Monday, December 5, 2011

Fabric Find Monday and a secret giveaway... ssshhhhh!!! (CLOSED)

Can you imagine that it's already DECEMBER..?? It feels like only recently I was penning down my 2011 plans and aims.. and now I have to assess achievements and progress made throughout the year and start planning for 2012. 

In the meantime, what do you think of this print..? your cup of tea..?
The fabric is by KOKKA and it's 100% cotton

A quick giveaway to MyBotanG exclusive readers only.. 
Tell me what you think of the fabric and two of you might end up with an FE cut of this piece. 
Tell me about the print/colour/feel/possible project/etc - you do not need to write an essay, few sentences would suffice - I'll choose 2 comments I like best on 15th December 2011. You can write in either English or Malay.  

I've held something similar before - see what people wrote, see the winners comments.

Edited:
Thank you for participating ladies. Enjoyed reading all your comments.
For me the bold and vibrant colours against the black really brings out the FUN  and CHICK in this print. The no direction of the patterns allows for easy (lazy *grin*) cut where you do not really have to worry about having cut the pattern in the wrong direction.. eerrr believe me it has happened before *sigh*
However, the print is rather big, thus limiting the items you can make out of this fabric to medium - big bags only. I am very sure the fabric would look great as a skirt, but since I do not make any wearable, I can't say for sure..

There were 17 comments and I've decided to let random.org to choose the winners:
(Tried attaching the random box here to no avail.. *give up*)

Winner 1 is commentor 8 -  Cik Tyra (you are really lucky dear, you were one of my 1K-LIKE GA winner few weeks back, right?) *I hardly ever win anything.. sob*
Winner 2 is commentor 17 - Aynz

Each winner will receive an FE of the above print in the mail soon.
I've listed the fabric in the shoppe if you wish to get hold of some.
Thank you for participating.Pin It

Monday, November 28, 2011

Scrap Busting - Fabric Tape

Remnant fabrics from projects can really mount up very quickly and surprise you.. Without realising you might end up with bags full of pesky odd size fabrics.. 

One particular type of fabric scraps that I have collected over the years of crafting (and don't know what to do with them other than make tape to use for binding) are long fabric strips - too narrow for scrap bags or binding but too cute to be chucked out.. 

A really neat project done by a talented lady (Azzah of Sewfabby) got me all excited and immediately I went to work on producing something similar


A fabric tape works like a sellotape but with a cuter personality. They are very easy to make and cost very little. A wonderful project that would be enjoyed by both kids and adults. 

Here's a simple how to: 
All you need are fabric strips and double sided tape in the width of your choice (for best result, it should match the width of your fabric strips). 
   

For wider scrap fabrics, paste the double sided tape on the wrong side of the fabric to your desired length and use a rotary cutter to cut the strip out



After rolls of double sided tapes and various fabric strips later, you will need to figure out how best to store them. I find folding them over some old cardboard works best.. 


And.. why stop at fabric strips.. 
I have a tin full of lace scraps to kawaii to dispose.. 

Use the same method and produce cute lace-tapes



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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Silicone Stamp - How to..

Have you used silicone stamp before? 
They function like any other stamps you might have tried, the only thing you need to remember is, unlike rubber stamps where you stamp with all your might to get the design perfectly stamped onto paper, with silicone stamp you need to be gentle and not put too much pressure when stamping as it might cause the ink to spread and distort the pattern.. 


*click the picture to animate*

Here's a simple how to:

1. You will need silicone stamp and a clear stamper 
2. Peel a desired design from the sheet - For first time use, the design might be unyielding and may require some pressure to remove from the sheet 
3. Mount the design on the clear stamp - Unlike rubber stamp, you do not need to fix it permanently onto the mount, and no glue is required
4+5 Stamp away - Try it out on a test area before you stamp onto the desired place, remember that not much pressure is needed
*To change design, wipe the design with tissue for excess ink, remove it from the clear stamper and place it back onto the sheet and repeat step 2 to 5 


I have listed the silicone stamp in the shoppe if anybody's interested.    

