Thursday, December 15, 2011

vanity pouch

yes, i admit. i am vain. but not a vain to a fault. i know when i should be and when to stop.  when i was still working in Manila,  i would always experiment with make-up, there was even a time that i got hooked with the bloody red lipstick.  i would wear just the lipstick and nothing else.  without even realizing that i didn't even have my own car and i just rely on taking the public transport.  you should have seen how people would react seeing my bloody red lips.  i had so much fun then. yeah, that was then, when i had the luxury to be vain.

where i am right now and how i am right now,  i don't seem to be very excited anymore being vain.  although i still take good care of myself.  i would still experiment on different products, but not with make up anymore. i do still keep a few make up pieces but i hardly ever use them, unless there's a very important occasion where i need to make myself presentable and not embarrass my husband.  but no more red lipstick this time.

anyway,  after being so high with our "epic christmas tree" episode,  i  got busy doing some baking projects for the coming holidays so the pending sewing projects had to take a back seat.  then i realize,  next week will be christmas day already and i haven't had the time to buy any christmas wrappings for a few gifts to be given to our very few friends here, huh?!? as if this moslem dominated country would be bountiful with christmas inspired gift wrappers, duh?!?  then it popped into my mind, what could be a better gift than something handmade and the materials can be found right in front of me -  my stash of scrap fabrics!!!!

so here's my take on a vanity/cosmetic/medicine/what-not pouch.  boy, i'm so glad to have finally made something with a zipper and didn't have to do it a gazillion times :) thank you God!  i got the tutorial here



more of these to come :) 
thank you God. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hanging Christmas Tree - A Walkthrough

Finally, after 891 days since I started my sewing (mis) adventures,  I have made my first ever tutorial.

I have actually sewn quite a few projects which are original ideas of either mine or hubby's,  but I haven't had any chance to make tutorials for them.  Yes,  my husband do contribute a lot when it comes to ideas on my sewing projects.  He does sketch better than I do. No, beyond better than I do.  He also serves as my quality control manager, and my adviser when it comes to fabric color coordination.  He is  a lot more coordinated with colors than I do.  (Thank you God for my husband!)

Anyway,  last November,  both husband and I decided to make a D-I-O (Do It Ourselves) hanging christmas tree (click here).  Then I posted photos both here and in my facebook account.  Little did we know that  a lot of our friends and strangers alike would really show appreciation and admiration for such an impulsive project that hubby and i made.   Hubby and I am really thankful for those who have enjoyed our christmas tree.  Never did it occur to us that indeed, it was such a good project, maybe one of the best projects I have ever made.  And it's HUGE!  I haven't done anything as HUGE as this christmas tree.  I have always limited myself to small projects.

And since it is the christmas season, and as our way of giving back the glory to God for the inspiration and guidance, I am sharing a tutorial for that "epic" hanging christmas tree.

Since this is also my first time to make a tutorial which is sewing related (didn't know it would be that difficult, huh?!?),  I hope that you would all bear with me if there are things which I might have  un-intentionally missed out along the way.

Here's the link to the tutorial.  Enjoy and have a blessed Christmas!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree! Much Pleasure Thou Can'st Give Me!

This year will be our 4th Christmas away from home.  Malaysians don't celebrate christmas the way the Filipinos do.  Since they are quite diversed in their culture, and the majority here are Moslems,  they really don't make such a big deal of the christmas festive season.  Although December 25 is considered a non-working public holiday, still,  you wouldn't feel it at all unless you go to the big cities like Kuala Lumpur and go to their shopping complexes, then, you would have at least just a hint of the christmas feeling.


When we were still in Labuan,  hubby and I would put on some christmas lights by our windows and that was just it.  Our malay (moslem) neighbor's daughter even asked her mom why we celebrate Hari Raya/Eid in December (their annual ramadan festivities).

