Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ground rules, missy!

Our house does not have any white fluorescent lights because my husband is allergic to them. Ok maybe not medically like the kids on The Others or like vampires in True Blood (let's not even talk about Twilight and their sparkly bits because they are not real vampires), but yes his inner mental system rejects all things white light and fluorescent. 

He loves incandescent orange-tinged lights, so our lighting system in the house mainly consists of standing lamps and pendant lamps. They do cast a more romantic and cozy glow over the house, and a simple thing like having a cup of tea while watching tv seems so much more cozier than doing it in white light hahaha. I believe that with some strategically placed incandescent orange-tinged lamps, you can make almost any room look beautiful.

Which is a big problem when you're working with colours, or detail work. When I was still working in a full time day job, I only sewed at night. But now that I have the daylight to splurge on, GOODNESS ME! There is nothing like sewing in daylight. NOTHING. It's like I've gotten a new pair of x-ray glasses that gives me power to see sheen, luster, fibers, and colours like I've never seen then before. 

Sometimes I try to work through the night like I did before, but there is no substitute for daylight. I am also usually tired by then, and coupled with the lack of daylight, it's a wonderful combo for horrible success in getting good work out. So I've decided to split my work tasks by grouping them according to how much the presence of daylight (and alertness) would help them in becoming good work. A quick breakdown:

Pattern drafting


And I made myself this poster to remind myself of the ground rules. It's for the best of the work, and for the good of me eyes. Feel free to print one for yourself if you echo my sentiments :P

Download the full A4 printable PDF here!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Comfort over style

I was sent to a seminar once where the speaker took one look at me and said "If you were asked to choose one over the other, you would pick comfort over style."


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Does it smell like old lady?"

.... that's what my brother in law asked me when I told him that I bought this at RM5 from the thrift shop: a gigantic dress with a gigantic dartless bodice and a low pleated skirt. Anything gigantic from the thrift shop is a win for me; more fabric to work with! :D

Anyway, check out my Vogue pose below. Super high fashion, I know. Forget the smize, I think awkward ogre arm poses are going to be the next big thing. And you know you heard it here first ;-)

I took apart the whole dress and ended up with 3 pieces to work with-- the front bodice, back bodice, and the pleated skirt. To make the new dress, I drafted a V-neck bodice (something I've been wanting to try for a while now), kept the side bust darts but eliminated the front darts for a more casual look. 

The neckline and sleeves were finished with some coral satin bias tape... not a very nice job on the inside though :-( I will need to practice working with bias tape more so I can improve!!!!! YAAAARRGHHH!!! :D
*that's not the sound of frustration, it's how I psych myself up / freak myself out / wake myself up

So anyway, back to the dress-- there's an elastic sewn to the waist to keep its shape. I love it when dresses are nipped in at the waist, just a personal preference :o)

I love how comfy this dress is! And it doesn't crinkle easily too. Yay!

Here's me looking at me being a fashionable ogre. God bless my husband for marrying this ogre.

Monday, December 19, 2011

L.A.R.K on Etsy!

Charm bracelets, hand cut pleather rings, and OOAK finds. Remember to enter the discount code too!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tutorial: Super quickie Christmas ornament in a fizzy!

Please raise your hands if you forgot that Christmas is a week away. Err.. nobody? It was just me? REALLY?? Heh :P

I was on the phone with my mom and I thought she was crazy when she said Christmas was only a week away. Clearly I was the crazy one instead 

I'm not much of a decoration person when it comes to Christmas, but this time around I decided just to do something simple. Bought some fairy lights, made 3 Christmas stockings with some red flannel I had in the stash, and this super simple glitter ornament to hang by our lights switch box (how glamourous, I know, stop it you guys lol).

You can make these in whatever shapes you want, and hey, who says it's only for Christmas aye?

All you need is 15 minutes, glitter, foam board, white glue, and a clear spray paint to seal it at the end. I found all these at our local stationery shop.

1. Trace your shape onto the foam board

2. Cut it and pop it out

3. Paint white glue onnit

4. FUN ALERT: Shake your glitter all over it!

5. Dust it off and you'll be left with a s'wonderful layer of glitter sitting on your glue!

6. Spray it with a clear spray to seal it in, and decorate it if you want.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sneak peak: L.A.R.K

We're almost there! Here's a sneak peak into L.A.R.K, my upcoming shop on Etsy for all my handmade items. We'll be starting off with a collection inspired by whimsical woodland critters.

