Sew Happy | Patchwork and EOs

I am glad to use up some scraps from the almost-full zip clear bag. I heart the Wrens and Friends series after making the other patchwork pouch so I chose to use all of it that was left in the bag. Instead of squares, I explored into rectangles, many of them. Not sure of what I want them to be so was playing around placing them here and there. It was fun to see different design came up, but in the end, I made a smaller pouch, leaving behind three more pouches to make.

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Love this owl zipper head, which I bought from Korea two years ago, a few of them followed me back to Singapore, 7h flight to where I am now. I should have gotten more because I really love them seeing how cute they are.

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Inner fabric was from Japan, 100% cotton, thick and of a nice texture. Pity that I only have it in fat quarter and not a bigger piece because it makes a nice interior lining for the pouch.  I didn’t make this pouch to put the essential oils I have but was meant for something else. But hey, it surprised me by fitting all the 5ml (10 of them) into this pouch. I resisted using it, but eventually succumbed to the weakness of really liking this pouch made from scraps. *ha-ha, I am proud of myself that I used the scraps instead of cutting into the nice lovely fabric in the cupboard* Giving myself a pat on the shoulder :P

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Back to making the remaining three pieces I have and hopefully they turn out to be as lovely as this. As you know, usually the first piece made is often the nicest, not because I am extremely careful or put in extra effort but it is the opposite. I did it with no one in mind, just for my own use and even if it turned out ugly, it is alright.

Now, with three to make, I tend (or might) change styles to add this and that, make it this way or that way. Complicated. But I will try to simplify the steps if possible, especially to the inner lining.

In the meantime, sit back and have a cup of hot milo to rest the fingers, eyes, and the tired brain.

xo, jean.

• Giraffe Crossing Blanket •

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A short post (I promise), well not as if all my posts are long winded ha-ha but I am in a hurry now to start and make something for Missy (while she is having her Chinese lesson)  for her birthday (soon) and as a form of encouragement to her diligence in preparing for her coming exam.

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And so, I made the little boy a blanket that he wanted so badly just because the sister has one :)Thank you, mummy for making me my blanket.”, “I love it.” I, indeed, am happy to know that he loves his blanket which made all the efforts put into it worthwhile. Priceless to see him looking at the wet blankie hung up high on a bamboo, waited patiently for two days for it to dry properly, and finally this morning, when I handed it to him, he smiles so sweetly.

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I absolutely love this soft fabric used for the back by Riley Blake (Doohikey). So colorful, cheerful and it matches the Riley Blake Giraffe Crossing bundle. It didn’t come as a package, I saw it at the fabric store one day while buying fabrics for the bag-making class and at the same time, I was fretting over finding a suitable yet comfy fabric for the back of the blanket. Thank God I found it! 

Same as Missy’s blanket, I used the tying method instead of using meandering or loopy stitches (these need lots of practice to get an even stitch throughout) and I am so lacking of time.

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Went into their room (a week ago), and what I saw made me smile (aw). She was hugging her blanket and sleeping so soundly. That motivated me to quicken my hands to complete the little boy’s blanket.

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Bye now, take care and remember to stay cheerful! ~ jean.

• Mama’s Dress • in floral by moda

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Of late, I have been hit by the dressmaking bug. I made a dress for my little girl last week. This week, a dress made for myself using Feminine Wardrobe pattern. Bought this book a while ago and even made the bow dress on the cover page. Wasn’t too familiar with certain steps as the instructions are all in Japanese. So, I just tried my best to figure it out based on what I know. It was fun trying to make it, wore the dress once, and look oversized at the waist area (as it is supposed to be loosely fit), but the fabric looked more like pyjamas. I like the pattern, and will likely remake one again. :)

So, what happened to that bow dress now?

It’s been ‘locked’ up in the cupboard. I think I will alter it so that it can be worn again. [Hopefully soon]

I have been flipping this book, again, lately, for this time the book is in English. I was given the same book by a dear friend for my birthday. [Thank you] A dress was chosen and instead of just sewing it on my own, I spoke to a friend who agreed to sew-along with me. [After much discussion, we decided to sew a different pattern to suit what we like] :) I look forward to seeing her dress *can’t wait, can’t wait*

This is what I have chosen. Reason? :) Just because I am attracted to the big ribbon tie.

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It took me a while to begin tracing the right size from the given pattern. If you haven’t explored to Japanese pattern before, it’s full of lines and it’s everywhere. So, before you start tracing, do a scan through of which pattern you are using as they overlapped with all the patterns you can find from the book. I did a mental scan and voila! I did it. The rest is history now. Choosing fabric wasn’t difficult as I had already planned to use this fabric. The pinning, cutting, sewing was good, except that I am a bit concern if I can fit into the dress. I wasn’t too sure if the size I chose was right this time (though I measured myself and compared with the measurement chart). Just do it, I told myself. [Thank God, I am quite pleased with the outcome of the dress!] Totally enjoyed the process of making it and this pattern (I must say) is a keeper!

