Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hello Mabel


Hello, don't mind me in my pyjamas, would you? Well, you won't see me wearing this to sleep just yet but that's how comfortable my Mabel feels. 

Choose a soft interlock knit and BAM, you are in heaven! Oh and don't think it makes you slack on style... add some cute shoes and get out of the house looking and feeling lovely. I already have another version cut because I cannot have enough of this make.


Basic, yeah.. for my normal sewing standard but I honestly sold. I'm not one to repeat or make basics unless I think the process is fun! 

The Mabel is part of Colette new direction of making patterns for knit fabrics.

I never been a Colette girl, style wise I mean. Their patterns always enchanted me by the quality of instructions, attention to details and customer care but the styling of vintagy/ cutie is so NOT me.  

I did a successful Beignet, ginger (a favourite), Macaroon and not so Zinnia.  The others I own are the Anise and Lady Grey. (UFO muslin stage and uncut respectively.)

When the Walden collection was launched and I bought them all! WOW! I made the girliest of Coppers.  So recently they launched their new beginners knit dresses.  They got my attention!  I'm liking the direction they are growing and I'm eagerly waiting to see & SEW more.


I sewn size M. I feel is a bit on the loose size as I like things body fitted (tight). Next make is a double knit (ponte).

Really impressed by the construction method and lining. I never even thought about lining my knits.


The waistband lining was the left over from my coppelia.

Did you made any alteration? Nope!!!



I should have lengthen the pattern given my amazonian height is out of the norm but sometimes I get lazy, thinking I could get away...  so many patterns are design to be a little longer than what I like wearing anyway. Not the mabel short version. I had to avoid hemming in the risk of becoming too short.  Not a biggy on knits, right.


Sewing tip: When hemming interlock knits, cut a 1/4 inches strip of knit interfacing, interface your hem on the wrong size, press your hem allowance and stitch the right side with a twin needle.


Have you sewn the Mabel? Do you like Colette new patterns? 

Monday, July 21, 2014

My floral boned bustier birthday dress.

Hello darlings

Thank you so much for your feedback and comments on my previous post. I feel a little responsible to make sure we talk about both sides of my journey. I'm a fast prolific sewist because I get organised to sew, but I am also human. I often get told I'm an (sorry I had a typo here) inpirational sewist. I want to be true to myself, grow and evolve.

 So today we finally we got to chat about my birthday dress.


The pattern is the same bustier from my minerva craft evening gown{burdastyle buster 5/2011 #127} with BHL floral skirt. I looove this skirt! My high low flora skirt pattern is almost destroyed. Time to trace and this time interface it.


Sewing tip: Do you know those paper interfacing not very suitable for clothing? (non woven- light weight) Those are perfect to interface patterns. 



Bustiers. I feel they were made for me.  Only took me 2 years -from the time I bought Gertie's class -to find out. It wasn't for the lack of inspiration. I saw so many amazing bombshell dresses out there. The truth: I was scared of steel boning cutting.

I made a muslin following Susan Khalje’s method for thread tracing.



The  bustier pattern fitted me perfectly as is. (I bought a tall version separately from the class pattern) Sewing was so rewarding. To be honest is not hard, the work is sewing those concave curves so many times. Outer fabric, underling, lining, extra cups etc...

I was going to make my dress blue but reconsidered as a lot of my party decoration had a similar print. Used what I previously cut as lining. Love it!


Because of the chita (Brazilian fabric) cheap and cheerful characteristic meant I had to sew 4 layers for the busier. For structure, body and because of the open weave needed reinforcement.


King K enlighten his fail safe method I choose to follow. To improve the structure he underlines both the outer fabric and lining- with cotton flannel and twill respectively. I just used medium weight white cotton for both. Rigeline is a very easy way to start but I wasn't complete trilled by it.  Because it comes curved, after sewn it still have a raised shape. I had to be sure to sew all the same direction and against the body.

Sewing tip: The trick is then press very lightly with iron set on low heat to settle them in place. You can see the boning bowing back in place.


