Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sewing knits

I feel like sewing knit fabrics using my serger. I have a plenty of knit fabrics in my fabric drawer. Some I purchased then forgot about that for long time, and some were given to me by my old friend in Japan. The friend used to make clothes for her daughters. Now her girls are all grown up and not wearing clothes which are their mom's handmade so much. She still had a plenty of quality Japanese fabrics in a box she wouldn't use anymore. So it was a few years ago, I flew back to the US from Japan carrying a box of fabrics! This week I made a half sleeve raglan T-shirt for myself with knits in my stash. I drafted a pattern using a (non-raglan) T-shirt that I like its shape as a template. I am sure many many crafty bloggers already shared tutorials of making T-shirt based on what you already have in your closet. But I think I am going to share my version of brief tutorial in the next post. Because it is an easy and quick project. I guess some of my readers would like to know how I did it.

Happy knit sewing!! Please have a good day!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Finished!! Nina's "Olinda"

Finally!! I can share the photos of finished "Olinda" today. I added many more buttons and made the sleeves much longer than the original design. That was Nina's requests. Somehow she likes long long sleeves for her cardigans and sweaters. It seems we endured through the coldest time of the year. I see grey sky that looks almost crying today but it is OVER 50°F (unbelievable!!!). Yesterday was a little cooler but a super bright beautiful day. I am so happy to see the thick snow melting and water dripping from the icicles. Meanwhile I am hoping to have some more  slightly cold days so Nina can enjoy wearing her new cardigan. My Ravelry project page is here.

Nina can pose like a model in such a fancy clothing and she can fly like an agile Ninja as well!

I love love love this smile. Happy knitting!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I had been knitting this cardigan for Nina since September last year. I'm shocked to know that it took  five whole months!! I allowed this project to go slow because I had several deadlines and so many other things to do (as always) . Even so, five months is too long.  Finally it's finished last week! I still need to block this lovely piece though, I am so happy about the look of this cardigan. I used this beautiful pattern Olinda by Georgie Hallam. My project page in Ravelry is here. I should have filled all the information in the project page about the yarn I used and other stuff. I will try to fill it and update the photos of finished piece soon. This seems complicated at first glance. But actually it is not. The twisted patten is made by repeating a simple stitches which is not hard to memorize. Well, you may need patience to finish since the cardigan is covered with this twisted pattern all over. For me, it was fun to see it growing little by little. Now I need to decide what project I am going to knit from now. Knitting is addictive. Once you start, it is hard to quit. I want to knit a Spring garment for myself. It is also a very fun time to surf around looking for a pattern to knit for next.

This cardigan was top-down and sleeves are knitted continuously from the york. As the piece grows longer it gets heavier. It is tiresome to hold and rotate that heavy body as you knit sleeves. So I kept the body part in my reversible Azuma-Bukuro (Japanese traditional tote bag) . It made my work much easier. This bag is very handy and versatile. I also use this as a project bag. I hope I can write the tutorial of how to make this tote bag soon.

Currently I am working on writing a new scarf knitting pattern. I will share the completed free pattern of this lacy scarf pretty soon. I know that Spring is just around the corner in some regions in the US. So maybe it will be too late for some of you. But I hope about a half of you are still in the middle of Winter just like I am. And many many people in the Southern Hemisphere are just started thinking about knitting a scarf or two before the cold weather will arrive. This pattern requires only a few stitches. If you are looking for an easy scarf pattern, please stay tuned.

Happy knitting! Please have a wonderful afternoon.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Hide My Heart Ⅲ

This is the last post about my "Hide My Heart" bag series. The last bag is slightly larger than the other two. The hidden heart on this bag is filled with vines, leaves and tiny flowers on wool fabric. I used fine embroidery wool thread, sequins and beads in the design.

This is it!! I had fun working on three different embroidery designs. These were all sort of improvisations. They are certainly one of a kind. I love to wear one as a cross body bag. It is functional and also stylish. I think these bags would be flattering for all ages. Sorry I don't have any photos of a person wearing them. I will update the photos when I have a chance to shoot someone (or myself) wearing one!

