Kawung batik print set

Kawung print set
Several months ago I was contacted by Contrado about their new fabric printing service. It was actually the first time I heard about this company. When I checked out their website, I was impressed with the number of fabric options available. They have 80 options of fabrics from canvas, jersey, even scuba and waterproof ripstop!

Then I had to decide what I want to make. A summer dress? A raincoat? Canvas bags? I was a bit overwhelmed. If you want to order from Contrado, I really recommend to order their swatch pack first to have a feel at their full range of fabric. If deciding on what kind of fabric from so many options is not hard enough, the fabric design part is definitely challenging!
Batik print

I have always wanted to make lingerie with Indonesian batik print, however it is not easy to find suitable lingerie fabric with this kind of print. I have an Indonesian batik fabric from my stash that is perfect because it has several different motifs on it that I can choose from. I decided on one motif called ‘kawung’, a four lobed stylised flower based on palm blossom. There are many symbolical meanings behind this motif which is a very interesting topic on itself, but for now let’s just say that I like it for its simplicity.

What I did was scanning the motif first, then traced it on Illustrator so it can be manipulated as a vector image. The most important part is transforming the motif so it can be tiled to cover bigger area. I suggest to make several print samples to see if your tiled image match perfectly. Then I exported the image back to jpg format and uploaded it to Contrado.
Print and original batik fabric

The shipping was surprisingly fast, considering that it was sent all the way from UK to Japan. Here you can see the original batik fabric on the bottom with power net on the left and Lycra sheen on the right.
Power net kawung print Lycra sheen kawung print
The quality is very good! I often find printed Lycra that doesn’t look too good when the fabric is stretched, with white colour of the base fabric peeking between the weave. The one from Contrado has a bit of that but only if it is stretched too much. But stretched considerably, it is still look good.

The Lycra sheen is not satin shiny, but has a lovely sheen over it. Contrado also has Lycra matt and heavier Lycra that can be used for swimwear. The Florence power net is very lightweight and suitable for make mesh panties. When used as bra band, it needs reinforcement underneath. I simply used beige power net.
Kawung print set Kawung print set
The bra pattern is Boylston bra by Orange Lingerie with several of my favorite alterations:

  • narrowed the centre piece because I have very little space between breasts
  • very narrow cradle
  • changed the center front to gothic arch
  • added back strap extension
  • padded bra straps

Kawung print set
Kawung print set

The foam lining and band elastic were sent by Tailor Shop Made. I find out that I prefer wide elastic for the band as it is gives more stability. The turquoise elastics are from my stash and unfortunately is not very good as it stretches a bit too much.

Kawung print set Kawung print set

Both the panties pattern are new releases from Ohhh LuluJustine cut-out and Kelly hi-cut. The Justine uses lycra and power net while the Kelly is made entirely in power net. I shortened both pattern about 1 cm across the hip. Both are very attractive patterns.
Kawung print set Kawung print set
Kawung print set Kawung print set

And here’s the bra on me!

BWfront BWback

I still have Lycra and powernet from Contrado in different motifs that I am planning to make into different bra. More posts soon!



Disclosure: Fabrics, foam lining, and band elastic are sent to me for review. The views and opinions expressed are purely my own.

Aging jeans

Handmade jeans
My precioussss….

One of my most enjoyable sewing is making jeans. there are so many things that I can love from a pair of handmade jeans. I love the feeling of crisp denim fabric. I love cutting them and putting all the details into a pair of jeans. And when they are finished, I love watching them aged.

After several years, they can look completely different from when they are fresh out of under the sewing machine. A pair of new and crisp jeans slowly turned into a soft and comfortable pair of jeans. The colour is fading, but it only adds character to the jeans. Worn marks are appearing, sometimes there are holes on pocket where wallet and keys are usually kept. Every pair of jeans show a little side of their wearer.

Here is several of my handmade jeans that get worn most.

Men’s jeans, 2011.

Pumila Men's Jeans
Pumila Men’s Jeans

Non-selvedge denim. Pattern is Pumila Men’s Jeans (Japanese pattern, no longer available).

My first handmade jeans. This is how it all started. I didn’t have an overlocker at that time, so the raw edges are finished with zigzag stitches on ordinary sewing machine.
Pumila Men's Jeans Pumila Men's Jeans

2013, 2 years after.
Pumila jeans, 2 years later Pumila jeans, 2 years later

Pocket linings have been changed (2014).

Crotch and pocket holes repaired (2015).

2016, 5 years after.
Men's Jeans (Pumila) Men's Jeans (Pumila)

Men’s jeans, 2013.

Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504)
Men’s jeans (Kwik Sew 3504)

Non-selvedge denim with striped texture. Pattern is Kwik Sew 3504 view B, size M.
Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504)



2016, 3 years after.

Color has faded, making the striped texture more prominent. Holes on pocket and crotch need to be repaired.

Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504 Men's jeans (Kwik Sew 3504

Men’s Selvedge jeans, 2014.

