Monday, May 22, 2017

Me Made May -- Week 3

Just popping in today to update my third week of Me Made May. I'm posting daily photos of my outfit on my Instagram account.  The key dress code in Cape Town is preparing clothes for four season in a day, and Autumn is the exact time to do that. Layer up, my friends.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Hague Pullover

How to be a more patient person? I'm losing my cool, guys. I'm starting to dread waking up my daughter every morning. From that moment on to getting her to the car has been an hour of pure torture lately. I'm naturally not the authority figure type and I don't enjoy telling people what to do, particularly so when it involves constant repeating myself. I do understand it's part of the package that I signed up for once I became a parent, so chocolate therapy you say? Oh well, since I don't have any remedy yet, I blame for the cooling temperature and those cozy early mornings under a warm duvet. ;-)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Long Linen Tucked Jacket

 
Morning friends, I'm slowly getting my mojo back and have finally whipped up something new. It's actually a birthday present for C's friend, which had been given away last weekend already. I don't normally make clothes to give away as presents, especially something like this, which takes way longer than popping into the shop and buy something. But somehow I needed a reason to get me back to sewing, and the idea of giving away a handmade present didn't sound too shaby.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Me Made May -- Week 2

I'm half way through Me Made May. What I've realized is that it's not which "handmade" clothes I look for every morning but rather which clothes I want to wear, generally. I'm pretty proud of my wardrobe at this point. It's taken me years to build up a handmade collection, but wearing what I make has become part of me. If I need to add another piece, I make it. That simple.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Me Made May --- Week 1

This year, I've successfully hopped onto the Me Made May wagon. There wasn't much hesitation because even if I don't add anything to my current wardrobe, I should have enough handmade clothes to see me through the month. It didn't happen overnight, but I have built up a substantial me-made collection. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Work-in-Progress Pullover

As much as I’d not like to admit that I’m beaten by the endless house moves, I am. Plus April’s school holidays and constant long weekends here and there, I’ve completely broken my rhythm. Here I am, without my machines, again, for a good 10 days this time, taking a break that I don’t need.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

A Matching Camouflage Jacket

"Mama, I need to get the toilet paper roll."
What's she up to now?! Yep, how can you wear a camouflage jacket without some sort of ... er ... spying device, in this case, a telescope?

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Long Camouflage Jacket

Morning friends. I feel unexpected to be here on a Monday. We are having nonstop little school breaks here and there. But I had the whole weekend all to myself. C met friends at the beach for two days and of course getting toasted in the sun is not my thing, so dad's on duty, which probably explains the completion of this jacket.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Brushed Cotton Polka Dot Jacket

Newsflash.
Yesterday, I had my first night out, all by myself, since, C was born? I seldom go out at night, partly because I'm not a loud music person, partly because I rely on those uninterrupted intense sewing hours. But it felt good to be my own person and not wear the mom title for a few hours. I did come home way past my bedtime, and I'm paying for it today....

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stretch Cotton Twill Tapered Pants

Hi, it's been a while. Apart from school holidays, I had also reached a point with blog posts. Instagram seems much easier to use at times like this. I don't know if there's anyone out there who still reads blogs. I know I seldom read the words anymore myself, which is sad, but it's also part of evolution, no? We've all more or less adapted to a visual learning style. I almost convinced myself that blogs are useful no more until recently I wanted to make a jacket of mine in a different fabric and couldn't remember which pattern it was. It was a recent make so I located the relevant blog post and found the pattern. Maybe I do need to keep this place going, for my own sake, if nothing else.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Bubble Sleeve Top with Sarouel Pants

Hi, I'm one day late for my post, with more than one excuse. But to spare your time, I'm going straight into this outfit I've made. The bubble sleeve top I've drafted myself is a hit, possibly thanks to the knits fabric. Since C wears it a lot, I get to hover around her and watch how the top behaves. I tweaked a little on the pattern and made the sleeve cuffs just teeny bit narrower. Now the sleeve shape looks more like a balloon?

