I first want to shout out a BBBIIIIIGGGG THANK YOU to everyone who, despite the haze, generously turned up to spend their precious Saturday afternoon to help us with the sewing!!! We had nine new ‘sew-ers’ (for lack of better word!) joined us… WELCOME! Two of them arrived earlier than I! *paiseh* Thanks for the enthusiasm… So altogether, we had 16 keen and kind ‘sew-ers’. It is our biggest turnout so far! I also want to thank those who swung by to show their support… It was very encouraging to see so many new faces and the regular ones who never fail to come whenever we have a ‘Sew for GOOOD’ session. I wish I can thank all of you more…

We gathered at a friend’s shop like the last time. Calvin, the ‘lao ban’ of Campers Corner (51 Waterloo Street), has always given us great support by providing a space to sew. Every single time I ask him, he only say yes… When I told him there may be 13 turning up and in the end 16 did, he somehow found a way to fit us in. What can I say…? *GRATEFUL*

I’m not sure about the rest but yes, it’s already been three months since our last Sew for GOOOD session. My my… where has the time gone?? :O

From our previous sessions, we have never sewn more than 35 pieces of ‘GOOODies’, so this time I prepped 40 pieces thinking we would have a surplus. Our session started from 2pm and at around 4.30pm, we  finished all our sewing! We must be blessed by some sewing fairy:) My boo boo was I didn’t bring enough stuffing! But still, the ladies sewn all the pieces and I just need to buy more stuffing and closed them all up. I think we were all pretty impressed with ourselves. Hehe…

At the end of the day, I always end up feeling abit warm and fuzzy inside. Seeing friends and strangers-to-friends turning up to use our hands to make things for good cause. Watching them fervently and intently sewing away and at the same time, exchanging conversations and laughter, makes me feel that I can keep on doing this:)

To all of you who turned up: Once again, my deepest thank you… and I also want to apologize if I didn’t get to spend enough time chatting with everyone of you. I was hoping to catch up with some of you more and know some of you better. It was a great afternoon for me. I hope you all had fun too. Our next session will be in September. Do join us again if you can!

For those who are curious about what we did, here are some details:
WHAT
1. We got together and sewed the afternoon away yesterday to make stuffed toy (Chaco & Friends in spectacle frames) to raise fund for BCF on behalf of my bestie who recently was diagnosed with breast cancer.
2. 100% of the sales will go straight to BCF.

WHERE & WHEN
These toys will be on sale for $13 each during the Purrzaar held over three Saturdays in Aug (3, 10, 17) at the Arts House.

PS: All materials and fabrics are kindly sponsored by GOOOD Fabrics.

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1| The sewing gang… Some missing from pic
2| Silkscreen printed fabrics for our stuff toys

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3| You can tell real work has started when the work table is messy:)
4, 5, 6| All hard at work

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7| Panoramic view of the group
8| All lovingly handmade!
9| You should be able to find this resident at Campers Corner

Hi peeps! With the sample I made two weeks ago, I realised that I simply could not use the fabric pen as the lines were not clean and it made the toy looks really raw and unfinished. So I decided to make a screen print of the design instead.

It was an inaugural screen printing session in my studio and I was looking forward to it all week! :) So yesterday, I spent an afternoon printing and getting the fabric ready for our ‘Sew for GOOOD’ session the 29 June, Sat.

I forgot my clamps so I was a lil’ apprehensive since I had to do it alone but it all turned out fine. I am really happy with the results and here are some of the pics I took of the process.

Our next session will be held at Campers Corner at 56 Waterloo Street on the 29th June, 2-5pm. Do join us! And if you can, drop me a note at our FB page.

Spreading the ink on top.

Spreading the ink on top.

Screen getting all dirty with the black ink already...

Screen getting all dirty with the black ink already…

Printing's all done... yay!

Printing’s all done… yay!

Heat setting the prints.

Heat setting the prints.

:) Done! For those who are joining us, we'll cut them out for sewing for the upcoming session.

:) Done! For those who are joining us, we’ll cut them out for sewing for the upcoming session.

Our 2nd ‘Sew for GOOOD’ session has been fixed on the 29th June, Sat, 2-5pm. The venue has yet to be finalized  I will update everyone again via our FB. I’ve been thinking about what we can do for the coming session… An unfortunate diagnosis of breast cancer was made of my bestie few months ago, and we have been learning about the illness and coping with it. Besides lending her support and spending some time with her whenever I can, I was wondering how else I can help.

