Thursday, May 16, 2013

OVERLOCK LOVE

For my past 3 years of sewing, I have been doing French seams. They are easy and I do them for everything....except the sleeves. I did read somewhere that one can do French seams but just putting the sleeves is already a nightmare, so what I normally did was to bind them. Totally waste of time. It was either that or sent it to the shop for serging.  Serging here is cheap but the nearest shop I know is like 10 km away and crawling past the jam was no fun.

So, I got my serger / overlocker. I set it side by side next to my sewing machine.

No more worries of when to French seam them. All I need to do is to swoosh to and fro with my roller chair. So, sewing is more fun now. Way more fun.

For anyone who can afford one, I strongly suggest you get one. There are many varieties and some are affordable. If you are into sewing clothing like me, you will love and appreciate the overlocker as much as you love your sewing machine.  Both can do the other job. My Brother can actually overlock, but it is no way near the proper one.

I made a simple blouse. I havent taken the photo yet though it's finished..but here I want to show you the why I love my overlocker. It's clean and finished in just seconds. Here, I overlocked it together with my underlining, or is it called something else. I am no good at all these sewing jargon, all I know is this the firmer material for most collars and jackets.

Back view. Instead of doing a fold over at the edges or sew them with bias tapes, I overlocked/serged them together. They are kind of thick sewn together but the machine can do it if you go slowly.




Here's the front portion. Neatly done.



That fushia material was chiffon (I hate sewing them...) but I liked the colour and print and it was sold really cheap at RM4.00 per meter (just a little over USD1.00) and I used only 2 meters.  So, it was  super cheap.

So, there is way more fun with this mean machine around :)


Friday, May 3, 2013

CUTTING TABLE

NOTE: All pictures belong to rightful owners, links provided. I don't own these set of pictures, I just dream and drool over them. If you copy any pictures, make sure you link them back to the right owners.

From : morning sun. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I want that huge tub in prints!





From Ikeafamily --- drool~ I LOVE that space.  White is my no. 1 fav colour, paired up with light grey table seems perfect.



From Pinterest (sorry, could find the correct link). Neat and organised, just like I like it :)




Now, this! From Raisin toast. Not only I super love that table, I super-duper DROOL, DREAM AND LOVE THAT whole room. If I have this, I will tick of my other 2 must haves. Cutting table and pond facing sewing room! This picture was before her re-organisation.


This was after. Honestly, I really love both. The second one looks so cosy and takes up little space.


I am trying to squeeze my brain on how to incorporate a foldable or tuck away table into my tiny sewing room. Don't think it's happening yet....so meanwhile, I dream of them. 
My husband never understand me. Why need a serger? Why need cutting table? Why need so much fabric? Why need so much space? Why need all these when you have no time to sew? 
Well, the answer is simple: I need them because...I need them. That's all.

Pattern and an overlocker

After 3 weeks, all my 12 patterns arrived from the US.
Half of the price was for the patterns, which were cheap.
The other half was for postage.
The envelope came a bit tattered but the patterns inside were all in good condition, so I am happy.
The fist thing I made was this skirt. I was so excited, I spent the next few days after receiving the patterns, cutting the papers, cloth - this time and first time sewing tafetta, doing the underling (I hate them!) and sewing them together. 
The pattern looks good - on the model. The real one ...bit less ideal on me, but acceptable. 
Note to self - make some minor changes next time.






There is 3 wish list I have for my sewing adventures.
1. Serger/overlocker - done!
2. Huge cutting table?
3. New room facing my pond - not yet!!

I wanted to buy the latest Brother's overlocker. My current machine is Brother and thought it will be easier if I want to send both for servicing. 
Dissapointing!
The website listing on the nearest to where I stayed - mobile number is invalid.
I called Brother's directly and promised a Sales person will call me soon.
Called 2 times, no reply. Bad service.
I am a very impatient person. If I want something, I probably want to have it yesterday.
So, off I went to Singer (near to my house anyway), and bought one immediately.
The Singer overlocker came with twin needles and 4 spools, all hooked up nicely.
Took it home. Tested in and have some short lived fun because.........one of the spool thread ran out.
I spent the next 1 hour figuring how to loop it. Not much fun. Lousy instructions on the booklet because everything was printed in black, thread included, so how to see exactly how it works?
Instructions of the machine was not much help.
It came with a CD but I was too lazy to put it it.
BUT, hook it up I did and tinkered with it to get the tension right.
Once, you figured out how to loop it...then it's a breeze, so tons of patience is needed.

