Thursday, July 12, 2018

Poofy Drawstring Bag Pattern

Hi guys,

I have a new bag pattern in the shop. But first up, some "admin" news...

I've been selling my digital bag patterns on Etsy for a few years now and all these while I've sold in US dollars. Back in the old days, this was the only option and later when other currencies were available, I did not make the switch. There were some advantages to selling in US dollars then but now it's more like a penalty. Anyway, I've finally decided to switch my Etsy shop to selling in SGD. What does this mean for my customers? If you buy in US dollars, you may see prices like $4.94 when before it was $5. If you buy in other currencies, like Euro, pound, Aussie $, NZ $, Canadian $ etc, you would already be used to the system. When changing the selling price of my patterns to SGD, I consciously aimed to price it lower than the current price. So as of now, all my bag patterns are priced lower than before. However, and this is not within my control, over time due to small changes in exchange rate, the price you see in US dollars may go up or down by a few cents. Also, I took the opportunity to price down permanently a few bag patterns - Easy Clutch, Sexy Zippy Wristlet and One Ring Wonder. So good news really - cheaper patterns!

If you prefer to buy my patterns from my blog, I've also changed the pricing to SGD. As for Craftsy, it is still in US $ as it only supports one currency...  Okay, enough "admin" news for today.

So I have a new bag pattern in the shop, very good for beginners.  No zippers, magnetic snaps, just drawstring for closure. It's another favourite from my craft market days. I love this one so much. I made a couple of tester versions and I've been using one of them daily since June.

 I think you know I love big fat bottoms.

I turned the bag with the lining out so you can see the inside. Oh pockets - one slot for your handphone and the other slot? Neve insisted it is perfect for her. (Neve is naked, can you tell?)

The Town Council erected a few bicycle parking stands below my flat. I noticed that all the bicycles are covered in dust as if no one uses them. It has become a bicycle graveyard. Anyway, they're great for modelling my bags.

Oh I almost forgot, I've applied a 30% discount off the Poofy Drawstring Bag Pattern at my Etsy shop. Valid till 22nd July 2018. You don't need a coupon code. The discount is applied automatically. I have similarly applied the same discount on the same pattern at Craftsy and on my blog. So you don't have to think too much where to buy the pattern.

To buy off my blog, click on the Buy Now button below. First time buyer from my blog please read my faq. Ecommerce provided by payhip. Hooyah!

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Another Shirt No. 1 with buttons aka The Tablecloth Shirt

After I made Shirt No. 1 by Sonya Philip , I jumped straight into making Shirt No. 1 with buttons. I didn't take any time to evaluate how Shirt No. 1 turned out and what I could have done differently.

Shirt No. 1 with buttons is pretty much the same as Shirt No. 1 except with the front cut in two pieces. Everything else is the same. Unfortunately, I had to print out another pattern piece because obviously the front is slightly different. So yes, had to do the dem assembly and taping of pieces of paper again.

I used a piece of fabric which my mother had given me years ago. The fabric was wide enough to accommodate the pattern and I thought it was thin enough so I wouldn't feel hot wearing it. However, the fabric was very tightly woven. It felt more like a tablecloth. Now, I know what you're thinking. If I'm making clothes for myself, why don't I invest in good quality fabric which is suitable for clothing. The thing is I'm still at the stage where I'm never sure if I like anything I make until it is made and I've worn it. So you could say I'm making a muslin. If I like this shirt I will make it again but using a better fabric. Does that make sense to you?

Shirt No. 1 with buttons requires a bit more effort because of the buttons. My sewing machine has an auto function for sewing button holes. All you need to do is place the button on the attachment and the sewing machine decides how wide the buttonhole is. Being a lazy person, I used that function. The sewing machine is not very smart. So the result is a very large buttonhole. It works but if I were to do it again, I would do it manually and make it a lot smaller. Shockingly, I do not have many buttons. I used the ones donated by someone - I forgot her name.

No surprise, I struggled with the neckline again. Two things worked against me. Firstly, the tight weave of the fabric. Secondly, I think the bias binding is too wide. After I started evaluating the shitty neckline, I came to the conclusion that I should use a 12mm bias binding instead of a 18mm bias binding. Also another thing that would have helped in this case was to use the same tablecloth fabric for bias binding. But there wasn't enough.