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Friday, November 11, 2011

'1K-LIKE' Giveaway

My page on Facebook as passed 1000 LIKE about a week ago.. 
It feels surreal...

I am grateful to everyone who has LIKE the page.. It always managed to lift my spirit to see the number increasing..

To mark the achievement, I'm having a giveaway on my page.. 
Here are the details.. 
10 Goodies to be given away to 10 lucky people..
To stand a chance to win all you have to do are...

1. LIKE MyBotanG page
2. TAG yourself on one of the same pictures (max tag is 50 names per picture)
3. COMMENT on this picture
4. WAIT patiently... :)

A. Do 1-3 within the time frame which is from 11/11/11 - 30/11/11
B. On 1/12/11 I'll randomly choose 10 names from the TAG box.

The 10 goodies are:
1. D'Lavender bag
2. Curvy Clutch
3. Hello Kitty tin box filled with Tokyo Disney Resort memo pad, coin pouch and drawstring pouch
4. Hello Kitty tin box filled with Tokyo Disney Resort memo pad, 2 FQ cut fabrics (1/2 yard), laces
5. 2 matching Japanese motif cushion covers
6. Mushroom card holder
7. Matryoshka doll card holder
8. Drawstring pouch with goodies inside
9. Drawstring pouch with goodies inside
10. Drawstring pouch with goodies inside

Note:
+The first randomly selected person will get gift number 1 and so on...
+If the winner do not respond within 48 hours of being contacted, another winner will be selected without prior notice
+The giveaway is open to anyone living anywhere with a postal code..
+You can TAG 2x or more if you have more than one page, just LIKE us and TAG away..
 

   
So remember, the giveaway is happening over at MyBotanG FB page and NOT here..

TAG yourself from 11/11/11 - 30/11/11 to stand a chance to win one of the 10 goodies that I'm giving away..Pin It

Friday, November 4, 2011

Moving and never ending unpacking..

We moved to another state in Japan last weekend (on 29th October to be exact)

The move went smoothly, it was a perfect day and the movers did a good job packing, loading and later unloading our stuff in the new home... 


Pictured above - the moving truck with quilted covers used to cover the oversize stuff i.e fridge, telly, table, washing machine, etc to protect them from bump and bruises *grin* 


My studio was all packed within an hour by 1 lady mover. It went from this..

...to this lonely and cold room full with panda boxes... It took me more than 1 week to get everything into the boxes the last time we moved.. my theory - we are attached to our items, we tend to ponder and daydream of yummy projects, thus taking longer to get the job done *grin*

Major headache started when I have to unpack and put everything in some working order..

Pictured - the view of my studio a day after the move.. 
The best thing was all the boxes were labeled and the movers sorted them into its designated areas..   


It took several days and lots of pushing and pulling, but after almost a week, I'm happy to report that basically everything is in its place and I have even started sewing again, working on some small projects..




Pictured - my sewing and cutting area







Pictured - Fabrics, books, notion








I am happy to report that I have a secret nook for my stash.. It is small and hidden and I am totally loving the headache it is causing me to organise the space..
Pictured above - sturdy moving boxes stacked on top of each other and arranged vertically (6 boxes all together) to form a cabinet to store fabrics, old clothes waiting to be recycled, batting, packing plastics and etc. The top shelf is used to store smaller cut fabrics (mostly FQ and FE) and some other remnants.. 

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Birds of a feather...

Do tend to flock together.. don't they?

Living in a foreign land, working from home do take its toll on your spirit at times. I find solace online through groups I've joined on FB with similar interest in crafting as myself.

