Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Cleo Skirt With Side Zipper

This is my third Cleo skirt. Help. I clearly need an intervention. This time, I made one with a side invisible zipper. Rae has a post on adding a zipper to a Cleo skirt if you want to take a look.

I used a cotton drill fabric which I have no memory buying. It's like the past 10 years I was a different person and I woke up and am just discovering all the stuff the other me did. Like buying this fabric.

I started working on this skirt in December last year. Which was unfortunate because December 2019 was when I went through a crazy greedy phase (unlike my other not so crazy greedy phase) and ate waaaay too much. As a result there was a massive weight gain, especially around the tummy. And I was feeling sad about it because I was thinking I'm never going to be able to lose the extra girth. So I did the best thing I could think of (at that time) - I made the Cleo skirt to match my wider girth. It would be my "fat skirt".

Of course I lost some of the girth in January and trust me, I'm not complaining. I was still working on the skirt in January and I could have re cut the waistband but I was too lazy and I also thought it's not a bad idea to have a "fat skirt".  Also I didn't put on thaaaat much weight so I was sure I could still wear it. And I'm right. I wore it out last week and it works. Except I don't really like wearing loose skirts. I find that I have to adjust my waist every now and then. A bit irritating but I'll continue to wear it.

The finishing for the zipper area wasn't as good as I would have liked. The first time I sewed the waistband I did it in one step sewing the zipper to the front and back. The finishing was great but I found it hard to move the zipper as the fabric is a bit thick. So I redid it in 2 steps. First, I sewed the zipper to the front. Then I sewed the back of the waistband to the zipper using a smaller seam allowance to allow the zipper to move.

The finished skirt is 18" long including the waistband. I made the front and back body the same width because I found my previous Cleo skirts look a bit flat on the back.

Hopefully this is my last Cleo Skirt. I should move on to other kinds of skirts.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

My Third Lace Shawl

I'm a very slow knitter. Not only that, I'm forgetful. Between being slow and forgetting I have a work-in-progress lace shawl lying around somewhere, it took me approximately 1 year 5 months to complete my third human-size lace shawl.

The pattern is by Anna Dalvi and not super hard. Of course when I started it, it felt very hard. I used the Garter Tab to start and I had to redo it a few times to get it right. The one big difference between this shawl and the SkyWalker Lace Shawl or the first lace shawl I've made is the even rows are not purled. Instead I have one chart for odd rows and one chart for even rows. And of course for even rows, you have to use a different stitch from the odd row even thought the symbols are THE SAME. So confusing. Why do knitting patterns make life so hard? Like, why not use DIFFERENT symbols?  I can't count the number of times I had to rip back because I FORGOT. Yes, I use a highlighter to colour the even rows but you know how your mind wanders when you knit and you forget. I had to use a lifeline for every row because otherwise I would give up. Although I know how to tink back most stitches, I can't for the life of me figure out how to tink back ssk or slip 2 stitches knitwise, knit 1 stitch, pass slipped stitches over.  Grr... but I realised later that using a different chart for the even rows makes the lace pattern reversible. WOW. For that, it's worth all the headache, blood boiling, hair tearing and many many Hokkien swear words.

The bind off is done using a method I've never used before. The end result is super stretchy. I love it. I watched this video to see how it's done.

The finished shawl is 43" wide and 19" tall. I. did. not. block. it. And. I. Shan't.

And to play safe this round, I'm NOT asking my family members what they think of this scarf. After all the hard work, I'm wearing it the minute the temperature drops to 28 deg C.

p.s. so cool of my family to model my lace shawl!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Line Skirt With 2" Flare and Pockets

If you know me, you'll know I dislike drafting my own patterns for garments. I'd much rather someone else do the hard work. That is why I bought this book Beginner's Guide to skirts by Wendy Ward. After buying it, I didn't open it for at least 6 months until last year in September or so. I wanted a simple A line skirt with pockets and after looking for one in shops without much success, I realised that if I wanted one, I've got to make it myself! And the book has the pattern for something similar. So lucky or so I thought.

Then I tried to trace the pattern. OMG. Is it just me or do all the lines look the same? It is so unfortunate that the pattern I wanted was printed in some sort of purple which is so similar to another purple.  And I cannot tell the difference between the two. I might be purple colour blind! I made a few attempts to trace the pattern but finally I gave up because I didn't want to die before my time. Why couldn't the patterns be printed in black and white? It's so frustrating. $29.95 down the drain.

I didn't want to give up on the skirt so I decided to draft one myself which is an indication of how much I want the skirt. Fortunately I still have my basic skirt pattern which I made in 2018. Using that pattern as a base, I used a cut and slash method to give the skirt a 2" flare.

