Thursday, December 8, 2011

Calligraphy + embroidery

Many many years back, I learnt calligraphy in school.  Each lesson was spent drawing guidelines in pencil, using the calligraphy pen to write poems, and drawing a decorative border around the words.  At around the same time, I was introduced to embroidery.  We sewed lots of different stitches and were graded on the neatness of our work.

Fast forward many years later -- Here I am, combining calligraphy and embroidery late at night.  The little one has started school and to avoid any confusion, I started sewing his name on his uniforms.  After about an hour, neat stitches of his name in cursive script can now be seen on 2 sets of uniforms.

It's always good to learn more things.  We'll never know when we'll need these skills at some point in life...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Cushion Covers

Remember the cushion covers I made for M many months back?  She wanted more cushion covers to replace old looking ones in her house so that they'll look nicer when Christmas comes.  So here I went again, sewing more cushion covers....

This time round, I did things a little differently from the previous batch of cushion covers.
1) I used the zig-zag stitch to "serge" the edges with my new sewing machine.  Previously I hemmed all edges as my old sewing machine could only do straight stitches, which almost killed me as it took up so much time!
2) I experimented on hidden zippers using my invisible zipper foot.  Luckily all went well..... phew!

Here's a photo of all the cushion covers, previous and current batches:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Attracted by Lovely Fabric


This fabric caught my eye..... I'm not really a shopping kind of gal but when I saw a dress that was made from this fabric, I was drawn to it, just had to try it.  Given that I'm usually mainly decked in darker, boring colours like browns, blues, whites, grays and blacks, this buy was something out of the norm.It even had a bright red belt.... what was I thinking??

Maybe it's time to stand out and not be too concerned about what others think or say.  Maybe it's time to do the things I want to do.  Maybe it's time to live the way I want to live...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

First Attempt at Invisible Zip

Another request for more cushion covers..... so I thought I'd go for something I've never tried before -- the invisible zip!  When I bought my new sewing machine, I also bought an invisible zip sewing foot, so this was the best time to try it out.

According to some online tutorials for sewing invisible zips,  I had to iron out the curl near the zipper for best results (here's an excellent tutorial with lots of pictures).  Other tutorials said that was unnecessary because that's what the invisible zip sewing foot is for -- to uncurl it while you sew so that you won't need to iron it beforehand.  The part about the special function of the invisible zip sewing foot made some sense to me so off I went, WITHOUT any pre-ironing.  Luckily everything turned out fine and here's the final result:



Now that I've tried it once, I think the ironing is necessary if you do not intend to buy additional sewing feet.  You can then use the normal zipper foot which usually comes together with the sewing machine.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My First Amigurumi Rabbit

It's completed!!!!  My very first amigurumi....... a cute little white rabbit!  Tell me what you think about it =)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Another Year On...

Another year gone by, another year older... more and more things to learn.

Was rummaging through some of my old stuff a few days back and found lots and lots of partially-used wool, cloth, binding, etc etc etc. There was a whole big drawer full of these remanents from school days!  I was never much of a knitter nor crochet-er, why in the world did I buy so much wool??

Anyway,  since I found my crochet needle too, I decided to learn how to make amigurumi (crochet stuffed animals).  The ones I saw on the web were soooooo cute.  I started  by watching this tutorial and played and paused and played and paused until I figured out how to do it.  After several attempts (and several hours), I finally managed a decent looking ball shaped thingy with 2 beady eyes =)

Now I need to run to the craft store to buy needles to sew wool (what are these called?).  Hopefully, I'd get a decent looking amigurumi after patching everything together.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My New Reversible Bag

I finally got off my bum and started sewing my bag using the tutorial from verypurpleperson.  As for the choice of fabric, I settled on some cute red hippo cloth and a somewhat more "normal" rose fabric, both from Ikea.

Using the pdf pattern was really simple with markings to tell you exactly where to join up the pieces of A4 paper.  The original bag tutorial did not have any pockets, so I decided that this was a good time to learn how to sew zipper pockets and attach it to the basic bag pattern.

