Chinese New Year Sewing 2013

Where did the month of February go? I left a couple of drafts in the folder and it was only today that I realized that haven’t been completed or published. Signs of aging I think.

February was a short month, but also super busy with sewing and Chinese new year celebrations. The amount of sewing I did this year was quite shocking, even to myself ;P I made 3 dresses for myself, 4 dresses for the girls, 2 bags, and 2 sets of pajamas! It was also Girls’ Dresses month on my other blog so I was really busy getting the videos, tutorials and patterns out on time. If you are interested, hop on over to take a look. It’s a basic dress with lots of instructions, so if you are trying to learn how to sew for your kids, it might be useful to you. :)

So here are the PJs I made for the girls. The pattern is from Cucito Winter/Early Spring 2013 that I reviewed recently, with awfully expensive quilting fabric from Spotlight. Bought two days just before they went on sale. Arggghhhh….But it’s so so so cute. Love the mermaids! I really scrimped on the fabric, maxed out the 80cm worth by placing pattern pieces very close to each other. As a result the print on the two front panels are not really in the ideal position, but what to do? The fabric was almost $20/m and I only bought 80cm…

Notice the pants are not from the same series of fabric. I bought a cheaper basic fabric to go along with it. Think it does match pretty well. The other set was in blue with turquoise polka dotted pants. Can’t be shown here right now as it is way too crumpled after coming out of the dryer. So the question is, do you usually iron your PJs???

Back to school sewing – Part 3



Another back to school project – her lunch bag was whipped up in record time, just a simple lined tote with cute Suzy’s Zoo quilted fabric. I could wash it but I didn’t like how her water bottle always falls over and sometimes leaks, so time for a new bag!

 Ta-da! Don’t you just love the fabric? It was in my stash since last June. Could never bear to use it. It’s a Japanese fabric. But this year I resolve to use up my stash (so that I can buy more ;P)

Lined with polka dotted cotton linen, also from Japan. I added a divider so that her water bottle can stand upright, and a pocket for utensils.

It was my first time making a bag with a sewn in divider and a facing piece. Took some time to figure it out. Looks pretty good huh? :P

It looks a little big, but it was made based on the height of her water bottle, and to accomodate 3 lunch boxes (2 for lunch for long days in school) and 1 for recess.

Let’s see how this will look next year!

Back to school sewing – Part 2

Her wallet one year ago… I love the fabric. I still do, but I admit it was too thin for use as a wallet. Even with interfacing.

 And as the fabric is not coated, it got pretty dirty.

 I thought the button closure was not the best idea too, at least not for a 8 year old.

Note how the card slots are pretty new and clean? It’s because they’ve never been used. The only card she needs to carry is a student ID. So there is really no need for card slots.

 Improvements made this year. Waterproof fabric for the exterior. Velcro enclosure. Much easier for kids.

Transparent card slot for ID. Upholstery weight fabric for interior. Together with the laminated cotton, both fabrics are sturdy enough to use without interfacing. I also have too much polka dotted bias tape stashed away so I used it. :) I made it small so that it will fit easily into her pocket.



Back to School Sewing – Part 1

Remember these pencil cases?

Barely a year later…

Both fabric and strap has faded.

Used to look like this on the inside…

Now it looks like this!

So this year I’m using a laminated cotton. Hopefully it will be tougher against fading and dirt.

Aren’t the hippos cute! It’s a Japanese fabric I bought for cheap because it was a pre-cut 0.5m piece.

Polka dotted corduroy interior. I know… I thought about this and I know dirt sticks to it like mad, but I just liked the combination. And anyway there will probably be a new pencil case next year :P

More pictures to come over the next few days of my back-to-school sewing projects. Stay tuned!

Holiday Sewing 2012

This year’s holiday projects. No knitting. No crochet. All fleece.

Why? Because fleece is cheap, quick to sew and easy. Plus, it doesn’t fray. No “heartpains” when things go missing :)

This is just part of it. There are 4 more fleece pants and two more hoodies in the wash. They didn’t make it in time for the shoot. :)

Hoodie fleece jacket.
I’ve posted this up on my other blog. Check out the free pattern, instructions and sewing video (my first!) on youtube.

Polka dotted bias used to line and cover the neck seam. I have a huge stash of polka dotted bias tape in various colors.

High collar version without the hood. Great for lining ski jackets that already have a hood.

Love this plush royal purple fleece. US4.98/yard. 1.5 yards made two jackets with lots of leftovers.

Neck gaiters! These are so much safer than scarves that can get tangled. Scarves are nice when you are strolling down a wintry street trying to look fashionable. But when your kids are playing the scarves tend to unravel and drag all over the place. These are also super easy to make. Takes 5 minutes to sew up one!

Kitty cat purple fleece hat and pink bear fleece hats. The lining was made up of some leftover baby flannel. Came out of the wash rather crumply. :(

 I neeed a head model but no one was willing. So I had to get Mell-chan whose head is to small. Lol…

Hope these keeps us warm in snowy Hokkaido. Happy Holidays!

November Sewing

November was frantic sewing month! I had 4 flower girl dresses plus sewing for holidays to complete. Everything was in the in-between phase during the month so there was no completed photos and no updates. The wedding was last Sunday so I was finally forced to complete the dresses. I work better with deadlines!

