Saturday, November 24, 2012

No cut, no hassle Pool Towel

My 10yo girl prefers to use her pool towel than the usual wrap ones after bath. Especially now that it is colder, it is easier to just get into one of these than the hassle of wrapping yourself.. 

*It is surprising that when I Google pool towel, none of the links were anywhere close to resembling the pic above.. apparently it's only in Japan (most likely) kids pool towel looks like the one I'm talking about. More pics on

It is a quick and easy project, something that you can get done in under half an hour. 
Things you'll need: 
Towel - I got mine from the AS IS bin in IKEA many years back. It is SOMMAR (75cm x 150cm)
Wide elastic band - Mine was about 75cm
Of course the usual notions of thread, scissors and sewing machine 

1. Remove the tag 
2. Fold the towel in half
3. Sew straight down

4. Press the seam open and sew straight or zig zag stitches so that it will lay flat and not irritate your child's skin   

5. Wrap your elastic band (sew the ends to create a loop) around the top opening and slowly sew 
*It will start to gather half way through, with the presser foot and needle down, pull and adjust the towel and sew till the end.  

And you are done. 
These towels are sold in shops here in Japan, you can find a lot of them in summer, and not so much in the other seasons. Price ranges from RM40 - RM120 depending on size and brand

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

It has been way too long....

and I don't know how to start again... *sob*

I apologize for my lack of posting here.. I am still around and sewing and updating over at my page on FB..

I promise to write soon..

*Wild Cosmos snapped in Oct*

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ABC Quilt II with LOVE

The Alphabet Quilt II (posted here) is already on its way to the owner when this post is written. I'm missing it terribly and can't stop thinking about it.. My only consolation is that it is going to a good home, to people who will appreciate and love it *sob*  

Few pictures snapped indoor of the quilt. 

The view of the back - You can clearly see the outline of hand quilted alphabets *heart* 

For more pictures and details, do visit my FB page.

Read about my first ABC Quilt:
1. Alphabet Quilt
2. Sayonara Alphabet Quilt Pin It

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teardrop Bag - sewing stage and pattern review

I assure you I'm still alive and kicking...
Continuing with the main agenda...
(You can read about Week 1 and Week 2 and see the whole time plan if you've missed them)

I found the sewing stage to be smooth mainly because I got a lot of help and guidance from the other members. We shared tips and tried to help each other out along the way. Thus making deciphering the long essay-like instructions in the book bearable.

I mainly enjoy making the hip - I have never made a bag with a hip before and I thought it clever and gave the bag a smart look. It was a bit tricky to attach the hip to the side of the bag the first time (luckily no unpicking of the seam), you have to measure the centre point and pin the hip to the bag and slowly edge stitch around the hip - the trick was the keep the balance from the edge and manage around the bag opening.  

I didn't like the partition pocket style suggested by the original pattern, so for the second bag I added zip to the partition and wallah!! - a partition with a function *grin* 

The bag is surprisingly spacious, it can fit in all my usual stuff that I take along when I go out: 
1. Long wallet given by my dear friend Nadia
2. Make up pouch - almost the same size (only fatter) as the long wallet
3. Note book and pen
4. Coin case
5. Pocket tissue and handkerchief (too embarrassing to have it in the pic, but it is always there in my purse)  

*Can you see the non-functional partition pocket?* 

The handle strap is perfect in length and width - it is comfortable and stays put on the shoulder all day long (if it has to)

*my second teardrop bag*

A fun bag to make, will definitely make more in the future. 
 Do drop by my FB page for more pictures and details

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Week 2 - Teardrop Bag progress

Week 2 (8/5 - 14/5)
1. Cut fabric and interfacing
2. Iron interfacing
3. Showcase progress

Managed to get all the fabric pieces cut out. The pattern inlet contains 3 full size pattern pieces except for the band. For the band, you either measure and cut the fabric (4pcs) or draw a template (size: 12" x 2 3/4").   

For best result, I'm using woven fusible interfacing. I like the smooth feel of the material after it has been ironed on.       

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Week 1 Teardrop bag progress

Week 1 (1/5 - 7/5)
1. Study Pattern and instructions
2. Collect Materials/Fabrics
3. Showcase fabric combo

I am planning to use the fabrics already in my stash. There are 3 pattern pieces all together that you can cut out from the pattern inlet, but I decided to copy the pattern and leave the original pattern intact. I haven't read the tutorial thoroughly though, managed to only skim through it very quickly.  

If you are interested to join the sew along check out the details in my earlier post here

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Things she makes...

1. Pop up card - inspired by Oh Happy Day
I love how she did not try to imitate what she saw, but rather create something totally original *heart* 

2. Embroidery projects - she has this thing with hand stitching - she LOVES it!!! I've tried to persuade her to try the machine, but I guess she can sense my evil plot to manipulate and use her as child labour on my production line.. uhuhuhu and she is steering clear (for now).. hehehhe   

3. Felt - These were earlier projects she made, she would browse through my craft books looking for ideas and work by herself with minimum help or suggestions from me.. 

