Lotte Martens. I was so in love with ALL fabrics from Lotte Martensnew collection, it took me ages to pick this fabric. I loved all the plissé so
much! And, of course, every single hand printed is utterly special. But I knew
this rayon was a lot more “my style” so I went for it. My plan was to make a
dress but, when the fabric arrived, my daughter Teresa asked me if I could sew
something for her with it too so I thought the right thing to do would be to
share the fabric with her. This rayon is super, super soft (that’s one of the
main reasons Teresa felt in love with it, I’m sure) but was surprisingly easy to
work with! Even making the v-neckline went super smooth. I must admit I wasn’t expecting
that at all! The color is a beautiful light aqua green and it is lovely to wear but hard to photograph and the little gold/mustard yellow dots (they are more drops then dots, actually) add the perfect combination! Maybe it is also hard to tell from the photos but while Teresa's dress was cut to the grain, my blouse had to be cut cross grain because that was all the fabric I had left. Never the less, the drape is perfect! Most Lotte Martens fabrics are sold by the panel (because they are hand printed) but this one is sold by the meter.
patterns are self-drafted based on ready to wear garments we already owned. One
of the best things about sewing our own clouds is the possibility of making the
design we want with the fabric we have chosen. It is easy to find nice designs
in ready to wear but not that easy to find good quality fabric and nice craftsmanship.
Sewing our own clothes gives us the power to do so! I absolutely adore the
drape on my blouse. And I like that it can be worn every day because it doesn’t
look too fancy it is fancy enough to be worn to a party too. Teresa is also
super please with her dress. She says it is so comfortable, she wants to wear
it as a nightgown!
moment you can find Lotte's fabrics at these European shops. But the good news
are Lotte Martens is growing internationally so maybe you can ask for their
fabrics in your favorite fabric store and they will be the next one caring it...
so much Lotte Martens for designing such special fabrics!
friend Suz has just released a new pattern, the Issie Top! I am so flattered to
have been invited for the pattern tour… And of course, and I am delighted to show
you the Issie I made for my daughter Ines.
Issie Top by Sew Pony. The Issie Top is a pattern for a sweet and girly stretchy
top and it comes with lots and lots of options. I choose the view with two side
ruffles and no cuffs and I made a little change to the original pattern: I
lined the ruffles. (Why can’t I just follow the instructions?!) Because my
ruffles were lined, I made a small change to the construction of the top: I
sandwiched the ruffles in-between the side and the front/back upper pieces. Of
course, to do so I had to split both upper pieces into side front/middle front
and side back/middle back and add seam allowances to those pieces. Much easier to do then to explain, I must say…
Anyway, the Issie top was a breeze to sew. The fitting was perfect and Ines was
really happy to wear it.
Blue cotton french terry (main fabric) and printed viscose knit (ruffles
lining) both from my stash. (Yeah! I feel so happy to sew nice clothes without
the need of buying more fabric…) There is not much to say about the fabric I
picked this time. It is ok quality (I’ve been spoiling my kids with the wonderful
Nosh Organics and they are becoming kind of picky, especially when it comes to
knits…) and I hope it survives the playing and washing as I am sure this top
will be worn over and over again.
So, I hope
I have inspired you to sew this cute top… You can get your copy of the pattern
with a nice 10% discount throughout the tour with the code: ISSIERELEASE10 at
Sew Pony Shop. By the way, the pattern is available not only in English but also in Dutch and French.
forget to check out the Issie Tops made by the other participants in the tour! Here
are the links to their blogs:
sewing/blogging community is amazing and sometimes I can’t even believe how
lucky I am to be part of it and to have turned so many wonderful, creative and lovely
girls into my good friends.
think about my sewing friends Ines is always on top of my list. We live quite
near and we have met many times already. Not only is she as nice and warm as
her smile, she is also a huge inspiration. And I know I am not alone in this…
That’s why a bunch of bloggers got together today to celebrate: INESPIRATION!
Sleeveless Top from the Japanese Book Knitwear for Kids. I was already a JSB
fan when I meet Ines but I was afraid of getting the original books in Japanese
– as I thought I would not understand the instructions - and only got the English
translations. Ines was the one opening the doors of the “wonderful world of
real Japanese sewing books”. And what a world it is! The instructions are not
that hard to follow and there is a myriad of amazing designs waiting to been
sewn. The pattern for this top comes from a book that covers all basic knits
patterns for kids. I really loved this specific design as it gives a girly
twist to a basic sleeveless top. I made no alterations to the original pattern
and the fit is perfect. (Thanks Andreia
for borrowing me this book! We need to get together so I can return it.)