I contacted Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) Singapore weeks back to let them know about ‘Sew for GOOOD’ sessions and if we can sew to raise fund for them. They turned out to be one of the most open people I have spoke with and hence our next session would be to raise fund for BCF. In fact, I would like to commit the rest of 2013 ‘Sew for GOOOD’ sessions to raise fund for BCF.

GOOOD Pet Collars will be setting up a booth with the Cats of the World (COTW) Photo Exhibition / Purrzaar in the first three Saturdays of Aug 2013, that can be our channel to sell these stuff toy/pillow. Otherwise we will hand our handmade gooodies to BCF as they are holding their own bazaar in October this year to raise fund too. I’ll keep you guys posted here or on our FB page.

Sticking to our usual animal theme, we will be making stuffed toy/pillow which is slightly bigger than what we had made before and they can be used as pet pillows too. I started with a sketch and transferred the image onto our fabric with a fabric marker. I will likely make a silkscreen print out of it eventually, so you won’t be sketching, in case you are nervous about that! There will be a total of 4 different versions of this cat eventually, WIP still…

As usual, there’s no need to bring anything unless you have your own personal sewing kit you wanna bring along. These projects are designed with simple hand sewing in mind so do not worry if you are worried about not being able to sew too well. There are a few regulars here whom you can always ask. Our sessions are super casual and really, there’s no pressure to sew well at all!

Oh… Do bring a friend or family member if you want. All are welcome! The more we sew the more we can help raise fund for BCF to raise awareness and many other ways that they help the community. You can read more about their non-profit efforts on their website. I visited their office and am very impressed by the energy and work they have done.

PS: All material are sponsored by GOOOD Fabrics.

Sketch for stuff toy to raise fund for BCF.

It all started with a sketch…

Cut out the general shape on a fabric.

Cut out the general shape on a fabric.

Using a fabric pen...

Using a fabric pen…

Sew about 0.5cm from the fabric edge and flip it over, leaving the bottom open for stuffing.

Sew about 0.5cm from the fabric edge and flip it over, leaving the bottom open for stuffing.

Filling the toy with stuffing.

Filling the toy with stuffing.

Time to close the hole up.

Time to close the hole up.

Almost done...

Almost done…

Breast Cancer Foundation Edition, with a hot pink ribbon :)

Breast Cancer Foundation Edition, with a hot pink ribbon:)

Here’s a list of sewing lessons available in Singapore, found online and also from Straits Times. Have fun!

PS: by no means am I related or collaborating with any of the following schools or institutions. And no, I am not getting any kickbacks.😉

Ang Mo Kio CC dressmaking class
Madam Lim Gim Foo will pass on skills from taking measurements to drafting, crafting and machine and hand sewing techniques.
Where Ang Mo Kio CC, 759 Ang Mo Kio Ave 1
When Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7-10pm. The next cycle is scheduled to begin mid July.
Sessions 8 lessons from $80
Info Ang Mo Kio CC at 6452 9644 or 6456 6536 or www.pa.gov.sg

Alisha Fashion and Dressmaking School (Edited info on 3 pr 2014)
A pair of sisters teaches students to make household items like curtains, and apparel.
Where 7 Dalhousie Lane
When They provide 2-hour private lessons. Open 10am -6pm (Tue, Thu and Sat)
Sessions 50 lessons from $1500
Info Call 6334 7080 or http://www.AlishaSewingSchool.com

AStitchWorks Concepts
From contemporary corset dressmaking to sewing curtains, quilts and socks.
Where 20 Joo Chiat Road #02-08
When They provide 2-hour private lessons. AStitchConcepts are open 11am -6pm (Tue to Fri), 11am-9pm (Wed) and 11am-6.30pm (Sat and Sun)
Sessions 12 lessons from $550
Info Call 9185 7267 or astitchworks.blogspot.com

Née Soon South CC dressmaking class
Similar to what is taught at Ang Mo Kio CC
Where Née Soon South CC, 30 Yishun Street 81
When 2-5pm (Sat). The next cycle is scheduled to begin 29 June.
Sessions 10 lessons for $60 (Passion card members), $70 (non-members)
Info Call 6753 3121 or www.neesoonsouth.org.sg or www.pa.gov.sg

