Saturday, July 31, 2010

That semi-glam blouse!

Not too long ago, I bought my first vintage pattern for blouse making, a year 1952 Simplicity 3882 featuring a wide v shaped neckline. I do like blouses with such a neckline and the illustration of the timeless designs and even its colour and fabric coordination simply sold on me.

I was determined to start off with view 2, the one with collars and I had in mind, a solid colour Thai silk material that would go well with the pattern. But it was my first time tackling vintage blouse making and honestly, with my limited self-taught sewing skills, I started with moderate level confidence and used a cheaper material (Rp 20 000/m), a champagne colour Rayon, I think, bought from the fabric store. Rayon isn't something I'd normally wear but it's the closest to what I had in mind. I also had to make adjustments with the pattern sizing and omitted the recommended side zipper.

The result was a slightly loose fitting blouse with uneven front collars! I'm okay with the not too fitting look however I'd want to try sewing zipper to it the next time I make it again so I can get a better fit of the blouse. This semi-glam looking blouse is letting me have ideas on making a skirt from that 50's era to complete the look!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

birthday package :: stationery pouch

The other part of the birthday package for Megan is the handmade pouch; made of cotton of apple prints quilted with batting and lined with green gingham checks, a yellow button and brown twirled string fastening. The size made according to the stationery of a set of crayons and hello kitty folder and paper inserts (of which I'd been hoarding and finally decided to let go off!).

It's all put together now!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

birthday package :: camisole & a twirly skirt

For the first time, I made a piece of little girl's clothing, a red and white polka dot twirly skirt. I ever harbour the wish of making clothes for young girls so I'm going to realize it and start practicing even if they will be gifts for children not mine. The skirt is a simple first piece to put together, the pattern obtained from the Japanese magazine, Cotton Friend; Spring edition 2007, vol.22. (Here's a tutorial one could use, for making another cute looking skirt.) I did some adaptations of mine by adding french seams to the sides. psst.. I'm still contemplating the thought of owning a serger.

After making the skirt, I thought I ought to shop for a matching blouse until I remembered my friends passed on a used camisole which was part of a(n) teenage/adult dress set, to me for my free use. It is a really pretty thin cotton piece with laces adorned and with missing buttons. So I simply reinforced the seams, shortened the bodice and replaced the original ones with my black buttons.

This set of camisole and skirt will be going to Kaeden's youngest cousin, Megan who is turning 7 in a little more than a week's time. I'll be making a pouch next to add on to the birthday package.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

no knead (~ ♪) bread

After reading Melissa's post which she aptly titled lazy breadmaking, I thought I should give the recipe (video) a try and baked the bread last evening. Honestly, I only ventured in making bread just that one time and I was afraid of doing it again especially the kneading part. It was hard work! Furthermore I ought to try new recipes not including sugar, something Kaeden could do less of in his diet as advised by his physician, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.

The part about mixing the ingredients in a large container and leaving the dough to rise in it was awesome. I used the tallest and largest container I could find at home, and because of my one time previous experience of dough not rising and not wanting to risk it another time, I rest my container of dough next to a pot slowly double boiling my dried dates and longan tea. In less than two hours, I was glad to see the dough had risen to more than twice its original volume with many tiny air pockets in it. Would room temperature be sufficient enough? This, I'll have to try it out the next time.

The baking part was a little stressful because my oven refused to heat up to the advised temperature despite the one hour worth of preheating. So I lingered expectantly around the oven until the bread was baked for about half an hour.

My two large loaves of bread didn't have a nice brown colour, I'd assume the lack of oven heat. However I was rather happy with the medium hard crust and the soft holey chewable bread. I had a warm slice with butter and a glass of milk before bed and the family had it for breakfast this morning. We plan to toast the leftovers for sandwiches tomorrow.

