Sunday, December 28, 2014

2015 Sewing Resolutions

I made sewing resolutions in years past and somehow was never able to fulfill them. This time around, I'm going to make a few very simple sewing resolution for 2015:

1. Each month, take out a few pieces of season appropriate fabrics and use them up! I have got too much fabric (even though I didn't really buy any new ones last year) and they have to be used!!

2. Also, each month, take out a few items from the 'to-be-refashioned' pile and refashion them up! I got too much in the refashion pile as well!

3. Learn a few new sewing techniques throughout the year.

That's it! I think I should be able to do the above, right?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Happy Holidays! Top 10 projects for 2014

We are almost at the end of 2014 - hard to believe, isn't it? I went through all my projects in 2014 and here are my 10 top favourite projects:

1. Little White Dress - I entered's Little White Dress competition. After 2 failed potential entries (plus tears and wasted fabrics), I used this tried and true strapless dress pattern by Cynthia Rowley (Butterick 6079 from 1999) and white linen blend fabric from my stash to make this dress. I was happy enough with it. It can be dressed for different occasions: from the office to a dinner date to a simple wedding dress!

2. Red Faux Suede Purse - I like simple cross-body bags as purses because I usually need both arms/hands to juggle active kids, groceries, etc. I hadn't seen many RTW bags that has the kind of compartments and pockets that I required. So I designed and made my own with thrifted red faux suede remnants. It turned out to be very functional and I learned a lot about making bags. And best of all - it's washable!

3. Little Red Dress - I love red and I try to make as many red clothing items as possible. I got this RTW XL ponte knit dress for $4.97. I immediately set about refashioning this to something that was unique and fit me well. I had this buckle in my stash for ages and I thought it would be a nice touch to add that to the neckline. I wore the dress many times during the warmer months this year. It can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories I wear. Very happy with this simple refashion!

4. Little Black Dress - I wanted a travel friendly little black dress that I could wear for many different occasions. I had some black ponte knit in my stash so I thought it would be extremely travel friendly. I drafted my own simple pattern because I thought a faux wrap style dress would be more 'dressy' than just a scoop neck dress. Since it was a faux wrap, I wouldn't have to worry about the dress flying open in strong wind!

5. Little Red Jacket - Are you convinced that I love red clothing yet? ;-) I wanted a cap sleeve little red linen jacket to wear with my tank tops and sun dresses. This Simplicity Cynthia Rowley pattern looked like it would be a good choice. I made quite a number of changes to the pattern though. It turned out alright:

6. The Wedding Dress!! - I made a wedding dress for myself for a photoshoot. I had great fun with it too! I narrowed the pattern choices down to 3 and made bedsheet muslins for all of them. This one came out on top. I didn't choose a very elaborate pattern so the dress wasn't really too difficult for me to do. It was a beautiful day for the photoshoot and my hubby and I had a lot of fun that afternnon.

7. Long Linen Trousers - I didn't have any long summer trousers so I decided to make a pair that would be versatile enough to wear to the beach or to see the school teachers. I have used this pattern before. It's a very quick and easy to sew pattern. I wore these trousers in the summer and into the autumn as well. Very useful piece of clothing indeed!

8. Another pair of jeggings - I basically live in jeggings except in the summer. I wear them with sweater dresses, sweaters, cardigans, jackets, etc. One pair is just never enough! I have used this McCall pattern 10 times now. I have tweaked it to fit my body and I added back pockets to them. I'm just going to keep using this pattern until it disintegrate! ;-)

9. New Hat and Scarf - I have very dark and boring looking coats. So I tried to inject some colours into my winter outfits with this stash red/black plaid wool blend fabric (yes I really like red). Really useful and  quick and easy to make too!

10. Chainmail Festive Dress - Who doesn't like a sparkly dress for the holidays (or for Halloween)? I had this chainmail-like knit in my stash and I made this quick and simple cap sleeves dress. I added a buckle from my stash to make it look even more like chainmail. Now I have a festive dress and a Halloween dress-up dress as well!

