The Pema dress


Hope you are all well.

I am here today sharing a dress from Ose Patterns. A new, to me, French designer. I am, a confessed French style admirer and come across Ose Patterns a few months ago. Since then, I have been following their account on Instagram and wanting to try their patterns as I really like the style.

For that reason, when Monty, the lovely lady behind Ose Patterns, asked if I would like to try one of their patterns, I haven’t hesitated. So, yes, the pattern was gifted to me but, my opinion is sincere.

As it was a new designer to me, I did not know what to expect in relation to drafting, construction techniques or instructions and that was the reason why I haven’t tried the patterns before. As I don’t have much sewing time at the moment, I don’t want to waste “me precious” time with something that might not come out as I expected. This is a legitimate concern but, in that case, unnecessary as everything turned out for the best. Even better than expected to be honest.

I don’t like to generalise and that is a rule I like to apply in life however, French designers are not known for detailed instruction. Nonetheless, that is not the case with Ose Patterns. Not only the instructions are very clear but, there are also links to helpful videos. The instructions are actually very thoughtful, with encouragement words for those starting (or not), a checklist before you start and main steps at a glance.

The Pema Dress is available in UK sizes 6 to 18 (EU 34 to 46 / USA 2 to 14), designed for 168cm height (I always find this piece of information extremely helpful) and include instructions if, like me, you need to alter the pattern.

I made, according to my measurements, a size 34 for bust and waist, size 36 at the hips and the fit turned out great. The only modification I made, was shortening 10 inches (25 centimetres) from the skirt length, based on my height and personal taste.

The pattern has two options, View A is sleeveless and View B has ¾ sleeves and that is the option I made. Both versions are very beautiful to be honest and depending on the fabric you use, this pattern can be very versatile.

Now, about the fabric. I used a light/medium weight viscose from Rainbow fabrics and it turned out lovely, if I might say so 😊 although I must say, I had to debate with myself between the viscose or a plain fabric that would made the lovely details stand out (I might make a second version). The dress has beautiful shoulders, waist and front skirt pleats, as well as darts that make it drape beautifully. Even better, the front skirt pleats are only on the right side (the one at the front) so that it doesn’t add volume to our tummy. Cleaver, right? No one wants extra volume in that area!

My fabric choice, although lovely, does not showcase the beauty of the pleats in this pattern how it deserves!

If you want to make this dress (and I would advise you to) do interface as recommended and if, like me, you opt for a viscose, then I recommend stretch interfacing. It is very light, the dress doesn’t lose its shape and fluidity however, it does make a difference.

In short (and this is my honest opinion), this project went smoothly, everything matched perfectly, the instructions were clear and I had no issues whatsoever while making this dress.

If the only thing putting you off is the language, fear not, Ose Patterns now have an English website and the patterns are all available in English.

Hope you liked this dress as much as I do and thank you for reading!

Maria x

Little Anna


Hope you are all well.

Just like that, summer is gone and we are truly in Autumn. I have quite a few sewing plans for Autumn that I can’t wait to make and share. However, today I am going to share one more Summer dress that I made for F.

By Hand London just released a collection of three patterns that are mini versions of their dresses, the Anna, Hannah and Flora and I got to test the Little Anna.

The dress has two neckline options, Bateau and V-neckline, double pleats on the bodice and A-line skirt. The pattern is available from size 2T up to size 13 years old.

For F, I made a size 10 based on her measurements and she chose the bateau neckline.

The dress come along nicely and without issues. The only change I made was interfacing the neckline facing and next time I must remember to staystitch the neckline, especially if using rayon/viscose.

I really like how the two bodice pleats make the dress fit so well. The skirt is a bit on the long side for my personal taste, nonetheless, I opted for not shortening as I want F to wear the dress next year. Also, this pattern work wonderfully as a party dress and for that purpose the extra length is welcome. I asked F and she said she wanted to keep the length so, it works well for both of us.

The fabric I used is a rayon/viscose from See You at Six and it is lovely. This kind of fabric is one of the recommended and it worked quite well. I was undecided about the fabric to use as I also think a fabric with a bit of structure also might work well. I think it all depends on the effect we want to achieve really. Either way, I am happy with the final result and so is F.

The new By Hand London pattern collection is 20% off until next Tuesday, 29th September. So, if you like matching outfits for you and your little one these patterns are a great option.

Have a lovely week,

Maria x

Girls’ Easter Dresses

Easter is always a good reason to make new dresses for girls, don’t you agree? To be honest this year it was actually a necessity for F as she outgrown almost everything she owned! But as I had enough fabric, I didn’t want to leave M without a new dress as well (nothing to do with my “necessity” to see my daughters matching).


