Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Before doing anything on the actual pouch, I first doodle and sew on scraps to get an idea how something might look. It may not come out the way I imagined it. Sometimes it's way better and sometimes a little ... different :)

Pouch #12

Hand sewn, hand drawn and hand embroidered on cotton linen mix.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New old sewing machine

My mother has been wanting to get rid of her old sewing machine for a long time now. It gives her a headache to see it collecting dust. Now that I have some idea how to use one, I sent it for repairs and got it back today! As good as old :)

Check out all the knobs and stuff.

And here's the pedal.

Ain't it gorgeous!

After using the industrial sewing machine over at the Foundation, this feels more like a toy. It even sounds like one! But I am so happy it works. All I need to do is forget about the zig zag option, ignore  "darn" knob and use it only for straight stitches. Hahaha!

 It's not very stable sitting like that but the actual sewing machine table is too heavy to transport from my mom's house over to our place. Will need to enlist some help soon. Meanwhile I'm going to get to know my new old sewing machine :) 

Apparently my mom can't remember if she got the sewing machine before or after I was born. That would make it about 4 decades old. And it still works! Wow!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Remember this sketch?

I used it for this pouch.

Well, yesterday I gave it a little makeover that's truer to the sketch, so I coloured in the hair. 
And then I decided to turn the missy into the Lady in Red.

Then I thought why stop there?

Or.... err... maybe I should have :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Taking the plunge - my first Baju Kurung

Mission - sew a Traditional Baju Kurung 

My friend R and I went for a three day sewing course at the Foundation for Women's Education and Vocational Training (Yayasan Pendidikan dan Vokasional Wanita Malaysia) which happened to be located above my aunt's restaurant. We were given a list of things to bring, one of which was 4 metres of cotton fabric. The Man and Sweetie #1 chose a pink flowery piece. It was the only decent one within my price range since I was not about to spend too much on something I might accidentally rip to shreds :)

Day 1
We learnt to take measurements, calculate and draw out the pattern, trace, cut the fabric and sew the seams with a special machine called a serger. The serger cuts away excess fabric as it sews the seams. What this means is - if you can't keep your fabric in a straight line, you might end up with pieces of precious fabric on the floor. YIKES! I'd never used any kind of sewing machine before so it took a great deal of practice, focus and cursing patience. It's all in the eye-hand-leg coordination. Not. Easy. After that we moved on to the sewing machine and squeezed in some practice time. Needless to say, we went home exhausted.

Day 2
After more practice on the sewing machine we finally began putting the pieces together. It's a lot complicated than it looks, though. There are two panels on each side called the "pesak" and an underarm piece called the "kekek", plus, R and I decided to also add a pocket to our baju kurung. The hardest part was the collar. We had practiced sewing in a straight line and forgot all about curves! Haha! Somehow we managed and by the end of the day we had finished the top. 

Day 3
Doing the skirt started off easy enough. A lot of sewing in straight lines and folding the pleats into place. 

But then came The Zipper.... and The Waist Band... and Trouble.
Oh me. Oh my.

Do not be fooled by the little square below. It was the hardest bit to sew.
I came yay close to violently tearing my hair off at one point. Luckily, Vanity saved the day. I didn't want to go home with any bald patches on my head :)

Am so relieved the pleats fell into place.

Voila! All done. Kinda. I still need to hem the collar :0

A big thank you to our very patient teachers Cikgu Jun and Cikgu Leha
 and to R who survived this together with me :)

More pictures of the Traditional Baju Kurung here.

Sunday, January 6, 2013



I had the perfect excuse to go shopping last week. I ran out of fabric :) 

I looked at my growing stack of pouches and realized it's lacking in the colour department. So, I bought half a meter of this turquoise linen cotton mix. Had no objections from Sweetie #1. It's one of her favourite colours. But she is getting tired of the bird, though. Haha!

Pouch #11. 
10" X 7"
Cotton linen mix. Hand drawn with Stained by Sharpie Fabric Markers. Hand embroidered details.