Monday, April 18, 2016

My Crochet Doll - Work in Progress

I am riding the crochet wave ever since I tried to learn how to make an amigurumi. I watched a lot of youtube videos, surfed inspirations from facebook groups and pinterest. Hence, I was not posting on my blog for more than a month. Fortunately I have a good mummy friend Carol who is an experienced crochet lady that I can seek guidance from. Because of my constant flow of questions, it rekindled her spark in crocheting ever since she stopped a year ago.

In the facebook group that I joined, one lady posted her project from My Crochet Doll by Isabelle Kessedjian. When I googled the crafter, I realised I was her Instagram follower but never knew she crocheted.

Started the doll's head
I followed some great tips from By Hook, By Hand blog on making this doll a little special than the actual doll. Visit her blog if you can as she has other great tips on making crochet dolls of other types.

My progress is quite slow due to other projects on hand. Here are what I can shared till this point of time.

Making the torso and legs

Adding the hair
I should be completing the doll once I stitched the hair on her scalp. Then I can make dresses for her to wear next. Wish me luck and more energy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My first attempt on Amigurumi

I have ALWAYS wanted to try my hands on making Amigurumi. I know basic crocheting but I have never made a plush or doll before. It looks difficult and I am scared to try. I have made granny squares for the yarnbombing 2 years ago. No. Not once attempted Amigurumi.

When I saw the instructions from the books and blogs, there are so many variations. There are symbols for Japanese, US and UK versions. My mind just went haywired. I did not understand how to attach the various parts of the body of the doll. The best bet for me will be learning from Youtube but that means I will not be able to follow instructions on the books. Sigh!

Till I went to a sharing session organised by the Yarnbombing Singapore team last Saturday. Yaney, one of the organiser, gave me a one-to-one guidance and taught me how to read the US instructions. Magic circle was not hard at all. I have to make sure the holes of each stitch is not big so that the polyfill will not shown. I am very determined.

After some time, I managed to make one head of the BB8. I am so thrilled! There are still so much to learn on Amigurumi and now I am not so afraid to try on other beginner designs.

My first Amigurumi
Certainly a breakthrough in 2016. Hope I could share more of my creations soon. I can't wait to try out and practise.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Handmade Cheongsam for my kids for the Monkey Year

I thought that I will not be sewing any Chinese New Year clothing for my little girls. I am busy to the max and have no idea what to sew. I am also lazy to trace out patterns from the books plus time is not on my side (less than a week to the festive season).

Until I chanced upon a free girls Cheongsam tutorial from Japanese Sewing Books website which has a step-by-step tutorial plus YouTube videos to refer. You can check out her tutorial here. I followed Yi Farn's blog closely as I love reading about Japanese books and magazines reviews. I am an avid Japanese sewing and craft books and magazines reader even though I could not understand Japanese. Luckily for me, the instructions are pictorial and quite easy to follow after a few tries. :)

I set myself a goal to complete the 2 cheongsams within 2 days. Not impossible with midnight oils! By the way, it is my first try on sewing Cheongsam. I selected one of my favourite Lecien Fabrics from Japan of the Flower Sugar series and checked if I have the rest of the materials at home. I went to Chong Pang wet market the next morning to purchase the silk bias tapes, invisible zippers and Chinese knots.

Materials needed for the sewing.
I printed out the pdf patterns from the website (see above) and arranged before pasting and cutting them out. I did both cheongsams at the same time. Then I cut out the fabrics and serge the parts needed. In fact, I sewed with my machine and my laptop alongside so that I can refer while preparing the next steps. Sewing the silk bias tape was tricky for me as the stitches were not consistent and I had to unstitch a few times to make sure both sides were sewed.

I stumbled upon my first hurdle during installation of the invisible zipper onto the apparel. I realised I do not own any invisible zip footer for my machine. Argh! I googled if there were an alternative and asked my friends. Most concluded that using the invisible zip footer will be so much easier. Well, I did not have much time. In my desperation, I picked up my needle and thread and handsew the zipper manually. It turned out pretty well I must say.

Handsew the invisible zipper is a good alternative if you don't own the footer.
Lastly, installing the metal snap buttons and Chinese knots can take a long time as the kids had to try out the apparels many times just to be sure the positions were correct. The children are so happy that they have their first Cheongsam and specially made by their mummy.

Buttons and knots are up.

Maiden piece

I love the flower patchwork print of this Flower Sugar from Lecien Fabrics. Just nice for the Chinese New Year theme. Maybe I should sew up more cute dresses for them and not wait for the festive seasons. I am going to try on pajamas with button holes after Chinese New Year for my next sewing project. Wish me luck!

Happy Monkey Year to all and Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

NHK Sutekini Handmade - Atsuko Matsuyama Monthly quilt "Fruit Fantasy" Sew A-Long Block 7 & 8 - Dresden Plate and Flowers patchwork (NHKテレビテキスト すてきにハンドメイド 松山敦子のマンスリーキルト「フルーツ・ファンタジー」)

February is a very very busy month for me. In fact, I started to do my spring cleaning for the new year in January. So much so that I did not have time to do much handsewing or patchwork. I was so exhausted de-cluttering my house and have no mood at all. 5 more days to Chinese New Year. I hope I can rush out 2 cheongsams within these 2-3 days.

