Children Backpack Pattern #2

Another backpack. The more I make the simpler they get to do! The monkey was a request of Bia, and the colors are my responsibility, but almost guarantee success, as it has green and orange, the favorite colors of her mom!

For this backpack I choose to use a dark blue jeans, a dot print fabric and a white corduroy.

I used my own piping cord and loved the result. Makes a beautiful highlight and because it’s in the same print it doesn’t add more visual information to the backpack but it highlights it. I not always enjoy working with prints so intense, especially when the project involves other parts overlapping and other elements to combine, because it becomes hard to find the point at which visual information is the necessary and sufficient, without beeing to excessive or to little.

The fabric liner is the same as that of the outer pocket and has a small interior pocket.

The has a melted plastic zipper with large teeth and is easy to slide, as it’s meant to be easily used by children.

The Monkey apliqque is in the exterior pocket, that opens and closes with Velcro tape. It is made of felt because no I didn’t found a fabric that would work best as a monkey. The ears are only stitched to the head to give some 3D effect and nostrils are made of two small Fimo buttons made ​​by me. The eyes make this monkey super sweet!

I used another of my Fimo buttons, just to make it oh! so charming!

The bag for the change of clothing is made ​​in the same printed fabric of the backpack and has an application in the mouth of brown bias tape, just to make the set.

Everything is ready! I wish a great school year to Bia and to all boys and girls, in particular those who will attend a new school!

Do you want to make your own backpack? You can get my “Back to School” backpack patterm here:

“Back To School” Backpack Pattern


How to dye cotton fabric

I’ve been on a crusade. Mafalda asked me to make her a backpack with a purple zipper. Really purple. Maybe I shlouldn’t let her play so much on my sewing room with my supplies!

I needed to choose two fabrics that have some purple. The first was easy, and it was so easy that eventually made the second choice harder.

I started with this cotton fabric.

I needed to find a fabric heavy weight fabric, like denim, twill or couduroy to match with this fabric but it was hard, because it seems that beyond me and Mafalda (sometimes I think it’s just to make me happy!) Nobody else is a purple fanatic!

And so, after much thinking on how to solve this problem it occurred to me the solution! If there isn’t such a fabric to buy then I’ll have to make it! And off I went to my dye box, wich is always forgotten, and I fund myself dying a white courduroy and turn it into a Purple courdoroy.

The process is really easy, and if the fabric is initially white, it is easier and faster too. All you need to do is dissolve a portion of the pouch in boiling water and add salt. The amount always depends on the volume of fabric to dye. So far I’ve never had a problem with this method and with these dye. It is a messy process and takes patience to clean up spillage so it doesn’t harm anything.

The fabrics are immersed in the dye bath after they are wet, to avoid being spotted, and stay there until it has the color you want. You have to mix it every now and them to prevent stains and ensure it is evenly dyed.

When you have the right color wash the fabric until the water is clear.

And it only took a minute to find the right purple!

Now I have a perfect match!

And since I had my hands in the dye I end up dying a baby onesie and changing it from pale pink to something much more colorful! But this is another project …


Us in the kitchen

I like the month of August. It’s probably my favorite month because I already went on vacation, I’m relaxed now, I’ve been to the beach and the pool, I’ve played with the girls and killed all the nostalgia. Of course I would still be on vacation if I could but work needs to get done and returning is required, and if I can choose, I choose to work in August.

Lisbon is empty of cars and traffic and filled with people who speak languages ​​other than Portuguese, so it’s like being in a different city. I do not need to walk in stress with the time, I always get on time to work so I can leave earlier than normal and get home sooner, which gives me more time to spend with the girls.

Yesterday Mafalda wanted to bake bread, and bread we baked!

Tinha uns pacotes de mistura para pão de queijo, aparentemente um produto brazileiro, que me apresso a explicar que nos foi oferecido no supermercado, e assim que a Mafalda percebeu que aquilo servia para fazer pão não descansou enquanto não pôs, literalmente, as mãos na massa. Mais uma coisa em que sai a mim, adoro amassar massas, sejam elas de pão ou de bolachas.

