Thursday, August 30, 2007

the blue linen dress

Here it is, the second dress I made this summer. It's the easiest pattern ever, just two pieces sewn together. It's actually pattern d from this book (Sewing talk, again by Machiko Kayaki.. you can tell I'm a fan, right ?) but I made some tiny adjustments. The neckline was not very flattering so I cut it a bit lower. Only it turned out a bit loose so I had the idea of making the small gathering in front. It turned really nice this way. And I made the dress a bit longer than the original pattern, so it's just below knee length.

The fabric were actually two pieces of a linen mix I found on sale the other day. I love the color and the softness of the fabric, and for this dress it was quite the perfect thing. I'm addicted to making dresses now, which is kind of odd since I actually love dresses but don't get to wear them so often ... humm, maybe it's time to change that.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

shop update

(pocket bags #119, #120, #121)

A couple of these and some bookcovers and pouches are now available at the shop

the red dress

ahhh, here we go .. finally, a finished dress. One I had actually started last year and had been completely forgotten until recently. I must say, with the new serger it's so much easier to sew clothes now. I'm becoming addicted, so you'll see a lot more of this on the blog from now on.

Back to the dress. It's one of my favorite patterns from this book (Simple Chic, by Machiko Kayaki), which in turn is my favorite dress pattern book. I like the original black version, but as you know, red is my passion. I really love the way it turned out. The fit is perfect, and although the cut is quite simple, the small ruffles give it a somewhat sophisticated touch.

I can't wait to try more patterns from this book, especially for fall and winter. In the meantime, I have one more dress to show you soon, and last night I cut out a couple more tops I've been meaning to make since summer started (ah, and a shop update is coming later this evening, as promised)

Friday, August 24, 2007

crochet blanket ♥

What is it about cats and crochet blankets in this household ? Maggie seems to like this new one already ...

And Amélie also had a passion for the striped blanket recently ... maybe they're telling me I should hurry up and finish them ?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

summer top #2

Another one of these. You can tell I really like this pattern, right ?

I have been working on other projects, it's just that I'm too lazy to take any decent photos these days. But next week I might have a small shop update (some pocket bags, hopefully, and bookcovers) and a few more things to show you.

And thanks to a comment posted by Pol_a the other day I discovered this lovely french blog: Japan Couture Addicts. It references almost every japanese pattern sewing book I know of, and it's amazing to see all the finished projects (Kitty, até tem vários exemplos do Pattern Magic). My french unfortunately is not good enough for me to understand all the sewing details and tips but the posts are very inspiring. Does anyone know of a similar site in English, by any chance ?

M., the blog owner, was kind enough to reply an e-mail I sent her, and saying I could post there in English, so from now on you'll find me there occasionally

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

the tea rose, the winter rose

I've always been a fan of historical fiction, but lately there haven't been many that made me lose my sleep. From the top of my mind, old favorites include The Pillars of the earth, The lady and the unicorn, Girl in hyacinth blue, The passion of Artemisia, The Lymond chronicles, The other boleyn girl, The name of the rose, The sunne in splendour, Outlander ... just to name a few.
So when A. suggested I read The tea rose, by Jennifer Donnelly, I started reading it with a mixed feeling of high expectations and not wanting to be too disappointed. Well, I shouldn't have worried. This and its sequel, The winter rose, totally transported me to Victorian London and 19th century New York in a heartbeat. Fiona and India are the kind of heroines I so much enjoy ... smart, determined, passionate and resourceful women. It's true that there are a few too many twists sometimes, but the story never loses its pace and keeps you interested till the end. I enjoyed the first volume immensely but the second one was even better, so now I'll wait eagerly for the third (why is it that I have a hunch it will be about Seamie and Willa ?). So, if you're looking for a nice summer read, give these a try and (I hope) you won't regret it ...

Monday, August 20, 2007

one in ten

just a reminder ... the auction started yesterday, and all details can be found here

Thursday, August 16, 2007


introducing to you the newest member of our household

maggie, 8 weeks old, 850 gr.
loves to play, run wild around the house, hide behind curtains and chasing after Amélie (who is still hissing but not so much anymore)

striped blanket

Yesterday was a holiday but the weather was so strange that we stayed home most of the day. We did go bike riding for a couple of hours in the morning as usual (I have a new bike so I had to go try it out. It's bright red, has 24 speeds, and it's so much more comfortable than my old one) but then it started raining so we were totally soaked when we got home.

So after lunch I grabbed my book (very good read, by the way, but I'll post about that later) and my new crochet project and settled down on the couch.

Remember I said I wanted to start a new blanket ? Well, this is it ... I fell in love with this Cath Kidston blanket that was featured on CL a while ago, and thought I'd try it out. It's a simple striped blanket but I really like the overall finished effect.

The colors, though, I had to change. I'm not a particular fan of pink, or yellow, or light green, so I picked some darker colors instead. Not sure if it will turn out just as nice, but so far it's not looking bad. I'll keep you posted on the progress, but I have a feeling it's going to take me quite a few months.

What else is someone to do on a rainy day ? Well, bake some muffins of course. In this case, A. baked and I ate them (it's usually the other way around, at least when it comes to baking, but with so much going on how could I leave the couch, right ?)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

japanese sewing books

As promised, here's a peek into the japanese sewing books I've purchased recently from here

Sewing Talk, by Machiko Kayaki
ISBN 978-4-579-11052-0

Yet another pattern book by one of my favorite japanese designers, with a focus on linen clothing. As usual, I love the dresses.

Favorite Black Clothes
ISBN 978-4-309-28041-7

Not that I'm actually into wearing black so much these days anymore, but the patterns are quite original and fun. Definitely some inspiration for next fall/winter.

Monday, August 13, 2007


a picnic in the park

resting by the pool and admiring my red sandals

favorite summer foods: lots of salad and gazpacho

and we had to try this summer pasta recipe (with a sprinkle of parmiggiano on top). The verdict: it's delicious, so if you like tomato, basil and garlic just try it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

summer top

I know I'm a bit late with this - summer clothes sewing, that is - but now that I've started it's impossible to stop. So I started with this summer top pattern (from this book) and it's so easy it only took me about one hour to make it. Cute, right ? I now have a pile of fabrics I want to make this top with, so watch this space for some more of these soon.

And Mariko made the dress version recently. It looks so cute that I think I want one of those too.

Finally, I received new japanese crafts books yesterday so I'll try and post some photos tomorrow. They're wonderful, as usual.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


It arrived ...

and it's so adorable I couldn't stop hugging it

handmade by Ping, whose softies I've admired for such a long time, and now I finally have my own

Thanks to everyone who left me suggestions here or sent me an e-mail about Turkey, I really, really appreciate it. We are going in September for a couple of weeks and we're feeling very excited about it

Friday, August 03, 2007

1, 2, 3

custom bags with one of my favorite fabric combinations (the middle one without a name is for myself)

this weekend I'm finally trying that serger (yes, I bought it), maybe do some clothes sewing if I have the time, lunch at one of my favorite restaurants and places in Portugal, roller skating, biking, maybe a picnic or a stop at the beach ... *sigh * why do weekends always seem so short ? especially summer weekends, they seem to fly by you in a flash, don't they ? so have a great one and enjoy yourself :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

vacation planning

after a lot of plan changing, I think we're finally going. Tickets have been bought, hotel reservations made, we have travel guides in three different languages and I'm feeling really excited about this trip.

so ... anyone from Turkey out there ?
(I know there are a few, so please don't be shy and give me your recommendations :)

so far the itinerary includes Istanbul, Cappadocia, Cirali/Olimpos, Myra, Oludeniz, Pamukkale and Ephesus ...