sorbetto top –> maternity top


remember this Colette Sorbetto top i made some time ago?

now that i am growing a belly and without a job, it’s not so practical to spend $50 on a new maternity top so i pieced together whatever remnants of this brown polka-dots fabric i had left and transformed it into…

front view

close-up of the front. after spacing out the pleats, i just sewed on the bottom of the blouse to the top and then top-stitched to re-inforce the seam.

back-view.  the back is made of different pieces of fabric because i had run out of fabrics X’D

next week, i will be sharing two DIY maternity skirts which i refashioned from old camisoles and dresses!


sorbetto dress with frilly sleeves

i started on this dress in September and left it with unfinished sleeves because i thought it looked too blah without any sleeves but i did not have enough fabric to draft sleeves

note to self: next time if you see a nice fabric, just go ahead and buy 2 metres.

so this dress hung over my chair for almost two months, untouched and unloved while i battled stomach flu, body aches, general lethargy and felt totally unmotivated to do anything to finish the dress.

i couldn’t bear to throw it away because i love this fabric so much..

this morning i finally salvaged two strips of scraps and turned them into frilly sleeves for the dress! <– the idea of frilly sleeves came from my mum, who has been nagging at me to “just finish the damned thing already” every time she drops by my place :’D

sorbetto dress
i would have loved a fuller skirt.. but this was the best i could do with the limited fabric i had.. *sulks*

this is my first time making frilly sleeves and i think it’s pretty easy!! i used a rolled hem foot to finish the edges of the sleeves.

here’s Ms Fatty modeling the completed dress.

hmmm… i think i’ll need to modify the pattern and make it into an empire waist dress to fit my big tummy 😛

failed project — fixing a torn t-shirt

so the other day i was cutting the labels off some $9.90 T-shirts i bought during a sale and i absent-mindedly left the pair of scissors on the bed while i turned around to scoop up the stack of clothing labels to throw away. when i turned back about THREE seconds later, mupig was holding this T-shirt in his left hand, and the pair of scissors in his right hand.

yep, he cut a hole in my new T-shirt TuT

it was hardly noticeable given the busy print on the T-shirt.. but me being me.. i was too conscious about it so i decided that i had to fix it.

before you scroll further, let me warn you that this is one of the times where the “fixed” clothing actually looks worse after fixing.. oh well..

see what i mean about the hole being barely noticeable? try spotting the hole in this close-up picture.

i took some cotton thread leftover from making this collar and started to crochet a small flower. due to the position of the hole, the flower looked super obiang -_-!! this is a bad sign isn’t it? i should’ve stopped before i actually sewed onto the poor t-shirt.. but i was full of confidence and persevered in finding a “perfect solution” to fix the hole..

and so i added two leaves and a random stem.

here’s how it looks after i sewed down the crochet stuff.

for some reason, the flower hardly showed up in my photos.

arghhh… although the finished t-shirt looks very weird, i guess i’ll keep it this way. the weird flower is what makes it unique X’D

sewing machine cover

my dear brother (sewing machine),


when i first laid eyes on you in June 2002, you stood out from the other sewing machines on display because of your low price tag attractive design and many wonderful functions. i bought you on the spot.

however, i seriously cannot remember how you ended up at my home then. a hardship such as carrying a home sewing machine all the way home from Woodlands (it’s the name of a town in Singapore, not a real woodland) on public transport would be forever etched in my memory, like childbirth. i vaguely remember giving birth to some babies but have no recollection of travelling on any form of transport with you. so who brought you home?

perhaps my fairy godmother secretly delivered you to my bedroom while i slept..

anyways, in the last 11 years, you have helped to fix my clothes that are too loose/long, sewed a new zipper for tb’s 200-baht bermudas, and also helped to sew up many bags, pouches,  clothes, and other random stuff for my family and friends. you are one great brother!


yesterday morning, i finally saw the sorry state your plastic cover was in :'( i immediately decided to make a new cover for you. my dear long-suffering sewing machine, you deserve to be covered in something more luxurious than the smelly piece of discoloured and torn plastic sheet.


*cut cut cut*

*sew sew sew*

*curse and unpick*

*sew sew sew*

*curse and unpick*

*sew sew sew*

how do you like your new cover?

from afar, you look just like a slouchy handbag. i hope you enjoy looking like a slouchy handbag because i am too lazy to make something sturdier for you i heard that it is the latest trend in sewing machine fashion 😀

hey look! an opening has been specially made at the top of the cover for your lovely handle to stick out.

ooooh, you can also lift up the flap in front to reveal a huge-ass pocket to keep your foot pedal and cables in pristine, dust-free condition. how thoughtful i am..

thank you for serving me without any complaints in the last 11 years. as a reward, your new friends (overlock foot and invisible zipper foot) are making their way here as i type. because i am a cheapskate frugal housewife, i have opted for free international shipping, so you might have to wait a little more for their arrival. but i promise you, my dear brother, we’re gonna have SO MUCH FUN when they arrive <3

sorbetto with lace accent and sleeves

after seeing at least a hundred pictures of the sorbetto top all over the Internet, i finally mustered the courage to click on the “Print” button on the PDF pattern that was downloaded ages ago.

this is my first time printing out a full pattern and i’m glad i printed the test square first, because i only managed to get the correct print settings on my FIFTH try. yes, you may call me IT-savvy :’D

so i spent yesterday morning sewing up a muslin and adjusting the sleeves and bust darts. The free sleeve pattern i downloaded was too big for me, so i pinched the top and bottom to create a “puffy sleeve” look. i also adjusted the bust darts by shifting the angle and shortening the length as the original darts were too long and low for me.

then i spent the whole afternoon cutting up the fabric and sewing up the actual blouse.

now, on to the headless photos!

