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Being Creative While Skint

My wife and I are expecting our first child this September.

Having been convinced the magic of a topponcino during a parenting class, we decided to make it instead of buying one.

“Oh, it's almost $100 to buy one? Why don't we make one ourselves?”

We thought this (1) would be more fun, (2) allows us to customize as we like, and (3) gives us a greater sense of ownership!

I am hoping I become good at this.
No, not parenting, I meant sewing (I kid).


I was introduced to Yuzawaya, by the wife on a Sunday afternoon.
Here in Japan, Yuzawaya is the hobby shop, where you can find reasonably-priced fabric, and then of course, Marimekko fabric as well.

Base Cover
topponcino base topponcino cover

It felt empowering knowing you get to choose what design and material goes into the product. We also had fun people-watching – guessing what others may be creating for their weekend project.

If you are looking to make other items like bibs, Yuzawaya also offers blueprints (they call them recipes). Unfortunately, there was no blueprints for topponcinos.

Sizing things up

Thankfully, the Interweb is an amazing place.
I was able to find a blueprint from this organic cotton shop:

Still, this presents a bit of a challenge, since we would have to print it on A1-size paper.

The convenience stores here allow prints up to A3 size.
Photo-printing services like Kinko's also offer easy A2 prints.

However, I think I would need to fork out $40+ to print in A1.
Most services assume you would be printing colour posters at that scale.

Being an engineer, and mainly because I'm skint, I decided to:

  1. crop the blueprint to only the intricate portions (within A3 sizes)
  2. draw the rest (mainly regular lines) myself onto the fabric

top of topponcino

Why pay that $40, if most of the to-be-printed portions can be drawn by myself?
I may be imagining things, but I assume my Asian grandparents would be proud.


(Of course, some may argue I could have simply drawn all parts by myself.)

Here's hoping things go well!
We'll share the finished product soon, hopefully.

#parenting #sewing

buy Kelvin a cup of coffee ☕