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I’ve always wanted to make fabric wall art since my friend told me about it years ago. I finally bought the necessary equipment late last year but they have been sitting around, not used since. Finally I had the opportunity to make some because they were required for a photoshoot.

I had alot of fun making them. I am now planning to offer custom-made fabric wall art services at GOOOD Fabrics. So the idea is… 1. PICK A FABRIC… 2. PICK A WALL ART SIZE. I make them and they get delivered to you! Logistics are being sorted out, but do feel free to drop me an email to find out more.

Anyway, here’s what I did two weekends ago. I worked on 3 pieces of 15inches square canvases. By the way, I kept the canvas on the frame so that the fabric pattern and colours will appear bright and vivid against a white background, unless of course, you are using a dark fabric then I’d suggest you remove the canvas material, so you don’t get white bits showing through your dark fabric.

Difficulty level: 3 out of 5

1. Trim your fabric to size (I left about 2-3inches, depending on the thickness of the frame). I chose to use a 1.5inch thickness frame so it looks more sturdy. Make sure you pressed your fabric before doing this. You do not want any unsightly creases on your eventual frame… that’ll be such an eyesore! I used paper weights to keep the frame in place.

Laying the canvas over the fabric

2. Start pulling from the center of 2 ends. Note that you do not pull them so tight that they start to distort. Give it the right pressure so the fabric is nice and taut but not stretched. Staple one side first, followed by the opposite center side. Repeat this for the other 2 ends.

Start to staple the fabric from the center.

3. I then worked on the corners. Note that this is a new piece of fabric. I got too intent on the earlier fabric that I forgot to take pictures! Try to fold the corners neatly. Repeat for all 4 corners. You can also practice by gift-wrapping boxes first.

Closeup of the corners

4. Viola! Fabrics are like art pieces to me. Each pattern and colour chosen is no coincidence but well-thought out designs by the designers. Don’t they make lovely alternatives to paintings?! Smiles!

Finished series of 3 fabric wall art pieces!

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After a 2-week travel, I am finally able to settle down to sew last night! I didn’t really have a project in mind but all I wanted to do was to give myself a sewing therapy session. 🙂

I recently bought a pair of flight socks, my third! First pair which were really good, and I forgot the brand, decided to go into hiding. I searched every nook and cranny in the apartment but it was no where to be found. I felt kinda heart pain since it worked well. So I went and bought a 3M pair as replacement. These ones aren’t too good, I think they aren’t as ‘supportive’ hence after a flight my legs feel very swollen still. And so I got a third pair. I got these OPPO Medical ones from Guardian Pharmacy. Err… not advertising for them but for the interest of those who are looking to buy a pair. I think these are quite good. Better than the 3M ones.

Anyway, they usually don’t come with any pouch and since I’ve already misplaced/lost a first good pair, I didn’t want to lose these again. So I decided to make a ‘striking’ pouch so I can see and find them easily.

I used this gorgeous Alexander Henry Kleo fabric and a pink polka dot fabric (from Spotlight) for the drawstring. I didn’t even draw any template! I thought it was gonna be so simple anyway. And it was! But for those who would like a template, just drop me a note, I will do a quick sketch and email it to you ok?! I’m thinking of adding some embroidery details or something to it. Hmm… waiting to be inspired. Any suggestions?

Difficulty Level: 0.5 out of 5
Time taken: 1hour (fabric cutting and sewing)

Although it was a quick one-hour project, I actually felt relieved. ;D I’m meeting a few friends this sat for a sewing get-together over gelato and cakes. Now what should I sew?

Just two pieces of cloth needed

I did the double wrapping to seal the frays. Sewing one side first, then flip over, and sew again to tuck the frays in.

Measure the top where your drawstring area is and leave that unsewn.

Fold the edges making sure the frays are tucked inside.

Sew a rectangle to secure the 'hole'.

Do the same for the other side. As I chose to draw the string from one side only, I did not leave any gap on this side.

