Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Happy New Year!

Wishing that it will be a good one for everyone!

I won't be updating my blog much anymore as I think my Facebook account is easier for me.  I've set my account to public because it's basically another platform of my blog i.e. a crafty kinda place.  I'm still a newbie but I'm learning fast :) so please bear with me.

I get to update my status very easily and it's mostly on the projects I am working on be it crochet, knitting (yes I've taken that up too), quilting, sewing ... and my cooking adventures.

However my sewing blog Sartorial Stitches is in full swing as I journal my sewing journey, couture techniques, tailoring tools etc.

So here's to the good things that 2014 will bring!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

It's Raining Yarn

I have been enjoying a big chunk of crochet heaven lately.  I went to Chinatown last couple of weeks, thinking I could get some worsted-weight cotton yarn.  No luck.  So I figured I'd get some worsted-weight arcylic yarn instead.  And since their for amigurumis Ifigured, I'd go for acrylic for now.  After all I'm still a newbie at crochet.

So I set about crocheting Stacey Trock's woodland animals and I got as far as 1/2 a blue bird, bear head and snout, deer's head, antlers and nose and a racoon head :( I ran out of yarn.  No where on the label did it say how many metres was in one ball of yarn.  It was no fun working with this yarn, it was hard and stiff.  What's next?  I need to go downtown again.  But not till they stock up on black. 

Then I discovered Deramores UK.  I think I might be going over my head here ... call it beginners optimism?  I ordered more acrylic yarn but DK weight instead.  I want to crochet Lucy's Granny Striped Blanket.  Fortunately the quality of this Sirdar yarn is nice and soft even if it is acrylic. If acrylic is good enough for Lucy it's sure good enough for me.  So I learnt fast that even in acrylic there are many qualities.

Now this lovely purple heather acrylic / wool mix yarn is 400gm!  It's HUGE!  I have already started crocheting a shrug with it.  I had tough time playing tug of war trying to find the end of the yarn that was inside the ball.  I literally took out it's guts!  So here's the ugly pile of yarn along side the WIP shrug.  The shrug is a pattern by Deanna Young.

And if that was not enough Maycraft finally re-stocked some of my favourite cotton yarn. I would have bought these Lily Sugar n Cream yarn directly for the US, the trouble is they don't deliver to Malaysia and they don't plan to in the future :(  So Maycraft seems to be the only place I can get worsted-weight cotton yarn locally.

These are yarn to continue my granny squares for my bag.  I still need yellow though.  Maycraft were out of stock.

And these are for Sean's Minion beanie.  Initially I wasn't too thrilled with the country yellow that was substituted but I think I like it now.  The finished beanie below looks quite good in fact, if I may say so.  It's a free pattern by Jennifer Dougherty.  I don't think the pattern is available anymore.  I even used a button from Sean's grandmother's sewing stuff.  She passed on some months ago.  And my cousin was kind enough to give me her mother-in law's sewing box and all it's wonderful contents.  You can see the sewing box in my older post here.  So Sean's beanie will be making a trip all the way to Switzerland when I get to the PO on Tuesday.

ETA:  The Minion Hat pattern can be found here (Ravelry link)

And I dug out my knitting needles this week, so as to knit this pretty dishcloth. I'm only a mediocre knitter ... just know my knits and purls.  I've not knitted for yonks, so we'll see how that goes.

It was Lillie's birthday yesterday.  I stitched Primitve Betty's free XS pattern and finished it as a zipper pouch.  I also made a fabric basket using the free tutorial by Ayumills.

And finally for lunch I made a spinach and egg dish.  This is a common home made Chinese dish.  Nothing fancy and absolutely easy to whip up.  You can find the recipe here.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Happenings ...

It was Margaret W's birthday end of last month and this is what I came up with.

