2014-06-30

Refashion Month Series - 2014 July Edition


I am so happy to announce that tomorrow kicks off another Refashion Month Series: July Edition. 
Not familiar with it? Let me tell you this will be an entire month of bloggers refashioning around here. 
You can check HERE for previous editions. 

This time, there have been some changes though. Instead of inviting my favourite bloggers, I have opened a sign up form for any blogger that would like to participate. This way, I am not only giving you "new" blogs to find out as I have discovered great bloggers myself too, as they signed up. 

Also, instead of having their posts published here at House of Estrela, I will have them introducing themselves here, with a peak at their refashion project, and direct you to their own blogs. 

Check out what a great line up we have this time:



An amazing group of bloggers, right?! I am very thankful to all of them for their help on keeping July a busy month over here. It's the month my baby is due and I wasn't sure about hosting this season, but I was encouraged to do so by some of them (and other bloggy friends that aren't here). 

A new thing about the series, is that, for the very first time we will have a giveaway going on. Over 10 pattern designers are sponsoring this season's and there's a bundle of over 20 free patterns for a lucky winner. And it's so easy to try for it. 




THAT'S NOT ALL... 

If you are sewing along, you have an extra opportunity to get +10 patterns from some of the designers from above. How to? Share a photo (only one please) with a link to a blog post of a refashion you've done (if possible in July) in our flickr group. All entries made until the 31st of July will enter the giveaway. Our guests and I, will vote for our favourite and a lucky winner will get this extra pattern bundle. Exciting?! | Refashion away everyone |

2014-06-29

Pinterest Challenge |Pin 3 & 4|

First of all! It's my daughter's 3rd birthday today!!! How exciting is that?!

Last Sunday I missed my weekly Pinterest Challenge post. And nope, I didn't have any other pin crossed from the 5 I picked. I've been postponing most things. I had a lot of plans for the past weekend but my little girl got ill, and I've been trying to keep her fever low until last Tuesday, when her meds finally started to sort some effects and she was feeling good again. It was after that, that I got to make another thing I had planned to do from the challenge. 


- Pin #3 - 

One of my pins were the Savoury Flapjacks . I didn't follow that recipe though, I made cereal and nuts bars instead which was closer to what I had in mind. I used this recipe, well sort of, because I didn't follow it too closely. One thing I've learnt while searching for recipes, was that making bars are the easiest on earth, and you are so free to add what you like best. I just think mine turned out a little too sweet, next time I surely won't use the honey, or less at least.


Because my recipe turned out quite different, I will share it with you. 
I have used:
120 gr sanded sugar (because I didn't have brown sugar)
200 gr mix of different nuts
200 gr oatmeal
200 gr mix of different seeds
150 gr butter
60 gr wheat flour
honey (I just threw what I thougth to be enough)

Mix everything together. Put it in a form, with a foil sheet, tamping and smoothing with a spoon. Put it in the woven at 200º for about half hour. Take it out, allow to cool for 40 minutes and take it to the fridge for about 4-5 hours. it is ready to cut into small bars. 

- pin #4 - 

Another pin I crossed this week, was adapting one of my own tops into a Nursing Top. This was an easy one. Only took me a few minutes. I could have done it before, really, I just felt a little lazy for this one because I am not nursing yet and this could wait anyway. Especially when there are so many other things to focus on. But, I chose it for the June Challenge and I kept my mind settled to finish all my pins in time, so here you are. 

I know, I know! There's one pin left and today's the last Sunday of the month, which means I didn't quite make it, right? Well.... yes, that's right. I missed one item from my list, which I will add to next months challenge. I will try not to push too hard on myself in July, so for now, that's the only pin I plan to get done. 

2014-06-28

Glimpse of ur last week #3

This is where I show you bits and parts of our week behind the scenes.


My kid got sick this week and not much was done. 
I bought a few things I needed in order to make her a birthday cake, I am not throwing her a big party this year *so so sad* but I wanted to make sure she would have, at least, a cake to take to daycare the next day - as she requested - and some quite simple favours to the kids in her classroom. 
I crossed two more pins from my challenge (check back tomorrow), and mainly spent time with my G. while she stayed home and searched for inspiration for two different orders (maids of honour dresses and barbie inspired shirt). 

