Back to school sewing

After enjoying a fabulous holiday in Japan, it’s back to school next week. I had been meaning to get R a new wallet since she had been using her old one for 1.5 yrs and it now looks like this. It looks even blacker on the inside ;P

And of course I was itching to sew one. Since I bought a whole suitcase full of fabrics back, I better put some to good use. So I finally caved and used the stash from the last Japan trip 6 months ago. I can’t bear to use the new fabrics yet. Well, technically only the main fabric is from Japan. The rest were bits and pieces of scrap fabrics leftover from making dresses.

And here it is! Made from a tutorial from Modest Maven, except that I modified one side of it to incorporate a zipper pocket since she needs one for her coins. Unfortunately, my machine can’t quite deal with thick layers. So it’s time for a upgrade. No, did I say that out loud? I mean, just ignore the crooked stitches :)


Used a cheap zipper from Daiso because of the cute zipper pull. I sure hope the zip holds up well to the abuse! Name label bought from Japan. It’s an iron on but I sewed it on because I find iron on labels tend to peel off after a while. Will be using alphabet rubber stamps with fabric ink to stamp on her name later.

Her old wallet had a springy extension that allowed the wallet to be clipped on the pocket so that it is less likely for them to lose the wallet or drop it while running around. I re-used the hardware but replaced the springy thingy with a ribbon because it drove me mad when she swung her wallet around using the extension. ;)

Not very neat looking work, but I think it’s cute! And it was quick and easy. Took only about an hour to make. Can’t wait for school to reopen!



Holiday Sewing

I have a little tendency to go crazy with holiday sewing. You know the whole purpose of a holiday is that you go THERE and spend money on impractical but ultra cute clothes that are perfect for THEIR weather (and never for Singapore), which you will end up wearing every single day while you are on holiday, but chucked away in the closet once you get back because it’s just to hot to wear here.

But I just had to itch to make these. Spring trenchcoats for little girls! How cute is that!

I have many coat/jacket patterns from my Japanese sewing books collection, but one of them just has my name all over it. I battled with the crazy thought for a while, reading the instructions over and over again,  counting the number of pattern pieces, going through my fabrics, and one day I decided I had to do it!

This is the result.

 This was made out of all Japanese fabrics. Sevenberry twill for the outer layer, lecien petit fleur for the inner lining.

Love the polka dotted bias that I decided to use instead of a zig zag finish. Makes it look so pretty!

I added hidden pockets as well as cuff linings out of the floral fabric. Peek-a-boo effect.

I made 2, but I washed the other one and have not ironed it yet so it’s super crumply for picture taking. I was smarter the second time round, took photos before washing ;)

The little one requested for  a pink coat, and to make it last a few more seasons, I made it slightly bigger! Lol…

More holiday sewing to be done…. New pics soon!



Purple Linen Dress

I have been trying to find a cheaper source of linen after making a linen shirt for myself. Spotlight usually sells it at almost $30 per m!!! The dress I wanted to make needed about 1.5m which meant $45 before I have even started work on it. Luckily, while rummaging through the bargain section, I found this linen blend which had only about 2m left, going for a clearance price of $5! Needless to say, I snapped it up :)

The dress looks like simple A-line dress but because of all the details, the most time consuming part was tracing the pattern and transferring all the markings and notches to the fabric. Sewing was pretty quick, especially if you have a pintuck foot for your machine, because it calls for a precise 0.7cm pintuck width. Note the gathers below the pocket. Very interesting feature, one of the reasons why I was so drawn to the dress.

And more pintucking at the back of the dress.

A closeup of the front. Lovely sea shell buttons that I bought for a steal. 12 dozens for a few dollars. As they are natural shell buttons, many of them can’t be used because of chips/natural blemishes. But still a good deal!

The Japanese sewing book I got the pattern from came with some free labels. Gives it the finished look. Makes me feel like printing some of my own labels.

One last shot of the dress from a different angle. See why I love linen? The fabric has “body” which gives the dress some shape. Yet it is not entirely stiff or hard when worn. In fact it will get softer after multiple washes. It’s cool to wear in hot weather too. Unfortunately this pattern is quite “wide” because of the extra allowance for the pin tucking. So I could not squeeze 2 dresses out of the fabric. I need to find more linen to make a second dress. sells them about 15USD at sale price, which is still quite expensive after adding shipping.

Do you know why linen is so expensive? Do you know of any other sources for buying linen online?