I wished I have more time to sit and craft with her.. but for now, we enjoy crafting alongside each other. 
What type of activities do you enjoy with your little ones..?  

my almost 10yo baby - they do grow up too fast *CRY*

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Gift Idea: Personalised hand towels

A simple  and quick project to transform a plain hand towel to a personalised gift for my friends or for your own use.. I spent more time lamenting and fussing over the right and perfect combo then the actual sewing *bliss*  

Here's a simple how to -  
What you'll need:
1. Plain towel of any size, mine is 34cm x 80cm
2. Scrap fabrics  

1. Mix and match your fabric scraps and once you are happy, join them together OR you can have a long strip of the same print

2. Place your fabric strip - about 10cm above the towel edge (right side facing the towel) and sew along the lower edge 

3. Fold, press and fold the raw edge inside (so no raw seam is showing) and sew
*add rick rack or other trimmings at this point if you like*  

4. Repeat the whole process on the other side and with other towels
*believe me it is not possible to stop after only one*

I made 7 altogether - as a token for friends returning to Malaysia upon completion of their studies here in Japan

More ideas here:
1. Trimmed kitchen towel with rick-rack
2. Tea towels with ruffles and ribbon accent

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Another sew along...

I got Amy Butler's Style Stitches a while back after successfully completing my first Cosmo Bag (a sew along we had in our sewing group on FB). 

It was definitely motivating to sew together (virtually of course), exchanging ideas and concerns we had - believe me we had quite a number of concerns about piecing the pattern together. 
And since then the book has been sitting on the shelf looking all pretty.. *sigh*

So, I have decided to organise another sew along -
The sew along will be conducted simultaneously here at the blog and in 1H1P group on FB. It is open to anyone and everyone with Amy Butler's style stitches book. The plan is to try and produce a pattern a month, and for our first project, we are going to make TEARDROP BAG (project 06 in the book). 

Here's the plan: 
Level: Beginner
Time length: 1st MAY - 31st MAY 2012
Week 1 (1/5 - 7/5)
1. Study Pattern and instructions
2. Collect Materials/Fabrics
3. Showcase fabric combo
Week 2 (8/5 - 14/5)
1. Cut fabric and interfacing
2. Iron interfacing
3. Showcase progress
Week 3 (15/5 - 21/5)
1. Sewing
Week 4 (22/5 - 28/5)
1. Sewing
Showcase Final Product : 29/5 - 31/5

The plan is pretty relaxed and flexible and the project is quite straightforward.
Hope to see many of you join in.. the more the merrier!!

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

ABC Quilt... the 2nd

Do you remember the first ABC quilt I made more than 2 years back? You can read about it here and here

My friend who commissioned it the first time is commissioning it again for the second time for her baby girl. It has to be said, Mabel (my old college friend) has been one of my most avid supporter from the beginning of my crafting career. 

I am truly honoured that my handmade quilt will be part of Annabel's childhood as the first quilt is with Matt's *tears* 

To date I have completed the top (minus the border), and let me tell you that second time around is a charm.. 

I was a mess during every step for the first quilt, but with the size, template and pattern all ready and figured out, I managed to get the top completed rather swiftly. 

I still did lament about the fabric combination and arrangement. This time around I have enough space to lay everything out to arrange and rearrange, I even left everything out for days and came back to view it with a fresh perspective. 

Once the placement of the square base fabrics were confirmed, I started working on the alphabets, with the first quilt, I still hadn't discovered the wonder of a rotary cutter, so everything was drawn on the fabrics and cut out with a pair of scissors.    

This time around I added a light weight interfacing behind every alphabet before sewing them onto the square base fabric. I am more confident with the applique and managed quite well around corners remembering to pivot very slowly.

Will start working on the border and the back in a week's (or two) time.. Will keep you posted on the progress..  

*Further reading:
1. Sew Mama Sew - Simple Machine Applique
2. - Tips for machine applique 

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Current Favourite

I started this year with shopping for (more) fabrics *roll eyes* 
I noticed my selections consisted of more lines and stripes. I also went for more earthen and mellow colours.  

But this pattern seriously caught my eyes. It is by Anna Griffin and was printed in the US. It is a  quilting weight fabric. I love the colours and dream of future projects and possible fabric combinations.

What do you think?
Do you go for similar prints..? 
What type of fabrics have you bought so far..?  

pppsssst.. I am still a sucker for anything and everything LECIEN.. 
*Floral Collection - Flower Sugar* 

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recycle project - Comfy indoor slippers

Over the long winter break last year, I managed to complete a pair of indoor slippers totally out of recycled materials in my stash. Since then I aim to slowly reduce the pile by making something  for the home every now and then. 

Half of the items waiting to be recycled

If you have made indoor slippers or baby booties before, you'd know that it is quite a straight forward process but let me share how I did it. 
I use pattern taken from a book in my collection
1.Trace and cut out pattern.

2. Prepare the pieces - I use knit fabric taken from my girl's baby jammies (puppy print) for the exterior, fleece taken from an old baby jumper (light green) for the back and another fleece (black colour) to add cushion in the slipper.  
*You can use felt, denim or anti slip fabric for the back* 

3. Sew the flap right side together - turn, press and topstitch 
4. Align the centre point, pin the flap to the body (I pin the black fleece together)

5. Sew 
View from top

View from the side
6. To attach the base (light green fleece) to the flap and body piece, sandwich the base on top of the body piece (right side facing). Align and secure with pins. 
7. Sew all around and leave small space for turning. 

8. Turn, press and stitch the opening close

You are done and the best part is no seam showing and it is machine washable.
However the next time I make another pair, I might insert a shoe insole in-between to have it retain it's shape better.   

Any recycle ideas up your sleeves..? 

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