Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tutorial : DIY throw pillow case (great for beginners)

Finally, I made this video from my fellow crafty sisters/brothers! I love redecorating my home. Never really like to spend money on things that can be made. All you need is some spare time and the motivation to do it. I used old sarees I had in my stash for years. 

I had a hard time trying to make the drafting part as easy as possible & understandable. This is the best I could do for now.

Things/tools needed for this project:
- Sketchpad / paper
- pencil and eraser
- scissors/rotary cutter
- ruler
- fabric pen /chalk
- measuring tape
- Fabric (you can use old t-shirts too! Be creative!)
- Pillows
- sewing machine (you can hand sew too!)
- sewing pins
- iron (I like to iron my projects after stitching, however this is optional)


Measurements based on the throw pillow I had. Please do necessary changes based on your throw pillows!

Here is a tutorial explaining the construction part!

My creations!

Hope you guys find it useful and make one yourself soon!

Till next time... 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pattern drafting! An old passion revived!

Did I tell you that I took dressmaking courses up till intermediate level back in Singapore? Well, I did about 6 years ago. It took me about 4 years to learn with many break in between (this was because of many reasons such as work and social life). 

Anyway, the point is that since I have learned it and I love being creative, it was about time I started full scale on pattern drafting and making things. The ultimate goal is to be a fashion designer cum entrepreneur, that's my childhood dream amongst many other things! :) 

Finally, I am putting my knowledge to practice. I am a little rusty but I know I will get there with time and lots of practice!

Here are the pictures of 3 days of pattern drafting and test fit pieces.

Basic bodice drafts of front and back

Basic A line skirt draft of front and back

Test fit of the bodice piece. 
(I got this cheap fabric from the clearance rack at the fabric store in Sweden!)

Test fit of the A line skirt.

I must give credits to these two books that helped me on pattern alterations based on my body type! Which happens to be quite a weird shape. For a start I have smaller boobs and waist compared to my hips! I am a size XS on the top part and a Med on the hip department! I wish some of the load on the hips would be transferred to the boobs department! Well, I can always wish!

Anyway, I went ahead and made an empire cut round neck blouse with buttons on the back (ok that was a mouthful!). 

Here it is! Don't mind the bad construction. As usual I had to use the most difficult slippery fabric (I always have to make things difficult for myself!) 
Oh well, it's a learning process!

The draft of the blouse

Front of the blouse


I hope to make decent clothing real soon with out reaching for ready made patterns when I get stuck on pattern drafting. 

Oh, If any of you could recommend pattern drafting books, that would be great. I love to learn different types of pattern drafting methods!

Till next time, have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sewing project : Mccall 5813

I have been sewing quite a lot lately. This is one of the projects I am working on. Got all hyped up after the disastrous cardigan project. Been reading a lot on pattern drafting and proper sewing techniques! Sometimes failed projects are good, they make you learn from mistakes and improve the next time!

Anyway, this is one of the pattern I worked on McCall's 5813.

My version of view A


(ok it looks like I am pregnant! Well I am NOT! I have having a bad bloated tummy that day!)

(See how shapeless this pattern is!)

This is a great beginner's pattern. It took me a 2 hours to complete this (that's including surfing and daydreaming while doing this project).

Just keep in mind of the sizing. If you have 25'' waist and 37'' hip, make sure to do the necessary alteration between the XSM and MED for a better fit. 

Fabric chose plays a part too. Maybe it will work better with a lightly stretchy fabric! This is just a thought!

You can check out PR for a better review of this pattern!

Till next time, keep those sewing machines humming!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Skin care routine

Another subscribers request on my skin care routine. I have changed my routine since moving to Sweden. I am not able to get the same products I used to use in Singapore so finding alternative was the only solution (in fact they are inexpensive alternatives).

No products in the world can help with problematic skin. Most importantly, having good skin involves good habits and lifestyle. I can't say the same for really problematic skin then I suggest you start seeing a Dermatologist. 

