Friday, November 27, 2015

Weigh In Friday - Sugar Sugar

Hello friends,

Something terrible has happened. I have gained more weight. This morning I woke up early to weigh myself thinking I'll weigh the lightest before any breakfast. After peeing all the pee I could muster out, I dragged out my scale and of course the damn machine screwed with me again. It registered a huge weight gain followed by ERR. I think ERR is the machine's LOL. Anyway, I weighed myself a few more times and looks like it's 57.1kg. I gained 400grams in one week. I'm now back at 57kg. Yes, I know I once said my ideal weight is 57kg. But that was a total lie. I really wanted to be 55kg.

You may think 400grams is no big deal. But I had gone down to 55kg for a while. So, in reality, I've gained back 2kg. I'm freaking out and dealing with it by eating even more food. I'm blaming my weight gain on all the sugared drinks. I've been drinking soy milk for the past 2 weeks and you know how horrible soy milk tastes without sugar? So I've been drinking the sugared chocolate soy milk. I could easily down 5 to 6 little packets a day.

I also tried Pacific's Hazelnut chocolate milk. It's delicious and very sweet. Maybe it's delicious because it's sweet? I'm going to have to seriously reduce the amount of sugared drinks if not I may end up back at 63kg. I'm screaming in my head, can you hear?

I went running once this week and it was quite hard since I'm so unfit now. I'll try to run at least once every week. It's a little tricky as we are having lots of thunderstorms every day.

My kids' exams are over and it's such a relief. I no longer have to check their schedules and wake them up on the correct days. The morning exams start at 8am which means my son would have to wake up at 6am. On Wednesday it was my son's last exam. The train system broke down for some of the stops. Fortunately it didn't affect his journey to the station near his school. I read in the papers 10 students showed up late for their exams due to the train fault. But they were given the full 3 hours to complete the paper. My son said some students from other schools went to his school to sit for their exams. This is allowed when the trains break down. Still, I imagine how upset the students must have been, going to a random school asking for permission to sit for their exam papers.

With no schedule to follow anymore you would think I would feel so happy and be doing all the things I want to do without having to stress over the kids' making it to school in time. Strangely I feel so empty like I have no purpose in life. Also, I find that I wake up early in the morning now that I can sleep in every day.

Next week I go back to eating and drinking oats. I can't wait.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Unsafe to complain about sewing on the train

Dear readers,

Most of us are sewers here, aren't we? I have a question. Do you sew when you are taking public transport, say train or bus? If you answer yes, have you ever thought about how it might affect terrify the other passengers?

Well, this week, I read this letter of complaint in a newspaper forum by a train passenger in Singapore. You can read her letter here. I have also reproduced it below:

Ms Tan Lay Hoon was on the train and encountered this....

"Recently, I came across a young woman working on a piece of cross-stitch embroidery inside an SMRT train.

She sat forward with a gap between her and the back of her seat, perhaps to facilitate the flow of her needlework movements.

The embroidery floss running through the needle was about 45cm long."

Sensing the danger posed by the ever moving needle, Ms Tan decided to do something about it.

"I suggested to the woman that it could be dangerous to sew inside the confines of a moving MRT train. She replied that she had been sewing while riding in MRT trains for a long time and returned to her task. There were commuters seated on both sides of her."

Sewing is not a safe activity

"While the train was relatively empty during the off-peak hour, sewing is not a safe activity to pursue inside a train that is travelling.

At times, MRT trains lurch when moving or halting. If the woman is pulling the needle in an upward movement and is caught unexpectedly by a sudden staggering of the train, an involuntary jerk of the hand holding the needle may cause the needle to jab at a fellow commuter sitting or standing close by."

If the needle impales an eye
"There will be very serious consequences if the needle impales an eye or other body part of a nearby commuter who could not move away in time. How can the injured commuter seek recourse?

If the SMRT's regulations do not permit sewing inside MRT trains in operation, what is the appropriate action that a concerned fellow commuter can take in such a situation?"

Ms Tan ended her letter by asking:
"By the way, what circumstances warrant an activation of the emergency communication button?"

Yes, apparently Ms Tan felt so threatened by the wayward needle, she considered activating the EMERGENCY button.

I feel for Ms Tan. I really do because the Internet is cruel.
This is an example of a response to her complaint:
I saw a guy swaying to music once. And I thought this was very dangerous. The trains lurch sometimes and if he sways in the direction of the lurch he could be propelled forward into another commuter who would then be rammed into one of the poles, breaking his neck, or back, or even cracking his skull. If he misses the pole, he might find himself propelled out the window, causing other commuters to fall out the window with him.
There are lots more similar responses. However, there has been no response from SMRT to Ms Tan's complaint. I look forward to what SMRT has to say.

