Monday, March 28, 2016

Maternity leave project: Doctor's Bag

Earlier last month, a crafter from Craftalova Fabric Club, Elisabeth Natasia, posted an offer for another bag tutorial. This time the design caught me. It's a simple doctor's bag. This is something that I actually would like to carry around in everyday life. So without hesitation I registered for the online class. 
My first doctor's bag. 
Before, I had almost zero confidence working with leather or even leather-like fabrics. But a big girl has got to overcome her own fears, right? So besides enrolling myself to the class, I also ordered the kit from Mba Eli, the tutor, to ensure that I would execute the tutorial without having excuses such as "no idea where all my sewing materials are". Lol. Kits are very helpful for those who has a procrastinator side *cough* *me*. The only thing I did not prefer from my kit was the outer fabric which was a tad bit too "flowery" and thin for my taste. I guess my boyish side is pretty dominant. So I raked through my old stash and found this modern-looking IKEA fabric, which still coordinate perfectly with the lining fabric from the kit.

Anyways, the online tutoring started mid-month, and I was still busy with Leia and the 2 months old Luke, so I went through that whole "no time to sew" phase again for about a week.

Then last Thursday, when both babies were tucked in, I sneaked out of the room and started to make the pattern. I thought it will take just about 15 minutes and I can continue whenever there's more time.

What was planned to be just a pattern making session went all the way to cutting fabrics, pressing linings, and attaching leather handles. Yes, the kids were slumbering so tight that mummy had more time than she expected :)

It sure felt good to sew your own label on ;)

The next morning I was able to continue sewing the bag until finally finished. One thing I did miss out before joining the inner and outer fabrics together was to attach an inner pocket. It's not in the tutorial (probably for practicality issue), but if I'm ever gonna use this bag, I would want myself to have a useful pocket built inside my bag.

So I tried my best to create a simple pocket inside the bag. Not perfect but it's something.

Was not easy to sew a structured bag for your first time sewing after a while. But I am quite satisfied with the result.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Maternity Leave Project: Pom-pom Bubble Skirt

It's been more than a year *palm on face* since the last time I touch my sewing machine. Life has been very busy in another direction and I was quite over-committed in it that I forgot some me-time with my crafting passion.

Ok. Short story, during my 2nd child maternity leave, I decided to start creating again. And what is quicker than sewing a skirt?

Or so I thought. Of course I would not have it to sew just a normal skirt. Me? No.
#iknowicanbetoosnob. Lol.

Sooooo..what skirt is simple but ultra cute?
Tutu, right.
You don't even have to use a sewing machine for Tutu project. But I love sewing and the point is, I must. start. sewing. again.

Since there must be some simple sewing involved, a bubble skirt is best. Double it with fun insertions for extra cuteness. What's more fun than pom-poms??

And there I was on a rainy Friday afternoon, right after babies are tucked for their afternoon nap. Got myself picked pink tulle for easiest option to combine with Leia's ballet outfit.

Was a simple project which took me 2 hours to complete! The most frustrating part was constructing the skirt waist. I forgot how Tulle can be challenging sometimes. But overall, I think at least Leia loves her new skirt. And it's a start for another sewing project before maternity leave is over, I hope.. I need to at least sew something for baby Luke.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dimana Beli Kain Murah?

Dahulu kala saya nggak habis pikir sama tumpukan kain di lemari eyang dan mama saya. Buat apa sih, koleksi kain segitu banyaknya? Yes. Itu sebelum saya mulai hobi menjahit.

Sekitar dua setengah tahun yang lalu, begitu saya mulai iseng belajar menjahit, saya jatuh cinta sama hobi baru ini. Awalnya hanya mencoba jahit baju yang gampang-gampang untuk diri sendiri. Lalu saya yang sedang enjoying motherhood mulai donk kepikiran mencoba bikin baju anak sendiri. Meski katanya jahit baju bayi itu lebih ribet daripada bikin baju dewasa. Nah berhubung nggak punya kain yang lucu buat bayi, saya hunting deh ke toko kain.