FABRIC 1: Pyry Jersey in Maple Sugar/Black and Rib Knit in Black both from Nosh. Whenever I think of
Ines I think of sewing with knits, I think of sewing with organic knits, I
think of sewing with good quality organic knits and finally I think of sewing
with Nosh! My kids need to thank Ines for making me sew clothes using these
amazing fabrics as they say they make the most comfortable clothes ever. They
also need to thank Ines for making me try to change my style and trying to make
(slightly) edgier clothes for them…
Waterfall Raglan by Chalk and Notch. I know Ines is a great fan of Gabriela’s
patterns and so am I. As usual everything in this pattern is simply perfect. For the first time I went to the copy shop to print the pattern and I got totally addicted. So easy. So fast. Not that expensive. And, lucky me, the copy shop is across de street from Teresa´s new school. The pattern was design for jersey knits and I used not as stretchy sweatshirt knit but it still worked really nicely as I sewn one size up to be sure Teresa could move freely. I think next time I will will rise the neckline just a little bit as this one works beautifully for a shirt but is kind of low for a sweatshirt (you can see the tank top rib popping...) Asked by Teresa - yes, she knows what she wants when is come to her clothing - I changed a couple of things to the original design: I added very narrow sleeve cuffs made from the same rib as the neckband and I cut the hem ruffle cross grain. Teresa loved the final result and Ines has already asked me to sew a Waterfall for her too.
Loopback Sweatshirting in Black/Vanilla and Rib Knit in Maple Sugar both by Nosh.
Teresa picked this striped fabric long time ago but I only
got to sew it now… When my kids were younger I though black was not a color
children would wear. Ines has proven I was totally wrong and now they wear
black a lot and I love it! Actually Teresa wardrobe is mostly black/white/light
pink so this sweater fits the bill perfectly. I was thinking about using black
rib for the neckband but then I spotted the light pink rib and asked Teresa if she
would prefer it. She said yes so light pink it was. I am really happy with the final result
and so is Teresa!
so much Ines for all the inspiration and friendship! I hope we can meet again
Get Inespired by all this super talented girls by clicking on the links below:
thought I would ever make tees for my kids and now tees are among my favorite
sewing projects. Especially when made with wonderful organic cotton jersey…
quick and easy to sew and, most of all, are worn a lot more then woven dresses
and shirts. So it is a win win-win situation!
Guittars” (hacked) from Ottobre Magazine 1/2015. I LOVE Ottobre knit patterns!
The fit is perfect for my kids and the designs suit their pre-teen taste to
perfection. This pattern is actually for a long sleeve but, since the weather
is still quite nice around here (and, I must confess, I didn’t have enough
fabric!), I hacked it and turned it into a short sleeve tee. The sleeves are
actually cuffs and were inspired by Liesl and Co. Bento Tee, one of my favorite
women’s patterns. I decided to sew one size up hopping that this tees would
still fit Ines nicely next summers. Let’s keep our fingers crossed…
FABRIC: KatseJersey in Blue/Light Blue and Midi Stripes Jersey in Vanilla/Blue Grey both from
Nosh. When I order fabric from Nosh I always ask my kids to pick one fabric
they really like. Last time I knew Ines would for sure chose this lovely
printed jersey and I wasn’t wrong! I also ordered a small piece of the striped
jersey as I thought both would look nice together (something Mini Boden
inspired: printed bodice and striped sleeves) but, when my order arrived, we
all loved so much the striped jersey – the blue grey is absolutely gorgeous! –
that we decided to use them on their own. So Ines got two new tees instead of
not much to say about Nosh fabrics that hasn´t been said before… The quality is
top and that makes it wonderful to sew and wear. The fabric never gets distorted
and the color does not fade so clothes last forever!
I had the perfect example
a couple of days ago: Ines went to school wearing this printed shirt and, when she arrived,
she had two big red ink stains in the front. I used a very powerful stain
remover, had to scrub out the stains and the color is still perfect. I’m happy!
(That's enough Mum! I need to grab my things and go to school!) P.S. Thank you so much Olga, Mie, Jenya and Suzanne for all the advices on editing my photos. Though they are still far from perfect, I think I finally got to understand the basics of Photoshop. I hope that, with some practice and help from my good friends in this wonderful sewing community, I will one day be really happy with the photos I share with you.
when she put on her Juliette Dress for the first time say it all: “Oh! I look
sewn dresses for my girls for quite some time. I used to make lots of nice
dresses and they would always end lost at the bottom of my daughters’ closed,
not worn at all. They are quite sporty girls and we live in the country side so
dresses are not that convenient for our lifestyle…
couldn’t resist saying yes to Suz when she asked me if I would like to join her
blog tour and sew a Juliette for my kids. Especially because my friend Rita
told me she loved the pattern… I am so glad I am back to sewing nice
Juliette Dress and Top by Sew Pony(a collaboration with Kneesocks and Goldilocks) I’ve sewn almost all patterns by Sew Pony
and I must say this might be my favorite. Such a cute and simple design.