I personally feel that I've benefited in various ways from these groups I've joined. To list a few:

1. I get motivated when I see crafts created by others in the group
2. I get inspired and aim to produce something of superior quality to showcase to the group and get their feedback
3. Reading about others' success stories inspires me to do better
4. I learn new things related to my trade
5. I get my queries answered
6. I try to contribute to others' queries which in turn deepen my understanding of the matter

If you take crafting seriously, know Malay (not a requirement but the discussions are mostly conducted in Malay language) and are interested to be part of a Malaysian crafting community that share and care (for FREE), feel free to join us:

1D1P (1 day 1 product) - A group dedicated to encourage and motivate producing handmade items on daily basis. You can showcase your handmade, join in the discussions, sew along, challenge and much more

GMJ (geng mesin jahit) - A group that covers broader aspects of sewing and crafting. A one-stop place for anything and everything related to crafting.  

However, a group is not a place for a freeloader. Just as in a relationship, you need to put in an effort and contribute. You can't just sign in and expect good stuff to come along your way.

What helps you stay upbeat and motivated..?  


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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tracing made easy

Until recently, tracing for me meant finding a big enough tracing paper - with the thin tracing paper on top, trace the pattern once, turn it over and transfer it onto another piece.. talk about waste of time!! That is why I always procrastinate or in many cases pretended that I forgot to trace some cute new patterns I found especially in the library books (which eventually I have to return *sigh*) or from books or magazines where the patterns look like a maze (YIKES!!!)        


When I 'discovered' the use of serrated tracing wheel (bought a while back from my local 100yen shop) I was elated. Gone were the days of my procrastination (or so I thought.. But that is a whole different blog entry *roll eyes*   



Here's a simple how to
1. Gather all your materials: tracing wheel, cutting mat, pattern, paper
(I get a roll of good quality white paper from my local hardware store - it's thicker and sturdier and lasting) 
2. Place the white paper (or any color for that matter) onto the mat, place your pattern on top of it. 
3. Use the tracing wheel to trace around the pattern (straight lines, curves, waves whatever pattern really) - just a little bit of pressure is enough to transfer the pattern 


4. Remove the pattern and wallah you can see tiny little dots of puncture on the paper (Click the picture for a better view). You can now cut along the dotted lines and store the pattern away for another day (this is where another problem arise for me - I've so many cute new patterns stored away waiting to be tried out.. HELP!!!) 


*Sharp object - Keep away from the reach of young children and safely store away after use. 








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Friday, September 9, 2011

Tapes

An essential item in my studio.. 
I have never run out of tapes and am always on the prowl for some cute prints.

The FAVOURITE with my customers are of course the Matryoshka print (notice the different sizes *HEART*)

I tie them together using a hemp string and hang them in my studio - always in view, easily accessible and variety of prints to choose from depending on my what I'm packing.

In a nutshell, I'm NUTS about my tapes *roll eyes*  

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's new in the shoppe...

1. Books - Felt craft, patchwork, bag making, kids clothing, baby items, sewing for home



2. OLFA Rotary Cutter - 28mm, 45mm and 60mm
Note I've been using a rotary cutter (as pictured above - code name: 03) for over a year and I'm very happy with it. I cut all my fabrics and interfacing - straight, curves and up to 2 layers with ease. It has definitely save my cutting time to half 


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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An update.. finally

Wishing all muslims Eid Mubarak and Happy Independence Day to all my fellow Malaysians all around the world. 


Will be back very soon.. 

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bento Wrap

An idea suggested by a customer from down under - a reusable sandwich wrap.
After few days of planning and visualising in my head, I came up with Bento Wrap
- Reusable, washable & environmental friendly
- Wrap your sandwiches, muffins, rolls, kuih, biscuits, nasi lemak, etc
- Leak free and opens up to become a place mat
- Laminated cotton with bias tape binding all around
- Size: 29cm x 29cm
- Price RM20 each

Wrapping steps:
Lay bento wrap down flat, place food in the middle. Fold left to right then bottom and top and fasten with velcro strapping


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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

*Balik Kampung* SALE

It is that time of the year, where I pack my bags and get ready to board a plane back to my homeland for a taste of mom's cooking and blissful days filled with lazying around... 

