Monday, May 21, 2018

Star Wars Run 2018

I remember I swore not to do any more organised runs this year. Through some mysterious force (pun, geddit?), I found myself signed up for Star Wars Run 2018 on 5th May. It's a night run so no waking up early in the morning which I hate so much. It's a night run so it's dark which is not so pleasant. Hubs did the 10km run and I did the 5.4km run. As you know, I no longer do 10km run because it's really bad for my neck and spine. So we went separately because his run started at 5pm while mine was 7:30pm. You know what that means? Hub's isn't a night run because it started so early.

This year my daughter joined us. It's her second organised run! She dragged her friend along. Guess which one is my daughter.

Last year's Star Wars Run had all the bells and whistles - stuffed toy and a fabulous fireworks. This year's run was more stingy - a useless plastic mat and a free cushion if you are early birds for the run pack collection. We got our free cushions.

We also got our fireworks. Not as spectacular as last years but a fireworks is a fireworks. Not for the 10km runners though because as their run was at 5pm, so there were no fireworks. So basically, the 10km run is pretty much a normal run. Nothing Star Warsy.

This year, the organiser was a little creative - there were two separate routes. One for Light Side and one for Dark Side. Oh yah, it's a thing for Star Wars fans. Choosing sides. I always get dumped with the Light Side. Hubs and my daughter chose the Dark Side. My running tee is blue while theirs is maroon.

Crazy hubs finished his run and accompanied me on my 5.4km run. My daughter and her friend somehow ended up in the 8:30pm wave.

The Light Side had a tent which had some psychedelic thingy going on.

It was a scenic route - if you could see. The usual Marina Bay, Gardens By The Bay, Singapore Flyer route. We ran past a eating place and the smell of satay being grilled was so incredible. I was starving.

When I saw the finish line, I sprinted for it. Unnecessarily. I mean, my pace throughout was so slow it didn't matter.

Nowadays, I'm grateful to be able to finish a run without walking.

This year I made sure I was given the correct medal.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Cleo Skirt

So yesterday I was looking at this skirt in my hideous yellow bed sheet and decided it's time to make the skirt in the fabric I had chosen.

My selected fabric is Hoodie's Collection "Alien Friends" for Timeless Treasures Fabrics. If you know me in real life, you'll know I wear a lot of dark colours. Black and white, not so much though. The print is a little kindy which is how I like it... Also, I have 2 meters worth of it. I didn't use all 2 meters. There's quite a fair amount left.

Anyway, I was committed to finishing it last night so I worked on the skirt on and off in between doing the laundry, watching Korean drama and cooking dinner.

Before I talked about sewing the skirt let me tell you why I don't like to make clothes. It's the patterns. If it's a pdf, you have to print and tape together a nightmarish number of pages. If it's a paper pattern, I hate the tissue paper it comes in. Never stays flat.

For the Cleo Skirt, by Made By Rae by the way, the pdf had 42 pages. I only printed the patterns which came to 32 pages. The page number on the pdf does not correspond to the page number on the pattern. So if you're printing by the page number, watch out. For pattern page 9 to 29, after trying to tape the pieces together, I realised my patterns couldn't match up. So I reprinted a few pieces. Still not matching up. In the end, I took out all the tape and taped backwards, i.e. starting from right to left instead of left to right. Guess what? It matched except for the very first piece which could never match due to dunno what. By then I was exhausted. It took me 2 nights to tape all the pieces together. Later when I looked at the patterns carefully, I realised they were mostly rectangles except for the pocket area. I kinda wished the dimensions of the rectangles were provided for people like me. Then I wouldn't have to waste so much paper and ink.

I made the muslin in March and I chose size M. I thought that was the correct size for moi based on the measurements provided but when I tried it on, it was too large. Anyway, the correct size for me is XS. Believe me, I've never won anything sized XS before so I was not taking any chances. I modified my muslin waistband to XS and it fitted me. I guess American XS is not the same as Singapore XS.

Cleo Skirt is not difficult to sew. It's quite basic. In fact, when I attended sewing school millions of years ago, the very first skirt I had to draft and sew was a Cleo Skirt - sew two rectangular pieces of fabric together and install elastic to cinch the waist. But of course, Cleo Skirt has 2 very nice pockets which were the reasons I wanted to make the skirt. When I buy skirts, I always look for pockets but they usually don't come with pockets or with very bad pockets.

I have been practicing on my serger and by some fluke, I accidentally turned some knob and my serger cuts 1/8" off when I serge which is exactly how I want it. Sometimes the Universe is on my side...

This photo doesn't do the serging justice. I serged everything. Honestly, sewing with a serger is such a luxury. Hubs said the inside of the skirt looks very professional.

I sewed view A minus the contrast hem. I think I may have lengthened the hemline. My final skirt length is about 19".

I used Birch shirring elastic which worked but they were a bitch to remove. Of course I could leave them behind but...

The pattern calls for a 1.25" wide elastic. I went to Spotlight to get some and there were 3 kinds of elastic - loom, braided and knitted. Loom cost an arm and a leg. Knitted was the cheapest so I bought some. When I installed the elastic in the skirt, it kept twisting up no matter what I did. It was so frustrating. Finally, I used the very cheap 1" wide elastic I already have in my stash. Worked perfectly. Sometimes...

