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.




The Frilly Sorbetto

IMG_1079This blouse is made as part of my first MDO (mother-daughter outfit), which I brought along for my Made-Me-Holiday. For the adult version, I  used my self-drafted sorbetto and improvised the panel to be added as a ruffle/frill down the center front. It’s such an easy top to wear and sew!



I made a handful of other dresses and tops with extra space before. What I did was simply to add a couple of inches to the waist and connect the armpit to that point and extend to wherever the hem is. This method workED for me before pregnancy. What I don’t like about it now is that, it is very roomy at the side and not all around. So I needed a new pattern. I infused the flare skirt concept to my front bodice block by cutting up my bodice block down the dart and opened up the pattern, which creates more space on each quarter.

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I am loving the extra space that this pattern gives! Makes a perfect fat-top too!

Tutorial: Elastic Waist Rectangle Skirt

An elastic waist skirt is probably one of the easiest and fastest project that you can take on. It’s easy to wear, fits all sizes, perfect for preggie days (pre and post as well!)  What’s even better is that you don’t need a serger for this. I will be using french seams for this project in replacement of serging. Sew away comrades!

IMG_0916You will need:
fabric (100cm by 140cm)*, matching thread, elastic band (waist measurement + 1 inch), sewing supplies.

*This is the dimension of the fabric that I used for this project. I am making use of every inch of the fabric on hand. However it can vary according to the width of your fabric, your measurements and preferences of skirt length.

** I’m using 1cm seam allowance for this project.


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1. Fold the fabric and cut into halve along the breadth. This is the front and back pieces of the the skirt. The selvages is the ‘hem’ of the skirt.


2. Cut out fabric for the waist band. The elastic band that I’m using is about 2cm wide. So the fabric for the waist band is about by 7cm (including 1.5cm allowance on each side) by 100cm. The rest of the fabric will be used for the skirt itself.


IMG_09543. Pin and sew the side seam, wrong side to wrong side.


IMG_09584. Trim 0.5cm off the seam.


IMG_09595. Flip the fabric over. Press the seam. Pin and sew the side seam, right side to right side.


6. Repeat Steps 3-5 for the other side seam.


7. Repeat Steps 3-6 for the waist band.


IMG_09608. Pin, tag, sew the waist band onto skirt, right sides facing. Also make sure that the side seams for the waist band is all facing one side. I prefer to align them facing right.


IMG_09489. Fold over the waist band, tuck in 1cm of seam allowances, leaving about 2-3 inches opening. This is where you will slot in the elastic band.


IMG_094910. Attach the elastic band to a safety pin. Use the safety pin to help you loop the elastic band through the waist band casing.


IMG_095111. Once the end of the elastic band is looped through, overlap 1inch of the end of elastic band. Sew to secure.


IMG_095212. Stitch up the opening. I choose to hand stitch.


IMG_096113. Double fold the hem, approximately 2.5cm upwards. Sew to secure.


IMG_094714. Voila, there you have a new skirt in an hour’s time!

An Elastic Waist Rectangle Skirt

For the month of August I needed a quick project to sew to keep me sane amidst the overwhelming work, a baby who don’t want to sleep early and wanderlusting (oops!). So I drew inspirations from Dubrovnik, one of my favourite cities from my summer trip last year. Just look at the waters!


We stayed in a lovely apartment with the most splendid view, spent the day wandering around the Old Town, tasted the best risotto in my life and ended the night with an incredible performance by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The following morning we visited the morning market at Gunduliceva Square and bought some local produce before heading off to Konavle (Radovčići Village).Please allow me to spam some photos here.

View from our apartment!

View from our apartment!

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And the flight of stairs from our apartment to town


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Visited the morning market for gifts and fresh fruits
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Back to the project. I decided to make a navy flare skirt, but it has to be something quick so a skirt with elastic band it is. And a rectangle skirt, no less. It was done in 2 nights. The skirt doesn’t require a pattern and all I had to do was to stitch the sides, sew the casing, insert the elastic band, neaten the hem and viola! I have a new skirt to wear. I am currently working on a tutorial for this project so stay tune for that!

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It is made of French Dior in a beautiful shade of navy. I really love how flowy and soft the fabric is, somewhat like satin, but a lot more breathable and less ‘synthetic’. Another bonus point is that French Dior doesn’t leave ugly water marks. You know, sometimes when satin get in contact with water and has dried, it leaves behind ugly water marks? French Dior doesn’t. This makes French Dior my best alternative to satin. Length is also perfect for mummy’s duties whenever I bring my little friend out too.

Then again, there is just something that I don’t quite fancy about the skirt. I’m not sure if it is the shape or that it is too rectangular that doesn’t bring out any shape. Or I just need to be a little hardworking to maintain a slightly more active lifestyle.

Tutorial: Sippy Cup Leash

This post has been sitting in my draftbox for the longest time but I didn’t have the time to photograph the steps to this tutorial. Finally as I need to make a few more of these leashes, I made some time to document the steps. Sometime last year, the cousin-in-law requested for a few of these leashes for one of my favourite boy. These leashes hold on to sippy cups, toys and such, prevents your baby from throwing them all over the floor and you from picking them up. A leash that is full of win!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetYou will need:
Ribbon 1 yard, velcro, D ring, lighter and usual sewing supplies.

1. Cut the ribbon into 2 pieces: 12″ (30cm) and 24″ long (60cm). I am using inches here because the ribbons I bought is sold by yards and I wanted about x and 2x in length.

2. Lightly brush the ends of the ribbon against the lighted lighter to prevent fraying. Be careful not to burn the ribbon.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset3. Loop the shorter ribbon through the D-ring, fold over the straight edge, leaving enough allowance for the longer ribbon to loop through. Sew to secure.

Processed with Moldiv4. Loop the longer ribbon through the loop that you just created, fold over and sew to secure.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset5. Make a loop from the other end of the longer ribbon by folding about 10cm up. Sew to secure.

6. Cut the velcro pieces: 7cm of the rough prickly side. Approximately 17cm of the furry side.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset8. Align the furry velcro beside the prickly velcro. I like the furry velcro to take up the rest of the shorter end, which measures about 17cm after aligning the prickly side. Sew around the edges to secure.

IMG_08279. C’est fini!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset10. Attach the 10cm loop side on the high chair and use the velcro side to wrap around the toy/sippy cup. Loop through D-ringt o secure

For those who understands Mandarin, you can also refer to the video tutorial here.