Back to School with Ellie & Mac

39814264_10156458004276006_7117527920695836672_o   Does it look like we’re getting ready to come back to school? Yeah… and this means vacation are over. September is the month of new beginnings here at my house. You see, my three kids go back to school… but so do I. I’m a teacher and that means I go through all the process to get ready for school as well.

The “Sitting Pretty top” by Ellie and Mac seemed to be the perfect choice because there is this pattern for women and girls. Check the bundle here.

This top features a lovely collar neckline and has four sleeve options.
You can wear it casual or more formal depending on the fabric you use. For my girl’s first back to school I chose a cotton knit that will remember her of summery colourful days. It’s blue and pink, it has flowers and my girl loves it.

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It is also light weighted so it will be perfect to wear with a cardigan when days get a little fresh.
This pattern is already one of our favorites here.
83_Sitting_Pretty_bundle_v2_largeI’m already making plans to cut two more and make the 3/4 sleeves become long ones. I’ll probably make them a bit looser too. This top is fitted and sleeves match it. My girl is a bit chubby, so I’ll make some grading next time to get her some roomier sleeves.

Now, about the women’s version:
I made size L for me, but the size range goes from XXS till 4X which is pretty good I think. No alterations here. However, do remember of what I said above about this being a more fitted top… Measure yourself well and if you like to have some extra ease around, adjust the pattern to your likes.
Just like the one for the girls, the women’s top has 4 types of sleeve and it’s easy to add some extra inches and make a long version sleeve.
I L-O-V-E the collar! Oooh… it’s awesome on both girl’s and women!
All in all, I made both tops in about 1 hour and a half… probably took me 45 minutes to sew each top from pattern cutting till finishing the hem.

More tips to sew this top:

  • like with any other knit, don’t stretch it while sewing.
  • use a jersey needle.
  • follow the instructions accurately.
  • don’t use your good fabric if you’re not sure about the size. Remember kids are always growing… and measure twice, cut once!Check the measurements chart:
    ellie-and-mac-size-chart-girls
  • use a four way stretch knit for the collar. It does make a difference.
  • More fabric recommendation: cotton lycra, double brushed poly, stretch velvet, french terry, etc…

Visit all the bloggers on the Back To School Sewing Patterns Blog Tour Featuring Ellie and Mac and enter the giveaway to win a $50 store credit below!

  1. August 20th: Seams Sew Lo (Intro)
  2. August 21st: Seams Sew Lo
  3. August 22nd: Momma Newey’s Makes
  4. August 23rd: Mama You Can Make It
  5. August 24th: DIYDanielle
  6. August 27th: Mijn11jes&ik
  7. August 28th: Tenille’s Thread
  8. August 29th: Make it Sew with the Bear and Pea Atelier
  9. August 30th: My Sewing Roots
  10. August 31st: SequioaLynn Sews
  11. September 1st: Mijn11jes&ik
  12. September 2nd: Crafty Curly Couture
  13. September 3rd: Sew 4 Five
  14. September 4th: Our Play Place
  15. September 5th: Fée bricolo
  16. September 6th: Jot Designs (USA)

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Misusu FREE’kin sewing challenge

Some time ago, I had the honor to test for Misusu. Everything went so smooth that Elles (Misusu’s amazing designer) came up with a pretty awesome challenge! And it was all about getting the sewing community to sew up a look using one of Misusu’s free sewing patterns. We could also use one of the other patterns and hack them!! Woohoo… This was right up my alley!! Loved the idea, the concept, the patterns, the designer… So… hack?? YES!!

I chose the Summer Olli pants, Max tee and Dia sweater… and hacked them all!!

The colour palete was around pink, blue… grey… and to me it was ll about starting my little girl’s Autumn wardrobe.

I made Summer Olli pants even more comfortable than they already are: replaced the gathered waist for one made with cotton knit (like the ones on yoga pants), made the front and the back of the pants in sligtly stretch denim and made the sides in cotton knit.

