Made Me Club Med

My husband and I have heard rave reviews from friends and colleagues of a Club Med holiday and decided to try one for the first time this December. Our motivations:  The kids were finally at the right age to enjoy its activities and there was a special promotion for club destinations near us (Bintan Indonesia, Cherating Malaysia, Bali Indonesia and Phuket Thailand)! After an oh too brief deliberation, we booked ourselves a family getaway for 4 days and nights at Club Med Phuket. And yes, I took the opportunity to wear at least one Made-me item a day as I realized how much I have enjoyed doing that:) So, besides wearing my brand new Love Batik tunic on the flight back on Day 4, here’s a little info on our activities during the trip and documentation of the other Made-me items I wore.

Day 1:

We were blessed with fine sunny weather as it was raining daily in Phuket just before our arrival. I wore my Cape Tara, which was perfect for the climate.

After a big buffet breakfast with the family, we sent the kids to their respective clubs. My lil prince joined the mini club for kids 4 to 7 and had fun visiting the beach, swimming and experiencing circus school while the lil princess attended the Petite Club and did some coloring, swimming, napping and playground activities. During club hours, they were fully supervised by the very qualified guests officers of Club Med.

Hubby and I happily took the opportunity to enjoy a swedish massage at the spa, followed by a stroll through the streets and shops near the resort  before returning to Club Med for a sumptuous lunch buffet. Then came glass after glass of a mocktail called Fresh Phuket (A mix of crushed lime, brown sugar, soda and grenadine syrup) at the bar.

From these shots taken by the resort’s photographer, we could see the kids at play:)

In the evening, we joined them for a special family event, a picnic session followed by the creation of tie dye t-shirts together!

I helped my son tie rubber bands tightly at various places on a white tee and he chose the colors he wanted for each section and here’s how it turned out. He was very proud of his creation:)

I thoroughly enjoyed the session and told my lil prince we could try making more of these when we got home:)

The good thing about a Club Med holiday is that all accommodation, transport, food and beverages (except XO, cognac) are included in the package. There were also entertainment and performances every night but we skipped the night events as our kids slept around 7.30pm Phuket time (8.30pm at home). As the dinner buffet starts only at 7.15pm, we had to ensure we took our dinner during the ala carte snacking session before 6pm. That might be one down side for parents with young children especially the early sleepers.

Day 2:

While the kids were back at their clubs, hubby and I went for another round of pampering at the spa and visited the beach. We wanted to check out the place before bringing the kids there the next day as we had planned it as family day. It was a cloudy and windy day so I felt myself drawn to my black knit hooded tee paired with the black & white Bella shorts. The sand was smooth and clean, the beach was rather tranquil. There were people sunbathing, parasailing and building sand castles but it was hardly noisy. In fact, I found it a rather laid back beach compared to other beaches we have visited in Phuket and Bali. Without the many locals touting services and produce, this was a much more friendly beach for families.

After the buffet lunch with white wine and more mocktails at the bar, we visited a tiny tailor shop in Club Med as I have noticed his fabrics while walking passed the previous day. The fabric addict in me couldn’t resist buying this Thai made silk/cotton blend fabric from the owner at a discount:) It is lightweight, slightly sheer and very silky. I didn’t think I would be buying any fabric on this trip so this was totally a surprise buy.

After bringing the precious fabric back to the room, hubby and I decided to spend sometime sunbathing by the pool.
And my Ebony Kaftan was put to good use:)

By mid afternoon, we were starting to miss the kids tremendously. Let’s just say, family day started earlier than expected!

Day 3:

It was family day but we had no choice but to take an extremely long breakfast with the kids as it started to rain. Thank God HBO was showing ‘Cloudy with a chance of Meatball’ which kept the kids entertained till it was sunny again. I spent a long time in my swimsuit today, but when I wasn’t in it, I wore my Peekaboo Sleeve Tara and Black & White Bella shorts.

We had fun building sun castles at the beach.

and even more splashing fun at the pool!

I can’t say for the rest of the Club Med destinations but Club Med Phuket is good for:

-Couples with babies or children in need of some quality couple and family time

-People who enjoy social activities, simple yet fun sports such as pool volleyball, basic golf, archery.

