Desert Island Sewing: Our third castaway, Rachel from House of Pinheiro

I happened to be paddling my canoe one day when I came across another desert island, & guess who I found?  Why Rachel from House of Pinheiro, much loved Brazilian blogging from the UK who I have to say stuns me with her modelling looks nearly as much as her prolific & stylish sewing.    Added to that the tempting baking treats that she has been known to blog about means that I am frequently inspired &  wish I lived close enough to visit House of Pinheiro’s House (I can write that, can’t I?! 🙂 )!

Setting the scene then …

You are stranded on a desert island, surrounded by beautiful crystal blue water populated by turtles & tropical fish (no sharks!). You have a comfy cosy shelter, an abundance of food & drinking water & a solar generator. Upon exploring the island you find a container that has fallen off a cargo ship & guess what? It is filled with what seems to be a never ending supply of fabrics of all descriptions, threads & notions!! What chance!

You are allowed to take your sewing machine & sewing box but which would be your 8 desert island patterns? (Note I will leave it up to my interviewees to imagine that their desert island’s climate & their adventures did not only require bikinis & sarongs but maybe more of a variety of clothing- but up to them! This is about designing their dream but limited wardrobe.  The patterns might be practical choices, or maybe they have more sentimental meaning).  So what will it be?”

The weather in the UK is grey, cold and uninspiring… Thank you, Winnie for sending me a ticket to the Desert Island Sewing…  Yupiiiii…
I spend ages thinking what to pack: With only 8 patterns from a personal collection of 100 plus and wish list of thousands. Serious decisions ladies!
Excited to see what I have packed? To give you an idea what I would sew, I have attached some inspiration….
The first pattern was an easy choice: Vogue 8766. With 6 variations already in the pattern cover this pattern will offer me endless fun of mix and matching…
The second pattern, very useful for the masked balls I will be hosting… Simplicity 2253
Rachel Simplicity 2253
And a chance to tackle some fabulous and difficult  fabrics.
Of course, I need to run chic errands while away and I love comfort of trousers/pants… I have in my stash the perfect pattern and fabric (found the perfect fabric on Edinburgh) that is dying to be sewn! Vogue 8604 offers a cape and high waist skirt too.
Rachel Vogue 8604

Topless isn’t illegal on the sewing island, however I think Butterick 2682 vintage shirt would do the trick to keep me nicely covered and I would own a few shirt dresses too…

Rachel Butterick 2682

My most used & loved garment of last year (Ikat dress) was made using the dress pattern from Sew U by Wendy, so that’s also packed.
Rachel Sew U
You probably don’t know yet but I have a personal obsession with trench coats. I have my eyes on Threads Simplicity  4084 for ages. I am actively seeking this pattern like a mad woman. Can someone swap with me?? I am in a constant scan of ebay and etsy. I promise It will be so loved.
Rachel Simplicity 4084
Of course,  my Sew-resolution dress for this year, the bombshell.
Rachel Bombshell
And lastly, Elisalex…. I had a blast sewing it and would be great to sew more versions. Have you head of the reversalex? Elisalot? [Editor: Lol…..]
Rachel Elisalex

My sewing book.. yummm that decision was even harder because I am a bookworm nerd with a shrine of books around the house… I own more than 55 sewing books. Don’t get me started on the baking books. One would think I own an independent book shop lol.

I’m taking my Brazilian pattern design book. I have made a toile for trousers, jacket, dresses, skirts and tops from the instructions.
Rachel Sewing book

I simplified its instructions to draft a pencil skirt in 4 steps. I was very lucky to take one week course when I was on holiday home and really enjoy their pattern design techniques.

On my ipod, I would be listening to Seu Jorge, specially ” American Brasil” album…
while re-reading Sherlock Holmes Complete Works from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Like Winnie, I would take a notebook as my luxury item. I cannot sew without one… I also like drawing, writing lists and secrets..
Ps, Did you notice the lack of bikini patterns? Well, I got to wear my 32 pairs I have stored in my wardrobe…
Well,that’s all from me, see you all in the island!
Sources: Fashion Clothes courtesy of
Book Cover courtesy of Penguin
Thank you Rachel for such inspiration!! I have loved reading your choices & seeing your images.  There are some patterns I never knew existed that are incredibly swoon-worthily stylish (very you!).  I am also Spotifying everyone’s music choices & what a wonderful way to discover new delights.  🙂
Coming soon to a desert island near you ….Sarah from Rhinestones & Telephones….

9 thoughts on “Desert Island Sewing: Our third castaway, Rachel from House of Pinheiro

  1. Elisalex - By Hand London

    Whaaaaaa can’t believe we made it to your desert island packing list!! Consider me and the By Hand team on the next Oceanic flight 815 armed with endless Elisalex’s, Charlotte’s, Elisalotte’s, Charlex’s and Reversa-everything in tow! Oh, and a Victoria Blazer or 2…. Save us a Caipirinha x


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