Pattern making and sewing course
One-month sewing course that helps students to learn different garment making techniques and skills, and must sew their own skirt by end of course.
Where Raffles College of Higher education, 51 Merchant Road
When Twice a week (Tues and Thurs), 7-10pm. Next class starts on 16 Jul to 15 Aug
Sessions $802.50 (GST included)
Info Call 6338 5288 or www.raffles-college.edu.sg

Treasure Art World (Newly added on 3 Apr 2014)
1. Learning how to use Sewing Machine
2. Learning how to handle diffferent fabric
3. Cutting Fabric and how to do it
4. Sewing Tools
5. Sewing techniques
6. Measurements
7. Pattern Making
8. Steps in sewing your dress
Info http://treasureartworld.com/

Jokamamo Textiles (Newly added on 3 Apr 2014)
Kids Sewing Classes
Info 
http://www.jokamamotextiles.com

“Aiyah… Why handmade? It takes so much time and if you can get them made in China for $5, why?”

My friend said this to me the other day and my response was “Well, why not?!”

There is something about getting my hands ‘dirty’ that I like. Be it sewing or cooking or working on a table, there is something deeply satisfying and therapeutic in that process.

As opposed to buying a mass produced tote bag, made by a low waged worker in some darkish, badly maintained factory in an industrial estate somewhere in China, I find much more fulfillment when I can design and use my hands to bring a sketch to a reality that I can use. Yes it will take 3 hrs of my life but really, I find that I learn so much more. It’s about creativity, problem solving, analytical and ultimately honing my skills.

Not only do I find much self gratification in ‘handmade’ but when my friends receive a handmade gift from me, I can almost always expect a surprised gasp then a quiet appreciative look of ‘I’m so touched!’ on their faces and a shower of “thank yous” is bound to follow. That, money cannot buy…!

There is also another growing trend in sewing; groups out there are monetizing the trade. A recent article on Straits Times Urban featured a lady who started sewing lessons and she quit her full time job and went into designing and making clothes for kids. There are also many products online where good quality handmade products are offered. Sewing is not just for grandma anymore, it has set people off on new career paths!

But alas, sewing do require a certain level of skills and may seem just a tad daunting. I am going to list a few venues (in my next post) that offer sewing lessons, so that should help some of you kickstart that sewing journey. Be it sewing for yourself or for your little boy/girl or for that special someone in your life, some basic sewing skills will definitely help you get past that initial hurdle of even wanting to try.

Welcome to the world of ‘handmade’. Welcome to sewing.

I owe a 1.5 year old girl a skirt for weeks. Told her papa I’ll make her a skirt at least a month ago… In my defense… or rather an excuse… It took me some time to find a 3/4in elastic band. Finally found it this week… then I realized I needed a overlocking sewing machine because I’ve been using mom’s and have been dying to get one of my own, which I finally did! That acquisition deserves a blog entry on it’s own cos I simply love that machine and must tell you all about it! ;P

Coming back to the skirt… As it is my first attempt at skirt making, I had to make sure it is ‘Level 1’ enough for me. Googled around and found Oliver + S ‘Lazy Days Skirt’ for girls. It was perfect! Oh so easy… and oh soooooo cute! So for all you peeps who want to make a skirt for your lil’ girl, try this. You can download the instructions here. The only thing I wish the instructions had was giving some guide on the sizing. For e.g. the girl I sewn for had a waistline of 20in. I had to kinda guessed the length and the width of the entire skirt so that it won’t impede her walking/running. *fingers crossed!* On hindsight, I would have given the skirt more width, because in this case, more is better than less.

I chose Michael Miller Forest Life Retro, cos the colours are so vivid and happy, and the fabric pattern so pretty. I thought she is gonna look so cute in it! Oh I also added a small pocket to the skirt, for a bit of design detail. I think you can be creative about this and add either iron-on motifs or sew a little flower or any other of her favourite embellishments or cartoon character to the skirt… oh, as I am typing this… I thought a small stuffed bear would look quite cute on the skirt. Hmm…

Time taken: 2 hours (pretty decent timing ain’t it?!)

