Friday, September 28, 2012

Cold Porcelain Antique Roses

Cold porcelain roses

I recently came to know about "cold porcelain" with which many crafters make beautiful accessories  and dolls.  Is is air-dry clay made mainly from cornstarch and while glue.

I searched for homemade cold porcelain recipes online, and combined the recipes so I could try with what I had in our house.  The process required cooking in a pan on stove, so I bought an used pan and a wooden spoon from a second-hand store just for this purpose. 

I also made molds using buttons and the mold-making techniques I leaned for special effect make-up.  You can also use molds for cake decorating, etc.

It took about three days for the clay to dry. I then painted with acrylic paint and finished with Mod Podge.

Cold porcelain roses

Cold porcelain roses

Cold porcelain roses

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crochet Cardigan

I always liked knitting and crocheting---but have never made a garment that way. I also didn't like baggy and square-ish designs of many knitting/crocheting books.

When I came across the book "The Crochet Closet" by Lisa Gentry, her beautiful and modern designs finally convinced me to try to crochet a whole garment. I used her "Classical Jacket" design.

After a week of intense crocheting and some muscle pain in my right palm, I finally have a new cardigan!!



I used 8 balls of 100% worsted wool, so it came out a bit heavy (but surely warm!) :P

There are a couple of mistakes and some adjustments I wish I had made, but over all, I'm pretty happy with it. (after all, it's my FIRST crochet garment!)


Now I want to knit a sweater... I have been eyeing this beautiful design in the book called "Modern Top-down Knitting" by Kristina McGowan. Her method is that you knit a whole garment from top to bottom, using a circular needle. That way, you can try the garment on and make adjustments as you go. Being a sweater-knitting beginner, I don't know if that's a common approach but it seems to make a lot of sense to me. I'm particular about garment fit, so it'll be nice to be able to try it on mid-knitting. We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Plastic Canvas Purse

I was flipping through my mother's old Japanese craft books from 1960's.
Plastic canvas craft was new and popular then----and the designs were beautiful and complicated.
 Those books inspired me to try plastic canvas craft.
I decided to make a purse:
 The design of the bag is inspired from Ralph Lauren's Native American Collection bags.
I drew guidelines for pattern with a permanent marker---as you can see, completely eyeballing it.
Then, I started filling the space with simple satin stitches using wool yarn.
I didn't want to use long strands of yarn when I stitched, so I had to tie the next strand a lot, consequently the back came out a bit messy...
 So I fabric-glued fleece on the back side before constructing the bag.
I also put in metal openings and D-rings on the side for the shoulder strap while the piece was still flat.
Finally, I whip-stitched the canvas form into the purse shape stitching through the edges of fleece lining.
(Plastic canvas form and wool yarns from local Joaan)


Monday, September 17, 2012

Summer Cupcake

A quick project for my husband's pre-birthday!
While we can't get enough of the blue ocean and white sand,
Summer is quickly leaving us...
I used:
Betty Crocker's Fun da-middle chocolate cupcake mix
Pillsbury's Funfetti Blue Vanilla Frosting
Wilton's candy mold and candies
Graham crackers (crumbled to look like sand)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

White Cotton Dress ---a bodice pattern that fits around the bust

Skirt part--- McCall’s 4460 (discontinued)

When I try on something in a clothing store, I often find that many dresses in my size gape around front armholes---hence, showing my bra---not so attractive!

If the item fits you everywhere else, gaping in front armholes most likely means that it is not big enough around your bust.

Then, upon reading a book about fitting (Fit for Real People by Pati Palmer and Marta Alto) , I learned that commercial clothing and sewing patterns are designed to fit B cup size bras.  I don't know if it makes sense in the modern world where women's average bra size is a lot bigger... (source: USA today)    

You could have your clothes altered(tailored)----but making it BIGGER in the particular area (or any areas for that matter) is...kind of difficult to do after the fact.


You could do full-bust adjustment to patterns, but lately, major commercial pattern companies are making some patterns with different bra cup size options.  Just pick the pattern size according to your upper bust measurement, and then choose your bra size (Because if you use your full bust measurement AND your bra size which is bigger than B, it would be too big)

Happy Sewing!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Denim Peplum Top and Skirt

When I make something, I try to picture the item I'm about to make in three different outfits combining with clothes and accessories I already own.  That way, I won't end up with something I would wear only once or twice a year. 

I made an exception to this rule when I sew this peplum outfit on the cover of August 2012 issue of Burda magazine.

Sure, the skirt is just a simple pencil skirt, so it would be easy to wear with any other tops I own,
but the blouse seemed like a more challenging piece to incorporate in my wardrobe.

But the outfit was so chic I couldn't pass up! I picked light colored stretch denim for the project. 

This is another rule of mine--- when the shape is elegant, pick casual fabric (and vise versa).

When I posted on, this project got many comments from fellow Burda members.  This pattern was quite a hit from this issue!

I think this could go with the orange skirt from the previous post:

Maybe with a pair of shorts, too...

With a petticoat for a casual party....

I still can't come up with a good jacket to go with the peplum top... so for now, I will keep myself warm with a wrap...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

High-waisted Orange Pencil Skirt

I recently discovered this local second-hand fabric store, which I am in love with.  Sometimes I find beautiful vintage fabric for a very reasonable price, and other times it just feels good not to waste resources.
The blouse and the skirt in the photo are made from thrifted fabric I got from the said store.  I am not sure of the fabric contents...the white seems to be cotton batiste, so it's a bit see-through.  I used double thickness so I could wear it without a cami underneath.
The orange fabric for the skirt is some kind of cotton/poly suede-back satin, I think.  I used the suede side as the right side.  The fabric is wrinkle resistant----in the other wards, IT WON'T TAKE IRONING FOR NOTHING.  The seams didn't iron out like I wanted, but oh well, wrinkle resistant is a good thing for a skirt...
I used patterns from Burdastyle magazines.  I usually post sewing projects on this magazine's website,  If you like the patterns, you can also purchase them online using links on the right here.
Since my waist is the thinnest part of my body---I always add a belt, or a fitted vest to emphasize the shape (otherwise I would look much heavier!).  High-waisted style lets me have the same silhouette without those aids.
Here are some possible outfits using items I already own:
+Thrifted blouse (it had a huge additional ruffle around the neck which I took off),
Thrifted vintage elastic belt

+Knit cardigan (shrunken style from a few years ago..)
+White blouse and handmade necklace(another project of mine),
Jean jacket(from like..when I was in high school...)
I think this skirt is a nice addition to my very neutral-colored closet!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Joy of Sewing

Yay!! This is my first entry in my brand-new fashion/sewing blog! I hope you would pardon my less than perfect English... I will try to make it as understandable as possible! :)

Here, I will be posting my creations and some outfits I put together using those items.

Sewing your own clothes is a lot of fun... and I think many of the fellow sewers agree with me when I say that the most satisfying moment is when people comment on your clothes...saying "I love your xxx(something you made)!!! Where did you get it???" then you smile and say..."Oh, this? I made it!!"

And yet... it used to be the case that most women made their own clothes.  It's really not that difficult if you follow the direction carefully and be a little patient. 

Through this blog, I hope I can meet people who already enjoy sewing, and also inspire others to try their hands at dressmaking.  LET'S ENJOY SEWING TOGETHER!!! :)

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