Sunday, August 29, 2010

comfortstitching's scrappy giveaway!

one of my favorite bloggers, Aneela from comfortstitching is finally giving away a bunch of "designer" scraps from her fabric stash. she has a tutorial of a mini quilt called girl on swing that ive been wanting to make for a few weeks now. i need to hurry and build up enough scraps to make one though. i hope i win...*cross fingers*

Aneela's 'girl on swing' quilt

Friday, August 27, 2010

sewing slump

2 sundays ago i was over at my friends house for our little sewing club. i wanted to make something simple out of this really pretty fabric she got from malaysia. i didnt want to take a big chunk so i decided to make a passport cover for our upcoming trip to cancun. i always misplace my ID for some reason so i like to keep my passport handy. i used a simple tutorial from bunnybum but since i hate following directions i MESSED it up. when the whole thing was inside out i thought..."self, doesnt this look too big for my passport?" so i cut almost an inch off the top and then turned it right side out and finished it up. i put my passport into the sleeve and it was too small. ARGHHH!! i didnt think about the seam allowance. im a dummy and i should not question someones tutorial. i will try not to do that in the future. i tried to fix it by adding some bias tape like trimming around it.

i dont hate it but i was really disappointed in myself after this and i didnt touch my sewing machine for almost 2 weeks. after that slump i tried to make another passport cover with patchwork piecing following crazy mom quilts tutorial for checkbook covers. i used some scraps that teaginny had graciously given to me (for $free.99 no less!!) and made this:

i also made a rendition of the buttercup bag for one of my coworkers. she just came back from her summer long vacation in japan. i requested some cute japanese fabric from her and some popular dress books and she totally delivered! i will have to write a new post with all her goodies. for the buttercup bag, i wanted to make it a little larger than the pattern so i enlarged it to 130% but i shouldve just tried the original before trying to tinker with it. i had some problems making things fit together but it turned out pretty cute anyways. i used ikea fabric for the outer because she loves black and white and the burnt red lining makes it pop. i hope she enjoys the her new bag.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

my first giveaway win!

recently, as i have been scavenging the web for tutorials and ideas on new projects, i found that a lot of the popular blogs have "giveaways" to their faithful readers. i gave it a try and its so addicting like those fishbowls you see at restaurants where you fill out a form or drop in your business card and hope to win something. basically all you have to do is leave a comment or follow/subscribe to their blogs and its all very simple except for the actual winning part. after numerous failed attempts, i was thinking maybe this was all rigged or im just unlucky...until...

I WON SOMETHING!!! and its a really nice something. alexis from madebylex who makes these really cute tshirt reconstructions had a giveaway and i won one of her ruffled tshirts. i was a bit worried cuz the tshirt size was a small but it fits and the colors are so...chic. its basically cut up strips of fabric bunched up and sewn on but she makes it look so nice. she is definitely gifted. i need to try making more tshirts and not worry too much about being too neat and perfect. they look cooler and more anthropologie-esque when you just start slapping things together.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

look what i made: pleated purse

im taking a little break from the camera cases because they are not turning quite as i imagined. maybe i need a little more practice since they are smaller projects that require a more detailed stitchery. so i found my next project to work on...the pleated purse.

there are many many tutorials online with super cute purses but i happened to fall on this simple free pattern by my spare time. i didnt even have to copy a pattern. her instructions are pretty short and pictures are hand-drawn which made me have to read and reread her instructions a few times so i wouldnt make any mistakes. im more of a visual learner i guess because i hate reading instructions let alone follow them. it took me a few nights working on this but i managed to crank it out. the only change i made to her instructions was the inside pockets. i made one just for my iphone and made a little velcro strap to close it because my phone tends to slide out because its so heavy.

*sidenote. i bought the outside fabric on tuesday at hobby lobby just because it looked so cute and the polka dots matched so well. later that day i found the tutorial for this bag and lo and behold her bag was made from the same exact fabric. serendipity. haha. cant wait to make some more of these bags. i think i want the body to be a bit longer and not as wide and maybe try a different interface because the inside is a bit too stiff. hopefully after some use it will soften up. i might try to make a matching wallet to this bag next.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

lemme upgrade ya

when i first bought my sewing machine in june i didnt know anything about sewing or machines so i had to buckle down and start my research online and price compare as i do with all my bigger purchases. my budget was around $100 and under. i also had to factor in chance that i might not love the purchase so a good return policy would be great too. i finally decided on the singer simple 2663 (the blue accents won be over) from the great walmart.

ive been sewing a lot on it but it just felt so clunky and the bobbin kept bunching and some minor faults that kept bothering me. i tried to ignore these minor flaws until our first sewing club meeting and saw S's sewing machine. she had the brother project runway higher end model that looked so sleek and purred like a dream. i couldnt help comparing hers to a rolls royce while mine puttered along like a honda.

add this incident to my mom constantly telling me to invest a little more money to get a better machine or ill regret it. regretting sucks in hindsight does it not? also it was rather coincident that prudent mama posted this morning about sewing machine recommendations and the particular machine i was considering was on her list- the brother cs6000i. *enter heavenly chorus sound here* AND its also on sale at for $147.54 (list price $449).

