Tuesday, July 31, 2018

What July Made

Wow, just like that July has come to an end. It was hot and sweaty for me in Singapore. I sewed very little, tinkered a lot with bag patterns, baked a bit, revived my sourdough and gave up on it. My exercise was quite pathetic. I still go for my weekly swim. But my left leg is still not good so I can't really run. I've mostly done upper body exercises. My weight remained stable - meaning I didn't lose any more weight. I don't eat much so it's quite puzzling. Oh, right. I just remembered I eat a lot of bread.

So my July makes...

Technically these 3 items were sewn in June but I only got round to posting them in July. A Very Basic Skirt which I'm going to modify to make something for my daughter - if she's willing. Pants No. 1 which received a lot of views!!! I may tweak the pattern to make it fit me better. And lastly Shirt No. 1 with buttons.

And I published one bag pattern. Available on Etsy, Craftsy and my blog.

I also made another drawstring bag using the Poofy Drawstring Bag pattern. This one someone wanted to buy from me but I love the fabric so much I couldn't bear to part with it. My priorities are screwed!

At the moment I'm sitting on another bag pattern which I'm unsure if I want to work further on. I usually don't like to write patterns that require very specific hardware and this one requires continuous zippers. So that's what I've been deliberating on... Perhaps I overthink. I mean why not do it anyway, after all I've already done the technical drawing.

My bread baking is going quite well. I became quite obsessed with shaping. In August I intend to investigate and experiment with 100% wholemeal bread, Japanese style bread and more complex shapes.

Today I sewed something rather unusual(for me). I'll show it to you in my next post. See you in August.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A Very Basic Skirt

Early this year, my daughter needed a black basic skirt for an interview and we searched many shops for one. To our shock, it either costs way too much (like over a hundred bucks) or it had weird designs. In the end, we settled for a reasonably priced dark blue skirt which did not fully meet our brief but it was the closest we could get. The search left me utterly exhausted. I decided I would try to make a basic skirt for myself and when I'm quite good at it, I'll make one for my daughter.

Shockingly again, it was impossible to find a basic skirt pattern at Spotlight. I stood at the patterns counter for over an hour and came up with nothing. So I had no choice but to draft the skirt myself. I've drafted a basic skirt before and honestly it's not something I enjoy. But a mom's got to do what a mom's got to do.

I dug out my old drafting book and decided on the most basic skirt - the A line skirt. If you go to sewing school to learn dressmaking, this would be the second skirt you learn. The first one is the skirt with an elastic waistband.

The pattern has 2 darts in front and 2 darts behind. Other than a patch pocket, there's no other design features. Since I drafted this pattern myself, if it turns out bad, I have no one to blame but myself. Ha ha. No pressure.

I made the skirt to fit me very well so it is very unforgiving. I can't put on weight! I should wear this skirt at least once a week to keep me from getting fatter.

I used a cotton drill fabric which I probably bought a long time ago for a client but never got around to use it for a bag. This fabric is so not me so I thought why not use it to make the skirt for myself? So #yolo right? The amount of fabric I had was just perfect for the pattern and I felt so pleased with myself for using up another meter of fabric. Then one day I opened the storeroom and found ANOTHER meter of the exact same fabric.

The front of the skirt has a pocket for my iPhone. Is it funny to have one pocket on a skirt? I felt one pocket suited the look of this skirt. Plus, it's camouflaged.

I'm so pleased with the placement of the pocket. When I wore the skirt, the pocket was exactly where I wanted it. Sometimes I get so lucky. I used this pocket template but I made it narrower and shorter to fit my iPhone.

This skirt closes at the side with an invisible zipper. I used a Janome concealed zipper foot to sew the zipper and it was a breeze.

I read that some sewers iron their zipper coil open before sewing the zipper onto the fabric. I think that's so tedious and unnecessary. With my concealed zipper foot, the little metal in front does the job for me. As I sew, it pushes the coil open. No pinning required, just voom, voom, it's done. I love this zipper foot.

