Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Creator...

I learned quite a lot from the seamstress who is teaching me. She's one very patient Malay lady up in Balik Pulau. Yeah, I drive that far for my sewing class. I will not trade her for anyone else. I teach so I know what type of teacher I want for myself. 

I have fear of cutting the cloth. Yes, that's a very serious problem when you really need to cut that piece of cloth~! One mak cik who came over for chit chat told me that if I am so afraid to cut the cloth, how am I going to sew? 

Then, my sifu told me that we're the one creating the clothes, so we should know better. If it went out of shape, we could easily re-shape it. At that point of time, my mind switched into a different channel. Being a dreamer, you are able to do that. You spaced out a little while but you will still be doing your things effortlessly. 

I was thinking of our Creator, Abba Father up in heaven. There are times that we're so quick to look for a doctor with minor symptom or to pop some pills just to assure ourselves that we have the medicine in the system so it should be all right soon but we never even check with our Creator. Doctors actually know next to nothing. When you're in pain, the doctor asked you so many questions that you feel like you're talking to an idiot. They are not idiots, they just need the information to get to the root cause. Even your best friends will not know what is wrong with your body, what not doctors who can't even pronounce your name correctly. Doctors need to dig for your medical histories to understand your body and your current situation. But our Creator need not ask a single question. He created us, so He should know better. Of course, when one is not sick, it is easy to say no need to look for a doctor and just to sleep it off. Prayer is still the best medicine. 
I made this blouse because I thought it was simple. It looked simple but it was not. It was deceivingly simple. I realized that I like satin a lot. There are many types of satin and price matters. If you're not willing to pay more then you will get such low quality satin that before you even cut the cloth, the cloth will decide to rip itself apart. 

I did make mistakes on the drawing and I actually cut it out. I revised the pattern and I felt like a professional. I couldn't get it right the first time yet I have the courage to change the whole thing. In conclusion, I do not like this blouse at all. I do not like such neckline. Why on earth did I choose this? 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I'm a perfectionist. Everything must be in perfect order. I wanted to try out all sorts of crochet patterns but the price of yarn, especially those made of wool and cashmere were such a put off. A skein of 40g costs at least RM42 and if I need to make a scarf, I will need to have 5 - 6 skeins of yarn of the same kind. That would be so expensive, I might as well buy the woolen scarf from retail shops.
When I am desperate, I will do anything to make sure I get what I want. I started clicking on the Internet to see what is in store. I found a yarn factory online and the price was really reasonable. It wouldn't hurt the pocket or the heart. I feasted my eyes upon all those yarns through the computer screen. To my dismay, they will only ship to Canada and the United States. Find~! I dropped a message to my friend in the States, I have some smart plan brewing in the head. I can just click click click and buy using the friend's address then the friend can ship the yarns to me. Then, it doesn't make sense. The yarns will be cheap even after conversion but the shipping cost will kill off the happiness.
Then I Google-d some more, changing the words and phrases I used in the search. Then Cotton House Store popped out in the search results and I started clicking and I saw the address. I just need to cross the bridge and drive for another 15 minutes before I arrive. I studied the map and brought my navigator along. You see, a desperate person will be willing to travel no matter how far it is.
We arrived half an hour later, it was a short yet long trip, and the moment we stepped into the store, oh, my.... it's a yarn paradise and the price is so reasonable I started buying. I'm not rich but I can afford to splurge on what I like and what I want. It's an irony really. I can tell you the price of the blouse at RM69.90 is too expensive and I don't have the cash to buy it but I can afford to spend RM200 on yarns. This is me. I have no time to have tea at the cafe with you but I have the time to drive across the sea to the mainland to have my fingers touching all those yarns from cotton, to merino wool, to thickish acrylic, baby soft acrylic, microfibres, pom poms and ivy wool. 
My student's mother wanted to go too and so we went again and I buy again. Then, it wasn't enough, I started to buy online and the yarns I ordered arrived in two days' time. Talk about being efficient. Cotton House Store is efficient and PosLaju is also efficient.
Now your pockets do not have to be slaughtered by those expensive yarns anymore, just click on this link and you may start looking through your crochet or knitting projects or any projects which require the use of cotton cloth, and start putting those yarns into your virtual carts. 

No, I didn't get anything from advertising for Cotton House Store but I believe that if more people support this store, then the store will survive, flourish and expand. I need this store to be alive for my own good. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Why Crochet?

Yeah... why crochet? It's a total waste of time and a form of self-torture. When we were in Australia, the hubby said the precious has bought crochet needle and yarn to make something to sell online. Oooooo.... that's very productive of her. I taught her how to cross-stitch but she doesn't like it much until today, I still prefer cross-stitch as it is very easy, something that you do not need to use your brain power to even think, so it's really relaxing.

The hubby said the precious will teach me when I return from holiday. To my horror, the crochet project was totally abandoned and she asked me to teach her instead. I cannot see something sitting there unattended so I decided to take up what she has abandoned.

The hubby bought me a book. The book was really good but just for the beginning two stitches of chain stitch and single crochet after that there is no mention of clear instructions anymore. I'm a reader so I want everything to have words and more words to explain in detail.