IMG_20180810_121254 Than, I started to sew Max tee – aside from colour blocking, I only hacked the sleeves: inserted some elastic casing so she could bring the sleeves up when it’s a little warmer, but it’s not t-shirt time…

The big, huge and amazing challenge came afterwards: hacking Dia sweater into a bomber jacket! Boy… was that a challenge!!!… But I did it!! The Diamond became the back of the bomber and I kept the puffed sleeves that I love so much!!

 

So without further delay… here’s the full outfit!!

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Did I inspire you? Hope so!!

Oh… And today I’m hosting a contest on my instagram account! You can win a free Misusu pattern of your choice!
Check it here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BmTHbhQByoF/?taken-by=colourbymim

Check all the other Inspiring sewists that were with me on this challenge!

Anja Nelis – https://www.instagram.com/a_siwsiw_thing/
Julia Sverke – https://www.instagram.com/rutigdesign/
Karolanne Charest – https://www.instagram.com/karolanne_c/
Dora Serrano – https://www.instagram.com/colourbymim/
Mireille Sip – https://www.instagram.com/missessippie/
Mirand Bodo – https://www.instagram.com/inspinration.blog/
Amanda Griener – https://www.instagram.com/carterjsroom/
Rineke Fokker – https://www.instagram.com/plus2is5/
Sjoukje Rozendal – https://www.instagram.com/dutch_sjouks/
Lesley De Winter – https://www.instagram.com/frullemieke/
Marieke Brugman – https://www.instagram.com/mariekebc/
Davina Woohoo – https://www.instagram.com/woohoobydavina/
Liesel Engelbrecht – https://itsliesel.wordpress.com
Julie Morin – https://www.instagram.com/kidsclothesweek/
Helena carey – https://www.instagram.com/fluffycoo/
Kim de Haas – https://www.instagram.com/pinkrabbit_nl/
Kim Van Audenhoven – https://www.instagram.com/mimaloki/
Aukje Leufkens – https://www.instagram.com/sewcucio/
Joëlle Tessier/ JJ L’abeille – https://www.facebook.com/maraisdeauxdouces/
Valerie Michels – http://moestashaandeslag.blogspot.com
Tania bennett – https://www.instagram.com/leebenn/
Sarah Jolley – https://www.instagram.com/incompletestitches/
Alexis Neil – https://www.instagram.com/cottonandgrainsewingco/
Anien Salomons – https://www.instagram.com/aniensalomons/
The Bristol Stitchery (Sofia & Leanne) – https://www.instagram.com/bristol_stitch/
Amanda Massicotte Jones – https://www.instagram.com/derivingmommyhood/
Mona Sohlman-Wirén – https://www.instagram.com/luomisvimma/
Guus Reuter – https://www.instagram.com/stoffenfeest/

xoxo
Dora

Back to school… with Bella Sunshine Designs

Here in Portugal we get back to school in mid September, but in many parts of the world that happens now… or pretty soon!
Getting back to school always makes me think of new clothes. Kids grow fast, but I can’t help but sewing my little girl a new dress!
So, when Bella Sunshine Designs suggested this theme for a blog tour, I jumped right in!

I chose the Coffee Shop lace dress to sew. It’s a pretty amazing woven dress, full of details. I used a classic kind of vintage lace I was keeping for a special project. The front bodice is made of three different parts (sides and center) and completely focus that beautiful lace that goes all the way to the back bodice. Speaking of back bodice… it has buttons! But you can use snaps if you’re not comfortable with buttons.

The skirt has a placket, but it’s really easy to make.

Sleeves are gathered and you can make them short or long. Yes, I know, it’s soooo great!! A suitable dress for all seasons… Anyway, sleeves are gathered just enough to make that dress pop. I thought it was perfect for the first day at school, but my young lady can wear it anywhere… anywhere special!!

P.S. – I added to the bottom of the skirt the same lace I used in the bodice, but you can skip it if you want to.

