Recent Posts

Why we need to use RSS

Why we need to use RSS

I love social media, I love following people I admire and get a glimpse of their life. It’s so cool that we are in a world where we can be connected so easily with people from other countries, different realities. I love to see the […]

Happiness Project 2018 – Mid Year Progress

Happiness Project 2018 – Mid Year Progress

I thought it could be interesting to share how my happiness project is going, it has been interesting to learn some things about me but it’s definitely too easy to go back to old habits. If you want to know more about the happiness project […]

Sewing Cloth Napkins

Sewing Cloth Napkins

Switching from paper towels to cloth napkins was one of the easiest changes to reduce waste, not only it feels more grown up but it’s also more eco friendlier. Until now, I’ve been using napkins given by my mom that she didn’t use, but it was not a set so they were a mix of things and they were not particularly pretty, they were super useful but not pretty. I really wanted to have a pretty set that we could use every day, so as always (!!!!), I thought: why not make them?

A few months ago, I bought a beautiful geometric fabric to do this but last month I went to Porto’s fleamarket and found another fabric that would look great for my napkins. Best of all? It was only 20 cents!! I was beyond excited. This 20 cent fabric gave me 5 napkins which is enough for us as we can only fit 4 people in our dining table 😀 There was another scrap about the same size and price but I figured that it would be better to just try it once before going over the top, like I usually do.

 

I searched a good, not super complicated tutorial, and eventually decided to follow this one as I felt it was an easier way to make mitered corners for a beginner like me. Even though the title of the tutorial is “9 Minute Cloth Napkins Tutorial”, I definitely took longer than that. Including cutting, these 5 napkins, took roughly an afternoon to make. I made a lot of mistakes and spent a lot of time undoing everything and trying again hahaha. The last ones were quicker, still 9 minutes?! Very far from that. Probably someone experienced would be able to accomplish this in that timeframe.

Cloth napkin corner close up

I really loved the final result and they have been really useful. I will use the other geometric fabric for something else, I’m dreaming of making a sofa organizer, let’s see.

 

Did you ever tried to make your own cloth napkins? How did it go? If you do decide to make them inspired by my post I’d love to know!

How I recycle in my tiny apartment

How I recycle in my tiny apartment

Ever since I was little, I wanted to recycle. I remember asking my mom to do it in our house: why don’t we recycle? And she would say that the recycling bins were too far away, we had to go by car, I don’t want […]

Earth Day – Gradual changes to a better planet

Earth Day – Gradual changes to a better planet

Today is “Earth Day”, it’s a day to consider our habits, a day to think about what we could do differently on our day to help the planet. I think that people are getting more aware of what pollution is doing to our planet, especially […]

Reusable bags made of men’s shirts

Reusable bags made of men’s shirts

As you know, I’ve been sewing a lot lately, I say a lot for me, probably not a lot of time for those who sew all the time. I’ve been enjoying sewing and creating in general, it has been huge for me. Ever since I started to work, crafting went to the back burner, even with some projects from time to time, I missed crafting a lot, knitting, sewing, basically I just missed CREATING.

Lately I’ve been focusing in sewing some reusable bags for an association called “Refood”, if you don’t know the project, basically it’s an association made 100% of volunteers that works in avoiding food waste and hunger, you can find more info in their website.

I was never a volunteer for this organization, I actually considered it a few times but at this moment I have other priorities (I don’t want to say that I don’t have time because I know if I really wanted to I could go), however it was always an organization that I identified myself with. I always hated food waste, I try to avoid it in my house and whenever, due to bad planning, I end up with wasted food I get pretty bad with myself. It’s something I’ve been meaning to talk more here in the blog, waste less food, especially since I’m so passionate about the topic and it might give other people ideas.

Having said that, when I read in this publication in a sewing facebook group, called “Cose+” (which means in Portuguese Sew+), asking for reusable bags for Sacavém’s Refood so they could reduce their plastic usage, I couldn’t say no to the challenge. Helping people and avoiding more plastic? Sign me up!

Sacos reutilizaveis feitos com camisas velhas

To make these bags, I used some of my Dad’s old shirts that were ruined in the collarbone that my mom had stored somewhere and shoelaces, also something that my mom kept for future use. It was a good way to use things that would eventually go to the trash or would keep being stored at my parents for a few more years 🙂 It took me longer than I expected to make this four bags, my lack of experience clearly shows. At first, I just tried to wing it but it never came out right in the casing. I ended up ripping a lot and actually followed this tutorial to see if I could get it right, it was just what I needed. They’re still a little bit wonky but I hope they’re useful! Slowly I’ll become better at sewing.

I invite you to make reusable bags, even if it’s just one! It’s always helpful. In case you’re not in Portugal, what about finding a similar organization and propose to sew a few bags for them?

Historical Centers National Day – Illustration Workshop

Historical Centers National Day – Illustration Workshop

Historial Centers National Day? I have been living in Porto for 5 years and still never participated in any of the activities of this day, what a shame! I was either in New Zealand, or at my parents, or just lazy… But this year I […]

All The Food I Ate In Japan – Part 1

All The Food I Ate In Japan – Part 1

I took a photograph of almost everything I ate during my time in Japan and thought I would share it. I loooove food and it was sometimes a struggle to decide where to go, so maybe this ends up being useful to someone else. I’m […]

Sewing “Acacia” panties

Sewing “Acacia” panties

I actually wanted to start sewing again to make my own underwear. I was thinking on how I needed some new pairs and asked myself “why not make them myself?”. I’m always excited to make things from stratch, from clothes to food, it’s something that fascinates me. Since the sewing machine had to be repaired it gave me some time to actually understand that I should try to sew something that would be easy for me, otherwise I’d get discouraged. I’m always super ambitious and always try to do something super complicated and then totally fail and then totally give up, that’s why I decided to take it slow. That’s something I’ve been trying to do in all the areas of my life to be honest.

So hence, why I decided to take on easier projects, so I could practice my sewing, you can see them here and here. After that, it was time to try to sew my own underwear. I decided to use a pattern instead of trying to make my own using my old underwear and followed all the instructions, even when I saw the back would be huge. I used Megan Nielsen‘s pattern, it’s called “Acacia” and it’s free if you subscribe to her newsletter, it comes with very detailed instructions, plus there’s a blog post with step by step instructions on how to make it, you can read it here.

Panties back

And I did it! I’ve super comfortable that fit perfectly panties! I was super happy. As I said they are kinda huge, actually perfect for those days where you’ve your period and all you want to do it’s be comfortable. They already went to the wash and the drier and they hold out really well! Ideally I’d have used a different thread, with a color closer to the fabric, but I didn’t want to fuss too much on my first attempt.

Even as a beginner, it only took me two nights making this.

  • First day: cut the pattern and the fabric according to the pattern. Sewed everything besides the elastic. Stressed for about 30 minutes on how I’d put the elastic, decided to go to bed.
  • Second day: decided to forget about trying to make everything perfect and followed my instincts. The elastic seemed to be slightly better than it should be so I cut a little bit and it turned out to be a good decision. I believe it’d still fit even without the change but feel like it’d be slightly large.

Next steps? Try to change the pattern so it’s smaller on the back side and try to add some lace in there.

I never thought I would show my underwear in the Internet but I’m super proud and couldn’t not share! Have you ever tried to make your own underwear? How did it go?

Sewing Acacia Panties
How to make your own reusable produce bags

How to make your own reusable produce bags

In 2017 I started to use reusable produce bags, it’s a good way to be more eco-friendly and it’s not difficult, how many plastic bags do you use in a week? If you buy a fair amount of vegetables and fruit like I do, it […]