Halloween sewing no. 2 (bumble bee) ミツバチの衣装作りました

Hope you all had a happy Halloween!

Well, our kids, too, had an exciting Halloween, with costume parades, Halloween parties, and lots of candies. 

But their mommy is exhausted tonight after walking around our neighborhood for two+  hours straight with our girls (and few of their friends) for trick-or-treating... The kids never seemed to stop knocking on peoples' doors to get more candies, no matter how much they've got in their bags!

Anyways, let me post about the costume that I sewed up for my 10 year old daughter for this Halloween.   She was a bumble bee.  (Also see this earlier post for the little cat costume that I sewed up for my 8 year old).

We purchased the bumble bee antennae and the wings, so all I had to make was this yellow and black top (T shirt).

It may look like a simple T shirt here, but this was a very challenging top to make, because...

Yellow/black stripe fabrics intended for the bee costumes were totally sold out at our local Joann store, so I had no choice but to sew together many many strips of yellow and black (stretch knit) fabrics to create the "bee" striped fabrics...

Lots of serging involved here

After creating the "bee" top, I made these matching ribbon pony tail holders for my girl (per request of our daughter).

The end result: a happy bumble bee flying in our backyard!

Thanks for reading and hope you have a wonderful November!

Halloween sewing (little cat)

Yesterday (Friday) was the Halloween costume parade at our girls' elementary school and this outfit is what I sewed up for my 8 year old daughter earlier this week... a little cat.

Instead of buying materials and supplies, I searched around our house and found useful stuff and refurbished them to make this one.

For instance, I used this hand-me-down black t-shirt for the top.

First, I cut two strips of leopard print fleece from my stash and quickly serged one side with the rolled hem function.

Then, I made ruffles using big stitches (by hand) on the opposite side of the strip and then sewed the ruffles on to the neck area with my hand again. (I couldn't use my sewing machine because the fleece ruffles were too bulky). I made two of these ruffles.

Double ruffles completed.

Then, I cut out three pieces of the same leopard print fleece to make a skirt.
Just like the ruffles, I serged the skirt hem with the rolled hem function.

For the skirt back, I made sure to cut the center in half to place the "cat's tail".

 This furry thing is used for the "tail".

The furry "tail" is sewn between the back skirt panels.

After sewing together all skirt panels, I folded the waist area in double for the elastic to go through.


With this cat head band (a store bought item from a few years back)...

Little cat costume is complete!

I think the best part of this costume is that it can be worn to school even after the Halloween.  (Only if I don't forget to remove the tail from the back skirt :P)

Our third grader at the school costume parade... She was a happy little cat!

Besides this little cat costume, I had sewn another costume earlier this week (for my ten year old), which I plan to post here soon...

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a happy and safe Halloween!!

Handbag for my mom-in-law (and the zoo)

I can't believe it's already been a week since I last posted here. 
I've been making things almost everyday, but I just couldn't find time to sit in front of my computer and enjoy blog posting... :(   

Because of the time lapse, it took me a while to figure out what to post here today, as I almost lost track of things that I've posted already and the ones I haven't yet.  Well, the *memory loss*  may be due to the simple time lapse, or maybe it's just part of my aging...  ha ha :P 

Anyways, today I'd like to post about this zipper handbag that I made for my mother-in-law recently.    I used this Japanese print with pink roses and blue birds on a navy background.  I think this fabric suits my mom-in-law's image - Oriental taste with a modern touch.

 The shape of this handbag is exactly the same with these pleated wristlet clutches that I previously made for my shop, using 9 inch zippers for the opening.   

The only difference is that instead of the wristlet handles sewn to just one side of the bag (as shown on the below left), I attached two bag handles to this one (to the below right), to be used as a shoulder handbag.

Just like the pleated wristlet clutches, this handbag is roomy enough to carry cosmetics, keys, cell phone, etc. inside... although my mom-in-law does not own a cell phone of her own ;)   Oh, did I mention that she is 80 years old?  (But she looks way younger than her age.)

I hope she likes the bag :)

Besides my usual crafting/sewing stuff, today I wanted to share with you some of the pictures of the animals that we enjoyed looking at the San Diego Zoo that we visited over the past weekend. 

San Diego is located at approximately 2 hours drive south of the Los Angeles area, and this zoo is a home to 4000 rare and endangered animals, including giant pandas.  This is a very fun and exciting place to visit, especially if you have kids!  Highly recommended!

 One of our favorites at the zoo were these polar bears... They were so playful in the water, chasing with each other and having fun!

And koala bears... Many of them were sleeping on the eucalyptus tree like this.

And of course, the giant pandas!!  Oh my gosh, they were so cute!! 

And my personal favorite were these meer cats, taking naps comfortably together  under the sun...  Oh how much I wanted to join them and take naps together... he he!

I took more animal pictures at the zoo, but I shall stop here before I turn this blog into an animal blog ;)

Thanks for reading and hope you continue to enjoy your week!

B is for Baby

Our close neighbor had a grandchild born recently, and I've been wanting to give a handmade gift to the family. 

