Sewing & parenting

Colorful curtains 2016-01-20 21:24



I’m back after several months of silence, but for a good cause: we welcomed baby Livio and as the first few months are always hectic, I couldn’t focus on anything else.

Livio was actually born 4 days passed the due date, and my then nesting self was delighted about it, since it meant more time to sew… Err, better said, fix our home for the coming baby!

It’s been a while since I wanted to put curtains on the double wooden and glass doors of our bedroom and I was so happy when I found this wonderful handwaved fabric at Afroart! I completely fell in love with the bright colors and the stripes.

It is a heavyweight fabric which means that it offers good black-out qualities to block out the lights, and it’s double faced, which works great from both sides of the glass door!

It actually took us more time to find the wooden stick to hang it rather than choosing the fabric and sewing it… This is not a joke. For some reason we couldn’t decide on how to hang it (with a wooden stick or an out-of-the-box curtain system? With a self roll-up feature? With a black out fabric as a lining? Etc…) We’re really masters of an ever lasting decision process!

I wish I could say the stick came from the forest that is next door but we couldn’t find one that was thin and straight enough. So we bought one at Bauhaus and that worked just fine.

We hanged the stick with ribbons and spikes. It has this kind of half broken / bohemian / careless vibe I like and which blends in very well with the rest of our appartment (“un p’tit côté bricolo” as we would say in french).

The fabric stays in place on the stick thanks to the ribbon that goes through a buttonhole.

Close-up ribbon and stickClose-up ribbon and spikes
Close-up butonhole back #1Close-up buttonhole back #2

Did you know by the way? I have a Husqvarna sewing machine and needed a refresher for sewing buttonholes… I found many helpful videos on this website.

For buttonhole technique for the Husqvarna Emerald 116 sewing machine, you can have a look here (utility stitches video).

Happy new year and happy sewing!

Colorful curtains | 2016-01-20 21:24 | Projects | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments (0)

4-tier dress with cross-stitching #2 2015-07-09 12:45

cross-stitch dress

Have you ever asked yourself which stitch is the best suited to make your garment? Honestly, this is the first time I really think this through.

I used the same pattern as the one for this cross-stitch dress but I made a slight improvement, which is actually something that you probably don’t notice at all – an invisible stitch to sew the bottom edge of the dress.

I would never have thought of this if it wasn’t for the crosstitch between the printed and the pink fabric. I wanted a stitch for the bottom edge that would combine nicely with the very narrow cross stitch. As it turns out, I couldn’t find any… A simple straigth stitch would be the first obvious choice but it can’t be sewn as close to the bottom edge as the cross stitch was, and I thought it would create an unbalance instead of highlighting the cross stitch. So that’s how I thought about the invisible stitch.

My sewing machine is a Husqvarna Viking Emerald and I found on a lot of useful tutorials about how to best use your machine stitches, one of them about the invisible stitch. And I also found good information about stretch stitches, that I haven’t been using so much despite sewing stretch fabrics… That will change now for sure!

Here are some close-up pictures of the invisible stitch so you can see how hard it is to spot!

Invisible stitch on the right side of the dress (those little grey dots at the bottom edge, as the stitches you see between the pink stretch fabric and the printed fabric are the straight stitches that make the cross stitch)Right side

And invisible stitch on the wrong side of the dress (the —-v—- stitch is the invisible stitch, and the other —-X—- stitch is just the overlock of the edge to prevent it from fraying)Wrong side

This dress is now on its way to Germany, present for a very nice little girl named Íciar. Now let’s just hope for a long summer so she can wear it a lot!

Here is the link to another cross stitch dress.

4-tier dress with cross-stitching #2 | 2015-07-09 12:45 | Kids, Projects, Recycle | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments (0)

Tutorial – Hat for newborn 2015-06-06 20:39

Tutorial hat for newborn Cécile and David wanted a light hat for their newborn, that we are very impatient to welcome! At first I thought I would sew a sunhat, but the result didn’t quite turn our to my liking so it will be a light and fun beanie instead, in green and orange.

The average size for a newborn hat is around 40-42, and as the fabric I used is stretch, I chose to make it in size 40, the smallest one.
What you need

– Stretch fabric
– Print fabric for the ears or any other fun addition (x4)
– A twin needle
– Matching thread List of supplies

How to

Draw your pattern and cut your fabric

1. Size 40 means that you need to have a pattern that is 40cm long and 14 cm large, like the one on the picture.

Once you’re happy with your pattern, transfer it on your stretch fabric (I use water soluble sewing pens) and add the seam allowance. As it’s for a newborn, I used 1cm instead of the usual 1,5cm for the seam allowance.

