Rapunzel Birthday Party

This year our birthday party theeme is Rapunzel and the Tangled Disney movie, and it was Mafalda’s choice. The party invitation were made according to the theeme and with simple materials such as cards, wool, crepe paper, felt and a touch of sparkle with metalic stars and glitter glue.

These ones were made for her to deliver to her school friends and also served as a model to the digital invites we are sending to our family and to other friends!

And a rapunzel birthday party:

A Rapunzel birthday cake:

And some Rapunzel cupcakes:

And a party must have cake pops!

And some party favors:

5 Years

5 years have passed and it only occurs to me that times has gone by so quickly. The truth is that I think it was just yesterday that I was involved in the whirlwind of emotions that was discovering that you were in me. First I was too afraid, then I felt very happy and as time passed and your arrival approached, the fear came again softly.

And so we went to the hospital late at night and it may sound stupid but the whole time I felt that you were”holding my hand,” I felt that you were saing everithing would be okay, I felt you camling me down. And then you came into the world without pain and with your eyes wide open you looked at me without turning away your look, you hold that look on me and at that moment my whole world changed. I don’t remenber hearing you cry but I know you did, but only until the nurse lay you on me and after we were both silent while our souls chatted.

You were always a difficult baby, made me often feel on the verge of collapse and with it you showed me how far a mother’s love can go and you showed me that being a mother is beeing elastic, always going and doing a little more when we thought we could not go any further.

Than it passed and you have become one of the world’s most loving babies. When you were a year old and I when I was going to put you to sleep you alwasy open your arms and wanted me to laid my head on your shoulder, as if you were hugging me and like if you wanted to protect me from the world.

You’re an old soul, I have said many times, you have taught me as much or even more to me than I to you.

You’re determined and you know what you want and when you want. You often ignore things I say though you are gently enought to pretend that you are hearing me and that you are actually paying any attention. I often feel despere about it but I know that this is what will protect you and will help you walking your path. As a person I like the way you are, as a mother is often difficult.

You love to paint and draw and it was only recently that your drawings evolved from doodles and scratchs to things that we realize what they are. You like stories and to do math, but you do not like the feeling of not knowing something and when you feel insecure you lack the perseverance of trying to overcame your dificulties, and so you give up until you come back to find the will to carry on.

You like Tom & Jerry more than any cartoon, and your favorite princess is Cinderella. You have nightmares with the villains of the movies and that’s why you stopped seeing the Princess and the Frog. When you choose a movies to watch you often say you do not want to see this one or that one because you’ll have bad dreams with either character, as you do with Gargamel of the Smurfs.

You have a fantastic relationship with your sister, you are maternal and I think that often you take advantage and play beeing a mothers with a real baby. When you are eating and I get up from the table you take advantage of the opportunity and feed you sister with a spoonful to her mouth and sometimes in the morning when I get up and go to your room I see the two in your bed. You are careful and you put her on her shoes when she gets up because you know that none of you should walk barefoot. You have an obsession with taking your sister to the potty!

Sure you both have fights but luckily, most of the time, you both play without fights over toys, though sometimes we get so excited playing and running around the house that it always ends up with one of you crying because it crippled . But it’s all part of the game.

You still have an inexplicable fear of dogs and discovered that you like rice pudding, both eating and doing it, so almost every week we make rice pudding for you. You also like to help me in the kitchen and you like to bake biscuits and cookies and you almost don’t need my help for that. You like to make cookies to offer to your teacher, which I think is fantastic.

You are a cookie. You’re my sweet little cookie and you are making my world go round for 5 years!

Wedding Quilt

Today it’s our first wedding anniversary and so I wanted to share this lost pearl! All this squares will be sew together to make our wedding memorial quilt! In our wedding day we asked our family and friends to write down a message for us in this fabric pieces. The result was awesome and I can’t wait to get to sew all this pieces and make our quilt! It’s just another piece of our history that it’s literally written betwen fabrics and threads!

Birthday cake #1

September is the month when we celebrate more birthdays around here. We now have 8 birthdays this month, since Francisca joined us last week. But with so much birthday cakes the odds are I’ll be baking one of them!

So the weekend was dedicated to cake design! I missed making a cake like this, from beginning to end, with the right layers and filling, frosting and decoration! I had two days of hard work, but above all I had two days of fun!

And it was well worthwhile, if not for the cake itself, for the pleasure of doing it and the chance for practice and put to good use the hours of training that I already have!

While the cake is cooling it’s time to practice drawing with pastry bag and diferents tips, using royal icing I made experiments using several shapes and designs to relax my wrists and refine my technique!

