Archive for the ‘Sewing’ Category

Etsy Shop: Studio Risa

I’ve been at work for the last few months starting a new adventure.  I have decided few months ago to sell my creations I make on Etsy!  I am very excited for this new adventure.  Find me at my shop, Studio Risa.

Come check out my shop! Share with your friends!

Amy Butler Everything Wristlet

Whew, this was my latest project and I had learned two new things.  One was working with a magnetic snap and the other was working with a pretty stiff fusible interfacing.  I had everything lined out and ready to go.  That included the correction that I found while searching for pictures of the inside to give myself an idea what it looks like.


The magnetic snap was so easy, I don’t know why I thought it would be difficult installation.  I searched for a video to show how it was done.  It was easy peasy!  The dot was marked for where the magnetic would be made and since the direction was printed “below”, I made sure the top of the circle was just under that dot.


The fusible interfacing probably surprised me the most.  I’ve never seen it so upright and was worried it would break my machine!  It didn’t, which was a relief.  Yes, I tested it on a scrap before I went with it.  Towards the end of the project, I hand-cranked the wheel rather than let the machine stitch as I pedaled along.  You can’t really see it in the picture below but it’s not really flat, it was sort of bowled up once I sewed the side stitching as it called for to create the gusset later on.


Then this was where I started stumbling with the steps once I hit the zipper.  Once I realized it was going to be awkward stitching trying to attach the bottom part of the zipper without stitching through the pocket itself.  It could be done, but would be left with an unusable pocket and a functioning zipper.  In fact, after some search, I came across a post talking about the very same issue I was having.  There is also a part one and part three post as well.

I had thought of a possible solution and decided to sleep on it and next morning I couldn’t think of any other way and gave it a shot.  With the zipper now having been ripped out.  I should name my seam ripper, it’s come in handy so many times!  Instead of following that step the way it was printed, I basically did the step backwards in certain parts.  Sewed the bottom part of the zipper on with the top being last.  I got my pocket!



I hand sewn the lining and outside fabric together to finish it off and it worked just beautifully.  No matter how I attempt to set myself up, it wouldn’t allow me to stitch it together.  I didn’t want to bend the interfacing and causing a crease.  That was what led to my decision to hand stitching it closed.  Plus having it pined in place helped as I got closer to finishing it.  It didn’t take very long!


Now I have a pretty clutch!  It would be great for date night and carrying only the essentials.  I told Hubbs that we should have a date night soon just so I could use it.  No, that’s not really the reason to have a date night.  We’ve not had one in a while so it does call for one to be done soon.  In Amy’s book, she also suggested a brooch or a stylish pin to be added to the front flap to give it a bit more oomph.



Sneak Peek


Cardi Wrap Comfort!

Warning, this will be a longish read but I promise to reward you with pictures at the end.  Or…  Go ahead and skip down there and come back to read the rest of it!  I’ll wait.

So you did go see the pictures?  Okay then!  Welcome back!

My latest sewing update was that I was planning a cardigan wrap with the pattern I picked up from Joann’s (Simplicity 1961).  I may have had that pattern couple months now and was just sort of keeping my eye out for the fabric itself.  Once I did, the progression came quicker.  My fabric of choice was sort of dark grey.  There was another type of knit I was looking at but the care instruction did say dry clean only.  Bummer!  It was oh so soft!

I cut out a medium only because the pattern pieces themselves were too large to trace.  I was actually in between sizes, a medium or a large.  I’m glad I went with a medium.  The fit across the back piece was comfortable but not too snug.  It would be if it was a small, not like I even considered cutting out that size.  I read a blog with some tips, one of them gave me a better insight of how to choose pattern size.  In fact, it was Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing as she talks about pattern ease.

Aside from a bit of minor glitch just when I started putting together the pieces, I quickly corrected them and was well on my way.  It took me about 4-5 hours to complete.  I’m pretty proud of this, being my first garment.  I also took my time with this and pinned the heck out of the fabric so it wouldn’t budge at all.  I chose a stretchy stitch on my machine (which was #3) and put it at the longest stitch length (4.0) and left it at the default width (1.0).  I remembered reading somewhere with knit, you might want to loosen the tension of the upper thread.  I ran a test stitch with red thread on a scrap knit with the default tension setting (it was a 4) and lowered to a 3, it was slightly better so I went with that.  I just wanted to let it some ease for wearing than having the thread breaking later.  It was nice to sew for myself since it’s been a while!

