Sock Nativity

Moving to this village implied changing the kids school and, as now Mafalda is attending a public school and Teresa and Sofia are in a private cathoclic day care and pre-school. One big difference between this new reality and the one we knew before is precisely the effort that is required to Parents. In private schools there is a big financial effort but the school does everything, buy everything, prepares everything, accompanying the study of the kids, correcting homework, it’s all included in the monthly fee (with very few exceptions).

In our new reality the effort is not financial but time demanding: there is a great deal of time (which I have as much or less than money!): Parents do everything, prepare everything, buy everything. You need to bring food for party snacks, every week you need new materials for a new project, the Christmas party is also made by parents, and a lot more food to take to the party. Plus 3. Sometimes it is good to be part of the school community and be more involved in daily school life of the girls, but there are times when the requests are so many that it feels like a full time job. And I, unlike a good majority of this school community, already have a full time job, which takes me the time to be a more active part of this community.

One of the “challenges” of this Christmas season was a Nativity contest that Mafalda wanted to participate. Of course, after 7 years watching her mother “do things” the monster is more than created (mea culpa) and it was not easy to choose a project that is feasible in terms of time and materials that I already had. She wanted to make a very elaborate thing and I understood that the project should be done largely by her, even if it was not eligible for any prize. She wanted hair made of wool cloths in fabric and of course dolls were born!

The dolls were made with baby socks that have lost their peers. It was a good way to make disappear 6 unpaired socks! Mafalda stuffed the dolls with wool filling, cut card bases and felt bases and glued eyes. I made her sew the hais of one doll, only for her to realize the work it takes! Of course she did not get to finish but got the idea of the work involved in this, and above all I wanted her to realize that mommie is no magic that take rabbits out of a hat or a fairy with a magic wand that brings up things!

And it was only by her insistence that this Nativity had the kings, because for me was the sacred family would be enough!

My nativity end up quite funny despite all the goofy look. But I couldn’t have done this 3 times, could I?

DIY baby hat

In the begining of March, in our Carnival holidays, we took the girls out for a few days and, as you can imagine, with the 3 girls and the two of us, it is increasingly difficult to keep organized and not leave anything behind! This time we forgot Sofia hat. And we really need it…

Was there a problem? Not at all! I gorgot her hat at home but a made her a hat! It could have been made of wool but at the time I was working on felt and felt was what I udes for the hat!

It was quick to make and exclusively with the materials I had on hand. No fancy fabrics or pretty wools, no sewing machine and with zero cost and I sure had fun making it!

DIY Costumes

And it’s Carnival time again! Not worth discuss how quickly the time passes by… Although, anyway … It’s almost March and I feel I’ve done nothing but getting used to work again!

This is the 5th consecutive year that I sew Carnival costumes for the girls, and fortunately, it’s getting increasingly easy. Lets take a walk in the past lane.

2010 – It was the first major challenge, along with my sister. miking equal costumes for me and Mafalda and a for her and my nephew. Conveniently I have no photos of myself dressed in it, but this is how Mafalda was dress that year.

2011 – It was the year of the great disillusionment. I sew another costume for me and Mafalda, a Indian Costume but the weather was terrible that day, with a thunder storm and lots of heavy rain! We didn’t leave the house and the weather was so ugly that I think neither of us got to wear the costume. So no picture of Mafalda wearing this dress that year. But Teresa wore this dress a few days ago and I got the picture. And the costume includes boots and all!

2012 – It was the first year in which Mafalda asked for a specific costume: Tinkerbell. The dress was very improvised and as a silly look, although I think it is ok. I even made the wings out of of tulle and was the first time I sewed a knit fabric in my sewing machine. No hard time!

2013 – was the year of temporary insanity. Conducted by fever “I will sew for my two daughters” I decided to make carnival costumes for both. Mafalda was living her Rapunzel year (this was the year I baked her a 1 meter hight cake like the Rapunzel tower!) And it was impossible to find a fabric with a similar color to the Tangled Ranpunzel dress. So it went lilac. The big yellow braid was easy to make but return home in pieces because went by the head of all the infants in her school.

For Teresa I wanted to make something more traditional, more inspired in my childhood and traditional tales. In my time we had fairies and princesses, police and Indians and witches costumes! Not so much of this Disney characters thing! And so I made a Red Riding Hood Costume even made an apron! The cape was a great achievement: velvet on the outside and satin inside!

