Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flirty longer thing

Last summer I made this flirty little thing, but because I had chosen a stiffer cotton fabric and ran out of fabric, it didnt come out exactly as I had envisioned (its fluffier and shorter). While it is still cute, I had been on a look out for another small print blue floral to make what I had envisioned.

This year I found an amazing rayon crepe on fashion fabric club, and got a few yards to make this dress again.

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(In other news, I had been working out a lot lately, and comparing my back photo in this shot with last years, I look a little leaner!! Feels great to see the difference when there’s photo evidence.

I also did not realize I basically picked the same shoes and same colored bag to pair with this dress as the flirty little thing photo short- slightly amused!)

The rayon crepe is a much better choice for this dress (at least for my figure) – its drapy, and crinkle a little horizontally, which worked out great for those gatherings. I am still debating about whether to hem the dress and thus make it shorter. But maybe in the future. I was unsure how hemming would affect how the dress look and whether it would “stretch” would the crinkleness of the fabric.

I quite love this new version! It feels really great to wear, and is perfect for California hot weather! Has anyone else worked with rayon crepe? I may have found a new favorate fabric!

 

 

 

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Mr Elephant Bag

Hi readers! Its been a while since my last update, I’ve made quite a few awesome things that I am excited to share with you. Today I am sharing my latest make with you – my Mr Elephant Bag!

I fell in love with Loewe’s elephant bag when I saw it online, alas, it cost over a thousand dollars for one, there’s no way I would spend that much on a bag. There are plenty knock off versions, but none of them made with real leather. So I decided to pick probably the most difficult thing to make as a first time leather project – the elephant bag!

It took a few weeks, but I am really quite pleased with the result:

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And the bag on its own:

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I decided to go with all black for edge coat, threads, zippers, hardware, because its my first time working with leather, a uniform dark color would hide mistakes well. For those of you who are curious, I’ll list out the material & tools & pattern resources I used.

First, the how to – I pretty much figured it out from this video from Loewe – thank you Loewe for sharing! Then there are snapshot of the video where the pattern was lying flat, which I enlarged and enlarged until it is good enough to be a pattern. I had to make it symmetrical, which I did by folding the pattern and cut according to one of the sides.

Then its materials:

  1. Leather from Etsy (this seller), it was real cow leather, 3-4oz thick, 2 sqft (1ftx2ft). ($16)
  2. Hardware from Ningbags, I bought way more than I needed – D-rings, swivel hood, and cone feet. But I ended up only needing the D-rings ($22, $5 if only the D-rings)
  3. my usual black Rayon Satin from fashion fabric club
  4. zipper in my stash
  5. thick, waxed black threads from my stash
  6. ready made shoulder straps  ($14) I ran out of leather at the end, and got lazy about making the straps. This one had the perfect match to the leather and hardware!

tools:

  1. Feibing’s Edge Kote ($10)
  2. Dye roller for the edge kote ($9)
  3. Leather glue ($8)
  4. hold puncher for punching holes for hand sewing bottom of the bag on. (do not recommend this – it doesnt punch a hole but a slit, not very aesthetically pleasing) ($10)
  5. wooden block, hammer
  6. needles for handsewing the bottom. (next time I might just try to machine stitch this on though, handsewing is a pain, i bent at least 2 needles)
  7. I used my regular brother sewing machine with a roller feet for any other stitching than the bottom. It went much smoother once I remembered to change the needle to a thick needle. ($7)

So not the cheapest project  – I spend about $100 total, but it makes me so happy carry Mr Elephant around!

Some thoughts for myself if I make this again:

  • I didnt quite get the chin right – I tucked it in too much and the elephant is not extending his trunk out.
  • Would want to try to machine sew the bottom on, and pleat the bodice while machine sewing. I glued the bodice and then hand sewed it on – it was a messy process.
  • I did something right by sewing the lining to the zippper before the bodice was pleated.
  • I need to make this just 1 inch longer so it can fit more iphone more easily.

You can also check my instagram feed with tag #juebejuemakeelephantbag to see some of the pictures of work in progress and close up of the bag! This was a great project that is really fun to share via instagram, it feels like I had a lot of sewing friends cheering me on in my sewing room!

Some more photos of my modeling the bag. I am wearing my me made dress from last year, its proven to be a favorite!!

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The bag is a very small one, I wanted a mini black cross body for a while and this fits the bill just right. It is just big enough to fit my Iphone (without a case ^_^) and other things I usually carry around. The iphone was challenging as its so big and flat, but the bag is more round. But I am making it work.

