## Monday, 25 July 2016

### Metal Frame Purse

The metal frame purse always has an antique feel to it, especially an antique rose print purse with bronze metal frame. What do you say to make a contemporary floral purse with an antique frame on top of it? To me, I like it so much. I think you will like it too. In this project, I use a 5cm arch metal frame with ball clasp and key ring for the top opening. The purse finishes at approximately 5.5cm across the body, 3.5cm across the bottom, 7cm tall and 3cm deep. Now, let me show you the way I create this mini frame purse step by step.

Materials:
1. One piece of outer fabric
2. One piece of lining fabric
3. Batting / felt
4. 5cm metal frame
5. Matching embroidery thread & sewing thread

** I use felt for batting in this project.

Step 1: Purse frames come in difference shapes and sizes, so you will have to draft your own purse template according to your frame. Firstly, place your frame on a piece of paper and draw closely around the the outside of it, stopping when you reach the hinges.  Be sure to mark the hinge points, it is important for you to design your pattern afterwords.

Once you have finished drafting the arch, take away the frame and draw a horizontal line from hinge to hinge (point a-b). Then, find the center of your horizontal line and draw a vertical line at the center from the top curve to a desired height. The height of the vertical line is determined by the height of the purse and the width of the base. For example, my desired height for this purse is 7cm and the width at the base is 3cm, so, I have to draw a 8.5cm vertical line.

Formula :  The height of the vertical line = The height of the purse + (1/2 X the width of the purse)

= 7 + (1/2 X 3)
= 7 + 1.5
= 8.5

After that, design your own pattern with the basic drafting. To create a puffy purse, you have to create a larger arch. To do so, you can extend the side of the arch at your desired angle. In this project, point c is my desired point where I start to draw a line out and point d is my new hinge point. Please note that the length of c-b and c-d must be equal. You can now draw the second vertical line down from the new hinge point to the desired height and draw a horizontal line to connect the vertical lines. You only need to complete one side of the drafting, then fold and cut both out together to make them symmetrical.

Step 2: Fold the paper along the vertical line and cut out the pattern. You will get exactly parts facing each other when you open up the piece. This is half of the pattern piece, you will have to cut fabric on a fold.

Step 3: Now, fold the outer fabric just wide enough to accommodate the paper pattern with the right sides together. Place the paper pattern on the fabric and line up the bottom edge along the folded edge of the fabric as shown in the photo. Pin the paper pattern in place. Trace along the paper pattern (this step is optional for your outer fabric but it is necessary for the lining fabric as well as the batting). Leave a  0.7cm seam allowance for the other three sides and cut the fabric piece out (don't cut the folded edge) . Do the same for the lining fabric and the batting. Then, transfer the seam line to the back of the fabric using the tracing paper and tracing wheel so you will have the full size piece with a complete seam line when you open up the piece.

Step 4: After you have cut out the outer piece, lining piece and the batting, pick the outer fabric and the batting. Place the batting on the wrong side of the outer fabric, align the edges properly and baste along the edge.

Step 5: Then, fold the layers in half with wrong sides facing out. Sew down the two sides as shown in the photo.

Step 6: Now, it is time to create a box bottom for the purse. Open the bottom and squish the purse corner so the side seam lie directly over the bottom crease. This will flatten out the corner into a triangle. After that, draw a 3cm straight line across the corner. Do the same for the other corner. The bottom of the bag takes shape as two corners are boxed. Repeat step 5 & 6 for the lining piece.

Step 7: After making the box bottom for the outer and lining purse you will have to join the pieces together . Insert the outer piece (right side facing out) inside the lining piece (right side facing in). Line up the seams properly and pin in place. Sew around the top edge leaving a 3-4cm opening for turning purse. Before you start turning, make a few small notches on the curve edge to reduce bulk so the curve will look smooth after turning.

Step 8: After you have finished joining the pieces and turn right side out, insert the lining purse into the outer purse and close the opening either with blind stitch or whipped stitch.

Step 9: You can now get ready to sew the purse into the frame. Firstly, tie the hinges on both sides of the purse and roughly insert the top edge into the frame to keep everything in place. An alternative way to keep the frame in place is using clips or roughly sewing the purse into the frame (just roughly sew throng the purse body and over the frame top along the frame).

