A touch of vintage with the Bluebell dress


Hope you are all well and had a lovely weekend.

I confess the good weather is making a huge difference in my mood. I do feel more energetic and wanting to make all the dresses to wear during Summer.

Today I will be sharing a dress I made recently using a pattern from a new pattern brand, the Stitchmaiden. This new German PDF Sewing Patterns brand is formed by two ladies and their patterns have a lovely touch of vintage.

As you might have noticed, I do like a touch of vintage! For that reason, I was quite curious about this new pattern brand. The patterns looked so beautiful however, I did not know much about the patterns and how good would they be. For that reason, when Stitchmaiden kindly got in touch with me asking if I would like to try one of their patterns, I said yes, of course. I must add that picking one pattern was not an easy task. I was very indecisive… In the end, I chose the Bluebell dress.

Now, the Bluebell dress is inspired by Alice in Wonderland nonetheless, I believe it looks wonderful in today’s world just as well. Afterall, don’t we all need a bit of magic in our lives?

Back to the pattern, it is available in sizes 34 to 46 (European size) and offers quite a few options. Three sleeve options, two collar options or no collar at all, shoulder ruffles (or not), two different skirt lengths with or without ruffles at the bottom. Oh, and pintucks are an option as well. The options are plenty to make it your own.

Pintucks and peter pan collar are indeed a lovely match, don’t you agree?

For this version, I opted for the pintucks (of course!), peter pan collar, sleeve from view A and as for the skirt I made view B however, took about 7 cm from the length (this pattern was designed for 168cm height).

Regarding the sizing, I started with size 34 based on my measurements however, my measurements are a couple of centimetres less and for that reason, I decided to do a toile of the bodice first as I thought I might need to make adjustments. After the toile, I took about a couple of centimetres from each side of the bodice. I am quite happy with the fit and still have some ease so, the bodice is fitted but very comfortable to wear. I must add that I really like how the bodice fits! Actually, a blouse with a similar fit and design would be so pretty.

As for the fabric, I used a beautiful linen from The Fabric Store bought a couple of years ago. This is my second dress using this exact fabric!

The details do take time and a bit more effort but, it makes a garment look so much more special and it is totally worth it. I think the photos show well the lovely details and how much I like this dress!

The making of the dress went uneventful (except for my own silly mistakes… I guess we all have those days) and the instructions are detailed, clear and helpful. I quite liked the techniques used and you can see there was care in the making of this pattern. Also, you have the option to print with or without the seam allowance. In short, I will happily use Stitchmaiden patterns again.

Please note, this pattern was gifted to me however, the opinion is my own and is totally honest.

Happy sewing!

Maria x

New shirt with pretty ruffles


Hope you are all well and had a good start of the week.

As you might remember from my last post, I had a new blouse nearly finished and, taking advantage of today’s bank holiday, I finished it and photographed. Just in time for the warmer weather! Although I suspect I might still need a cardigan…

This time, I also used a pattern I have used before to make a different version and, just as my previous make, I used a fabric that have been in my stash for too long.

So, starting with the pattern. I used the Top Kim by Ose Patterns. As I mentioned, I made this pattern previously and there is a post about it at Minerva. This time however, I made version A, short sleeve. The fit was good in my first version so, I did not make any changes. Again, I made a straight size 34 based on my bust measurements.

As usual with Ose patterns, the instructions are quite good and detailed and the fit works really well for me without having to make changes however, if that was the case, the pattern also includes instructions for some adjustments.

Almost forgot to mention, despite the pattern designer being French, the instructions are also available in English.

The sleeve is lovely as it is but, I had to add the little ruffle at the bottom!

I made a small change to the original pattern however. After seeing a ready to wear blouse somewhere with a sleeve I quite liked, I decide to recreate it. The change was pretty simple to achieve. I just added a small ruffle to the bottom of the sleeve cuff.

Instead of cutting only one piece of fabric for the cuff and fold in half, I cut it into two pieces adding the seam allowance. For the ruffle I cut a piece of fabric with double the hight I wanted (plus seam allowance, of course) and fold it in half. The length was one and a half times the length of the cuff. Could not be any simpler!

I am so very pleased with how this sleeve turned out! It was but a simple addition nonetheless, it does make a difference and I quite like it. 😊

Now, regarding the fabric. I used a Liberty Tana Lawn Cotton, in the print D’Anjo that I bought eight years ago (!!) in Portugal, in a lovely shop, The Craft Company in Cascais. I am not even sure if they still have Liberty fabric there but even so, I do recommend a visit if you ever happen to go that way.

This really is a quick and easy make. The fit is relaxed as there are no darts and the there is a back yoke that can be used to play around with the fabric placement, as I did with my previous version, or even use different prints! I really like this pattern and see myself making more versions in the future, both with long and short sleeves.

Hope you all have a great week!

Happy sewing!

Maria x

Puffy sleeves for Summer!


Hope you are all well.

It appears that this year I have not been as active in my sewing room as I would like to. I will blame it on Winter! However, lately I have been making plans for my next sewing projects and am starting to feel like sewing again. So, at the moment I have plans, plenty of them! Will see how many come to life. The old struggle is real, so many plans, so little time…

Anyway, I started as I meant to go and manage to finish a blouse. Also, at the moment I am writing this post, I have another one nearly finished! First thing first and I will talk (write?) about the one that is finished already. 😊

I suppose that if you have been following around for a while, you will have noticed that I do adore a beautiful sleeve. A bit of volume, or a ruffle, or both, why not? A couple of years ago I got the Anthea Blouse and Dress by Anna Allen Patterns. I found the sleeves irresistible and made a dress however, my intention was also to make the blouse version. It finally happened!

Aren’t the sleeves so pretty?

