Sunday, September 30, 2012

Making a Terrarium

Sorry for the delays in posting the tutorial on Terrarium. I was busy sewing lately..Here's the step by step guide on how to make a mini terrarium at home.  Was trying to have some photo but it's very messy with soil and all, so sorry folks, you gotta use your imagination here!
Supplies to get ready
1) small potted plants that are suitable for growing with little sunlight ($3-$4 for one pot of 4 stalks)
2) moist soil -can ask nursery for the suitable one for terrarium ($3 for a big pack)
3) little charcoal (break them into small pieces)
4) pretty bottles ($2 each from Daiso)
5) coloured pebbles ($2 a bottle at Daiso)
6) coloured sands (got mine from a shop at City Square Mall at 4 for $10) - optional
7) small decoration pieces (4 for $2) - optional #
# My friend recently went Bangkok and got these for only $0.10 a piece!
1) Sand -You can skip this steps but I feel that the coloured sands make it more special. 
- Pour your choice of coloured sands into the bottle. Go slow to let the sand just flow along the sides of the bottle. I use a slender spoon with a long handle to help me put in the sand.
- Lay a few layers if you like but try not to make it higher than 1/5 of the bottle.
- To save on the sand used, you can try to fill up the sands around the circumference of the bottle and let the centre but hollow.
2) Small Pebbles
- drop some pebbles into the middle of the glass where you have earlier left it hollow from the coloured sands.
- The pebbles should be a thin layer to help with the drainage of the water in the bottle.
3) Charcoal
- Add a little crushed charcoals on top of the pebbles. The charcoal is required only if you intend to cover the bottle. If you are making an open terrarium, can skip this step. The charcoal basically remove the moldy smell in the bottle.
4) Moist soil
- Covered all up with the soil. Pack the soil so that it is compact with no air inbetween.  The soil and the coloured sands/pebbles should come up to 1/3 of the bottle.
- I use this coffee stirrer that has its ends bent to help me pack the soil. My friend use lighter to heat the area to make it bend. So clever of her!
5) Insert the plant
- Depending how big your bottle, you can put 1, 2 or more plants into the bottle. Make sure that you don't injure the roots when you transfer the plant from the pot to your bottle.
- Use a disposable chopstick to dig a hole in the middle of the soil big enough for you to insert the roots of the plant.
- If you have 2 plants, put them together and insert together. Press the soil over the roots using the stirrer.
6) Coloured sands/pebbles
- Now the fun part, cover the soil with the coloured sands. You can just put 1 to 2 thin layers.
- Covered the top with coloured pebbles. I use 3 packs of coloured pebbles in one mix to create this pretty combi. Just a thin layer will do.
- Put in your decoration and you are done.
7) Lastly, just put a table spoon of water into it and cover the bottle. That's it. You are all done.
Some sources to get your supplies
  • Most nursery carry the moist soil and plants. Your plants need to be small and young shoots in order for it to look pretty in the bottle. I got mine from a nursery in Ang Mo Kio. But my friends also found them at Tampines and even Ikea.  It's about $3 to $4.50 per bottle. Far East at Thomson is more expensive at $5.80 per pot.
  • Coloured sands should be available in craft shops. I got mine from a little shop at City Square Mall at 4 packs for $10. You can choose from a variety of colours. The sands are very fine. You can also get them from Daiso but they are less fine.
  • Coloured pebbles can also be purchase at nursery. But I got the most supplies from Daiso. It's only $2 per pack and there are so many colours and sizes options.
  • Bottle. So many places. I got mine from Daiso at $2, Ikea and those I got at home. If you intend to give a gift, the Daiso's bottle with cap looks very presentable. But not all Daiso carry them so it will be good to check first. I saw them at illuma, Bukit Panjang and Rivervale Mall.
So, now go and buy your supplies and make it. It is very addictive and so easy that my 7 year old made 7 in not time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Chevron Macaron

Yeh! I finally made my Macaron after getting the fit from my first muslin. It's a Chevron Macaron! Doesn't it rhymes?

I've used the chevron print (small) from Riley Blake for my Macaron. I actually bought it for making dresses for my girls but they are too cute and I stole them.

I love it that the print actually match at the side seams! I was quite worried at first that the chevron print may be a problem in matching the seams but it was ok. I underlined the bodice as it was quite thin and I feel that it could use some body. Anyway, the white cotton for the yoke was a bit sheer. It was a challenge to figure out how to line or underline the bodice but once I thought it through it was okay.

My size spread over 2 sizes so I did adjust the paper pattern to match the seams before cutting. (From the muslin, I realized that I can fit in for 4 at hip.) I love the sweet heart bodice, gives the impression that my chest is bigger!

