Monday, January 30, 2012

Kimono Silk Sakura Applique

I had this old Kimono silk for long time. I wanted to make mats for covering the surface of the shelves on our bed head board. I found this faded maroon Kimono silk in my stash bin and thought it would look nice on the shelves. I love the rustic look of the outworn Kimono. But there were a couple of little holes. I was going to cover only those two holes with Sakura (Cherry blossom) petal shaped applique. As I worked on it, I felt like making more petals as embellishment. The fabric I used for applique is also silk from another Kimono.

I don't need to worry that my favorite vintage Heywood Wakefield furniture get damaged anymore. And my bed looks a bit more beautiful.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Valentine Mini Heart Pouch Tutorial

St. Valentine's day is right there. I see so many heart shapes, red and pink in the world now. So I thought of making something in red and heart shape just for fun. I liked to play with cozy felt in warm color. And I loved the result of a couple hours of fun handwork. So I want to share this project with all of you. I wrote the tutorial for making this lovely Mini heart pouch here in my Flickr set. There is also the downloadable and printable actual sized heart pattern here.

The heart is only 3-1/4" wide. This could be a coin purse, a jewelry pouch or a gift package for your Valentine.

It is all hand sewn.

You can reach the heart pattern for the sides of the pouch by clicking this image below.

I hope you will enjoy the project!
Have a great week, and Happy hand sewing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gum Drop Mobile Sculpture

Ascend to December, my husband and daughter built some pyramids and other shaped sculptures with gum drop candies and toothpicks. It was for Nina to learn Math and Geometry. (My husband had worked as a math education specialist for long time. It was always his dream to tutor his own child someday. And his dream has come true after many many years!)  Those sculptures were sitting on the kitchen table for a while because I loved the colors and shapes so I didn't want to throw away. 

One day in the last week, I happened to think of making a mobile with them. Then I made it right away. And it worked! I hanged it from the ceiling in our family room with fishing lines.

If you had some left over gum drops from a project of ginger bread house, you should try this. It is so easy and a fun project to do with your kids.

Happy crafting with kids!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Serger Cover Finished!

I couldn't do any sewing on the past weekend as I expected. But I eventually finished it yesterday and here it is!

The quilted body was done last week. So I started with making two gussets. I layered tops, fleece and backing together. I didn't quilt these parts. The fleece was fusible so I just stuck them together by ironing.

Cut some strips in 1-3/4" for piping edges. They are not bias because there is no curvy spots on the hem.

Nicely covered hem!

All the parts are ready to be assembled!

I attached the gussets to the quilted body and piped the raw edges with coordinated fabric. And Ta-Da! My first cover for serger is finished!
I like it. This project was unexpectedly (because I felt it is my duty to spend or dump my scraps) so fun to me. I am in the middle of organizing my studio in the basement. And I found lots more scraps to make something fun like this. There are already some ideas of use-up-scrap projects in my mind.

I hope you liked to see the progress of this project and it inspired someone who wants to find a good use for their pile of treasures. Happy sewing!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Scrap Quilt / Serger Cover

If you love sewing and fabric, you must have lots of tiny pieces of scrap fabric in your stash. Just like I do. I kept thinking I would use them up somehow for something soon. And the time just went by months and months. The pile of scraps got bigger and bigger.

At last, I thought of making a cover for my new serger and it could be a good chance of using those scraps. Then I just started to sew without thinking too much. (Once I started thinking, it could take forever. I have had that kind of experiences a lot.)

I picked light colored scraps for this project. Many different prints and some solid cottons sorted by color.

I picked out some long strips from the pile. Lined them up to see how it looks together. Then just sewed them up together. It can be a bit wonky. It makes the piece looks more fun.

Pressed the piece and cut them in three 3" wide strings.

Connected them in one string until the piece got desired length.

I made three strings.

Added some solid strings in between the pieced strings. Those solid strings are from Kona Cotton Jelly Roll I purchased online long long time ago.

I machine quilted it "Stitch in the ditch".

How the stitch looks on the top.

On the back.

I still need to attach gussets to the sides. But let's just take a look how it would look on my machine! Pretty good, don't you think?

On weekends, I usually don't have much time to work in my studio because of the people I have to take care of are at home. And this is a long weekend. I will try to update this project as soon as I can. I hope my girl gets a play date or two! So I can finish this and start a new project.

Have a happy weekend and please stay warm if you were in the cold climate!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Easy sewing / Apron

Today I sewed an apron. I have made the almost same ones before and I wanted to improve the pattern and think about making it in other sizes.

I made buttons with the fabric I used for the pocket.

 There is another project going on. I am making a serger cover like I said before. I am trying to use up my tiny scraps. It is going to be a piece of scrap quilt. I hope I can write about it in the next post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Yeppie! My dream has come true!

I have been wanted to have a serger for years. And at last, I got my wish! Now I have a baby lock Lauren in my studio! Lauren is their entry level machine and it works just right for me. This will make my work much faster and let me discover the new world of sewing.  I am so excited! This morning I just started to play around and learn how it works.