I thought this was a great way to dip my feet into some garment making.  Not a lot needs to be done with fitting.  I was a bit worried about the armscye since I spent some time reading up on garment sewing.  Most people had issues with easing ‘em in.  I started with this since it’s not like I’d fit pants or shorts.  Most of my reading also recommended loose fitting top as a way to get started so I’m glad I went with this.  I do have something planned next so we will see how that goes.  I definitely will apply what I learned working with knit for my next project.

My fabric of choice!  I picked it mainly on the care instructions.  I didn’t want anything that I would be sewing up and finished only to realize that it’s a dry clean only fabric.


Fabric pre-washed and all the things I need to get started.  Look!  Even enough elastic to make several more!


Lining out my pieces and ready to be traced out.  I actually went to Joann’s to buy this pattern cutting board.  The dining table was like a tiny thing compared to this front piece.  It was a good buy!  I’m glad I made that buy and plan to use it in the future projects.  It was a good deal, considering I used a 50% off coupon at Joann’s.  I knew what I was looking for and just couldn’t find it.  So I sort of browsed and took my time looking for it and eventually found it!  Yes, those are cans as pattern weights.  Hehe!  Top right are the green chiles!


Close-up of my tracing of the front pattern pieces.  Yes, the printings are backwards, you have to flip ‘em so you can get the right side of the fabric traced on the right way.  If you didn’t you’d have one right side and one wrong side.  Pay attention to the instructions!  It explains you need to trace the pieces the way it is printed on instructions.


In midst of my project.  See that Ottlite?  My parents gave it to me for Christmas and I love it!  It’s one of the reason I discovered I had sewn the two front pieces onto the wrong side of the back pieces.  The colors at the seams was different so upon investigation of this last night, I realized my mistake before going further, I unpicked the seams and flipped it around.  Easy!


Close up of what the back view looks like (just prior to hemming ‘em up) since most pictures didn’t have a good look at this.  The elastic took some patience to get sewn in but it eventually got there.  Never mind my scribble down below, I wrote a reminder of which way is right.  I shoulda done that before I found my mistake.  So I made a mark for my own benefit.  With one more wash, it will be ready to go sans the markings I made to the top.


And done!  Tiny bit longer but still love it!  Can’t wait to wear it!  It’s a bit too warm for that right now.  If I whip up another one, most likely I’d shorten it.  I think this is also a good base pattern if I wanna make some tweaks too.  Pair this with jeans, some snazzy footwear, and whatever top and I’m golden!


Sewing Update

My fabrics for the cardi wrap and apron have been pre-washed.  Holy cow!  The pattern pieces for the cardi wrap was ginormous that I couldn’t trace it on the back door as I normally have done.  So I decided to cut into the tissue paper.  I NEVER do that, but I felt that it was necessary for this scenario.  I should probably look into something where I can have a sturdy board to cut onto.  Dining table was much too small for that feat.  I had to do the cutting on our bed.  Not the best place nor was it sturdy either, it was the best option I had at the time.  Reason for not cutting into the tissue is mainly so I can easily go back and trace myself a new size or anything like that.  The only exception is if it’s a one-size kind of thing, then okay, I’ll cut it.  But why oh why must the tissue be soooooo thin!  Breathe all wrong and the paper will tear!  That’s how I felt.  The pillows will be on hold since I’m running into a “sew-er’s” block.  Ya know, like writer’s block?  I didn’t know how else to make it sound right, but was close enough.

I’m very excited in the prospect of this up and coming cardi wrap to make it’s debut in my closet.  I wait and wait until I get some sort of coupon or see a sale going on, then I just might be there searching for the right fabric for the project.  It’s funny, I sorta do it the opposite.  I don’t actually fabric stash but more so, I find a project I want to do, make a space for it on my desk (or so called desk) which is really a baggie (I hope later on I can have a nice sturdy storage box for something like this) to hold my projects.  When I clean up and put away my project, it goes back in the bag, nice and organized.  If I see no bag, means I have nothing in progress and letting me think or brainstorm of the next project.

Going back to the cardi wrap, I noticed my “wish list” of closet items have majority of cardis in the pictures.  Oh yea, they’re my Polyvore stuff I posted waaay back.  I’ve not made new creations lately but I did eye few of other people’s creation.  I can’t help but think to myself “Oh yea, I could probably make that!” or “I swore I saw a pattern for this somewhere…”

Well, I should probably get myself into bed, it’s pretty late in the night (or early?), however you look at it.  I promise to post a picture of the completed items!

Summer Sewing!

