Sew, Seoul Happy [McCall’s 7243].

I like to sew Destination Dresses – when I sew something to wear on an overseas trip.  When I knew MS and I were going to Seoul in South Korea, I decided to make McCall’s 7243 in a thicker knit to wear in the still-cold Springtime there. 

  • Pattern: McCall’s 7243, View D
  • Size made:  AX5 (sizes 4-12 included). I made size 6
  • Pattern pieces: 5 for view D
  • Fabric used: Stable knit with textured ‘braids’ on right side, [83% polyester, 15% viscose, 2% spandex], 138cm width, 2m length, unknown country of origin, bought from Tessuti Fabrics
  • New Techniques used: One piece wrap collar
  • Modifications: Reduced collar width; Hand sewn hems; Refined hip fitting by trying it on, pinching and pinning.
McCall’s M7243. It has a mock wrap collar; Full, 3/4 or no sleeves and can be made as a top or dress. The fabric I used is a textured, sturdy knit.

 

I made View D, which is a long sleeved dress, and no contrast collar colour. Pic from here.

 

Five pattern pieces for View D. Originally I cut a size 6 top grading to size 10 at the hips, as in the above picture. Later on I graded it back to a 6 on the bottom as negative ease worked better with my fabric.

 

For the round wrap collar piece, I originally did the hemming by machine after pinning.

 

Constructing the collar took me a while, as it was my first time sewing a collar like this design.

 

Took a break from sewing, and came back to this – was confused for a moment. Sometimes it’s easier to do most of the sewing in one sitting, just so I keep my chain of thought.

 

Initially, this was the completed garment. I wasn’t happy with the way the collar hems sat. The fabric is too stiff for the intended draping effect at the shoulder and it stuck out. Also the hem puckered with machine stitching (I tried changing the tension, using ball needle too). Maybe a ponte would have worked better.

 

I’ve posted this on Instagram – I reduced the width of the collar, and hand-sewn the hems. (Left is before, Right is after)

 

My final version. It is a fitted dress, and probably short for average height people – for me (5’0″), it sat just above the knee without any shortening. Collar hems still not flat *sob* – probably because the fabric was thick, the shape was round, and hems folded over twice.

 

The back. I thought the back flap should sit flat as per the pattern envelope, but even in McCall’s official picture there is a wave at the back (see below), so I feel OK with that.

 

McCall’s official back view. Pic from here. (The original shoulder flap drapes nicely with a lighter knit)

 

We went to see the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul. I wore my dress!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruffle Me Up [Simplicity 2497].

This dress is probably my longest-running UFO. I started it more than a year ago, traced the pattern and cut the fabric, and had not touched it since.  Up until last month when I finally decided to sew it, as it was taking up precious space in my fabric cupboard.

Simplicity 2497 is an OOP pattern (it wasn’t OOP when I bought it in Spotlight!). Given that I sew so slowly, with endless distractions/responsibilities, by the time I sew my patterns, I’m not surprised if most of them are out of print or out of fashion. Neck ruffles, if I remember correctly, were trendy a few years ago. Maybe not now, but I don’t care….On the topic of trends – I don’t follow trends much – but even if I wanted to, I’d have no hope of sewing them. By the time I finish it, trend will be over. Maybe by a few years. I bought some off-the-shoulder patterns last season ( I like the style regardless of trend), but now it’s all about the sleeves…so my attitude is, just sew whatever.

  • Pattern: Simplicity 2497, a Cynthia Rowley design, View D
  • Size made:  D5 (sizes 4-12 included). I made size 4
  • Pattern pieces: 7 for view D (after eliminating pockets)
  • Fabric used: Polyester crepe,135cm width, 3m length, bought on my Japan trip
  • New Techniques used: Sewing princess seams; Using rolled hem
  • Modifications: Raised neckline at lowest point by 5cm; Eliminated pockets; Reduced bodice sides by 5cm total; Used rolled hem instead of narrow hem for neck ruffle
Simplicity 2497. Lots of beautiful versions on the internet. I decided to use an oriental print textured crepe I bought in Japan in 2015.

 

I made View D, which has neck ruffle, side split, maxi length, and sleeveless. Pic from here.

 

Seven pattern pieces for View D (no pocket).

 

The skirt length chewed up quite a bit of fabric.

 

More than a year has lapsed between the last picture and this! Finally made up the bodice.

 

The gathered waist fits into an interfaced waist band with self-facing slip-stitched into place on the wrong side. It’s not very straight…but I think no one will notice when worn :P

 

Machine gathered, then hand-basted the neck ruffle by hand. My mannequin is so useful.