So, here's the overlocker. It was super fun because I serged everything! Especially love that I can serge both fabric for underlining together. 
It came with a flimsy plastic cover - ugly.
So, I made a cover a ton of craft fabric I ordered from the US.
That London-y fabric is my favourite, so I am glad the last bits got sewn as a cover. 
However, still short of a little fabric, I paired it with Amy Butler red circle fabric.
It does look a bit wonky here because the overlocker is not exactly square-ish.
I am happy with the result. I started sewing making bags for my children and I missed doing such simple crafting.  










Why serge/overlock?
I am still confused on the difference, seems the same to me :)
I have always did the french seams. Though it was a bit more work, it worked fine for many projects.
The only issue I had was doing sleeves...which is my nemesis...still can't fit them perfectly, let alone do french seams.
The skirt pleats demanded some cutting like this picture below, see the odd shapes? Definitely can't do french seams, so that's where my overlocker came to the rescue. The result was a clean seam cover.
It does cut down a lot of time though which I love to the max!!
I used to send some of my earlier clothing for serging and loved how those ladies serged them with the cutter, everything was so tidy. Mine came with the cutter but I didn't use it most of the time. Didn't like all those small bits of thread all over the machine.  If the fabric was cut accurately, I find that there is not need to cut the extras, saves loads on cleaning. I read the machine can do many other stuff too...which I will tinkle on later.


Anyway, happy sewing!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

COMPLETING W.I.P.s

Last weekend had been the most satisfying time. I did a little sewing and completed 3 WIPs.
While digging through bundles and boxes of WIPs (it's a sad thing-y, but so true), I found 3 unfinished projects which were near completion but not. These were made I think 2 years ago. Will write later on this.

I made this blue polka dot dress a long time ago. 90% completed but for some reason, I didn't.
I tried it on and immediately knew why. Originally, it had short sleeves and wearing it, well, made me looked really matronly. At my age, anything that made me look one year older, I would try to avoid it, let alone something that added many years to it. Yes, I am THAT vain. I looked and pondered over it and thought, here goes another one to be cut up to be used as rags. Unfortunately, that happened a lot. Frustration in sewing comes aplenty for me. With no one to refer to, there was a lot of trial and error. Wrong fabric, wrong style, wrong pattern, wrong fit..the list could go on and on. The good part is, after 2 years of self learning, I do know better how to fit, but sometimes, that wrong choice of fabric or colour does happen.

So, with sleeves and matronly looking and instead of ending up as a mop, I wondered if it could be salvaged.  The dress was from a vintage pattern and not making for the first time. I took off the sleeves and wondered if will be be better. Well, voila! It did look better, not the best but I could live with wearing it. Pair it with a red belt and white or blue jacket and I am ready to go!

The interesting part I discovered was how to make a belt loop from a crocheting needled. It had been a long, long time since I crocheted but I bought the needle recently thinking that one day I will use it. Quite often I wear dresses and find the belt sit way too low or not on the right place. Bought dresses always comes with the loop and after some simple experimentation, I figured out how to make this simple loop. It may be easy peasy for experienced sewist but for us, we had to self learn. Of course Youtube and Google have very good tutorial, but I was so happy I figured out making it as I had crocheting experience before.
The dress was okay, fitted very well and I was happy. Time completed was only 2 hours. I took off the sleeves so I can wear them with a jacket and the tiny belt made it modern. Well, my version anyway.
I completed 2 other projects too. A simple blouse that needed only to sew the hem and another sheath dress which need to attach it's underlining. Super simple!

I have problems loading so many pictures, so will post more.  My background white cabinet has a thick handbag-inspired fabric which I used to cover the glass (cover mess inside too :), and I have 4 meters of it. Suitable to make handbags or project as it's a thick material, not for clothing (though I thought it was and wanted to make nigh gowns out of it, another problem with buying online!).  I actually don't know who visit this web but if anyone wants some of it, half meter, one meter etc., I'd give it away FOC as there is no point to keep so much fabric which won't be used.

I did cut a dress and waiting to be sewn. I challenged myself to sew something every week. Completing this project was so important to me now as after a long hibernation and total laziness in sewing, it inspired me to do what I always love, creating stuff for myself :)  Well...that's my take on sewing anyway.

