Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Homemade Gift #1: Glitter Jars

I've always wanted to give homemade gifts but, well, events happen and you end up buying something overpriced from a store a week (or days!) before. Well, this year... is sort of the same. Most of my gifts are still store-bought, but I did find some time for little projects.

One such project is for my friend who is really into makeup now. I saw this project in Pinterest and thought they were so glam and pretty and perfect for holding her makeup brushes. I had some jars, ribbon, and the mod podge already so all I needed was the glitter.

One note about the glitter... It is a headache to buy glitter during Christmastime. I swear. I don't know if the stores just secreted away the small containers of glitter and only put out the big, more expensive containers so they will sell or glitters are really just on high demand this time. So, note to self: buy glitter before December hits.

Back to the project... I think that I need to use more glitter and less mod podge because I ended up having lots of the mixture dripping down so the jars aren't as covered as I wanted them to.

I love this project not because it's handmade, but it reuses an empty mayo jar. And how many jars do we use up a year? Let's make them all pretty!

I'm still working on something right now so I'll post them once they're finished.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jumper Joy

Well, since I'm in a naming mood...

I'm renaming the chambray jump-skirt into Jumper Joy. Hee.

And it totally fits with this little girl's mood. :)


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Little Tuckling Dress

I mentioned it a while ago but I made a dress for a little girl back when I first started and it was the first garment that I ever made. I also mentioned that I don't have photo evidence of that, but maybe it was for the best since there were still a lot of flaws in the making of that dress.

However, being the perfectionist, stubborn person that I am, I decided to make another one of that dress - and remembered to take pictures this time.


You know how sometimes clothing lines have names for specific dresses? Well, the book that I got the pattern from merely called this dress Front Tuck One-Piece (if my dwindling Japanese knowledge is correct). 

Kind of boring, right? I wanted to call it by the name of the little girl, but ultimately decided on: The Little Tuckling Dress.


I don't know if I'll change my mind later, but right now - I'm pretty amused. LOL!

So there you have it, The Little Tuckling Dress made by yours truly...


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Birthday Dress

I turned 30 today. 3-0. Yes. The idea has sort of sunk in, but really - there is no difference between who I am today and was yesterday.

I did want to do something special for this "landmark occasion" which was to make my own birthday dress. I had a design in mind and bought the fabric and supplies, but I haven't even started making it yet. I'm not going to reveal what it's going to look like now so you'll just have to wait when I finish it - hopefully before I turn 31.

Segueing for a moment... I'm finished with my beginner's sewing class! *applause, applause* I finished last Tuesday with the last project being a bias-cut dress. Not to be a perfectionist, which some Virgos like myself are reputed to be, but yes - there are still a lot of things I could have made better. It is wearable, as long as you don't notice the sort of uneven bottom and the bunched up zipper. That's why there are sweaters right? ;)

But I did make one dress from my class that I am a little proud of. It was Project 5 and was a lined dress. I fake-cried to my teacher when the seams matched as I sewed it. For the first time! It all lined up!

So since I wasn't able to make my ideal birthday dress, I decided to wear my Project 5 dress today.

My teacher's pattern was a size 6 and I'm (probably) a size 4 so the dress was a little big on me. I used a belt and covered it up with a denim jacket to complete the outfit.

Not too shabby, huh?

Sewing machine = 12,000
Sewing class = 11,000
Zipper = 12
Thread = 25
Fabric = 350
Telling people you made your own birthday dress = Priceless

*Prices are approximations only!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Chambray Jump-skirt

I had some leftover fabric from one of my sewing class projects and the size was just enough to make another kids dress. I looked through my growing collection of Japanese sewing magazines and decided on, what my limited Japanese knowledge told me, was a jump-skirt.

I've actually finished this a while back, but I only just got the picture of it being worn in Instagram. I wasn't there when it was worn so I couldn't instruct the father how to put it on. Thus...

One thing I was proud of in this project is the buttonhole which I successfully made using my sewing machine! I'm still not confident on making it again, but thankfully on this project I did it right. 

