July 30, 2011

John Frieda Precision Foam Colour

I've finally made my hair-color match.

It all started when I last went to a haircut...
My usual stylist was busy, so I had a substitute.
They are both good, so I didn't mind.
The stylist shyly asked me, "Uhhh.... Do you only color your surface?"
"No... Maybe I don't color as good? Haha"
She mentioned that my top layer is brown, but my bottom layer is black, so my hair is two-toned.
She said it's normal when you color at home, because it's hard to do by yourself.
She doesn't push me to get a salon-color every time, because it can get costly, but she did recommend get it done every once in awhile just to get a even color.
Since then, I was so paranoid over my hair color...

I'm entering the "mid-30" bracket, and ever since I got married around 28, I started having grey hair, especially around my faceline. :(
I think the stress of wedding-planning started it all. :p

Anyways, so I almost thought about getting the color done at the salon.
...But once again decided not to, after finding out it'll be over $100 with the haircut.
I decided I'll try coloring it more carefully first before I go to the salon route.
I do admit that I'm more careful coloring the greys around the faceline, but I didn't really care about the rest.
I normally put the color around the faceline, and just comb that to the hair tip.

I was at Walmart and found John Frieda's Precision Foam Colour.
It was about $13.
It's a little pricier than the other brands which are around $8...
but once I used it, I can't go back to any other brands anymore.

First of all, it's SO easy to use.
You mix the two solutions, invert it 5x, and you're ready to go.
Just push the bottle to get the foam, and put it on your hair, and massage it like a shampoo.
After 30min (normally 2omin but longer if you have greys), you just wash it off.
It also comes with a conditioner, that you can use once a week for about a month.

Because it's a foam, it goes so evenly.
This was the first time I got to color so even.
The conditioner makes the hair so soft too.
Then it has a certain glossy-shine that I like.

I just found out there's a $1 off coupon on their website!

July 25, 2011

Today's amazing finding

I'm almost done with my muslin Vogue 1152 dress.
Once it's done, I wanted to make it in a jersey knit.
It's not listed in the recommended fabric (although matte jersey is), but I wanted something light for the hot Hawaii weather, and also because the dress is pretty voluminous that I wanted to use some slinky material.

I was planning to order it from www.fabric .com for about $9/yd.
Then I found this at target...

Jersey knit King size sheet set on clearance for $7!!! I don't know why, but this was the ONLY one on clearance. No other color or sizes.

It includes a flat sheet of 108in x 106in (what's that... about 3yds x 3yds??), fitted sheet of 78in x 81 in, and 2 pillow cases of 21in x 41in.

I'll have enough fabric for awhile... I can make my dress, a summer top, few dresses for my daughter, maybe even a pajama for my son.


The only thing is, material seems too thin...

For my Vogue 1152, the top is ok since I'm planning to wear a camisole underneath anyways, but I'll have to either wear a peticoat (?), or make an under-skirt with the same material, or make a liner... but hey, for $7 I don't mind the extra work.

July 21, 2011

Vogue 1152 In Progress - One sleeve

After the last post, I made an adjustment to my bodice.

I lifted ~1 1/2in at the shoulder to raise my bodice.

It felt better, but now I had to cut the armhole to match the sleeves, and also lengthen the front pieces back 1 1/2in.

I started on the sleeves and attached one - I haven't added the cuff, but it just looks so puffy??

Would cuffs make a difference?

I posted a message on sewing.patternreview.com, asking about how to raise the bodice, and I got some comments saying that it looks too big on me overall.
I thought it fits fairly well, but when I compare my dress to others in the review for this pattern, hmm, maybe it does look a little too puffy overall.
Plus some mention that it fits perfect once you make one size smaller than your usual.
Maybe I should take it apart and make one size smaller...
I'm really lazy and feel like I just want to finish already, but this is exactly the reason why I'm making a muslin, because I want it perfect.
I guess it's time to pull the seams apart...

Cloth Diapers

I use cloth diapers most of the time on my baby.
I use the disposable at night time, and when we go out.

I guess I can be considered "green" in today's term, but I'm just stingy.
I didn't want to spend so much money on something you throw away.

