Singer Sewing Machine 15-91

April 30th, 2012

My husband’s amazing production of this Singer sewing machine demo.

Singer Sewing Machine 15-91

Two Bunty Bunnies Go Swimming

January 21st, 2012
Bunty Bunnies Go Swimming

Bunty Bunnies Go Swimming

I made these a while back for my little angel nieces. My nieces were born in the year of rabbit and both of their names mean “ocean clarity”. So I think these bunnies are just perfect for them. Beside, clothes I make for them only fit for a while, but a toy like this last way longer.

They are not difficult to make, although patience is required, as usual. It’s a Debi Birkin design, which you can find on her website, ravelry and etsy. It is really an excellent pattern.

Five-hour baby sweater

September 14th, 2011

Here’s a change of scene. As the temperature reaches all-time high (or at least in my mind), I have a unprecedented  urge to knit some sweaters. Of course this motivation comes from my brand new twin nieces. I just want to make them stuff, lots of stuff. Perhaps it’s to compensated for the fact that I can’t see and hold them until November.

It turns out that making baby sweaters are uber satisfying. As opposed to my typical 4-month knitting when it comes to a sweater for myself, these sweaters only take about 5 hours a pop. It’s a free pattern from ravelry.  If you search for “5 hour baby sweater”, there should be several for you to choose from, although I think they are awfully similar.

5-hour baby sweater - blocking

5-hour baby sweater - blocking

It is knitted from the top. No seaming is required on the body, but there are seams on the sleeves. I suppose you could use your double point needles to knit circularly to eliminate the seams.

Of course each baby gets her own sweater (tape measure to give you a sense of size)

Of course each baby gets her own sweater (tape measure to give you a sense of size)

The brand of the yarn is “Spud & Chloe – Sweater”. It’s a worsted weight, cotton/super wash wool blend. I specifically chose something nice (don’t want acrylic) yet machine washable. I don’t understand the concept of non-washable baby clothes. Given the intense color (colorway: Popsicle), it doesn’t bleed at all.

One thing I would do differently is the way I do my “Make 1″ stitches. I would have more of a lacy, girly effect if I knit in the back of the loop instead of knitting in the front of the loop, whereas now there are no visible holes in the top of the sweaters.

Also, this is the newborn size. I was a little concerned that they are too small, but after blocking, they may actually be big enough to allow couple months of growth!

Baby Sewing

September 8th, 2011

No, I am not sewing a baby, but I have been sewing for my brand new twin nieces. This is a momentous event because I’ve never wanted to sew for anyone else. I sewed a shirt for my husband but it turned out to be a bit short, so he never wore it. I also sewed for a friend of mine after she asked me a gazillion times. But she also didn’t wear the dress because by the time it was done, the dress no longer fitted her.

McCall 6223 - two onesies, two hats and two bloomers

McCall 6223 - two onesies, two hats and two bloomers

No body ever asked me to sew for my nieces, but I was so excited about their arrival that I was planning all sort of sewing projects for them. But wait, there’s more! I even knitted for them. Now, that is really completely wild. I feel like I don’t even know myself anymore.

Onesie close-up - how cute is this?

Onesie close-up - how cute is this?

I bought a snap press to do these snaps, figuring that I will use it more often in the future.

I bought a snap press to do these snaps, figuring that I will use it more often in the future.

It's interesting that the heel of the foot in the onesie is form by a pleat

It's interesting that the heel of the foot in the onesie is form by a pleat.

Front of bloomer

Front of bloomer

Back of bloomer - I used rolled hem with differential feed to make the ruffles more ruffly.

Back of bloomer - I used rolled hem on my serger with differential feed to make the ruffles more ruffly.

The hat was enormous, so I had to cut about 2 inches off the width and length.

The hat was enormous, so I had to cut about 2 inches off the width and length.

I used this pattern, McCall’s 6223. I have no complaint at all. It’s cute and every piece fits together nicely. The only thing is that I used the smallest size possible (new born), but it looks humongous to me (relatively speaking) – maybe 8-month size?

