Recent handmade items (December 2011)

Hello everyone!  Hope you're all surviving enjoying this holiday season (lol). 

I had been pretty busy lately, balancing my day job, kids, family, online shop, writing Christmas cards, preparing for the holidays, and making handmade gifts for my family and friends, of course... that I'm trying my best everyday not to faint and collapse :D

Although I'd been making things, I just couldn't find time to post my recent handmade items here lately.  So today,  I decided to list some of the stuff that I made over the past few weeks.  Some are made for my shop, and some are made for myself, my family members, and for my friends.

Drawstring mini tote made with Japanese imported linen/cotton blend.  I just love this beautiful purple roses fabric.

Drawstring opening seen from the top.

Hello Kitty small carrying bag with handles.  For a pretty young girl.

Reversible market tote made with *lots of windows* fabric.  This bag is very roomy.

The reversible side of the above market tote.  Made of heavy denim with the pink closing ribbons.

Room slippers made of fleece and knit fabrics.  Keeps your feet so comfy and toasty!

Water bottle holder made for a young athlete.  He is a junior baseball player.

Wristlet pencil pouch made with Rilakkuma fabrics.  

My Melody carrying pouch with handles, all lined up! 

Just to let you know that I am NOT posting any of the handmade holiday gifts here (yet), as some things has to be kept secret, right? 

Happy handmade holidays and I wish you all the best during this holiday season!! 

Love, Amy***

Handmade baby hoodie with bear ears

Wow I can't believe it's December already... and hope all is well for you, my fellow crafty friends!  Well, it's been a while since I last posted here, and I'm so glad to be back :)   

Today, I'd like to show you what I had made for my baby nephew a couple of weeks ago.  Baby Joe is my younger sis's 10 month old baby who lives in Japan, and although I have never met him in person (yet),  my sis sends me weekly (sometimes daily!) photo images of him to my iPhone, so I feel like I know him so well just by looking at his pictures!

So, this is the latest project that I made for Joe ... It's a baby hoodie with bear ears.

I couldn't decide whether to make it a "polar bear" hoodie using white furry/plush fabric, or to use a brown plush fabric to make a "teddy bear" hoodie. But I finally decided to go with the "teddy bear" version so that the darker color can hide the daily wear and tear by the messy baby boy...

It has a snap closure.  I used a large snap here and securely sewed it on to the hoodie.

Seen from above, the hoodie has a round arch shape.

For the lining, I used soft fleece, to keep the baby warm during the chilly winter weather in Tokyo.  The hoodie can also be used as reversible.

I made some alterations here and there, but I basically followed directions from this Japanese book to make this teddy bear hoodie.

Book Title: Handmade Baby Items
Publisher: Seibido Shuppan
ISBN-10: 4415301932
ISBN-13: 978-4415301938

This is a well written book with cute baby items, but the only problem I had was the patterns printed in the last pages of the book, which had to be enlarged to specific sizes.  And for this hoodie jacket, the pattern had to be enlarged to 285%, which was something impossible for me to do with our home copier!  So I quite simply draw my own pattern, after many many trial and errors of copy taking and failures :(

Various baby bibs made of soft and comfy fabrics shown.

The baby shoes are so tiny and adorable...

Ideas of handmade fabric baby books.  So creative and fun!

According to the online forecast, the weather in Tokyo today is 46F or 8C, which sounds sooo cold for the auntie who lives in Southern California (me).   Hope this baby hoodie jacket will keep baby Joe warm and cuddly during this winter. 

Well, thanks for visiting my blog and I wish you the best during this last  month of the year!  Yes, it's going to be the craziest month of the year for me, but I'll try my best not to go insane by squeezing in more crafting time whenever possible, to survive the holiday madness around here!!   lol

Happy crafting and hope to see you soon :)

Love, Amy***

Making simple flower corsage with repurposed fabric

Here's my latest quick project : handmade flower corsage embellished with wood beads and lace.

Close up

Here's the back side.

This corsage was very simple and fun to make, and the secret was...

I used this bow maker plates from Clover.  This is an awesome product, which comes in three different plate sizes, and makes beautiful bows and corsages

The best part of this corsage making was that I made use of a repurposed fabric, or I recycled this dress that our girls used to wear.  The girls loved this dress so much that I just couldn't donate it to the charities, like we normally do with our kids' old clothing...

The corsage looks really pretty on this plain linen bag, I think.

Happy corsage making and happy repurposing :)  Hope you all have a great weekend.

Feedsack and linen bird coin purse

Hello my fellow crafty friends!
(From my handmade birdy pouches :)

These coin purses / mini zipper pouches are made of my original pattern, and this time, I made these cute guys with a combination of linen and my antique feedsack fabrics.

I purchased these feedsack collection at the Long Beach Quilt Festival in the summer of 2010, and I had been hoarding them ever since, imagining what to make from these precious bits of fabrics...  I finally decided to make use of them, starting with small bits and pieces.

As I'd imagined, I think feedsack and linen is a perfect match!

These zipper pouches are fully lined and padded with fleece batting, so it's safe enough to carry small gadgets such as digital cameras and cell phones inside.

