Tuesday, December 7, 2010

inspiration

eversince hubby and i moved to Malaysia, i've been a fan of online buying - from amazon, to ebay, and to some local online shops around.  especially now that i'm into sewing and hardly can i find special types of fabrics and sewing notions locally, i do resort to online buying.  thank God,  none of those which i bought online got lost nor were damaged.

one of the online shops that really fancies me, although i hardly buy from that site (expensive!!!!), is Etsy.com.  it has a wide range of mostly handmade items and unique ones at that.  oh yes, there's this one time that i bought something from etsy, it was on sale so i was able to buy it. my new pair of eyeglasses ;)


anyway,  i think it was a few months back, i saw this throwpillow from etsy with a doggie applique design.  since i've been looking for a nice template of a dog for my future applique projects, and haven't seen one that suits my taste,  i immediately saved the image, and just kept it on my hard drive.

this is the sewn doggie applique
throwpillow from Etsy.com

since i have been sewing projects free the past few days right after hubby and i shipped our special project for the year,  i tried fixing my newly bought, hoarded, and scrap fabrics.  then i saw this scrap corduroy fabric which apparently i still have,  it reminded me of the doggie applique.  so i opened my graphics software and tried to re-create the image to have it printed by hubby.  hubby went home with the printout, i made the necessary cutting and pasting on a hard cardboard, and traced some of my scrap fabrics on it.

 i tried re-creating the image using a graphics software available on my PC (adobe Illustrator)
then asked hubby to print them for me ;)

 using a thick fusible interfacing, i traced the image, part by part, cut the interfacing, then ironed
 it on the fabrics

 making sure that i re-created the image properly before finally
handstitching them on the fabric which i have sewn later as a throwpillow case

  
 so here it is, my doggie appliqued throwpillow case
yeah, i know, it's nowhere near the original image from Etsy.com but it's alright for me
at the moment. practice makes perfect :)

 i will make another larger version of this doggie applique
and hopefully be able to master the art of handsewn appliques :)

 this can be a good gift/pasalubong when i get home to Manila early next year (yey!)
so i'm sewing more of this doggie applique during this christmas season :) 
after hubby and i tread the paths in Singapore :)

God is good. Life is worth stitching, one day at a time :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

hubby's trying hard monk bag and the unfinished purse

last weekend was hubby's company family day held at Genting Highlands.  a week before the said occasion,  hubby asked me to make for him  a monk bag.  eversince, he has had this affinity to monks, i did not bother to ask why nor to even research the source of such affinity.  anyway,  since i was done sewing the first half of my 50+50 project,  i managed to squeeze in the sewing of the monk bag.

two days before the occasion, the monk bag was done, hubby asked me to sew a patch at the front side of the bag, i did.  then he told me that there will be a formal dinner at the hotel where we will be booked for the said occasion.  had it been in manila, when i was still working and had all my accessories complete and at hand,  it won't be too much of a worry for me.  but here!!!! when for the past three years, i have been a domesticated homemaker sans all those accessories, shoes, and clothes! i've given them all away even before moving to Malaysia. ha!  so i scoured my closet, good thing, from time to time, i get to buy dresses online just for rare special occasions.  luckily i found one with flowers and with sleeves although not long, just to pay respect for the majority of my hubby's co-workers (95% Muslims).  

then,  i realized, i don't have a purse that will go with my dress where i can put my asthma inhaler and some facial tissue.  so i immediately check on my hoarded fabrics and voila! i found this one year old chinese inspired brocade fabric,  i then sew a purse from the fabric the night before the said family day.  i was already on the finishing top stitch around the purse when my hubby asked me for help on something.  then i totally have forgotten about it.  i even cleaned my sewing space without realizing that i haven't finished top stitching the purse.  nevertheless,  we still headed on to the family day, joined in their "amazing race" type of game, the sports activities, and finally, the dinner.  we didn't win the best dressed couple award, but it was ok. i would have preferred it that way, and definitely, for obvious reasons ( i wasn't wearing any sacred garb that night ).

 that's the unfinished purse clutched in my hands
 if you look closely near the right bottom corner side, you'll notice why this purse is unfinished ;)
 i shall be sewing more of this, but i'll make sure that they will be finished purses by then ;)
 hubby was way too happy with his trying hard monk bag. 
i really wasn't satisfied calling it monk bag since i wasn't able 
to find a real sewing pattern for a monk bag. 
but since hubby is happy, that was enough :)
 i just used a plain cotton fabric lined with fleece batting inside to make it soft and sturdy at the same time.


