Self-Stitched-September: The Finale

I did it and it was so worth it! I’m officially a Self Stitched September graduate LOL!

The last three days were pretty uneventful for me. It was the regular weekday routine but I did try to wear some garments I have yet to put on for SSS. After all, it was the final three days!

Day 28

I wore the summer lovin’ romper but felt a little self-conscious out of the house so I covered some skin with a cardi. It wasn’t a project I planned to sew but a muslin turned romper so no complaints there. How important can sleeves be? VERY! I will need to incorporate sleeves wherever possible. I am quite lost without them as I discovered this month.

Day 29

Two of the garments I am most comfortable wearing made their appearances once again on SSS. Little Folks Blouse and Black & White Bella. The cotton voile of the blouse made it comfortable to wear even on a warm day.

Day 30

I had to end SSS with a dress so I put on my Painter’s Block Melissa, my only knit dress. It was super comfortable. I wore it to the post office (Yes! I have mailed out the package to the giveaway winner!), supermarket and even to sew my Cape Vest 🙂 I might make a couple more of these in solid color fabric as I think I need a few more casual dresses for weekdays.

SSS has not only been gratifying but being a month long challenge, it has the potential of making a habit building impact. I think I am now ready to put on a made-me garment anytime rather than going straight for RTW.

I also got to confess that SSS made me more creative. Initially, I was carrying my tripod around for photo opportunities but as the days passed, my shoe rack became the ‘tripod’ for all these photos with beige/peach wall outside my place, another shelf in my living room was used for snapping all the living room shots and a short pillar at the stairway, the ‘tripod’ for most of my other shots. Improvisation as coverup for my laziness 😛 Here’s a collage of all my SSS outfits, my SSS summary:

While I was growing tired of the daily photo-taking towards the end of month, I must confess seeing the garments in photos reminded me that they looked good enough for a day out and I should make better use of these pieces. I am definitely adopting more made-me garments into my lifestyle and am all for participating in the next made-me month! Hopefully by then, I will be able to up the stake and do a full outfit challenge 🙂

How can I end this post without highlighting some of the many talented seamstresses I have met through SSS. I am now fans of Carolyn S (Handmade by Carolyn) and the stitchywitch(Green Apples)! You must check out their fabulous creations and the amazing outfits they wore for SSS.  I’m a fan! I love Carolyn S’s sense of style and this is my favorite of her outfits. And I absolutely dig the dresses Stitchywitch has made. Here, here and here! I am so gonna miss her blue wall and her version has inspired me to work on my own Roobois! But before that, I have raided my princess’ stash again. I needed some 1 yard fabrics to sew a couple of comfortable home shorts and am planning to try out the bloomer from Colette patterns.

Too cute and the pattern is free! Think I need some instant gratification from sewing these quickly before working on my Twinkle Sews top and Lady Grey! I also gotta start gathering yardage info for fabric shopping in Shanghai….hehehe…can’t wait!

Self Stitched September: Day 15 to 20

Sometimes things just don’t go according to plans and the past few days have been just that.  I made a dress to wear for the mid-autumn festival celebration at my prince’s school but we didn’t get to attend the event on Friday. My husband and the two kids were all under the weather and we didn’t want to spread the germs.  And for the same reason, we visited the zoo instead of an air-conditioned mall on Saturday, a day I have originally planned to wear a dress. But, a dress is a no no for the zoo, too easy access and target for the mummy mosquitoes. I am also having problem uploading photos to the SSS Flickr group. My uploads have increased so much this month that I have reached the 100% upload capacity limit! Oops! So, I guess the rest of my SSS updates will have to be done solely on this blog.

I didn’t plan to plan but in my mind I have been unconsciously ‘planning’ what to wear two days ahead just to ensure the pieces are washed and ironed. All these unexpected happenings have made Self-Stitched-September more unpredictable and more challenging. With only ten more days of self stitched fun coming up, I am no longer ‘planning’ my wardrobe. I have decided to just go with the flow and hope I get to wear my ‘Reflection of the moon frock‘ on Wednesday, day of the actual Mid-Autumn Festival! Fingers crossed!