Looks good!

Look what I finished with my new serger this morning! My new PJ pants!  It only took a couple hours to finish. I am so happy to make certain my new machine works well. And happy to have a new pair of PJ pants as well!
The material is cotton flannel. It feels warm and cozy.

I can't wait to move on to the next project. There are so many things on my TO SEW list. I probably should make a cover for my new machine for the next.

I hope you all started a good week. And HAPPY SERGING!

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Little Camera Case / Knitting Pattern

I knitted a camera case for my Nikon Coolpix yesterday. I thought of this project idea accidentally. I was going to knit a pair of socks for Nina. She just started taking skating classes and she needs warm, thick socks for that. I got this cheap yarn from somewhere before and started knitting. As soon as I started, I found the yarn feels too hard and no comfort because of its quality. I was already done making a picot edge. I didn't want to unravel that. I stared at the thing on my needles for a while and I discovered the way not to waste this thing. It was my camera case.

The picot hem is lovely. I like the well-finished look of the edge.
Here is the written pattern for this project. Please change your needle size or gauge according to the dimension of your camera. My camera measures 3 1/2"x2 1/4"x5/8"(9cmx5.5cmx1.5cm).

Gauge: 4.5stitches / inch
Needles: five double pointed needles #3 (3.25mm)

Cast on 40 stitches. Arrange sts evenly on 4 dpn. Join carefully not to twist sts. Work stockinette stitch 5rows (or until the length gets to 3/4") for the facing.

Work a turning round as follows *K2tog, yo; repeat from *

Picot edge (hem): Work the same number of rounds (stockinette sts) as in the facing, then fold facing along turning round to inside of hem, and attach as follows :
Pick up the edge of the first cast-on stitch and knit this together with the first stitch on the needle. Continue around in this manner, working the edge of the corresponding cast-on stitch together with the stitch on the needle.

Work stockinette sts until piece measures 3 1/2"or desired length. (The length depends on the size of your camera.)

Grafting: Place stitches to be joined onto two needles (20sts on each needle). Graft with Kitchener stitch.

Loop: Attach yarn on the edge at 1/2" from the center of the width. Crochet chain sts until string measures about 5"long. Sew the end of string to the edge at 1" from where chain started.

Sew a button on the middle of the case.


This project is versatile. It can be a cellphone case, a business card case, or an ipad sleeve by changing dimensions. Enjoy making your knitted case for whatever you want. I think I have to go down to my workroom and find better yarn for making Nina's socks.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Heating Pad Tutorial Harujion Version

I made some heating pads for Holiday gifts and for myself. I searched several tutorials online and found one I like on this Ms.Abbie's blog "The green wife". After I made one following her tutorial, I wanted to change some parts of it to make the process more simple and easier for myself. So this is the Heating Pad Harujion Version.

I have been using this since Christmas. Before I go to bed, I place a heated pad under my comforter just around the area my feet would be. So my feet won't be cold and disturb me falling asleep. It amazingly stays warm for long time. So later, I pick it up from my feet and put it under my shoulder. This thing works super for me. I am thinking to make one in a different shape for only my feet.

My tutorial is here in my Flickr set "Heating Pad Tutorial Harujion Version". I hope it would work for you as well. Happy warm sewing!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Fired Up!

Hello 2012! I hope you all are enjoying the start of the new year. I fixed a little Japanese traditional new year dishes. This year we didn't have any guests so I cooked just a few dishes to celebrate the new year.

We didn't have much snow in December (actually it was unusually dry!) but eventually we had a big snow storm yesterday. I guess it went up to about 6" deep. Kids around here were super excited. They have been waiting for this moment since the Winter break started. They played crazy in the snow like puppies.

Sledding in the driveway

And as I wrote in the last post, I already started making things and improving our home! This is the pants I finished last night for Nina. She needs some more pair of pants as her school uniform. I cannot find uniform pants which are made of warm fabric at any stores. So I decided to make them and making by myself takes less time than looking for perfect ones from stores.

I like the detail of this pattern. This is the front. Look at the front panel, buttons, and a tiny pocket. How cute.

This is the back. I like the york and the slit pockets. It was a bit difficult to sew. I think it is because of the material I used. Corduroy was a little too thick for this design. It was fun to learn the structure of this kind of pocket. I definitely make another pair soon.

The pattern is in this Japanese sewing book. "Easy and Neat, Girls' clothes Boys' clothes"

I changed the length of these pants.
The school resume tomorrow. I expected Nina to wear these for school tomorrow. But Nina liked it when she tried them on this morning. So she went sledding in her new pants and she is still in those.

And I also made some more large sized Furoshiki yesterday. I have sold lots of Furoshiki last year. I am glad that people are interested in this eco-friendly Japanese culture.

We re-painted the bathroom, too. My husband replaced an old light. The bathroom looks fresh and cleaner now.

A little helper.

We already achieved pretty much in these first three days of the year! It seems we all fired up for our resolution!