Welcoming the Year of the Rabbit!

Happy Year of the Rabbit! I didn’t expect to but I have a couple of hours of free time today and decided to upload some photos of the festivity.

Day 1

As per our family’s yearly tradition, everyone gathered at my uncle’s (mum’s eldest brother) place for a potluck lunch feast. Hubby and I couldn’t resist posing in front of my uncle’s neighbor sparkling silver ferrari for a pic. My lil princess ran in and held my hand at the last minute which is why the photo turned out this way.

I wore the Mademoiselle dress but had a really hard time getting my relatives to believe that I made that dress or my lil princess’ reversible retro dress or my son’s robot shirt or my dad’s Peacock Jakob shirt. It was actually rather funny but that became quite an ice breaker and I had to convince them that it was my new found hobby. One that I grew really fond of.

I didn’t have a chance to snap photos of the robot shirt and the Peacock Jakob beforehand so I took the opportunity to document them yesterday. Here are the kids with their cousin. The boys kept making cheeky faces! Boys will be boys…

My lil prince is wearing the Robot shirt which I made last week using burda magazine’s 5/2010 Boy’s shirt with Mandarin collar downloaded from the burdastyle website. I gotta let you know that I am so glad I just completed the JJ Blouse and shirts because the steps given in the boy’s shirt instructions didn’t help at all. There was also no information on sizing either. This is probably the last time I will be downloading a burda magazine pattern online. In the end, I ditched the instruction sheet and relied totally on what I’ve learnt making the shirts to sew this garment. When I finished sewing it, my son asked me to add some buttons for him just because he liked them. I agreed though I knew he wouldn’t be able to button up so instead of a traditional buttonhole, I sewed two buttons, one on each side of the shirt and looped them together with a knotted elastic band. A fun buttons and knot combo!   As for dad, he was *ahem* too preoccupied to pose for any photos as you can see below.

But I managed to snap a closer view of the shirt he was wearing without disturbing his social activity. The fabric is Alexander Henry’s cotton lawn in Regent Peacock and the sewing pattern is burdastyle’s Jakob. Just like hubby’s shirt, all seams are finished with french seams and rolled hems.

Day 2

Today’s lunch was Henghua mee suan which my aunt (dad’s older sister) cooked for the lot of us at her place. It has to be the most delicious noodles on earth and something my hubby looks forward to every year:) My kids are wearing fusion traditional today. Actually, they were supposed to be wearing traditional costumes but my son preferred wearing the traditional top with jeans. He spent half an hour lamenting that the blue top is ugly and he wanted to wear only red tops as red is his favorite color. Hubby and I finally convinced him by pronouncing a mandarin collar day in which all four of us would be wearing clothes with mandarin collars today.

My lil princess wasn’t easy to handle either. She would only wear skirts so I had no choice but to layer her traditional outfit with a tutu, much to her delight.

And here’s hubby and I with our mandarin collar outfits. The Alexander Henry Jakob and “In the Mood for Love” cheongsam.I’ve learnt a few lessons from sewing some of our own new year outfits this year and thought I need to put them down just for next year’s reference sake

1. Dad has requested for pockets on his shirts as he has a habit of placing his pen and some notes in there.

2. Red shirts for lil prince but best to have him select the fabrics himself. Save ourselves from all that whining.

3. Hubby has suggested that I sew lil prince and him some dad and son shirts so they could wear the same print out. That sounds like fun and I would really wanna try creating them.

4. Mum is still really fussy as I have yet to see her wearing the Liberty JJ blouse. The Lunar new year celebrations is for 15 days so let see if she does.

5. More skirts and dresses for lil princess. No pants. Tutus make her smile.

6. Dad and hubby loved the cotton lawns and commented on how comfy these are.

7. For some weird reason, lil prince is into family fashion themes. Figure something to minimize potential issues.

Looks like I’ll need to start planning and sewing for the year of the dragon a little earlier:)

Scrap Busting and New Sewing Theme

I realized over the weekend that my lil princess has outgrown many of her cute bloomers and shorts. So,  I made her three new pairs using scraps from my sewing projects. She was so happy to see them when she returned home from school and tried them on immediately! Here’re some photos of her modeling the bottoms.

Ruffles bloomer

I sewed single tier ruffles onto the top portion of the bloomer. Love how girly the pair of bloomer instantly become :)


Retro Dots shorts

A simple pair of shorts embellished with crochet flower and some buttons.