Similarly, double sew to hide the frays.

Fold the top towards the inside of the pouch, hiding the frays inside. Sew two lines across the top. You don't really need to sew the top line nearer to the opening, but I wanted this look.

Pouch is almost done. We need the 'string' now.

Sewing the 'string'. Fold the fabric and use needles to hold it together.

Sewn 'string'.

I used a paper clip to guide the 'string' through.

Useful tool!

There... my flight socks sits safely in it.

My friend commissioned me to restore her lampshade. She loves the Alexander Henry Mocca fabric and wanted to replace her current ceiling grey lampshade. I’m so happy I got a chance to work on this. It’s really fun! What is great is that we were able to restore an existing lampshade instead of simply throwing this one away and buying a new one. I’m glad we managed to reduce ‘stuff’ by recycling. So green… I like.

There was alot of stretching and pulling involved because we were also trying to preserve the plastic sheet around the lampshade. It was a good thing that sis was around to help me. I wouldn’t be able to pull it off alone.

Try it if you have been thinking of replacing that tired-looking lampshade at home!

Time taken: 2hours (waiting time included)

Original lampshade

Original lampshade

Another view

Restoring lampshade in progress

Removing the original fabric and cleaning everything. You won't believe how much dust can gather on a lampshade!

The naked lampshade with its original plastic sheet

The naked lampshade with its original plastic sheet.

Alexander Henry mocca fabric for a lampshade

Cutting and preparing the fabric. Remember to iron out any creases.

After we stuck each side, pegs were used to hold the fabric and lampshade together.

After we stuck each side, pegs were used to hold the fabric and lampshade together. The more pegs, the better!

Closeup view of glue being applied to the frame.

Closeup view of glue being applied to the frame.

All sides glued. A 20 mins wait to make sure the fabric adheres properly to the lampshade.

All sides glued. A 20 mins wait to make sure the fabric adheres properly to the lampshade.

Concealing the ugly ends with a fabric tape.

Concealing the ugly ends with a fabric tape.

Trimming for the finishing touches.

Trimming for the finishing touches.

I chose to layer up for an added detail.

I chose to layer up for an added detail.

lampshade using alexander henry mocca fabric

Finished product! Delivering this sunday...

I love brooches! I have a collection of handmade felt ones, handmade fabric ones, vintage ones, acrylic ones, all kinds of them. I’ve always wanted to try to make one but wanted to create something that means alot to me. Something I will hold dear.

Chaco, my big black cat, came into my life 6 years ago. He has since taken over the couch, the bed, my pillow, to name a few. He is also an inspiration in my very first brooch project. You can read more about Chaco here.

After I was done with the first one, I posted the picture on FB and quite a number of my friends ask where they could buy one. So I decided to refine the design a little and here’s how it went. I must say that the smaller the stuffed toy, the harder it is to make. So do take note of that when you are sewing your own. I started with machine sewing one, thinking it’ll be alot faster. But the size made the sewing very difficult and in the end, hand-sewing produced the best result.

You can purchase *Chaco* brooch and keychain at Goood Fabrics website.

Stuffed cat brooch

Cutting the template and hand-sewing a bunch of them

Stuffed cat brooch

Flipping them over

Stuffed cat keychain

All stuffed up!

Chaco, the big black cat

I was sewing intently and suddenly found Chaco sitting in the chair next to me.

Felt faces

Preparing the felt pieces for his face.

Illustration on packaging

Illustration on packaging - Chaco's HDB dwelling

All printed and ready for cutting into size

Pin sewn onto back of *Chaco* to be pin onto the packaging.

Final packaging. Yay!

Sew for Japan

We ‘Sew for Japan’ today

As Japan begins its journey to rescue and restore its nation, people, homes… and more. The rest of the world is praying and hoping for them. And there are those who has generously donated, unselfishly volunteered and freely caring. I thought I should also play a part albeit small in contributing to render some help.