Here are the made-me garments I wore in the past six days.

Day 15

I wore not one but two made me pieces on Day 15! My hoot hoot blouse made its first trip out of the house and was paired with my favorite black & white bella shorts. This is a really unique blouse (if I may say so myself 😛 ) made by modifying the mod dress pattern from Built By Wendy Dresses. It comes with two keyhole cut outs just under the front shoulder blades. The main fabric is a delightful owl print fabric from Saffron Craig Australia, a light weight cotton. I love how different the blouse is from the rest of my tops and it is great for a hot sunny day too. I will definitely wear it more regularly.

Day 16

I didn’t need my tripod today as my husband was on medical leave. After I accompanied him to the doctor, he kindly snapped this photo of me in front of some old letter boxes which I found. I wore my Cape Tara blouse (without the cape here). It is weather perfect, very comfortable and looks much better than a tee for sure!

Day 17

It seems like I have been visiting the doc quite a bit. This time, I brought my prince to the pediatrician for his nasty cough. I wore my A Day in Paris cami. It took me a while to convince the boy not to go to school that day. At first he agreed but a while later, he asked me, “what about the lanterns mama”. I told him he could still carry the lantern around the estate and that’s what we did in the evening. He enjoyed it so much, he requested to do it again the next evening! We didn’t get another chance yet so I am hoping that we could go for another round of lantern parade on Wednesday. My princess was so timid that she didn’t dare touch the lantern!

Day 18

A day at the zoo! This is the second time I wore my Bambi Tara during SSS. A totally different look from Day 5. We have a family membership called ‘Friends of the zoo’, so the destination is a place we frequent. The little ones love visiting the animals and my prince requested to see his ‘friends’, the white tiger and the lion and they were there to greet him in full glory.

It was such a warm day, we saw the white tiger soaking in the water for the first time. The lion was at his usual spot again, under the tree.

We met a new ‘friend’ for the first time and my son couldn’t resist going nearer for a better look. This amazing chameleon is so huge I didn’t want to go near it! I am a scary cat when it comes to reptiles but isn’t its color beautiful!

Day 19

I wore the echino grassy plain dress for the first time and 19 September 2010 is such a special day for me. I will always remember it! My prince and princess started acting as siblings, playing, holding hands and sharing with each other. They have been fighting over toys and attention for quite a while now.

Perhaps, it was their matching grey and denim outfits but they were just adorable together! Oh, my son insisted on bringing the toy bag I made him that day which made me really pleased.

Here’s the historical moment, they held hands and walked for around 5 minutes…a record for the duo! I was so busy beaming I almost forgot to talk about the dress. It is a comfortable loose-fitting dress with no buttons or zipper. More importantly, I just love love love the fabric and its colors! I really have a thing for border print fabrics and my princess was intrigue by the print too and just had to touch the zebra on mama’s dress 🙂

Day 20

Another sunny day! The summer weather finally arrived mid autumn hahaha. I am wearing my 30 minutes elastic waist shorts. Easy to sew, easy to wear.  No complains here. Perhaps, I should work on my second pair which I have talked about but not sewn. Oops!

Phew! That’s another intensive SSS update! Looking at most of the blouse & shorts combos I have been wearing, I think I would not be wearing much tees out of the house after SSS. Who would mind looking better and still beating the heat! And judging from the number of hats I have worn, I might want to try making my own!

Self Stitched September: Day 7 to 14

Oops! Blame it on my super long weekend but I have not blogged about Self-Stitched-September for seven days!   As a result, this post is gonna be SSS intensive.

Day 14

Today is extremely warm and humid. 34 degrees burning celsius! It’s days like these that I thank God for sleeveless tops like this floral blouse, my first attempt from a Japanese sewing pattern. Super comfortable as it is made from light weight Japanese cotton and embellished with a hand dyed vintage doily and button, this blouse passed the heat test in flying colors!