I could make a few more rounds of this bread and try keeping the dough in the fridge and see if a sourdough could be achieved although I don't quite fancy that taste. I'd made a mental note to check these books (Artisan / Healthy bread in Five minutes a day) out and make one part of my library the next time I get to the city.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

poppies & roses

A dear friend gave me a store bought box shaped pouch with handle for my birthday and I like it a lot. It was made of pink birds and cages theme laminated cotton with batting and lined with brown and white polka dotted cotton. Inspired, I decided to give a shot at making one like it then later one more, for the the other two birthdays coming up. Luckily my available zips' length is sufficient enough for making a smaller almost cube shaped versions. There is a brilliant tutorial on making the boxy shape pouch over here.

For Jenny's pouch, I used the precious nani iro antique label pink poppy, quilted it with felt and lined with brown and white polka dot cotton and a brown zipper closure. Going inside the pouch as part of the gift is a Tony Moly peach hand cream, bought from here.

For Josi, the pouch is made of a green zipper, roses theme sheet cotton, quilted with felt and lined with red and white polka dot cotton. Going inside the pouch is a small tube of Etude House lip gloss.

Although both ladies' names start with the letter 'J j', the pronunciation of the Indonesian alphabet dictates that it be pronounced like the letter 'Y y' so they are really called 'Yenny' and 'Yosi' instead despite the spelling. Just a small fun fact.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

patchwork cushion

I know of three birthdays coming up towards the end of July and I've decided to make the presents. To get the first one going, a patchwork cushion cover. It will be for Brian's father whom Kaeden calls 公 (gong gong) Ong.

I was thinking in the shades of blue however when I looked into my fabric cupboard, the maroon raccoon theme Japanese fabric called out to me. I patched it up with my remaining white cotton, some red dots and white cotton borders, backed with recycled vintage bedsheet and made the cushion with an envelope closure using hand me down thick upholstery bluish fabric.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

cycling on Phoenix(es)

Some photos taken while cycling in the evening. I'm still getting used to riding my made in China Phoenix bicycle because of its height. I like its dark green colour and build. Some adjustments were made like changing the saddle so I could hop onto it a little bit more easily. Brian has a brother version of mine, with the top tube and a sturdier prop up stand.

Just some rounds and off to home as the skies got overcast with dark clouds.

Friday, July 16, 2010

me and my baviphat

I'm going to totally go out of sync with my usual blog posts' topic and share about skin care items. You read right. I've never been excited about skin care products until about a month ago, I purchased my first few baviphat items. Until recently, there are growing reviews online about some of its products while before I could only find limited reviews, well at least in English that is. I suppose because of different skin types, there are currently mix reviews about each product out there.

I do wonder the efficacy of renown premium skin care brands on some occasions and hope to try them out in the future. But perhaps for now, some of its baviphat facial products are going to be permanent fixtures on my dresser. For one, the containers are uber cute. Brian was amazed to see me jump in excitement when I received my 2. Apple AC Therapy Sleeping Pack and commented that the company hit the right spot on women. But packaging aside, I was really thrilled that I could use it soon and have my skin bettered. If the product failed, what's the point of it even if the container is cute to have? (You may read about the components and functions of the fruit masks I found here.) (About 3. Red apple soft lip balm, I'd mentioned it before.)

I could describe my skin to be a combination type, leaning to oily especially in this tropic heat. With every menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations, I've seen good and bad, mostly bad skin days. I first bought the 1. Mango Magic Brightening Fruit Mask Pack, something I could wash off as I was unsure about leaving a new product on my face overnight. At that time, my skin was starting to " deteriorate", the mask was in my view, trying to gut out the hidden junk. I was going through a phase of red, patchy and pimply. Later, I tried the apple ac sample and overnight, it calmed the redness down a lot! It doesn't have a sticky after feel and smells like the real stuff, apples!

