Monthly Archives: September 2012

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Happy Friday + Starry Peter Pan Blouse + Burgundy Tiered Skirt

Happy Friday! Another week, another outfit from my now favorite Japanese pattern book.

How cute is the peter pan collar on this top? OK, the right side seems a little wonky, but you hardly notice it in real life. The fabric is a Japanese double gauze, which is a dream to sew. The skirt is from A Girl’s Wardrobe, which is another good pattern book. The skirt took a mere half hour to make from start to finish, can you believe it? It’s just three rectangles pieced together, after all. The blouse took a lot longer, but still, so fun to make.

I’m starting to get into the sewing groove now that it’s not sweltering in our house…and what’s extra nice is that after four years of on-and-off sewing, I don’t pull out my hair nearly as much when trying to figure out the various steps. I daresay that I might be just a notch above a beginner now.

Next on the list: a Figgy Sunki dress! Have a lovely weekend, friends!

A collection of cute (temporary tattoo ideas)

Daily fun with gouache paint. Wouldn’t these make cute temporary tattoos?

I found this printable tattoo paper (such a cool idea!) and I’m working on a bunch of little designs. I’m eager to share some Halloween tattoos that I’ve got going and I can’t wait to see how they turn out!


I think I will always love drawing with black pen the best. I’ve been feeling a little cloudy lately…not sure why. But after finishing this little sketch, my mood lifted significantly. Sometimes, a bunch of stylized rainy clouds is all it takes.

Pear Custard Pie

The air is crisp, the sky is clear. You crave a dessert of some heft with the now abundant autumnal fruit. So first, you take some pears…

Then, you slice ’em up, add some melted butter, flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and milk…

Then, you bake it for 45 minutes and a golden, buttery, bubbly, puffy sumptuousness pops out of the oven…

Then, make yourself a latte in a fancy teacup and enjoy a slice. Delish!

Recipe is from here.


Brown and Silver

Good morning! Hope your Monday is going well so far.

Here’s a little sophisticated matching top and skirt I worked on last week – the fabric is an earthy neutral color with streaks of silver thread. The back has an unexpected open design and is a bit sassy. Love!

These are pattern F (top) and N (skirt), and I’m steadily working my way through all the patterns in this book (ISBN 978-4-579-11289-0):

You can find other completed projects from this book here and here and here.

Next up: a peter pan collar shirt!

Happy Friday!

My standard uniform nowadays consists of yoga pants, a tank top and hoodie. The I-plan-on-going-to-the-gym look (“plan” being the operative word), worn mostly for the comfort. Once in a blue moon, though, I wish I had an opportunity to wear something fancy like the Valentino-inspired dress above. K saw it and said, “Is that a witch’s dress?” Hmmm…not the look I was going for.

Even if I’m not presented with ball gown worthy events, I could probably swing something fun like this:

I love painting outfits! I’ll have to do more of this.

I have another cute top + skirt combo that I made for K to share on Monday! Have a wonderful weekend, friends.





My parents met in New York forty-two years ago. They were in their early twenties, both from Japan, staying in a boarding house across Central Park. My mother had recently arrived via Germany, where she had been an au pair for a Chinese family (confusing, I know). My father was traveling around the world with friends.

My mom boasts that there were several choice young men to choose from back in the day (she claims to have been proposed by an African prince), but my father was by far the best-looking. Well, he must have worked his charm as well, because they were married within three months of meeting. Four decades, three children, many world trips later, they are still together, living in a sunny city, so very deeply settled into the fabric of each other.

My father told me once, a long time ago, that marrying my mother was the best thing he ever did.

Happy birthday, Ji-chan – here’s to another good year.

Kid Fashion

Today I sketched some imaginary outfits for K. I love miniaturized grown-up clothes using sophisticated colors, shapes and fabrics. It’s so easy to end up with garish and overly cutesy when it comes to kids’ clothes, and that’s probably why I gravitate toward patterns from Japanese craft books. The models are styled so simply and evoke a sort of nostalgia. Very lovely.

I also love Oliver + S, and I recently discovered Figgy’s, featuring fun, modern patterns for kids. I have a few patterns in my stash from both and can’t wait to try them out in the coming weeks! I’m also taking part in Elsie Marley‘s KCWC for the first time! So excited!


A touch of spice

I am trying to broaden my culinary horizons, and as I flipped through my many cookbooks, I came across this recipe in this book, and I had a sudden craving for a sweet yet spicy cake.

And that is exactly what I made. It got rave reviews from M, and I may have eaten several slices myself…

“Young Adult” Books

This summer, I read The Floating Islands, a fantastic young adult book about cities that are buoyed in the air, tethered by magic and unfathomable technology. There are dragons and wizards and the usual suspects of fantasy novels, but the book felt fresh and was one of my favorite summer reads.

I am a huge fan of young adult sci-fi/fantasy novels. From Twilight to Hunger Games to the Wildwood Chronicles (which, by the way, is awesome) – I am fully up-to-date on the latest YA hits. Maybe it stems from my elementary school days of reading and re-reading all of Madeline L’Engle‘s books starting with a Wrinkle in Time. I remember the tattered copy I checked out repeatedly from the library — the faded cover and torn edges, the odd scrawled notes I would find on random pages.

I went to a movie party held for my daughter’s class this past weekend and saw a pre-teen reading the latest bestseller (an older sister forced to attend, looked like). She was squirreled away in the corner, trying to avoid all the first graders running about. That would have been me at age 11. I asked her how the book was, and she gushed about the plot points, so excited to share the story. We had an animated conversation about other titles and I realized that I really like that a part of me is still that bookworm-y little girl, sparkly-eyed about vampires and flying unicorns and telekinesis and everything and anything impossible and magical.

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