Bloomer skirt

This is my favorite of the three, the same gnome lining fabric from my Lady Grey is used for the bloomer and does a peekaboo when she is seated. It’s adorable! I also embellished it with iron-on strawberries which the lil princess picked while we were shopping at Daiso.

Not too bad a scrap busting exercise I’ll say:)

I’m also pretty excited about my new sewing theme and can’t wait to get started! From now till mid December, I will be embarking on resort style projects. I realized how I adore the relaxed and casual style of resort wear during Self-Stitched September and they are really perfect for the local climate.

I still owe some readers a Kaftan tutorial so that’s definitely on the list and here’s my fabric choice. A black and white voile fabric with embroidered details. I love that it matches my swimsuit perfectly and go well with regular jeans too.

There are two dresses I intend to sew from vintage sewing patterns. The patterns don’t exactly shout resort but I think the choice of fabric will contribute to the look. The lovely fabrics of choice, if I may say so myself :P, include my absolute favorite double gauze print from Nani Iro and a baby blue floral print voile.

Last but not least, a project that has been sitting on the shelf for ages. When I first purchased this Amy Butler fabric with batik print (from her Love Collection), I wanted to sew a tunic top adapted from the Built By Wendy tunic dress I made. So, I am glad it finally fits into a theme I am doing :)

I am all ready! Sewing starts tomorrow so it’s gonna be a fabulous week! Have a good one too dear sewing comrades!

Self-Stitched-September: Day 1 to 3

Self Stitched September has been fun fun fun so far and I’ve been bringing my camera tripod around a lot more. I didn’t want SSS photos to look exactly like those I’ve listed in Made Me, where you can find my entire self stitched wardrobe. This month is really a test for me. First to see if I would really wear what I have made so far and second to see which are the item I have made but would never wear. I’m still not sure at this point which are the pieces I wouldn’t wear as I’ve taken the easy approach of donning worn before items on the first three days of SSS. I hope I won’t be relying on these few pieces I’ve grown so fond of for the entire SSS! So, without further ado, a summary and personal thoughts on the Made Me garments I wore Day 1 to 3.

Day 1

On Day 1, I wore this comfy and easy outfit. My fave pair of shorts, black & white Bella teamed with my Mr Bump tee. It was my princess’ Teachers Day holiday so we had some bubbles fun at the park. My verdict: Bella is oh so comfortable, I want to make a whole bunch of them!  Three huge buttons on the front closure made putting and taking them off a breeze. Think button front jeans easy. I love the pleats at the pockets. This design element makes the shorts so unique and chic. The pattern isn’t difficult either, it just takes time. I wore these the entire day and didn’t feel self-conscious at all. Off course not, I have used my Bella countless times :) A few more of them in autumn hues sound good to me!

Day 2

I caught a cold on Day 2 so the highlight of the day was running some errands down at the post office *yawn*. I didn’t get to swim nor sew. But the good news is I managed to complete my dress tutorial. Phew! I really admired all the sewing divas out there who produce tutorials like all the time. It is really quite a time-consuming endeavor. And, honestly, I missed being at the sewing machine when I had to work on a tutorial. So, kudos to those of you who are so committed to doing and sharing them!

My Plaid Tara was put to the test. It was the very first item I made for myself using a sewing pattern (Burdastyle’s Tara) ever. I modified the sleeves as I didn’t like the original short ruffled version.  The blouse was made a few months after my princess was born and I have not touched it for sometime. When I wore it on Day 2, it felt loose fitting with huge sleeves and bodice, not flattering at all and I was feeling self-conscious. Hated that feeling! In my sewing basket it goes so that I can work on the fit again. The blouse was not difficult to sew but using quilting cotton for this piece did make it look kind of stiff. So, if you are making Tara, I would recommend using a light weight fabric.

Day 3

It’s my son’s turn to enjoy school holiday in lieu of Teachers’ Day. We went to the neighborhood playground, visited the airport and took a short subway ride upon his request even though I drove. Boys will be boys! Transportation never fails to intrigue him.

