Fabric Gift Wrap – Experiment using Fabric to wrap

Hamper Wrap using Fabric

I created this hamper-wrap using fabric. The idea is inspired and adapted from “Furoshi” which is a Japanese form of fabric wrapping or carrying cloth using beautiful silk square fabric.

For this hamper wrap I had actually used my leftover fabric from some other projects. The general idea is to cover the basket with fabric as it contains three glass jars. The main idea is to tie knots to anchor or secure the base of the item to wrap (in this case it is the basket), additional fabrics are knot again to serve as handles,  some creative masters even make folds or pleats from the ‘excess’ fabric which serve as decoration. As this hamper is to be given for Christmas, I have added some Christmas frills to the mood.

If you like fabric and have excess of it, this is one great idea to use as fabric is extremely easy to use and even save money, I had use cotton fabric here.

However if you like to take it one level up you can even sew up two square fabrics of different colours as any knot or tie makes a visual treat when viewed from different angle.  Maybe if you are feeling very generous, purchasing a silk scarf as a wrap to your gift item is not wasted as the scarf is recycled or meant to be.

Have loads of fun experimenting with fabric wrap and Merry Christmas to you in advance 🙂

Food Jars Fabric Covers

I love cooking (besides crafting) and my fascination with food packaging like food jars decoration always attract or distract my attention. There are tons of beautiful images and great idea on the internet but I guess there is still a little room for a few more ideas.  Save the environment by using recycled food jars from jam or sauces.

Materials needed : Glass Container with lid, rubber band, ribbons, wire-tie and even optional items like spoons

Here are some of photos  to share that I have “dress-up” for giveaway.

Pickled Green Chilli with Lemon Grass Condiment

For this food jar packaging I have added some frills like wooden spoon and ribbon to the fabric cover. As the pickle contain vinegar I had to match it with non-metal spoon, these small wooden spoon look rather rustic and they are not expensive. I bought them at Lim’s Art and Craft (Singapore) for $1.60 each.

Acar or Pickled Salad Condiment

This food jar packaging is rather basic, fabric cover and wired-furry tie. The colours are co-ordinated to match the colour of my condiment.

Well hope this give you another general money-saving and home-made idea for gifts, it is not how much the value of the item matters but the thoughts and prettiness that counts.

Sewing Machine Cover or Cosy

Finally a cover for my beloved sewing machine.

I have been looking at all the beautiful and wonderful sewing machine covers out there; from images on the internet to even quilt shops that I had visited. The images struck on mind for ages, I guess I am going crazy but my sewing machine does talk to me too.  She  would asked me “when am I going to sew something in return of all the hard work and beautiful projects she had completed for me?” So today I’ve made this gift to reward my beloved tool that has been the centre of my happiness in terms of sewing joy and creations.

Simple Assembly and Sewing Concept – 1 panel or flap, sew 2 joints and sew 2 corners from the joints

From what I have observed and partly had set me back was the “complications” in sewing a cover, just too many prices of fabric panels to assemble and joining of seams. As I am rather hard pressed for time I was thinking long and hard how to make it easy to assemble and sew. I did this cover in one sitting or an evening, about 4 hours plus sewing time.

My cover actually consist of only one piece / panel, fold the panel to half then sew the side of each seam. To achieve the “box” top just fold the corners (of the joined seam), draw a straight line across the corner and sew on the line. Trim off the corner after that, turn the cover wrong side and out and “walla” !

Centre Fabric as Main Attraction / Focus

My main attraction of the cover is a piece of furnishing fabric sample I saved since years ago, I only have one piece of one design as it was bought from a furnishing shop that I happened to chanced upon while doing some other errands for the day. As I had bought some items from the store I took the chance to ask the lady who was dismantling a fabric sample book whether she could sell me two pieces. I bought it at $1 dollar! The fabric is so beautiful but there are some minor defects in terms of “runaway” threads on the surface which makes it unsuitable to make as a item for sale or swap.

Hope you like this fun idea of adding some “design” to your sewing craft room and dressing up your sewing machine. The manufacturer’s cover is always so plain and just boring, having some variety is the spice of life!

My First Sashiko Project – Sofa Cushion Top Covers

Final Entry : 8 August 2010

I’ve finally decided to finish my first Sashiko project. The backing material is ready-made-quilt-backing material I bought from Spotlight. Hope you like it too.