 

It took a while to get the ruffle (almost) evenly spread.

 

The back. The ruffle width is very wide/tall, and the fabric is soft, so the top portion will flop down when I wear it.

 

Done. The weight of the skirt fabric drags the waist band down. I wonder if I should have used a heavier iron-on interfacing, or made a waist stay?

 

We went to a historic, heritage mansion. It’s beautiful there.

 

I love hydrangeas. Plenty in the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 5/5 DIY Wedding Stationery Series – Menu Cards.

I apologise if you are sick of me spamming wedding posts. Last one, promise!

PART FIVE – MENU CARDS

We thought our reception venue would provide menu cards as part of the wedding banquet. And then very close to the day we fly out, we found out they weren’t! We could pay them to do it though – but I didn’t like the idea. So, running on 2 hours a sleep a night for the whole week leading up to fly-out date, still working too – I managed to get the menu cards done too. Simple project though.

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I chose the most luscious and textural papers in my stash for the menu cards. They were metallic-foiled, flocked, opalescent, textured and shiny!

 

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Printing and formatting the menu took longer than assembling the cards.

 

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Our reception was held in a restaurant with an open rooftop area in Rome close to the Vatican City. The view was great and made a nice photo backdrop.

 

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It really was a magical day. A new chapter starts.

 

~End of Part Five and DIY Wedding Stationery Series~

 

Part 4/5 DIY Wedding Stationery Series – Bombonniere Envelopes.

We had some goodies to give to our dear guests. They had all travelled from the other side of the world (like MS and I) to attend our wedding! We are so grateful that they were there to make our day extra extra special. So it was a MUST that I put effort into making the gift presentable.

PART FOUR – BOMBONNIERE ENVELOPES

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I had a stash of Cristina Re cameo print paper. They went nicely with the actual cameos I used for the table number cards. I also had ribbon buckles and stick-on diamantes ready! And square envelopes I bought…yes you guess it right, 15 years ago, again. Same shop, same stash.

 

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Printed names onto grids onto opalescent paper, double-sided tape the back and cut out…I can do this in my sleep now.

 

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Grey ribbon and square buckle for the gentlemen;  White ribbon and round buckle for the ladies.

 

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Diamante-time! Pink-lilac-silver for ladies, and blue-green-silver for gentlemen.

 

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These lay relatively flat, so transporting them to Rome wasn’t too bad. Although I had to be careful not to compress them, as the thickness of the gift inside and the buckle on the outside can cause creases.

 

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So, the problem with not being physically there to set up the tables and to make sure the papercraft was ok, was ~ the buckles can move position, like this one…

 

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…Or creases not smoothed out, like this one.

 

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…but I think no one but me cared :P

 

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For the photos, we also went to Capitoline Hill and other places too.

 

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~End of Part Four~

 

Part 3/5 DIY Wedding Stationery Series – Table Number Cards.

I have hoarded collected these resin cameos with metal backing, intended to be for wearable accessories.  While thinking about the design for my wedding stationery, I’ve decided to use them for table number cards instead. I was determined to use just what I had in the stash and not buy anything new.

PART THREE – TABLE NUMBER CARDS

 

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I had black/white and brown/white cameos, and decided on black/white to go with the classic wedding theme.

 

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Decided on font, printed onto opalescent paper, got more of my silver cardstock bought 15 years ago, some thick satin ribbon and off I went.

 

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This part was trickier than I though. The pleats were prone to being flattened and looked very sad. I had to ‘prop’ them up with some thick foam tape on either side of the centre.

 

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I also had these mini cards from 15 years ago (I feel so old…), and I glued 3 together to make a triangular prism base as a stand.

 

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Add stick-on diamantes strip on the top, and done. As with all my craft projects, they took much longer than they look…

 

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Transporting them was a real pain due to the bulky base. But then got there in the end.

 

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Between the morning ceremony and evening reception, we went around Rome to take photos. Roman Forum~~

 

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Colosseum~

 

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~End of Part Three~

 

Part 2/5 DIY Wedding Stationery Series – Place Cards.

Ahhh. These little things that took me so, so long to make. 

PART TWO – PLACE CARDS

I have always loved lace motifs, and decided to incorporate them into my wedding stationery. I bought a large lace bolero on sale for $10 at a local bridal boutique, and diligently cut all the motifs out piece by piece to make my place cards. A similar fabric from a bolt would sell for around $150/m at least!

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$10 and enough lace pieces for my place cards as I had a relatively small guest list.

 

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First, cutting apart the bolero and separating each motif roughly.

