Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I'd like to think of myself as a creative person. My children certainly think so as I've helped them scored full As in all their art projects, so much so that their teachers often asked if I was involved. Unfortunately, that creativity has an enemy - time. Often having big ideas but not enough time to make anything. Piles of hexagon   waiting to be made a quilt. Many abandoned projects due to sewing problems, fit, gave up trying, frustrated in sewing, wrong sizing or fabric and the list and moaning goes on. 

However, I love to have my sewing space surrounded by handmade. 

Unfortunately, these are not mine. I wish I made them...but no.

I bought these from Bangkok on a recent trip. They are handmade from the hill tribes in the North of Thailand, and I just love the colours!

These 2 were made of pandanus leaves, the ones we used for making desserts and I bought them years ago from Cambodia. 

This pattern was from a previous post. I was writting about how much I like the collars. Though I hardly see many people wearing them now, I still like them.

So, I was very happy when the 'missing' patterns finally came and this was what I ordered. I actually have forgotten what I paid for earlier, those patterns took a detour somewhere in the US for a month before arriving. Am so glad it did.  See, it's the same collar :)

I posted this pattern I have earlier. I have cut it 2 weeks ago...that's how long I take to sew something at times. Poor time management.  I modified the pink version to a top. Dont be fooled by the simple design, that sharp corner at the yoke was a nightmare to make!! The instructions were all about matching the dots, notches and triangles...all so simple, but it does not tell me exactly how to sew them. I had to hand sewn them in place. Maybe some maverick sewist can do it...but not me. It's almost ready....and there was so much time spent on a simple top. Will blog about it later when I've got all the back buttons done.

Lastly, some of my fav vintage patterns for now! Find it here.
So classy and beautiful.

That's it for now. I've got to finish my version of that pink dress. Then look at more patterns and think of what to sew with which fabric. At times, just doing this...takes days. Talk about poor time management.

Happy sewing :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Mannequin, dressform

My mannequin or dressform has been much neglected.

When I wanted one desperately, I searched everywhere for it. Not just a plastic for display, but one that is closest to my form.  This is closest to me. The dressform I named Sophie...just need to put on more weight.

It's been so underused that it's for hanging mainly my bags in the sewing room. She's left at a corner of the room, neglected and feeling rather sad.

One day, I came home to this. She's obviously been given a facelift - literally, by the kids.

I smiled and thought remembered why we have Sophie in the sewing room. I must use her, where's the padding...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Making vintage and patterns

Over the weekend, I managed to sew my 2nd jacket. First was from this easy Simplicity 7125 pattern, but was  a disaster and didn't work out well. The fit was okay, but the lining went crazy.

Not giving up, I tried again and this time with better result. I was afraid of jackets and lining but sewing this was a breeze. I lined it and the best part was, I did not line the sleeves. I wear jackets a lot and always thought how good it will be to have them lined but not the sleeves due to our hot weather.   So, definitely happy with the result and made me more confident to make something a bit more challenging later.

My vintage patterns all came in order. Here, I am posting some of them. I love them all and seriously, want to make everything or at least my version of them.

This particular pattern even came with its original envelope.  I thought theat bodice was interesting and love the pleats on the skirt.

Some of the patterns.  Somehow....I am drawn to such patterns and even in drawings, I am fascinated with the colours and painted fabric play.

I'd like to make something like below but not a full length skirt, just the top only. Vintage patterns are so classic that we dont have to follow everything, just modify them and they are as good as modern!

Definitely very 70s but still wearable design.

I did try this, unsuccessfully...though it was a simple blouse, the measurement were a bit too small for me. Will add on more seams on the next project. However, I do love the princess seam as it flatters and hug the figure better.

A huge favourite! I love raglan sleeves and am attracted to the collar.

This, I've got to try! Look at the collar and how the sleeves are set.  I spent so much time studying this pattern and have it in my head for days!

I wonder if anyone sew vintage patterns here. I do know its huge across the pond. I love to read all the instructions and try out new patterns. Some times, it works out well...some times, not at all, but nothing like trying.  So, here's to more sewing. That white polar was sold at a stationary store but my fav for holding pins.

Happy sewing!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Online buying

Okay, something not related to sewing. This online buying is so easy, addictive and damaging to my pocket. I have been buying way too much stuff! Help! It's a terrible addiction. First, the Coach duffle leather bag. In possession and using it now :)

Then, ordered this Michael Kors' Ring tote bag in vanilla. I wanted something that's not black and vanilla sounds just good.

And, Coach is having a sale till end April..more ordering, first their denim tote, perfect for Fridays work casual. Love the size!

Finally, last one I promised myself (but I know that is not going to happen..), just have to have this Coach denim hippie bag...perfect for weekends.

And, that's just for bags....not counting the rest...

Vintage sewing

I am a vintage pattern junkie. I spend too much time browsing my patterns, more time wondering which fabric to sew with which pattern and end up having no time to sew. Sounds funny, but that is exactly what happens to me.

While waiting impatiently for my vintage patterns to come, I am now drooling over these...

Vintage Vogue 1960's by Patou, so Twiggy-like and fun.

I am fascinated by this. It was listed as 1 piece simulated as 2 pieces by Jacques Heim, also 1960s.

