Who I am 

I am a sewing enthusiast based in the leafy county of Surrey, just outside of London. 

I grew up in Beijing, and have spent 3-4 years in Cardiff, Manchester and Reading respectively before my current adventures in the Surrey Hills. 

As a chartered accountant, there is probably little surprise that I like the geeky technicalities and the details of sewing. I also enjoy making lists of all the upcoming projects.  

My sewing journey so far

I haven't been sewing for all that long - I bought my sewing machine back in 2010 when I started making a few things. It has soon became a bit of an obsession. 

In 2011/12 I spent almost a year making my wedding dress, which was simply the biggest project I've ever taken on. During the process, and as you will see, I was also quite often distracted by other much smaller projects! With hindsight, I am soooo glad I was brave enough to undertake such a huge project and it was totally worthwhile. 

I must admit that I have enjoyed the smaller and quicker "normal" sewing projects after the wedding, and have found them very rewarding. So far I've spent the majority of my sewing time on woven fabrics, with the odd projects in jersey, but I think 2015 might just be the year where I embrace the world of knits!  

Read how sewing has changed my life here

My sewing space and machines

Here's my new sewing space - it's the perfect girl gave!

Now my machines - I started off with my simple Singer 8280 in 2010, and boy have we been through lots together! This has been my main machine for the last few years. Then I acquired my vintage Singer 99k, which I love as it's a solid machine, and it cranks up the stitches nice and fast. Subsequent to that I got a Singer serger as a Christmas present in 2013 from my hubby, and I'm loving how professional finish it gives to my garments. 

Finally, at the end of 2014, I have finally decided to move on from my Singer 8280 and bought myself a Brother computerised machine! 

I know this is probably more machines that one should own, and for that very reason I contemplated naming the blog "Alice and the Machines"! But hey, I love all my machines equally as much :)

This blog

I started this lil blog around August 2011 when I turned 25 (what I would like to call my 'quarter life crisis') to document my journey with the wedding dress and share my other sewing projects. 

In the first 3.5 years I have named this blog Moonbeam, which was the surname of my first sewing machine (aka "Sallie Moonbeam", who is in turn named by my used-to-be favourite sweet shop before it sadly closed down). 

However, from the beginning of 2015, I have taken the decision to rename the blog to Queen of Darts for various reasons (more details here). 

I do hope you enjoy reading my blog. Any comments and questions are always welcome, and please feel free to email me at xinyuealice0803(at)gmail(dot)com


  1. Hi! I'm in love with your Blog! My goal is to make my own wedding dress one day. I really loved yours, such a beauty! Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Thank you Karen, that is so sweet! Welcome to Moonbeam and I'm glad you like it :D

      That's great about your plan to make your own wedding dress - it will be well worth it!

  2. Do you know, I grew up near Buxton and last Christmas stayed in a B&B in Buxton! It was so nice to meet you this weekend. Must go and check out Fabricland...

    1. Wow Karen, I had no idea! Was Sallie Moonbeam there when you were growing up? I could only imagine lots of giddy children nearby! X

  3. Hi Alice. I found your blog very inspiring. I have a little similar life journey like yours when I moved to Australia from Guangzhou at my 17. Guest what - I was once an accountant before I work for the government. It must take a lot of determination to make your own wedding gown. Good work. Keep it up.

    1. Hello and thank you for stopping by!

      Thank you so much for your kind comments. It's great to see someone with a similar life journey, except that yours sounds a lot warmer than mine :p

  4. Hi, i really love you blog. Im also small on top and decided to try and make my own clothing. As you it is also a trail and error story. :-) But your blog gave me now some new inspiration. I love your patterns and can't wait for my dressmakers dummy to arrive in 2 weeks. Im from South Africa
    Take care

    1. Hello, thank you for stopping by. I am really pleased that you are finding the blog helpful :) That's exciting about your dressmakers dummy -- personally I can't live without mine! Good luck with your sewing adventures :)

  5. Hi there!

    I work for 25/7 Productions -- an LA TV company (The Biggest Loser, The Vineyard, Flip Men) -- and we're doing a new show about brides who make their own wedding dresses. I would love to Skype interview you about your experience making your beautiful dress! Would you be willing to do a little Skype with us? And/or do you know any other DIY Brides who'd like to chat? Please let me know if you'd like to talk! Email me at holly@257tv.com. Thanks for your time! I hope to hear from you soon!

    Holly Golden
    Development Producer
    25/7 Productions

  6. Recently I started reading your blog. I think it's awesome, You are awesome. Thank You for sharing your sewing experience here.
    some time ago I was looking for some site about sewing and find yours. It inspired me. And I started my own blog, also about sewing. I'm still learning how to make clothes.
    I read all your posts. I love your blog so much.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. I hope you like the new theme, too. Happy sewing!


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