I have a confession to make. Back in the days when I was selling at craft markets, I often left sewing the gap in the lining last. As a result, I ended up with a bunch of bags and pouches with hand sewing needed to close the gaps. To make full use of my time on the train, sometimes an hour long, I would sew on the train. And I use pretty sharp needles. I remember I would get stares by other women whenever I did my sewing. But no one told me to stop sewing.

By the way, I sew in a safe way. You see, when I was 7 and started learning to sew in school, my teacher who probably feared having her eyes impaled by clumsy 7 year-olds taught me and my classmates that the ONLY way to pull the needle is with a downward motion. That way, the needle will never accidentally poke someone in the eye or other body parts. After I finished school, I was 19 or so, I went to this school to learn to draft and construct clothing. The first thing the teacher taught me was also to pull the needle in a downward motion.

So if you have been pulling your needle upward, like the cross-stitcher on Ms Tan's train, you may possibly prick someone in the eye or other body parts. And you don't have to be on a train to hurt someone with a needle. Remember. We are sewers/sewists, not terrorists.

Another mini carryall in a houses print

Remember this doll I made in 2013 (post here)? Her body is made from a fabric which I had over-bought in my enthusiasm for anything with houses prints. Well, I still have about 3/4 yards left of the houses fabric and originally I was planning to make something for myself like a pair of shorts. But 3/4 yard may not be enough so I used it to make a mini carryall using my newest bag pattern.

I brought bag and doll downstairs for a little photoshoot. I was in a bit of a hurry and did not take many shots. I also forgot to use different F stops for a different look.
You can get my bag pattern at my Etsy shop or Payhip shop.

My friend, Suzee reviewed my mini carryall and here's her version. She used a cute combination of fabric prints. Suzee owns Applehead Threads at Etsy.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weigh In Friday - Crispy and fried

I went off oats and was feeling quite weird because I drink a lot of oats products everyday. As a result, I ended up bingeing on fried chicken. I had KFC a few times and once we ate Korean fried chicken. The thing is, I don't even like KFC.

We ate Chir Chir chicken which is my favourite Korean fried chicken. The restaurant doesn't sell chicken in small portions so you need at least 2 to 3 persons to share a plate.

I expect to be punished for my greed and this morning I weighed myself and yep, there's a small gain. I would really hate to gain back all the weight I have lost. I really like how I can wear my older clothes. The only "disadvantage" is the shorts and pants I wore the past two years are loose.

20th Nov 2015 -56.7kg
13th Nov 2015 - 56.4kg
6th Nov 2015 - 56kg
21st July 2015 - 63kg

I drank soy milk this week even though I don't like soy milk. Soy gives me a bit of bloating but I have this weird thinking that since I'm Chinese and grew up taking soy sauce every day, I have to have some immunity to soy bloating. Nope, no immunity. I like Hershey's chocolate soy milk best. The mocha, I'm not so into.

Have you guys tried yam soy ice-cream? This is from Mr Bean. I love purple food (except purple salad). I get so much joy eating it.

My big fail this week is this new pancake mix. I got so bloated and sick after eating the pancakes. They were delicious though.

I never got back to running. There was one day me and my girl were supposed to go running in the morning. I tried to wake her and she growled at me. So I went back to sleep. That was the only feeble attempt at exercising.
In case you missed my previous post, I released a new bag pattern. You can still get it at a discounted price at my Etsy shop, Craftsy, or Payhip until Monday, Nov 23rd.

See ya.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Bag Pattern - Mini Carryall

Hello folks,

A few years ago while I was still selling my bags at craft markets in Singapore, I started work on this bag pattern. The demands of producing stock for my craft market left me too tired and I abandoned the project and left it in my Work-In-Progress basket. Yes, I actually have a real basket where I throw stuff I lost interest in. It has lots of stuff in it. Filled to the brim. Collecting dust.

Anyway, this bag pattern has always been at the back of my mind and I told myself one day I will tackle it. And I did. This year. Except you already know what happened - tennis elbow and gastritis freaking headache hell. By some miracle, in October I was able to get past my daily gastritis headaches and get cracking on the pattern. Things went swimmingly. Usually I would have screw ups like camera dying, images corrupting, lack of sunlight, ran out of fabric, bird shat on my head etc. This time around, it's almost as if the Universe wanted me to get this bag pattern over and done with already. Zero screw up. The sun was out when I wanted it to. I have a new camera. It didn't die. I dropped it once but caught it with my thigh!!! I even learnt how to use it in time for the photoshoots. My daughter willingly posed with the bag for the final shoots.

