Scrap Busting and New Sewing Theme

I realized over the weekend that my lil princess has outgrown many of her cute bloomers and shorts. So,  I made her three new pairs using scraps from my sewing projects. She was so happy to see them when she returned home from school and tried them on immediately! Here’re some photos of her modeling the bottoms.

Ruffles bloomer

I sewed single tier ruffles onto the top portion of the bloomer. Love how girly the pair of bloomer instantly become 🙂


Retro Dots shorts

A simple pair of shorts embellished with crochet flower and some buttons.


Bloomer skirt

This is my favorite of the three, the same gnome lining fabric from my Lady Grey is used for the bloomer and does a peekaboo when she is seated. It’s adorable! I also embellished it with iron-on strawberries which the lil princess picked while we were shopping at Daiso.

Not too bad a scrap busting exercise I’ll say:)

I’m also pretty excited about my new sewing theme and can’t wait to get started! From now till mid December, I will be embarking on resort style projects. I realized how I adore the relaxed and casual style of resort wear during Self-Stitched September and they are really perfect for the local climate.

I still owe some readers a Kaftan tutorial so that’s definitely on the list and here’s my fabric choice. A black and white voile fabric with embroidered details. I love that it matches my swimsuit perfectly and go well with regular jeans too.

There are two dresses I intend to sew from vintage sewing patterns. The patterns don’t exactly shout resort but I think the choice of fabric will contribute to the look. The lovely fabrics of choice, if I may say so myself :P, include my absolute favorite double gauze print from Nani Iro and a baby blue floral print voile.

Last but not least, a project that has been sitting on the shelf for ages. When I first purchased this Amy Butler fabric with batik print (from her Love Collection), I wanted to sew a tunic top adapted from the Built By Wendy tunic dress I made. So, I am glad it finally fits into a theme I am doing 🙂

I am all ready! Sewing starts tomorrow so it’s gonna be a fabulous week! Have a good one too dear sewing comrades!

Refashioned Ruffle Blouse

I saw this ruffle dress in ‘Feminine Wardrobe’ and thought it could look really cute as a blouse. The design was part of the resort collection of the book- casual and relaxed.

The execution, however, was not as pleasant an experience. As I started deciphering the sewing instructions for this garment, I discovered that not all Japanese sewing books were made equal. The super-duper clear diagrams I love in ‘Les couleurs francaises’ were clearly missing in ‘Feminine Wardrobe’. There was still an overall diagram which told me the sequence to sew but the detailed diagrams were absent.  The pattern made me confused for 20 minutes as  I could only find the front yoke and the front bodice. After several futile attempts, I was seeing stars and getting frustrated as I could not identify the rest of the pattern pieces.  How hard can that be? Well, after going through every detail I could possibly decipher, I almost gave up. But, I knew I wouldn’t be happy if I were to give up either so I took another look at the instructions and wondered what the numbers (pictured below) meant.

It finally dawn on silly me that I had to measure and draw the remaining pieces myself!  The measurements are shown WW. XX. YY. ZZ. next to the missing pieces according to sizes S.M.L and XL. As I went for the medium, I followed the XX measurements. The seam allowances also varied in this sewing book, some were 0.7cm, others 1.5cm as shown in the same picture above.

The missing pattern pieces were all rectangles to be fair so drawing them was not that difficult but to my dismay, one of the measurements for the back yoke was not printed in the book! I had to rely on guess work and by then, I honestly wasn’t too pleased.

I started getting concerned if I could complete the blouse given my increasing inconfidence in this pattern or rather my ability to execute it. So, instead of using fabric from my stash, I decided to use some older materials. An old ‘Mango’ skirt I used to wear a decade ago- I kept it as I liked the fabric, a couple of cotton fabric from my scrap basket and some denim from a pair of jeans I shortened a few months back. Yes, I collected everything I thought could be used for making clothes 😛

The pink polka dot scrap (You might remember it from the belt for this dress) was used for the front and back yokes, both layers of the old skirt for the bodice as they were both rather sheer, Anna Maria Horner’s cotton voile (You might remember it from this blouse) for the ruffles. Cotton voile I thought was perfect for ruffles as I didn’t want them to be too bulky. Both the right and reverse sides of the voile were used for some variation on the ruffles. The ruffles with white dots are the reverse side. Finally, the denim was used for the shoulder straps. I am rather pleased with the outcome but it will be a long while before I attempt another project from this book.

I tried the blouse on with a tee (like the book’s version) and without and preferred the latter. What about you?

I love the flow of the soft fabrics and the contrast of the denim on the strap. The denim seemed to have neutralized how girly the ruffles were which was what I preferred. It also made the blouse more casual. This is a better outcome than I expected after all that issues with the pattern.

The good thing is through this exercise I have a much better understanding of how the Japanese sewing books work and that will definitely help me in my selection at the bookstore in future. I still think Japanese patterns and designs are inspiring and unique so I do not want to give up on them just because of one book. And in retrospect, I am glad I started with ‘Les couleurs francaises’. Otherwise, there would be a better chance that I might have been completely put off Japanese sewing books. Phew!

I hope you like my first refashioned item. My mum didn’t (and I’m sure it has to do with the denim strap) but I told myself so long as I did LOL.

Enjoy your weekend!

Yummy Fabrics!

I am crazy about fabric and if you are reading this post, very likely, you are too. My favorite woven fabrics have got to be cotton voile and cotton lawn. To my delight I’ve just discovered that Lecien and Alexander Henry are both launching their new voile and lawn collections respectively! These are perfect for summer! I’ve not been using quilting cotton for sewing garments as often as I used to as I wanted to experience sewing with other fabrics but I understand that some avoid using quilting cotton for clothes because it does not drape as well as other apparel fabrics but if it is cotton voile or lawn, I will say go for it! And you know if it comes from these fabric designers, the prints are going to be fabulous. You can check out the Lecien collection at Hawthorne Threads and Alexander Henry’s at Pink Chalk fabric but I can’t resist showing you my favorites! I am totally in love with Alexander Henry’s collection, how about you?

Regent Peacock

Trio Raisins

Martine in Cerulean blue

Blue bell in pink tonal

Eton Butterfly Tea

Tres Jolie in Blue

I’ll be dreaming of these soft buttery fabrics tonight…

Good Start to the Weekend!

OMG OMG! What an amazing start to the weekend! My creation, the retro reversible dress was featured on the Grosgrain blog as a Flickr Fav! I love Grosgrain’s creations and to have the photo there made The Sew Convert absolutely out of this world happy!!!!!!!!!!!

Today also ended up being a Made Me Saturday. I didn’t plan it but my princess and I were both dressed in my handmade clothes! Finally, I managed to take some clearer photos of the Little Folks Blouse using a camera (other than the low resolution ones from my Macbook Camera:P)

I know I have said this but this blouse is SO comfortable  and I love the fit and the colour! This photo allows you to see the details of this beautiful voile. I must tell you that since making this blouse I’ve ordered more voile cos they make amazing tops. These are on the way.

Thought this pink voile will look great as a tunic blouse like this, while the citrus a blouse with bow collar, like version 2 on Burdastyle’s Ute Blouse pattern. I’m also inspired by Crochetie‘s version.

Oops! See how I can get distracted easily!  Here’s my princess in her retro dress turned top. She has grown so tall that she has to wear it over jeans.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!