But as many of MyBotanG readers might be aware by now (SALE), I de-stash like there's no tomorrow especially when I plan to return to Malaysia. So I present to you:
MyBotanG BALIK KAMPUNG Sale

1.FQ - Designer cotton and Japanese cotton for RM6, RM8, RM10 a piece with FREE shipping from Japan to Malaysia

2. BOOKS - Felt, Bag making and Patchwork 

3. Japanese Cotton  - for baju kurung and such

4. MyBotanG original handmade - bags, pouches

Have a good week ahead..Pin It

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Laminated cotton find

I am being pulled by laminated cotton. Every fabric store I visit, I find myself drawn towards the colourful rolls (laminated cotton usually comes in 50cm cut roll). 

I caved in..(as if it comes as a surprise to anyone.. *roll eyes*).  
I bought some yummy polka dot laminated cotton last weekend. 


They are so easy to sew (just like normal fabric, no additional tool required). The only drawback is they are quite pricey.. *sigh* 
They make lovely bags, wallet and pouches and recently I received a commission to make reusable food wrap out of these lovelies (will blog about it next)
Find out more about laminated cotton here, and I've listed them in the shoppe as well if anybody's interested. 
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

From an adult shirt to a little girl's shirt - Refashion project

A rather straight forward project and something you can do between projects or on a lazy afternoon. 

Here's a simple how to:
* Get one of your shirt - in my case, I got this Benetton shirt awhile back but didn't wear it much and it has been sitting there in the recycle box for quite sometime now. 
* Identify areas you need to alter: 
- narrow the shoulder
- cover the neckline 
- shorten the length
To make the shirt fit snugly on a little girl, you need to narrow the shoulder width. Measure it against your little girl's perfect fitting shirt, mark the excess and cut (sorry no picture). I took out a good 2-3cm on each side. I cut out the sleeves as well and reattach them (making them shorter) using the normal stitch and then using the zig zag stitch that comes with every machine. 

To cover the neckline, I got a strip of knit (in a darker shade) from my stash and sewed 3 rows of lace (remember to measure how much you need to cover). Align and pin onto the neck area, sew and cut excess.   
From the picture above you can see Sofea added her own flower brooch (she made them herself), which I think goes nicely with the whole look. 

At this point of the process I was already getting restless and just wanted to finish the project *roll eyes*
So instead of cutting to shorten the length, I added ties (again something I saved from another shirt or skirt) on the sides. You'll need 4 equal length ties, 2 on each sides. Sew the ties - one outside and another inside - it could be tricky, either pin properly or hand sew like what I did *grin*
And wallah you are done, I'm glad I didn't cut to make it shorter. The ties give a nice gather on the sides and it definitely adds to the whole girly lacy shirt look.. and the most important of it all is getting the approval of your 9yo when she sees her new old shirt *priceless* 
Coincidentally this shirt goes well with the skirt I refashioned earlier, and now Sofea has a matching outfit. 

Hope you are having a good week..
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Sofea and felt

Sofea made a set of felt brooches during the weekend. Her first attempt was the strawberry and red mushroom on the top right. 
I noticed that she got confused at first on how to break down the pattern after tracing in onto a paper i.e strawberry body on one paper template and the leaf on another. But she quickly got the hang of it and managed to draw separate templates for the mushroom. 
Her favourite part was matching the different coloured felts (definitely my fav part too *grin*). 

After the success of the first two, she decided she needed 2 more mushrooms brooches, and this time she did almost everything by herself (even sewing the pin at the back of the brooch). 
She got a bit more creative with the colour mixing - baby blue mushroom, and experiemnting with shapes - heart for the red mushroom. 

We used the pattern from this book for her project. It is still available in the shoppe


Her first felt craft project.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend too..Pin It

Monday, June 13, 2011

Giveaway Winners

Thank you for participating in my little GA.
Sorry for the late announcement of the winners.

