Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Birthday Shorts

Both my best friend and husband have their birthday in November, just 2 days apart.

I made a pair of shorts for my husband. Singapore is hot and humid all year round and my husband really loves to wear 3/4 pants.  Since I'm not sure which one he prefers, I made 2! One with Blue as the main color and the other with the leaf print as the main.

Added pockets for both. I cut the pattern from one of his existing shorts and made these with elastic bands.

He loves the leaf print version better. Said the blue is too striking but he'll still wear them, at home : P

Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Sewing 2011

Have you started on your Christmas sewing yet? I'm so so backlogged!!

I'm afraid this year will be another mad rush again. I've been so busy sewing this and that. Making gifts for my girls' friends, sister, husband, best friends that I didn't have time to sew Christmas present. I did make up the sewing list though.

So, I'm going to sew sew sew my way to Christmas....Since it's Christmas presents, I'll not be able to share all the photos but rest assured, they will be revealed after Christmas!
Happy Christmas Sewing everyone!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Felt Wallet

This is the last year of pre-school for my girl. Next year, officially, she will be start her 6 years of Primary school education. She is going to a new school and I'm sure she will missed all her friends.

So, we decided to make a small tokens to giveaway for her friends as a goodbye gifts.  Well, I think it is more meaningful to handmade gifts than buy. Why buy when you can sew right?

So, we brainstormed and decided to sew felt wallets for her friends. The wallet can be used to store the Ezlink card which is a cashless stored value card that we used to travel on public transport. It's easy and she can decorate felt flowers, ribbons and the likes on them.

Here's how I made them.

Some coloured felt which you can get a wide selection in bolt from Spotlight of pre-cut from Daiso.
lace, ribbons, buttons etc for decorating

1. Cut the felt into 8" X 4.5".

2. Fold 2.5" up from the bottom to form the holder. Press with low heat iron to form the fold line and pin the 2 side seams.  Sew with 0.25" seam allowance from the bottom all the way to the top and down to the other end.

3. Fold 3" down to make the flap and iron to create the fold line. 

4. You can sew lace or ric rac over the top of the flap to decorate. Or hot glue some flowers, ribbons, lace.

5. Sew or use self-adhesive velcro tapes on the flap and holder. 

There, all done! Now time to write some farewell cards to insert to the bags before the giveaway.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Portable Mini DVD Player Pouch

Wow! What a long description or title for this little pouch. 

I can't think of a creative name for it so I shall call a Spade a Spade - A pouch for my portable mini DVD player!

I've this mini DVD player that I put in my car to entertain my girls while we travel around. It keeps my kids engaged and I've some peace. If not, they will either be pulling each other hair or pinching, biting each other literally. It's a phase that all 2 year old has to go through but it's a pain for all, especially the big sister who had suffered a few bites from her fiesty sister.

Anyway, back to the main topic. I know there is this DVD player that you can install in your car but it's expensive and I don't really want to waste monies on that. Call me stingy or thrifty but I just don't want to spend monies on these.

But the DVD player is in need of a holder to set it up straight so that the kids can enjoyed it together instead of siting on the sister lap. So I made this simple pouch with velcro straps to tie them behind the headrest of the front driver carseat.

It's like a normal bag so I'll just jot down a few points for you if you want to make one. I've used home deco fabric so it's quite thick and I didn't line the bag as I was in a hurry to finish it. 

The bag measure 9" X 7"

1) Cut 2 pieces of fabric measure 1.5" X 9". Fold in the top edge to the wrong side by 0.25" and another 0.25".  Press, pin and sew. Do the same for the the other piece.

2) Place the 2 pieces Right Side Facing, align edge and pin.  Insert the 2 straps to the 2 side seams at the top, face in. Sew with 0.25" seam allowance.

To make straps
a. Cut 4 pieces of fabric each measure 2" X 9". 
b. Fold 2 pieces Right Side Facing and sew all around with one side unsewn. 
c. Turn it Right Side out and top stitch along the long edge of the straps. Do the same for the other 3 straps.

3) Snip corners and turn Right Side Out. Press seams.

4) Then sew velcro onto both straps, take note of the facing as it is meant to cover the back of the headrest.

I've used this velcro patch that I saw in Daiso. It's a 5" X 5" patch and you can just cut the amount that you need. So convenient. The standard velcro strap is usually 1" and my strap is slightly less than that so this is useful. This one is also softer so easier to sew!

