Monday, February 28, 2011


I've always been fascinated by traditional embroidery 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mini Pocket Pouch and a little cherry blossom.

I have this really bad habit where I almost always forget where I've placed my phone. It's on the book shelf, the dressing table, my desk, under my pillow, in a pocket somewhere or in my soundproof handbag. I just can't keep track of it and when I do find it I've usually missed 1 or 2 calls. It's not intentional or anything it's just that I'm a very forgetful kind of person when it comes to my phone.....oh and my iTouch as well!

It's these two things that can take up most of my time just looking for them. So for today's sewing I decided to make a mini pocket pouch to try and keep them together.... or at least they have a chance at getting lost at the same time but at least they'll be "lost" in the same spot. 

My Mini Pocket Pouch has just enough space for my phone and iTouch. I gave it a bit of padding to keep in safe from those accidental falls and a detachable cord so that I can hang it up somewhere. It's nice and snug and it has a velcro tab to keep it in place. 

I used a piece of batik that looked big enough to fit everything and just sewed along the width of the fabric and inserted the foam. Once the foam was in I sewed up the edges and put velcro on the tab for the closure. On the left hand side I put in an large eyelet but seeing I haven't got the eyelet setter yet I managed to still put it in place without it being squashed out of shape. It worked and the hook snaps nicely into place.

So now that I've made this pouch I'm really hoping I don't have to keep looking for it. It should be much easier to keep track unless Jacob decides to hide it which he often does.

I also made this little cherry blossom to add onto my phone cord to replace the cat that came off it a couple of months ago. It's pretty simple to make. Just using a round piece of  fabric and stuff with filling to make a ball and then using some DMC thread shape the ball into a cherry blossom and attach to the phone cord.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Keychain purse

Today's project was a change from the usual handbags and so I tackled another sewing project that I've been meaning to tryout.... the keychain. It's not just any keychain it has a compartment for notes and a zip pocket for coins and of course it's made out of some fabric from long ago. The keychain is actually based on a keychain I've had for over 16 years and I thought of updating the look with some fabric so I drafted out the pattern and came up with this new keychain. 

The keychain purse

This is the compartment for paper notes and I made a small card holder for my driver's license in the inside.

The keychain purse opened up. There's a zipped compartment for coins and the apple keyring for keys. I have a few different shaped keyrings but I thought the apple suited this purse. The whole purse is fully lined and has alot of space to hold just about everything on the go. 

I drafted the pattern myself and it is almost the same as the original purse. It was pretty easy just had to get the seam allowance right and give ample space to accommodate the zipper for the coin compartment. I used a black cotton fabric to line the purse and used interfacing to stiffen the fabric. I'll try to post the pattern later on but I'll need time to figure out the instruction so that everyone can understand it

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Phone Pouch

Ashley's little phone pouch is getting a bit old so I revamped it a little and made her this one today. It took a while to draft this one out because I had to get the dart just right and give the pouch enough room to fit the phone. Had to throw away the first few attempts but got the pattern right. I was thinking of adding a small pocket at the back but decided it  would have been too bulky. The material I used was the same pink batik scrap that I made the little clutch with. 

To draft the pattern I use my phone as a template and then added about 1/2' for the width and an extra 3/8 for the seams to get enough space for the dart. I managed to use up all the material scraps and had nothing to spare. The pouch is fully lined with a medium interfacing to give it a bit of structure. 

Snap Snap Snap

I recently ordered my latest sewing gadget and it came in the mail a few  weeks ago. I have been looking forward to using them but it was just waiting to find the right project to test them out. So this is it my snap fastener tool set and a snap button set. 

So to test them out I sewed up this evening clutch in my red kimono fabric and matched it up with a floral snap. The tools didn't come with any instructions so I had to go back to the website to figure out how to use it. 

So basically you use the puncher to make a hole in the fabric and you have to use a hammer for this. Make the hole and place the top part of the button (the one with the pattern) in the hole. Turn it upside down and place the snap part of the button and use the other tool to flatten the inner part of the snap button so that it sets in and permanently stays in place. On the under part of the other fabric make a hole and place the longer snap into the hole and place the cover on the other side and using the domed tool hammer it in to set it. .... sounds easy... if you take the steps one by one it will all follow through.

And this is what it should look like. All snap buttons in place and ready to snap away.

This is the Red Kimono Clutch with a snap button.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

my little sewing corner

This is my little sewing corner where everything is made. I love this cabinet. It's made by Horn in Australia and it's such a compact little thing but when it opens up I have ample space to cut and extend arm for another table. Janome and Singer are my favourite brands that I just couldn't do without. This is my new sewing machine and my faithful overlocker is still in the cabinet. It's suppose to keep me organised but ..... I could only wish.

All bags were cut last night and ready to sew. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Passion for Sewing.

