Saturday, February 26, 2011

Twirling Circle skirts

I've always wanted to make these circle skirt when I read about them from Dana.  I'm always amazed at her creativity and her skills. As a busy working mum of 2 girls, I'm always on look out for simple, quick and yet pretty sewings for my girls. And this has been on my to-do list since last year.  Finally got the chance to try it.

True enough, it was a breeze. I mean, her instruction is very clear and straight forward. After I got the measurement (both myself and my girl), I laid the fabric down and cut them just like the instruction. With my serger (so dependable! :0)), I had fun sewing the waist band until I reach the hem. It was a pain! Maybe I was not a very skillful seamstress or my machine is acting up on me. My thread keeps jumping and the hem goes really wavy and I had to take the thread off for 3 times!!

But, after much undos and groans of 'not again!!!', I've finally finished the 2 skirts. Mine was much faster as the problem was resolved after I change my needle. But my girl's skirt took some times since it was a different material which is slightly stretchy, I had to continue on the next day. But all in all, we are very happy with our new skirts.  Am planning to wear them to church tomorrow. Me and my kid. Well, the baby got to wait till she's older I guess.

Another lunch bag

Over the last week, I've been very productive. One of my friends in office commented that sewing can be very addictive. You just can't stop sewing one after another. She's right! Right after I've sewn the Japanese style bag, I've made another one using the pattern from the same book that I've made the earlier bag. The bags are great but the instructions are all in mandarin and not very precise. So, if you are interested, you can buy one and try your hand on some of the projects. I'll be happy to translate if you need : )

I've made in quickly as I was also trying to finish 2 circle skirts so didn't take picture of the steps.  I've used the basic outline of the pattern but adjusted to a smaller scale as I've actually use a big hankerchief for this project. I've alot of these big size hankies that I've received which I don't think I'll ever use. The print are very pretty so it's a pity to throw them away. So, I've scale the pattern down so that it fits my hankie.

I've actually added interfacing to my fabric as I wanted it to have some body. This was not mention in the book. Here's the finish product.  Looks alike a spaghetti-strapped blouse!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby cloth shoes

I'm hooked on making baby shoes! I'm sure you'll do too if you try one of these cute baby shoes. I took the Stardust baby shoe template and make 2 for my colleagues.  I've actually use jelly roll for this project. It fits nicely for the heels but the top part, I've to sew 2 pieces of jelly roll to make it broad enough for the top. The bottom is from 2 pieces of fleece fused together with fusible web. Doesn't the colour combination looks so sweet.

For the pink ones, I've followed the instruction to interface all top and heel portions but perhaps my fabric used was abit thick, so it came up to be tad too stiff. Decided to do away with the interfacing for the green shoes and it came out just nice with some body but not too stiff. So my advice to those of you who are trying, to use interfacing only if you fabric is thin or light weight.

Anyway, it's very easy and nice project. Oh, remember to press the seam and folds as it really helps when you need to fold over and it gives a neat feel to the shoes. I'm thinking about making some more shoes and bibs to give away with them.

Go on and try it if you haven't. It's nice and easy and you can sew up 2 shoes in 1 hour.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Japanese style bag

How's everyone today? After a short break, I've finally did some sewing last night. It was nice to be able to complete a project and hear the sound of my sewing machine. I didn't get to do any sewing the whole week so it's good to sew pretty things again.

I always wanted to sew this style of bag but had put it off for sometime. One of my colleagues will be retiring next month and I was thinking of making her a little gift. She loves to see my sewing projects and always lament that she wish she could also sew. Hence, I thought that this pretty bag would really make her day.

I've made it from the Japanese small cloth that I bought. If you all remember, I've used another similar one for my fabric organiser project. It was a nice size and would really look so pretty and 'kawaii' (japanese word for cute)! The pattern actually came from a book that I bought from Taiwan but the instruction was far and between and in mandarin. I'm not very good in chinese term used in sewing so reading the instruction took me a very longest time.

1 medium weight fabric (at least 45cm X 38cm included seam allowance of 0.5cm)
1 lining fabric of same size
medium interfacing

Fold your fabric with right side facing along the 45cm side before you place the pattern pieces on top. This will ease the hassle of you having to cut twice.