So, sew on!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

BEAUTIFUL SEWING AND WORK SPACE

There is something about sewing room that draws most sewist attention. I love white and love huge, huge spaces. I have white but that 'huge' space is not happening yet unless I shift the sewing room from ground floor to the upper unit. However, we just installed an air conditioner, so unless I get another unit...and re-organise 2 rooms AND pursuade the husband the need to shift again. It's probably will be some time I am stuck in my small room. Seriously, I'd rather have an extension and have a room with a view of our outdoor fish pond. That will be super cool! However, having that means major renovation and that cost a lot of money.

This is one room I will love.. From Martha Stewart.
Simple, clean lines and you can get them probably from Ikea.





This is from http://glasshalffull-kim.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/my-studio.html.
I am swooning over the sweetness of the room. Love, love, love the table!!




Love those storage at the top and that blue chair! Now I gotta find a similar chair with this colour :)
Image belongs to http://www.everythingetsy.com/2013/01/featured-creative-space-ballarat-patchwork/




This is quite similar to what I have, only prettier and more space!
Love those boxes. Image belongs to http://mobile.boligmagasinet.dk/article/77281-huset-med-den-bla-trad/gallery/454003.
When I popped over to see her beautiful space, not just for crafting, but the entire home....I fell in love with all the white and blue combination.




Simplicity at it's best!
From : http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/craft-room-ideas-00100000078234/page6.html.
Look at that carpet :)




If one surf the internet, you will find ENDLESS photos and links of super creative people. It's amazing how they decorate their sewing and crafting spaces and each one is so unique to the owner. Even with a small space, I still want to improvise and make the space prettier. I think it's a never ending process and one day, I will have that room with a fish pond view.

All photos are not mine and links have been provided to rightful owner. If you do copy here or anywhere else, please ensure to provide proper link to the owner of photos. Never, ever copy and state it as your own, but that said, there are people who do such thing.

So sew on! Look around the space you have, improvise, change and you will be surprised how a new coat of paint and transform any room.

Friday, April 5, 2013

SEWING BURDA

I think it is a GREAT way to buy ONE Magazine and have like 30 designs. Now that's really value for money. I was told Burda used to sell here but then, it was stopped. No market obviously. The only person I know who needs sewing is my mom because she has problem finding clothing her size. I have problem finding clothing to my liking. Price aside, I am still not getting what I want. Those I love are way too expensive, those affordable are not to my liking. Still, I don't know anyone who sew. Many local sewing uniforms yes, but not fashion dresses.  So, the search does continue on. If I could like that one fairy seamstress, I will unload like few boxes of fabric to her to sew for me all year long. Someone who is professional and sew like a dream and still charges reasonable.

Here's an old Burda spread.



ONE MAGAZINE, MANY PATTERNS :))




THE PATTERNS. If you can survive finding and tracing the correct one, good luck. Otherwise, it's :((



Of course, there is the instructions! They are all written like you read a magazine, step by step but no illustrations. So, if you can survive that too! Thumbs UP  :P

I shouldn't complain. It's still easier to figure it out than the Japanese book. Though very simple and easy, I've come across some which are similar to our Malaysian road signs. From point A to B, it leads you to somewhere midway, and then you have to figure out how to reach the final destination..or on this case, completion of sewing. Unless, it's a super simple brainless sewing knowledge, buy it for the pattern. So, some basic sewing is required. Otherwise, read through all the instructions before buying and if you are comfortable with it, grab them and start sewing. 

Sew on!


DISEASE!



It has been frustrating times at the sewing room.
Firstly, it has been a mess. No sewing, but still a mess.
It has been taken over my the son whenever he wants to do his homework - more reason to 'not go in'.
I cant's sew in a mess.
I can't even think or function when anything is in a mess.
It's like my brain had been cluttered and frozen.

It's a lousy routine.
Go in, see my patterns, see my fabrics, and do nothing.
I DID cut a pattern but upon cutting and trying it on the dressform and on myself, it made me look 10 years older. Must be that awful green colour. Have no freaking idea why I bought it in the first place. So, I ended up putting it where 'most' WIPs are put, somewhere I can't see but it's stored somewhere. A bit like my sub-conscious, and it will come back to haunt me one day when this lousy stack grow. And it does, unfortunately. So, overall, nothing happened. AND, all this is going on when I am seriously checking online looking for sergers and overlockers. I want to sew knits, but who am I kidding? Time stood still and nothing happened. Maybe sewist block? 

