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Free Sewing Pattern, Tutorial and Video – Double zip pouch

May 27, 2013

Along with the theme of Zakka month, I decided to tackle something that has been baffling me for a while. How to make a double zip pouch with two compartments. Well actually I wanted to make one with 3 zips but I decided to try it out with the simpler version of 2 zips first.  It certainly looks like a simple pouch. But it can get a little confusing. It was only after trying to do the tutorial that I realize there were so many steps. It’s not that tough to sew though, and once you get the hang of it, it’s quite easy to do a second. In fact, the actual sewing time (minus the time taken to get confused) is actually quite short.

This time round I managed to finish the youtube video first (link below) so I used screen captures for the tutorial but the result meant some pictures end up with motion blur. Must remember to stop and “pose” during video filming 🙂

Anyway, here’s what I made.

I love these gold zips with the zip pulls.

Perfect for storing sewing supplies!

And here’s the youtube video. I had no choice but to take the video at night so the lighting was not the best.

Step by step instructions. Click on the thumbnails to view the full size image.

I hope you like this project and that it’s not too confusing. If you don’t mind, I need some feedback with regards to the display of tutorial images. I used to incorporate them all in a PDF file but the downloading of the PDF files was causing me some bandwidth trouble with the server. So I am putting up the images directly in the post instead. Right now I am using a built in gallery function in wordpress that shows the thumbnails in a grid format and you can click on it to browse the pictures. But would it be better if the full size images were just included in the post instead? The page might take longer to load since it has lots of images to load up, but will that be easier to refer to compared to the gallery format? Let me know your thoughts!

Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

Guest Post by Rin of Sew in Love

May 16, 2013

Today’s blog post is a guest post by Rin Gomura of Sew in Love. Rin is my very first guest blogger! I can’t remember how long ago it was when I started following her on twitter, and subsequently discovering her lovely blog, but I can tell you I was pretty excited when she emailed me and asked if she could share this wonderful translation with you guys. Remember this free pattern link I posted last February about Bee Factory? Rin helped to do a English translation for the “Granny” tote bag and is kindly sharing it with us. Do check out the other free patterns at Bee Factory as well as Rin’s blog Sew in Love. Which by the way, is having an exciting magazine giveaway!  Read on….

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Free Pattern, Tutorial and Sewing Video – A simple dress

February 27, 2013

I said this would be up on Monday, and now it’s Tuesday, almost Wednesday. What happened, was that I had to do a little housekeeping on my mac as I was running out of space on my startup disk, and to my horror, all my previous backups disappeared because of some spotlight indexing issue. I shall not go into so much technical details right now as my brain is half fried, but I had to re-run Time Machine and recreate a new backup. It took up the most of Monday and while it was doing that, I was afraid to tax the system further asking it the process the movie (which was 1 hour long before editing!) That’s the story in a nutshell. Back to the pattern.

This month is all about Girls’ Dresses. So I decided to draft from scratch, a simple dress (I am really not good at fancy names) that can be used to create many different looks. A dress is simply a bodice + skirt combined. My pattern shows you how to make a round neck bodice with a gathered skirt. Change the gathered skirt to a pleated skirt, or even a circle skirt, and the dress is transformed. Add a ribbon sash, or add in some frills around the shoulders, make it with cotton, double gauze, make it with stripes, prints, solids, co-ordinating quilting fabric, you get a thousand and one looks.

The patterns were drafted following the measurements in a well known pattern “textbook” Metric Pattern Cutting for Children’s Wear and Babywear by Winifred Aldrich.


Click here to download the tutorial

I’ve drafted the patterns in the following sizes. The approximate ages and body measurements the patterns are based on are listed below each size. I have only tested two of the sizes (110 and 122) since my kids currently fall into that size range. So if you are using the other sizes for the first time, do a quick muslin (something like a mock-up using a cheap fabric) before actually using it on your actual fabric. Not everyone will fit into the standard size and the ages provided by the book are approximate, so choose the one closest in terms of chest and waist sizes, and alter the length accordingly. For example my daughter is actually closed to 130 in height but being very skinny, the 122 size fits her better but needs to be lengthened for her actual waist and skirt length. The length of the skirts I’ve included on each bodice is based on knee length skirts, but that can be easily modified to your liking. Do give me your feedback in the comments below if you have tried any of the other sizes! I would appreciate it 🙂

Here are the sizes available and their key measurements.
18mth/Chest:52cm/Waist:49cm/Waist-Knee:30cm (skirts are based on knee length)
3yrs/Chest:55cm/Waist:52cm/Waist-Knee:34cm (skirts are based on knee length)
5yrs/Chest:59cm/Waist:56cm/Waist-Knee:38cm (skirts are based on knee length)
7yrs/Chest:63cm/Waist:60cm/Waist-Knee:42cm (skirts are based on knee length)
10yrs/Chest:72cm/Waist:63cm/Waist-Knee:48.6cm (skirts are based on knee length)

Click here to download from my PDF pattern store –
all the sizes are combined into 1 zip file

And last but not least, here are the sewing videos! It was too long so I had to split it into two videos, and I’ve speeded up some of the boring parts, hope it’s not too fast to follow.