2014-06-27

Just so you know...

... don't worry if I get MIA for a little while. Baby S. seems to be ready to make it into this world in the next few days. I had an appointment yesterday, he's ready, I am just trying to rest in order to delay it until big sister's birthday next Sunday. Wish me luck!

I do have a post scheduled for Sunday with my Pinterest Challenge update and another one on Monday announcing the beggining of another Refashion Month here in the blog. 


2014-06-26

Why I Sew

I had a draft post in my dashboard with this tittle since May 28th. I guess, time would just go by and eventually I would forget to edit it and post it. But recently, I have seen this popping in a few blogs I follow and I thought it was about time to share "why I sew" too. 

Note: this will be longggggggggggggggggg and full of bad and old quality photos ... just saying... 

me and my sister
my mom knitted the sweater I am wearing

I remember my childhood days, when mom would sit with me and my older and only sister, by our door entrance, in lovely afternoons and teach us how to hand sew. She was never a master in the field herself, but she knew the basics, enough to help us make our dolls clothes. Sometimes, we would spend hours there, she always crocheted and knitted (things she still does much better than sewing), I might have tried that a few times, but what I really liked was the sewing. 

I kept making my dolls clothes until I would no longer play with them. The seamstress where my mom used to go, knew me so well, she would always keep a bag - or a few - full of scraps for me. I would spend hours sewing instead of playing outside like the other kids. At about 12 or so, I decided I would sew an outfit for a friend. Poor girl, she suffered. Unfortunately for you and luckily for her, I have no photos of that. 

my first two pieces outfit - sewn by hand

Then, when I was about 17-18, I had my own taste in clothes. And it was expansive! I couldn't afford buying most of the clothes I liked because they were mainly fitted corsets and bustiers, since I developped a thing for the romantic gothic style. Of course, sewing my own clothes was something I thought would be a good idea. And so, a friend borrowed me a long black skirt and I tried to copy the pattern pieces on my own and recreate it. I didn't even have a sewing machine and I made it all by hand. I somehow managed to make a top to wear with it. Oh gosh, these pieces were no where to be perfect, not even close to it, but I felt so special, proud and happy every time I (shamelessly) wore them. 

first time I tried to use my machine, although it was a Christmas present they didn't have it in the store and I had to wait until March to actually get it

I kept trying to make my own clothes, so my family decided to give me a sewing machine for Christmas that year. Best gift EVER I can tell now, that nearly 12 years have passed. I still own the same machine. I got two more but this is the one I use daily. 

First Fashion Show - a collection created by me and 4 other designers from the same class
I then decided I had to learn more and searched for some classes. I was lucky and found a class of 5-6 people only with two teachers. It was supposed to last for 3 months and I thought I was going to learn a lot. One of the teachers had worked in a sewing factory for a few years and she could sew, the other one had studied fashion design and thought she was a great designer... well, honestly she was not. I never liked one collection of hers, and all she was worried about was having a fashion show. We didn't learn that much, bit by bit people were giving up because we were drawing more than we were learning to sew and the classes didn't go through the full 3 months they promised us. 


But it was good for me anyway, because I kept contact with the seamstress teacher and she gave me (and another girl) a few classes on our own, and although much was left to learn, I finally felt like my skills were improving. Before the classes were over, we were also able to have another fashion show. I had already sewn some clothes of my own pre-classes, and made sure they would allow us to show our own clothes instead of the ones we made in class, which were not personal from each of them. They agreed and I was able to show two outfits plus the one I wore myself, which was also the one I made for my Prom (not on picture above). 


In that show someone saw my clothes, liked them, and invited me to make a show of my very own for an alternative club and so I did. The clothes that were used are the ones above. Some were poorly finished, most of my sewing was self taught. I learnt how to use a pattern from magazines like Burda, with that seamtress I mentioned above, but most often I would draft them myself, using other garments that were already made. 

