Thursday, April 24, 2014

A doll quilt

Hey guys,

This morning I was busy with hand sewing I thought I'll read me some blogs while I sewed. I went to my feedly and sadly there were only a handful of new blog posts to read. Is it me or have many bloggers stopped blogging? Some do write a post now and then but there are a big number who have completely stopped for a year. As I went through my feed, I noticed those blogs which are run like businesses are most active.

In my mind, there are a few kinds of blogs:
- blogs which I nickname directory blogs ... an example would be a bag tutorials site... this kind of blog survives on advertising
- blogs which are non-monetary, no ads, no sponsored posts, no pushing of products
- blogs which are like mine, small audience , a few ads and yes, pushing of my products
- blogs which became wildly successful and have personal posts as well as sponsored posts which are cleverly written so they don't come across as selling out
- blogs which promote other blogs, products for a fee

Oh, don't get me wrong but I tend to skip the last kind of blog unless I'm looking for something specific. I admire blogs run like businesses. I wish I know how to be that good. Such blogs are popular because they meet the needs of hunger readers.

Admiring is one thing. When it comes to reading blogs, my personal preference is to follow the daily life of whoever the blogger is. What did she make? What did she cook? What are her thoughts? Does she looove the colour turquoise? What made her love the colour turquoise? Stuff like that. And these bloggers aren't celebrities. Just ordinary folks like you and me who have somehow wormed their way into my life. (like I have into yours)

Anyway, what's the point of all these rambling? Well, despite all the signs of a decline in blogging, I've decided to revive an old blog. When I began blogging in 2007, I started out with a bang with 3 blogs. I gave up on the other two because Projects By Jane took over my life. But now that I have 3 new dolls, I've decided to resurrect my dolls blog Dressed Up Dolls. In fact today I wrote one new post for it here.


Remember the Dorset feather stitchery sampler I was making? It's done!


First I want to show you the backside. Some people are really bothered by the untidy stitching on the back. But I find them quite interesting especially against the polka dot backing.


This little quilt will is for my Pullip doll. If I were to make this for sale, I would not use running stitches to hold the binding because that would not survive numerous washing. Since it's for my doll, I thought the running stitches are so cute.


Check out the back.


Very zen.





See how she's barely tolerating the photo session.


She's so pretty she deserves a new bed. That will be my next project!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dorset Feather Stitchery Book

Many years ago I saw this book at the local library and I remembered thinking I wanted to try making one of the items in the book one day. I guess back then I had very little time as my kids were younger and my life revolved around feeding them and taking them to places they needed to be. Well, my kids got older and I finally had time. Except I couldn't remember the name of the book. I had thought it was called Dorset Button Book but when I entered this name in the library search, I got nothing. Well, more years went by and still I couldn't remember the book title. Then out of the blue, just a few days ago, I woke up and kept thinking of the word "stitchery". Now, stitchery isn't a word I use at all. So I entered "stitchery" in the search and indeed there is a book called Dorset Feather Stitchery by Olivia Pass.


Yesterday I got the book from the library and I am so pleased it is the book I've been searching for. I spent the whole morning reading the book and I must say I'm enjoying it so much. The author, Olivia Pass has such an amusing way of writing her thoughts that I was thinking she would make such an interesting blogger. I know I would follow her blog.


This book was first printed in 1957 even before my fourth sister, Elaine was born. See the piece of paper pasted on the first page of the book? Back in the old days, the due date of the book was chopped on it. You know what the blank paper means? No one checked out this book during that period. Despite the age of the book, it's still in good condition. Some joker did leave some marks on the pages from tracing the templates.



"Do not blame the transfer if it fails to iron off well. You may be the one at fault."

From intro...
" Perhaps it is only fair to give a warning about all this to those who may be entering for competitions. Some English judges do not approve of these things."

Above are some extracts from the book. Olivia Pass is so delightful! Is it just me? Craft books usually don't make me laugh so hard.


I had so much fun I decided I might as well sew a sampler.


I am quite easy going when it comes to transferring patterns. I use my frixion pen to draw freehand on the fabric. This heat erasable pen is a gift from the gods.


This sampler consists of chain, feather and blanket stitches. These stitches are commonly used in crazy quilting.