The 4. Paprika trouble out jelly cream also controlled the sebum well and I could go through the first few hours of the day without feeling greasy. So later on I got the 5. trouble out spot gel, part of the series, better convinced that it would work on me. I've tried the Peach All-in-One Peeling Gel Fruit Mask Pack sample too and like it as well. My skin was smoother after each use. So it's in my wish list now. As of now, my skin is on the recovery, I've noticed, along with these products and the others that I have, also to do with the hormones.

Zhen from iheartkoreanbeauty had given me a generous supply of samples and I'd used up most of the baviphat ones. I'm left with sample packs: 3 of the Lemon Whitening Fruit Mask Pack and 2 Grape anti wrinkle gel cream. I don't intend to do much about wrinkle care as of now and I've no hopes of my skin turning fairer. I'll keep one of the lemon just to try and forward the rest to my first reader who is interested, someone residing in Indonesia. If you're the one, do leave me a note and your email address so I can ask for your mailing address. No takers until today (28 sept '10) so I'm just gonna use them all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

doorway drapery

I made a curtain, a white lightweight material, for the bedroom door, just so whenever we choose to leave the door open to air the room, the chances of combative mosquitoes in the house entering are lowered. The curtain rod and holders which have a slightly raw unfinished look, are made by a wood workman hired by Brian's father.

yes, there are ugly patches all over the ceiling in this house. I'm telling myself I don't own it. Fix it only if it drips rainwater.

Monday, July 12, 2010

it's been a week

It's been a week since I picked up these flowers from the walk the three of us took at the basketball concourse a short distance from home last Sunday. The walk was some sort of a mini jungle trek, with the roots of surrounding big trees uprooting and cracking up the cement stairs, withered flowers and leaves (litters too) strewn on the ground and puddles of mud water here and there and a rusty threatening-to-break basketball hoop stand . "Build a place and forget about it." that was what Brian said.

During the week that passed, I'd made a homewear sleeveless blouse using black and white stripe jersey given by Iris (thanks girl!). It's so homely looking (= comfortable to wear), I'm too shy to post it up here. I'd also cooked some stuff, kimchi chigae tuna version (I'm going to build up that courage and make kimchi soon.), soya sauce stew pork trotters, some batches of ice cream, beef shepherd's pie and my current favourite to bake, lemon slice.

During the week that passed, two out of three (the males) in the family fell victim to the flu bug, and a major tantrum outburst happened to prevent the one more build up of frustrations which lead to the eventual gastric pain. yes, a wild outburst can ward off gastric. I personally verified it.

During the week that passed, I looked through my window of the world; (read: internet through the laptop screen), wishing I could be somewhere else, playing a thought of buying a serger and thinking ambitiously I could make nice clothes with it, looking at vintage dress patterns and discovering this cute body measurement chart download.

What a week! How's this one going to turn out?

Friday, July 02, 2010

babybug keychain :: tutorial

Just a sequel to my babybug theme, a little babybug keychain which I'll be putting into a package I'm intending to send to a friend. This time, I'll show the simple steps of how I made it. If you like, feel free to have a go at making your own babybug!

You'll need

a sewing machine
a needle

4 rectangle :: 3.5" x 2.5" :: pieces of fabric (two of each design)
a cord/string :: 6" ::
a bead (optional)
a metal keychain hoop

(how I did mine: on a paper, eyeball and draw an oval - approximately 3" in width, 4" in length, then cut)
fabric marker

Sew the top and bottom piece of fabric, right sides together. Repeat for the other two.

On one piece of joined fabric, trace out the template.
Thread the bead (if you're using one) through the cord.
Fold the cord in half and placed it in between the two joined pieces of fabric.
Pin all right sides (fabric and cord) together.

Machine sew along the tracing, remembering to leave an opening.
Trim the messy edge.
Turn right side out through the opening.
(at this step, you may insert stuffing if you like!)
Hand stitch the opening close.

Top stitch the edge
then draw the features of your babybug with fabric markers.
Attach the keychain hoop to cord.