Updated Entry : 12 August 2009

I’ve finally decided to finish my first Sashiko project. The backing material is ready-made-quilt-backing material I bought from Spotlight. Traditional Sashiko are done in blue colour material but mine is done is brown (as I did not have blue material) so hope you like the new idea too.

SashikoDone. Finally completed after a four-month journey. I am happy now.

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Updated Entry : 3 July 2009

WIPDesign modification : This is the other panel ‘scale down’ from the original one which was a ‘three-panel design’; reason being the stitches and joints are uneven (not close enough to be ‘Sashiko’-standard). My other half just suggested it could probably be a pillow case and  wouldn’t it be sweet if it is a set of two pillowcase of similar style. My first thought wato sew it into a kitchen towel.

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Updated Entry : 29 Jun 2009

WIPDesign modification : I have decided to ‘scale down’ the design to one panel instead of the original one which was a ‘three-panel design’; reason being the stitches and joints are uneven (not close enough to be ‘Sashiko’-standard).

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Updated Entry : 16 Jun 2009

SashikoActually the title should read as “Sashiko wannabe”. My stitches are uneven and some lines join when they meet. I try very hard to concentrate but at the back of my mind there are so many images ‘wooshing’ past. This is ‘running stitch’ at the simplest form yet I cannot manage it!
Did you see the cartoon ‘Kung Fu Panda’; if you did you will understand how I feel…I am desperate to learn Sashiko yet I am so clumsy in my moves. If this project is for an exam I’ll go beg my mom to finish my project but my mom is 82 years old now instead she’ll beg me to leave her alone! 😦
…and Thank you for reading my ranting.

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First Entry : 29 May 2009

This is my first Sashiko project “work in progress” stage that consists of embroidery pattern, craft supplies and reference books.

Work in Progress - My First Sashiko Project

Pattern idea : The pattern is my own concept, idea is inspired from the Sashiko reference books that I had borrowed from the public library.

Pattern drawing method: The entire pattern is drawn directly onto the fabric (not traced from anywhere). The visual highlight is three circles and each different motif in each circle, the motifs are drawn from a stencil plate. I draw the gird lines using long rulers (I  used two rulers to get a 90 degree angle, I tried this method for gauging and drawing the horizontal and vertical gird lines, it is long-ruler used for dressmaking). To draw circles, I used my dessert bowl.

Fabric : I cannot find a suitable “indigo” coloured fabric. I am also not willing to spend on fabric because I am too new to the craft. Cotton fabrics I came across was either too light-weight and tighty weave. I chose this fabric for the colour, weight and rather loose weave; actually I found it among my mother’s stash.

Portability: I used a two-plastic box container set to organize my needles, needle threader, thimbles and thread because I have plans to do the stitching whenever I am with time to spare. Maybe I should get a sewing basket.

I am ready to start since I have a vision or concept of how this finished project should look, but I did not give myself any deadline as I wish to do this in my own pace.

Hope the general idea to start something is useful in any way especially if you like me face limited time and resources for proper tools for grid line drawing or pattern tracing materials to work on.

Paua – Fascination, Passion, Obession in Craft Inspirations

Extract from Wikipedia “Paua or pāua is the Maori  name given to three species  of large edible seasnails, marine gastropod molluscs which belong to the family Haliotidae (there is only genus Haliotis ), known in the USA and Australia as abalone, and in the UK as ormer shells. ”

So, have you ever been so inspired by something from nature or a country that its beauty just dazzle and fuel your creativity?

Paua-inspired crafts photos : (Row from top left) Paua-printed cotton Tote Bag I made for myself, Paua long-beads bracelet and necklace I made for D’s mom Mother’s Day Gift. (Second row from left) Paua ‘star’ brooch pin and round Paua square beads necklace set  I created for sponsorship of some lucky draw prize for a Fair. (Center Photo) Fabric postcard of Paua shells. (Third row from left) Close-up of the tote bag, Paua square beads braclet I made for myself (Last row from left) Sponsorship Prize Packaged Paua brooch and necklace set, yours truly ‘modeling’ for my sponsorship necklace, Paua ‘star’ brooch pinned to collar of a jacket, Front view of the Paua necklace.

