Saturday, October 30, 2010

6 red buttons

birthday shirt

birthday shirt

Brian's birthday is not due in a little more than a week but I can't wait to show what I'd been up to the past afternoons and finally completed it today: a shirt for the birthday guy. It's made of black linen and red buttons for fastening; the pattern from Burdastyle Jakob #6013 but I'd made considerable changes like the mandarin collar, short sleeves and straight cut fit.

I had Brian tried it on. It wasn't a perfection (sleeves, a tad too long!) I must admit but still decently wearable. The shirt's now in the package and he's got to act surprised on the day we celebrate (for Kaeden's sake ya?). I'll put up pictures of the man wearing the shirt after he has officially turned 33.

Friday, October 29, 2010

sprouts & shoes


The other day when I cooked a pot of grean bean soup, Brian had insisted on rescuing some beans for his little pet science project for our son. They are forgotten for one or two days until last evening. Two leaved, fuzzy stemmed living beings. We ought to grow some again, next time with the illustrated sequence cards.

my golf shoes

6 lessons, a newly acquired used golf clubs set and a pair of brown leather shoes (♥ !) bought at a sale price later, I think I'm initiated into the sport, along with Brian. Aside from struggling to wake up early in the mornings for golf, I've to practice my swings and work on my 'tenaga'. It's nice and I so appreciate that the two of us are picking up something new and spending time (and money! oh boy..) together.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

pyjama pants

pyjama pants

Cotton friend p.26

pyjama pants

Made today: a roomy batik pyjama pants for myself

Pattern from: Cotton friend summer edition 2010 vol.35, p.30

Materials used: cotton batik from Batik Keris
                          white thread

Monday, October 25, 2010

for my boy & the things he say

"Go toys!" pouch

"Go toys!" pouch

"Go toys!" pouch

I had a sudden burst of energy after putting Kaeden off to nap last afternoon and the idea of a travel play pouch was egging me to make itself materialize. Hence, the patchwork version of the "Go toys!" play pouch. (more views of it here and here. and you might recall my bigger version of the playmat, here.)

The travel pouch has six pockets to hold Kaeden's small construction vehicles and maybe some marbles and has an extension of a "road, trees, quarry and a lake". It wraps up 'popiah' style and fastens with a long vintage trim. For the patchwork fabric pieces, I tried to stick to the colours: green and maybe his favourite colour, orange.


When I was a student, I subscribed to the magazine Readers' Digest for a short time and I remember enjoying reading the jokes sections where there were often, a page dedicated to the words spoken by the young ones in each magazine. My son isn't a joker but at times, I caught myself laughing at the candid way he talks.

There are two episodes I won't forget.


Upon the words of a doctor's advice and also common sense, I told Kaeden that visiting the parks and avoiding crowded malls would be a good idea when we were last in Singapore.

me: let's visit the parks more often. but the one near home is under construction.  
       there's no nearby park we can go to. how?

Kaeden: have! CARpark! (pointing his finger in that direction.)


me: K, what if mummy goes to work and daddy stays home to look after you?

Kaeden: no.

me: why?

Kaeden: you're not strong... enough.

Honestly, I was insulted and haven't the faintest idea why he thinks that way. On another occasion, I asked again and his reasoning was this:

"only daddy 'got' strength to open the (metal) gate and drive the (VW) bus." out to work.

I was amazed that he used the words 'enough' and 'strength' and on hindsight, the words are very true.

Friday, October 22, 2010

cut & paste

cut & paste

cut & paste

Brian's birthday is early next month. I have some gift ideas up in the air; of one, he knows. I hope they materialize. To start off: Kaeden and I did a simple project of cutting some pieces of illustrated papers and pasting on a brown paper packaging, all paper materials recycled.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

the bright & light sides

framed up

my other workspace

I grew tired of looking at the quilt that used to hang on a part of a wall of the room where I sew. The current wall is where my serger and its attached table is placed against. The quilt now acts as a cover for my sewing seat and to replace its absence on the wall, I hang two embroidery hoops of a linen calendar and a handkerchief which reminds me of happy days. I haven't the desire to "uglify" the wall even more by knocking in nails to hold them up. I'll just have to make do with sticky tape until there comes the time for a change again.

