Sewcialise with Sinagapore Spoolettes 


Adeline, Jessie and I organized our first Singapore Spoolette’s meetup to meet other fellow dressmakers in Singapore! The agenda is to sewcialise and swop fabrics. All of us contributed pieces from our stash and we had such a good time! Though it was a rather intimate affair with just the 5 of us, we had so much fun, talking about anything sewing. It was such a fruitful session, sharing with each other, destashing and some who collected more to build up on their stash. Thanks ladies for a beautiful Saturday afternoon! I’m looking forward to meeting all of you, and new friends, again soon!


An Apple Tree Farm Sensory Bin

So the holidays have begun which means spending lots of time with our little friend. The husband had to return back to school for a couple of days so it was home alone with our little friend. Truth to be told, I was a little scared as it has been some time since we spent alone time together. While planning a rough schedule and activities for her, I found some expired oats and decided to put together an apple tree farm sensory bin.

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I grew made some apple tress using cupboard, felt and pompom,


and put together whatever apple stuff I can find at home. I also used a tiny bit of apple food flavouring to enhance the smell of this fun bin. In the midst of putting this bin together while our friend is awake, I forgot to include the cinnamon stick which would have added another dimension to the sensory play.

The apple tree farm kept her entertained for a good 30-45 mins. It took her some time to warm up to the farm and figure about how it is supposed to work. She went straight for the oats and I guided her to scoop and transfer.

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After a few rounds of practice, she could do it all by herself!

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I also talk her through the items in the bin: tree, green, apple, big, small, red, furry, smooth, pink, yellow, pail, scoop, spade etc.

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Yes it did get messy but oats are easier to clean up than I expected. I didn’t even sweep it up, just scoop with my hand.

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I had fun watching her play and she had fun playing! To more sensory bins and beyond!

The “Casual Snow White” Tank

I have been wearing my blush blouse a little too often lately and I needed another basic that I can rotate it with. Then I unearthed this little treasure that I have been keeping in my stash – a vintage (I assume?) white cotton gifted from my grandmother-in-law. What shall I make then?


I came across this, which I thought would be perfect for a little sunsandseasweetheart adventure at the end of the year! A basic blouse, minus the sleeves.


This blouse is drafted based on a basic V-neck pattern that I learned from my beginner’s sewing class, with some adjustments made in the waist and the shoulders. It is lined with French Dior in off-white to add a warm undertone beneath the sheer cotton.


I particularly love the embroidered scallop hem on the main fabric.

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It has a raw organic look, while the French Dior provides a lustrous comfort on the inside, which I absolutely love! The lining was attached in the concealed manner, which gives it a polished look even from the underside. It was a mess when I attempted it the first time so this time round, I documented a tutorial on attaching a concealed lining.

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Because the v-neck provided an opening that is large enough for my head to pass through, this blouse does not require a zipper. Yay! To more basics like this, without zippers!


Tutorial: Attaching a Concealed Lining

As much as I prefer to sewing with fabrics that doesn’t required to be lined (read: lazy), some beautiful prints are just too irritable. There are a three different ways to line the main fabric, or at least I have tried these 3 methods. You can tag the main fabric and lining together so you are handing 2 pieces of fabric as 1, like how you would sew without the lining. You can also sew the main fabric and lining as separate pieces, which you will eventually attach together using a bias tape or facing at the arm hole and neck opening. For these 2 methods, seam allowances are exposed. Personally I prefer to attach a concealed lining which gives the garment a more polished look, like so.

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Here’s how to attach a concealed lining:
1. Pin, tag, sew the side seams of the main fabric, right sides facing.

2. Repeat the same for the lining.

3. Align the main fabric and lining right sides facing. Pin, tag, sew the armhole and neck opening.
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4. Trim the allowance to about 1cm.

5. Make little snips about 1cm apart.
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6. Flip over through the open shoulder seams.

7. Press the seams at the arm hole and neck opening, and top stitch.

8. French seam the shoulder seams.

9. Tidy up the hems if you need to.

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

I came across this food hack recently on making fresh tomato sauce. It looks pretty impressive and simple enough to try.  It is also time to introduce tomato sauce in pasta to the little friend. I have made cheesy pasta for her previously and she loves it! I had to resist stealing her food when feeding her that.