So these are my favourite projects from this past year. I'm looking forward to more sewing inspirations for next year! Happy Holiday everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Refashion: A Festive Glitzy Thrifted Sweater

I guess I'm just all for festive clothing this month! I have had this wonderfully warm and cozy thrifted merino wool sweater for a year. It has been in my refashion pile for a long time and I didn't know what to do with it. The turtleneck part was so tight that it was uncomfortable for me to wear it. Then this week I looked at it again right next to the sparkly chain mail knit scraps from my last project (see here) and I realized they would go well together for a nice and festive refashion.

First I marked the final neckline that I want with chalk. I then cut a strip from the sparkly chain mail knit, folded it over and made a round. Then I sew the round onto the chalked line on the sweater. I cut the rest of the turtleneck off and this is how it looked:

It looked fine but I thought I would add something else to make it even more festive. I still had more of that chain mail knit scraps left. So I made a quick bow and sewed that to the neckline.

This is how it looks on me:

The bow can be removed easily by snipping a few threads. So after the holiday season, if I wanted something more plain, I can just remove the bow easily.

So I'm quite happy with this simple refashion. I can now finally wear this warm and cozy sweater for the rest of this Fall/winter season!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quick Snowman Costume - Butterick 3267

I just found out that for my preschooler's school X'mas concert, she is supposed to be a snowman. The teachers had sent me a note asking me to dress her in white. Unfortunately I purposely made sure that she doesn't have any white clothing because she is very messy eater. So instead of rushing out to the stores to look for something in white for her, I went to my fabric and pattern stash in my house and pulled out this thrifted pattern and this white fleece fabric remnant:

I have used this pattern before (see here) so I knew it would be a quick and easy project. And I did it all in less than 2 hours! I omitted the facings but used the stretchy white fleece as bindings for the neckline and armholes. For the buttons, I used some grey felted wool scraps from my scrap box. Here is how it looks:

I hope that works well enough and she will look like the snowman on stage. I'm also happy that I have busted some of of my remnant/scrap stash too!

Monday, December 8, 2014

December MAGAM Festive Chain Mail Dress Done!! Butterick 5247

This Festive Chain Mail dress came together really quickly! It was so much fun to make and I`m sure will be really fun to wear.

I made a few design changes:

1. I omitted the cowl neck;
2. I added a centre back seam to add more shaping to the dress;
3. I added slit to the front neckline;
4. I shorted the sleeves by about 3cm;
5. I shortened the hem by 3cm;
6. I decorated the front neckline with a buckle (making it even more like Chain Mail!)

I used size 12 and I still had to take in the centre back seam a bit. I have loads of buckles in my stash (I got them for a deep discount in the summer) so I decided to continue with the chain mail theme and added the buckle to the neckline. I have used buckles before in dresses (see here).

I think I`ll have lots of fun wearing this Festive Chain Mail dress not just for x`mas and New Year, but also for many other occasions (especially ones where a meal is involved). I can`t wait!

See my review on

Saturday, December 6, 2014

MAGAM December Plan: Chain Mail dress for X'mas - Butterick 5247

The December theme for Make A Garment A Month is 'Festive Dress'. I have so many ideas for a 'Festive Dress' that it was really hard to decide what to make. I looked through my fabric stash and found this silver glittery knit. I remember when I first saw it in the fabric store I thought 'Chain mail!'. I thought it's going to be a festive enough material.

As for the pattern, since the material is already 'festive enough', I thought I would use a pattern in my stash that is more subdued in shape/style to balance out the 'rock and roll chain mail'. I just made a dress with my tried-and-true Butterick 5247 last month. It has a nice and easy shape so that one can eat a big x'mas/new year's meal in it. And it's also a very practical style for a holiday hostess dress.

Hopefully this will be a fun, quick and easy chain mail hostess dress!