I especially love the pockets that are so cleverly hidden by the pleats. I added the slit on the back yoke with button so that it's easier to slip in as the ease was quite little. Since the yoke was lined, I didn't know how to create a little slit so I just make the whole back yoke into 2 pieces and sew a fabric loop at the neckline for the button. The fit was great so the crease below was due to the way I stand.

The sleeves are very sweet and pretty too!  It actually makes my arm looks slimmer than it actually is! Bonus!

I was so proud of my dress that I almost wanted to show my face on the blog but I'm still not so comfortable to do so. At least, not for now.

Anyway, I've listed some changes that I made below so I can make reference for a 2nd Macaron which is very possible. I am thinking of adding a Peter pan collar will be nice.

1) slit at back yoke so I cut the back yoke into 2 pieces by adding 5/8" seam allowances to the seams.
2) underline the yoke, bodice and midriff. Skirt has lining.
3) Use size 2 for yoke and bodice, size 4 for midriff and skirt.
4) Lengthen skirt length to the Size 14 length.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My First Macaron - Choosing the Size

Had been eyeing the Macaron pattern for a long long time but finally decided to purchase it and pay the hefty shipping charges.  The blogland has been full of Macaron and recently with the Macaron sew-along for Colette 2.0, I was further tempted with the floods of Macarons.

My inspiration of macarons online here and here.

I didn't have the courage to do the sew-along since I'm quite tight on my schedule and I don't want to be super stressed than I already am. It's good to see so many tips on sewing up the Macaron and it really helped me alot to get started.

One advice that kept coming up is the making of a muslin. I didn't quite have this habit before since it's like a waste of time to do 2 garments. But with the Macaron, I didn't want to take the risk of sewing something and get the shock that it didn't fit. So, I went to the paper patterns and get the closest estimation by comparing my 3 vitals (Bust, Waist, Hips) after taking away the seams allowance.
It seems like my figure spread over 3 sizes! 2-4-6 for Bust, Waist and Hip! Oh dear, I know I'm a pear shape but this is challenging. I hope I can fit all the seams in the end! Anyway, I took the advice to trace out the patterns so I can go back to them again if the size is off.

Cut out the paper patterns and now to the muslin making. I'm using a Ikea cotton that I bought a long time ago for this. Will share more soon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Yoke Tunic

I love this tunic. The pattern was from Cucito Summer 2012 issue. I've used some fabric I got from Ikea for this.

The original design has a different fabric for the yoke and sleeve cuffs but I just use the same fabric for all.  I made size M since S is abit tight at the hip for me. I had originally intend to lengthen the sleeves by 2" since I'm not using the sleeve cuff but forgot when I cut my fabric.

Love love the yoke. The instruction given was in drawing so it was a breeze sewing it up. Just note that the back neckline seam allowance will not align to the front neckline because you will be using bias tapes to bind them. So, when attaching front and back bodice, align the seams along the armholes.

The back view with buttons. Sewing the rows of button holes with my Janome is really a breeze. I love how easy it is now. The tunic has some gathers below the front yoke and back yoke to make it more fitted on the bodice.

I think this would also look nice in white too. There is a kid's version so maybe I can make one for my girl for a mother and child look!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Simplicity 2451 Skirt

I made view C using a cheap fabric that I got from Chinatown for $3 per yard! Not sure what's the fabric content but it has some stretch to it so I went down the sizing and it works fine.

I especially like the york infront which I interface so it has some body and structure. But not sure about the front pleats because it makes the skirt to be so puffy. It could be good news though since it hides my tummy : P

Close up on the pleats in front. I love the pockets though.

The back view.

I think the length of the skirt is just nice and for the attaching of facing to the zipper, I actually use Colette's tutorial on inserting zippers with facing to guide me cause I think it is much clearer, in my opinion.

Overall, I would say this is an easy project and I didn't have to adjust much. Will try view B in normal cotton fabric next since this was like a wearable muslin. Maybe one in black.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lovely Fabric

I've been fabric shopping recently. Online and 'real' shop. Tsk Tsk...when I should save money..Sigh. I just can't resist beautiful fabric. It doesn't help when I saw SALE plastered everywhere.
Fabricworm has now become my favourite. The selection is so wide for quilting cotton and shipping is super fast. But I did limit myself to a few at a time to make use of the shipping charges and sale coupons.
I love cheveron print and in baby blue? It's a winner! This one is Riley Blake chevron in small print. I envisioned my girls' dresses but now I changed my mind to use it myself. Will see how it goes..