God is good.  Life is worth stitching, one day at a time :)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

in between those 50+50

it's been almost 4 weeks now since we moved in to our new home.  and a lot of things happened in between. but, thank God, they were all pleasant events - no policemen, no fanatic of a neighbor, no tensions.  i also started doing our 50+50 project for this year;  thus, i have been quiet for quite some time now. and by quiet i meant, comfortably, conveniently, and peacefully doing my sewing projects till i finish them on the deadline which i set for myself.

last week,  a fellow church goer requested for me to make her a baby bag.  i've been doing a couple of bags already but none of them fits a baby bag. so i scoured the net for possible patterns for baby bags and what i got was a handful of info on how to make a diaper bag. so i said to myself, might as well do one for her since she's also on the family way.  it will also serve as my send-off gift to her as their family is set to move to another state by the end of the month.

in between finishing our 50+50 project,  i got to sew the bag the other day and finish everything this morning.  i didn't know it wouldn't be that hard to make a diaper bag with compartments inside, and, to top it all,  i now make use of magnetic snaps to secure the closure of the bag (sosyal!). i had to order magnetic snaps from ebay since i can't find them in local shops.  and since i have quite a few girl friends who are expecting their babies sometime this year and next year,  i wouldn't have problems anymore thinking of what to give to them :)

sewing pattern/tutorial from this site ;)


 this diaper bag has compartments inside for a more organized 
baby stuffs inside ;)





God is good. Life is worth stitching, one day at a time ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

50 + 50

Hubby and I and our two doggies are in the midst of packing and moving again.  Not in a different state nor country, nor does it have anything to do with my hubby's work demands.  It's a long story which I wouldn't want to recall anymore.  What matters now is that we are hopeful in our new place of abode and may God continue to see us through again, as He always did.

Anyway,  since we shall yet to move again, that also means that my sewing projects are on hold. But not for long.  Since I started my project last year, "Special Hats for Special People",  I promised myself that in any little way I could,  I will try to sew projects for special people.  So for this year, I'll be sewing 50 + 50.  50 what + 50 what??? Once all of those are sewn, I would be posting the photos here.  They will again be distributed to a group of very special people.  My deadline would be by the end of November so I'll be ready to ship them off by first week of December.

Sew help me God. :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Coz' I'm a Gypsy (are you coming with me?)

If the occurrence of past lives were true,  I guess, one way or another, I might have been a gypsy in one of those lifetimes in my past.

Aside from being drawn to vibrant colors,  I've always been fascinated with unconventional type of fashion.  I'm not sure if it was due to the fact that I grew up with my mom who is not a fashionista herself, but rather quite eccentric in her choices of not only clothing but footwear!  I can vividly remember how I chose my clothes before and even when I was already working.  I don't how to mix and match.  All I knew then, If I were comfortable with the clothing I was wearing, and if it was kinda' odd and uniquely designed or sewn clothing, I would just buy it (when I was working and could afford to buy already) and wear it.  Until my closest friend who also happened to be a co-worker started teaching me how to wear mixed and matched clothes and shoes too! I managed to really learn from her but still, I am drawn to quite weird stuffs.  But, at least now, I can already mix and match eccentric clothing ;) and I guess, it also comes with age that I am already secured of myself that I don't really mind how people would look at my clothes as long as they are comfortable for me, and they do not cause any scandal nor disgrace to society and to my husband.

Anyway,  when I started sewing,  I immediately fell in love with patchwork.  Just the thought that I would be stitching together fabrics of different texture and design and color, it was heaven for me!  I didn't mind patching differently sized and shaped fabrics because I knew, after the long wait, it would come out the way I would have wanted it to be and it will give me utmost satisfaction. 

