December 3, 2010 § Leave a comment
And where is the dress you were supposed to be finishing?? It’s deadline already!
Okay, the dress project isn’t really coming along well. I still have issues with fit but not really with construction. I do still hope it doesn’t turn out as a failed project because I really love the fabric. It doesn’t help that I again have a lot of things to do on the home front, it also doesn’t help that I am distracted again, LOL!
So I go ahead and read about this project on her blog and I stumble across the knit top version. Voila! I was inlove! Again!
This pattern is so versatile, it also works for knit fabrics? Ama-zing! It isn’t just because the fabric is a beautiful rose print but the design is really flattering that is making my mouth water.
I just wish I could have it…maybe soon when I’m done with all the stuff I have to do. Tasia’s shop is now open for business and is ready to ship her patterns to anywhere so check it out at her pattern store, here. For now I will just have to admire from afar. ^_^
November 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
I’m going to a party or maybe an anniversary dinner (hint! hint!) and I need to sew myself a dress. Here are a couple of candidates I am looking at right now that is tickling my sewing fancy. I’d like something flattering to all body types, a pattern that is cheap and easy to alter and to fit on my figure, and easy to put together as I only have five days left to make it. This is going to be my first dress in a while, the last time I made a dress was for my youngest sister, a blue sweetheart neckline cocktail dress with a matching bolero. Urgh, I wish I’d taken a picture of it! And of course, where do I turn to for inspiration? Where else, Burdastyle! Here are my candidates for my first dress project:
Candidate #1 The Danielle dress. This dress, for me, is the most popular dress style, Burdastyle free pattern ever produced.
Check out the member creations for this pattern, and it has a whopping 196 member creation uploads to date! There are more than a couple of BS member design variations that are pretty cool.
Candidate #2: The Heidi dress also by Burdastyle
Here are a couple of Heidi versions that are totally impressive!
Candidate #3: The Jenny Dress variation by Burdastyle
Talented much!! Here are a couple of member created Jenny dresses that I liked:
These are truly inspiring, don’t you think? You know, if I had time, I’d make all three designs. 😀 Wish me luck!
November 18, 2010 § 2 Comments
Earlier this year, I made these costumes for my daughters to wear to their International Friendship day program at school. I made a blue and white floral ‘Kimona and Patadyong’ for Daughter #2, while Daughter #3 wore her big sister’s old pair. A Kimona and Patadyong is a blouse and skirt pair that is a traditional Filipino costume. The blouse, which is usually adorned with embroidery and comes with a sash (for wiping your brows with, i think) pinned on the garment’s shoulder, is paired with a simple skirt that was wrapped around the waist. This combination was worn before by our females while working on their farmlands, planting rice.
The ‘Kimona’ is a blouse traditionally made of fine Pineapple Jusi or fiber, but since I can’t/couldn’t get my hands on Pineapple fiber as it is also quite expensive, I made my Kimona out of tulle and decorated it with fabric yoyo’s. I hand stitched the side seams together and it just goes over on top of a simple tank top or like we call it back home, ‘sando’. I also made another traditional blouse for her to wear alternatively (for when she was feeling more modest than usual) – a ‘camisa‘, a blouse with bell sleeves. My version though, was made in lightweight plain white cotton which I also adorned with fabric yoyos (made out of the fabric for the skirt) and pre-made little blue flowers I also bought from my favorite notions store in Chinatown.
As for Daughter #1, who is a big fan of anything Japanese (from the food, manga, drama to boy bands and Matsumoto Jun), requested that I sew her a Yukata, a Japanese summer dress made of cotton. It is shorter than a traditional Kimono and is usually worn by the Japanese during summer festivities. (Am I right, Taeco?) Which, after much researching and googling, I happily obliged to make her.
I bought the Japanese quilting fabric at Chinatown, and I didn’t really have to look further because when I saw it right away, I knew it would be just the perfect thing for a child’s Yukata. If you look closely at the fabric, you’ll see little demure Japanese girls wearing Yukatas, some with opened umbrellas and some with little fans on their hands. The print also has gold detailing, making it all the more pretty special and perfect for the project. So, in spite of my husband’s horror, I bought four yards of it despite its hefty price tag of 48 SGD (12 SGD per yard).
I got my pattern from Otsukaya, a Japanese sewing site online that offers free patterns in PDF format. Although it is in Japanese,you can use Google translate to read the page in English. It is not a complete pattern though, and the instructions are in Japanese, but it’s not really very hard to decipher the instructions even if you can’t read the language. There are drawn instructions on how to draft the Yukata with numbers in centimeters and a complete step by step sewing instruction on how to put it all together.