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I just checked our last post on our ‘Sew for GOOOD’ session and it was more than a year ago!!! :O Where did all the time go?! Really, I am rather appalled at my loss of timing and didn’t organize any sewing session in 2012 at all. To make up for this, GOOOD Fabrics will organize 4 sewing sessions this year; one every quarter. For an update of our sewing sessions, Like Us on FB.

We had our first 2013 sewing session yesterday. We all gathered at 51 Waterloo Street, Campers Corner. The kind boss allocated a space for us to sew there. Coincidentally, YMCA was also running their event there to promote their adventure trips. Before we started sewing, we had a chance to test our balance on the Elephant Slacklines. I tell ya… it’s a good thing I don’t need to save my life with my balancing skill (or lack of). We moved on to the next booth and had the challenge of balancing on one leg for 1 min on this rubber ball (half). Sounds easy huh… NOT! I lasted 11secs. Sad… But that can’t be said about my friend, Xiao Hong. She beat the 1min and walked away with a tshirt! *thumbs up!*

Finally, the sewing started at 2pm. As usual, we had lotsa fun sewing. Thanks Leonie for helping out with the design of the finger puppets. They are so adorable! I also love the spontaneous crowd; we had two ladies contributing to the sewing (Thanks Tsalina and Vivian). Tsalina runs a travel agency with a difference. Check out her website! Vivian is in charge of YMCA ‘Fitness and Dance’. I must say Viv can sell… or “share” as she puts it. My friends and I were convinced to sign up for the YMCA Batu Maloi trek in that 30mins she spent with us sewing at the table. ;P

The afternoon was quickly spent chatting, drinking, sewing, laughing. We eventually finished with 22 lovingly handmade finger puppets, all of which we will hand over to Animal Lovers League. These finger puppets will be available alongside with their other merchandise at Jurong Point on the 6 April. Do drop by their stall to help raise funds for the animals! Parents should definitely get these to help tell stories for their kids.

A big kudos to all the ladies who generously donated their saturday afternoon to help with making these absolutely adorable finger puppets. Thank you from the bottom of my heart… Til June…:) ‘Sew for GOOOD’ sewing sessions are open to all volunteers who would like to help out, if you are keen to join us next time or have any questions, do drop us a note at info@gooodfabrics.com or leave a comment on our FB.

* All materials were donated by GOOOD Fabrics.

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Oven mitts are a must-have for the kitchen if you are one who uses the oven. But besides the obvious uses of oven mitts, there are other uses for them.:)

Cleaning car or motorcycle
A great way to reuse old mitts! Keep one in your car boot or motorbike box. They come in handy when you just need to do abit of polishing or cleaning here or there. And if the engine is piping hot, use it to protect your hand.

Dusting and polishing
I find them really great when I want to apply oil or some varnish to my furniture, then the clean side can be use for buffing them.

Hand protection
Sometimes we need to screw some loose screws or the like but the parts could be sharp or irregularly-shaped so it is uncomfortable to hold. Having a mitt helps to protect your hands so you can get the job done comfortably!

Durian lovers!
C’mon… as much as those of us who love the fruit, the thorny fruit does get us at times. The mitt would definitely help shield our delicate fingers against its thorns. No fear!

Hah… now that I got the not-so-obvious uses of an oven mitt out of the way.

I love it that like cushion covers, oven mitts help to add ‘life’ into the kitchen. And when you tire of it, you can always make new ones to change the mood again. Before I attempted this sewing project, I had the idea that it is sooooo simple and quick to make.  Err… as much as it appears to be some simple, I still spent about 3-4 hours. I’m sure I took that long because I’m doing this for the first time.

I started googling for some inspiration and tutorials. There is a plethora of online tutorials out there so just google. But to start you off, here’s one which I worked off but modified slightly. Here’s a document of how I made mine.

Material needed: Inner and outer lining fabric, Insul-Bright and Natural Cotton batting. I bought the latter two from Spotlight.

Material needed: Inner and outer lining fabric, Insul-Bright and Natural Cotton batting. I bought the latter two from Spotlight. First two patterned fabrics on picture are available from www.gooodfabrics.com

Fabric all cut into shape.

Fabric all cut into shape.

Sew along dotted lines. This helps to keep all the fabric in place. You can create any kind of sewing lines here.