My girl loved it! The fit was spot on!

 

You can check more photos of this dress here.

Aaaaand… did you know Bella Sunshine Designs is having a “Back to school” sale?
It just started and ends on Sunday at midnight EST.
All girls patterns are now $6.
All ladies patterns are $7 and all bundles are $12.
No coupon code needed.

What are you waiting for???? GO!! Click here: Bella Sunshine Designs

Want to know who’s next on this tour?

BSD tour
Check it out!!

Monday, 6th August
Sew Cuccio
Inspinration
It’s Liesel

Tuesday, 7th August
Big Fly Notions
Sew 4 five
Stitched by Jennie

Wednesday, 8th August
Hazelnut handmade
Cross Stitches custom clothing
Turtle Trax Too

Thursday, 9th August
Jot Designs USA
Blooming Skies
Nathalie’s needle

Friday, 10th August
The bear and pea atelier
The Scatty sewer
Sew Haute blog

 

* Links may contain affiliates.
Prices will be the same for you, but if you follow my links and  purchase something, I’ll earn a little to support my fabric addiction.
Thanks
xoxo
Dora

Quick sew… just as I like it!

Olá a todos!

Então, o que têm feito?

Eu tenho costurado mais para a minha pequenita do que outra coisa…. Fiz-lhe uma saia rodada com base num peplum duma camisola que tinha testado para uma designer há uns tempos. Basicamente, estiquei a parte de baixo e acrescentei bordado inglês à baínha. Não é que ela tenha ligado muito ao raio do bordado, tudo o que ela queria era a saia da Minnie… maaaas… a saia ficou um bocado curta e lá acrescentei o tal bordado. Ficou perfeita!

Ah, é verdade… Fiz a cintura em malha elástica tipo jersey (mas mais grossa) para que a miúda se sentisse mais confortável e para dar-lhe mais autonomia ao vestir-se!

 

What have you all been up to?

I have been mainly sewing for my little girl. Made her a circle skirt based on the peplum of  a shirt that I had tested for a designer some time ago. Basically I just extended the bottom of the peplum and added some english embroidery. Not that she cared much about the embroidery, all she wanted was to put on her Minnie skirt, buuut… it came on a bit short, so I added some length with that embroidery. It’s perfect now!

Oh yeah… almost forgot, made the waistband in knit so it would be more comfortable for her and allow her to get more autonomous when dressing herself!

 

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Que tal?

E vocês? Que costuras rápidas costumam “ter na manga”?

What do you think?

And what do you do for a quick sew? You know… just because you can’t stand still!!…

 

Why do we sew?

Hi everyone! How have you been doing?

Me?… Well… It has been a rollercoaster of emotions lately… particularly these last two weeks… and particularly today!!…

A few weeks ago, one of my favourite pattern designers challenged me and the rest of her testers to sew a specific pattern: a faux wrap flounce skirt now named “Carmen”. I loved the design. Like all Ann’s patterns (yes… from Designer Stitch… so what else is new?? Just try her patterns and you’ll see…), it had a twist, something that made it different. So, I immediately jumped on board.

Started to check for the inspirational board on Pinterest… checked fabrics… checked Pinterest again… and again… til I saw no other option but to sew one specific fabric… the last one that my mother had bought before she died… This pattern screamed for this drapey silky cotton fabric! Check my mom’s fabric here!

“Carmen” is really fast to sew. At first, when looking at the pattern, I thought I had bitten more than I could chew and that I was going to need the rest of the tester’s help or Ann’s… but, no! It’s an easy, fast to sew pattern for both woven and knit fabrics and this, to me, makes it even more appealing. Two lengths (short and long), three waistbands and a modesty pannel to keep your sassyness private!
As always it’s a multi-sized pattern that will surprise you because it will look good on all your curves. Check the pattern and some testers photos here

Now… as for my mother’s fabric…

I knew it would be hard for me to sew it, but I also knew I had to do it. So, I spent a week crying… I cried when cutting the fabric, I cried when sewing the skirt… and when I thought there were no more tears… I cried some more! I washed my soul… and I’m pretty sure my mother would be proud of me.  I was honoured  for still having that fabric with me… but my husband couldn’t understand… if it was making me cry, why did I keep on sewing?? And this lead me to this post: WHY DO WE SEW?