I had a packet with a mix for cheese bread, apparently a brazilian product, which was offered to me at the supermarket, and so as soon as Mafalda realized that it was used to make bread she didn’t rest until she puts literally in her hands in the dough. She got that from me, I love kneading the dough, whether it’s for baking bread or cookies.

Teresa was not very interested until I she realized that the task would take more time that she expected and that was worth to join us. Mafalda gave her a ball of dough to knead that Teresa decided to knead it with her teeth, but it’s also OK!

With each passing day they are closer to each other and it’s so good to see them interact with each other. I’m now experiencing with Teresa what I’ve experienced with Mafalda, and it’s this fascination of being able to do things with her, take her to participate in parts of my routine and not just me participating in her routine. In other words: it’s good to have her doing growned up things with me and not always doing baby things with her. But then I know a few more months from now, when she loses what she still has left of beeing a baby, I’ll be seriously missing this baby girl…

And it’s so funny to see how different they are! Teresa seems to be more practical and uncomplicated than Mafalda, but it’s just a guess based on how she uncomplicates the words that she can not properly say. For example, Mafalda with the same age as Teresa would say “Cucuta” when referring to a turtle (tar-ta-ru-ga in portuguese). But Teresa just says “Cuga”! As it’s expected Teresa speaks much more than Mafalda spoke with the same age, but also has much more stimulation with her sister and cousins​​.

Teresa is much less insecure than Mafalda, but in return is more in need of pampering and physical contact, much less adventurous and fearless. It is cautious and not do anything without thinking well, not even taste a new food. You have to convince her well convinced. She loves animals and none of it scars her, but Mafalda is afraid of everything that moves around her.

They are both terrified of water in their faces and still remains a major challenge to wash their hair and of course the two are crazy for chocolate, but in chocolate matters they are just like mommy!


Playing with my kids

I like the days when the weather lets us play in the beach without burn us in all that heat. I like to play with the girls and with the buckets and all the beach toys. I like even more that they like having me there playing with them. I like to make sand castles. So do they.

And now for the fun part! Destroy the castle! I assure you that they are ready to break olimpic records!


Children Beach Backpack Pattern

This year, Mafalda’s school toke the kids to the beach as they always do but, as they are already grown-ups, they were allowed to take some beach toys, as long as they could be carried in their backpacks, along with the towel, sun cream and a snack.

Of course this was the perfect excuse for making another backpack! This time in terry cloth, because it is great for storing toys filled with sand and still wet, and is easily washable. Moreover is very soft to the touch.

I used some terry cloth leftovers I had from previous projects and as I didn’t had a piece big enough I made a striped backpack. Probably I you would Have done it even if I had enough of one color!

And I made it big because the beach toys occupy too much space, although they are light, and so she can pull them out and put them back in without any help. And the truth is she loves the backpack!

It also has two pockets, one outside and one inside and close in a simple manner with a round closing in a cotton cord.

And the best part is that it didn’t took more than two hours to make!

This is such a simple and usefull project that I decided to make a tutorial for your!

It’s easy, quick to make, original and very satisfying. In this tutorial I’ll find all the steps needed to get to this backpack done! It has 10 pages in a pdf file that you can donwload for your purpose.

Now it’s time to get to work e make this backpack appear for the happiness of your kids!

And of course, fill it with toys and take it to the nearest beach!

Now get to work!

Download this tutorial


Burda Style Dress Pattern 06/2012 #3 (PT)

Variations in Blue. Sizes 98cm and 110cm.

The dress is made with the same linen fabric is an unusual blue color. I used an Amy Buttler print fabric to go with it and I have it on my stash for a while but I used it in another project before.

In this one I used a normal flower print and because this is one of the biggest dresses, I’ve made the dress bar bigger that the other ones.

It was quite of a big challenge sew 7 dressed at once! I decided to make them at the same time and cutted all the pattern pieces for the 7 dresses. Then I would make the same pattern step in all the 7 and moved to another step only when the previous 7 were done. I think it spare me some time doing this way rather than if I had done one at the time. But I could get bored with it and ended up having pieces cutted for 7 dresses and only one or two sewed and done!

