Monday, February 28, 2011

scrap fabric bundles

scrap fabric bundles

Throughout my time of sewing, I have accumulated a heavy lot of scrap fabric; a biscuit tin filled to the brim of it, a cloth bag full and some parts interspersed in the fabric box.  I believed I'd once cleared some scraps in the interim but it's time I clear up the current batch. 

I kept those in sizes I could still work with and especially ones with prints, even those that came from used clothing and a bag. Then I hardened my heart and gathered a big pile of small and/or odd shape pieces and threw them away, knowing I'd have a very slim chance of reusing those.

Before I started the task of sorting through the pile of scraps, a handi-crafty friend who is really clever in patching small cloth pieces and reinventing the "new" fabric piece came to mind. So I designated a pile, just for her.

scrap fabric bundle

Friday, February 25, 2011

golden findings


Two small inexpensive deer and flower brooches I picked out from a booth outside the supermarket the family frequents, last evening.


charms & buckles

Brian drove me around to find a new haberdashery to shop from, after breakfast this morning. We found one shop, in the Pasar Cinde area. I bought some new supplies of zippers, thread and needles and also new old stock of buttons, charms and belt buckles.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

smock of mushrooms

paper tag

vintage smock apron (mushrooms)

vintage smock apron (mushrooms)

I recently acquired a bundle of vintage aprons; 2 smocks and 3 half aprons and they came in the mail yesterday. There isn't one I don't like from that lot but a particular one pulled at my heart string more and it was the trump card that clinched my final deal. Despite its bottom part being snipped away, I so adored the mushroom print fabric and the red bias tape detailing of the smock, even up to the manufacturer paper tag on it. I wasn't sure if it was meant to be an apron, for it could simply be a very large top. This morning, I took some time to mend the smock by adding my tiny white and red polka cotton to the bottom part and sewed and serged to reinforce all the seams. 

After which, I gave all the aprons a good wash and the sunlight to greet them. There's nothing quite like a cheery soft used/vintage apron waiting to be put on. Donning one on helps put a spring in my step around the household work I'll be doing at the moment, especially when I feel I need that spark of energy.

apron bundle

Friday, February 18, 2011

travelogue:: Jakarta-Bogor-Bandung:: 13-17 February 2011

Over the last four days, my family and I spent the time in Java. The trip was packed with meals of our favourite cuisine, shopping and sightseeing from the car rides and a visit to the Taman Safari. It was over so quickly. I would log in this blog post the highlights of the trip but before that, I'd to be honest and admit that the hours spent in the car were the most unpleasant. The 3+ hours worth of slightly windy roads from Taman Safari to Bandung and the equally long hours from Bandung back to the airport with some parts traffic jam on the highway in Jakarta, tightened every (what even small bit of) muscle in me that was relaxed while on the hill.

The highlights:

13 Feb, Jakarta :: Lunch at Sushi Tei, Senayan City;
                            Wedding dinner, chatted up with relatives living in Jakarta;
                             Night's stay at Akmani Hotel; great location

14 Feb, Jakarta :: St. Valentine's Day lunch at Bistro Baron, Plaza Indonesia;
                            Carousel and train rides with Kaeden;
                            Bowling, my first time (honestly!) and together as a family;
                            Dinner at Din Tai Fung, Senayan City
15 Feb, Jakarta-Bogor-Bandung :: Taman Safari
                                                        tram ride

feeding the camels
feeding carrots to camels; car route in Taman Safari, Bogor

pygmy hippo
Hello, hippo. Taman Safari, Bogor

                                                       Dinner and night's stay at Padma Hotel, Bandung

16 Feb, Bandung :: Enjoying the mountain views and breathing in the air;
                                (Pasar Baru for fabric, checking out the lanes of bicycle shops, 
                                clothing factory outlets)

mountain view
view from the balcony of hotel room

picking out a jamu drink
selecting a jamu drink from a basket on the bicycle, Breakfast at Padma Hotel

at Padma Hotel, Bandung
left: by the pool side; right: eyeing the candy complimentary from hotel

17 Feb, Bandung-Jakarta-Palembang :: discovering kacang endul; father and son              swimming in the hotel; stopover at Teck Kee Tanglin Pau at Pluit, Jakarta and bought some Pau-s in bulk; night view of twinkling lights from houses and streetlights and cars from the airplane ride

Aside from books, below are some of my purchases that are special from the trip.

from a bonsai farm near Taman Safari, Bogor

quilt set
from a shop, Bestcare in Bandung; I first know about it from ::here::

from shops in Pasar Baru trade centre, 2nd storey; Bandung

Thursday, February 10, 2011

swing dress sew-along :: muslin mock-up

swing dress muslin mock-up

swing dress muslin mock-up

I had been procrastinating a bit, but I finally got the muslin mock-up of the swing dress done. The putting together of the shoulder yoke had indeed been mind boggling to me and Casey's pictorial guidance has been of immense help. Despite that, I still faced some problems with it. I set it aside, climbed into bed and let my mind sort out the issue. Then went back to the fabric and worked the issue out. I think I got it. I thought my result wasn't the way it should be. Never mind, I'll dwell on it more later on.