I had a couple of patterns, bought some time ago already, that I never had the opportunity to make and really wanted to, before the girls outgrow them. Patterns and fabrics were chosen with the girls as their approval is essential at this age if I want the clothes to be used. Pre-teen these days…

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For F we decided to make a vintage Simplicity pattern (bought from eBay) that dated from 1968, in view 1, size 8. The dress is actually quite simple the interest of it being the front tucks and for this view, I also particularly like the sleeves.


As usual in vintage patterns, there was only one size available so, I did not mix different sizes as I usually do nonetheless, the fit turned out good, no adjustments were needed. A straight size 8 and didn’t even changed the hem.


The only thing F asked was not to use lace at the neckline. I also used an invisible zipper instead of a regular one (as suggested) and I think it turned out adorable. I might have to redo the sleeves hem by hand as the inside doesn’t look brilliant, but for Easter Sunday I did not have the time and had to go as it is.


For M I also used a pattern that have been waiting for a long time to be used, the Mary De from The Children’s Corner Patterns. This pattern has been revised recently but I own the previous version in sizes 7 and 8.


The original is a smocked dress/pinafore but, as I never learned how to smock, I made a few changes. First, I used the lining front pattern piece to cut the front piece, in order to eliminate the smocked part. Second, I used the back-skirt pattern piece and cut the fabric on fold to make the front skirt. Third, I took 4 ½ inches from the skirt length.


Now, I made a mistake and cut a size (or two) too big. As you can see in the photos, the pinafore is quite large on M. She still played, had an egg hunt and jumped on the trampoline without complain but, it would look better if I had cut a size 7 instead of size 8. I intended to cut a size 7 but, I was running out of time and did not pay attention as I should and instead, I’ve cut a size 8 as I usually do for her. Good thing it is big and not small! She will grow and it will fit, eventually…

I really like the back of this pattern and that it can be used as a dress on its own or as a pinafore with a blouse underneath. Also, that it’s a simple design as M prefers but with some interest.


The fabric used is a light twill bought at a stock out from a Portuguese children’s clothes company by some of my thoughtful Portuguese sewing friends. For the pinafore bodice lining, I used a cotton voile from my stash.


Now it’s time to sew for the girls’ summer wardrobe 😊

A Sewing Update

Hello! It’s been a really long time since last wrote or share anything in here.

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen that I am still sewing and that I made a few changes recently.

The most obvious change was the name, as the blog is no longer called “Fairies, Bubbles & Co.” being now called “A Pinch of Sewing”.

The thing is, when I first started sewing I did it exclusively for my girls and never thought that one day I would be sewing for myself. At that time the name made sense for us but then the girls grew up and no longer believe in fairies (maybe they still do), bubbles are not as fun as it used to be and I started sewing more for myself so, a new name was needed and as it happens while cooking, a pinch of the right ingredient makes everything taste better. So is sewing!

I am also changing the visual part of the blog but that still is a work in progress…

Although I haven’t shared much in here lately, I have been sewing and some of the projects I’ve made are part of the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network. That means that the posts are being published in their blog but, in the future, I will share a few photos here as well, with the link to the main post.

If you would like to have a look, these are the things I’ve made and were published so far:

Christmas dress using the patter New Look 6723 in cotton velvet. I absolutely adore this dress!

Photo 1Photo 5Photo 7


This is my second McCall’s 6996 cardigan, this time made in a lovely wool and viscose jersey. So good, you can read more about it here.


Photo 1Photo 5Photo 7

I’ve also made a few more things that I’ve shared on my IG page if you would like to have a look. I do tend to share more there than in here.

Hope you like my new name! Let me know what you think or if you have suggestions regarding the kind of content you would like me to share in here. 😊

I’ve got a new dress!

When I was starting to believe that things were getting better and Spring was just around the corner, this is only when we face the coldest week in the last years! Really? I could hear the birds sing and the daffodils were starting to bloom… but then again, something else was planned. Oh well, that gives me a great excuse to sew a few more Spring/Summer clothes, don’t you agree?

This time I made a dress for myself, as part of my project as Sew Crafty Design Team member. I was a bit undecided about the fabric for this project, as Sew Crafty is growing their dressmaking fabrics selection and I had a few options I would like to try, but in the end, I went for a Sevenberry Yarn Dyed Cotton fabric in colour Mid Denim.


I’m glad I chose this fabric, as it turned just as I’d pictured it. 😊 After all, you can’t go wrong with a blue shirt dress, right?


I do like shirt dresses and bought a few patterns that I want to try. One of them is the one I’m sharing today, the Cami Dress by Pauline Alice.


The pattern offers two options, one with short sleeves and one with ¾ sleeves with cuff. I know not everyone likes ¾ sleeves, but I like how it looks and doesn’t bother me, at all, when dressed with a cardigan, so I went with that option and the cuff adds a nice detail.