Other than the hemline, the only other alteration I made was to widen and deepen the pocket. Otherwise, I followed the pattern.

Just now before hubs went to work, he took some pics of me in the skirt. Want to see?

Is it over?
It's over!

Overall, the skirt is all right. Beginner skills, easy to sew. Design wise, due to all the gathers in front plus it sits at the waist, I feel (imho) it's not suitable for women with big tummy. I don't exactly have a huge tummy but I already feel quite conscious I'll look pregnant. The back for me is the opposite - a bit too flat. Remember when I made the muslin I made it for size M and when I corrected the waistband to XS, I did not modify the muslin body to XS because I was lazy. Actually if I had made this skirt using XS Waistband but M Back, it might have turned out more balanced. I also like my skirts to have a bit of curve swooping down from the side. But sewing two rectangles together isn't going to get you any curves. Will I make another Cleo skirt? Nah, one is enough. But I will make another skirt with pockets, that's for sure.

p.s. I'm tanned because I had just been to the pool to swim and it was hot, hot, hot.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

What April Made

April was a hard month for me. I was adjusting to my new "diet" and in the beginning, I slept a lot because I had no energy. Now I'm better at ensuring I get proper nutrition without triggering a stomach upset. As expected, I wasn't very active on #yearofmaking2018 over at Instagram making just a few items. It is what it is.

For my fitness, I did exceedingly well. I ran a total of 6 times. I swam 3 times. I attended my once a week fitness session with Mindy at Fitness Bravo faithfully.

We did lots of stuff that I would normally do like pull. Pulling is hard. I exercise at home as well. But not nearly enough. It's hard to find the motivation. But I'm quite interested in building up my upper body. I've been doing some pulling exercises with elastic bands using my gate as an anchor and I do tabletop push ups every night. I haven't weighed myself since that one time at Fitness Bravo because I didn't want to stress myself. But I've noticed I've lost some fats around my wrists, my hips and my boobs. Basically places I don't need to lose fats. The tummy, buttocks, arms and thighs - these are areas which are harder to slim down. If I eat much, much less food, I believe it can be done. But somehow it's not possible for me to eat less. I should eat less biscuits though. My big weakness is biscuits...

So, the April makes...
I finally finished Harriet The Hen using an imperfect miter method. Then I discovered I have two more of these. Unfinished of course. Why don't I finish anything?

I spat out a beginner pouch pattern. I started on it a long, long, long time ago like 2010 but never got around to finishing it. I have many such #wip. I can't say this enough. I procrastinate far too much.

I made coasters for my kids - the edges are finished using bindings. My kids actually used them! I would like to make more stuff for my home. Maybe table mats for the kids? Or a table runner. I don't understand the purpose of a table runner though. Wouldn't it be like in the way when you want to use the table?

I've become interested in making clothes again. I love to wear skirts but it's not easy to buy skirts which appeal to me. They're either too small for me or not in the right colour. Have I mentioned before Singapore clothing retail market is made for ridiculously thin people? Yep, for people who do not eat.

I've not made many outfits for myself so it's so important I make a muslin for fit. I used my hideous bed sheet (hubs chose it) which both of us hate and wanted to get rid of. The skirt turned out to be too big for me but I've managed to figure out my correct size so I will sew the skirt soon. I've chosen the fabric from my stash and as soon as I figure out my serger, it's go go go. I dug out my serger to use and couldn't remember how to use it. Ugh. After watching the stupid video on the DVD provided when I bought the serger, I am once again acquainted with the serger and its ways. Somehow the video on the DVD doesn't fast forward but I found the exact same video on youtube and it can. Believe me, I don't want to watch the whole video every time I want to rewatch something. So sometime in May, I should be able to wear my new skirt.

Despite my numerous #UFO, I started another textile art thingy. This was inspired by Inuka, a Singapore born polar bear who was euthanized due to poor health. I'll be honest with you. I was pretty shocked. I mean since when are zoo animals put to death? Didn't our Ah Meng, Singapore's famous orang utan die of old age? In my mind, I thought all zoo animals live to a ripe old age and die naturally. This is a paradigm shift for me. The way Inuka died disturbed me.

Recently, I watched a Korean drama Should We Kiss First and the subject of euthanasia came up. The main character went to Switzerland to consult on assisted suicide as he had terminal cancer. I didn't know foreigners were allowed to request for it. Yep, for a one off 200 swiss franc (no cheques! but paypal okay), you can join this organisation as a member. And the member's privilege? For a cool 10,500 swiss franc, the accompanied suicide deal will take care of everything from doctors exam to cremation. Advance payment required of course. Oh, let's not forget about the air ticket and hotel. Assisted death is not for the poor that's for sure. In Singapore, anyone who attempts suicide can be jailed for up to one year, or fined or both. Btw, criminalization of suicide attempts is being reviewed and I believe the review should be completed this year.

During my intense digestive suffering period, I often thought to myself: How merciful if someone could put me to sleep permanently. Unless you've been where I've been, you won't know the distress and pain which led to such thoughts. But now I'm much better and have a good handle on my food, I'm glad no one took me seriously and put me to sleep.

Coming back to my Inuka textile piece, I intend for it to be an exercise in applique and embroidery even though I actually like it as it is now. I haven't figured out what I'll include but despite my "less is more" philosophy I'm going to blast out some embroidery and applique in May. Don't stop me, ok?
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