After a few hours of fiddling, here's my version of the reversible bag:


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reversible Bag Tutorial

Once upon a time, I was in an online shopping craze (that was before I got conned by an online shop based in Malaysia).  One of my online purchases was a brown handbag which I brought to work every day.  It was pretty sturdy, but...... my house keys poked a hole in the pocket it was in... arrrgghhhh!  Thus began my search for a new bag...

At a store, I saw some nice looking bags but they cost $40+!  "I should pamper myself once in a while" -- take bag down from shelf.  "But is this worth the price?" -- put bag back.  This went on for a good 15 mins before I finally walked away; empty handed.

One day, I found this here:


There was a very easy-to-understand tutorial, and the bag was reversible!  Hmmmm..... should I make one for myself?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boring Mattress Covers

A plain, boring pillowcase brought me back to the world of sewing after years away from it.  At a time when my mind was running wild (not in the good sense), when I was having difficulty sleeping, something boring was just the thing to save me.  Though nothing complicated, the whole process of planning, measuring,  cutting and sewing, forced my mind to the task at hand, taking it away from other darker places.

Here's a grubby looking foldable mattress..... and no wonder it turned out that way..... it did not come with any cover and there was none to be bought.


Armed with cloth bought from Ang Mo Kio (a mature town in central Singapore), where a shop which only sells cloth still exists, I started sewing, sewing, sewing, sewing into the night.  Here are the end products:


Totally exhausted, I fell asleep..... without thinking about things I didn't want to think about.....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tablet Pen Attachment

My hubby bought a HTC tablet and ordered a wallet for it online.  The wallet was nice and sleek, but there was no where to attach the pen.  Here was my attempt at making a holder for the pen that could be attached to the spine of the wallet.  Hubby didn't use it in the end..... complained that the pen wasn't secure and could drop out.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hippo Cloth

It was a rainy afternoon and the family didn't know where to go. We had some constraints though.... the journey had to be long enough for my little one's power nap in the car.... so we ended up at Ikea.  Found this cute hippo cloth that's really bright and cheery =)  Now what should I do with it?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another Dinosaur Craft

Here's a dinosaur craft that I made a few months back together with my little one.  In Ice Age 3, there is an Ankylosaurus (dinosaur with spikes on its body and a hammer-like tail).  Having watched this over and over and over and over again, the little one wanted me to make one for him. So...... armed with 1 toilet roll, a discarded toothpaste box, newspaper, and some starch (flour mixed with water), the dino was slowly put together.

This was the first time in my life that I've worked with paper mache, so I thought it was wise to work on this part alone...... gosh it was messy!!  Plastered on the newspaper to form the body, and made paper mache spikes to be glued on later.  I left it to dry overnight, then let the little one glue on the spikes to the body the next day. More waiting for the glue to dry..............

Luckily the little one was patient enough to wait for the painting stage.  He chose red for the spikes.... so here goes...


Now for the body.... green it shall be.  Draw on the eyes with a marker and the dinosaur is ready!

Yeah, I know it's missing a hammer-like tail..... but there were no complaints from the little one =)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Stegosaurus Plush

The little one is crazy over dinosaurs!!  He watches dinosaur movies over and over again. He walks like a dinosaur.  He roars like a dinosaur. Yes, he IS a little dinosaur (that's what he tells me).

For his birthday present, I decided to make a plush stegosaurus.  With little experience in making plush toys (other than the little owls), I scored the web for help.  With fingers, and toes, crossed, I started cutting up the fabric and felt.  Luckily, nothing much went wrong and here's the final product!!

This one's for you, little one :)

(For the record, he had a dinosaur birthday cake, got a T-Rex shirt, 1 triceratops toy that roars and talks, 1 T-Rex plush toy, and this Stegosaurus made by me)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Monopoly Owls

I couldn't help but smile when I saw this photo of my little owls being used in Monopoly.  It's nice that they are settling in nicely in a home where they are treated as part of the family =)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The owls go to Fraser's Hill

These little owls are having so much fun!  This time, they took a trip to Fraser's Hill in Malaysia (Named after a solitary Scottish pioneer, James Fraser, who set up a tin-ore trading post in the 1890s, it actually consists of seven hills.).  Here's Rosie posing by the window!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The past two weeks...