-People who enjoy relaxing and a good buffet spread and hence, don’t mind gaining some weight. LOL.

-Fast and efficient check in and out

-Performances and entertainment

My husband is still on leave so I won’t be sewing till after Christmas.  Meanwhile, I’m hoping to visit ‘Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future’ exhibition at Resorts World in Singapore. The event is developed by the Parisian institute Les Arts Décoratifs and showcases one hundred exquisite haute couture pieces from the renowned Italian Maison. Can’t wait!

Self-Stitched Shanghai!

I hate to complain but progress on my Lady Grey has been way too slow and catching a nasty cold which makes me drowsy half the time didn’t help either.  I just hope the cold will go away soon. I have finished the sleeves but need to sew on the shoulder pads (I chose to use thin ones) and to finish up the bound buttonholes before sewing on the facings, collar and lining pieces. With the addition of sleeves and shoulder pads, most of the wrinkling issues on the back seem to be gone and that’s good news.

While I heal, I decided to take this opportunity to blog about Self-Stitched Shanghai, where I set out to wear at least one self made item a day while on vacation. My first made-me vacation and definitely not the last.

Day 1: Singapore-Shanghai

Flight time from Singapore to Shanghai is approximately five hours and we chose to take a day flight which wouldn’t disrupt the kids’ sleep cycles. It can get cold on the flight and definitely at the airport so I wore my self stitched black Esther coat with leopard trim, a grey knit dress, black tights and boots. This was a laid back, comfy ensemble  which proved to be very suitable for the flight. My hubby snapped this photo at the flight gate while the kids were running around the play area.
We arrived in Shanghai around 3.30pm and I must say immigration services for parents traveling with kids have improved remarkably at the Pudong Airport. We were brought to a queue for families and people with special needs by the ground staff and went through immigration in no time! Shanghai traffic, however, was a different story. It took us one and a half hours to reach the hotel for an otherwise forty minute journey.  We  stayed at the Novotel Atlantis Shanghai and were given a corner room with panoramic views of Pudong and the Huangpu river. It was beautiful! I took the photo below from the room. The highest buildings in the photo house the Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt Shanghai and the third highest structure is the landmark of Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower.

Day 2:  Shanghai Science and Technology Museum/ South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market

One thing we have learnt after all our family trips was to plan one major event for each day with a bonus second minor event. That has worked out for us pretty well so far. We visited the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum and I must say we absolutely enjoyed the visit and the kids were thrilled with the many interactive activities which truly engaged them. My prince loved the animal world, spiders, robotic world and space exhibits. My princess , being the scary cat wanted to be carried as she was afraid of the animals, thinking they were real!

My four-year old prince attempted to snap his first photo with our camera while the princess was having a tea break at the museum 🙂 The photo below of my hubby, myself and the princess was taken by the active boy. Not bad for a first try! As you can see, I wore my Ahoy! Cape Vest over a black halter tank with corduroy jeggings and boots. I love this vest cos’ it is so unusual and yet so autumn 🙂

After a quick lunch at the museum, we visited the fabric market which I have blogged about here.

Day 3: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium/ Shanghai Natural Wild Insect Kingdom

My kids heart creatures of the deep and have always enjoyed visiting aquariums so it comes as no surprise that we ended up at the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium. It reminded me a little of the underwater world back home but is on a much grander scale. We met a saw shark for the first time and marveled at the rays, great white sharks and exotic fishes. The only things I didn’t enjoy were the noisy crowds and inconsiderate smokers visiting the aquarium but soon grew to realize these were inherent in Shanghai.