Anyway, this year,  after getting the winter issue of the sewing magazine I have subscribed to,  I just felt so excited about christmas again.  I started doing some of the christmas ornaments detailed there which I haven't been able to finish yet since I ran out of felt.  Then it hit me,  we should have a christmas tree!  I scoured the net for some christmas tree inspirations which wouldn't entail us to buy the whole christmas tree but anything that would resemble a christmas tree, for christmas' sake!

Here are some of the christmas tree inspirations I saw from this website, Apartment Therapy

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/look/janes-wall-collection-christmas-tree-072170
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/at-sponsored-posts/breaking-the-mold-what-christmas-tree-style-suits-your-home-135313
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/green-ideas/drying-rack-as-christmas-tree-103437
There  were so many of them that I got overwhelmed which one to follow :)  Never did it occur to me that I have a handyman husband in the house.  So I went up to hubby and asked him for ideas for a Christmas Tree where I can use my fabrics.  Sometimes, we really need not look further because the answer is right smack in front of us! The moment hubby opened his mouth for ideas, it was non-stop and we both got so excited, he drew everything on my sketchpad, made all the measurements, and my goodness,  I didn't know that for such a simple thought of making our own Christmas tree, I would have to go back to my trigonometric formulas of the phytagorean theorem and the pi, whew!?!

So after careful thought, planning, solving formulas, buying the very cheap materials, cutting them, forming the skeleton, sewing the ruffled  covering, I would like and I am very proud to present my husband's Hanging Christmas Tree :)  It's not really complete yet since all the christmas trimmings and embellishments are still yet to arrive, but I'm just way too excited and really proud of my husband's work of art.

the bare hanging christmas tree with just the fabric covering

hubby made the lighting fixtures inside

and of course,  a christmas tree wouldn't be complete without this scalloped mat beneath it
I can't wait for the next batch of felt to arrive so I can make the rest of the embellishments and trimmings :)

Some of the embellishments have arrived yesterday, so now, I am updating the photos :)



Thank you God for Christmas!

life is worth stitching. one christmas at a time :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Love You Seam Ripper

After finishing one of the christmas ornaments sewing project that I am so into lately,  I decided to finally make a sewing machine cover.  After more than two years!  It could have been one of my first few projects but I kept on stalling the idea until one of the patterns from the sewing magazine that has recently arrived caught my attention.  It makes use of Felt and Fleece!!! Which I am so into lately, huh?!?

Without even measuring my own sewing machine thinking that most portable sewing machine almost measures the same,  I just prepared all the necessary fabrics and felt appliques. I wasn't in a hurry but was taking my sweetest time in finishing all the appliques and bias cut bindings and finally to finish the cover.  Much to my dismay, it was way too oversize for my machine and it tends to slouch rather than to stand upright.  I didn't make use of any fabric stabilizers like fusible interfacings since the ones that I have aren't of good quality that they will just fray later on.

you will notice the top tends to bend towards the rear side and the width of the
sewing machine cover is way too big by around 2 inches on each side that's like 4 extra
inches for the width!!!!

I felt so bad that just when I took my time, never hurried, quite have gotten used to changing and adjusting the thread and bobbin tensions to suit the fabric that I was using, used the correct needle size, there I go again.  It was so stupid of me not to even realize that sewing machines do vary in sizes, ha ha ha!

Anyway,  since I couldn't just let it go and tell myself that, "hey, it's for your sewing machine perla so why bother to make it almost perfect?" I slept my disappointment away and promised myself to make the necessary adjustments the next day.

So yesterday,  armed with my BSMAE (Best Sewing Machine Accessory Ever),  the tough and mighty and fearless Seam Ripper,  I ripped off the bottom binding, the top binding, all the sides, and re-sew everything again.  I wish we humans would also have like a seam ripper at hand for our follies and mistakes in life, duh?

So now, I'm happy to present once more my newly re-sewn sewing cover.