Step 10: Thread your needle with the matching embroidery thread. Start sewing from the middle of the frame (this is optional, you can start sewing at one side of the frame, anyway the method of sewing purse into the frame are the same). Insert your needle from the inside and sew up through one hole and down through the next and so on. Since there isn't a hole on the back of the frame, so angle your needle about 45 degree as you sew. This will make a stitch on the very edge of the frame. Once you have sewn all the way across, sew all the way back again using alternate holes so the gaps between the holes will be fully filled. If you start sewing from the middle of the frame, you will need to repeat the same step for the other half and finish sewing at the middle of the frame. Knot at the back and hide the knot inside the frame.Repeat for the opposite frame piece.

Hooray, a cute mini frame purse is done!!

## Wednesday, 11 May 2016

### Mini Felt Pouch with Rabbit Design

I was in a pouch-making mode, so I made this mini felt pouch for my little girl. This mini pouch features a divider inside the pocket so she can range her trinkets,cards or notes according to her favorites. Apart from that, the pouch is relieved by the rabbit design.

**Click the image to download the mini pouch template.**

### Making Mini Felt Pouch Step by Step

Materials:
1. a piece of felt cloth
2. hook and loop strip
3. one button
4. embroidery threads
5. sewing thread
6. pins/clips

1. First of all, print out the template and cut out the paper pattern. After that, place the felt cloth in two layers and put the paper pattern on the layers. Then, cut around the paper pattern. Now, you should have two similar felt pattern pieces. Pick up one of the felt pattern pieces and snip the short straight end off about 1cm from the short straight edge.

2. Put the shortened piece on top of the other piece and align the top edges properly. Using the paper pattern as a guide, fold down the curved top (cover) to crease a horizontal line so a rectangle is noticeable. Then fold the rectangle in half width-wise to crease another horizontal line. Now the felt is divided into three parts.

3. Cut the hook and loop strip into small pieces about 2cm x 2cm. Pick up the shortened felt piece and sew the pliable loop strip onto the cover (curved) part in the middle with 1cm space at the top. Then, pick up the other felt piece and sew the hook strip onto the bottom part in the middle with 1.5cm space at the end.

** note : The hook and loop strip must be sewn in the right points so the two sides can be pressed together for a quick closure.

4. Now, come to the embroidery step. Before I start the embroidery work, I transferred the rabbit design onto a piece of tissue paper.

5. After you have transferred the design onto the tissue paper, lay out the longer felt piece with the stiff hook strip facing up. Pin/clip the tissue paper with the rabbit design onto the middle part of the felt piece as per the template shown. Embroider your stitches through both layers of felt and tissue. I used back stitch and satin stitch for the entire design except the eyes and whiskers.

6. Remove the pins/clips and gently tear away the tissue paper. Then, cut out the word “Happy!” from the paper pattern. Use them as a guide to make the felt word. Anyway, this step is optional, you can simply make your own felt alphabets or word without the paper pattern. Then, place the word in the opposite position and below the second crease line as shown in the photo. The inverted word and the second crease line are about 0.5cm apart. After putting the word properly, sew or glue it on.

8. Line up the two pieces of felt with the hook and loop strips facing out respectively. Try to align the curved edges properly. Then, turn the layers so the shorter piece facing up.

9. Fold the two layers of rectangles together towards the first crease or you can just follow the second crease that you made in the previous step. Clip the edges with binder clips so the fold would be stayed in place.

10. Sew the edges of the pouch with blanket stitch and sew a button on the curved cover. Done.

## Monday, 25 January 2016

### Felt Rolled Flowers

A felt rolled flower can be made by using an unfolded felt strip, folded felt strip or felt spiral. You can create different patterns for your felt strips and roll them up to form different types of flowers. I made a few rolled flowers yesterday. In order to give the flowers an eye-catching look, I added green leaves on them. Adding leaves to the flowers is not a must, but surely it is a plus. When you reach the final touches, you will fall in love with these brilliant colored, exotic flowers.

There are four templates shown in the pdf file below. The first and the second pattern are used to make big petals and small petals flower respectively, while the spiral pattern can be used as a guide to make two types of flowers, you can cut out a plain spiral or a scalloped spiral with the same pattern. The last one is a leaf pattern, the size is purposely designed for bigger flowers which made with the spirals.

The step by step instructions below will show you how to make different types of rolled flowers by using different methods. You can use the templates above or draw your own designs freehand to make your own felt strips.

