When we were young - Week 6: S is for Sewing

July 17, 2013

This week for When we were young, the lovely Ana Sofia from S is for Sewing is here.  I first discovered Ana Sofia's beautiful sewing via flickr when I started sewpony in 2011.  This dress was the first of her garments that I put into my favourites! 
I knew her then as ASM_Blue...Everything that she uploaded was gorgeous...beautiful fabrics - lots of liberty, florals and always with great patterns.  And so well made and with such attention to detail.  I tried to find out if she had a blog, but alas, she did not.  Fast forward a year or so and I stumbled across S is for Sewing out of the blue.  "Hmmm..." I thought, "these creations look familiar."  It finally clicked that ASM_Blue was Ana Sofia and she had started a blog.  Hooray!  


 If you want to see Ana Sofia's collection of sewing have a look at her blog and flickr pool - amazing!

 And now, a little interview with Ana Sofia about when she was young....
Where were you born/where did you spend your childhood?

I was born in Portugal and I’ve lived my childhood in a small town near Lisbon.

Who did you grow up with?

I was the oldest of 4 children (2 girls and 2 boys) and we lived with our parents. A number of our cousins lived near our house so we always had someone to play with close by …

Did you have a childhood ambition?

I wanted to be a ballerina and help the children in Africa (not exactly in that order). I missed the ballerina, but I did a couple of projects in Africa (that I’m quite proud of).

What did you like doing when you were little?

Writing and reading (and solving mysteries, but that’s another story). Believe or not, I was not your typical creative kid (I still don’t think I am).  My sister, brothers and cousins inherit all the creative juices.

Do you see any similarities between yourself and your child/children?

Lots! But luckily for them, they are a much improved version of me and my husband.

Do you live far from where you grew up?

No. It’s only a 20 minute car ride, and I still do it every morning as my office is located close by.

Where do you live now and who with?

I still live in Lisbon (PT) with my husband and my three kids. 
Hi, I’m Ana Sofia from S is for Sewing and I’m so happy to be finally here! 

When Suz contacted to be about the When we were young series, it took me literally one second to type “Yes” back to her.  I loved the concept behind the name and was really eager to dig into the memory lane and retrieve some of my childhood memories.

Up until I was 8, my mother sewed most of our clothes, and despite the fact that she didn’t really enjoy sewing (she learned when she was young, but somehow she never really enjoyed it) my favourite pictures are still the ones where I’m wearing some of her lovely handmade clothes.

Picking a favorite was difficult. I was looking for something elaborate to show here (yeah, I’m that proud of my mother's sewing), yet my mother’s sewing style featured simple designs, a bit of smocking and lots of co-ordinating outfits (once my sister was born).
So, I wasn’t surprised that when I talked to her about this challenge, this was the picture she cherished the most:
Apparently, this was her favorite (don’t you just love my haircut?)!  This skirt was also one of the few pieces I had in pink – most of my clothes were blue, brown or (and these I really hated) black (of course, I’m pretty sure I’m wearing a black tee in this picture, but I’ll pretend its navy for posting purposes).

When sewing, my mother never followed/used any pattern; she would just take our measurements and made us clothes that she knew we would wear almost everywhere (school, playing and special occasions). Basic pieces that were then passed down to my sister and afterwards to other girls in the neighbourhood.
Sewing back then was much more than making pretty things for your kids to wear, and I’m pretty sure this alone makes a huge difference in how I approach sewing for my kids. Of course, they wear the clothes I make them, but I’m lucky enough not to have the pressure of sewing for need.  I know my mother would select only sturdy fabrics for playing and timeless prints that could stand the test of times.

Coincidently, finding a pattern for making a similar skirt wasn’t difficult, as the 2+2 skirt from Oliver +S is a close match. No major adjustments were made: I just added some length to the skirt (my original skirt was significantly shorter and I don’t even need a stand-up picture for this).
I had only used the 2+2 skirt pattern once, and again I was so surprised to see how fast and easy it was to make this version – of course, my fabric was not the same quality as my mother's so you can see the navy tee underneath.
My girl is a bit older than I was at the time (I was about 3 and she’s 5), but she was happy to play along. She thinks “mummy was a cute baby”… 
So what do you think?  Sweet skirt and adorable girls, right?
Thank you for having me Suz!  It was such a pleasure to be a part of this series and I can’t wait to check the out the next guest here!!

Happy sewing, everyone!
Ana Sofia


Gorgeous Ana Sofia, and yes I DO love your haircut!! I have a thing for short fringes, especially on cute little girls!!




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  1. Beautiful! Gingham is so classic, it's a real favourite of mine. Love your 3 year old hair Ana Sofia :)

  2. What a sweet skirt! I love learning more about my favorite bloggers.

  3. I love these photos Ana Sofia. And a sweet gingham skirt. Thanks for joining in:))

  4. Lovely. I think I need to sew something gingham this summer!

  5. You were such a cute little gal, Ana Sofia! Sweet outfit, very nice work! I've only sewn the 2+2 skirt in heavy polyester uniform plaid - might be much easier to sew it not worrying so much about exactly how the plaids match.

  6. Just so special Ana Sofia.
    I had a sewing mummy too.
    (And a short fringe)

  7. Lovely Sofía!! you´re one of my favourite sewists and I do think you´re very creative!
    Thanks for this peek into your childhood

  8. Such a sweet outfit, Ana Sofia! And you were such a cute little girl...

  9. Thank you so much for having me here, Suz!
    The whole process made me think about how and why my mother sew when we were young. We did have some lovely conversations on this topic (and yes, she still hates to sew, lol).
    And thank you all for your inpiration and lovely comments -specially on my fringe (my mother did it, as you may have already guessed).

  10. that skirt! so classic and beautiful, like all your sewing! you were adorable, by the way! :)

  11. The outfit is adorable and timeless too! Great post.:)


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