Monday, January 31, 2011

Tutorial: a neat bag bottom

I made messenger bags for my nieces’ birthday from a pattern in One Yard Wonders. I like the bag’s bottom so much that I thought I’d share it here. 

 This is the piece of fabric for the bag (it’s one of the lining piece)
 Turn the fabric so that the wrong side is facing up
 Fold halfway
 Fold back again about one inch
Pin it in place
 So this is how it looks like, folded in 1 inch and pinned.

Then turn the piece over and do the same thing on the other side.
 So, you’d get something like this sandwiched in.
 You know you’re doing it right when the edges of the fabric are lined together.
 Then stitch through all the layers.
 Open the seam and press
Turn the bag inside out and TADA!!! You get this neat triangle at the bottom of the sides of the bag.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthday presents for Triple Indah Birthday Celebration

 Today is Danial and Arwen’s cousins’ Indah Natasha, Indah Alayna and Indah Dinara’s birthday party. And being the classic procastinator, I waited for the last minute to get their birthday present done. I made them a toddler’s messenger bag taken from One Yard Wonders. I cut and prepared the fabric yesterday morning, before going to dimsum lunch with my girlfriends and finished it early this morning. I woke up at 4.30am to get these done.

I love the technic of doing the bag’s bottom where it formed a neat triangle at the side. It’s so simple and clever that I’ve taken pictures of the process and will be doing the tutorial on making the bag bottom next. Oh no, I’ve to get ready and go to the party! 

Friday, January 28, 2011

All Casted Off And Ready To Wear

The girl’s shrug is now done. Now I have an excuse to go meet an old friend from primary school to hand this to her for her daughter :)

Sewing Room Inspirations

For 2011, I’ve decided to ‘sharpen' my photography skills by committing to a project 365. It’s a project where you take one picture a day for a year, thus at the end of it you’ll have 365 great photos (hopefully). Go to and search ‘365’, you’ll find a lot of similar projects and fantastic photos.

January hasn’t end yet and I was struggling with this project. Finding object, things to shoot and I am losing focus. It was the boost I needed when my brother from Singapore called to speak with his niece and nephew and of course me, his only sister. He is my mentor and advisor for my project. He’s the one who got me hooked onto photography in the first place. You can view his work at

Anyway, he commented that my project needed an edge. I’m just taking straight shots, no ‘rule of thirds’, no DoE, yada, yada, yada. Ouch! yet, he’s right and I was all eager for a suggestion to get me back on track. He suggested that I go to my sewing room and take pictures of the things in there. Duhhh!!!! Why didn’t I think of that?! Plus, when I went to flickr for some ideas, I stumbled upon some 365 pictures of sewing and crafting stuff which are really nice (check it out here). 

So, I decided to do a feature on my sewing room starting off with this photo of a bunch of embroidery threads I took out from my box. I switched the palette setting to Expressive to get the vibrant colors. Minimal post editing with Photoshop (cropping, color correction, etc). This was taken at around 3.30am when I can’t go back to sleep after comforting Arwen from a bad dream at 2.30am.

Better try and get some sleep now. TGIF!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Pinafore, A Pair of Bloomers and Pants

 Feena from Langkawi sent me these gorgeous fabric. It’s silky soft but at the selvage it says it’s cotton. She asked me to make a pinafore dress and a pair of bloomers to go with it. She also asked for a pair of pants if there’s enough material to make one. Good news, there’s enough fabric for a pair of pants.

These beauties are going to meet it’s cute owner, Feena’s princess soon. Just in time for CNY.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

From SEOUL with Love

I have a friend who’s on temporary attachment in Seoul. I’ve been watching her post pictures in her Facebook of her shopping expeditions for friends back home. One of it was a picture of a shop selling knitwear and I immediately thought of asking her to scout some yarns for me.

I was apprehensive whether I can get a non-knitter to shop for the right yarn for me. But she did an excellent job at it. I didn’t even know how to begin telling her what yarn to get. She admits that she only knows Minlon yarn. So, she went scouting for a yarn shop and found several and took photos, uploaded them in her FB and tagged me to them. I told her what colours I want, what content of yarn and what size, telling her to check the yarn band for the information. And very importantly, my budget :). The second time around, she got these for me and I’m thrilled. 

Can’t wait for her to come back to home ground to get these beauties. Now, that I’ve made a knitted bodice for Arwen, I know I can use these for some more knitted bodice for dresses.

Thank you Mariana!

DIY Lint Remover

Those who has cats as pet would have a lint remover or roller handy. I don’t have a cat but we went to a friend’s house who has one. A persian can on top of that so the fur is quite fine. Some fur was stuck on Arwen’s dress and I removed it with my DIY lint remover.

The versatile masking tape. Mine is quite thin so I have to wrap a few rounds to the desired width. The sticky part is facing out

Just dab the masking tape onto the fabric 

TADA!!!! Lint, fur and what have you will stick to the masking tape, leaving your fabric clean
 Here are just some pictures of Arwen doing quality control check.

Have a nice weekend!

Sewing Room Accessory

I’m not the neatest person when it comes to working in my sewing room and one of the biggest reason why I don’t let my children play in the sewing room is because of the sewing pins I leave lying around or some which have fallen on the floor.

