Post-Ballet Wrap Skirt

Little K started ballet classes lately and she loves it! I decided that she should wear a wrap skirt around her little butt when she hangs out in her leotard after class. She chose this rayon fabric (she’s a BIG fan of rayon) for her skirt. It was very easy (just one rectangle with pleats), and took about an hour to finish. I love the vibrant color and little K loves it too!

Jewelry by little K. Styled by little K🙂


Yellow Peasant Dress

I have a lot of summer dress posting coming up – even though it’s end of summer now! I’ve made quite a lot of quick dresses lately but haven’t gotten around for photos.

This is a short peasant dress that also doubles as a top. To be honest, short dress and parenting does not match – I constantly need to bend down for the kids and a short dress can be a little revealing😛

Anyways, I simply extended the top of McCall 5039, put in some channels for strings and elastic. Some shoe lace tips at the end, Tada! Easy peasey.


Diagonal Baby Blanket

A good friend of mine is having a baby, and while I was thinking about a baby blanket as a baby gift, he offhandedly mentioned donating some old clothing. I thought a blanket made from his shirts would be pretty cute. So I set to cut his shirts into little squares and sewn them together.

It was lucky for the baby that I chose to make the blanket out of his shirts, because afterwards I really wanted to keep it for myself! (So did my two girls.) There is definitely another blanket in my sewing queue now!

image image image image image image

 

This is definitely more of a quilt comparing to my last one. I caught a bit of a quilting bug and am now thinking about a walking feet🙂 now every piece of old cotton dress/shirt is going in my bin as possible quilting material. Let the fabric hoarding start!! The only thing is that’s quilting takes quite some time, even for a simple piece like above – definitely not an instant-gratification kind of project!


Linen Summer Coat

This is my second version of Vogue 8926 (first one here). It was supposed to be a dress – I simply extended the length to the knee. However, after finishing, it really didnt look right on me as a dress. So I unpicked the belt attached to the front, put two belt loop on the side, and now a summer coat is here!

It is quite nice to wear over a dress, or as a coverup at the beach, I ended up liking it!

 

We went on a mini vacation @ Pajaro Dunes… rented an apartment right on the beach – it was very relaxing and the kids loved it! I pretended here that I am wearing my new summer coat with bikinis, but in reality it was super duper cold, I was in my winter coat most of the time!😛


Classic Trench Coat

I made a proper trench coat! Years ago I have tried making my first trench. While I liked it – I had made it out of pretty soft cotton twill, got too greedy making it more fitted, and the whole thing just really didnt work together after our initial honey period. (Do you have a honeymoon period with your handmade garment? I surely do!)

 

Anyways, I felt a need for a coat that is not too heavy and fussy – something made from cotton. I wanted one thats fitted on the shoulder so it doesnt overwhelm my frame, but loose around the bodice so it has a classic… “clinched” look. I also looked over Burberry’s pictures to see what details I would like to put in for my trench coat – and loved the way they top stitch the neck band, brassy closure on collar, topstitch and D-rings on their belt. I decided to re-made that the trench with almost 7 years of added sewing experience.
After many weeks of sourcing the right fabric, and then many many more weeks (6-8 weeks to be exact, started beginning of March) of sewing, and dealing with some sewing machine issues, the coat is finally done!!
First, I am proud to present the list of materials (because they took a while to find):
1. shell fabric – 100% cotton jacketing twill from fashionfabricclub, 4 yards, $22 (sold out, but similar weights here)
2. Lining fabric – 100% cotton sateen from fashionfabricclub,  2 yards, $5
3. buffalo horn buttons from etsy, bigger & smaller – $17
4. hook and eye for collar closure, D-rings for belt details, leather wrapped buckles for belt and cuff – $30
5. grommet for holes on belt – $15  (end up not using them for now… might add later)
6. heavy duty threads for all those top stitching- around 3 or 4 spools – $5
I am quite proud of being able to find all that I wanted to add to the coat, but am myself a little taken back by how much they all are together (almost $100 and trust me, i had gone with cheaper options wherever i could)! I had wondered if it would be cheaper to buy a coat from fast fashion stores with similar details – and just strip its hardware😛 Granted, I have some extra hardware left, but i dont think I will be attempting another trench for another few years! (Though I do have SO MANY IDEAS).
The pattern I used is from burda magazine, march 2009 – it has a whole section of trench coats in there. I added the back “wings” and added lining.
Those buttons were a bit of a pain to sew on – they kept popping off with my first round of tying knots. the last step was to cut open the button holes and that was nerve racking. I am considering handsewing button holes in the future.
This coat is 100% cotton – lining and shell both. This satin cotton from fashionfabricmart is just amazing – smooth, thin, comfortable and strong. I love this shade of gentle pink. Of course, I have to put my logo and handle on this coat!
Just the collar took about 2-3 sessions of sewing to complete. I wanted to embroider the logo onto the back of the collar (inspired by Burberry putting their signature fabric in the undercollar). All the rows of topstitching on the stand took quite a lot of effort as well, but I love how it makes the collar feel so beefy. I also inserted metal closure for the collar, even though I would never use it. Just because🙂
The belt was top stitched a few times to give it that beefy look, and also added D-rings for the classic trench coat details. (though i believe they were meant for grenades…) My strongest sewing machine (bought a new one!) couldnt even handle the leather+belt, thus there  were quite a few skipped stitches.
Leather buckle for both belts and sleeve belt (is this the right term?)
 the front has flaps, and  I wear it open most of the time:
Side view:
I will end with my favorite picture of the back, I look SO COOL.