Anyway, I went online shopping. Nothing like retail or online therapy.
I don't just live in the 60s patterns, I love them but I also love the current ones. So, I went online and bought more patterns on sale. I call it a shopping disease. Buying too much stuff one wants but not necessary need. Ending up storing more boxes of patterns with humongous ideas and dreams and that's why it end. Floating in the air thinking one day I will sew more.  So, here's one of the many pattern I bought... and shopping did not just stopped at this unfortunately. I need to find a shopaholic anonymous soon. 

Hopefully...I am able to pinch myself back to reality and sew something, anything soon.






Be brave and sew on!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

BEAUTIFUL SEWING SPACES

Images are not mine. They below to this awesome blogger :http://emmallamb.blogspot.com.au.
It's like my dream sewing space as I love white a lot.

All I can say is LOVE.


LOVE!


and LOVE!


Everything is beautiful and perfect.

Visit her here :http://emmallamb.blogspot.com.au.

VINTAGE PATTERNS

There could be people selling vintage in Malaysia...or Asia, but I haven't found them. If I do find them, chances are the pricing won't be low.  There are many websites selling vintage patterns and if you are from the US, it's a breeze buying any vintage patterns. They are plenty, cheap and available if you know where to get them. I often read of windfall where buyers get bundles, even boxes of vintage patterns no one want for a song. However, it won't happen here.  So, I thought I'd do a post on buying vintage via my favourite online avenue, Etsy.  Esty is a place where you can buy a lot of stuff and patterns are easily available with hundreds of sellers. My guide is strictly on how I choose and buy, so if you are a newcomer, you'll need to find your footing on this.

1. Determine what type of patterns you want. Modern patters are plenty on other websites at very affordable pricing, so I only buy vintage from Etsy.

2. I tend to love those from the 50's and 60's. Some 70's are okay with me. I do stay away from the 80s and 90s. General rule, the older the patterns and rarer it is, especially designer ones, they are more expensive. It could range anything between USD10 - USD200 ++.  So, I guess one really have to love them to spend such money.

3. While prowling on the web and if I find a pattern I like, the first thing I do is to go to the seller's Etsy and go through every pattern on sale.  The reason is simple. With patterns coming from the US and postage being expensive, I will only buy if I have a minimum of 8 patterns and above. I almost never buy 2 - 3 patterns per seller. This saves postage and sometimes, you do get very good bargain.

4. So, to find 8 patterns and more per order does take some searching. Most of the sellers have a huge listing so finding something I like within that range is usually not a problem.

5. Postage. All the way from the US wont be cheap but worth it. I've got a seller who gave me 2 free patterns which I was beyond elated. Those were printed in the 1920's and something totally relevant in today's fashion. Bearing in mind, one can tweak the pattern to suit own taste. Postage from US also means that you package can go missing, so that's a risk. My most expensive package cost more than USD300 and it did went missing for 3 months. When I almost gave up on ever it coming to Malaysia, it turned up at my doorstep one fine day. So, be aware of the risk. If it goes missing, it's a goner. Simple as that.

I hope that more people will love vintage here. Sometimes I do buy vintage just because I love the pattern and not necessary want to sew the exact pattern. Since most vintage are dresses, many times I fall in love with the top and have in mind to make the top only and not the skirt. So, change as one please.

This is just vintage. I do buy a lot more modern patterns online from the US too, and a lot more of Japanese books.  I find Japanese sewing the easiest if you can figure out how since everything is in Japanese. With a little sewing experience, it's quite easy to figure out the instructions.  However, there are times when the instructions are too simplistic and I do struggle in figuring out how to.

With all this, not to mention I have 2 boxes of Work In Progress, Abandoned, Bored, Dont Know What To Do, I Give Up and just Plain Fed Up of unfinished sewing projects. I do know that they will stay there till I have great-grandchildren as time is tight and too many things to do and sew.

Well, that's the price one pay for trying to self-learn-sew and no-one-to turn to.
I admire sewist who churn out one after another projects - successfully while I am stuck at sewing-block disease. It freezes the brain and put into 'dreaming of sewing', rather than actually stepping on the machine and sew.

So, I am rambling, but let's see how it goes.

VINTAGE DESIGNER COUTURE AND RARE SEWING PIECES

All patterns are not owned by me. You can click on link to purchase from buyer. I am absolutely jealous they got hold of these patterns. For now, I am a vintage junkie as I find them beautiful and one can simply change some of the patterns to suit what's modern. In fact, I find no matter how fashion evolves, it's the basic that stand the test of time. It gets repeated no matter which era we live in. I just love the first two patterns, very Hollywood and in today's world of simple T, short pants and slippers, designs like this make me dream of glamour.

