Thursday, March 31, 2011

long oven mitts

long oven mitts

long oven mitts

When my parents visited Tokyo some years back, I asked for a gift of Japanese fabric. They returned and handed me a half metre of quilted 'Sesame Street' character theme one by Sanrio. Really, I was expecting some whimsical prints or at least, something floral. I was more than a tad disappointed with my parents', well, maybe just my mum's fabric choice and stored little Elmo and Cookie Monster away. Yes, I love watching 'Sesame Street' anytime, read related books to Kaeden and had once bought a collector stamp set featuring the Muppets but no, I don't like the Monsters and Muppets printed on cloth. 

lo n' behold! I took the fabric out from my storage box and turned it into oven mitts today. A few days back, I got burned at a spot on the lower arm by the hot baking sheet while shifting the pan and had been telling myself I need long oven mitts ever since. The quilted fabric is perfect for this project. and the print is s-l-o-w-l-y growing on me.

I simply lengthen (up to the elbows) the mitten pattern obtained from my Japanese craft book 小さな藝らしのソーイングノー卜 (ISBN4-529-03878-5). Want to make an oven mitt? Here's a tutorial for making one,  I found first on the list of a google search.

Monday, March 28, 2011

cream bow tie

cream bowtie

Today is one of those days that started off with me waking up feeling lousy. Monday it is. I refused to kick my feet up and spend the day by dwelling in my feeling of lousiness. I went in search of something new, simple and fun to do. I learnt to make a bow tie and how to tie one on.

Using Kaeden's grandpa's cast off old pair of pants, I cut off some of  its linen fabric for making a bow tie for the boy. When I showed it to him, he said, 
"nah.. I want a polka dot one."

Here's a photo of him, wearing the cream bow tie. Kaeden, game for a photo shoot of him playing dressed up in the afternoon.

wearing his bowtie

Saturday, March 26, 2011

one, two. buckle my shoe.

I bought two new pairs of oxford shoes in a week. Never happened before in my life. My oldest pair of birk- sandals which I'm still wearing is from the year 2005. I'm adopting my recent mantra very well. When in distress, shop. and it had been a tad bit stressful week. I'm also blaming the  various images of vintage shoes catalogue online I'm making myself view (and also reading about) and plus the fact that I have not yet seen and make a purchase of a very desirous (in my list) pair of t-strap sandals. I'm trying my level best not to make any old/used/n.o.s. shoes purchase online just yet, preferring to shop locally for now and to make do by opting for designs that are possibly inspired by the yesteryear.

But I might at some point break down and buy something from Re-Mix. I have two months to save for a birthday self-treat. I can't decide. Gloria or Corazon? Can I have each style in all colours, please? H.e.l.p.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

a remake in pink

scallop collared blouse

close up::blouse

outfit 24.3.11

I recently bought a navy blue top with white scallop collar (view ::here::) from a small clothing store and I it to bits. Am I glad it fits me for it only came in one size! The pattern of the blouse is pretty straightforward, no darts whatsoever and I drafted a pattern off it. Then I made a new version using pink flowery cotton, white cotton for the collars and satin bias tape. It wasn't too difficult a task, well, except that sewing the binding on put me on the edge for the most bits.

I wore it out today and post it here in my somewhat attempt of an outfit shot.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


owl purse

owl purses

10 new owl purses to be re-stocked at Doinky Doodles! brick and mortar shop, soon I hope! I get pangs of wanting to be in Singapore every once in awhile and I just had a fresh attack of it. It's been nice revisiting an old pattern of mine and this has been really well-used. I took my time with this batch of owl purses and I'm glad it's completed today.

