Category: Sewing

The bear, and the cat, and the panda


… would like to wish you a Happy New Year! 🙂

We’ve had quite a nice break for the past few weeks. Been to the zoo, reorganised my stash, and managed to do some crafting too.

The softies above, were made with Mochimochi Land’s Stackable Cats pattern. I modified the ears to be more rounded for the bear and the panda (and shorter tails for them, but I’ve got no tail photos…), and different facial features for all of them. They were for hubby’s little brother, who loves softies and requested these.

And, like many people, part of the fun of starting a new year is getting a new diary. I was excited to discover that my favourite stationery store, kikki.K, sells diary ‘refills’ — their usual stylish diary contents on the inside, but without the pretty cover on the outside. I saw them and thought that these would be excellent to make custom book covers for. So I made one, out of some scrap japanese fabrics and linen. I love it so much, imperfections and all.

Diary cover

Diary inside

Too bad I discovered them a little too late, otherwise they would’ve made fantastic Christmas gifts I reckon! Next Christmas, maybe? 🙂


Fabric wreath

Joyeux Noel

Things are starting to look festive around here. I made this fabric wreath, inspired by this one, using an embroidery hoop and fabrics from my scrap box.

We have finally ‘finished’ for the year — no more preschool or dance classes until February. No more mad rush in the mornings for 6 weeks, thank goodness. I’m hoping for lots of time to relax now. Today was Annette’s last day at dancing, and they had a dress up day. She wanted to dress up as a princess (no surprise there). I refuse to pay ridiculous amount of money for one of those Disney princess costumes that are not even well made, so in a moment of craziness I decided to make one myself. I used a pattern from a japanese craft book called All Your Kids Need (page 53), and an embroidered taffeta-like fabric from Spotlight (and lots of tulle underneath). I never thought I would attempt anything like this, and it’s not for the faint-hearted, but it turned out quite well I think.

Princess dress up

Some more things finished this week, thankyou gifts for teachers — face cloths and handmade soap (soap from my local health food store).

Another one

For me…

Simplicity 3835

Birdie applique

Simplicity 3835 again (it’s addictive!), view C. I shortened the body again by 3 inches, but this time I added the sleeve elastics as per pattern.

And for little miss cheeky…

Ruffle skirt

Ruffled skirt pattern by Grand Revival Design.

More sewing

Thank you so much for your comments on the quilt! You sure know how to make a gal happy 🙂 I know it’s not spectacular, but it felt like such an accomplishment. You know, I think I know why I procrastinated so much before making the quilt. I wanted it to be “just right”, with just the right pattern and just the right fabrics, because, what if I don’t get to make another one?? what if making a quilt is so hard that I’ll never want to do it again?? But really that is just silly. I need not have worried. I’m glad I jumped in and made the quilt, because now that I know how it’s done I’m so excited about quilts and can’t wait to make more.

Another thing that I’ve been procrastinating about is sewing clothes for myself. It always seemed like a big undertaking to me. But then I found this pattern and saw some cute versions of it on flickr. It looks similar to these tops that I made for Annette earlier this year and it seems simple enough (no buttonholes, no zippers), so I gave it a go.

Simplicity 3835

The pattern is Simplicity 3835, view C, with some adjustments. I didn’t use elastics for the sleeves, and made them about an inch longer. And as I am short, I shortened the body length by about 3 inches so that the hem falls just above the hips. The fabric is a light cotton voile in duck egg blue with dots, from Spotlight.


I love this pattern, and I’ll definitely be making more of this. I love that it’s easy to mix and match various elements of the pattern as you like (elastic or fixed neckline? short or longer sleeves? make a top or a dress?). And there’s also instructions on how to adjust the pattern to your own body shape. Handy!


Quilt for Annette

Yes it’s true, I’ve finally made my first ‘real’ big quilt 🙂 And I’ve only procrastinated about this for, what, two years? Heh! Don’t know why it took me so long to start on this. I think I had what I’d like to call “First Big Project Paralysis Syndrome”. I distinctly remember going through the same thing before I made my first knitted cardigan. (I umm-ed and ahh-ed over what pattern to use, then took even longer deciding on the yarn, and then changed my mind about the pattern again at least two dozen times.) With this quilt I also umm-ed and ahh-ed over the pattern, changed my mind dozens of times, before deciding that I just like the unstructured look of scrappy quilts, like this and this. And of course after that I changed my mind dozens of times more about the fabrics that I wanted to use.

But finally, here’s what I came up with. It’s not very big, about 44 x 55 inches, but enough to cover Annette’s bed. Here’s the front, a mix of some favourite japanese fabrics from the stash (so yeah, not really ‘scraps’ 🙂 ), some Heather Ross, and some Denyse.


And on the back, red and white seersucker, with that skipping girl print from sproutdesign, and the black on charcoal polka dots fabric (also featured on my Mail Sack) which was an op shop find.


And look, even with binding.

The binding was a LOT of work! Annette kept asking me “Is my quilt ready yet, Mummy??” and I kept saying it’s almost ready, I just had the binding left to do. Well, four days later, I was still stitching the binding… Obviously I am very slow. But I have to say that it’s worth it, the binding really add a special touch, I think. Especially when I step back and take it all in, thinking, wow, I made this! I’m pleased as punch.

And here’s a happy little girl who loves this quilt just like I do. The night I finished the binding, I sneaked in to her room and covered her with the newly finished quilt. You should see her excitement when she woke up in the morning! Definitely worth it.

Annette with her quilt