So I made a handmade baby bib using the lovely Heather Ross Far Far Away fabric line in double gauze.  As you may already know, double gauze is super soft 100% cotton so I think it is perfect to make baby items.   And besides, I really love this unicorn print!

The bib is reversible and the other side is a patchwork of cotton and cotton flannel.  Also, cotton batting is sandwiched in between the two outer fabrics for extra absorbency.

The reversible side (cotton and cotton flannel patchwork).

Here's another bib using another double gauze from Heather Ross.   The yellow color can be used for both a baby girl and a boy.

The reversible side.  Cotton flannel (bird) and cotton (green/white polka dots) patchwork.

The bib has velcro closure on one side of the neck.

One will be given out as a gift, and the remaining two are listed in my shop.

My original pleated wristlet clutches

Here are the new additions to my etsy shop: pleated wristlet clutches that I had been working on over the past few days.   After many trial and errors, I came up with this bag pattern.

Folding pleats (for the bag exterior) and making gathers (for the bag lining) was quite challenging task for me, but I'm happy with how they turned out at last!

Lots and lots of pinning involved in the gathering and pleating process... I almost ran out of pins (and I own 200+ of them!)

 I designed the bag exterior with several pleats to start with, but my initial version of this wristlet clutch pattern had a simple rectangle-shaped lining (without any gathers or pleats).

Then after using the sample clutch for myself for a while, I figured that this type of lining (the one without pleats or gathers) does not hold enough stuff as I had intended and I was unhappy about it.  So, I later revised the pattern and made sure that the lining also has gathers (or pleats) involved for that extra capacity. 

Image to the below left (yellow clutch) is the original pattern with rectangle shaped lining (smaller capacity) and image to the below right (brown polka dots clutch) is the revised version with gathered lining (with extra capacity).   Can you tell the big difference?

Pink roses...This is made from a beautiful Japanese imported cotton (medium weight).

Sky blue and white leaves...
Here, my favorite IKEA home decor fabrics is used.

Brown and baby blue polka dots...
I love the simple cuteness of this fabric (medium weight cotton).

These wristlet clutches are roomy enough to carry our necessary items around, such as cell phones, cosmetics, car keys, and wallet inside.   9 inch or 23 cm zipper is used for the opening.

And last but not least,  I attached these heart shaped charm to the zipper pull for that special touch.    It not only adds loveliness to the clutch, but it also makes it convenient to open/close the zipper with ease.

After listing these wristlet clutches in my shop today, what do you think I'll do now??

Yes, you're right!!  I will now return to my sewing room for more projects to sew... ;P
My passion for sewing never fades, or I should say, it keeps on growing bigger and bigger and I can't control it!!    I hope you stay tuned for more projects to come ;)

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

Crochet flowers and a surprise fabric gift

I usually carry a ball of yarn and a crochet hook inside my purse wherever I go.

And when there is any waiting time or idle time on the go, I take the crochet hook and some yarns out from my bag and begin crocheting these double layered crochet flowers.  I literally crochet everywhere;  in my car, at doctor's office, bank, restaurant, inside our girls' gym class and ice skating classes, etc... One time, I even tried to crochet while waiting at the supermarket checkout line ;P

A double layer crochet flower snap pin

A double layer crochet flower pony tail holder

After making several of these flowers, I like to make them into hair accessories by adding matching fabric covered buttons in the center of these flowers and either a ponytail holder or a snap pin to the backside of the flowers.

A pony tail holder (I use goody ouchless) and a snap pin is securely attached to the back side of the flowers like this.
These hair accessories will be listed in my shop soon!

And today, allow me to brag about this wonderful surprise gift that I received from my dear blog friend, Ayumi, of Pink Penguin!

As you may already know, Ayumi is a very talented crafter and a blogger.  She is also a very generous person who is kind enough to share many of the very practical and easy-to-follow tutorials of super cute items in her blog, including my all time favorite fabric basketsreversible patchwork bag, patchwork wristlet, and more...!!

And these are the surprise fabric gifts that I received from her in mail recently...

A rare find: A Mister Donut fabric!!!

As Ayumi describes in her blog post, Mister Donut is a very popular donut franchise in Japan (but never found here in the U.S.) 

I love Mister Donut and I love this fabric!!!!  I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw this fabric in her blog post.   The most interesting part of this fabric is that it includes Japanese logo in the print ;)

So fun and yummy!! 

And that's not it!!

I received this retro looking teapot fabric from her also. 
OMG I'm totally in love with this one, too!!!

Lovely red teapot print

I love retro looking prints, and I love the combination of red, white, and blue colors...
I've never met Ayumi in person (unfortunately), but it's amazing how she knows my taste in fabrics like this one!!!

Close up of the *teapot*

Thank you, Ayumi, for your thoughtfulness and generosity!
I don't think I can use any of these fabrics for quite some time (they're too precious!), but I will definitely spend a lot of time just staring at these and smiling throughout the day :)

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a great week ;)


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