Sunday, December 29, 2013

Drawstring pouch made of one square fabric

 I am editing a tutorial for making this adorable drawstring pouch. I've been wanting to share this tutorial in the blog. The structure of the pouch looks complicated at first sight. I know, it would be unbelievable to you ladies, if I say it is very easy to make. And this is made of only ONE piece of square fabric. But I am not lying at all! The pouch has two out side pockets which are covered by two flaps look like pretty flower petals. I am going to share the tutorial of making this magical cute thing in the next post. So please stay tuned and make it your first project of the new year 2014!

The process of making this cute pouch is only two things. Folding a square fabric like Origami and a bit of sewing. This particular method is applicable to any sizes of squares. No need to cut and assemble numbers of parts at all. This is a very quick project.

Super cute, huh?

Flips look like flower petals.

Perfect for carrying bits and pieces in your purse. Or organizing your supplies for sewing.

All right! I made one last blog update just in time in 2013 as I promised! (Do you think I'm cheating by posting only a preview of the tutorial?) The next post will be coming real soon.

This is going to be my last post in this year. Sometimes life is tough. And I often complain about that. But I really think I should be very grateful that my family spent another safe year. I hope you had a safe and peaceful year as well, and will have a wonderful new year. I am also grateful that many many people around the world visited this little creative space of mine and inspired me a lot. Thanks so much you all and have a Happy New Year.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to you all!

Merry Christmas everyone! It has been really long time since the last post. I wrote about Halloween in that post! That meas I have been silent for about seven weeks! I am so sorry about that but things around here got suddenly crazy busy after then. I usually spend very busy weeks around the Holidays like many of you do, but this one was extreme. I kept thinking of updating my blog and always ran out of strength at the end of a day. There were numbers of things that has occupied me so much. One of the reasons were that I had two commissions from the publishers in two different counties. The dead lines were close together in the middle of December. I am not going to describe about that, but this is a sneak peek for you of what I had been working on.

Today, I am going to share the pictures of the things I made on consignment for Christmas sales at Junk Evolution. These are folding zipper clutch bags. This pretty red and white lace fabric was from the dress I've found at a thrift store. The dress itself looked beautiful, clean and almost unworn. I washed and took apart that very carefully then made it into these pretty bags.

These are crocheted jewelries. Some colorful earrings and pins.

My standard goods, crocheted flower brooches.

I started making these felt pins last Winter. A building and a tree series.

From here, these are Christmas gifts Nina made for her teachers. The mini heart pillow with embroidered letters. This was for her ballet teacher.

The canvas book tote made with "original textile" . Nina drew the picture with fabric crayons and markers.

This was not a gift. She built this ginger bread house almost all by herself for the first time! Now I consider her a real big girl ;D

This is the book tree I saw at the library in the town. I think it's very chic and cool. Maybe, I could make a small version of this for my house next year.
It's literally freezing here in South Bend tonight. We don't have much snow but this is a beautiful Christmas eve night. I hope you are having a merry merry Christmas with your loved ones.

( I promise the next post will be coming sooner! I have a lot to share with you!!)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Totally homemade costume 2013

Good bye October, hello November! Did you have a fun Halloween? I hope you all did.

For this Halloween I sewed a complete costume for Nina. This might be surprising for you since I am a author of a "HANDMADE" themed blog, but I have never sewed her Halloween costume from head to toe. Well, I mostly added some handmade elements to store purchased clothes. (You can see some of our previous Halloween projects here and here.) But this was the first costume I made completely from design sketch and pattern making to finish! (Actually I didn't make a pattern. I used her existent clothes to trace the rough shape on the fabric and eyeballed amount of fullness to add.)

Her request for 2013 was a Jester. (We needed to discuss about several other characters. Then somehow this one made a hit with her.)

(Oh dear, my daughter has a big forehead! That is definitely NOT from myself. )

Her school also had the annual Fall Festival on the Halloween day. All the kids look forward to this event every year. I am so grateful that the event is always organized so well by parents volunteers and the school staff.

We have pumpkin decorating contest every time. Nina didn't enter this year. There were many great entries. Students judge them and vote to the one they think that's the best.

I think many Moms liked this one. A gumball machine! The setting was really nice too. Well done! (Nina told me this won the second prize.)

There were some hilarious ones! I loved this Captain Underpants! Fun fun fun!

