Friday, September 15, 2017

MAGAM Sept project - Pink tweed jacket finished

My Sept MAGAM Pink Tweed jacket is finished! I only have 1 metre of this wool material so I had to be very careful what pattern/design I use. I decided early on that I would make a cap sleeve jacket because:
  1. A long sleeve wool jacket would be very hot to wear, even in winter.
  2. I don't have enough fabric to make a long sleeve jacket.
Initially I wanted to use one of my tried and true jacket pattern: Simplicity 8850 or Simplicity 1688.



However, after some further 'digging' into my pattern stash, I decided to use Simplicity 2730 View C (the cap sleeve jacket):


I had made a muslin of that jacket in size 14 a year ago but didn't actually progress any further. This time I added little pockets cut on a bias with a selvage trim, a full lining, and added 2 back waist darts. I used a little black beaded brooch as closure for now. I'm still searching for the ultimate beaded button. Or I will make one myself. In any case, for now, this is the result:


And this is how I will be wearing it in the Fall/Winter this year:



I think the cap sleeves and the short length of the jacket made my upper body more boxy and wide. However, I'm wearing it anyway! Next time I would make this jacket a little longer to reduce the boxiness. Also, I may tailor the waist a bit more to fit my body better.

The pattern review for this jacket is at PatternReview.com.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

MAGAM Project Plan: Magenta Wool Tweed jacket

The temperature here has dropped significantly. The morning temperatures are in the low teens Celsius. I guess Fall/Autumn is fast approaching!

Fall/Autumn is my favourite sewing season. I love sewing with tweeds, wools, sweater fabrics, etc. I love layering, sewing jackets, winter accessories (hats, scarves, etc). And most important of all, I have lots of tweeds and wool fabrics already in my fabric stash!

This amazing Magenta wool tweed remnant was found at the clearance table at my local fabric store. It is precisely 1 metre in length. It's really thick and cozy and I would love to make a jacket with it. However, I'm not sure 1 metre is enough to make a jacket. I need to look at my pattern stash and do some design changes to use this lovely but scarce material.


I have made a few jackets with the tried and true patterns in my stash. I'm wondering which one I should use for with this fabric:



So what do you think? Which tried and true pattern should I use for this wool magenta tweed jacket?

Friday, August 25, 2017

Pantone Colour Trends Fall/Autumn 2017

I don't usually put much emphasis on the Pantone Colour Trends each season. I am pretty sure what colours I like and most importantly, I have a huge stash of fabrics in my home that I have to use, regardless of whether the colours are fashionable or not! However it's always interesting to see the Colour forecast to see what they have come up with each season. For Fall/Autumn 2017 they have 2 palettes: one of New York and one for London:

Fall 2017 New York Palette

Fall 2017 London Palette

After taken a quick look at the colours of my fabric stash, I think I have Navy Peony, Flame Scarlet, Tawny Port, Neutral Grey, Shaded Spruce and Autumn Maple. So I guess I do have trendy colours after all! Now I just have to figure out what to make. Time to look through my Pattern Stash......

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Self-drafted Craft Show Apron

I have been so busy the last 2 months! The kids are off school so I have been like the drill sergeant for the kids: forcing them to do homework to keep up with what they had learned the previous year, making sure that they get physical activities outside, field trips to museums and nature, entertainment, playdates with their friends, out of town trips, etc. On top of all that, I launched my Handmade Accessories online business in late June. It had been such a steep learning curve in everything. I just had a booth at a local farmer's market last weekend and that was a great learning experience as well.

And soon the kids will be going back to school. Yay! They have actually been asking to go back to school as they miss their friends and the school routines very much. I can't wait for my life to get back to a normal routine as well.

One of the things I sewed for myself in preparation for the craft show is this Craft Show apron. I studied the blogs of other craft sellers and one of the things many thought was useful was a toolbelt-like apron. So I looked into my fabrics scraps and made this:

This apron was made with by refashioning a thrifted denim skirt. I drafted the pattern by placing the necessary tools onto the paper pattern and outlining the pockets for them. The zipper pocket contained the cash, and the various front pockets are for my phone, scissors, scotch tape, measuring tape, square reader, pen, etc. I was so happy to have made that because it was so useful during the farmer's market gig. I can see this being adapted easily to a gardening apron too!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Catching up....