I am catching up on my sew-a-long. There are just a few more blocks and the next March issue will be the finishing part. Gee! I will be happy to complete one handsew quilt if I quickened my pace. I combined both 2016 Issue 1 and 2 NHKテレビテキスト すてきにハンドメイ and did the patchwork blocks before handling the applique blocks.

I also bought Cotton Time magazine to get inspirations.
Sewing patchwork pieces was a breeze to me as they are pretty straight forward. I have never sewed a round dresden plate before but glad I did. I hope to try out more in the future if I could. You can viewed my pointed dresden plates by colours in my previous post.

Laying out Block 7

Block 7 completed
Next, it was the flower blocks. Very easy to sew as they are just straight stitches. I completed in less than a day. You just need a rectangle, square and triangle-shaped templates.

Preparing for the block.

I can't wait to finish this one in a day.

Block 8 completed
The next 2 blocks will be strawberries. I have prepared the materials for block 9 but no time to sit down and sew.

Nevertheless, I wish all an advanced Lunar New Year !

Thursday, December 31, 2015

NHK Sutekini Handmade - Atsuko Matsuyama Monthly quilt "Fruit Fantasy" Sew A-Long Block 5 & 6 - Fruits Applique and Flowers patchwork (NHKテレビテキスト すてきにハンドメイド 松山敦子のマンスリーキルト「フルーツ・ファンタジー」)

It is the last day of 2015!!

Before I say goodbye in another few hours, I want to share with you the 2 blocks that I managed to finish this afternoon inside the 2015 Issue 12 NHKテレビテキスト すてきにハンドメイ.

I love this patchwork pattern of block 5 and would love to sew up more to make a mini quilt. It is called Greek Cross. There were only 4 templates to cut but lots of pieces to make one block.

Block 5
Frankly, block 6 is a challenge to me once again as it is a fruit basket applique. There are 31 pieces to iron and sew onto the background cloth. But I still love the outcome of my handsewn piece.

Sewing up the pieces

Block 6
Pretty tedious from the look of it. I took about 2 days to finish this applique block. But the result is so kawaii.

This will be the last piece of my work for 2015. Moving on to 2016, I will definitely be sewing more and more and catch up on my WIPs.

Wish everyone a Happy 2016!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

StickerKid Review and Discount Code

(Sponsored Review)

Another school term is fast approaching and I am always busy writing or printing labels from my Label Machine for my children in December.

This time, I beg to differ in my approach.

StickerKid has offered us some personalised labels from their value pack to try out. That includes shoe labels, iron on labels and small stickers.

Stickerkid Labels
Manufactured from Switzerland since 2004, every label is protected with a thin plastic layer. This is good as I am not afraid of my children damaging the labels with their hands wet or water spilling from their water bottles. Not only that, they survive microwaves, dishwashers, sun and sand.

Other reasons why I choose StickerKid:

1. Restickable stickers
When my child pasted the stickers at the wrong page or clumsily, I can always tear out and restick them with no tape residue left on the initial pasting.

2. Fast shipment
The orders were processed quickly and shipped out fast. I received them in a week.

3. Friendly customer service officer
They are very responsive to my enquiries and friendly who provide assistance.

4. Easy to use website
Navigating on their website is very easy and friendly. Even my children has no problem selecting colours, text fonts and designs by themselves.

5. Instruction manual given
There is also an instruction manual included in package that explains the different usage of each type of stickers.

Now the best part is:

StickerKid has kindly offered 10% discount code to all my readers with code 10discountSGSTICKERKID. (Key in the code under "Discount code" upon check out). The code will expire on 31 December 2015 and shipping fee of SGD 2 is not applicable for the code. Hurry if you want to print labels for your kids.

Disclaimer: We have received 2 sets of stickers for review purpose. No monetary compensation was received. All opinions and photos are mine, unless stated otherwise.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

NHK Sutekini Handmade - Atsuko Matsuyama Monthly quilt "Fruit Fantasy" Sew A-Long Block 3 & 4 - Fruits Applique and Flowers patchwork (NHKテレビテキスト すてきにハンドメイド 松山敦子のマンスリーキルト「フルーツ・ファンタジー」)

I am slightly late to complete the Block 3 and 4 - Fruits applique and flowers patchwork, for the November sew-a-long by Atsuko Matsuyama  - 松山敦子のマンスリーキルト「フルーツ・ファンタジー」.

The instructions and templates can be found in this magazine which I bought from Kinokuniya bookshop. Thanks to my Japanese counterpart who posted photos in their instagram account on every issue they bought. I quickly rushed to my local shop and purchase a copy.

Issue 11 2015
 There are not many blocks to sew but definately lots of fruits applique to practise. There are 4 of them which I like the pear the best!

After finishing the applique, I combined them according to the example found in the magazine.

Block 3

Block 4
Which applique do you like?

November sew along is quite easy to sew after many practises of sewing the appliques. For December issue, there will be more blocks and more applique that I will share with you in the next coming post.

Happy weekend!