How annoying!

The annoying pencil mishap with the bloody tool in sight

I have been using these template pencils for all my quilting projects and never had any issues washing them out – they are washable, in case you’re wondering – until bloody now. At least five of my handmade toys have template pencil stains which will not go away even after two washes (with detergent), application of stain removers as well as things like lemon juice + baking soda paste. I may have to resort to oxygen bleach in order to get the job done but that means risking a bleached-looking toy (which definitely cannot be added into the shop’s inventory). ARGH! This is just as annoying as having blackheads on nose which won’t go away!!!

This has been bugging me for the last two days; I ended up spending at least one to two hours just trying to remove the stain(s). Right now, I’m sick of sewing and am awfully tempted to break the offending pencil into two. And in case you think I’m joking, look at the picture below and see why I’m not exactly in the best of moods right now. Hmpr.

The annoying pencil mishap

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My army of piggies!

One of my piggie plushies, aka Winnie

Army of Piggies
Fabric | 100% cotton (remnants)
Pattern | Lenny the Guinea Pig from Bit of Whimsy Dolls

These are actually made for the give-away which I held recently for the shop. Three will be going out to the winners together with some booties which I’ve been struggling to crochet up (it’ll be a month since the draw OMG) because of my crazy schedule – me falling ill (and am still recovering – I got hit by a double dose of flu back-to-back) didn’t help at all. The fourth piggie – seen above and called Winnie – will be heading off to a lovely home in Lyon to Nil’s friend who just recently became a dad to a very cute baby boy.

I’m actually thinking of including some soft toys into the inventory and phasing our baby bibs & burpies for the store – a few people have asked if I’d like to sell these. I’ve always felt that sewing is way more faster in terms of product gratification so it’s left to be seen if I’d like to continue on with the booties. Apart from guinea pigs, I’m thinking of adding the usual repertoire of creatures like the dog, cat and lamb to the list and a newbie – the hedgehog for that added twist of texture.

Trouble now is that I just need some extra time to squeeze in the sewing on top of the stuff that I’ll be doing and oh, the move. Yes, did I mention that we’ll be moving to our new place at the end of this month? Talk coping with a crazy schedule! ARGH!

My army of piggie plushies (L-R: Babe, Winnie, Cora, Alfred) - to be given away to (I hope) good homes!

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Piggies are done…

Yes, the beady black eyes, pink nose and yellow lips are all complete albeit quite amateurishly done but hey, my camera gave out on me; batteries are dead. Gah. I have problems looking for the charger and all the rechargeable batteries are, well, dead to the world. This always happens to me.

When I need to take a pic or video, my camera batteries break down or just throw a huge tantrum. My previous phone was fabulous for this sort of thing because it took pretty good pics but alas, I lost that phone so am stuck with my other mobile which can’t take pictures good enough to save its life. I doubt pumping it full of e-vitamins would help.

Hai. Looks like piggie pics will just have to wait. Sorry folks.

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Piggies galore!

Guinea pigs in the making!

Sewing is much more gratifying than knitting – at least that’s the case for someone like me who is struggling with knitting projects more than her sewing and spinning WIPs. I lack stamina when it comes to these things plus it’s always so hot that there never seems to be a good enough reason to knit.

I had initially planned to work on these soft plushies over the weekend but a bout of food poisoning left me too tired out; in fact, I’m still battling the aftermath but it’s getting better despite going on medical leave today.

One thing I discovered about sewing up toys is that it uses up a good amount of leftover fabric that I have in my stash, which is good news for Nil as he often remarks on how my stash of fabric never seems to go down. Oddly enough, he never says anything about how it never goes UP. Gah.

Anyway, after a nice afternoon nap to recover, some Prevera reviews and a trip to the babysitter’s to pick Eva up at the usual time, I spent the night relaxing in front of the sewing machine and churned out two rather cute little piggies in under two hours. Only thing left to go around the eyes, nose and mouth – no buttons here as they are meant for kiddies – plus to cut out more fabric combinations to make more piggies.

Heck, I won’t be surprised if we get a piggie invasion over the next few days! LOL!

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More additions to the fabric stash!

In the form of fat quarters and half meters, that is.

In an effort to cut back on my fabric stash, I have inadvertently added to it. I’m planning on sewing up some plushies and had to hunt down some chenille, fleece as well as some fat quarters in green. So before my food poisoning episode came, I made some time from all the usual stuff I do online (hcg diet reviews, etc) and offline to hop on over to Spotlight with Eva in tow.

Not a great idea because an hour after lunch, my stomach aches got worse and Eva got fussier. By the time I was done with the shopping, I was pretty much dying and even Nil remarked that I looked awfully pale. Instead of going with him to meet his friend, I took my shopping and myself home (he got to spend some time with Eva instead). Heck, even the cab driver noted that I was tired because I fell asleep in the cab!!!

Anyway, that aside, I managed to score some ivory and brown chenille – no black unfortunately – together with some skin colour felt and other fabrics that I think will look great as part of a toy. They didn’t have fleece in the colours that I wanted and no plain flannel so I ended up with wool felt instead. I figure it should be just fine.