The past few weeks weren't great... but the world continues to spin no matter what happens.  Working on a few sewing projects helped to take my mind off the issue for at least a few hours at a time.  Now, it's time to step back into reality... I'm not sure I'm ready to answer questions about my absence from work just yet...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

iPad Case

Does anyone still have an iPad and does not intend to upgrade to an iPad2 yet?  Keep your iPad safe with these cute cases!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Birthday Present


SH's birthday is next month but she's always flying around and I never know when she'll be in town.  Since we finally managed to make an appointment with each other, I made this drawstring bag out of Japanese kimono pattern cloth for her as a birthday present.

I thought that this would be a simple project, but I got the measurements wrong, and I made the inner pocket too big!!  Sigh...... at least it looks presentable after spending 2 hours on it.....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Price of Sewing Machine Dropped!!

Just barely 1 month after I bought my precious new toy - a Brother sewing machine, the price of the very same model dropped by S$20!!  Sigh..... I could have used that $20 to buy more fancy sewing machine feet.....

Monday, May 16, 2011

Security Envelope Art

After looking at how many creative people turn security envelopes into art, I thought I would give it a go myself.  Was a bit disappointed that the patterns on the security envelopes that I had didn't have much variety, but here's my first shot at it:


Just for fun, I've also put it for sale at my Etsy store :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Doodle

My son is currently crazy over dinosaurs.  He wants to watch Disney's Dinosaurs and Ice Age 3 (which has ultra cute baby T-rex's!), play with plastic dinosaurs and can name some of them with more prominent features.  This doodle is for him:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Craft It Forward Update I

Some time in February this year, I joined in Craft It Forward.  As of now, I have sent out 2 crafts for this project.  The first one went to Agy in sunny Singapore.  It's one of the many little plush owls that I've made.  Here's a photo of it at Agy's office:
The next Craft It Forward gift was sent to tweal in Canada:

Hope both of them like what they got!  Any takers for the remaining 3 gifts for Craft It Forward?  Just leave a comment on that post and drop me an email about mailing details!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Snowy Blue

Little Snowy Blue here is the only remaining owl from his batch of owls.  3 other owls (Tweety, Angel and Athena Rosie Roly-Poly Redbreast) now live together with Ulysses on the sunny island, Singapore.  If anyone would like to give Snowy Blue a home, you can get him from my Etsy store.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Birthday Present

Remember the beloved cloth that I was supposed to turn into cushion covers?  Well, here's another product from that same fabric - a single-handled bag as a birthday present for M! I first came across a similar style of bag that someone got as a gift from overseas.  What I liked about it was that all it needed was a wooden ring to hold the bag shut at the top.  Copying that idea, I pulled out some brown fabric to match the earthy colours of the flowery fabric.  I didn't have any wooden rings, so I used a metal ring instead (the cheap metal rings that can be used as key chains).  It's lined on the inside and is reversible if you want a change.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Ulysses' Siblings

Remember Ulysses who now lives in a car? 3 more little fellows from my new batch of owls also made their way to Ulysses' owner.  Here are 2 of them (the remaining one not in this photo has a red tummy):

Those 2 little fellas above were given to 2 little girls who already have many soft toys, so Mummy was expecting them to play with them for a while then forget about them. Then, she'll be able to take all of those little owls as her own and place them in the display cabinet.  However, things did not go as planned.....

Somehow because the owls are small and round, the girls giggle whenever they see them because they look so comical.  They're quite convenient as distractions whenever the kids are fretting. 



The owl with the blue tummy has been named "Tweety" and is permanently paired with a little blue dolphin.  The owl with the orange tummy is call "Angel" because "she has wings and can fly"..... now, who's to fight with an imaginative kid?

Mummy took the owl with the red tummy as her own and suggested calling her "Rosie Redbreast", but the girls say she's Ulysses' elder sister (the owl in the car), so it's name got changed to Athena (Greek goddess of wisdom who is often shown together with an owl). But the kids were playing with her in the car the other day, giggling and making her roll around, so now her name has become "Athena Rosie Roly-Poly Redbreast".