A. Unfolded Strip

I use the first template to show you how to make a rolled flower with an unfolded felt strip.

1. Cut out the felt strip by using the first template as a guide or freehand it.

2. Rolling up the strip start from the straight end.

3. Continue rolling until you get to the end of the strip.

4. Now, secure the base of the flower with a needle and thread. Insert your needle at the point where you finished rolling your strip and push the needle through all the layers of felt. Then, make the second stitch which is perpendicular to the first stitch. Tie a knot and cut thread.

5. Slightly peel back the layers (petals) and fluff the flower.

6. Cut out two small pieces of green leaves and sew or glue them on the base of your flower. Done!!

You can now try to make the next flower in the same way by using the second template as a guide. The outcome is shown in photo no.2.

B. Folded Strip

A felt folded strip can be used to make either a loopy or fringed flower. The longer the strip the bigger the flower, whereas the wider the strip the looser the style of the flower will be. Anyway, the size of the flower will not only affected by the length and width of the the strip but also the way how you make the slits/cuts on the edge of the strip.

Follow the instruction below to make a loopy flower.

1. Fold over a piece of felt lengthwise. I used a 20cm x 5cm felt piece for this flower.
Then, cut the felt strip on the folded edge in even intervals about 3/4 way down. The cuts that I made for this flower were at intervals about 0.5cm.

2. Start rolling up the strip at one end. Continue rolling until the felt strip is used up.

3.  Use the threaded needle to secure the base of the flower.

4. You have your beautiful loopy flower now!!
Let's try to make a fringed flower with the felt folded strip. Use the same method as you did for the loopy flower, the only difference is that you will cut your felt strip on the non-folded edge. The cuts that I made for this flower were at intervals about 0.1cm. Photo no.2 shown is a finished flower.

B. Felt Spiral

1. Cut out a piece of felt spiral of scallop design with the spiral template in above.

2. Trim the inside edge of the felt scalloped spiral into a smooth edge so you can roll it up easily and get a neat and flat base.

3. Start rolling up the scalloped spiral at the outside edge.

4. When you get to the end of the spiral, you will find that you have a small "flap" of felt. This will be the cover for the base of your flower.

5. Fold down the flap. Sew a few stitches through all the layers to secure the flap in place and stop the base from unraveling.

6. Cut out two pieces of felt leaves by using the leaf template as a guide and sew or glue them on the base of the flower. Done!!
You can now try to make another kind of flower with the plain spiral template. Use the same method as you did for the scalloped spiral except step2. Since the plain spiral owns a smooth edge so you don't need to trim the inside edge . The outcome is shown in photo no.2.

You can enjoy all your beautiful flowers now!!

## Tuesday, 12 January 2016

### How to Make Simple Felt Flowers

Felt flowers are adorable. I have always liked to embellish some of my projects with felt flowers. The reason is that felt cloth is a very good material to make a variety of flowers easily. Have you ever wondered how to make a felt flower in a few minutes?

There are a few basic methods of making felt flowers. It can be made by gathering a felt strip, rolling up a felt spiral, stacking felt layers of different sizes or attaching each petal, either to each other or to a base. Today, I am going to show you the way how I make a simple felt flower by using the method of gathering. It is very easy to work with. What you need to do is gather the felt strip that cut into a desired shape and sew a bead on.

I have drawn three felt flower templates and saved it in the pdf file below.  The three templates can help you make three different types of flowers respectively. After you have printed out the paper patterns, cut them out and place them on your felt cloth. You can either trace the patterns on your felt cloth and cut out the felt pieces or pin the paper patterns to your felt cloth and cut out the felt pieces by using the paper patterns as a guide.

Materials:
1. felt cloth
2. embroidery thread
3. small bead

** note : I use the first flower template to show you how
to make a simple felt flower step by step.
 felt flower templates

1. Print and cut out the paper pattern.  Then, cut out the felt strip follow the paper pattern.

2. Thread your needle and tie a knot at the end of your thread. Sew a line of running stitch along the straight edge as shown in the photo.

3. Pull the thread so that it gathers.

4. Insert the needle back through the starting point where you start your first stitch from front to back.

5. Pull the thread completely to form the flower shape and tie a knot. Don't cut the thread. Bring your need to the right side of the flower through the center of the flower.

