Skirt for your butt

I made this skirt from my self drafted skirt pattern (I should mention, about 2 month ago). Its those classic 6 piece skirt. I wanted it to hug my butt just ever so slightly without it being vulgar, and flare out from upper thigh area. I was able to achieve that trumpet look! I was very proud of my improving drafting skills.

Hubby took some photos for me, but I realized something – when holding a baby my posture is all wonky and I cant really show off that butt! My tummy sticks out to support the baby too.

oh well! there’s not much time for my to take photos these days, so this is it for now! hopefully in the future i’ll be able to really capture the curves of this skirt!


HEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP! Feeddog problem with my sewing machine

Dear readers – my sewing machine is broken!! Before I fork out a large chunk of money to send it in for repair, i was wondering if I can get some tips and suggestions from any of you and do it myself.
I dont think I ever gushed about my brother embroidery sewing machine HE240. Its a nice machine and I’ve been using it almost every week for the past 4 years or so. Recently she started choking. Specifically, i think its feeddog isnt working so well. Sometimes when I turn the machine on, instead of pulling fabric to the back to allow me to sew forward, the feeddog would feed the fabric in the wrong direction. However, all I needed to do is to power the machine off and on again, and try that until it gets in a state where feeddog is feeding in the right direction. I didnt feel like taking it to the shop because sometimes I cannot reproduce the issue – feeddog runs in the right direction after powering on. Also I couldnt find the time to actually go to the repair shop.
Well, recently I started sewing with knits a lot more, and I have to use one of those fancier stitches that needs the feeddog to go back and forth. well, it is broken to the point of no longer to be able to do that! I would make a stitch and i can see that feed dog would only go in one direction, and my fancy stitch looks… not so fancy. The worst thing is, because its a fancy stitch, I cant use my vintage sewing machines in the meanwhile – they can only do straight stitch or very simple stitches.
What could be wrong? Any tips you could give me that would allow me to fix this myself? Unfortunately this is no longer covered under their warrantee. It almost feels like an electronic issue than mechanical, though i cant imagine the electronics breaking down before the machinary. HELP! I havent gotten my sewing on for the past week and I am experience some withdrawal issue.

Journey of the perfect Jean

It seems like recently Ginger Jean has bought back a new craze in jean making. I had made a pair of jeans before and it was the most fitting jeans I had at that time. I wore it so much that its became a little tattered on the bottom after just a year. That was early 2010.

In 2011 I got pregnant with little K. I decided to alter the jean to fit my growing tummy and hips. I undid the sides and let out an inch on each side of my thigh. I also removed the waist band and replaced that with a 10 inch wide soft jersey material. I wore that a few times but did not love it – the jersey was not firm enough and the pants keep on slipping lower on my butt.

Then in 2014 I got pregnant with little A. I made another go at altering the jeans.  I first removed the second waist band. I found the original waist band, removed the front of the waist band and replaced that  part only with 2 layers of jersey. This time the jeans would stay put on my hips much better!

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Forwarding to 2015. I am no longer pregnant and I dont plan on ever getting pregnant again (its just toooo hard, respect for those willing to go through it 3 or 4 times even with morning sickness). However childbirth had made my hips a little wider. So the jeans still fit well below the waist band. I took out the third waist band, and made a new waist band thats one inch wider than the very original waistband. Pregnancies left my tummy a little jello-ish, so higher cut “mom jeans” is much more comfortable and flattering (no muffin top!). I didnt have the original fabric anymore, but this is a close enough match and I usually wear long shirt anyways.

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So here’s the journey of my one and only hand made jeans! I thought its interesting that a piece of garment had “grown” with me through the years. Tt definitely makes me re-think about alteration – sometimes it can be just as fun and rewarding as sewing a new piece of cloth!

p.s. Sorry that I am slacking on the commenting recently. Mostly because i seem to have trouble commenting on most blogs – especially those hosted by blogspot, after trying to prove i am not a bot quite a few times, i got frustrated and gave up :( do other wordpress user have similar issue w/ blogspot blogs?


Salvaged Vogue 1316

Remember this UFO of the year from 2013? Well, the other day I was rummaging through my dresses and saw it. I never had the heart to throw it out as the shell was a very nice piece of work despite it being waaaay too small. And then something clicked – why dont I just cut out the zipper and add another panel to the back? It wont add the extra girth I need to the front, but perhaps it wont look too bad after all.

And you know what? I am so glad I did! I still had some navy fabric left and I added around 2-6 inches to the back, and tailoring the width of the addition to my body. After adding in one pair of stripe, it looks like I need more room around the hips- I can get in the dress just fine but my butt was pulling the dress to the back, causing wrinkles at the side. So I actually had to add ANOTHER stripe of fabric around the butt area in additional to the one I already have. =_= I suspect it may be an adjustment I need to make even if I cut out the right size.

Well, after all the unpicking and sewing and unpicking and sewing to get the fit just right, the inside of the dress looks like a battle zone with loose threads from all the unsergered fraying edges and unpicked threads. I had no choice but to put in a lining as directed. I used a nice comfortable tan rayon. Now I dont see the loose threads but I suspect I would be shedding them for the next few months whenever I wear/wash this :P . The dress is quite beefy – it weighs a whole 1lb 6oz (~600g for those who lives in a more sensible country). So its nice for california winter.

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Oh yeah, I am also in love with the pockets added, thanks Carolyn for the inspiration! (She has a second amazing version.  I found another one by meggipeg, which I am drooling after as well!)

