Polka dots swing skirt

Probably my favorite garment that I have sewn for Sara so far is this skirt. It is a simple pattern for a lined skirt, but with a lovely cut. I really like it a lot. The pattern is from oliver+s and it is one that I will use for sure many times.


The Pattern review:

Pattern Description: Oliver+s swing set skirt: A gathered skirt with elastic casing and drawstring, fully lined

Pattern Sizing: Size 4T for a four-year old.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Yeah

Were the instructions easy to follow?: Yes, they are very clear.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: I like the cut and the fit.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: Well, it has been the first lined skirt I have sewn. The way of inserting the elastic was quite clever.

Fabric Used: polka dotted denim

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: For sure. I will sew a winter version soon, and surely further versions will come.

To match the skirt I also made a bow hair tie for her, from the free pattern of oliver+s:

Upcycled dress

Still posting old sewing projects… This is an everyday dress I made from an old shirt of my husband. I was inspired by this dress here, which I found very beatiful. So I bought the pattern of Lillesol and tried to modify it accordingly, moving up the box pleat and keeping the dress sleeveless. I like a lot the cut of the dress and its drape. Sara is not very fond of it, so if it still fits next summer I will have to add an applique to spice it up.

Using the button-up front of the shirt at the back is a nice add-on. I do not like so much making buttonholes, so it is a nice advantage of upcycling a shirt.


Following the Kindergarten theme: American indian blouse

Hi there!

Back from holidays and willing to start a new year (well school year). We will be having some changes over here during this course as I will be looking for a new job, which will probably mean also a change in our family’s schedules. But let us not rush into what is still to come.
Before getting into the new sewing projects for this fall and winter term, I will like to post these coming days some projects that I finished before the summer.

The first is a blouse I made already a couple of months ago, following the theme they had in the kindergarten. Every term after a month or so observing the interests of children, they discuss in a “children assembly” which will be the subject they will cover during the term. The children finally vote and decide on the topic. Last semester the topic was American Indians. In our local fabric shop we saw a fabric with the American Indian theme and it was just calling for us. How perfect it was to fit the theme of the Kindergarten!

We have also learned many things about American Indians at home during these months: about their houses (did you know that the tipi was only used by the Indians living in the Great Plains?), their clothing, religion and moral values …

Here is a map they made in the Kindergarten about the houses:

We also got several books covering this topic from our public library. The one we liked most by far was: “Tipi und Tomahawk. Geschichten, Spiel und Spaß für kleine Indianer”. It is in german and I did not find an english version of it. But it is a great book with a lot of facts but including also recipes, children games, etc. We liked it a lot.

And now to the pattern: It is a Burda pattern for a girl’s tunic, appearing in Burda Style 06/2012:

And here is the version I made:
I did not realize that I cut the sleeves upside down until I saw the photos! At least I was consistent with both the sleeves.

So let us move on to the pattern review:

Pattern Description: Girl’s tunic with long sleeves and a button-up front detail in a front insert with gathers underneath.

Pattern Sizing: I made size 116 cm for a four years old. It fits very well with some room for growing. It has already been in high rotation.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: The instructions were not clear. Some parts were really confusing. I tried to follow them exactly and at some points I did not understand how to proceed at all. With the back neck I was very unhappy. I finished it with bias binding as said, but I could not understand how to assemble it to the front in a nice clean way. So I ended having this bulky and horrible seam allowance up to the neck:
It is barely noticeable when she is wearing it, but it is terrible. How was it supposed to be is still a mystery for me, but I would put the bias binding after the back is joined to the front next time.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: The explanations were very confusing. The construction of the neck was not clear at all, and it would also be useful if they explain better how to join the yoke at the middle point.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: Yes, it was actually my first more complicated project. I learn to gather, to make the small button loops and to put sleeves.

Fabric Used: American Indian theme fabric

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Not completely. I like the design and the fit, but I would not do it again until I feel I can sew it without any directions. So for sure I do not recommend it for beginners.

KCW: Dress and swimsuit

The Kids Clothes Week (KCW) is over. Last week was the summer edition of KCW, a week to carve out a little time each day to sew. I had a pattern (Burda Style 06/2011, number 133) and the fabric cut before the week started, and with a bit of time in the evenings at the end of the week I had a new summer dress for Sara 🙂

Sara was very pleased to get to wear it on the weekend. It is so nice to get such enthusiasm back.
The dress is made with a linen in fuchsia. It is very fresh and summery. I specially like the back, with the crossing stripes.
As you can see, I also made the coordinating hair tie.

So let us do the pattern review:

Pattern Description: Summer dress with shoulder stripes crossing at the back.

Pattern Sizing: I made size 116 cm for a four years old. It fits well and at the same time it has a lot of room for growing. I bet we can also use it next summer.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Yes, though the frill seems bigger than in the drawings.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: The instructions were not very clear. Specially the first step concerning the armholes. It took me a lot of time until I figured out that the bias stripe was supposed to be a kind of facing (and therefore you cannot see any seam in the inside).

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: I still have my problems with yokes.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: It has a pleated frill, so I learn to make the pleats. I used french seams except for joining the frill, as it would have been to bulky. There was also a lot of gathering to be made, which is something I did not do so often until now. I covered buttons for the first time for this project. They were quite small (11 mm in diameter) and it was impossible to cover them with the kit they come with. At the end I had to stitch the outer circumference of the fabric circle and pull the thread. In this way you get the fabric to lay down flat in the interior of the button and it can finally be closed using the tools in the kit.

Fabric Used: Linen.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Yes, but I think I would make the frill a bit smaller (in the circumference).