Anyways, hope this helps anyone out there who wants to make a repli-elephant!

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Difficulty High Sweater

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I am not sure what I was thinking when i decided to start knitting the coda sweater. It was an advanced pattern with very interesting but minimalistic designs. I was curious how i would knit a horizontal cable maybe?

Anyways, it was literally the most difficult sweater I’ve ever made!!! I even had to run some simulations on paper in order to make sure I understood the pattern correctly. I had to majorly frog some parts twice, and it took me about 1.5 years to finish.

I was so proud when i finished it – it was really quite a challenging pattern with beautiful details. But guess what, something looked off when I put it on… some parts of the simpler stockinette stitches looked different from each other…. After some queries on instagram, two fellow knitters helped me figure out what went wrong. I had been purling wrong ALL THESE TIME!!!!! I could not believe that i tackled an advanced pattern when I was purling wrong! For those two don’t knit, all knitting consist of is two motions – knit and purl. And Ive been doing one out of two wrong the entire time. And the reason I could see it very obviously on this sweater is because part of it is knit in round, which means you are making stockinette stitches by only knitting, and part of it is knit in flat, which means you are making stockinette stitches with a purl and a knit. So I could see my stitches twisted in the flat parts…

I could not believe that Ive been doing it wrong the whole time, and went back and looked at a few of my other creations. Lo and behold, those that had stockinette stitches done in flat looked different if you look closely. I just never noticed.

I swore off knitting for a few days. But I am back on another project 😂 It was hard to adjust my purl to loop from the top to the bottom so i had to frog my project a few times, but looks like the muscle memory is finally getting corrected.

Anyways, thanks for listening to me rant about this! The sweater itself is made from wool, so its a little warm to wear around these days, probably need to wait for winter! But I did wear it without undercloth for the photo and the itch was not too bad!


Black Fringed Scarf

My friend K and I had been friends forever. She’s probably my oldest friendship! We have not lived each other for almost 20 years, but we always keep tabs on each other throughout these days. She visited again me a year ago, and we went to the ocean one day. It was a little chilly and she put on my Pom Pom scarf and i thought she looked lovely.

So after she left I got some black rayon again with fringes this time (the Pom Pom catches too much lint) and made a quick scarf and mailed to her. Her husband recently took some photos of her for me to share!!

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From the beautiful lady herself:

‘This is my favorite scarf! It keeps me warm during winters at home. The scarf envelops all of my neck and shoulders and the ends are long enough to tuck in very well into my jacket. Yet it is not too bulky. I also travel everywhere with it because I get cold in airplanes and it doubles up as a blanket. Large enough to cover all of my body and keep me warm. The fringe makes it fashionable. Living with 2 cats, keeping their fur out of clothes is a real struggle. I don’t know what the material is but it keeps out fur. So even though it is black, I don’t need to be de-linting it all the time.’

I am so happy you love it K!


Striped Shearling Moto Jacket

I struggled to pick a name for this jacket, because its been called the zebra jacket, the prison-escape jacket and the i’d-totally-wear-this-to-burning-man jacket. All three are very good descriptions and only one of them was meant to be a compliment 😂. But hey! I really really dig this jacket, much to hubby’s dismay.

This jacket was inspired/a copy of a jacket in this year’s gap commercial worn by Janelle Monae. I really loved the jacket, but I wasn’t going to pop $800 dollars on a jacket, esp something that is a little bit on the edgy side. Sooo… I made a copy!

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Perhaps not as professionally finished as a gap version, but a pretty damn good copy for a material list of under $50 dollars! First, some photos of my inspiration:

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Collecting material was not a just-from-the-stash affair. I found some cotton backed fake striped leather on etsy – its actually a very nice, soft material to sew with. It also drapes beautifully. Then some cheap shearling from Joanns, my go-to slippery black cotton sateen for lining, and a very cool pull-ring resin zipper from maybe a garage sale for a pop of red. (Oh the drama on that zipper! I tried to order two similar ones so I can do the pocket in the same zipper – but two order attempts from china and the colors are always off. After 2 months of wait, i finally gave up and sewed the pocket up with the leather material).

This is the inside of the jacket – I love looking at it being hung on a hanger because that logo just looks so sharp and centered!