Kiss lock frame purses feel retro but also are reviving in fashion now. My first memory of a kiss lock purse was a coin purse my grandma had. I believe the purse was beads crocheted. It was made with shiny iridescent beads. She gave us, her grandchildren pocket money from the coin purse to buy some candies or something. We only could visit our grandparents once in years and they have passed away when I was still very young so a few things I remember about them are valuable for me. Somehow the shine of the beads are remaining very clearly in my mind.

We are in a huge snow storm today and maybe though Monday. The snow is very deep but the wind is not that bad as it has been predicted (so far!). I don't hate to have a couple of deep snow days in a year. It is so beautiful outside. What is your weekend like? I hope you have a beautiful Sunday. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hide My Heart Ⅱ

There are two more purses in my "Hide My Heart" series. This is the second one I am going to share today. I had this cool woven "Cross" pattern upholstery fabric. I played a bit with the pattern with some cross stitching. This is the same technique as chicken scratch. Using one of the colors in the base fabric pattern for stitching, and cross out over the other colors to make the hidden hearts appear. I used dark brown floss to cross stitch over lighter colored crosses. Do you see my hidden hearts on the purse now?

I lined three small hearts on the back of the purse.

Added some crystals to embellish the hearts.


From here this is a brand new project I am working on right now. I am drawing roses with needle and thread!! I want to make it look like a fine pen drawing. So I use only one strand of #25 embroidery floss. I have tried two strands and other stitches and I didn't like them. Finally I found the right way. It is a time consuming project but also fun to make it as I hope by trial and error (only when it doesn't have deadline, I guess :p).

It has been three weeks after schools resumed. The Spring semester of Nina's ballet class just started yesterday and the school play practice will be starting on Friday (Nina got a lead role in the play!! We are so excited!)...... Looks like our life has finally come back to the routine. There are some new things going on in our house as well. We started remodeling the master bath a couple of weeks ago. I cannot wait to finish this project and take a wonderful soaking bath (it will be Japanese style!) in the beautiful room. I am afraid that will be a few month away from now.......

Thank you for reading. I hope you all started a good week. Happy embroidering!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hide My Heart Ⅰ

I finished three purses for Valentine's day.  The theme is "Hidden Heart". This purse is one of them. Well, in this one the hearts are not really well hidden (;p), though. The long chain handle allows you to use this as a shoulder bag or a cross-body purse. I combined felt applique, beads and wool stitches together on a wool fabric which has some gold sparkles in it.

This bag is available to purchase this month at the local vintage boutique Junk Evolution in East Bank, South Bend.
Thank you for visiting. Please have a nice weekend. Happy bag making!!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Made Gifts

Since Thanksgiving day was very close to the end of November and I was helping the costume sewing for the Nutcracker production of Nina's ballet school, it was so hard to manege the time for making Holiday gifts for the teachers and friends. We barely finished the gifts for Nina's ballet teachers by the last lessons. I also wanted to give some hand bags for my friends who have been really helpful for years. I couldn't make it by Christmas but I finished it just a couple of days ago and finally gave the bags to the friends.

For this one below, I used some remnants of Kimono fabrics from the bags I made for December consignment. This friend, the recipient of this gift told me she liked the fabric when she saw that. I made it with a kiss lock frame and a chain handle. Kimono silks are good enough for formal occasions.

The main fabric for the next one is a felted old Nordic sweater. Felting a sweater (it has to be made of  100% wool) is pretty simple. I wash a sweater with hot water and laundry detergent in my washing machine then dry in my dryer. I used a pair of leather handles and a aluminum tubular spring frame. The felted thick fabric and leather handles made this bag durable. It opens wide and has a large bottom gusset so this bag can hold a lot of things.

These women live sustainable lives enjoyably. They are very good at giving new lives to old things. The way how they live is a good example for people including myself who want to live greener without any pressure. Reusing old Kimono and sweaters is a perfect gift theme for them.

From here I am going to show the items Nina and I made together for her teachers. These two cosmetic pouches below are the gifts for Nina's ballet teachers. Nina did cross stitched their initials for the first time! I think they look great for the first time.

This one is for Nina's music teacher. She has a beautiful black cat so we made a tree ornament of a cute black kitten. Nina designed the face and I embroidered it on a piece of felt.

We are so glad that all the recipients were very happy!! Did you make handmade Holiday gifts? Thank you for reading. Please have a great Sunday!!