Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year End New Swimsuit

We have moved house and C's in the middle of school holidays. Is it enough to explain my radio silence? Maybe not. Up till yesterday we had no internet connection. Even if I could take my laptop to a coffee shop, I don't suppose they'd allow me to bring my sewing machine too. I know, I'm loaded with excuses. On the other hand,  I'm thoroughly enjoying this break with my family than worrying about garment making, which is somehow a healthy attitude towards festival seasons.(?)

Speaking of the move, M loves renting out our house during the season time and I detest it. It's more than just having to pack up most of our belongings. One year we ended up in a broken-down house ourselves, in a one-horse town, two hours away from Cape Town. That year was a disaster.

This December we've moved to the sunny side of the city, in our own flat. C was born here and spent her first 3 years in this place. So many happy memories rushed in as we unpacked our stuff that we stored away. Yes, it's a small flat, but there're many other factors that matter more to me than the size of the living space itself.

This swimsuit was sewn about a week ago during my first hour of spare time, after days of unpacking. The contruction took about 20 ninutes. I don't have a sewing space now. Our dinning table has also shrunk size and currently it's mostly C's arts and crafts space.  My sewing machine lives in my closet and I take it out whenever I need it, like the other day I used it to bind a few pages together because I forgot where I had packed the stapler...How did I survive all those years without a sewing machine?

It was three months ago when I discovered Sun N' Fun Swimsuit and Leotard pattern. The Snow Leopard swimsuit I sewed up has been in a serious usage, so much so that the bottom part has started to pill a lot from sitting on various rough surfaces. I used some stronger elastic this time around, which made the swimsuit very tight. Sigh... Also the pattern itself doesn't come with the lengthen of the elastic that you should use. Usually I'm the type that gives up completely on that pattern, but C is in need of a spare swimsuit for the summer beach days. Since I'm not surrendering to the store-bought version yet, I will need to practice more to get a higher success rate. It's such a quick make, I shouldn't have any excuses, really.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Balloon Party Dress

Continuing escaping reality, I made C a dress that shouts summer. I know, I know that we're moving next week, and there are plenty things to sort out, but also because of these moving related house chores, I know it's going to be a while before I plug in my sewing machine again. I had to give an end-of-the-year push.  Besides the mess we are living in right now, we are thoroughly enjoying this school holiday so far. Our days are filled with activities, most of the time a friend is involved.  The other day, C was "kidnapped" by a mom friend at the shopping mall. It's funny how only-child parents are on the hunt all the time looking for play mates for their children.

So anyway, I went through my fabric boxes, to see if there's anything I should get rid of. I'm not a hoarder, but when it comes to fabric, I save even the smallest scraps. What if I could use it one day to make a zipper pouch? Or pocket bias tape? I have a whole box full of scraps that I haven't touched for a year, but I still keep them. Sigh....

I spotted this beautiful cheerful fabric while doing the spring cleaning, and immediately I had the dress in my head already. I have still quite a few brand new fabric from our March/April Tokyo/Shanghai trip and I've been saving them for summer sewing. The pattern is from Mano Akiko's Oshare ga Suki na Onnanoko no Fuku. It's one of the top three books that I intend to sew everything from.

The dress reminds C of birthday parties so we found one last balloon in the house and she drew a picture of bear shaped balloons. In fact, she went to a birthday party that afternoon in this dress. Couldn't've been more appropriate.

Before the sewing days, I'd always buy kids' clothes a little bigger so they'd last longer. I still did that when I just began to sew, choosing a size bigger. But now I sew from the right size, because I don't think she'll ever run out of clothes to wear, as long as I keep on making. Yesterday we went through her clothes and she picked out a few clothes to give to her cousin. She's kept all the ones I've made for her and chosen the store bought ones to give away, some of which are still brand new. I was very touched knowing that she treasures what I've made for her.

Ok I will be entering a packing and unpacking with full force.
See you next week.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Freezer Paper Tee + Peplum Shorts Combo

Hello friends, the school holidays have started, again....I've got non-stop play dates to cover my daily schedule and save my sanity. So far, I'm rocking it. As I'm typing this, we are entering week two of granny and grandpa's visit. It feels like there's a silent transition happening. My sewing stuff is slowly invading the dinning table and I'm learning to ignore grandpa's requests. "Jing, can you put the watermelon in the blender, so I can drink the juice?" "Jing, have you removed the stain on my trousers?" After my ice cream tub is licked and a few chocolates taken from C's advent calendar, I still put on a happy face but to be honest, that inner fire is burning, and I needed sewing therapy.

Remember my stamp carving failure? I was still hooked to the 3D shapes regardless so this dumb-proof freezer paper stenciling happened. The whole outfit looks 10 years younger than me. We've had some scorching days and during those days, all I wanted was to grab a pair of shorts. You know, I haven't even taken out my summer clothes from storage this season. I am trying to foolishly survive with what I've made in the closet. This tee shirt is Deer and Doe's Plantain Tee. I've gone a size bigger, because 1; the last one I made was tiny bit tight. 2; this white knit fabric isn't very stretchy.
The shorts pattern is from I Love Pants. I used the leftover chambray from C's pants

Because it's my blog and I have to be honest to myself, I'm going say this whole looks somewhat homemade and I don't think I'm happy to wear it outside my living room. But I'm sure I will reach for it plenty times during the hot days when lounging at home.

We are doing some major garden renovations. As a result, our house is covered in sawdust for 3 weeks. We've rent out our house on Airbnb. C and I are really looking forward to moving to the other side of the mountain, which is happening next week already. At the mean time, I'm multi-tasking with in-laws, packing and unpacking, in my new outfit.
Till next time.