To me, it has always been a kind of therapy… sometimes it kicks the adrenalin in, sometimes it helps me to relax and sometimes… sometimes it allows me to let it all out… My mother would be 63 years old today!!… I miss her… my best friend… Love you mom!!

What about you? Why do you sew? What makes you… get ready… set… sew!?

The Kate dress…

O vestido Kate é o novo molde pdf da Designer Stitch.
É um vestido lindíssimo com várias opções no que toca à costura, podendo inclusivamente ser feito separando a saia da parte de cima. Adorei esta opção!!… Mas… não foi a que escolhi fazer… LOL… Foi esta…

The Kate dress is the new Designer Stitch pattern.

It’s a gorgeous dress that has several sewing options and that can actually be done separating the skirt from the bodice. Loved this option!!… But… I didn’t choose it… LOL… I chose this one…

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Quando a Ann começou a “picar-nos” com imagens inspiradoras do vestido, pensei “Oh Ann, não é preciso tanto… eu já estou desejosa de o fazer… quando é que começamos?”
When Ann started to tease us, testers, with some inspirational pics of Kate’s dress, I thought “Oh Ann… no teasing needed here, I’m in already… when do we start?”

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Inspo pic (Pinterest)

Eu pura e simplesmente adorei o vestido e apesar de haver outras opções no molde… para mim… só existia O VESTIDO!!
Houve uma altura em que considerei fazer também o top e a saia, mas para além da falta de tempo (estava cheia de trabalho ao mesmo tempo… se eu pudesse vivia só da costura, bolas!…), apercebi-me também de que o que eu queria mesmo, mesmo… era o vestido. Não há mais nenhum motivo para ter feito esta escolha… foi mesmo só pura paixão, amor à primeira vista!
I absolutely loved this dress and although there were other options, to me it was always THE DRESS!!

There was a time that I considered making also the top and skirt option, but then I realised that what I really wanted was just the dress. No other motive for this choice, just pure passion, love at first sight!

A partir daí, dei uma vista de olhos no Pinterest para ver se arranjava mais inspiração (como se fosse preciso… e foi mais para as fotografias do que outra coisa…)
From that point onwards, I looked for some extra inspiration on Pinterest (more to get in the mood for afteward pics than any other thing…)

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Inspo pic (Pinterest)

Encontrei o tecido perfeito quando andava às compras para fazer outros projetos e… foi como se todas as peças do puzzle se encaixassem: molde, tecido…
Tenho que confessar que a minha escolha me assustou um bocadinho: um tecido frágil, transparente, muito leve… que iria requerer forro, costuras inglesas e muiiito cuidado a coser. Apesar de as costuras inglesas não me assustarem (qualquer dia faço um post sobre isto…), trabalhar com este tecido, sim… assustava-me e muito.
E vai daí… eu queria mesmo muito fazer este vestido com este tecido… e a Ann tem esta capacidade de me fazer sair da casca, de deixar a minha zona de conforto e fazer-me à vida! E lá fui eu!

I found my perfect fabric when shopping for other projects and… it was like all the pieces of the puzzle came together: pattern, fabric…
I must confess that my fabric choice scared me a little: a fragile sheer fabric that needed full lining meant extra sewing care and french seams. Although the seams did not scare me, working with this fabric did. Then again… I really wanted to do this and Ann has this ability of making me go outside the box, leave my comfort zone and go for it… so I did!

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Mas agora, digam-me: que tal fiquei?
Now you tell me: what do you think?

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Podem também seguir as minhas costurices em:
You can also check on my daily sewing adventures at:
www.instagram.com/colourbymim

P.S. – My dress is the knee length with the 3/4 circle skirt.