To make the pasta sauce, you will need:

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10 tomatoes (the ones I used were rather small)
1 grater

For flavour:
5 white button mushrooms
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion
1 table spoon herbs (I’m using Italian herbs, ran out of fresh basil)
Salt and pepper for seasoning

How to?
1. Wash and slice the tomatoes into half. Grate the tomato on the cut side.
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2. Chop the onions and mushrooms finely and sauté till fragrant.
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3. Add the onions, mushrooms, and the other ingredients into the tomato and mix well.
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I am not sure how many servings this recipe serves but we had enough for 2 adult servings and 8 of hers.

If you are making this for younger babies you might like to add some pumpkin puree to add some natural sweetness to the sauce.
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Verdict? It doesn’t taste the same as the commercial tomato sauce but it certainly is very fresh and light. The husband says the commercial ones uses tomato paste as the base. If you are looking for something refreshing, this is recipe definitely fits the bill! Here’s our pasta in tomato sauce and homemade meatballs. Meatball recipie up next!

The Nursing Dress

I was cracking my brain on what to wear for Teachers’ Day lunch this year. Since Singapore is celebrating our 50th year of independence, the theme was Uniquely Singapore to go along with all things SG50. First thing that came to mind was red and white. Brushing that aside, I thought of Ong Shunmugam, a Singapore fashion label by Priscilla Shunmugam which I can’t afford. Her designs are known for the innovative integration of Asian elements such as the use of traditional textiles and shape.

Brainstorming along this line, a more affordable and feasible option would be to make myself a new outfit: cheongsam made with batik in a modern shift dress cutting. Colours are also red and white. A little cliché but fits the theme.

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Fabric is from a beautiful piece of batik which I bought from Lucy’s Batik when I was in Bali. The husband picked it up and we planned it for a handmade family outfit. It was very easy to work with and the cotton is extremely breathable and forgiving in Singapore’s weather.


The shift dress pattern is drafted from my basic bodice block, extending the flare with the waist. It is also my very first me-made nursing dress! I have been putting aside wearing dresses for the past year because I am breastfeeding our little friend. Wearing separates seem a lot more convenient. So I’m really glad I can return to my love for dresses even when I’m out with our little friend.

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The construction of the nursing portion requires me to be really neat in sewing at the concealed zip so that it is not vulgar and obvious at all. Once I am done with breastfeeding, I can also remove the zip and stitch up the hole. I might just start making lots of dresses again! I will be sharing with you  very soon a tutorial on how to modify your bodice pattern to a nursing friendly one, just like this one that I made. 

A Floral Sensory Bin

Singapore has been plagued with really bad episodes of haze lately and we have been staying indoors most of the time. I was quite bored of the usual toys and indoor activities so I decided to whip up a sensory bin for our little friend.

What is a sensory bin?
A sensory bin is essentially a bin that provides an experience that stimulates the 5 main senses. It allows the little one to learn through play, to focus and concentrate, practice fine motor skills, encourage independent play (especially at an older age), and develops language (especially with themed bins). Jen from mamapapabubba has a very beautiful collection of sensory bin, which are aesthetically assembled.

A Floral (and pandan) Sensory Bin
For our first attempt,  I used a spare bin that we bought from IKEA and put together two of her favourite things: flowers (and a pandan leave), and water. The loose flowers were purchased from the market florist and I topped up with two more stalks of roses. Pandan leave was plucked from our mini garden along the corridor.  And my, what a sweet smelling bin! I threw in a spoon, a pail, a cup, a strainer and a spade for her to scoop and sort and such.


I guided our little friend along with instructions (scoop, pour, put here, smell, red rose petal, purple chrysanthemum etc) and generally allow her to play freely. I know she looks darn serious here (she is serious about play time) but she sure did enjoyed herself tremendously for a good 30mins.

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Erm yes, we played in the toilet for practical reasons: somewhere indoor where I can clean her and the aftermath easily. Since we don’t have a backyard and it is hazy, the toilet makes the best choice. I did give the floors a good scrub and spray before playing. We might move to the corridor once the haze clears. It was quite a pleasure watching her play, babble to herself and figure things out!