I do not smoke nor drink and I am not into oily / junk food (sometimes it's ok to have some). I try to drink plenty of water and eat fruits on a daily basis. Exercise is a good way to expel toxins from the body too. I try to do masks at least once a week (twice a week is best). Never sleep with makeup on! That's a big no-no! I wash my face twice a day (sometimes I do get lazy). Somedays I let my skin breathe and that means I don't wear any make up. 

Lastly, think good thoughts and smile as much as you can. This is my secret to looking 22 when I am actually 29 (well, that's what I hear with many people who meet me for the 1st time and do not know my real age!) . 

Here are the products I use daily.

Cleanser : Faceshop cranberry face wash (I stocked up when in Singapore as I can't get it in Sweden)
Toner : Lumene Matt touch balancing toner for oily/combination skin (You can get it in Sweden's beauty stores eg, KICKS. It is a skincare product from Finland)
Eye cream : Biotherm age fitness power 2 ( This has lasted me for the past 5months. A little under the eye is all you need.)
Moisturizer : L300 Anti age day cream ( This is a swedish skincare line. Available at any drugstores in Sweden)
Lips moisturizer : Klover vasaline (Any brand vasaline will work)
Sunscreen/Sunblock : Eucerin SPF 50+ sun fluid mattifying face (Good alternative to Neutrogena Ultra sheer sunblock)

Hope you find this useful!

Till next time, think happy thoughts!

Sewing project : Mccall 5978

Finally got my garment sewing mojo back. However, it didn't turn out that very well. Before moving to Sweden, about 4 months ago, I cut Mccall 5978 view A. I wanted to sew it when I got a good coverstitch/overlock machine.  This pattern became one of my UFO (unfinished objects/patterns) for a while. Now that I have a coverstitch and overlock machine, there was no excuse not to finish this project. So today, I thought why not finish this garment and start sewing other garments for the coming autumn and winter. 

Since I was working with light weight cotton jersey, I used small zig-zag stitch on my Janome MC 6600. I was so excited to see how the machine handled the fabric and I thought this cardigan would be a winner after completion. Well, it didn't turn out that way.

I followed the pattern instructions and there was one part where I had to fuse interfacing on the facing of the cardigan. Something was telling me that that was not going to be a good thing to do. This was a stretch fabric and how would a normal facing help with the stretch? Well, it didn't. I had puckering on the neckline. I thought maybe ironing it would help flatten the puckering neckline. Unfortunately it didn't either. I really need more practice on knit fabrics. This is my second failed attempt on knits. Just don't want to give up!

Anyway, I still went ahead and sewed everything up only to find out that the garment did not fit me. I was not a XS/S. This reminded me of what Sandra Betzina said in her book 'Fast fit' that ''pattern size has no relation to your ready-to-wear size, so don't try to compare them''. I am a XS/S in ready-to-wear garments. I just have to be more realistic next time. 

Oh well, it was a learning experience. I will give this pattern another try for sure but not so soon! I guess for now I will stick to patterns that require woven fabric instead. 

Pattern pinned ready to sew!

Machine set to tiny zig-zag stitch, followed the guide from Sandra Betzina book ' More fabric savvy'.

The finished garment!

See the puckering neckline! I hate it! arrgh.....

I shall not beat myself too much over this project. Many more successful sewing to come!

If anyone has any advise on how to avoid disasters like this would be of great help. I have plenty of pretty knits and I really do not want to waste fabric like this. 

Thanks for coming by my blog!

Till next time, happy sewing!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Deepika Padukone inspired look!

Yet another make up look! This is a youtube subscriber's request. I love this colour and I think it suits brown skin very well. Hope you guys like it and try out this look!

Look inspired by this pic!

Products used:

Urban - decay primer potion
Mac - Delft paintpot
La Femme - #3 sparkle dust in Aqua
Mac - Interview mineralized e/s (dark blue)
Ebay - black cream liner
Mac - medium/dark mineralized s/f (for blending)
Mac - feline kohl power eye pencil
Mac - zoom lash in zoom black mascara
Ebay - false lashes (optional)

Nyx - Desert rose blush

Nyx - Mauve lip liner
Mac - Fast play lipstick
Mac - Clear lipgloss


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Celebrity inspired look - Beyonce

Yes, I do not look anything like Beyonce. This is just a look inspired by the video phone music clip. Very dramatic yet wearable if you tone down the lip colour to a more muted shade.