Check more of my older clothes HERE

I kept sewing for myself for many years. There's so many clothes I made and love, and once I figured out (for myself again) how to properly use the patterns and follow the (poor) instructions from those magazines, my garments started to look, at least, better finished. 

Fair stand in 2009 - I guess

In 2008 I started blogging. Can't even remember what were the first sewing blogs I followed, but I was mostly blogging about small sewing projects, and every now and then some clothes. This blog you know, was created in 2012, a few months after I had my first daughter. Right before she was born, I had a partnership with someone else, she was paying me to sew her line of baby items such as slings, breastfeeding pillows, and other. I did a lot of those, and then in June 2011 I had my baby girl. 


I became a mom. And my passion turned into sewing for her. (I had done a few baby/kid wear for my nephew and niece before). She was already two months when I got back to sewing, and I made her first outfit (I had done many things for her before she was born, but they were acessories). It was a top and bloomers and I loved it so much. And then I just couldn't stop. Most of the things I've done after that are documented in this blog. Are they perfect?! Of course they are not! But I've always felt proud of what I did. 


So, what was the first question anyway?! Why I sew? That's simply... I sew because it has always been a part of me! I love, it's my passion, it's what really keeps me happy and my mind occupied. I get to make things no one else has, and that is one of the greatest feelings ever. I get compliments from other people, and I feel like I am improving all the time. Besides, because I refashion a lot, I've been saving fortunes by sewing our own clothes!


And no matter how many years I have been sewing... there will always be new techniques to learn, there will always be mistakes, I will learn from people that sew for such a little time, I will be able to sew someone who's just beggining. Sewing, is a continuous learning process for me, and this online community has been wonderful. It has pushed me to do better all the time. It has supported me in so many ways you can't imagine, has teached me, has shared so much. I am so proud of being a part of this world, and I wouldn't change it for any perfections. 

I don't make a matchy outfit for so long... guess it's about time, right? We'll even have a wedding to go later this year! And now I am wondering if anyone had the guts to read it all?! lol

2014-06-21

Glimpse of our last week #2

This is where I show you bits and parts of our week behind the scenes.


This has a been a quiet and busy week at the same time. I finished and delivered two more orders. Was able to rest a lot, because my feet just needed it... being pregnant on warm weather isn't easy. I've started another pattern test. I was still able to take and pick G. from school a couple of times, had some exams taken, we went to the beach again, I made a new romper, allowed myself and kid to eat in the living room, and decided I want more colour in my house. I did a few crafts, not sewing related and some household that was on hold. 

2014-06-19

Baby Boy Romper #2

To close my own rompers sharing week, inspired by Sewing Mama RaeAnna's Romper Week Series, here I bring you the latest one, the second for my baby boy. I have used the same pattern, the FREE Baby Boy Romper by MellySews. |Find it here|. It is an only size pattern, so this was pretty much the same as for the first one. The difference was, of course, in the supplies used for each one of them. 


You wouldn't believe it - or maybe you would - but this (main) fabric layed on my stash for nearly 9 years. I bought it either when my sister was pregnant with my nephew or when he was just a couple months old. I had plans to make him something out of this.

Pretty clear I never did... until now.

For his cousin!

It feels good to finally work with fabrics I got used to see on my stash. I even tried my hand on some embroidery. Is this perfect? Most likely it isn't, but I tried and it adds something to my romper. 


As for the lining fabric, you might recognise it from the dress I made his sister last year, a refashion from a man's button shirt. I still had some scraps that were perfect for this. I have been using a lot of scraps lately, loved ones, and that's just another positive thing about my kind-of-saving-style. I used star shapped buttons to close it on the shoulders, also from my stash.

Romper Week and the rompers I've been sharing:

2014-06-18

The Pleated Jumpsuit - take 2

Still on the Romper Week spirit, I am bringing you the second girl romper today. Just like the first one (that actually made part of the official series), I made this using Elegance & Elephants free pattern, in the same size, but for my younger niece instead. She just turned two years old yesterday, and this was my birthday present for her. 


