Today the sew fantastic blog series travels all the way to Portugal where Marta from the blog Do Guincho sews classy and often vintage inspired clothes for her beautiful daughters. They are extremly well done and each detail is perfection. Her pics always "glow", you really feel the portugese sun when you watch them. As far as I know Marta has so far mainly sewn with woven fabrics (though she just posted an amazingly beautiful Cosi swim suit yesterday), so I'm really curious to see what her signature style tee will look like. Here are some of my favorite creations by Marta:
|Debbie's birthday dresses, romper, swing skirt|
First things first:
Please introduce yourself (who are you, tell us a little bit about your family, which country and maybe city do you live in, are you originally from this country, do you work or are you a stay at home mom, etc.)!
Hi! My name is Marta, I blog at DoGuincho and I am delighted to be part of Annika’s new series!
I have lived in Lisbon, Portugal, all my life but, a few years ago, my family and I moved from the city centre to a seaside place called Guincho just about twenty minutes from Lisbon. I am a freelancer architect and I’ve two little daughters: Teresa and Ines. I love to windsurf and Guincho beach is one of the best windy beaches in Europe. Lucky me!
Let’s talk about sewing:
When did you start and who taught you to sew?
I’ve started sewing about three years ago, inspired by a couple of wonderful sewing and craft blogs. I am self taught and I’ve learned a lot just by chatting with experienced seamstress on fabric shops. I’ve also learned a lot with indie patterns and online tutorials. The web is such a great classroom!
Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or professional sewer?
I think I am an intermediate seamstress. I sew for pleasure and I try to push myself by making something new every time I start a sewing project. But I still have so much to learn...
Which three tips would you give a beginner sewer?
Go for it! Sewing is not that difficult. You just have to start!
Indie patterns are a great way to learn new sewing techniques. Venture yourself!
Buy nice fabric. It is a pleasure to sew with good quality fabric!
For whom do you sew?
Almost everything I sew is for my daughters. I’ve just started sewing for me but the fitting is so much harder...
How often do you sew?
As often as I can! I try to sew something every two weeks but I am quite random.
What fabric type(s) do you like most to sew with?
I only sew with natural fibre fabrics. I love Liberty cotton lawn! I sew a lot with seersucker and I am getting addicted to linen, though it is not easy to find good quality linen in Portugal.
How do you get inspired?
That’s a difficult question... I check other blogs and my favourite children clothes brands. I draw a lot. And I am kind of addicted to pinterest!
Do you have any real life sewing friends?
Not really! I think everyone around me thinks I am kind of crazy for sewing my kids’ clothes...
You blog at DoGuincho. I’m curious to hear a little bit about your blog:
When and why did you start to blog?
I’ve started blogging about two years ago. I didn’t have that much work back then and I wanted to keep myself active. I also thought my blog could be a kind of a photo album of my kid’s childhood.
Is there anything that you would make differently if you started your blog now?
I would have worked harder on my photos from the very beginning. Good quality photos are so important on a blog.
How often do you blog? How much time do you spend each day/week blogging?
Sometimes I have three posts in a week and others I “abandon” it for almost a month. I am kind of a random blogger, I think...
Do you plan your sewing, picture taking and blog posts in advance or do you just let things happen?
It depends but I prefer to just let it happen. I only plan when I have commitments with other bloggers.
What are the three sewn (and blogged) items that you are most proud about or that you yourself like most? Show us some pictures (with links)!
My 3D pleated dresses - that won PR&P sew along about a year ago - are everyone’s favourite project. I love it too and I am really proud of the tutorial I have put together for those pleats.
Last winter I hosted a sewing series with my friend Marte from Compagnie M. called Mailbox Surprise. I loved the fabric Marte has send me and made a couple of blouses with it. I wish I had time to turn this design into a pattern I could sell...
I love my pattern: DoGuincho Bubble Shorts. Drafting a pattern to sell was really a big step for me and I hope to make more in the future. It is hard work but it is fun too!
Do you make money with your blog or do you have any sewing related business (e.g. Etsy or dawanda shop; pattern shop)? Do you have tips for someone wanting to start a blog business?
I have an Etsy Shop where I sell my pattern. But I am definitely not a business woman! All I did to help selling my pattern was a pattern tour when I launched it. Anyway, the pattern keeps on selling quite nicely, even with almost no publicity.
Taking Pictures and editing these is an important part of blogging. Good pictures are often what makes us want to visit a blog again and again. Unfortunately, I only have a compact camera (and two kids that rather want to play with their friends than take pics). I’m excited to read what camera you are using and if you have to bribe your kids, too…
What Camera and Objective do you use?
I have a very old SLR camera, a Nikon D50. I bought it several years ago as a kit with two Nikon lenses: 18/55 and 55/200. This camera has already been repaired twice after falling on the floor and it is a bit ruined so I hope I can buy a new camera and some nice fixed lenses very soon.
Sometimes I also take photos with my iPhone 4S. I love its camera!
What is your skill level in photography? Did you learn everything yourself or did you take a course or similar?
I have been taking photos almost all my life but I haven’t ever taken a course. I would love to do it!
I have some notions about photography but I am extremely lazy so I never use manual mode.
How do you get your kids to cooperate when you want to take pictures?
The day before the photo shot I tell them (sometimes several times) that we need to take some photos for my blog but it will be quick and fun. During the photo session I talk to them a lot and I do try to be quick. I take plenty of photos and only use about 1 in 10. Sometimes we go for an ice cream after the photo session...
What software do you use for picture editing and which steps do you normally take to edit your pictures?
I wish I could work with Photoshop. (Here is another workshop I have to do...). Right now I edit my photos with a very basic program: Microsoft Office Picture Manager. While doing it I always check: brightness, contrast, color tone and saturation. Sometimes I crop my photos.
What would blogging be without other blogs? I’m always on the hunt for new inspiring blogs. And I love to get in contact with people from different countries. Who knows maybe you have some blog favorites that I don’t know about?
What are your three favorite sewing blogs to read? Why?
MADE. Dana is super inspirational! I love her photos and the way she makes everything look easy and fun. All her tutorials and patterns are spot on. She might be the reason why I started sewing and blogging...
Sanae Ishida. I love the clothes Sanae makes for her daughter and herself. Her blog is one of the few blogs I always read (and enjoy reading) from top to bottom even if the post is long. Shanae is a true blogger!
Stitched Together. Rachel has become a great friend! I always love her creations and identify myself with the patterns and fabrics she chooses. Plus, she is also a great photographer and her kids are super cute.
Do you follow any blogs that are written in another language? What are your three favourite ones?
I follow some Portuguese blogs. My favourite is Saidos da Concha.
I also follow a couple of Dutch blogs (even if I can’t understand a word!): Emma en Mona and By Eva Maria.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions!
I don't usually sew tees for my kids. But I like a good challenge, so I sewed my first couple of (fake because they are only partially made of jersey) tees for this series. The pattern is Figgy's Stellar Tunic and the fabrics are solid jersey knit in two different bright colors: green and blue, mixed with a lovely Liberty of London cotton lawn.
I have made two very small changes to the original pattern: turned the sleeve pattern pieces into just two single pieces (one for the front and one for the back) and finished the neckline with woven fabric instead of knit.
I love the result and I think it is truly my style as I have turned an edgy pattern into a couple of sweet little dresses. That always happens to me! I feel like I should be more modern and edgier but I end up making girly clothes. But my kids are growing fast. Maybe I do need to change my style...
And my dear readers: Make sure to come back next week for a special edition of this series with Meg from Elsie Marley and Kids Clothes Week! And if you are here for the first time make sure to check out the other interviews here.