You can't tell there's a zipper at the side seam.

Originally I was going to use facing for the inside waist. Then I thought cotton drill is a pretty tough fabric and maybe I was lazy or maybe I wanted to try out a 1/2 inch bias binding. So a 1/2 inch bias binding it is. The sewing was very smooth, nothing went wrong. No crinkles, wrinkles or pleats.

So overall I'm very pleased with the skirt. I'm not going to pretend it's a fantastic skirt. It is a very basic skirt and it fitted me perfectly. I made it low waisted or so I thought. During the photo shoot, I noticed that I could wear the skirt both low waisted and high waisted. Either I had lost weight or I didn't measure very well...

The colour of the skirt as well as fabric print is quite an unusual choice for me. I found it hard to match and finally wore a Hush Puppy tee shirt paired with Crocs slippers.

I asked hubs to take a view of my back and this was what I got. The final length of the skirt is 19 inches by the way.

And yes, I wore the skirt out. In fact, the pic above was taken at Decathlon.

I asked my girl to try on the skirt and unfortunately, she said she's not used to "this kind of skirt". I think I need to tweak this skirt further - maybe a waist band or facing?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Horrible Pair of Pants

I jumped into making Pants No. 1 beacuse of my current crush on Sonya Philip. Also I did want to make a pair of pants. Nothing too fancy with zipper. So Pants No. 1 with elastic sounded like an easy sew.

After taping the pattern together and cutting out size S, I placed it against my body and thought the pants looked very roomy. But I had neither the inclination nor shall I say, talent to modify the pattern. So I cut my fabric and sewed it up.

I used a Ikea upholstery weight fabric. Not the most brilliant choice but I didn't want to run out and buy more fabric. And what possessed me to buy this fabric in the first place?

This was an easy sew - honestly. It's like sewing a pair of home shorts with longer legs. I think I took a few nights to complete it because I would like tape patterns one night, wash fabric another night, serge and finally sew.

I even bothered to use interfacing for the pocket opening.

Throughout the process, I would place the partly completed pants against my body and shudder. It's going to look horrible, it's going to look horrible, I kept telling myself.

Check out how much care I put into the inside of the pants.

Finally it was completed and it did look horrible. I was very reluctant to wear it.

I had no blouse in my wardrobe that could make the pants look more flattering on me. So I wore my Adidas running tee and white Birkenstock slippers. There is a lot of room around the tummy and hips so the pants made me look FATTER. (my arms are naturally flabby - I won't blame Adidas)

From the back, it's not too bad. Notice the print is upside down? I placed the pattern wrongly but discovered in time. Then I thought the print looked more interesting so I did not correct the mistake. Agree? Disagree?

My mother always does a crotch test when trying out a new pair of pants. She does an Asian squat. Anyway, I decided to do a sit test instead.

I'll be honest with you. I don't think I can wear this pair of pants out or even at home. Nope, not even to sleep because you know Singapore is so hot. Apart from the fabric, I dislike that the pants has to be worn high waisted. I hadn't realised this before but every pair of pants and shorts I own now are low waisted.

So in the end, I felt I wasted my time and energy making this pair of pants because I learnt nothing since I already know how to sew this kind of pants. I really should choose my sewing projects more wisely. Maybe easy sew isn't the way to go.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Another Drawstring Bag

I made another drawstring bag using the same pattern as my Poofy Drawstring Bag pattern. It's so lovely that I just had to share it. I used a linen cotton fabric remnant from my craft market days. I only have small bits left. I wish I know where to get more of the fabric because I would love to wear a skirt or a dress made out of it.

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.

By the way, I noticed some of you guys hearting my pattern on Etsy. Thank you so much. I appreciate the support.

Lastly, I've already taken photos of two more outfits I made. So see you soon.

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. 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.

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.
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