Popin organized a public crafting event Lasalle Singapore today from 10am – 4pm. So I thought we could sew to raise funds for Japan. I emailed some friends to gather some interest. 3 made it today, including myself, so that makes 4. 🙂 I used Chaco (my cat) as one of the stuffed toy and created Kibou the Owl as the other. Kibou means ‘hope’ in Japan. Owl is a symbol of luck in Japan too, so we thought the owl is very apt. All fabrics and materials used were donated by Goood Fabrics. My friends brought items like beads to accessorize the stuffies too.

We managed to make 12 in all, one of which we already sold at the event. So there are 11 left, all of which are placed on Goood Fabrics Facebook Album. Please bid generously. Tell your friends about it!

  • Each stuff toy starts with a minimum bid of $20.
  • Bidding starts tonight and will end on Wed, 23rd Mar, 11.59pm.
  • Shipping within Singapore is FREE. International shipping charges apply.
  • Stuff toy (softie) is lovingly handmade and ~7cm in height.
  • Winner will be provided with payment details after auction ends.
  • Please go to Goood Fabrics FB Album page to start bidding.

We started sewing around 11am today til 4.30pm. It was an intensive but fun day. We were beat at the end of the day although all we did was just sit down and sew. This is the first sewing get-together for Goood Fabrics. I think we will have another one next month again! I hate to sound abit auntie here but the sew-together was really fun and a great bonding time with my friends and sis. We were chatting, laughing, latte-ing, eating, sewing… all for a good cause. What a great way to spend a Saturday!

Sew for Japan

Setting up at Lasalle

Sewing template for owl and cat

I created these sewing templates specially for ‘Sew For Japan’.

Sis sewing intently... all focused to 'Sew for Japan'

Sis sewing intently… all focused to ‘Sew for Japan’

Jenny getting started…

First stuffie made for Japan Disaster Fund 2011

First stuffie made for Japan Disaster Fund 2011

Peng Hong - All eyes and hands on 'Sewing for Japan'

Peng Hong – All eyes and hands on ‘Sewing for Japan’

Sew… sew… sew little time!

Tired and happy sewing away...

Tired and happy…

Stuffed cat and owl

Stuffed cat and owl… all 11 of them. 1 already sold at the event.

It’s the Year of the Rabbit! And this is for all those born in the year of the rabbit and those who just simply love ’em. They are so adorable, how can you resist them?!

I made a search and found so many stuffed rabbits. Here are some, in their own unique style… Maybe you’ll be inspired to make one yourself? 😉

Stuffed rabbit toys

{1} Round round bunny (one of my fav)
{2} French rabbit (so lady-like…)
{3}  Long-eared rabbit
{4} Checked rabbit (Don’t forget the tail detail)
{5} Long-limbed buns (Quirky!)
{5} Grey rabbit (I don’t know why, but I am really drawn to this one. It’s so full of life, like it’s really looking at me.)

This was a quick and dirty inspirational exercise. You see… I love brooches, especially if they are animal-shaped. I suddenly wanted to make a brooch tonight just an hour ago, so I did this.

It started with a few sketches and then translating that into a stuffed brooch. I used felt for the cat’s face. It’s a tad smaller than what I imagined. Definitely needs touching up, especially the legs. Maybe I’ll make another this weekend so I hope it’ll be closer to what I imagined.

Fun nonetheless!

Stuffed cat brooch

Side-by-side: Brooch vs. sketch

Stuffed cat brooch

Closeup view

Stuff cat brooch

Back view

Yes I finally got some time to sew! I’ve got more Amy Butler fabric remnants left and I’ve been wanting to make more stuffies and I settled on this one. It started as a project just to make them as stuffed toys but since my cousin and cousin-in-law both delivered baby girls, one last november and the other last week! I decided to make them into hanging mobiles.

I got the sewing template here from Spool Sewing. I made the template size smaller for my use. I imagine making a much bigger one… maybe soon. (: I also added some lace to the bird’s tail for some detailing. Instead of twigs, I used Vitra Algue and made two hanging mobiles.

