Hawaiian (eraser) stamps and fabrics


No, I'm not in Hawaii right now. (I wish!)   I am just in a Hawaiian mood, inspired by these Hawiian print fabrics...

Linen/cotton blend fabric from Japan

Cotton/poly fabric in Hibiscus prints

100% cotton Hawaii inspired print from Japan

I love Hawaii and Hawaiian print fabrics! 

Mahalo (thank you) and hope you're enjoying your summer ;)

Green fabrics and a recycled bath mat

Hi all!  Today, I wanted to share the fabrics I got from our local Joanns store a few weekends ago. 

I guess I was in a mood of green... I ended up buying all fabrics in green!   
Most of these fabrics are in fat quarters (18" x 22" or 46 cm x 56 cm) or half a yard in sizes and they were all in sale (approximately $2 - $3/yard).

And as a super quick *green* project, I sewed up a simple bath mat using layers of ... old cloth diapers!

As you already know, cloth diapers are super water-absorbent, and it makes a really comfy bath mat. 

I had a pile of unused cloth diapers sitting in our closet for a long time, and I wanted to make good use of it.  These are mostly unused diapers and are in really good condition.

When making this bath mat, I layered two to three layers of cloth diapers, sewed them together randomly from top to bottom.   Then, I simply used pinking shears to cut out four pieces of fabric strips in two different lengths (2 for the width and 2 for the length) and wrapped these strips around all four sides by sewing all layers at once... No binding tapes, or no mitered corners, just wrap the sides with fabric strips and sew them together at once!

Close up of super quick sewing

 I'm not sure if you can tell from this image, but with 2 to 3 layers of cloth diapers (which is made of several layers of cotton fabrics to begin with), the mat is pretty thick and cushiony, even without any batting.

This one is another *diaper* bath mat I made a while ago using patchworked strips for the sides.  
Our kids use this almost everyday after they take shower.

This is a super quick project (I cheated and cut many steps :P) , so if you have old cloth diapers sitting in your house like me, you should also make one of these!

It's eco-friendly and very practical, too ;)

Summer top finished

This week was pretty crazy for us, with several end-of-the-school year activities going on at our kids' school, but look!  I somehow managed to finish this simple summer top tonight : )

This top has no zippers or button holes to sew, but it still was a challenge for me.   The blouse pattern is from this Japanese sewing book.   

The original pattern was intended for an one-piece dress, but I arranged a bit by shortening the length and also adding strings in the back.

The strings can be tied like this in the back.

The most stressful part for me was finishing the neck and armholes with the bias tapes...

In the beginning, making my own bias tape from scratch sounded like a tedious job, but after all, it wasn't that bad.

I used the Clover bias tape maker, which was a very convenient tool.

Initially, I was planning to make this summer top using 100%  linen, but as you know, linen can be quite costly (especially if I screw up!)    So, instead, I used the washed denim/cotton fabric that I snatched from a local Joanns' remnant section for $4/yard.

I'm not totally satisfied with the design of this top but I guess shouldn't be complaining too much, as it only cost me $4 bucks (and few nights) to sew this top...

No matter how crazy my life can be, and no matter how our kids drive me nuts during this l-o-n-g summer vacation (and I know they will!), I can keep myself calm and happy  as long as I can find time to craft... especially if I can find time to sew!

Happy sewing : )

Too many projects, so little time...

Today, I'd like to share with you what I've been up to lately...

Another recycled mat that I began to crochet using old sheets and fabric scraps...

And a couple of unfinished small pouches sitting on my ironing board to be completed...

Oh, and the blouse pattern that I copied out from the Japanese pattern book so that I can start sewing my own clothing soon...

Besides all of these work in progress, I have several other projects that I wish I'd like to try... if and only I had  more time to spend for myself!!

And the scariest thing is about to happen... Our girls will be out of school from the end of this week!!  OMG!
Which obviously means less crafting time for me...

Well, let's see what I can do... Wish me luck ; )

Gifts for the birthday girls

Our younger daughter is invited to two separate birthday parties over this weekend, and she is totally thrilled!  And both parties are pool parties, where she will show up to the parties in her swimsuits...

 Anyhow, birthday party invitations means more crafting time for her mommy.  I made these patchwork pencil pouches/small bags, one for each girl, as birthday gifts.  Both of the birthday girls are turning eight. 

This time, I had my daughter select the fabrics for her friends' pouches, and I got so exhausted after having her rummage through my stash... because she's just too picky with the fabric selection!  I mean, where did she get such fabric pickiness from??  Does anyone know???  (LOL)

Side view of the pouches

The girls this age just love pink, so I made the lining 100% pink!

Using some leftover (toy) beads from our daughters' beads box, I somehow put together these chains and beads and attached them to the zipper opening.    I'd say that putting these beads onto the chains was by far the most difficult part of making these pouches!   I definitely need more practice (and patience) with beads and chains...

