Pale Pink Coat

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I was never a girly girl. I didnt quite own any pink in my wardrobe as of a year ago. I put pink in my engineering presentation as an intern because I thought it was funny. Yet lately I’ve been very drawn to pale pink. I am not sure if its because I have two girly girls who loves pink – all of sudden I got pink flats and pink purses. So of course, I felt the need for a pink coat!

As usual I decided to use BurdaStyle Talea pattern and just alter it for the look I want. (I was going to make it with the Gerard pattern in my #2018makenine plans but chickened out last minute because I wasn’t sure if I can really pull off the oversized shoulder… there’s just no way to try it on without a large investment of time! #sewingproblems)  I put in a kick pleat, which I am really getting a hang of – I only had to watch the tutorials about 3 times before I remembered how to do it.

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I made it double breasted and a slightly exaggerated lapel. I also used a simple stripe of rectangle as the collar. (And the decision on how the collar should be was quite a democratic instagram exercise!) I am quite pleased with how the collar turned out! It is quite different than any designs Ive seen, and I have been patting myself on the collar for coming up with it as i went.

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I used two different fabric for lining – silk chaemeuse remnant for the sleeves because its slipper and I didnt have a lot, and a poly-rayon mix left over from my last coat project. Of course, white embroidery of my logo for a personal touch.

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On the down side – I was on the last stretch of this not-so-fusing fusible interface from walmart, and it stopped sticking to the fabric half way through the project :\ it creates a not so sharp look for the front pieces and makes me regret buying fusible from Walmart. Lesson learnt – do not cheap out on interface!

The buttons are something I didnt cheap out on – they are amazing vintage buttons I found on etsy. I searched for navy buttons (to match with jeans easily) and this is a double navy! There was only 12 so I had a lot of thought exercise about whether I had the budget to put buttons int he back and on the sleeves and on the shoulders… in the end I decided I wanted them to be all visible from the front. I am glad – it looks very nicely this way! It was very hard to get the buttons symmetrical for me though!

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I love my new coat! I am actually in great needs for lighter color coats as I am starting to gravitate towards more fun colors – I really only have my blue one in that category so this expanded my wardrobe choices quite a bit. It makes me want to make more neutral but colored pieces!

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Thank you for reading along!! I have been really thankful for all of you (even the ones I don’t know about) for reading about my obsessions with my sewing projects – it truly makes me happy to share it with you all!

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Mini Me cat dress

Little A’s very first solo photo shoot!! I fiiiinally made a dress for little A. She saw me with the cat dress over the summer and would tell me “mama can you make that dress for meeeeee?” in the cutest little begging voice. Of course!! I made the dress per her request and she loves it! The only thing i wish I added was some pockets.

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This is the very first fully lined dresss Ive made for the girls. The result is a very sturdy feeling, almost vest-ish warm dress – I love it! It’s great for her in spring/autumn/winter. Also love the exposed zipper! I used the Tadah Tea party dress pattern as usual.

I had thought about making one for little K so we can all match, but she doesn’t seem to have the affinity for the fabric like little A does. still got some more of this delicious fabric in my stash!

 

 


2017 Sewing Review!

Hello! Another year has done by! This year marked my 10th year of starting to sew clothing for myself, so its fun to look at what I have done!

You cant tell from the blog, but I’ve been using instagram as a quick record of what I have sewn. If I count up everything, I have made 30 items total this year, but actually lots of them are small toys….

  • Blanket: 3
  • Toys: 6
  • Kids clothing: 7
  • Women dress: 7
  • Women top: 1
  • Women coats: 4
  • Women’s pants: 2

So If i just think about clothing, I’ve made only 21 items… If I count only clothing for myself – 14 items! This is all much higher productivity than last year though. Seeing that I am getting slightly less selfish with my sewing, I’ll add another metrics:

Selfish sewing : non-selfishsewing (clothing only!) –  14:7; plus 9 non-clothing non-selfish sewing!

Sewn:kept:worn often (excluding toys & blankets): 21:20:17

On the selfish sewing side – what I have done this year is to just spend my precious sewing time on items that I enjoy sewing and is tough to buy for in RTW stores. This means dresses and coats. For pants/tops/sweaters there are often decent-fitting, good fabric, and cheap options in the stores. However, it is much harder to find dresses & almost impossible to find coats that fits. I do enjoy sewing dresses and coats so much more – and I’ve allowed myself to buy more clothing from the stores. It’s a bit of a departure from the usual RTW-fast/sewing-the-basics on the sewing scene, but with a full time job and two young kids that is just not possible.

Item sewn but not kept: I made this black pair of high waist, pleated pants that immediately went into recycles without a picture. It’s hard to make “relaxed” pants that also look good with my bum, esp if the fabric has no stretch. I ended up just buying a pair from gap >_<

Items kept but not worn often:

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I didnt blog about this because I didnt wear this much. I was somehow in love with the idea of making more non-stretch jeans (See a theme here?). Well I made this, and i can tell you, non-stretch materials works well/okay for flared jeans, but NOT a good idea for skinny jeans – the knee area becomes baggy quickly unless you intend to never sit down. And I ended up not wearing it much (it does well for my booties so I might cut it off for jean shorts though).