Desert Azalea

Desert Azalea

A big downpour two weekends ago caused the internet network satellite or whatever it is called, to collapse and hence the home network has been on and off, with the second time being "off" for a few days this week after the first check and repair at home by the network company fellows. There was a power trip for about 6 hours during the day yesterday, hence further delaying the internet network repair and check and finally I'm back online today. (Just after that sentence, a power trip struck again for 15 min. The timing was immaculate.) 

Well, the point is, had these situations happen last year, I would throw a fit. Instead, I took all these inconveniences in my stride. I played with Kaeden on the floor and lying down on it too (to keep cool) for as long as my back could bear. I paced around the house, finding things to pick up and straighten. It has taken me four years but I'd finally learned. There wasn't any anger, probably slight anxiety and that was it. Is this what growing up/old is like? I've realized to learn to stop and smell the flowers, quite literally. I want to share the photos of the pot of Desert/Mock Azalea in an amazing bloom, a farewell gift from a friend.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


library bag

drawstring bag

Has it been a long time since I'd made a bag? There was a little mojo lost when I was sewing the library bag. Perhaps there was so much eagerness in me for making clothing currently, I had to gather my thoughts and re-acclimatise with the simple straight lines required for the bags.

From two friends in Singapore, I'd borrowed books and dvd drama serials respectively to help me keep entertained over here. It's nearing the end of the year when I'm beginning to think of gift preparing and giving. So in order to start the list, I thought I ought to return S. Cheng her books along with the library bag (see the other side, here) and Sarah, her dvds in the drawstring bag.

materials used:
fabric - blue ANNAMOA
embroidered trims
white lace
recycled green cotton sheet

oh, I've got an overlocker! (thanks Brian, for answering my exasperated thoughts whining.) It's an old school metal thing with many confusing holes for three threads to thread through and that comes with a rough finished wooden table and slightly rusty metal legs. Because of the heavyweight material of the fabric, I simply serge the fabric edge without adding lining for the drawstring bag.

Friday, October 08, 2010

the green sari dress

the green sari

the green sari dress

the green sari dress

When I found out Colette patterns released a new pattern Crepe, I made up my mind to purchase one on the spot. I love wrap dresses. For sometime I'd been checking out handmade dresses based on Colette patterns and had swooned over some beautiful pieces out there, wondering how I could fill out the bodice which patterns were designed really for, ahem, the well endowed chest. The crepe wrap dress pattern was the ultimatum for me. Never mind about the airy top part. Because the (expensive) postage cost the same for purchasing two patterns as for one, I splurged on the Macaron pattern. okay, that's for later.

I was a bundle of nerves when I started to cut up the paper patterns and there wasn't any less of it (nerves) when the fabric is being cut up next. I decided to use the green thrifted fabric - 100% polyester made to look like silk and also, the longest yardage in my stash. It reminds me of sari, something I had imagined belonging to an Indian lady once. Big mistake. I had a hard time and I wondered why I must subject myself to this steep learning curve again by using a soft fabric like this. When I got to sewing the neck facing, I almost gave up.  I couldn't achieve a neat look and furthermore, without a serger, the seamed edges trimmed with my pinking shears created a very homemade look.

This is my first handmade {"80% there."-Brian} dress. I'm undecided if I would ever wear it out. I'll strive to make a better next one and will leave sewing silk and its likes to the professionals.

Some other notes:

+ Husband Brian entered a short entry to a biking photo contest at EcoVelo.
   go see here.

+ Owl love!
   gorgeous owl illustrations for the 2011 calender, here.
   I'll be happily busy printing and binding those next!

happy weekend.

Monday, October 04, 2010





I volunteered to send Minifanfan a postcard. After mulling it (the design of the card) over, I decided to combine my love of sewing and handkerchiefs and sew a part of a Richard Scarry hanky over a store bought postcard. (I went and got aplenty of those handkerchiefs. and still aim to garner more. You can see what I made some out of last year, here.) I then turned the other part of the cut hanky into a little zipper pouch for her. It had been a simple fun project to put together in the afternoon.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

mishmash 好 杂 !

 at the top

spool holder

a mish a mash

My workspace: a chaotic collection of sewing paraphernalia, laptop, mementoes and gifts from loved ones.

Shortly after I picked up the hobby of sewing, I'd been wanting a thread spool holder. But I haven't the know how and means to make one myself. When I found out Lia is selling one of those until recently, I'd to grab it, furthermore one in red colour! It's definitely worth the long wait.