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Investing a little to save a little.

Happy New-ish Year!

While I’ve been away from the blog, the sewing machine was humming, fabrics were pulled off the shelves and more new fabrics were stuffed back into the cupboards over the past 6 weeks or so. And there were a lot of balls in the air – kids, work, house chores, sewing, appointments at the doctors, etc. With the Chinese New Year coming up soon, there are of course more shopping, cleaning and scheduling to do. But I’m finally able to see the light as work and family schedules are falling into their places.

The sewing has not stopped! I started on a faux chenille blanket for a friend’s upcoming new baby and completed that over the weekend. The main fabric is a quilting cotton Oliver & S fabric, layered with 1 x Kona cotton, 1 x cotton/linen blend and 1 x cotton flannel. Binding the blanket became an issue for me – I like to hand sew down binding for the neat/invisible look. But I was short of time and I was not sure I wanted to hand sew down through fiddly layers of cut fabrics.

I decided that I would machine sew the binding down and went with a store-bought bias binding this time. I tried to clip the binding down, but I didn’t feel confident that I would catch the bottom part of the bind when I top-stitch it down. I decided to invest a little more time so that I will get it right and perfect the 1st time. Out came the Japanese basting needle and threads and I took my time to fold the binding over the blanket.

This morning I completed the sewing at the machine and sent it off to the wash.

Faux Chenille - Binding

I cut the chenille part with my Clover slash cutter that I bought from Rosie’s store a few years ago. You can use a pair of regular scissors, but again, its good to spend a little for a nifty little tool that will give you great results and save you lots more time (and also reduce strain on your hands). This cutter comes with 2 guides – one for straight slash cutting (as pictured below) and for shorter guide for curved lines. Minimum width of the ‘channel’ is about 1/4″ (6mm), and for this blanket I sewed my lines about 1/2″ apart.

Faux Chenille - Slash Cutter

Can’t wait to see this blankey wrapped around its new owner soon!

Mum’s the word

I think I have blogged too much about how paralyzed I am by the stash, especially since I had to give up some fabric/craft storage for the family (they live here too, you know :p), and I have stacks of fabrics awaiting re-location around my sewing area now.

Recently, I sent over a few yards of fabrics to my mum, so that she can make cushion and pillow covers for her room. And I mentioned to her that I have been listing some fabrics on Facebook, as I need more space in the house.

Her response: Why sell them? SEW! Make something with the fabrics!

And here’s what I did when I got home:

Seat covers for home office chairs

This fabric was bought at Ikea and I like the wide width, heavy/home decor weight to the print. It took me about an hour to measure seat, cut fabrics, sew, serge and thread the cotton twill tape through the casing I made. I made an identical cover for my husband’s chair too. The lousy leather seats were worn and broken and these fabric covers helped breathe new life to them. I didn’t have to add any padding, etc. The cushion is still good, just the leather material was unsightly.

It felt really good to use up yardage and toss the remnant to my scrap bin (that’s another horror story for another day).

Well, I had grand plans to cut up more fabrics for project this weekend, but I spent a lazy Saturday with the family, reading (Artemis Fowl series – for me!), napping, building Lego and having a great steamboat meal at an old-fashion coffee shop instead. So, I hope you are having a restful weekend too and I leave you with a picture of one of my favourite drawers in the house :)

 

Kawaii Fabric Stash Drawer

Kawaii Japanese Fabric Stash Drawer

De-stashing: Trains Panel + co-ordinating fabric

I have about 2 months to clear a very large chest, in order to make room for some living/working space.

In this chest, I have lots of sewing fabrics, scraps, notions and scrapbooking supplies. I can’t find proper space for everything (box on the floor don’t count as putting away the items). And so, I will be listing some of my hoarded fabrics and supplies here – hopefully I can find good homes for them!

1st Listing: Trains panel (1m) + Co-ordinating fabrics (2m), Quilting cotton – BRAND NEW. SGD$18 for this bundle, incl. local shipping to SG address. For international visitors, please contact me for more information.