Can you tell from their picture that they’re loving the clothes I made for them? Even though it’s 5:30 in the morning, they’re grinning from ear to ear. I am really happy they like it. What is more is that it’s really pretty neat what I learned through sewing my children’s costumes. I learned a lot! Even though as a child this should not be new to me, for I too wore my own share of traditional clothing for school programs and events, more when I was in high school as a member of the ‘Rondalla’ group. I learned about the types of costumes during Primary and Secondary school but this time I got to read and learn about how to draft the patterns for the costumes the traditional way and finding out a way to do it my own way using limited textile resources, alternating the materials used traditionally to make them with what is on hand from where I am.
As an Anthropology student back in college, I took integrated beginner to advance Japanese as a language elective and had an amazing Japanese Sensei who told us a lot about her culture. From her lectures I found out more about what a Kimono was, what it looked like, and how it was worn, but I didn’t know what a Yukata was even if my life depended on it. So it was like, “Mommy, prepare to be educated by an 11 year old…” LOL.
So, it is just amazing how this craft, sewing, crosses cultural boundaries and it is amazing what life lessons it can teach you (for me is that an 11 year old can know more than you in a lot of things…duhhh!) and how it can surprise you everyday in your journey to being wise. All you have to do is not be afraid and be prepared to do some learning, even if is going to be a lot, and you won’t leave empty headed, errr…handed. Hahaha!
The book to read if you want to know more about traditional Filipino costumes and dresses:
Patterns for the Filipino Dress (From the Traje de Mestiza to the Terno 1890s-1960s) by Salvador F. Bernal and Georgina Encanto (c1992 CCP, Manila) – http://www.amazon.com/Patterns-Filipino-dress-Mestiza-1890s-1960s/dp/971854612X
If you want/need to know more, here are related sewing links to making your own Yukata and other stuff for costume sewing:
How to make a Yukata by Amparo Bertram: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~weyrbrat/Japan/yukata/index.html
Cosplay free patterns and tutorials: http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=121627 –> This is where I got the easy tutorial I used to make my Obi belt to wear with the Yukata.
Another link how to draft and sew your own Yukata: http://www.gofuku-sugano.co.jp/kimono/nuiage.html
November 16, 2010 § 2 Comments
Finally! Tomorrow is the Hari Raya Haji Muslim holiday here in Singapore and there are only two more days of school left to go and it’s vacation time again! This means I will have the big girls here to help me around the house and take care of the handful toddler, which translates to MORE SEWING TIME!! Yahoo!!
Another thing to be happy about is that I finally figured out how to work my husband’s quirky Nikon, and managed to photograph some of my finished projects. I have also been able to install Photoshop and edit my work. So, tadaaa!!! Baby shoes!
This pair, I made out of Japanese quilting fabric left over when I made Daughter #1’s Yucata for International Friendship Day earlier this year. Aren’t they lovely? The cotton fabric has gold detailing in the print, making it more special. And if you look closely, you’ll see little Japanese girls wearing summer Yucatas. Pretty, pretty!!
These baby Mary Janes are reversible and can be hand washed. I did not use the very stiff interfacing required by the project instructions, because this was my first time making these, and these are really very tiny (I made size 3), I thought that I would have a hard time sewing with it. I was wrong. Sewing these couldn’t be easier! I’m going to use stiffer interfacing next time to give the shoes more body.
I made both these shoes using scraps from my Red, polka dotted Lisa Shirt:
Cool huh? These baby shoes are a great way to scrap-bust, they’re easy to cut and make, and the photo- instructions that came with the pattern were very clear, very easy to follow by any dummy like me. LOL! Any Mom-to-be is going to be happy to receive them for their little ones.
You can find more about where to get the links for the baby shoes pattern and instructions for the shoes from my earlier post here.
November 2, 2010 § Leave a comment
You guessed it! I have not been able to do anything on the sewing front lately as there were lots of chores like cleaning the house and tutoring the kids for their semestral (end of school) exams to do. I did, however, got to planning my holiday sewing. The plan is to have a semi-handmade holiday this year. Last year we made our own Christmas decorations and this year I’m going to be gifting handmade items to the kids.
For now let me share this wonderful Apartment Therapy blog post that I stumbled upon a while back that has helped me cope with the chaos in my life that is ‘cleaning our flat’: “How To Clean Your House in 20 Minutes a Day for 30 Days“
See you later!
October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
Speaking of cutting, I cut my pinkie finger on a can of corned beef and it hurts pretty bad so I basically can’t do much. It’s quite big and I could see the insides of me finger while I was washing it with water and trying to stop the bleeding. My daughters think it’s gruesome. I thought it was cool. This was the first cut/cooking accident I have had in years!