I wasn't sure her mom would like it, but the same day I finished this, we went to the beach together and sweet little M. was wearing a romper, in shape, very similar to this one. It was a grey plaid one, I think the fabric in mine is much cuter... hehehe... how modest, right?


For this romper, I have refashioned a linen maxi skirt. I don't have a full garment before picture of it, because it was given to me many years ago, and apparently I had imediate plans for it and cut through the skirt. I can't remember what I was going to make, and why I didn't, so, I only have two cut pieces of the before skirt to show you. I have also used a top, in a very light cotton fabric for the lining. It was too old and spoted already and not really good for refashioning, but the tone of blue would be perfect with the blue flowers from the linen fabric. I got it from my aunt last week. I cut it all apart and tried to save the better parts. I had just enough.


It was so much easier and quicker to make this second jumpsuit. I didn't even had to follow instructions or anything. In a blink it was put together and I was satisfied, that although it took me this long to make the first one, I had another finished. I think I even like this one better, I thought I would keep it for my daughter and just make another for the niece... hehehe... but, alas, the little one (actually both my nieces, even though they are not related) has these gorgeous blue eyes, and this will look so much better on her (my daughter has green eyes).

I will also link this romper to Challenge Create link party. It starts next month and the second week's theme is linen. Perfect, right? Working ahead!

Romper Week and rompers I've been sharing:

2014-06-17

Baby Boy Romper #1

Haven't you heard about Romper Week hosted by Sewing MamaRaeAnna? Well, it has started yesterday. House of Estrela and Call Ajaire had the honour of kicking off this year's edition. Check my full post here. If last year, I only followed the series as a viewer, this year I was part of the series and have prepared three more rompers to share through the week. 


This is the first romper I made for my little boy. I used MellySews FREE pattern for the Baby Boy Romper. It is a 0-3M sized pattern, but I think it looks big. Hopefully my boy will be able to wear it all through summer. I can't wait to see him in all these tiny clothes I've been sewing for him. 


Again, I used fabric from my stash, you might recognise the owls fabric. I used it to make a friends Christmas present last year. For the lining I used vintage sheets I have, ever since I was a little girl. I have been able to use this fabric for so many projects I can't count them anymore. One of them is the boy's wallet I blogged about here a couple of weeks ago. This romper is such a quick and easy sew, and Melissa's instructions are so easy to follow. I love that they close with snaps on the bottom, and buttons on the shoulders. I used yellow ones that are nearly the same colour from the yellow in the main fabric, they were, of course, from my stash. 

2014-06-16

|Romper Week|


I was thrilled when RaeAnna, from Sewing Mama RaeAnna invited me to be part of her Romper Week. I really liked to follow it (as a viewer) last year and it is great that I am one in line with these wonderful and talented ladies.


A few weeks ago I shared some inspiration I found on Pinterest. I had actually pinned both pictures long ago but you know, we pin so many stuff that it gets hard to go through them all. I liked that it was a romper (good inspiration to sew for this series), but the colours were also inspiring to me because I'd like to sew along with the new edition of Challenge Create. Although we don't celebrate 4th of July over here, this would be a great sew, I love the three colours (red, blue & white) together. I love to combine challenges and create one look with it... This time, it was the motivation RaeAnna gave me by inviting me for her series, it made me actually make something inspired on a pin from my boards and I used the first Theme for Challenge Create, all mixed up into my daughter's new look. 


Specifically for today, I have made a romper I've been wanting to try and sew for a while. It is the Pleated Jumpsuit pattern from Heidi, of Elegance & Elephants. It is a FREE pattern in case you haven't heard of it yet (which I doubt!), so if you want to make your own, click here and grab it. You will love it, you'll see. 


You might recognise the fabric from a previous dress I made her. I didn't have much left in the stash, but I had curtains I had made many years ago with the same fabric. I picked it out of a bag, saved for too long, I wasn't using them again for sure, and it would be the perfect fabric for the romper (remember I pledged to NOT buying any fabrics for the whole year, unless I REALLY need it). 


