Saturday, November 29, 2008

Korean Souvenirs 2 - Knots

Although I love Korean knots, I did not go crazy buying up every single knotted thing I came across when I was in Korea. My husband restrained me.

This charm was my first buy. I was jittery about not coming across another charm store that I bought it even though I was not in love. I was so wrong. They were everywhere that every charm started to look common.

Pretty charms all in a row
My girl bought these charms and she would have bought plenty more if her father had not restrained her.

I was really hoping to find less common charms like this one I had bought in Singapore during a Korean Fair. So classy.

I grew weary of commoner and commoner knotted charms that I almost gave up. Then I fell in love. I had been staring at two large gorgeous knotted tasselled things hung at the rear view mirror in my tour bus for days. I knew I wanted them. Of course they proved to be very hard to find.

One night I walked past a street vendor and my husband pointed out the gigantic drum knotted thing I wanted. I almost screamed but it was too cold. I did not even bargain and paid whatever the vendor wanted. The sweet woman actually gave me a discount!
You can't tell from the picture but it is huge!

My last item was a shoe knotted thing which proved to be rather elusive. I just couldn't find it anywhere. Once, I spotted it at a street vendor from the bus and when we stopped 5 minutes away, my husband braved the cold and walked back to find the vendor. My hero! Unfortunately it was too far away and way to cold to walk on the street.

On my last day in Korea, on a pit-stop before reaching the airport, I found my shoe knotted thing. I was so happy I wanted to cry but it was too cold.

This is a knotted charm I maade using just double connection knots and beads.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Korean Souvenirs 1 - Drawstring Bag

All of last week my family and I were in Korea for a holiday. That my husband's sister was living in Seoul was all the excuse we needed for an overseas vacation. My kids had never flown before and I was so excited for them. Funny moment: Shortly after taking off, my kids who were more interested in the movies than anything else had their headphones on when there was some turbulence. My son speaking in a very loud voice asked: "Have we landed?" I still laugh until I cry everytime I recall this sweet moment.

Korea was freezing cold. Having lived in Singapore all my life, the only cold I know is air-cond cold. In all my holidays abroad I had always chosen to go during Summer. I feared the cold like I feared losing my wallet. Last week in Korea was late Autumn but Winter came early. It snowed. (My first snow!) How does one describe the first shock of the icy wind in your face? To your system? I wore gloves, woollen scarf, woollen cap, 3 layers of pants, 3 layers of knitted long sleeved sweaters, 1 wool quilted jacket and I was still cold. My bones rattled. I have new respect and sympathy for people who live in countries with 4 seasons.

Korean Drawstring Bag - Gorgeous colour

I saw this cute Korean drawstring bag and couldn't resist buying it. Check out the knots! I examined the seams in detail and realised I could make a similar drawstring bag. I took photos as I went along so I could remember the steps. This is not a tutorial.

Outer fabric : Cut 1 piece 7 3/4" by 14"
Lining : Cut 1 piece 7 3/4" by 14"
Frill : Cut 2 pieces 7 3/4" by 7"

Step 1
Fold outer fabric into half along long side, right side together.
For both sides of the seams: From the raw edge, sew down 1/4" (my seam allowance).
Leave gap of 3/4" for drawstring.
Sew to the end of fabric.

Step 2
Fold lining into half along long side, right side together.
For one side of the seam: Sew to the end of the lining.
For the other side of the seam: Leave a small gap for turning.

Step 3
With right sides together, sew the side seams (7") of the frill together all the way to the end.

Step 4
With wrong sides together, fold the frill into 2 matching raw seams. Press.

Step 5
With right sides together, place the frill around the outer fabric, matching raw edges. Pin and saw 1/4" from raw edges.

Step 6
Turn outer fabric wrong side out. The frill should be inside. Insert lining right side out into the outer fabric. Match raw edges. Sew 1/4" from the raw edges.

Step 7
Turn bag right side out. Topstitch a short distance from the seam separating the outer fabric from the frill. Topstitch 3/4" from the previous topstitch. This will encase the drawstrings.

Step 8
Put in the drawstrings and you're all set.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sexy Curved Top Zippered Pouch

I finally got my camera back from my mother-in-law and unknown to her, the camera died in S. Korea where she had gone for a holiday. My mother-in-law is one of those people who refuses to put on her reading glasses so she did not look at the review once and happily snapped away. I'm sorry to report that all the photos she took looked like she had pointed at the sun directly - one big splash of white light.

So my husband bought a new camera and these pictures are taken using the new camera. (it's a casio)

My current project is a curved top zippered pouch. I think curved top for a pouch is really sexy, I referred to this tutorial at Some Art Thought and surprisingly curved tops aren't that difficult. Initially I thought I would need to use a bias strip which would make it hard because of the stretch.

This pouch is interfaced for the outer fabric so that makes it a little stiff so sewing on the curves is a little hard. Next time it might be a good idea to use an outer fabric which is softer.

Here's a nice angle of the pouch. Sexy!

Up close and personal

My girl's Flintstone pen in the pouch

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