Since I can’t do anything much using my left hand, I decided I would just trace and cut patterns from 1.) the Japanese book i bought a while ago; 2.) a diaper cover tutorial pattern and; 3.) Market skirt form MADE; 4.) Mary Jane shoes from ithinksew.com/Etsy and; 5.) Baby T-strap shoes from ithinksew.com/Etsy.
I’m done with cutting up fabric and ironing on the interfacing for the baby shoes, for the baby clothes, diaper covers and for the toddler skirts today so for tomorrow I’ll start sorting them out from easiest to sew to complicated. I’m also going to factor in how many steps to making each garment so I know how long it will take me to finish them all. Maybe it will be easier if I sew them by groups (top, bottoms, bonnet, shoes, etc.) as I more often than not, get fed up making up the same thing twice. LOL! If all goes well, I might be done before next Monday, for next week there will be less to no sewing done because it’s examination week for the kids!
October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
I used to tell my husband how envious I am about other sewing bloggers and their beautiful and updated blogs and about how they ‘seem’ to have all the time and the finances in the world to craft and sew beautiful clothes and be able to post everyday on their personal blogs. My husband, my voice of reason, would point out that not everybody has the same circumstances in life and I should be looking at it in that point of view. I came back and looked at them again, looked at things in another light and saw that most of the blogs I visit often than not probably do have more time than I do because 1.) they don’t have kids, if they do, they don’t have tons like I do (I have four.); 2.) they are either single with a job or DINCs (double income couples, no kids) so they can afford the fabric and pattern stash; 3.) they have better time management and organizational skills than I do (BINGO!!); 4.) did I already mention they don’t have four kids??
I don’t wish I don’t have kids but I kinda wished I was back in Manila where I could afford a maid service so I can have more time to sew. Moving and living here in Singapore has taught us a lot as a family. We are here for each other now more than ever and the kids are wonderful, helping me around the house and helping with their little brother (who is by the way almost two and is a handful!). Back in Manila, they were growing up to be spoiled kids with Nannies to pick up after them, like most kids who attend their expensive Catholic school, and that wasn’t a good sign. My husband and I want them to grow up like we did when we were kids, independent and self-reliant individuals. I digress.
Anyway, that is why when I bumped into ‘Blogging Without Obligation’ (B.W.O.) I was intrigued and after reading their mission statement, I was ecstatic! No more “sorry for disappearing on you like that, sorry for not posting in a while, sorry for being a delinquent blogger, sorry etc., etc.” One of the reasons why I ‘abandoned’ my two previous blogs was because some days I don’t have time to sit on my sewing machine or cut up a pattern to fit me. If I don’t have anything to show for, I don’t have anything to blog about. Sometimes I am like a chore robot and most of the time, if not all the time, I am Mommy-playmate-boo boo kisser-official tickler, hence the silence for weeks or months at a time and that makes for a boring blog no one will want to visit.
BWO Mission statement goes as follows:
- Because its okay to just say what you have to say. If that makes for a long post, fine. Short post, fine. Frequent post, fine. Infrequent post, fine.
- Because its okay to not always be enthralled with the sound of your own typing.
- Because sometimes less is more.
- Because only blogging when you feel truly inspired keeps up the integrity of your blog.
- Because they are probably not going to inscribe your stat, link and comment numbers on your tombstone.
- Because for most of us blogging is just a hobby. A way to express yourself and connect with others. You should not have to apologize for lapses in posts. Just take a step back and enjoy life, not everything you do has to be “bloggable”.
- Because if you blog without obligation you will naturally keep your blog around longer, because it won’t be a chore. Plus, just think you will be doing your part to eradicate post pollution. One post at a time. . .
What I like most about BWO is that it will keep everything ‘real’. Although I feel inspired to make something everyday, I don’t really have the time and who knows how long the inspiration will last. I don’t want my blogging or crafting to be a chore, or a full time job and I don’t want to resent not being able to have the time and finances to afford it because I already have a full time job that requires my attention. I’ve been there. Once something you love becomes a job and you treat it as such, it will no longer hold as much fascination as when it did when you first started.
After all I am not here to make money nor attract attention, rack up a hundred comments because I’m either controversial or super fabulous. I’m just here to enjoy what I love doing: sewing, crafting and writing. Blogging about it is just a means to connect to other people who share the same interests as I do, no matter what demographic they come from. I want to make new friends, teach someone something useful and maybe even something new related to the craft. It’s wonderful out there on the internet and the blog world, and if you don’t know about it yet, there are a lot of wonderful people out there in the sewing blogging community who are selfless and committed to sharing their ideas and I would like a piece of that pie myself.
I commit myself to BWO and I apologize in advance if I disappear from time to time. If you’d like to get their logo and if you wanna join in, just click here and grab their HTML buttons for your own blogs, it’s free!