Oh and I still wanted to put my full handle and time stamp somewhere, so I hid it in the pocket instead:

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Here is a shot where my hands are not in the pocket – I made the pocket very roomy. In fact, I can fit a small packet of opened chips in there and just eat from there – very useful when you have two little girls to run after who occassionally asks for chips.

 

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The pattern is McCall7694 by Melissa Watson, with the back modified into a single piece as the more designed back would have broken those stripes. I actually had made a muslin for both a motojacket from burdastyle and this one. The fit on this one was much more suitable – I chose a smaller size (size 6) since I have narrow shoulders. The shoulder/arm was perfectly fitted to my frame (I was surprised as its a one piece sleeve), and the bodice part was perfectly the right amount of oversized I had desired.

Then I had to do a lot of cutting up of the pattern since I had to divide between the striped and shearling part. The body and arm part was easy, but the lapel part was a little hard to deal with. I had made the bottom part of the lapel with lining – so that there isn’t too much shearling/bulk sitting on the lapel. The jacket could probably use better ironing before the photo shoot so the lapel sit flatter. But after all that work I think I would have been fine with just using shearling the whole front panel.

The jacket I was trying to copy had no stripes on the shoulder – just black leather. I would have loved to copy that as well, but it was a little too daunting to sew away the white parts 😆 so I got lazy and left it as striped.

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As you can tell, the jacket drapes quite well in the back. And this is my “prison jacket” shot 😆

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I really quite love this jacket even though its a bit controversial. I did dare to wear it to work. But honestly it might be a little too 🦓 for work. Hubby groans a little when I wear it with him, I guess he never fantasized about being the warden. So now it’s a jacket i wear when going to dance class (in fact when I wear here is something i wear to my dance class – we dance in those boots!) or when I have kids activities. I do love the fit tremendously, and the length is oh so flattering for my height – I feel tall without high heels! So I am probably going to make another one in a more conventional fabric. (Though part of me wants to go all out again, like a vibrant floral). Anyways! Thank you for reading!!

 

 


Black Maxi/Midi Dress

 

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One of my #2018makenine is this black maxi dress I’ve been eyeing for years. I was going to use this most luxurious rayon non-challis kind of fabric, but realize that is too heavy for a maxi, so i switched over to a very light weight black cotton eyelet.

I am very glad I did! This fabric picks up wind wonderfully. I did the math a little wrong and ended up using up every last bit of the fabric when the dress had hit right at my ankle – not my usual preferred length. I was about to add another inch or two of gathered black rayon fabric on the bottom when hubby caught sight of me trying the dress and declared the dress done, forbidding me from making any changes. I am glad he did! I end up quite liking this length. And the shorter length allowed me to move around without worrying much about it hitting the ground.

Pattern is a modified  burdastyle 07/2016 #101, i changed it from a wrap to a side zipper, curved the neckline in instead of out. Instead of a flounce I added two stripes of rectangle gathered.

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Here is wearing it without a bra underneath. It is a little risky of a cut. So for chasing around the kids I do wear a black bralette with it.

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I left the hem raw. But slightly tempted to go in and cut out the little half circles and leave it as a scalloped hem.

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BTW – the last three posts were all shot in Hawaii! in anticipation of my Hawaii trip I decided to start sewing summer dresses earlier. I was also quite busy at work the prior one month, I feel like Ive been a mad woman trying to get all the clothing done! (Plus a unblogged pair of pants which are really quite nice but unremarkable). Though it probably took less time to make all 6 garments than a coat!


Red polka dots

Hubby requested that I make a wrap dress with some kind of red fabric. So… i bought some rayon fabric and made myself a red wrap.

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The pattern is basically Burdastyle 10/2011 #123 with a flounce added on the bottom. I also cut the neckline a little lower.

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2210BA6A-7836-44DF-ACDA-F01B7E4C33D2I love how it looks in a twirl! I also made two little dresses for the girls:

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I used Tadah tea party dress – this time with a little cap sleeve and lower cut arm holes, and no closure at all. The neck hole is just big enough to slip their head through!

We wore the dresses plenty on a trip to Hawaii, though after day 1 we never seen to wear them at the same time. I guess not too much matching will happen in the future!!

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I love the dresses and I was extremely proud that I had just enough fabric to finish all three dresses. However, a few days later I discovered i already had exactly the same fabric in my stash and i didnt need to buy any!!!! Ugh. I really need to get my stash to a smaller state so I can remember all the fabric I have, or at least easier to dig through. #firstworldproblems 😂 Anyways, thank you for reading!!