Category Archives: house to home

Cloth napkins

Sergered these cuties up from a used sturdy flannel/twill tablecloth at goodwills. It reduces some other wastes while disposable diapers are piling up in our garbage bins. Cant bring ourselves to use cloth diapers :P. anyways, I usually dont share home projects but these are too adorable.

Kitchen Done! (almost)

I have good news to report! Our kitchen is almost done, and now the house is starting to be put back into the none-chaotic state and I can sew more! Here is the before  and after pic:





When we first saw our house — we were not in love with it. The selling realtor claimed that “just remodel the kitchen, and this house is move-in ready!”. Of course, that was not true — there were other basic issues that needed fixing first.So even though the kitchen is almost 50 years old, with mysterious growth in the cracked laminate countertop, a small overhead cabinet that created quite a few permanent bumps on hubby’s head, a few drawers that didnt work, and limited storage, we decided to put off the remodel. After over 2 years with this crappy kitchen, we finally did our kitchen remodel!

A wall was knocked down and the window is enlarged. With all white cabinet, counter top, backsplash, the space looks a lot bigger now 🙂 Our contractors were very awesome to work with. We managed to find everything except for trims, tiles, window, floor, and range hood at IKEA, who offers very good quality and stylish products at a very reasonable price. We are lucky to wait till now to do the remodel, because we were just in time to buy their new induction cooker — even the buttons are flat (touch sensitive)!!! It is super easy to clean, and induction heats things up very quickly. Oh, and its half the price of a flat induction cooker I found else where 🙂

Also, I am finally done with my modcloth knock off coat and i LOVE it! This is probably the longest Ive taken to finish a project (4 weeks). I hope to take pictures of it tomorrow 😀 Stay tuned!

Sewing Room Showoff!

Thanks for all your comments on my purple coat! I love it so far and have worn it a few times. I feel a little self-conscious about all the second takes I am getting in that coat! But I feel rich and great in it, except that the wool is a little scratchy, even through the lining! Hopefully it will be better after a few wears. you cant complain about a $6/yard wool that has such a  gorgeous color!

I dont think I have ever shown you my sewing room here! We bought a house back in the 2008, and I was so happy to be able to have a room just for sewing, and not having to annoy my back-then-boyfriend with all the needles on the ground, fabric pieces everywhere, and my old sewing machine causing a series of unstoppable earthquakes on the desk we shared.

So when we first moved in, I called dibs on one of the bedrooms and made it my sewing room, this is how it looked like:

I thought it was awesome, but looking back, it is kind of sad and droopy. Since then we had changed our windows to dual panel, hence lowered it to meet city code (and to allow me the shortie to see outside without tiptoeing). I planted a peach tree outside the window for privacy, as the room looks into our neighbor’s room. I also decided to go all out and painted the room pink. Yes! Pink! I am not a pink girl, but I love a good clique and the result wasnt half bad.

I have also acquired a few piece of furniture from craigslist for pretty cheap/free since then. Now, I think my sewing room is pretty much complete!

Left wall: row of magazine holder to hold all those bulky patterns, books, and burda magazines. zigzag bookshelf I made to hold smaller patterns — it works really well!

center: ikea bookshelf from craigslist to hold all those fabric in my stash!

center right: my sewing table! It can be moved out easily to suit my mood, and the bottom legs fits my two sewing machines perfectly.

note how huge my peach tree has gotten in just 2 years! It flowered pretty pink flowers this year and produced tons of delicious fruits. I think its because I always stare at it and occasionally talk to it.

Left: My most recent acquisition from craigslist, for only 60 dollars, is a cute desk with a cute hutch. It is now my serger and notion station, and probably my favorite piece of furniture in the house! The notions are stored in series of boxes with sewing/fashion theme to it, to be fitting to the room, one of the shelves is perfect for my Wilcobb & Gibb sewing machine.

center: my refinished singer 201, now ready to be used any time

right: self-admiring station and a dressform!

center: I dont think you can be a real seamstress without a cute cat. This one loves to agitate me when I am cutting out fabric by constantly trying to get under them. She may look cute, but she is one feisty kitty and I love her that way.

I now love my sewing room! Do you have a space for just sewing? I would love to see them! Feel free to comment with a link to your blog entry/photos!

Rocking Chair Do-Over

A while back, I started having this desire to turn old furnitures into cute, bright, fresh furnitures after I had repainted a free >60 year old sewing machine table. So a few weeks ago, I decided that my brown living room (brown couches, brown coffee table, brown entertainment center… ) with some self-sewn blue-brown pillows needs a new splash of color.

Looking around the room, I quickly identified an easy repaint target: my 20 dollar craigslist find:

(yes, I made the cover for that stool!)

Inspired and encouraged by all the spray painting done by running with scissors, I decided to try my luck at spray painting. I bought 2 primer and 2 yellow paint spray from lowes, and a lacquer + brush from walmart. All made in incremental purchases since I had no idea I needed this much paint and layers on a chair.  Here is a picture of the chair after it had a few coats of primer:

It actually looks pretty nice as white, eh? I didnt bother with sanding the original coat, since it was quite old and I could not imagine myself hand sanding all the curves like I did for my table. Besides, I never had the patience to clean off the dusts properly and they end up sticking back to my paint. So all I did was use a wet towel and wiped down the chair. Then spray painted the chair and let dry between each spray. Amazingly, it stuck!

Anyway, I then sprayed it with yellow paint a few times (let dry between coats!)  until my cans are empty. Then I lacquered it a few layers until it is shiny (use a good brush, mine is crappy, so the hair keeps on falling out and getting stuck on the chair). Then lightly sanded it the lacquer coat to make it smooth. Now, I have a cute brand new chair:

I think the 3 different layers of stuff really paid off. Unlike my sewing table, the paint doesnt look like its going to peel off. Unlike the sewing table, it feels smooth, not sticky to the touch. However, I feel conflicted about using spray paint:

Pro: Fast, paint/brush does not get dirty, even coat is easier to achieve, quick try

Con: messy  (powder everywhere in my garage), expensive (3-4 dollar each can), and I think I get slightly high even in a ventilated area

So I am not sure if I would be using spray paint for my next chair re-vamp project. But for now, my cat Sophie loves laying there on a lazy afternoon (seriously, she loves this chair much more than before), so I say, project success!