Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2014 — Raita Bag

Raita (9)

Raita (11)

Raita (4)

Raita (5)

Raita (6)

Raita (12)

Orange finally gets featured in the Juanita Tortilla repertoire with the Umbrella Prints trimmings dark packet I chose. A fitting colour scheme for autumn, too.

This is a corduroy messenger bag named Raita and I am quite proud of her. You may peek behind the scenes to the making of this Umbrella Prints featured pocket here!

Accompanying this handsome patchwork is reclaimed vintage corduroy, polyester yellow lining fabric and brand new zipper and hardware. Also, you can make Raita yours through my Etsy store.

Checking this list to see if I have met the rules of the competition:

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  • 2. A Take two photos // 1. Your Trimmings packet with it’s brown paper packaging 2. What you make
  • B Publish these photos to the internet // share & tell your story linking to Umbrella Prints.
  • C Email Umbrella Prints with a link to where you have shared your photos (we will then pin them to the Umbrella Prints Pinterest Competition board)
  • D Share with all your friends and followers what you have created so that they can vote for you!
  • 3. Make/Do something wonderful from that one packet (one packet per entry)
  • 4. Then, upload your gorgeous photos to a social media platform: blog, Instagram, Flickr, a friends blog or website etc (please note we wont be able use images from Facebook, private Instagram or locked Flickr pics!)
  • 9. The person who gets the most industry judge votes will be our big WINNER!
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Broccoli and Carrots, Again and Again…


Every week, I load up the cart with broccoli and carrot. Every, single, time; just so automatically. Cooking started to get frighteningly boring until I decided to challenge myself with a would-be blog show-and-tell — to vary ways of cooking (and eating) the broccoli-and-carrot duo. These were what I came up with over the past weeks.


*Chicken ‘n carrots meatball “clear stew” with broccoli. It is a lot more soupy than pictured.


*A very lazy tossed noodle, because I had some balls of skinny wanton noodles to use.

*Just steamed.


*Vegetarian yeemee for that starchy MSG fix.


Eventually I’d like to roast them in winter. And curries! Tempura vegetables would be nice, apart from the baneful need for a substantial amount of oil?

Do you also ever find yourself in a monotonous cooking rut?


Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition 2014

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition

You all know how I love the challenge of making fabric remnants work. The Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition is right up my alley — purchase a packet of randomly-packed trimmings from Umbrella Prints, then make something, anything, to enter the competition.

How is this competition not designed for me? (Ha.)

For this competition I bought a Dark trimmings packet.

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

Today I got to arranging the pieces immediately after the morning coffee. (Just so eager.)

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

After a few attempts at other arrangements, the first try proved to be the lucky one, with the best fit. So glad I took a photo of it; trying to arrange it back from memory would have been impossible…

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

Because I wanted to use every precious bit of print, I went ahead and did a haphazard patchwork. I lack the finesse and precision of someone who sews quilts, so quilters, you may find the images below terrifying.

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition
01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

Just going where the seam flows.

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

To give it a more handmade touch, I hand-stitched some matching rust-coloured dashes.

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

Finally, there was a brown border to “frame” it all up.

01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition
01.Apr.14 Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition

And because this is a competition, I will be showing you the finished product in due time… But you have seen the exciting bits!


The Wallpaper Awards Dress That Didn’t Make It – Butterick 5490





I busted into my fabric stash the second day after unpacking the boxes because I wanted to make a dress for the Young Achiever Awards dinner we were invited to with the dress-code ‘after five’. An older dress that I wanted to wear is too (too) tight and going out to buy a dress wouldn’t be fun… Getting a second opinion about my ever expanding girth, I made this dress based on the waist measurement — it is a size 14. Turns out, though, it is a little too large and I can barely move my arms without having a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ moment, as demonstrated by the mannequin.

Why did we overestimate my rib cage? Why do I always have this problem with Butterick?

And I know what you’re thinking: That looks like wallpaper.

Sigh. Another day will be needed to undo this lined dress and downsize it. But no hurry, I don’t have another gala to attend. Also, I don’t have the presser foot for an invisible zipper.




- Butterick B5490

- Size 14

- Material: 4-metre thick cotton bought in Singapore


The Worldly Things That Make My Existence – Finally


The worldly things that make my existence arrived yesterday, taking exactly 8 weeks, door to door.

The ‘Decorations with unidentified plant material’ that we paid customs to destroy? These 2 handcrafted souvenir from Costa Rica:


I shall be spending the rest of the week setting up my work space (in addition to other parts of the home). Can’t wait to get cracking on work.



Cooler Seventh Week in Adelaide


Deciding that this lull period would be the best opportunity for me to explore the city of Adelaide, I dashed out one morning from my summer hiding as soon as the forecast predicted an agreeable cloudy-and-rainy-below-30°C day. I thought to explore the Rundle Mall, and found myself spending a fair bit of time in Adelaide Arcade.


In the Textile and Arts Collective shop, I found a gift. (Not for me.) What I learned about TARTS is: it is a collective effort behind 30+ local artists. The shop features works by each of them, and on a rotational basis, one artist mans the store. I like this idea a whole lot.



Earlier this week, I decided to trek the CBD by getting lost. Taking the free tram to South Terrace, I zig-zagged my way up north throughout the day (see purple track, below), concluding that there is nothing of interest to me in the streets south of Gouger. And thanks, Miriam, I found the ‘Kawaii Always $2.80′ shop!


I seem to have an inclination for the Central Market and found myself wandering into a food court of the adjoining Chinatown. The prospect of ‘Singapore Delights’ did not sway my decision in going for a fresh plate of prawn Vietnamese spring rolls which may be my latest addiction, next to bubble tea.


Yesterday I attended my first Bikram yoga class. Yoga conducted in a 40°C room. Very ironic for someone who spent all that time avoiding the summer heat?!? I did not know I was capable of sweating, and that much, too. I was thankful for the shower facility as I was to meet someone after.

Speaking of meets, in these seven weeks, I have met: Sarah, Miriam, Sharyn and Stella, in chronological order. Always nice to meet in person and do something fun…

Not long now before our belongings arrive — I am shaking in excitement and just dying to burst into working on my Etsy store! It has been over 8 weeks since we parted with our belongings and if you can imagine how every shred of my being is trying to cope with the dearth of entertainment? Barely, just barely.