Flashdance Knit Top

This is my first attempt in sewing with knit fabric! I was excited yet cautious. I used the Flashdance Flashback pattern from Wendy Mullin’s book Sew U Home Stretch.  The top is described as a shoulder revealing top which was once synonymous to the neo retro 80s look. I do not have a serger so I used my zigzag stitch and a jersey needle as recommended by the book. I wanted this to be part of my warm weather wardrobe so instead of using fleece, I used this semi sheer purple and silver knit fabric.

I actually bought this fabric three to four months ago but I have been hesitating…I thought sewing knit would be like learning to sew all over again. It wasn’t so bad. In fact, there was nothing bad about it. I enjoyed making this top very much. I think knit actually saves me a lot of sewing time because it does not fray and if you compare sewing zig zag stitches once down the seams to sewing the same seam twice when you do the French seams, it makes sense. I am definitely gonna make more knitwear! Here’s my first knit anything.

I followed all the steps in the book without deviation. After all, it’s my first knit and I don’t have the guts to adapt any of it. Not yet. I am just glad I managed to match the stripes:)


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?

The Sew Convert Joins Self-Stitched-September

If you have read The Sew Convert’s Made Me page, you would probably know how much ‘So, Zo’s’ Made Me May had motivated me to create outfits for myself. I really want to participate in the next Made Me month but I didn’t expect it to be so soon! The next opportunity will be in the month of September and this time Zoe from ‘So, Zo’ is hoping for a hundred participants!

If you are keen, just go over to the ‘So, Zo’ and declare your personal challenge for Self Stitch September. Are you comfortable with wearing Made Me items once a week; on weekends or for the entire month of September?  Do you want to include refashioned items or handmade accessories? You get to decide! Here’s my personal challenge:

‘I, Adey (The Sew Convert), sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item of clothing every day for the duration of September 2010’.

I have gotta come up with a list of items I need to start working on!

And how can I end this blog without showing you some of the very pretty outfits participants from Made Me May wore last month! I love these dresses! Lovely photos too ladies and congratulations on completing Made Me May! Yay!

by the wardrobe,reimagined

by Knitters Delight

by Quixotic Pixels

Retro Halter Playsuit 2

Here’s another retro halter playsuit I made today. I love the print on this Japanese fabric. Not sure what’s its name but I think it’s under a collection called Pop Candy. I bought the fabric about a year ago in Chinatown and when going through my fabric stash about two months back, I saw it and decided it’s time to make a playsuit. I cut the fabric after washing and drying it but got distracted by other projects. I sure hope I’m not the only one who gets distracted by new sewing patterns or fabric all the time. Today, I had so much fun making it but realized after sewing that my princess has grown so much over the past month that she might only be able to wear it for a day! Guess it is meant for another princess then.   More photos here

Like my last retro playsuit, it had a sweetheart neckline but this time I created a front facing instead of using a bias. This halter is also different. In place of two side ties, I attached one side of the halter to the neckline while creating a buttonhole on the otherside. I skipped the retro belt detail as this is a busier fabric.

Two evenings ago when I was going through my favorite blogs, I saw Sew Mama Sew’s post on their annual May giveaway and decided that I should participate as a ‘giver’ this year. After renaming and shifting my blog, it will be a great opportunity to network and communicate with more crafters out there. I went through my fabric stash yesterday and did some reorganizing (finally!)

These are three fabric (above, a yard or slightly more each) I have chosen. Two of them (Pigs and Apples) are Japanese fabrics. They are lovely but I have no idea what to do with them. So, I will be giving these away together with a handful of buttons. Who will ever have enough of fabric and buttons??? More details on how to win these will be posted 16 May in time for the 17 May giveaway.  I still need some time to think about the mechanics for the contest. Why not mark the date, get to know more crafters and win some goodies? Trust me, there will be a LOT of blogs/ giveaways to go through (I went through part of the list last year) so set aside at least the entire evening for fun:)

Ai Drawstring Bag with Tutorial

Ai means love in Chinese and this is the Ai Drawstring Bag which I have made as a mothers’ day present. Ai also happened to be my mum’s name so I really couldn’t find a more appropriate name than that. This isn’t exactly a surprise gift as I wanted to ensure it’s something she find useful. My mum does not like bags without a proper closure and requested for a long strap so she can carry it over her shoulder. She already has many formal bags so it has to be something she will use on any normal day. Her main activities outside the home includes visiting the market or supermarket, going for a facial, visiting the doctor and going for a game of mahjong. So, after some thought, I decided to make her this drawstring bag with pear prints and sweet polka dots.

The bag is pretty easy to make. I finished mine in slightly more than an hour. Love is meant to be shared so I have come up with a step by step tutorial here for the Ai drawstring bag. Hope someone else finds it useful too:)

If you intend to wash the bag from time to time, please prewash the fabric. Otherwise, it is likely that it will shrink to a baby size version.

