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The Sew Off week 2 < A new Entry... >

NOTE: Heavy post!!!

So, here I am, second week of the The Sew Off competition. And this time around, the theme is Home Decor. When I first read the news that I did make it to the 12 contestants I sort of panic. When I made it to the 9 contestants I really did panic!

What was I suppoused to do now?! 

I was comfortable with the children's look because I was already sewing along Sew-vivor and PR&P. I never thought I could make it to the competition. Although I did audition for The Sew Off, I just thought I wouldn't make it anyway and was going to enjoy a light sew along... but, I made it, and suddenly I realised I would have to do bigger and better than I had previously believed I would. I have to do the best I can, for me and for the judges who picked me! 

So, back to my first idea - I tend to get lost, sorry - I decided it was about time to make my G. a brand new playhouse in which we could hide all her toys that usually makes our floor so messy. I was sure I didn't want to make something just like what I had been seeing around. I wanted to make something special to us, and on a imnsonia night, it clicked me!

As you may, or may not know, we live in Portugal, more precisely in the Algarve, the most southern region of the country. Right above us, there is one of the most beautiful and richers regions, the Alentejo, which I adore. As a tourism student, one of my projects was to write and present on a school trip the entire region of Alentejo, all its typical stuff and so on. Ever since, I still remember every single thing I talked about, and one of the most interesting ones for me is their typical houses. That's how I planned to make my playhouse like...

But my playhouse project died the moment I saw Amy's from Nap Time Crafters. Although I follow her blog for years, only recently I found out her playhouse, and I knew any other I would make would just look tiny and basic compared to hers. I did not give up on the entire idea of the playhouse, I just couldn't make it in one week. So, not done now, but certainly a to do project for the future.

I knew I had made it through another week last Monday, and let me tell you that, back then, I wasn't still pretty sure of what to do. I don't usually sew decorative stuff, or very seldomly I do. The only thing I could think was:

- I will never beat my baby's nursery project! or the mini sofa...
- There's no way I can do better than that... 
- Can I cheat and say I did that now?!
- Perhaps I can make a coordinate something to go with it?!
- Crap, that took me months to get done... and I only have a few days. 

Pfff... I was totally lost and hopeless about this week's theme. Honestly I still am. BUT, I had to get something done. I HAD to try my best, and I had to get whatever it was going to be, done ready.

I thought and thought and thought... and went through some magazines, searching for inspiration. It hit me when I saw a technique ("Catedral de Windsor" - free translation: "Windsor's Cathedral"... please correct me if I am wrong, because I'm not really familiar with it). I saw it in a magazine I had bought a few years ago, and that's from where I addapted my nursery pattern. There it was, I would try that.

I had to open my doorway to take this picture... since I have no angle at all for good pictures/or nice light for photos. 

Again, I have to say I am not a pro with the patchwork and similars, nor do I have specific items to sew it with. As I mentioned in a previous post, I don't even own a rottary cutter... That bad! But, I decided I should expand myself and try something new and different for this challenge. And I did it!!!

My very first try with this technique results are here:

So... I centered my attention in my entry after all. I bought this cube shelf about a year or so ago, and I meant to sew some fabric baskets ever since. Another project I never crossed from the list until now.

Here's how it looked before:

a total mess, I know.

I knew I wanted a place for all the mail we get and also a place for G.'s shoes. Next to the shelf there's a cabinet for our shoes, but it's full... and since she has so many little shoes, it would be nice to have a place on the entry to store them too.

there's a on work patchwork piece here too, but just because I didn't want it to look so empty!

My first idea for this project was to make four baskets and two pillow covers, but I ended up with only half of the first idea. I knew I wouldn't make it all in time. And when having to choose from 6 badly finished pieces and 3 well finished pieces, I went with the second choice.

I picked my project colours after the ones used on the picture that's hanging on the entry's wall. And always trying to adjust it to my already existing stash. I am pleased with what I got.

For the baskets I used diaper card boxes, covered in white paper sheets because the fabric from which I sewed the baskets was linen and would show the image below. In the front of each basket I added the words MAIL for one, and SHOES for the other with the same yellow I used on the pillow cover. I interface the letters, which were cut on free hand; and, I sewed them to the linen with a straight stitch carefully.

For the lining, I used a very sentimental fabric for me. It's white with little yellow/brownish polka dots. It used to be a sheet from when I was a child. I still remember when my mom bought it together with another one full of little pink hearts. One for me, one for my sister.

If you need to make your own baskets, again Amy's got a great tutorial on her blog. That's not how I made mine, but it's a good one if you need it.

For the pillow cover, I used 5 different fabrics and tried my best to coordinate!!! Again, remember it was my first attempt at this new technique and after I sew all the squares together I only had to unpick 3 of them when it was time to press seams and I realised 3 weren't even sewn together... arghhh... I hate unpicking, but it was a necessary mean.


And this is it. Sorry that this was such a long post.

Now again... if you liked what you've seen, go HERE and vote for me!!!


  1. I am in love with your pillow!!! It's beautiful!!! And your boxes with the applique are adorable!! Great job!

  2. I have learnt so much from unsewing :) I really love the boxes I'm a huge fan of recycling!

    1. That's an important part of the creating process. =) I am a HUGE fan of recycling too... I really hate waste!

  3. I love your new entry space, Magda! It's so bright and cheery and the personalized touches that you added are so nice! Can't believe you did all that patchwork without a rotary cutter - you're dedicated!

    1. Thank you for your kind words Stef! Yes... all without the rotary cutter... hehehe...

  4. I've only had my rotary cutter for about a year now. I still don't use it all the time, as I am used to using scissors, but I am using it more and more. Your new entry way looks great, both the beautiful cushion and the appliqued baskets.


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