Pink terrier pencil case

My 10 year old is invited to her friend's birthday party, and so I made a gift to the birthday girl.  The girl is turning ten in early August.

This time, I had the birthday girl select her favorite fabric from my stash.
And using the pink terrier fabric that she selected, I made a pencil pouch with handles/small bag. 

I think I've made way more than twenty of these pencil pouches already for my girls and their friends, and it seems like most of our girls' friends own one of these pouches.  It just makes me smile when I see our girls' friends using my handmade pouches when they visit our house :)

Here is the side view.
Attached to the zipper opening are (toy) beads on a chain.

It can hold many many pencils, pens, erasers, and other small goodies inside.

My daughter plans to put some necklace, etc. inside this pouch as additional gift.

Hope the girl likes the gift ;)

My new tote (IKEA fabric)

Using one of the fabrics that I got from the IKEA store recently, I made a new tote for myself.   I finished the bag on Saturday night, and I began using the bag from Sunday morning!  

I know, I know, I have too many handmade bags and totes already, but I just can't help it, because I love making bags using my favorite fabrics :)

From my recent IKEA fabric purchase. 
These are all canvas weight fabrics, which are great to make tote bags.

When I was organizing my sewing drawers, I found few *tags* that I had purchased a while ago but forgotten about it. 

So I attached one of the *tags* on to the outer pocket of the tote.  Flower motifs and French words are printed on the tag, but I have no idea what it says... :D

Close up of the outside pocket area

This is the bag bottom.  For my first attempt, I inserted a plastic bottom plate between the outside and the inside bag to retain the shape of the tote.

The bottom plate of the bag does not show in this image, but can you tell from the boxy shape of the bag bottom?

The tote is reversible.  For inside, I used 100% linen fabric in navy.

Then, I stamped my favorite stamp on to the inside pocket ...

Pocket area close up, with the stamp sewn on.

I think this IKEA fabric costs about $8 - $9 per yard.  And I used a little more than half a yard to make this tote.

This fabric design is very simple yet original, and I really like how this tote turned out :)

Well, I'm sure you all know by now, but I just love to sew, and no matter how much I sew, I just can't get enough of it... :P

Sewing just makes me happy :)

Long Beach Quilt Festival 2010

Yesterday, I had a chance to visit the International Quilt Festival held at Long Beach, California.  The show is open throughout this Sunday, July 25th.

This was the first time in my life to visit a big quilt show like this one, so I was pretty thrilled!  

And despite the $11 admission plus the $10 parking (so expensive just to park a car!), and although I did not have enough time to walk through and enjoy looking at all the displayed quilts slowly and spend as much time as I wanted,  I still had a very inspiring and motivating time.

I took several pictures of the exhibited quilts, both contemporary and antique, but I will only post the antique ones which were made in the 1800s and early 1900s, by the unknown quilters.

antique quilts

According to the information provided, some of these antique quilts are multigenerational quilts.   Can you imagine making the same piece of quilt, made by your grandmother and your mother, and eventually completed by you?  That sure is time consuming!!


 I just loved looking at the elaborate handwork of the quilters from the centuries ago...

And after I saw all the quilts, I quickly walked through the aisles of booths, booths, and more booths at the convention.  

At the booths area, they sold fabrics, yarns, notions, sewing and quilting machines, baskets, stencils and supplies, irons, antique items, and you name it, there were just too many interesting things to see!

And here are the items that I snatched from the quilt show...

My first feedsack set.  Included are nine pieces of 7" x 7" fabrics.

Lace = 3 for $5

Fat quarters in red, blue and white.  They were approximately $1 - $2 a piece.

Another fat quarter of a Japanese floral fabric

Well, I guess that's it for today.... 

Thanks for reading and hope you all have a good and relaxing weekend ;)

Cinnamoroll small bags シナモロールのミニ巾着

For a quick sewing project, I whipped up these small drawstring bags for our girls last night after dinner.

Our girls like the "Cinnamoroll" character from Sanrio, who is this white dog with long ears.   So I used small pieces of Cinnamoroll fabrics from my stash to make these bags. 


Another view of bags

Recently, I purchased this rack (above and below) from the local IKEA store.  It was about $10 a piece, and I was able to assemble the rack on to the wall by myself.  Yay!

As you may already know, many IKEA products are DIY products and some of them require extensive assembly that I could NEVER be able to tackle myself. But thankfully, this one was simple enough for me to put together... phew!

Besides the rack, I also got some fabrics from IKEA.   I like the Scandinavian taste of the IKEA fabrics.