Origin of Fascination: New Zealand – the country I simply adore and finally visited in real life which turn out to be the best holiday in my life. When I was in New Zealand, all the tourist spots like Tourist Information Centers, Tourist souvenir shops are just filled with Paua goodies I wish I could afford to buy to my heart’s content. The colour of the shell is so amazing in any shape and form I could not ignore.

History of Fascination: Lucky for me I have been touched by the magic of a Paua Shell! I love sea shells way back when I was a kid, it was one of those rare family outings to the beach when I get to pick sea shells nevermind if they come broken in pieces finding them just thrill me like spotting treasures from the sea. Imagine what it is like in modern Singapore where the coastline have mostly been altered through reclaim land or sand fill, so little is left of the untouched beaches in Singapore you will feel guilty even if you pick a shell sea!

Once you are inspired there are just no end to the possibilities of creations, I hope this blog entry is a pleasure to your reading or maybe even inspire you in your craft creations to the single that you love.

ATC (Artist Trading Card) Fabric Postcard 6 x 4

Every ATC has a story to tell, here I share my inspiration about my creations

[27 July 2010] A local food named “Chilli Crab” – This dish is so popular in Singapore most tourist would know about it and most probably tried it at least once during their visit. We locals do cook and eat this dish at home too although not frequently but in special occasions like birthdays . Since popularity of one dish is rather iconic I’d placed a Singapore Flag to represent the location as the origin of the dish.

Material used : Chinese Brocade / Silk

[21 July 2010] Batik squares – I love batik design and the tile effect. I was recently inspired by some tiles I saw, the building is so unique in style it is called  “eclectic architecture”, personally I feel its more of a fusion of colour and decoration representing European and Chinese style. Take a look at my set of photos taken of the building when you have time.

Material = Cotton, Printed Batik Cotton

[20 July 2010] Today’s feature is Lace,  I love lace and find them so precious to use because they can be so expensive. This particular work uses lace which was saved as scrap from past project, it is a large-strip lace which I had trim to a circle and hand stitched using clear nylon thread onto felt. Felt fabric is the easiest fabric to handle and rather affordable.

Story behind the ATC : Inspired by a quote  “Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower ….. ” Hans Christian Anderson

Material = Felt Fabric

[19 July 2010] If every picture has a story to tell I would say that there is even a greater story behind each ATC created. Everyone create to express their creativity style but some are created with more meaning than others. Over the weekend I had created two ATCs and hope to take a moment of your time to share with you what was on my mind.

Title : Unity of Hearts

ATC Title : Unity of Hearts

Story behind the ATC : Being shot in the heart by a cupid may not be a necessarily great thing to happen, one heart being shot is like falling in love in a ‘one-sided way’ – you can be madly crazy in love but it ain’t going to bring you fulfillment if the other party does not reciprocate. It will be a ultimate blessing if the cupid could aim for two hearts with one arrow! So this piece of creation was made to dedicate to those lucky ones that fell for the correct partner and live their lives united in their hearts. Not everyone in this universe will be so darn lucky but for those couples that live through a lifetime together, through thick and thin, for better or worst they are the reason why it keeps us inspired.

Material used : Cotton, Chinese Brocade/ Silk.

Titled : I love my Carrr

Title : I love my Carrr

Story behind the ATC : Driving is a skill that represents freedom to me, driving should be an enjoyment for as long as one can afford it (although it can be stressful if traffic is bad and you are in this situation where time is the essence). I have been lucky and blessed to have owned and driven 3 cars so far, I started off with a old car that was about 8 years old and had to put up with being a old car for two years. My second car was bought new and had been with me for about 5 years. I am now with my third and maybe final car this lifetime, only now I appreciate driving my car as I could drive as a means of transport and leisure. My first two cars were bought due to my nature of work in sales, life was very tough in the road  and so was work-life then. I am so blessed I truly get to enjoy my car now as I no longer need to drive around for my work and the experience is a relaxed atmosphere so it is like hearts popping up the road as I spend time in my car.

Material used : Japanese crepe fabric (adhesive)

Why I  ‘ATC’….