Vogue seems to have some of the best designs from what I saw, but this Simplicity looks good too,  1960s.

Finally, another big favourite of mine, Vogue late 1950's pattern. Selling for USD133.50, wow..what a price, I love the collar..

After posting these pictures, I realised that I seem to like similar collars. Haven't sewn it before but definitely will try. I started off my vintage collection buying a lot of patterns from 1960s, loving the simple lines, then went on to the 1950's. I do note that the older they are, the more expensive are the patterns. Averaging USD15 per piece to USD50 or more, depending on it's rarity.  Vintage is definitely here to stay. I am taking a day off and having a short few days break. For sure to finish off my current project, a simple dress and to start my self challenge of vintage sewing soon.  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Firstly, some good news...long awaited good news and finally!
My missing parcel has been found in the US, safely in the hands of my office there, waiting to be sent back to me soon.  So, there was hope after all.

Secondly, I have this box and soon (boxes) full of vintage patterns when the ones I ordered arrive, hopefully by next week or so. I cant wait to sew all these vintage pattern.  I really would love to challenge myself by sewing a vintage project, hopefully, at least 2 a month. As it is now, sewing is snail paced and with work and kids, I am so short of time. I think twice a month is good.

When the patterns arrive, I will post all the pictures! Cant wait :)

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I have always imported fabrics and patterns from the USA to here.

All the time. Only one lost package, but I could live with that considering how many I order yearly.

Then the largest and the most expensive patterns of all - all 20 of them. Now lost in mail. Not even arranged to bring them here but within USA. I was so worried of it missing on the way, I had it sent to a US address, but it's gone for now.

1 month passed and all I can do it wait, pray and hope.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Seriously. I've got to cut my credit card into two and throw it away!

2nd day. 2nd purchase, another huge amount spent, but I could not resist this 2 of the many others I ordered.

There is something so sweet about this pattern. I love the drawing again. All the time! That sweet pink for my daughter..and maybe the grey for the gray version for me. I am not sure I am crazy over the big collar but it look so elegant.

I fell in love with these pleats instantly. Another must have. More money spent!

That's it! No more browsing the web for vintage. I promise I will sew them all and won't buy till I've finished each pattern. Well, that's what I said for all my previous patterns and I've not even sewn 10% of what I have now. However, it's a GREAT collection. Oldies are goldies, classic and just beautiful!

Was it that long?

You know that you haven't posted when you need to squeeze your brain for the password.
Problem related when one have more than one email.

It's been months since I've posted.

I've been on the longest medical leave ever and thought for once, I am going to sew 101 stuff, but it never happened.

Leave over. Back to work. Impossible time schedule and hardly any time to sew.

When I start sewing, I can't stop. When I stop, I can't find the motivation to start.

However.....I am super excited now! I've just purchased, and my largest purchase ever! Almost nearing to USD300 worth of vintage patterns. I fell in love with each and every pattern.  They are by far the most expensive purchase of vintage patterns ever, but they were just so good to look at, I had to buy them.
I always used US postal but this time I requested shipper to send to someone I know in the US, a business associate and will get them in in a jiffy. No lost parcel. No waiting, I am way too impatient for that.

Now, with so much money spent on the patterns, I promised myself that I will sew at least ONE dress a month. Surely I can do that (fingers and toes crossed!).

Vintage patterns are a HUGE deal in the US, but I have yet seen anyone sew here...maybe there is but I dont know them. I know others sewing out of Malaysia.  This will be my 5th batch of vintage patterns and what's the point of paying so much if one cant try them out right? Some of them are really old, but the patterns are beautiful. Okay, I may not go for that huge billowy skirt, that can be easily adapted.

So, to motivate myself back into the sewing mode again, I challenge myself this time.
One miserable dress a week, dead of alive haha! No pressure but no procastination and excuses either. I will post the photo of both dress and pattern monthly....hopefully.

I love all the Western patterns because it's been designed to make sewing very easy for us. Instructions are clear, markings precise and voila, it shall turn out at least okay and wearable. Considering that I am not a professional tailor.

Recently, I enquired about pattern drafting with a local tailor. Pattern drafting is something I always wanted to do. My bucket list.  Imagine if one can draw one's own pattern. No more buying expensive patterns. No more wishing for Burdastyle. No more pondering over Japanese patterns here. I do love Japanese, super easy, no need to read instructions, simple and almost a guarantee wearable. However, there's something of a fitted form in a vintage design which inspire me. I may have to loose some weight...okay, a lot of weight to be really looking fit and good, but hey, these vintage patterns will come in my size and the good part of sewing is I can change and customize.

I have a long list of vintage patterns  but since its been sold, its all off the shelf and I can't seem to find them online. There should be but I cant find most of them. I did manage to find this image which I am sharing.

This was the pattern which started me going "I got to have this pattern!" and one pattern led to another, and another...and more....

The one thing I love about vintage is, the illustrations are amazing, and somehow I am always drawn to the colours possibilities, even though they are just drawings. I actually want to make 3 dress like below, maybe even the same shade since I was so drawn and magnetized to this design. I love the blue with mixed fabric, the yellow one I can totally see myself in it, and oh...the red one is so tempting!

I just find these vintage patterns so classy and beautiful.

Am impatiently waiting for the arrival! Till then, sew(a)long!