Monday, September 23, 2013

Vintage Butterfly Image Transfer Purse

When I first encountered with image transfer from other bloggers, I thought that was real cool technique to do personalize prints on fabric and other surfaces. With the many methods available working on image transfer, I had my first try in image transfer project with the Mod Podge method. The project was butterfly prints on a purse which I designed in the same theme with a journal I hand bound for a dear friend- Lynn as her belated birthday gifts.

Lynn fascinates anything designed with butterfly themes. With that in mind, I had my butterfly inspiration to hand bind a journal and sew a matching purse. I found some butterfly images from Graphic Faries who share great stocks of vintage images.

Little Jaipur - The label my sister and I created many years ago when we were running our little seasonal business

I used Mod Podge method to do the transfer from a laser print to fabric. Mod Podge is a water base, non toxic, all in one glue, sealer and finish. Though most people would recommend an ink jet printed image, the laser printed image did just well. The various kind of Mod Podge available would get a beginner confuse of choosing the right one to do a project. Here is chart to get some guide in making selection. Generally Mod Podge photo transfer medium is recommended for an image transfer project, but I make used of what is available with me - Mod Podge Matte, which did a wonderful job.

Mod Podge is not easily available in any store in Malaysia. You can find it in Craft Heaven in One Utama shopping Centre but it does not come cheap. Besides that, some local bloggers does sell this fantastic product. 

For the purse accessories used in this project, You may make online purchase from MayMayShop . By keying Yann's Journal, you get 10% discount for a minimum purchase of RM100 and above.

Click here for my tutorial on image transfer with Mod Podge.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Ethnic Luxe Piano Runner

Years ago I bought a reconditioned piano for my elder daughter who had just started taking lessons. It came with a complimentary piano runner with nice fringes around it. Being a fussy pot when it comes for home decor, somehow rather I felt that it was too common and wanted to replace it with my own design piano runner. With a handful of sewing and crafting projects on my list, it took me quite awhile to finally work on it when flash of inspiration came to mind after making the Susani and Velvet Patched Cushion Cover.

My idea was to create a piano runner with the style of ethnic luxe. For the materials, I used some remnant damask fabric given by a friend; the rich texture luxury Belgium velvet from samplee books; a hint of ethnic from the woven textile of Tai people in Northern Vietnam. The design had accommodated with the small pieces of the remnant fabric and velvet swathes. I am happy with the finished work :)

It is very intimating to sew with velvet material. Especially when it is a heavy weight upholstery velvet. I had no idea about this ornery fabric till I sew the Susani and Velvet Patched Cushion Cover. To make the sewing job harder, the velvet samplers had card weight stickers stuck around the edges. I struggled to remove them and then laid a light weight paper on the sticky part before sewing and later removed the paper again. With home use sewing machine, the motor voltage seems not powerful enough to pull through the material.  I had to pull as I sew. The result is inconsistent stitching length as sometimes the sewing was smooth and at times it hardly moved. After the project, I send my over-stressed sewing machine with imbalance tension for service.  I should have googled to find some tips in handling velvet fabric.  Check this site for the sewing tips with velvet.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Keychain & Bag Charms

With a resourceful of hill tribe textiles and accessories available in the country, it is no wonder that Thai artisans produces beautiful ethnic inspired of merchandises. 

One common ethnic inspired merchandise is the colorful key rings and bag charms which are easily found in Northern Thailand. I simply adore them. They are on my 'to make' list.

With the pom poms mania I was on for couple of months last year for a hair accessories making project, I have a small basketful of left over to use. Together with the Yi people triangle ornaments I brought back from Sichuan, China 2 years ago, I made these charming dingle dangle bag charms and key rings.

I love my version of charming charms. Do you?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bookbinding workshop

I have the thought of organizing sewing and crafting workshops for sometime.  But I am just like many who think a lot and not executing their plans. There was no progress until few of us from the Good Soil fellowship planned these 2 workshops at the community hall of my church for some art students. I work together with a friend who is also a passionate bookbinder for the two bookbinding workshops. Even though that is voluntary work, I am equally excited about it and glad to be part of it.

Workshop I in 2012

Workshop II in 2013

Overall, the students done fairly well for their first bookbinding project although 1 or 2 of them struggle a little to complete the project. With more practice, they could certainly improve and master their bookbinding skill.  

Maybe someday, I will finally organize my own sewing and crafting workshops.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kettle Stitch Handmade Reading Records

Although we have the highest literacy rates in South East Asia countries, Malaysian are not a reading nation. Many people prefer light reading materials like newspaper and magazines instead of books. According to literacy statistic, out of 85% Malaysian who read regularly, only 3% read books. And I was not in the 3% book readers untill the recent years. Thanks to my sister who shared with me a few good non-fictions books with me when she was living with me; and also some good books behind when she moved away. Having said that, I am still not proud to say that I read more than a few books a year.

As a designer; an artist and a crafter, I am naturally attracted to visual images more than to texts. Therefore, I hardly read book... I meant books without pictures and graphics. Since I started this blog, I have been struggling with my writing. I take long time to complete every write-up. But I was encouraged when I came upon this quote - A good  writer must first be a good readerHence, I started to read more, hoping to write better and set good example for my children. With this new resolution, I was inspired to handmade these reading records for myself, my children and someone dear, to record books we read.

Click here for an online tutorial on kettle stitch bookbinding. I hope to have my own tutorial later on how to add beads onto the stitches for a more interesting finishing.

My personal copy with magnectic button
Cover fabric from one of my favorite fabric designer - Amy Butler

Made as a surprise gift for a dear one
Cover fabric was tie dyed batik that I made after attending a seminar on Shibori.
The square embroidery of 
Dong people -Ethnic minority in
Zhaoxing, Guizhou Province China.

The fun piece for my 11-year-old daughter who loves polka dots. This is her copy.

This sweet floral piece for my 8-year-old daughter loves purple and trinket