Now now now, who said kids would only be happy with expensive toys bought from high end toy stores?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Project Cushion Covers

As mentioned in an earlier post, I received a request to turn old sofa covers into cushion covers -- as many as possible!  The cushion insert was from Ikea and measured 14" x 14".  I don't know why I did what I did, but I took one of the two sofa covers and decided to unpick the thread to see if I could maximise the cloth.  On hindsight, how much difference will it make??  Duh....

Anyway, after all that unpicking, I ironed it out nicely before cutting..... something I seldom bother to do in my own projects :p *Snip snip snip*

Paranoid...... measure again to make sure it's alright.  Yeah, I have enough cloth to make 5 cushion covers!!

I don't have a serger, so here goes the tedious work of hemming in all the raw edges. *iron iron iron* *sew sew sew*

With the experience gain from sewing my own cushion covers with hidden zippers, this batch wasn't as frustrating.  Here's the final product:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My New Toy =)

After much consideration, I finally decided to get a new sewing machine.  My old sewing machine will be sent back to my Mum's place as she doesn't do any fancy sewing.  Here are a few photos of my new toy!!!!!


Call me suaku (mountain tortoise), but this is the first time I've seen an auto threader:

 and.... a drop-in bobbin which needs no oiling:

Here's a sample of some stitches that weren't available n my old Sakura sewing machine:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ulysses the Owl

This little fellow is one of the first few mini owls that I made.  Gave it to a friend and this is a photo of him in his new home =)

He has been christened "Ulysses", after the scops owl in the book "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell, a book which his new owner enjoyed reading from her childhood.

He has found a nesting place in his owner's car, where he never fails to brighten his owner's day with his cuteness.

His owner's children like playing with him and always laugh and squeal when he's handed over to them. They make him fly around the car. He keeps them occupied during long car journeys. The children insist he's a she, though. They are also concerned as to why he has no wings and no feet.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

More Junk Mail Art

More art..... using junk mail this time.  Anyone inspired?

Security Envelope Art

Do you get lots of mail from banks?  Ever noticed the pattern on the inside of the envelopes?  I'm a hoarder..... I have lots and lots of mail that I haven't cleared for months on end :p So..... I started looking at security envelope art.  Take a look at this from homework:


Does this change your view about those nasty bills now?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beloved Cloth

Got a request to use the fabric from an old sofa cover to make cushion covers.  She loves this fabric a lot and tried to prolong the lifespan of the sofa cover as long as possible.... this was evident by the neat hand-sewn stitches over long stretches to prevent fraying.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sakura Sewing Machine

This is my Sakura sewing machine.  Bought many years ago, it was only in recent months that I've started using it more regularly.  Somehow, the dial that allows stitch selection seems to be stuck!  I can only select the straight stitches and nothing else.  Does anyone know how this can be fixed?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Paper Beads

Another day of aimless surfing of the web...... these paper beads caught my attention.  Back in school, I remember painstakingly cutting strips of paper from old magazines and rolling them into similar looking beads.  I never actually wore the beads, so maybe that's why I never thought of water-proofing them.  Nail polish!  Now, why didn't I think of that?

These blue ones are so pretty!! They almost look like ceramic beads!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No Mozzies Please

A newly aquired aquarium tank needed a water change every week.  With our fishes dropping off like flies, we were convinced that the instant dechlorination solution wasn't as magical as it seemed.  So it was back to primitive methods - to let the water sit there for some time, hoping that whatever harmful stuff in the water would disappear.  But..... letting a whole pail of water sit there for a whole week had me worrying abt breeding mosquitoes, therefore I came up with this to keep the pail snugly covered.

My inspiration?  Reusable salad bowl covers like this.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fat Owl

After my first attempt at making owls, I saw some cute little owls at a shop and at my friend's house..... so it was time for mini owls!!  They were quick to sew on the sewing machine, but the hand sewing portion was finger-cramping.  The felt pieces for the eyes and beak were so small.... but they looked so cute and chubby =)  This little red fellow is available at my Etsy shop.