Monday, October 14, 2013

Handmade luggage band

I remembered hubs came back from India with a broken luggage just before I started packing for our Taipei trip. A small part of me wanted to fix it, a smaller part agreed to let it stay as it was, since the other lock was still working fine. As the hours went by, the small part grew bigger and bigger, and the scraps called out to me each time I looked at my sewing table.I finally gave in the day before the trip and made a luggage band to secure that permanent popped out latch.

Cut 2 long strips of fabric and 1 medium weighted interface. Iron the interface onto fabric, sew fabrics together (leave a space to turn right side out), top stitch, attach velcros, done! 

Guess what? The other latch broke just couple of hours before our fight out of Singapore. I was soooooo glad I made the luggage band - it served its purpose for the trip plus made it so much easier to lookout for our luggage! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shorts for the little one

I brought home some t-shirts which my brother wanted to throw away for re-fashioning to toddler shorts. Did not document how I made shorts previously. This time I tried to take pictures as I went along for documentation purposes. :) First up! A picture of Colin in his shorts. Red & white are the colours of our Singapore flag. Kids would wear this colour combination outfit to school for Naitonal Day celebration.

Two reasons why I love this shorts:
1. Long enough to protect his knees when he falls and;
2. High enough to hold in the shirt.This young man's shirt hardly stays tucked in cause he monkeys around every other minute.

Shorts tutorial
I used an existing shorts as a guideline. Place the t-shirt flat, fold the shorts into half and position it on the bottom left of the t-shirt to reuse the very pretty finishing. Trace along the edges with 1cm seam allowance. You will have to extend the elastic bands fully to trace when you get to the waistband. Adjustments to the shorts has to be made now - add length upwards for higher waist, extend downwards for longer shorts, add width to sides to make it looser. Remember to add an inch (or height of elastic band) at the top for fold over waistband.

Time to cut along the 'dotted' lines, both front and back of the t-shirt to be cut together.

Flip the cut out piece and position it for another round of cutting.

Now we have 2 sets (4 blocks).

Place the fabrics right sides together, serge/zig zag as illustrated below, repeat for the other set.

Open up both sets, align it nicely, serge/zig zag the crouch portion together.

Still, with right sides together, serge/zig zag the sides.

Sneak peak! The shorts should look like this now. Not as tough as imagined. :)

With wrong side out, pin the elastic band, align it to the top of the fabric. I determined the where the halves of elastic band will be, pin front and back, then move on to 1/4, pin left and right, and finally to 1/8 of the band, pin middle left, middle right, back left and back right. This way will ensure even stretch for the elastic band. I sewed the start/end of the elastic bands together before proceeding to next step.

Serge/zig zag the top of the elastic band, stretch the elastic band to the length of fabric as you go.

How the shorts looked like after serging.

Fold down the elastic band to create the waistband. Set the pins at 1/8 point again.

Stretch and sew around.

Finished product. Yay! You can sew another line if you prefer. I settled with 1 line.

The original on the made.

And a happy mum and boy.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Silkscreen printing

Attended a 2hr silkscreen printing lesson conducted by Monster Gallery yesterday. It was fun!

First you prepare the image that you want to print. Then place the screen over the image, use a pencil and lightly trace the outlines of the image.The image I was going to print - elephant (my all time favorite animal).

The screen after tracing. 

Now, Determine which areas/lines you want to print. I'm going for the elephant outline. Proceed to use a screen filler, paint on the areas you do not wish to print. Wait for screen filler to dry completely.

Now prepare the silkscreen paint. Lay it at the bottom of the screen, hold up the screen, use a squeegee to move the paint across the sceeen (this process is called "flooding").

Place the sceeen on the surface you want to print. Do not move the screen once you have laid the screen.
Finally, use the squeegee and go across the screen again. If printing on fabric, use more force and go slightly slower so that the fabric absorbs the paint.

Tadaa! The final product!

Joe, our instructor for the workshop, demonstrating the printing process. He designed and printed the skull image on the tshirt he was wearing. Cool! 

Monster Gallery @ 64 Neil Road Singapore 088834

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Faux leather zippered pouch

Husband requested for a pouch to keep his game cards so he could bring it out and play with friends. Made him one using faux leather, with 4 pockets inside for easier categorising of cards. Had to change my machine needle to sew through the layers of leather. Leather is definitely easier to clean and water resistant which would be great for rainy days!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Baby walker seat

Colin loved being placed in the walker before he started walking. He bounced a lot in excitement when he realised he could stand on something called 'legs'. A few weeks later, we removed the walker's base mat for him to run and glide around the house with his legs, which pretty much amused him and sent him into smiles and laughters.

Barely 2 months after getting him the walker, the fabric showed signs of fabric stress. I could see the loosening of fabric weaves near the groin area. A few days later, this was what it became. We had 2 options - (1) purchase another walker or (2) take up the challenge and sew a replacement. I told Boon, "Since we will have to get a new walker, then might as well let me try making one. We can get a new walker if I fail...".

So my challenge began... First, a picture of how the damaged seat looked like.

My plan was to do reverse engineering. Before I started taking it apart, I took many pictures of the seat. Front view, back view, inner view, side views,  bottom view. As many as I could so it is easy to see how it looked like before being disassembled. 

Then I started unpicking slowly.. and taking pictures as I went along.

Then I laid my 'pattern blocks' onto the new fabric (Michael Miller's) and batting, leaving 1.5cm seam allowance, and cut both fabric and batting together, then got started sew happy!

I could only sew after Colin goes to bed, with a bed light lamp and machine's light. This is the final product 2 weeks later. :) Much prettier and more durable than the previous seat. The only thing I reused was the light blue trim.

Inner view. Not the best sew lines... Reinforced the sides to prevent snapping of thread.

Top view. Noticed how I painstakingly matched the circles? Am happy with the result. :))

The greatest challenge was sewing the trims when it got to the top. I had to exert a lot of energy to compress the foam so that it could go under the needles. Glad it all worked out without any needle breaking incident.

A great experience!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Boy Shorts

I managed to sew a pair of shorts for Colin with that XXXL shirt my brother wanted to throw away.

It was simple. Just place a pair of his shorts (folded on half) on the shirt (line the bottom of the shorts to the bottom of the shirt to reuse the hem), outline the shorts on the shirt after determining the seam allowance and upsizing if any. Cut along and sew according to tutorial.

Add my label and it's done!