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August 25, 2006

iris bolero

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precious jewelry made by amilia

handmade jewelry are just as precious as handknit sweaters. they are made with love. amilia, an old friend of mine from singapore, made some gorgeous earrings and necklace for me. just because. i love them! granted that i was never a jewelry person, i do find these addictively attractive.

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beginning of iris

in return, i have started the promised iris bolero from rowan. it is color armour, red like ruby. rowan's calmer is so soft and delicate. it brings back memories of my making of audrey. i love that sweater still and am looking forward to wearing it this fall.

i am not quite sure what i'll do for the bolero closure. i think a handmade fabric flower brooch sounds pretty good. if i can make one pretty like this on molly's tutorials.

i must have touched a knitting nerve, lately i'm quite motivated to start some winter projects. it will consist some bulky sweaters for myself, a couple for my husband. and hopefully i'll even make some socks for parents in law this christmas.

and to my surprise, i did not expect so many of your responses regarding my bored cats.

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the love of their lives

these cats used to be wild, we tamed them, now two of them live with us in an apartment. however, cats are still bored, they are better but sometimes still do silly things to entertain themselves. i didn't think they would be of any interest to others. what do i know. they are here to be loved.

August 21, 2006

camping cats

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cats were bored in this house. my husband built a kitty fort for them last week, they were digging it completely. a fort built with couch pillows can last up to two days. we always have to find ways to please/entertain our cats. they were so used to being outside. do any of you walk your cats? perhaps we should try that.

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pattern: butterick B4461
difficulty (1-5): 1.2
pattern size: 12
fabric: 1.5 yd of alexander henry's screenprint in melrose, 7" zipper, double fold bias tape

sewing for my sister continues. here's item #2- an a-lined skirt with robert kaufman's fabric. i like it. it fits me, too. i need to find a better way to sew the interfacings prettier. i hope my sister wouldn't mind a less than perfect job. handmade items always have characters, she should know!

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close up

August 17, 2006

craft book excerpt

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right to left: isbn 4579110250, 4579110439, 4579110544 & 4309280463

more japanese craft books to share. this round of collection is for sewing, ranging from clean designs using cotton and linen for adult and children, to reconstruction of existing garments. i love most of them.

excerpts from these books:

isbn 4579110250: this is a pretty interesting book. i don't necessarily find all of the projects appealing, but, they do provide a lot of inspiration. i'd say it's the kind of book that guides you towards a self-defined style through garment reconstruction, as well as showing you the concept of "thinking outside the box"!

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a wrap skirt from a couple silk scarves...

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combined a sweater and a dress skirt together...

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two t-shirts into one dolly dress


isbn 4579110439: this book comes with patterns. and it is probably one of my favorite sewing books so far. so many wearable, simple and classy designs. some by tsukiori yoshiko. to me, she is the japanese version of amy butler. i would love to make all of the tops and dresses featured in this book, if summer is long enough for me to wear all of them this year.

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a simple linen top...

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the most gorgeous linen tunic i've seen this season...

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and, tell me this top looks just like amy's cabo halter!


isbn 4579110439: a little girl's wardrobe entirely designed by tsukiori yoshiko. also comes with patterns. you will totally fall in love with not only the design/layout of this book but also this little girl. she is the most precious thing! i love everything about this book. soon, i'll be making some of the dresses/tops for my little niece.

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cute linen dress with flower details...

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a whole outfit in simple coordinated pattern, so cute!!

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head scarf, little vest with fabric buttons and a gingham fabric cat toy


isbn 4309280463: this book features more items that can be worn more than one ways. interesting, like the first book. some are probably a bit out there. my love for it is a little selective.

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wear it as a dress or a long skirt...

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as a skirt or a top

August 13, 2006

unselfish devotion

my sister has been saying to me, every time we talk on the phone, "so, i have been checking your blog everyday, hoping to see your progress photos of the pj shorts, the skirt and the kimono top you said you were going to make for me, hmm... i haven't seen them still". she is so good at making me work you have no idea.

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pattern: butterick B3314
difficulty (1-5): 1.5
pattern size: S
fabric: 1.25 yd of alexander henry's bright light in white, 3/4" wide elastic band and some pink ribbons

i spent this weekend making this pair of shorts for her (fits me, too... so i can always get it back!), i can't get enough of alexander henry's fabrics. so cheerful!

skirts and top are coming. as well as the iris shrug i am going to make for my friend (i'll show you some of her gorgeous handcrafted jewelry later). and... the harry potter scarf my husband all of a sudden remembers that he still hasn't received... oy.

August 09, 2006

cherry bomb dress

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pattern: new look 6459
difficulty (1-5): 2
pattern size: 10 (modified to 8)
fabric: 1.25 yd of chloe's closet fabric in retro cherries and apples, acetate lining fabric, 14" zipper, double fold bias tape

my cherry bomb dress. the name exudes nothing but raciness, yet with its style and fabric, i see a duly 50's wife so vividly in myself. but finally, i have completed a dress.

fabric cutting, measuring and fitting were all done with hege while in cape cod. she had taught me some useful tidbits about sewing which enabled me to accomplish a great fitting dress. i am still struggling with the size though, with different pattern brands and styles. for this particular pattern, i could have made size 8 without much fudging around. but as always, i would rather make it bigger than smaller... cut less than more (always keeping the lobster pants experience in mind...) and always use a ruler.

patience. that was another thing i need to work on. i tend to rush through a sewing project without paying detailed attentions to seam lines, zipper installation, hemming... you know, those details have little to do with fitting, but speak loudly of the craftsmanship, the working style and attention to detail of its maker. i, as an amateur seamstress wannabe, will practice my patience and skills which will hopefully push my craft to a state of art in the end.

one can always dream. definitely.

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a close up, but ignore the cat

so this a-line dress was very comfortable to wear and i wore it to work today. so perfect for this southern city. the red shoulder straps are actually bias tape (can you tell?). initially i wanted to use silk (and had already bought some scarlet red silk fabric for it) but was afraid it may be too flimsy. so bias tape it is. hemming with bias tape was also something i am glad i did. the color red frames the dress well and picks up the cherries and apples in the fabric. of course, soulemama's bias tape hemming had a profound impact on my modification. she was a genius!

love, love, love this dress. and i rarely wear dresses. rarely. i can count how many times i've worn a dress with one hand. now that i have the skills to make my own dresses. things will be different.

sewing selfishly for self will end with my cherry bomb. at least for a while. next few projects will be for sister and husband. possibly my cute little chubby niece.