My pattern piece measure 37cm in height and 22cm in width. Handle portion is 16cm in length and bottom piece is 21cm.  You need to clip off 4cm square from the 2 corners. Trace over your fabric with 0.5cm seam allowance.

Do the same for the lining pieces. For the interfacing, I cut individually since it's kinda stiff for me to fold over.

Place the shiny side of the interfacing on the wrong side of the lining piece and iron on low heat. My interfacing is the exact size as the pattern piece without the seam allowance as we don't need the seam to be too stiff and bulky.

Take the 2 pieces of external pieces and sew them together at the top (handle) with right side facing each other. Do not sew on the seam allowance.

Do the same for the lining pieces.

Open up the seam that you have sewn and iron flat for both pieces.

Place both pieces together with right side facing and pin around the seam allowance of the handle.

Sew along the seam allowance of the handle.  Start from the end of the handle (the slope) and all the way to the other side. Do the same for the other side of the handle.

Clip the corners of the seam along the curve. Do it for all the 4 curves. This greatly help reduce the bulkiness of your handle when you turn it right side out.

You are now ready to turn it right side out at the handle. It's abit tricky here so I hope my instruction is clear. First, pull the bottom of the outer fabric inwards towards the handle tunnel. Bring it all the way through so that it will end up on the other side of the handle. You got to try this hands on to know what I mean. Here's how it looks when you bring it through.

Next, you need to sew the side and bottom. To do this, you got to first flip both of your outer fabric upwards so that they face each other with right side facing and the handle is sandwiched inbetween them. Pin them together along the seam allowance as you will need to sew them together.

Starting sewing from the lining piece.  I started sewing at 3/4 from the top of the lining piece, sew along the seam. When you are at the junction between the lining and outer fabric, make sure that the seam is open up. Remember to leave about 5cm gap at the lining piece unsew so that later you can flip the bag over.

Do not sew the 2 bottom corners. Your stitches should end just before the L-shaped seam for both sides.

After you have sewn all the sides, leaving the 5cm gap, you are ready to sew the bottom of the bag. Pull open the corner as shown.

Match the sewn seams so that they are back to back, right side facing, as shown. Pull the fabric tight and pin along the seam. Do the same for the other corner.

this is the view from the bottom of the bag with 2 sides pinned
Now, sew along the seam that you have just pin.

You are almost done. Flip the bag over throug the 5cm gap that you have left at the lining.

Sew the gap close with straight stitch and you are done!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

My girl is so excited about tomorrow's Valentine's Day. We made some cards for her teachers and friends at school.

We first cut out 4 equal rectangle cards from 1 card stock and paste multi-coloured heart-shaped card on them. My girl did the writing of her friends' names on the hearts and paste them on the card. She did the drawing of the stem and leaf below each of the heart to symbolise a 'growing' heart!

I did the printing of 'Happy Valentine's Day' wording on strip of white printer paper and help her to paste on each one of the card. She decides on the colour combination of hearts and cards. Well, it's looks really pretty and she can't wait to go to school tomorrow. Said she wants to be the first in school.

Oh, the big red heart next to them contain a small pack of M&M which is sandwich by 2 big hearts stapled together. It's for her K2 classmates. She plans to eat them with her friends in school tomorrow. The 3 flowery heart with ribbons are for her 3 class teachers.

I took the opportunity to make a card for my family. Pasted 4 hearts of different colour on a card stock and paste 1 photo of each one of us on the heart and then paste a little coloured ribbons beneath each heart. Didn't take photo to show cause it looks really elementary. But I loved it!

So, how are you spending your Valentine's Day? Sigh,..I've got another dental appointment tomorrow. Hopefully, mine will not ended up being a painful one.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Neck Pillows

Don't be alarmed that I've another post here. I've actually done it 2 days ago but didn't have time to load up the pictures. So, here's another sewing that I did over the last 2 days.

These few days of travelling on the car really make me realise the importance of a good neck pillow. My girls were sleeping on the car and their poor heads are either swayed to the extreme left or right. So, I decided to make one for them that will bring them some comfort while on the road.