4 layers lemon cake with lemon curd filling. All homemade with lots and lots of love!

And white chocolate ganache frosting to balance the lemon flavor!

Cloth Diapers #1

Occasionally I return to cloth diapers making, but gone are the times when I made then to the rhythm of the tides. Still can not get enough of doing them, just keep thoses babies coming into the world!

I’m not sure if arround the world people use this cloth diappers. I know that here in Portugal and in Brazil too, people do use them kind of a burp cloth and as a sun cover in the stroller. It’s part of all the essencial baby stuff, a must have!

How to make a quilt #1

I love to quilt. It is a project that I can never get enough of, no matter how many I’ve made. I don’t know if it’s the excitement of being able to freely choose the colors and fabric patterns, or perhaps the endless combinations of shapes and cuts what we can do. Making a quilt is almost like a painting: first there is the empty white screen you have to fill with colors and shapes, and the end result is perfect!

I like my quilts with bright and strong colors, I like simple basic fabrics and lots of white fabric to make the colors shine. I like to play with shapes and create my own patterns. To tell the truth I think I just made one quilt following a pattern and was my first!

This one will be a baby quilt and of course, already has it’s destination. I designed the quilt and called it “Squezze my Square”. Finished has about 1mx1m, ideal size for a new born and later to serve as warmth in the stroller. I made my niece Bia one when she was born and when she was on her stroller she always took the quilt with her and cried like crazy if someone took her the quilt! She was just over a month and a half old, so yeah, it makes all the difference!

For Teresa I made a larger one for her bed, but as she never slept there, rarely used it. Now whenever the quilt leaves the closet she clings to him and hugs him. And so does Mafalda because she has no quilt, but loves her sisters and is always asking me to make one for her … I must say in my defense that when Mafalda was born I hadn’t been bitten by the bug quilt!

This is all to say that if there is a “must have” in baby’s trousseau is a quilt. It’s surely the best gift you can give to a newborn, even better if it has been carefully sewn with all the love and caring of someone close.

It can be easy and quick to make deppending on the pattern. In the case of my “Squezze my Square” is super simple to make and quick, most pieces are large enough to make the quilt top quick to assemble. And as it does not require complex stiches can be easily done by those who don’t have a sewing machine.

I seem to have heard an echo sounding “she is crazy! hand stitching?”. Yeah, I’m staunch defender of quilts sewn by hand. Not for extremism or prudery, but because it is a more than viable solution for those who have little time to devote to sewing. Let me explain: for anyone who has a sewing room where the machine is installed and where you can leave everything messy and close the door when you have to stop, this does not apply and is perhaps even faster using your machine.

But for those who have no sewing space and have to assemble and disassemble the machine, prepare the pattern pieces to sew, sew a little and pack everything up again, hand sewing can be a time saver if you have only half an hour a day or less, or if you have to stop several times to check on your children.

And how is this facilitator? It is because you can have a bag with the quilt pieces you are working on, a scissor, needle and thread. Nothing more. And you can sit comfortably on your couch watching television, and while you’re there you can stitche your quilt. And you’re doing it at your own pace and you can work on it every day, even if only for a little time. If the quilt bug bites you too hard, you can also take your small bag wherever you go and work for example, in the garden while the children run and play! It works for me!

Of course if you have periods of time that you can dedicated to sewing you can always work on your machine, you can always make some parts by hand and the other by machine. If you want to know, it will not be noted in the final result so …

Get to work! There are only a few days left to my big Meias Marias OnLine Store opening (just a few …) and there you will find everything you need to make a “Squezze my Square” quilt, but this time boys are also included! I promise it’s not just girl things!

So? Let’s make a quilt? To know how just click the button!

[cryout-button-color url=”http://2015.meiasmarias.com/en/how-to-make-a-quilt/” color=”#FF0000″]How to make a quilt[/cryout-button-color]

Children Backpack Pattern #2

Another backpack. The more I make the simpler they get to do! The monkey was a request of Bia, and the colors are my responsibility, but almost guarantee success, as it has green and orange, the favorite colors of her mom!

For this backpack I choose to use a dark blue jeans, a dot print fabric and a white corduroy.

I used my own piping cord and loved the result. Makes a beautiful highlight and because it’s in the same print it doesn’t add more visual information to the backpack but it highlights it. I not always enjoy working with prints so intense, especially when the project involves other parts overlapping and other elements to combine, because it becomes hard to find the point at which visual information is the necessary and sufficient, without beeing to excessive or to little.

The fabric liner is the same as that of the outer pocket and has a small interior pocket.