Also got this beautiful voile from Anna Maria Horner, Little folks in Pastry Line Magenta. It's on sale now for USD$4.90 for half yard. It was so soft and will make a nice dress, I think. Now, just need to find a dress pattern to match.

And this one from Michael Miller, Tweedle Dee Tile Sea. Will make a nice skirt for the girls.  Or maybe even a skirt for myself?

This one is from Kelly Lee, Storybook Lane, Spring Meadow Blue. I love the vibrant colour. Wouldn't it looks nice as a maxi dress?

Besides the online shopping, I went over to Chinatown and found some great cotton fabric on sale for $3 per yard! I think it's cotton and it's so soft. They have some nice texture and good weight as a shirt or dress for my girls or me. I bought, hmm...10 yards of it! always need white cotton fabric right?

I haven't even share on the sewing books that I bought. Will share in my next post which I hope will 'force' me to settle down to real sewing instead of buying fabric and books!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My First Terrarium

Recently, I had a new love...I'm hooked onto this little plant in the bottle or what you call a Terrarium.

It all started when one of my colleague brought her little pots to office and we were so attracted to it that we started making it during lunch hour. It's really simple and the cost is rather low since you can make a lot with the supplies.

I think I will share on how to make this soon when I get to photograph the steps. It's really simple. My 7 year old did this one in under 15minute. I love it that it is quite hassle free since you don't need to water the plant for 6 months since it is sustainable within the bottle ecosystem.

Recently, we made 7 for her to bring to school for her teachers as Teacher's Day gifts.

Now, the little bottles are being displaying at my kitchen window ledge. So pretty.

Want to make one? Look out for my next post!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sewing Pattern Sales

Where do you buy your sewing patterns?

In Singapore there is a limit to where to buy the Big 4 pattern so I went online and usually get it from Sewing So far, they have been fabulous. Fast and I can get most patterns from the big company there.

I usually buy when there is a sale. There is a sale going on for Simplicity at USD$2.99 for one. Plus shipping and I usually get a few, it comes up to about USD$7 for one which is much cheaper than if I get it from Spotlight.

These are just some of the pattern I got from them recently.

I also bought some swim suit pattern from Kwik Sew.  They are on sale now at USD$7.99.

I made a swim suit for my girl using the above 3785 for my 7 year old using M. The size is right.  For my 2 year old, I used the now out of print K3606 but alas, the XL size is still too small for my chubby baby! I was so disappointed.  The pattern is so cute was not to be.
So, in order not to waste the pattern, I will give away the pattern to any of my reader who is interested to have it! The pattern pieces are uncut and Kwik Sew really has good instruction on sewing with swim suit materials and elastic. So far, I can't find the Kwik Sew pattern in Singapore so for those of you who are interested, let me know at the comments column. If more than one reader is interested, I'll just random pick the number.  Apologise that this is for Singapore only and you have to pay for the postage which I will discuss with you if you are selected.
So, if you are drooling at the patterns, wait no further as the sale will end today!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Knit Tapered T-shirt

I made this T-shirt some time ago but didn't have time to take photo of the final product.  It's really comfortable T-shirt that I drafted myself.  I traced one of my favorite knit tee to get the basic shape but make it longer so that the tee will fall at my hip.

To save the steps, I only use one pattern piece.  Simply adjust the neckline and hem and you can get 2-in-1 template here.  For the neckline, I snip the front neckline but leave the ends uncut so that I can use both for the front and back! My front neckline is about 2" below the back neckline.

For front of the tee, I make the hem to be higher in front than the back. I use a curve ruler and draw the curve by just eye ball it.

For the back pattern, I also use the curve ruler to make a rounded curve downwards. You just add this piece when you cut the back piece.

Then, place your pattern on fold and cut the front and back out.  Because I've use a stripe knit, I need to match the stripe from the front and back so that the side seams match.  Remember to add seam allowance before you cut. I use 3/8" for all.

I also use the remaining knit to make a small cap sleeves. Sorry, no photo here.

For the sewing, just do the 4 steps below.

1. Pin the front and back shoulder seams together, Right Side facing and sew using 3/8" seams allowance. Press seams open and serge the seams.

2. Attach the sleeves to the arm hole, Right Side facing, and sew using 3/8" seams allowance. Serge the seams.

3. Place the front and back, Right Side facing, sew the side seams starting from armhole to the hem. Try to match the stripes. Serge the seams starting from the sleeves to the hem.

4. Fold over the neckline and sew using a twin needle.

Since the knit is very lightweight, I decided not the hem the sleeve and hem. If you are uncomfortable, you can fold over and sew using the twin needle. That's it. Easy right.