Saturday, May 26, 2012

I feel pretty!

This is the Memorial Day weekend ( a 3-day weekend) where Americans remember and honor those in service and those who has fallen while in service. For many, this is the time where families get together enjoying summer, or go on mini vacations. For us, this is our last weekend here in Iowa... 

Last night, instead of packing, the hubs played on his new computer game, the Bean played around and demanding Caillou, while I sewed me a maxi dress. In one night!

A while back I saw Erica B wearing one on her blog and checked out her link to Mimi G's maxi dress tutorial. I figured that since we will be traveling I will need something comfy yet cute to wear that I should try to make one.

Found that it is super easy to make, even for a slow sewist like me :) Left out the waist tie on mine since I suspect it will really highlight that I do look 6-mths pregnant (which I am not-pregnant that is). But might wear it with a belt some time under a jacket, lol...

Fabric: Hot Cha Cha Knit (that's what it's listed as at Gorgeous Fabrics :) ) It's black with metallic stripes (gold, blue and red). It's light, initially intended for a cardigan wrap, but since I don't have the pattern for one yet, might as well. I used up all 2 yards of it (sew a tube and then folded in as a self lining - basically i have a very short dress as lining)

Since it's our last weekend here (and since the peeps are showing our apartment 9 am - 1pm!) we went to the farmer's market (had yummy yummy breakfast burrito and argentinian empanadas), then off to my fave thrift store for a last hurrah, then back to the farmer's market to get snacks, then off to the park for the Bean to chase the ducks around before heading home at 1. The maxi dress wears well, very comfy, and I feel pretty! Those are hard to achieve in one outfit usually (in my case), so I say this is a win. I will definitely make a couple more. My location pics look horrid, so had to recreate the look here on our deck :)

Just had to get something from the thrift store....

An orange cotton tshirt that I am going to refashion, a mocha colored knit fabric that I might turn into another maxi dress or skirt?, some buttons, a lovely pin, and a cute bracelet....

 ... that says,"Truly fabulous people never get dressed before lunchtime..." or something like that :)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012


I've climbed out of my lethargy state and starting to feel really excited re the upcoming move. So far, a dozen huge trash bags of clothes and linens have been sent off to Goodwill, and there will be more to come. The aim is to cull out most things and leaving us with only things we can't live without. The boxes we ordered are not here yet though. And we pushed back our move day to next Saturday instead of Thursday, so we have a couple more days to clean too.

With my energy level back up, I've been working on my Rachel Comey's V1170 pink silk charmeuse top. I think I will pack that up to for after the move and instead work on making a couple of maxi dresses and making the jeans and skirts I'm keeping more wearable...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

MMM'12 Week 3 Recap & ...

Week 3 (May 14th - 20th) has been kinda wild. But here are the pics that I got:

(Click on pic to go to each blogpost)

Day 16 was when the Bean started to get sick. And day 17 was a blur to me. I do recall wearing my very first Sorbetto (it's not blogged but I think I posted it on my Burdastyle studio - a refashion project where the front is from hubby's maroon dress shirt he never wore (coz it's maroon) and the back is his checkered shirt) and my pyjama bottom (first worn here on MMM day 7). Didn't wear them at the same time, but both got vomited on....  No pics, and no time to recreate...

Found out that we are moving out of state on day 18. Surreal because we didn't anticipate we will know that soon, and that we are moving quite soon too. And Bean still sick so we didn't sleep much if any at all. He felt uncomfy to rest, and having a huge set of lungs, when he wakes up at 2 am and 4 am and cried out, his voice carries!!! Only Caillou (kiddie cartoon show) and being held (but no sitting mind you, he wants us to stay standing for hours!) calmed him down! Earlier that day had to clean up the place for the apartment showing (we didn't continue on our lease, so the management has been showing the apartment every week) and one parent-in-law stopped by in town. So was super tired and busy, and wham, when we got the news that we're moving, that's the only one bright spark of the day, even if we're too overwhelmed to celebrate.

