Broad Cropped Pants | A Simple Culottes

Recently, I sewn a culottes (broad cropped pants) by Michiyo Ito Simply Sewn. In fact, what attracted me to this book was mainly because of the loose fitting dresses by the Japanese designer and the simple sewing styles.

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I had initially wanted to try the summer dress pattern but as I need a quick sewing fix, I went for the BROAD pants! I seldom make or wear pants alot. So, I was skeptical about it. About how it will turn out, will I wear it, will it be comfortable… (other random thoughts).

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Shortened the pants to just slightly above the knees.

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Instead of two pockets (two look a little boring) so, one with a different fabric will maybe makes it less boring (off the other pocket). That brown stripe fabric came into use (bought from Korea) ha! Now you know how much fabric I had bought but kept away 😨

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So.

What’s the verdict?

I LOVE IT!!! 😍😍😍 Other than the fabric being slightly translucent (at the knees) due to its thinniess (my bad choice! Can’t be helped as I urgently – read: impatiently need to sew up something as I am soooo deprived of sewing lately), I absolutely adore this pants. The size for once using a Japanese pattern that I do not need to resize it too much to fit me. I used size S for this. Seam allowance 1/4″ and serged all sides.

I definitely will remake this pair of pants but first, I need thicker fabric, maybe a linen or a blended linen is good and (may) add side pockets too :)

Happy stitching, peeps! ♡

Patchwork | Cushion Covers

Hello! It has been a while. A long while  (in fact) that I’ve sewn a bigger project. I am lacking of time to sew or put the many projects I’ve in my mind to real work. Even with these cute cushion covers, it took me forever (it seems) to decide on which fabric to use, changed my mind along the way, aside it went, back and forth many days (or weeks).

I always remind myself when I buy new fabric that I need to immediately cut into them and use. DON’T keep them away because in the end, they will be left sitting inside the cupboard.  Sadly to say, it hasn’t quite work on me yet. Simply because I can’t bear to cut into them  (read: I am a hoarder) :D

I’m just so glad that I finally did make something with these fabric and I absolutely love the color combination.

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Such cute fabric print, isn’t it?

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Fabric from Rileyblake mixed with Scrumptious charm pack. Left with a few squares from Scrumptious and I was half expecting it to be what I imagined them to be. But it was out of my original expectation when these were done. They are bright, cheery and lively (simply make my day brighter and put a smile on my face everytime I see them).

As for the closure, instead of using snap button, normal button, or zip on top (or bottom), I tried out a new method which I haven’t try before and that’s adding the zip in the middle of the cushion cover (something different). It’s my favourite method of sewing up a cushion cover now. Neat and tidy. No unexpected opening while hugging it.

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Yea I love love love floral very much and thus, will make one cushion cover in floral (at least) :)

It has been rather hot lately making me sleepy and with tension headache, it certainly is not a good feeling.

Have a wonderful week! ~ jean.

The block pattern dresses

Another new dress made recently for G. She was (still is) delighted. I am happy that she is. But she is doubly happy than me.

Why? You wonder.

Because these dresses, unlike the rest, are without back ties and it won’t caused any discomfort to her back when she leaned back :)

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I love block pattern because it gave that perfect fitting. A little boring (i must say) as it is almost the same so the recent dress (above), for the skirt portion, it is pleated instead of gathers.

Having said that, I want to try out new design with drafted block pattern. How lovely it would be to see different styles but I am the easy and practical person who what fits me and I like it, I don’t mind the same pattern for many pieces (boring me! Haha).

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This fabric made in japan was bought from Taiwan fabric market 100% (thicker) cotton. She likes the pink polka dots fabric just like her previous second dress so it was added to the above Spring (named by me) floral dress ;)

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I equally love this rileyblake fabric for moda. I didn’t have a second thought when I saw this and picked it up almost immediately. The only regret, it was just 1.5 yards left.

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Ta-da! The very first block pattern dress (after making few dresses from pattern books) on a liberty fabric bought from Korea. Yes, that was about 3 years ago.

I remember how happy I was (still is) when the back bodice aligned side by side after a few tries to get it right.

There were many times that I had to rip off the seam (with the zip attached) using the seam ripper. Honestly speaking, I was very reluctant to do so because it was alot of thread to remove. But I can’t get pass the uneven bodice alignment thus here comes the seam ripper and off the threads.

It has became my very best friend since I learnt how to sew. Found a method which I had tested a few times while sewing dresses of how to align it proper when attaching the zip. It works!!! (I am a happy girl!) **Will talk more of that next time when I sew a dress again with pictures.

In conclusion, for pattern from books or online download, I need to resize it to fit whereas drafting a block pattern usually fit well (quite fascinating to me when I first drafted and it fitted well). However, it won’t stop me from trying out other online pattern as it is always good to improve one’s skill through resizing made to perfect fit.