Here a detail of the frill:

After finishing the dress I still managed in the weekend to finish a project I wanted to do for some time: a bikini for Sara:
I used jersey knit and plain elastic band, things I had at home. No swimwear fabric, no swimwear linig nor any special elastic. I just wanted to try out a new technique: sewing with elastics. I followed the instructions found here. It is not easy and for sure requires much more practice. But I was happy with the result of this kind of muslin. It was a kind of experiment, but I´m sure it will get to be used at the lake this summer.

Pants for Pablo

Pablo is needing some summerly clothes, so I started making some shorts. This one here is the first one, but there are still two to come (at least that is the plan). They are made using the same linen fabric I used to make my shorts. And though very different, we have now coordinated shorts 🙂

I used again some facing to finish the hem and also the waistband. It is a kind of vintage fabric which I like a lot. The pattern is from Burda Style, from the issue 07/2012, model 144 B in size 80. It is a very quick sew (though not as quick as my shorts!).

And here is the happy toddler in action with his new shorts:

I want to start introducing a small review of the patterns to keep track of the problems that had to be solved on the way. I borrow (with modifications) the template that Merche from Aventuras de Costuras is using:

Pattern Description: Toddler pants with elastic waistband (with casing).

Pattern Sizing: I made size 80 cm for my one and a half years old son.

Did it look like the original photo/drawing once sewed?: Pretty much.

Were the instructions easy to follow?: The instructions were fine. I did not follow the part of the hem nor the part of the waistband casing, as I wanted to add some contrasting fabric, but I guess they were straightforward to follow.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?: It is easy and fast and gives a well-fitted pair of pants for everyday adventures.

Did you learn anything new from this sewing project?: Not from the pattern, but I made french seams for the first time.

Fabric Used: Dark blue linen and a retro-looking flower print with bright colors.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: As said, I added a facing at the waistband and hems.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?: Yes. But as 80 cm was the biggest size, I guess I will not be making it again. But I do like the final result.

Sew-along: Shorts for the CC (sew-along) MRdM

I got again involved in a sew-along organized by MiRincónDeMariposas. I have sewn the first piece of garment for myself: a pair of shorts for this summer. The pattern is really flattering and the elastic waist makes of it a very comfy wardrobe piece. If it would not have been for the sew-along I would have never made the reinforcement top-stitching, and it is great: it gives a professional-looking finish.


Thanks to MRdM for this sew-along and for the final push to make something for myself:-)

The fabric is a dark blue linen. I did not include any pockets as I wanted to finish as quick as possible. I have several running sewing projects, that I would like to finish before the holidays. I might include later on a small snap pocket though. The hem was done using some contrasting fabric to make a hem facing as explained here. It adds a nice touch of color.

Here a detail of the hem:
and of the top-stitching for the reinforcement of the seams:

Practical life: sweeping and a new apron

In the Montessori spirit the kids have their own broom and dustpan sets and from time to time they love to help cleaning up in the kitchen. When we seem to sweep in all different directions, undoing the work of the other, we use a trick: we agree on an area where to collect the dirt. Here we marked it with washi tape. It is really a good practical life activity.


The apron she is wearing is a new one I have sewn for her following the pattern of SewLiberated. I added a pocket and the piping, which I used for the first time. I really like how it came together. The best of all is that Sara can put it own on her own. No ties what so ever. She really likes that. The pattern is very nice, the only problem I had was the length of the elastic neck strap. I did not try it on her before assembling everything together and I had to undo it as it proved to be much too small. We have big heads over here:-) I will remember now to check such things before sewing together and even topstitching!

First sew along: leggings

I joined my first sew-along by naii. It has been a motivation for sewing for the first time with knits. I used a ball-pointed needle and it worked just fine. I chose an elastic stitch which has a kind of honeycomb shape and it worked without the help of tissue paper. The knit fabric was a bit boring, all in gray, so I put a small touch of “color” by adding some decorative stitches by hand: a dandelion. I was not sure how to go with an applique, but I will try another time as I have seen now a tutorial explaining it. The pattern worked fine. I used a size 110 cm, but reduced it in the middle by nearly 2 cm, as the knit was very stretchy. They are nice for gym, but next time I would make them wider and try to adjust the front, where the fit is not perfect.


I lost for sure the “fear” of using knit fabric and I’m sure that I will be making more leggings in the years to come. We made also several flowers by rolling up thin stripes of the scrap fabric. They look really cute!

Lazy days skirt

Lazy days skirt

We have let the blog resting for a while. Not that it needed it, but well it is not easy to have a proper balance of all to-do’s and all wishes. And well the blog comes always last. But for sure we were not resting here. Apart from the work and home duties we have made several projects with the kids and there was also a lot of sewing in the rare spare time. This is one of the first sewing projects: a skirt following the simple and free pattern of oliver + s. The fabrics were actually scraps from a cushion I made for the morning circle of the Krippe of the youngest. Nice sewing project to start with and the result is quite neat.

Some of the last DIY-projects

Here are some of the self-made things finished in the last months:

    A summer-handbag for Sara
    Actually a reversible one that she has enjoyed a lot in the summer months.
    The idea and the pattern are taken from this blog. I used some vlieseline to make it stiffer.
    A sun-toy for Pablo
    A great idea for babys using fabric scraps taken from Joel, a great crafter.
    Frames for organizing the pantry
    A dress/top and a matching headband
    The dress is from a burda pattern. Sabine encouraged me to start sewing with this project. Thanks!! I also made the trousers to be used with it next summer, as this year is still more like a dress.
    Reversible bag for the Kindergarten
    Using a pair of wool trousers that got felted. And one of the first neddle-felting projects. Just great and Sara loves them.