Sunday, December 29, 2019

Star Wars Cleo Skirt For My Girl

I finally made the Cleo Skirt for my daughter. My girl folds the laundry and whenever she sees my Cleo Skirt (here), she would squeal and say, so cute! So one day we went to Spotlight to get fabric so I could make her a Cleo Skirt. She chose a Star Wars fabric and this was the cheapest we could find. I wanted a comic strip one because the fabric was thinner but the price was ridiculous. The Star Wars fabric is cotton drill and not ideal for gathering with a pocket but I thought I could make it work.

When I was cutting the fabric, I noticed the fabric print had a printing flaw. One line down the middle of the fabric. It made me really angry because the location of the flaw meant I couldn't work around it. Fortunately, the skirt had lots of gathers so it is very hard to see the flaw once the skirt is made. I think it's not cool of Spotlight to sell flawed fabric without notifying the buyers.

So what can I say about making the Cleo Skirt the second time? Firstly, with a side pocket, it is pretty hard to do gathers with drill cotton. I didn't use shirring elastic. Instead I did it the old fashion way - 2 lines of basting stitches and pull like hell.

I feel so fortunate I have a serger. Without a serger, I doubt if I would want to make clothes. Raw edges drive me crazy. I still haven't explored using my serger beyond serging. But I maintain the machine very well. I clean and oil it after every use.

I made the skirt in size XS. I had forgotten that I found the back of the skirt a bit flat and did not make adjustments. My daughter doesn't seem to mind it. The final length of the skirt is 16". She likes her skirts short.

I hope my girl will enjoy wearing her Star Wars Cleo Skirt. It is a very easy skirt to make and the best thing? You can gain a bit of weight and still be able to wear it.

Pattern details: here

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bead Crochet Bug

It's 25 deg C right now and it's late afternoon in Singapore. Shocking right? Usually it's 30 deg C. The weathermen forecast a low of 22 deg C in the first 2 weeks of December. So I have been checking the temperature daily. But I was disappointed that the low temperature mostly hovered between 24 deg C and 26 deg C. Where's the cold weather we were promised? Then hubs told me he woke up early this morning and he saw that the temperature was 22 deg C. Demmit, I slept through the coldness.


Taking out my beads supplies was a mistake. I ended up making 5 bead crochet bracelets. You see, I have a lot of beads. Not just the ones I bought but I have someone else's beads as well. A long time ago, Tiba gave me her beads. Lots of beads. Every time I look at the beads, I feel guilty leaving them to live most of their lives in my drawer.

I've made 2 of these bead crochet bracelets before (here). I wear them from time to time.

Tiba had given me a lot of green beads. They are made of glass and rather big. I thought they'll go well with my disco gold yarn which is another thing I need to use up. This technique is called Turkish Flat Bead Crochet. It is very easy and doesn't require much crochet skill. This video explains it quite well.

After making one bracelet, I got hooked and spent the whole night beading up a storm.
I found some red beads, definitely Tiba's and I paired them with my disco black yarn. Never buy black yarn. You'll go blind using them.

I have a ton of cheap plastic pearls. Why did I buy them? I thought pairing them with white Miyuki crochet thread would work great but the combination looks quite ugly.

I tried again with the plastic pearls this time pairing with Lizbeth size 10 thread and the colour is like rich pink. Strangely I like this combo.

I've discovered I have tacky taste.

These are Tiba's beads. I don't know what they are called but they are made of glass and there's a different colour inside the glass. I used Lizbeth size 10 seagreen thread. I have to say I love this combination.

Will I look crazy wearing all 5 bracelets?

I've run out of toggles and closures. Time to go to Chinatown!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Bead weaving UFO

It's December and the year is quickly coming to an end. I looked through my UFOs (UnFinished Objects) and I'm embarrassed to see there are so many - too many to complete by 31st December. Not that it'll change anything if I carry forward to 2020 my UFOs or as I like to call them, my WIP (Work In Progress). I mean, the world will still carry on. Governments will run, spammers will continue to spam, con artists will continue to con, life will go on.

Ah, but it'll make me feel a lot better.

This bead pendant - I started it in 2013. Yup. When it got uglier and uglier as I progressed, I couldn't bring myself to complete it. And so it sat in a drawer year after year. A few days ago, I looked for all the beads I needed and finally finished it. It only took me 2 hours.

