Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sewing for babies is fun

Do you also fee like everybody around is having babies? The newest baby in my circle of friends is only six weeks old. Before I left Tokyo, I made this set of baby clothes using two patterns from this Japanese sewing book

When shopping for the necessary materials for the set, I was amazed by the amount of "baby stuff" in a local craft shop - from the super soft baby-knit fabric and knit bias tape, to pre-cut round baby-velcro which does not irritate the skit and simply glues to the fabric!

Thinking how babies grow fast, I've cut the bigger size for the set. But still, it looks so tiny! Sewing this set was like sewing for a fairy or some little creature :) I really enjoyed the process as well as the fast that I was not concerned about the fit. Sewing for kiddies should be more rewarding and less stressful since they don't care about the perfect size, don't you think? 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Sewing Social Twitter Chat

Hello fellow bloggers and seamstresses!

Do you sometimes feel like you’d like to talk about your passion for sewing outside your blog in real time? For this reason, Tilly from Tilly and the buttons organized a Sewing Social Twitter chat some time ago. Next week, she hosts another one for Europe and the US, and I’ll coordinate the chat for APAC.

Sunday 18th November 2012
2-3pm Tokyo / 12-1am South East Asia / 10.30-11.30am India / 4-5pm Sydney / 6-7pm Auckland

And for the chat for Europe and America hosted by Tilly on the same date:
8-9pm London / 3-4pm New York / 12-1pm LA etc

On Twitter using the hashtag #sewingsocial
My Twitter name is @thewallinna, and you can find Tilly under @TillyVanilly.

Tip: Tweetchat is a really useful platform for following hashtag threads without having to refresh the page

What shall we talk about?
The theme for this Sewing Social is fitting sewing into a busy life. So often I hear people say that they’d love to sew but they’re too busy. In fact, I often say this to myself too! Yeah, we’re all busy – work, children, social lives, life changes, admin, housework, second jobs... But if you really want to do something you can make time for it. There are lots of strategies to help make sewing part of everyday life. What are your top tips for staying motivated and sewing regularly? Let’s discuss on Sunday!

Are you in?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Not so perfect t-shirt

Since November 1st, Japan is ready for Christmas! Every single shop is displaying Christmas decorations, flower shops sell wreaths and Christmas trees - madness! Yet it is still 20C and people are wearing t-shirts!

My growing interest in knits could not be outshone even by couture sewing. During the week at the seminar, everybody (including Susan) was wearing knits on a daily basis. Nobody can deny that knits are much more comfortable for an active lifestyle; they don't need to be perfectly fitted, they are easy to look after and not difficult to sew. I asked Susan many questions about knits but she does not sew with them much and suggested that I take a Craftsy lesson or read books regarding this subject. When I returned home from New York, I purchased  this wonderful book by Kerstin Martensoon, It's easy to sew knit and stretch fabric.

This book helped to dispel a couple of myths about sewing with knits which I had previously believed, such as the idea that one should only sew knits with specific thread for knits, and that a serger provides a better finish. As a test knit garment, I took on this t-shirt from the HomeSewn book which I previously reviewed here. The design is very simple: one front piece and one back piece with integrated sleeves + bias binding around the neck.

The only two changes I added to the S size was to lengthen sleeves and bodice by 2cm each. I used mainly zigzag and tricot stitches and I finished the hems with a double needle. For the bias binding, I used pre-made band. Only after I started attaching the band did I realize that my t-shirt looked like the American flag, but I hope it's not that bad after all.

Sticker shop in our neighborhood
Only after putting the tee on did I notice multiple flaws. I am not sure whether it's because I did not make the muslin or because something is not quite right with the pattern. Could it be both? 

If I make this t-shirt for a second time, I'd definitely take off some armsye fullness, add a couple of centimeters at the bust and reduce the waist a bit.

P.S. I won't post for the next few weeks. When I came home from the sewing class in Baltimore, I discovered that my mom has breast cancer and that she needs surgery. The six-week sabbatical scheduled for sewing and relaxing is extended until the end of the year, most of which I'll spend at my mom's side. Of course, we never think that something like this will happen to us, but when it does everything changes and life takes a new turn. It's probably a very stupid thing to say, but if you or your mom have not had a mammogram in a long time, please do so! My mom is a doctor yet she had never gone through this procedure before, and now one of her breasts will be removed. 

Hopefully everything will go well and I'll give you an update soon!

Friday, 2 November 2012

Thimble quest

I've been doing a lot of hand sewing lately. In the beginning I refused to use a thimble, stubborn as I am. But after a couple of hours hand-stitching, my finger was not happy. The tip of my finger became irritated and even red (I took this photo the next morning, so you don't see the redness) and the skin came off. I needed to protect my finger from further pain.

These three beautiful thimbles which I brought from Seoul are pretty, but not practical at all. None of them provided the necessary smoothness to feel the needle and thread, and they would not stay on my finger.

By the way, if you would like any of these for decorative purposes, I am more than happy to send them over to you. Leave a comment or email me directly! 
One of the biggest craft shops in Japan, Yuzawaya, offers a wide range of thimbles, including this leather one. The look of this thimble is pretty creepy. Don't you think it looks like a hangman? Spooky! On the positive side, it does the job: the thimble hugs tightly around my finger and its soft texture provides me with a good grip of the needle. It only took me half an hour to get used to it

My new thimble made friends with the threader
I did not stop there. After some Googling, I came across the ThimblePad. Reviews and blogs across the Web stated that this gadget works well for embroiderers and quilters, but don’t say much about sewers. The idea of the thimble pad attracts me so much that I might order it and try it out!

What about you? Do you use a thimble when sewing? What kind of thimble is it? Are you familiar with the ThimblePad? I WANNA KNOW!