For the ears, I drew them directly onto a printed, non-stretch fabric and also included a 1cm seam allowance. I folded the fabric in 2 before I drew and cut so that I would end up with 4 ear shapes, that I will then sew 2 by 2.

Sew the ears

2. Begin by sewing the ears together, right sides facing each others. Then turn them on their right side.

Assemble the hat

3. Insert the ears on both sides of the hat, like if they were caught in a sandwich.

Assemble the curvy parts of the hat together, right sides facing each others, and sew with a straight stitch. Then overlock the seams to prevent the fabric from fraying. Wrong side of the hat

4. Sew the bottom border by first folding 2cm on the wrong side, then by sewing it with twin needles and a straight stitch. Border with twin needles

5. That’s it, you’re done! Hat for newborn

Tutorial – Hat for newborn | 2015-06-06 20:39 | Kids, Projects, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments (0)

Quick, delicious and fun food 2015-06-01 12:10

I’ve now officially entered the last weeks before nr2’s arrival, and “nesting instinct” is kicking hard.

Among the urge of doing and fixing plenty of things (some of which have been waiting for months, but now they all seem extremely urgent), the need to store the fridge and freezer with good things to eat.

I’ve spent far too much time lately browsing through Food52, a food community site that really manages to inspire me with great recipes, pictures, cooking tricks and “make without recipe” food.

Since we’ll soon have a newborn home and I still want to keep on cooking, quick and yet delicious meals are my best friends. So the category “20-dollar, 20-minute meals” sounds like music to my ears… A few of my faves:


On the other hand, Lucía, almost 3 year old, wants to cook all by herself so I thought that some of those ideas might be worth a try – via


Quick, delicious and fun food | 2015-06-01 12:10 | Parenting | Tags: , , , , | Comments (0)

Tutorial – Embellished wicker bag 2015-05-04 20:59

Embellished wicker bags
How to create 2 bags from 1? By reusing both the bag and the lid as the basis for 2 wicker bags that are embellished with ribbons and with an inner fabric bag…
And make 2 happy kids!
What you need

– 1 wicker bag
– Colorful ribbons to weave through the wicker bag
– Ribbon to make the strap
– Fabric for the inner bag
– Elastic thread
– 2 buttons to help fasten the elastic thread of the inner bag

List of supplies
How to

Embellish the wicker bag

1. Weave the ribbons through the wicker bag. Fasten with a knot that you can hide in the inner side of the bag as that will be hidden by the inner fabric bag later.

Ribbons #1Ribbons #2

Put the strap

2. Use a larger ribbon to make the strap and fasten with a knot on the inner side of the wicker bag.

Inner fabric bag

3. Cut the fabric to allow to cover the inside of the wicker bag plus some more (see picture). Think about adding seam allowance (1,5cm or 5/8 in) for the side borders and the top border that will hold the elastic thread (2cm or 0,8in).

Cut the fabric

4. Sew the top border by folding it twice and using a straight stitch. Finalize the opening.

5. Sew the side borders (right sides facing each others).

6. Put the elastic thread in the fabric bag using a safety pin, and secure with a button and a knot (i did a chair knot, use your best sailing knowledge for that!)

Inner fabric bag

Sew the inner bag and the wicker bag together

7. Hand sew the inner fabric bag into the wicker bag by using the weaves of the wicker to guide the cotton thread… And you’re done! Happy sewing!

Final result

Tutorial – Embellished wicker bag | 2015-05-04 20:59 | Kids, Projects, Recycle, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , | Comments (0)

Tutorial – Fabric horse on a broom 2015-04-24 12:46

TutorialHorse on a broom

We had fun for Maud’s 30th birthday party because the theme was to dress up in what, as a child, you wanted to become when you would be an adult. I’ve always been fond of horses and as a child I fantasized about having my own ranch with plenty of horses, so I didn’t have to think twice before creating my own Jolly Jumper on a broom!

Here is a tutorial if you want to use it for you or your kids.

What you need

– Fabric for the head, tail and back part of the ears, about 40×40 cm (16 x 16 inches)

– Contrast fabric for the eyes and ears, about 10×10 cm (4 x 4 inches)

– 2 buttons for the eyes

– Contrasting yarn for the mane and tail (the quantity really depends how voluminous you want it to be. I used yarn in 3 colors, about 2m of each color altogether)

– Stuffing

– a stick (from a broom or directly off the tree)


How to

Cut the fabric for the head

1. Cut the fabric, think about a big sock or “L” shape to make the head.

2. Cut the head from the top of the head down to the neck to allow space for the ears.


Cut and sew the small parts

3. Cut the fabric for the ears: 2 big size quarter of circle in a fabric and 2 medium size quarter of circle in another contrasting fabric. Then pin the quarter of circles in order to form ear shapes, sew them. Put the small ear on top of the big ear and sew.

