Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bills Organizer & Applique

I'm back!

I was never really gone but was just busy finishing my birthday project (remember the special hats for special people???) and thank God, I was able to send them off to Manila last week.  As of today, they're ready to be distributed to a number of special people (hope they enjoy wearing those hats).

Anyway, in between making those hats - 35 of them all,  I got busy doing some other things.  I finally got to start teaching English conversation to my two chinese friends.  It's a non-paying job but I am enjoying it a lot and I am also learning something from them.  I get to learn some Mandarin words in return, and a lot of things from these two friends.  Hopefully, our twice a week sessions would lead us somewhere fruitful :)

I also got into reading again.  Two of my linedance friends share their books to me (yey!!!!!!) and so I was and I am engrossed reading books nowadays. 

Finally, after sending off the hats last week.  I checked on my sketchpad, browsed through my fabrics and sew this :)

letters and bills organizer

it's yet another patchwork creation :)


this applique was made about a month ago. i'm still not sure
whether i would make a few more appliques of flowers and
make them into a nice and comfy blanket
or look for a nice frame where i can place it into :)

God is good. All the time!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Eversince I can remember, I love hoarding papers, notepads, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, and anything that has something to do with pen and paper :)  Now that I have started sewing, I hoard fabrics, and anything that has something to do with sewing (whew!?!).

When we moved here in Malaysia two years ago, I left most of my stuffs in Manila but brought with me my notebooks which are yet to be filled up with notes :).  Slowly, everytime I get to visit an office supply store in town, I cannot resist buying notebooks and pens.  I always tell myself, I would be able to make use of them one of these days.  True enough, one of my sketchpads is now being put to good use.

As a beginner, it is very important for one to have a sketchpad to at least draw out the design of any sewing project.  It is in the sketchpad that one can play around with ideas, how to lay it out later on the fabric, the actual dimensions and how to cut them later when transferred to the materials. 

when my linedance friend lent me her craft magazine,
i copied one of the sewing projects there and put it into my sketchpad

this is a jewelry pouch which can be folded
and tied up with the attached ribbon

the friend who lent me her magazine is also the one who
gave me her fabric scraps :)

instead of using corsets for the flaps, i made use of
different colored buttons to serve as accent
(i still yet to try my hand in doing corsets)

God is good.All the time. Life is worth living, one stitch at a time ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Letting Out

No, I did not intentionally typed OUT in lieu of GO as in "Letting Go", the way we hear and use it often... this blog is really entitled Letting Out.

hmmmm.... letting out an anger??? NOPE.  this is a sewing blog, remember? needless to say, letting out is a sewing technique used to make  a dress bigger by using fabric from the seam. It is called ‘letting out’ because you are ‘letting’ the fabric ‘out’ of the seam. Seams are the leftover fabric on the other side of the stitching that holds a garment together (source:

A few inches ago, I bought a dress which was on sale at Php150 (RM12).  I bought it not only because it was sold at 70% off the original price but moreso because of the design and the fabric used.  It is a sleeveless satin dress with a scoop fold-over that serves as an accent and cover for the deep v-cut backline.  Since the dress has a curve-hugging design, it would best fit a body without any love handles ;).  Anyway,  I wasn't able to wear it then and the dress was just kept in the closet until my 35th birthday which my hubby and I quietly  celebrated a few days ago.

A few weeks before my birthday, aside from the birthday project I am keeping myself busy with, I also happen to see on our closet this dress which I have been keeping for years.  And since I am smitten by the Indian culture lately (thanks to my fave author, Elizabeth Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" and constant viewing of Travel and Living shows), I thought of wearing the dress for my 35th birthday since it is Indian inspired.  BUT.... when I tried it on, NO, I didn't have to try it on, I knew it wouldn't fit me at all. I am now a few inches bigger than when I bought it.

But then, I told myself, when will I ever wore this dress? I don't think my body would still go back to my old few-inches lesser figure. It's either I keep it again and give it to someone else, or do something about the dress.  I then checked the inside seams and presto! The seams has a few inches extra fabric which I can use up to extend the side seams by half inch on both sides!!!! Yey!!! I then removed the stitching on both side seams from the armpit area all the way to the hemline :) I basted both sides to make sure I get the correct shape when I finally run the stitches; then I got my sewing machine and ran through the side seams with a straight running stitch. Removed the basting, and that was it!

So, on my 35th birthday, I wore the dress which I thought I wouldn't be able to wear anymore.


happy birthday to ME :)

God is good. All the Time! Life is worth living. One stitch at a time :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

strap cover

Our camera was away for 2 weeks. we had it checked for an Unidentified Moving Minute Object (UMMO) inside the viewfinder. Lucky for us, Nikon Malaysia made the necessary repairs immediately.

