Two mod dresses and a pin-up

The family will be off to Hong Kong mid December till 2012 so I’ve been sewing, sewing and sewing, trying my best to finish all my Sew Weekly projects for this year. In addition to that, my boy has taken up Taekwondo with 3 hours of lessons a week and lil princess, not to be outdone, has also started ballet lessons and is surprisingly attentive in class. These have kept me swamped as well but in a really good way:)

Hence, the lack of new bog posts.

Things might only get crazier here as my Indonesian helper will be going home for two weeks later this month. This would most likely mean I’m gonna be spending more time cooking than sewing and definitely not likely to be blogging.  This might be my last post here until she returns in early December. But, not to worry, with my birthday coming, I’ll be scheduling a giveaway between now and my return to this blog space.

Here are the projects I’ve done for the past 3 weeks. On top of these, I’ve sewed another knit dress (not for Sew Weekly) and two hobo bags (mum and daughter versions) as birthday presents for my old friend and her gal. I’ve yet to find time to photograph these but will post once I find time and if I still remember them. kekeke

Theme: The Color Orange

Project: The Orange Tab dress

Vintage 1960s sewing pattern front and my modified back as inspired by Prada. Orange isn’t my color but I’m happy to have it as a contrast color. More info on my TSW post here.

Theme: Pin up

Project: The “Much Needed Curves” Dress

Yes, it’s a macaron! My evil twin Curvy Kitty took over for this pin-up project and writeup. Find out more here.

Theme: The Burdastyle Sewing Handbook 

Project: The Mod Oriental Dress 

This amazing sewing book was mailed to us with compliments and there are so many projects I wanted to try. In the end, I sewed a mod oriental dress which I could wear for Lunar New Year in January. Here’s the original burdastyle dress pattern I used. More  on the project and the modifications I made to the pattern here. Off course, I was happy to sew another book based project to fulfill my Craft Book Challenge target;) I have not been doing book based projects as much as I wanted to for the past couple of months as I ran out of tracing paper and Spotlight stopped selling them. A  couple of weeks ago, I found a shop in Chinatown selling them in bulk and bought lots. Now, I’m back to the books.

Have a blessed week!

P/S: I’ve received quite a number of emails and tried to respond to as many as I could. If I missed yours, please resend them and I will followup. Thank you and happy sewing!


Behind the Seams: The Hallyu Dress

This week on Sew Weekly, we are tackling an outfit inspiration from a television character. Initially, I was thinking of doing a character from an American TV series which most readers would be more familiar with. But, in the end I went with my heart. I watch a LOT of Korean TV series and it’s natural for me to be inspired by a series I’m currently watching. Check out my TSW post here.

Just for the fun of it, if I had chosen an American series, it could have been one of these characters:

The Nanny (Fran Drescher), which I grew up watching on television during my pre-teen years. Oh, that infectious laughter, unforgettable voice and flamboyant outfits!

Bree (Marcia Cross), my fave character from Desperate Housewives. I followed the series’ first few seasons and loved her seemingly demure and simple style.

Blair (Leighton Meester) from Gossip Girl. I have never watched the series but she has been mentioned on so many fashion/ sewing blogs that I had to check out her style and I was impressed.

Alrighty, back to my series of choice…

The TV series

Bad Boy is a 17-episode television series aired on the Seoul Broadcasting System from May to August last year and the drama I was watching two weeks ago on DVD. While I was hooked to the story, I was equally smittened with the jersey dresses worn by the female character Hong Tae Rae, heiress (right on the drama poster below) to the Haeshin Group.

I love the cowl necklines, drapes as well as the sometimes origami like folds on her dresses which made them simple yet eye catching. It was the two dresses Tae Ra wore below that inspired my creation this week. The cowl neckline (first photo) and the unique folds on the skirt (second photo).

Pattern Review

I love the designs in Japanese Sewing Book Drape Drape Volume 1 but knew I had to make some changes to make them more wearable. For the dress bodice, I used the front pattern piece from Project 1.  The cowl neckline on front and back are fabulous but the neckline was too low cut. The fabric used is a Patty Young interlock knit from Michael Miller.

These are the modifications I made:

1) Use the front pattern piece (the back had an even lower neckline) for front and back.

2) Extended the sleeves to create cap sleeves on the same pattern piece (so there is no need to sew on the sleeves, save a step here)

3) I took away approximately 5 to 6 inches from the centre of the pattern. To do this, I traced the pattern ( I used S size and without adding seam allowance) and folded it in the middle (that’s where I took those inches off) before pinning to the fabric.

Putting the pieces together is so straight forward that I didn’t need to refer to the instructions. But, based on past experience sewing from the book, I’m sure they are easy to understand and follow, even without knowing Japanese.