So right after I made my Patchy Patsie bag,  I gathered all my remaining scrap fabrics and ironed all of them, and started cutting them using, of course, my pair of cutting mat and roller in irregular shapes and sizes.  It took me one whole day to finish all my scrap fabrics and was able to finally discard those which can't be salvaged anymore.  The following day,  I started layouting the scraps into my new bag pattern from another sewing website, a HOBO bag.  It took me half day to patch together those scraps to match the pattern.  And, finally, on the third day,  the assembly, which was the easiest only took me three hours to finish everything.  Thank God for scraps ;)

the photo above shows how
gypsies look like

this hobo bag measures 18 inches by 28 inches from the tip
of the handle down to its base

i also made quilting stitches not only to create a 
decorative paisley effect on the patchwork but to 
actually secure them better




oh, and yes, it's yet again REVERSIBLE! 
depending on my mood ;)

Thank you God. Scraps are worth stitching, one day at a time ;)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Patchy Patsie

I was browsing the net last night for possible ideas on how to do with my scrap fabrics -  yes,  i never and i guess will never ran out of scrap fabrics for as long as i am sewing;  then, i came across this website who has a tutorial on quilted patchwork bag.  Since it was way past midnight already,  I decided to continue reading the tutorial in the morning.

So this morning, right after doing my routine household chores,  I continued with the tutorial.  I found it easy to do compared to the other quilted patchwork bags tutorials from other websites, hence, I started jotting down the notes and did some sketching on my sketchpad.  Then off I went to sort my stashed scraps, ironed each one of them, did some cutting on my cutting mat using my roller cutter (yey!),  and followed the tutorial.

 quilted patchwork
eversince my cutting mat and roller cutter arrived,  
cutting my fabrics has never been that easy ;)



i made use of my stashed buttons as accent to the corduroy top band

this will be given as a send off gift to a friend ;)
i will definitely sew more of this :D

God is good.  Life is worth living, one stitch at a time!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inspirations

If there's one thing that drives me to do things that I am passionate about,  it's definitely inspiration.    When I am inspired,   my adrenalin level seems to pump up so fast that I have to do a certain thing right away, otherwise, it's going to be gone in a matter of minutes. 

Eversince I started learning how to sew, I always browse the net for inspirations and have really really found such abundance that I realize,  had I followed each of my instinct as per inspiration that I have found online,  I would have already built an empire of sewing projects for the last 14 months.  But,  the lazy, the undisciplined, and the procrastinator in me always tend to get in the way... ha ha ha....

Anyway,  some two weeks ago, a dear friend sent me a link online.  It's about this lady who blogs of her sewing project for 365 days in a row where she will sew/modify a dress for 365 days, for 365 US dollars.  She is definitely an inspiration!  My! There are just people who are so damn good in creativity and they really come up with such an out-of-the-box thinking and make them into a reality and even make it to the worldwide web. HA!  I am just so envious of these people... ha ha ha.....

A week after poring over that blog,  hubby and I went on our usual weekend "jalan jalan" (bahasa melayu for strolling along...) and visited my favorite fabric store.  And since Hari Raya (Aidilfitri) is coming soon, the fabric store is on sale, yey! I went to their scraps corner and looked for some scraps which can still be of use for me.  They normally sell their scraps for RM1 per meter (around PhP13).  Then, I found this scrap fabric which is about half a meter.  It's more like a silk satin fabric with such kaleidoscopic pattern.  Knowing how in love I am with vibrant colors,  even without anything in mind on what to do with it, I bought it along with another 3-meter scrap which I knew would be of good use for my foodie bags.

Just the other day,  after washing and ironing the scraps, I suddenly came up with the thought of "why not sew something for myself out of this half a meter scrap???"  And since the vibrant colors of the fabric well suit a summer holiday,  and given it's limited size,  I just thought of sewing a smocked tube top for myself. 

this is the less than a half meter scrap fabric


which was sewn into this ;) 
a smocked tube top blouse
it's my first time to do smocking
using an elastic thread and after
a few trials and errors,  i had fun doing the smocking
i know, i know,  i can't wear this
around this state where Islam is
seriously practiced by its fanatics.
well,  what is the next state and
the next next state doing, eh????

God is good.  Thank you God.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

WIP (works in progress)

i haven't finished any sewing projects for the last two weeks.  let me count the reasons why:

1.  our eldest (doggie) jack, got sick and is still sick :( i thought his hematoma came back, only to find out through later researches online and consultations with my vet friends from Manila that he has yeast infections triggered by too much feeding of carbohydrates (ouch!!!!).  since we are in a very strictly dominated Islam state in Malaysia,  the vets here only treat cats and probably other pets except dogs.  i tried ordering meds online but they didn't seem to fit for jack's specific ear condition.  finally,  hubby and i were able to go to the next state  last saturday and bought the right ear meds and antibiotics for him.  we were able to finally thoroughly clean and aspirate all the mucous from his inner ear last night and were able to put the ear drops/antibiotics.  yes, we gave him a tranquilizer just to be able to administer those meds, otherwise, he's too spoiled to let us even touch his ears :( but, that would be the first and last time we'd give him the tranquilizer. for the next few days, the ear antibiotics will still be administered until his ears are completely healed again.  oh, and by the way, he's into yogurt diet now. based on my internet researches, yogurt kills the yeast  fast, good thing, both our doggies love yogurt :) plain yogurt, that is.

