Birthday giveaway! – CLOSED

SewNews Dec 2010/Jan 2011

As seen in Sew News magazine!

Thank you so much for all the sweet messages on my birthday post! I’m sorry if I couldn’t reply to all, but I read all the messages and they brought a warm feeling to my heart. Sidra was not feeling well and he didn’t go to school, while my husband was working at home, so all of us just stay at home today. But there were so many messages and best wishes from everybody from all over the world! Internet is wonderful and scary at the same time, isn’t it?

Anyway, it’s now time for a birthday giveaway! I love doing this! Do you recognize these organizer wallets? They were featured in Sew News magazine, December 2010/January 2011 issue. Here’s an online version of the tutorial in Sew News website. These wallets were sent back to me after Sew News magazine finished taking pictures of them, and they arrived just in time for my birthday giveaway!

Organizer wallets

Organizer wallets giveaway!

The men’s version (the black one with white cars) has been snatched by my husband, so I have the other 4 wallets available:

Organizer wallets

  1. Grey fabric with special delivery stamps pattern. Cotton with newspaper print for the inside. Cotton twill tie closure and wristlet strap.
  2. Turquoise flowers. Purplish double-gauze cotton for the inside. Magnetic closure and wristlet strap.
  3. Green fabric with wreath pattern. Purple and white stripes double-gauze cotton on the inside. Button and elastic closure and wristlet strap. Small brown doily detail on the outside.
  4. For kids! Wonky houses and roads. Dotted cream fabric on the inside. Magnetic closure and shoulder strap.

All outer fabrics are quality Japanese linen. The wallets measured 23×15 cm when closed and 23×30 cm when opened. More pictures of the wallets in my flickr album.

This giveaway is open to everyone, everywhere. To enter, just leave a comment telling me which wallet that you prefer. To make it more interesting than a ‘pick me! pick me!’ comment, I would love to hear about your birthday and age-related story/opinion!

Please make sure that you fill the email column correctly so I can contact you (the email won’t be published). I will select four winners at random and announce the names on Monday, December 13.

Good luck!

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you for participating!


  • I have a 20% off sale going on in my shop! Use the code VPPBDAY upon checkout to receive your discount! The code is valid until the end of this year.
  • And if you’re a member of Burdastyle, don’t forget to checkout the 50 finalists of the BERNINA ‘Party Through the Decades’ International Competition at Burdastyle and submit your vote to your favorite! My dress is there too, you can vote for it but only if you like it! ^_^

As time goes by


I’m 39 years old today!

Some people has said that I look a little bit younger than my actual age. In fact, the reaction people made when I told them my age made me felt like I’ve just confessed a big lie. Of course I didn’t lie, I just didn’t see any opportunity nor reason to talk about my age. But yeah, I was born in 1971 and the eighties happened in my teenage years. My first perfume was Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson, I bought it in a supermarket near my high school in 1989.

When I was a teenager, I used to think that 39 is soooo old. It turned out that when you’re 39, you don’t feel much different than when you’re 29 or even 19. I still don’t get a lot of things and have so many things to learn everyday. Where is that wisdom and maturity? Deep inside, I still have no idea how the world works. Sometimes I feel like I’m still a confused twelye years old. The worse thing is, you might still feel the same, but your body is not the same anymore.

Most people will get to 39 one day. Everybody, everything, will get old. Sometimes it is hard to accept. When fine lines started to show around my eyes five years ago, I used to worry about them.  But worrying over fine lines won’t make them disappear, and maybe would make them even more pronounced. So I’ve grown to like them. Now I can say that my face has more character! I also got my first white hair this year. It’s a single strand on the front part of my head. Sidra doesn’t like it and pretends that he doesn’t see it. He’s still in denial, I guess.

Of course the white hair is just a beginning. More of them will come. There is already more back pain and physical limitation now. There are more lines around my eyes and on my face. My body has started sagging and the texture of my skin is changing. But I hope that they will be well accepted in my life. Well, I should work on the back pain issue because pain is not nice, but at least I’ve tried to prepare myself.

I’m getting old, or older than before, it doesn’t matter. But the past few years has been one of the happiest time in my life. The two love of my life are on either side of me, they tell me that they love me everyday and I tell them the same everyday. I wish to grow old(er) with them and be together as long as possible. The  sad thing about life is that there is no forever. Even if you’re lucky, like, really, really lucky, you can never have more than a hundred years to be together.

Until then, I’m hoping to age gracefully like the people in this lovely blog. Maybe in ten years I will be eligible to be featured there!



Happy 39th!

Happy 39th! - from Sidra


  • Stay tuned for my birthday giveaway post later today!
  • This morning I found out that my autumn dress is one of top 50 finalists of the BERNINA ‘Party Through the Decades’ International Competition at Burdastyle! Please check them out HERE and submit your vote to your favorite finalists!

Recycled pants

Papa New pants!

My husband has a couple of pants and jeans who are no longer wearable due to some rips on obvious places. After being worn and washed so many times, the fabric has became soft and comfortable to the touch, unlike stiff brand new denim. I thought they would make good pants for Sidra, after all with his rapid growth, he’s always in continuous need of new pants.