Some of the rare vintage designer couture patterns I like. Wished I posses them too.
Maybe I will never sew them, but I would love to have them!

From Vogue http://www.etsy.com/listing/102946751/rare-vintage-misses-ronald-paterson-one?ref=sr_gallery_24&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns++vintage%2C+designer+couture&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_search_type=all





Vintage Vogue 50's, rare, hard to find original patterns from http://www.etsy.com/listing/110369560/vintage-50s-vogue-sewing-pattern-8667?ref=sr_gallery_14&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns++vintage++vogue+couture&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all




Vintage uncut Balenciaga from http://www.etsy.com/listing/112675615/vintage-vogue-2121-couturier-design?ref=sr_gallery_26&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns++vintage++vogue+couture&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all






Vogue Paris by Christian Dior from http://www.etsy.com/listing/72111317/1960s-vogue-paris-original-christian?ref=sr_gallery_19&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns++vintage++vogue+couture&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=4&ga_search_type=all
Love, love the simple design.




Vintage Vogue by Pierre Balmain from http://www.etsy.com/listing/127115741/vintage-vogue-2845-paris-original-pierre?ref=sr_gallery_29&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns++vintage++vogue+couture&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=5&ga_search_type=all
Totally am eyeing this pattern! I love clean and simple lines.
And it's a Balmain design.




Vogue by Valentino from http://www.etsy.com/listing/75875966/vogue-couturier-design-valentino-of?ref=sr_gallery_35&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns++vintage++vogue+couture&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_page=6&ga_search_type=all
Another simple design. Love it and still a very relevant modern day design.
It's Valentino, so enough said.



Love this mod suite from http://www.etsy.com/listing/113363714/60s-mod-dress-jacket-simplicity-7301?ref=sr_gallery_9&ga_search_query=sewing+patterns+vintage+designer&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_search_type=all


Now, I got to go back to fav place to look for more wonderful vintage patterns. I am back in the mood and will see what I like before buying these patterns.

Bye for now.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

BACK TO SEWING....

I have stopped sewing for a long time. Even took a little time to figure out how to use the simple machine. However, all in all, sewing NEVER left my mind. There are thousand and one thing I want to do and sew. I come to my own blog almost every day to see what's up on my side links. I am so amazed with people sewing beautiful clothing, dresses, quilts non stop. They seem really perfect to me.

I re-located my sewing room. We had 2 rooms on ground floor. I was at the larger room but need to share space with the son. Then I decided the kids should take the larger room, and me - the smaller one. I do have an ulterior motive though, smaller room also means no sharing. I am selfish when it comes to my sewing space, plus it has a window and a newly installed aircondition. So, no more excuse.

I spent way too much time pondering over all the patterns, vintage and new, all those sewing books on the shelf. 80% of the time is spend dreaming what pattern to  make and which cloth to use. My husband said that that precious 80% of time would have produced a dress or two. True! The children said, just do it, why need to ponder. Seriously, why do I ponder? I have really no idea. So, just sew is good I guess....

It's a small narrow room but everything about sewing that I need (and don't) is there. So, that's good.
I went for a white theme and sewn a simple curtain for the window. I bought this material locally and it was imported, so I remembered paying quite a lot for it.  With the airconditioned also meant the kids like to hang out in this small sewing room...it's really hot here at times. Even our cats laze around here every night.





I thought I'd crawl back to blogging as a way to self-kick-start to do more sewing. Way too many patterns unused, too much fabric stacked neatly. Husband does not understand why one need to hoard fabrics, why can't I buy what is needed. Well, any sewist will know that we need tons of fabric. The real test would be do we really use them or not? Actually, who cares. Just buy and keep. Maybe one day I will make a proper quilt for my grand children..or great grand children. I am pretty sure that quilt will materialise on day.
I remembered when I was busy blogging here, I always have something to sew. Or, waiting for more vintage patterns to arrive, buying more fabrics and that sort of motivated me to blog more. Anyway, fast forward from last post, I am still dreaming to sew - a lot more. Finally, I am motivated to do something. Dreams do and need to come true haha!

I cut the small picture (taken from a magazine) because I liked the dress. Looks simple and lovely and found almost a perfect pattern match for it.  Just omit the collar and sleeves and voila! I've got the pattern.  The skirt do need to be down sized a bit...but that's easy.


So, I do hope to start this weekend and post some progress...eeek...Seems like that's how motivated I am to sew.

Till then, I am back to dreaming more patterns and fabric....