30 Jul. 2008

Mail Sorter for SH

This weekend I'm invited to our friend SH's home for housewarming party. I was very excited as I love parties where I can catch up with my friends. I also think with the improved sewing skills I can make something useful for her new home as well. So I made a mail sorter today. I made it the same way I did with our own a while ago. I'm planning to make a matching table runner as well. I hope I'll have enough time to make it.

28 Jul. 2008

New fabric

I went to Spotty yesterday and saw some $2/mtr fabrics on the clearance table. I picked 4 then decided I had to reduce to 1 coz I was taking the train and had to walk a lot so couldn't carry a lot of fabrics. This is the one I bought. It's kind of drill fabric which I think I can make skirts or bags out of it.

On the way home I lost my camera. :( I really really can't remember where I could lose it. I called Cityrail this morning and they asked me to call on Friday coz it usually takes 1 week to get to them. I don't think I'll get it back. I've been using it for 2.5 years and it's a very nice camera. It's a Sony T7 which is very compact and I always have it in my bag or pockets. Now I had to take out my old Olympus to take photos. As you can see in the photo it's dark....

First table runner

This is another project that's been on my to-sew list for a long long time. And like most other projects, I've been contemplating different ways to do it.

Tonight I got a bit of time after dinner so I decided to try it. I took out the remainder of the single bed spread I bought from Vinnies and wanted to use the quilted part. I never really know what a table runner is about but I want mine to be pretty and useful - to be used as a pot holder as well. So I prefer a quilted one. As I don't know how to quilt as I mentioned in my yesterday's post, I'm lucky to have this kind of quilted bed spread in my stash.

Anyway I wanted to take full use of the bed spread. The remaining part after some previous use is now about 145cm long. I was planning to make it 11ocm long but didn't want to waste the bed spread, and our dinning table is about 180cm long, so I think 145cm is a good length to do.

I prefer to make everything bright and colourful but DH wants something to match the main colour of the house so I'm gonna make a reversible, one side his colour, the other my colour, so everyone's happy. So I took out the pretty fabric I bought from Spotty last year. It's kind of home deco/curtain fabric I think. It's definitely 100% cotton which I really like.

Then I cut a piece about 145cm long and 37cm wide off the pretty fabric. Cut some triangles off the ends and pinned the pretty fabric on the quilted fabric, right sides together, and cut the quilted fabric along the pretty fabric.

Then I sewed the two pieces together leaving a 10cm opening to turn right sides out. Of course I cut the corners before I turned.

Then I top stitched the whole thing. That's it!

(The quilted fabric feels so warm that I want to make a jacket off it!)

I was thinking of stitching some lines on it to make it thinner but decided to leave it as is and see how I go with it and if I really need to do it.

27 Jul. 2008

Toilet mat

It's the first winter we have in this new home and the tiles in the toilet next to study is very cold for my feet. DH and DD wear shoes/slippers at home so they don't have any problems but I don't wear shoes so I can't stand it any more.

The reason why we didn't put a commercial mat (we have plenty of bought mats at home) is the door is too close to the toilet seat and if we put a normal mat there, the door is hard to close. So making a smaller and thinner mat has been on my to-sew list for a long long time. I've been contemplating and reprioritizing and finally today I reached something.

This is the rest of the bedspread I bought from Vinnes. The main part was cut for this project. I was keeping the rest waiting for more use out of it. I don't know how to quilt so it's good to have some 'prequilted' materials on hand.
I measured about 40cmx55cm and cut it off the bedspread. I cut the corners to make it look nicer. I was gonna 'round' the corners but I was too lazy and thought straight is easier to cut. Then I put a piece of cotton material underneath and cut about 2-3cm away from the edges. I was gonna cut the same size and thought about stitching and turning and topstitching but I wanted to reduce the bulk so that the door can probably close by going over it, so I changed my mind. This is all pinned and ready to go:Then I just straight stitched the edges and viola, a simple, thin, warm and small toilet mat!

Extended pants

These are the pants I extended yesterday. These pants were made 3 months ago (how time flies!) and I realized that they're getting short. So I used this method and made them longer.

24 Jul. 2008


I need a break from sewing in this blog so here's a game I found in blogland that I want to play as a change:

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I probably was just about to start my first ever full time job. This date 10 years ago I must have just finished Uni and was getting excited to work in one of the largest banks in China. Now I've lived like 3 lives after that so I can't remember exactly all the details....

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today- not in any particular order?
Well it's 10:12pm so I suppose I've got only one thing on my list now: sleep. But if it was start of the day, the 5 things will be: work, buy snacks for DD, buy rechargeable batteries for DD's new toy phone, pick up DD from day care, take the clothes (which were hung out last night but have been in the rain whole day today) off the lines and dry them in the dryer. Now three of them accomplished but the batteries and clothes missions weren't achieved. I didn't have enough time to shop in the supermarket before I had to pick DD up from day care so will have to buy batteries later. I was too tired to get downstairs to get the laundry so they'll have to stay in the rain for another couple of days...