Counting Sheep, Dreaming Goats at the Singapore Philatelic Museum

September holidays are here, which means we have a little more time to spend with our little friend. As much as we would love to spend some time outdoors, the haze doesn’t allow us to. We decided to head indoors to the museums. This time we visited the Singapore Philatelic Museum for the “Counting Sheep, Dreaming Goats” Exhibition.

It is a compact and interactive one-room exhibition that tells you everything about sheep and goats.
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You learn about the young,
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differentiate between the sheep and goat, even their sounds! There is a button to press for the sound the sheet and the goat makes. Our little friend certainly enjoy this one!
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You also get to meet the breeds through a collection of stamps presented on turn-over-boards,
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and feel the wool produced by different species.

You will also get to meet Dolly, the cloned sheep. All informative and educational for the older children and even the adults.

There are also a few other touch-and-feel/play sections suitable for the younger children. You get to feed the goat and know its diet,
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touch wool and other wool products,
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hit on the kompang, a traditional Malay drum whose head is made from goat hide,
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and play two melodious tunes about the lamb and sheep on the toy piano!
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All in all, both the adults and the little one enjoyed themselves at this exhibition, which ends on the 27th September 2015. If you are looking for somewhere indoor to bring your little ones, these sheep and goats would definitely enjoy your company!

Fabric Shopping in Singapore: Ang Mo Kio

I was running errands at Ang Mo Kio Central and discovered a fabric shop! Wow, I never knew that Ang Mo Kio has one. I am so surprised because I am not unfamiliar with Ang Mo Kio. Looks that I’m not that familiar after all. Since I frequent one of the haberdashery shop in the area, I am going to share with you these hidden gems in the heartland of Ang Mo Kio.

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#1 Kar Bee Ang Mo Kio Textiles
720 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6
Singapore 560720

Opens from around 1100-1630
Closed on Monday

Kar Bee has a sizeable shopfront, selling a variety of fabric. They have plain and printed (polka dots, checkered, floral and cartoon) cotton, shirtings, some laces (from Japan according to the owner) and the really mature prints for grandma blouses. Prices are for cotton rather reasonable, not outrageously expensive, starting from $4.50/m. The laces are about $18.50/m and the shirtings from $28/m. If you stay in Ang Mo Kio, or happen to be in the vicinity, and feel like buying some fabrics, you might like to check it out.


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#2 Elsie Departmental Store
709 Ang Mo Kio Ave 8
Singapore 560709

Opens from 1030-2030

I used to frequent this shop very often, during the very early stages of my jewellery making days. I used to sell handmade jewellery to earn some extra pocket money. Now that I am sewing clothes, Elsie is my best friend whenever I need some last minute supplies. Besides jewellery making supplies (rhodium parts, swarovski crystals and pearls etc), they are very well-stocked with a wide variety of yarns, ribbons, trims, threads, zips, beads, some buttons and other craft materials.

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Basically it is a departmental store of craft supplies. Elsie also conducts knitting lessons, which is quite popular. On top of that, they have a small selection of knitting patterns available for copy.

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Now besides Chinatown and Arab Street, you have one other option (though location is not really central) for fabric shopping in Singapore!

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Last Saturday;

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I love flowers! It has been a passion since young. I would stand by the market florist while my mum does her marketing, help out with the flowers at wedding in church (and conveniently take a few bunches/left over home after), and recently designed and planned the flowers for my wedding!

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I also enjoy playing with flowers for the home.

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So to up my floral game a little and for some pleasurable me time, I signed up for a Flower Boxette workshop at One Olive.

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The whole idea of flower boxette is to present flowers like a gift in a box, rather than a bouquet, which I thought was rather novel. It also makes an elegant accent for home. Through the workshop I learned the wiring technique, boxette arrangement basics, textures, ribbon tying and handled flowers that I never saw and smelt before. We also had floral tea and some yummy cookies while interacting with other participants. The workshop was kept, in an intimate setting at One Olive itself. It was time well spent, and I made and kitten friend.