Sew along dotted lines. This helps to keep all the fabric in place. You can create any kind of sewing lines here, so u can get creative.

Outer lining facing each other before I start sewing along the edge of the template.

Outer lining facing each other before I start sewing along the edge of the template.

Sewing the loop for attaching to the oven mitt so I can hang it in the kitchen.

Sewing the loop for attaching to the oven mitt so I can hang it in the kitchen.

Prepping the edge where it lines the opening of the mitt.

Prepping the edge where it lines the opening of the mitt.

Cut the edges on the rounded corners to ease the folding over and reduce bunching up of fabric.

Cut the edges on the rounded corners to ease the folding over and reduce bunching up of fabric.

FInished product!

FInished product! I wasn’t most skilled and not too happy with the sewing of the polka dot fabric. Oh well, I’ll practice more! But for now, I get smiley whenever I walk past my kitchen and see the oven mitt hanging there. It does add a splash of life to my otherwise really white kitchen.

I have been living without curtains in my room for 2 months now. Why? Well, I wanted to live in the space and then decide what would work best for me. So every morning, for 2 months, I’ve been waking up between the hours of 6.30-7.30am simply because I get woken up by the natural light. Yes, no alarm! Given that I am a night person and that I do not sleep til past 1230mn, but mostly after 1am, waking up this early zombifies me…

However, this is also the 2 months where I got alot done in the morning. I could be washing the toilet one morning, and brushing some cabinets on another, make coffee, read the papers, sometimes I got for a ride, all before I hit the office. So I must say that I do enjoy getting so much done before the day starts.

I also happen to insist on a clear glass window so I get maximum light, but that also meant privacy may be compromised.

So 2 months later, it was decided… day curtains. I get to keep the light in, but create a shield for privacy when I needed it. I went to IKEA and found these Ninni Trad day curtains to be quite suitable. I wanted to keep my window clean so I opted for a tencel wire ones (Dignitet), also from IKEA. I could use clips as options to hang the curtains or sew on loops instead. I decided on fabric ones so that they can be made more interesting visually. Also, I’ve been looking for an excuse to use those vintage buttons we inherited from my auntie. Here’s a perfect opportunity!

Ninni Trad day curtains from IKEA

Strips of 3x5in width fabric strips and vintage buttons. Oh, I used velcro too which isn’t in the picture.

Sewing the sides up to make 1.5in strips as loops for the wire curtain.

I shifted the sewn line to the centre so the strip will be balanced.

I made a V-shape on one side and trimmed some fabric off so it doesn’t bunch up too much when flipped over.

After I turned the fabric inside out, I made some stitches along the edges before sewing the velcro on.

Hand sewn the buttons on.

Sewing the strips onto the curtains. I double sew it for reinforcement.

My empty window.

These curtains produces a translucent effect which helps to soften a room, giving it a romantic feeling.

Closeup of the loops I sewn on

I sure hope the wire don’t start sinking in the middle!

 

I bought these potted plants about two months ago. I initially wanted to re-pot them into something prettier but finding what I like in the correct size prove to be in vain after 2 long months. :S So, can’t have them looking like this forever… I’ve got tons of fabrics lying around so fabric buckets make alot of sense. What’s great is I can always make new ones when I tire of these.

There are plenty of ‘fabric bucket sewing tutorials’ online, so just google and you should find lots. So, I won’t be posting a step-by-step guide here. Here’s one to start you off though.

Surely something can be done to these pots!

Looking raw…

Material needed; not much is needed really.

Pinning the trimming on the upper edge.

Checked edges done!

Pinning the pieces together.

This sewing step is the most challenging for me; had to pause to turn the fabric umpteen times!

Making slits so that they fabric is not bunched up when I flip them around.

Finished product! Yaysies… they are finally naked no more.

Closeup –  Feel free to add embellishments to make your fabric buckets more interesting. I got these buttons when I was in Sydney, been wanting to use them.

Before and after

I’m happy I finally got these done!:) They are so simple and quick to make and it really makes a difference to how the pots look now. Ideally I would love to make them with laminated fabric so they are waterproof. Oh well… maybe the next ones I make.

Hope this inspires you to make something pretty for your pots. But if not for pots, fabric buckets are great for everything else; toiletries, knick knacks, cloth pegs, etc. Til next time… happy sewing!

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