And what better way to cheer me up on such a hot day than dressmaking? My prince’s school is celebrating the mid-autumn festival this Friday and I’ve started to work on a dress to wear to the event. So, my poor Bella jeans got thrown back into the project basket!  And yes, I wore this floral blouse and denim shorts outfit sans floppy hat and shoes throughout the whole sewing process.

Day 13

I have two wedding anniversaries. 9 September, the date we registered for marriage in Brisbane, Australia and 16 November, our customary wedding day. My husband couldn’t take leave on 9 September so we enjoyed some couple time on Monday. I wore my Little Folks blouse. Made of cotton voile, it is based on the blouse pattern from Sew U. My husband was sweet enough to wear one of my creations too. His shirt pattern is burdastyle’s Jakob.

You can’t tell from these two photos unfortunately but the front and back yokes are made from the reverse of the fabric and contains little white dots. I heart my Little Folks Blouse! It remains one of my favorite tops!

Day 12

When my husband saw me in this Picnic Macaron he said I looked like a schoolgirl and thought it was a cute retro dress! I was in cloud nine off course:) I wore this gingham piece to my prince’s Sunday swim class and church service and noticed that quite a number of people took a second look at my dress. That kept me smiling cos it’s truly one of a kind! Will it be too much to own more than two macaron dresses?

Day 11

I hate being photographed in glasses as it reminds me of my nerdy schooldays. But, my eyes were feeling dry and itchy that Saturday so I didn’t want to put on my contact lenses. Here’s me in my Peekaboo Sleeve Tara at a bookstore browsing through my source of inspiration-yes, fashion magazines. As an after thought, the glasses might have been a good idea as it neutralized the flattering neckline of this blouse. My husband didn’t complain about the low neckline this time. I know, it’s cotton voile again, but this fabric is just a dream to wear and I can’t get enough of it. I don’t think I will be making another Tara though since I already have four of them.

Day 10

It’s Hari Raya, the day my muslim countryman celebrated their new year. I thought it would be appropriate for me to wear my Tablecloth Tunic dress as it is quite similar to the top of a traditional Malay costume. I love how vibrant the fabric is and thought I might make a blouse/tunic length version of this someday. This dress is made from quilting cotton and I discovered after these two weeks of SSS that the dresses which I have made from quilting cotton does not crinkle much! That’s a definite plus for quilting cotton!

Day 9

My hummingbird dress was made from a vintage sewing pattern. I love that this dress is comfortable yet flattering and didn’t even mind wearing it on a ‘normal’ day playing chauffeur. I will definitely use this sewing pattern again!

Day 8

It was a super-duper busy day for me as I couldn’t wait to finish my Sunny Day Dress! I usually get my photos for SSS taken in the morning but this was the only one taken in the evening when I was leaving the house to pick up the Royal Highnesses. My shirtdress from A Frock By Friday (The inaugural frock). Pretty and easy to wear but I am not likely to use this pattern again as I have since acquired shirtdress patterns which I’d love to try.

Day 7

It was the first time I wore my Cloud Nine Plaid Blouse and I love it to bits! I do not understand why it has not been worn before. This was also the first item I made from a self drafted pattern. Though it is just a blouse and I teamed it with an ordinary pair of black shorts, I felt dressed up.

At the end of seven days, I have two favorites from this lot- the picnic macaron and the Cloud Nine Plaid Blouse!

Some random thoughts after 2 weeks of SSS:

– I am so glad I wore four dresses in seven days. That’s a record for me!

– The more I wear dresses, the more I love them. I always love sewing dresses so there is no stopping me now!

– I am not certain, but I suspect fuchsia, eggplant and blue are my colors. So, what season does that make me?

– I am most comfortable wearing an outfit with my arms covered except on a hot day.

– Comfy home shorts is a good idea in this heat! I need home shorts!

– Quilting cotton fabrics seem to hardly crinkle so I will continue to use them for my made-me garments

– I really need to start working on my bella jeans. I wear jeans so often! Twice in seven days!

We are half way there! 16 days to go till October!