Completing this bag pattern means so much to me. It's more than just putting out another bag pattern. Throughout producing the pattern, I learnt to live and work with and around my headaches instead of lying in bed and feeling sorry for myself. I no longer wait for a good day to work. I make every day a good day. I'm making it sound so easy. It's still hard. Some days I have to drag myself out of bed. I feel so darn proud of myself. Don't mind if I pat myself on the back. I had been feeling pretty useless since April. I feel so successful now! Not money successful but you know what I mean? Like I can do anything. Anything. But don't worry. I won't go chasing every shiny object. I will focus on my bag making.


I present to you my Mini Carryall. I have listed this bag pattern in my Etsy shop. What are you waiting for? Get it now. HERE.

Does the bag look familiar? If you're a long-time reader of Projects By Jane, you may have seen something similar on my blog a number of times a few years ago . I used to sell a version of this bag at my craft markets. I remember they sold really fast and you would think that would motivate me to make truckloads of them to sell. Instead I made only a few to sell and that was it.
This is a hand carry bag and it's called mini carryall because it's mini and you can put lots of stuff in it. Originally I wanted to call it the Gastritis Mini Bag in honour of you-know-what but I think that's too weird.
It comes in one size only and it's a really perfect size. I'm quite particular about the size of my bags and I spend much effort figuring out what's the best size. The mini carryall doesn't look good big, imo.
This is not a beginner bag. It's also not difficult to make. I usually include lots of photo and detailed instructions so I'm confident anyone who can sew and follow instructions will have no difficulty producing the mini carryall.
So what do you think? Is my mini carryall cute? I think it's super cute. In fact I think it's awesome. I hope my customers will love it. Say, could you guys do me a big favour? Those of you with an Etsy account? Click on this link to my Etsy shop and heart/favourite this item. It will really help increase views. It's similar to a Facebook Like. Thank you so much!
Here are the dimensions of the bag:
Across the top and bottom: 8 1/4"
Depth: 4 1/4"
Top to bottom: 4 3/4"

And here are a couple of "outtakes"...

Big thanks and love to Maria of Mia's Creations for testing my bag pattern. In her version, she has added some quilting lines which I've come to notice is her signature. Also, notice she matches the colour of her zipper to the flowers on her fabric? That's effort, my friend.

Btw, if you much prefer to buy my mini carryall pattern off my blog (same discounted price as Etsy) and not bother with opening an account , you can do it by clicking on the 'Buy Now' button below. Do read my faq first if it's your first time buying off my blog. (ecommerce provided by Payhip)

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weigh In Friday - Naan

Hello Friday the 13th!

Another week whizzed by. Today's my daughter's last day of exam. As I type this, her last exam has just started. I'm pretty sure when she's done with her exams, she'll come home and set fire to all her secondary school books. Sadly, my son has 2 more weeks to go before his last exam.

Singapore has entered the wet season. It has been raining almost every day for the past 2 weeks. Where I live, some days, it rains a few times in a day. The rain helps the haze situation. I don't even check the haze index anymore. I think it's usually below 100 nowadays. Hubs bought me a black mask which I never got to wear. Oh well, there's always next year. I'm pretty sure the haze will come back big again.

This week and next week I'm abstaining from oats. It's quite a big operation as I've come to depend on oats. What will I drink? What will I eat? How will I live? It's like quiting booze.

My girl accompanied me to the organics store once and she said she wanted to try hazelnut milk. So that's what I tried drinking instead of oat milk. I say tried drinking because it's horrible. Like yuk, phui, phui phaaat kind of horrible. It's like drinking poison. I am swearing off EcoMil forever. Except I have one more item from this brand - almond milk. I hope it doesn't taste as bad.

I discovered I have a book - The Practical Encyclopedia of Whole Foods in my home library and I remember I bought it decades ago not understanding why I needed it but I bought it anyway. So I went through it and I realise there is a drink I can make myself - barley drink. My mother used to make this a lot when I was young.

I had white carbs this week - naan at Zaffron Kitchen. It came with fries. Double carbs! Man, the naan was so delicious. I think I got away with the carbs. My stomach didn't complain too much.

You know how I love biscuits and would you believe I've run out again. I'm a pig. I went back for more wasa but there wasn't any of the delicate version left so I bought this one instead. It has sesame seeds and tastes quite alright. I mean it's no butter cookie. But it's like rock. I fear my teeth will fall out one of these days.

I was never attracted to buckwheat biscuits but I felt so desperate for something to snack on that I gave toasted buckwheat a try. It tastes alright if you put nutella on it.

My weight this morning? 56.4kg. I haven't exercised at all for 3 weeks already. It's baaad. But I still walk. That counts, right?