After lunch we took a slow stroll to the Insect Kingdom which was located at the other end of the Oriental Pearl Tower and off course took the opportunity to take more photos of the place. Here’s lil old me with my princess on an enormous circular pedestrian bridge in front of the tower. I was wearing my Bella Jeans, red kit top and handmade scarf that day and I must mention that the pair of jeans received quite a lot of attention as I noticed people looking at it. I guess it’s partly because few people wear high-waisted jeans in Shanghai. Actually, I didn’t meet anyone who did throughout our trip. I love my bella jeans but have started to notice the waist portion expanding with wear. Perhaps, I need to move the buttons to tighten it more. My prince has been fascinated with insects and is always asking me to show him clips on YouTube on scorpions, centipedes, Rhino Beetles and Spiders (though not technically an insect). So, he was really excited to meet the real creatures at Natural Wild Insect Kingdom. While this was not as spectacular as the aquarium, I found it to be pretty educational for lil kids. Other than insects, there were also many reptiles at this venue which kept the kids amused.

Day 4, 5 and 6: To Hangzhou and back…

My husband and Mr. C have been best friends for the past 30 years.  Mr. C has been working in Shanghai for many years and is married to a local. Our families decided to hangout in Hangzhou, around two and a half hours drive from Shanghai, together for a couple of days.

With three kids in tow, we arrived in Hangzhou in the evening and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner. I tried the steamed hairy crabs for the first time as it was in season. This is really an acquired taste and I would go for pepper crabs in Singapore anytime in place of this. The steamed hairy crabs are quite the fear factor material if you ask me.

I had no time to snap a photo until we returned to the hotel room at Hyatt Regency Hangzhou. The room was spectacular with a view of the very serene Westlake. I wore the Esther coat again, this time with the red knit top, jeggings and boots.

The Westlake is renowned for its beauty and was the inspiration behind many great Chinese poets. We took a long stroll along the lake to take in the sceneries and stories. The site also inspired the story of Madame White Snake. The photo below was taken on the bridge where Madame white snake was said to have met her lover and she is said to be trapped at the bottom of the Pagoda in the background of this photo, the Leifeng Pagoda.

I wore my Echino scarf that day and truly enjoyed the quietness and beauty of the Westlake.

We rode on the pagoda inspired boats which brought us to one of the island on the lake, a place called ‘Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon’.
The West Lake features a number of manmade islands, with this island being the largest. Notable for its three hollow stone pagodas which date back to the 11th century to the time of the Song dynasty, the island is said to be the best place to view the reflection of the pagodas when the moon is full or almost full, an illusion that gives the lake its name.  Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon is touted as one of the ‘Ten Scenes” of the Westlake. The next day, we also rode on one of the paddled boats which I reminded me of the gondolas in Venice.

Before driving back to Shanghai, we took more shots of the lake from the roof top terrace of the hotel. I wore my Ahoy! Cape vest over the red knit this time.

Day 7: Shanghai Yu Gardens

After our Royal Highnesses finished clowning around the hotel room, we visited the Yu Gardens in Shanghai. The garden was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was meant as a place for his parents to enjoy a happy time in their old age.

It is a lovely garden marred only by droves of tourists that packed the place. But, what is even more famous is the ‘Xiao Long Pao’ (soup dumplings) and local specialities served in the garden’s Nanxiang Restaurant. The establishment is always crowded and never disappoint.

The weather in Shanghai was surprisingly getting warmer while we were there and while I did wear my Mystery Cardigan that day, it was mostly in the evening as it was more breezy and cool. A family in green as you can see in the photo below 🙂

Day 8: Nanjing Road

Nanjing Road in Shanghai links the Bund to the People’s Square. It’s a long shopping street and I wore my Bella jeans with a black halter and grey knit combo.

We tried the ‘Crossing the bridge’ noodles for lunch. This is a dish from Yunnan province where we basically added all the ingredients and raw beef into a bowl of piping hot soup base. The taste is incredible!

We then took a tram ride which cost RMB$2 per person one way along the entire stretch of Nanjing Road. Something the kids enjoyed very much.

We didn’t do any shopping here as I knew of a better, cheaper place nearby with a huge variety. The Qipu Road Wholesale market! The wholesale district is made up of many buildings selling specialized items and is the place some fashion retailers purchase their stocks, at wholesale prices and then applying the necessary markup when it goes to shelf. There are so many shops here, you probably need a week or more just to browse through them. We went to a building selling kids clothes and bought corduroy boots and a woolen coat for my princess at US$5 each, Japanese inspired jeans for my prince at US$9 and a leather belt for my husband at US$4! It’s the place for a real bargain and I first found out about this market from a friend who lived in Shanghai many years back.