As a welcome treat for the homecoming of our camera (hmmmm, haven't thought of a name yet for the camera ;) ), I sew a while ago a camera strap cover.... I saw the tutorial from this site.

this is yet another patchwork creation :)
no patterns needed... just common sense and patience
another use for ones scraps of fabrics
our yet to be named camera has a strap cover now ;)

God is good. All the Time!
Life is worth living. One stitch at a time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

special hats for special people

in a few weeks time, it's going to be my 35th birthday... if for some people, they dread mentioning their age (ouch!!!), i personally do not feel like hiding my age to anyone. never did it occur to me that i should be ashamed of my age. i don't know... well, different strokes, for different folks... he he he.

anyway, every year though, i always have this birthday syndrome, i think everybody has. two weeks before my birthday, i feel depressed for unknown reasons. sometimes, it coincides with my monthly visitor so i blame it on my hormones(!?!). but most often than not, i just feel so low that it seems like no one could ever pull me up, not even myself... ha ha ha... (engot me!). i simply am not a birthday person, unlike my husband, who is extremely happy and joyful the moment his birthday month arrives.

for this year, i want to preempt my birthday blues, as if i could, but, who knows, maybe this time i would!

i found a website. it's actually a crafter's organization. they sew special hats for special people. i wouldn't elaborate much on the details of this special hats since i also do not want to preempt my special project for special people. hopefully, i get to finish this project before christmas time so as to hit my goal for my 35th birthday... to do something good.

so for my birhtday this year, i'm giving myself the privelege to sew 35 special hats for 35 special people. i have sewn 3 for today... not bad eh???

once i reach my goal and be able to accomplish it with the help of a friend, then i would relay the story here... in full, and hopefully with more photos :) SEW help me GOD :)

a sneak preview....

God is good. All the Time!
Life is worth living. One Stitch at a Time!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

when scraps aren't scraps at all...

scrap n. A small piece or bit; a fragment. (source)

for a couple of months now since i started learning how to sew and managed to make different sewing projects already, i was able to stash quite a number of pieces of scrap fabric. call me a ratpack, but, i do have this thing for scraps.... :D especially now that i have been sewing, i am so in love with scraps of fabrics. no matter how small they are and irregular the shape is, i still cannot find in my heart to just put them into the trash bin. i would always tell myself that, someday, they will be of use to me, in any way.

a month ago, my line dancing friend showed me her patchwork/baby blanket which she made for a niece. she is actually the one who gives me tips and advice when it comes to sewing. it is also from her which i got the idea of where to make good use of my scrap fabrics.

43" x 27" patchwork blanket

i finished handstitching first the
embroidered patches in blue
this is actually my trial patchwork blanket
since i plan to make a baby blanket as
a gift to a friend who's expecting their first-born

embroidery which i enjoyed handstitching myself

hubby though would want this not as a blanket
but as a tablecloth, why not eh???? :D

God is good. All the time; Life is worth living, one Stitch at a Time!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

practice makes...almost there.

here's the second installment of the four uke gig bags. since i did not rush sewing this stuff, i was able to put all the necessary parts. i was way too excited in making the first uke gig bag so i forgot to put pockets and handles...

i made the strap much longer this time

since i basted first all the parts before
making the final stitching, i was able to
run through the curves with easethe outer pocket
i had fun doing this since it was
my first time to make one
same with the first uke gig bag
this one is also padded both on the front
and at the back
i also was able to put bias binding around the
inner folds to make a neater appearance
aside from the back straps
i can carry this uke gig bag by its handles

God is good... all the time!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Crayon Caddy

When we first moved here in the island early last year, the first ones who really made us feel so welcome are our two kid neighbors, Adrian and Agnes.

Being friendly is second nature to them. Their nanny need not tell them , they immediately befriended us as soon as we set foot on our house. Such lovely kids.

Being with children isn't new to me anymore. It has been a big part of my career in Manila. And, eversince we moved to Malaysia, I have been missing the company of children. Playing with them, telling them stories, making fun of myself in front of them. The most honest to goodness questions and remarks, I only hear from them.

Next week, Adrian will turn 7. I couldn't forget the time he told me about his birthday last year. He thought, since we are friends with him and his sibling, we are also friends with their parents. The parents are nice and civil, but hubby and I are closer to the kids. Innocent as he is, he invited me and hubby to be at their house on a weekend when he would celebrate his birthday. But of course, we didn't go. Out of respect to the parents, who never really invited us to come, we did not bother to go... :D Anyway, hubby and I just bought him some clay dough and gave it as our present to him last year... I would always remember his happiness over those clay dough and telling me that it was the best gift he got for his birthday (imagine that!) - coming from a kid, I believed him (ha!)

This year, I made something for him. Inspired by the pen wraps I made and seeing from another craft website, I made a crayon caddy for Adrian as a birthday gift.

God is sew good :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

slowing down amidst...

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
~Winnie the Pooh~

Last week was such a lazy week for me. Apart from doing the usual household chores, I wasn't really in the mood for doing anything. Even after I bought some pieces of fabrics, still I couldn't find any drive to sew anything.