I have quite a bit of projects lined up for the summer!  It involves a mountain of pillows, UFO (Unfinished Objects), few tops for myself, an apron, and re-doing a top for Haley.  The last bit I ran into some trouble.  I’d mess up on the instructions and when I followed it, the top didn’t seem to be finishing up.  Around here, I started making some adjustments and realized later on in the directions adjustments were being made.  Blargh!  I normally read ahead on the directions to sorta “study” them, but didn’t actually catch this kind of stuff.  Whoops!  Now I know what to expect next time around.  I know there will be additional modifications made at my end as well.

As far as pillow goes, I have 4 more to finish up.  Once I do, they all will be hand sewn shut.  I’ve been pretty curious on garments and have few tops to try out.  They look pretty good for beginner though I’ve been picking up a lot of sewing tips and skills as I go along.  The tops involve a cardi wrap, a kimono tee, and a pattern that I am borrowing from my mom.  I need to trace out the cardi wrap and the pattern from my mom in my size.  I actually don’t really like cutting up the pattern tissue.  I feel like I just trace what I need onto a more sturdy paper and go from there.  That way, I could also make notes onto the paper itself for future reference.

I’m sure like anybody who sews, they keep a running list of projects, inspiration board, and blog hop for project ideas.  In fact, the other day, I found few more blogs to follow and they are starting to span outside of the country.  I find it a really friendly community when you contact them to compliment on their posts or have inquiries about them, they seem open to answer them even if the posts have been pushing beyond 1 year ago.  The trick is, I find, when contacting them, in the first line to include the direct link to the post itself and go from there with your message.  Anyways, today was a productive day, I hope to finish up the pillows seeing how it’s the holiday weekend here.  That’s on top of having had gone to a BBQ party and coming home with a sleepy toddler ready to pass out with a full and freshly opened box of juice from the said BBQ.  Sleepy much?  Hehe.  That usually helps.

Fabric Shopping is Half the Battle…


It’s been a while since my last post for a lot of reasons.  We’ve been busy with the approaching holidays, our life, work, enjoying Haley, and mama working on finding time for herself.  Well, one of those involves crafting/sewing.  Recently, we had celebrated Hubbs’ birthday.  I had ordered him an awesome gift and decided, while I’m there, I might as well order myself something awesome.  So, in comes Amy Butler’s Style Stitches.  First thing I really wanted to do was her Cosmo Bag.  I’d already done her free download of the yoga bag and LOVE it!  I’ve been using it this semester on my Friday’s pilates class.  I think the ladies in the class were oogling my bag and always make comments on it.  It was something I made for myself.

The Cosmo Bag, I am intending to have this made for myself as well to replace my temporary gym bag, which is sometimes crammed to the brim for my gym essentials.  Now that I have it picked and all.  I just need to pick the fabrics.  The rest will be easy-peasy.  Right?  Wrong!  I’m STILL trying to choose my fabric!  Who knew that this would be half the battle?!  Or maybe more than half…  Ugh…  Maybe I’ll have this done by the time Haley graduates from high school.  I kid.  I kid.

But in all seriousness.  I had this idea/vision I would go with yellow/white/black/grey sorta gym bag.  Right?  Yea well, only when you find yourself flip-flopping on the fabric choices you had in mind.  This yellow for the lining?  No, make it the spotlight fabric on the outside?  Will it match the other fabric?  Do you stay with same designers/lines or do you go daring and mix and match?  Polka dots and stripes overkill?  See, you have all the possibilities of designs in something so simple.

It’s always good once you have the final purchases in your hand and you start putting them together and seeing the final product.  Until then, why can’t it be just simple as walking into the store, seeing the fabric you like, and be done with it?  No no no.  This is the one area I feel that takes a rocket scientist and a professional planner to finalize the product itself.  A bit much of a visual?  Well, you know what I mean…  Carry on.

::back to fabric shopping…::

Amy Butler Nigella Yoga Bag

I just want to show off my yoga bag that I have made this past Sunday.  It is Amy Butler’s Nigella Yoga Bag.  The bonus - the pattern is free on her website.  I decided to go with the outside and inside the same fabric print.


From arriving at my parent’s house, shopping trip, the lunch we had, putting together the project, AND completing it took only around 7 hours.  I say that’s impressive considering a toddler in tow.  Thankfully, my mom kept her company when she was up from her nap.  We made slight modifications to this pattern but if I had another opportunity to make another, I definitely would!