I enjoyed reading all the comments left about the fabric and decided the 2 I liked the most are:

1. Hueisei said: 
Thanks for the generous giveaway!
Well, I likes the Eiffel tower and also misc dolls showing the Paris's ladies daily activity and styles..
What I dislikes it's the color. Not that striking and not much caught attention. From the far, you wont notice how special this fabric is. You need to look it closer to catch the meaning behind of the whole picture. ^^v


2. Suzie said: 
Sue...love to join ur giveaway...
Ok....dari segi fesyen suka warnanya...suka karakter kartunnya ...suka juga gambaran designernya tentang Paris...
Kalau bab tak suka pula saya memang macam patriotik sikit ..orang Paris memang selalu bangga dengan Francenya..kan...sampaikan kain pun ada bangunan kemegahan Paris...hmmmm saya anak Malaysia ...hahhahaha


To the rest of the participant, thank you again for taking the time to leave a comment, better luck time yea.. 


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From a dress to a skirt - refashion project

A 4T cotton dress bought many years back and has been dearly worn yet still in good condition only now the bodice is quite tight for Sofea (who is 9yo). It has been hanging in my studio for months (over a year actually.. *roll eyes*) waiting for me to get an epiphany... which I finally did (thank god) last weekend.

I turned the dress into a skirt *grin* 
The first step was to unpick the stitches. All I needed was a long drive to somewhere, and coincidently last weekend we did go on a road trip and I separated the bodice from the skirt (as pictured). The dress originally (as usual forgot to take a before picture) has a full twirly skirt with lots of gathers and is fully lined.


I wanted to maintain the gathers and the lining so after un-gathering the skirt, I gathered it again (check out this gathering tutorial). 

Next, for the top edge of the skirt, I decided to make a waistline casing for the elastic band using some fabric tape from my stash (see the how to here). Once you have the proper length, pin the tape to your skirt with the right side facing.



Similar to attaching a bias tape, sew on one side, turn, fold and sew again, only this time you need to leave a gap to insert the elastic band. Once threaded and tried on for sizing, zigzag the raw ends. Tuck the band into the casing and topstitch the opening closed by machine.  

And there you have it, a pretty simple refashion project.. I didn't stop there, went ahead to refashion a shirt to go with the skirt. Will post that up next. 

Do you have any refashion ideas? 
On another note, my giveaway is still on till the 10th.
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Friday, May 27, 2011

Fabric Find Friday - Eiffel Tower and a giveaway

What do you love or don't love about this fabric..? 
Share to stand a chance to receive a little bit of Paris in the post.. 


What you need to do:
1. Leave a comment telling me what you like/don't like about the fabric
2. Include your e-mail address 
3. I'll choose 2 comments I really enjoyed reading on 10th June 2011
4. The two commenters will receive 1FE size of the above fabric and 1 more FE in another print of my choice (2FE in total)
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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oil Cloth vs. Laminated Cotton

It is a new craze of late to sew using laminated cotton. It comes in all your favourite designer prints and the best part is it's waterproof and easy to clean. There's also oil-cloth that has been around like almost forever and it's also water proof and easy to clean. So what's the difference between oil-cloth and laminated cotton.. Aren't they the same??? 



Oil Cloth
Laminated Cotton
-Regular quilting cotton weight cloth on one side.