And this beautiful skirt was the result. I wanted a waistband and I wore this skirt at waist level. It is surprisingly comfy despite my having a bit of a tummy. Oh, why can't I have a flat tummy!

When I drafted the pockets, I was a bit greedy and drafted them too big. Next time I'll be sure to go narrower and less deep. Also, I wonder if you can spot something?

Yup, silly me. I have a dart in the pocket. After the cut and slash, I didn't manage to remove the dart entirely and I chose to keep it instead of widening the skirt flare. Or I could have removed the dart entirely since it is so small! Having a dart in the pocket instead of the skirt front created so many little things you have to take care of to ensure the skirt matches up with the pocket and still stays within the correct width. Needless to say, I'll never put a dart in a pocket again.

I don't know why I chose to go with center zipper installation. I think a lapped zipper might be better.

I made the skirt in January because I suddenly wanted to wear it for Chinese New Year. To make sure I don't abandon the project, I did not buy any new bottoms which means if I don't finish the skirt...

In case you find the fabric for the skirt familiar, I used the leftover fabric from my Crescent Bag. The fabric is comfortable and only cost me $5 per yard!

I love, love this skirt so much. My daughter says she likes the skirt so it's on my to-do list.

Finished  skirt is 21.5" long including waistband
Finished waistband is 1.25" wide

Sunday, February 2, 2020


Hello Internet friends,

What a terrible start to a new year. Singapore leaders were slow to react to the Wuhan coronavirus threat and it was only on 1st Feb (yesterday!) that our borders were closed to travellers (regardless of nationality) who have travelled to China in the past 14 days. Currently we have 18 people infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. 16 were travellers from Wuhan and 2 were Singaporeans who were evacuated from Wuhan. You know what that means? No community spread in Singapore. Hopefully, that doesn't change. Also, most importantly, none of the infected has died in Singapore. <touch wood>

The Wuhan coronavirus couldn't have come at a worse time. We had our Chinese New Year celebrations from 24th January to 26th January. The first infected case was announced on January 23rd. By January 25th, 4 cases were confirmed. And you know what we did? We carried on with our tradition of visiting relatives and all that. And do you know how Singaporean Chinese greet each other during Chinese New Year? With a handshake. Yes, we all went around shaking each other's hands like nobody's business. Why couldn't we have been a people who bow or nod or wave or even curtsy? I'm pretty okay with curtsy. If the Wuhan coronavirus had been in the community, can you imagine how swiftly it will spread?

Today I went to collect the 4 free masks the government has given us. The government is pushing for healthy people not to wear masks and only those who are sick should wear them. I think that's sensible as you can't possibly have enough masks to wear everyday. My kids and I carry a mask in our bags for emergency use. My son asked for a hand sanitizer so hubs and I went out for 2 days to search for one but of course we were too late. Everywhere we went, surgical masks and hand sanitizers are sold out. So I gave my son an alcohol based wet wipe instead. My daughter for whatever reasons has a hand sanitizer. Honestly, this is an item I would never think of buying before Wuhan coronavirus arrived. I usually wash my hands with soap and water.

Everywhere in Singapore, people carry on with life. Schools remain open, businesses have not shut and apart from more (healthy) people wearing masks and fewer people in shopping malls and food courts, it's pretty much like paradise. For me, I'm determined not to panic and give in to paranoia. I have faith in the government and you know we went through SARS before so I believe we will survive. We just don't know how long it'll take. The one thing I've changed though is I try to ride the escalator without touching the handrail. Ha ha, not sure if it even helps but I think I'm more likely to break my leg!

Despite all these, I've been rather productive in January. I've just not sat down to blog about my finished items because it feels rather strange to write about these ordinary things when each day the death tally from the Wuhan coronavirus in China increases.

Here's a quick look at what I've worked on:

I'm so proud of this polka dot skirt I made. It fitted me perfectly. I wore it on the first day of Chinese New Year. Don't worry, I did not wear the pink slippers out. One day I'll write a post about the making of the skirt, mostly so I'll remember the little details if I should make another one. I also made another Cleo skirt. No photo yet. Yup, it seems I can't stop making Cleo Skirts.

I completed another lace scarf. I have mixed feelings about it. Maybe I'll get my girl to model it one day.

I was going to rip out this sweater I had started but I ended up continuing. I've completed the back and am nearly done with the front.

I wanted to abandon this lace scarf but couldn't bear to rip it out. So I continued knitting. I have trouble discarding months of knitting.

Lastly, I started on this Begin Shawl from the Easy Lace Knits book by Anniken Allis. It's not as easy as it looks and I'm struggling a bit. Hope I don't give up!

See ya.
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