Saya ini pemalas. Meski tau bahwa kain murah itu ya di Tanah Abang, tapi saya toh nggak berniat beli kain banyak-banyak. Cuma buat baju bayi doang, kok. Jadi saya melipir ke Mayestik, yang dekat dengan rumah.

Meski niatnya hanya beli selembar kain lucu buat anak, pulang-pulang total damage saya cukup besar. Habis 400rb rupiah!

Beli apa aja? Rupanya selain selembar kain batik print lucu yang saya beli 3meter dengan alasan biar bisa bikin baju kembaran mommy dan anak seharga 35rb (gak pake nawar), saya juga kepincut sama 2 meter kain denim buat bikin tas, 2meter kain linen buat bikin kemeja ayahnya, lalu kain2 stretch impor dengan motif cantik buat "sunday dress" mommynya Leia. Wkwkwkwk....jadi banyakan belanja buat emaknya daripada buat anaknya.

Singkat cerita, belanja kain itu adiktif, sodara-sodara.

Dan semenjak bisa agak lancar "ngegowes" mesin jahit, kegiatan belanja kain saya pun bertambah 'lancar'.

Tadinya saya berniat mendokumentasikan koleksi kain ini, dan dipajang di blog. Tapi rupanya sekarang ini kecepatan saya megang kamera dan menyisihkan waktu untuk mengupload kalah jauh sama kecepatan saya mengumpulkan koleksi kain. #hadeuhh

I still promise myself though, that someday I'll get my most precious collection uploaded!

Krea-Krunch!: Belajar Membatik: The Art of Batik Making

Krea-Krunch!: Belajar Membatik: The Art of Batik Making

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Belajar Membatik: The Art of Batik Making

Have you ever been interested in the art of Batik making? I've been an admirer but never dared myself to try my hands on the Batik making, until recently. I always thought Batik takes ages to complete and requires a lot of techniques that are too complicated to learn. But I found a Batik class nearby my in-laws residence in Cilandak, and decided to sign up. Rumah Jawa Jawi Java, the place where I signed up, is located at Jl. BDN II and is 5 minutes drive from my in-laws'! I can't believe I never noticed the place before, because it is quite prominently located within my everyday route.

In a short, I signed up for the first month. Registration fee is IDR 150.000 and monthly fee is IDR 400.000 for 4 sessions a month. One session takes around 4-5 hours. I don't have to bring anything because they provide all the course materials such as tjanting (a pen-shaped tool used in Batiking), malam (the resist material made from wax), aprons, color-dyes, chemicals, and a piece of white cotton cloth. I don't know if the fee counts as expensive since I didn't try to look for any comparisons,  but since it's nearby and convenient, I think it's the right place to start.

It turns out that Batik making is a lot more enjoyable for me than I thought it would be. It is sooooo addictive that I didn't even notice sitting for hours and hours without drinking anything (bad, bad example I knowww...) and I must say that I love doing it, and I want to share the process with you and whoever reads this blog. Hopefully one day you can try your hands on batiking too, because it's a load of fun! Children starting from the age of 4 and even grandmas around my mother's age (60) can enjoy it too.

So, what is the step-by-step in Batik making?
  1. Copying patterns. To do this, simply put your piece of cloth on top of a pattern (black and white print out is recommended). Pin the cloth to the print out. Then with a pencil, trace the pattern outlines (see pictures). My instructor said some of the most talented batik artists do not have to copy any patterns, they simply draw whatever they want to be envisioned in the piece of cloth just like painting masterpiece. But for a beginner, copying patterns is a good start to practice. I chose 4 classic Javanese patterns that I like to copy: Ceplok Jovo Jotro, Nogo Sajodo, Pakis Taji and Kupu Taman.

