The bralette, perfect undergarment for summer

bralette

It is warm –so warm that the heat sometimes almost knocks the wind out me.  I am blaming my bra for it.  I want to burn my bra! It is the right fit, but it is so hot here and I feel I should be walking around in a swimsuit.  When I walked back home from the train, it feels like I spread butter under my armpits, (too much info I know..). Seriously, it is warm and humid and I was walking under a dreadful sun on a shopping street called Orchard Road back from you guessed it, buying fabric.  I decided to go back and buy some stretchable lace to make myself a bralette.  I am not looking for extra support, just a bit of support and some modesty. I have made the pattern for the following chest measurements … Continue reading

The History of The Crinoline Petticoat

Crinoline Petticoat

Think Mary Antoinette, Queen Elizabeth or the recently revived 1950’s Rockabilly movement, think Swan Lake and the fairy tale wedding gown.  What do they all have in common? You’ve got it, serious petticoat action, brought to you by none other than the trusty, centuries old crinoline… Let’s take a closer look at this feminine phenomenon and you’ll see that the crinoline petticoat has been the backbone of so many fashion movements throughout the ages. Crinoline Petticoat Versions: A crinoline is in essence a petticoat, structured with wire, wood or other sturdy materials (in a cage formation or a hoop skirt) or made out of a stiff fabric of horsehair (“crin”) and cotton or linen, which would be gathered, layer upon layer, to make great big voluminous underskirts. The horsehair version was the original one, but was later replaced (in the 1850’s) by … Continue reading

Safety Tips for Sewing Machines

sewing machine safety

In terms of safety, sewing is certainly a lot safer than skydiving, bull fighting or even just driving a car.  That being said, sewing does still present some genuine dangers so sewing machine safety is critical.  Today’s sewing machines are run by electricity and have dangerous moving parts like sharp needles; this means there are bound to be some safety concerns.  Here are some helpful safety tips to follow in order to stay safe whilst enjoying the hobby we all love so much. Needles are sharp.  Keep fingers away: Getting your fingers sewn isn’t a fun experience. One way of avoiding this risk is to buy finger guards from the maker of your machine. Such guards will keep your fingers protected from the needle but frankly, most people chose not to wear them.  However, since more the 60% of sewing-related injuries which … Continue reading

Fabulous Fabrics Fit For the Summer Season

fabrics for summer

Hello Fabrics for Summer! It is the time of year once again when sewists like us have pull out our fabrics for summer and think about sewing projects that are not only fashionable, but also functional.  Indeed, the summer season means sun, sand and sea, and after the long autumn and winter months, it is also (finally!) a time to sew and wear colorful clothes that are comfortable. It’s the season for sewing relaxed- garments that we can wear to picnics, barbecues and a host of other fun outdoor activities. On the other hand, we now only have about half the range of fabrics available to us because wool, polyester, jersey, knit and the like are certainly not the kind of fabrics that we can wear under the summer heat. So what are the fabrics that are best for the … Continue reading

The Ultimate Beach Blanket

Ultimate Beach Blanket

When I was pregnant with my first child, my husband and I were living in Sydney, Australia.  The beach was never far –take your pick north or south you are bound to find one of the finest quality water lifestyles known to man.  Pristine, unpolluted water that can go on for miles along the coast.  So it comes as no surprise that the weekend activity for many Australians is generally beach-related. I was due around February 14th and I started to feel uncomfortable with a huge belly around New Years Eve.  It’s usually very hot at that time of year, and the only respite is to go to the beach.  However, the water current in summer changes and cold water from the south pole makes its way up the shore, dropping the temperature of the water to an average of 66 degrees.  So … Continue reading

For Fans of Bernina Sewing Machines

bernina sewing machines

Are you a fan of Bernina sewing machines?  I know I certainly am.  Along with a very small number of other storied brands, Bernina seems to represent the pinnacle in sewing machine quality.  I know many sewists who can talk about their beloved Bernina sewing machines that have been handed down from generation to generation and still seem to work as well today as the day they were new. Bernina Factory Tour I learned only recently that I was going to have the opportunity to travel to Switzerland in the coming weeks.  So, as any fan of Bernina sewing machines would do, I immediately researched the opportunity to organize a visit to the famous Bernina factory at Steckborn on the shores of Lake Constance about an hour north of Zurich.  I was, of course devastated to learn that the factory was … Continue reading

8 Tips for Pre-Washing Fabric

pre-washing fabrics

I believe that the success of a sewing project lies not just in purchasing the right fabric and accessories.  The way the fabric is cared for before the start of the project also has a profound influence on the result of the sewing project.  This includes pre-washing fabric and usually ironing the fabric before beginning the project. Why should the fabric be prewashed? There are various reasons why fabrics should be pre-washed Some fabrics tend to shrink once they are washed, so if you stitch the fabric first and then wash it, the final product may be two sizes smaller than what you had planned. If you combine a quality fabric with a less expensive fabric, the fabrics tend to shrink at different levels, creating an uneven finish to the final product. Some fabric fades or bleeds once washed and so, … Continue reading

Transforming Your Sewing Passion Into Something Profitable   

Sewing Passion Into Something Profitable

Sewing Passion Into Something Profitable People who are very passionate about sewing know that it is a truly compelling hobby. There are so many intriguing things you can fall in love with when it comes to sewing –like beautiful fabrics, unique designs, exquisite buttons, and that extremely gratifying feeling of satisfaction when you gift your family and friends with something you created yourself! Indeed, passionate sewers regularly fantasize about the number of beautiful things they can create with their sewing machines. So if you can transform your passion for sewing into something profitable, then you could be in the enviable position of doing something you love and earning money at the same time. Talk about having your cake and eating it too. To Sew or to Commute? You’ve probably thought about this whilst stitching a beautiful dress until the wee … Continue reading

The Minimalist Kraft Tex Wallet

Kraft Tex wallet pattern. I live the slimline and functional look of the this Kraft Tex wallet - must give this new stuff a try.

Is your style more functional than fussy? Like to carry a small bag without being laden down with weight and unnecessary items? Or have a special guy and you’d like to make something just for him? Then I have the ideal pattern for you – the Minimalist Kraft Tex Wallet. You’ve seen me talk about Kraft Tex before in these articles: Learn all about Kraft Tex Kraft Tex key fob Printing and coloring on Kraft Tex Now here is a new pattern for you to try out the Kraft Tex paper fabric if you’ve not used it yet. The Minimalist wallet is slim, light weight and simple in style – perfect for you to add your own touches with personalisation, embroidery, stamping, embossing or painting. Materials needed for the Minimalist Kraft Tex Wallet: Kraft Tex paper fabric (or real leather … Continue reading

The Wandering Waistline Explained

wandering waistline

The Wandering Waistline Pulling on a pair of vintage 1980’s pleated shorts (sharkstooth print, no less), I found myself thanking the fashion gods that the best of fashions always keep coming back for a revival, thank goodness for retro style! The pleated high waist, which was a no-no for so long, finally acceptable to wear again and I’m grateful, so comfortable and so practical! Consider for a moment, the insanely low waistline of the hipster pants and jeans from the late 90’s and early 00’s, the inevitable plumber’s bottom and the hassle of making sure that your undies (which tended to end up sticking out) didn’t have sheep or anything else ridiculous printed on them. To think that that was perfectly acceptable and yet a picture of a 1980’s pleated pants at the time looked totally unsavoury and rather hilarious, … Continue reading

Behind a Fashion Trend

fashion trend

I dare say that the dress you are planning to sew for your next project is dictated by a fashion trend, which influences the way we look more than any of us can even start to imagine. Any fashion trend reflects the society we live in, as it is inspired by our arts, beliefs, customs, laws, wars and even by how some individuals dress up.  As such, fashion changes as our lifestyle evolves because it has to fit our evolving taste and our changing society. Nowadays, a fashion cycle begins when fashion designers create a new style for the season and come up with their new collection, which is then introduced to the public through fashion shows and design centers. It’s also common practice to let celebrities, considered as fashion icons, wear the new dresses for maximum exposure. Produced only … Continue reading