That night we had dinner near the oriental pearl tower so that we could also enjoy the night scene of the city. And, indeed, it was gorgeous!

Day 9: Home Sweet home

It rained on our last day in Shanghai so we basically stayed in the hotel until checkout and made our way to the airport in a world expo cab we booked directly with the driver.

We tried the food at the Cantonese restaurant at the hotel and it was good! Cantonese food is said to be the most delicious of all chinese food. I wore the Take Manhattan tunic and absolutely love not just how it looked but how comfy it was! It is definitely one of my favorite made-me vacation piece! And here’s a photo of me and my hand luggage at Pudong airport. The flight was delayed for an hour and we had to keep ourselves amused.

One thing to note about taxis-try to take those from the big five taxi companies as some privately owned cabbie might not be very honest.  We heard from a couple of taxi drivers that the dark blue and maroon taxis are the likely culprits. We had one experience with a dark blue cab and indeed paid double for the fare.

I am thrilled to have done a made-me vacation not only because I got to wear self stitched garments overseas but also I don’t feel so bad boring you with vacation details since some form of sewing was involved 🙂

Phew! That’s a long post! I hope you are having a much better week than me and hope that I heal soon!

Fabric Shopping Shanghai Style

My family and I just returned from a nine-day trip to Shanghai and Hangzhou and I don’t even have to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed fabric shopping in Shanghai. There were fabrics which I have never seen and at pretty good prices too. That said, I only had time to visit one fabric market! There are probably a few others worth visiting in Shanghai if you have the time. The place I went crazy fabric buying is called the South Bund Soft-Spinning Material Market. It is located at 399 Lujiabang Lu in Puxi.

Here you will find three floors of fabric stores with all of them provide tailoring services to those who do not sew. Due to space constraints, some of the stores display smaller pieces of the fabrics they sell. Once you have placed your order, they will go to their storage which might be 10 minutes away to fetch your order. If the fabric is more pricey, they might request for a partial deposit in case you change your mind before the fabric arrives. For a small fee, your order can also be delivered to your hotel. There were MANY stores selling silk and linen. I bought quite a bit of linen as they were available in an amazing number of hues. While linen is readily available in Singapore, they are usually from Japan and comes in more subtle shades. My purchases include these lovely linen in lime and cherry as well as a black linen piece with embroidery.

The only cotton (excluding cotton jersey) with a slight one way stretch which I could previously find were the stretch cotton sateen I found at Spotlight (like the fabric I used for this dress). These were slightly heavier than ordinary cotton but I loved them for the slight stretch. There was one store at the materials market which sold my dream fabric, stretch cotton! These look and feel more like ordinary cotton and are lighter than sateen. I love them in these plaid/ gingham prints!
Here’s a picture of the store in case you are visiting Shanghai and are interested to give these stretchy cotton a try, just like me.
Located at the ground floor,  it’s store 157. What I really love are these stretchy cotton with a satin like finishing from the same store. The photos do not do the fabric justice as the effect of the finish is not well captured. I bought them in black and lavender but it’s also available in apple green, turquoise and white.
I was also on a look out for wool fabric for my Lady Grey but didn’t find one that I wanted for the coat so I think I might turn my muslin into a wearable coat. Instead, I was attracted to this border print wool fabric which I want to sew into a simple tiny coat someday. The seller couldn’t tell me but I suspect this is a designer fabric.  It is only available at store 238 on the first floor. In fact, there were many unique wool fabric at this store so it is worth checking out!