When I was pregnant with my first born, I did some research.
Is it worth it?
The research showed that, if you're to use it only on one kid, it's really not worth it.
Cloth diapers are not cheap. Diaper cover alone cost about $20-30.
Especially if the baby is to be toilet trained soon, you only need diapers for two or three years.
You also factor in the electricity & water cost to wash these diapers.

I still decided to go with cloth diapers, because we knew we wanted more than one kid, plus if it costs about the same, why not go green way?

People say it's too much work to use cloth diapers...
but I didn't feel it's that bad.
First of all, I don't recommend using cloths diaper for the first month or two, because the baby poops almost every diaper change, so it would be time consuming to wash it every time, when you're still recovering from giving birth.
(And you have to hand wash it if it's poop!)
Luckily we got so much disposable diapers as baby shower gifts, so we didn't start using cloths until about late 2 months, and by then the baby only poops once or twice a day.
If it's just pee, I just rinse it real quick, and keep it in the bucket with detergent, and wash it all when I do the laundry (I wash clothes everyday).
I bought diaper covers and some cloths diapers from Japan.
Unlike some of the American ones that diaper & cover are together, they're like feminine pad, that you put it the diaper cover, and you can only change the cloth.
Here's what I thought about them.

Diaper cover - Make sure it's not too thin & frimsy.
I bought 2 or 3 thin ones because they were so much cheaper, but the pee goes through so fast that I had to change it along with the cloths diaper.

Diapers - There're two types.
The "original" just a cloth that you fold, and the "new" diaper that many layers of cloths are already stitched together.
Good and bad for both.
You need to fold the original ones after every wash, but after laundry, it dries up so fast! Sometimes it dried in an hour or two. (we live in the very dry area)
The new ones are ready to go, so it's easy to use, but it takes longer to dry.
It normally doesn't dry until the next day.
(Oh, I forgot to mention that we hang dry our clothes...
I guess it doesn't matter if you wash & use dryer to dry.)

After using it on two kids, I just love cloth diapers...
It seems so much softer on them, and you can change them as soon as they go, without worrying about the cost (well, once you buy them in the beginning).

July 20, 2011

Vogue 1152 In progress

This is my muslin for Vogue 1152.
I so wish that I made this my "wearable muslin".
The color/material of the fabric seem to go so well with this pattern.
But because of the errors I made, it's all pieces of fabrics stitched together, and I won't be able to wear it in public. :(
(Never mind the messed-up piping job, because it's just a muslin... I don't even have a piping cord in there)

All I need to do left (to see the fit of this dress) is to attach a zipper & sleeves.
Since I'm short (4'11"), I've already shortened the skirt length ahead of time. This seems to be a pretty good length.
However... my bodice seems to be "sagging"...
I think the gathering detail should be right below the bust, but it's closer to the waist on me.
So I need to shorten the bodice.
(For some reason, the back bodice seems to be fine)

Do I just shorten it at the shoulder? Wouldn't it affect the armhole size?
And of course, I should lengthen back the front skirt piece.

I'm not really a big fan of muslin...
But I'm glad that I'm doing it this time, since I need to adjust this much details.
I love this dress, I want to make it perfect!! :)

July 18, 2011

Vogue 1152

I'm back to Vogue 1152 two years after buying the pattern.

It's because I got pregnant, and everytime I face the sewing machine I got sick. So I was off of it for awhile...

Now I started to sew again, I figured I should try this pattern before the trend is over. Haha (Well, it's already been 2 years!)

I really really like this dress, so I decided I want to make it perfect, therefore decided to do a muslin first.

I'm not a big fan of muslin... I know it's a better thing to do, but it just feels like a waste of fabric & time, especially if I don't need to do any adjusting.

I used a knit fabric that I got from local fabric store.
I made a tanktop out of it first, and realized the material was too thick to be a summer shirt. I still had about 2yds of it, and didn't know what to do with it, so I decided to use it as a muslin for this dress.
I know, I know, that I should use a fabric that's close to what I'll be making... But I still don't know what fabric I want to make this dress with, and I figured I probably don't have to do much adjusting, so it won't matter. As long as I have an idea of what the dress fits...