Long time no post! :-)

I have been really busy with my little Facebook shop, learning about social media advertising/marketing, etc, sewing stuff for the shop, sewing for my kids, painting the house inside and outside, organizing activities and roadtrips in the summer, etc. I have sold some stuff via my shop but I'm still not sure who my target market is and how to let them know about my wares. Everything seems to be hit and miss.

One of my friends who has been operating her home based craft business for a few years told me that it took her 2 years of hardwork to get everything going. She now has a steady amount of sales from regular customers and steady increase of new customers. She rarely did craft shows because of the high cost of tables and she had to arrange childcare which ate into her very small profit. I guess I have a long way to get to where she is now!

I am sewing a lot but nothing for moi! I need to make some fun summer garment for myself. I'm itching to make another swimsuit even though I have already made 4 for myself. Seriously, how many swimsuits does one need? :-)

So what do you think? What should I make that's quick, fun and summery?

Saturday, June 17, 2017

My pop-up store display

I really need to learn more about marketing and display. I set up my first pop-up store this afternoonand it looks like this:

I sold 3 bags today. But think I can do better than this. I need to go online and see what other bag makers do to display their wares!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

An Addition to my Sewing Library

I'm a self taught sewist so I really need a good sewing library to teach me proper sewing techniques, help me solve problems, and give me new ideas. I was at my local thrift shop and found this book:

It's a book written by Nancy Zieman in 1994. It's in excellent condition, as if it was never read/referenced. I am fascinated by Nancy's pattern alteration techniques, which includes lots of pattern pivoting. Her techniques are different from the slash and spread methods that I have seen. And for $4 I think I got a good deal!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A little purple bucket bag for a toddler girl

I have made this little bucket bag for my friend's little toddler girl. Her favourite colour is purple. This is the only purple fabric I have in my stash. I  added some home decor material on the top and some thrifted silver trim to embellish it. The straps are made with upcycled jeans remnants. The bag is fully lined with an upcycled bed sheet. I hope she will like it!

I quite like the combination of the purple with the green trim. Perhaps I'll make another purse for grownups with this particular fabric combination.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A revamped Facebook Store - I'm learning to set up as I go

I'm not the most savvy with Social Media. Believe it or not, I don't even have a data plan on my phone! So setting up my little shop on Facebook is quite a learning experience. I just revamped my little shop and now I have created a button for it:


So if my dear blog followers have some time to give me some feedback on my dismal attempt in setting up this Facebook store, I would greatly greatly appreciate it!

A New Date Night Red purse!

As mentioned before, I love red. It's my favourite colour. So when I'm thinking of an outfit for date night, or x'mas or any special occasion, I think red. I made loads of red garments but never a cute red purse. So I decided to design one.

I used this piece of remnant red faux suede for upholstery that I thrifted a few years back to make the exterior of the purse. I embellished the flap with trims from a thrifted bag of embellishments I bought earlier this year from my local thrift store. The chains are thrifted from the thrift store as well. The interior lining is a remnant quilting cotton that I have in my stash. The zipper was salvaged from a too tight skirt.

I designed the bag to be worn either as a long chained shoulder bag or it can be double chained into a hand held purse. I'm pretty happy with the look of it. Now I just need a special occasion to test this baby out!

If this prototype bag works out well, I'll make another one and add it to my little shop!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A New Summer Purse for me

I'm still in a bag making mode. I decided to make a new cross body bag for myself this summer. I have been using the same thrifted one for a while now. I decided to make a new refashioned one. Cross body bags are excellent for moms who need both hands to manage their children!

This cross body bag is part of the EcoChic line. The exterior is made with upcycled jeans, upcycled curtain material and seat upholstery fabric. The inside lining is made with an upcycled bedsheet. The zipper was thrifted and the straps are upcycled from an old camera bag.

I am pretty happy with how this bag turned out. I like the colour/fabric combination. It looks quite cheery. I will be using this tomorrow to 'road-test' it for durability and practicality.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

Is a Summer Tweed Dress to hot to wear?