I wore a fire engine red knit top with my Red Denim Ruby. I love this first pair of shorts I made. I love the color, the fit and it’s pretty comfortable. While the side button closure attracted me to the pattern in the first place, I do have to contest with them when making a dash for the loo. I might need to find an easier alternative should I sew this again. It’s really a design versus practicality issue. For my love of sewing, the adventures of creating new things and the many things I’ve still got to learn, I don’t think I will skip sewing items due to such practicality issues, at least not yet :) Guess that means I am not at all a practical crafter hmmm…

My prince wore a very old pair of echino scooter pants I made by combining two different prints from the ni-co collection. It’s my favorites from the pile of pants I’ve made him. There is clearly something magical in echino fabrics. The prince was so excited to see two huge dogs during our Friday morning neighborhood walk but he became very weary of this sweet mannered Golden Retriever.  I told him the dog was friendly and was only sniffing his scent but the little prince complaint that it tickled…a lot :P

So at the end of the third day while typing this post, self-realization took place:

1) The Sew Convert isn’t sew practical when it comes to what she sews though she tries to be.

2) The Sew Convert is full of contradictions and tries to justify them. She needs a few more pairs of shorts with easy closure but will rather create a few more Bellas though they have button closure too. Somehow, front buttons are easier to manipulate compared to side buttons or maybe it’s the button size that made the difference. ha!

3) The Sew Convert seems pretty fond of wearing the garments she made from burdastyle patterns. Bella, ruby and tara are all from burdastyle! Gosh!

Anyhow, I don’t usually dress up on weekdays since I am normally at home sewing or blogging or just playing chauffeur to His and Her Royal Highness so I’m really looking forward to this weekend…a Made-Me weekend!

To my sewing comrades enjoying the Labour Day holidays, have a good one!

Retro Halter Playsuit Back In Action

This morning, while I was changing my lil princess’ nappy, I realized that she has lost quite a bit of fats in her tummy as she grew taller.  Suddenly, it dawned on me that perhaps now that the watermelon has shrunk, she might be able to wear the retro halter playsuit I made her more comfortably. So, without hesitation I tried it on her.  It was kinda tight when she first tried it on in May, so I thought she wouldn’t be able to wear it for long. I am happy to say that the fit was perfect today!

Front view

Back view


She was in a jolly mood too, greeting and charming almost everyone near us at lunch, at the mall and at dinner with her ‘hello auntie/uncle’ and ‘bye bye auntie/uncle’.

I was feeling blissful just observing her…

Tiered Skirt & Crocs

I have almost forgotten about this tiered skirt I made for my princess before she was born. I made it in size 1 but she was not tall enough to wear it without tripping over. The skirt was pushed to the back of her burgeoning wardrobe. Today, while my mum was dressing her up for playgroup, she tried on the skirt and it fit!

Lil’ sweet princess, almost one and a half, wearing the tiered skirt mummy made her when she was still kicking around in mummy’s tummy. Sometimes, my prince still calls her ‘baby’. Once in a while he would cheekily stroke my tummy and say I love you baby:P How time flies…

She’s all grown up, my princess. She demands that she has the rights to choose which pair of shoes she wears. Regardless of whether they go with her outfit. As long as she’s happy wearing a long tiered skirt with *ahem* crocs?

A Shirtdress’ Day Out

I managed to take my dream photo today! A photo of my princess and I in our matching dresses! We were all dressed up for my  prince’s birthday celebration at his school.My prince’s actual birthday is in two days but we organized a small celebration today with his classmates, including his lil’ girlfriend from New Zealand (Don’t let him know that I told you:P). It was a surprise for him as non of us spoke about visiting his school when he was around. Even my husband took leave to join us in the surprise mission! I will never forget the grin on his face when he saw us and the big hugs we received. Here’s his royal highness eating one of the sinfully sweet cake toppers! Yikes! I hope he brushed his teeth thoroughly tonight.

One of his teachers saw my princess and I in matching outfits and asked if I got it in the same shop. She was very surprised when she found out that they were created by me. I was not surprised by her reaction though as people who sew clothes for the love of it are almost extinct on our urban land.

While I had to struggle with the stool and camera just to snap some photos on other days, my sweet husband  was around to capture the special moments today. We went to the park behind my prince’s school for these shots.

I have never noticed the tree behind us until today. It looked as if someone has painted green, yellow and red stripes on it with water-colour. This is the Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree and the stripes are a result of peeling bark from the tree. It looked amazing!

When I saw the tree, I remembered what my son said when he woke up this morning. That Jesus was painting slowly so that the sky turns brighter and brighter. What a wonderful and sweet description from a four-year old.