Just a word or two about the sewing videos. My methods of attaching a zipper may be a little unorthodox and certainly the “textbook” way, but I find this method a lot faster than the traditional method. If you have your own preferred method, by all means do it your own way! The other thing is with regards to the sewing down of the bodice lining. It is done this way to quicky encase the raw edges of the zip and bodice+skirt seamline, which sometimes irritate little girls with sensitive skin. My girls don’t really get bothered so sometimes I sew both layers down with the skirt after gathering, serge and topstitch it flat. When I made bridesmaid dresses for my baby niece though, I even took the extra step of hand-stitching the bodice lining down with a blind stitch so that the seams won’t irritate her (and cause her to want to yank the dress off halfway while walking down the aisle ;P) It certainly took a lot more time and effort but the end result was worth it. So it’s really up to you!

Well, that’s the last of my Girls’ Dresses blog posts. Next month will be exciting, I’ve already got the theme planned out months ago. Can’t wait to show you guys!

Back to School Sewing Patterns Free Japanese Sewing Patterns Links Free Patterns

New Year, New Schedule

January 7, 2013

This is my first post of 2013. I’m sorry it has taken so long. This year we took our holidays one week later than usual. When we got back, there was only 1 week to finish preparing everything for the new school year, not to mention having to do it in between meeting up with friends and family for the holiday season.

For the first post of the new year I would like to share with you some changes in the blogging schedule as well as what I hope to achieve this year. For the whole of last year, I stuck to a 3 blog post a week schedule. Those of you who are bloggers will know that preparing for a single blog post, including the research and photographs, will take at least a few hours. When it comes to preparing free patterns and tutorials, it takes even longer than that. But I have always wanted to include more free patterns and tutorials because it would be more meaningful to have sew-alongs. In order to do this, I have decided to cut down the number of blog posts a week to 2. This is so that I can devote an entire week to preparing a sewing video and free patterns for download.

Also, to make the blog posts more organized, I am also going have different themes for each month. All the sewing projects, free patterns, book reviews and fabrics (and even some giveaways) will be related to the theme of the month. I will be posting mainly on Mondays and Thursdays, and the posts will rotate between free patterns, book reviews and fabrics as usual. I will still be taking in translation requests so keep them coming. In addition to that, on the last week of every month there will be a free sewing tutorial/pattern/video based on the theme of the month. I hope I can find time to pull it off. Wish me luck! 😛

For this month’s theme, it was a no-brainer. I have been doing nothing but back-to-school sewing for the past one week. I made a new pencil case, new wallet, new art apron and a new lunch bag is in progress. So the theme for this month is Back to School. 🙂

And to kick this off, here are some free patterns I found on back-to-school projects. These patterns are from a craft shop called Pirol that is located in Kyoto.


This is the link to the free pattern list.  There are tote bags for art, shoe bags, bento bags, water bottle carriers, simple drawstring pouches, rucksacks, pianica cases, messenger bags etc.

Browsing is easy, just click on the thumbnails of the projects you want to make and you will be directed to the individual how-to-make page. The patterns are usually simple geometric shapes so you can just draw them out directly on your fabric like I do, or you draft them out on paper first using the measurements given.

The instructions are not always very consistent. Some are quite brief like this one below, with most of the steps in point form and some diagrams. There are also some simpler patterns that have clearer diagrams. But if you have had some experience in sewing, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out?

I know that not all of you are preparing for the new school year but this should come in handy sooner or later. You can’t have too many bags! 🙂

Well, that’s my post for this Monday, see you on Thursday with post about fabrics suitable for kiddy bags!


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Free Japanese Sewing Pattern – Tamanegi Kobo

October 1, 2012

Today’s free patterns are from a site that sells PDF patterns, called Tamanegi-Kobo. They have patterns for both adults and kids, and there are even some PDF patterns in English! They sell to international customers but they do not ship the paper patterns internationally. So you will have to download the PDF patterns after purchase and piece them together.

There are some free patterns provided as well and although they look really simple, these are really useful everyday wear items and I must say that this is the first time I’ve come across free patterns for an under-dress, which I think is really useful if you are making a sheer dress and need a specific co-ordinating color for the under-dress. The tank top is also a simple shape which can be used as the basic bodice block and adapted for other garments as well.

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