Love it 💕

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Enjoy your weekend! ~ jean.

• A Dress • for my little girl

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A dress made for my little girl. She has grown taller without me noticing as we see each other every day, but her other dresses tell me so.

So, l made her a new dress last Friday using a pattern which I bought long ago. The kids pattern from Handmade Love, wasn’t too hard to follow, though it is in Japanese 💕💕

Used this pattern before, so this time it took me just half a day without interruption to complete her dress. I am beginning to enjoy the afternoon time on Friday after their school time to make something else.

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I was telling myself, I am not a professional seamstress so go easy and have fun with the pattern and enjoy the process of dressmaking. I sure did! :) [Thank God] This pattern is a keeper. Will definitely use this again to make another dress for her 💕 * really happy that she likes this dress *

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 ~ jean.

Floral and Hooties | Card Holders

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Again, I have to admit that I love small pouches. This has been the case for a very long time. Not only small pouches, but small items and it can range from small bottles, containers to many cute little things you can think of. I know, I know… It is not practical and not too useful, but but but…. (making all sorts of excuses). Oh well, I remade these card holder pouches last week. They are not with individual slots for each card, but an L-shaped zipper pouch. When I first made these months ago for two friends for their birthday, I find it cute and thought they are useful (hope they are using it). Had a few orders that came in but I simply have no extra time to make, but my understanding customers become friends told me to take my time and work on it later. (Thank you for being so kind to me, really appreciate ‘em).

I, too, have many cards, (not credit cards though) but other cards, like retail discount cards, supermarket point accumulation card, etc.. too many that my purse can handle. Sometimes, when I am being selective and bring only those cards I think I need, I get myself into trouble just because I ended up bringing the wrong cards or forget that particular one. Sigh… :)

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Big wallet? No, I am not a big fan and not keen to get one as it will be too bulky for me. So, at times, I would just temporarily bring those I need and chuck ‘em into some pockets in my bag. Having said that, I tend to forget to bring those I may need if I change my bag. Not frequent but it does happen so I concluded that a small card pouch is good :)

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When I first started sewing about four years ago, floral fabric was my first purchase. Still is now. I would buy when I take a liking to a specify floral fabric and keep…. (Hoarder! Yes, I know) so a [reminder to self], it’s not too late to use them now. :)

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Method for the interior is different as compared to the first. I removed the use of bias tape for these. And find it easier and quicker to make them than previously.

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In the midst of doing something else now, something which I haven’t really attempted to do, but was glad to be given the opportunity to work on some. Time is passing by (so quickly) day by day and I have to quicken my pace for what I need to do, in the midst of our schooling and home front. Bye now.

Stay cheerful and Happy stitching! ♡ ~ jean.

Threads that bind | Patchwork Pouch

This patchwork pouch was completed a few days ago. I love the color of the pouch. Fabric from Gina Martin from Moda, Wrens and Friends. Love the bright, vibrant colors.

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IMG_20140725_152826IMG_20140725_152731It was a joy to piece the triangle to make a square and selecting the fabric to make the base was easy this time just because I already had in mind to use this specific fabric. Been eyeing on it and telling myself to use it, but couldn’t find the right project too, but this matched up with the rest of the squares :)

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I run with scissors! *Gasp!* No, I don’t. But I like the phrase, though it sounds so dangerous to run with scissors literally :) I’m creative …. you can’t expect me to be neat too ha-ha!

IMG_20140725_001317 I simply love these minty stars on white/cream, just too lovely from Tilda. While making this pouch, I underestimated the time and effort used to sew the lining onto the main fabric. It took me a while to think which is the best way to attach the lining to main. :) Instead of the usual binding I sew with bias tape, I tried another method (using the bag method) but in the end, I couldn’t figure out how to sew them together so I hand stitch the lining to the main.

* feeling satisfied! *

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IMG_20140725_153054Not sure what I am going to use this pouch for or maybe, I will just list it up for sale…. *still thinking* It will take me a while. In the meantime, have a great week ahead! ~ jean.