Happy stitching, sewist friends! ♡

Making Good: Mending a Bear

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I participated in a Repair Blog Train hosted by Green Issues by Agy.

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What is it about?

Mending, Repairing or Making Good of household items or any handmade through various means depending on what you need to mend.

As compared to my grandma’s time, these days not many people would want to repair stuff that is damaged or spoilt due to wear and tear as everything is within reach. It can range from big item like furniture to the smallest personal stuff such as jewelry (I am guilty as well). It may sound daunting or hard to do as not everyone has the mean (tools and space) to repair certain items. So, if something was spoilt, torn and old, what do we do? Throw it? Fix it? Or leave it (in the storeroom)?

However, I am sure that everyone will have something precious which you won’t bear to trash.

A friend has a bear which she kept for about 30 years or more – vintage! It is also very dear to her because it was made for her by her aunt when she was a baby then.

Due to many years of being kept away and slowly the felt gave way and sign of wear and tear appeared. It is very sad to just dump it because of the fond memories she has had.

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So, when she approached me to see if her bear can be fixed. I said, “Yes, why not?”

I had some rough ideas what to do but didn’t realized that some parts of the bear were difficult to fix. It isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Why?

Because the felt was giving way, a gentle tug here and there will give a new tear. I began with the head as it looked less daunting. In fact, the minute I saw the bear, handiplast came to mind so I attempted that. Sounds easy, right? :):) I went on, put a stop, change fabric, redo the stitches and eventually the plaster was done. Haha! Hope it looked like a plaster as I didn’t want the bear to look like he has a big scar stitch on its forehead ;)

Next, the big hole at the neck needed to be fixed. But what do I do? It’s big and quite ugly to just sew it up. Pondered over lunch and decided to make a bow to cover up the hole.

But.

Something is missing. The bear was out of place. The attire doesn’t seemed right. He needed a suit! But it will take me a while to make him a proper suit so a dungarees (aka jumpers) was chosen to go over the white baby singlet.

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Using brown embroidery floss (3 strands), 3 ‘X’ were sewn on the front of this dungarees (jumpers) as embellishment.

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Likewise, the same brown embroidery floss (3 strands) was used to add as embellishment to the hem of the dungarees. Love the effect! It made the dungarees less boring, isn’t it?:)

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These are metal snap buttons. I love to use these in my handmade for bags or small purses and really easy to use. This time, I used them to fasten the dungarees’ straps.

image“How is it? How is it?” asked the anxious me.

I am not done yet. The bear needed a full makeover.
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There was a slight tear at the ear so I used a curve needle to fix it using the embroidery method.
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The hands and legs had some tiny tears and seemed impossible to sew up without making the other tears bigger so I cut up 4 rounds shape using quilted cotton and patched it over.

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Ta-da!!!! The bear is fixed! I am very happy to see it done. Would I do it again if it needed another fix? YES!!!! Though I faced some problems mostly due to how or what methods to use to fix it, I enjoyed tremendously in all form of stitching and the satisfaction I get is wonderful. I am also glad that the dungarees fit (okay, slightly longer than planned but that’s alright, I hope) :)

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Oh oh! Eyes of the bear were touched up too :)

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Thanks Agy for the invitation and I truly enjoyed reading posts from other bloggers of what they had done to making good of their items.

The next blogger to be part of this “Making Good” blog train is Maya of The Little Treasures. Do hop over to read her post tomorrow :)

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This post is part of a blog train hosted by Agatha from Green Issues by Agy on “Making Good”.

What is repair, and why do we even bother to repair the things we have? Some see repair as a way of reconnecting with our possessions as we extend their lives. Others see it as a form of creative potential and an avenue to express their craft. The rewards for mending varies from feeling immense satisfaction to prolonging the life of the product.

Follow the “Making Good” blog train this month and see what we have repaired and reconnected with. Have you mended anything today?

Mount Kinabalu

03 April 2015:

Time flies and it has been about 46 days after we came back from Mount Kinabalu. We started planning for the trip last September and has been looking forward to that day. It came and went.

When we were at Sabah, we stayed at Lavendar Lodge and chosen the dormitory for our 3nights there. It was a good experience staying together with my sisters and their friends (now became mine too).

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We had our breakfast that morning before we departed to the base HQ of Mount Kinabalu.

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And that’s Jenny in the middle who took good care of us. It was a pleasant stay. Thank you :)

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While on our way there, we stopped by some fruit stalls and what do we do when there are good scenery around. We walked around, took photos and bought fruits.

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The plan was to take Mersilau Trail to Laban Rata so we rested a night at Mersilau Nature Resort and the place was simply beautiful!