In the afternoon, my husband and I went on a date. We had delicious Hakata Ramen at Yoshimaru by the East Coast beach, watched a movie (Prince of Persia) and went shopping at Spotlight. I had to get those zippers and off course ended up with additional fabric and notions. It felt funny when I saw the floral fabric I had used to sew this shirtdress in its original cotton fabric bolt at Spotlight. My husband laughed when I quickly moved on to another fabric collection. Somehow, I didn’t know how to react in such a new situation and before I could ponder about it, we were at the cashier where the fabric on my dress was instantly recognized by the lady behind the counter! She was sweet and said the fabric has transformed into a pretty dress and asked if I got it tailored. When I told her I made it, she said it is a wonderful skill to have as tailoring would have cost over a hundred dollars. I guess I can take that as a compliment?

When we reached home, my princess was still in her dress. I looked at her and smiled. What a good day out.

A Frock By Friday Completed!

I followed Grosgrain’s A Frock By Friday last week but couldn’t sew on Wednesday and Friday so I had to complete two days’ sewalong today. Here’s the result and my very first shirt dress! My only deviation was the addition of green piping around the belt. Took ages to complete but I am pleased with it.

I couldn’t post more  photos as it started to rain after I took this shot and everything else turned out too blurry.  This was when I saw that there were some floral fabric left. I decided to do a refashioned shirtdress for my princess. The concept is based on Grosgrain’s Mohito Refashion Frock , only on a much smaller person. So, here is my little princess in hers.

Posing…

Playing…

Besides the rain, it has been a rather painful day for me. First, I got a cut on my finger when it accidentally  brushed past the blade I was using to cut the buttonholes. Next, I broke a nail :(

Wished we had better weather. I  can only  dream of a photo of  my princess and I together in our dresses!

Amazing Kids Clothes!

While joining in the fun of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway, I stumbled upon a jewel-the Elsie Marley blog!   I couldn’t help but notice a number of giveaway hosts being involved in the Elsie Marley Kids Clothes Week. Anything to do with kids clothes is a blog magnet for me. I missed the Kids Clothes Week Challenge though (bummer!) as it happened in the second week of May where mummies were to sew an hour a day that week. By looking at the amazing outfits they created or refashioned, I’m  guessing most of them committed more hours than that.  Take a look at the Elsie Marley flickr pool! These are my favourites:

Ruffle top by Hickety Pickety

Beach Hoody by TrulaKids

Bubble dress by Hillary Lang

Sailboat pants by Mon Ami

I also saw this tutorial I would love to try. It transforms a simple dress into a gorgeous flower collar dress like these:

Flower collar tutorial by Katie Did

Kudos to the amazing mummies!

Sunday Etsy Faves: An inspiration to sew

It is so easy to find items that inspire and sometimes distract me a little too much on etsy.

I mentioned how I wanted to do a bow collar blouse yesterday. Now, The Sew Convert is dreaming of sewing these whimsical bow collar dresses for herself and her princess after seeing this japanese sewing book for mum/daughter outfits at pomadour24′s store

Too cute!

What about the gorgeous vintage inspired hand sewn dresses at MichelleTan’s store? If The Sew Convert wasn’t this eager to hone her sewing skills,  she would have snapped  up the Custom 1950s inspired dress and the Jessie dress in a heartbeat! (Check out copyrighted photos at store from link above).

This Brittany Dress and matching sky girl hat at taratothet are simply oozing with vintage coolness!

I am also in love with this vintage scallop edge blouse from clevernettle. I have to make one for myself! Really soon!

Good Start to the Weekend!

OMG OMG! What an amazing start to the weekend! My creation, the retro reversible dress was featured on the Grosgrain blog as a Flickr Fav! I love Grosgrain’s creations and to have the photo there made The Sew Convert absolutely out of this world happy!!!!!!!!!!!

Today also ended up being a Made Me Saturday. I didn’t plan it but my princess and I were both dressed in my handmade clothes! Finally, I managed to take some clearer photos of the Little Folks Blouse using a camera (other than the low resolution ones from my Macbook Camera:P)

I know I have said this but this blouse is SO comfortable  and I love the fit and the colour! This photo allows you to see the details of this beautiful voile. I must tell you that since making this blouse I’ve ordered more voile cos they make amazing tops. These are on the way.

Thought this pink voile will look great as a tunic blouse like this, while the citrus a blouse with bow collar, like version 2 on Burdastyle’s Ute Blouse pattern. I’m also inspired by Crochetie‘s version.

Oops! See how I can get distracted easily!  Here’s my princess in her retro dress turned top. She has grown so tall that she has to wear it over jeans.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!