Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vietnamese Pouch/ Bag tutorial

This is my first sewing tutorial. Been looking at people's tutorials and thought
 that I should give something back to the sewing community, especially the beginners.
So here it is!

1. Fabric A  measuring 17" x 14" ( for me, the chocolate polka dot)
2. Fabric B measuring 17" x 21" ( the extra 7" of  fabric will be the handle.
    For me, it's the plain cotton linen)
3. a bundle of white rope to wrap around the handle( refer to picture above)
4. Optional : 2 cute buttons and some lace.

Step 1: Before sewing anything together, you might want to use UHU glue to glue all four sides of both the fabrics so that your bag has a tidier look. Remember to fold the side from the right(outer) side to the inner side. The picture below shows the OPPOSITE of the correct way and I had to pry the folds. 

Step 2:  Then, sew along the sides that you have glued to enforce the folds. 

Step 3: Put fabric A and B together, with the WRONG(inner) sides facing OUT and sew 3"(see white line below) on each side and along the bottom of the fabrics as shown in the diagram: 


Step 4: Then comes the part where I blundered the most - the bottom. I nearly gave up but when I figured it out, it was very easy! Just fold the bottom of the pouch and smooth it out, making it look like a rectangle, then sew along the lines like in the photo. 

Step 5: Flip over to the outer side, sew along the lines to make the angle sharper, indicated in the photo. 

Step 6: Decoration time! I hand sewed lace and buttons, then stitched 'Amy's shopping bag' on it. 
Amy's my mum. 

Step 7: Sew the upper border of fabric A to upper border of fabric B. 

Step 8: Handle : Clip the ends of the intended handle with cloth pegs( large ones) 
and start wrapping it with the white rope. I tied a little ribbon around it when it's done

Voila! You're done! 

This pouch/bag is made based on a bag I bought in a shop near Petaling Street. The shop sells all kinds of Vietnam products which are adorable! I made this bag for my mum's birthday and she loves it. hehe...The original one is mine and I use it to put my Moleskine and sketching stationery. It can be used as a handbag too. It's handy for family/friend gatherings when you just want to put your wallet and hand phone. 

I hope my tutorial is clear enough for the beginners, especially the bottom part where I don't have a clear picture to show how it's done. I guess you'll reach there by trial and error no matter what. I was met with error for nearly every trial so it's ok to make mistakes. 

Please tell me if my instructions weren't clear enough and if you make a bag based on this tutorial, I'd love to see it! 


This is a sketch of a common sight in most of the houses of Malaysian Chinese. It is a structure to worship the Sky God( 天公)。

I finished the outline outside but because of two Aedes mosquitoe bites I painted it in my room. I hate mosquitoes! Especially Aedes. They're endemic here in Malaysia and they cause Dengue fever, which recently killed a young healthy man, and many others.

My draft of the structure. 

Kitchen makeover

When I have my own house and need to cook, I will decorate my kitchen. Just as I tried to do with my mum's. The photos are of a small little rack in mum's kitchen, which i saved from a life of insignificance and dreadfulness *brags a lil while more* by applying two coats of white enamel and decorating it with kitchen-themed cartoons.

 Front view of the
revamped kitchen rack.

I also repainted the ragged wooden cat bought in Bali and wrote ' Amy's kitchen' on it. 
Add some a lot of cleaning, scrubbing, rearraging and mopping, my lil kitchen makeover is completed!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

Little Rubbits

Today, I made two more Rubbits. 
They're not that perfectly shaped but I'd prefer 
to think that as the beauty of things handmade =P

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rubbit the rabbit

Saw this in Mairuru's blog so I ciplak one for myself and named him Rubbit the rabbit. 
Now he's the guardian of my pencil box.

Sketching man in stripes

That was not the first time I encounter such people asking for donation for so and so charity, and it certainly will not be the last time. News of scams have taught me to be extremely cautious when donating. Such people, even with their few copies of whatever permit they claim to obtain from the government or the police(!), still look suspicious to me. And this man in particular, frustrated at our lack of  response, even questioned our generosity as a race.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sketching man on bus

Text in the sketch ( just in case my handwriting is indecipherable) :

The man on the bus was engrossed in his handphone game with the game music blasting. It nearly triggered my tinnitus. I had the strong urge to get up and (politely) ask him to decrease the volume but didn't have the guts to. At that moment, I wish I was not the weaker sex and the lone traveler. Besides that, he's a foreign worker, most probably from Indonesia. Now, I'm not saying that all Indonesians are inconsiderate or dangerous. In fact, I've been to Solo and Bali where I met many friendly locals. This man in particular did not look like a serial killer. Anyway, just when I thought that things couldn't get any worse, he moved to the seat right beside me! I couldn't stand the music anymore and asked him to "kurangkan sikit music( decrease the volume)". And HE DID! So I said thank you. Now I have the urge to sketch him but it'd be too obvious. Then I took out my lil mirror and sketched his reflection. ( Being the fairer sex has its advantage after all!)

11.40 a.m.
26th mar 2010
Plusliner bus from KL to Ipoh.

   After I sketched him, I moved to the seat in front of him to sketch another man. After some time, I felt something wriggling and touching my butt. I turned over and to my horror, there were two feet sticking out from the gap on my seat! When i stared at him, he looked like he's in agony and feigned innocence. What an inconsiderate person. Luckily he moved his feet away.

