19 April, 2013

Pyjamas pants and tops

As cooler autumn evenings arrived, I made  some winter cotton flannelette pyjamas for my children.

I looked at some causal  pants patterns. Then I drew the patterns  on the material free hand. These loose fitting pants are very comfy. I measured the elastics on the childrens' waist and cut them 3-5cm short.  The T shirts were AUD$3 from K-mart, with a simple appliqué in matching material.

08 April, 2013

DIY Tutu Bag

I have not heard of a tutu bag until two weeks ago. Miss 7 and I went tutu shopping for her ballet solo costume. The lady at the shop suggested we store the tutu flat in a special tutu bag. 

It was fun making this bag with Miss 7.

I took Miss 7 to buy the fabric so that she can choose the material. She picked this pink roses to be the front of her bag. We chose the pink drill as the back of her bag as it is cheaper and more durable.

We worked together to cut out two 80cm diameter large circles. Then we thought it would be nice to put a few roses on the back of the bag. We ended up cutting a few butterflies from the scrap collections and some small circles of roses. Miss 7 and I spent some times arranging them on the 'back' of the bag.

By the time we were both happy with the arrangement, the plain pink back of the tutu bag is looking more like the front feature. This tutu bag now have two pretty sides.

23 March, 2013

Little Zipped Bag

Father and son were out for Chess club on a Friday evening. Two girls were asleep. I just liked to make something quick and easy, waiting for hubby to come home. This is a good way to use up scrap materials. It can be completed within an hour, perfect as a nap time craft. You may even have time to have a little nap yourself before the little one wakes up.  

This little zipper bag measured 9cm x 15cm. It can be used as smart phone bag, mini cosmetic bag or coin purse. I add a loop for keys or lanyard. 

16 March, 2013

Reversible Dresses

This blog contains photos of cute little outfits which may make you want to learn how to sew.

It all started with finding a  free pattern for a reversible pinafore. I find some very cute fabric on special in Spotlight.  This quilting quality 100% cotton are $6-8/m.

 I worked on the wrong sides of the fabrics for a long time. Unlike other project you can just turn the fabric and admire the beauty of the fabric. The two sides were sewn right sides together first, even the hems are sewn together Then trim, turn and press in the last few steps. The magic happen in the last step when I turn the whole dress right side out through a 3cm opening.

 The beauty of the dresses are revealed. It was a very satisfying moment.

Have you like my Facebook page yet? Click here to go to my Facebook Page for more sewing photos.

14 March, 2013

Make your own NERF Vest

 My hubby asked me if I can make him a NERF Vest.
'What vest?' I asked.
'A NERF vest.' he repeated, 'One with a lot of pockets and elastics to carry NERF gun accessories.'

I've  never seen one until he showed me some pictures online. He gave me a few specifications.
Mission accepted.  Army camouflage materials happened to be on sale. YAY!

Using a fishing vest pattern, I allowed his Nerf gun and cartridges to sit on my sewing table for measurements.  It was a lot of fun making it. I  did simple zigzag and rolled hems for armholes and collar, made pockets for extra darts and  elastics for cartridges.  This is the NERF Vest the Sewing Bug style.

More photos on my The Sewing Bug Facebook page.

27 February, 2013

What is a Pinafore Dress?

According to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia, a pinafore is ( in Britain)  a sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or sweater. US and Canadian name it a jumper. 

Despite growing up in Hong Kong, a British colony and living in Queensland, Australia for 22 years, I have not came across the word 'pinafore'. Yes, I am new to sewing and I found this pattern in a British magazine.  The British call it a pinafore dress and the Americans call it a jumper. I would just call it a dress in Australia. None of the online dictionaries tell me what Australians call a pinafore. To me, a dress it is.

I certainly don't think my girls will be wearing a blouse or a sweater under this dress in our warm summer days. They may wear a long sleeved T-shirt under it in winter. 

You will see more photos of these two reversible pinafores in my next post.  I am waiting for some good weather to get some beautiful photos of my girls in these dresses.

25 February, 2013

Water Bottle Carrier

I have a  request from a friend to make a water bottle cozie with a drawstring. I turned this idea into a water bottle carrier. It is easy to be carried around,  keeping your favourite drinks hot or cold and absorbing the condensation.
I used Insul Bright as batting, quilting wavy stitches for the seashell fabric and straight line  for the blue strips. There is no need to take bottle out of the carrier. The drawstring opening can allow the sprout to come out. I know my children would be too lazy to take the bottle out and put it back in.  This will give them no excuse not to drink water during the day.

Since my son lost the water bottle cozie on the first day of school, I don't like to see any more of my product getting lost.  I added a  ring tag on the side of the carrier. A name tag, key ring or lanyard can be easily attached to the carrier.

I gathered up all water bottles in my house. They  all fit into this water bottle carrier. Before these two are going to a new home. I  snapped a few more photos. 

17 February, 2013

Why pay for it when you can get it free?

I was  browsing the Internet for my next project. I already found a pattern for a fully reversible dress for my princesses yesterday. Once again, this is a free pattern from 'The Sewing World' magazine.  I can imagine my two girls wearing their dresses. LOVE free pattern.

An idea of making a reversible hat to match their dresses came to me this morning. As soon as breakfast finished, I am on a mission to find out how to make a reversible hat. At first, I took one of my children's hat, measuring the width of brim, diameter of crown and the length of side penal. Laying it flat on a table, turning it inside out, figuring out how it is sewn together. Then I thought, someone may have posted a  pattern online.  Several websites I clicked on SELL hat pattern for as much as $8. With a few more minutes of clicking and googling, I found at least three websites with free patterns and instructions on reversible bucket hats. I now have  hat patterns from infant to adult sizes. LOVE free pattern.

