Thursday, August 30, 2007

How to make a Saikoro (Dice) pouch.

The other day, my friend showed me a cute dice shaped pouch that she made. I said to her it's so pretty, then she sent me a instruction through e-mail.
Since I was asked how to make it by my other friend, I decided to introduce how to
make it here. I hope you understand it :)

You are going to make this pouch.

The materials :

Fabrics for front and lining, and interfacing.
9" zipper, 2 pieces of cotton tape for tags for both side of the pouch. I used cotton tape for tag because I am a lazy person, but you can make it with a piece of fabric if you would like. Ribbon or just a piece of fabric is fine. It's for tags.
Each of the fabrics and interfacing size is 10" by 20". (I thought around 12" by 20" would be better after I completed the pouch.)
And you will need 2 of 3" by 6" pieces of lining fabric for piping later.

Layer front fabric and the zipper like this.
Zipper : right side down, Front fabric : right side up.

Then, layer lining fabric right side down (front fabric and lining right side together) on it, layer interfacing on it. Please be careful not to move the zipper!

And then, sew them together carefully like this.

Open up the layers, front fabric wrong side and interface together, iron the seam...

and sew them together like this.

Let's finish the other side of zipper! Just do in the same way as you did now.
Fold the front fabric right side together. And put the zipper on it.

And then, layer right side of lining on it, layer interfacing.
Pin them, and sew!

The bottom looks like this.

Turn over it from the side of front fabric.
And line up them at the zipper like just you did before. Iron the seam,

open up the zipper and sew on the seam!

Now, turn over it again right side together. You are now looking at lining side. We are going to sew the edges to make dice shape! This is very easy, but be careful ;)
Please remember where the numbers on the picture go.

Fold it in half carefully, now 1 is on 3, and zipper is on your left side.
Pick up the 4 to bring 1 on the top of 2.

Does your dice pouch look like this?

This is other view to see inside.

Then, simply bring 5 on the top of 4. Please do the same the right side and other side of the pouch!
After you finish this "folding work" 4 times, you are ready to sew again!
You are going to finish!

Now, when you open the 2 to each side, does your pouch look like this??

Layer the tape or ribbon or piece of fabric, whatever you prepared for the tags on the first layer of the pouch.
Should be like this.

Fold them back in place, and finally..., sew them together! Be careful to not move any parts this time!

Finish the other side in the same way!
Don't forget to leave the zipper open. You will turn right side out from the zipper after you complete all of work. If you leave the zipper close, you can't turn right side out :-(

This is the view of when you open your pouch after finished sewing both of end side.

Now you are ready for piping the edges.
Cut 2 pieces of 3" by 6" from the fabric for lining.

Hold them in half, iron them, and layer it on the edge like this.
Pin it.....,

and sew.
You are going to wrap the edges with the piece of fabric.

Turn your pouch over, and start to wrap from the edge..., this might be difficult part because the layers are thick, you may have to fight with your sewing machine...
But don't be irritated! Just do slowly and slowly. Be careful to not break your sewing machine needle!

This is the view you just finished piping!

Turn over and look at the other side ;)

This is how the piped edges look like inside of the pouch.

Everything is done!!
Turn right side out from zipper opening!
Shape the pouch looks like a dice ;-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Trying to make cotton tape.

I see many people use their own logo on fabric tape on their handmade products. The product with original logo looks nicer. I made 4 of original stamps of my shop during I was in Japan. I thought it would be nice to make my original small thank you card of my shop, and it turned out "I might able to make cotton logo tape with them!" because I found I cannot afford to order to a printing company for the tape.

I used aclylic paint for stamping. I have used this paint before and it worked great for stamping on cotton fabric.

Tip a little amount of the aclylic paint on the top of the sponge brush of stencil, and spread it using a top of a petbottle. And then, just put the paint on a stamp lightly little by little, then stamp on the fabric!

The logo marks looked great to me! Looks really like "handmade", doesn't it???
But I am worrying about if people feel "This logo is the EXTRA!". sigh...