:: My little girl’s blanket

Just recently, I get to complete the second blanket for Missy. Yes, her second blanket (after more than half a year) from mommy. Oops.. How about the boy? (You must be thinking!) Soon, soon… on the way. He has been asking about his too, and was quick to select his fabric choice when I asked him last week. *mummy better not sit on it for too long (a reminder to self)*

I was determined to finish the project as it has been lying there on the rack for a long time and it’s really not nice to see it covered with dust. So, after their last lesson ended one afternoon, I gave it a blast and laid out all the necessary fabric on the table, measured and cut to make long strips for the borders and binding. After that was done, without much delay, border strips were attached to the blanket and sewn. That wasn’t difficult. But when it comes to binding, I concluded that the kids won’t be able to read on their own for too long (the older one is alright, the younger one will be up to his mischief), I decided to give the binding a machine stitch instead. And hey! I like the feel of it *too happy to see it almost finishing at that moment*

Though I must say, hand stitching gives me the satisfaction that machine sew can’t give. It is therapeutic! For smaller projects, I will do that to enjoy the calming effect. As for bigger projects like blankets, I will probably machine stitch the binding to save time, but having said that, I might still change my mind :D (fickle-minded)

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I selected two charm packs (precut 5 x 5 squares) for this blanket and they are not from the same series. I bought a few different ones and combined two packs together and to my surprise, I love it!

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Mixing and matching the squares, but in the end, I tell you, I still prefer to have the same series together. There is absolutely no problem with different series matching up, but it’s just me.

IMG_20140212_181352 IMG_20140214_084528I used Baby Jane by Eric and Julie Comstock and Giggles by me and my sister designs and so loving this series!
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It was fun to piece each square together, sewn them into blocks and mixing them around on the floor to see which block goes where. No rules, just what you like and how it looks best to you. So absolutely love this cheerful, happy colors just because my little girl is a cheerful young lady :)

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IMG_20140704_170016IMG_20140704_174512 IMG_20140704_175019The back fabric is from Robert Kaufman, Lesley Grainger. Really soft to hold and sleep in. I was contemplating whether I should top stitch the blanket, but in the end, I succumbed to my lazy bones that I decided to forgo that and used the tying method instead.

Overall, I must say, I totally enjoyed making this blanket and seeing the eager face of my little girl made it all worthwhile to spend time sewing this up. I take my hat off to crafters who handsew their blankets because it is definitely not easy.

Really happy to see it completed, washed with Missy hurrying me to bring it down from the bamboo stick (1 day later) for her use at night :D *I am a happy mom when it comes to this*

* A tutorial is coming up, but it is like taking forever due to the busy schedule I have at home. But I am trying my best to slot in time to complete it as soon as possible because I want to share with you how to make a simple fabric book cover that can brighten another person’s day when you give it to him or her as gift :)

Stay calm and Stitch On!

Have a lovely day :) ~ jean.

Recipe | Korean Jeon (Pancake)

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We love Korean food, especially the man of the household. Ever since, we returned from our trip 2 years ago, I tried to learn a few Korean dishes. This is one of them, Korean Jeon/Pajeon. As I ran out of idea what easy dish to cook, a friend shared her adaptation of Pajeon.

I googled a few more recipes, but found hers to be the easiest to make and thus, made some yesterday for dinner. We had these with kimchi and rice. The man said, “I can just eat these with kimchi without rice” :D That made me happy, of course :)

I made some changes as usual to adapt to what I have in my fridge and also, after realizing that 2 cups of flour seemed to be too thick for us, we increased the milk and added water into the batter.

Anyway.

Here is the recipe I adapted.

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Ingredients:

  • 15 prawns – cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup frozen vegetables – assorted
  • 1 medium sized onion – sliced
  • 1 stalk spring onion – diced

Batter:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Himalayan salt to taste – 2 rounds from miller
  • Cool or cold water – by estimation depending on how thick the batter is (mix in last when batter is done)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp premium light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp drinking water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil (or some sesame seeds)

Steps:

  1. Prepare ingredients and set aside
  2. Deshell the prawn, cut into cubes and seasoned with corn flour, and salt
  3. Make batter and mix well until smooth (add cold water last and stir well)
  4. Add and mix in all the ingredients
  5. Heat up a non-stick pan
  6. Add some oil (I used grapeseed)
  7. Two ways – Either pour all batter with the ingredients into the pan (if it is big enough) to make into one big pancake and cut later OR make mini pancakes (I did the latter)
  8. While it is cooking, give them a light pat and press down lightly. Flip it over when bottom is crispy and turned golden brown
  9. Remove and transfer to serving plate when it’s done
  10. You can garnish with spring onion, enjoy it with kimchi and dipping sauce (together with rice!)