I had wanted to make a summer tweed dress for a few years now. I tried making one last year and it was a disaster.

So this year, I really want to try to make another one, especially after I have seen this incredible one on Pinterest:

The colour, the various self fabric trims.....it's a magnificent tweed dress! I'm salivating just looking at this picture. Of course I don't have that gorgeous tweed in my stash and I am not buying any new fabrics. So I'll have have to make do with whatever tweed I have. The only question I have is: is it too hot to wear tweed in the summer?

Friday, June 9, 2017

A little something for a toddler

When my kids were born, I made them stuffed letters that represent the first letter of their given name. I also made that for my expectant female friends. The letters usually make good gifts at baby showers because the expectant moms can use them as decorations for the nurseries. And when the babys grow bigger, they can play with them like a stuffed toy.

This time I'm making a stuffed letter for a friend's little toddler girl. She can either use it as decoration or a toy. I'm using this rainbow striped fabric that I think will go with any decor in the little girl's room. I hope they will like it!



Another Elsa inspired bag - this time with a Cape!

I'm still in bag making mode! And now I seemed to have infected my daughter with the same bag making fever. My daughter saw the first Elsa inspired bag I made and urged me to make another one. So I used the idea of Elsa's chiffon cape and made a bag with a cape!


Thursday, June 8, 2017

A New Elsa inspired bag for girls

Since I started making the Teachers bags, I'm in a bag making fever! My daughter is always asking me to make girly accessories. So I decided to make a Elsa-inspired bag for a little girl, based on the Elsa dress I made for my daughter:

So this is the final result. It's a little bucket bag that measures about 8.5" x 7.5".

I am adding this to my little shop. I hope little girls who like Elsa will like it!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grand Opening of my Little Shop! Teachers' Appreciation Gifts

I have been giving handmade upcycled bags to my kids' teachers for the past few years. They were popular with the teachers and I still see them using my bags year after year. These are the ones I have made so far for this year:


Some of the teachers have encouraged me to set up a shop to sell my handicraft. I have sold my handmade handicraft via friends/colleagues before but I have never set up an online shop until now. So I decided to set up a small shop on Facebook and see how it goes. These one of a kind, EcoChic bags are made with upcycled clothing and home furnishings.

Drum roll......

The Grand Opening of ByLovenicky little shop!!!!!!!!!


If you have time, check out my little shop on Facebook and let me know what you think! 20% off on all purchases until June 23.

More stock will be added as I 'sweatshop' myself away each night after the kids have gone to bed! :-)




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Me-Made-Made 2017 final post: May 30 and 31 outfits

It has been a great Me-Made May 2017 challenge. Thanks again to Zoe Edwards for organizing this. Here are my outfits for the last 2 days:

May 30:
I'm wearing a me-made lace dress, a me-made pearl necklace, a pair of thrifted red leather pumps and a thrifted blazer. I don't get a lot of special occasions to wear this lace dress so I'm trying to make it more casual looking with the blazer. But I think the necklace makes it formal again.


May 31:
I'm wearing a me-refashioned chiffon tunic (from a scarf),  me-made stretch woven pants, a thrifted scarf and thrifted ankle boots.



So what I have learned from this challenge is that I still have loads of me-made clothes that I haven't worn for this challenge! Time to purge the closet!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Summer outfits challenge - 14 pieces to 30 outfits

One of the things that the Me-Made-May 2017 challenge has informed me is that I have way too much clothing in my wardrobe! In order to simplify my wardrobe, I'm trying to see if I can work 14 pieces of Me-Made/Me-refashioned/Me-tinkered clothing in a full month of outfits. the objective is after this challenge, I should have a good idea on what summer garments to toss/donate from my massive wardrobe.

I rummaged through my me-made clothes and here is my 14 pieces to 30 outfits challenge for June 1-30. I have chosen:
- 5 tops
- 4 bottoms
- 3 dresses
- 2 toppers

All in all, only 1 top (the thrifted black beaded tunic) is NOT a Me-Tinkered garment.


This summer challenge will actually include a road trip for a week. Let's see how this will work in June!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Me Made May 2017 Outfits: May 25-29

The Me Made May 2017 Challenge is almost over! Here are the outfits for the past few days:

May 25:
I'm wearing a me-refashioned silk shirt, me-altered jeans, a me-made necklace, thrifted merino wool cardigan and thrifted red patent flats.




