Friday, February 27, 2015

Hemp Jacket with Back Tie


Delicious hemp!
Hemp is just gorgeous. It's like something in between linen and thick muslin, yet still has its strength. I can tell this jacket is going to last for years to come. M got this overdyed grey piece of hemp for me a while ago already but I was too scared to use it. I tend to be timid with any fabric that's got a big price tag.

I used a little bit cutting on bias and made this neck warmer for my Secret Valentine. I had about 2 meters minus that neck warmer amount of fabric to work with, and no matter how I placed the patterns, there just wasn't enough fabric to squeeze everything to run with the same grain. Thus both sleeves were cut on the opposite grain. There was no other option. But judging from the finished product, it doesn't seem to matter much. Or will it?

I gave my ballpoint needle a break finally after sewing seven consecutive knits projects. Is it just me or is hemp a little bouncy? It's pretty easy to line up the fabric perfectly because of that tiny stretchiness.

The pattern is from Happy Homemade Sew Chic. I lengthed the sleeves, since most of the time, I don't get the idea of three-quarter length. My forearms definitely needs full coverage. This is a view with back tie, but I personally prefer leaving the ties in the pockets. As jacket goes, I can't imagine anything easier to put together. There's no closure of any kind.

However, I decided to add two buttons on the top, just in case it gets windy and chilly, which happens quite often here.

Or when I run after a C on the sprinting scooter. OK the jacket holds its shape really nicely and I like what it looks like in motion.
This is very me, paired up with these sarouel pants. It's going to be one of my Autumn go-to outfits for sure.

It seems we are heading to Maynardville Park and spend a day at Community Chest Carnival.
Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Hourly

I get the question "What did you do this morning?" a lot. Sometimes I can't even answer that, since my mornings are usually jammed with errands and house chores. To encourage myself to go out and see and experience new things, I've thus decided to do a weekly Wednesday post, documenting my Tuesdays via hourly photos taken by my phone mostly.
7:00 a.m.
Rise and shine. Morning blue sky.
8:00 a.m.
This was a super exciting morning to me. I went for a movie with a friend followed by coffee.
I don't do coffee usually, so, that cup of double latte cost me a whole night's sleep...
9:00 a.m.
Movie time.
When I watch a movie at home, I'm either on Pinterest, or hanging the washing. I don't remember when last time I had given my 100% concentration to a TV screen. This movie experience blew my mind. I guess I will have to do movie more often and give multi-tasking a break from time to time.
10:00 a.m.
I was still in the movie house. But hey check these Lindt coconut milk chocolate, among the other 1000 chocolate bunnies.
11:00 a.m.
I went for a walk! That's so not me either. I am a sun block worshipper who loves indoor activies.
I had this gap hour before fetching C from school, so I took full advantage of it.
12:00 noon
School run.
1:00 p.m.
C is addicted to drawing, along with many other things. I was on the pencil sharpening duty.
2:00 p.m.
From drawing to blocks. "Mommy, I've made a crown theatre house."
3:00 p.m.
C is piano homeschooled. I enjoy passing on what I know to her. I'm not a certified Suzuki method teacher, but I try to use a very relaxed approach. There's no deadline when she must crack a new song. It's all coming along naturally.
4:00 p.m.
Cutting up butternut to go into the oven.
5:00 p.m.
Bath time with the ponies. It's amazing how C has a weekly rotation with her bathing toy themes.
6:00 p.m.
Watching this gorgeous "cloud fall" right out of our window.
7:00 p.m.
And finally, some fabric cutting in progress.
I am not a professional photographer, yet taking pictures has slowly become my new hobby. It gives me sparks of joy to take note of some small things in life that I would otherwise miss. I am feeling mighty bleesed today.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Stripey Cardigan

How often does your child(ren) lose their clothes? Mine always checks her school locker and bag and knows where everything is. So I guess the occasional garment missing incident is probably because of me, by misplacing her clothes really.
I've made this cardigan once (which has gone missing) and it was a big hit. So simple and easy to wear, especially now for autumn's cooler mornings and evening.

I've never sewn stripes before. I was too afraid of all that matching-up-the-stripes hassle. Time for a challenge. I lined up the fabric super cautiously, giving my full concentration. A true OCD in the making.
It turned out, that knit fabric with stripes didn't give me a headache at all. My guess is I might have had thrown a tantrum had it been a piece of woven fabric.
The bias binding fabric is from here. C's been complaining that I didn't use this fabric to make a dress for her. Don't worry my little girl, mom's got it all on my to-do list.... page 34.

C is in love with Hip Hop. We see those arm waves all the time. Whenever she hears some fast paced music, her whole body is dance ready. I pinned her to the wall straight from a Hip Hop class. As you can see, she's still wearing her dance outfit underneath.

For some reason, I like this photo. It looks natural and doesn't have all that kiddie-like vibe. Makes sense?