I turned to my precious Pattern Drafting vol. II to find a pants pattern. This 1970 book has a small section on kidswear on the back. I drafted a basic straight pants pattern and then made several changes to it. The waistline is lowered, the legs are slimmed down, and I also made the usual shapes for jeans: hip yokes, slanted front pockets, and back pockets.

Papa Cutting new pattern Reused waistband and button Elastic and button inside

Before cutting the pattern, I saved the zipper, zipper fly, pocket linings, back pockets, belt carriers, and waistband with its button and buttonhole from my husband’s pants. Constructing the new pants was so much fun! I’ve never made jeans before, so I used another jeans to see how I should stitch the pieces together, where to topstitch, etc. Sidra’s pants has elastic with buttonholes so it is adjustable. I saved the elastic from Sidra’s old pants. Nothing is wasted here!

Recycled pants Recycled pants

Love the result! The fit is perfect in my opinion, and the waistband is not too high. And since the fabric has been used and worn, they already have these lovely marks and lines on them.

I made a second pants from my husband’s black denim pants. The original pants has small pocket like most jeans, I reused them on Sidra’s pants. I also reused one of the original back pocket, adding topstitching in the shape of big X. The other back pocket is fake, it is only an outline stitching in the shape of pocket.

Sewing the pants was a bit difficult because the fabric is thicker. I wish my topstitching could be neater, but in the end they look okay. Now I’m waiting for my husband’s favorite corduroy pants to get ripped any time. They look perfect for Sidra’s next pants!

Recycled jeans Recycled jeans

Papa New jeans! Back pocket Reused small pocket

Bye bye Baon-chan

Baon-chan, the pink elephant

Baon-chan, the pink elephant

Have you ever heard of a wonderful project called Softies for Mirabel?

The Mirabel Foundation is based in Melbourne, providing help to children who have been orphaned or abandoned due to their parents drug addiction. Once a year, they collect handmade softies for the children so they can have a friend to snuggle down with. Before they were donated, the softies will be displayed for a week in the window of Meet me at Mike’s store. You can click the link above to read more about this wonderful project.

I have told Sidra several times that I was going to make something for this project, which he replied with somewhat disapproval grunts because Mama would be making toy that is not for him.

The fabric is very soft pink velour with leftover fabrics from Sidra’s jacket lining for inner ears and foot pads. The PDF elephant pattern is from my favorite pattern store, Funky Friends Factory, I’ve used patterns from this store before for this dinosaur and platypuses.

I think the elephant looks like cotton candy with ears and trunks! When Sidra saw it, he exclaimed that the elephant is so kawaii. He called it Baon-chan, because that’s how an elephant sounds like. “Ba-oooon!”

“I want. I want. I want. I want.” He began nagging me to give Baon-chan to him. I reminded Sidra again that Baon-chan was not for him, but he could play with her until she left on Monday. Sidra didn’t look happy at all with my decision.

I explained that Baon-chan’s will go to a child who doesn’t have as many toys as him. This lead to a never-ending session of Q&A: Why the other child doesn’t have toys? Can’t her/his mama make them toys? What happened to her/his mama and papa? Does she/he have DS Nintendo and Playstation like me? Why doesn’t she/he have them? Will she/he get more toys?


Baon-chan, the pink elephant Baon-shan

Bye bye Baon-chan

Bye bye Baon-chan

When he was told that the other child won’t probably get many toys, doesn’t play DS Nintendo and Playstation, doesn’t have their mama and papa around, and maybe even has one or both parents already gone, Sidra seemed perplexed by all the answers. I guess it is hard for a child in Sidra’s age to understand that the world is not as beautiful as it is for him now. He knows about unhappiness, but he can’t imagine that there are children with unhappiness beyond that he knows. That there are children who are very unhappy. And that one day, he will be unhappy too.

Sidra loves Baon-chan

Sidra loves Baon-chan

I know he still wanted Baon-chan, he was holding her the whole day. But he also knew that Baon-chan was for that other child, so he stopped nagging me about giving Baon-chan to him. Looking at him holding Baon-chan like that, it might be easier to just give the elephant to him and make another for the project.

But he can always get other toys (and more) later, and I hope he will understand this. I let Sidra said goodbye to Baon-chan this morning before he went to school. When he come back later, Baon-chan would be gone.

Bye bye Baon-chan, hope you will bring a little sunshine somewhere.

Here she goes again with the wriggling pet

Sorry if you don’t like our cute pet! It’s time to change the soil again for our Colombian Hercules larva. Today was such a shiny day, it was nice because the larva wouldn’t get exposed too long to the cold autumn weather.

Hercules beetle larva: November 20, 2010

Hercules beetle larva: November 20, 2010

We keep the larva in a big plastic case filled with special soil that contains food for the larva. It would then eat the soil until the case is about half-full or less, and then we change the soil with new one. It’s the 4th soil change already, the last one was about 4 months ago. The larva hasn’t grow much bigger since the last time we saw it. I don’t think it can grow any bigger than this, though. We hope next year it will start to metamorphose into a giant beetle!

Hercules beetle larva: November 20, 2010 Hercules beetle larva: November 20, 2010 Hercules beetle larva: November 20, 2010

Go to my flickr set for more pictures! (if you want to, of course)

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