4. Cut the fabric for the eyes: 2 big size circles in a contrasting fabric compared to the fabric for the head. You also need 2 buttons, that you’ll sew at the center of each of the circle.

5. Prepare the mane by cutting a band the length of the neck (and even a bit longer if you want to make it begin before the split for the ears. Cut yarn that you’ll arrange in loops on the band, secure it with tape and sew it with zigzag stitch. Once it’s sewn, you can remove the tape.

Small parts - horse on a broomMane on a band - horse on a broom

6. Cut a big circle out of the same fabric than the one for the head and create the tail by sewing the same yarn you used for the mane, except doing longer loops. You don’t need to use a band to secure it before sewing as it’s sewn on 1 point, at the center of the circle. To allow easier gathering around the stuffing that we’ll then put inside, sew a straigth line around the perimeter of the circle, with the longer point length on your sewing machine, without backing, and then pull the thread: the circle gathers.Tail

Assemble the head and the small parts

7. Place and sew the ears on the head to neck opening, right sides of the head facing each others and ears inside the “head fabric sandwich”.

8. Place and sew the eyes on the head, allowing enough space in between them (and don’t forget to take into consideration sewing allowance)

9. Place the 2 sides of the head right sides facing each others and insert the mane as the ham in a sandwich, between the 2 sides of the head. This will ensure it is on the right side once sewn. Sew the full head except the very bottom of the neck as we will use this as an opening for the stuffing and setting the broom in.


10. Fill in the head and tail with stuffing

11. Put them on each side of a broom and secure with band or tape

12. Enjoy the ride!

Tutorial – Fabric horse on a broom | 2015-04-24 12:46 | Kids, Projects, Tutorials | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments (0)

Smart sit-on cushion cover 2015-04-07 13:57

Smart sit-on cushions #1Smart sit-on cushions #2

Our friend Katti brought a beautiful Marimekko fabric from one of her trip to Finland, and it turned into covers for sit-on cushions for my daughter.

She really loves them because they come with a handle so it’s easy to move them around or even pretend they’re luggage and that we go for a trip.

We even drew the pattern together with water soluble sewing pens, it was so fun to have her contribution in the process! A tutorial on how to make your own sit-on cushion cover will come soon!


Smart sit-on cushion cover | 2015-04-07 13:57 | Kids, Projects | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments (1)

Bread basket 2015-03-18 08:48

Bread basket #1Bread basket #2Bread basket #3Bread basket #4

Does mix & match work for a bread basket?

Hope it does as those 2 reversible fabric baskets will find an owner pretty soon – they’re a thank you gift for friends that lent us baby clothes from their own kids!

The pink fabric with the trees is from Marimekko and I thought it would work fine with a small black and white pattern. They also come with a small ribbon hook to hang them for storage.
Plus, fabric is a great way to keep your bread, or croissants if you’re lucky enough to have a good boulangerie close by, fresh for longer (much better than paper or plastic bags).

Inside out or inside in, there’s no rule as you can always choose the favorite side of the moment!

Bread basket | 2015-03-18 08:48 | Projects | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments (0)

Happy New Year! Heart and pompoms necklace #2 2015-01-02 13:42

Heart and pompoms necklaceHeart and pompom necklace #2Heart and pompom necklace #3

Happy new year to you all! Wish you all the best for 2015, hope it will be filled with plenty of happy moments with your friends and family and with a lot of sewing projects!

Still a few days left before the end of the holidays, so if you need simple projects to make in 1 afternoon, this pompoms and stuffed shapes is a great candidate. Your kids can even participate in helping with threading the pompoms and stuffed shapes to assemble the necklace.
This necklace is so fun with the pompoms and stuffed shape combination that I’m thinking about an adult version, with a leather cord and wooden beads instead of the stuffed ones…

Need more inspiration or help? Here is another pompom and heart necklace, here a tutorial on how to make pompoms necklaces and here a tutorial on how to make pompoms!




Happy New Year! Heart and pompoms necklace #2 | 2015-01-02 13:42 | Kids, Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Comments (0)

Traveler’s bag #9 2014-12-07 14:22

Traveler's bag #1Traveler's bag #2

Another version of the traveler’s bag, this time in shades of red, black and yellow.

For my colleague Virginia, who was kind enough to offer me a bracelet some time ago!

Traveler’s bag #9 | 2014-12-07 14:22 | Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , | Comments (0)