Have a marvelous week!


WIP and Self Stitched September: Day 4 to 6

When I saw this Alexander Blouse variation on burdastyle, I fell in love with it straight away. So, I was super thrilled when Grosgrain suggested making a dress version for ‘A Frock By Friday’. I’m using a buttery citrus cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Collection as I adored how soft and flowy this blouse looked.

I’m a week late though as I only started on my frock today! Nonetheless, progress has been good. I printed the sewing pattern this morning and managed to finish the skirt portion and even lined it. I had to line the bottom of the dress as the fabric is rather sheer but the bodice will be unlined. Tomorrow I will work on the rest of the dress and hopefully have enough time to finish up the belt, invisible zipper and sew on the buttons.

Are you working on a project too? I’d love to hear more about it!

Now, back to my SSS updates.  The weekend gave me the opportunity to put on something else other than my shorts and tee ensemble so you get to see more variety.

Day 4

I wore my Scalloped hem floral mini dress over skinny jeans and wore a cute pair of purple and yellow wedges. This is my second time wearing the dress which I made by modifying the sheath dress pattern from Wendy Mullin’s book Built By Wendy Dresses.  The mini dress comes with cute pockets embellished with thin orange bias tape and huge white buttons.

The dress is pretty fitting and flattering so I was happy in it. I adore the scallop hem which makes it unique. Even though the fabric is 100% cotton, it didn’t crinkle much at the end of a long day, which was lovely and an added bonus. Definitely a dress I will wear again!

Day 5

I don’t usually wear a jacket given the climate here but it was a rainy Sunday and the air-condition at the mall was freezing. I teamed my Bambi Tara with a denim jacket, dark green pants, gladiator sandals and an orange bag. The Bambi Tara is my favorite of the four Tara blouses I have made. It is sleeveless with lace details in place of the ruffled sleeves and I added front flaps to create a retro look. It is very comfortable and the Japanese fabric print with hundreds of bambis is just too cute! It is my first time wearing this Tara and I have no complains when it comes to it but my husband thinks the Taras in general are too low-cut and had protested a number of times. Do you care what your man say about the way you dress? I try to compromise or I will have to face Mr Grouchy the entire day, not a very nice experience.

Day 6

It’s Monday and I went resort style. I am wearing my ruffles ruby shorts with a semi sheer blue floral tunic and turquoise cuff. I love this look on a weekday and think I shall dress like this more often. The ruby shorts is super comfortable and very flattering too. I heart the ruffles as they made the shorts so much more interesting an unusual. My issue with the side buttons are still there though. It takes a bit of time to put on and remove. I guess if it looks good, it is worth it after all 🙂

At the end of six days, I realized I have not put my many made-me dresses to good use. So, I will try to wear more dresses. And I must say I have put in a little extra effort in deciding what to wear and in accessorizing these few days. Something I have not done since I became a mum.  That little difference can make me feel a lot better about myself and improve my self-esteem. I am feeling great! Thank you SSS!

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 😛

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!

Self-Stitched-September starts today!

Oh my goodness! How time flies! On 2 June 2010, I signed up for Self-Stitched-September (SSS) with this commitment:

‘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′.

Though it has been 3 months of rather intensive sewing for me, it felt just like I’ve made the commitment yesterday!  In preparation for SSS, I bought a YKK zipper foot. So, I will be changing some of the normal zippers on my Made-Me garments to invisible zippers tomorrow. I tried out the gadget yesterday and was very pleased!

Today I wore what I named my Bella and Mr Bump outfit. My black and white Bella shorts (made-me item) paired with a brownish grey Mr Bump tee (Yeap, he lives in the same town as Mr Happy & Mr Tickle). I took a photo of myself while collecting a UPS parcel here. Not a very good shot but since I promised my prince to take some photos with him after school today at the park, I am hoping to capture a few better shots. He is more intrigued with the tripod than the camera at this point!

