Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Creative Mending

I love the excitement of creating something.. the low whir of the sewing machine joining fabric pieces together.

I'm not so big on 'mending'. It's so bad that I could go on for months, not wearing a shirt if the button came off.. *hangs head in shame*

But then they did say that children can really motivate you to do things.

See, when dear husband went to the States, he went on a shopping spree at the outlet store.. Lil Miss and Lil Master were recipients to many wonderful clothes. Out of all the clothes Lil Miss received, she loved this really comfortable salmon pink dress from DKNY. It's a soft stretchy cotton jersey knit.. simple design.. with an A-line-ish skirt. But the piece de resistance was the chiffony tiered outer layer skirt. Lil Miss is all about girly twirly skirts.

Alas, with wear, there's tear.. :(

The chiffony part was beginning to fray too.. When Lil Miss saw the tear.. she came up to me and asked me to sew it back for her. Something about the lil puppy dog eyes made me say OK.. probably a little too fast.

The tear was small.. but yet, how to do it elegantly?

I took thread.. and I handstitched.. satin stitch like stitches.. (and I'm horrible with even stitches).
The end result is ugly noticeable stitches.. clearly patching a tear.

What am I to do...

What else can I do but to ransack my stash :)

I found a thin cotton lining material in red (it was meant to be sewn as lining to a blouse I planned on making for CNY.. but that's another story).

Cut two long strips, folded it together, sewed and ruffled..

I then formed a simple rossette with each ruffled strip. Sewed up the bottom of each rossette, making sure I catch all layers.. and slowly place it over the mended tear on the dress...


Showed it to Lil Miss... she approves.. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


******************* UPDATE **********************

And... we're back.. with a new design ..


My Blog design has gone away!! *sob*.. oh no..


*looks lost*

OK.. I need to go get one ASAP.. to anyone who's reading this.. I'm so sorry that my blog looks like it's in a state of undress.. i'll whip something up soon.

First Tutorial : Interchangeable Baby Wrist Rattle

This is my first tutorial. Yay..
I've been sewing a couple of things for the new baby of the family.. my niece. I made a baby rattle for her one a whim.. and since my camera was next to me, I thought I'll try and give a tutorial a go. The idea for the rattle is to wrap around baby's wrist.. and it would make a rattling sound when baby flaps her arms around :).
The lighting in the room where I sew is HORRIBLE for picture taking.. so please do excuse the quality of the pictures.. with no further adeu, I give you.. the Interchangeable Baby Rattle..

First, what you need..

I hand sew some of the components here, but it can be done with the machine as well.. So, you'ld need
  • Sewing paraphenelia, like thread, needle, scissors.. basic stuff
  • Fabric scrap with cute characters on it. I had some China Flannel with Hello Kitty printed on it.. soft and cute. Also enough scrap that's long enough for the strap.. mine's approximately 15 cm.
  • Bells.. for the rattling :)
  • Polyester Filling
  • Velcro
  • snaps (optional)

Identify a back piece, big enough to cover your chosen character. Sew on the 'soft' side of a velcro piece, approximately at the center. I didn't do any measurements here.. and winged it based on the size of the character I was gonna do.

 Cut out your front piece.. make sure you cut around the character that you want with a sizeable seam allowance. Don't worry about bulk, we'll trim it later.
Place it on your back piece, right sides together.

Sew around your desired character. I hand sew here.. but you could do this with the machine if you wanted to. Remember to leave an opening for you to turn out.

With a pinking shear.. or a normal scissors, cut close to your sew line. If you're using normal scissors, do nip the curves to have a nicer seam once you turn it right side out.
OK.. at this point.. I didn't take any pictures (sorry..)
So you turn your character right side out, fill it about 3/4 full with the filling. Then place the bell in the middle, and continue filling it up. Slip stitch the opening, and you'll have something like this.

Now we move on to the strap.
Take a piece of scrap fabric, the length is the desired length of the strap. Mine was approximately 5 cm by 15 cm.

Fold it into half, wrong sides together and sew, making a tube.
Flip it out, press it so that the seam is in the middle (I hope you can see it in the image below)
Turn in the sides and sew (close up the tube)

Take a 'rough' piece of velcro. This piece should match up with the piece that's sewn onto the back of the character earlier. Sew it onto the middle of the strap.

We're almost there..

At this point, I sewed on some snap ons to secure the strap. Now this is optional, you can also use velcro, which in retrospect, would have been a better choice as it's easier to put on and remove.. and the velcro could be a long strip to accomodate for the varying circumference of a baby's wrist.

Stick on the character, and youre' done :)
Sew more characters, and you can interchange the rattle to give baby some variety.

I hope this tutorial made sense to you.. do drop me a note if I've confused you at any step...
Phew.. I salute all you amazing bloggers who write amazing tutorials on your blogs.. it is truly a tedious, time consuming task...

If you do make one, please do link back.. I would love to see the versions you make.
I'd appreciate also if you keep this tutorial for personal use only.. thanks :)

Linking to these parties:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I learned about a miracle boy who turned 6 last week. His wish is to have Winks from around the world. Please do stop by and wink.

Click here

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Party Dress & more

My daily routine at work is
1. Check emails
2. Check craft blogs.
3. Repeat

Nearly everyday, I would find a new inspiration or a new tute that I want to remake. One of them was this lovely party dress from The Cottage Home.

The contrasting sash, classic and oh-so-cute.

I had this fabric, intending to be made into a dress for lil miss.. but alas.. I didn't manage to because there were just too many elements for the party. Feeling guilty, I made sure it was made into a dress for Christmas.

Lil miss wanted a very twirly dress, so I made a semi circle skirt instead of the gathered skirt in the tutorial. Why not a full circle? ..  Erm.. let's just call it a cutting accident.. *blush*

I really hit jackpot with this dress. Lil miss was twirling the entire time she had it on. She even cried when she had to take it off before going to bed.
Annoying coz we had to coax her to change into her jammies.. but so 'heart-melting' that she loved something I made for her so much.

So what's the 'more' in the title?

Well, after making the dress, there was some fabric left. And I really liked this cotton.. it's thin, airy and very comfortable in our humid weather. So I made a flirty lil blouse for lil miss.

Hey, you even get to see her modeling it this time.
(sorry, the blouse was wrinkly coz it was fresh out of laundry.. and I wanted to capture the picture in natural light.. gloomy skies and all)

Picnic Dress

Have I mentioned how much I love border prints? 
Well, I love border prints :) 
Especially uber cute ones like this Kokka Cotton.

The moment I saw this fabric, I knew I had to make a dress for lil miss. It took ALL I HAD to hold off buying this fabric till I had a sewing machine and is more comfortable in sewing wearables. So finally, after many many moons.. I purchased it.

At first, I thought I'll make the dress for Chinese New Year, but hubby said the fabric looked more like Christmas. 

He's more of a traditional RED for Chinese New Year kinda guy. 

I had this Japanese pattern book that had this A-line dress pattern in it and it was really easy to whip up (a link to the book on Amazon can be found at the end of this post)

Plus, it really helps to show off the cute pattern at the border. (Yes, that's the selvedge you see at the hem.. I left it there so that it won't fray.. and yes, I'm that lazy)

 I loved the pattern so much, I even cut the bodice from the border.. and made buttons from characters found on the border..

I would definitely make this pattern again. It's so simple, and has plenty of room for lil miss to grow into.

Fabric bought from Fabric Fanatics

Linking to these parties

Keeping It Simple

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A badly executed plan

(image from here)

 So I had a plan. 
It'll be the talk of the clan.

Cut and sew twice
It just wasn't the right size

Now I'm sad
It turned out so bad