Train Panel - 1m

Train Panel - 1m

Co-ordinating Fabric (2m)

Co-ordinating Fabric (2m)

Train Bundle: Total 3m, SGD $18.00 incl. local postage

Train Bundle: Total 3m, SGD $18.00 incl. local postage

I wanted to make a simple playmat/drag-around for Benji, using the Panel as-is, no patchworking. But I’ve got too many projects in my basket for him, so I’ll have to give this up. Great for wall hanging, pillow cases, even coasters, eye-spy patches, etc.

** Updated 16 April **

Thank you, all, for your interest! This fabric has found a good home. Please visit my Facebook page or Flickr for more fabrics/craft items that I’m letting go.

Japan on my mind

I’m sure you have heard of the quake and tsunami devastation that have hit Japan and her beautiful people.

The crisis is utterly heart-breaking and everytime I read or watch the news, I get the goose-pimples (not the good ones). I really hope that the people who are affected by this horrible disaster will stay strong and pick up their lives from here. The amount of suffering they go through really put things into perspective for how we view the minor inconveniences in our own lives.

My 1st Japanese print quilt which I started about 2 years ago is finally done. The Japanese prints are from Konabay Robert Kaufman and a friend helped with the quilting, which I love. All 12 blocks which are all distinct, came from the same fabric print.

Let’s put our hands to welcome… new fabrics!

BEWARE: Larger than usual pictures ahead. So that YOU can have a better look at them fabrics!

Although I have all but given up on my stash reporting (hey, I need to save something for my crafty new year resolution, eh?), here’s a peak at the newest members of my fabric family.

Bountiful Bounty

Bountiful Bounty

Dark side of Colours

Oiishi Sushi!

With new school year projects in mind

Kawa(ii) Manga!

Kawa(ii) Manga!

Of course, its not always BUY BUY BUY, I have been busy stitching too. I spent a back-breaking weekend cutting up some really really cute fabrics and took my time to sew and press the lovelies.

New wallets in store

New wallets in store

New crayon wallets available in store now. I am listing a couple of new wallets everyday (I can’t spend ALL my time on my crafty habits. A girl gotta work too, yah?). For local buyers, they are SGD$18 (incl. of 8 crayons + 100-page notepad) and delivery is free to a local address! Contact me yvette[at]midnightcrafts.net if you need more info.

Goodbye October, Har-row November!

Back from a leave of absence from blogging (and also reading crafty blogs :<)

I have good reasons for this lack of interaction, actually.

1) I lost my camera battery charger. No juice, no photos, no show & tell blog posts.

2) Family – my parents (aka day care givers) have been traveling and I had to look after Benji and work from home at the same time.

3) Work – see [Family]

4) TaFtc – That’s Textile and Fashion industry Training Centre to you. I attended a 3-week full time course. It was INTENSE. More about that in a later post.

5) Organising – Been spending some time rearranging my fabric stash, packing, putting away, giving away, etc… Not close to 1/2 way done.

Fabics in deep drawers

Fabics in deep drawers

More fabrics in deep drawers

More fabrics in deep drawers

Fabric explosion in cupboards

Fabric explosion in cupboards

Fabrics in bags, tubs... EVERYWHERE!

Fabrics in bags, tubs... EVERYWHERE!

Besides taming the stash situation, there are about 24 other items on my list that are marked ‘URGENT’. But I have dedicated November as my ‘Sewing Month’. Machines are cleaned & oiled, thread and needles are stocked, things are more or less put away. It is time to sew and create!

Fabric Stash Report – Summary for Weeks 8 through 12

5 weeks’ worth of Fabric Stash Summary. This post is FULL of fabric goodness. If you are on a fabric diet, look away now ;)

I ordered more fabrics from my favorite local fabric sellers again in May. Unfortunately, when they came through the door, I hardly had time to go through them. Today, I took some time to get them out of the bags to breathe some fresh air and of course, to take the pictures.

