Finished Project: Japanese Pencil Case




I recently finished this pencil case that I made for my dojomate. I had about half a meter of Wagara fabric from Miss Matatabi that was more than enough for a pencil case. Wagara means a Japanese pattern or design, and has gotten popular recently by being turned into bags, pouches and clothes. The Wagara fabric is really gorgeous — it has a black background with a lighter black on top with a subtle pattern to give it some depth, with some temari balls, fans and peonies on top. I lined the inside with some yellow cotton that I had from stash. A quick and easy project and a great stashbuster — I really should make one of these too for myself.

Finished Project: Box Dress with Boat Neck





I finally had a chance to finish Box Dress with Boat Neck around two weeks ago. This is from Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori, the dress on the cover page. It’s very comfortable and an easy sew, essentially one front piece, one back piece, facings and two supporting sleeve pieces. The pattern does not come with seam allowances, so it’s important to note that. It’s also not fitted at all which makes it tricky to style, since the looseness can be borderline unflattering. Fabric choice is essential! I chose a drapey geometric cotton from my stash.

I had to walk to work in 30C heat in this dress since the subway stopped running on my morning commute one day and I still managed to stay cool. I’ve already worn this to work around three times and have even put it in the laundry already. I will need to hand stitch the facing I think since it keeps on flipping up. This is partly my fault as I graded the collar and the facing to almost 1/8”, then did not understitch it. Still despite user error, this pattern is a winner! It’s comfortable and stylish and I already have a second version planned.

Project Details:

Pattern: Box Dress with Boat Neck.

Pattern Sizing: extra small – large (Japanese sizing though).

Description: n/a

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really comfortable and there are few pattern pieces. However this is not fitted at all and is very boxy, but that is the style.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? Yes! I already finished my second Box Dress with Boat Neck.

Swan Print and Abstract Print Fabrics


I decided to hit Mood Fabrics during my lunch break last week to find some cotton voile for another Box Dress with Boat Neck. I already finished (but have yet to photograph and blog) the one I made last week and already wore it to work.

I’m making an effort to sew and wear more colors this season. My wardrobe consists mainly of grey, dark grey and black, but sewing with dark colors can be very drab.

The red abstract print has flashes of navy, dark pink, light grey over a red background with abstract line drawings of flowers on it. The swan print is deep navy with mostly white swans and a few gold swans.

I ended up cutting the red abstract print for a Box Dress and am saving the swan print pattern for a future blouse. Hopefully making dresses that don’t need to be coordinated will lead to wearing more color.

Box Dress with Boat Neck, in progress


I’m in town this weekend and I finally had a chance to catch up on my sewing. I’ve wanted to try the patterns from Stylish Dress Book for awhile now, but I’ve always felt too intimidated by the tracing.


The patterns are all printed on one sheet of paper and the lines are all on top of each other. This one was not that hard to figure out. I used dot paper and you can sort of see through it to the pattern lines below.

One thing to keep in mind is that the seam allowances are not included! I had to read very carefully (and fortunately it was before I had cut the fabric) to make sure.

I finished cutting all the pieces which wasn’t too complicated for this one, so stay tuned.

Finished Project: Colette Violet






This blouse took forever. I’m not quite sure why it did, either. I started this project around three months ago. Nothing was particularly challenging. I didn’t make a muslin, I made a few practice buttonholes before starting, but I’m still not sure why I’m sewing soooooo slowly nowadays.


I’m not sure how I feel about this pattern (or maybe my execution?) I didn’t make a muslin for this, and that might be why there are weird diagonal creases. I think maybe I should have gone up a size, but all the reviews I’ve read say that the pattern is too boxy. I’m satisfied enough with it that I’ll wear it out, but that might be the extent of it.

Project Details:

Pattern: Colette Violet.

Pattern Sizing: Size 4.

Description: Button front blouse with short gathered sleeves.

Did it look like the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes.

Fabric: Cotton.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s really comfortable and easy to follow.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: None.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I don’t wear a lot of button down blouses, so I probably wouldn’t sew this one again.

Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology


Swimsuit with Parurier Floral (Artificial Flowers).

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I had a chance to check out the Manux x Machina exhibit at the Met over the weekend. They had a section upstairs for dresses with LED technology or some sort of robotics (sections flying off) integrated into the dress. There was a section downstairs with intricate draping and pleating. The draping was my favorite part — very similar to the Japanese Drape Drape books.

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I think this dress had LEDs embedded in it.

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McQueen dresses. I recognized the face mask ones right away as McQueen creations.

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Maroquinerie (Leatherwork). These dresses are made of tiny strips of leather connected with a jump ring.

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These are draped toiles, but much more intricate than any other basic toile I’ve ever done.

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Another toile.

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dress shiny

These have shiny metal panels that expand.

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dress pleats

Very intricate, Japanese inspired pleating. I’m guessing the circle is supported by wire so it can keep its shape.

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dress pleats2

More pleating, very similar to dresses from the 1920s to 1930s.

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dress gown

Broderie (Embroidery) section.

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dress draped

I think this is from Dentellerie (Lacework).

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This exhibit is a must see if you’re in the NYC area. When I went on a Sunday afternoon it was surprisingly very crowded. There isn’t a lot of museum space in general (compared to the other sections of the Met, which are massive) and this seemed to be a very popular exhibit. Get here early if you can to beat the crowds.

Now With Sleeves

it only took a few months but now there are two sleeves. #sewing #coletteviolet #blouse

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It only took a few weeks but my Colette Violet finally has sleeves. Now I just need to find buttons.

Colette Violet Updates

just needs sleeves and buttonholes. should have picked something more drapey and slightly concerned about the shoulder seams. #colettepatterns #violet #sewing #blouse

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Here’s my progress so far on the Colette Violet. Just needs sleeves and buttonholes now.

The Frida Kahlo Pillow

Frida Kahlo + Kalbo. #sewing

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Finished the Frida Kahlo pillow for my neighbor's art opening. #sewing #fridakahlo #frida #kahlo

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I started working on a pillow for my neighbor over the weekend. It was a quick make, only a few hours from cutting to finishing. I used red pom pom trim for the edges and made sure to baste it before assembling the pillow. I hand-sewed the bottom edge closed. I never realized pillows were so easy to make, I definitely might make some for my home now.

More Lampmaking



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I finished this simple table lamp for my friend’s birthday last week. I drilled a hole into the lamp base, made a channel for the wire, and stained the base with a walnut stain and used a polyurethane top coat. The base is a 1/2″ pipe flange with a 1/2″ to 1/8″ connector and a standard brass colored socket. It also features a brass wire cage and I wired the cloth covered outlet myself.

I did some sewing over the weekend, however I neglected to take some in progress shots. I interfaced the facing for the Colette Violet blouse and assembled the collar. More sewing to come though!


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