This wonderful pattern is on sale for a limited time – $8.00 (US) and offers a multi-sized pattern :
(AU/UK)6 – 26, (US) 2 – 22, (EU) 34 – 54
Cup Sizes – B, C, D, DD
Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Sewing Level.

Check it here: Kate dress by Designer Stitch

 

Clementine, my dear Clementine…

Quando comecei a escrever este post, queria que fosse um pouco menos específico, mais sobre costura a nível geral e menos sobre moldes… mas… quanto mais tentava escrever e concentrar-me no assunto, mais os pensamentos dispersavam e quando dava por mim, lá estava eu a pensar nos vestidos em malha jersey que tinha feito há pouco tempo… Voltei atrás, salvei o que já tinha escrito no outro post e comecei este. Às vezes só temos que seguir o coração!

Por issooo… este post é sobre um dos meus vestidos favoritos (em jersey, malha de algodão): o Clementine (desenhado pela Bella Sunshine Designs).

When I started to write this post, I wanted it to be more general, more about sewing and less about patterns… but then the writing focus kept changing and at the back of my mind there were always the dresses in knit that I had sewn recently. So I went back, saved that post for later and started this one. Sometimes you just gotta follow your heart.

Soooo… this post is about one of my favourite dresses made in knit: Clementine from Bella Sunshine Designs .

IMG_20180218_164505
Clementine dress by BSD (don’t mind the serious face…)

A BSD (vamos chamar assim daqui para a frente senão não saímos daqui hoje…) é uma das “marcas” de moldes pdf para quem eu testo regularmente. Quer isto dizer que sou uma das que cose o molde e verifica se bate tudo certo (a todos os níveis) antes dele sair para venda em condições.
Mas este foi especial para mim! Um vestido até aos pés (ok… quase lá…) de mangas compridas… wow!! Eu tinha que costurar esta opção!
Quando entrei no grupo de teste, já sabia como a Melissa Prendergast (a designer por trás da BSD) e a equipa dela trabalhavam, por isso fiz o download do molde, imprimi e joguei mãos à obra. Adaptei o molde ao meu tamanho, o que significou fazer o que em inglês chamam de “grading”. E tive que fazer isto porque em termos de peito, caio num tamanho mais pequeno do que as minhas ancas ou a minha cintura. É importante conseguir fazer este processo corretamente para se ter uma roupa que nos assente bem. Fazê-lo neste molde foi fácil porque o próprio vestido é composto por duas partes: o top e a saia franzida. Ora, isto significa que se pode ser um tamanho 8 no top (como eu) e um 10 ou mais na saia e brincar com o franzido da mesma. Só não se pode abusar e tem que se ter cuidado porque se pode acabar por ficar com uma cintura demasiado volumosa  sem necessidade nenhuma disso.

Eu brinquei um bocadinho com o meu tecido floral: uma malha jersey que tinha comprado na Feira dos Tecidos em Lisboa e que me fez lembrar aqueles tecidos Japoneses lindos, lindos, lindos!!…

I often test BSD patterns. This means that I’m one of the sewers that checks for the whole pattern before releasing it properly.

This one was special though! A long sleeved maxi dress… wow!! I had to sew this option! when I got into the testing group, I already knew how Melissa Prendergast (the designer behind BSD) and her team worked, so I downloaded the pattern, printed and started to work. I graded between sizes because my bust fits in a smaller size then my waist and hips. It’s important to be able to do this correctly so that your clothes fit well.
Doing it in this pattern  was easy because the dress itself has two parts: bodice and gathered skirt. This means you can have a size 8  bodice like me and a gathered skirt size 10 or more and play with the gathers of your skirt. Just be carefull not to over do it and get too bulky.

I played a bit with my flowery fabric. It was a cotton knit that I bought from a local store (Feira dos Tecidos, Lisbon, Portugal) and it reminded me of beautiful Japanese fabrics.