Monday, April 3, 2017

A Floral Prints Dress

 
Whether I'm eating in or out, I always clean up my plate, because I don't like wasting food. I've become even more of a food garbage bin after having kid. I finish whatever that's left on C's plate, too. I make sure the leftover food in the fridge is properly consumed before I go grocery shopping. I can't deal with wastage. Last week, M came home with 7 pieces of fabric, all prints, and woven. I don't know if I should be happy. I am currently going through a solid and knits phase and he got me something totally the opposite....Sigh...I'd hate to leave the fabric in my stash till I find the inspiration again, so I chose my favorite piece and whipped up something quick before I could change my mind.

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Can't-Stop-the-Feeling Jacket

To get C's spirit up in front of the camera, I always play the music she likes or the ones that are very easy to dance to. "Dumb Ways to Die" had been our favorite for two weeks and for this jacket I decided to change the music to Justin Timberlake's Can't Stop the Feeling. Did I make the right choice? Yes, and No. She's totally stoked and couldn't stop dancing, but since it's a rhythmic song, it's a bit difficult for her to slow down, thus the outcome of hundreds of blurry shots....I guess I really need to set to a faster shutter speed next time.
 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Long Cardigan in Knits

What touches my heart? Right now I'd tell you anything Asian straight away. Not that I want to live in Asia one day again, I am just currently going through a sentimental phase, I guess. The other day I was fighting back tears while listening to some old songs that I knew from more than a decade ago; And today, I nearly laughed my head off listening to a podcast done in Shanghainese, a language I'm so familiar with and the hosts talked about things they went through in their childhood, which I so happen to share. You know that feeling? It's a now-there's-someone-who-would-understand-me kind of feeling. Sentimental phase, I told you...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Possibly-Just-for-This Autumn Jacket

Good morning, friends.
I've mentioned here before that C loves pasting glue on her hands and then peeling off once it's dried, something she must've inherited from my side of the gene pool. So every week after art club, her two hands are covered in ready-to-peel dried-out glue, and for two weeks, I've been giving her a hat in the car for her to throw the peeled off pieces of glue into. As a forgetful mom, I've put the same hat on C's head, twice, without emptying out the glue pieces. Last Friday, I spotted some white stuff on C's head which I thought was fine glue pieces at the beginning, but after a closer examination, I realized it's every mom's nightmare. She's gone through the lice treatment and I've been through hell washing all the sheets and towels. On top of that, granny decided to pay a surprise visit. The weekend felt rather full...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Autumn, Are You Coming Yet?

The most worn clothes in the past few months are my three Wanderlust Tees. I love wearing tee shirts, especially the days I plonk myself in front of my machines for long periods of time. I've always wanted to sew ten black tee shirts and just live in nothing else but them. Don't fashion designers usually wear the simpliest clothes? I don't mind pretending I'm one of them. :))

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Self-drafted Bubble Top

Hi friends, I survived the long weekend, as well as the heat. The weather's been scorching for the last three days and it made me feel like some fermented beans sitting and sewing in my living room. Sorry, that sounds a bit gross. C's had a great time with friends swimming and going to the beach. She's even had her second sleepover and looking forward to the third one. I have to admit Summer provides great fun for kids.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Ruffle Sleeves Here We Go

Morning! I have a confession. I am now a certified copycat of my daughter's outfits.
C wore the green and black outfit I made for her last week three days in a row, and those ruffle sleeves were shouting for attention. Sometimes you look at the same thing for a long period of time, you either love it or hate it. In this case, I've totally fallen for the ruffles.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Frilly Sleeve Top and a Circle Skirt

Me and knits, we are making nice progress.
Making clothes that C actually wants to wear, than making clothes that only look good to me, has become my new goal. It's no secret that she loves wearing knits, and I prefer sewing with woven fabric. But if changing the fabric of choice will win her heart, I'm in, wholeheartedly.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Floral Shirt for Me

When do you know that you are ready?
Recently I've had two opportunities knocking on my door. One is to prepare a range for an online kids shop, and the other to have a shared table at a market. Both are aimed at selling, and involve hiring people to sew for me. I know, it's possibly the inevitable route if I want to grow, but something is telling me I'm not 100% ready for that yet. Is it defeating the purpose of my journey by having a small production line? I am not sure. Right now, I make three garments a week for me and my daughter and then talk utter nonsense on my posts. Truth is, I am thoroughly having a ball doing these things. I am growing, probably at the slowest pace, but it feels to me every step I've moved forward, it's solid. As to when I am ready to get more ambitious, I hope I will know when that time comes.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Backpack, a.k.a. a Stash Buster