I want to thank my dependable BSMAE
I will be indebted to you for the rest of my sewing life

now i'm happy :)




Now I can continue with my christmas ornaments project.  I just hope that I get to finish them before christmas comes;)

God is good. All the time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

overwhelmed

Just when I thought I could already manage to slowly grapple my sewing-a-basic-dress dilemma,  I failed again miserably :( I don't want to think that I'm so limited to sewing bags, home crafts, and basic blocked pattern blouses.  I know I can do more only if I would push myself more. 

After the vacation, the birthday, and the post-vacation-post-birthday days,  I thought I was all set and fully recharged to conquer my greatest frustration in my sewing experience - as if I've been sewing for a century already, huh?!?   Now, I feel as if I'm back to zero :(

Then the mailman arrived and much to my surprise,  a sewing magazine in our mailbox!!!  I entirely forgot about signing up to a promo online that entitles me to around 4 magazine subscription and I only paid for its shipping fees for like 5 USD.   I was way too happy to scan the pages of the magazine that I entirely forgot about my forthcoming "sewing depression."  In short,  I  bounced back!!!!

Since christmas is almost here,  and the magazine is a winter issue,  there are a couple of christmas-inspired sewing projects there.  So instead of sulking and making myself miserable which is not so worth it at all,  I scoured my stashed fabrics,  my collection of felt, traced the patterns,  cut, and started sewing each of the felt applique.  Now, I'm excited again to finish this project soon and complete our handsewn christmas ornaments.  It's going to be a first in this household.

Here's a preview of what is keeping me sane and busy and diverted :)  Thank you God.

these are 30 pieces of felt appliqued denim/canvas fabric
ready to be pieced together soon :)

once I finish this off, then I'll be able to name this one :)

Would you like to guess what this one is?  Since October is my birthday month, then maybe there's nothing wrong if I have my first giveaway to the very few readers that I have, most of whom are real close friends of mine, ha ha ha!!!!!

You may either leave a message or comment regarding your wild guess.  The first one to give me the correct answer will get a handsewn gift from moi.  

God is good. :) Thank you God.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Stepping Up

Months before hubby and I left for our annual bonding adventure,  I bought two sewing books online.  Both books focus on how to sew dresses using just the basic patterns. In short, they're meant for dying-to-sew-a-dress-but-too-scared-to-try people like me.

I know I have already started creating blocked pattern blouses and a dress at one point, but up until now, I haven't still had that confidence to sew one without consuming much of my time thinking whether to push through or not.  Sad :(

Anyway, a few days before we left,  one book came into our mailbox and boy I was glad to have received it way before our adventure began, lest, it might have been lost should it had arrived while we're away.  I just scan through the pages and kept it with my other sewing books.

We already came back and in between cleaning the house and washing all the piled up laundry during our trip,  I happen to have watched the movie Julie & Julia.  It was a movie about how one person could change another's fate simply by inspiration.  It was a good movie. Straightforward and with Meryl Streep on the helm of it, it was undoubtedly a hit (at least for me, a Meryl Streep fan).  Then I remembered my new sewing book.  I told myself, why wouldn't I try doing what Julie from the movie did.  She recreated all the recipes from Julia's recipe book and managed to complete it and had the fulfilment she had been wanting to all her life.  Why not, eh?

My sewing book is simply about 25 very basic and simple dresses created by a Japanese lady who sews and writes too.


So for the next few days, weeks, months, and hopefully before I turned 38, I would have completed the book by sewing each and every featured creation there ;)  (sew help me God).  I'm doing this as my 37th birthday gift for myself.   For once, I need to step up my craft and hopefully make something good out of this.


God is good, all the time!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

shoulder bag

Ramadan just recently concluded.
Hari Raya (day of celebration) has started last week and will go on for a month.
Then I realized,  I haven't done any sewing projects for quite some time now.  Not that I joined the Moslems with their fasting but simply put,  I was running out of inspirations,  I don't want to cut my hoarded fabrics,   I was lazy.