3/4 front view. the blouse looks a little too short.. i am very tempted to add a short row of ruffles at the bottom X’D

i love the sleeves!

front view

ample room at the back

dangling leisurely on a wire hanger

i sewed down two rows of lace on the front of the blouse to make it look less plain. cotton lace is from DAISO. the neck is binded using my favourite 60-cent bias tape.

a closer look at the pleats in the sleeve

outfit idea?

many many tissue pouches

last week, i was suddenly bored of my life as a full-time slacker.. so i dug out some leftover fabrics and started to cut cut cut, sew sew sew..

i managed to harvest 14 tissue pouches out of the fabrics :’D

20130807_01 20130807_02 20130807_0320130807_04 20130807_05 20130807_06

each pouch comes with an opening for tissue paper and an additional pocket for stuff.

except for the pink blue (something is wrong with my eyes nowadays) and purple pouches, the other 12 pouches were cut from a single piece of fabric from ikea. i managed to squeeze out many different designs from the leftover fabric (about 1m x 1m?)!!

fabrics from Japan

as expected, i did not have much time for shopping during this trip to tokyo. tb had to entertain the boys while i went crazy in the small craft department at Ito Yokado store in Oimachi.

They had about 2 shoulder-height shelves of pre-cut fabrics (100cm x 110cm) and i just grabbed whatever i could and left TuT. prices were soooo cheap! i would have grabbed more if the fabrics did not weigh so much (it is not easy carrying a few kg of fabrics in one hand while holding on to a child or two using the other hand).

cute cartoon linen – 780¥ each

cotton-linen blend – 780¥ each

cotton – 380¥ each

gauze – 380¥ each!! WTF gauze costs like $12-14 per metre in SG! i should have bought more ;__;

printed cotton – 380¥. this is the type of fabric that would typically cost $8-$14 in SG.

printed embroidered fabric – 980¥. there are so many other designs i’m regretting not grabbing more.. sobs..

the printed cottons were on sale. i was curious about the original price so i peeled off the price tags one by one..

woot! the price was marked down from 680¥ to 580¥ and finally 380¥!

i can’t wait to visit japan again.. sobs.. did not even have time to look at other things like ribbons, lace, and zippers (>m<)

twin pants

i cut the fabrics for these pants a few weeks ago and left the grey pair unfinished for more than a week. (stopped working on it when mupig started having his persistent fever last weekend. it’s been more than a week and he is still burning warmly as i type. i really pray that his fever would go away soon.)

so this afternoon i finally hemmed the pants and finished up the elastic casing. annnnnnd… i also finished sewing up the second pair. sewing is fast, it’s the tracing of patterns and cutting of fabrics and procrastination that takes a lot of time.. sigh…

behold the KX Twin Pants! my girlfriends used to joke about the “KX Twin Jeans” because i used to buy two pairs of identical jeans each time i went shopping. don’t ask me why i needed identical jeans.

anyway, these are real twin pants because they are meant for twins.

the pattern is from 子供服ソーイング LESSON BOOK. i bought it from Kinokuniya after reading the review here. (awesome book, btw, faster go and buy it.)

i was feeling adventurous and decided to use a bright red thread. this means i had to ensure that all my stitches are extra neat. well, i think most are neat.. >m<

of course i made many mistakes while sewing up the first pair of pants and had to unpick many many times. however, i was too tired to unpick the waistband because when i realized that i had sewn the whole thing upside-down, the pants were already completed :’D

so for the grey pants, its opening for changing elastics is positioned on the outside of the waistband instead of hidden from public view. how nice.

learned from my mistake and so for the blue pants, the opening for changing elastics is on the inside.

actually it’s not that obvious right? RIGHT.

my favourite design element — fake fly!

i try to keep the inside as neat as i can.. without an overlocking machine, the zigzag stitch is my BFF..

oh and in case you’re wondering why the waistband for the blue pants is grey, it’s because i forgot to cut out the waist band and used the leftover blue fabric to make myself the pair of shorts below X’D

these shorts are super comfortable and match my kids’ new pants, what’s not to like?

you see? even got side-seam pockets with floral print inside.. nice right?

fixing a stained hem

on 8 June 2013, one of my best friends got married.

it was such a happy occasion and for some reason, i wanted to celebrate it by painting my nails red about 30 minutes before leaving the house. what was i thinking? seriously.

anyway, my best friend, Murphy, turned up uninvited and sent the nail polish brush flying off from my trembling hand onto the hem of my dress, before dropping on my white tiled floor.

definitely not the best thing to happen when one is about to leave the house to attend a wedding dinner.

and definitely not the best situation to be in when one has packed all of one’s formal dresses into boxes and are only left with that single dress good enough to wear to a formal dinner.

oh, well.

i survived the dinner by pulling out a white lace dress that did not require any ironing. but isn’t white the most inappropriate colour to wear to a wedding? ok, whatever.

so i was left with a perfectly fine dress that was stained with red nail polish that could not be lightened/removed.


being a frugal housewife, this was also like my “default” dress whenever i had to attend weddings so i was really reluctant to throw it away just because of a small but obvious stain at the hem.


close-up of the stain. gross, isn’t it?


after some magic with the sewing machine, the hem is now shortened and the stain hidden inside the new sewing seam. gosh, am i a genius or what?


this is a view of the inside of the hem. there is no magic involved. i merely pinched the hem inwards and sewed a line very close to the original stitches so that when viewed from the right side, it still looks the same (but shorter).

fixing a weird-looking top

i finally took neo sister’s advice and added a frilly bottom to the floral blouse.


how? do you think it looks less like pyjamas now?


i hemmed the blouse using a hemming foot which neo sister bought for me a few years ago. it’s like one of the best (sewing) inventions :’D