Instead of the sewn in straps from the pattern I opted for making  adjustable ties-in, hand sewing the flower trim on top.

The green invisible zipper is almost invisible....


Forget that, check out the back bodice print placement! High Five, right!


The pattern for the belt is inspired by Lisette bow belt . I didn't have a printer available to print the pattern so I just drafted based the instructions.


Did you notice that the back skirt doesn't have the traditional pleats. I changed to a light gathering at the centre back.


I made my head piece too!


I didn't want a lining hanging separately so I sewn the lining to the outer fabric. No hemming needed!


The dress looks so well crafted. To be honest everyone were so impressed but also thought I was crazy, what! all that work on such a cheap and costum-y fabric. It doesn't matter. I wanted my dress to fit the style of my birthday party theme and  most importantly: I felt beautiful wearing it. ( If you want to know more about my party, check related posts: Festa Junina/ Apron 1/ Apron 2 &3 )


Noteworthy resources:

Birth of a Bustier by Kenneth D. King
Three ways to attach Boning by Threads magazine
Sewing a Boned Bodice With Plastic Boning by Sewaholic 
Boning supplies: Sew Curvy 
Gertie's Time-Saving Trick for a Boned Bodice Muslin

A few burry pictures of me wearing at the party!


Ok, my fellow is totally being good sports on dressing up in crazy Brazilian costume but that face! LOL BTW I made his matching tie and Maria hand sewn his trousers patches.


Our english friend Si actually took pretty well taken to his costume, even took the tie (which I have sewn) home with him.



Dad wasn't impressed to have a bow tie ( yes, I also made that)

Thank you for your feedback about loving my Brazilian posts. It is so lovely to share my culture with you.

Now, Who wants a piece of my birthday cake?



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ooopps, I bought a dress! Challenges of writing a sewing blog.


Today I wanna have a heart to heart chat!

Yes, let's address the elephant in the room, this is not handmade! I love clothes but don't have unlimited time to make everything I want, or find the right fabric or even have the desire to make something basic because I'm running out of them.

Sewing passion has to come within. I want to make something either because is fun, has a purpose (like class samples) or/and will teach me something new: a challenge! 

After searching ages to find a suitable scuba fabric I liked, factoring the cost of the pattern and my time I decided that it was OK to not have to be a sewing factory and just buy that dress.


Yes, is so easy for me to make! Basic even: I even found a perfect pattern (McCall's 6988)

BUT that is Ok! right? That not everything I wear has been made by me. The pressure of caring the "handmade" baton is wearisome. Now, everyone I know assumes I make everything I wear and when I say I don't, that strange glare on their faces. Disappointment? surprise? confusion?  My face justifying "No, I haven't made that but don't judge me for it: I love sewing!"

I love being creative! I heart making stuff but I am also a child of the capitalism that even tho I am a much better and more educated shopper, I still want to buy cool stuff and wear it with anyone. Even among the sewing community.

Our sewing community represent an excellent support group, a judgement free space to wear our handmade stuff, but there is almost an unspoken rule of what to wear. Creatively that is annoying for me. I wear my handmade clothes almost daily but what happens If I want to wear something else. You know, be a creative rebel!

What I mean to say is that I feel it is ok to have days off. Not to show up wearing everything you made. I often see beginners feeling uncomfortable what they made and the first thing they do is to apologise as their makes don't fit, or they don't like it etc..  Often I say: wear what makes you feel proud and happy, don't wear what makes you feel uncomfortable. I won't judge how well it was made. My first makes are horrendous. I care to be supportive and encouraging.

What I love about wearing handmade is the feeling of my personal accomplishment, not complements that it brings. 

Since raising my hands and talking how stressed I was about overcommitting, I been very careful to what and who I say "yes" to.  I get asked almost daily about a new book, project, pattern, guest blog, link etc. 