6. Sew a button on the center with the same thread. Done!

You can now try to make other flowers with the same method by using the rest of the templates shown in my pdf file.

## Saturday, 19 December 2015

### Ipoh, Perak

Ipoh is the capital city of Ipoh state, Perak, Malaysia. It is surrounded by beautiful limestone hills with wonderful cave temples.There are a lot of interesting tourist attractions in Ipoh like Perak Tong, Gua Tempurung, Kek Look Tong, Sam Poh Tong, Theme Park - Lost World of Tambun,  and etc. Apart from the tourist attractions, Ipoh is also well known for its local dishes and restaurants. If you are a food lover, It is a good place for you to try out some special local cuisine like Ipoh Bean Sprouts Chicken, Ipoh Salted Chicken, Ipoh Chee Cheong Fun and etc.

Since we spent the whole morning visiting Gaharu Tea Valley in Gopeng., we could only visit a few attractions nearby the Ipoh town in the afternoon. My family just followed my plan to visit Kek Lok Tong and  Ipoh Old Town.

Kek Look Tong is a cave temple which is not far from Ipoh town... Here you can feel the power of universe and enjoy the beauty of the cave over the sky.

The entrance  of Kek Look Tong.

The interior of Kek Look Tong

There is a beautiful garden behind Kek Look Tong.

The surroundings of the garden.

Our next spot in Ipoh is Ipoh Old Town. After taking some photos in the railway station, we strolled around the streets in Ipoh Old Town. We enjoyed walking around the streets ... nostalgic feel.

You can see many old buildings around Ipoh Old Town. Many of them still functional until today. To me, it is very interesting in exploring old Ipoh on foot.

Ipoh Railway Station

Street view of Ipoh Old Town.

### Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng, Perak

Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng in Perak was our first destination in our one day trip planning list for this holiday. It was an educational and relaxing activity in a green valley. Gaharu Tea Valley is a a Gaharu (Agarwood) plantation in Gopeng,Perak. There are approximately 200'000 Gaharu trees.

What is Gaharu tree? We found the answer here. With RM10 per adult and RM5 per children, we took a scenic tour in a guided mini van which took us to three spots in the valley. The first stop was the viewing tower where we got a briefing on Gaharu tree and the history of the valley. The second stop was the painted animal trees spot and the third stop was the lovers park.

 The entrance of Gaharu Tea Valley.

 An amazing view of the valley.

 Painted animal tree.

 Lover trees

 Colorful staircase at Lovers Park.

## Monday, 30 November 2015

### Adjustable Sliding Knot Bracelet

A simple adjustable bracelet might keep your most meaningful memories right on your wrist. I made this adjustable bracelet with a cowrie shell focal bead. I found this cowrie shell at the Pangkor Island Beach some times ago. The lengthwise opening and the broken domed side of the shell happen to turn it into a natural focal bead. If you have many seashells in hand, try to choose the shell with a naturally-made hole or you have to drill the hole with a driller. Today, I'm going to show you how to tie sliding knots to make an adjustable bracelet.

materials:
1. cowrie shell focal bead (or other seashell with hole)
2. two cords / twines in different colors (same length)

Before we start making the bracelet, we have to determine the length of the cords. Measure the length of the desired length of your finished bracelet and double it (add more inches if you want more margin to slide the knots closely to the focal bead). Cut two cords in different colors and the two cords should have the same length.

Step 1. Pick the yellow cord and fold the cord in half at the midpoint and insert the fold through the hole of the cowrie shell.
Step 2. Bring the two cord ends through the fold and pull the cord ends until the head knot snug to the right of the focal bead.
Step 3. Repeat the steps to tie the green cord at the opposite side.
Now you should have two cords (yellow and green) in the left and right of the shell respectively.

Step 4. Line up the yellow and green cord ends side by side. Measure 3" from the yellow cord ends, fold it back on itself and underneath the other cords as shown in the photo number 4.
Step 5. Coil the ends around the two parallel cords 2 -3 times.
Step 6. Thread the yellow cord ends through the loops and draw the ends out completely.

Step 7. Pull the yellow cord tight. The first sliding knot is done.

Step 8.& 9. Repeat on the other side with the same method. Then, trim the ends. You can trim the ends to a desired length for certain styling purposes.

This is my finished cowrie shell bracelet.

A simple adjustable cowrie shell bracelet is so easy to make and it can fit almost every wrist!!