The bodice is fitted, with front and back waist darts. To make the dress/undress easier there is a side zip, that can be regular or invisible and I opted for an invisible one. I used one a bit longer than recommended but it worked well.


According to my measurements, I made a size 34 for bust, between size 34 and 36 for waist and although I am a straight size 36 at the hips, I went with size 34 since it is a gathered skirt. I’m happy with how it looks and how it fits.


The only thing I didn’t do as per the instructions, was interfacing both collar pieces, collar stand and cuff pieces. I only interfaced one piece, as I usually do, and for this fabric it was enough. I believe that interfacing both pieces would have caused too much bulkiness.


I guess it is safe to say that I do like my new dress. 😊

Building Block Dress, a Book Review

It is no secret that I am a big admirer of Ana Sofia’s work, from the blog S is for Sewing, also I have the pleasure of meeting her in real life and calling her my friend. It is also no secret that we are both great admires of Oliver + S patterns. For that reason, it was no surprise that we both got the book “Building Block Dress” as soon as it came out.

The book was published a little over a year ago and our intension was to make a book review back then but, as you know, sometimes life gets in the way and we postponed the review. Now that is the book’s first anniversary thus, we thought that was a good time to make it happen and I’m so glad we’ve made it.

It was not the first time we’ve made a joint book review (see here). I really enjoyed it as it’s always a pleasure to chat with Ana Sofia and exchange opinions. 😊

Now, about the book and why in the first place did I bought it. As you might have noticed, I rarely make alterations to a pattern and the ones I make, are always minor. This is because I am (or was…) always afraid of ruining everything. I sometimes have ideas but then I am too afraid of messing everything up and end up not doing it. This book is just about pattern alterations and how to make it, exactly what I needed.

The book includes one pattern, for a basic dress, for ages 6 months to 12 years and examples of alterations you can make as well as instructions to perform them.

I’ve made two different projects from the book and I will start with the dress I made for F.

I asked F what she would like me to make her and she said a dress. She was very detailed and precise about what she wanted, from the colour to the ruffles, size of the sleeve and where the waist line should hit. I managed to make everything as she asked except for the colour. She asked me for bright blue but I asked if it could be navy blue instead and she agreed on that too.


From the two projects I’ve made, this is the one with less changes to the base pattern. I started with size 7, took a few centimetres of the bodice and made a gathered A-line skirt to make it more twirly than the original one, which was one of the requirements.


F also requested a ¾ sleeve with shoulder ruffles and for that I just took a few centimetres from the long sleeve option and made the flutter sleeve following the instructions available, but instead I have cut the fabric on the fold, so no hemming was needed. Next time I will make the ruffle narrower though, just for personal preference.


Although the book offers several pocket options I haven’t added any. There are also several options with explanations for hemming, but once again, I’ve kept it simple with a basic hem.


There are a few extras in the dress that are not in the book, but F asked me if I could make them and they are quite simple so why not make her happy. Those “extras” are the sash with a bow and the ruffled collar. The sash is just a stripe of fabric attached to the bodice and the ruffled collar is also a stripe of fabric with twice the length of the collar attached following the bias-faced neckline instructions.


There are instructions to change the closure at the back, but I kept the original, with buttons. The only thing I’ve changed was omitting the skirt placket once it was unnecessary for F to dress/undress.



The second project required some more changes, but with the instructions that was no problem at all. I would say the main change was to move the closure from the back to the front.


I started with a basic bodice for size 6, moved the button placket to the front and shortened by a few centimetres. I kept the long sleeves as the original but inserted elastic at the bottom.


The collar was made the same way as the one from the dress and the bottom part of the blouse are just two rectangles of fabric gathered at the top. Simple, but I really like how it turned out.


My main challenge was moving the closure from the back to the front and now that I’ve made it, I don’t know why it was scaring me that much!


The pattern includes seam allowances and explains how to make a muslin and to adjust the pattern to get the best fit and that, as everything else in the book, is valid for any other pattern.


I know there are other books about pattern alterations, but knowing Oliver + S patterns and how detailed their instructions are I knew the book should be no different and I was right. The explanations are simple yet effective and very visual, with photos and figures to help.


I am still finding it hard to believe that starting with the same pattern I ended up with two completely different garments. Bear in mind that I don’t (or didn’t) usually hack patterns and was something that used to scare me a bit.


So, summarizing, I found the book very helpful for pattern alterations in general and not only for the one included in the book and a good reference book to keep in a sewing library. I’m glad I got it! 😊

If you haven’t yet, go and see what Ana Sofia made (so pretty!) and what she has to say about the book. 😉

I really enjoyed making this book review with you Ana Sofia. Thank you! 😊