Day 19, we decided to take the Bean to the clinic that morning when he developed ugly rashes. As another set of parents-in-law set to be arriving during lunch from Minnesota on the way to pick up grandparents-in-law who were coming from Kansas, I wanted to make sure that whatever the Bean is having will not be contagious to the elders too. 

Doc basically assuaged my fear that Bean is on the mend, and that whatever he is having will not affect adults and especially the elderly adversely. We celebrated by stopping by at this grocery store to buy me cheesecake slice (didn't have any for my birthday) and cookies for the boys to while our time waiting for our guests to arrive in town. It was super windy and when I opened my door it bumped the side mirror case of a BMW in the parking! My heart just stopped. My husband always always always reminds me to be mindful when we open our doors because we don't want exactly this to happen. But what can I do, I didn't anticipate the wind and the door felt yanked out of my hand. What else can happen to us no? What a week.

After I came back with the goodies, we waited in the car for the owner to come, and it was actually a very windy hour later when he reappeared. My husband spoke to him, he was concerned but upon inspection his car wasn't scratched (ours was a bit scraped, scratched by his sturdy side mirror case) and no harm done. Good thing then his was a BMW, no? So we went on our separate ways. Very relieved. But it must've taken a year off our lifespan :)

Only with those out of the way (Bean's satisfactory diagnosis, and car fiasco) that we finally let out a relieved sigh and had a nice celebratory lunch with the parents and then let the Bean (or the adults?) play with the kite and run around at the park staying away from other children. Look at the pic above of a very worn me in black at the park :)

Day 20 we decided to follow the parents to pick the grampies up at their drop-off/meeting point (MIL's brother dropping them off from Kansas) which is about 2 hours away. With our move next week, we would probably not be back in Midwest for a visit for a long while. What a treat to see the grampies. I love them to bits :) Had lunch with everybody and after the goodbyes we went back to the east (i think), parents and grampies head north, while the uncle left for the south. I wore my mother's day fuchsia dress for MMM day 20, but no pic in my phone though. But you've seen the dress in last week's recap.

Okay, so that's how my week 3 went. I think week 4 will be super crazy. We need to pack, but we are still recovering from week 3 that most of the time I am so overwhelmed and ended up just sitting and staring at the computer not knowing where to begin. Doing this post is a huge improvement in fact. I have a top I need to finish, but I don't have the energy or time to work on it. I did manage to let go of a lot A LOT of clothes and bag them (so far 6 big trash bags), even those that I think I want to refashion, for donation, because we can't be bringing the whole apartment with us. We are planning to strip down to essentials (keeping the tv, computers, a bag of clothes, sewing machine & supplies) and will start over slowly over there and whatever can't be taken with us in the car will be mailed in boxes to us. Theoretically it should not be that difficult because technically we have nothing big that we will bring. But as I look around, there are many little things that still will add up you see. Like my closet of fabric and patterns. So we need to prioritize. I wanted to do a giveaway (even if it's silly since i only have 21 followers :) ) of some of my patterns, but I can't even get to it yet.

Today is Tuesday and we are leaving next Thursday. Yep. That soon. Wish us luck!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

highs N lows

We had a crazy week after Mother's day and my birthday. The Bean, our 21-m.o. got sick (last time he was really sick was a year before probably) so we pretty much have very little sleep . And then on Friday was told that he caught a viral infection but on the mend now. Phew. Then we found out that we will be moving 2000 miles away. In 2 weeks. Very very happy. But also mentally exhausting just thinking about packing and getting ready in such a short time. :) 

But right now I better catch up on some sleep.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Birthday Reflection

It was my birthday yesterday. I felt and look my age and more but it's okay. All the late nights, early mornings and sometimes no sleeping and of course poor diet and no exercise are catching up on me at just 33. :) I have my family, and for that I am ever so thankful. 