Also spotted were stores specializing in a wide variety of denim and jersey fabrics. Most store owners speak some English so communication should not be an issue. Besides fabrics, I snapped up elastic laces and buttons at the market.  A happy and satisfied shopper! Just wished I had more muscles and space in my luggage 😛
I almost forgot to mention that I received a hundred spools of threads just before I went on vacation. I’m so blessed as I won a giveaway on Sew Retro sometime back. It’s a good mix of colors that will last me for some time 🙂
In my last post, I mentioned that I would be attempting a Self-Stitched Shanghai vacation. I am in the process of sorting out the photos and will do an update soon. Meanwhile, I am gonna start on my Lady Grey. I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t complete that before my trip with all that packing but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Shanghai’s weather was very mild so I wouldn’t have needed it anyways.
I hope you have all been well! I have missed blogging, sewing and responding to comments for the past two weeks so I’m gonna start getting my sewing groove back!
Have a blessed week everyone!

Holiday Wardrobe Completed with ‘Take Manhattan Tunic’

It’s a little past the deadline but I have finally completed my Holiday Wardrobe Project. My target was to finished these five pieces by the end of September but, with these many distractions (here, herehere and here), I am glad it actually got done 😛

Here’s my take on Twinkle Sews‘ Take Manhattan’ from the same titled book by fashion designer Wenlan Chia. I love the original in grey so I used the same color.

This design called for a viscose fabric but I used a heavier, stretchier cotton jersey from my stash as I find jersey great for travelling.

I am a size 4 according to Chia’s designs and one great thing about the pdf files is every size comes with its individual file so there is absolute no confusion of converging lines here. I printed the sewing pattern on letter sized paper and when I stuck them together, many of the edges didn’t meet. So, I focused on getting the pattern lines to meet instead and thank God that worked! I have been warned that Twinkle Sews pattern were designed whole instead of half. Usually, we print half a shirt front and cut on fold but for this book, you print the full shirt front and cut one. I tried to print only half a shirt to save trees but being inexperienced with this book’s sewing pattern layout made it tough to execute. Sorry trees 😦 …

My favourite part of this tunic has to be the crowl neckline. It’s the first time I tried such a neckline and I adore it. I also thought this tunic looks somewhat similar to a garment I would expect to find in a Japanese sewing book. With Chia being originally from Taiwan, there must be strong Japanese influence in her designs.

This pattern was rated Easy by Chia and rightly so. However, her instructions are pretty brief which subjects us to our own creative interpretation. Not necessarily a bad thing for more experienced seamstresses but a beginner might be left with lots of questions. For anyone who is not sure about getting Twinkle Sews, I would recommend trying out these free patterns which are also found in the book. Here are the links to a summer dress pattern which is rated intermediate in the book on Craftstylish and an A-line skirt pattern listed on burdastyle.

Once again buttonholes came to good use in this outfit with the crowl neck drawstrings being inserted through two buttonholes and a casing.

The other design element which propelled me to work on this project was the sportswear inspired pocket which should come to good use for keeping my hands warm. The photo below gives a better view of the pockets and I wore the tunic here without layers, the way I would back in Singapore.

I did a Holiday Wardrobe Project collage as a summary of the items completed. My first coat, first cardi and first jeans!

I did a check last night and the weather in Shanghai is expected to be between 22 to 14 degrees celsius while we are visiting so my holiday wardrobe should come to good use. I hope this can be a made-me holiday with me wearing at least one made-me item a day for nine days. I’ll update on whether this actually happens after the trip 🙂 I am pretty excited myself as I have never wore a self-made garment during my overseas trip.

Before I end this post, if you are interested to know a little bit more about dear old me, do check out my little Q&A with burdastyle. I am also incredibly honored that my Sunny Day Dress is in the slideshow for the Burdastyle’s Best of September (It’s #17). There are some superb creations in there, my personal favorite being #11 Pattern Magic Bow Dress by veryprairie. It’s GORGEOUS and she even dyed the fabric herself! I love that lime green!


Ahoy! Cape Vest

Here’s a photo of Project 2: Gathered drape cape vest from the Japanese sewing book, ‘Drape drape’. When I saw the photo, I loved the design and thought it shouldn’t be too difficult to sew. Well, now that I’ve done it, I’ll have to say this is the most challenging project I have done from a Japanese sewing book. Having said that, this is only the third Japanese sewing book I’ve worked on 🙂 I’ll consider this an intermediate level project and pins were my best friend. The cape, the sides with a draped bottom portion and armholes have to be sandwiched and sewn between the centre front/back and their facings.  So patience and lots of checking are essential. Thank goodness the diagrams were super clear so there was no issues there. After all that hard work, I am truly happy with the results. I love the drape of the cape and the sides.

