Tag Archives: Clothing

A New Skirt for May

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Dearest Sultana,

I think I have told you previously that May is a very girly kind of girl. She loves princesses and fairies and pink and blue. Much of her wardrobe is in various shades of those colours. When I try to buy other colours, she outright refuses to wear them.

skirt for may

Her favourite thing to wear is a long skirt Read the rest of this entry

Natural Patchwork by Suzoko Koseki

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Dearest Sultana,

Here’s a book I recently got out from the library.

Natural Patchwork

Natural Patchwork by Suzoko Koseki

This was a lovely book about patchwork projects. Her work is quite organic and inspired by nature.

What I like most of it is her use of vintagey fabrics in muted colours. She says that her grandmother disassembled many of her childhood things, clothes, cloth toys, favourite stuffed animals… When I read this I was reminded of my own grandmother who was quite the crafter, she was excellent at dressmaking and always busy crocheting. Even when her fingers became crooked from age, she always had projects going on. And she was so fast! She could make me a bunch of crocheted grapes in under five minutes.

She would sometimes disassemble her own clothes and make them into daster (Indonesian house dress) for me. Even though the colours were rather muted, the fabric was always so soft and lovely to wear.

My own mother also likes to save our old clothes, although, not to disassemble. She only saves the better ones and passes them down. I have a jacket that was once mine and has been passed down to both my sisters and is now worn by May. That jacket has so much memory in it. When May wears it, I sometimes tell her of my childhood stories when I was her age in that jacket.

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I like Suzoko Koseki’s grandmother’s idea though. Instead of soft toys and millions of old clothes taking up precious storage space (I’m a bit of a hoarder), disassembling and reusing these pieces can produce beautiful meaningful new creations with childhood memories intact. I think I might just do that. I will keep a few of the girls better clothes and give the rest a new lease of life. What a clever solution to my storage problem and my hoarding instincts.

Another good tip she gave was when assembling the patchwork pieces instead of cutting the fabric neatly with scissors, snip a bit and tear the rest, this will give it a softer edge which will go nicely with more muted colours. Also, don’t throw away any scrap, everything can be used again. Even thin strips and irregular little shapes. The difficulty in these shapes is what can inspire new creations.

Some great tips in this book, and the whole book sets a sort of nostalgic mood and makes me feel that although vibrant rich new fabrics are definitely great (and drool worthy), there is value in the understated and everyday bits of fabric as well.

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Making Elephant Hair Clips

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Dearest Sultana,

While I was getting all excited about all the applique pieces I’ll be making for my Christmas gifts, I came across some remnant fabric from June’s winter daster (night gown). It has cute pink elephants as its pattern and I thought this is something easy enough to iron on to some iron on fusible, stitch over heavier fabric and glue onto a hair clip.

Elephant Hair Clips

My two girls are very girly, they love dresses, necklaces, hair clips and all sorts of accessories. And those things are expensive! I mean seriously expensive. A few simple clips can easily top $7! And for something nicer, most are in the $10-15 region. There’s just no way I’m spending so much money on something that with a little effort I can make myself.

My biggest obstacle was finding alligator clips. I thought they should be easily found at any $2 Shop but couldn’t find any. I put this idea on the back burner for awhile but recently stumbled across this awesome webshop (DIY Craft Shop) . And they have everything I was looking for and more. So I got those alligator clips (at a very reasonable price too) and some ribbons. There are an awful lot to choose from.

I readied my elephants, ironed them onto fusing, cut out and free form sewed  them onto some sturdier fabric, cut it out and hot glued onto alligator clips. I lined the clips with ribbon to make them look tidier and so that the elephant will stick better.

Elephant fabric

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That’s it. If I find some other cute designs in my fabric stash I will probably make some more of these. I like how they are so easy and yet one of a kind. I’m planning to make some other styles of hair clips now that I’ve got a good supply of alligator clips.

Here are some flower hair clips. I made these flowers last year for decoration for May’s Princess Birthday Party. I’ll show you how these were made next time I get my hands on some satin fabric.

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