Here are some pics.

Red and white polka dotted tops with white polka dotted tulle skirts! The top fabric is a Japanese fabric. Very comfortable and easy to wear for the kids. Nobody complained of itchiness because I hand-stitched the lining layer to hide all the seams! And no color runs, not like the other red and white polka dotted fabric I bought the last time. Which was lucky for me because I did not do a pre-wash before sewing the white layers on.

 Layered tulle on sleeves.

I drafted out the patterns for these in 4 different sizes. 80cm, 86cm, 104, 116cm.
Free patterns and instructions will be coming up sometime early next year.

Using the scrap fabric left, I even made some matching corsages to be attached to hairbands, just for an extra touch.

Flower girl practicing her bubble blowing before the bride arrives :)

Next week, I’ll show you what holiday sewing I did for our year end holidays!

On Parade Dress

New resolution despite it not being the New Year. I need to update this blog more often! :P

I made this dress a couple of weeks back. Using Sarah Jane fabrics (yes again!) What happened was that I was so in love with the fabric that I bought 6 metres of it at once, but did not have the guts to cut it up so I just kept it stashed away. Now that her new collection has launched, I am not letting myself buy any till I actually make stuff out of the previous stash.

I decided on a simple dress that will really emphasize the illustrations on the skirt.


The back has a simple row of buttons for enclosure. My girls love the fact that the skirt is so twirly! I’m just glad that this particular fabric is not fading quickly. One of the turquoise fabrics in the same range (I used it for some cushions previously) faded by quite a bit from its original color.

My next challenge will be to sew up 4 flower girls dresses in the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck!

Little beds for Mell-chan

I just realized that I have not posted for 2 months! Where did the time go? I have been busy with my other blog most of all, but I have been sewing. So when I sew for the other blog, I find it quite repetitive to post it again in this one.

But today’s project was entirely conjured out of thin air (in my head actually ;P ) and not from a pattern book. It’s something that I have been meaning to do but never got around to doing. Beds for their Mell-chan dolls. I am paid by the makers of these dolls but I certainly cannot recommend this doll enough. It’s been 3 years and the dolls are as hardy and new as the first day they came. And they are not entirely treated with TLC all the time. I even had to save one of them from a over-zealous “hairdresser” who thought the hair on her doll will grow back after cutting! :)

So being such great dolls, they deserve a nice little rest at the end of the day. There are official Mell-chan beds for sale, but they are plasticky and really not my idea of a dolls bed. My design brief (to myself) – rustic, handmade, white/pink, with quilts and lacy bedskirts.

I actually cut out these quilt squares a few months back, hoping to cut enough during my spare time so that eventually, I would have enough to piece together quilts for the girls. But I never got around to cutting more, so I decided to just use them for the dolls. Almost all the pretty cloth (except the aqua blue with white polka dots) are from Sarah Jane’s Children at Play line.

So I bought 2 pieces of 600mm x 150mm x 6mm wood from Daiso. From one piece, I cut evenly into two halves to make the bed boards.
From the other piece, I cut into 4 pieces – 2 pcs of 12cm x 15cm for the headboard, and 2 pcs of 8cm x 15cm for the footboard. With the remnants left from the second piece, DH cut out initials of the dolls names to be pasted on the headboard. There was another piece of wood (450mm x 9mm x 12mm) cut up into blocks and used to support the bed structure but can’t be seen from the top of the bed. Anyway, the 3 pieces of wood used means the cost of the beds was SG$6 in all. :)
The girls mixed their own colors, painted the beds and added glitter to the letters. I added modge podge the next day to secure the glitter.

The quilts are made from 10cm squares, sewn with a 1cm allowance.

The flip side is pretty too! I let the girls choose their fabrics, couldn’t quite bear to cut into the pink pinwheels one because I only had 1m left!

There is even a little mattress. I didn’t have any foam so I just stacked 3 pieces of felt together for stuffing. And added a bedskirt.

Cleared a little cubicle for them in the expedit bookcase. The two beds fit perfectly in here!


Mummy I want a new dress

My kids don’t have to shop for dresses. Or rather, they just tell me when they feel like having a new dress and then they get to pick from my pretty fabric stash and just ask for a dress tailored to their measurements. Sometimes they will even tell me specifics like how they want the skirt to be (always twirly). Which is what one little girl did. Apparently she thinks that I haven’t been making any new dresses lately for her (got distracted by a couple of bags) and so she asked for one. I was experimenting with some designs of my own and here’s one of them. This is actually the first protoype. Lots of improvements needed. But I love the giant flutter sleeves!

Did I mention my pretty fabric stash? Well, apparently my girls have used up almost all of my Amy Butler  fabrics on their dresses. None left for Mummy, well maybe scraps that I can use to make little quilted goodies.

More back to school sewing – lesson bag

 Fabric by Push Pin for Kokka fabric. It’s Thumbelina!

Side view. Added gathered pockets to hold their water bottles.

 Super cute name labels I bought from Japan.

Lining fabric from Spotlight. Not my best choice but I had to destash hehe….

1m of fabric was enough to make 2!