I did however, make some changes to the original. On the Anna Allen Patterns blog, you can find a hack suggestion that I quite liked and decided to make it myself.

I started by printing my usual size, a 0 and taking a bit at the front, back and shoulders, using the template provided. As for the sleeve, I used the shorter version and cut the bottom bit of the pattern piece.

I did make some changes to the construction, especially for the button placket and neckline, as I prefer the finishings a bit different. Personal preferences only. Also, instead of using shirring method for the sleeve, I created an elastic casing using bias binding, and used elastic.

I do like how this blouse tuned out (quite a lot!) however, next time I will make a couple of things differently.

First, I will not scoop as much, especially at the shoulders. I think it is a bit too much as it is. I am still going to wear this one and I do feel comfortable doing so, just think it will look better. Again, it is just a matter of personal preference however, what would be the fun of sewing if we couldn’t make it as perfect as possible for us, right?

Second, I will add a bit more length to the ruffle. I made it one and a half times the neckline and it works well nonetheless, it could do with a bit more volume.

Now, the fabric. I used a Liberty Cotton Lawn that has been in my stash for far too long. So long that I don’t remember anymore where I got it from or how this print is called (if anyone knows, please share with me)! Regardless, I like it very much and it was about time I make something with it.

In short, it is a lovely blouse and I very much like it. It was a quick and easy project. Perfect for Summer! 😊

Have a lovely week!

Maria x

New blouse ready for Spring!


Hope you are well.

I cannot wait for Spring! In fact, I started to sewing for warmer weather already.

There is a new blouse in my wardrobe, with ruffles and pintucks, ready for Spring days.

All the details are here, if you want to know more about it. 🙂

Aren’t the details lovely?

I still have one coat to finish before closing completely Winter sewing however, I really am looking forward to making all the blouses and dresses!

Have a lovely week,

Maria x

I did it! I made a coat!


Hope you are well and had a good start of the year.

I am so happy and proud of the make I am sharing with you today! After quite a good time (at least for years) I finally made a coat. A proper winter coat!

It really is a lovely coat, don’t you agree?

You can read all about it here.

I will be warm and cosy for the rest of Winter! 🙂

Happy sewing,

Maria x

Christmas Dress!


Hope you are all well.

Christmas is fast approaching and although the house is not yet decorated and the presents are not all bought, I do have a Christmas dress!

Made the dress using a very soft velvet in a very beautiful teal shade and you can read all about it here.

It really is a lovely dress and I do hope you like it as much as I do!

Happy sewing,

Maria x

Francesca Shirt


Hope you are all well.

You know how much I like ruffles, right? Guess what? I made a blouse with ruffles! No surprise here, I know but it is a lovely blouse, nonetheless.

It is a beauty, isn’t it? Look at that ruffle!

I used a lovely linen, and you can read all about it here.

Hope you like it! I certainly do! 🙂

Happy sewing,

Maria x

New dress for Autumn


Hope you are well.

Today I am sharing the first dress I made for Autumn. Well, I confess the colours are not very season adequate however, I am not quite ready to let Summer go…

Nonetheless, it is a beautiful dress, and you can read all about it here.

The fabric is really beautiful, and the pattern details make the fit perfect.

Happy sewing,

Maria x

Delta Top/Dress for the girls


Hope you are all well.

Somehow the girls are back in school and I am trying to get into the new season. I do like Autumn very much indeed however, I have the feeling Summer went by too fast and I am not ready to say goodbye just yet.

Before going on holiday, I still managed to make a couple of things for the girls to wear so, while I am already sewing a dress for Autumn, I want to share those Summer makes before it is too late.

My daughters are 13 years old at the moment and I must confess that it has not been an easy task to find age and style appropriate clothes or patterns. Children’s clothes are not quite their style anymore and grown-up ones are a bit too much or doesn’t even fit. For that reason, I was very pleased when Style Arc released a line especially for teens.

I really like the style! Fabric and pattern worked very well together.

I was very pleased when Style Arc started making patterns for 8 to 16 years old and the first one we tried was the Delta Teens Top/Dress. As the name correctly points out, there is a top and a dress option, the sleeve can be short or 3/4, with or without elastic.

M opted for the cropped top version, with short sleeves (with elastic). She is a size 8 for all measurements except for height and I made a size 10 as I thought she could grow into it and as it has elastics anyway it should be fine. I think it worked out well.

I adjusted the neckline elastic to be used as off shoulder nonetheless, it can be used on the shoulders as well.

As for the fabric, I used a light weight dobby (plumetis) cotton from Minerva that we both quite like. It worked very well for this project and was perfect for the warm summer weather.

Good thing about this pattern is that with the option it is easy to please different styles and F does have a very different style from her sister! She also asked me to make her something, however, she preferred the dress version, again with a short sleeve but no elastic for her.

Her measurements put her in a size 12 except for height, which is a size 14. For the same reason as for M, I opted for the 14. She has some room to grow but the elastic makes the dress perfectly wearable.

I used a similar fabric, light weight dobby (plumetis) cotton that I had in my stash for a few years already. It was about time I put it to good use!

With one single pattern we got two different outfits to fit two different styles. The girls were involved on the process and chose the pattern/options and the fabrics as I wanted to make sure it was made to their personal taste.

I still made the girls a couple more garments but I will share those another time.

Happy sewing!

Maria x

Pink dress!


Hope you are all well.

In case you did not know, Minerva recently released a new exclusive fabric range and it is beautiful and colourful!

I got the chance to try it and it did not disappoint. You can read all about what I made with it here.

The colours and drape are amazing!

It really is a nice viscose fabric!

How pretty is this neckline detail!

Hope you like it as much as I do. 🙂

Have a lovely week.

Maria x