When I’m sewing and pulling out the pins as I near them, I’d just put them on the table if my pin cushions are out of reach. Arwen is now at the table height where she’d try and grab anything which is in her reach. I’ve seen dress makers having pin cushion wristband. I’ve thought of that but never come around to making one myself until I saw this cute pin cushion ring.

I happen to have an empty mineral water bottle. Took the cap for this project, stuffed it with some left over batting and used my scraps to cover it. It’s very clever to have the cap for the base as you won’t prick yourself with the pins. The band is made of elastic band to the size of my finger. You can find the tutorial

Easy peasy. Fancy making one yourself?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Apple of my eye dress

My first attempt to combine my two favorite crafts; knitting and sewing. I knitted the bodice a few weeks back. It’s knitted seamless from the top down; raglan style. I used the cotton boucle (pronounced ‘bou-klay’) yarn that I stashed from Knitpicks which is super-soft. The neck and sleeve borders are knitted in garter stitch while the rest of the body is in stockinette stitch. The weather and the upcoming festive celebration are some of the factors that inspired me to make this as most of Arwen’s dresses are sleeveless and I thought something like this would keep her comfortable. Even if the weather is warm, the bodice would not be too warm for her.

So this morning, I joined the bodice to the skirt. It was a quick fix. I used Robert Kaufman’s Metro Market Apples in Black by Anne Kelle. (This fabric is on CNY promo in Lil Arwen) I cut the fabric about 14” length, serged the edges, joined the selvages, fold in about one inch for the skirt hem and sew; make gathers and join the bodice to the skirt and TADA!!!! It’s ready to wear.

Maybe it’s the Chinese New Year mood, I’m into red lately.

Some more photos of the apples of my eye clowning around.

Arwen adores her big brother, Danial

Danial is trying to imitate Naruto

5 minute break
Enjoy Thaipusam public holiday folks, or what’s left of it, anyway.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Romper update: Finally completed

Remember the romper I blog about here with the picture above. I’ve finally managed to complete it this morning after my notion shopping at Karysma yesterday. I love making button holes with my Brother machine. Even Arwen is fascinated with it. She’d sit on my lap as we watch the machine does it’s magic. You can see the look of awe on her face.

 Some close up pictures of the romper. I use snap buttons for the crotch opening. This is super handy when it comes to diaper changing. The white band is a cotton twill tape I used to modify instructions a bit which serves as reinforcement for the snap buttons. The original design uses snap tape, but this should work all the same.

Some of you asked for the patterns. In case I’ve forgotten to mention it in my earlier posts, it’s Simplicity #3852

You can get it online at

I’ll be updating if there’s any mommies out there interested to have this romper for their lil’ boys.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Only This Cat Is Allowed On The Table!

Several reasons for this tea cosy to come into existence:

  • My dear cousin, Elaine, asked me for one many moons ago
  • TiniHani is hosting a tea cosy sew-along (Jom Jahit)
  • The pattern is too cute to resist!
I found the pattern here: Bustle and Sew. Isn’t it just adorable. Only this cat is allowed on the table :) and I know Elaine is a big cat lover.

I made this using some left over corduroy in khaki and hand-stitch the cat’s face, whiskers, paws and tail. The reverse is a very elegant English flower motive cotton (duh! lupa amik gambar). 

To Elaine, I hope you like this. It’s going your way and thank you for the shout out in Facebook.

Have a wonderful weekend, folks!

Friday, January 14, 2011

What happened last Wednesday

It started with a message in my Facebook inbox by Mashitah Abd Rahman, a journalist from Nur requesting me to do an interview. It was a pleasant surprise and an honor indeed to have been chosen from the many talented crafters in CraftZone (According to her, she found me there).

In addition to the interview, I was asked to fill up the DIY column in the magazine. I had to sleep over it before saying ‘yes’. 

Fast forward on D-day. I converted my dining table to my work table. I made 2 items, the ipad cover and the iphone/ipod/handphone pouch using Metro Market Apples in Black and Mingle in Red.

My makeshift work station

My ever-supportive husband, Azrai agreed to babysit Arwen for the duration of the photoshoot and interview despite his busy schedule. For that, I’m eternally grateful. (At this juncture, I’ve taken him and the kids for a dinner treat as ‘upah’)
Azrai trying to get some work done and Arwen pretending to read

 Puan Mashitah and Mr. Photographer (I’m sorry I didn’t get his name) came and we went straight to business taking photo shots of the steps to make the cover and pouch.

Mashitah approving the shots
 Long story short, we finished the photo shoot at about noon and we had something to eat while Mashitah interviewed me. I made macaroni soup, something easy as you chuck in all the ingredients and let it simmer and just add macaroni before serving.

Whatever it takes to get a good shot
I don’t mind the demo shots but I’m quite stiff when it come to personal photo shoot. I literally have to say “tiga” to smile for the camera. The camera don’t really like me that much. That’s why I prefer to be the person behind the camera.

Anyway, this is to go in the March 2011 issue, InsyaAllah. I hope they can find enough decent pictures to put in the magazine. My hats off to Mashitah. In the call of duty, it’s amazing for someone who doesn’t sew to explain it in the magazine. So, don’t forget to get the issue when it’s out.

Thank you Mashitah and Karangkraf for giving me this golden opportunity to be featured in Nur. Thank you Mr. Photographer for being patient with me. I hope you got my good side. Another milestone for me and Rozi’s Needlework.