3. Snacks I enjoy
I don't seem to eat snacks for years. Now I don't seem to have time or be interested in it. But the snacks I had today were chocolates, which were given to us as a housewarming gift about 6 months ago. I only eat them when I'm super hungry but it's not meal time yet...

4. Places I’ve lived
China and Australia. I was brought up in Northern China and stayed in Beijing for 4 years when doing my Uni. Then went back to my home city for work. Then came to Sydney to study and stayed here since then.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire

Retire! Well that means I don't HAVE to work. I'll still want to do part time work though. If I have that much of money, I'll probably donate some to some charities, our local animal shelter, send some to my parents and DH's parents, invest the rest to live on the interest/dividend/earnings, and do some volunteer work. And of course I'll have more time for sewing!

23 Jul. 2008

Wedding gift bag

DH's cousin's youngest daughter is getting married in September. It'll be the first wedding I'll attend in their family so I want to prepare early. I bought a pair of very nice bath towels and decided to make a gift bag to put them in. I was planning to embelish the bath towels but they already look very nice so I decided to just leave them as they are.

I found this wedding theme fabric in Spotty the other day and bought about a metre to make the bag. Today this bag finally got to the top of my priority and I made it while DD was playing with the snaps (I had to stop her and distract her as she was trying to put some in her mouth).

Anyway here's the pic:

22 Jul. 2008

Table runner - planning

The next thing I'm gonna sew is a table runner.

It'll be reversible.

Size will be 35cm x 230cm.

21 Jul. 2008

Bedside table cover

I'm sick of the ugly surface of my bedside table. It was a nice one but after years of use and moving house twice the surface was scratched, eroded, and stickied etc so it needs refurbishing. I've been planning this cover for some time and have had a few versions in my mind. This is the final and easy version which I turned into reality. It's just a rectangular plus two straps on each side to secure it under the table. Of course I used snaps again. It's so easy and less time consuming to use snaps rather than buttons or hook and loops.

Again it's a reversable so I can use the other side as well, when I don't like this side any more.

This is how it looks like when it's open.
This is the other side:
This is the other side in use. We got some friends here over the weekend and the 'dark side' was really dirty and I didn't have time to wash it. So I simply flipped over the other side and it's a brand new bedside table cover again, the 'bright side'.

20 Jul. 2008


It's winter and DD never seems to have enough clothes. So as a start I made this hoody vest from the toddler pattern I bought from Spotty. It's quite easy. I was planning to make two layers with lining but decided to make it as simple as possible since it's the first time I use this pattern and don't know how it'll turn out.

Front: Back:

I didn't follow the whole pattern as it asked for zippers and appliques. I have zippers but they don't seem to be the ones for this kind of thing. Then I decided to use snaps instead.

I think it turns out alright. Only problem is DD didn't want to try it. :(

13 Jul. 2008

Tissue cozy - size

I came across this tissue cozy tutorial and so want to make a dozen myself. Just need to copy down the size for future reference:

fabric 1: 15x18
fabric 2: 20x18

12 Jul. 2008

Scarf made for DL

It was my last day in my old job on Thursday.

DL is a lady working in another unit at work. She interviewed me twice. She interviewed me before I came to the old job. After I started she told me how impressed she was about my interview. I was very happy to hear some feedback from her, which gave me a lot of confidence. Then recently I applied for a job in her unit and she interviewed me again. I was told I got the job but I got another job offer from another employer which gives me better working conditions so I decided to leave. Again she expressed how impressed she was about my interview and how she liked me. I think it was very kind of her telling those things because it really gives me some idea of where I am and it really helps me with confidence.

DL is a lady at almost my mom's age but looks like 20 years younger than my mom. I thought I needed to give her a gift to thank her for being so kind to me. So I decided to sew her a scarf in this chilly winter. It was a rush job as I didn't have much time with all the things going on recently. But I took some time to choose the fabric. I found this pink silky fabric which is quite summery but I believed that with a few layers it'll make a warm scarf. So I sewed a very simple but very large scarf for her.

She was surprised and very happy to receive it. She told me she does needlework as well. I was gonna talk to her more about it but she was going to a meeting so I had to leave. Then I never got a chance to go back to see her before I left. But I'll catch up with her when I settle down in my new job.

I didn't have a piccy for the scarf as I really didn't have the time. But I'll post a piccy for the fabric later.

Messenger bag - plan

I need a messenger bag for my new job. It's not that the other bags are not good. I just need something I can hang over my shoulder. All my current ones got too short straps. I need it to hang over my shoulder so I can free out my hands as now I'm taking trains to work instead of driving. It's hard to balance on the train with hands full of bags etc.

Ok reasons provided, now I need the size. I need one to be able to hold papers. So it need to be at least A4 size. Then some dimensions so I can put A LOT of things in it. It needs to have the capacity for knitting and embroidery. Yes I'm very ambitious. I plan to fully use the time on the train as my private time!

