Saturday, December 14, 2013

a pencil case with free Tutorial link
Making a pencil case is pretty easy.. all it needs is a zipper and a piece of fabric. Making a pencil case for my eldest takes some thought: it has to be roomy enough,  it has to be sturdy, it has to be washable for all the ink spills and pencil shavings.

 Usually, i just get her something from Al rawnaq -- it is the be-all and end-all of cheap office supplies in Qatar. This time, i had NO time to take that trip to the other end of the town.  and of course, i have a shelf full of fabric.. so i decided to make one.

 I used this excellent tutorial at the spoonful of sugar (click on the picture to go there)

I changed the dimensions to accommodate her boatload of supplies that she insists to carry to school every day. All her color pencils, pens, white ink, sketch pens, hi-liters, pencils, sharpener,eraser, and random whatnots. (Why do kids need so much stuff anyway? at her age, two pens and a scale were all that was in my box.. and an instrument box was a burden!)

 I'm pretty pleased with the pouch.. now i have two little voices following me wherever i go.. insisting i make them one too :D

Friday, November 29, 2013

honeycomb smocking sundress

have you ever tried smocking? my sister does, and she's pretty good at it, but i am a little intimidated. so this was a little "beginner" smocking test.
 The dress turned out beautifully, and as i used it, i found that the smocking got stretched and stayed that way: lesson: always use lining/facing  for your smocked stuff.

 I used this excellent tutorial:  It uses the oldschool method of marking dots on the fabric.. it was a very simple process, only took me a few hours to do six rows of hand stitching  to make the dress.

thebusybuglife smocked dress

while browsing, I found this darling dress made with the same technique at  busybugs. is'nt it adorable?i would like to make one like that. anyone have a little girl of 3 years who would wear a smocked dress?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

a cheetah print dress

A cheetah dress, because (i have no idea why) she insisted on buying this fabric as soon as she saw it in the shop. (and she loves the softness of  butter chiffon ).

 can you see where the dress sags a bit in the side?  that is what happens if you don't hang a circle skirt  to settle.the fabric on the bias will relax in use, so we have to let it "hang" for at least 24 hours and redraw the hemline to achieve a proper circle hemline. This useful pic shows exactly what to do:

I finished the hem with black bias tape. Far easier than folding and sewing the circle edge.  what do you think?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

slice of sunshine dress

this yellow seersucker cotton bit has been in my stash since 2004... that's almost ten years old.
In a mad wish to use up the old loved fabrics before they start falling apart, i made a simple dress. with a touch of rickrack to add whimsy. and a yoyo flower. and maybe something more, before i am quite done with it.
This is the first time I have made pockets for a dress. I had to re-position one, but i will consider that a learning experience. I used the semi circles, that were cut out from the neck, to make the pockets. Do you think i should add elastic to the top of the pockets to prevent them gaping open?

a little yoyo flower, from the last bit of the fabric .

i am experimenting with my camera a lot, i have not achieved  that optimum level of the brightness .. so if this is too bright, forgive me :D

pretty dress in nicey jane

Do you remember that day not far ago when i received a huge envelope of fabric from Monica? 
I decided to cut into the next set.. and made this dress. Yes, another twirly dress for amy. The design is almost completely a knockoff of a dress i saw and saved long ago.. sad that it was the years before i found pinterest and have no idea where i saved it from.

I'm very proud of the fact that I used up every last inch of that adorably pretty floral. Sorry for such low quality pictures, my minicam is not what it used to be, especially since amy started hijacking it.

Thank you, Monica!

(edited to add: found the old inspiration, at KinderKouture. website click through to see gorgeous photos of the dresses she makes.  )

Thursday, April 25, 2013

KCSW day 3 _ peasant top tutorial links

76/365 by Jaya Q
76/365, a photo by Jaya Q on Flickr.
a simple set, for playwear.

peasant blouse and half circle skirt . the fabric, i had chosen on my last trip to india.. makes me happy just looking at it.

want to make your own peasant dress?
click on the pictures to take you to the tutorials

A tunic top _ with pattern and tutorial links

75/365 by Jaya Q
75/365, a photo by Jaya Q on Flickr.
Via Flickr:
day 2 of Kids Clothes Sewing Week, i am sewing a tunic top for my eldest. she has her own design ideas, so this will take a while.

wanna make one of your own? click on the image to go to the tutorial

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

KCSW day1 _ with half circle skirt tutorial links

73/365 by Jaya Q
73/365, a photo by Jaya Q on Flickr.
A half circle skirt.. out of half meter of fabric.

want to make your own?
here are some free tutorials: click on the image to go to the tutorial

Monday, April 22, 2013

free japanese sewing pattern, apron dress from nani iro - a tutorial


this was made with  a  free nani iro  pattern for an apron dress: (click on the pic for more free patterns at the nani iro website)
it was  graciously translated into english by  yifarn of, you can get the free translation  at her page here

I made the floral dress with cotton voile, so that it is very lightweight and airy.. it became an instant favorite as sleepwear. 

 the apron, however, I made with cotton organza..  it was a fabric painting attempt by my sister, that i wanted to cut up and make a pretty apron. The apron  actually is way bigger than my daughter's twig of a waist. so, because it "is so loose!" she declined to wear it. 

the pattern is pretty straightforward, if you take the time to try and understand the way a japanese sewing pattern works.   they write it like a cartoon..  

 this is a rough outline of how i decoded it..  

  • first they have the pattern, 
  • then the instructions
  • they have numbered the steps, 
  •  they detail each step with small illustrations...(these are much  easier  to understand than full color photographs)
  • ALL numbers are in centimeters
  • you have to draw the pattern  on a paper first
  • this makes the actual cutting of fabric very easy, because you know how each piece goes..
tips for making this dress:
  • use a pencil to draw the pattern on newspaper or tracing paper.
  • add seam allowances (given inside the circles) on the paper.
  • cut the fabric
  • follow the steps to finish the garment. 
(edited: submitting this post to the following link parties:)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

a half-circle maxi dress tutorial

step 1: take measurements of your child. 
step 2: cut out a semicircle for the skirt, on the fold.
 cut out the  bodice and sleeves from the leftover corners :)

 step 3: stitch the sides of the sleeves
step 4: gather the sleeves a bit and  find placement on the bodice.

step 5: cut lining for the bodice, sandwich sleeves between, sew the top together.
step 6: install zipper.
(now topstitch around the whole neckline, enclosing the lining along the zipper.)
step 7: attach the skirt to the bodice.
step 8.hand stitch the bodice lining to the waist seam, stitch to enclose all seams.
step 9: let it hang for a day, because satin has the habit of stretching ..( i did not do this step, so the hem is a bit longer on one side)

step 10: re draw the hem, cut . roll the hem and stitch.

aand thats it!


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