McCall 6223

McCall 6223

The original plan includes the booties as well, but they seem very big and very loose, and the cuffs are really difficult to get to provided their tininess. I just gave up. After all, the onesies have enclosed feet. They wouldn’t be wearing the onesies and the booties together.

The fabric is from Joann. They don’t have a wide selection of nice baby knit fabric, but what they have are pretty cute.

I hope to see pictures my nieces in them one day, but it will be months down the line. I can’t wait to see them in November.

 

Vintage Style Print Jacket

August 6th, 2011
Style Print Pattern from England (circa 1960s)

Style Print Pattern from England (circa 1960s)

I was attracted to the unique collar when I was browsing etsy some months ago. And it was only £1.00 (yes, it was from England; of course that wouldn’t deter me from buying it). How can I pass it up?

Description says: Fabulously chic 1960′s jacket, blouse and skirt pattern from Style Print.

I think it’s fabulous too.

Jacket front

When a vintage pattern is made with modern fabric, the end result doesn’t seem that vintage. I got this fabric from Mood in Los Angeles. It’s gray wool with metallic coating. One of the most expensive fabrics I ever got. So I proceeded very cautiously and made a muslin before cutting into my oh-s0-precious fabric.

Jacket back

It’s a bit boxy. I can eat couple more slices of pizza and no one will ever notice.

To match the vintage status of the whole deal, I had to make bound button holes and use vintage buttons. These silver half-ball buttons are from Pennsylvania.

I also made the skirt using the same fabric, but I don’t have pictures of it. It’s a simple A-line skirt. I wouldn’t wear the two pieces together though, just too matchy matchy.

Every cloud has a silver lining, and so does my dress

April 28th, 2011

I probably am not the only one. Every morning I feel that I don’t have anything to wear to work. So I decided that I need to make something that is work appropriate.

The result is this dress, Vogue 8594.

Here’s their version:

Vogue 8594

Vogue 8594

Here’s mine:

My version of Vogue 8594

My version of Vogue 8594

(sorry about the wrinkles; I was wearing it the whole day at work)

I got the fabric from Gus Woolen in Baltimore about 5 months ago, when I met up with my husband in the east coast during his cross country drive. If I was by myself, I probably would devote two days at Gus. They have “remnant” that are 2, 3, 4 or 5 yards long. This piece is a very soft houndstooth wool fabric.

I decided that a silver lining is cool, so I can say that there’s a silver lining :-)

The side seams are not adjustable because there are seams running from the front to the back in the bodice as well as in the skirt. I cut a size 12, but I did a SBA and took some width from the center front (I need to take more in next time, if there’s a next time). Between the center back and side seam, there are two princess seams in the back, so I added a bit of room in the bottom by sewing smaller seam allowances there.

Seam that runs across front and back in skirt

Seam that runs across front and back in skirt

Seam runs across front and back in bodice

Seam that runs across front and back in bodice

I wear the dress with this sweater and belt.

Style it with cardigan and belt

Style it with cardigan and belt

My husband thinks this orange sweater looks awful with the dress. I am kinda on the fence.

Style it with orange sweater

Style it with orange sweater

I always forget to take pictures of the back of my projects. I’ll try to remember next time.

A simple top

April 13th, 2011

For me, finishing one garment in 3 days is actually quite fast. It could take me a month or so to create a more complex garment. This top took me a total of 12 hours across 3 days. Let’s say I charge myself $50 per hours, this would be a $600 top! But of course the enjoyment I got from creating something is, like Mastercard says, priceless!

Butterick 5610

Butterick 5610

This top is Butterick 5610. I don’t see any review on Patterreview.com yet.

MISSES’ TOP: Very loose-fitting, pullover tops A, B, C, D. A, B: yoke extends to sleeves, front pleats and topstitch trim. B: contrast yoke and elasticized lower edge. C, D: neck band, extended shoulders and partially stitched front pleats. D: elasticized lower edge.”

Mine is View B, which is the bottom right one in the drawing.