    I admit that I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to fellow bus passengers. I'm most sensitive to noise; blasting music put on by the bus driver, people talking loudly to their phone, loud ring tones or message tones, people who make disgusting sounds cleaning their teeth and mouth and gums and who know whats etc. I also can't stand people who recline their seats too far back, disregarding the people sitting behind, people who keep pushing their knees into your back through your backseat, people who smell of heavy smoking etc. I wish that we have programmes or campaigns to teach people 'bus manners'.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Leukaemia and anisometropia

     Thrice a week, I'd go to the paediatric ward to give questionnaires to parents with children having leukaemia requiring chemotherapy. The medication is administered through a procedure called lumbar puncture. In most occasions, the procedure is painful and scary. To get a clearer picture, try to imaging a big needle poking you at the back, straight to the spinal cord. Of course, the child is given sedation and local anaesthesia but they can only help so much.

  Anyway, today is one of the days I dragged myself to the ward. While the mother filled in the form, I  pretended to write something in my Moleskine while I sketched her and the little boy. He's in remission (cancer free period) and is on maintenance chemo. He was running around at one time, doing his homework the other. Then it's his turn to go in for the jab. He immediately hugged his mother but tried to look brave. I asked the mum whether he'd protested every time he knew he's coming to the hospital, she said no. What a brave lil boy!

  Today I'm also a patient. I had an appointment with the hospital optometrist because i had some problems with my new glasses. So she dilated my pupils to relax my ciliary muscles. This was to rule out any accommodative problems. In the end, she said that my blurred vision when I wore the new glasses was caused by anisometropia ( difference of power of more than 200 between the eyes) Apparently, the eye with much higher power has adapted itself to only 'see' far stuff, and the lower power eye only sees near stuff. So I think it's sort of like amblyopia( lazy eye) that kids can have. The optometrist said that the only solution was to wear contact lens. Finally I have a legitimate reason to be vain! But the bad news is that I can't have perfect binocular vision, which means I most probably can't be a microscopic surgeon next time. This is sad cuz I think ENT and opthalmology are interesting.

Mindfulness, happiness and the stethoscope

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


They give me the worst of moods.
Conscious of every stare.
They're painful, naggy, costly and time-consuming.
At my age, I'm not supposed to produce so much oil to nurture these little monsters.
Please leave me alone.

Anyhoo, this is my first time trying out continuous contour drawing. But of course I cheated a bit. haha..

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sketching Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Royal Selangor Club and Tun Perak Road

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Sketching Masjid Jamek

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Masjid Jamek - designed by the same architect that also designed the Sultan Abdul Samad building( which is the must-appear spot every Merdeka celebration). It is one of the oldest mosque in Malaysia and served as the main mosque in KL before the National mosque was built.

I sketched this in ink and messed up few of the details. Will have to sharpen my skill at drawing directly with ink before attempting such feat again.

Natinal Textile Museum and Central Market

Inspired by Urban Sketchers, I've decided to go on a sketchcrawl to Central market and sketch the area around it. Kuan Yew has been so kind to accompany me on my crawl. He did some photographing. We walked from Masjid Jamek LRT station to Dataran Merdeka and passed by National Textile Museum. Initially, i was reluctant to enter yet another museum but succumbed anyway to his persuasion. Bored at first, i walked around in it but when i spotted this old sewing machine, I couldn't resist sketching it. And here it is!

These are women of the east coast making traditional textile.

Peranakan clothes and head wear

Central market Food court - it was airconned. The food court itself is culturally diverse enough to represent the vibrant urban life in Malaysia. A look around shows people of  at least 6 races mingling around and at least 15culinary choices from many stalls.

Poor Kuan Yew catching a nap while i sketched. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hot Air Balloon Festival 2010

I've always been accused by Kuan Yew of not being romantic enough be
cause i don't like to watch fireworks. They look exciting to me for the first four seconds and become boring thereafter. In my childhood memories, fireworks were not really associated with fun. On the other hand,a distinct memory is of our neighbour coming over to our house where we were playing fireworks and lamented on how it caused air pollution. The loud sound every time a firework is released'd send me jumping, and that'd be another cause of annoyance for ky.  

Anyway, today's topic is hot air balloon. Whether or not it is associated with the notion romance, im not sure. But it reminds a lot of people of the animation 'Up'. For me, it's the best animation after 'Finding Nemo'. And the gist and most touching part of the whole movie is the 4 minute mime depicting old man Carl and his wife Ellies' whole lives together, which explains the reason why an old man would be crazy enough to attach thousands of helium balloons to his house so that he and the house could fly off to another country. 
Being a big fan of the movie, any chance of experiencing it must be grabbed. But the primary reason for me to travel 2 hours just to see a few balloons was because it was a return favour to kuan yew for accompanying me on my sketching marathon yesterday. A few girl friends who are genuinely interested in the festival( who, by ky's loose definition, are more romantically inclined than me, i suppose) tagged along. 

The photo on the left - Kuan Yew adjusting his cap before the balloon man starts the gas to heat up air in the balloon。 Wearing a cap is a tip from previous balloon passengers for avoiding the hair from burning.

This is a sketch of the lakeside where lots of lil children( and some adults) played in giant water balls. It looked really fun but expensive too(rm5 for 5 minutes). Too bad i couldn't play cuz i was wearing a dress. 

A sketch of the balloons against the backdrop of the famous putrajaya bridge, which i admit not knowing the name of =P