-The right side of the fabric is laminated with a polyurethane coating which does not contain Phthalates and they are not made with vinyl or PVC
-The surface can be wiped clean using a warm, soapy sponge then dry it off with a soft cloth.
-Machine washing is not suggested.
-Store folded or rolled.
-Any creases from folding will smooth out over time, faster in a warm environment. If you want to speed the process up you could use the steam setting on an iron with a pressing cloth between the iron and the oilcloth (DO NOT TOUCH THE IRON TO THE OILCLOTH). (Mendel's)
-The surface can be wiped clean using a warm, soapy sponge then dry it off with a soft cloth.
-Can be machine washed with no shrinking or damage (pink chalk studio)
 -Ironed faced down, covered with a pressing cloth. (Do not touch the iron directly to the laminated fabric)  (pink chalk studio)
Use to make table covering, lunch bags, high-chair mat, book cover, beach bag, shelf liner, apron, wallet (what ever you would like to be pretty and waterproof!
Any projects plus kids’ projects as well as it does not contain vinyl or PVC.
-The raw edges will not unravel or fray.
-Teflon foot to sew (also manageable with the walking foot.
-Leaves hole if pins are used (pin in the seam allowance)
-Use normal sewing needle and thread to sew
-The raw edges will not unravel or fray.
-Teflon foot to sew (also manageable with the walking foot.
-Leaves hole if pins are used (pin in the seam allowance)
-Use normal sewing needle and thread to sew
Cost about USD7.50/yard (47” wide)
(RM22.85)
Cost about USD15.98/yard ~ (56” wide) (RM48.70~)



From my observation, they have similar characteristics (cleaning, sewing) except that laminated cotton is fancier and costs lots more.

I have acquired 2 half meters worth of vinyl coated fabric at the beginning of the year (lucky bag/ fukubukuro) and last week decided to put them to use. I made 2 non-reversible bucket bags. They draped well, smooth cutting and were easy to sew. They were not slippery or stiff. I used pins in the seam allowance and used my walking foot.  


I used designer cotton (Lecien and Moda for the lining and added a zippered pocket inside and used strap webbing for the sides and handles.

Features:
- padded
- not reversible
- magnetic snap button for closure
- one zippered pocket inside
- Outside - oil cloth - waterproof and stain resistant 
- Lining - Designer cotton

Bag Size: 38cm (in the middle) x 33cm (in the middle)
Base size: 24cm x 10cm
Handle size: 50cm (l)


All in all, a great experience, but I do not plan to stock up on either laminated cotton or oil-cloth in the near future. 
Have you worked with either? Do you have any tips to share?

MyBotanG 2nd Anniversary Sale is still going on in the shoppe and on FB page.  





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Friday, May 20, 2011

Looking forward to JUNE

MyBotanG 2nd Anniversary


And so it has been 2 years since I started making and selling my handmade items online. I started with making few bags (Bento, Bag Set, Odekake) and selling to my college friends and contacts  on FB only. I'm grateful to my friends who trusted my judgments (though art or design was not my major) they paid and allowed me to play around with fabrics and patterns. Since then I've added many more items to MyBotanG line up, including kitchen, baby and kids and various bags

In the 2nd year, MyBotanG has expanded to a separate shoppe blog to sell fabrics and notions and recently MyBotanG page on FB has also been launched to cater for a larger audience. 

In accordance to that, I'm having a SALE in the shoppe throughout the month of June and there'll also be a Giveaway sometime soon. 

MyBotanG's little helper busy at work preparing for the Anniversary Sale
Thank you for being there for me.. Hope you'll remain by my side in the years to come.. Pin It

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Itty Bitty for a Cute-y...

You might remember the panels I bought (here) and the sweet baby quilt I made from the panel (here). Since I couldn't get enough of the sweetness, I bought 2meters of the soft pink Itty Bitty fabric by Marcus Fabrics and it has been sitting there on my shelf looking pretty for quite sometime now, until a customer requested an all-in-one pouch using the fabric.

I was about to say NO to using my precious but decided against it and agreed to cut into the sweet fabric...
It turned out beautifully (more pictures).. and it was so fun to work with such soft fabric 
I lined it with brown polka dot fabric which I've decided long ago was the only perfect match for this sweetie. 
Then came another commission for a baby quilt using the fabric and I jumped with joy at the prospect of creating something SWEET *grin*
A simple quilting on the centre panel with name embroidery
A homemade binding using a soft pink cotton in my stash
MyBotanG baby quilt size is 110cm x 90cm
A soft pink flannel for the back 
After all these, I still have some of this lovely fabric left *HAPPY*

Do you have any precious in your stash..?
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