And here comes the winner! This is representing a very popular game "MINE CRAFT". Nina plays this game with friends, too. Do your children play this? I really don't understand why this game attracts kids so much. It seems a very simple game. (just building houses with bricks? Well, there are zombies threatening builders, though....) Anyways, I liked this pumpkin. The thing I like about this is that it looks like a kid's art. No perfection, but filled with the KIDNESS : )

I almost forgot to mention this! I made a little zipper clutch with scrap fabrics from Nina's costume. Love the impromptu piece work. I like to have the touch of velvet on my purse. Especially for Winter time.
Thank you for your visit. I hope you all have a great start of the month!

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hi everyone! We are having a pretty mild Fall this year here in North Indiana. The trees are slowly getting Autumn colors. This is the view from the Cathedral window in my living room. Love the colorful leaves shining in the sunshine.

It has been many many things going on around myself. I'll just show and tell you some of things I am having here.

My new work room move is still in progress and it is taking shape little by little. I know! It is taking too long. I just don't want to make myself stressed out since this is the busiest time of the year. I have a so very long "TO DO" list and it seems that I will never be able to finish. Just thinking of that even make me feel stressed! ( I know many of you have the same feeling right now! ) But there are definitely some progresses I can see!

I got quite a large "new" dresser and now use the top of that as a cutting table. And I made a Mood board on the wall above that. I am going to share the detail and a short tutorial for making it later. This project is super easy, you can make your mood board instantly using papers and some Washi tapes. (This is not a board for pinning stuff. Only for Washi taping.)

In the room, there are several projects going on. Editing a new sewing pattern is one of them.

Crocheting with twines. I am preparing to share a tutorial for making really pretty things with this utility yarn.

 I found this beautiful dress at my local thrift store.

 Look at this pretty detail of the cotton lace on the bottom! This material is perfect for making things for Christmas! Can't wait to start!

 I finished the legwarmers I was working on. Now Nina can wear them for warming up at her ballet lessons. I want to make another pair of "Ballet Pink" ones next time. (Did you know there is a color called "Ballet Pink"? That is a common word among Moms whose kids do ballet.)

Nina asked me to embellish her dress for the school picture day. The dress was given by her Dad last Christmas. It has small stars in a dark navy back ground which looks like a little polka dots from far. She thought that is a bit too plain for the photo shooting so she suggested to add some lace tapes on it. I sewed narrow lace tapes I had in my stash on the front body of the dress.

I purchased some vintage goodies from my favorite boutique in the town JUNK EVOLUTION. A fun blue trivet which shaped like silverware. A primitive geometric pattern silk scarf. And a thing looks like a wire basket I actually don't know what it is. But I just needed to get that. Because.......because I am pretty much obsessed with collecting baskets. It is hard for me to resist getting them when I found pretty or unusual baskets. Is this a basket for collecting eggs? Or a strainer? If you know what this thing is for, please let me know. I will appreciate it! (^o<)

There is one more thing to tell you. I might have written this before. My husband runs a small real estate business. We buy abandoned houses and remodel them. Then rent them out. This is the picture of the house he newly purchased....... I made the image relatively small. Because it is not a pretty picture. I did not want to disgust you with it. I am guessing that the previous owner might have been a hoarder. This mess will be taken care of by the seller before all the procedure completes. The structure and design of this house don't look bad. This will be a pretty nice house after all next Spring (I hope!).

Thank you for reading. I hope you all have a nice week! See you soon!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Things happning on my work table (and around the house)

 Wow, it's October? No kidding. Wow. I say this approximately twelve times a year. "Where did my last month fly away?"

Collecting myself, I have been too busy with working on my original pattern making and other chores to write for the blog so long. I am almost there to finish moving my studio from the basement to upstairs. It was very hard to start any new projects when I was in the middle of moving. But the furniture setting is finally decided and many of my stuff which need to be stored in this room got their new home. So at last I can start my work in this incomplete studio. (But now, I have the feeling of success about this move pretty much!) Today I want to share what's going on my work table recently with some pictures you might want to take a look.

I fell in love with this fabric collection "Spring house" by Stephanie Ryan when it was released right away. I didn't have any plan yet but anyway I needed to get some or all of the patterns of this collection! It is rare that I really love whole prints in one collection. This was one very rare thing which happened to me this spring. I wish I could buy all in yardage. But you know, I couldn't. So I got a set of layer cake and conserved (^.^) until a perfect idea flushes on me. I am making a patchwork window treatment for my new studio with these! It is going to be a fabulous, beautiful curtain! I will report you the progress. Please be patient and look forward to it!