Since it’s a month of wearing Made-Me items, I should really try my best to documents photos from each day, preferably outdoors. At least that shows I’ve gone outside my comfort zone and wore the garments I made out of the house. Also, I’m getting quite bored with seeing my white wall behind every one of my outfits and probably you too…LOL. So, that’s something ‘extra’ I’ll be doing in September. I will most likely be updating on SSS every three to four days but here’s the post to jump-start it all!

I have not blogged much this week.  I spent the last two days working on my new project and have just finished making the dress this morning. I love it and can’t wait to show it to you. This dress is the reason behind my first muslin and I need to get some photos taken and a tutorial written out. Photos will most likely come next week as it’s my princess’ school holiday today and on Friday, it’s my prince’s turn. Next week, I shall start on my Bella jeans (Yes, I have decided to go with the high-waisted jeans) and work on my Alexander dress.

Oh! Back to the parcel I received today! Don’t you love receiving parcels especially when you know there are pretty stuff in them! I am now the proud owner of not just one but two pairs of Irregular Choice shoes! Yipee!!! Meet Oz Bow Court and Future Ladybug Polka Dot! Unusual and comfortable- perfect combo for shoes! I got them from Schuh. Much cheaper than Irregular Choice’s online store and international shipping rates are fabulous compared to other stores I’ve checked out! 10GBP versus 45GBP!

I am pretty excited to participate in SSS and will be visiting the blogs of other participants listed here and I hope you will too! Give us some encouragement will you?

Have a great day! I’m looking forward to some swimming, zipper sewing and tutorial writing tomorrow. See ya!

Tara Experiment Week

In preparation for Self-Stitched-September, The Sew Convert has turned her wardrobe inside out. There is a need to investigate what she needs to create from now till the end of August. Off course, she also had to decide which were the Made Me outfits she dared to adorn outside the refuge of her home. She figured that she has at least 2 tops and 3 dresses that are pass-able. The rest, she would rather hide at the back of her wardrobe. The Sew Convert came to a realization that she has been happily sewing dress after dress but what she really needed were more tops, shorts and if possible a jumpsuit or two (though dress-making can still continue concurrently:) Yes, for the records she loves making dresses and is not going to stop making dresses:)

Being a stay-at-home mum, weekdays usually means a top + shorts combo for The Sew Convert as she chauffeurs the prince and princess to school and back. The exceptions are her fortnightly trips downtown where dresses could be more appropriate. Saturdays are for shopping with the family, grocery buying and visiting the in-laws. Sometimes, the family also visits the zoo. So, she is happy to wear casual dresses (except for the zoo) or a top + jeans combo. On Sundays, the family goes to church. The Sew Convert would love wearing some dresses to church for a change.

To get some quick gratification from blouse making, The Sew Convert immediately turns to Burdastyle’s Tara, the first sewing pattern she used for a Made Me project half a year ago which resulted in this plaid blouse. The original Tara pattern has short ruffle sleeves which The Sew Convert will never ever wear so she created longer sleeves for her version.

The Sew Convert liked the Tara neckline. She enjoyed sewing and wearing it.  Tara is perfect for the perpetual summer in Singapore.  She is also very much aware that she has quite a few pieces of 1.5 metre fabrics sitting around. So she made a quick decision and set out to challenge herself. She shall attempt to create three (hopefully very) different tops from the Tara pattern this week.

Today, she managed to print the pattern and cut two fabrics from it. A third fabric is still drying and shall be cut soon. Even at this moment, she is still toying around with ideas on the adaptations for the third fabric. She managed to sew a little with the first fabric before playing chauffeur today. This is a sneak peek at the Bambi Tara. This Kokka fabric from Japan is so cute, it contains a zillion baby Bambis. Some details she added include front flaps with piping. She also intends to  stitch on the matching white button.

She hopes to get all three adaptations done by the deadline so that she can start working on other blouses next week. Thereafter, it will be two weeks dedicated to shorts and pants which would bring us to July, time to re-evaluate and re-plan. Oh and in case anyone is wondering why The Sew Convert is not making any skirts. That’s because she hates wearing them:)

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