 


Pokadot Sunshine Corset

 

_DSF6461

_DSF6483

_DSF6497

_DSF6507

_DSF6510

Another corset from me! This took a while to actually finish. In fact, I started the project before the JBJ coat, but put it aside because I wanted white grommet. to my dismay, it is pretty hard to find reasonably priced white grommets. I kept putting off ordering from corsetmaking supplies, because it would set me back a whooping $25 dollars to get a good set of grommets. I mean, isnt that a little ridiculous for grommets?

So I debated between using my existing gold or black grommet vs buying white ones. After two months (when I finished my JBJ coat), hubby convinced me to just get what I think is the best for the corset. So here it is! a corset where the grommets probably made up for almost half of the cost, lol. (I still think its a bit of a spurge but… erm, treat yo self?)

I used the Cupid Corset pattern from corsettraining, and honestly, this pattern doesnt fit me very well. I think one need bigger boobs to fill out the bust area. Even if I had bigger chest, I am not quite sure if I love the way bust is cut here with the inset. I think next time when I try to make a overbust corset – I will stick with simpler straight piece patterns and avoid insets.

For fabric, I used cotton shell and cotton duck for lining. I decided to not use a waist stay because I dont like how my corset doesnt stretch evenly with a waist stay. Also, the fabric I chose has a  little give – its more comfortable to wear.

It does go very well with this cute undie I made a long time ago, and it shows up wonderfully in photoshoots. Its such a happy color – I think I will keep it around despite the weird fit. Maybe one day I will be chubbier and would fit better in this.

Year 2016 is proving to be a year of slow sewing. Work has been quite busy lately, kids have been demanding, and Ive been doing time consuming projects. At this rate, I am going to have only 1 finished project a month! (Its end of march – I only finished 2 projects so far with 2 in progress). Fingers crossed for more sewing time!


Nautical inspired JBJ coat

First creation of 2016! Last year – I skipped my yearly Talea coat rendition. This year, I really wanted a toggle coat like this:

inspiration coat

 

The original idea was to use Grainline Studio’s cascade duffle coat pattern, but after much debate I decided that using a TNT pattern is the safer route to go – I dont have much time to play with the fitting of a new pattern these days and Cascade looks like it would need some adjustment for a person with curve. So I merged the front and front side pattern of Talea, and another rendition of Talea coat is born!

 

Oversized hoodie, as usual. I love the little button poking out.

I really cant get over how awesome that shoulder flap thingy looks with the hoodie. in this picture I look like I am wearing armor! I made sure the arm part of the flap curves with the arm hole. It looks just as awesome in person as it does on the photo

Those oversized toggle & rope is one of my favorite buttons on coats so far. It makes me happy every time I need to button up. I was debating on using an actual shell from a bullet, but decided that I dont want to play with gun powder/lead too much.

Real leather for pocket and toggle button patch. They are a pain to sew on. I lined the toggle patches against the dart on the bust – worked out very well.

My awesome logo on the hoodie. A friend visited wearing a lulumelon jacket – with a logo on top. I decided to copy it and i love how it turned out!

JUE00958

The inside is lined with a playful poka dot polyester slippery material, and more logo-ing as well.

I wanted to put a tab on the back – but now I am digging this clean vertical lines on the back and also sick of working with this fabric. I think I will keep this as is.

While I love how the coat turned out, I didnt enjoy sewing this coat as much I did with my previous coat. I think its because the material is a little funny. It is a wool with a rubbery, water-proof backing. But the wool feels very thin and the rubber feels thick. So the material is actually a little stretch-prone. The top stitches also sinks in quite a bit since its squishy. It feels like this coat will not last as long as my other makes – at which point I would have to remake one because I love it too much!

We took the kids to halfmoon bay over the weekend. The weather was gorgeous, I always enjoy the California coast in the winter on a sunny day. All the fun and no need to fuss with sun block. Little A is quite something when she gets to the water. A few minutes after the above photo, she was literally waist deep in a tide pool. Crazy little spirit🙂