I chose to do a L size as I wanted to use this for layering. The Ahoy! Cape Vest was made using a combination of navy blue and navy/white stripe cotton jersey fabric from my stash and big red buttons to add some nautical charm. It turned out to be a pretty interesting piece of garment. I’m impressed with the designer as this pattern though it looks simple, is very well thought out. I just love how the bottom drape hugs my hips and how the front centre portion curves with the body. It’s amazing!

Here’s a peek at the back. There are four centre back pieces joined by a fifth piece across them (I used navy blue for the piece across as I thought it would be more interesting and flattering). The back facing is identical. I tried my best to match the stripes on the piece and is happy with how it turned out.
Just a word of caution. There are two Projects 2 in the book so look for its Japanese name when tracing the pattern pieces. The first piece I traced look funny cos’ it was for drape pants!

Ahoy! I’m happy! It’s perfect for my holiday next month!

First Jeans: Retro Dots Bella

I am so excited to have completed my first pair of made-me jeans! I named it Retro Dots Bella but I would most probably be the only one to see those dots when I am wearing this pair of jeans. Made from burdastyle’s bella sewing pattern, I used an indigo denim for the jeans and a retro dots fabric from my princess’ stash for the lining at the waist and front pockets. Here are some photos of the Retro Dots for your eyes only 🙂

I also did some stitching on the back pockets to make them more interesting before top stitching onto the back of the jeans.

Perhaps denim is thicker so I had to go over the lines twice for them to be this obvious. I love the fit and I must say it looks really flattering from the side and back. I usually wear low waisted bootcut jeans so when I told my husband I was making a high-waisted jeans, he laughed  as he thought that it would look nerdy. But, nerdy the bella wasn’t. I think if anything, it is a little flirty. I showed it to my husband last evening after sewing on the buttons and he gave his nod of approval, which made me a happy gal 🙂

The jeans wasn’t difficult to make as I have already done a pair of shorts based on the same pattern but this time I used the size 34 patterns instead of 38 and it fitted really well. I think I have lost a little weight and also I realised and was also informed by some of you (thank you so much!) that the bella loosen at the waist with wear. Here’s a closer view of the buttons and stitching (sorry about the blue glare from my camera!) The toughest part for me was the buttonholes as this denim was rather difficult to cut/ rip so they took longer than normal to finish. At certain point, I was pulling my hair to get it done.

I finished the hem at floor level as I read in a fashion article that high-waisted pants which finishes there gives the illusion of longer legs. Sure hope that’s true!

This pair of jeans was part of my holiday wardrobe project and after this I have two more tops to create before my trip to Shanghai from 15 to 23 October.

For the two tops I have identified previously, I have a little change of mind. I will still sew a piece from the Twinkle Sews book but for the second piece I will be sewing this top from a new Japanese sewing book I acquired called ‘Drape drape’ by Hisako Sato. It has a cape like structure and I think it is great for layering. Definitely something I will wear on normal days too 🙂

Have an amazing week my sewing comrades!

Mystery Cardigan Completed!

This lovely yellow cardigan stood out in the Japanese Sewing Book  “Les couleurs francaises” but the sewing pattern for it didn’t come with the book. I used to call it the Mystery Cardigan. When I really needed to make it as part of my Holiday Wardrobe Project, I made modifications to the sewing pattern of project m (below) to create a long green cardigan.

Instead of woven fabric which I believe the book suggested or cotton jersey (I couldn’t read the rest of the Japanese words but I recognized ‘cotton’), I used a very stretchy knit fabric which felt and looked like what you would usually find in RTW cardigans. I needed this to keep me warm and am happy I finally used this fabric. When my mum saw the fabric, she told me “That’s gonna be difficult to sew.” At the end of the project, I gave mum an update “It wasn’t that difficult to sew, it was horrifying to cut!’. Compared to what I now think is a lycra blend knit fabric used for my Melissa dress, this knit fabric was not difficult to sew. However, cutting it was a nightmare because the ends kept rolling, making it almost impossible to match the selvages. I just hoped I got the grain lines right!