So I'm not as thrilled with this shirt as Shirt No. 1. Hubs thought I had worn the shirt back to front when he first saw me wearing it. Anyhoos we did a little photoshoot. I don't think I will ever wear this shirt out. It will be my laze around home shirt. I paired the shirt with a very old pair of Dorothy Perkins shorts.

I tried cute. I tried slutty (to my mind). I tried oozy. (I don't know what that is)

Then I thought why not some action shots. Hubs was game so we gave it a try. My iphone isn't exactly good at action shots. The intention was to capture me jumping in the air...

This one - hubs not ready.

This one I already landed on the ground.

Demmit - my feet still on the ground.

Feet still on the ground and this time bra strap showing.

Hubs said I did it! Looked at photo closely and eeks! My big tummy is showing.

Let's try again. Feet starting to hurt.

C'mon man! Feet really hurting now.

Thank goodness hubs finally captured nearly both my feet in the air. I limped home.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

What June Made

Hi guys,

June went by so quickly! I felt quite lazy throughout the month but managed to make a few items between all the time sucking activities I'm so into these days - Candy Crush Soda, Love Island and Korean dramas. Every time I say I'm getting out, I get sucked back in.

So here at my June makes...

I worked on a new bag pattern. It's mostly done but the rainy weather these past 2 weeks has made it hard to do a couple more photos.

I sewed a dress for Lammily and I was telling my girl that I might sell this pattern and she said: who will buy it? Yes, I suppose it's a niche market and I honestly don't know if anyone will buy a Lammily dress pattern but I already have the template done on Illustrator so all I need is a few photos. I made the pattern in 2015!

I sewed 3 items for myself - Shirt No. 1, another Shirt No. 1 and a pair of pants. I haven't photographed the last 2 items because of the rain so I'll probably show them next week.

I also started on a simple skirt for myself and poor me - I had to draft the pattern myself because I couldn't find any basic skirts patterns at Spotlight. I absolutely dislike drafting clothes patterns for myself because you have to use large pieces of paper and my table is not nearly long enough.

I baked quite a bit, mostly loaf bread and a few others. Of course I promptly gained weight!

Speaking of weight, our fitness sessions with Mindy at Fitness Bravo ended. Although the sessions were hard and I hurt all over after each session, I really enjoyed my 1 hour's labour. We didn't sign up for another package because my daughter is starting University in August so we can't spend money like water anymore.

We did a weigh in at the end. Here's me waiting to hear the good/bad news. Very happy to report I lost a bit of weight - around 4kg, I think.
Hubs and I have continued to exercise at home. Of course we don't do it as intensively! My swimming came to a halt the last 2 weeks due to a sinus problem and then the rain. My running is truly over. My left leg can't seem to take running anymore. I'm resting it some more and only doing some light leg exercises.

In July I hope to make a proper pair of pants with a zip fly and a dress. I bought 2 bra patterns but I'm feeling apprehensive about making them as I've never sewn bras before. We'll see.

Friday, June 29, 2018

10 Burning Questions About Love Island


Save me. Recently in between my Candy Crush Soda games, I've been hopelessly glued to Love Island.

If you haven't watched it, Love Island is a dating reality TV show where a group of male and female contestants live in a villa somewhere in Spain, cut off from the outside world. The contestants spend the day lying on day beds gossiping. Sometimes the producers get them to play games and challenges, mostly to create conflicts. Newcomers come in now and then to disrupt the routine and keep everyone on their toes because they're out to steal your partner. To survive in the game, each contestant must be part of an official couple - done via a ceremony. Anyone who remains single gets dumped from the island. I don't know how the winning couple is decided - perhaps via public voting?

After watching the current series, I realised one thing - the women (most of them) join this crazy show to find love while the men join to have sex with as many women as they can. Yes, the couples do it with all the cameras watching and remember everyone sleeps in the same room - couples together in a bed. Thank goodness the deeds are not shown on TV.

This is a highly manipulated show but hilarious to watch. Sometimes I forget the contestants are real people with real feelings. However, real world rules don't apply on Love Island and it's frightening to see the true colours of people once the shackles of outside world are removed.

Hayley (right) and her heavy breathing partner whose name she cannot pronounce
Hubs said that wouldn't it be smart to stay with one person as a couple till the end just so you can win? Surprisingly, it's harder than you think. Hayley for instance could not even stand the sound of her partner BREATHING.

After watching 25 episodes, I have just a few questions:

1. How do the women draw their eyebrows so thick and perfectly?

2. How does one get such thick pouty lips like Rosie?

3. What's the temperature like in the villa at night? How come no one gets cold wearing so little?

4. Why is it NO ONE desires Dr Alex? What's wrong with him? He's a doctor! If you marry him, you'll never have to queue up at the polyclinic again.

5. What's Singapore's version of slag? This is a new-to-me word. Laura called Megan a slag for stealing her man and I understand it's very offensive. And it was hilarious how Laura later apologised to Megan for calling her A SLAG. I'm sorry for calling you A SLAG. I shouldn't have called you A SLAG. You're not A SLAG. You don't deserve to be called A SLAG. Really, you're not A SLAG. Gosh, why did I call you A SLAG? I've never ever called anyone A SLAG. You're the first person I've called A SLAG. Why did I call you A SLAG. You're not A SLAG. Really, not A SLAGGGGGG!

6. Why do the women drink from their water bottle all day? Is it to keep from feeling hungry? Do they eat at all?

7. Are the bedrooms air-conditioned? Everyone goes to sleep under heavy covers, often covering their heads as well. I can't imagine doing that even with air conditioning turned on full blast.

Wes having a crack at Megan. Laura wanting to crack Wes' head.
8. I wonder what's Singapore's version of "I fancy you".  In Korean drama, it is "I like you". I haven't dated for decades so I've lost touch. On Love Island, "I fancy you" is very powerful. After you utter those words to a guy (you fancy), he'll literally dump his loyal gal just to "crack on" you.

9.  What kind of skincare do the women use? They sleep with makeup on and wake up with fabulous skin. No one has acne.

Adam and his 200 ish
10.  Is it just me or don't you want to HIDE that you have bedded 200 ish number of women? Just think of all the diseases he could be harbouring. Anyway, anyone who can count knows it's mathematically impossible to have bedded 200 ish women when you're only 22.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Blogger Comment Notifications

Hi guys,

Anyone use blogger like me? Since the last week of May, comment notifications have not been coming to my email. So the only way to know if there are comments is to go directly to the blog post or blogger dashboard. Since I don't get many comments in the first place, I was just a tiny bit agitated. No, I'm kidding. I was fuming. (By the way, if you have left me a comment on my blog the past few weeks, I may have left replies for you on my blog posts instead of replying to you via email.) I went to a google forum and realised it's a known issue and affecting everyone. Plus someone's working on the solution. Anyway, the solution has been released and I've tried it out and it worked.

Before I tell you how I fixed my blogger comment notifications, it's good to let you know I do not have Google Plus enabled on my blog. The comments handling are straight forward and handled by blogger so there is no third party app involved. If your setting is different from mine, the solution might be different.

To get comment notifications going again do the following:
Step 1.
At blogger dashboard, go to Settings/Email.
In the box for "Comment Notification Email", delete your email which should already be there. Click on "Save settings". Exit blogger dashboard. I'm asking you to exit blogger dashboard to make sure your settings are saved (as sometimes the button does not work). If your settings aren't saved, you will be prompted to save when you exit.

Step 2.
Now re-enter blogger dashboard. Go back to Settings/email. This time the "Comment Notification Email" box will be empty. (If your email is still there, you've not done step 1 correctly) Re-enter your email address. Click on "Save settings" and exit blogger dashboard.

Step 3.
Go to your email and you should receive an email similar to below:
This part is IMPORTANT.
In order to receive comment notifications, you need to click on subscribe. Once you've subscribed, you're done. You will be able to receive email notifications of NEW comments.

And you'll know you've done it successfully because you'll get this:


To get comment notifications going for moderated comments, do the following:
Step 1
At blogger dashboard, go to Settings/Posts, comments and sharing. You probably have some setting going on already like below.
Remove the setting for "comment moderation" by clicking on "Never". Click "save settings" and exit dashboard.  I'm asking you to exit blogger dashboard to make sure your settings are saved (as sometimes the button does not work). If your settings aren't saved, you will be prompted to save when you exit.