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Agora… vamos à parte mais técnica!!

Como já disse anteriormente, eu decidi escolher o vestido maxi (o mais comprido), mas o molde Clementine vem com a opção do comprimento pelo joelho (chamam-lhe dress length, o que para mim foi uma confusão enorme porque vestido é vestido seja qual for o comprimento, certo?). Bem… vamos lá… Tem também duas opções para as saias: simples ou com uma faixa (banded) em baixo (vão ao site que vocês vão perceber, eu fiz a minha simples porque o tecido se prestava a isso).
O top é justo ao corpo, completamente forrado e tem um decote um pouco mais profundo. O molde apresenta também a opção de se fazer um top com ajuste total ao peito… porque não são todos iguais, certo?

Quanto às mangas… fiz as minhas compridas porque era Inverno e estava mesmo muito frio (basicamente, enquanto o meu marido me tirava fotografias, a minha filha do meio segurava no meu casaco para eu me refugiar do frio assim que acabasse a sessão de fotos)!! Para além da opção das mangas compridas, o molde tem também a opção de mangas curtas, sem mangas e 3/4.

Foi feito a pensar num principiante de costura já com alguma confiança e segurança no que faz e eu concordo com esta sua categoria. Poderia ser adequado a um puro iniciante, mas forrar a parte de cima do vestido pode ser complicado, por isso…sim…é um  bom molde para um principiante que já tenha alguma experiência.

Então e os tamanhos, Dora? – perguntam vocês… bem, vai do 0 ao 30 (sistema americano). Para terem uma ideia, o meu 8 equivale a um 40… e com aquele ajuste total no peito, acho que as meninas mais curvilíneas ficam bem.

Imprimir?? Bem… Eu estava a testar o molde e aí a opção é imprimir em casa… mas quando o molde sai, vem com a opção de impressão em largo formato (A0) para imprimir numa casa de cópias.

Vendo bem, vendo bem… este é um molde fácil e rápido de costurar que te vai ficar bem nos sítios certos! E mesmo que sejas alguém já com mais experiência na costura e aches isto muito fácil, este é um bom projeto para quando estás na mó de baixo nas tuas costurices e te sentes meio desanimada… em menos de nada se faz este vestido e recuperas a motivação para a costura… assim que vires o resultado final!
Agora… se ficaste curiosa e queres ver outras fotografias do vestido, segue o link:
https://bellasunshinedesigns.com/product/clementine-maxi-dress-top-ladies/?affiliates=Dora

 

Now… let’s get technicall!

As I was saying before, I chose the maxi dress option, but the Clementine comes also with dress length (by the knee)  and it features two different skirts: simple skirt in top and a banded skirt.

The bodice is fitted, fully lined with a scooped neckline and the pattern provides for a full bust adjustment if you need to.

About the sleeves… mine was made with long sleeves because it was Winter here and it was really cold (basically my husband took pictures while my middle daughter held my coat so that I could run to it as soon as the photoshoot ended)!! The pattern has a sleeveless option as well as two more sleeve lengths besides mine: short and 3/4.

It’s made for a confident beginner and I agree with this sewing category for it. It could be suitable for a beginner, but lining the bodice can be tricky, so… yeah… confident beginner is a good sewing ranking for this one.

And what about sizes, Dora? – You’d ask… well, it goes from size 0 to 30… and with that optional full bust adjustment, I think the curvier ladies are covered.

Printing?? Well… I was testing, so the option was to print at home… but, when released, all BSD patterns come in copy-shop format (A0) and letter size.

All in all, it is a quick easy sew that will flatter you in all the right places! Even if you’re not a beginner, it’s a good Project for those days when your sewing mojo is a bit under the weather… you’ll regain it fast, as soon as you see the end result.

Now… if you got curious about it and want to see more pictures of the other testers, here’s the link: https://bellasunshinedesigns.com/product/clementine-maxi-dress-top-ladies/?affiliates=Dora