I noticed a huge improvement within me now compared to when I first started sewing. I am happier to have a creative outlet, and that I, a horrid procrastinator, nurturing and immersing myself in this hobby. I am even happier to have found a community, albeit an online one, one from a distant, that I am learning and drawing inspiration from.

I think nobody is happier than my husband that I am sewing and excited to be making beautiful things for myself. That I am learning and be rejuvenated by that. And as a birthday surprise, he got me my very first dress form!!!! Very sneaky! The best birthday gift ever, IMO, next to the machine he got me a few years back.

I don't really know how to use the dress form yet - it will make a fantastic way to showcase my finished projects though than just on a hanger. But eventually I will get there. Just like with my sewing machine. 

--------------> me with my new Singer dress form

And so my journey, sewing and growing, continues...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

 Happy mother's day to everyone who's a mother and to all those who are mothering. Your children and the beneficiary of your care thank you ;)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

V1179 - Silk Jersey

Finally, after making 3 versions of V1179 (one is as the pattern picture- kinda a wearable muslin, one I added my tapered sleeves and a deeper cowl, and one i cut into a top rather than a dress and with slimmer sleeves) I made this pattern in THE fabric I've put aside for it one fine day... 


For this version of V1179, I made it sleeveless like the pattern shows. 
I just hemmed about 1.5 inches though instead of the 4 inches indicated by the instruction. 
Another change in the construction is the way I sew in the cowl collar. The instruction tells you to stitch the notched side of collar first then turn the other side in and then stitch on the right side. I didn't like the look of this on my first version that I decided to hand sew this down on the inside after stitching the notched side of collar onto the dress. This way it looks neater on the outside. I did this on all my previous versions, and is especially important for me on this silk jersey version.

Green block (as described) silk jersey purchased on FabricMart long time ago. Upon inspecting the selvage print when pinning the patterns, it is designed by Cynthia Steffe, and printed by Angel textile? Something like that. The colors are lime green, chartreuse and black.

(p/s: FabricMart is having their Mother's Day sale. 20% off entire website until Monday May 14th.)

 One thing I notice when putting this on is that:
1) Silk jersey feels so luxurious to wear
2) It clings on to your body - very unforgiving

So, if you have a woman's body and have to squeeze into your Spanx before putting your silk jersey dresses on, will it still feel buttery soft to wear? Or a slip? What do you think?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Old Refashion Revisited II: My First Project Ever

Day 8 of Me-Made-May 2012 challenge saw me wearing my very very first refashion ever! It was a t-shirt project, where I took a thrifted 2XLT men's long-sleeved cotton t-shirt, and made it into a top for me. However, the night before that I did make considerable tweaks on that original version.

Here is the original refashion that was done not quite 2 years ago:

Version 2010

It is longish (I wanted a tunic, so I retained the original t-shirt length), also retained the original round neck (with its neck bind), cut off the sleeves, and cut up the sleeves into strips that I then sew back onto the t-shirt's front in a swirly design. 

I did not come up with this idea though! I was just looking around online and stumbled on sewing and craft blogs (for the first time), and found this amazing tutorial by Suzannah of Adventures in Dressmaking (fyi she was blog swapping with Alli of One Pearl Button for this particular tutorial) and thought that since I had by then, during maternity leave, finally mustered enough bravado to tackle the sewing machine I should try it. The tutorial I mean.

It's quite a straight forward DIY project, so I think if you just click on the link above, read her how-tos, you'll get the gist of it and can go on your merry way. Which was what I did. 

I am not familiar with Anthropologie (still don't) but I get the benefit of seeing the pretty things from the many fabulous bloggers that get a lot of inspiration from them (and other fashion brands, especially now with people sharing on Pinterest). 

Anyways, I wanted a longer top and not a tank, and did not want the strips of t-shirt fabric to hang off my chest and tummy (errmm, I just gave birth at the time y'all. And 2 years on, I still feel the same re this).

