A peplum swing dress (or When you frankenpattern because you can’t decide which you prefer)

Hello peeps,

This is my favorite frankenpattern dress ever!*

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit

* Some might call it a case of DIY-goggles, but it’s true!

** How do you like my ballet-smug-pose?

This is the bodice of the Swing Dress 08/2012 with a longer version of the peplum of the Peplum Top 08/2012. You may ask why I decided each alone were not perfectly adequate, but I couldn’t tell you. 


The bodice of the Swing Dress is fitted with separate pattern pieces instead of front darts, has short cap sleeves and a side zip. I draw a deeper scoop neckline, measuring very scientifically in the mirror between my collar bone and where I wanted it to be. I also decided to finish it with ivory satin bias tape, together with the sleeves – doesn’t it look nice? :)

The side invisible zip would not cut it – really, it opened after 10 min in the dress, where on Earth do these poor zippers come from? -, so I put in a general zip in its place. The skirt is a full circle skirt where the waist is off-center by aprox. 10 cm, making it a high-low. I added in-seam pockets by drawing a loopsided shape around my hand – again, highly scientific.

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

The hem was trouble, though. For one, I did not want the wrong side of the fabric to show, and the high-low made that difficult. Second, to make a high hem with a circle skirt is kind of impossible, because of the deep curve. So, after much fiddling around, I draw full-on facings, about 10 cm wide, stitched them to the hem on one side by machine and blind-stitched them on the other side by hand. That is a looooong hem, folks.

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

*** What is that on the floor? So interesting…

I ditched the lining, because my navy polka-dot (actually, tiny-polka-triangles) light cotton is sufficiently opaque and it worked just fine for the summer. I might have to consider making and wearing this with some kind of unmentionables, though, because the twirl on this baby lets the wind swirl and makes my head spin.

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

**** Blurry twirl photo. How cliché.

I have worn it at least once a week since I have made it. It is perfect for summer, it is so easy and fresh!

And how does it hold up to the original(s)?

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

***** Don’t mind me, I am just skipping away, all blurry…

A Peplum Swing Dress | Catdoesit.

****** I am f-i-e-r-c-e. With crazy-eyes.

******* Are these too many asterisks?

******** Nevermind.

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A fair review in a star of gardens

It is time for a *fair review*!

This one will appeal to every-crafty-one in or visiting Portugal. It is the Crafts & Design market happening the first weekend of every month in Jardim da Estrela*, in Lisbon. The word on the street was that this was not your run of the mill crafts fair… Here’s my take why:

Crafts & Design market | Catdoesit.

1) The setting is unique for a fair: children playing in the grass, couples lying under the sun, water fountains and a luxurious green background. Don’t trust my amateur pictures! Check out the Lisbon Diary photo gallery, you’ll get it.

2) The people on the stalls are not amateurs – you’ll find exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs. Everywhere you look you’ll find new colors and materials. I managed to strike a conversation with some of those who really caught my eye.

Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. |PlayStopPlay

Play Stop Play – These guys were my favorite! I spent a good half an hour taking to Richard about his creations… He uses scraps from wherever he can find – vintage, leftovers, hand-me-downs – and selects the weight and color carefully to make these baskets, by tying knots together… it is hard to explain. They give classes and everything! A girl was spending the Saturday with them, weaving and knotting away in a garden bench. :) Best of all? Their slogan:

Working towards world domination by the very clever use of fabric. Since 2013.

Well guys, consider me on your side. Since 2014.


Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | De Trapo e Sonhos

De Trapo e Sonhos - Mrs. Gertrudes works cork like nobody’s business. Cork is an incredible material by itself, and with a little imagination she designs notebooks, purses and this clever bag, that zips out into a bigger bag:


So clever!


Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | Mané Sousa

Mané Sousa – Finally, Mané: She works with ceramic using traditional Portuguese techniques for manufacturing tiles, in not so typical designs. She makes little handcrafted tiles to use as jewelry (including some teeny tiny ones to use as earrings!). I did not resist and bought a beautiful blue ring:

Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | Mané Sousa


As I was leaving, the scents coming for the last stall at the end of the fair caught up to me. Terra Viva had 101 – scented, handmade and 100% natural – soaps to choose from, and I took home a yummy lemon verbena bar (already took a bite):

Crafts and Design market | Catdoesit. | Terra Viva

All in all, highly recommend – be it for one of a kind items, inspiration or for a walk in the park. If you care for a visit, save the first weekend of every month, except for August and January. The entry is free!

What fairs and markets have you been recently?

*get it? Jardim da Estrela ~= Star of gardens! I am a pun-genius.

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Hi there!

I am entering my first… sewalong? sewing-fever? thematic-communal-inspirational-fiesta? Anyhoo, would be the first of any of these, whatever this is. Sophie from Ada Spragg is hosting a Two-Piece-Set-Acular fiesta! I grabbed a button and everything :)

She as put together very fashion designery silhouettes to inspire people to sew one of those matchy-matchy outfits, where you have a bottom and a top that match, like a dress or a suit, but not really. She explains better, hop there to see it.

I have been with one of these in mind ever since I saw Geneva’s cropped top and skirt set. And then I bought 1 metre of two matchy-matchy black and white prints on sale each…


two-piece-set-acular mood board | Catdoesit.


