Thursday, August 23, 2018

Bling Bling Beaded Crochet Rope Bracelet

When I'm not lazing around, most of my time is spent on my bag patterns. It can get very tedious and boring so to keep myself from rotting, whenever I take a break, I work on a non-sewing craft. Recently I went through my beads collection and found 3 tubes of beads which I thought went together really well. So I made a beaded crochet rope bracelet.

This is the most tedious part of bead crochet. You have to string the beads in the order you want to use them. Mine is a colour 1, colour2, colour 3 repeat. It's a simple spiral requiring no thinking. The beads are Toho size 6 (the smaller the number, the bigger the beads) so they're pretty big in beads world. I bought these beads years ago when I thought I couldn't go without bead weaving a single day but aging (bad eyes) put a halt to my grand plans.

The first half inch of a beaded crochet rope is the hardest. I use a knitting needle as a support. Once you get at least an inch worth, you can work without the knitting needle. If you're wondering what happens if you had strung the beads in the wrong order? Well, that's when you take out your pliers and you crack the rogue bead apart.

If you're interested in beaded crochet rope, you can check out this or this video. Or not. There are tons of videos on youtube on this subject.

The last photo is the truest representation of my skin colour now. Thanks to the blazing hot sun and swimming in the blazing hot sun, I've become quite tanned. (the wrinkles have always been there)

What do you think of the bracelet? Shall I wear it to the Oscars?

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Coil Basket

I'm always thinking of ways to reduce my supplies. I have a lot of yarn and lots of rope. Once upon a time I was obsessed over knotting. When hubs discovered I was into rope, he would occasionally come home with a new ball of rope for me. Until I had to tell him to stop because I discovered I'm not talented when it comes to knotting. So I have balls and balls of rope in my drawers.

Last year I saw some photos of coil basket on social media and I thought what a great way to get rid of my rope and yarn. You know how it is right? You see something someone made on Instagram and you think you can make it too.

A couple of days ago, I was driven berserk by the hot and humid weather and I decided I had to occupy my mind with something I've never done before. Nothing like a new craft to cool oneself down eh? I watched a few youtube videos (this, this, this and this) and got cracking.

Surprisingly there isn't a ton of literature on coil basket. It's fairly easy if you don't bother with any design. I thought I could make a giant basket to hold my rope collection. At the same time, I'm getting rid of the yarn I am no longer fond of. Win-win!

Did I mention it's hot and humid in Singapore? Not the regular all year round hot and humid but the go crazy kind. My mother calls it the makes you want to climb up the wall kind of hot. So coiling yarn round rope made my skin so itchy and you're already all sweaty and drippy. Why didn't I install air conditioning in my living room? So finally I decided maybe I won't make a giant basket. Maybe a small basket - enough to hold some odd balls of yarn.

After more coiling, my hair got itchy, my arms got itchy, some unmentionables got itchy. Despite the irritation, I managed to complete my basket.

Yup. I decided miniature felt exactly right.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Red And White Hearts Friendship Bracelet

Today is Singapore's National Day - our 53rd year of independence.

I did not mark the day by waking up early in the morning to go for an organised run which is what hubs did.

I won't be watching the National Day parade live at Marina Bay but maybe live on TV - we now have TV reception again thanks to the free DTV starter kit provided by IMDA.

The volunteers in the area where I live created a flag of Singapore made of used shuttlecocks! I was very impressed by their creativity and hard work.

I thought I'll do something crafty too. I used the colours of Singapore flag - red and white to make a friendship braid. Btw, the colour red symbolises "universal brotherhood and equality of man", and white, "pervading and everlasting purity and virtue. 

I made it a bit too short but it's still wearable. I used DMC No. 25 embroidery floss. I think perle cotton thread would have been better.

I made a loop for closure. Somewhere near the middle of the thread, I make a simple 3 strand braid.

When I have enough to make a loop, I made a knot.