I think I shall start prepping for my sewing projects once my tummy gets better. Hopefully it’ll be by tomorrow. *sigh*

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Eva’s first DIY dress

Eva's #1 handmade dress: The front view Eva's #1 handmade dress: The back view Eva's #1 handmade dress: The reverse side

The Reversible Pinafore
Fabric | 100% cotton (Spotlight and Etsy)
Pattern | The Reversible Pinafore from here

For a while, I’m been tempted to make something other than blankets, bibs and small items but I always held myself back because I wasn’t too sure how the quality would turn out. But after a while, I decided to try anyway; after all, you’ll never know until you try. So think of this more as a prototype (did you know that even wrinkle creams have them, eg prototype 37c?).

After hunting around the Internet for a few patterns, I settled for one by the above Etsy seller since they looked pretty lovely and simple. She had a bundle set option so I got that and after shopping around for some fabric combinations, I started work on it. It was a pretty fast pattern to work on – I was done in under three hours from cut to finish.

I opted for a snap finish instead of buttons because I haven’t quite mastered sewing buttonholes using my sewing machine; the last time I tried it, it was a disaster so I wasn’t really up to the task again. I used the KAM snaps I bought last year for the shop and it turned out awesome! I let Eva try it on the next day and while it was a little roomy, as expected since it’s size 12 months, it looks nice on her, especially when she has pants on. (I should take an “action” shot soon!)

Now that this is done, I’m quite tempted to sew up more designs in the other fabrics that I’ve purchased. In a way, I’m glad that I did this – my mum made a few dresses for me when I was growing up and it’s something that I would like to do for my own daughter now that I think about it. So yes, do look forward to more outfit-related goodies!

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My first DIY mei tai!

My DIY mei tai!

DIY Mei Tai
Fabric | Cotton drill (Spotlight), regular cotton fabric (IKEA), fleece (for padding)
Pattern | Mei Tai tutorial

I was supposed to blog about this earlier but got caught up with a lot of other things, namely housechores, groceries, picking Eva up from the babysitter, house-hunting and so forth. Still, I surprised myself by finishing this quite quickly once I sat down to it. I had been slowly working on it on an on-off basis and often blamed it on my lack of sewing mojo (sometimes I think my sewing mojo needs some form of insurance like an NC health insurance). Well, no more!

When I first started off this project, my sewing machine was already a little clunky. Then halfway through when I was putting the fleece together with the drill, it died on me. I went through a few breaks in the thread before it finally came to a halt. So off it went to the doc’s – well, he’s just a guy with a stall at the market near my place – and the prognosis was quite grim. The machine needs to be serviced, it’s been a while and well, it’ll take a couple of days and I’ll let you know the cost. For a moment there, I thought he was going to tell me that it would cost an arm and leg, but no, it turned out to be an affordable $60. Well-worth it consider that the machine hasn’t gone for servicing since the 80s!

After I got it back, I could tell that there was a lot of difference to how it ran – smoother and definitely quieter! But I didn’t really get to work on it often as Eva was going through some teething-related sticky bouts and my nights were more for relaxing instead of sewing (*shifty eyes*). So it sat in one corner and finally saw the light again when Eva started going to the babysitter. Before I knew it, I was very close to the end of it all.

Then it happened.

I broke THREE needles try to put the hood strap loops onto the straps! All that padding and folded killed three needles before finally submitting to a leather needle. Of course I had to go ultra slow as well. But yes, three needles! *shakes head* But when it was done, I realized another mistake I made. I sewed the hood straps on the wrong end of the hood!!!! ARGH! After more ripping, or rather snipping, I did some simple zigzag sewing and voila, it looked right and proper again!

Eva and I tested it out once she got back and I tried front as well as back carry. Found back carry to be a little strange and I suspect I still need time to adjust to the weight on my back instead of in the front like how I’ve been carrying Eva all this while. But hey, I wore her with this when my parents were around and found it surprisingly airy despite the hot and humid conditions here. It’d be perfect for European weather though as drill cotton is quite thick. I would sew it better the next time and am even tempted to make the Japanese version called the Onbuhimo which has two rings at the waist instead of a waist strap. One annoying thing about mei tais though – storing them with those long straps! Still, at least now, we’ve got a back-front carry carrier that works for Nil and myself! w00t!

Eva in her new mei tai! :)

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Picking up the pieces again…

Picking up the pieces again!

…well, almost.

Just earlier this morning, I decided that it was time to dust off those WIPs in hibernation and put my knitting needles to good use. Nil had remarked that I switch hobbies far too often and bemoaned the status of my non-moving yarn which we paid to move here together with all our stuff. Heh. Okay okay, I get the drift. I need to kick myself in knitting again.

So I took a look at my Rav project page and decided on what WIPs to bring out of hibernation and such. One the list was my Ivy wrap which has been on hibernation for a longgggg time. I managed to make some headway with it towards the end of my pregnancy but alas, fell short of the finish line. So this time, I was determined to finish it by hook or crook.

Now, I was about to start working on my Ivy wrap when a rather large-ish order for crochet booties came in. So once again, it’s KIV…for now. I’m hoping to be able to work in a few rows in the evenings. The plan is to work on the shop items (booties and sewing) while Eva takes her afternoon naps and reserve my evenings for time with Nil and doing my other hobbies like knitting, spinning and sewing up non-shop items like my quilts. Hopefully this plan works out…

*keeps fingers crossed*

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