The prints are from Tecidos de Coimbra, 5€/m medium-weight cotton from their Spring sale. The skirt pattern is from the latest Burda magazine 08/2014 – full of summer goodness, BTW, I already ear-dogged half of it. As soon as burdastyle.com gets on with the full collection I’ll link it here. The top is on the queue for sometime now, but I am still not sure if it will be the best match for the style of the skirt – it is Burda’s Princess Seam Boatneck Top 02/2014 #104. The pattern set has several things in its favor already: both allow for some print matching, both are easy-sew and easy-wearing pieces, and both have the magazine’s step-by-step instructions!


Are you joining the thematic-communal-inspirational-fiesta?

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A case of the hemstich with a mild shorts fever

Olá amigos!

This one goes to the book of zero cost: it is a fashion from *scrap* fabric, with a *refashion* thrown in just because.

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

First, there was the shirt. A dear old white cotton tee, bought on sale some years ago (probably out of kindergarten by now). Still, it is a white and easy top, there is always room for those, right? Alas, a small but irrationally persistent stain got in the bottom of the shirt.

If the stain does not get out of the shirt, the shirt gets out of the shirt.

You can quote me on that! I started pulling some strings – literally -, by aprox. 5 mm. Just enough to pull out the stain – again, quite literally. This took 2 minutes. With white cotton string, I did a simple hemstitch along those bare vertical threads, and got it refreshed and refashioned!

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

Note: this was a first for me. My Grandma is the one with all the talent, hemstitch-wise, so I went to the master for the simplest of techniques. Well, she hasn’t done this on a shirt before, either.

One thing about hemstitching to keep in mind: the only way is straight forward. You can see that the tee has a slight round hem, but it is perfectly on grain, which meant that the line of stitching would not be parallel to the hemline. Gotta go with the flow, I’d say.

Then, there were the scraps. Perfectly good scraps, left over from a quilt my Mom made years ago, almost upholstery-weight black cotton twill. And Burda magazine for July was just in, with its shorts season virus. So, two and two together, the simplest simple sample of shorts came to life – from the Wrap Shorts 06/2014 #124, minus the wrap. I keep going with the literal style, here.


The pattern came together in an hour.The fit was spot on right out of the magazine, although I added 5 cm to the hem, and I am glad I did it! Besides thrashing the wrap, I also kept with a general purpose zip instead of an invisible zip – that will keep my shorts from any ripping open business, thank you very much. I kept the party going with the waistband lining: a wax cotton print from the decade-old scrap bin as well.

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

The shorts were too bare to bear (!), so the hemstitch came back to the rescue. Just a simple line around the hem, to show the slightest slit of leg above legal hemline (sassy!). The hemstitching on the shorts was done in two hours, during a train ride, but I can tell a more advanced seamstress would whip up the stitch in less than half an hour. It is a great meditative soothing action, actually, I am getting into it.

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

I have used these a little around the house and to the beach, so I can tell this is only a mild shorts fever. Anyhoo, the outfit came out pretty cute from old tee and scraps, no?

Well, pretty far from the original shorts pattern (here)…

Case of the hemstitch | Catdoesit.

What ever happened to hemstitching? I haven’t seen it around the sewing blogs… It is a cross-breed from trimming and lace, it should be pumping on the sewosphere! Curious.

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Jammie pants

Yellow peeps! How ya doin’? What I have here are some of the jammie pants that have become socially acceptable to wear outside, on the streets, in public. (USA-ers friends, I know you were light-years ahead of the rest of the world on this matter, bear with us)*

dancinjammies _goof_IMG_0181 _quarter_IMG_0170 _side_IMG_0161

Great model, uh? I am a pro.**

This is super soft viscose, found at the remnant bin at Feira dos Tecidos (Lisbon) by 5€/m. I took 2, knowing I wanted to use one for each leg and get the most of that flowy goodness. And you can see I managed to use the border nicely on the waist! The selvage was plain navy, so it was great to hide a wide elastic without messing with the print. I had to take some care with the arabesques on top, though, so not to have some *unsightly* print positioning. Really like the result! _details1

I picked up a pair of *actual* pj bottoms and traced half a leg top (wut? see below, please). Simplified the curves, added seam allowance and 6 cm for the elastic – that way, the elastic doesn’t need to be super tight to hold these babies -, and cut each leg on the fold. Which means I had two seams to do: inside leg seam and rise. Pretty simple, huh? So I went fancy and french-seamed it.


Since putting these together, I wore them to the pool, to the city and to the bar. The rolled hem is long enough for some comfortable heels (that’s what I am wearing in the pictures), but if I roll the waist elastic I can wear them with flats or barefoot.

All in all, a great addition to my wardrobe, by 10€ and less than two hours of work! If done again, I would try and put some in-seam pockets and maybe tweak the pattern so that the front rise is lower than the back (although, this way, I can put them on with my eyes closed, eh).

What do you think?

Have you bought into the jammie street fashion?

* joking, lot a luv for my USA-er friends :)

** uh? please.

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Knitty witty

Have you met the Knit Princess? She’s hilarious!

This is exactly how I felt when trying to power through my latest Miette endeavour:


Eheh… Knitty witty :)

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Hey y’all, I am going social!

A sewcialist is a person who enjoys sewing and uses social media to engage with others who also enjoy sewing. (Quote)

Sewcialists.org You can now follow me on wordpress, on bloglovin, see my pins, my facebook page and whatnot. Or not, I won’t hold it against you :) It is a sewing revolution outhere.

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