You see the big red beads? They are 4mm glass bicones. I bought 40 pcs for this project and I'm very happy I used every single piece. The bicones are stringed together and straddle the pendant using nothing but tension. So they could very well fall off one day. The foundation of the pendant is circular peyote. The pink beads are size 8 which are super tiny beads. In a year or two I may need a magnifying glass to bead. My eyesight is shat.

And this is how I'll wear the pendant. My taste in bead colour is questionable. When I buy the beads, I can't visualize how they'll look completed. And once it's completed I wonder why I made the choice.

In 2013, I also started on a spiral rope necklace but I gave up because I lost interest. The necklace was meant for my beaded cabochon which I managed to complete in 2015.

Since I didn't complete the necklace, I used a Vintaj Brass necklace instead.

The brass necklace gives the beaded cabochon a more contemporary look.

It only took me one whole day to finish the beadweaving. Check out this video if you want to learn the technique. The beads are size 11 (very small) and in case you're wondering how on earth I get the beads into my needle, this is what I do. I pour the 2 different beads in 2 little bowls. When I need the bead, I stab my needle at the pile and once I get some beads on the needle, I flick the ones I don't want off.

The most difficult part of the necklace is the closure. I used Vintaj Brass lobster clasp and a ring. You need to secure the closure by going round and round a few times but because the beads are so small, it gets very hard to go through. On top of that, I used Nymo thread which loves to split.

Usually I use Thread Heaven to condition my thread but guess what? I've misplaced it. I put it somewhere safe and now I can't remember where. As a substitute, I used beeswax but I hate the smell as it smells like teeth to me. I wonder if Thread Heaven is still available.

I'm really happy I finished the rope necklace. I used to think the small beads won't work for a spiral rope necklace but looking at the necklace now, I think it looks alright. Also, the cost of the supplies for this project is ridiculously high. The beads alone cost an arm and a leg. There are lots of leftover stuff and one day I'll do something with them. Weirdly, I feel a little sad because as I was working the beads, I realised the person I am now is so different from the person I was when I started the project in 2013. That was truly the worst year of my entire life. The year I felt my world collapse. I think someone said All things must pass. Indeed. So much has changed since 2013. I grew a bit harder but overall, mostly good stuff. Well, I'm off to dig through my other UFOs.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Do you mend?

As the best sewer in the family, I've often downplayed my ability to mend or alter lest I become the go-to person for any mending. In fact, if I do any mending for my kids or hubs' clothes, I do it in secret. <giggle> So it is quite rare for me to receive any mending/alteration requests.

Recently, hubs received his McDonald's pyjamas. Hubs writes a fortnightly humour column for a free paper. He had bought it when he wrote this column.

The shirt fitted him but the top button was far too low and it revealed a lot of skin. Hubs likes to keep his chest completely covered so he presented the problem to me. Could I solve it for him? Since hubs had gone to so much trouble to get the pyjamas, I thought I'll help him out. My daughter said I should get paid $20 for the job and hubs agreed. Anyway, I thought of using metal snaps to solve the problem. It took me 5 mins.

Here he is happily wearing it to work.

After the success of my McDonald's pyjamas job, hubs presented me with his running singlet which had come undone. You see what's happening? I'm the go-to person for mending now. What have I done? Anyway, the singlet was made (by the factory people) using fusible to glue the pieces together. Same for the hem. We don't sort our laundry by hot or cold water (everything is washed with warm water) so over time, the glue has dissolved. Could I solve the problem?

Initially I wanted to reject the job. The singlet was 100% polyester and very thin. I've never sewn on such material before and I was pretty sure I would fail because I have no spare fabric to test the stitches and tension on. But it became an interesting challenge for me so I accepted the job. Hubs offered $10 and I didn't think to ask for more.

I looked through my machine needle stash (yes, we all have one right?) and found the perfect needle to use. 60/8 sharp and I was right. It sewed so smoothly I was amazed. Guys, use this needle for tightly woven fabric. I'm impressed. The brand is Klasse' if you're wondering.

I had to sew on the wrong side because the fusible made it hard to move the fabric. So you're looking at the bobbin thread on the right side.

I used my precious Aurifil thread to reduce friction on his skin. If this singlet falls apart again, I'm throwing it into the bin.
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