Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Year of the Tiger Antalya

This post was supposed to go up during Kid's Clothes Week but I didn't quite make it. I had all sorts of plans for what I was going to sew, but you know. Life happens. Or more like testing happens, ha ha ha! But hey, at least I managed to sew the pretty Antalya pattern by Kid Approved for Willow & Co!

I hesitated for the longest time about this pattern. It looked complicated. It has curves. And a difficult-looking button thing going on in the back (because you know I have an irrational fear of zippers). But the pattern said "confident beginner", and that decided me -- well, that and this pretty version by Maria of Fairies, Bubbles & Co.

I had been hoarding saving this pretty Cotton + Steel fabric I bought from Miss Matatabi, waiting for the perfect project. Francis doesn't seem to have it in the shop anymore, but there are lots of other really lovely fabrics!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My new pants and first zipper in over a decade!

I don't sew that much.
I do like to sew. And would love to make lots of stuff.

But, I just don't get around to it.
However, the past week I did a bunch of crafting!

I admit, the quiet book was put together with a hot glue gun for the most part, but I did do some sewing too!! Just some buttons, a zipper, and the binding, but still I sewed! :)

Pattern Testing: The Morocco Pants & Shorts - Petit a Petit and Family

When I first began pattern testing, never did I think I would get to test for Celina of Petit a Petit and Family. I know I am not alone in admiring Celina for her impeccable taste and super cool style. If you don't already follow her on Pinterest, you might want to take a look!

When I saw the first images of the Morocco Pants & Shorts pattern, I was smitten (well, as "smitten" as you can get with a pattern, ha ha). It was in another lifetime, but I had visited Marrakech and loved the colors I saw while I was there, particularly the bright blue color. I knew I wanted to make a pair of shorts inspired by what I had seen and experienced. So I put on some Tinariwen (though not Moroccan) and reminisced for a bit. Ahhhhh....mint tea....

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Ishi Dress by Straight Grain Patterns

This sewing project was a bit of a "selfish sew" in the sense that, like many of the dresses I make for my daughter, it was not something she actually "needed" or asked for (though had she seen it, there is no doubt in my mind she would have requested it - namely for its large pockets, perfect for storing treasures). It was something that I had been wanting to make as soon as I had seen the tester call, and I bought it as soon as it was released. I told myself that after all my pattern testing was finished, it would be my sewing "reward." In fact, I got so carried away that I ended up making three of them, ha ha! I won't subject you to my first attempt, since I think it was a bit of a failure in terms of fabric combining. Instead, I'll show you my pretty second version, in nani IRO.

You just can't go wrong with nani IRO!
I'm convinced that my version looks decent because of the fabric and not because I can sew!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tina, lover of green smoothies and sunshine!

Hello, Tina here.

I am the last third and the biggest 
procrastinator of the group!

Currently obsessed with Zero Waste and minimalism, I am looking for ways to reduce my family's household waste.

I look up in awe to Jen and Emi for their sewing prowess. Their creations are simply amazing to me, regardless of their humbleness!! I am continually inspired to create when I see these lovely ladies.

About 18 months ago, my two year old daughter started daycare and was required to have a little bag to carry her bed sheets and a tote bag for her stuff. I wasn't about to hand sew it, so I asked Emi what she recommended.

Although, I took a textiles class in college, I hadn't sewed in a decade! I basically started from relearning how to thread the needle! And there began my love-hate relationship with my Brother N37-FP machine!

What am I working on?
As much as I'd love to make lovely clothes utilizing patterns, my patience wears thin pretty quickly. I am quite lazy when it comes to properly pre-washing and ironing, tracing and cutting patterns...

So instead, I make little crafts and toys for my daughter that require less work! ;)

Right now, I have two ongoing projects--a quiet book for trip overseas (see right) and testing the next generation of these fun 
magnetic alphabet letters!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My work differs from others in this genre in that they are very rough and no where near perfect!! Haha.

But seriously the things I sew are for the pleasure of my daughter and use in my home, so I'm not too concerned about if the fabric or bobbin thread match, or if it's a hem is a little crooked.

Emi and Jen generously share their unused fabrics and scraps with me, so I have tons of fabric with which to create! In fact, all of my crafts utilize items that I have either received from friends or off a site like Freecycle.

In that sense, I suppose my work is different from others in that it's eco-friendly by using up things that others no longer require, and would otherwise be discarded or sitting in storage.


Monday, June 22, 2015

Emi's Co-blogger Friend, Jen

Hi, I'm Jen. I'm one-third of this blogging trio. Unlike Emi, I don't really sew on a regular basis so I don't have as many sewing projects as her. Also, I'm not as skilled a sewer (sewist?) as Emi either since I sew without patterns and I make things up as I go but I use whatever technique it takes to get the results I want. So please excuse me for the roughly made projects I'll probably share. I also do more photography and various art stuff so I may end up posting a few of those projects too. Oh and since Emi sent me the list of questions she answered, I should probably answer them as a way to get myself started with the blog too...

What am I working on?
I'm not working on any sewing projects right now. I collect a lot of fabric with the intention of sewing clothes for my kids but I haven't actually gotten around to printing out patterns and cutting out the fabric to start any of these projects. I do have plans to get started on the Betty bowler bag by Swoon sewing patterns but I want to make sure I have all the necessary supplies before getting started.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I don't really know how to answer this question actually, haha! I look at a lot of different sewing projects for inspiration on the things I work on. So my work is really a combination of things that other people have made. I love sewing bags too so a lot of the bags I made are from patterns that other people created.