Cross stitch design by The Sampler Girl and made it into a zipper pouch. 
 I really like the zipper pouch finish as it's such a useful item and I can incorporate a lovely XS pattern and use a coordinating fabric.  In this zipper pouch the fabric is by French General (a gift from Merilyn) with a piece of French Linen tape attached to it.

Now the buttons were difficult to centralize.  Pushing the fabric to the button tool took all the energy I could muster! 

Another tote bag but this time wider using the tutorial by MSQC on YouTube
Visited Yee Buttons a couple of weeks ago and got some stuff and made even more enjoyable when I have a 25% discount voucher!  I got those crochet hooks that I've wanted badly.

The Clover needle threader is fabulous.  The old eyes are quite thankful for it :)  I really love it especially since I've been sewing up some hexies lately.  I've also read some good reviews on the Clover thimble especially for quilting.  I haven't tested it yet but I will hopefully this weekend.  And some perle thread to add to my stash.  Comes in handy when embellishing garments and big stitch quilting.  Among those I got some 1/4M cuts of fabrics for my other projects and hexies.

I was inspired when Libby took out her hexie project here. They look so pretty.  So I took out mine and worked on them more earnestly! :)

 It's a small project, either a table topper or a cushion cover ... we'll see.  Quilting it should be fun.

On the crochet front I made some flowers and leaves using the tutorials by Attic 24 and BobWilson123 on YouTube.  I gave them to Lucy when we met for coffee on Wednesday.  She also gave me a piece of blue cotton jersey fabric which is soaking now.

 Here are some sewing notions that I bought from Lucy's webshop.  Love the packaging of the snap buttons ... rather vintage methinks.

This is my stack of granny squares for the bag I'm planning.  Don't they look like flapjacks? I've run out of yarn :(  Hopefully Maycraft stocks up quickly.  I've joined an affiliate program with them, so if you need some cotton yarn please click on the image on the right.

Last week I made some prawn fritters also known locally as cucur udang.  I don't think I've added enough salt :(  But I'll give it another try.  It's simple to prepare and I followed a good video by our local chef Norman Musa on YouTube. 

 This book came in the evening.  It's my continuing education in garments.  The baju kurung is a traditional garment in Malaysia.  I intend to learn it's inner workings :)  Thankfully it is in English.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Nothing much ...

My sewing machine kaput on me.  I suppose I could drag out my old Singer.  Maybe I will, if I really need a fix to sew.  And to think the service people has not come and collect it for repair up till now :(  Oh well ... I figure there's many many more crafts that will be able to keep my hands busy apart from just sewing.

Enter my 'creative' space.  So I finally got off my butt and cleaned and cleared the corner and chucked some stuff into the store room.  It'll do until it's time for a deep clean before Christmas.  The dust bunnies were propagating!   

All those hand stitching crafts were staged!

While I was in the store room I dragged out my CW quilt.  Oh my ... when will I enjoy sleeping under this quilt?  So I've decided to tie-quilt instead of hand quilt it.  Sometimes I just have to be practical. Really hope it'll get speedily along.

Then there's more crochet.  I crocheted a placemat!  Jess W calls it the Dolly Mixture placemat!


I think the colours look really pretty together
 And my current WIP, granny squares for a bag.  There's 3 more rounds to go but I cannot proceed till the yarn stock arrives in early September :(

I need 17 granny squares for a bag.  There's only 8 so far

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

I'm hooked

... literally.  My days have been filled with everything crochet.  Even while waiting at the doctor's office I was reading crochet patterns and trying very hard to learn and understand them.  I think I'm drowning in crochet but please don't save me! LOL!!

 I've since added colours to my cotton yarn stash.  Variety is always good IMHO :)  So I've been following along Lucy's blog with some of her generous tutorials.  I came up with  hexie.

 Even did some organizing of the yarn labels with some yarn tied around it for 'future' reference!  I got out an old tote bag I made over 10 years ago.  Please ignore my terrible finishing.  I've since improved ... I think.  The tote had an obscene 6" gusset!  Talk about serendipity.