The has a melted plastic zipper with large teeth and is easy to slide, as it’s meant to be easily used by children.

The Monkey apliqque is in the exterior pocket, that opens and closes with Velcro tape. It is made of felt because no I didn’t found a fabric that would work best as a monkey. The ears are only stitched to the head to give some 3D effect and nostrils are made of two small Fimo buttons made ​​by me. The eyes make this monkey super sweet!

I used another of my Fimo buttons, just to make it oh! so charming!

The bag for the change of clothing is made ​​in the same printed fabric of the backpack and has an application in the mouth of brown bias tape, just to make the set.

Everything is ready! I wish a great school year to Bia and to all boys and girls, in particular those who will attend a new school!

Do you want to make your own backpack? You can get my “Back to School” backpack patterm here:

[cryout-button-color url=”http://shop.meiasmarias.com/produto/back-to-school-backpack-pattern-english-instructions-pdf” color=”#FF8000″]”Back To School” Backpack Pattern[/cryout-button-color]

How to dye cotton fabric

I’ve been on a crusade. Mafalda asked me to make her a backpack with a purple zipper. Really purple. Maybe I shlouldn’t let her play so much on my sewing room with my supplies!

I needed to choose two fabrics that have some purple. The first was easy, and it was so easy that eventually made the second choice harder.

I started with this cotton fabric.

I needed to find a fabric heavy weight fabric, like denim, twill or couduroy to match with this fabric but it was hard, because it seems that beyond me and Mafalda (sometimes I think it’s just to make me happy!) Nobody else is a purple fanatic!

And so, after much thinking on how to solve this problem it occurred to me the solution! If there isn’t such a fabric to buy then I’ll have to make it! And off I went to my dye box, wich is always forgotten, and I fund myself dying a white courduroy and turn it into a Purple courdoroy.

The process is really easy, and if the fabric is initially white, it is easier and faster too. All you need to do is dissolve a portion of the pouch in boiling water and add salt. The amount always depends on the volume of fabric to dye. So far I’ve never had a problem with this method and with these dye. It is a messy process and takes patience to clean up spillage so it doesn’t harm anything.

The fabrics are immersed in the dye bath after they are wet, to avoid being spotted, and stay there until it has the color you want. You have to mix it every now and them to prevent stains and ensure it is evenly dyed.

When you have the right color wash the fabric until the water is clear.

And it only took a minute to find the right purple!

Now I have a perfect match!

And since I had my hands in the dye I end up dying a baby onesie and changing it from pale pink to something much more colorful! But this is another project …

Baby and Toddler dress from a shirt #4

A white shirt with herringbone pattern set the tone. The aim was to transform it into a ceremony dress. N. asked me to do it with english embroidery and perhaps with some balloon sleeves, the rest was left to my discretion.

The fabric did not seem to work in balloon sleeves so I let go the idea and focused in english embroidery, with which I have rarely worked. And it was a real challenge!

The trick was to choose the right embroidery to go with the base fabric, little thin and little light and transform the whole fabric into something fine and dainty to look formal, and the result was this:

The handles have a frill with english embroidered and a back zipper and a bracket.

The neckline is finished off with an application of english embroidery, coordinated with the others I used. As the dress is made with a fabric without any shine, I applied some sequins in the neckline to give it some bright light.

The waist line is also marked with an application of English embroidery.

I added a flower made in the same fabric of the dress and with the same sequins and beads applied. I’m not a lover of bow ties on dresses but I really think that fabric flowers do make a diference adding a touch of elegance and glamor, and after having applied the flower this dress was completely different. It was a great choice!

The skirt comprises two bars of english embroidery, a wider one and a narrow one.

It was a great challenge but was overcome. It was a very interesting experience reusing these shirts and turn them into something new and completely different.

More rewarding was being able to release all my creativity and work in free style and experimenting with new models and patterns, learning new sewing techniques. We’re always learning!

I guess I had never made a dress with so much formality, yet I was not asked to do something similar to what is commercially, It was just meant to be a simple dress and I did it in my own way with few requirements. And I liked it very much!

And you? What do you think this work? Leave your comments!

DIY Pacifier Clip

Last month Teresa ruined at least three of her pacifier clips. Her father came to me to fix it, as he always does! So I bought the clips and strat working but only long enough to realize that what I felt like doing was really making the entire pacifier clip from the begining instead of fixing the broken ones. So I made a first test with the yellow one but ended up to short. The one pictured with the pacifier on was my second attempt but with a different concept that I loved so much, that I re-did it in orange. My Little teresa was overjoyed! She is vain! And this is such a simple project to do! All three chains were made in less than an hour and with Teresa around!