First Take with Clothes

So, a while back I came across Jess’ blog over at Craftiness is Not Optional and found this post, Chrysathemum Top and had to have it!  Many of her reader begged requested for a tutorial how she created this top.  I booked marked it and came around to it when I found the perfect print for that!  Then I realized, I have NO experience making clothes but looked simple enough to give it a shot.  I followed her tutorial she later posted for what she called Leah Top posted in four parts:  here, here, here, and here.

When I finally put on finishing touches, the top turned out quite…  poofy if I may say.  I did add to the sides a bit of a steep seam rather than tapering off.  Like I said, what do I know with making clothes to have forseen that.  Out came my trusty seam ripper for the sides and I make teeny tweak and all was good!  I give you my version of Jess’ Leah top!

Front view

Side views


Back view

PS - I followed Haley around and some were slightly blurry but thought it was sorta cute image.  She really really wanted her pacifier but I wanted to get few shots of her pretty face and this snazzy top without that.  Once all was done, she got it back.


Catching Everyone Up…

Well well well…  It’s been nearly a month since my last post.  A MONTH!  Ah, well, I was busy gobbling up Hales and with my sewing/crafting too.  I promise, updates will be in this post!  Here we go…

Haley Update:

Since our last post and being a new fork user.  She’s gotten better with using her fork.  She is able to place it over her food but not quite sticking it into the food.  Still need some help in that area.  Let’s fast forward to spring break, which was last week.  Mama and Daddy were off that week and many things happened that week you wouldn’t believe…  We went to IHOP with the gift card I received from my Gramma and had fun that Friday night celebrating the start of spring break.  Haley had fun with her eggs, pancakes, hash brown, and of course, eating off our plates more than her plate. She was more fascinated with the restaurant environment than the food itself.  After that, we decided it was time to get her new big girl seat and changing her from rear facing to forward facing.  When we got it, it was weird to see how much she’s grown!

That very same night she slept in her own room after 15 months sleeping in our room in the pack and play next to me.  Granted, here and there, she’d have naps there but not sleeping overnight in her bedroom.  I can say Hubbs and I were a bit nervous on how her first night would go.  We tested our alert system to make sure it’s working after moving the signaler to her room, tested it few times, had each other sit on the bed while the other go to her room to make bunch of noises.  She slept without a problem and again, weird.  It’s almost like she’s so far away down the hall when she used to be so close to me.

The next morning which was Saturday, I decided to make a trip to Hobby Lobby and of course, taking Hales with me as she loves going on trips like that.  That also meant her first ride in the new car seat.  Let me say she was in awe of how much the view changed and maybe confused with the change in scenery.  She loved it otherwise and waved to Daddy as we backed out the driveway and waving all the way down to Hobby Lobby.

Other things she have been able to do which now needs us to keep a closer eye on her:  she can open doors now and climb up and down the furnitures.  Uh oh!  We’ll have to keep an eye on that for sure!  And finally, the best part of all…  We have a new phrase added to Haley’s vocabulary:  “Down, please”.  Whoo hoo!

This happened when she got so frustrated in wanting to be let down from her high chair after her lunch.  So I tried to ask her to use that phrase and even motioning her hands for her so she knows how to use it.  After not cooperating with me, I left her there so she can make a connection and finished up my lunch while she’s there.  Frustration continues and I saw her pointing down and then pointing to herself few times.  Success!  I showed her how excited I was and unbuckled her and she really got excited about that.

Mama Update:

I was pretty busy with some sewing projects going on:  reading blanket (though others call it quilt, okay then!), animal neck pillow for Haley, and planning a new project for Haley with a pattern I had won in a giveaway from So Tei Tei.  I chose her cuffed short pattern and am very excited to start soon.  I suppose you’ll say that I try to stick with projects in progress and finish them before beginning a new one.  With the quilt, I spent some time to cut up fabric, arranging them in a pattern I liked, sewing them together.  I was more worried on the blocks not lining up or ending to be wonky.  It turned out well!  I’m impressed at myself, the tutorial I am following with some alterations did not mention how much yardage is needed so I just sort of winged it with 6 different colors, a yard each.  With those, I am able to have the front, backing, and even binding.  I can say that I am learning quite a bit with this process.  What needs to be done is to finish pressing my binding and start the last steps.  Then there’s the neck pillow.  It was difficult at first but eventually was able to make it!  Again, alterations were done as I didn’t exactly follow the direction for sewing on the eyebrow and mouth.  I was more worried on the thickness that I had to sew through but somehow I did it.  Wowza!

Pictures to come!