 

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Now here was the problem. In my mind, I just had to use a seam ripper to separate the motifs and that was it. Turns out the tulle onto which the motifs were sewn on, were roughly cut (you can see the excess tulle ‘webbing’ between the lace details in the pic) and stitched onto the fabric of the bolero. It’s normal in garment production, but I was making a papercraft project and need clean edges…the webbing had to go!

 

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Which meant, using embroidery scissors and painstakingly going around ALL the curves, every leaf and petal, every nook and cranny…to produce a clean result.

 

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Which also meant, it took about 30+mins to cut EACH motif. I even took them to the park to do when I had a break at work!

 

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After many hours and possibly making my fingers arthritic, all the motifs were cut and were ready to be glued onto cardstock. I bought the cards about 15 years ago from a paper shop that was closing down. Yes I hoard, but hey they were useful in the end!

 

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Lace placement all planned out.

 

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Can I just say how happy this made+ still makes me feel? Just by looking at it.

 

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I had to make sure there was enough space for the name to go on the card.

 

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So, names printed on grids, on opalescent paper, then double sided tape at the back and square-punched out.

 

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To ensure precision placement of the lace, I traced the card onto scrap paper. I put the lace and name on the card and turned it over onto the template, applied glue to the back of the lace and aligned the card to the lines. I didn’t do this step initially and messed up a few cards :(

 

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And then it was placing stick-on diamantes and pearls, to the heart’s content!

 

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So, the other challenging part was – packing them, avoid any creasing, damage, dislodgement of stick-on embellishments, stuffing them in our luggage, and bringing them halfway across the world. The day before the wedding, we had to take them to the reception venue. We went past Castel Sant’Angelo.

 

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Tables at our reception dinner – where the place cards belong.

 

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After the morning wedding ceremony, we strolled to St. Peter’s Square for some photos.

 

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~End of Part Two~

 

Part 1/5 DIY Wedding Stationery Series – Ceremony Booklets.

After 3 whole months, my professional wedding photos are back and I can finally show some of the DIY projects that I did for my wedding.  Apart from invitations, I made all the wedding stationery and brought them all the way from Australia to Rome. 

This is a five-part series. I returned to my roots as a papercrafter. I didn’t sew anything for my wedding – too much stress, too little time! At the end of each series I’ll tag on a few photos from the day. It surely was a memorable, happy day!

PART ONE – CEREMONY BOOKLETS

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I used Cristina Re papers that I bought many, many years ago. There are many nice newer designs, but I was determined to use up what I already have.

 

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Nothing fancy, I just printed and stapled the booklets together with the pretty papers as covers. It took a while though.

 

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They all travelled to Rome!

 

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The ceremony was held in Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri, inside the Vatican City.

 

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Father M used it too.

 

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~End of Part One~

 

 

 

Look to the Light [Butterick 5878].

First handmade garment of the year, and it’s already February! My goal to sew more isn’t going that well…but we all start somewhere :P

The reason I chose this pattern to make was simple. I accidentally bought two of the same paper patterns during sales, so I decided I’ll try for the very first time to cut straight into the tissue paper instead of tracing. The relaxed fit reassured me that minimal adjustment or grading would be needed.

  • Pattern: Butterick 5878, I made View B
  • Size made:  A5 (sizes 6-14 included). I made size 6
  • Pattern pieces: 8 for view B (total 11 pieces in envelope)
  • Fabric used: 100% Rayon, 135cm width, 1.5m length (really should need 2m), made in Thailand, bought from Spotlight
  • Trim used: 6m (used about 4-5m in the end) scallop lace trim from Lincraft
  • New Techniques used: Making yoke facing; Elasticated sleeves
  • Modifications: Shortened skirt tiers – middle panel by 4.5cm, bottom panel by 5.5cm. Reduced sleeve length 7cm. Altered lace trim placement.
Butterick 5878. I made View B, which is the white one second from the right on the envelope picture.
Butterick 5878. I made View B, which is the white one second from the right on the envelope picture.

 

View B has mid-length sleeves, and 3 tiers on the bottom.
View B has mid-length sleeves, and 3 gathered tiers on the bottom. All of the views have bodice with front and back yokes and wrap bodice. Pic from here

 

8 pattern pieces for view B.
8 pattern pieces for view B.

 

The front and back yokes have self-facings that get slip-stitched into place.
The front and back yokes have self-facings that get slip-stitched into place.

 

Bodice constructed.
Bodice constructed.

 

Sleeves with gathers at the shoulder and elastic on the bottom.
Sleeves with gathers at the shoulder and elastic on the bottom.