Chapter eleven - The Dorset Crosswheel Button is what I really wanted to try in this book. I remembered thinking years ago how hard it must be to make one. Well I got to find out for myself.


It is not that easy but it's not impossible. The only thing holding me back is the lack of rings. You need a ring to work the initial stitches.  I have made two - the first one I used a wooden ring quite similar to a curtain ring. The second one I used a split ring.  I think the best size has to be something in between the two rings I used.

So what do Dorset buttons have to do with Dorset feather stitch? Other than the name Dorset, I couldn't see any other relationship. The author did mention that people used Dorset buttons on their clothing. So that could be why the buttons tutorial is included.

Have you made Dorset buttons before? Well, I dug around the net and found a couple of tutes which might interest you guys.

How to make a dorset button

If the instructions are too mind blowing, the author of above tute wrote a version for kids:
Dorset buttony for kids

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Patchwork shoulder bag


I was so pleased with my Line Drawing Shoulder Bag that I went ahead and made another one. This time I made it slightly larger and to make my life a little harder, I patchworked the whole thing. The piecing was the tedious part - everything else was easy.


I used 3 layers of fabric - the patchwork on the outside, an interlining which is really another piece of fabric and the lining. So once more, no interfacing. I was a little worried the bag would turn out to be heavy. But it turned out alright.


I used up a lot of scraps in this bag. It's an ongoing mission to get rid of as many scraps as I can.

I did not quilt the patchwork as it wasn't the look I was going for. 

The bag is quite large so it doesn't sit so well. It's not a problem as this is the look I was going for - slouchy. I'm not really a fan of structured bags.

This bag has so many different fabric each one a leftover of some bag I had made and sold to customers at Vivocity at one time or another. You could say this bag is the mother of many of my bags.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Line drawing shoulder bag

I love line drawing and this Ikea fabric with line drawing is just my thing. It almost looks like a very creative child used a black marker and drew on a white piece of fabric.


I did not interface the outer fabric not out of laziness but the fabric is quite thick and I don't always like the interfaced look. Fortunately I had a black zipper pull otherwise I would go mad if I have to use a zipper pull which doesn't match.

Hubs said the fabric is white and would get dirty easily. I'm pretending he didn't say any of that. Besides the bag can be hand washed... Do you shy away from bags made from white fabric?

Anyway, I loooove this bag. I love it so much I want to marry it.

Partying with Sew Many Ways.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ladybird or ladybug

This was totally unplanned and not on my to-do list at all. I had dedicated this week to making nothing but bags - I have 5 more to make. But you know you can't make bags all day long. It gets boring. Lately I've found it's really nice to make small little embroideries which don't take up a lot of time. It's really relaxing and a great de-stressor.

It started out like this, with an embroidery hoop, some felt and embroidery thread.


Here it is, all finished. It's a ladybird. Or is it a ladybug? What's the difference?


It's mostly satin stitch which I absolutely dislike. I'm not very neat in my stitching either. I used sashiko red thread for the wings but I realise that sashiko thread isn't really good for this kind of stitching. Next time I would use perle or just embroidery floss.


Oh, I did clean up my Ikea sten shelves after all. Just one shelf. The lighting is so much better on the left side of my balcony but it is occupied by these giant sten shelves. You know the monstrous tree outside my window? It survived the recent dry spell and blocks sunlight to my balcony. But it's growing taller and I hope it will continue to grow taller so I get more light.


As I often do with all my small embroideries - I turned the ladybird into a brooch. Melly is just barely tolerating the ladybird...


Ladybird checking out the classifieds. I wonder what job would suit a ladybird?


I couldn't get the words on the newspaper to come out clear - maybe next time I should try using a higher aperture number.

Yesterday I attended the last lesson of a product photography course I was taking at Nikon school. Yes, I did learn a few things - mostly on the first lesson. In product photography, you're supposed to use special lights. But I use sunlight so there's some struggle I have each time I take photos. Still, I'm trying to use some of what I've learnt in my blog photos. Do you notice any tiny bit of improvement in my photos? (All photos on this post taken with my Nikon D3200 except for the first iPhone photo)

Later, friends.
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