For the skirt piece, I used the sewing pattern from Burda Magazine 11/2010/113. The pattern was meant for a fabric with more body such as wool but I thought it could potentially create folds similar to the second dress Tae Ra wore above. I wanted the folds to be on the opposite side of the body and as such, cut every piece on reverse.

The instructions were a little brief so I did  spend a little time figuring them out. As I used an eggplant colored matte jersey instead of the recommended woven fabric, I didn’t add the seam allowance. Even without them, the sides still had to be taken in and with my body double around, it made the job easier. Other than getting the sides to work, it was quite easy to put together. Having said that, I was glad I made a dress as I was completely lost reading the instructions for the skirt band.

The Gallery

I named the dress Hallyu which refers to the craze for all things Korean- K-drama, music (K-pop), food and fashion just to name a few. I happened to love their dramas and food!

After a lunch date at a Korean restaurant with hubby (He chose to eat there, I didn’t so it was purely coincidental), I ventured to the rooftop of Vivocity while dear hubby had to rush back for a meeting. It was a hot and sunny day so luckily for me, there weren’t many people outdoors. Good thing there was the occasional wind as I was perspiring through the photoshoot. I wore the dress with the red belt I made for the Valentine’s week and red jelly wedges.

Love that cowl front and back and the drapes in the skirt.

Sewing the ‘Pockets’

For those interested in making the folds Burda Magazine called ‘Pockets’, I hope you will find these visual aids useful as I took sometime to figure the instructions out.

1) On the wrong side of the fabric, fold the ‘pockets as indicated by the lines and stitch across the top of the skirt. Repeat for both ‘pockets in opposite directions.

2) Cut diagonally at the corner to allow it to be completely turned.

3) On the right side of the fabric, push out the ‘pockets’ and fold in the tips. On this side, stitch down the longer vertical line for both pockets. We’re done!

I have not sewed from a sewing book for sometime and totally enjoyed the variation. As always, I feel like I’ve learnt tons from using them. Yay! One more contribution to the Craft Book Challenge!

On a separate note, I’m so terribly sorry but the Drape Wrap skirt tutorial is still in the works. I’m delayed  as I’m SO excited working on a secret project which I can only reveal next week *wink*. With the Good Friday weekend coming up and hubby on leave, I’ll need to get a few things done before that so please bear with me.

And I really want to extend a BIG thank you to those of you who commented on Sew Weekly blog as well as on my blog. It means so much to me and truly encourages me! Thank you!

Meanwhile, have a blessed week and happy sewing!

Sewing Plans Updates

You may notice that there are some new buttons on my blog. Yes, I’m participating in Made Me March 2011, the Craft Book Challenge and Sewing Through the Decades. Whenever I can, I will definitely try my best to fit these into TSW themes.

Made Me March 2011

Wow, how time flies! Self-Stitched September was more than four months ago and how that has changed my life! I’m in self stitched outfits every weekend, I am wearing dresses very frequently, I wore at least one self stitched garment a day throughout my Shanghai and Phuket vacations, for the lunar new year period and am looking at incorporating these pieces I’ve made into my weekdays wardrobe while playing chauffeur to my lil prince and princess. Here’s  my Made-Me March 2011 commitment:

I, Adey, The Sew Convert, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-March ’11. I endeavour to wear
at least one handmade piece of clothing each day for the duration of March 2011′

I still don’t feel absolutely ready to commit to entire outfits daily yet. Hopefully, I’ll be ready by SSS 2011.

I am seriously lagging behind the Pendrell sewalong! I’ve only just settled on the fabrics, both knits. The red pear knit is the muslin fabric I will be using and which I am hoping will become a wearable one. Hopefully, these will become my wardrobe staples this March and beyond 🙂

Pendrell blouses in Red pears and leopard print knits

Sewing through the Decades

This is a fantastic initiative to create garments from patterns through the decades. My target is to sew two outfits per decade from 1930s-1970s. I’ve shortlisted the patterns below but am leaving some options open for the second garment from 1940s-70s.


Eva dress pattern 1939 Evening gown

Eva dress 1935 Afternoon frock


Du Barry 1940s dress


Vogue 4882 1950s dress


Simplicity 8278 1960s


Kwik Sew 407 1970s Jeans

The Craft Book Challenge

Last but not least, the craft book challenge. The aim of this challenge is to make the most of the craft books sitting on the shelves. My original target was to complete a piece a month from craft books and magazines I already have before buying more. However, I realized that I might sew a few a month and none the other depending on TSW themes so I am going to be more lenient to myself. My revised target is to sew 12 items from craft books and magazines this year before further purchases.

Last year, I categorized Made Me items according to garment types. This year, I will be categorizing them based on these 4 challenges under the Made Me 2011 page. Think I’ve got myself fully committed for the year! What about you? Have you signed up for any sewing challenges this year?

Have a super-duper cosy valentines’ my friends and do stay tuned for my valentines’ dress which will be posted Friday PST!