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 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

Summer Mug Rug of the Month of July – Road Trip!

summer mug rug

It’s road trip time! The hubster and I love to pack up the car and head off for adventures! Sometimes we drive for days, and sometimes for the weekend, but we love our road trips! My love of these trips is what is the inspiration behind this month’s mug rug pattern. Mug rugs remain so popular! For the past couple years they are by far my biggest pattern sellers. This is probably for many reasons. They are super easy to make, they can be made using your favorite techniques (hand or machine), they make great gifts, and they can be decorative as well as functional. Most of all, they are so much fun! I hope you will follow us along here on our Mug Rug of the Month Tutorial. What you will need for one summer mug rug: Small scraps … Continue reading

Perfect Beach Dress for Summer Fun

perfect beach dress

The town where I grew up sits in a valley over a mile (1800 meters) above sea level and surrounded by mountains.  But if you found it on a map, you’d see we were not really too far from the sea.  From time to time, we went to the beach in the back of a big pickup truck.  It was the same one they used to move the cattle, horses and chickens to the abattoir, so it was pretty rustic. On the way from my small town to the beach, we would pick a few of my cousins on the way.  When I say “a few” cousins, I mean until the pickup truck was full.  It only really took 3 or 4 stops to fill the truck because as it happens, I have 68 cousins, if you can believe it, and filling almost … Continue reading

Faviola, The “housewife” summer dress

summer dress

A couple of days ago, I went to a local store to buy a floor runner for a hallway.  After looking for a while, I finally decided on one and proceeded to bargain the price –a common practice here in Singapore before you agree on a price.  After much arguing, I actually decided not to buy the rug.  It wasn’t anything special and the price was indeed inflated.  When the salesman perceived I was backing away, he proceeded to use the old flattery tactic, but having grown up in Latin America I was immune to it. What did catch my attention though, and despite me wearing a rather obvious wedding band, he continued to use the word “miss”.  I corrected him and said “missus” –after all, I am married.  The man said but you do not look like a “housewife”.  I … Continue reading

Mens Pajama Shorts with Pockets – Father’s Day idea

Mens Pajama Shorts

For most men I know, nothing beats a sunny warm morning, a cup of coffee, and some good reading material by the porch, balcony or in the back yard –but hanging out there cool enough without scaring the neighbors sometimes can be a little challenging.  I’ve got two men living in my house and because it’s quite warm here, they always seem to be walking around the house in their underwear and as you can imagine, that causes problems from time to time. I wanted to give the guys an alternative, but it’s hard to find store bought mens pajama shorts that are both comfortable and stylish enough, so I decided to come with my own design that would be both.  Here are some mens pajama shorts that no one will know are pajamas and are good enough to go to the supermarket and grab … Continue reading

How to make an easy party dress for summer + VIDEO TUTORIAL

easy party dress

The other day I needed to make an Easy Party Dress for Summer in a hurry.  A long-forgotten invitation at the bottom of my daughter’s school backpack and just a few hours of warning led me to realize that she had nothing appropriate to wear.  I’m sure all those that have kids, especially teenagers, can relate to what was happening.  Suddenly, overnight it seems that my daughter went from a little kid to a female taller than I am, so I couldn’t even lend her something of mine to wear. Panic-stricken and  looking in my fabric stash, I spotted a print that looked fancy although if I recall, the price I had paid did not reflect that –I think I payed only something like $2 dollars a yard.  I got some elastic and some lace and sat at my sewing table … Continue reading

How to Use the Pintuck Foot

pintuck foot

I’ve been learning more about the different sewing machine feet in my mega-box of presser feet that I bought.  This week, the pintuck foot has been intriguing and delighting me.  Accurate sewing has never been a strong-point of mine so the prospect of sewing lines and lines of neat and accurate little pin tucks – well, that would fill me with horror! Bring it on now that I have the pintuck foot.  Accurate and straight sewing has never been easier with this simple addition to the machine.  Often seen in heirloom sewing mixed in with other decorative stitching, pin tucks are pretty and give dimension and structure to your sewing.  They can be used purely as a decorative addition, but with some clever thinking they can also be used to give shaping to garments in place of pleats and darts … Continue reading

Shirring without elastic thread

shirring without elastic thread

So what is shirring anyway? In preparation for a new project this week, I want to introduce you to a technique called shirring (which is sometimes known as smocking) with a simple practice tutorial.  According to Wikipedia, “shirring is two or more rows of gathers that are used to decorate parts of garments, usually sleeves, bodice or yoke.”  With shirring, the gathers can be both decorative as well as functional since elastic can be used to draw in the gathers giving the garment more give to accommodate different sizes. Most techniques you’ll see around will show you how to do shirring with elastic thread.  Personally, I think that technique has some significant limitations, so I’m going to show you how you can do shirring without elastic thread and using normal elastic.  When you use elastic thread, this thread can irritate … Continue reading

Culottes tutorial for summer time glamour

culottes tutorial

Culottes, one of the most trendy styles of the 50’s and 60’s, are back!  Culottes are flared pants or shorts that can often look like a skirt or a dress when you’re wearing them.  I have been trying to help you build a warm weather wardrobe that is both easy and practical  –and that is easy to make.  Here is another free pattern to add to your collection of projects for the summer. “Culotte” is a French word that means the lower part of a garment or knee breeches.  They have been fashionable since Henry III made them popular at court in France in the latter part of the 1500’s and were worn mostly by the upper class.  Later, in the time leading up to the French revolution in 18th century, the lower classes who wouldn’t have worn culottes became … Continue reading

Baby Kimono Onesie – Free Sewing Pattern and Tutorial

Free Baby Kimono Onesie Sewing Pattern: Make this cute kimono style onesie for your little one or as a lovely baby shower gift.

If you’ve ever dressed a little baby, you’ll know how much they like to wiggle; making it really difficult to put any clothes on them. Any item of clothing which needs to go over the baby’s head, or has lots of fiddly buttons can be especially cumbersome. That’s why I love baby clothes with a front opening, such as this baby kimono onesie. My baby girl, Umi, has been wearing a kimono as her pyjamas ever since she was born. She’s recently grown out of the kimono I bought for her in Japan, so I decided to make my own baby kimono in a bigger size. The Sewing Pattern This baby kimono onesie sewing pattern comes in two sizes, 3-6 and 6-9 months. Umi is 7 months old and she is wearing the 6-9 months size.  Make sure you print the … Continue reading