2014 – Foreseeing the difficulty of making dresses for both in such short time I decided that Teresa would wear one of the older dresses and she chose the clown. Mafalda decided she wanted to dress like Teresa so I ended up having to make a clown dress. But a minute made version! I sew the dress just yesterday afternoon for her to wear this morning! No pattern. All from my head, fabric in the sewing machine and all with scraps of fabric from the original 2010 dresses! It worked because it’s a Clown costume!

Common to all years is the stress of ending the dresses on time for them to weare in school and the promise that next year is going to be different. Next year I’ll start making the costumes in January, shortly after the beginning of the year, so I can have time to make everything, in no stress! Maybe next year!

Weel! It’s all worth it!

Waldorf Doll #3

The first Mary doll was born in May. It took me just a few days till I have a wig and a face, legs and arms. But it took a long time till I got her dressed, first because I wanted to make a poncho and then because I wanted to make some pants and finally made the shoes!

Dressed and with the right haircut my first Maria doll is finally ready!

I really like the way she looks. Anyway I’ve always wanted a doll like this. Waiting 33 years to see it coming out of my hands was well worth it. Despite being happy with the result, the doll pattern needs some changes, first in size and second in the shape of the feet. But for that other dolls will be born.

And the next one will be much smaller, not only to match the head, but also to have children friendlu size. You see, this doll is almost the same size of a 3 months baby!

Now she just needs a name. Have any ideas? Share them in the comment box!

Waldorf doll #2

When I decided to make the first Waldorf doll (you can read more here) I already knew it had the potential to become an addiction. Of course being as I am, I challenged myself to create my own doll, with my own pattern. It seems easy to do, after all one head, one body, two arms and two legs should not be so hard to do right?

Maybe. But I have a problem with the scales. Always had and always will have. When I was little there was this dog that in my memory was as big as a German Shepherd and was a disappointment to me that after all the dog was no bigger than a small poddle! And if I have to give directions to someone and draw maps, chances are you need a whole A3 sheet, because I start to make roads and roundabouts and easily have no space left to draw the destination, and it’s even worse if I have to draw a house plan, forget it! is the total disaster !

This is all to say that the first head I did for the first doll seemed very small. In my mind distorted bt my scale problem, this head would require a smaller body than the one I had imagined. So I did a second bigger head, and then a body to match, and I ended up with the doll I have written about before. But then I ended up thinking she was too big to be used by young children .

I then returned to the first head decided to finish it and give it a decent body! I started from the end, which is also typical of me, and did her wig before everything else.

Now I’m starting to draw a matching size body pattern so I can end this doll.

Fabric Applique

Today I want to share with you a simple, fast and easy way to turn a simple thing into a lot more! Have I mentioned that is simple? And easy? And fast?

So here it is:

Grab a simple piece of cloth, like a plain t-shirt in any color you want. You can also use long-sleeved sweaters, jackets, jeans, skirts … Anything you want.
Choose any motif you want and the size.
Applique the motif in your garment.
It is as easy and fast as this, and the best is that you cease to have a simple piece of clothing to have one of the favorite pieces of clothing of your children. You can see Teresa proudly wearing her cake T-shirt, as she calls it. This T-shirt is now one of her favorites and is certainly one of the cheapest!

These applique are very useful and I have been making them since I started sewing. It’s great because you can buy plain sweaters cheaper than the printed ones and decorate them with any design that your kids choose .

Applique is also a exelente way to hide those stains that will no longer disapear or mending clothes .

Of course you can also use this method to make applique in your own clothes, just choose the fabrics and the motif that works for you.

Well… but this is done with a XPTO sewing machine and I have a XPTO_less_100 sewing machine that its no good for this. Nope, you can do this, just like you see here, in your sewing machine as long as it has zig – zag stitch, and most machines do! So do not fear you can not do it on your machine because with my directions you will do it as well or even better than me!

Well… but this is for those who have a sewing machine and I don’t so it’s no good for me as I can’t make it. Truth but I provide you an alternative by sewing it by hand. Which is more or less the same thing but hand-stitched. And no, it doesn’t take more time and yes, it’s that easy, and results in the same way. And it has the same charm.

So how do I make this? Good question! To make these applique you need:

My new tutorial “Applique in Fabric”. If you’re a a subscriber you already have it free on your mail box. If you’re not you can buy it here:

Applique Tutorial

A piece of clothing of your choice.
A motif to apply and materials suggested in the tutorial. Alternatively you can buy the applique kits in Store, all pieces cut and ready to be sewn, and kits are available in different sizes.
And what about those shiny things you added to your applique? My tutorial will also show you how to sew them on your garments!