Maybe because,  since I started trying my hand doing the blocked pattern blouses,  I can't quite wait to sew another dress or a blouse.  But,  I still am a newbie when it comes to sewing clothes.  I'm actually still scared of the thought of sewing clothes. So there.

I actually bought another two sewing books with supposedly step-by-step photographed instructions for beginners who would want to sew basic clothing styles.  And since it will take a while before those reach my mailbox,  I just felt like I had nothing in mind to sew.  I've got tons of sewing projects in my hard drive but I can't seem to have the drive. Oh, crap! I don't want to be idle, for sewing's sake!!!!

Yesterday,  I dug into my stashed fabrics,  cut them out of a sewing pattern for a shoulder bag - this time, it's a new style of shoulder bag.  Since I'm taking my time lately doing things in a slow manner (there's no need to rush anyway).  I just kept all the cut fabrics and decided to have them sewn today. And so did I.

So, without further ado, here's another sewing project of mine.

i made use of batik printed polycotton fabric for the exterior
and a combed corduroy fabric for the lining
pattern downloaded from www.e-patterns.com 



there's a magnetic snap on attached and an inner pocket too

God is good. Life is still worth living one stitch at a time ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

where have all the ruffles gone?

since i am newbie in making tops, i want to make sure that i get used to it and finally get the hang of it before moving on to another clothing sewing project.

a couple of years back,  when sewing was the farthest thing in my homemaker's mind,  i was hooked into anything batik (well, up until now, i still am).  i immersed myself into batik art. unfortunately, the process of making batik artworks didn't go well with my health condition so i just fancied myself by buying batik fabrics and hoarding them.  i even bought two batik dresses which i never really got to wear.  mainly, because,  i bought them online so there was no way i could have at least tried them on.  i just relied on my eyes feasting on the colors of the fabric.  when it was delivered to me, much to my dismay and disappointment,  it was meant for ladies much taller than i am.  needless to say,  i also can't give them away.  i was way too in love with the fabric itself and the batik on it. i just kept it thinking that once i go back to the Philippines, I will have someone alter it for me.  little did i know that in a few  years time,  i would be the one who'll do the alteration myself.

the other day, while looking for stashed fabrics to sew another set of this ruffled spring top,  i accidentally dug into these batik dresses. and voila! something popped into my mind so i went to get my ever dependable ripper (oh how i love to rip!!!!) and ripped the entire dress.

after ripping it off,  i washed it again, dried it under the sun, and ironed everything.  once everything was ready,  i started cutting, assembling, and finally sewing them altogether but in a much different style.

so here's my version 2 of the spring ruffled top sans the ruffles :)

it didn't take me too long to sew this one since i omitted the ruffles ;)
 

not bad eh? 

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

Monday, July 18, 2011

back from slumber...

i have been quiet for quite sometime and i miss doing this. blogging about my sewing projects.  i did have a couple of sewn projects which i was too lazy to post.  i think some kind of a lazy bug bit me and actually stung me, huh?!?

anyway,  the last few days, i've been browsing the net for new sewing inspirations.  i wanted to take my sewing adventure to another notch higher than what i have been doing in the past.  i wanted to challenge myself anew. it only means that i am starting to get bored with what i have been sewing so i have to get going lest i'll stop sewing again and there goes my "ningas kugon" syndrome again.

then...  i tumbled on this site and saw this there:

it's a spring ruffle top created by made by rae

i contemplated at first, thinking that i might not be able to make it and just make a mess out of my fabrics.  but, i wouldn't know unless i'll try. besides, i have to fight off this syndrome that is fast attacking me ;)

so here's my take on the spring ruffled top :)

i used a dyed cotton fabric for the chest band and the straps;
and a floral printed japanese cotton for the bodice
it has pleats both at the front and back 
to add ease and style ;)
the tutorial was very accurate in detailing the measurements
and the finished product simply fit me to a tee! yey!
so to celebrate my new sewing inspiration,
hubby and i went to see harry, hermione, and ron 
for the last time :)

more of these kinds of sewing inspirations to come :)
thank you God for the gift that you gave me.
thank you God for always picking me up when i tend to fall.
thank you God for making me realize how life is worth living, one stitch at a time!

love love love!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

how the table runner came to be

This is more of a photo story so please bear with the abundance of photographs.

i have a bunch of scrap fabrics courtesy of our landlady, Aunty Li-Am,
the weather is so cool,
because of the continuous heavy downpour since the previous night ...
 