For the lining in the romper I used scraps, it was just the right amount, a bit less and I would have to go with another one, which I didn't want to, I really like this tone of blue. Plus, it is so close to the refashioned blue fabric from the cardigan/bolero she's wearing on the photo above, to complete the look. I actually made it from left overs from a dress I refashioned for myself a while ago, sleeves and bits mostly. I self dafted it, but I have to fix it on the back, it ended up too wide on the back. 


I went with the 2-3 size for the romper, always believing it'd be too big for my skinny lady. I was fine with that though, because if I make things bigger, they will last for longer. And we all know kids grow a lot through summer time (which is just starting)... I was so surprised it fits so good already, normally when I pick the pattern size by age (and not measuring) it ends up too big, too wide, too something... but it looks perfect and she seems to love it. 


But, if you came here looking for rompers inspiration, and were brave enough to read all through this, you might want to check the Bubblicious Romper I made and blogged about last month, mashing up two different patterns. And I have three more rompers to share this week here in my blog. All I can tell you right now, is that I made two of them for my little boy, and it's from a free pattern too, and I used Heidi's pattern again... with a different fabric and print. 

RaeAnna, has prepared a lot of great prizes, so you have the change to get them. Here's how...

There are 6 ways to win!  The first three will be through a link party and voting!  First place will be given to the romper creation with the most votes, then 2nd place and 3rd place!

And there are also three prizes to be given away through a Rafflecopter entry!
1 winner will receive a yard of Ann Kelle fabric
1 winner will receive a PDF pattern by Mouse House Creations
1 winner will receive a PDF pattern by Sewing Mama RaeAnna

You have until June 28th to upload your romper creation photo!  Voting will begin on June 21st


Remember to also check and follow her Pinterest Board, for some inspiration and if you have your own rompers to share, link them to her Link Party.

LINK PARTY
Welcome to the 2014 Romper Week!
You are welcome to link up any romper you have made in 2014 - baby rompers, boys, girls, women, they are all welcome!

We will begin voting on June 21st and the top three entries to the link party will walk away with an awesome prize!!(Voting will be 1 vote per IP address....recruit your friends to send votes your way! We will keep voting open until June 28th)

First place - the most votes - will receive:$30 credit to Girl Charlee
Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop Romper
Blank Slate Pattern Retro Romper

Second place:Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle
Shaffer Sisters Betty Skirt Pattern
Winner's Choice Sewing Mama RaeAnna Pattern

Third place:Fat Quarter Shop Fat Quarter Bundle
Winner's Choice Muse of the Morning Pattern


2014-06-15

Pinterest Challenge |pin 1 & 2|

For June, these were the 5 pins I chose to cross from my neverending to do list. 


Although last Sunday, I already had one of them crossed off, I failed to blog about it. I am bringing that one and the second one today to get on track with it. 

So, pin number one: the maxi dress look!

I chose that pin for a reason... it wasn't a random pinterest search for maxi dresses. The thing is, I scored a maxi dress in my usual charity shop a few months ago for 1€, but I hadn't used it yet, because it was a bit too large for me. I needed some motivation to fix it and finally wear it. 


The main problem with this dress was with the bodice... way too large for little me. Though the ladies got bigger with pregnancy, they're still not big enough for this dress, so that was something to repais. I tried to pull it down, pin and sew, but after it was done it looked weird, so I ended up unpicking my seams, and the original seams and adjust it to my size. The second problem with it was the stripes, one was ripped when I bought it and I was wondering if I should just tight it on the neck or sew them down on the back. I went with the second choice and I am happy with it. 


The day I wore it, I used a cardigan that was given to me with that huge pile of clothes I blogged about. It looked great. I wore the dress again, but cardigans were no way to be used anymore, the weather had a drastic change from the weekend to monday. Either way, both days I failed to take some photos (forgive my pregnant brains, it just keeps happening with everything and anything), that's why I have my dress form modeling it for you. 