The sakura patterned red fabric was also stamped by me. I stenciled with aclylic paint and fixed by iron. I washed this fabric twice after stamping, the paint isn't washed away.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Here it is cold (for me) in VA, since yesterday. I was surprised I felt cold temparture yesterday when I went outside to check mails. And still cold today too. It was very hot a few days ago. Strange.

I was looking at pictures that I took in Japan. These might be interesting for you, they were taken in grocery store.

Carrot leaves. I was thinking that I wanted to give them to my rabbits.

Shimeji -- Japanese mashrooms --.
I love Shimeji though, I haven't seen in my area.

Natto (fermented soybeans). I seldom seen foreigners to say "I like Natto.", but "I like Sushi."
They are stinky though, very healthy foods and tasty!

Eel! I love eel burned and soaked in sweet sause. My greatuncle used to have eel business, so I used to be given often when I was a child.

Tarako(salted cod roe).
This is very important item like Miso soup for Japanese to eat rice with. I love Tarako spaghetti! I brought many Tarako spaghetti sauce from Japanese trip this time. I haven't seen Tarako in my area neither (>_<). So sometimes my friends in Japan send them to me.

Milk packages. They are 1 litter (approx. quater of 1 gallon) carton. We don't buy milk or other juice per a gallon.

Everything is big in the USA!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Letter from Iwo jima"

I saw a movie "Letter from Iwo jima" with my husband last midnight. I thought my man (Clint Eastwood, ha-ha-ha) is appeared on the movie though, he is the director of the movie, not appeared as an actor.
I would say I was impressed about a person who is not Japanese made this movie, but that was all. Especially the English subtitles were so poor as it just explained what's going on, it would be very difficult for people who is not Japanese to understand or to feel Japanese culture. "Oh, Japanese crazy, disgusting!" movie, again. Anyway it's very, very difficult to understand other country's culture though.

I think I like to see movies drawn about wars, it doesn't mean I like violent scenes. I like to see history in some view point. I hate violent as I always push my face into my husband fat berry when I expected that kind of scenes would come, try to not see. I feel like my legs bone below knees are itchy and like the bones are upset when I meet those scenes.
My husband is very intelligent who makes me think he knows everything, so he often explains me in easy English what was background, what other countries movement at that time, what was believed among people, and so on. Unfortunately, I can't remember those exactly, but I anyway learn something.

The other day, my husband suggested me to see one movie about whale hunt in old time. That was on TV, so I started to see the movie, but it was boring for me, and too long. My husband told me that I can learn history of USA (as New England). I think that is true, but as foreigners feel for Japanese movies, I think I don't get deep feeling for it. Also it's always difficult for me to understand spoken English from TV or movies, whatever speaks English.

My husband often says, "Come one, get relaxed, watch movie.", but I cannot be relaxed watching English movies, my brain has to work so hard to understand what's going on.
The language of "Letter from Iwo jima" was Japanese, so I didn't have a language problem though, it's strange that I was reading English subtitles to understand the story with my husband.

Keep making tote bags!

My sewing machine has been working so hard like a horse as I worried about it may pass away in very near future. I can't forget to give it some machine oil often!

This is the newest tote I made the day before yesterday.
I needed to use polka dot fabrics for "quilt block exchange project" for the quilting group that I am belong to. After I finished the blocks, I had some leftover of polka dot fabrics, so this tote was made naturally!

Please look at some works that my sewing machine have done :-)

And my sewing machine have just done a double size quilt either! I ask it for holding a long life... My sewing machine is not expensive one and has only simple functions though, I cannot think my life without it.


I bought this mannequin at ebay the other day. I wanted to have a model for taking pictures with for my sales items.
I was looking for a body form first, but it's too expensive for me. I am anyway not going to use a body form for dressmaking, just needed it for a photo model. I have only one person who I can ask for the model, but he is a big and husky man :-( not cute, or adorable, or beautiful for a model :-(
Eventhough he said, "Oh YES!! I can be your photo model!", how many people can get a good image from the photo of a tote bag with a big and husky man? Oh.

Anyway. I love my mannequin! I even gave it a name. Her name is Tsukiko in Japanese. "Tsuki" in English means "the moon", "ko" means "a child". Japanese female names often have "ko" at the end.