These bird coin purses are listed in my shop now.   Hope they can find their new lovely home soon ;)

Handmade iPhone covers in my shop

Ever since I began using my iPhone (which was a fairly recent event), I've been wanting to make my original iPhone / iPod covers using my favorite fabrics...  and I finally made them :)  I just listed these covers in my etsy shop.

These covers are made with a combination of Japanese imported cotton and linen.  The flap with velcro closure securely holds the valuable gadget inside.  They are fully lined with 100% cotton and padded with fleece batting throughout.

The convenient front pocket holds earbuds, credit card, ID card, cash, etc. inside.  And these covers are designed to fit iPhones and iPod touch WITH additional protective covers, such as incase Sliders, Speck candyshell and other slim covers.

I attached a side tab with a nickel ring for keys and key chains.

The pattern of these iPhone / iPod covers is my original.  After several trial and errors, I came up with this pattern.   The image below is one of my sample cover made earlier... but failed :(

This one is another sample cover that I made earlier.  This one was a bit too small in size...

These handmade covers fit not only the iPhone 3G/ iPhone 4 / iPhone 4S and iPod touches, but they also fit other popular smart phones and gadgets, such as blackberry, Samsung galaxy, Droid, and more.  (I brought it to our local electronics store to see if they really fit... and it really did :)

I plan to make more of these covers in different fabrics.  

Thanks for looking and happy sewing iPhone covers! (lol)

Knitting again

This is something that I've been enjoying working on lately, while I wait for our kids after school classes (e.g., ice skating, gymnastics, math classes...)   Yes, I picked up knitting again, and my goal is to make a cowl scarf / neck warmer for myself.

I self taught how to knit when I was a teenager (which is about three decades ago, by the way... lol), and back then, I did not know how to crochet, so all of my yarn work involved knitting.  But ever since I learned how to crochet a few years back (yes, I self taught crocheting, too), I've been a crocheter more than a knitter.  But in truth, I love to both knit and to crochet, so I decided to knit again!

 Here's the close up of my knitted work so far.  This is called "seed stitch" or かのこ編み in Japanese, and it has a bumpy look and feel.  Basically, it's a simple stitch made of repeating single knit and purls.

I carry my knitting work in this Hello Kitty repurposed drawstring bag, which is made of our girls' old PJs that they no longer fit.

I keep this bag in my car, and in my car at the parking lot, I just knit, knit, knit, while I wait for our girls... which is a very fulfilling and happy moment for me!

Thanks for reading and hope you're enjoying your happy moments in your life :)

Making yarn wreath in autumn colors

Here in Southern California where I live, we had steaming hot days over a couple of days last week, with temperatures reaching as high as 100F or 38C in October, which is above 20F above normal weather! (And even hotter in some areas...) 

In a weather like this, not so many people are feeling *autumn* around here yet (how could we?), but I still managed to make this yarn wreath with my sweaty hands... lol :D

Do you remember this fabric wreath tutorial that I shared last holiday season?

Well, this time, I wanted to try something new, so I followed this tutorial to make a yarn wreath with felt flowers.   

These are the supplies used: a yarn ball, few sheets of felts, straw wreath, and a glue gun (not shown).

This wreath requires no sewing, yet the end result is beautiful!

Fortunately, the weather is treating us better for the past few days (no more boiling temperatures!)

Whether you live in a hot weather or a chilly one, you may want to try making one of these yarn wreaths for your home.  It's fun, quick, and addictive! 

Matryoshka love

I don't know why, but I love Russian matryoshka dolls so much.  Especially the fabrics!!

 I just listed these large zipper pouches in my etsy shop, in three different colors, which are made of my favorite matryoshka and dala horse fabric.  These are corduroy print fabrics imported from Japan.

The zipper pouches has flat bottom which adds more room to the pouch.   Small wood beads are attached to the zipper pull.

Because these pouches are fully padded with fleece batting, they're safe enough to carry small gadgets such as cell phones and digital cameras inside.

Just to tell you how much I love matryoshka prints, I'd like to show you some of my other handmade items made of matryoshka prints...

This one is a reversible everyday tote bag, featuring large matryoshka dolls and mushrooms.  This fabric is also a Japanese import.

The reversible side looks like this... Can you see the tiny matryoshka tape tag attached to the side of the pocket?   This bag has been already sold in my shop (thank you!), but I may relist it in my shop because I personally loved it so much :)

Here's another handmade item of mine made of matryoshka prints, also imported from Japan.  This item is currently listed in my shop.

In the past years, I remember making few other items featuring matryoshka, such as these fabric covered button magnets. 

Aren't they adorable??? 

And you may also recall these sachets, too.   Sometime ago, I made these lavender sachets using my hand carved eraser stamp of matryoshka doll.  Here's the post about these.

Maybe I was a Russian in my past life... Or maybe I was just a nesting doll collector... lol.  No matter what it is, my love of matryoshka does not seem to stop!

Happy matryoshka and happy sewing!   Hope you continue to enjoy your week :)


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