Since my t-shirt strips curled up immediately after cutting (and my guess was of heavier/thicker cotton material than theirs), it gave me a different look and texture than what the tutorial and its inspiration top did, and an opportunity to have them (the sewn strips) stay closer to the t-shirt fabric (also because I sew in the middle of the strips instead of more to one side). A reminder though, a thicker t-shirt material means all those additional material sewn onto your front = heavier/warmer top.

You can of course further personalize your top when you decide what design you want to have. I tested a few variation (by pinning the fabric this and that way) before settling on what I considered the best for me. 

So that was what it looked like when I made it back in 2010. I wore it often but mostly at home, or buried under down jacket and scarfs. The color of the t-shirt is what my mother will call poo color :) and being clueless re fit and proportion, the way I sew the sides, the length plus the weight of the top made me look like stuffed sausage or cylindrical... not flattering much.

The hubby was more hesitant when I told him I'm about to refashion my first refashion. More nostalgic and said that I should keep it for posterity. Hmmm? Say what? At least I think that was what he said. I said, okay I will just take pic of it for documentation and put it on this page :) Taraaaa...

I ripped out the neck binding, and just stitched down the opening. A much better frame for my face, and I can breathe better too. Would have done this sooner if I knew what was wrong....

Close up of neckline and the sewn up swirly strips:

I cut off the bottom/hem by 7 inches, and used all that fabric to make the bottom sides wider. It gives a better shape/proportion to my body.

Version 2012

And here is my pic for MMM'12 day 8! IMO an interesting, casual top....

 You can check out what the other MMM'12 participants put together on our Flickr group.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Old Refashion Revisited: My Favorite Top

<------------ I wore one of my very first refashions (but not my ultimate first) last week for the Me-Made-May 2012 challenge. It is my most favorite ones to wear, and I've worn it a lot of times. 
[I pledged to wear at least one me-made items per day for the month (made from scratch/refashioned item/accessories) and so far it has been great for me. I don't usually document what I wear or do, especially not on a daily basis, so this has been an exercise that require some sort of planning (and cooperation from the hubby to take the pictures :) ... I usually prefer to be the person behind the camera than in front of it...)]

I made this long time ago (probably sometime after the Bean was born, and he is turning 21 months old soon). 

A huge Ralph Lauren long sleeved t-shirt (super soft thick cotton knit) that I thrifted from Goodwill.

The t-shirt has a boat neck, and 2 gold marine buttons on each shoulder, which I took out to keep.

Back then bib/ruffled top like this was everywhere, and I think I stumbled upon this great pictorial tutorial from which inspiration my version was then given birth to. :)

What I did:
I cut off my t-shirt's sleeves, and used the fabric from that to make my ruffles just as the tutorial instruct us to. I had enough to make 3 rows of ruffles from the sleeves. I wanted a bigger ruffled bib than the one made in the tutorial and its inspiration top (I don't want it to jut out off my chest) and always love the green-brown combo, so I used a thrifted weaved cotton pre-made ruffles (it's actually like a pre-made pre-packaged bias strip, but it has sewn in ruffles on the other end) for my middle and last row (as in my pic above). I have wooden buttons from my stash - used them to replace the original gold buttons on the shoulders to round up the look, since I wanted to keep the original neck detailing there. I finish off my armholes by binding it with the remainder of the brown ruffles (I ripped out the ruffles part).

So that was how my favorite refashioned top came to life. Thought that I'd share it here and link to the great tutorial that I found. :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

MMM'12 Week 1 recap & Thrifty Find

Above are my week 1 Me-Made-May 2012 (my pledge) outfit recap. Click each pics for the corresponding blogposts.


Thrifty Find - Embroidered Clutch Bag

Pinned on one of my bulletin boards is this embroidered clutch bag. I had it for the past 2 years at least and I just love to look at it... It is approx. 4" (H) x 6" (L) x 2" (W), deep orange shades embroidery on what once must have been white satin (now look like tea stained, or merely yellowed a bit).