I think by now the world knows the 40th Cape Argus Cycle Tour was cancelled due to severe wind. I saw the video clips on Youtube yesterday morning and the wind looked unreal. Here is a link to one of the videos. How's that related to me? Well, we usually go cyclists watching every year, but this wind had turned my Sunday plan upside down and forced me to come up with some backup indoor activities. If it were up to me, I would've stayed at home and sew up a storm. But since there's a little person looking for constant entertainment, sewing was out of the question, instead we made necklaces together. It was super fun for both of us. Actually now I think of it, I don't spend enough time crafting with C anymore. I am always busy making something on the weekends for my Monday's posts and during the week from homework to bedtime it often reminds me of a robotlike plant in a factory. She actually has asked me a few times when she can learn to sew. Er... let's do it next weekend!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Daisy and the Trouble with ... Bangs

When C came home on Wednesday, I was informed this Friday, which is today, will be their annual Dress Up Day at school. My heart sang and my jaw dropped. It's such a short notice and she's got specific requests. The characters the kids choose should come from a book they read. I've mentioned before that C's favorite books are Daisy series. It's no surprise that she wants to be ... Daisy.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cotton Knits Pintuck Cardigan

I remember playing badminton in our neighborhood with my dad as a young girl. Whenever I wanted to tell him something, I'd always walk up to him because I felt embarrassed that other people might hear me too. My dad had always called me a mosquito, because my volume was as loud as a mosquito's buzz. As I grow up, I've gained more confidence. Even though I still keep a lot of thoughts to myself to this day, I wasn't shy to tell people what I think, which can be translated to being honest, or offensive. The closer the relationship, the more direct we tend to be. I know we all love the compliments, but what need to be taken more seriously are those honest opinions, good or bad. Not only will they push us to grow, they usually come from friends who are geniune and see you as real friends, too, if not paid professionals. So all of a sudden, I don't feel all that bad when I told a close girlfriend that she's put on weight, as direct as that.....

Monday, March 6, 2017

Knit Dress with Pintuck Sleeves

I got a pamphlet this morning on way to school. Meditation center. My old instinct would be to toss it in the bin the first chance I get. Who has the time to sit for two hours and do nothing? I'd rather take a real nap. This time I briefly looked at it, you know, now that I am starting to channel my spiritual self. To be quite honest, I don't understand what messages they are trying to spread. I know my head is spinning with ideas constantly and it does get to a point where it pushes my bedtime hour closer to midnight, but I am the kind of person that enjoys having an extremely long to-do list. I've realized our lives really go through different stages. Right now I am at a go-for-it stage, I don't want to make time to put my foot on the brake. I am sure it will come to a stage when I know it's time to slow down, then life's balanced, no?

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Gathered Skirt for All Ages

One of these days, I might take the plunge and dump my phone.
I use my phone, obsessively. Instagram, facebook and twitter (yes, I signed up for twitter recently and I'm not completely sure what it's all for still.), with so many social medias on the go, I am starting to feel overwhelmed.  The phone has become a distraction. I find myself go check every 15 minutes. Are there any likes on my photos? Is that a new follower popping up? Are there any comments I need to reply? Has anyone posted anything interesteing that I might miss? It is so pathetic! If you think I'm bad, there's worse. I was at the gym the other day, and I saw 8 out of 10 people working out while checking on their phones. Don't get me wrong. I admit that many things are now more easily accessible because of smartphones, but surely there's a limitation that we should all consider, like wine drinking, or sugar intake? I'm going to challenge myself to check my phone three times during the day and only to reply the urgent matter when I'm in the work mode. Does that sound realistic or not really?