5) I've also sewn a button flap to close the bag when not in used so that the DVD player can be stored inside, out of sight when not in use. 

To sew the flap, cut 2 piece of fabric about 3" X 6". Sew them right side facing and left on end unsew. Turn right side over, press and top stitch. I first sew the button hole first on the flap before attaching it to the top edge of the bag.

pin the flap with the flap face down

flip the flap up and pin, sew it down
sew button on
You will recognised the fabric that I used from the yoga bag that I've sewn for my sister earlier that I got from Spotlight.

This is one of the kind and you can make it to put anything like toys, snacks or little books or CDs. With the velcro straps, it's detachable and so so portable!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Linen double tier dress

I've always wanted to sew a linen dress for my girl ever since I saw this from this Japanese sewing book.

This time, I've kept true to the original colour scheme and material. The only variation is the use of plain cream colour cotton for the inner layer. The original version has some print on it which I can't seems to find them.  I've also used a white cotton lace that I got from Daiso for the belt.

back view
If you have the same book as me, just a caution. Don't follow the instruction on the sewing of casing for the waistband. Looking at the photo, you will see that actually, you need 2 belt loops.  Thank God I double check the photo and sew on the belt loops.

This is really easy to sew. The more complicated part is when you place the inner and outer layer together, it should be wrong side of the outer fabric facing the right side of the inner layer before you turn them right side out. Kinda hard to explain but when you are sewing it, it will make sense.

Pretty isn't it? I'm thinking that it might also work on me : ) 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twirly satin chiffon skirts X 7!

I made some satin chiffon skirts for my girl and her friends at school for their year end graduation concert.

I got a real bargain at the Sultan Road shop.  All the 4 yards Satin and 4 yards chiffon for only $30! All the cutting and sewing took me 2 full days but I'm happy with the result. 

Want to try make one? It's quite simple but could be a tad bit messy because of the slippery chiffon and fraying satin. But I'll share a tutorial here if you are still keen. I'm sure you will be happy with the end results!

The skirt is for a skinny tall 6 year old girl.  You can always adjust the length to suit your girl.

Waist = 21"
Length = 14.5"

0.5 yard of Satin
0.5 yard of Chiffon
1" elastic band
matching threads

Cutting Instruction
  • For main satin skirt, cut a rectangle of 14" X 56".  The width of the satin is 56" so I've used the entire width and just cut the length that I want.
  • For waistband, cut 2 long stripes of 4" X 33" each.
  • For chiffon overlay, cut long stripe of 11" X 45".  The width of the chiffon is 45" so I've used the entire width. The length of the chiffon overlay should be about 3" shorter than your main skirt.
  • Cut elastic band of length 21".
Sewing Instruction
Main skirt
1. Fold the skirt Right Side Facing so that the short edge are aligned. Pin and sew with 0.25" seam allowance. You can serged or zig zag the seams. Press seams open.

2. Serge the hem and waist area. Then, create a narrow hem by folding 0.25" and press. Then, fold 0.25" again and sew.
press with low heat iron to create a nice crease

sew the narrow hem
3. Turn your tension dial to 6.5 and move to the biggest stitch on your sewing machine.  Sew close to the top of the skirt and your skirt will gather automatically. Adjust the tension accordingly on your machine to make a nice even gather.  Set aside first.

Waist Band
1. Sew the 2 waistbands Right Side Facing together along one of the short edge with 0.25" seam allowance. Serge all the raw edge and press seams open.

2. For the other short edge, first pin them together, Right Side Facing. Measure 1" from the top and make a marking with your disappearing pen. Make another marking at 1" marking from the first marking you've made.

3. Start sewing the edge with 0.25" seam allowance and stop at the 1" mark. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of the stitch.  Then snip off your thread.

4. Place your needle to the next marking and start sewing from there to the end of the edge.  You've just sewn the waistband loop with a 1" gap in the seam. Press seam open.

5. Fold the waistband, Wrong Side Facing, into half along the long side to make 2" X 33".  The opening that you've just sewn will be just below the folded line. Press with iron to form fold line.

6. Measure 1" from the folded line and pin. Then, sew the 1" line along the waistband loop. You have just made a casing for the elastic band. Set aside.
see the opening at the seam of the waistband?
later you can insert the elastic band here.
Phew! I hope I've not lost you. If you are still with me, continue to read on...