Kaeden and I had spent two nights by ourselves and we're really looking forward to Brian returning home today from his work trip.

erhm, a show off here..

owl jewellery
owl themed costume jewellery :: gifts from two loved ones of mine

Monday, March 21, 2011

mended with lace

lace mended dress

white lace mend

black lace mend

Following my previous post, I was struck by the prettiness of patterns from my stash of laces. I knew I could use some to mend my black dress which unfortunately got torn up at two parts. The store bought dress (fully lined, slip over type, no label) wasn't an expensive one and I thought it was quite a steal considering the rest of the clothing in the shop were what I thought to be over-priced. Now I know why I got such a "good" deal. The weaving of the black fabric is loose and only after one wear at a formal occasion, it turned out less than perfect.

After this mending, I hope I could get a few more times of wearing the dress out. No more tearing please! I certainly don't wish for the dress to be a trophy of laces, although I must admit imagining its patched up look using different laces, for quite a number of times.

Friday, March 18, 2011

a gift of laces




A surprise mail came to me yesterday and in it I found, a thoughtfully written letter of encouragement, a new letter set, two Chinese comic story books (from the early 80's!) and many many yardage of old cotton laces! (Thank you once more, Beehui and your 妈 妈!) The laces are kept in storage for more than 20 years in my friend's home and are forgotten until recently found of which, I became the lucky recipient of this big vintage lot.

It was a wonderful feeling seeing the laces drying under the sun, after soaking most of them in good ol' bleach water, then running them straight through the hot iron and winding them around some stiff card papers. There are some minor permanent brown stains and I'd contemplated tea leaves dyeing. But for now, I'm simply pleased to have the laces to be almost pristine white.

more laces for the collection

Monday, March 14, 2011

Kaeden is 3

Kaeden is 3

Kaeden turns 3 yesterday and the three of us had a morning ritual of blowing the candle and eating cakes for breakfast. I got teary eyed a bit while watching him bringing some cakes over to a relative with his daddy. He is a 'big boy' now, something he adamantly claims. At times he amazes me with what he knows and that he's able to translate those thoughts of his into words.

more photos:

Kaeden and I
Kaeden and I : wearing my handmade Macaron dress


Ever since after Friday evening's news (and the nuclear reactor(s) meltdown), I've been in a disconcerting mood. After watching the subsequent following up of news on TV and just, reading ::this::, I'm convinced of, in the midst of a disaster, the indomitable strength and spirit of the Japanese people. My thoughts and prayers for Japan: safety of all people and the nation's speedy recovery

Saturday, March 12, 2011

carrot cake

playing guesstures
playing Guesstures Game at the English Library, Palembang

blowing the candle

I needed inspiration for baking and the carrot cake recipe was the obvious one for my Friday baking ritual yesterday. The recipe is good for making a cake out of my one round pan and enough to fill up 12 cupcake sizes too. That is one too many cakes for the household so I thought to bring the round cake to the library where we visit every/fortnight Friday evenings. It'd be nice to have Kaeden's friends at the library sing him an early birthday song and create a memory for the boy.

But the minute we hopped into the ride towards the library, I began to get anxious. What was I thinking?! I got really nervous and began doubting that my baking skill has not reached the time to be made public yet. Then before the cake cutting, I worried about the cake slice achievable versus number of people ratio. After the cake was cut and eaten, I was relieved to realize the anxiety attack was uncalled for. But still, it'd been a mini lesson for me. Spontaneity came to mind though, and I'm glad I embraced it for the worth of a good memory.

carrot (cup)cakes
carrot (cup)cakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkle of chocolate chips: for breakfast today

Thursday, March 10, 2011

just because

purple shamrock
a smallish pot of purple shamrock : newly added to my garden

the 'just because' dress

the 'just because' dress

the 'just because' dress
The 'Just Because' Dress

Using the Colette Pattern; Macaron, I made myself a dress for wearing on this coming Sunday, to commemorate the early hours of going into labour and having my first born, three years ago.
Just because.