  2. Once the pattern is copied, you can start to prepare the wax resist. Melt it until the liquid is in right temperature. It's important to keep the wax in the right temperature during the whole batiking process, because if the wax is too cold they will not stick to the cloth piece and when it's too hot it will be too liquid and easily creates a mess. 
  3. For a beginner, using aprons will help to avoid the wax resist drops messing your favorite jeans!
  4. Dip your tjanting into the wax liquid, make sure not to scoop too much liquid or it will be really messy. Then position your tjanting a little slanted about 45 degree and with your other hand holding the cloth piece, begin to trace the pattern.
  5. Practice makes perfect. The first time I try using the tjanting to trace my practice piece, it was soooo messy. I kept forgetting that the tjanting should be held slightly slanted so it won’t drop literally everywhere, and that it should  be dipped back into the wax every now and then to prevent the wax from getting cold. After the second session, I get used to it and start to enjoy the process. (I forgot to ask someone taking pictures of me batiking because I got too excited. Instead, I take a picture of another student doing her isen-isen (details) to give you a glimpse of the process. 

  6. After the whole cloth is covered with the wax resist, repeat the same process to the other side of the cloth. What differentiates a high quality batik from the so-so quality is the extra effort the artist takes to ensure both sides of the cloth look equally stunning. 
  7. When both sides of the cloth is covered with wax resist, prepare for the dyeing process. Today's batik uses chemical dyes but there are also traditional ways using natural dyes from herbs and fruits to color the cloth. My teacher only taught me the modern ways to color the cloth. Maybe next time I will try the traditional ways. 
  8. Prepare 3 water basins. The first one is filled with water mixed with a chemical substance to 'prepare' the cloth for absorbing the color. The second one is filled with water and mixed with the color 'salt' which acts as the dye. The third basin is filled with just cold water to rinse out excess colorings from the second basin. So first you need to soak the cloth in the first basin. Then soak the cloth in the second basin to bring out the color. Then rinse the cloth in the third basin. Repeat the steps for about 3-4 times to build up the color to your liking. The color is slightly darker when the cloth is wet and will be brighter once the cloth is dry.

  9. The next step is to get rid of the wax resist. You will need to boil the cloth around 4-5 minutes to rinse out the wax from the cloth. At this point your can see the white patterns left from the wax resist. Your batik is pretty much ready to dry.
  10. If you want to add more color to the cloth, dry out the cloth entirely before drawing another coat of wax resist. The second or third color dye are usually darker than the first color, to make it easier to build up the pattern. Alternatively, you can brush in fabric paints to fill in multiple colors to the cloth. But you may need to do some trial-and-errors since not all fabric paints are heat resistant.
  11. Well, my deep red batik cloth is ready! And I'm loving it ;)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tutorial: DIY Personalized Quilted Gift Pouch

Hello hey ho howdy yo. It's been quite a while since the last post I blogged, so please forgive my absence, dear bloggie (I know, I know....I must frikkin' shut up and stop talking to my blog as if it's some kind of a creature).

So being absent from blogging doesn't mean I quit crafting for some time...heck, NO. In fact I have been quite productive, if I may say so, that I just couldn't find the right time to post too many things. I have been preparing some drafts, but then had a hard time deciding which one to publish.

After some self debates, I decided to just go for another easy peasy tutorial.

This is a recent project I made for my very best friend's birthday gift. She loves handmade things, so since this is the first time I ever have a chance to actually create something for her (hey I just started sewing about, let me see, 10 months ago??) this year's birthday gift would be a special one for her.

The thing is, it's almost too easy I was afraid I wouldn't impress anyone with this gift (or tutorial). But I gave it a go, and so should you! Lol.

Here it is.

The Personalized Quilted Printed Pouch. 

sorry, couldn't think of a shorter title--

What you need:
- 2 pieces of outer fabric (size them to your need, here I used 20 x 30cm sizing for the pouch)
- 2 pieces of lining fabric (exactly the same size of your outer fabric)
- 2 pieces of batting (size them just around 1cm smaller than the outer fabric to make it easier to sew)
- a piece of zipper (match the length with your pouch size)
- 2 pieces of 4x4cm fabric for the zipper tab
- Iron-on printer transfer paper (for best result, I used special transfer paper for dark colored t-shirt)
- Personal picture/ quote/ thing/ whatever of your choice