Maybe because, I got too overwhelmed of the idea on putting up an online shop, maybe not.
Maybe because, I got too afraid of the unknown should I push through with the online shop, maybe not.
Maybe because, I was again into this "I-really-can't-sew-to-a-tee-so-I-might-as-well-stop", maybe not.

Then, I came across this blog featuring one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert talking about nurturing one's creativity. (See video here). Then I realized, it happens to everyone, what I have felt last week. I was even starting to feel low again telling myself, "here you go again Lala... starting on something yet not being able to see it through..." until I saw the video. It was such a relief knowing that sometimes, it just happens to everyone that you tend NOT to do anything NOT because you ran out of ideas, not because you just wanted to stop doing it. Simply because, sometimes, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves that we forget to breathe, to slow down, to think.

I don't consider myself creative, but I do have the passion to learn the art of being creative, having at least a speck of creativity would mean so much to me. Then it daunted on me, there's no rush in what I am doing now. I am still in the learning process and is very much taking my baby steps. What is there for to pressure myself to rush into things and to complete a task in haste when I can take things slow, having a break in between, and finish it just in time.

So for this week, I started doing the second of four uke gig bags. This time, I wanted to take things slow, doing one part at a time, and taking a break, amidst.

since I am taking my sweetest time in doing
this uke gig bag, I was able to attach an outer pocket this time ;)
my workstation/dining table

taking a break amidst
this is laksa, one of malaysia's comfort food
a noodle soup with coco milk as soup base with malaysian herbs & spices
topped with prawns, squid, and eggs...

who wouldn't feel secured knowing
that my jack and ish are always there to support
me :)

God is good... All the Time!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I have been quiet for days lately as far as this blog is concerned. It is because...

-- hubby got sick over the weekend. it was an almost flu-like but not H1N1, thank God. I was just way too anxious since hubby isn't the type who gets sick, he rarely does actually. for the past almost 3 years here in Malaysia, it was his first time to get sick. unlike moi, who is the "Star for Almost All Sickness for All Seasons."

-- I am pre-occupied lately of how to come up with an online shop (huh?!?) for the pen wraps that I can confidently make. I thought it was just easy to put up one but it's NOT. Unlike blogging, I just post every project that I get to finish without thinking of costing and every minute details that came with the production of such project. I need not worry if the photo I took was a bit over or under exposed, if the colors in the photo, look almost exactly as the original project.... and so on, and so forth...

-- I bought/hoard fabrics... batik printed, plain, denim. I went to town last Tuesday, paid the bills and went to the textile bazaar to buy several pieces of fabrics. It was fun fun fun and good thing, I am not rich. I would have bought all the fabrics there. Soooo beautiful... so colorful... so alive!!!!!

the batik printed fabrics here are abundantly available

most of them come from Indonesia where
batik supposedly originated

the people here though just find their batik products
ordinary and they don't maximize the usage of it to create
multitudes of batik-inspired item

like these pen wraps :D
(thanks Ate Cindy for the idea!)

these are samples of pen wraps which
i plan to sell online soon (Sew help me God!)

Once I get to finalize everything for my up and coming online shop, I would go back to sewing my pending projects... yoga pants, cargo pants, drawstring pants, fisherman's pants... yes, all pants!!!!!!

God is sew good!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

one down... three more to go...

remember my uke gig bag projects??? it's actually something that makes me feel nervous to start with since i cannot find a pattern that best suits the specifications that my husband wants (demanding!!!), those that i can find in the internet are just but photos and some are much simplified uke gig bags. so practically, this is one project which i have made from scratch. the pattern was drawn by my husband since i am not quite handy in drawing straight lines, muc more, curves of equal proportions (my hubby is good at that)

last monday, i took a break from sewing since we just came from a weekend trip to KK and the ferry trip back here was terrible due to rough seas and the guy who almost killed me (whew!!!). yesterday, i was contemplating on whether to make another pin cushion with a pattern taken from the net or to start with the uke gig bag already. i had to make a decision since it's either i won't start with the uke gig bag or not do it at all for fear that i might make a mess out of it.

i then took the base and front of the uke gig bag with batting and some fabric for the side lining, and bag straps. i also took the invisible zippers which i bought. i then gathered enough courage to start the project.

after 8 hours of cutting, basting, pinnings, a few scratches on my hands from the pins, and a lot of patience....

i made it! still not satisfactory though...
i couldn't find a 2-way zipper so
i just used 2 invisible zippers meeting
halfway at the top of the uke
the top cover and the base of
the bag are both padded :)

the easiest part to do is the strap :D

had i not started it, i would have not known what to do with the next 3 uke gig bags waiting in line ;). sometimes, it really takes courage to make your first step, and by tripping and falling, you will learn how to walk properly and carefully.

i wasn't that satisfied with the results of this uke gig bag since i still have made a few missed stitches and had to re-run them. but by making those little mishaps, i know now what to do with the other gig bags :D

God is sew good!!! All the time!

Listening to: Jason Mraz - The Rainbow Connection
via FoxyTunes