13th Nov 2015 - 56.4kg
6th Nov 2015 - 56kg
21st July 2015 - 63kg

By the way, this is going to shock you guys. I am already working on my next bag pattern. I made 3 prototypes and I'm very pleased with the result. What about the one I had been working on? I'll publish it next week, probably Tuesday. I can't believe it myself. I'm so productive. Next week I hope to take photos and write up the instructions for the next pattern. I'm going to have to be up early to take the photos because it usually rains in the afternoon. See ya.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Weigh In Friday - Spelt

Hello friends,

This week flew by, didn't it? We had good air when the haze gave us a break. It's kinda back again. But thank you for those few glorious days of blue skies and lovely sunshine.

I worked very hard. Not the terrible, I'm so tired kind of hard. The "I'm so occupied I forgot I have gut problems" kind of hard. By the way, my bag sewing mojo is back! For quite a long time since 2014, I had lost the passion for making bags. I got so caught up in my real life drama that there wasn't any room for anything else. This year I thought I could get back into sewing again but my tennis elbow happened. I thought it meant the end of my sewing life. Not being able to use your right hand like normal is no joke. It drove me nuts. Slowly but surely, my elbow is getting better. It will never be the same and I accept that. I can use the big scissors now so that means sewing is not a problem. I can use the vacuum cleaner as well. Demmit! I do continue to look after my elbow. There are activities I still avoid like swimming or using force with my arms.

I was going through my fabric and I realised with utter horror I have a shitload of scrap fabric. This is the disadvantage of making over a thousand bags and pouches. The leftover fabric. I can't bear to throw these away so I started thinking maybe I want to start making stuff for sale again. Just so the fabric won't go to waste. I'm definitely not going out to shopping malls to sell again. That's not going to happen anytime soon. I still remember the stress of trying to sell enough just to pay the rent. That was awful. My option is to make a few things and try to sell them on my blog? These are just thoughts at the moment. Looking at my fabric, I had so many ideas. I feel like I'm falling in love all over again with an ex. <giggle>

This week spelt kept me alive. Spelt flakes taste no different from regular cereal. I eat this for breakfast some days and when I get hungry, I eat them as a snack. They are a little filling and that's the effect I want. The other thing keeping me alive is oatmilk. I drink a few cartons a week. I may have to stop drinking oatmilk for a couple of weeks just so I don't end up becoming allergic to it.

I lost my cooking mojo and have been cooking very simple food for the kids and I. Vegetables soup and chicken soup. Oh, I had fastfood TWICE. I'm bad again.

My weight this morning? 56kg. Woohoo!

6th Nov 2015 - 56kg
30th Oct 2015 - 56.5kg
23rd Oct 2015 - 56.5kg
16th Oct 2015 - 56kg
9th Oct 2015 - 55.9kg
2nd Oct 2015 - 56kg
25th Sep 2015 - 55.9kg
18th Sep 2015 - 56.4kg
11th Sep 2015 - 57.1kg
4th Sep 2015 - 57.8kg
28th Aug 2015 - 58kg
21st Aug 2015 - 58.8kg
14th Aug 2015 - 58.9kg
7th Aug 2015 - 59.9kg
21st July 2015 - 63kg

Thursday, November 5, 2015

How to wrap a bead with thread

Remember many months ago I made this cherries brooch? The "cherries" were wooden beads wrapped in thread. I wanted to show you guys how to wrap a bead with thread and today I finally remembered.

First you need to find a suitable bead. It doesn't have to be made of wood but the hole mustn't be too small. I have used perle cotton and stranded embroidery thread. I find that stranded embroidery thread covers better. How much thread to use? I usually use 3 arm's length. Always use more thread than you need.

Use green thread for a green berry. Brown thread - and you get a nut. Blue thread - that's a blueberry! Gold thread and you get a gold nut.

Put the tail of your thread into the bead. Leave a tail of around 5". Pass your threaded needle through the bottom of the hole while holding on to the 5" tail. Keep doing this until you have covered as much of the bead as possible.

I usually find it impossible to cover 100% of the bead but I'm quite happy with this one.

While working thread is on top, thread it through a bead. I wanted to use a red bead but I have run out. The black bead looks obscene, doesn't it? Take the needle to the other side.

Sew both threads to the back of your fabric. Tie both threads together twice. Your cherry is done.

If you prefer to have a little stem on your cherry, when both threads are on the same side, take the needle and go over the tail through the loop. (see image above)

Your looped stitch will look like this. Keep doing until your have reached the desired length.

Sew both threads to the back of your fabric. Tie both threads together twice. Your stemmed cherry is done.

If you don't do embroidery, you could make a zipper pull using this cherry. 

Linked partay: Sew Many Ways
Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns