Monday, December 27, 2010

Under Construction

It's the last week of the year.. and a new year is dawning.

I guess it's about time I gave this blog a lil spring cleaning and uplifting.

Watch this space :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Dress

About 2 years back, while surfing blogs, I stumbled upon a nifty little dress called the 'Infinity Dress'. 1 dress, multiple ways of wearing it. Brilliant!

Then I saw the instructions on Rostitchery, and decided to give it a try. I did not have a sewing machine, and was very green to the fabric market here in Malaysia (greater KL area to be precise). So I went off to the nearest Nagoya  to see if I could get any 'stretchy' material. When I was there, they ONLY had a Barney Purple knit (2-way stretch). I was desperate.. I needed to sew that dress.. and I got it.

Now I have to tell you this, I was struggling with my weight (am still) post-baby, and being a total noob.. I must've messed up measurements and obviously couldn't cut a straight line. Long story short. The dress was horrendous. So bad, that I do not have any photographic evidence. In fact, I have no idea what happened to the said dress.

Fast-forward, now. 

The 'Infinity Dress' or Convertible dress seems to have re-gained popularity. Many youtube links have been put in FaceBook and many have been tagged.. (since everyone's tagged into anything nowadays). And my sis was showing me this

Same dress, with more glam I suppose. 

So, for my sis' birthday, I decided to give the Infinity Dress another go.

I went back to the SAME fabric shop I went 2 years ago, and it now carries many more different fabric. The whole knit section was bursting with colors. Then this lovely border design fabric caught my eye. 3 meters, 1.5 hours later.. this happened.

The Infinity Dress
I stuck on to Rostitchery's instructions, but with some modifications.

  1. Decided not to do a circle skirt. Leveraged on the beautiful border and made a normal gathered skirt instead. I prefer the more streamlined look of the skirt this way. 
  2. Enlarged the waistband to become a tube top for better coverage.

Am glad that sis loved the way it turned out. She looks stunning in it. It helps that she's so thin too :P..

Back View
I intentionally left the straps UBER long, coz I sew the dress WITHOUT my sis around. So I wasn't sure how long was long enough. Since knit is so forgiving in the 'fraying' department, she could just cut the straps to size later.

I love the look so much, and have been searching for more and more ways of tying the dress, that .. dare I say it.. I intend to make one for myself now.

Such a dilemma.. I was all set to follow the sew-along of Crepe on Gertie's blog. But I may be able to squeeze in an Infinity Dress for myself. (I am hoping that my hour-glass challenged body shape could pull off this look.. )

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Time Flies...

Can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post.

I have busy .. my first born turned 4 recently. We decided to have a birthday party and that means mummy gets to do some crafty stuff *grins*.

Remember the obsession Lil' Miss had with the penguin called Pororo?  That obsession became the theme for the party.

First, there was a Fishing Area. The characters in the cartoon would go and fish in the icy lake.. and thus this became the party pack.

I sewed some inexpensive blue chinese brocade like fabric into fish shapes and attached a ribbon at the opening. Each fish was 'stuffed' with some balloons, a toy car, a cute paper clip and some chocolates..

I'm still kicking myself for not taking more pictures.. but juggling with work, 2 kids and trying to churn out these babies.. photo taking kinda took a back seat.

Anyways, 20 fish later, they were all put into a basin with some packing styrofoam. We had 2 balloon sticks that were converted into 'fishing rods'.

come and get me..
The next station was a bakery. Loopy, the pink beaver in the series loves to bake cute cakes.. and so this was a spin on that. Each cake slice was made of felt.. and it had an opening to so you could put stuff into it.
See the strawberries and cream on top? .. They're interchangeable :) ... It's stuck on with Velcro.. so the kids could play 'decorate' the cake.

Care to have a slice?
I can't leave out Loopy right?.. So I cut her out of felt, and used a Sharpie to outline. Hot glued on features like eyes, nose, mouth, ears and tum (all cut out from felt too) Once Loopy was done, she was double sided taped onto an easel that we had.

Felt flowers with the rough side of a Velcro stuck at the back became the item to 'pin' on Loopy.

Help me pin my flowers
The party would not have been complete without the main character, Pororo. So I got to take a walk back memory lane and did somne papier mache. After it was done, I hot glued felt of different colors to create...

 Is that all? you say.. the final piece de resistance
Here's looking at you, kid.
The Pororo cake. Basic butter cake with chocolate chips and covered with fondant.

Phew.. boy am I tired.. but I have so much more to do before my upcoming trip..

Friday, October 8, 2010

Crepe by Colette Patterns

I love dresses.

I especially love dresses that are cinched at the waist. So when I stumbled upon the new pattern that was being offered by the beautiful people at Colette Patterns, I fell in love.

I fell hard!

Crepe was amazing; princess neckline, a sash, a wrap, and most of all.. a pattern for a beginner. Me!

Image from Colette Patterns
Look at that beauty and tell me you are not in love. Go ahead I dare you... it's so classy yet simple and elegant.

And so.. after much deliberation with my credit card.. I bought the pattern. My FIRST pattern. My FIRST dress pattern. My FIRST pattern from Colette (I heart all their dresses.. but my credit card needs to recover from the exchange rate)

While waiting for the pattern to arrive, I set about looking for fabric. I was hesitant in getting fabric that was too costly, as I didn't know if my sewing skills would be up to par. So I settled with the following:

They were at RM5.00 (USD 1.60) per meter. I needed approximately 4.5m of the print and 1.5m of the contrast color for the sash. The material is silky and has a good drape on it, more commonly used for Baju Kurung.

Finally when the pattern arrived approximately 2.5 weeks later.. I couldn't wait to start.

The pattern piece was so daunting.. on the thin tissue like paper. I was so scared I would rip it.

I laid out my fabric and traced the required patterns on it (in retrospect, I should've traced onto butcher paper or some other paper and then transfer to the fabric. That way it's easier for me to reproduce the dress at a later date). The instructions that came in the booklet was very helpful.

My only gripe was that I do not have a serger, and finishing raw edges is not my favourite thing to do. With bags and pouches, it's easy to hide them with lining. With garments, plus the fact that it will be washed multiple times, hiding is not an option. Zig-zag and pinking shears were my friend.. but please don't look at my dress too closely.. the finishing on the inside is still horrendous.

I humbly give you, my version of Crepe

I love it. I love the pockets. I love the sash.

I learned so much with this.. I learned
a) How to sew in pockets for a dress .. and it's so simple
b) How to sew the princess neckline.. (I so heart it)
c) Most importantly I learnt not to be intimidated by LARGE pattern pieces.

Now that I've made one.. and wore it out (I can't believe it!).. I want to make more. Some people have asked me to make them one too.. hahah .. if only they'd seen the seams (shhh!)

The one gripe I have is the interface for the sleeve. they pop out easily.. Did I do something wrong? I'm thinking of putting in 'steam-a-seam' kind of adhesive to make it stay put. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pororo is entering a contest!

Remember the Pororo bag?

I stumbled upon Lemon Squeezy's Purse week contest .. and it's open to international entries!!

I'm so excited... I love the Pororo bag to bits coz it was something that came on at the spur of the moment and I'm really glad at how it turned out. Now I can share the joy with more people.

If you're interested in joining, head on to Lemon Squeezy's.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I love to play all day, Come join me all my friends

Title taken from lyrics of opening song of Pororo

Children have different phases in life where they would have different 'favorite' characters.
When Lil' Miss was younger, she was ga-ga over Pocoyo (link). (I would love to have a picture here, but I'm not sure if I would be infringing any image rights.. so for now a linky would suffice).

In summary, Pocoyo is a little boy in blue outfit in a vast white world ... it's white everywhere you don't know where the horizon is. I guess the 'whiteness' of the background makes the characters more interesting and colorful.

The Pocoyo phase lasted about 2 years.. and now she's into a new phase. Oddly, it starts with a 'P' too.. and ALMOST the same spelling. PORORO (link).

It's not a boy.. but a blue penguin who lives with a baby dinosaur in a snow capped village. Yes, BLUE again. I'm beginning to think it's her favorite color. (hehe It's mine too).

Anyways, she is so crazy over Pororo, she watches the DVD EVERY DAY.. NON STOP!

One day, out of the blue.. she said

'Mummy, can you make me a Petty bag?' .. Petty not as in nit-picking, kinda petty. Petty as in the character Petty in the Pororo series.. she's the pretty little girl penguin. (link)

I thought to myself 'Well, it's basically a circle with some simple features in it.. so why not?'

Thus began my adventure in making a 'Pororo/Petty' bag.. (coz both the characters had circular shaped face)

I pieced Petty with the base of a circle, cut out of an old polo-t of my husband's
Eyes were black felt, and a cute little beak made of yellow felt.
Petty's face is further accentuated with a cute fringe pattern, made out of blue felt.

Finally the pretty little face is framed with purple satin cloth.

All from my scrap pile.. Yay!

Pororo's base was from the same material as Petty's.

Again all features made from various colored felt (you gotta love how versatile these stuff is).

After that, I cut out same sized circles from some batting and also a polka dotted cotton.

This made both the faces oh so soft and cuddly.

Then it was finished off with a rectangular piece of fabric (same as the backing of the faces).


A finished bag.

Lil' Miss loved it so much, she slept with the bag that night..

Now, that made it all worth it :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The gift that almost wasn't

Almost 8 years ago, I started participating in an online forum where nearly everything and anything was discussed. It quickly became my social outlet, and some of the forumers; myself included; met up for lunches and 'Teh Tarik'. As with all social gatherings, cliques began to form and I found myself chatting with a couple of them on a daily basis. Addiction, you cry? Yes. There was a time when I couldn't chat with them and boy did I have major withdrawal symptoms. 

Anyways, we've kept in touch through pregnancies, change of jobs, parenting issues, novel ideas, etc. So naturally when I was about to set up this blog, I consulted one of them for a name. See, he became our de facto go to guy when it came to word play. He suggested a few.. but sew-handy stuck. As a token of appreciation, I offered to sew something for his lil' princess (coz I know a macho guy like him would NOT be caught dead carrying a wristlet :P  ).

 I naturally procrastinated on the project... sorry... but I finally did make good on my promise.. and churned out not 1 but 2 water tumbler carriers :)

I made them girly, made them pink.. totally suited for a lil' princess.

One of it (the larger one), had the lil' princess' initials appliquéd on.

 The other, I was playing with some 3D appliqué of butterflies.I was quite happy with the results.. what do you think?

I wasn't happy with some wonky sewing that kept happening though. I can't seem to be able to sew around circles well..

I must try again... lil' princess, do you need more carriers? :)

Edit: I'm such a scatterbrain.. I didn't explain the post title. It almost wasn't coz ... No, not cause I procrastinated too long.. :)  .. It was coz I sent it via Pos Laju and purportedly it's a next day delivery. Alas, DAYS went by and the gift didn't arrive. I was so worried that it was lost forever! After some calls to the post office, things got sorted out and the gift arrived safely into lil' princess' arms. In time for her birthday to boot ... booyah!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Random thoughts

I have come to realize, that as much as I love to sew and create and share.. blogging takes a lot of effort. Does this mean I'll stop blogging? Nope.. It just means I'll stop kicking myself in the derrière (for now), for not posting up anything yet (or in fact creating more stuff).

I want to make all those lovely clothes for Lil' Miss.. but daddy brought back SO MANY articles of clothings from his recent trips to the States.. That goes the same to Lil' Master too .. oh the dilemma.


Hey.. that sounds good. Gifts for family and friends. Must go make my list now.

If you suddenly receive something from me, fret not. It's just me looking for an excuse to sew something ;)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Challenge : Mass Production

Sewing ONE wristlet is nice.

Sewing TWO wristlets is cool

Repeat that multiple times.. and you wonder if it'll ever end.
Then you see them all stacked up.. and you swell with the sense of achievement

Don't you think they look gorgeous? It's the first tme I've sewn SO MANY wristlets at one go. 19 actually, all 'unique' in their little way.. because it's all hand-made (actually it's just that I didn't cut them all precisely *sheepish smile*).
Nope, I'm not setting up shop and building up my inventory. A friend asked me to make them for her.. she has a wristlet fetish.. I kid! I kid! She gave them away as gifts.
Sew all these (and some more) over the weekend. Now, that' what I call a frenzy!

Ah.. but wristlets alone are not enough

Booksleeves were in the request too. Not 1, not 2, but 5!

All with a ribbon sewn in as a bookmark and an elastic tie to hook on to a wooden smiley flower. Adorable, no?

There's just something about your creations all stacked up...makes me smile..
Either that or it's my sub-concious just happy that I've completed the order and can go and sleep *grins*

Isn't the fabric just oh-so-cute too?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lil' Miss and Hello Kitty

Remember this?