1. First of all, prepare your specially picked personal picture/quote/thing/whatever you choose to print. Honestly, I am not a big fan of things personalized with a full color low quality picture. But in a jiffy, as I couldn't ask much of a high resolution self portrait from my best friend (hey it would ruin the surprise!) I went with an old time profile picture of her on Fb. It has the right amount of lines and shadows for me to crop and threshold using the Photoshop. This way, I could tweak around, put some background and create a totally vintage look that matches my pouch. If you don't have a strikingly awesome picture, please do something about it first before printing and attaching it to your masterpiece pouch. Trust me, just an extra mile does make a lot of difference.

2. Now is the most interesting part of this post. I really don't want to repeat all the tutorial about constructing a zippered pouch because all kinds of cool tutorials about sewing pouches are already out there in the internet (go ahead, google it! :)) so I'm gonna skip some pictures and do the explanations briefly.

3. Prepare your zipper. Cut the zipper if it's longer than your fabric size. To create the zipper tabs, fold the 4x4cm fabric

4. To create a quilted look, simply pin your batting (or press it if you have iron-on batting) to your outer fabric. Then using a walking foot/ roller foot/ teflon foot on your sewing machine, quilt it to your liking. You can copy a quilt template tp your fabric using quilter's erasable pen, but what I did is simply quilting some straight lines following my outer fabric stripes pattern.

5. After you have your quilted outer fabric pieces, we can start constructing the pouch! Align the outer fabric with your zipper, right sides together, and pin. Don't forget to unzip the zipper halfway. Attach a zipper foot to your sewing machine. Begin to sew the zipper as close as possible to your zipper teeth. Stop sewing when you're getting close to the zipper head *you remembered to unzip the zipper halfway, right?* sink your needle down *you need it secured* and lift up the presser of your sewing machine foot. Through the gap between your sewing machine foot and the fabric, slowly zip or unzip the rest of your zipper (whichever is most convenient to get the zipper head out of the way for your needle to move forward). This will enable you to sew a continuous neat line when attaching a zipper. After you have your zipper head out of the way, put down your presser and you can continue sewing smoothly. Repeat the steps to attach the other side of the zipper with the second piece of your outer fabric.

----I don't take any picture for the steps but if you have any problems attaching the zipper, by all means, please google up some zipper tutorial, there are tons of great tutorials you'll love!---

5. Now you need to sew the lining fabrics to the zipper! To do so, align the right side of your lining piece to the wrong side of your zipper. Have any problems sewing linings to a zipper? Let your fingers do the googling once again (I told you I won't bore you with a tutorial that already has like a million existence on the internet! I keep my promise :))

---if you have a label you want to attach to the lining or side tab like mine, now is the right time to align and sew them before we construct the pouch-

6. Pin together the right sides of your lining fabric. Then pin together the right sides of your outer fabric. If you find the zipper tab ends make it too bulky for you to sew, grab a hammer and knock down the bulk a few times until the bulk lays nice and flat. Unzip the zipper halfway. With an erasable marker, mark about 10cm of opening to your lining fabric bottom. This will be your opening to turn the pouch right side out later on. For now, just exclude the 10cm from being sewn.

7. Sew the fabrics right sides together, with around 1cm seam allowance. Try to create an uninterrupted seam line throughout, slow down and take extra care at sewing around the zipper tabs and edges. Remember: leave out the 10cm opening at the bottom of lining fabric!

8. When you're done sewing, clip the square edges ( be careful not to clip the seam). Then through the lining opening, turn the pouch fabric right side out. Smooth the edges using a blunt tool (I use chopstick) from the inside to create a perfect square pouch. Topstitch the lining opening to finish. Tuck your lining inside the pouch and you're pretty much done.

7. Now is the time to cut your personalized printed piece from the transfer paper. Different types of transfer paper requires different instructions on how to apply. Mine needs to be let dry for a couple of minutes after printing, then peeled of from its backing paper after cutting it to desired shape, before ironing it face down to the quilted outer fabric for a couple of minutes. Don't forget to layer up with a piece of fabric when pressing, so that your printed piece won't melt and stick to your iron plate :(
You can choose to iron the picture in the earlier stage of the process. I chose to iron it after the construction is finished, just to make sure everything is aligned and perfect before the pic is added.