Men's jeans FOP07
Men’s selvedge jeans FOP07

Selvedge denim. Jeans pattern is Mens’s jeans FOP-07 by Full of Patterns (Japanese), size L.
Men's jeans FOP07 Men's jeans FOP07

2016, 2 years after.

The denim fabric was quite crisp and hard when it was new. it has now turned softer and more comfortable.
Men's Selvedge jeans (Full of Patterns) Men's Selvedge jeans (Full of Patterns)

Women’s pleated pants, 2012.

Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo)
Denim pants (Evan – Tamanegi Kobo)

Soft corduroy fabric. Pattern is Evan by Tamanegi Kobo (Japanese PDF pattern), size 38 on waist and 36 on hip.
Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo) Denim pants (Evan - Tamanegi Kobo)

2016, 4 years after.

Not much worn marks, except for slightly faded knees.
Evan denim pants (Tamanegi Kobo) Evan denim pants (Tamanegi Kobo)

Women’s jeans, 2014.

SJ tee and Sandra jeans
Sandra Jeans

Stretch denim. Pattern is Sandra narrow leg jeans by Style Arc, size 6. Waistband has wide elastic in it.
SJ tee and Sandra jeans


2016, 2 years after.

My most comfortable and most worn item. The colour has faded and one knee has hole.
Sandra jeans Sandra jeans

Women’s boyfriend jeans, 2014.

Wyome boyfriend jeans
Wyome boyfriend jeans

Light-colored denim with no stretch. Pattern is Wyome jeans from Named patterns (PDF), size 36.
Wyome boyfriend jeans Wyome boyfriend jeans

2016, 2 years after.

I didn’t wear them so much at first because somehow the light colour felt too massive to me. Last year I decided to take a cutter and seam ripper and started heavily distressing them. Now I wear them a lot.
Wyome Boyfriend jeans (Named) Wyome Boyfriend jeans (Named)

Women’s jeans, 2015.

Sandra jeans and Basic tank
Sandra jeans

Dark denim with no stretch. Pattern is Sandra narrow leg jeans by Style Arc, size 6. Wider waistband to accomodate two front buttons.
Sandra jeans and Basic tank


2016, 1 year after.

Another basic favourite.
Sandra jeans (Style Arc) Sandra jeans (Style Arc)

As you can see the aging of my husband’s jeans is much more interesting than mine. I think it is normal as he wears the jeans on rotation almost everyday while I have many other options to wear.

There are some jeans that I have made that are not included here. Sometimes it is because they don’t fit anymore, more often it is because they don’t get worn so much. I have also made jeans for Sidra, but they never have the chance to age at all because Sidra is aging in much faster rate than the jeans!

Cara top and Sally skirt

Cara top and Sally skirt

Since the weather is getting warm, I’ve been seeing off-shoulder tops everywhere around me. I began to look for sewing patterns and came across this relatively new pattern by Style Arc: Cara top. The description on the pattern page: “This on-trend top gives a gorgeous look with its flattering, gathered, off the shoulder neckline with a… Continue Reading

Komani cape dress – Bootstrap Fashion

Komani cape dress – Bootstrap Fashion

This is the Komani cape dress, the second pattern that I made from Bootstrap Fashion. As I have mentioned in my previous post about Bootstrap Fashion, the patterns are drafted according to your individual body measurements including height and other details like belly protuberance and upper arm circumference, among other things. This pattern is one of the exclusive design… Continue Reading

Polka dot plunge bra

Polka dot plunge bra

Another self-drafted plunge bra! I want something smooth to be worn under T-shirt, so no pretty lace this time. The fabric is lycra in black with purple dots. Since I don’t have much space between the breasts, I find that a plunge bra with its lowered center front is comfortable. I also found that I have… Continue Reading

Cap sleeves dress – Bootstrap fashion

Cap sleeves dress – Bootstrap fashion

A couple of months ago, I was approached by Bootstrap Fashion to try their custom-fit sewing patterns. Unlike with other pattern companies, you don’t have the option of choosing regular sizes when buying their patterns. Instead, you put your own detailed measurements, and Bootstrap Fashion will prepare a pattern customized just for your body! Isn’t this… Continue Reading

Baby blue and white lace set

Baby blue and white lace set

If you like bra making, you have probably heard about Maya bra by Ana Filimon. It’s a 3 piece cup bra pattern, available in wide range of sizes, and it is free! This pattern uses different method for finding the bra size. It needs two measurements: underbust size and wire size. With these two measurements, the bra size… Continue Reading

Plunge bra

Plunge bra

Lately I have been feeling very inspired after finished watching the latest Beverly Johnson’s class on Craftsy, ‘Sewing Bras: Foam, Lace, and Beyond’. If you are interested in bra making, I really recommend this class, along with Beverly Johnson’s first and second classes: Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit and Sewing Bras: Designer Techniques. Actually I have bought her first two classes… Continue Reading