Purchased at my favorite thrift store for just $2, it has a mirror in it, and space to put lipstick, and some moolah. Can even fit in your mobile phone is so desired, but it has to be one of the smaller ones though.

Both sides of the bag are embroidered with different motifs. The right picture is too yellow than it actually is, no thanks to my tinkering around on Picasa today...

I've never used it as a bag before (i usually carry a huge carryall), and so it's been my constant eye-candy/inspiration :)
So that's it. :) Just thought that the ladies at

Recycled Fashion
would enjoy the pics of my treasured thrifty find...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My Fuchsia Exposed Zipper Dress: M6395

I cut this pattern McCall's M6395 a couple of months ago, but only started working on it this week. I thought that the adjustment I made was not enough just looking at it (I cut pattern 16 and added inches from waist onwards), so I added another inch here and there. This morning when I put it on, I felt that it's too roomy. I like roomy clothes, but this one was too much. So I taken an inch from the sides, and then sew down the neck facings and press. The sleeves were also roomy, but that was the pattern as is. 

I think it's done and I'm happy with this version, even though I think I could've cut size 14 or 12 on the shoulders, and 14 on the bust for knits. And a smaller width for the neck... No.. I am HAPPY with this version..... Happy.... (keep on chanting that to myself...)

 I am loving the color. Fuchsia.

Fabric: Sophia ponte knit (double knit) from Vogue Fabrics.
Notions: Jeans zippers (One 9" cut to 7", and 2 5" zippers) and 1/2" wide black polyester twill tape from Joann's.


Looking at the pattern sleeves for this version (View B, which is the red dress in pic on top), it did not show that there's twill tape sewn on the wrists, however the instructions include that. So I also added that on mine.

The pattern calls for a full sleeves lining, but I omit that and in it's place added some sort of a facing instead using lining material which was taken off from a jacket that I refashioned into a lining for my suede cape project.

I'm holding off wearing it for now. Saving it for my birthday (in case I didn't get around making other stuff) which is in a week plus.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Let the fun begin...

Today is May 1st and the start of the Me-Made-May '12...

I signed up not too long ago to challenge myself. So I've made a few clothes for moi since I started sewing. yay. But I don't think they are enough for me to cover the whole month yet without repetition (and perhaps not season appropriate, but where I come from that doesn't matter at all, hehehe). I also haven't made (from scratch or a refashion) any type of bottoms, with the exception of the pyjama pants finished last Friday. I think I can squeeze that in though, don't you think, :) especially since I practically live in PJs and not featuring it will be a gross misrepresentation of my daily life.

I've rarely if ever posted photo of myself on this blog. I sew and then I post. Mostly on hangers. Nowadays it's a miracle that I find a photo of me that I like. Ok, maybe not just nowadays, but since forever. I always have weird expressions or funky hand movements in photos. Now I can also add extra chubby cheeks and wobbly bits to the list. Once a while the stars align and I'd get a nice photo. But its kinda random, nothing that I can recreate (coz well I don't take pics of myself... and I still haven't purchase that tripod...).

Today I spent the whole day at home and did not go out. We'll have people over tomorrow, so I spent the day cutting fabric for my sewing project, entertaining the Bean, cooking and doing chores among other stuff. I don't like cleaning very much, but washing dishes can be therapeutic.

Day 1 -  I wore my first Vogue 1179 dress blogged here. Wrap cardigan is not me made but is a few years old and brings out the blue in the dress.

To recap my challenge pledge:

'I, Far of Memoryseed (, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '12. I endeavor to wear at least ONE item of me-made clothing/accessories each day for the duration of May 2012'...

I will be posting my MMM'12 pics every Monday here and daily on Flickr.

Happy MMM'12 to those participating!

Far @ Memoryseed