38x33x10, strap 69-140x2-3, pockets 22

fabric 1 outside body:((38+10)x2+2)x(33+5+2)=98x40
fabric 2 inner body: 98x40
fabric 2 out pockets: 98x(22x2+2)=98x46 folded in half
fabric 1 inner pockets: 98x46 folded in half
fabric 1 strap: 3x4x100=12x100
fabric 2 flap: (38+2)x(33x2+2)=40x68 can do without a flap

1. fold fabric 3 in half wrong sides together, sew on fabric 1 at least 6 cms from bottom, then sew a few lines as pockets, then fold the whole piece in half right sides together, sew two shorter ends and bottom together, cut triangles to make rectangular bottom.
2. do the same to fabric 4 on fabric 2
3. strap folded in 4 layers and sew two lines to make strap
4. flap folded in half right sides together, sew the two side lines, round the corner if preferred, cut excess fabric, then turn right side out. topstitch for neatness.
5. two body pieces right sides facing together, pin flap and strap in place, sew the top line together leaving a 10cm opening, turn right sides out and top stitch the whole top line two lines.
6. add snaps if preferred.

Updated 080720: this is my trial version using fashion fabric and I've been using it for a week for work. Love the pockets.





9 Jul. 2008

My first experience of using clothies

This is the first cycle I'm using cloth pads. I didn't have time to make more cloth pads so I just used the cloth panty liners I made. I have plenty of them to change. I enjoyed using them. They're so comfortable. I had to change every 2 hours though. But it's always nice to have something dry and clean.

I used the only night pad I made and boosted with a panty liner and I had no leak! Gone are the days when I have to worry about leaking during the night sleep and have to change undies and night pants altogether!

I so love clothie and will never want to go back to sposie!

I love the ones with a hidden layer of PF coz it leaks less to the panties. But not as absorbent though coz fewer layers of cotton.

The only problem is washing. I wrap the dirty ones in toilet paper after every change and take them home after work. Then soak them in a bucket half full of water with some napisan. Then either the same night or the next morning I hand wash them. There's so much colour! I'm afraid I don't want to wash them in washing machine with other clothes. But handwashing is no good for me. Will need to ask the 'experts' for solutions.

6 Jul. 2008

8 panty liners

These are long due UFOs (unfinished objects). I cut them out long time ago coz I wanted to use up all the flannelette scraps. But I got some more urgent projects in the way all the time so it took me a few times to finish them.

This side is all flannelette: This side only the white part is flannelette, the printed fabric is quilting cotton.

These panty liners used up all my remaining caps of the snaps from my first order. It was good to order lots of snaps coz the first order took me over a year to use up. There're still lots of sockets and studs though. It was a 'nappy pack' so the numbers of the caps, sockets and studs were different. Don't know what I'm gonna do with them.

I love making panty liners because they're a fantastic way of using up my scraps. Even polar fleece scraps, I can use them in between the layers.

The problem now is I have too many panty liners. Maybe give some to V and her sister if they're interested.

Mail Sorter

I've always been wanting to make a mail sorter. Did some research online, and think clothes hanger is a good thing to hang it so I made this today:

Good way to use the old clothes hangers that we don't want to use any more.

It took more longer than I thought because again, I wanted to make a reversible. So the other side, the side against the wall is exactly the same: 3 small sorters upper row and 2 large sorters bottom row. I just didn't want to waste the other side by leaving it with nothing. Who knows what I'll want to put on the other side? So I just make it as useful as the right side.

It's kind of a refashion/reuse project. The dark red fabric is from a bed linen I bought from vinnies some time ago. It was a bed cover I think. I can't remember what's the name but it's the quilted kind with skirts that hangs on sides of the bed. This red fabric is cut from the 'skirt'. I used the quilted part for some other projects and there's still a lot of this bed linen remaining for future projects.

The checked fabric is one of those my mom bought for me to sew for DD. It has the dark red colour which I think goes well with the other fabric.

Now I'm used to ironing while sewing. I used to think it's a redundant part but now I think it's necessary in some projects especially one like this where neatness is very important.

4 Jul. 2008

New sleeve covers

I made two pairs before. One from some old unfavoured fabric, another one from DD's unwanted pants. I just cut off the legs and sew on some elastics and they make perfect sleeve covers. If you don't know what a sleeve cover is, it's a cover that goes over baby's sleeves so when she has food on the high chair she doesn't get her sleeves dirty coz she keeps wiping the plate using her sleeves. Yes we use both bibs and sleeve covers at meals to protect her already too dirty clothes.

I found two pairs weren't enough so I've been longing to make more but hadn't got time until today. It's my day off so I hurried a few projects that I've been wanting to do for a long long time before I go to my hospital appointment at 11am.

I picked three pairs of pants that I made for DD quite long time ago but she hasn't worn much coz they're really not great fit. Then did it as fast as I could and they turned out alright.

Yay more sleeve covers for DD!

Now off to the hospital...