 

Top half done! I used a red-and-blue scallop edge trim to match the fabric. I also decided to put them on the wrap front hems instead of along the yoke seams, which would have obscured the little gathers I painstakingly made!
Top half done! I used a red-and-blue scallop edge trim to match the fabric. I also decided to put them on the wrap front hems instead of along the yoke seams, which would have obscured the little gathers I painstakingly made! I also added a metal snap at the ‘V’ where it crosses over.

 

Bottom 2 skirt tiers. I don't like gathering...soldier on...
Bottom 2 skirt tiers. I don’t like gathering…soldier on…

 

Finished skirt portion.
Finished skirt portion.

 

Elasticated waist. The Elastic was hidden in the seam allowance.
Elasticated waist. The Elastic was hidden in the seam allowance.

 

Completed garment. Phew, totally ran out of steam somewhere in the middle. Glad it's finished.
Completed garment. Phew, totally ran out of steam somewhere in the middle. Glad it’s finished. I placed the trim only at the bottom, not between the tiers as suggested by View B. I shortened the tiers (for my height) and thus the lace would have been very close together and unflattering if I followed the original design.

 

We took a mini road trip to the sunflower fields in the countryside…

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“Keep your face toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” ~ Walt Whitman

 

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I have another project in the works…let’s see how that goes. 

 

 

Flashing Tooth Sign.

I made a flashing neon sign for my colleague’s birthday!

I have posted this on Instagram already, but here’s the making of. It was really fun to make.

I bought this kit from Typo. There is a bigger size available, and the flashing light is white for that one. Pink for this.
I bought this kit from Typo. There is a bigger size available, and the flashing light is white for that one. Pink for this.

 

The kit includes the mounted black canvas, pink light tubing (batteries not included), switch, pen, drawing guide and elastics.
The kit includes the mounted black canvas, pink light tubing (batteries not included), switch, pen, drawing guide, awl, needle and elastics.

 

I changed the design from the original bleeding heart to a molar. Many dentists love everything tooth-related, my friend included!
I changed the design from the original bleeding heart to a molar. Many dentists love everything tooth-related, my friend included! So basically using the awl you poke holes around your design where you want the elastic to hold.

 

Back of the canvas, ready for the tubing and elastic.
Back of the canvas, ready for the tubing and elastic.

 

Feed the tubing through and secure with elastic.
Feed the tubing through and secure with elastic.

 

Nearly there. I thought it looked a bit bare, so I added the word 'LOVE' inside the tooth.
Nearly there. I thought it looked a bit bare, so I added the word ‘LOVE’ inside the tooth.

 

I also bought this badge to go with it!
I also bought this badge to go with it!

 

After securing the excess tubing at the back of canvas, it is DONE! This is in its unlit state.
After securing the excess tubing at the back of canvas, it is DONE! This is in its unlit state.

 

And lit up, flashing in various frequencies!
And lit up!

 

ACTION! It has 3 settings: Slow, Fast, and OFF.
ACTION! It has 4 settings: ON, Slow, Fast, and OFF. All the settings are used while filming this clip. (The original video was in mp4 format and I had to convert it to gif to post on WordPress, and the frequency is a bit off ~)

 

It only took a few hours to make, not too long. My friend likes it, so it’s all worth it!

 

2016: A Review.

Coming to the end of the year, it’s time to reflect and plan!

Top 5 things that happened in 2016 for me:

 

  1. We got married, spent quality time with family and friends, and honeymooned :)
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We took this pic in Venice, one of the many places we went to for our honeymoon.

 

2. MS and I went to Greece. I’ve been wanting to go for many years. So glad we did, it was a magical experience. Such a beautiful place. The high summer was punishing, though!

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Greece in June+July. I wouldn’t mind having breakfast in Santorini every morning!

 

 3. I’ve taken up boxing, and it is so fun! It is great to challenge myself physically. This leads me to consider sewing active wear – but it seems so scary! Maybe later :P

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Get stronger!

 

4. I found out someone has been stealing from me for years, intentionally. And then had the audacity to stalk me, spin stories, frame others, fake innocence and play the victim. Truly disgraceful. No one needs that kind of people in their lives. Good riddance.

 

5. I have done quite a few DIY projects, especially for my wedding (professional pictures still not back yet!), but sewing wise, I’ve made only 9 garments. My goal at the beginning of the year was one a month, so I’m 3 short. Life got quite busy this year. I know that 2017 will be even more hectic for me, but I hope to make time to sew more in the coming year.

My fabric stash. Get busy!
My fabric stash. Get busy!

 

Wishing everyone a happy, fulfilling, rewarding new year.

Let’s do this, 2017! I am ready!