Kids Clothes Week Challenge 2012 – Pumpkin Pants

So I didn’t exactly spend just one hour on this. How could I? The minute I start sewing I just wanted to finish it. But I did the tracing and cutting on Sunday though because I wanted to just sew on Monday. (is that cheating??? ;) )

 Tracing at night in the dim light.

Cutting out fabric. My choice of weights – The sugar jar!

All cut out. The tedious part is over. Now for the enjoyable bit. Sewing!

Super cute if I am allowed to say so myself. The model is away at school and won’t be back till late, may not have time to take photos so will leave that till the entire outfit is complete.

This is the original. My girl says that mine is cuter because of the pink contrast stitching and the pink ribbons which she likes.

Close up of the topstitching.

Added a little extra detail. The raw edges were supposed to be just zig zagged or serged, but I thought it will look more finished if I used this really cute pink polka dotted bias tape that I found. Love the color combination!

Partial view of the side pockets. I love the gathered pocket. Guess what the name of the pants is? I didn’t make it up, this was what was written in the Japanese book I made it from.

It’s called Pumpkin pants! :)

Kids Clothes Week Challenge 2012

I’ve signed up for Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at… It sounds like fun!

Basically, you set aside one hour a day to focus on completeing a sewing project for your kids. And it’s fun because lots of people are signing up and joining in to share their sewing projects, update on their progress and their results, and we get to “meet” mummies + some daddies who are just as crazy about sewing as us.

For KCWC 2012 I’m going to make this. I really like this outfit, and I think it will look great on R. Most of the time when my girls do their “shopping” through my pattern books, they have always skipped the shirt/pants combo and go straight for the dresses. Recently I noticed R trying to imitate what I wear though… and I wear shorts all the time especially when I’m on my own with the kids (Makes it alot easier to run after them) ;) So I asked her if she would wear this very cute outfit and she said YES!

I really like how girly the shorts are. I might scale it up to make one for myself! :)


The original top calls for lace cotton lawn, which is sheer and requires a camisole to be worn inside. Knowing how hot it will be to layer up, I chose this fabric (tentatively) which I bought for 420Yen from the 1m bargain bin in Kanariya :) The bottom will be a plain grey twill. I still need to get a matching cotton tape for the ribbon and drawstring for the pants pocket. Then I’ll be all ready to get started!

KCWC starts next Monday 23-30th…. Check out the link above or the button on the sidebar for more details if you want to sign up!

Finally finished

After making this dress from this book, I needed to make another one for my 3 yr old. I originally made one for her using another fabric which she chose, but I forgot to add seam allowances when cutting out the skirt frills and that skirt ended up too short! Which is why I don’t post everything I make because some of them don’t pass my own personal quality control :) It didn’t matter anyway because she still wore it and love it to bits. But I decided I had to make a matching one for her in my favourite Sarah Jane fabric.

I was also asked my by bff to make one for her niece, and that was quite a while back, so I really sat on this for quite a while as I got distracted with other projects :P

Anyway, it’s finally done!

The two dresses I finally finished sewing!

Look at them all in a row… This is what will happen to me if I have three daughters???!!!

And yes even though you have seen this dress before, I just needed to post and gush about how much cuter the dress is in the itsy bitsy size. The frills are more exaggerated and imagine this on a cute little diapered wiggly butt :)

New dress for Mell Chan!

I’m sewing faster than I can blog! :) I’ve  been catching up on sewing backlog. Making dresses that I’ve promised the girls, experimental projects that are not yet fit to be seen. And oh, I’ve been sewing for myself! I think that must have been the real reason why I’ve taken so long to post. :)

I did make this last week though.

Mel Chan has a new dress! The last time I made them new dresses, I did it without a pattern. I was asked if I had one, and it got me to thinking about looking for one online. And this is what I found. A free pattern from a japanese site called . It comes with the downloadable PDF pattern as well as the step by step instructions (photographs) on the blog.

Hope this will help anyone looking for a Mel Chan’s doll dress pattern. With the basic bodice and skirt pattern, you can make variations to it, like short sleeves, sleeveless, short summer skirt, A-line skirt. The possibilities are endless.

I added a Pink ribbon button I bought in a pack of six from Daiso. Looks perfect! :)

New Pencil Cases

It’s already the second term of school so it’s kind of late to make this now :) This is more of a back to school project and something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. R’s last pencil case (also hand made) is already grubby and dirty. It’s still holding up well but I made it a little too small length wise and she has to struggle sometimes to get her pencils out.