May 26:
I'm wearing my me-made stretch cotton shirt from the Wardrobe Sudoku Contest, and me-made baby blue jeans, a me-made necklace and thrifted ankle boots.




May 27:
It's a bit cool but I was determined to wear one of my cotton voile sundress. I'm wearing a me-refashioned cardigan, me-made sundress, thrifted leggings and thrifted red patent flats.


May 28:
It's not very hot but since I would be doing indoor activities, I am wearing a me-made red linen sleeveless top I just made last week, a me-made linen blend maxi-skirt, a thrifted scarf and thrifted flats.

May 29:
I'm wearing a me-made maxi dress, me-refashioned scarf and a me-refashioned cardi.


2 more days to go!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

More Summer Garments! A Red Linen top

I'm not sure if other sewists do this. I'm quite lazy when it comes to changing the threads on my serger. So when I want to sew something, I always look at what colour threads are already threaded in the serger and then proceed to make something in that colour.

The serger has been threaded with red threads for a while, and I have been making red garments. So to continue with the red trend, I made myself a sleeveless top with the same red linen blend that I used for the cargo shorts I made a few days ago. This top is based on my stash pattern Butterick 5364 which I have used previously.


I used a size 10 because of how 'blousey' this pattern is. But I had to enlarge the armhole as the  size 10 armhole is too tight for me. I also added side slits this time to make it easier for me to sit down without wrinkling the bottom half of the top too much. I didn't use the facing pieces in the pattern but instead used bias tape to enclosed the edges. I found the facing pieces too cumbersome and too warm to wear on a hot, sticky summer day. I sewed a short line of satin stitch right on top of the side slit to stop the slit from splitting from wear and wash.


I'm pretty happy with this top and I can't wait to wear it. Now what else can I do with the remaining red linen blend fabric?

The review of this pattern is at PatternReview.

Me Me May 2017 outfits: May 21-24

Here are the outfits for Me Made May 2017 from May 21 to 24.

May 21:
Furniture shopping with the family. I'm wearing a me-refashioned yellow lace skirt (from a table cloth), a me-made shell necklace (from a shell I picked up in the South of France) and thrifted ankle boots. I don't wear this skirt often because I think the shape is not flattering on me. I'm going to refashion it into something else.

May 22:
Visiting an outdoor National Historic Monument with the kids today. I'm wearing a me-made cardigan jacket, me-refashioned ribbed knit top (from a turtleneck to crewneck) and a thrifted belt.

May 23:
The weather is getting warmer. I"m wearing a me-refashioned denim shirt, a pair of -me-made stretch woven pants and thrifted shoes.

May 24:
It's cool in the morning and much warmer in the afternoon. I'm wearing a me-refashioned jacket (from a pair of men's jeans), me made baby blue jeans and a thrifted scarf.

It's getting warmer and warmer. So I will probably be able to wear all those me-made sundresses soon!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Refashion: Women skirt to Girl Jeans

My daughter has all of a sudden shot up almost 5cm in height this past month. So I needed to make her some new pants for school and play.

I thrifted these 2 women long jean skirts at my local thrift store for $5 each. One of those skirts had a stain on it but I can easily cover it with some applique. The reason I like using 2nd hand denim is that they have already been washed, shrinken, broken in. The fabric is soft and durable at the same time - excellent for kids' clothes:


I used one of my daughter's current too-short pants as a guide and made a pair of jeans that is longer
and wider.


I also used some remnant red linen fabric from my previous project to make a heart-shaped applique for the side pocket. Since the serger was already threaded with red threads from the last project, I simply cut a pocket shape from the jean skirt and serged the edge in red.

The length of the jeans skirt was just a tad bit short of the side length I wanted for my daughter. So I cut a piece of remnant red knit, encased a piece of elastic inside it and serged the whole thing to the top of the pants as the waistband.

I hope my daughter likes it! If so I'll cut the other jean skirt and make another pair of mama-made pants for her. There are still lots of remnants from that first skirt that I can make lots of accessories!