Materials required:
Main fabric (Pear fabric on mine)- cut 2 pieces of 35cm X 32cm medium weight fabric
Top fabric (Polka dots on mine)- cut 2 pieces of 35cm X 45cm

(If you wish to line your bag, you need two sets of the above)
Shoulder strap- cut 2 pieces 100cm X 5cm
Two 35cm cords
Matching thread
* If your fabric is not medium weight, please add interfacing to the main fabric. Iron the interface onto the wrong side of the main fabric.

Step 1:
Cut fabric as required

Step 2:
Main fabric right side facing, stitch the side and bottom of the fabric using a 1cm seam allowance.

Step 3:
Using a fabric marker or chalk, measure 7cm from top of the Top fabric and mark. Stitch the side and bottom of the fabric using a 1cm seam allowance but do not sew above the 7cm line.

Step 4:
Fold the bottom corner of the main fabric. Measure and ensure that it is 5cm from each side to the middle of the fabric. Stitch across. This will create the base of the bag. Repeat the same steps for the other bottom corner and for both bottom corners of the Top fabric.

Turn main fabric right side out and it should look like this.

Step 5:
Fold and iron the remaining seams of the Top fabric twice towards the wrong side of the fabric. Stitch in place. Repeat for the other side.

Step 6:
Fold the top of the Top fabric twice and iron. Stitch in place. Repeat for the other side.

Step 7:
Strap fabric right side facing, stitch with 0.5cm seam allowance, leaving a gap for turning out the fabric. Remember to reinforce the stitches. Turn out the fabric and iron the strap. Stitch the opening.

Step 8:
Attach the strap right side to the right side of the Main fabric. Turn the main fabric to the wrong side, fold 1cm and iron.

Turn the main fabric right side out. The bag should now look like this. Do not stitch at this point.

Step 9:

Insert the right side of the top fabric into the wrong side of the main fabric. Ensure the base of both fabric match.

Now match the sides and pin the two fabric together. Stitch together with a 1cm seam allowance.

Step 10:
Using a safety pin, loop the cord into the openings of the Top fabric. Tie a knot at the end. At the other end. Insert the second cord and tie a knot at the opposite end. They should look like this.
We are done! Enjoy your Ai Drawstring Bag!

Tablecloth Tunic Dress

I am in love with this tunic dress. Made out of one of the dress patterns from Built By Wendy Dresses (You get three basic sewing patterns with the book for three dress types), this is my version of the tunic dress. I love how comfortable the fit is and how well it fits my body type. And off course I love the Anna Maria Horner fabric named tablecloth. I chose a bright orange for the ‘border’ of the tunic but wasn’t sure if it was too loud at first but when I was trying on the unfinished dress I fell in love with the vibrant colour. I also took extra care to place the orange design of the main fabric in the centre of the dress and love how it turned out. Sides of the dress were finished with french hem.

Wendy Mullin’s book provided some tips on how to design the tunic but all other pattern drawing besides the basic shift pattern really depended on ME!!!!! It was kinda intimidating at first but I think the effort was worthwhile and a pretty good experience.  I can now make a few more of these dresses with variations on my own. How liberating is that!

However, I found the sewing instructions from the book rather vague for this dress and often had to figure out what the next step should be. I also had to unpick the bottom ‘border’ as the front and back didn’t match in terms of width and looked funny. I’m happy with it after re-measurement and re-sewing it. In fact I’m so happy with it that I shall be wearing the dress out this weekend.

It’s Raining Cats!!! Ribbon Dress

My princess adores cats. Whether it’s hello kitty or the neighborhood cat, they never fail to amuse her or  light up her twinkling eyes. She also can’t stop meowing when she sees them and that always brings a smile to my face.

This Michael Miller Kitten fabric is just ‘purr’fect for a new project and I followed the tutorial for ribbon sundress at Creature of Habit. It is probably one of the easiest dress I have made and I also learnt how to sew the french hem which adds comfort by eliminating any loose thread inside the dress. The tutorial is easy to follow and you can make a dress from size 6 months all the way to 8 years!

Here are more shots of the meow meow kitty kitty ribbon dress. My only adaptation is the use of scraps for the ribbon, simply because I thought it will look more interesting with more vibrant colors.

I believe this ribbon dress is a variation of the pillowcase dress. The pillowcase dress has its history in mothers making dresses out of used or vintage pillowcases for their daughters in an age of frugality. This is also a dress that will evolve into a top when the child grows and can be worn for years to come.

Another Retro Reversible Dress…Not the Last for Sure!

Front of dress on my princess (Side A)

Back of Side A

I mentioned how versatile the retro reversible dress is and couldn’t help making more. This time in Size 2T. My dear girl is only 14 months old so it is kinda big for her.  This dress comes embellished with retro yo-yos on both sides and I personally love the vintage looking buttons on the back.

Front of dress (Side B)

Back of dress (Side B)

Retro Bloomer Skirt

It’s a tiered skirt and a bloomer. Totally retro and totally gorgeous with an identical front & back. My lil princess shall be wearing it this weekend! She’s just started walking and nothing thrills me more than to watch her cruise around in this. If princess is cooperative and my phone camera doesn’t fail me (it’s been a little cranky these days), I shall most certainly be providing a photo update very soon:)