Finally, we went to Sin Seng Lee in Penang Road. Bought a few ball of yarns and asked whether she can teach us how to crochet. The lady said she can only teach if we already know the basics. Hello~!! If I know the basics and everything, why will I need you to teach me? But she makes sense actually. It's like someone asking you how to write an essay without learning ABC yet and I will definitely tell that person go learn up your ABC and swallow more vocabs before I can teach you how to write a proper essay. She makes real good sense. It's also the same as asking the students to learn up their basic maths before going into additional maths. I love you auntie~!

So, I came back and am adamant to learn how to crochet a simple headband. My teacher is YouTube. I'm being very honest with this here. I watched the 15 minutes video for more than 10 times. I couldn't even get to the second row correctly. It's just a start of chain stitches and went on with slip stitch and half double crochet. I couldn't get the half double crochet right at all and when I thought I got them right, I couldn't figure out how to get to the next row and how do you go to the bottom of each chain. I almost tear my hair out and on the third day, I told myself, if I could not get it right for the last time, I will totally abandon the project. I watched the same video again and it clicked in my mind that I have missed out one crucial step and from then on everything went smoothly.
Why you need to practice the same stitches over and over again is so that you know the perfect tension to each stitch. It can neither be too slack or too tight. I taught my precious how to make the same thing and I could totally understand her frustrations when she said she could not see where the stitches were. Again, I could totally understand the auntie in Sin Seng Lee who said that you'll need to learn up the basics only then she can teach you further. I was really frustrated with my precious for not grasping the skill fast enough. She gave me two options: If she learns up crochet now, she will delay taking her practical exam in piano. If she proceeds with the practical examination, she will abandon the crochet again. This is a form of quiet blackmailing. I chose that she abandon the crochet because I have no patience in teaching her the basics.

It felt really wonderful to see a ball of yarn turned into something wearable. It's really hot putting on the headband so I wore it once only for less than 2 hours and it's going to sit in the wardrobe till kingdom comes.

The 5/4 Dress...

I wanted to make a simple dress to attend the birthday luncheon. I still could not understand the measurements given on the pattern book. If I follow the measurements given, I could not even go into the dress. Then, I follow my own measurements and somehow or other it could fit one and a quarter of me. I wanted to try the same pattern but I'm not one who likes to repeat on the same thing over and over again.

I did wear the dress to the luncheon. I don't care whether it looks hideous or not, once you do something for yourself, you must have the courage to wear that out. If you flip through the newspapers, the fashion page does not show you any decent clothing on the models. The designers designed something that you will not dare to walk out even to the nearest wet market or night market. I would rather wear my cow pyjamas bought in China than wear the curtain drape. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Lessons From The Simple Blouse...

It's just another Sunday. The day I don't work. I'm not even cooking. I leave the kitchen to my precious. Our lunch will only be ready at dinner time. That's how long she took to cook two or three dishes. Well, at least she's cooking.

I, on the other hand, was adamant to make it happen. The book wrote there an easy-to-make blouse. After studying three books, I finally learned how to draft out a basic pattern that's according to my body size. I used the pinking shears to cut the fabric so that it would not fray. I will not want my hardwork to disappear in frays and frays of cloth.

You know whenever you checked out those popular people on Instagram, they have their OOTD *Outfit Of The Day* and it makes your head spin at how come they can afford all the branded stuff. How much is your worth? Clothes alone RM1000++... I do have two wardrobes bursting away but nowadays, I don't find anything I fancy. The price just do not match what's on the hangers and shelves. Thus, I decided to sew my own. I don't care that I'm such a slowpoke that I needed 10 hours to sew a simple blouse but I feel satisfied with what my hands can make. I have not learn the sewing jargon and symbols, but I'm just going to march on straight ahead. After I was done with my first prototype, I learnt a lot and when I got the expensive fabric, I made sure I have all the lines on the fabric as not to make any mistakes.
This is just a simple blouse. Do not know it's only simple when you have at least 10 years of clothes-making experience? Simple, my foot! It's like when you go hiking and kept asking those on the way down,"Excuse me, how long more before I reach the peak?" Those seasoned hikers would tell you,"10 more minutes, just around the corner." After 10 minutes and you haven't see the peak, you asked again at anyone crossing your path,"Excuse me, how long more before I reach the peak?" Fancy getting the same answer or even worse,"Just another 20 minutes or so." After all the questions and you realized that you needed at least 30 minutes or more before you can catch a glimpse of the peak. But when you are walking downhill and you were asked by others, you would give the same answer... just 10 minutes because going uphill and downhill were two different things. 

While I was sewing this simple blouse, it's not about sewing that's difficult. It's about the drafting, cutting, folding, tagging and making sure all corners match and you can get your head and arms out through those holes. Sewing is the simplest thing to do. After sewing this piece of blouse, if anyone shows me this blouse again, I will also say it's simple. Have you seen the behind the scene of anything that came out perfect? It was an uphill struggle. In conclusion, I feel that it's really worth my 10 hours.
My OOTD may not be any branded names known internationally or locally but I know where the material came from and what type of material it is. The shiny white with vibrant pink is Ptd Nakashin Japanese Cotton Poplin while the shocking pink is from the roll of plain Cinderella Italian Cotton Satin. 

The second blouse should be out by last week but the even simpler blouse was a thousand times more complicated than this easy blouse. I took the whole day to stare and brain-storm then finally waited for the hubby to decipher the pattern. I think I'm just going to try out on the cheap cloth as my prototype before getting expensive fabric.