Every year, the first day when I feel Fall in the air, I want to start knitting like as many of you do. And also I swore myself to use up my yarn stash or clear them out. So I picked some of my old balls of yarn and just started knitting. This is going to be a long scarf. I will just keep going until I use up the balls. I want to make it look a bit fancy (not only something for spending my stash quickly). I consider this project as a relaxation. So the pattern has to be a fun and also simple enough to meditate! This lacy Rickrack kind of pattern is perfect.

This one below is nothing special. It's practical. I am knitting a pair of leg warmers for Nina. Her ballet school locates in an old building. Sometimes her classroom gets cold in the Winter. She takes two lessons and two rehearsals for Nutcracker a week in the building. Keeping muscles warm until their bodies get ready to move is very important for dancers (and other athletes). I am hoping that these will keep Nina away from injury when she has fun dancing.

Do you remember these old school chairs? We got these from a big school auction. Tim refinished them really beautifully and they are ready to go. We are planning list them in Craig's list soon. Hopefully we will find nice happy homes for them. (To be honest, I really don't want to part with them. Because they are so adorable!!!) Well done Mr.W!

I walk for half an hour in the Wooded Estate every weekday morning. Seeing the nature changes seasons is my favorite. I see some Autumn colored leaves. The most beautiful time in South Bend is just beginning.

Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this. Have a great week.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Body Pillow Tutorial

Hello everyone! Here in North Indiana, it seems that the season suddenly turned into Fall. Today Highest 66°F, lowest 43°F. We will have some more warm days like a bit over 80 but definitely I can tell that the lovely Summer days started off from us.  I love Fall. I wish Fall could stay with us forever.  (I wish the same thing for Spring every year as well.) 

Anyway, I am going to share a quick tutorial for making a body pillow (it's called Huggy in this house) using an old blanket and a small amount of fabric. One day my daughter sew a body pillow on TV commercial or something and asked me to make one for her.

 This is the pillow I am sharing the tuto today.

I started constructing variety of possible materials I can think of for making it in my mind. It seemed very easy to make the shape of exterior with fabric. But if I need to fill that with fiber filling, how much should I buy it?  After awhile, when I was cleaning my daughter's bed, a MARVELOUS (at least I thought so) idea hit me.

Nina is modeling for me how to use her new pillow!
As you can see she is just pretending she is asleep, (she has her school uniform on yet!)
I edited the photo to look like she is in a dream......

This blanket has been with us at least seven years I believe. And it was already pretty much used since it was a hand-me-down from Nina's grandma. I have no idea how many years Grandma had it. So I needed to patch holes sometimes and even trimmed "Shabby" edges all around. That was worn-out pretty much. But on the other hand, it has gotten very soft so this was Nina's favorite blanket for years. Then, the (BIG) idea was to re-purpose this blanket as a filling of a body pillow.

I am going to show you how I make a blanket into a filling and how to make a fabric cover for it.

I folded and rolled the blanket. Than measure the dimension of the roll.

Stuff the blanket into the cover.

The cover is just a simple draw string bag with a round bottom. Only it is super loooooong.

Supplies ; ★An old blanket or quilt. (The size of my blanket is about FULL. If you have larger one, you will get a fatter pillow. The size doesn't mutter so much. If you thought the roll is too skinny, you could roll two blanket together for some more thickness.)
★Fabric which has nice and soft touch for your skin. (Mine was quilting weight 100% cotton.) The amount of fabric you will need is up to your blanket size. Please refer the measuring instruction below.
★Cotton cord. "a"x(3.14)+8" (Refer the measuring instruction below.)

How to fold and roll your blanket.

You need two measurement from your roll which are the diameter of bottom "a" and the length "b".

According to the measurements, make a paper pattern for the bottom using a compass. You don't need a paper pattern for the side since it is only a simple rectangular shape. Do not forget adding 3/8" seam allowance around. Cut a bottom and a side out of your fabric. Make zigzag stitches on both long sides of the side as you can see in the picture above.

Fold the side fabric in half with right sides together and sew the long sides . Leave a 3/4" opening for threading a draw string. Open seam and press.

Sew the bottom to the side.  Stitch zigzag around the seam.

Fold and press 3/8" from the top edge, then 3/4" from previous fold again. Sew around the top. turn the bag right side out and thread a cotton cord through the casing. Your pillow cover is finished!

Make knots on the ends of the cord so the cord won't easily come off.

Stuff your blanket roll into the cover. Pull and tie the cord. Tuck the knot into the pillow.

This is the finished bottom. Nice and clean.

It is a piece of cake, isn't it? If you have some old blankets you don't use anymore (but have lots of memories in it), try this! This project also solve a problem of finding a spot to store them! How clever! I guarantee this pillow will bring great comfort to your night sleep.

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you all have a beautiful week!