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Our simple dinner at Mersilau. It was yummilicious! (Ha! Is there such as word?) It was really yummy!

04 April 2015:

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Everyone paid attention to what our guide has to say before we begin our long journey up and were in high spirit and excitement.

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And so, we started our climb at 8.30am via Mersilau Trail 8km to Laban Rata.

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Along the way, there are shelters for hikers to rest, eat and catch up with one another. There are toilets too but do not expect a clean toilet as it is fully utilised by everyone thus be prepared for the extra fragrance (bearable if you can hold your breath for a few seconds).

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That’s the helipad we stood on for emergency evacuation.

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Half way mark! And we were still surviving :) I enjoyed the small talks we had as we walked pass other hikers saying hi, cheering one another on, watching over one another’s back was simply wonderful.

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The junction that many look forward to because that means we were left with 2km to Laban Rata (the rest house)!

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The last 2km seemed long, unreachable and we were hungry :D Our batteries were running low by now and our goal then was to just reach the rest house.

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We saw it!!! The house. Wow!

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FINALLY! We arrived at this place where there were hot piping food (only till 6.30pm) so upon arriving at 5.30pm (9hrs) we hurried into the house to get food for ourselves (and others too) and rested our tired legs. (Yein, we made it till this far 3,270m). Imagined our joy! Can you? :)

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After this food pic, I didn’t take any pics and retreated to upstairs to change and sleep as we need to leave for the summit at 2.30am (5Apr), another 2km hike which will take about 2-4hrs to see sunrise but it rain while we were hiking up and the farthest that I reached to was at Sayat Sayat.

It was cold, and gloves were wet while doing the rope climb and camera/phone in the bag and too cold to take them out to take pictures. I saw waterfall at Sayat Sayat!  Water that gushed down like waterfall from Summit Low Peak. Those who went ahead before us caught in heavy rain and was drenched. Well, we were wet too at the checkpoint. People who planned to do ferrata had to cancel their adventure climb down as it was too dangerous.

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Photo credit: I took this pic from the Internet. That’s the checkpoint at 3,700m. Another 400m to the Summit Low Peak. One of my sisters made it!!! *proud of her*

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Photo credit : From my youngest sister who took on 4Apr :)

05 April 2015 :

We descended from the Sayat Sayat back to Laban Rata around 7am (I think) since we can’t go up due to rain and we need to check out by 10.30am. It was too cold and all we did was to look for hut to go into to stay warm and I need to pee. Oh no!! 😨 No toilet. So how?!!! I told myself to start moving = descend to Laban Rata eventhough we were all reluctant to get out of the warm hut with hot water.

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These guides are experienced and good. They went up and down effortlessly even in the rain. Nothing seems to stop them. They don’t use the rope like we do for safety. Hold the rope too tight, we can barely move and will slip off due to wrong footing. Most importantly, they (the guides) took good care of everyone on the mountain and brought everyone down safely.

I came to realise that to climb using this be it in the rain or not, we need the right posture and footsteps. Otherwise, you will be hanging onto your dear life. But I feel that, if it wasn’t raining, it will be better as confidence and visual levels were up.

Having theory in the head and not putting it into good use is useless and make one more scare of slipping off. I had my fair share of fear yet looking forward to another one now after a kind guide shown me how to manage my way down. Am thankful to him.

We descended via Timpohon Trail 6km in total from Laban Rata. Along the way down, I didn’t take any pictures. Apart from nothing much as compared to the more scenic Mersilau Trail, I was trying to reserve my energy on my way down as I didn’t really sleep or rest well since we reached Laban Rata. Though we had a few hours to rest before the climb to summit, most of us barely slept but still full of energy. :D

Many steps down and also more flat ground compared to Mersilau which has more big boulders and steeper steps up and down.

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“Welcome back!” Yay!

I was too happy to see this signboard after 6hrs (or 7hrs) of hike.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the trip. It was challenging toward the end up to the summit and a pity that I didn’t attempt to climb up due to rain, nonetheless, it was a trip which I will remember as it was my first adventure trip with my sisters. The sweet memories remain.

Am thankful for the time spent together.

How about another one next year? :):):)

Bye now! ♡

Roasted Chicken

Roasted a whole chicken marinated with dried herbs – oregano basil and tomato spice blend yesterday.