All Stars by Riley Blake

All Stars by Riley Blake

Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn

Lantern Bloom by Laura Gunn

Poppy by Lara Gunn

Poppy by Lara Gunn

Dots by Paula Prass

Dots by Paula Prass

Daisy Chain by Amy Butler

Daisy Chain by Amy Butler

Michael Miller & Robert Kaufman

Michael Miller & Robert Kaufman

Cherish was kind enough to help include a special order for RK’s essex linen which I’m in love with. They are little trickier to handle, compared to 100% cotton, but easier (and cheaper!) than 100% linen. They are almost impossible to find locally and I would buy in bulk from the U.S. when we do a shopping spree online :p

Fat Quarter Bundle - 3 little bears

Fat Quarter Bundle - 3 little bears

Fat Quarter Bundle - Mingle

Fat Quarter Bundle - Mingle

Collect em all!

Collect 'em all!

221 colours...

221 colours...

Cherish also helped me to source this colour chart as I’m deciding on stocking up on my Solids. Gosh… I absolutely adore EVERY colour! :D

As for what went OUT:

A few more custom-order crayon wallets

Fabric wrap for Benji’s friend’s 3rd birthday.

A few Matryoshka doll appliqued totes

Weeks 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: 24 May – 20 June

In: 126 yds (Ooops!)

Out: 2 yds

YTD total:
Purchased: 176 yds
Busted: 17.75 yds
net: -158.25 yds

Besides the usual work and family matters, we took off for a short get-away at Cameron Highlands and KL in Malaysia for about a week. It was a great road trip with friends and it felt like an extended playdate for our kids!


Hopefully I can get back into the sewing swing of things this week.

Sewing for Baby L

A couple of weeks ago, I had a few quick finishes. I remember being really happy, working on these projects. Because I got bust some Japanese fabrics that I was in danger of hoarding and also trying my 1st bias binding, and my virgin attempt at crafting with the baby strap hardware.

Anpan Man pre-quilted fabric

Cot-sized quilt made with ultra-cute Anpan man pre-quilted fabric, hand sewn bias binding

Stroller-sized blankie made with 100% cotton and backed with flannel.

I remember spending quite a bit of $ on ugly binky straps and general straps to tether items near Benji when he was little. So, I whipped up a couple of straps for Baby L that not only function as binky straps, but also as the tether strap for the stroller blankie.

Kawaii fabric tapes (for stroller blankie and binky straps) from Moopie Fabrics.

 

Fabric Stash Report #7

Moopie Fabrics, a local fabric supplier, contacted me earlier in April, offering me a delicious spread of Michael Miller and Japanese fabrics. Cherish, the owner, has been really helpful and patient with my order. How can I say ‘no’ cute Kokka fabrics?

So, IN this week: Various Michael Miller and Kokka fabrics.

There is hope yet! I have OUT fabrics as well: 2 more yards for more my Hope Valley hour glass quilt

Week 7: 17 May – 23 May

In: 25 yds

Out: 2 yds

 

YTD total:
Purchased: 50 yds
Busted: 15.75 yds
net: -34.25 yds

Fabric Stash Report #6

Last week, I had a finger-clicking good time and bought new fabrics which I will share later.

The highlight of a crazy work week was a visit by a long-time with her super duper cute baby boy. She came over to pick out fabrics for Baby L’s new quilt and we end up ripping into my still-un-packed-bags from my Japan trip. It was great fun and we ended up choosing fabrics for 2 blankies and 1 quilt! FUN!

Week 6: 10 May – 16 May

In: 0 yds (wait till week 7…)

Out: 4 yds (baby blankies!)

Anpan Man and side-kick

This is AnPan Man (Bread Man), a Japanese comic character that we all grew up with. I grabbed this 1m cut from Yuzawaya in Japan, and didn’t get a chance to pick out more Anpan character fabrics. Darn it! The fabric is cotton/linen blend for the top and cotton muslin for the backing.

It is super light and soft, so we decided to just add binding on this piece of pre-quilted fabric. LOVELY. I didn’t want to sew the binding entirely by machine, and chose to attach it by machine, then sew it down by hand for the ‘invisible’ look. Great chance to use Denyse Schmidt’s KJR stripe fabric in a bias binding! :D

YTD total:
Purchased: 24.59 yds
Busted: 13.75 yds
net: -10.84 yds

* FREE Local Pick-up at Lavender MRT Station * FREE Local Delivery for orders above S$100.00