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Bon Appetit! :)

Recipe | Onde-Onde (Nyonya Dessert)

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About 40 children made these Nyonya dessert last Saturday. I made and tasted some before they all came (ran) into the room. Inside, these small little balls, was stuffed with gula melaka (palm sugar) and it was supposed to burst in your mouth when you take a bite. Sweet and delicious. Mine did! But I am not sure if those done by the children burst in the mouth or not. (Note: no QC done as all the excited tiny hands just kept coming back for more dough to roll, flatten and roll :D )

The children had a good time rolling and stuffing the sugar into the dough made from sweet potato paste with glutinous rice flour. :)

The recipe is simple, really simple. I, first, learnt to make these from a very talented helper 2 years ago when she gave a lesson to a group of teens and I jotted down the steps :)

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Ingredients:

  • Sweet potatoes – 500g
  • Glutinous rice flour – 1 packet
  • Grated coconut – 1 packet (or you can buy those fresh grated coconut from market)
  • Gula melaka – 1 big piece from a pack of 4 (or use all); finely chopped
  • Pandan leaves – Steam 10 pandan leaves and blend with 200ml of water to make pandan juice

Steps:

  1. Steam sweet potatoes and grated coconut (separately) for about 20 minutes.
  2. Finely chopped the gula Melaka.
  3. Mashed the sweet potatoes and blend it to make into a smooth paste. Add warm water as you blend if it is too dry.
  4. For green ball:
    1. Mix glutinous rice flour with pandan juice only (or with white skin sweet potatoes) and continue with step 6.
  5. For other colored sweet potatoes:
    1. Mix the glutinous rice flour with the sweet potatoes paste and continue with step 6.
  6. Add warm water if too dry.
  7. Knead the dough till it’s like bread dough, not too sticky and has a nice smooth texture.
  8. Pinch a small piece of dough, and use your thumb to press into the center of the dough to make a small pit.
  9. Add in gula melaka.
  10. Roll it on your palm to make a smooth ball.
  11. Bring water to boil and put in the glutinous rice balls.
  12. Remove them when they float to the surface.
  13. Shake off excessive water and coat them (by rolling) in the grated coconut. Serve immediately.

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Bon appetit ! :)

Blessed Camp | Basil Seeds

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• Day 1 (24 Jun) • Kids planted these basil seeds yesterday, both claiming to be the owner just because they did the set up, seed and water. Hope the seeds will grow in 5-10 days’ time. *The papa is not too hopeful about it tho.

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We had a busy month this June. We were looking forward to June in May but before we realize it,  this week is the last week of June and we need to start our engines for schooling soon.

We had a blessed week at camp last week. Messages (the Camp theme was “Be Discerning” | Hebrews 5:14) delivered by our Pastor was good. Reviving and made me ponder for a while about what was delivered and how to apply in our daily life. Fellowship time was awesome! Rekindled the love for volleyball and I am planning to get one for myself after not playing for so long since school days.

*gasp* We are already making plans to play on the Saturdays that I don’t have CMC duty and hopefully we are able to sustain it (and not what the Chinese say, 3-minutes passion) since we are moms and many things on hand to do and kids are always with us. :) Will see…

In camp, my children enjoyed their time with their friends too. I see how my little girl grows and this year, she served as a pianist for the nursery and happily practicing her pieces before camp starts. She gets to enjoy her short time with the nursery children and her papa before she regrouped with her friends from her level. *well done, Gracie! *

This year, my son also would like to ‘abandon’ his mom and sit with his friends, but I didn’t allow as I think he would spend his time playing and chatting instead of eating properly (maybe next year, God willing, Son). However, he requested to get his own food which I allowed and he was happy. I’m thankful that both children were enjoying their time at camp and generally good, however, there were some issues which we had to settle for the boy who was playful and rough. But I am glad that the teachers were so patience and firm with him (辛苦你们了).

Heartfelt thanks to the teachers for all that they had done for the little children.

This year, what makes me treasure church camp more was that, my parents came with us. It was kind of unexpected when we invited them, but we thank God, He made it possible. It is our prayers that our parents will, one day, be saved after hearing the gospel. Hoping and praying that next year they will come too.

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Some random thoughts before camp starts were, “Who is going to help me take care of my potted plants?”, “What am I going to do if no one is able to water them?”, “Maybe I should do the greenhouse effect to see if they survived”, “Maybe cutting some and place them in the water and when I am back, I have new plants, if these were to die”, blah blah blah, the list goes on. I, actually, have been thinking about it since the day we signed up for camp. Getting help from my siblings is the best option but I think they had enough of taking care of my parents’ plants 😄 as they will be away with us and was having a hard time looking after them (already) so didn’t want to add on to their burdens.

What came up next about plants was unexpected (at a vigil service), couldn’t remember what was our conversation, but sister Li Siah and I were talking about going away and plants. She gave me a smile and offered to ask her helper to water them for me. I am so thankful to her and her kindness. A bit strange to talk about such thing at the vigil service, but I accepted her kindness immediately. *Thank you, Sister Li Siah!*

Came back from camp and not knowing what the helper likes, I thought of many other things, but concluded that she may likes an apron and will be able to use it often, it was sewn that day before I went to pick up my plants. *Thank you again, Stella*

So many things to be thankful about that it’s getting a little too long. Thus, am signing off now… till the next post.

Bye!