Alright,  I don’t really need an excuse to make anything for the girls. But I found this pencil case tutorial from Glue Gun Annie  which was really easy and I made two!

I used fabrics bought from my last trip to Japan. The one on the left has a ballet theme, the one on the right is from November books by Push Pin. R chose it because she loves mermaids. It was on clearance for 300 Yen/m!

R originally wanted a light pink lining. But seeing what she did to her last pencil case, it would turn grubby in a couple of days. So I convinced her to use a more practical fabric :) This was taken last night. Sewing in her name label inside the pencil case.

Close up of the handmade label which Shelley and I found at the textile centre. It’s from a roll of printed linen ribbon with a few varying designs on the same roll.

I used a zipper from Daiso. It’s about 1 yard long and comes with 3 heart shape zipper pulls. That’s 3 different pencil cases with a $2 zip! Will be making one for myself next!

I love the boxy structure of the pencil case. And the zips pulled down halfway to the side means easy access for everything in it. Love it!

Custom rubber stamps

I was carving a new rubber stamp for the blog’s masthead and the girls were crowding around me and requested for new stamps of their own. Previously I used two little girl stamps using designs out of book, but both the girls have since outgrown that toddler/little girl phase so an update was needed!

R requested for one with long long hair, and C wanted one with 2 pony tails (despite the fact she hardly sits down long enough for me to tie 2 ponytails but that’s the image she wanted. I drew the pics out on paper, got the “clients” approval, then traced the images onto tracing paper and transferred them onto an eraser.

All done in about an hour :)

The girls love their new stamps and immediately sat down to write cards to their friends. R even made her own stationery out of it but she’s given it away before I snapped a photo of it.

Oh, I know I mentioned in my replies earlier on, that you can get the large eraser stamps from NBC bookstore? Well, I did see it a while back, but on recent visits to the branch at Raffles City basement, Takashimaya (4th floor) as well as Isetan Scotts (their stationery section is also under NBC). I could not find them anymore. They only sold ready made stamps. So I’m sorry to those who tried looking for them at these places. The only other place I can think of is Daiso but their eraser block is much smaller and stock and selection across the different branches is quite erratic.

The brand I used is Hinodewashi, and they do have an online shop but they ship to Japan only. If you have a vPost Japan account (applicable for Singapore), or any other method of shipping from online shops in Japan, you can try the online shop.

This is one of the eraser kits I have. It comes with everything you need to get started. Click on the image to go to the product on the online shop.

This are the large block erasers. click to access the product on the shop.

The online shop also sells tools for carving. The site is in Japanese but just us a browser like Chrome that can automatically translate the site for you, it’s not hard to understand!

You can also find the products you need for rubber stamps on Amazon (aff links)

Snow White Dress


I don’t mind princesses. I really don’t. I enjoyed the stories as a child. What I really dislike is the merchandising. The gaudy princess designs that just go onto everything you can think of. From stationery to boots and t-shirts and socks. What I hate the most are the glittery acetate gowns that are mass produced in the land of sweat shops, with every glittery embelishment they can think of, attached to it. Think hot and itchy. So when I received an order for a Snow White dress from my 3 yr old, I decided it had to be cotton, lightweight, and comfortable enough to play in.

Okay I cheated a little. It was hard to buy the correct colors online, and since solids were not expensive, I bought them from Spotlight. Unfortunately they only had cotton/polyester blends which did work out well because it doesn’t require that much ironing. And given the fact my girls pull out their favourite dresses from the laundry pile as soon as they come out of the dryer, it helps that they don’t wrinkle as badly as pure cotton.

Check out that delightful smile. I still owe her a red bow hair band to go with it.


From the side angle you can tell it’s a little bit big. That’s because I’ve been making size 100cm for her and it’s always too snug, so this time I upsized it, which makes sense because she now wants to wear it for her Snow White theme birthday party which will be in a few months time. (hmm… I was not consulted on this one)

My favourite part has got to be the sleeves. I actually promised my girl this dress a long time ago, but had no clue how to make the sleeves.  The credit goes to Jess from the Craftiness is not Optional Blog. Her tutorial is easy to follow and the results look so good!

Oops, now she wants to go to Disneyland to show Snow White her dress. And she wanted me to make a Prince, Evil Queen and Huntsman costume… and invite little dwarves to her party. Hmm…..