I didnt blog about this, but had plenty of picture up in instagram. It’s a reversible fur coat! It was a good marriage of two very unique fabric that otherwise I had no idea what to do with. And for how crazy it is (fur coat seems to be all the rage this season though, I feel ahead of the curve!), I liked how it turned out. The fur is soft and nice so I like wearing it with fur inside, but it is also a very heavy coat (~ 7 lbs?), so I don’t feel all that comfortable wearing it. So I don’t wear it often.

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The nature of making a dress for an event that celebrates things 100 years ago – I cant find too many other occasion to wear this to!

Items worn often:

Sleep pajamas for the girls – they like them!

Rayon pants for the girls – they LOVE them! (I had to hide them for the winter because they keep picking those and rayon is too light weight for winter).

The “party” dresses for the girls at their request. They are very loved and most importantly, they make them feel extraordinary. I need to blog about the black and the cat dress! Oh – all the dresses for the girls are made from Tadah Pattern’s tea party dress pattern!

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This robe I never blogged about. It’s made from a wonderful rayon velvet, lovelist thing to wrap around on a not-so-chill day. Because its pink and covers a lot, Ive provably worn it more often than hubby would have liked.

 

My dresses – I love all of them and worn them often. I really need to blog about the red one sometimes though!

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The only top I made – but loved!! Work very often in the fall.

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Of course, most importantly and my true love in sewing – da coats!! I’ve worn all those very often and couldn’t image how I managed the wardrobe without them before! (Jk, kind of!!) I have been working the neutrals the last two years though – so I am looking forward to making more fun colored coats next!

That’s all!! I’ve had a productive year and surprisingly – most of the stuff had been blogged despite that I try to not pester my hubby too often for photo sessions.

This year I’ve also picked up a few more hobbies – fashion drawing, standup paddle boarding, and dance classes. Ive enjoyed them and didnt mind less sewing time especially for the more physical hobbies. I’ve realize I need to keep in shape in order to keep wearing my creations! (ESP the coats as they last for years!).

For 2018 – I am planning to sew from my stash, do some more instagram sewing related challenges (#2018makenine, #burdachallenge2018), and make some more coats, dresses, and kids clothing! Thank you lovely readers for reading and commenting – I’ve enjoyed you accompanying me on my 10th year of sewing!


Girls Matching Purple sweater dress

Happy new year everyone!!! Thank you for the very nice comments in my previous post 🙂 what a great way to start a new year!

Also, for some reason I see a huge jump of traffic and a few new subscribers when I logged in to post this today – where do you all come from? The referral doesn’t seem to be any blogs I can click on… I am curious! 🙂

Now to the meat of this post! I just recovered from a two week colds/flu, and didnt do much sewing during that time. But I finally felt better last two days, and what is better than a quick project to get my sewing mojo back on? I had this pretty, soft purple sweatshirt-ish material from a friend, and had the perfect amount to make some cute purple sweater dress for the girls.

I used burda style 03/2009 #137 For little A and burda style 06/2009 #144 For little K. Little A’s came out perfect. Little K’s came out pretty fitted and I had to make a long cuff to make it long enough. Then I added a skirt and white eyelet trim on the bottom, hand embroidered their initials so that they don’t get it mixed up, Tada! It really didnt take too long!

First a picure from my iPhone. Hubby took some really cute pictures of the girls in it and between all the cuteness and my overaries exploding I forgot to make sure there’s one with them standing:

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Now some insanely cute photos (sorry, can I be such about my own daughters?):

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I just love the dresses on them! Hoping this would give them another pretty, but warm option in their winter wardrobe!


Black long line coat

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First of all, let me just say this is probably the last and only black coat I will be making as long as we still have a cat with white fur in the house. It is almost impossible to get all the cat hair out for the photo shoot!

When I was in boston freezing my legs off earlier this year, I started craving for some ankle length coats. Ive always made hip length coats – they are easier to wear for petites. However, now that I am fairly confident with fitting my body, I wanted to try a longer length coat on myself – a fun sewing/fashion challenge!

I had been stash busting my wool coating and the last one left is this twill wool coating that I am not super excited about. It is your basic wool coating, and not super tightly woven like the ones I am used to. However, that means it drapes well, and fantastic for this coat Ive been saving in my Pinterest.

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(My attempt to copy the inspiration picture from Wendy- I probably need a tighter white dress and skinnier legs heeheehee)

I again used my TNT pattern Talea coat from burdastyle, made my same alteration to change front to a single piece with a dart (instead of two piece each side), lengthened it, and drafted a notched collar. I originally planned to do a kick pleat vent, but totally forgot to cut the extra fabric for it while cutting. I definitely had no extra fabric left to cut another one, so I had to go with a split vent. I also debated whether to flare the coat as the original inspiration, but decided against it because flared coat tend to not flatter my figure for a day-to-day wear (e.g. not with a 50s dress), and also, I didnt have enough fabric (yes yes i thought in that order). I am quite proud of my collar drafting hack – as it turned out beautifully and was easy to sew.