I finally got around to sewing (and to post about) a blouse to match it. It's all made of the same material, local flannel. The pattern was an old McCall dress pattern my mum found in her treasure trove of books and magazines. 

Lil' Miss loves it. It's nice an airy and roomy enough for her to move around in.

Cute, no?

Clockwise from left: Full suit - front view, back view, close up of the material

I finished the back with a zip. On hind site, perhaps buttons would be better. 

The only problem I have with this material is the .. erm.. what do you call it? the little lumps that appear on the sruface after it's been to wash. 

A back shot... also to show off the cool vinyl sticker I have on the wall.. 


Monday, August 16, 2010

A fair pair

Ms. Wristlet..

Love how simple the fabric is and how this turned out. Didn't have any pattern on hand, so I just winged the size. Since the outer layer was so sweet, I paired it with a pale beige lining. The result is quite charming, I must say.

Months back, I got this keychain from a small harbedasheries and stationary shop. I love the usage of the 'heart' shape instead of the normal 'circle'. It gives the wristlet a bit more 'character' I think.

When it was done, I looked at Ms Wristlet. 

She looked lonely.. she needed a friend. Then came...

Mr. Book sleeve

He came to me .. in a daze. While I was just staring blankly at the book case, thinking of a partner for Ms Wristlet. The same fabrics were used.. after all, they had to be a matching, handsome pair. 

To add a little twist, I searched my scrap pile and found this organza ribbon. Must've been from a present wrapping I received a long time ago. I searched some more and found this cute little ladybug, that used to be on my sewing table (I would post a picture of it soon). A couple of zig-zag stitches later, I made a bookmark, with the ladybug trapped in organza.. doesn't it shout 'CUTE!' ?

Match made in heaven.

Don't they look handsome?

Monday, July 19, 2010

The story of pants.

Once upon a time, there was a lady who had a strong itch to sew. She was ecstatic to find that her dear sister in law is pregnant, and the cute lil' belly is beginning to show. The lady thought.. "I have a bright idea! I'll sew her a pair of pants!"

"Not any boring old pants... yoga pants!"

"The swanky celeb mums are all wearing them just like these"

And so she cut, and cut, and pieced... twice she ripped the seams. 
Shook her head and said "You know, I don't really know her size." 

"Her baby bump will grow." She thought... "It'll fit her soon... I hope"

Finally she came up with...

And she thought it was good.. 

Alas, it was still too big for her sister in law... 

"She'll grow into it" sighed the lady who had an itch to sew

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quickie : Children shorts

Since I made something for Lil' Master, I made something quick for Lil' Miss as well.
Granted, it's not as complicated as a backpack.. but she loved it!

Who can resist the cuteness of Hello Kitty?

Whipped this up in 30 minutes.. used an existing shorts for pattern. No frills.

Now she wants a matching blouse... what should I make?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Wonky Backpack

Lil' Miss has a large collection of backpacks
1 for pre-school
1 for weekend outings
at least 3 soft backpacks for.. well.. for.. I don't even know what they're for.. They're just there.

Most of them are gifts.. in fact.. wait.. ALL of them were gifts.

Lil' Master on the other hand, has NO backpacks. Poor guy. I thought he could get a hand-me-down from the sis.. then I realised, the backpacks Lil' Miss has are either uber-red, uber-pink or uber-girly.

So what's a mum to do?

Sew one, of course!

Going through my stash, I found white flannel. Oooo.. Soft.. perfect for baby boys (he's 13 months).
Zip - check
Interface - check
Found the plastic pieces to adjust the back strap (what do you call em'?) buckles?

To personalise the backpack, I thought trying out machine applique would be fun. So I made out the pattern of a train. Made it with scraps that I had.. and fussy cut one of my other flannel fabric (yes, I admit.. I bought quite a bit of local flannel) with prints of a bear.

Loved the way it turned out.

2 hours and much grunting, sobbing and tugging later, lesson learnt was... sewing through interfacing and rounded corners is SO DIFFICULT. *sob*

The end result was kind of 'wonky'...Lil' Master didn't mind though (I think).

Oh, the other thing...I couldn't figure out how to line the bag! .. the inside is well, kinda messy. Wanna see?

Nah, let's not scare you off :P

I'll have to attempt the backpack again... hopefully this time it'll be less wonky. After all, Lil' Master needs to catch up in his collection of backpacks :)