Holiday Wardrobe Project

I am planning a simple holiday wardrobe for my trip to Shanghai in October. Yes! Shanghai!  Can you imagine me going crazy at the fabric markets!!! I am going nuts just thinking about it LOL! If you have shopped there, I welcome tips, recommendations and any information 🙂

From now till end September, I wanna sew a few essential pieces to squeeze into a luggage I am sharing with my hubby and kids. With kids around, we always try to travel as light as possible.

I figured layering is the way to go. The weather has become temperamental. It was just 40 degrees Celsius (typically, it should be 30) in Shanghai a few days ago and by past years’ records, typical weather in October should be 15 to 22 degrees Celsius. My plan is to sew my first fall coat, first cardigan, first pair of jeans and to create a few coordinating knit pieces to bring along. At the same time, I am hoping that all these pieces will be versatile enough to be wore back home.

1) My first coat

I am gonna tackle the coat first. I have the Butterick 5295 sewing pattern but I am constrained by my stash busting effort to sew this-Insufficient yardage. Major major bummer! So, this pattern has got to wait.

I considered some coat sewing patterns on burdastyle where I chanced upon my dream coat named Alden.

This looks so retro. I love the back details! But alas, I still have a fabric constrain issue. I relooked at my stash and reluctantly let this go. It shall be made for my next fall holiday. It has been raining so much in Singapore, I just might get to wear this here if I use a waterproof material.  I convinced myself that Alden has got to wait. Stash busting is my priority at this point. That’s when I met Esther and got totally inspired by this lovely cosy version made of woven and knit fabric by Kitzler. I checked the yardage required and am a happy woman! By mixing knit and woven, i have enough to get this going! What an ingenious idea! Thank you Kitzler!

2) My first cardigan

I fell in love with this long cardi from Japanese sewing book ‘Les couleurs francaises’ but never thought I would actually make it.

The good news-I have the fabric for this in green! The bad news- the pattern is not provided. But, they did provide pattern for a shorter similar version (image below) and the sew gutsy in me said I’m not gonna let the lack of pattern get the better of me. I shall modify this to create a slightly longer cardi.

3) My first jeans

I am still tossed between making jeans from Wendy Mullin’s Sew U pants pattern and a high-waisted pair from burdastyle’s bella pattern. Afterall, the shorts version is so comfortable. The only certainty is I’m making this pair of jeans out of the only denim fabric in my stash, in Indigo.

Here’s what bella jeans look like. I love this pair by the Cupcake Goddess.

But, I am equally smitten with this Sew U pair by Le Printemps Jolie

What do you think? Bella or Sew U jeans?

4) Twinkle Sew Tops

These two tops from Wenlan Chia’s Twinkle Sew caught my eyes when I was going through my sewing patterns and I hope to create them in cotton jersey fabric from my stash. I have heard issues with printing out the CD Rom patterns but would still love to give them a try.

This project is going to be challenging. I have only sewn knit fabric twice.  Knit fabric. First Jeans. First Coat, First Cardigan. I’m ready.


Stash Busting!

I have a yellow sticky on my MacBook dashboard and it says “Stop unnecessary spending!”. I needed it to be there so that every time I felt the need for more fabric while browsing through etsy or other online fabric stores, it would hopefully play the part of a deterrent. It has been effective on a several occasions but one this month, which is pretty good for a person who finds beautiful fabric irresistible!   This morning I’ve committed myself to more restraint. I’m participating in The Train To Crazy’s The Great Destash Challenge!

There are three main things I have to do for this challenge:

1. Organize the stash. You’ll keep buying fabric if you don’t really know what you already have… how true!

2. Use only fabrics from your stash.

3. Decide the length of time or the amount of pile you’d like to reduce.

When I first started sewing, I bought many quilting cotton in one yard each as I was only making clothes for my prince and princess.

These are  stacked away in three small shelves, like the one above.  When my princess started school last month, I decided to stop buying fabric until these are used up. She wears a uniform now so it does not make sense to accumulate the stash.

Now, let’s move on to my stash. Off course, every one of the projects I sew contribute to stash busting but I think I have been accumulating stash a lot faster than I can sew. And, I am already sewing quite a lot. Anyhow, I spent my entire morning re-acquainting myself with them.

My knit/jersey (top) and pants fabric (below) stashes are looking very decent.

And so is my semi sheer fabric (chiffon, tana lawn, cotton voile) stash.

Now, comes the not so decent stashes of cotton or cotton blend. You are seeing 95% of all my cotton fabrics, these are two to three and a half yards each and pretty suitable for my made-me projects.

Japanese prints

Quilting cottons

More quilting cottons

Light weight ikea fabrics

Phew! So, after categorizing them, I took out my sewing patterns and started matching fabrics and patterns. These are what I ended up with.

One full box of dresses and half a box of tops and others to be made.

I also picked the fabrics I needed for the next theme I would be focusing on from mid August to mid September. I hope to start working on the boxes of projects after mid September. At the end of the morning, I still have a few unmatched fabrics and patterns but that’s all right. This stash busting exercised has already lined up many challenging (and I can’t wait to do)  projects. Till I finish each and everyone of them, I will not be buying any more fabric in Singapore or online.

Off course, having said that, I would like to put down a few exceptions to the rule. My fabric fast does not apply to:

1.  Fabric buying during my vacations overseas. The opportunity cost would be just too great!

2.  Lining fabrics as I do not keep any lining stash.

Oh Gosh! What a huge commitment I am making and I am actually happy with this plan. My Stash Busting Sewing Plan!

