Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reminiscing 2008

I have a confession, some of my closest friends have heard this before ... I always had 2 fears about using the sewing machine, which prevented me from going near a sewing machine. As morbid and as silly as it may sound, I was afraid that:

1) my finger will get caught under the presser foot and the sewing machine will eat me alive (at least my hand); and

2) the needle will break and the sharp pointy bit will fly into my eye (that reminds me; I need to get myself an industrial safety glasses).

After all these years of gluing fabric together, I finally taught myself to use a sewing machine!!! So I guess my creative urges were stronger than my fear.

In 2008, I made lotsa stuff with the sewing machine (and sometimes still gluing stuff together) and started this crafting blog! HURRAH!!! Looking forward to more projects in 2009!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Croquis is Not a French Pastry"

Croquis, although sounds like a pastry, it simply means 'sketch' in French. It is pronounced as \krō-ˈkē\ which is a noun of croquer, meaning to sketch. (From Merriam-Webster)

In fashion, it refers to a quick sketch of 'mannequin' modelling clothes that are being designed, and are usually not of realistic human proportions.
Here's a useful link for croquis (as shared by ladyjanewriter of Threadbanger Forum),

Grecian-Inspired Hairbands

I browsed a hair accessories shop recently and I was shocked out of my skin, when I found out how expensive some of these hairbands were. Evita Peroni is selling the leather ones at RM115-RM156 each, while the cheaper ones were selling them at RM35-RM50 each!

Being a known cheapskate, I am determined to make my own. I bought leather straps of 3 different colors and 1 silver ribbon at 2m length each, all for less than RM20. And I made myself a total of 5 hairbands!

And this is how I did it. After I measured my head, from front-top to back-bottom and back up again, I figured I need about 52cm in 'circumference'. So, I cut up the straps and ribbon in 42cm each, leaving the extra 10cm for the rubber band. I sorted them out into 5 groups of 3 pieces each. 1) 3nos of dark brown leathers; 2) 3nos of reddish brown leathers; 3) 3nos of beige leathers; 4) 1no of dark brown, 1no of reddish brown and 1no of beige; and 5) 3nos of silver ribbons. (Other alternatives, would be 4 straps or 5 straps)
Then, I cut up the fake leather scraps from a furniture refurbishing store (from my Mecha-monocle project) into a strip, as wide as the 3 straps put together. After that, I divided the strip into 10nos of 4cm lengths (2 end pieces of each hairband), and made a marker of 1cm on each end. And glue.
After looping the leather bits back to be glued on the other side of the ends, I made sure I leave a allowance for the rubber band to be threaded later. (If you decided to use a rubber band for hair that is already in a loop, you should insert it in at this point, before sealing it up.)Repeat it for the other end, while ensuring that the straps are all in line and facing the same way up. After the glue at both leather ends are securely dried, insert the rubber band. In my case, I cut up 20cm, which is double the remaining length of what I need to complete the loop.
This is so that it will not be too tight and end up shrinking & sliding to the back of your head, by the end of the day; while still having a little tension because it is including the knot you will be tying and the width of the leather ends. Meaning to say, it will be only slightly less than 10cm after it all.
Since my hair is naturally straight and with some leftover curls at the end from my perm 2 years ago, it looks really neat & tidy here. Or else you can try a poofy wild variation, like how they dressed Blake Lively's hair in Gossip Girl, during the white party.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Shiny Cute Xmas Tree

With a combination of can tabs from Heineken cans (green), Tiger can (gold) and regular soft drink cans (silver), I made a shiny cute xmas tree, of good-ole recycled goodness!!!

Armed with a metallic green flower arrangement wire and a pair of wire cutter, I'm on the way.
I started with the bottom ring of 12 green tabs. Then, the one on top, with 11 tabs. Gradually, 10 tabs, 9 tabs, until it got to the top, with 6 tabs. I secured those rings together with wires at 3 points per layer, cut to 1 inch each.
Every (well, most) Xmas tree needs a feature on top. So I made a gold 'star' of 6 tabs (5 gold & 1 green) as shown in the picture.
I only created 2 rows of silver as accents to the trees, which I preferred it to be predominantly green!I used a total of 48 green tabs, 16 silver tabs and 5 gold tabs. Now, all you have to do is drink up (or collect) at least almost 3 cartons of beer and soft drinks and you can have yourself a metallic tiny Xmas tree too!!!


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fabrics Galore : Dec 2008

Fabrics for New Year Projects!
A - B : Irene's pajama pants
C : Own blouse. (Yet to find a pattern still)
D - E : wrap pants for me
F - G : wrap pants for Irene
H - I : obi belt and somemore

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fabric : Rayon

Rayon, from cellulose, has many of the qualities of cotton, a natural cellulose fiber. Rayon is strong, extremely absorbent, comes in a variety of qualities and weights, and can be made to resemble natural fabrics. Rayon does not melt but burns at high temperatures.

Rayon drapes well, has a soft, silky hand, and has a smooth, napped, or bulky surface. Rayon will wrinkle easily and may stretch when wet and shrink when washed.

Washable rayon will state the care on the fabric label. Like silk, if you pre-wash rayon fabric prior to construction of the garment, you have a washable garment.

Also read Japan Chemical Fibres Association - Rayon

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Miniature Dinner Gown

ZuAn is a 12-year-old crafty little girl. Crafty meaning she knits, she makes bears, she knits bears, she makes dolls, she makes dresses for her dolls and bears, she sews and she draws extremely well too.

The creative genes are most likely courtesy of her parents as artists. Her mom told me that she encourages ZuAn to keep all her sketches in a sketch book instead of loose pieces of paper. That sketch book was exhibited during her mom's solo art exhibition in Singapore, and there was a lot of demand for that sketch book. It was about an on-going amazing adventure of a little girl with Superpig and friends, and its all from fragments of her imagination. I'm truly inspired by her.
Recently she visited us with her horde of a family. While the other kids are playing computer games, she was knitting or sketching away. She jokingly said that she'd rather stick to handicraft because she is 'technologically challenged'. So I accompanied her in making some dresses for both of her Momoko dolls. She collected my mother-in-laws fabric scraps, and one of it was a very nice magenta colored curtain fabric with gold weaves. So we decided to make a simple tube dress, which I worked on from inside out. I darted it to give it contours too.At the back, while ensuring that Momoko can slip in and out of the dress, we decided to give her a velcro fixing. After all that, we decided that the dress still didn't give her enough of a waistline, so I made Momoko an obi, also fastened with velcro at the back. I secured the obi to the dress with sequins, shaping it like a sakura.Here's Momoko modelling her new dress at my sewing machine, and with some of my Re-ment collection.I later added a 'gold' necklace and hairband to Momoko from my beading wires.

This is a not my first miniature, but definitely a miniature first with my sewing machine. It made my already stubby fingers feel like big clumsy sausages.