Now you just have to get to work and transform your simple piece into something more!

Feel free to leave a comment on the comment box above and share your projects made from this tutorial!

Sewing for boys

I do not often work with boys motifs because arround here we only have a boy to indulge versus 6, soon 7, girls!

Still I like the challenge of leaving my comfort zone and make different things. It is also good to see my girls develop interest in crafts, wanting to help and participate in the gifts we make for our family.

This T-shirt is a teamwork efford shared by us: Teresa chose the color of the T-shirt without hesitation, I chose the applique design, Mafalda chose (with a little help) the fabric and helped cut them, also it was her who chose the buttons! The rest of the work was obviously mine.

Want to make a T-shirt like mine?Just click on the button below!

Alien Applique pattern

Waldorf Doll #1

I waited a long time to start this project, I’ve gather all the materials and ended a few projects still in progress so I could devote my time, my soul and my mind to this project. Today I am again a little girl :)

With so much play she ended up with a boo-boo on her arm. If there’s one thing I do like to do to check the strength of my work is to put them in the hands of Mafalda. This child was born with the destruction blessing and little resists her. Arms and hair must have reinforced seams is what we learned from our walk in the park:)

Children Backpack Pattern #3

Made to fit her taste, with colors, fabrics and applications chosen by her. It isn’t a school backpack because she is already too big for that. It is a jealousy backpack because I made two for Teresa (here) and she wanted one for herself. She is a girl who loves bags, little bags, big bags and all sorts of bags and she spends hours shoving everything in her bags and so I decided to make her will.

It took a long time to get ready, so long that I lost count of time and somewhere along the way I also lost enthusiasm I needed for ending it. Nothing that has not been resolved and that so here it is the backpack!

Wanna make one yourself? Try my pattern!

“Back to School” Backpack Pattern

Rapunzel or Little red Riding Hood

This year I promised myself that Carnival would have less stress. Of course for that to happen I have to realize a few months in advance what costumes will the girls want to wear. And of course, do not go on adventures to make an equal costume for me.

This year I managed Mafalda ti pick her cosyume in early January, after the holidays were over. Of course she was still on the wave of Rapunzel and this was her choice. For Teresa I had not thought of doing anything, because I still have a clown suit I made for Mafalda when she was the same age, but being a true democrat Mafalda thought that if I was going to make her a new costume I had to make a new one for her sister. Sweet fraternal solidarity.

The choice of Little Red Riding Hood was mine though Teresa liked the idea. Actually I didn’t want to make another princess costume and I realizes that I had never done any character from a children’s folktale.

Materials gathered the rest was more or less improvised. Funny that things keep get easier each time we are making them. This time I found myself changing the Rapunzel’s dress pattern with ease and without hesitation, and more, I found myself thinking that the instructions lead to an absurd waste of time and unnecessarily complicated sewing!

This Rapunzel costume is more like a princess version rather than inspired on the Tangled (movie) made by Disney. I’ve tryed to find purple fabrics rather than this lilac, I didn’t found any compatible materials so I had to go with lilac as it is. The original pattern has an organza overskirt that I’ve decided to keep, because I thought Mafalda would really like it, although I used a carnival tulle with golden touches. The bodice of the dress was made of crystal velvet to be warmer and the sleeves were made of satin for the same reason. I used eyeletson on the bodice of the dress and it was a pleasant surprise because for the first time I managed to make it perfect, but for some reason less clear, this was also the first time I remembered to use a hammer to help in the process!

Mafalda was very proud of the braid and I think it would be enough for her to wear the big yellow braid and the flowers. The pity is that she and her little school friends manage to almost drestroy it. It looked like my hair when I wake up!

Teresa costume was made more by intuition. For the skirt I used the simplest circular skirt overlapped with the elastic, no extra seams, though to use less fabric I had cut two pieces of fabric instead of one. I made a red tulle skirt but I hadn’t enough tulle to lift the skirt as I wanted, but still helped compose the set.

The hood was done very intuitively and used a crystal velvet to do so. Has linen and It closes with a lace in the front. The apron was a treat! For the upper side I did not do anything, I dressed Teresa with her clothes just to make sure she kept warmer because Carnival here is in the Winter and we were on the day before playing in the snow! Teresa is always very supportive when it comes to taking pictures and never says no, never runs away stays in the positions I ask her to stay, but almost never I get her to smile when she knows I’m taking pictures. So this should be the Little Red Riding Hood when comes home to her mother after being eaten by the wolf!