Tuesday, October 4, 2022

June, July, August and September


Looks like another 4 months whizzed past just like that. Here's a roundup of what I've been up to.

1. In June, I attended a sourdough class. I won't tell you the name of the teacher because I wasn't completely happy with the class. It's not that the teacher sucked but she's quite mean. If you really want to know who the mean teacher is, you'll need to ask me privately. Since the class, my sourdough game has not improved at all. In fact, I'm quite close to giving it up.

2. In July, I attended a pasta making class. What a gamechanger this class was. In all honesty, the teacher wasn't that good. She was quite disorganised and did not practise mis en place which irritated me. So while she's cooking, she'll ask for this and that and someone has to go and find it for her. So annoying when she's supposedly a chef. Another thing I didn't like about the teacher was she kept encouraging the class to ask questions but when you ask something she'd already gone through, she f&*^%ing yells at you. There was a guy who kept getting yelled at and then on assessment day, my group asked me to clarify something with the teacher and yup, I was super yelled at too because she said she had already told us! And right after that, the teacher asked the class to ask questions if anything wasn't clear. Wow. Such people exists. (I wanted to smack her with a ladle or something but I didn't) Anyway, what was good about the class was the chance to make pasta from scratch. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and we also learnt to make a few types of sauce. Also, there was another chef who popped in for a visit and decided to stay. He was really nice and went around to make sure everyone was working the dough correctly and he was very encouraging. He came every day we were there. I think having him present made a big difference. The teacher on the other hand wasn't very interested in us once her demo was over. She only checked our cooked product and of course by then if you had made mistakes, it's too late. Since the class, I've made potato gnocchi once and it was so nice. Way better than the one at school. I've also bought a pasta machine and made fettuccine. My pasta sauce has also improved I think mainly because I gained a lot of confidence. So glad I took the pasta class! Making pasta from scratch is a lot of work so I alternate between store bought pasta and handmade pasta. Potato gnocchi is easy to make though. I want to eat it every week!

3. In August I attended a sewing class to learn to make cheongsam. The teacher was nice and knowledgeable. She had an assistant who was really the worst. She had poor knowledge and attitude. Once I needed help and the teacher told me to go to her assistant who ended up making things a hundred times worse, hindering my progress. I avoided her once I knew what kind of person she was. Overall, the class was hard and tedious but I learnt to get a good fit for my bodice. The teacher wanted us to sew at our own pace which sounds good on paper but she taught at the pace of the faster students so I found myself constantly playing catch-up. It was quite stressful. I did manage to finish the cheongsam. I don't look good in a cheongsam so I don't think I'll make it again. Maybe something similar but less straight jacket-like? 

4. I've been practising my pattern drafting but didn't go beyond what I had learnt in class. It is tedious, takes a long time and requires massive amount of fabric. So far I've made a few blouses and 2 shirts.

I made another pleated top for myself, similar to the one I had learnt in Basic class. I wanted to test my new bodice pattern and this top doesn't require a lot of fabric. I'm currently obsessing over fit and ease to find the right balance.

This is the same pleated top for my daughter but with sleeves. It might have been a bit too big.

I drafted another pleated top with sleeves for my daughter and I messed up. The shoulder and collar are a bit weird. 

Despite the flaws, my daughter has worn both tops to work. 

I made 2 shirts which I had learnt in the Shirt and Pants class. I made the blue one for my daughter and the green one for me. Even though the green one is made using my measurements, my daughter felt comfortable in it so I gave it to her. She has worn both to work. The shirt has a fair amount of ease so fit is not an issue. 

For a change, I made a knitted blouse - Adrienne Blouse by Friday Pattern Company. Unfortunately, it shows a bit too much shoulder so neither of us dares to wear it out. It'll be my stay home lounge wear.

Lastly I made this trial blouse with extended sleeve which I learnt in Basic Drafting class. This pattern is driving me nuts. I thought I'd finally got the sizing right but I realised I had forgotten to do this test - when I hug myself, the back width feels a little strained. I mean, this is a standard test for comfort, right? Hugging yourself? So I will need to redraft the back. Eventually I want to turn this into a dress. 

5. Remember my on-going scrap busting project? I only completed one more - no. 8. This one took a long time because it's all hand applique.

This scrap project was inspired by my childhood memories. When I think of the old days in my village home, I can see the giant star fruit tree that was next to my home. It was constantly bearing fruits and the smell of rotting star fruits is forever etched in my memory. If you know me now, it would be hard to imagine I used to live next to a forested area. I mean I'm scared of animals and insects. Yes, those were the days when we had pigs, chickens, a cat, a dog and me and my siblings hunted grasshoppers to sell to the bird shop. I remember the wild birds most. My house was close to 2 ponds and now and then we get to see really beautiful birds which were attracted to the ponds. I've kept the embroidery to a minimum as this project is all about the applique. 

6. In June I had an x-ray of my toe and it was 90% healed. The doctor said it should heal completely on its own without any treatment. I'm able to walk and swim without any problem.
I was more concerned about injuring my toes again. I've noticed I'm quite careless and absent minded at home and would walk into furniture quite frequently. I came up with a solution - Skechers crocs knock-off. I wear them at home all the time and they're so tough that I don't injure myself even when I walk into things. We don't wear footwear in our homes so it was quite a change for me to not go about bare footed at first. But now, my Skechers and I have become one.

7. Dealing with stress is still no.1 on my mind right now. It was only recently that I became noticeably less anxious. Before, I was constantly struggling with stress. Once, on a particularly stressful week, I had chest pain and I thought I was getting a heart attack. But it turned out to be just stress and I am fine. But it scared me so much and since then I've tried very hard to do stuff to help me relax. Guess what? I started doing water colour. I'm very, very bad at it but mixing the colours help me relax. I find that when I'm playing with the colours, I'm able to free my mind. I considered enrolling in a water colour class but I pondered too long and the class is sold out. I'm also doing breathing exercises and slowly trying to change the way I react to negative situations.

8. Since I started making clothes, my scrap fabric has increased by many times. I need to put aside some time to use up more scraps. Although I like the look of hand applique, I can't overuse my hands too much. So my future scrap projects might have to involve more machine work and less hand sewing. Recently I started sewing decorative stitches on patchwork held together by fusible webbing - no seams! It is extremely soothing listening to the sound of the machine going up and down. You should try it.

9. On my to-do list:
a. Pattern for a dress with extended sleeve
b. Pattern for a sleeveless dress
c. Remake the pants from Shirt and Pants class
d. Remake the princess seam dress from Dress class

10. Since August 29th, we went mask-free in Singapore except in public transport, clinics and hospitals. Not surprisingly, many people continue to wear masks. 

See you in December!
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