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Side Pockets Simple Gathered Skirt

I stink.
Well, hopefully not physically.
I stink at multitasking. The best I can do is snacking and watching TV at the same time without choking. Lately, my fridge has become rather empty. Dinner time is my daily impromptu show, digging for whatever ingredients I can find and putting them together regardless whether they'd work or not. Since I've adopted this strong determination to sew diligently, I'm successfully becoming a loser in other aspects. This morning I realized I didn't manage to reach my workout goal for last week. It's my first unachieved goal. It's like you keep straight A's throughout the year and by one silly miscalculation you get an F that F is always going to stick around and be an eyesore....It's terrible.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Sarouel Pants in Jersey

 
Are you familiar with South Africa's greeting formula? I'm not. Is it one kiss, two kisses, in the air, on the cheeks, or a hug, I have no clue. It seems with so many cultures here, people are doing their own things anyway. Everytime I meet someone new, it's a guessing game. I am not a big hugger, nor a kisser. My strategy is to dodge the kisses that are aiming at the lips at all costs, or initiate a hug and then retrieve quickly. When I tell people that Asians don't really do kisses, I get fist and palm salute in return, which is only confusing things even more. Blame it on the kung-fu movies.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Girls' Chinese Qipao Take 2

It looks like I'm stuck on red this week.
C showed me a little Chinese coin purse last week and asked if I could make her a kimono/qipao dress with slits on the side, to match her purse. She still doesn't have a very clear idea about which dress represents which Asian country. I kind of wanted to make a kimono  myself as I've never made one before and remembering the beautiful version on my sewing sister Marisa's blog, I messaged her immediately. A few messages back and forth later, I realized how much fabric it's involved to make a yutaka, which is a casual summer kimono. At the price of the expensive Asian theme printed cotton from Stitch 'n Stuff, a yukata is going to cost me an arm and a leg.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Post-Valentine's Day Top with Pom Poms

I didn't mean to linger on this Valentine's Day topic, but when I went fabric shopping on the said special day, a few people in the shop wore red, then a lady said to me, "Why don't you get some red fabric?" Well, I might look the role, but I'm not the type that swims with the tide. However, she was very kind that not only did I not ask if there's a special on all shades of red, but I grabbed a red roll closest to me, knowing Valentine's Day would be long overdue before anything's made out of this thin cotton fabric.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Simple Gathered Skirt

Good morning! How was your weekend? Did you go to the Cape Town Art Fair? Of course I didn't make it, as I mentally survived another house move, if not physically. I don't like not having a permanent home, but since moving around is our current lifestyle, I'm focusing on the positive side, where sewing is prioritized.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Linen Long Shirt

When I was in primary school, I had a class teacher who taught us for three years. During a chat, she told me she was 28 years old. I was probably less than 10 at the time. The combination of being 28 and single made her a fossil in my dictionary. Also around that time, I drafted a life plan --- study hard, get good marks, get a job that pays well, get married around 23, and if I ever decide to have a child one day, have it young. That’s probably due to my big age gap between my own parents and me. It turned out that my early years went pretty much as planned, except that I didn’t exactly marry myself out that young, but close.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Dress from the Land of Animals

Hi everyone, how was your Valentine’s Day? I had a great morning visiting fabric and notion shops (and strategically buying), indeed my kind of day. I guess to indulge myself with my "true love" -- a.k.a. fabric -- every now and then is allowed. My daughter, went to school in her white/red outfit and she even dressed her teddy to take to school with. No school uniform creates all-around happiness.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Sarouel Pants Edition 3

Hello Monday, nice to see you again. My weekend was filled with cyclists watching. The triathlon race happened right underneath the balcony of our temporary beach front home, so spending hours eating ice lollies while watching and cheering for them seemed to be an inevitable way to kill the weekend. It’s amazing to see how many people here, cyclists or not, participate in all sorts of sports. Outdoor activities are big here. For years, I plastered myself with sun cream and ventured into the sun like any fearless sun worshiper, persuading myself it’s good to get some vitamin D. But since I channeled my Asian heritage recently and found my skin a little roasted, I’ve been avoiding the sun like a plague, and religiously wearing hats on top of sun cream.
 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Completely, Properly, Fully Lined Jacket

Ladies and gentlemen, ninas y ninos, senoras y senores, let me present you this ultimate fully-lined jacket with broad welt side pockets, in the middle of our summer weather. This, is a major achievement for moi. Who cares if I’ve made for the right season? If you are a regular here, then you should have noticed I’ve stopped talking about my clothes -- I still show pictures of them, but I feel I have not much to say about them. But this one, be prepared for some clothes making fun facts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Pintuck Dress with Draped Ribbon Sleeves

Astrology,
Is what comes to mind now.
Last week, I had a very interesting chat with a friend, who happens to have majored in astrology in college. How cool is that? She said that when you were born, your whole life had been planned out for you already. From thousands of years of star reading, your personality and life journey become very interpretable and predictable. I used to put astrology, superstition, tarot card reading, bone reading etc under one category, the one that I gave about 5% attention to. But now I’m surprised to find myself following an astrology website to read my daily prediction. After all, it’s a word suffixed “ology”. So it’s probably science related, right?