[16 July 2010] It is a huge universe out there to any crafter’s delight and this come in a form by a little piece of artwork which can be created by anyone anywhere in the world and probably traveled around the world to a final destination that is in another artist’s collection.

Artist Trading Card – this term amazed me from the very start when I stumbled upon flickr photo pool and saw beautiful and fascinating fabric pieces created by individuals (yes just like you and me) whose flair of creativity struck me and inspire me to want to join the community. I love the term ‘Artist’ – so when you create a craft which is called a artwork you instantly become a artist….seems a grand and neat idea!

Here I have created my first 3 pieces of fabric ATC…size is so tiny but so much joy in their creation, moreover since I hardly throw away any fabric scraps creating ATC fits me to a “T”.

Material = Hand-dyed velvet
Material = Chinese Brocade / Silk
Material = Cotton

There are a lot of websites and swap groups on the internet that one can join and trade the beautiful pieces of artworks, not everything commercialized nor is it mass produced – money, money and money (although to have enough to live by is good, a bit more is great but some of life’s  little pleasures money can’t buy).

Every piece of ATC means something to somebody and is it just a wonderful idea to admire, inspire, have a exchange and build a collection.

Hope you enjoy this little discovery and join in the community too.

My photo pool of ATC are uploaded onto Flickr so drop by anytime as I will upload the works there. If you like to trade your ATC Fabric with me leave me a comment.

Designing with Words

I just stumbled upon this website that you can create designs using words or text in a pop!

So you crafters out there who had like me had in the past was amazed at how people spent time and money achieve designs like these it is like a wish come through for us that are ‘starving and aspiring artist’.

Design option A

I have included here 3 designs I have created using the same words.

This amazing site is called “Wordle” created by a gentleman called Jonathan Feinberg.

This website cuts through all the time you need to pull your hair out thinking about the design or even spending time learning a design software.  Some are born wordsmiths but not designers.

However if you are using the work for commercial purposes please go to his website and read the FAQ section.

Use this to:

  • Design on your T-shirt (use iron-on transfer)
  • Design on a birthday card (print it on paper)
  • Design for a book jacket / cover
Design option B
Design option C

My Sewing Sewing Project of Yesteryears’ (30 years) – Dolls Collection

Zorgball's Mini Dolls Collection
Zorgball's Mini Dolls Collection

[4 July 2010] Today I found more dolls stashed away in a box of “odds and ends” I have kept for so many years my dolls must be thinking I was never ever going to retreive them again…well its like opening another time capsule for me after more than 25 years the time I created them.

Samuria Doll

Little did I realise then my crazy obession with creating things and complete fascination with Japanese craft books would bring me back from the future (today) to revisit a memory lane that was peppered with joy as well as frustration.

Japanese Girl Doll

Joy – at 14 years old my interest heightened in Japanese craft books especially those by Ondori (Publisher’s name)

Frustration – I don’t understand Japanese nor does anyone in school or my sisters share my passion for Japanese craft books, limited funds and access to craft materials or craft shops.

Geisha Girl Doll

I just made the dolls ‘displayed’ them at home for a while and kept them away.  Today as I bring them out of the box would you believe old memories have a smell too!  I am ‘airing’ them now to rid of that musty smell….phew!

Western-looking Dolls

It is sad as I could not recall where I have kept my old craft books, I think all these dolls are made from a few Ondori craft books but there is not much information on the internet.  I have ‘pot holes’ like a road in my memory as I just could not recall what I’ve made and where I have kept the books.  I think all the titles I have collected back then never had reprints or have  not been uploaded on the internet.  It has been so many years I am feeling like vintage too.

So hoping one day I can find my craft books and take photos to share with anyone interested to visit a crafter’s vintage collection of great books by Japenese dolls masters ahead of their time.

[20 May 2009] These are some of my dolls that were sewn by me when I was about 14 years old. I have so much energy and time in the past I could sew all day, stop only for meals and utter a mouthful of words for the day. My eyesight was so good then I need not use a needle threader…as compared to now I, could not live without a needle threader!

I found my dolls recently and was overjoyed that I even even took photographs of each one and created a scrapbook album.

If dolls could talk they told me they are happy to see their ‘mommy’ again. How time fly by, it is so nice to be ‘reunited’ with such old keepstakes again!

Mini Dolls Scrapbook Album