Pin number two: Pancakes

Everybody knows pancakes are wonderful, right? You can have them in a million different ways. I like them plain, with honey, or ice sugar and cinnamon. My pinspiration was of a list of 10 different ways to make a pancake,but in the end, I just needed, again, a reason to make them for the very first time by my own. I knew I'd have a friend visiting me this week, so pancakes for us it'd be. 


I used a recipe from a portuguese blogger, I love her recipes, here's the original link, you can always use google translate to get it if you want to. They are yogurt pancakes. I can't take full credit for the ones we ate though. I was hoping to get them done before my friend arrived, but I had been busy sewing late, working on another pattern test and could only get them done when she arrived. I mixed all the ingredients, but then she got the spot on the stove and I just helped. lol They were so tasty, only one was left when we finished!

2014-06-14

Glimpse of our last week

Sometimes I get too silent, and because of that, I wanted to start a few new things on this blog. One of them is the Pinterest Challenge I have started on June first - yes, I haven't updated it last weekend, but I swear I have crosse 2 of the items out of the list - to be up on Sundays, and on Saturdays, I'd like to give you a glimpse of our last week. 
Sometimes, we (hobby bloggers) are just busy working on things that aren't worth showing off and sometimes we're busy working on things we haven't got permission to post about, or... we're just too busy spending time with our families, which is the greatest part. 


I was able to work on some mending orders, my kid got a new toy, she's learning how to use her scissors, got more orders, was able to finish two more pattern tests, we went to the beach, I've been working on a new refashion for the baby boy, I fixed two maxi dresses for myself, sewn for another series, and am just starting a new birthday present today (not on the photos), got a visit from a dear friend (more about that tomorrow), had a doctor's appointment... 

2014-06-05

Boy's Wallet for my nephew

With Children's Day approaching (last June 1st), I started planning my nephew and nieces presents. I couldn't afford buying them much, but when you sew, that's not a big problem, right?! I've shared the Firecracker dresses I made for the little niece and the older niece. Today, here's the little something I made for the boy. First I thought about sewing some clothes for him too, but I am pretty sure the last measurements I took from him would no longer fit. He's 8 and a half right now and maybe it would be fun to make him a wallet for him to keep his stuff. I used Noodlehead's tutorial to make it. I had seen it around long ago and always been wanting to try it. For the main fabric, I used faux leather, some leftovers from a jacket from his mother. And for the lining I used scraps from a vintage sheet (I've been using this in oh so many projects...) and tried to embellish it a little on the outside. I used a piece of dark brown felt and some metalapplications... the stupid thing? I was so focused on getting it sewn in the front of the wallet, that of course, I did it on the back! lol... I was lazy to unpick it all and do it all again... so as it was it stayed!


2014-06-03

My (second) Firecracker dress

About a week ago, I have posted about the latest dress pattern I've tested, and have shared the test version of the dress I made. I thought it made a perfect gift for my two nieces. That first one, was meant for the little one and this one I made for the big niece, who's turning 7, next month. 


If it wasn't for the stripes you couldn't tell front from back in this dress, and I don't think it looks half as cute without a model on it, so I can't wait to see L. wearing it and check fit and everything. For the first Firecracker I made, I used the same fabric for the entire piece, but this time I played with contrasts. 


Last time my niece came to visit, I showed her my fabric stash and allowed her to pick 4 of her favourite fabrics so I had room to play with matching them, or even to mix because of the amount I might or might not have available from her picks. This flower print fabric was her first choice, and all the other 3 were in the same line... meaning, they wouldn't stand out at all if I used them together. 

She had no idea what the fabric was for but she played along. I ended up picking this blue linen (from my stash too, of course) to complete the choices for this dress. I had used this combination of fabrics before (in slings I've never blogged about) so I knew for sure, they would work pretty well. Now I just can't wait to meet my niece and give her the new dress. I wonder if she will recognised the fabric she chose and if she'll like it. 

2014-06-01

|JUNE| Pinterest Challenge is Back

This is where I post about pins I love and want to recreate, get inspired by to create something new, etc... and I hope to cross off, at least one pin per week. 



Wish me luck!

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