The ruffles at the bottom of the cardigan worked well and looked lovely but those attached to the sleeves didn’t. Somehow, they turned out too short after I gathered them for the sleeves. I think it might be due to the direction of the stretch of the fabric so this might not be an issue if you use woven fabric. Unfortunately for me I used up all the green fabric and did not have any extras to redo them. Do you think a thin elastic sewn just above the gathered fabric would ruffle them up or should I just leave them alone? I am happy to hear any suggestion on how to improve the lack of ruffles situation.

I made a very long belt, as you can see and that turned out to be really interesting to  play around with. I got to tie my cardigan in so many ways! I didn’t plan for that to happen and only realized its potential when putting the belt on for the photographs. When I wore it this way, it created a cross knot at the back. I love it!

To create the Mystery Cardigan, I cut the paper pieces of project m and put them against myself, I then used the measuring tape to determine how much I needed to lengthen the front and back pieces.  Mine was lengthened by approximately 17″.  I only lengthened the sleeves by 3″ but the very stretchy knit and the weight of the ruffles pulled it down, making it look even longer. I created my belt from my leftover fabric but if you want one exactly like the photo, you can follow the one from project x, 185cm by 5cm before adding on the seam allowances. Oh! I also drafted  smaller pattern pieces for the shorter ruffles at the sleeves. There is supposed to two layers of ruffles at the bottom of the cardigan but I left that out, opting for only one row of ruffles.

Have a fruitful sewing week everyone!

Two looks in one Esther coat

Silly silly me…I thought I was mixing woven with knit when I was planning to sew the Esther Coat but as I felt the corduroy, I realized there was some stretch in it. This is my first time sewing with this fabric and I was glad to have read this informative post on working with nap and pile on Colette Pattern’s blog just in time. After reading it, I ensured that I cut the fabric in one direction.

I needed this coat to go with anything and everything I would be wearing for my trip to Shanghai in October so I chose to make it in black cord and black jersey. Why the mixture of fabrics?  This is part of my stash busting effort and they were the only combination that I could get together to formulate a coat of sorts.

Leopard prints are everywhere, I think it’s wild and like it quite a lot. But, it does age the wearer if its overwhelming so I added a leopard print trim on the sleeve facings instead just to up the meow factor. I love it!

Nonetheless, I felt that leopard print only goes with black stuff and  jeans and nothing else. So, it might not be that practical for a holiday coat. Not to worry,  the Esther works in such a way that if I were to fold the sleeves higher, the leopard trim could be completely covered and the coat goes with everything and anything in the world!

See what I mean, I am wearing the same tee and shorts I have been wearing the entire day and just threw on the coat and a scarf.

Now let me reveal the source of the leopard print trim. No, I did not buy any new fabric and no it wasn’t originally a trim. One day while browsing through Daiso (US$1.50 store), I was immediately drawn to this cute little leopard print pouch and thought I could sew a thick elastic around it and make a waist pouch.

But, my husband thinks waist pouches are the most unflattering accessory a woman can wear. I dropped the idea and the pouch has been on my sewing table for months until yesterday morning anyways. I am happy with how it looks on the coat. At least it has been put to use.  I love the texture, the furry feel and the contrast against black cord.

I thought I would need at least a week to complete a coat but this pattern was so easy and fun to sew! It only had 4 pieces! I took my time and finished this in a day including cutting and sewing.  For my version, I made 3 pieces out of the black cord and piece number 2, which covers the upper sleeves and upper back area in black jersey. For a burdastyle sewing pattern, this one has reasonably clear instructions. This coat is designed to keep you warm, with the exception of pattern piece number 2, all the rest had the fabric folded in half. This means there are two layers of comfy cord shielding me from the cold!

P/S: I have to thank dbsewer from Pattern Review who told me the coat looks hunter green on her monitor. I had to compare a black and white shot to realize the difference and did a color correction. Thanks so much. This updated version is closer to the actual color.