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!

 

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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.

Rest. 休息 . Reste. レスト

It’s a few days leading up to Singapore’s 45th National Day and my husband is on leave!!!  I am taking a break from sewing for just a few days. It’s so difficult to find time for each other after having kids so I try to cherish each and every couple moment 🙂 We managed to spend some quality couple time together today. We watched the movie ‘Inception'(finally!), had a yummy Korean lunch and visited Kinokuniya.

At the bookstore, I browsed the Japanese sewing books section but didn’t find anything I fancied unfortunately. However, I chanced upon Wenlan Chia’s “Twinkle Sews: 25 handmade fashions from runway to your wardrobe” in the English crafting section and boy was I hooked!  This is not a new book. It was published in 2009 but it’s the first time I’ve seen it and I just had to get it to recreate some of these stunning outfits…someday! While this is not a Japanese sewing book, I can see some Japanese influence on the designer. Here are some stunning images I wanted to share with you.

Love this dress with a unique tie collar

Details of an origami collar on another blouse

Simple and chic dress

Fabulous smocking details

Simple sportswear inspired top

Have a blessed week everyone!