Last Sunday "This Side Of The Island" was featured in the local newspaper, The Borneo Post. An exciting event for me and another step forward in my passion for sewing and everything I love about handmade.

I've always loved the creative nature of being able to make something from nothing and seeing it come to life so to speak. The first drawing of an idea and the sometimes difficult task to measure and draft that plan out. A few trials and errors and if the first "paper" bag works out it should pretty much fall into place. I hope ;)

Sewing from an idea and getting inspiration from my beautiful stash of fabrics, which is slowly growing and drawing from discussions with my "co-designer", my daughter, Ashley and we begin from there... one step at a time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ashley Hobo Sling Bag

This is my new bag called the Ashley Hobo Sling in Petals. 

Before my daughter left for school, she wanted to have a bag that fit snugly over her shoulder and was a bit longer and slightly narrower than her Dahlia bag. We came up with this design which is more like a smile :) and bit more to her taste in the retro look. I put a zip in it for the closure because she wanted to keep the shape when it was on her shoulder so I used a larger YKK zip to make it stand out more. And I'm all into knots and bows at the moment so I had to put one in the strap. 

So here it is! A medium/large hobo sling bag that fits nicely over the shoulder. The print is from Anthology Fabrics - Khristian A. Howell's High Society - Petals - Victoria and the contrast fabric is a fuchsia cotton linen. I made her one in the same print for her Dahlia Bag so for her Hobo Sling I use the Petals in Safari. It is fully lined with natural beige cotton and has a 4 inner pockets, swivel clip for keys, zipper for closure and plenty of room for all your essentials. The strap features an big knot which is fixed and all the seams are double stitched and reinforced.

This one is Ashley's bag but with a coconut buckle instead of the knot. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Handmade that I've been working on.

A Tulip Bag with Laura Gunn's  Poppy Aqua Skinny Stripes.

Dahlia Bags in Bari Ackerman and Lila Tueller.

Dahlia Bags in Desert Flowers in Red and Kaffe Fassett's Line Dance in Black

Dahlia Bags in Valori Wells Red Olive Roses and Laura Gunn's Poppy Olive Dogwood Stripe. I especially like Laura Gunn's oil painting and how the textures transfers to the fabric.

My new Mia Bag in Burgundy Wine featuring a braided strap. I like the braiding work. I would like to try out the leather braiding technique which involves no cutting, tricky thing to do but it makes it look seamless.

Reversible Hobo in Denim and Modern Meadow, Sunflowers in Sunglow. I like the flexibility of this bag to feature two fabrics and I've made a few of these for friends. 

Dancing Shoes for little feet.

I have a few friends who had babies last year so I made a few shoes. 

This was a present I made for Mia.

A shoe in the making.

Felipe's shoes.

Ava's shoes.

Dahlia Bag in Vintage Japanese Chirimen Silk

Vintage Japanese Chirimen Silk
with beautiful hand painted mums.

This was a special Dahlia Bag made in Vintage Japanese Chirimen Silk from Kyouto. I made this bag for my sister-in-law and it's made from a beautiful piece of fabric that I have been saving.

Chirimen Silk or Crepe Silk is a beautiful silk which is usually used to make Kimonos. I love the raised texture of this fabric and it makes it look so unique. To make this piece the fabric was taken from a vintage kimono which I have a few of in my fabric stash but much to fond of to unpick at this moment. Did you know that a kimono can weigh at least a kilo and they are all hand sewn and taken apart to wash and re-sewn back. They are super expensive but really all pieces of art. I have some heavy silk kimonos with beautiful metallic embroidery but still saving them for something special.....This bag was a one of a kind but I will have more soon....

Clutches for an evening out.

This is my collection of clutches that I made for friends over the recent holidays. I used some of my left over fabrics to make these beautiful metal frame clutches. It was a little tricky at first to make them and my first attempt at making it was a very sticky event with glue all over the place but I finally got the hang of it.... too bad about the first one but it now its gone to good use as my make-up bag. 

I'm hoping to make some more clutches for Etsy so stay tune for updates.

I really like this print from Jinny Beyer's Outback Fabric. It was inspired by her trip to the Australian Outback the the Aboriginal traditional paintings.

This clutch was made with the same fabric I used for my Stardust bag which I made for my mum. It's a matt gold with different textures.

I made this with a silver polished metal frame and used this textured silver fabric. It's more like a traditional purse with the rounded clasps.

Another of my favourite prints from Bari Ackerman, bold paint strokes and it somehow reminded my of Van Gogh's Sunflowers. This time I use a polished silver metal frame for this clutch and I think it brings out the colours of this print. 

My Rose Bud Clutch. When I made this clutch I was trying to figure out how to make a simple clutch look more elegant and it worked with just a simple rose bud.

 Nice size and made this time with a magnetic snap.

I made this for Ash and experimented with the big bow. 
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