Now that I am done, I really look forward to making another one at some point with the correct size (I cut a 6 here but I probably should try a 10). I am not 100% happy with the color choices in this one, but everything was made from scrapes so I cant complain too much. Plus, I still love it enough to wear it a lot. I already bought another pattern so I can cut out the right size :) I am thinking about one that is all black, but with different texture – twill, lace, leather, suede. Probably will take me a while to collect that much scrapes – more excuses to stash & make! :D


Sewing Related Children’s Book

I love thrift stores. There are a lot of thrift stores near where I live (I guess when you spend all your earnings on mortgage, you gotta be a little thrifty else where!) and I love getting stuff for little K and little A second hand. I often go when I need to relax and check out some books to read to little K. I’ve had some good luck of encountering some books that has sewing in the story and I’d like to share!

First one is Little Fox Goes to the End of the World:

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little fox tells her mama how she will go to the end of the world while her mama sews an really awesome jacket for her. (The jacket is extremely cute too)

Second one is Something from Nothing:

something-from-nothingIts a jewish folktale about how a grandpa refashions a baby blanket to a jacket, then a vest, then a tie, then a handkerchief, and then a button! To be honest it reminded me of all the resourceful mommies who makes stuff for their kids from worn adult clothing as well as those who refashions old clothing for themselves.

I love those books – little K loves the stories and I get to make her excited about sewing without her touching scissors and needles :) Do you know any cute children’s book that involves sewing? If you do please share!!!

 


Maternity baby doll converted to Breastfeeding baby doll

I had mentioned in previous posts about converting this dress to be able to breastfeed in it. I did it! I wore it once or twice before it got too cold and now the entire family had been struck with a bad flu/cold, so I will not model it here. And sorry for the crappy iphone photos but it looks like this now:

I did these:

  1. separate the bodice from the skirt. I kept the small elastic band at the bottom of the bodice.
  2. even out the skirt from the top to make sure its the same length all around (used to be longer in the front to cover tummy properly)
  3. put elastic band through top of the skirt – now you have a skirt!
  4. put hook and eye on side and back of the waist so that the bodice can connect to the skirt.

This works really well for me -much better than on the dummy. I think its because I am pretty high-waisted and I still have a tummy from the pregnancy- so the skirt elastic band tend to stay right below my bust. When I wear it, it only shows two slivers of skin on the back – actually looks pretty cool. When I need to breastfeed I just pull up the front. When Im done I pull the top down, and it stays there because of the elastic.

Bonus – I can also wear the skirt standalone! The only thing I wish I did differently here is that I wish i made a thinner waistband for the skirt. Having a thicker waist band changes the look of the outfit a little. Other than that I’ve worn this out and successfully breastfeed and look cute at the same time! :)


2014 Sewing Review

2014 has come and gone! This had been one of the most challenging year I’ve had since graduating from college, mainly because its so hard feeling sick so much (pregnancy, then postpartum issues, then the flu season w/ lil K in school) and dealing with the changes in my ever expanding family and work. Luckily, I have sewing to keep me sane. When I was feeling down, sewing made me happier, when I was feeling overwhelmed, sewing calmed me down, when I was feeling tired, sewing actually gives me more energy (well, except that first 3 month of pregnancy)!

I’ve still made quite a lot of things considering how busy/sick I was all the time. Here is the total count:

number made
Coat/Outerwear 3
machine knit sweater 3
hand knit sweater 2
maternity dress 3
pants 2
Shirt (long sleeve) 2
Shirt (short sleeve) 3
Skirt 1
Little K dress 3
accessories 2
dress for friend 1
quilt 1
Refashions 3
 total 28

Project started : project completed/kept : project often worn ratio this year:

 29:27:24

Here are the fails that did not hold up to wearing:

I really cant stand the too-high pocket after wearing it a few times. I am going to have to re-make this =_= again.

The skirt part was just too narrow – so I strained a few seams when walking around. I was “meh” about this dress, so it got donated.

Things I made for others that gets a lot of wear:

Well, she wore it to her wedding, so I assume its got its use out of it! :)

Some basics that I made – they got a lot of wear (or i think they will) but I am not super duper excited about them:

Here are some makes thats frosting – I really like them, but only get to wear them once in a while:

I like this dress, but doesnt get more occasions to wear it after the wedding. I have a friend who LOVES blue and wears nothing but shades of blue. So I gifted it to her.

Here are some of my favorite projects that I wear very very often – they are not quite basics but fit in my wardrobe so well:

All three of them gets a lot of wear – scarf, skirt, and sweater!

(This maternity dress had been altered to be breastfeeding friendly now – so I am still going to be wear it for a bit!) Also I almost forgot the knitted sweater there.

And of course, my FAVORITE make of this year:

I have to thank my hubby for taking  & processing photos without complaint for yet another year. Taking standard outfit photos are pretty boring for him (and we do not have time to go fancy these days, just a quick backyard shoot will do). Its like me altering something for him every other week (which he rarely burdens me with), so I feel lucky that I roped in such a great partner in my blogging! :)

I also have to thank my mom for helping me so much with the babies and house work. Without her, I probably wont have that much time for sewing! Also my dad for all his sewing related garage sale finds :) I am much stocked up on threads and sewing machines these days!

Lastly, I want to thank my readers – thank you for checking out my blog for another year! I love having an audience out there for all my sewing related excitement. I especially thank those who commented on my posts, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me feedback and it gives me much happiness!

I also have some new year resewlution (haha!) – comment more on other sewing blogs! For the past years I’ve been reading blogs on my iphone and its a pain to enter comment there. But I really do love some of the makes out there and to be honest, when I am bored out of my mind feeding little A or putting little K to bed, seeing posts with sewn garments perks me up. So this year, I want to try to make an effort and go back to my reader with my laptop and comment on at least the posts with finished garments that inspires me!


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