Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Panda Onesie

My weekend was filled sewing and cooking sans cleaning up the mess. It was a good one. Since I announced I'm off cleaning duty, about three days ago, I'm in the zen-iest state that I've ever been. I know I won't be off forever, but to know that I can have a break every now and then is solid enough.
C had been saying "Daddy's going to get me a onesie." for about two weeks. Apparently they discovered aFREAKa onesie website and the shop location is pretty close to us. Not managing to fight the onesie pressure, M made a trip to the shop but only to find out they're out of size. I'm pretty sure they can make one if you place an order, but madam's patience is running out. "Mommy, can you make me a onesie?" It came with specific instructions, too. "I want it to look like a real panda, not all white with a black tummy." I'd say, having a sewing mama's quite handy.
My first attempt was McCall's pattern M6106. It's on sale, for less than $2.50! But what a pity that they don't sell PDF patterns. My ears would have got thick Calluses from C's non-stop "When can you make the onesie?" by the time the paper pattern order arrives. To save my ears and my sanity, I had to go look elsewhere.
I found a Simplicity pattern 2855 available to purchase at Fabric City. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of these printed-on-tissue patterns. You need to handle them with great care and after use you have to fold them back ever so precisely to fit in the sleeve. Then again, I'm way too lazy to trace C's jersey + sweatpants myself, so Simplicity it is.
It feels like I've made so many changes on the go. I color blocked leg parts, so the panda can have black legs like in the real world, dramatically shortened the arms and legs' lengths, ignored the belly patch, ignored the bias tape for the cuffs, added a small tail and sewed on the panda face myself.
What I love most about this pattern is the hood is actually seperate from the body, which means the hood can be used with other outfits.
C is so, so happy with the onesie. "Better than a store-bought one." She says. Well, of course. I call it custom made. She does the Toca Blocks tall bear silly dance all the time to make us laugh. And she now pretends to be a huge fluffy teddy bear, so she can be cuddled and carried around. I've probably reached my weekly weight lifting goal already, thanks to the onesie.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A "Gold Digger" One Piece

The extra errands this week has indeed disturbed my sewing plans. You know, it's just the usual excuses of routine maintainence appointments, extra cooking and cleaning. Why do weekends have to be filled with good food and friends? OK, I do enjoy that bit, so I really should stop complaining. But choosing a one-piece like this to tackle during a busy week was not a wise move.
Let me get straight to it. The pattern is from Mano Akiko's book Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids -- there's an English version as well. I had been avoiding to make this dress for a long time. I love it but it looks complicated. Not necessarily difficult but time consuming with thousands of little pieces, gathers and pleats. I guess I'm just used to my quick fixes. I bought too much of that metallic linen -- which I also used here, so I needed to make something big to use it up a little. The center piece is an Asian themed quilting cotton. It's hard to see in the pictures, but the outlines of the images are gold and have that metallic shine, too.
I know C says no more dresses, but what do you call this, really? Long shirt/dress coat, or simply long top or one piece? The mind can be easily persuaded with a cappuccino muffin, for the photoshoot at least. Whether she'll wear it, I will have to wait and see. I'm glad I have stuck to a size that's smaller than her height. It's loose and have plenty of room to grow.
It does look a little on the dressy side, mostly due to the fabric's golden hue. I'm flipping through the calendar right now to see if there's any kind of special occasion she can make use of this "dress" before summer hits.
Until next time.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Ashanti Travel Pillow and Sleep Mask Set

Lately, I feel deflated after fabric shopping. It's like I'm darting among shops but still nothing catches my eye. I often come back home empty handed. Very disappointed. Well, At least it shows my impeccable self-discipline that I'd rather buy nothing than build unnecessary stash, ha!

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Stenciled Tee and Shorts Combo for a Proud Dog Walker

As my daughter's gone deeper and deeper in this dog phase, our shoes have become ever so muddier from the trail road walks on the mountain, with our neighbor's dog. To be honest, I'm slowly reaching a point where I'm starting to lose interest, but she's persistent, even though most of the time, the dog is ahead of us...

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Stripy Women's Metro Tee

Yesterday, it was voting day/public holiday in the middle of the week, and we had a really fun and adventurous time. We walked to our favorite (and the closest to us) restaurant for lunch, stuffed our tummies with pizza, then carried on walking down the road, stopping at various boutique shops. And then we took a taxi home. I think it's my first time taking a taxi in Cape Town after living here for more than a decade. It felt we were doing something new, like being in a foreign city. Even my daughter was excited and didn't complain about the walking. It was early evening already when we got home but when we spotted our neighbor's dog, we asked the neighbor if we could go for a walk together with the dog, since you know, C's in a deep dog phase. The man was very kind and so we headed towards the mountain for another walk.... Great great fun. I'm secretly hoping this becomes a regular.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Sashiko Stitching Multiple Zipper Pouches

Since I work on our dining table, from time to time, that whole space needs to cleared up to serve its original purpose. I did the exercise this past weekend. Overtime, I've moved bits of sewing supplies here and there to the table, before I knew it, the table had become quite clustered. While I was tidying up, I looked at my big fabric stash and sewing supplies and realized wow, I've really spent a lot of money on this hobby.
Probably not as much as a woodworking hobby drains the bank account I assume. I took C to a friend's house this weekend and the father of the child makes all the furniture in the house, purely as his hobby. The pieces are very unique and beautifully handmade. He gets you-should-sell-them a lot, but it's difficult to put a price tag on them once you've poured so much heart and time. I feel very related, except for the part that he's got a day job and I don't. From pattern tracing to fabric cutting, then sewing up pieces, with ironing in between. It takes time. It's a process that you will only understand once you've done it. It's like having children in a way, you will not register how much time and effort and love need to be invested before you have your own children. At least, that's my case.
With constant pressure to monetize my hobby, I made these 9 sashiko stitching zipper pouches. The idea is quite exciting so I've packed them in a big box labelled "to sell one day". Maybe I will just carry on building up the collection until that day comes when I have enough stock to open up a pop up shop, that is, if I don't hand them away as gifts. Apparently I'm quite good at that....
Happy Monday, friends.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Block Printing Apron

Can you sense that we are in a dog phase right now?
More than two and a half years ago, we introduced two kittens to our family. This cat-owner journey's been bitter sweet. Soon after that, C was diagnosed with asthma and the test result showed that she's allergic to cats (!). As it turned out, that it's not very easy to rehome a cat. Till this day, we still cautiously live with one cat. And because of the allergy, C's not allowed to go too close to the cat, and the cat has no access to our bedrooms whatsoever. We're not a proud cat family if you'd ask me. The most asked question these days is "Can I get a dog?" I took her to the lab and did a blood test last week, not because we're getting a dog any time soon, but I simply want to make sure this time around that she's OK with dogs, if we ever get one in the far future. After the result showing negative on dogs and still positive on cats, that question has evolved to "When can I get a dog?"