Your personalized printed pouch is ready!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: Stained by Sharpie & Pentel Fabric Fun Pastel Dye Sticks

Today is product review day. Saya sudah cukup lama beli kedua produk ini, tapi baru sekarang kesampaian ngetes. I KNOW I'm so late already to write a review about these two products (hello, everybody uses sharpie ;)) tapiii tapiih karena ini kali pertama saya menggunakan keduanya, saya gatal ingin menuliskan catatan pribadi saya tentang penggunaannya. So please let me :)

Yang pertama saya coba fabric crayons dari Pentel, kebetulan masih ingat belinya di sebuah office&stationery shop deket 21cineplex di Lippomall Kemang seharga Rp 35.000. I really don't know whether it's a good price, tapi pas saya kesana tokonya sedang cuci gudang.

Untuk percobaan ini saya menyiapkan test piece dari kain blacu. Menurut petunjuknya, cara terbaik untuk mendapatkan warna yang tebal dan rata adalah dengan menggunakan sapuan ke satu arah. Setelah selesai, supaya permanen setrika bagian yang diwarnai dengan dilapisi kain di atasnya. Penting: pakai baju/kain bekas, karena residu crayonnya bisa nempel di kain pelapis. Saya seenak jidat pakai kaos orang rumah yang ada deket meja setrikaan, dan jeng jeeeng ada bekasnya! Hiikks :(

Enaknya produk ini, jika ada bagian yang salah atau ingin diulang, crayon ini washable selama belum terkena panas setrika. Segera cuci dengan sabun, setelah itu kita bisa mengulangi gambar sesuai selera.

Saya pernah baca review bahwa produk fabric crayons dari Crayola juga bagus. I'll test it out later untuk perbandingan lah.

Yang kedua adalah produk Stained by Sharpie. Sebetulnya banyak produk fabric marker di pasaran, tapi saya pilih yang ini. Penasaran aja karena sejuta ummat pakai produk ini. Harganya cukup mihing di Gramedia Jakarta, yakni Rp 20.000/buah. I made a mental note untuk beli sharpie di Singapore next time, karena pernah liat di Jurong Point harganya SGD 1.20 sajah....

Pakai spidol jelas lebih enak untuk menggambar detail. Sayangnya Stained cuma tersedia dalam 8 warna, yaitu hitam, biru, merah, hijau, ungu, kuning, pink dan orange. Ya cukup sih kalo cuma buat doodling.
Enaknya pakai marker, tidak perlu proses setrika dan cuci. Tapi di test piece saya sempat kecewa dengan hasil goresan yang rembes. Kemungkinan besar gara-gara saya menggunakan kain blacu, karena begitu saya coba di kain katun hasilnya lebih rapi.

Pertanyaan selanjutnya: bagaimana hasilnya jika saya menggambar pakai Stained di atas permukaan yang sudah diwarnai pakai crayon?

Ini dia hasilnya. Pada saat belum disetrika maupun dicuci, hasil goresan Stained masih cerah dan tebal. Setelah disetrika dan dicuci, warnanya agak pudar. Nggak pudar banget sih, tapi kelihatan kan ya bedanya?

Nah, lain lagi jika dibandingkan dengan hasil goresan langsung di atas kain tanpa dilapisi warna crayon. Gambar cumi-cumi oren ini saya buat dengan menggunakan Stained terlebih dahulu, kemudian baru diisi warna dengan crayon. Setelah dicuci pun hasilnya masih cukup tebal. Kesimpulan saya, Stained lebih bagus digunakan di atas permukaan kain langsung.

Saya malah jadi penasaran, jika dilapisi crayon terlebih dahulu apa jangan2 lebih bagus produk Sharpie permanent marker yang biasa ya? Hehe. Until next experiment, then.