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I chose to do a clean welt pocket, it is lined with black satin, and the front piece is reinforced with interface so that I can actually put my iPhone inside.

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A single black metal hook as closure… I plan to wear this coat open most of the time.

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One of my favorite parts – the lining. The reason I liked the original inspiration is the white and black lining, so of course I need to make this coat accordingly. I found a 50% rayon white shirting on fashionfabricclub – it worked very well for lining and is comfortable. But its not slippery enough for the sleeves so those are made with 100% rayon satin from fashionfabricclub. (If i remember right the wool coating is from there too… can you tell I am a fan of fashionfabricclub?I actually bought 10 yards of those amazing black rayon satin – I love them for coat lining!)

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I didnt think I would have finished this coat before end of the year, so I timestamped it 2018…  oh wells! The OCD in me wanted to push back the completion date… but we can just say, winter 2018?

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I refrained myself from my usual top-stitching and ironed the seams flat instead to allow the coat to drape better. It took a lot of self-restraining because I know the seams are weaker this way. But it makes a lot of sense for this coat to not have the top stitching. But I am debating whether to do a round of top stitching around the edges (collars, front lines, bottoms). I always need to make the lining baggier , and when the coat falls naturally the lining piece in the front folds out a little, which drives me crazy. any opinions?

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The coat fit very well, its very clean and very basic – quite a departure from my usual detailed/designed coats, but I am enjoying the very different lines and all the different types of outfits it is allowing me!

Lastly – I am ringing in the new year nursing a food baby on the couch… I hope you are all having a fun celebration, whether its a quiet one or a robust one. Thank you all for your readership for the past year, happy 2018 everyone!

 

 


The Year of Blankets

This year, I made three blankets! A whooping three blankets, probably the highest count since I started sewing.

The first blanket is for my little one. When my older one was born she was given three hand made blankets and we love them and use them all the time. So Ive been thinking about another one now that I have two girls. This was made from a cute alphabet fabric gifted by a friend who was trying to downsize her stash. I saw the fabric and I could not resist just making a simple baby quilt from it. Since its just one piece of fabric, it was easy to make – just quilt the squares, sew a border in, and viola! I am done. I did decide to hand sew one side of the border so that there’s no extra threads showing through.

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This quilt is perfect for keeping a doll warm, or to shade the window during long car rides, or for a little picnic. The girls used it quite often! Here it is with all the other (gifted) handmade baby blankets.

 

The second blanket is for my hubby. He used to wear a lot of cute woot T-shirts, featuring shows/movies/culture we love together. Some of them has holes and I’ve collected enough of his old shirt to piece together this T-shirt quilt. For the back I used a sturdy cotton twill from Ikea featuring orange cat faces. When I told him I am going to use the ikea cat fabric, he said “really? You are going to use that cute cat fabric for MY blanket? I feel so special!” Lol, my hubby understands my possessive nature with my fabric well!

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He uses this blanket all the time – as his sleeping blanket during the summer and as his throw blanket when he put the girls to bed. It makes me look forward to his next themed blanket!

 

The third blanket is for my older one, but I use it quite often. I made this fur coat for myself and the girls love to rub themselves on the fur side whenever possible. They just love how soft the fur is! The fur is a little too long and overwhelming for me to want to make something wearable for them, but i thought they would enjoy a blanket made from it. So I hunted for a suitable fabric around the house, which came out to be this 1 layer wool blanket I “made” a few years ago. (By “make” i just cut it to shape and pulled threads out for the fringe.) I sewed them right side together and turned them inside out, the girls love it! I use it all the time myself too.

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It is actually currently being used as her sleep blanket, she just loves the softness. Because its so soft and slippery, I couldn’t refuse her even though this is pretty much all polyester and the fabric snob in my is screaming a little. Luckily, it doesn’t seem to cause much static!

Thats the three blankets I made 🙂 I quite enjoyed them and i love how much they are loved!


Simple Double Layered Grey Rib Knit Dress

I’ve been wanting to make a simple long-sleeve, slightly-below the knee grey dress, mainly inspired by a bunch of grey-dress+leather jacket + scarf inspiration pins.

The pattern itself is simple enough – something I made many times before. This time, I wanted the fabric to be thick – I didnt want it to cling to every little features of my curve 😉 So I decided to double up the fabric and use two layers instead of the default one. And then I decided that instead of struggling without a cover stitch machine, I would simple serge the two fabric together at neckline, sleeve hem, and hemline, so that I’d have a pretty professional finishing on the edges without having the cover stitch. It came out great- stretchable and clean and not a thread in sight!

 

 

With me wearing it (sorry, no full body shots of the dress as i am feeling the lack of time to properly take photos of me wearing the dress!)

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I pretty much used much all the fabric I had available – because I doubled up, It came out knee-length only, but its nice and thick and warm, and works well with 👢 instead of sneakers in my original planned outfit. I feel the slight need to make two more – one short body con and one longer, midi length dress!