I didn't look for any tutorial online as it was a last minute project and I thought I could just draw free-hand and adjust as I go. I've also uploaded the template below. You can click on it and use it. Please do not make them to sell as this is for your own use only. Thank you.

Any soft material like Flannel.
Fibre filling

1) The template is actually 1/2 of the neck pillow folded along the short edge. So you will need to place the template along the folded edge of the fabric before you cut. 

2) Fold the fabric so that right side are facing each other. Then place the template with the short edge along the folded edge of the fabric. Make sure that the fabric cover the whole template as you will be make a mirror image of the template.

3) Trace the template on the fabric and cut the pattern out using a 0.5" seam allowance. You will need 2 set of these pattern to make the front and back.

4) Open out the pattern so that you see the full neck pillow and place the 2 neck pillow with right side facing each other. Pin in place.
I've forgotten to take picture for this step. You can see this one which is already sewn

5) Sew along the 0.5" seam allowance along the neck pillow. I started from the top of the neck pillow ( the convex side) that is the back of the neck pillow as later you will need to hand stitch the opening and I prefer this portion to be away from the kid's neck.  Keep sewing slowly along and leave about 3" gap at the top for stuffing.

6) Before you flip the pillow over, you have to snip around the curve area. See the picture at step 4.  The Concave portion, I've cut out a 'v' shapes so that it will not look crumpy when you flip over. For the other edges, I've used the scissor to snip around the seam allowance. Just be careful that you don't snip off your sewn line. 

7) After you've done the above, flip the pillow over so that the right side face out.  I've tried to stuff it to quite full so that it will give more support. Hand stitch the gap close and you are done!

I've really pleased with the end results. My niece and nephew have asked for one when they saw the one that I made for my baby. So I ended up making another 3 more!

If you are not sure what to make, I would recommend that you try this. It's so easy and cutting and sewing takes less than 1 hour. And the end result is amazing. Do share with me the picture of you neck pillow!

10-minute draw string bag

Is that possible? Well, yes if you are using a tea towel to start with like me : )

I had 2 tea towels that I bought from Spotlight which I've used one to make a tote bag for my mum. Finally found the use for the other one. Another bag of course!

My 1 year old received lots of present from her birthday. One of which is a set of Lego. I've thrown away the original cardbox as it is quite boxy. Hence, the lego pieces are all over the place when she play or chew on them. I thought it would be a good idea to sew a draw string bag to put all these pieces in a bag. It will also be good to carry them along when I bring her out for the new year visitation. Cause toddler can get bored really easy. Thus, the birth of a 10-minute draw string bag!

Tea towel
cotton cord

Since it's a tea towel to begin with, all raw edges are nicely sewn! nice : )  My tea towel measure 17.25" X 27". 

1) First I make the casting for the draw string cord by folding in 1.25" from the top of the short edge. Make sure you fold inwards to the wrong side of the fabric. Do it for the other short edge so that you have 2 castings. Pin in place.

2) Sew a straight seam at 0.75" measure from top along the folded short edges that you have just pin. This will form the casting for the string later. Do the same for the other side.

3) Fold the tea towel into half with right side facing and the casting edge are on top.  Align the 2 sides and pin along the edges for both sides. 

Starting from the bottom of the bag, sew along the side with straight stitch using the existing hem as a guide.  As the hem are already sewn, it's abit thick to sew through so I've used a zipper foot to sew.

Congratulation! You've finished sewing the bag.
4) Now for the draw string. Cut 2 pieces of cotton cord measuring 40" each.  

5) Using a safety pin, thread it through 1 end of 1st string and loop through the casting from left to right.

6) Once you have loop through the first casting, go through the other casting at the back from right to left.

7) Your tail of your first string should be at the same place as your start point. Take the 2nd string and do the same but now starting from the right side and bring it through to the back from left to right. Are you lost? Hope not.

5) Once both string are out, you can tie the knot to secure both ends. You are done with the draw strings. Put the toys in and ta-da! Your 10-minute draw string bag!