Chiffon overlay
1. As I'm using the full width of the chiffon, I only need to take care of the top and bottom edge. Using the narrow hem option on my serger, I serged the chiffon using a different colored thread.

It's a bit tricky but just hang in there and you will get yourself a decent narrow hem. Your serger will give you more instruction on how to set the tension dials and stitch length. If you do not have a serger, don't panic, you can also manually sew a narrow hem.

2. For the raw side of the chiffon, fold in 1/8" to the wrong side and sew. Do the same for the other seam. Or you can also use your serger to treat the edge if you like.

3. Sew a gathering stitch (up the tension and biggest stitch width) along the top edge of the chiffon, just like what you did for the satin main skirt. Try to keep close to the top edge. Adjust the gathers so that the chiffon is about the same width as the waistband.

1. Adjust the satin skirt width to be the same length as the waistband. Then, attach the waistband to the satin skirt, align raw edge, with right side of the fabric facing each other.  The folded part of the waistband is towards the bottom.

Try to align the side seams. I've used clips for this purpose as I'm afraid pins will leave markings on the satin. Clips are also stronger and helps to prevent the fabric from shifting.

2. Once you are satisfied with the gathers, attach the chiffon overlay on top of the satin skirt, align raw edge. You will need to remove the clip one by one and insert the chiffon between the waistband and skirt.

I've arrange for the chiffon side seam to be at the side of the main skirt, overlapped slightly. You can choose to put them in the middle centre if you prefer.

3. Using a slightly bigger stitch (2.5), Sew the waistband to the 2 skirts, using 0.25" seam allowance. Try to hide your gathering stitch in the seam allowance.  You will need to remove these loose stitch after you have sewn the waistband together.

4. It's quite thick here so sew slowly. Serge the raw edges so that it is keep neat. You can also zig zag the edge.

5. Flip the chiffon out of the way and top stitch the satin skirt down so that the seam allowance are sewn down. I didn't sew the chiffon together as I wanted the chiffon to be free so that it will be more bouncy.

6. Insert the elastic band and sew the edge down.  As the opening on the waistband is treated, it is easier for you to take out the waistband and change the length anytime you want.

Ta-da! Your pretty twirly satin chiffon skirt!  All 7 of them!

Oh! I even made one for the teacher. Since I've run out of fabric, I've inserted the chiffon as a layer after the satin to lengthen it. Still looks good : )


Monday, November 14, 2011

Lots of Love skirt

After sewing 4 bags in a roll, I decided to do some clothes sewing so what easy way than to sew a skirt for my girl.

But, I decided to be adventurous and did something different. The base skirt is satin and the overlay is tulle with lots of tiny velvet hearts. I got the tulle at the discount bin at Spotlight for 50% of the price!  

It has elastic band to accommodate my growing girl.  I sew a row of ric rack at the waistband to add more flavor. The ric rack is from Daiso.

You like this? 

I was planning to do a tutorial but then I had promised to make 7 skirts for 7 little girls for their year end concert.  I've some idea what to do but hopefully it will work out so I'll share the tutorial soon.  

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Italy Bag

I made a bag for myself cause I really like the one I made for my sister.

I've extended the handle to be longer and sew a layer of fleece between the front and inner layer so it feels so comfy! Added the pocket and the magnetic snap inside.  It looks different from the original pattern and but I like it. 

Love the Italy print outside and the lovely dark pink (hmm it looks Red here but its actually deep pink) inside. Can't wait to use the same combination to make a wallet. Both fabric are from Spotlight.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Green Stripe Bag

I made a bag for my youngest sister for her birthday recently. Since I started sewing regularly, I tried to make birthday gifts if I can. I love this bag, it's simple and I made it really quick. 

It's a stripe home deco fabric that I bought from Ikea.  I cut the front and back pieces both face up so that I can match the print nicely.  Do you recognised the fabric used in the inner part of the bag? It's the same fabric that I used for the pillowcase dress.  The bag is also interfaced to make it stand up.

The pattern is from Simplicity 4116. Only 2 pattern pieces. I made some slight modification with the handle. Didn't insert the D rings as can't find the right size for 4 of them.

Don't it looks good. My sister said she will use it as a lunch bag : )

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