As for the rest of the work of piecing the dress together, it started to get less intimidating. I've decided to do without shoulder pads and tie backs. They are really not me. Oh, as for the neckline closure, I don't know yet. I'm hoping to score a new old looking brooch or I'll just look into my button jar.

There are some notes I'll like to keep here for when I finally cut and sew into the fashion fabric I'd chosen for this pattern. Now that the mock-up is made, I'm quite excited about the "real deal" which I plan to make after my short get away vacation.


seams/fabric edge - The pattern instructions didn't call for that, or did I miss reading it? I know I wasn't thorough on the reading part. I can't stand fraying edges in clothing so I might have to make some adding on of seam allowance on the pattern, especially the top bodice, for serging purpose.
(Fabulous write-up on alternative seam finishes ::here::.)
    mid-riff - cut an extra piece for the backing.  
pockets - I think my fabric material (a little on the thin drapey kind) isn't suitable for patch pockets on the dress so I opt for in seam one on the right side since there will be the invisible zipper on the left.
skirt length - Taking Casey's advice on this, I'd redrawn the pattern, taking in the length I'm comfortable with. I have short legs so I'm seriously considering for the dress to rest just above the knees. But that would spoil the supposed "vintage" look, no? Maybe I'll have it a go for the next time.

sleeves - I want the sleeves hem to rest just above my elbows and had adjusted the pattern to achieve that. As for sewing the sleeves onto the main bodice, I quit following pattern instructions and did it my way. 1) Hem the sleeves fabric pieces to desired length. 2) Baste the curve part of sleeves to and matching the notches of the main bodice. Sew. 3) Sew to join the underarm part of sleeves and continue down the sides of dress.

Monday, February 07, 2011

small pants

small pants

small pants

small pants

small pants

On this coming Sunday, the family will be attending a wedding and the almost always fun part was the planning of the dressing ensemble for each of us. I so wanted to put Kaeden in clothing like ::this, minus the leggings of course::. I'll hunt for an outfit like that some other time for a future similar occasion. As for the time being, we could only get hold of two new checkered shirts for him on Saturday evening's shopping trip. It could get tricky buying pants for him, for there are so many of those stoned washed denim pants or pants with strange looking prints for sale in town and they are things I don't find too pleasing to my eyes.

I opted to make pants for Kaeden then, using a pattern from the Cotton Friend summer edition 2010, vol.35 magazine. I made some adjustments to the pattern and the first one made (using grey corduroy left over from this project) had pockets that weren't to be. I didn't think that the waistband part would "eat" into them. So for the second attempt, using my thrifted light brown plaid cotton, I lowered the pocket fabric pieces. I also added trims to function as belt loops.

Pockets and belt loops are handy and important for Kaeden who brings his lucky-to-be-picked-for-the-moment small toy vehicle(s) out and who wanted to wear a belt just like his daddy.

Friday, February 04, 2011

农历新 (兔) 年



新年快乐 ,
万事如意 !

lunch gathering

lunch gathering

We had some friends and family over to our home for a small lunar new year's day lunch gathering. I forgot all about taking pictures of food and everything until the guests were about to leave. tsk. tsk. tsk.

Anyway, have many a mini great celebration(s) over the weekend if you're doing so!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011


"owl" cookies

"owl" cookies

Last evening I managed to fill a plastic tin of shortbread cookies made to be in the shapes of owls although I do think they resemble more like Elmo's beige colored distant cousins. Despite my oven's unhealthy state, I gave it a go at baking. I seriously think we bought a lemon from the start. Even the serviceman had to operate on it the second time to identify the problem. All these times, I simply had to work around it.

I was very inspired from what I saw ::here:: and anyone could tell my results are not anywhere near it. I used the recipe from ::here:: but given the ratio of butter to flour, you ought to know the dough softens very quickly under my roof and the cookies are especially crumbly when just baked. I'd broken a few when transferring them onto the wire rack to cool and when I was storing into the tin. To compensate the non availability of chocolate chips (in mini Hershey kisses style), the owls' eyes are a local brand; Delfi chacha of chocolate covered peanuts which I'm surprised they taste pretty good!