I don't want to become a blogger that just keep sharing "the newest whatever' that seems to be the same to every other similar blog. My blog reader (I follow many different types of blogs besides sewing) have became full recently and I'm getting bored...  Can you promise me that if I start getting too promotional/voiceless you will nudge me kindly. I'm not saying that I won't have an occasion promotional post. There are things I want to share that I am honoured to be given the opportunity!

Since my personal blog resolution, I have only have said "yes" to projects already on my sewing plans (either for me or for my friends and family) or I would buy it anyway, because I think it's awesome. That's narrowed it to a few commitments a month. Who doesn't love interesting interviews and/or thoughtful reviews. I already have a few lined up I'm so excited to share.

Buried under my sewing room mess, I realise how much my stash is out of control. Or rather,  I need to stop buying stuff! I buy too many meters of fabric and hoard far too many patterns.  The worst is that for the last year I have been trying to slow my sewing down!  Yes, slow down... be more mindful to what and why I make things. Without success!

So easy to get catch up on  excitement saying "yes" to everything, pressured to have/make the latest stuff, always wearing handmade, and so on!  Be true to my own personal journey is my guideline.

Not often I blog so many personal views at once. I let those discussions for private conversations however how can I be inspiring and encouraging without sharing some downfalls of writing a sewing blog. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Festa Junina:Pokadot aprons and a wedding

Oi Friends,

I have more aprons for you!


My dear aunty Gloria had a beautiful floral dress to wear so she wanted a less fussy apron to complement it. Ps: yes, football on the background before the party starts. If you squint, you can see my uncle Fernando's bow tie.


As she took it home I couldn't take more pictures the day after. Lucky I had a few on the hanger as I mention, the party pictures aren't really clear.

The pattern is a bit different. I Hacked the BHL flora bodice as I wanted the apron to be very flattering as my aunty is a petite plus. 


There are two pleats at the shoulder. The skirt is the same as my mom's apron.


Now to Maria's apron. Maria is even more petit that my aunty.


I used the same bodice shape as mom's apron but with a box pleated detail, contrasting yellow ties, fuxico (yo-yo) waistband. The skirt is the high low flora dress front pattern, size 10.


All the lining of my aprons have a contrasting print. Maria's apron has gingham lining. The fabric again is all Chita with exception of yellow cotton, left over from my Brazilian cushions.

Did I mention a wedding outfit? Thats is the closest thing I will get to sew.


The top is the front pattern piece of the flora 
The skirt is the front pattern piece from the Betty like Mom's and aunty Gloria's apron.

The veil was self drafted. Actually it was the most fun to sew it out of this outfit.




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Festa Junina: Outfit1: Mom's floral apron.

Hello friends,

Did you enjoy learning a little about Festa Junina? It is my all time favourite party, sorry Carnival! I bet you are curious about some of my makes.

Today I'm sharing one of 4 aprons I made. As I mention before, I couldn't cope sewing 4 dresses plus mine in the middle of what everything was happening during my stay. I had to sew at the beginning of the holiday before the world cup started, which took me on my first day to a local shopping centred where most shops are fabric shops and craft supplies. Seriously, no one told me Disney where there! More on shopping later... I'm digressing again.

I'm sorry for the quality of the party pictures, I had to go and take some extra pictures the day after.


Mom wore her apron with a customised multi layered ruffled black skirt filled of matching fuxicos (yo-yos) and a black long sleeve jersey top. You will notice everyone dressed for a cold night... errr 18 isn't cold folks... Lol


About the apron;


Mom's apron was made out of Chita fabric. I drafted the bodice front, creating 2 patchwork pockets. I cannot really explain the constructions details without step by step pictures. It's so neat that I really want to make a tutorial in the future. Right now I'm trying to write as many posts I remember first. 


The front is a full skirt for maximum impact during the quadrille dance. I took the front skirt pattern from the Betty dress, cut the waist size 8 and the length size 20.


For each apron I made a matching bow tie. Matching couple outfits, cool right? Apparently no man in my family understand how to wear a bow tie so I don't have a picture of them. Didn't bring one home either. oh well. Blogger fail!Sorry!