Materials used:
(I like seeing the tiny weave of the fabric!)
white thread
white invisible zipper

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

not forgotten

flight MI 185 memorial

flight MI 185 memorial

flight MI 185 memorial

Brian took some time off work this morning and brought Kaeden and I to visit a memorial. A local friend came along and gave directions in the ride. It was our first visit and I'd suppose the last time. The memorial was built in memory of all on board the 
'SilkAir Flight 185, --------,  a scheduled passenger flight from Jakarta, Indonesia to Singapore, which crashed on 19 December 1997 into the Musi River after abruptly plunging from its 35,000 feet cruise altitude, killing all 97 passengers and 7 crew on board.' - Wikipedia
There were dried leaves scattered all around, giving an unkempt impression and that really added onto the sombre mood despite the blazing sun shining upon us. How does one describe feelings well? Simply put, I felt heavy heart ed when I was there, and now when I'm typing this up. Even so, it's not a good summary. I'm at a loss of finding the right words.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

birthday bunting



In the month of March, there are two birthdays in the family. Today is Mickey's, our four legged child and in a week's time, the one I gave birth to. A few months back I mentioned that Mickey was ill and thank goodness he has recovered in a month after that post and he's back to his grouchy protective personality, perpetually hungry-stomach self. Mickey turns 9 today. Brian and I brought him home when he was only 3 months old. I'm hoping to buy some good durians for him and his 2 four legged siblings to celebrate later.

To help add to our home a little dash of birthday festive mood, I made a scallop bunting, entirely out of my scrap bundles and lace, to hang on the wall. Want to make one? Here's a link:  scalloped fabric garland tutorial. But don't have bias tape and too lazy to make yourself? Get a long roll of cheap lace (the kind one uses as shoelaces and for tying bolster cover cases). It is, in my opinion, an essential household item. Sew the flags between the laces like how I did. Put on the music and celebrate!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

batik Palembang

a songket shop

at a songket shop
at "Sinar Mas" Songket shop, Pasar Kito; Komplek Ilir Barat Permai

batik (Palembang)

Following my first stop at Rumah Limas, a traditional house of some old and antique exhibits and a shop of handicrafts and traditional clothing/fashion items yesterday, was a complex of similar shops along a few corridors, specializing in selling songket and batik of motifs only found in Palembang. It would be the place where the local people shop at for affordable traditional garb. I was told bargaining is the way if I'd want to purchase something.

I went there, besides to check the place out for the first time, hoping to buy a shawl or two as gifts. I didn't get any but upon entering a welcoming looking shop, I found two batik fabric for myself instead.  (I hope my what limited bargaining skill in Indonesian language brought some justice to the purse.) I picked two with the most colourway out from a limited stack of cotton ones which feature the most basic traditional motifs. They look faintly "vintage" and what thrills me was there were still remnant strands of threads (a tool used in the dyeing process) on the cloth. I love the simplicity, raw look and feel of this batik material best. I never imagine I'd say it, but I'm afraid I'm getting addicted to these batik prints, specially from Palembang.

swing dress sew-along :: 'the flowery mustard' dress

traveling n' journaling

flowery mustard 'swing dress'

flowery mustard 'swing dress'

Over the span of next few days, I'll be working on an article, possibly to be published and I need to gather relevant information and collect photos around town. With a theme for the day in mind and a checklist and journal on hand, I put on my newly made 'swing dress', pinned on a flower brooch, decked out my trusty sandals and watch then grabbed my bag before I stepped out of home and had Brian chaperoned me around in his Volkswagen ambulance yesterday afternoon. What better way to test out the dress? The weather was hot and humid but I didn't perspire too many a drop in the dress and the pocket is super handy for temporary holding of my camera lens cap and a pen.

I felt like I stepped back into the 70's-80's in that office day look outfit.

Would I be using the pattern and making a swing dress again? Definitely! I already have in mind for the next one to have an updated look by having shorter sleeves and tie-backs which I realize, could help define the waistline better. I might even contemplate the 40's era method of zipper insertion which I only just learn for the first time!

Following this sew along has been immense fun (and gratifying too!) and did I learn many new sewing vintage tips, with thanks to Casey!

flowery mustard 'swing dress'
 in front of Rumah Limas (Jl. Demang Lebar Daun, Palembang), my first stop of the day