The top I made inspired by Anna's coronation dress.        A twirl dress inspired by Elsa's dress.

Why do I create what I do?
I sew things when I can't find the things I want in stores or if the things I am imagining don't exist in the market. I usually just find bits and pieces of patterns and pre-existing clothing and combine and alter them so that they closely resemble what I had in mind. I sew bags and pouches because, well, I'm a bag addict. Plus, who doesn't need more pouches to hold knick knacks and whatnots in your everyday bag?

The very first bag I made. Pattern by u-handbag.Floor cushions. I used the instructions from livingwithpunks.com

How does my creative process work?
Honestly, I do things very randomly. I usually get an idea in my head of what I would like to make, then I make sketches of these ideas so I know roughly what I should look for. Then I start googling and going through pinterest to find the styles I want. Afterwards, I piece the bits of information I find together and pretty much just start cutting and sewing things together until they fit. In a way, the things I make are a bit like fabric frankensteins because I usually don't know how it turns out until I sew the pieces together. The seam ripper is my best friend because I'm constantly taking things apart and recutting or adding pieces to things. It does get frustrating sometimes to work so experimentally but I do enjoy the process even though it's very messy and chaotic to others.

So that's pretty much me in a nutshell! I guess I'm suppose to tag someone? I'm not sure of the rules of the blog hop....but then again, I share the blog with Emi and she already tagged someone so I'll just not tag anyone.

Hopefully, you'll get to meet Tina sometime soon. She's also really creative and has made a lot of cool stuff for her daughter :)

- Jen

Friday, June 19, 2015

Pattern Testing - The Aberdeen Jacket by Rock the Stitch for Willow & Co

Oh the Aberdeen! Where do I begin? I love this jacket. And I love Rebecca for taking a chance on me and letting me test this jacket. This jacket kicked my "confident beginner" butt.

The Aberdeen was my first ever test, and wow, what a test it was! I learned so much from sewing this jacket; it has it all. Welt pockets! Shawl collar! Asymmetric closure! Buttons! Zips! Lining! Facings! So many of these things I had never even known the names for, and many times I worried whether I was doing things "right."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Around the World Blog Hop

Hi! Emi here. I was invited by the super talented and very funny Andreia of In a Manner of Sewing to participate in this blog hop. I had so many doubts. First of all, I don't (erm, didn't) have a blog! Even if I had one, people would probably find it boring! I thought. But I didn't want to let her down, and even if only a few good friends read it (if that, ha ha!), what better reason to start? I'd been chatting with Jen and Tina about starting one together, and my sewing friends were so supportive, how could I say no?? Okay, here goes.

What am I working on?
I’m doing some pattern testing, which I only recently got into (and loving it). Posts to come! I'm also constantly adding to my daughters’s wardrobes. I’m hoping to be able to make everything they wear, except maybe socks and sweaters. I envy and admire people who can knit, but I don’t think I will ever learn. I don’t really enjoy hand-sewing (shhhh! don’t tell!), so knitting is out of the question for me.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I’m not sure that it really does. I started learning to sew with Japanese patterns, so that is probably my greatest influence, though I can't say it sets me apart. I have found that though I am a fan of flutter sleeves and ribbons (and pink!), I also love clean lines and simple silhouettes.
I guess I really love polka dots, too, ha ha!

Why do I create what I do?
I became interested in sewing in junior high - not that I did anything about it, really. The first thing I made was a sweatshirt - though I have no recollection of how I made it. The only thing I remember doing was going to pick out the pattern and choosing the fabric! 

My mother was trained as a seamstress and made most of our clothes when my sister and I were little. I think she even made a few Mommy & Me type outfits. Aaaaand they might have included some crazy bell bottoms, but I’m not going to post any pictures of those. Hey, it was the 70s. I’m just sayin’.

So why didn’t I learn to sew until just a couple of years ago? Good question. I think I was just preoccupied with other things in my life. It was one of those things on my “someday” list. And then I had kids. Girls. I love children's clothes, and girls clothes in particular. But it wasn’t until I saw a picture of a cute repurposed dress on Facebook that I decided to learn to sew. Properly. I contacted the woman who made it, and she agreed to give me a few lessons. She is incredibly talented, and I am so happy to have met her.

I made quite a few of these tops in the beginning.
I love Japanese sewing patterns! So many cute things.
The first pair of pants I ever made!
I repurposed my daughter's
Aden + Anais swaddle to make pants.

How does my creative process work?
When I started sewing two years ago (oh wait, is it now almost three??), I just wanted to make dresses, dresses, and more dresses. Plus, I was intimidated by pants. I didn’t know much about the online sewing community or sewing blogs, and so just relied on a few pattern books and ready-to-wear for inspiration.

But then…but then! I discovered a world of talented people creating amazing things. I also joined Instagram (here), and I finally learned how hashtags work, ha! I have been lucky enough to "meet" some fabulous and supportive women through testing as well, and chatting with them has been so inspiring.

With that, I would like to leave it to my antipodean friend, Jenya, of While she was sleeping, and the sweet Caroline of Lovely Cousette in France to continue the tour!
Images by Freepik