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Ingredients:
Small size whole chicken
6 big potatoes cut into half
Cherry tomatoes
Lemon
Himalayan salt
Peppercorn
Oregano basil and tomato spice blend (bought from local supermarket, dried herbs and spice in a glass bottle from The Gourmet Collection)

1. Wash chicken. Remove head, neck and legs
2. Place the chicken in a big bowl, rub himalayan salt, followed by peppercorn and spice blend
3. Squeeze half lemon and leave for 1-2hrs
4. Using air fryer, preheat to 200° 5mins
5. Put the chicken in with potatoes coated with some grapeseed oil as there is no fat in potatoes to prevent dryness
6. Using Philip Air fryer for 25-30 mins 200°
7. When chicken is done, remove from rack, cut up some fresh cherry tomatoes and garnish the chicken. Squeeze the other half lemon onto chicken and serve.

Bon appetit!

Poached Egg Breakfast

A simple breakfast this morning. Awww… the pepper on the egg with fresh cherry tomatoes and cocktail sausages with pan-toasted bread were good (oops pardon me, I ought to be humble but it was delicious):)

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I tried using salt – result not good. I tried using vinegar – LOVE what I see.

💕 💕 💕

Penang | Beautiful place and yummy food

Last post on Penang. Way overdue due to busyness, problem uploading to wordpress and thereafter procrastinate mode sets in. Uploaded some photos of food, lovely beach and visited a local wet market too! :)

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In case you wonder, these kids aren’t mine. They were so carefree playing at the beach (at Batu Ferringhi) oblivious to their surrounding, so happy that I can’t resist not taking pictures of them. This little boy was so adorable :)

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I miss Penang and its food. It was a good trip overall and will definitely go back again to explore other part of the island.

Have a HAPPY weekend!

Blanket | Framed

I love making blanket though the time spent can be long. However, the satisfaction that comes with it when it was completed is simply wonderful. I almost wanted to keep this blanket while taking photos of it. But I am, really happy (more than that) when the recipient love it as much as I do! *Thank you, thank you for your kind words*

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It was a good experience to work with Chance of Flowers by Sandy Gervias. Love the fabrics as all complimented one another very well. Sweet, sweet and just sweet ! :D

Used the design “Framed” by Camille from one of her books, Simply Retro. I am going to try other designs that she has in the book. Will be lovely ( i imagined it).

Till the next post, stay calm and have fun stitching! ~ jean.

Penang | Tropical Spice Garden Cooking Class

During my trip to Penang last week (obviously I am still dreaming, Ha!) 2 weeks ago, I went for a cooking class. It was one of the best decision made. I have always wanted to do something different when it come to travel alone without hubby and children. Learning a new dish or two is one of the items I would love to do if time permits. Being a tourist, it is really nice to learn something new and for me, it will be cooking since I cook for the family. Reserved a place with Tropical Spice Garden under Pearly Kee. It’s a different menu every day and I chose Nyonya dishes! Just because of sambal! *mouth watering at the thought of it*

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Did you see those blue spray bottles on the front desk? It’s for us to spray on ourselves to protect from mosquitoes. Quite effecive, I must say, because I wasn’t stung by one during my walk around the garden.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Five of us in total for the class and we began with a guide introducing the herbs and spices which we will use in the class.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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In the class!!! Excited students. Can’t wait to start! :D

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I (or rather we) didn’t take photos during cooking time as all of us were too engrossed to learn how to make sambal chili. What you are going to see next will be what I had cooked in the class.

First up, Braised Chicken in claypot.  (side note: I cooked the same for my family the following week I returned home but I added potatoes and it WAS a big hit!). The spices brought out the sweet flavour and tenderness of the chicken using low, high, low fire. Most importantly,  I was taught to watch the fire and check whether the chicken has been braised to the right texture so monitoring the time and water level is important.

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What I like about the second dish is, the chili! and of course, my favorite okra. I never attempted to make chili from scratch though I love it because I find it too time-consuming but after attending the class, I changed my mind. Good stuff needs to be made from scratch and this without artificial preservatives tasted really good!!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Okra that doesn’t tasted slimmy but crunchy was fabulous. My hubby and kids don’t like okra just because of the texture, hard to chew and it’s SLIMMY, they said. I hope to change their mind with these one fine day :)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Third dish is, Sambal Udang (Prawns)! Making the chilli paste, cooking it till the flavour is out before adding the prawns and cooking it till it’s perfect required some skill and not rush into it. The mint leaves add to its flavour. Not spicy enough to me but just right for the other students.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had a sumptuous meal after cooking our own dishes and the beautiful view from where I was seated oversee the coast of Penang was simply beautiful. Sorry there isn’t any photo of the coast as I was too preoccupied with food and chatting with new friends.

Thank God for the beauty of nature.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And this is my teacher – Chef Pearly Kee! I bought her cooking book and my daughter has been flipping it since then. She told me, “Mummy, let’s cook all the dishes in this book!” .

She, the boy and the man are my biggest fans (of course, they have to be) and ate a lot of the sambal prawns when I re-cooked it last week :P

I think next post will be my last post on Penang Island. Till then! ~ Jean.