I hook the loop up and start with my half hitch knots. My starting position is red, white, red, white. The half hitch knots you make for this friendship bracelet reminds me of tatting knots. If you want to give this bracelet a go, you can check out this tute. This heart bracelet is not as easy as it looks. If you aren't familiar with knot making, you'll probably go a bit insane during the process. I suggest you try a less challenging chevron bracelet first.

Once you have made enough hearts to cover the top of your wrist, you can divide up the strands and make 2 separate braids. These you will use to tie the bracelet via the loop.

Happy National Day Singapore.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

I Sewed My First Pair of Panties

Until I was 14, I wore cotton panties handmade (homemade in those days) by my auntie. Well, it was either that or my sisters' hand-me-down. I never questioned why I had to wear the huge granny colourful cotton panties my auntie made for me. I was grateful they were new. I am the last daughter in a family of 5 girls (and 4 boys)

My auntie was not particular about fit and she made the panties huge. When I wore the panties, I could feel the wind beneath my wings...

When I was 14, I had a bff who had way more spending money than me. One day she asked me what colour panties I wore. (I think she just wanted to show off that she wore black underwear - very daring in those days) I told her my panties had many colours - mostly flower-flower patterns. She couldn't believe her ears so I had to show her what I was wearing. She laughed and laughed. And laughed some more. In fact she couldn't stop laughing. She laughed so hard she physically hurt herself. When she finally calmed down, she asked me why I would wear such underwear. I tried to explain about being the 5th girl and not liking hand-me-down... Anyway, she kindly brought me to a department store and showed me new panties which had no flower-flower print and they didn't cost a bomb as I had been tricked (by my mother) into believing.

Well, I did buy new beige panties for myself which I saved to wear when I went out. Secretly, I continued to wear my auntie's cotton panties at home until I wore them out. Anyway, my auntie stopped making panties for me when I was 14 so it all worked out.

Last December I received a free Acacia underwear pattern when I joined Megan Nielsen's newsletter. I had bought a pattern from her which I haven't sewn yet. So the underwear pattern had been sitting in my hard drive for a while and recently, I thought about making it. I mean handmade panties have a special place in my heart. I looked through the instructions and it seemed fairly simple. The only issue was the fabric. I needed a 20 to 30% stretch fabric and I wasn't sure if I have any.

Then I looked in my wardrobe and I saw this Hang Ten tee shirt. This tee no one wants to wear. It's been passed around from family member to family member. The price tag is still attached. I thought why not use it to make my Acacia panties. I did the stretch test and it had a 20+% stretch. I would have preferred a 30% stretch but I couldn't find another tee shirt to sacrifice.

If calculating stretch is new to you (it's just Math), the pattern includes a stretch chart so you can just place a piece of scrap fabric, stretch it and easily tell the stretch percent.

Only 4 pieces of fabric to join together. Actually for panties, the fewer pieces the better.

I used a 1/4" elastic and my zigzag configuration were 2.5/2.5. I tried out a few variations and loved 2.5/2.5 the most.

In case you're interested, I used Schmetz stretch needle size 75/11.

The inside.

There are 4 areas where there will be bulk. Use this tute and you'll be alright. I did trim a lot of allowances away.

And here's my Acacia underwear. I found it hard to photograph panties. When I went downstairs to photograph, I was so scared I would run into my neighbours. How do I explain myself?

I used size S. The first version I sewed using hubs' old dirty tee shirt and I discovered my bits weren't entirely covered. So I modified the pattern a bit and it came out perfectly. All my bits were covered and it fitted me like a glove.

The sewing was very easy. The only part you may find a bit hard is sewing the elastic to the fabric. My fabric edges curl, so I used a tweezer to control it while I sew. Other than that, very smooth sailing.

The back. Perfect fit.

I found a bike obstructing the pathway and couldn't resist using it.

I will definitely make many more of this underwear and if you want to give it a go, just go here. You'll probably have to jump thru a few hoops..
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