Monday, February 6, 2017

A Super-Duper Bubbly Dress

Milestone!
If, first sleepover was considered a milestone...?
It feels in the past few weeks my little girl has matured a lot. She initiated a sleepover at a friend’s house on Friday and she did it! Not that I was eager to chase her out of the nest at all, or I wanted a sleepover for her, I was excited merely because I know once she’s set her mind to something, she just does it. From past experience, I’ve learnt that with C sometimes pushing is not the best way, if she’s ready to allow things to happen, they will happen; otherwise, it just creates unnecessary stress.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

A Frilly Sleeve Top

This Monday, C went to her tennis class with a polyester school PE top, instead of the cotton house tee shirt she always wears. She’s quite aware of the fabric choice and detests synthetic fabrics. I wonder where she got that from. Anyway, the reason that she had no cotton top to wear was because both tee shirts were still in the washing basket from the previous week and I didn’t get to wash everything during the weekend. Why? Because I was busy sewing and planning my week ahead.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Midweek Extremely Quick Sew -- Hip Hop Pants

On Monday afternoon, C asked for a pair of hip hop pants to wear the next day. She wanted a pair of loose fitted pants with a dropped crotch. For starters, shopping is not my thing. I felt drained already just to think about going from shop to shop to look for those specific pants. What are sewing mamas to do? We sew! I've made them before in my early sewing days (check here and here), and I knew they were extremely fast to make.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Classic White Linen Pants

Water saving has been the big topic lately. School is reinforcing how to effectively save water on children and at home we try to be water efficient as much as we can. Ideally, we should all use buckets to collect the clean water during shower while waiting for the water to get warm, and then use it for other cleaning purposes; collect grey water from washing machine to flush the toilet; change to eco-soap so we can reuse the water for our gardens, etc. It does sound like there's a lot of extra work but I was surprised to see how much water we could actually reuse. We are not doing enough in our daily lives, really not enough....

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Black Potato Sack Dress

 
One thing that's happening for sure is I've got my momentum going, and I'm loving it.
We've been back for a week and our lives are back on track. C's started school and I've started curing my fabric addiction, um hmm, by using up some of my stash.  I've still got a few new year appointments here and there, some motherly duties --- like going to parents' meeting and supporting your daughter at Athletics Day, but other than that, I'm spending lots of time with my machines, which is exactly what I need right now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Simple Gathered Skirt

"I like your style." People are often too kind.
Whenever I get that compliment, I automatically think they are just refering to the outfit I'm wearing. I don't think I have a specific style. Yes, I like linen clothes and I always go for 100% cotton, but other than that, I'm not fussy. A loose fitted tee shirt and a pair of shorts make me happy on a daily basis, but if I am in need of some bubbly spirit, I opt for a fitted tee + skirt combo every single time.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Saturday Frilly Top

This past weekend was awesome. Great friends, yummy food, aspiring conversations, really you can't go wrong with them. Did I fail to mention that our kids were self-entertained too? It was utterly soul saving. It felt like I had spent two days doing some much needed planning without interuption. As a matter of fact, I managed to make this top from scratch on Saturday, with the help of a playdate for C. I know I've bragged enough in the past how much joy it brings to make things with your hands, but to do it with speed, is a whole new level of satisfaction. Right now, I'm all fired up and I don't want to slow down.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Little Not-Black Dress

Hi there (with a big wave), I'm back.
I was away for 5 weeks, and boy did I miss this place. Overtime without me knowing, I've become quite dependent on my sewing. No matter what my daily life is like, making things is my drug. It pulls me away from reality and this might sound weird, it fulfils me.