Step 2.
Re-enter dashboard. Go back to Settings/Posts, comments and sharing. The setting for "comment moderation" should be set to "Never". (If not, you've not done step 1 correctly) Click on "Always" or "Sometimes... xx days" depending on what you want. Enter your email address in the box "email moderation requests to". Click on "Save settings" and exit dashboard.

Step 3.
Go to your email and you should receive an email similar to below.
This part is IMPORTANT.
In order to receive comment notifications for moderated comments, you need to click on subscribe. Once you've subscribed, you're done. You will be able to receive email notifications of NEW MODERATED comments.

And you'll know you've done it successfully because you'll get this:

If these fixes don't work for you, your blogger settings are likely more complex and you'll probably need to get your solutions from the google forum as I'm not an expert on blogger stuff.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Shirt No. 1

Hi guys,

I think you might have noticed I've been making an effort to make clothes for myself. I'm more inclined towards bag making as I find dressmaking slightly more fiddly. Maybe it's because I've been making bags for so many years it's second nature. Dressmaking also requires far more fabric and most of my fabric comes in 1 yard. So if I have to buy more fabric in order to make clothes then it kinda defeats the purpose of sewing which is to use up my fabric. Recently, I dug around in the storeroom and discovered more fabric I could use and so I sewed up a storm.

When it comes to sewing patterns for clothes, I lean towards simple ones. I like to dress in basics and really don't fancy over-designed outfits. I went to Spotlight recently and I tried to look for very basic patterns and although I found a couple in the pattern book, the patterns were out of stock.

So when I saw Sonya Philip's Shirt No. 1, I was delighted because it's a one piece pattern. The only difference between the front and the back is the neckline. Anyhoos I used the pdf version of the pattern and I'm not going to bitch about taping all the pieces of paper together. I'm not...

Oh, did I mention how much I love my serger now? After I managed to change all the thread to grey, I never have to bother about the thread again as I use it on every fabric. I haven't been adventurous about learning all the other stuff the serger is capable of. I only use it to serge raw edges. For now, I'm happy to do just that. Serging makes everything look so professionally made.

Shirt No. 1 does not use facing to finish the raw edges. Instead, bias binding is used. Bias binding wastes a lot of fabric which is very painful... I used some leftover fabric and joined up two pieces of fabric because I hate to sacrifice my fabric for bias binding.

Shirt No. 1 is very easy to sew. I'm not kidding. There's no sleeve to attach and other than the collar, everything else is straight forward. The fabric I used for Shirt No. 1 is leftover fabric from this Ikea curtain blouse I made in 2017. I can still fit into that blouse but since I started my fitness sessions, my upper body has grown slightly and the fit is slightly snug around the chest. The Ikea curtain fabric is not exactly a good fabric to use for clothing. The weave is tight and while sewing around the collar, I felt the fabric fighting me. I didn't do a staystitch around the collar before attaching the bias binding but I don't think it would have helped.

What do you think? Isn't this the simplest blouse you've ever seen? I made it over 2 nights in between doing laundry, cooking dinner and watching Korean drama. I think if you work continuously, you can do it easily in 2 hours. In case you're wondering, I did not make a muslin. I didn't feel it was necessary.

The only issue I struggled with was the collar and other than the tight fabric, I've been wondering if my bias binding were thinner (in width) would it have made a difference? I used a 1.25" wide fabric strip. Maybe a 1" wide bias binding instead?

Hubs took some pics of me in Shirt No. 1. I paired it with a simple black h&m skirt.
I wanted you guys to see the back. Not sure why hubs took the pic in this odd angle.
So, yay or nay? Hubs says yay - he says it's surprisingly flattering.

To be honest, when I first saw Shirt No. 1 cut out on my fabric, I thought I was gonna look like a giant blob for sure. So glad, that didn't happen. I used pattern size S by the way. Still not used to being size S. In Singapore I'm either M or L.

Anyway, just to prove to you I've worn Shirt No. 1 out, I had some pics taken.

Jane wearing Shirt No.1 riding a bike.

Jane wearing Shirt No. 1 waiting for a train.

Jane wearing Shirt No. 1 about to get on a train.

Jane wearing Shirt No. 1 on train.

Will I make another Shirt No. 1? Actually I already did. I'll show you in my next post.
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