so...i just purchased it. cant wait til thursday!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
ive decided to mass produce the camera case wristlet (pattern by keyka lou) to improve my sewing skills and to eventually sell them online or to people i know. i thought it would be a good idea to start raising money for a mission trip next year to el salvador with living water international. i went last year and it was amazing. had to my most memorable and emotional trip ive ever been on. our church will be going every year during the summer for 1 week to drill a well for a village in el salvador. we also get to teach the kids in the nearby school about hygiene and how to keep the well clean. our team lucked out and struck water on the first day so we finished the well and got to do some extra activities like zip lining and having a party at a local orphanage. as i continue to improve and find new projects to do ill keep adding to the items to be sold.

here are the fabrics ill be using so far for the camera case wristlet.

im trying to cut everything out first so i can set up an assembly line. hopefully ill be able to finish some up tonight.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

lets start from the very beginning.

look what i made!

tissue case- my first project made from an old skirt (couldnt wait to buy fabric)

teenytiny tote- my coworker showed me the basics of making a reversible tote

first ever tote (human size)- i had another skirt that i loved but never wore. now i use it tote around my sewing machine...fits perfectly.

pencil tote- our sewing club's first project together using this tutorial from purlbee. the flower pincushion was made using this tutorial

messenger bag- i just rigged this one up without using any patterns or tutorials and loved it for a minute and then realized all the flaws and mistakes which i have learned from for my next ones. the fabric is from ikea which is actually a print of a huge grumpy looking bulldog (?) on sale for $1.99.

puffy pleated pouch- tutorial from the lovely ayumi @ pinkpenguin.

reversible purse- made from following verypurpleperson's tutorial. i gave this to my mom cuz shes been wanting an LV bag for awhile now so i told her i made her something BETTER than the LV. not sure shes convinced but shes been carrying it out and shows it off to her friends.

anna's messenger bag- so much better than my first attempt. its even lined and i couldnt help embellishing it with a button and handstitched flower.
handstitching is so hard!

JJ's bag- his mom insisted on this fabric but i let him have his striped fabric for the lining.

the lovely sammy's bag- after making this one, i almost wanted to keep it for myself. i love how she didnt want the usual pink and she kept thanking me for making her one. so sweet!

our 2nd sewing club project together...the apron- learned how to make ruffles and was amazed how easy it was! still need to put pockets on this.

doll quilt- 1st birthday present for chloe made by following this tutorial by Alissa from Handmade by Alissa posted on sewmamasew's tutorials. i was pretty darn proud of the outcome of this and i even attempted some hand embroidery.

itty bitty dress- made this dress following the tutorial on Made by Rae. theres a pattern for a larger size which i wanted to make for baby Jaina's 1st birthday present but it turned out to be way too big so her older sis Janine can wear it til she can fit it. i saw Janine flaunt the dress at church a few sundays ago and i was so happy and a little embarrassed at the little flaws but its just the beginning for me and my sewing machine. cant wait to make some more.

ruffled collar- i was searching online for new projects to try and stumbled on to this awesome blog madebylex where she posts on how to embellish your boring ol' tshirts into jazzy little numbers. she even has tutorials inspired by anthropologie and jcrew tops.

laptop sleeve- finally purchased an acer netbook after much research and price comparison (thanks peter!) i got the acer aspire one 532h-2326 for only $295 on i was contemplating making a case for it even before it was delivered cuz im all about keeping things like new (im asian i cant help it) so i found this tutorial from Amy a la Mode. i quilted the top with just random width stitches and it turned out better than i thought.

puppy dress for hope- i see all these blogs out there where moms lovingly make these pretty dresses for their daughters and i thought hey! i can make one for my lovely puppy Hope. its my first attempt at shirring with elastic thread and it was easier than i thought. i followed shirring directions from this tutorial by Melissa from Kuky Ideas. she does these great cartoon drawings of her everyday adventures.

cross body purse- i am totally in love with crossbody bags of all types...especially the small kind that i can fit just the essentials- iphone, keys, wallet, chapstick. i just whipped this one up and its pretty awesome, especially since i can use it everyday. i used hair elastic for the button closure and buttons from my bag o'buttons ive been collecting. the edges are a bit wonky but its all good.

camera case wristlet- ok so heres the story. im pretty frugal when it comes to buying anything so i try to find bargains or i just dont buy it at all. ive been coming across this cute case from so many blogs that i was becoming obsessed with it. i would go to keyka lou's blog everyday and admire the simplicity and utter cuteness of the wristlet but the pattern for it cost $6. i was torn. i wanted it so bad but couldnt justify spending money on a pattern that i may or may not make. after a few days and much to my coworkers' amusement i hunkered down and bought the pdf file for the pattern. i printed the sucker out and made this that night. it wasnt as easy as the other projects ive worked on but it turned out ok for my first. i didnt use the correct interfacing so the case is a bit wonky around the edges and a teeny bit crooked but its still super cute. the main fabric was given to me by our sewing teacher/guru and ive been saving it for something special. i need to make some more as gifts so i can practice my stitchery.


ive always been in love with crafts but i never thought id actually purchase a sewing machine to make my own lovely things. its so rewarding to be able to work on something that i can call my own. this blog is to journal my novice skills as i tackle each new project found in the vast sewing community of the internet.

sewing...who knew it would open up a new way of expressing myself.
Copyright 2009 love.sewn