I am supposed to use a woven fabric for this top, but I decided that I want to use this knit fabric. Because of this choice, I used a size smaller than I normally would, and I also stabilized the bejesus out of all the horizontal seams using fusible and sewn-in stay tapes – the neck line, the yoke seam and the sleeve hems. Except I didn’t stabilize the hem, because that part needs to remain stretchy so my body can get through it.

I like the pleats in the front. It’s little hard to see them with this busy fabric.

I already wore this top 3 times since I finished it 2 weeks ago. I realized that the simpler the garment, the more I wear it.

A spring jacket

April 4th, 2011

Although I haven’t posted anything new for quite a while, I actually do have a lot of completed projects. But before I get around to take pictures of them, I already want to move onto something new.

My camera happens to be sitting right next to me when I finished this jacket this afternoon.

This is the Burda jacket from issue October 2010.

Burda October 2010 Jacket 112

Burda October 2010 Jacket 112

This is my version:

My Burda 112 jacket

My Burda 112 jacket

Collar with top stitching

Collar with top stitching

Bound button hole with vintage button

Bound button hole with vintage button

Single welt pocket

Single welt pocket

Yellow lining with green piping

Yellow lining with green piping

I am quite happy with the construction, but I don’t know if I am really going to wear this jacket because soft pink doesn’t look that good on me, even though I like the idea of it. But we’ll see.

New ensemble at Huntington Library

August 18th, 2010

I’ve never done a SWAP before. It just requires too much planning and commitment. But it just happened that several pieces of my creations actually go together well enough to appear that I planned it.

All of them can considered to be “quick sew” (“quick” means it doesn’t take weeks). Here are the three pieces:

McCall 5241 Cardigan – a.k.a 1-hour cardigan
This actually took more than 1 hour (maybe 3?) because I don’t have big enough of a surface to cut the fabric and it took quite a bit of acrobatic for me to work it out. There’s a seam in the back and 2 holes to put the sleeves in. That’s it. I initially wanted to not hem the edges due to my laziness, but my husband convinced me to not to half-ass it. I am glad I did since it looks so much nicer and I do wear this cardigan quite a bit. The fabric is from Michael Levin in downtown LA in the “fabric by the pound” section. I think it’s a very stable polyester knit with a bit of glitter in it. I dumped it in the wash and dryer, it doesn’t change a bit. It’s also never wrinkles.
This whole thing costs probably about $2 to make. Definitely beat the $80 version at DKNY.

Simplicity 2599 top
A simple pattern sitting in my stash forever. It’s a sleeveless top that has elastic band in the waist. I initially wanted to put flounces in the front, but it’s very obvious that the fabric is one-sided. I decided that pink animal print is sufficient and can stand on its own without extra flare. The fabric is rayon from Joann. It’s super soft.

Burda Style 7/2008 Shorts 125
I needed some shorts and found these cute ones in my Burda magazine stash. The unique part is that there are separate panels for the side and the legs are gathered. The cuffs have buttons on the sides. I also top-stitched with pink threads, which matches my top perfectly! I used a black denim fabric with 3% Lycra in it.

Although it’s more satisfying to make a complex dress, but simple clothing is just more versatile and I have more opportunities to wear them.

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(Relatively) Quick Dress

July 19th, 2010


Another Creation

Originally uploaded by ray_in_la

I have this pattern for a long time. I believe this Simplicity pattern was voted one of the best dress patterns of the year in Pattern Review (2007?). I made this for going to a friend’s wedding. It could have been so much easier, except I decided to use a chiffon, so I need to underline the bodice, in additions to having a lining. However, in the skirt part, the pattern didn’t call for a lining. I see this way of handling dresses are quite common in the Big 4 patterns. I just don’t understand why wouldn’t they put a lining for the skirt? Anyway, I put a lining for the skirt. But I didn’t underline the chiffon because I want it to be more flowy.

This is Simplicity 3867. I did minimal alterations:

- I took 1 inch total at the top of the side seams
- I instead of sewing the tucks as directed, I extended them 3 inches, so that I wouldn’t look pregnant in the empire waist dress.