And, yes, I made the bias tape trim! High five! I'm still not sure I sewed it on properly but it's a big improvement from my earlier attempt when I didn't even know what bias meant. Whenever Yeshia (the little girl I gave my first dress to) wears the pink dress I automatically criticize it even though I made it. So many mistakes! I want to get it back from her and repair it but they said it was fine the way it was. So kind.

This project is relatively easy to do except for the top part which I am still not sure I got right. The instructions are in Japanese so I made the best out of understanding the illustrations. I also need to make the straps a little bit shorter and put pockets next time. At the time I gave up on the pockets because I thought it was too much work. But maybe it's okay too because without the pockets, the jump-skirt can be converted to a top when it becomes too small for the kid.

Still learning...


Monday, August 26, 2013

Bride & Groom T-Shirts

One of my friends is getting married early next year and we're all pretty excited about it. She's the first one among us who will be having an elaborate ceremony so there's a lot of planning going on the past few months, and more so in the coming months definitely.

On her list of things she wanted were Bride and Groom t-shirts which, I suppose, they are going to wear as they prepare for the wedding on the day itself or on the bachelorette/bachelor party.

I thought that this was a waste because you only get to wear it a few times and then what? It will be relegated to the back of the closet or worn inside the house.

So I decided to design something that they could wear that doesn't scream "BRIDE & GROOM T-SHIRTS" and wouldn't get old.

First, I made a monogram for them. It's really fortunate that they will have the same initials after getting married. They're literally sharing their names. How awesome is that?

I wanted a university-type of t-shirt - the ones that have the initials of the school and the year below it. I used the font Varsity for the monogram and Cooper for the year they will get married below.

For the back of the t-shirt, there's an option to put words like "bride", "groom", or even "Team Bride/Groom" to be used by everyone on the wedding party. Another idea would be to use different colors like pink for bride and blue for the groom t-shirt.

Here's a sample of the final design:

How cool would it be to wear this year after year until the t-shirt and the "est. 2014" becomes vintage?


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Skirting the issue

I finally did it! I made a dress!

Unfortunately, you'll just going to have to believe me because I forgot to take a picture of the finished project before I gave it away.

It was just a little girl's dress that I patterned from one of my Japanese sewing books. It was pretty simple and cute and I had a lot of fun doing it. The only thing not fun was the bias trim. I do not know how to attach those things so I just winged it. I'll have to learn that from my instructor when we get to the dress project because as of now, all we've finished are skirts.

I gave the dress to my employees' daughter. They said that the little girl liked it and wouldn't take it off even when she went to take her nap (thus the no picture thing). I haven't seen it on her so I couldn't check the fit. I'll update when I do.

To be fair, I also made another piece of clothing for my other employee's daughter. But since I didn't have enough fabric, I decided to just make a skirt.

The instructions for this skirt I got from Dana Made It. I loved it so much that I'm planning to make a grown up version for myself.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Little projects

I've been busy the past few weeks so all I had time to do were little projects - mostly scrunchies, headbands and hair ties. It's okay. I still learn a lot doing these things and I get better looking results with each attempt.

Here are some of the finished projects:

Tutorials that I referenced:

Scrunchies - Fabric Scrap Scrunchies from Duni's Studio
Headband - Double Sided Fabric Headband Pattern from Happy Together
Hair Ties - Rolled Rosettes from Happy Together


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sewing pattern books

I've always seen it before in the bookstore, but I never saw the need to buy one until now. In the shelf by the craft section are Japanese clothing books with patterns included inside.

Sure, I can't read or understand Japanese (yet), but the instructions are more or less self-explanatory. 

I got the children's clothing books because the one for women were all winter edition and that would absolutely get no use over here in my country. Makes you wonder why they even had that in the bookstore.

Anyway, I figured that the important thing was to get a feel for the designs and pattern so I could adapt them to grown women's sizes. In the meantime, I will be sewing a lot of dresses for my friends' children.

While I was there, I also saw a local book - Basic Course in Pattern and Dressmaking by Yoko Shirane Venzuela. 

Now, this I could understand. And yet, I don't. LOL. Okay, not exactly. But that is why I go to the institute and attend my sewing lessons.

