Chou-chouNot a very spectacular project, but this thing proves to be very useful in summer. I think it is also called scrunchie, but it is called chou-chou here and I like the name better.

I found several tutorials for making chou-chou, but they always involve hand-stitching, which I’m too lazy to do for such a simple thing. Then I see another way of doing it, it is much easier, and more importantly: no hand-sewing! This project only took around 10 minutes to make, and it is also a good way to make use of all the fabric scraps.

Here’s how to make it:


You will need:

  • Fabric: 10×50 cm. Use non slippery fabric so the chou-chou won’t slip off your hair. My fabric here is cotton/linen mix. The measurement is not exact, you can make it longer or wider. I just snip 10 cm off my 50 cm cut fabric.
  • Elastic: 20 cm. I use ordinary hair elastic, but you can use any thin elastic strip.


Sew the short ends together with 1 cm seam allowance.


Fold the upper fabric inside as pictured, and hold it with one finger.


Fold the lower fabric over, sort of wrapping the first fold of fabric inside.


Starting with a backstitch, sew the edge with 1 cm seam allowance. Don’t catch the fold of fabric inside. When you almost reach the end, just pull the fold of fabric inside and continue sewing. It is easier done than written here!


Stop stitching about 3 cm from the first stitch. Backstitch to secure. Now you have a sort of crumpled tube with a little opening.


Here’s the fun part! Reach into the little opening and pull the tube out.


Suddenly you have this!


Using a big safety pin, thread the elastic inside.


Tie the ends together. Pull the elastic several times to make sure that it is tight and secure. If you use thin elastic strip, you can also stitch the end together.


Tuck the elastic inside and stitch the opening closed.


Backstitch both ends of stitching to secure. If you want to be neater, you can also use hand-stitching to close the opening.


Turn the stitched edge to the inner side and there’s your chou-chou.


Then you will want to make more!


Hope it is useful!

Burdastyle Book Project: finished (ugh, finally)

Finished!After days of postponing and slacking around, I’ve finally finished my blouse for Burdastyle Book! Actually I planned to work on it just after the Yokohama Artist Market, which was, errr, 3 weeks ago, but lots of things happened between then and now.

Suddenly I found the need to make a couch cover, which by the way was something that I should have made months ago. Then I made a pair of shorts and dress for myself. My husband managed to give me a look of slight disapproval (on my procrastination, not on the clothes), but hey, I was just warming up my sewing mood!

And Sidra needed a new messenger bag. Actually he already has a messenger bag, but it’s worn out and I was afraid that the seam might rip sometime. While I was at it, I decided to make use of the fabric and made another tote bag for my husband, who already has a bunch of tote bags. But a new tote bag always makes him happy, and I’m happy when he’s happy!

Last Saturday, we changed the soil for the larva, because there’s no way I can let our kawaii larva stayed in those old and stale soil. Then we went to the chiropractor for my appointment, and after that the three of us went to a local library to read some books. We always do everything together on weekends, but this time my husband and Sidra went swimming while I went back home. But I have to blame the hot summer day because I completely lost my sewing mood after spending several hours biking outside. So when my husband got back from the pool, the fabric was still hung on the living room. I hung it there to give more motivation to myself. It didn’t work, obviously.

That left me with one day to make my blouse. I almost started sewing a summer yukata for Sidra, but my conscience took over desperately and told me to finish the blouse. So I started to work on it,  with lots of regret of course, because I would have more time to make it better and saved myself from lots of stress if only I started days earlier. Now I’m not so sure anymore about my work and I even start to think that maybe they will reject it!

I wonder why it is always harder to finish a project when there is a deadline and especially when it is not truly for myself. Fortunately Burdastyle told me to make this blouse in my size, so at the end of the day, I’ll get to wear it after all. Or to be more exact, in about 18 months after the book is published. Oh.

Soil change for our larva!

Warning: wriggly thing pictures ahead!

Hercules beetle larva: July 24, 2010

Colombian Hercules beetle larva, age: almost one year

Hercules beetle larva: July 24, 2010Hercules beetle larva: July 24, 2010This morning, the three of us woke up in excitement  because today was the soil change day for our larva! It can only be done every 3-4 months, so this occasion is something that we are always waiting for. It has been almost a year since we bought the larva, and today is the third soil change.

The larva is growing slower now, the size is just a little bit bigger than the last time (March 2010), but the body is  a lot firmer. It also moved a lot when I held it, and when I put him on Sidra’s hand, it bit Sidra’s hand! I took it from Sidra’s hand and it bit my palm too! The larva has a pair of little mandibles that are used for digging the soil. I guess he was trying to ‘dig’ on Sidra’s and my hand. It was just a little pinch though, no serious damage has done.

My husband still refused to touch the larva, he said that he couldn’t touch it because he was busy taking pictures. Owkay. But I know that deep down his heart, he loves the larva too.

More action pictures in my flickr set!

July 24, 2010

Sidra: It bites!

July 24, 2010: I love my larva and my larva loves me too (I hope)

I love my larva and my larva loves me too (I hope)

//Song credit: Be Gentle with Me by The Boy Least Likely To//

Red stripes bags

Summer holiday has officially started since yesterday! It’s also getting hotter and hotter now. Strangely, I never sweat that much. Most of the time there’s only a layer of ‘glow’ over my face while my husband and other people are literally drenched in sweat. Not that it’s a good news. While my powder stay in place, I would get overheated inside, feel bloated and out of breath. It’s awful. I wonder if any of you has the same problem?

Anyway, I haven’t made any progress in my Burdastyle Book project, which by the way has to be sent by next week, instead I made some bags for Sidra and my husband. The fabric is this beautiful red stripes canvas that I found in Asakusabashi. It was kinda pricey, about $34 per metre, so I only bought half a metre. I managed to make two bags out of it because the width is 150 cm.

Red stripes messenger bag Red stripes messenger bag

I’ve made a messenger bag for Sidra about two years ago, he uses it everyday and it is now worn and faded. The new one has simpler shape, no fastening or pockets at all because Sidra never uses them anyway. I use plain cotton webbing for the straps and attach some colourful plastic rings on the tabs so he can put keyrings or other stuff to them.

Red stripes tote bag Red stripes tote bag

Red stripes messenger bag Red stripes messenger bag Red stripes tote bag Red stripes tote bag

My husband has a lot of tote bags, he loves them and always carries one everywhere. I think he change bags more than I do! I kinda stick to one bag and put everything in it until it gets dirty before I change to another bag. I made him another big tote bag like this one with the red stripes fabric, the lining is dark -almost black- twill fabric that’s also used for Sidra’s bag. I put one pocket on the outside and one on the inside. Now they have matching bags!

Red stripes messenger bagSidra was happy to have a new bag and he brings it to a trip with his art club today. He was still a bit sleepy when we dropped him off at the bus station this morning. I took this picture of him there. Unfortunately my husband refused to get his picture taken today because he was drenched in sweat after biking from our house to the station. But he loves his new bag!

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