I think it’s the experience I acquired when I made the owls so I think I took less time and effort with the birds. I’d say the difficulty level is about 1 to 2 out of 5. They do make lovely gifts and can be sewn on to anything. I’m even toying with the idea of making them into brooches. That’ll mean tweaking the shape abit. If I do, I will post the template up.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Placing the templates onto folded fabric.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Cut fabrics.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Sew one side first.

Making of stuffed toy bird

I choose to sew the head first. I found it easier to match the fabrics properly. Try it, and see what suits you better.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Lastly, sew the other side.

Making of stuffed toy bird

This is all the machine sewing needed.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Flip bird inside out. Tail is left unsewn for the stuffing.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Fold the seams in and use pins to hold until you are ready to hand sew.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Taking a break and having some fun! 😛

Making of stuffed toy bird

Pinned tails...

Making of stuffed toy bird

All 10 of them! I added some lace detailing to their tails.

Making of stuffed toy bird

They remind me of prawns!

Making of stuffed toy bird

Closeup view. They look like they are in a meeting. Hah!

Making of stuffed toy bird

Top two birds are sewn on the Vitra Algue. The rest are attached using ribbons. I also added tiny bells on their necks for sounds.

Making of stuffed toy bird

Closeup view.

Done! I’m pretty happy with the results. Party’s next weekend and I’m really excited about giving them to my cousins. Hope they like it.

I’m looking for creative inspiration on what I can do with my fabric remnants. Since I did the owl the last time, I’ve been itching to explore something else. Typically, stuffed toys are rather colourful. So for me, the more muted black & white ones are starting to stand out. These caught my eyes… hope they inspire you too.

black & white stuffed toys

{1} MIAU (This just reminded me of my cat, Chaco. Now that I’m in Sydney, I miss him more! *Sniff*)
{2} Pony (The button and lace adds a different detail to a stuffed toy)
{3} Doll (Unique!)
{4} Cat (So adorable…)
{5} Reindeer (So japanese-looking!)
{6} Elephant (The combi fabric on the ears makes it so endearing!)

 

Sewing History

Image Source

Hand sewing goes back 20,000 years. The first sewing needles were made of bones or animal horns and the first thread was made of plant fibers and animal sinew. Later it was found that fibers from plants and animals could be spun together to make thread. It was used to stitch together hides, furs, and bark for clothing and other uses. Sewing has helped form civilization itself.

Sewing machines did not go into mass production till the 1850s. It was Issac Singer who made it possible. With computerization, it led to mass production of sewn objects from fashion to quilting to shoemaking to bookbinding.

And of late, there seems to be some renewed interest or trend in sewing, DIY, handmade. Maybe there are too much commercialization out there, too much mass production, too much duplication, that is pushing consumers now to look for an alternative source, a unique-something to buy. Not that I dislike the mass-produced stuff or choose not to buy any (I’m not that extreme), but I started looking at handmade creations that are so unique and reflective of the artists’ flair and style. And it’s not just aesthetics, it is about meeting that artist, knowing the creative process he/she took to product that piece painstakingly. It’s like buying a piece of artwork.

Sis and I designed bags years ago and mom was the one who would materialize them. It was indeed very fulfilling to have people loving and buying your creations. Late last year, I began developing an interest in getting my hands dirty. There is something mysteriously satisfying when you complete a sewing project. I started browsing the net for more information as well and found that there is indeed some sewing interest out there and some inquiries on sewing classes. You may just be interested in doing this leisurely. Simple sewing projects for yourself or a loved one. For some, it could be a bigger plan to turn this into a small business to start selling your creations online.

Whatever your intent may be… I am trying to put together a list of sewing classes in Singapore so that anyone who got bitten by the sewing bug can have some idea on where to start. I’m in Australia right now and can’t make IDD calls (too expensive!) to enquire about the classes. I should be back in 2 weeks so I hope you check back in 2 weeks’ time!