Eventually I'll get it. ;)


Friday, May 31, 2013

Owl print zip pouch

When I bought materials for my sewing classes, one of them was a zipper for the skirt. What I didn't know (and what the shop assistant failed to tell me) was that I was supposed to get the invisible one instead of the regular one. Oh well. At least I now know the difference between the two.

So now I had a regular zipper and nothing to do with it. Nothing to do with it? Nonsense, right?

I knew exactly what to do with it and it was relatively easy for little 'ol beginner me: a zip pouch.

After browsing through Pinterest, I found an easy tutorial from Sew Delicious. There was a beginner's zip pouch but I went for the lined one. Call me ambitious!

Predictably, a few things didn't go well. I think I might have burnt my fabric a little and the zipper and fabric suddenly didn't match up. Thank goodness that I just laugh at my mistakes. Go ahead, laugh with me too.

I will have to try this one again sometime. I plan to make lots of this to give as gifts maybe at Christmas. About six months before that so I have time to perfect it. :)


Thursday, May 30, 2013

My first DIY tote bag

One of my favorite brands is Kate Spade. I love the mix of simplicity and quirkiness in their designs. I love all their stuff - the clothes, the jewelry, the watches, the shoes, and - of course - the bags.

For my first DIY tote bag, I was inspired by one the Kate Spade designs - the Grove Court Floral. I love that it's very summery and just adds that cheery pop of color to your outfit.

My tote bag wasn't orange, but I did have a similar (in theme) floral fabric around just waiting for the right project. I also bought some canvas to use for the base.

My rating for this project is full marks for design but poor execution. LOL.

There are many thing that I should have done - like using a thicker floral fabric and finishing all the edges and maybe put some lining inside. I made a lot of mistakes doing this one. A LOT.

Nevertheless, I had fun doing this project. I still have some canvas left so there may be more tote bags in the near future.

As it is, this bag will be put to good use as my sewing bag when I go to my sewing class because it's roomy enough to hold all fabrics and my sewing kit.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A simple gift from my cousin

I came home one night and saw this package on top of my desk. I went out and asked my cousin what it was and she told me that it was a gift from her.

Excited (because who doesn't love gifts - especially spontaneous, no-reason ones), I opened it up and saw this precious measuring tape.

Needless to say, I LOVE IT.

I'll be carrying this one in my purse all the time. You never know when you need to measure something. Anything.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pretty Throw Pillows

Beginner sewers (seamstresses?) like me can do little wrong with making throw pillows as one of their first sewing projects. It's easy to do - maybe less than 30 minutes when you get the hang of it. This tutorial that I used from Sew4Home didn't have those pesky zippers that I still have yet to master.

I bought this fabric way before I started my sewing lessons because I planned on using it as a lampshade cover. The pattern didn't work so I just stored it in a box down in my closet. So happy that I was able to make use of it now. The fabric is just so pretty to be kept away.

As you can see, it really doesn't match the other pillows so I guess - more throw pillow cases to go?


Monday, May 6, 2013

Last Minute Gift

One of the few things I thought of before I slept last Saturday was that I was going to spend Sunday making my first sewing project - a drawstring bag that I found while browsing the internet.

But plans, as they always seem to go, have a tendency to change.

I woke up with a text from my friend asking me to come over to her house to celebrate the first birthday of...

her dog.

Yes. It's pretty frivolous, but she's a first time pet owner (at least I think so) and it wasn't really that serious. It was just an excuse for people to get together and eat.

My mind automatically thought of the sewing projects for pets that I passed through when I browsed. I didn't have a pet so they were irrelevant to me at that time. But suddenly, I got the idea of making a birthday gift for her dog.

I found one easy project from Sew It Love It - a dog toy made out of fabric scraps and I thought - great! Fabric scraps! I have a lot of those.

So off I went to my sewing machine. My execution was a bit messy, but I think it ended up okay - overall.

I was nervous since I didn't know if the dog will actually like it. It is flowery, and the dog is male but the main point is that it was colorful. Color = Cool for dogs, maybe?

After a few moments of ignoring it, the dog finally played with it. And the other dog did too.

Made me so happy and proud. Heh.

Not bad. Not bad at all. :)