Then I discovered Heidi's blog.  She has an awesome tutorial of the African Flower hexagon on the side bar.  Gosh it's so pretty. I'm just playing around with all these grannys and learning how their constructed.

 I made another beanie, this time a turned cuff beanie.  A tutorial by Beth on YouTube.  The way ribbing is done in crochet is very interesting.

And finally this is my REAL current project.  It's a pattern from the Burda magazine that June T gave me for my birthday.  Is that karma or what?  It's the start of a cushion cover with a crocheted flange.  I need to learn to understand the instructions, slowly but surely.  The beauty with crochet is you can always rip it all off and start again! I also fancy the granny squares blanket on the right.  Next project perhaps?

My little gifts for my pals Merilyn and Elyte arrived safely in Australia.  Their birthdays fall on the second half of July.  I embroidered their house numbers on the roof of the house!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Some crocheting

What?  You ask.  Well I'm smitten ... what more can I say.  It was love at 3rd sight.  Out of the blue I thought I'd give crochet one last swing.  I've tried it before and the results were quite dismal :(  More because I did not have the correct yarn.  Yeah blame it on the tools.  Really ... I absolutely loathe those acrylic yarn that are easily available in every haberdashery shop from here to Timbuktu!  I am not a yarn snob but at least I know good yarn from bad.  And with the amount of work one puts into crocheting it better be worth it.

 These are cotton yarn that I bought from Maycraft.  I've not seen many shops in KL selling cotton yarn.  Since I was just testing the waters again I got only 2 skeins ... for now.  The hooks are those regular Tulip brand hooks. 

 Some of my trial granny squares.  The left square is from a tutorial by crochet supremo Lucy.  And the right is a traditional square by my favourite YouTube instructor Beth.  Gosh the colours red and white together is sooo damn classy!

And ... the basic beanie was the next project I wanted to tinkle with.  It was really really easy.  My sis wants a slouch beanie!  When I proposed some roses on the beanie ... she said please don't ... gosh no way that she will be able to look as cool as David Beckham with roses on a slouch beanie!  So watch this space for more yarn, more granny squares, more beanies and better quality crochet hooks!

Another local INS I came across recently is Popular Fabric. Lucy the owner is a most wonderful lady.  It also helps when she's passionate about sewing.  Going all out of her way to test a particular sewing foot for me when I requested for more info.  She even made good a short order with an additional pack on the house.  Now that's what I call SERVICE!!

Some button covers and 45mm pack of rotary blade

With Lucy's challenge via her Facebook page it pushed me to make the zipper pouch sooner than I anticipated.  It's from a free tutorial on Craftsy.

 I used a 12" zip rather than the called for 9" because then you can place the zipper pull out of the way of the zipper foot.

 Love that fabric combo.  So British for sure, thoughtful gifts from Margaret W. I have enough to make another two but with a different fabric for lining.

And a Union Jack thimble (again gift from Margaret W) to complete the picture.  This will be for my cousin's daughter Chloe who just finished a year of study in UK.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Month of June

First up was June T's birthday a couple of weeks ago.  It can be really difficult deciding what to make for June, as long as it's blue-ish I think I'm safe.  Since my friends has all got a mug rug, it was June's turn to 'suffer' one from me!

Stitchery pattern by Kaaren.  Hand quilted with Perle thread.

Bag tutorial by MSQC

Then Margaret W got us ladies some lovely souvenirs.

I think I want to make a zipper pouch from the oh so British fabrics!  Some pins for that lil teapot tray.

And yesterday I collected Merilyn's parcel from the PO.  Gosh was I overwhelmed.  It's suppose to be for my birthday but better late than never I say.

A whole load of goodies.  The fabrics are French General people! A vintage spool, vintage counted stitches book and a sewing machine pin.  Also an Olfa pinking blade which I know will come in handy in my sewing and the requisite chocolate :)