For extra fun, I made these matching hair pins with leftover fabric scraps.

Hope the girls enjoy the gifts!

And most of all, hope you all have a happy Father's Day weekend!

Repurposed kitchen mat finished

 I managed to finish this repurposed/recycled kitchen mat made out of old sheets and used kids' clothings.

I brought this to work, carried it in my car, and I even worked on this in my bed over the past few days. (And of course, my hubby wasn't surprised at all to see his wife making a big kitchen mat in the bed, because he knows how weird I am by now... ha ha!)

Yes, it's a bit wonky, and there are some questionable stitches here and there, but I guess I can still live with it, because after all, it's just another kitchen mat made of old sheets :P

Close up of crochet stitches

Excuse me with my bare feet... I just wanted to give you an idea of the size of the mat.

I still have a mountain of old sheets in our house, so I guess I shall keep making one of these for every room in our house!

By the way, do you remember those peacock babies born in our back yard about a month ago?

We hadn't seen the entire clan for quite a while (they moved out soon after they hatched), but yesterday, we saw the mommy bird walking on our backyard fence and making the usual peacock noises!

However, to our mystery, she was alone, without her babies...

Our kids and I are wondering how her chicks are doing.
Wherever they are right now, we just hope that the baby birds are alive and doing well...!!!

Oops, I gotta go now.  Hope you all have a good remaining week :)

Crocheted (and repurposed) kitchen mat

I started a new crochet project from last night.  As you can see, it's still a work in progress, but I'm hoping to finish this into a kichen mat, sometime during this week.

It started out like this, using the largest crochet hook that I own.   Working in round (oval) and increasing the number of stitches randomly (but symmetrically) on both sides.  

Instead of using regular yarns, I'm using (handcut) fabric strip yarns, made out of these...

old sheets and pillow cases...

and used (kids') clothings...

For example, the above pair of kids' pants will look like this after being cut into strips and wind up into a (yarn) ball.

Here are the images of the crocheted kitchen mats that I've made in the past.  I use these mats everyday in our kitchen.

 I like these repurposed/recycled mats because they can be machine washed and dried, and they're pretty comfy to put our feet on.  And most of all, they just make me feel great about the fact that I made use of old sheets and clothings that are otherwise donated (or worse, thrown away)!

Call me a penny pinching "fru-GAL", and  I'll take it as a compliment :P  Ha ha!

I will post the finished mat as soon as it's done. 
Hope you have a good week!

Patchworked drawstring bag in tricolors

Hi all :)  Thanks for stopping by.  TGIF (Thank God It's Friday), I can finally find time to post on my blog!

It was another busy week for me, at work and at home, and  I was only able to spend less than an hour per night to craft this week (**sad**), but somehow I managed to whip up this randomly patchworked drawstring bag, which was an instant gratification for me when finished ;-) 

For this drawstring bag,  I attached a handstamped tag made of linen on to the face of the bag, like this.

Oh, no, I didn't carve this stamp myself, but instead, I purchased it online from this Etsy shop.

Close up of the stamp.

This is the back side of the bag.  I like the combination of tricolors (blue, red, and white) with some linen...

The lining is blue/white polka dots in flannel, and the strings are in red.

Oops, what's this mess down there??  

Well, these are my fabric scraps that keep piling up!!  I store all my scraps in a large transparent container, in an effort to use them whenever I can.  And yes, I used scraps from here when I whipped up this randomly patchworked drawstring bag this week,  although I literally had to rummage through this mountain of fabrics to search for the right scraps to be used... phew!

But I'm happy with how it turned out : )

BTW, last but not least, I wanted to share with you this super moist and delicious lemon cake that our neighbors baked for us this week...

The cake was a surprise anniversary gift for my hubby and I from our dear neighbors!   I was so surprised to receive such a heartwarming gift from our neighbors, because I really don't remember telling them about our anniversary date, and think about it...  

How do you expect your neighbors to remember our anniversay date, when your own hubby almost forgot it??   I had to remind him to remember this special date... : (

But this surprise lemon cake made our special day even more special!!  Thank you, neighbors!!

And I hope you all have a relaxing weekend with lots of crafting time ;)

Oilcloth coin purse

Using the same Japanese import oilcloth that I used to make the drawstring lunch bag, I made this small coin purse for my daughter.

The small pouch can be hung from the lunch bag like this, to store lunch money, hand sanitizers, or any other necessities to bring to her school.

Or with a string cord, my daughter can carry her library card,  chap stick, or other small belongings, around her neck, like this.

By the way, when sewing with vinyl coated fabrics and/or oilcloth, I use this sewing machine foot.
This machine foot makes sewing oilcloth a breeze!  Highly recommended if you plan to sew anything with oilcloth.
 Teflon non-stick foot for my Brother machine

I still have a bit more left for this import oilcloth, so I plan to make more stuff for my kids : ) 


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