I'm thinking about making some bags out of these fabrics.   But I have a super long list of projects that I want to sew, so I'm not exactly sure when I can sew bags using these fabrics, though... I'll see ;)

Handmade water bottle holder

When our kids go to the summer camps, they bring their sack lunches along with their own water bottles. 

I made a water bottle holder for my older daughter, using the fabrics she selected (she loves pink!)

The handmade bottle holder fits this 500 ml (or 1 pt 0.9 fl oz) water bottle snugly.   Cotton batting is sewn between the outer fabric and the lining.

It's getting pretty hot here in the Southern California, so our kids must drink lots of water during the day, especially when they spend most of the day under the sun.

I sewed a detachable shoulder strap, so that my daughter can carry her water bottle wherever they go.  

The opening is finished with the bias tape...

With the new water bottle holder on her shoulder, our daughter is ready to kick off to the summer day camp!  Yay!

Gift to... me!!

Hi all!

Today was my birthday and let me allow to show off my birthday gift that I got for ME (ha ha), for my past, present, and future birthdays to come ... :D
Yes, it's a Babylock serger.  (Or it's called  ロックミシン in Japanese).

I already own a regular sewing machine from Brother (below image), but I've always, always, always wanted to get a serger to sew more clothing.

Since I got my new serger, I've been practicing serging lately.   And although I'm a true beginner in serging, I'm already loving it!   The threading steps are simple enough for me to understand and follow, and better yet, the results are awesome!  

The best part is that I can now sew knit fabrics with ease, and finishing edges for any fabric is a breeze.

Shown below, these are just a couple of quick serging that I did over the past few days.

My daughter outgrew this summer dress (made of knit fabric), so I shortened the dress and made it into a summer top instead. 

   Before (original length)                              After (shortened length)

Serged the bottom edges like this

Using the excess fabric that I had cut out from the dress, I made a matching hair scrunchie.  The edges are finished with serger again here.

And this smocked top that I recently whipped up for my daughter...

I simply serged together the short ends of the smocked fabric to connect both ends...

And I'm not sure if you can really tell from this image, but I used rolled hem function to finish the bottom edges in one single step.  It was quick!

 I haven't really sewn a real clothing from scratch using this serger yet, but I know I will be sewing up in a storm this summer ;)

Thanks for reading and hope you continue to enjoy your summer days.

Smocked summer top for my daughter

For a "quick" summer sewing, I made this smocked summer top for my daughter.

The reason why I call it "quick" is because I used the cotton/spandex fabric that was already smocked at the top (purchased from our local Joann store a while ago). 

All I needed to do was to make four shoulder straps, sew together hem on each of the short ends, attach straps to the top, and sew the bottom seams.  That's it! 

To make the shoulder straps, I used four fabric strips of 1.5" x 13" (2.3 cm x 33 cm) in length.

Close up of the shoulder straps, attached to the smocked top, and tied in ribbon.

Using the same fabric with the shoulder straps, I made a matching hair scrunchie (or we call it shoo-shoo in Japanese).

Matching hair scrunchie and the shoulder straps.

Our 10 year old daughter used to wear any clothing that I hand it out to her, but now, she is a young fashionista (at least she thinks so) and she is so specific about what she likes and what she doesn't like to wear...

But this summer top, she seems to like it...  phew!
Now we have one happy mom and a daughter :)


But it doesn't stop here... Now I need to sew another top like this one for my younger daughter, just to be "fair" ! 

Collection of buttons & more...

Ever since our kids are out of school, it's been quite difficult for me to find time to sew (/. _ .\) ...

So, instead of blogging about my creations, today I'd like to share with you my collection of buttons.

How many buttons does an average person own?   I have no idea, and I don't know if my collection of buttons is about average, below average, or above average... but to my opinion, I think I own A LOT of buttons!

I got most of these buttons from my mom in Japan.   Just like me, she's a frugal person, and she stored all these buttons throughout the years.

I store my buttons in an empty jar and place it on my sewing table, like this.  Although the entire buttons does not fit inside one (spaghetti sauce) jar, so I store them in several different jars...

And do you remember this recycled crochet mat made of fabric yarns that I started a while ago?

Well, after several weeks, it's not finished yet, and I'm still working on it in my spare time.  I'm hoping to finish this up during this summer, but I'm not sure if that's going to happen...

So far, I've used recycled fabrics mainly from old bed sheets and pillow cases, but I'm also using our girls' old clothing that they used to wear several years back.  

I picked up this bright pink fabric from our girls' old skirt that they outgrew.
I like the bright pink color of this skirt.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a good week !!


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