What about you? What work the best for you? Making each one at a time or organizing things so tou can make several at the sime time? Share with me in the comment box.


Burda Style Dress Pattern 06/2012 #2 (PT)

This green linen has a lovely color but it is impossible to photograph! With plenty of light the color always seems washed out, with little light loses it’s brightness and I could not find the right light to bring you the real color of this linen. I made three dresses in different sizes: 110cm, 98cm, 86cm.

It’s good to see that these equal dresses are for my girls! I’m not the kind of mother that dresses the kids with equal outfits, seriously, and I had promised myself I would never made my daughters look the same. And if it depended only on me I assure you that this would never happen, because I remember having clothes equal to my sisters and I hated the feeling of lack of me, as if the equality of the all would annuls the individuality of the parties, but should not have four years by then! The truth is that whenever I buy anything for Teresa, Mafalda asks me why I did not buy the same for her, and when she helped me to choose the fabrics she wanted me to make her dresses the same as her sisters. After negociating I’ve decided to make just one equal dress for them. And here it is! The floral pattern was her choice!

For this one I’ve used a print that I used in my first baby quilt and this dress is for a little girl that once upon a time was the baby for whom I made the quilt!


Burda Style Dress Pattern 06/2012 #1 (PT)

The first two of the seven dresses I made. The fabric is a very old Linen, so old that survived in time to reach me, it belonged to my husband great grandparents and was one of the many fabrics they sold in their fabric store in Arraiolos (Alentejo, South Portugal). It passed through three generations to reach them and that, by itself, is enough to make this dresses so special.

The tone of pink is characteristic of that time and different from what we now see, it’s not a light pink or a pale baby pink. It’s a mixture of peach and pink, but it is beautiful. It’s lightweight but simultaneously has enought weight to keep it straight.

The pattern I used is from Portuguese Burda June Edition and I fell in love with it the minute I saw it. I still think that Burda patterns are more complicated then they needed to be, and therefore, I ended up not doing things as they were indicated in the pattern isntructions. In addition, the pattern size began in 104cm and I needed an 86cm and a 98cm pattern, as well as a 104cm and a 110cm, so I had to change the pattern to make it fit the smaller sizes. It didn’t turn out great as I made several mistakes tracing the pattern on paper, but they were all fixed an the fabric as I was sewing the parts.

The fabrics I used for the neckline and the bar came from the United States in the same parcel and were already waiting to be used for at least two years, but it seems they were made ​​for this purpose.

My pattern overall impression is that this is an easy to make pattern but, if I was writing it, I would change some steps that are completely unnecessary. I do not know if they are there because that’s the “right” way of doing things or just because someone turn on the complicating machine, but my dresses are made ​​with less effort and I think the best finishes.
And you? With that patterns do you usually work or wich ones do you prefer? Share your experiences in the comment box.


After a Project…

It’s been a tough road to cross but I’m getting used to it. It is not easy to manage time for sewing projects with two young daughters, a house and a husband. That must be why I’ve been very reluctant to the idea of getting a pet!

My little studio is also prepared for my kids, and often while I sew, they play there. Mafalda asks me scraps of fabric and wool and she plays with it, cutting and glue them as she plays to make believe I’m the teacher. Sometimes she asks me to play with a piece of fabric and wraps in it and pretendes she is wearing a witch, a princesses, and sometimes even a brides dress. Teresa likes the five shelves of books that she carefully transfers to the floor, book by book, until no more books on the shelves, or else she grabs the thread spools and put them all on the floor until there is a total mess of threads and books! When she gets bored she cames to sits in my lap and sews with me.

The good thig is that we can involve all three in a game in which all participate and in between my sewing gets done. Reminds me of the days when I was a child and the adult sitting at the machine was my grandmother.

Well, I’m trying to say that i manage do make, in a record time, 7! They are ready e done and awaiting for the time they will be offered. Wanna know what I’ve done? I’ll tell you next post!

And you? How do you manage your time so that you can work on your projects?