 ... and since hubby was at work and there's no one to cuddle with in bed,
i just decided to select a few pieces of fabric and ironed each one of them...

in no time, every piece of fabric i needed for my project were all set 
and ready to be cut and patched and sewn ;)

when doing patchwork,  i rely on my cutting mat and roller cutter a lot!
save me from making irregularly cut fabrics. i'm now a huge fan of sharp edgy blades!
well, just what my most recently read book says,
"the sharper your knife blade, the less you cry."

with all my patches done, i'm now ready to layout everything 
for my table runner project...

every piece of the table runner project is now laid out on the table
back fabric,  batting (i used fleece),  then laid the patches one at a time
starting at the center of the layout. 
each piece of these patches were sewn individually

after sewing the first patch, i then followed it with the next patch
right sides together and sew both on one side
each addition of patches was ironed to avoid creases and unwanted protrusion


after sewing all the patches together, 
i am now ready for the bias or binding for the sides
supposedly, i should have handsewn the bias but since machine stitching
is also allowed in doing so,  i didn't bother to handsew the entire bias binding

i made use of a plain printed fabric as a back fabric so
this table runner also is a reversible one, depending on my mood for the day

the finished product laid at our dining table
hmmm, not bad eh???
i transferred the table runner on our center table at the receiving area,
still, not bad eh???

using the other side of the table runner, it suits well with
the tranquility of the teapot set :)

the bias binding 

will do more of these table runners soon.  for now, i really need to finish the patchwork blanket, by hook or by crook!!!!

God is good. All the time.  Life is worth living, one stitch at a time :D

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1st Quarter of 2011

They always say that when you're having fun, you hardly take notice of the time.  I guess it also goes with when your under too much stress, you also hardly take notice of the time... no, I wasn't that too stressed, just a bit, I suppose.

Anyway,  2011 came in such a hurry that I didn't know the first quarter is almost at its end.  Hubby and I got too busy on the first month having our visitors at home, on the second month we both flew to Manila on separate flights and dates so we pretty much consumed the love month away from each other.  March came in very smoothly, at least for the two of us,  it wasn't much too well for the rest of the world :(

I've sewn pretty much a bunch of bags, kiddie crayon caddies the last three months but I intentionally didn't take photos of the few pieces that I made since they were supposedly meant to be given as pasalubongs to friends and to my nieces and nephews.  There are a few which I have sewn the last two weeks which deserve a place in this blog ;)  One is a patchwork messenger hobo bag which my landlady requested for me to sew for her.  She gave me tons of her scrap fabrics.  Without realizing that her scrap fabrics were quite old and dusty and rustic,  yes,  I got loads of allergies too!  Then my bookbuddy in the area loved the baby bag which I've sewn for a dear friend and asked me to sew for her daughter not one but two! baby bags.  She provided me with her stashed batik fabrics and sewing threads too! Up until now, I still don't know how to charge for my services.  Well, they're good friends so, it didn't matter.

this is Aunty Li-Am, my chinese
landlady who lives just across our house :)
she loves sewing and all our quilted blankets in the house were sewn by her :)
one of the baby bags i've sewn
for my bookbuddy :)





There.  For now,  I need to finish the patchwork blanket which I started last year.  It's long overdue and I wouldn't want to end 2011 with an unfinished blanket!  Will post photos of that epic blanket soon!

God is good. All the time.
Life is worth stitching.  One thread at a time.