Happy weekend!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Basics - Lane Raglan Take 2


I did use the right picture, for this post. It's a pump bottle that recently earned its membership in our bathroom. Why is it so special? M got it from Homeland's movie set about 2 months ago. He's a big fan of the TV series and once he heard there was a before-the-auction-day sale, he skipped work that afternoon and got a bunch of things, including a military medical bag fully packed with first-aid kits, like for real, they loaded real things in the bag. Anyway, we have been using this pump bottle for 2 months and it must have sent some kind of message to my brain. It's from Homeland after all.

Ta-da. I've made a pump bottle lane raglan tee shirt for myself. The materials are both grey melange cotton lycra that I got from Rubitex. Originally I was thinking of making two plain tees using two shades of greys respectively, but the "bottle effect" must have kicked in at the right time, because I really like the combination.

This red raglan tee made its debut as my first sewn garment for myself. It means so much to me and I don't think I will ever be able to throw it away one day.  I traced a size S this time and fit is much nicer.

After those 200 shots in front of the camera, I found the waistband is a little unnecessary and made the bodice super dooper long. Or was it my imagination? Next alternation -- try without the waistband.

Hello! I'm out of poses.
Happy sewing, friends.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day Outfit - More Freezer Paper Stenciling

C wears school uniforms from the beginning of this year, but from time to time, the school has Character Day or other special occasions so they get to wear their own clothes as long as it's theme friendly.  Like last Friday, they all had to wear green, and donate R10 note, which also happens to be green. I don't know what it was for, because I often just browse and dump the school notice... aarg.
This Friday they are celebrating Valentine's Day so the dress code is red+white. C actually didn't have anything in the cupboard that still fits her and weather appropriate, so I got excited. It gave me a reason to make things again.

left side image source
I suggested that I print some love birds on a white tee shirt, but madam insisted on horse again. Actually I get a feeling that as long as this freezer paper stenciling is going, I will be painting nothing but horse (and creations realted to a horse, like unicorn/pegasus/winged unicorn). As you can see, I made the gir's hair and one hand simplier judging from my blade skills, and C immediately spotted the unicorn's horn's not very pointy. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Gladly she's still happy to wear it.

In fact, she's very happy to wear it so this silly dance is triggered....

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Pegasus Freezer Paper Tee

Let me repeat. I'm not done with knits. I've still got a big pile yearning for my attention. This week I sewed up two more pairs of dark navy blue colored leggings, plus one tee for C to wear underneath her school uniform when the cooler months hit us.

However, as I started the tee shirt, I got really bored sewing up all these basics. And coincidentally, the freezer paper that I ordered online had arrived all the way from the States. Yay! Freezer paper fabric printing for me. I had been dying to try this one for a long long time.

I found this pegasus silhouette online and freehanded it. To me, figuring out a way to copy it and then adjust the size takes much longer than just to draw it out on a piece of paper. Old school is me. Anyway, the rest of the process was exactly how I imagined it would be. Easy peasy. The finished product was very much adored, so much so that C had already ordered another print for her Valentine's Day outfit.

We are experiencing some heat waves and I just didn't have the heart to wrap this around Miss C for a photo.
Until next time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tokyo Tokyo!

What is a sewing addict's dream holiday?
Answer: A fabric and sewing book shopping trip in Japan! (I'm screaming the last two words!)

Nani IRO fabric? Yes heard of it, a lot, but have never seen it. Double gauze? Never felt it before.

We are all going to Tokyo at the end of March, followed by a family and friends visiting trip to Shanghai. I can tell I'm not the only one that's super duper excited. Little C is promised a Disneyland outing, and M an Akihabara visit. Oh hold on, are we talking about camera lenses here.....

I took a one-year Japanese course in high school. But you lose it quickly when you are not exposed to the language. I'm so thankful that I managed to load some Japanese textbooks in my suitcase when I moved to Cape Town 9 years ago. Currently I'm on a daily mission to refamiliarize with Japanese to get me around the city easily.

The must-visit places?
Thanks to some very special friends, who have provided a useful craft guide and step-by-step instructions of how to get to certain shops.
I also find Tokyo Craft Guide very helpful.
All this talking is making my mouth water thinking of all those oriental food, and my mind those yummy fabric.....

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Star Fantasy Dress

Name one little girl who doesn't like stars. I bet you can't. I know with mine I can never go wrong with stars or hearts, or unicorns....
This week begins with more knits.

I found this black piece of polyestery knit fabric loaded with stars on my knit shopping trip. I usually try to stay away from polyester, but this one I figured if I had to make something for autumn/winter weather that can be paired with leggings, polyester/non-polyester wouldn't make much of a difference. Plus, stars people! C saw the fabric lying on my table and said "Oh whatever you are going to make, I'm already liking it."

So I got some leftover yellow knits from the Hip Hop top, and sewed up a black felt star, using the tee shirt pattern I'm overdosing on lately. Easy Peasy.

The skirt part I just cut out two big pieces of rectangle. By now, I should be mastering this in my sleep. Ok confession. The black star fabric is somewhat heavy and pulling the top a little, but I've ironed it and reironed it and hopefully it settles down after a wash.

C loves the new dress and she's not even taking it off after the shoot, in the 30C heat. I guess she's totally "cool" with it.