Working with Pattern

This flared skirt was made from a free pattern from a magazine. I love the design, but I wish my legs were longer. It will look better if it is knee length. This is my reflection of making this skirt where I made a few mistakes and learnt some new skills.  I will just share a few things with you.

1. Measurement: Always check the size as well as measurement. It must admit my post-pregnancy figure is not what I am very proud of. My waistline is a bit bigger than I would like. Exercise is not my best friend. When it comes to making something that fit, I learnt that I should use the actual measurement of my current waist. Not a figure that I wish I could be or a size I wish I would be. To start off, I traced  my ideal size. In reality, this ideal size is too small for me. I would need to loss 5cm on my waist in 5 days to fit into this skirt. I have to accept my body and make something that fit it. The number, however big it is, doesn't matter. Maybe, I will get back to my pregnancies body on day.

2. Tracing the pattern: I traced my pattern onto light weight sew-on interfacing instead of tissue paper. Interfacing is cheap,  easy to trace and cut, and the best thing is, the pattern is reusable.

3. Pattern to fabric: The skirt is made up of 8 panels. I  learnt I should mark all the notches from the pattern onto the fabric. This will make putting the skirt together quicker and easier. It would have saved me from guessing. Due to my laziness in marking the notches, I have to match all my pieces up with the pattern and mark the notches.

4. Zipper: I had a great fear of putting in zipper. I tried to avoid it by using buttons, elastics and velcro. With some research on the internet, reading through various blogs and watching a few YouTube video. I decided to use this project to overcome my fear. It works out okay. Learning to put in an invisible zipper is now on my to-learn list.

I wear this skirt for the first time this Sunday. It really doesn't matter what others think of it because I like it very much. I plan to re-visit this pattern and  make another knee length skirt.

09 February, 2013

Seaside Picnic Cover

One of our favourite summer holiday activities is a visit to my parents' home. My children love splashing in their swimming pool. We often invite friend to come along. It was during one of this poolside morning tea when I  have the idea to make a picnic cover to stop the flies from hoovering our yummy food. 

0.8m    Lace or organza (width 105cm or more)
0.5m    Border fabric (width 105cm or more)
4         20mm Curtain weight discs (I found mine  in pack of 10)
Matching thread and sewing supplies

Finished cover is reversible,  about 75 x 100cm.

1. Cut organza into 100cm x 75cm rectangle. Cut two pieces of  12cm x 100cm  and two pieces of 12cm x 77cm border fabric.

2. Take one 100cm long border piece. Iron in half lenghtways. Unfold, then fold in the long edges so they meet the centre crease. Fold the border piece in half along the original centre crease and iron in place.  Repeat for the other 100cm long border piece.

3. Take one 77cm long border piece, first fold in short ends by 1cm and iron in place so raw ends are enclosed. Then iron in half lengthways. Unfold, then fold in long edges to meet the centre crease. Fold the border piece in half along the original centre crease and iron in place. Repeat for the other 77cm long border piece.

4. Take one of the 100cm long piece, with the open edge facing away, open the fold. Place the 100cm edge of the organza along the centre crease. Close the fold over the top of the organza so that all raw edges are lined up along the centre crease inside. Pin all layers together and topstitch about 2mm in from the edge. Repeat for the other 100cm long piece on the opposite side of the organza.

5. Place a curtain weight disc inside the border at each corner. Zigzag along the raw edge to close.

6. Take one of the 77cm long border piece, insert the organza inside the border as above. Ensure the weght disc is at the corner. Take care in the beginning and at the end not to break the needle by sewing into the disc. Topstitch about 2mm in from the edge. Repeat for the other side.

7. Topstitch 2mm in from the outer border on all four sides. Finish and plan your next seaside picnic.

05 February, 2013

Water Bottle Cozie Tutorial

Water Bottle Cozie
I made two water bottle cozies for the new school year. The male cozie never come home after the FIRST day of school. While I am still hopeful it will make it way to the lost property box, I started making not one, but two more male cozies. They are not going out of my sight until I buy some iron-on labels.

25cm of main fabric
25cm of light weight interfacing
One face washer or hand towel
10cm of 20mm wide Velcro

1.5cm seam allowance throughout unless otherwise stated.

1. Cut two 28x18cm main fabric for cozie. Cut two 28x18cm interfacing.
Cut two 17x6cm main fabric for strap. Cut two 17x6cm interfacing.
Cut one 28x18cm towel for padding.

2.   Iron interfacing onto the wrong side of two cozie pieces and two strap pieces

3. Cut Velcro into two 5cm pieces. Fold strap in half and open to get a folded line on the strap. Center  Velcro hook (male part) on the right side, 5mm from the folded line and stitch.  

4.   Fold the strap in half with the right sides together and sew the long sides together to form a strap. Trim corners and seam allowance to reduce bulk, turn the right side out and press, the Velcro hook should now be on the outside. Top stitch three sides 2mm from edges, leaving the end open. Repeat the step 3 and 4 for the second strap.

5. (Optional) decorate one cozie piece however your heart desires.

6. Lay the decorated piece right side up as shown on picture below. Measure 3cm from top and bottom edges and position the two straps with Velcro hook facing up, lining up open end with the edge of cozie, stitch together 10mm from the edge.  

7. Position Velcro loop (female part) on the cozie as shown on picture, 3.5cm from the corner and stitch.

8. Place the second piece of cozie facing down over the first one so that the right sides are facing each other. Put the padding material over the top.  Pin and sew all three pieces together, leaving a 3cm opening between the two straps for turning. Trim corners and layer seam allowance to reduce bulk.
8. Turn right side out and press. Pin the opening closed and finish with top stitch 2mm around all edges.