Perfect! The pattern as many options: it can be a top or a dress, it can be
sleeveless, sort sleeved or have a ¾ sleeve and, besides the ruffle collar I
choose, there is a cute faux placket that can be made with or without the
collar. Plus, by joining Sew Pony FB page, you can get a free peter pan collar.
Oh, and the pattern comes with inseam pockets. That’s a lot, right?!
So… what about Ines dress? Well, I made the ruffle collar sleeveless dress version and made almost no changes do the original pattern. I really like the fit as it is a little bit loose on her body so it allows her to move freely and gives plenty of room to grow. I loved the way the armholes are finished! Definitely facings are my favorite way to finish armholes as they look so sharp and clean.
What did I
change from the original pattern? Because I was working with printed fabric and
didn’t feel like having a seam in the middle of the back I made my back panel
in only one piece. I used a facing for the back opening and then… Disaster! I
only read the instructions after finishing the back opening! Why, oh why, do I never
read the instructions properly?! The ruffle is supposed to be sewn to the back
opening and my back opening was already finished… Unpicking it would be tricky
so I left the ruffle free instead. I think it doesn’t look bad this way but it
looks nicer on the original pattern for sure.
I must admit I have made another little change to the original pattern, purely out of laziness! Instead of hemming the ruffle, I lined it with a bit of very thin white cotton fabric. It was much easier to sew and, because my fabric wasn’t too heavy, I think it looks nice too.
Flaming printed Linen from my local shop (Feira dos Tecidos). Can you believe
this fabric actually comes from Zara Kids collection? In Portugal we are lucky
to have many clothes and fabric factories and sometimes we have access to some
wonderful leftover fabric. I got this fabric long, long time ago and made a
couple of dresses for my girls. Unfortunately they don’t fit anymore… Luckily I
still had enough fabric to make this Juliette as I think linen has the perfect
drape for the ruffle collar. The back button was also bought long time ago in a
wonderful local store that sells vintage sewing supplies (Retrosaria Fantasia)
and I think it has a really nice design for this pattern.
So I guess
I am back to sewing dresses… I am glad I took some time off but I am truly happy
to be back!
like to sew and wear garments made of the nicest quality organic cotton? We love it!
month, we were really existed to receive a package full of wonderful organic cotton by the finish brand Nosh. The girls were allowed to pick a couple of
fabrics and I picked some for myself too. And, when the package arrived I
already used almost all the fabric we got, and believe me, we are a much better
dressed family now! ;-) Slowly, we will find the time and the mood for the
photo shoots so I can share with you all the garments I made. Here is the first
Raglan Tee (138) from Burda Style Magazine 3/2014. This spring I saw a sweater
from Zara I really loved (it looks like it is no longer available, sorry!) and
though I could make one for my kids by hacking a simple raglan sweater pattern.
Burda Magazine had the perfect pattern but it needed a couple of changes to be
exactly what I envisioned… So, what did I change from the original pattern?
Well, I’ve cut the back panel halfway through the sleeve line to create a yoke
so I could play with the two different fabrics. Also at the back panel, I made
the hem not straight but slightly curved for a high-low look. Because I was using
two different fabrics, I also created size vents as I thought the hem would
look better this way. Finally, I screen printed (not that successfully, I must
add…) the front panel. My kids are super happy with the final result! Actually,
this sweater was made for Ines but Teresa picked it first and didn’t want to
give it to her sister. That’s why it is a tiny little bit small on her, as you
can see from the photos…
FABRIC: Loopback Sweatshirting in Maple Sugar (main fabric), Tahiti Gauze in Maple Sugar-Black (back
panel fabric) and Rib in Black (neckband), all from Nosh. One thing I always
loved about the Nosh catalogue was the possibility of having different fabrics in
the same color or color combination. It is absolutely wonderful to find rib in
the exact same tone as, for example, a sweatshirt knit or tee shirt jersey,
right? So I thought I was in even when I saw gauze that would match french
terry! This french terry (or loopback sweatshirting) is beautiful and super
soft. Plus it is 240cm wide! The color is not uniform – it has a touch of white - and that gives it a
special look. I think I need the striped version too… It is gorgeous! The gauze
is quite a fun fabric, not as soft as Japanese double gauze, but still nice and
cool to work with. The rib – THE RIB! – I remember hearing my friend Annika
talk about how wonderful Nosh rib was and, believe me, she couldn’t be more
right! I never liked to work with rib but this one… Loved it! I think I need it
in every single color!
Many things went wrong when I was sewing this sweatshirt... (see photo above)
Can you tell the neckband is a little bit “not that good looking”? Well, one of the serger’s needle threads got tangled while sewing it… Can you tell the “You are my star” stencil is too close to the hem? (Even my 7 year old daughter Ines pointed that to me!) And the stencil is actually far from sharp? Oh well… At least Teresa loved it and is willing to wear it. Many, many times I’ve sewn “the” perfect garment and it stayed in their closet all season…
The fabric I used in this post was given to me by Nosh Organics, but all the opinions are my own.