As I said, this pattern is from 2 years ago, and I did start on it by cutting the pattern into each pieces and tissue-fitting.
I thought, "oh yey, one less thing to do."
So I started cutting the fabric to match the pieces. (Just a ball park)
Oh my gosh, I got so embarrassed of how ignorant I was at the time.
I still have lots to learn, but I REALLY didn't know what I was doing back then.
The only thing I did to the pattern was to shorten the length of the skirt.
While I was cutting, I realized it seemed too short...
I tissue fitted the modified pattern again, and realized that I didn't include the seam allowance!!!
AND it just seemed short. I guess I was going for above-the-knee look, but I feel too old to pull that off now.
Luckily the pattern was only taped to adjust, but I had to stitch some materials to each fabric pieces I've already cut. :(

Anyhoo... long intro.
So I got the muslin started, and all I gotta say is....
I love these small details...
I finished the front part.
I didn't add the piping since it's just a muslin, and even then I messed up the stitching... but it just looks so cute!! :)
And the color of this material just went so good. I wish I made it into a wearable-muslin, but thanks to the pattern mess-up, I can't. :(
I'm even thinking about getting this same fabric...
If I do, I might make it into a sleeveless, since the material is too thick/hot to have sleeves.

July 8, 2011

Peachy Beachy Poolside coverup - Free pattern from Hot Patterns

Just finished a dress (?shirt?) from a free pattern I got from http://www.fabric.com/.

I listed a review on http://www.sewing.patternreview.com/, but for some reason it doen't show a bigger picture, so I'm gonna post it here...

I'm still planning to fix this dress though...
Because I get lazy & hate ironing (or pressing should I say?), I skipped pressing the hem. I felt, "It's a knit, so there's no use in pressing..."
But I think it made a big difference in the finished product.
The hem seems to flare out.. I'm not sure if it's the pressing or something else, but I'm gonna try to fix it.
I never seem to learn that it's faster to do it right the first time, rather than taking the seam apart and do it over... :(

Here's the review I've written.

Pattern Description:
Summer-time fabulousness and pool-side glamour with this chic and simple cover-up, perfect for drapey or semi-sheer fabrics like cotton lace,handkerchief linen, rayon or voile, but also great in light weight T-shirtings or a snuggly-soft terry toweling.

Pull-over, semi-fitted cover-up has a low V-neck with button closure, short dolman sleeves, a drawstring under the bust, and finishes at mid thigh. Wear this vacation essential over your swimsuit or bikini when the sun is just too much...lounging poolside, relaxing at the beach or chilling out at the bar.

Pattern Sizing:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes except for the changes I made.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Yes, as long as you have sewn before. It's a very simple instruction, not too much in details.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I didn't care too much for the button, and also personally just don't like sewing facings...

Fabric Used:
Navy stripe knit from www.fabric.com

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Omitted the button and facings. Bias finished instead.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

I have a favorite dress from Target that I just love so much, exactly in this style. (In fact, there're so many of them now in different materials)
Looking at it closely, it seemed like an easy project... so I've been wanting to make it for awhile.
I got this navy stripe knit fabric from www.fabric.com, which was alot thinner than I expected... but thought it would actually be perfect for this style.
I didn't really care much for the button, so I just cut the pattern straight diagnal, instead of curved where the button is. (Does that make sense?)
Personally I just don't like the look of the facings, so I also changed that part to bias finish. I made the bias from the same fabric.

The pattern was very easy to make.
I have a 2 year old and a 6 month baby, so I only have an hour or two after they sleep to sew. Even then, it only took me 3 days to finish it.

The finished garment is great!
Probably thanks to the material, it feels really flowy and comfortable.
I wear it with leggings though, since it's a thin material.
Even though I tried making so many clothes, I normally don't like what I end up with... But this is one of my favorite, even compared to some clothes bought from the store.

One thing I was confused in the beginning is, the pattern doesn't have a size charts so I didn't know what size to make.
I found it at hot patterns website though. (www.hotpatterns.com)
Looking at the charts, I'm mostly size 8 but my underbust was size 10.
I didn't want to be uncomfortable at that area since I get a heartburn, I figured I'll go with size 10 and modify any other area later.
Turned out size 10 was perfect overall.
Above the drawstring was comfortable, and below the drawstring was more fitting than expected (which was perfect).

I really recommend this pattern, and I will make another one, probably with a knit again but with solid color, maybe in red. :)