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway on The Sew Convert

Welcome to The Sew Convert’s first giveaway ever! I was a participant in Sew Mama Sew Giveaway last year and had so much fun visiting sewing blogs and getting to know other crafters out there. This year I am more than happy to host a giveaway. I wanted to start with something most crafters would need and want. Fabric!!! Here are three delicious fabric I’ve chosen for this giveaway from right 1) Pigs Galore (Japanese fabric, 1 meter Cotton/Linen blend) 2) An apple a day (Japanese fabric, 1 meter Cotton/Linen blend) and 3) Flower Vine Stripe by Valori Wells (1 yard, 100% cotton).

There is also a grab bag of buttons in a rainbow of colours (various sizes as shown in the photo below)

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment (remember to include your email or blog) and let me know 1) which is your favourite fabric out of the three and 2) what you would create with it.

You can get an additional chance to win by subscribing to my blog (I will have your email in my list of subscribers) and for a third chance to win, you can link back to my blog (remember to click on the link after linking from your blog so I will know and count that as an entry). So, you can get a maximum of 3 chances to win.


The entry deadline is by midnight on Thursday, 20 May. The winning entries will be handpicked by my prince and princess on Friday, 21 May and I will announce the winners on the blog.  The first winner picked will receive fabric 1 and the second fabric 2. The comment I like best will receive fabric 3 and the grab bag of buttons.

I will email the winners for mailing information and send the items by Monday, 24 May 2010. I ship internationally. Keep your comments coming!

Blessed Giveaway Day!


The Sew Convert


Grosgrain’s A Flock by Friday

Hey, do you enjoy sewing and always wanted to make yourself a dress but didn’t know where to start? Join Grosgrain’s A Flock by Friday, a dress sewalong. This time it’s a shirtdress and it’s starting next Monday!  So get your fabric and notions ready! I wanted to make the coffee date dress in the last sewalong but decided not to because after reading through the instructions, I realised that it’s for a petite form. And The Sew Convert is anything but petite. If you really can’t afford the time to sew a new dress, why not do a refashion? Check out this fantastic Grosgrain tutorial to refashion a blouse into a dress! Checkout that dress! Mama, I wanna try that soon!

I’m quite a home person but today I went downtown for my six-monthly dental checkup in my Modcloth dress (above). It’s a perfect fit but kinda short for my 5 feet 7 frame so I wore tights with it.  Going down to Orchard Road only meant one thing to The Sew Convert- a detour to Spotlight at Plaza Singapura. I bought some zips, buttons and bias tapes for some projects I’m working on and bought these fabric for the shirtdress sewalong. Since I have not tried the pattern, I thought I better try it out with cheaper fabrics. They will be going into the washer later tonight. Check them out here. The floral for the main fabric and the blue plain one for contrast. What do you think?

There is also a Daiso (Japanese $2 shop) at Plaza Singapura with a craft corner. I bought a pattern tracer, erasable fabric pen and sewing chalk. They have a very good felt collection there too. It’s The Sew Convert’s second “gotta visit” store at the Plaza. I heart Daiso!

Trips for 4

My husband and I love to travel. This passion now continues with two kids (boy almost four and girl one and a half) in tow. My husband posted our travel photos on facebook recently and told me how his colleagues with kids of similar age couldn’t believe how we could travel with kids and still have a good time.

I thought about it and decided that I would document our recent adventures on a blog and hopefully provide some useful tips or even itinerary suggestions to other parents who might wish to travel with kids.   I wondered if I should start a new blog but decided to expand on this blog instead. After all,these are all what I am passionate about. I will be covering the locations below and also update after future trips. Information will be consolidated under the Trips for 4 tab (on the top of the blog).  Give me sometime to post them in between my sewing sessions:) Too many projects, too little time!

Gold Coast  October 2009
Hong Kong SAR December 2009
Kansai/ Fukui Japan April 2010 (with happy fabric shopping:), you can not miss that while in Japan!)

On a separate note, I have moved and consolidated my old blogs into one here on the Sew Convert. I just thought the blog name is, well, so appropriate for me. I’m so sorry for people who have commented but now your comments are missing. I’m not sure what happened but they went missing after I moved the blog address.  Same reason the tabs on top are not linking properly. I’ll work on them, I promise.

I hope to meet more people and make more new friends here on The Sew Convert. So, hi and a warm welcome!

Fabric Buying in Osaka

I’ve not been able to sew recently as I was busy planning and packing for a family vacation in Japan.  We came back on Saturday and I’ve been busy unpacking. I couldn’t resist sharing the lovely fabric I bought while in Osaka and I have Jacqui from Blooming in Japan to thank for giving absolutely superb directions to the fabric store located at the Ebisubashi shopping street! I had my two kids with me and it was not easy for serious fabric shopping but in 5 minutes, I managed to select the four Japanese fabric shown in the photo above. I love the prints and the price even more. The four metres of fabric cost 2,800 Yen which is around US$7 per metre! That’s probably half the price of what I’ll get on etsy excluding shipping!

I returned to the shop on my last day in Japan and bought more. After all, with the baby food and crackers eaten up, I now have more luggage space for fabric:)

So I ended up with some hello kitty and disney’s cars quilted material and even an echino print!

This is the first time I bought fabric while on holiday and that made me an absolutely happy woman!