2.  i've been finishing the patchwork blanket that i've started doing while i was still in the island (click here).  i was able to finish patching them altogether, putting an outline frame fabric, and a batting by fleece.  i used fleece instead of the usual cotton batting for the blanket since the weather here isn't really good for very thick blanket/comforter.


i have decided to do hand embroidery on the empty blocks

i also have started hand quilting the frames of each block
with a running stitch using embroidery threads

 instead of using the usual cotton batting for quilt projects,
i made use of fleece material because it's much thinner
and more suited for the weather here in Malaysia

3.  i have finally decided to push through my online selling of some of my sewing projects. yey! and at the same time, i'm scared.  but, until i started it, then and only then that it will happen.  as they always say, if you build it, it will come.

 these are flannel fabrics which are best for making
pen rolls because of their very soft and supple texture 
that will definitely protect the pens from scratches

4.  my first orders! yes, a friend asked me to sew for her 5 of my foodie bags.   she's actually the officemate of my hubby who's also a filipina.  she left a month ago back to Manila for good.  i sew a foodie bag for her as a send off gift and she liked it and decided to order from me to give as gifts to her friends. isn't that sweet? so, even before i have decided to sell thru ebay, i already got some orders, ha ha ha!!! thank you God.  

i found this very nice canvass like fabric
and bought a few meters immediately. 
i will be using them as inner linings for my foodie bags.


so, that's it.  i guess i will be quite busy the next few weeks as i need to meet real deadlines this time.  so help me God.

God is good. life is worth living, one stitch at a time!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

♫how much is that doggie in the window?♫

Even before I learned sewing,  I have always been fascinated with colorful fabrics.  When I started getting my hands into sewing, all the more that my passion for fabrics became more apparent.  Then I stumbled upon novelty fabrics.  According to a website, "novelty fabrics are types of fabrics with quirky patterns or images.  Novelty fabric styles could include; horses, party food, beach, frogs, cars, sports and many more."

However,  not all fabric warehouses/stores sell novelty fabrics.  Most of those who sell, are quilt shops since most of novelty fabrics are designed for quilting.  Another thing,  based on my researches online,  it seems like, novelty fabrics do not abound in Asian countries but more towards down under, the US, and Europe.  What other Asian fabric stores do is, they order by bulk online and they sell it online again on a per half yard basis.  They costs a little bit expensive than the ones from the actual shops but for somebody like me who isn't yet into bulk sewing (and I guess will never be into),  I just opt to order from these Asian stores who sell by the yard.  That way, I also get to save some amount from shipping fees since we are just in the neighboring areas.

The first novelty fabric I bought was the comics inspired fabric which I turned into a Charlie Bag after a year of stashing it in my fabric box.

Some two weeks ago, while browsing ebay,  I found this Korean online shop that sells what else but??? my favorite novelty fabrics!!!!   Then I saw this novelty fabric and immediately right there and then,  I ordered right away.  I bought a yard.  I knew what to do with the fabric and after about 6 days of waiting, the fabric arrived just in time.

Yesterday,  I made these out of my yet another novelty fabric :)


  yes,  i made yet another reversible "charlie bag"
haven't i told that i am certainly going to sew lots and lots of this bag????

 maybe now it is obvious why the title of this blog, eh?

the background floral fabric is yet to be sewn
for another project i have in mind ;)

this "charlie bag" is also very convenient to keep.
you just fold it in half...
then fold again by the handles...
until you come up with this neat fold at the end.

 and if you intend to give it as a gift, you just use a ribbon to
secure the fold and maybe a nice accent on top like a button?

apart from the "charlie bag", i made another one
of this...


a pen roll :)

and last, but not the least,
who wouldn't be happy doing the cooking 
when you've got an apron like this eh?


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