Get the above ring (Eli The Elephont) for free by joining our giveaway!

Friday, December 09, 2011

WIP: Etsy store!

What to expect: Whimsical, fun accessories, postcards, prints, and fun things. Watch this space for a giveaways and shanaynays! :D

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Tutorial: Recycle your yoghurt cups!

I loveeeee yoghurt! I'd usually get me a medium tub (not the single serving ones) from the grocery store  to last me a few days. Before you throw the tubs away, THINK ABOUT CAPTAIN PLANET! He's got green hair and a weird tan, but above all, he needs YOU to save the planet by recycling. *wink*

So here's an easy peasy way to recycle that yoghurt tub into a twine cup for some pretty desk organization. Put your pens and pencils in it, or use it as a little bin to collect scraps from your craft project.

This project is wayyyy easy. Here's what you need:
- Empty yoghurt tub
- Twine rope (or any other type of rope/yarn you fancy your pants off)
- Scissors
- PVA glue or UHU glue

I love strawberry yoghurt. Slurp.

Here we go! First, cut out the label like a boss.

Spread glue on the outside like a boss.

Wrap the twine rope around the cup like a... uh, you get my drift.

Done! You're such a boss.

You may stop here and use your twine cup, but if you can do a simple braid, let's finish this baby off!

Braid three strands like so:

... and stick them to the rim of your twine cup. 
Best to use a superglue like UHU for this :-)

Anddddd you're done! Tar darrrrr....

My twine cup sits with me on the table when I sew or work on DIY projects, and works as a little bin to collect stray thread, felt scraps, and little fabric remnants. Yes... pretty things make working fun for me :D

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Waiting to see their mamas

My first time sewing for clients. Nerve wrecking! But I also learnt a lot of things and tried my best to finish them as nicely as possible, like top-stitching and under-stitching and steaming interfacing before applying it on.

Today was my first ever fitting session with a client. It went well, thank God! Three more to go, hope they will go well too :D

Sewing Books Review (Pt 2)

Picking up from where I left off, here's the second part of my reviews of 2 more sewing books. These books focus on pattern drafting.

Pattern-drafting may not be for everyone as it takes quite a lot of time and multiple muslin trials and errors to get a good fit. But it is very fun if you like to come up with your own designs! :D Here are the books I have on pattern-drafting:

The first sewing book I ever purchased, one which I researched and pondered over for the LONGEST time too. It took me a longggg time to decide between this book and Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph-Armstrong, but because the latter uses the imperial system (inches) and I grew up studying in the metric system (centimetres) thanks to the British colonisation, I decided to finally go with Winifred Aldrich.

This book taught me how to draft patterns according to my own measurements. It has a lot of variations of sleeves, darts, collars, and basic bodice patterns for woven materials (ie cotton) and non-woven materials (ie jersey). Each diagram is accompanied by instructions on how to draft them. As you can see I've marked LOADS of pages, most of them are styles and variations that I like and can see myself incorporating them into my designs.

6. Modern Pattern Design by Harriet Pepin

This book was once available online at , but sadly the website is now down (I'm guessing due to lack of donations?). Rozy posted a link on our Sewing Buddies FB group to a downloadable PDF version at Michou Loves Vintage, which I read on our ipad. Now here is the interesting thing: I actually find this book a GREAT accompaniment to Winifred Aldrich's book above. While Adrich's book covers a lot of styles and variations, Pepin's book covers less variations but has rather in-depth in explanations about WHY those variations are needed (ie what type of dart works best for a large bust, etc).

You may notice that the illustrations and styles look very old and outdated, but to me, I am still able to learn about form and fit. Plus, fashion styles are always a cycle. Who knew shoulder pads would come back in fashion again? Michael Kors / Heidi Klum made a remark on an episode of Project Runway that went something like "That looks terribly 80s, and that's not something people would like", and I laughed because I watched that episode only a year later when the 80s fashion did make a comeback :P

So despite referencing "outdated" styles, both books do teach a lot about pattern making, and understanding how different positions of little things like darts can make a big difference.

And that's about it, hope this didn't bore anyone to the abyss of boredom.