Products used:

Mac - Painterly paint pot
Mac - Medium/dark mineralized skinfinish
Ebay - Black cream liner
Mac - Zoom lash mascara
False lashes (optional)

Nyx - Desert rose blush
Mac - Foolish me blush
Ben nye - Fireworks fantasy wheel (for highlight)

Nyx - Auburn lip liner
Mac - Rebel lipstick

Hope you guys like this tutorial!

Love Love

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Chicken Curry recipe

Hi everyone,

I hope all is good and well with you. Here is a chicken curry recipe for my lovely readers who enjoy cooking. It might look quite intimidating but trust me it's not. So here it is.

1 medium sized chicken
5 potatoes (cut into halves)
2 tomatos
1 tbs of tomato paste/puree
1 tbs of lime/lemon juice 
4 tbs of coconut cream (makes the curry creamy and yummy)
2 small onions (or you can use one large one)
8 pulps of garlic
1inch of ginger
1 habernaro or 4 chilis (optional as it depends on your chili tolerance)
4 cups of water
Salt to taste

4 tbs of curry powder
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
2 cardamons
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 curry leaves (I have the dried ones but if you have fresh ones even better)

1 handful of cashew nuts
1 tbs of dried coriander leave or fresh coriander (if you have)

Step 1
Grind/chop the onions, garlic,ginger and chili and set aside.

Step 2
Lightly fry the cashew nuts with some oil in a good sized pot. Set aside the cashew nuts for later use.

Step 3
Using the same pot and oil, put in the spices and fry for a min on medium heat. 

Step 4
Now add the onions, garlic, ginger and chili and fry for another minute.

Step 5
Add the curry powder and stir till all ingredients are mixed.

Step 6
Add the chicken and potatoes and stir well. Add water and some salt.

Step 7
Add the tomato puree/paste

Step 8
Cover the pot and let the curry cook for about 15 -20mins (until the potatoes and chicken are cooked)

Step 9
Add the tomatoes and coconut cream and let the curry to simmer for about another 5 minutes. Also remember to taste and add more salt if needed.

Step 10
Now for the final touch, add the cashew nuts and coriander leaves. Stir will and turn of the heat. Chicken curry is ready to be served.

Finally serve the chicken curry with warm rice and cold cucumber salad. 
Bon a petite!

Well, after a nice spicy meal there is always room for desert! Yum Yum! Diam cake with raspberry ice-cream and a nice cup of hot rooibus tea.

Hope you guys will try this recipe and maybe let me know how it went!

PS: I am trying to record a video tutorial on DIY throw pillow covers. Struggling to get everything within the camera frame. I hope to get it done in the next few days! So stay tuned for that!

Tata for now!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Nail care haul and NOTD

I am back from my mini vacation. Feeling all so relaxed. Guess what was waiting in the mail when I got back. It was my order from Head2toe beauty store. I had to buy the nail stuff online as it's so freaking expensive here in Sweden. I thought I made a great buy only to find out that I was taxed by the Swedish authorities of an extra 180 kr (about SGD$25). Well, I guess I can never get around that. Anyway, I am very satisfied with the buy and the store for their prompt service. items were very well packed and there was no leak or cracks in the items.

Here are the items I purchased:

1st row : High maintenance, For audrey, White on white
2nd row : High hopes, Heli yum, Inner beauty

1st row : Supernail thinner, Seche rebulid, Chna glaze white tea extract manicure soak, Ibd 5 secs professional nail glue
2nd row : Orly spritz dry, Gena MRX all purpose antiseptic, Dr G's 2in1 callus and cuticle remover, Orly in a snap, Crystal nail file

Did a little test of the nail polish. Here is the NOTD pic.

With flash

Without flash

High hopes is a peachy orange coloured nail polish. this was just one coat with a clear top coat. I think this is a great summer colour. Bright and bold.

Rating : 4/5

 The consistency is great. Not too think nor thin. Good coverage with one coat. Good price and a great alternative for OPI nail polish which are quite costly.

Thanks for dropping by lovelies, till next time have a great weekend!