Friday, July 24, 2015

Draped Goun Jacket and Turtleneck Tee Combo

This is the winter version of my hemp jacket outfit. I am quite predictable sometimes and I find it difficult to break through a certain style. I can tell already this jacket is going to be my new religion.

At the beginning I wasn't very sure about all that drape at the back and was a little disappointed at how it turned out. But wo days later, it's grown on me. It's my grab-and-go. The pattern, from Kana's Standard, is basically a big rectangle with two holes cut out. Then you insert the sleeves and hem all the edges. It doesn't get any easier than that.

I am beyond excited to have finally found this turtleneck tee pattern, for free. This is the answer to wear all your summer clothes in winter. I would wear it underneath a low-neck dress. No need to put on a big scarf around my neck that covers up half of the top anymore. The pattern comes with one size only. I didn't do any measurements and went straight to cut the fabric, very typical of me. It hugs my body just a little too much. But that is easy to be fixed on the next tee.

I get a feeling that I will regret one day for putting these silly pictures online. But since the tee shirt is on the tight side, it feels like my second skin and I couldn't help but bringing out the Taiji/party attitude, to break my very predictable pose.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Knitted Classic Jersey


I sew. I cook. I do housework (which is a big deal if you live where I live where almost every single household has a maid). And now I have just knitted my very first jersey. If you throw me back to 1950, I think I should survive just fine.

Back in March, I got myself some wool and knitting needles on my birthday. The guy at Orion Wool and Craft spent a good hour with me explaining all the yarn types. I think he saw some potential in me. I got out of the shop with two balls of wool and attempted a pair of leg warmers at home. Leg warmers don't need much shaping at all and I got bored. Yes, bored. There's no challenge. I somehow managed to finish one of them, tried it on, and didn't like it. So I dropped it and moved back to sewing.

I knew I was going to be busy with C during this past holiday and would probably be left very little time to make things. If I were to produce just one thing, what would it be? A sweater for winter holiday? Sounds about right. I found this pattern in a book called Knit: 35 projects with a comtemporary twist by Martie Lochner and sat in front of TV every night, knitting, very unlike a grandma who can actually knit and watch TV at the same time, I had to concentrate on the stitches. Nevertheless, being away from the sewing machine meant I did spend time with hubby at night, well sort of. M commented that at least he could hear the TV without the humming noise from the sewing machine....

Unlike sewing, knitting is more like first create your own material, then sew up pieces together. It's time time time we are talking about. If I am ever going to knit another jersey, I'll feed the pieces through my sewing machine, whether it works that way or not.
The good news is C likes it and couldn't believe I actually pulled it off, and the jersey is big enough to last through next winter. When I finally went to my machine at the end of the holiday, she said to me. "Are you going to sew again? That will be much faster."
All I can say is knitting is a journey and I'm glad I tried it out. I'm not sure I'm the type that sews in summer and knits in winter. For now I'm just going to tick the box that says "I've knitted".

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I'm So Not Rocking This Holiday

At the beginning of this holiday, I swore to make this holiday fun. Fun, I delivered. Fun, also crushed me. Half way through the holiday I was bone tired with fever and headache by my side. But I've planned all the activities and taking a sick-day leave wasn't an option..... so I dosed myself with paracetamol and carried on with the days. 

The past week was spent in a blur. From the moment I got up, I wanted to go back to bed. All the things that could go wrong went wrong:
  • I was out of breath and felt under-exercised.
  • I got bitten by an unknown species of mosquitos (in winter) and got swollen finger that eventually I had to take medication for.
  • My eyes were burning for days which made me stay away from any screens.
  • Do I have to mention the energyless state?
At the same time,
  • I've got fabric pieces that I had cut out before the holiday still lying on my table, positively collecting dust.
  • M dropped 3 pairs of new pants to hem, two fluffy toys to mend, which are on top of my fabric right now, as a dust cover....
  • My first attempt to knit didn't go too well. After all that time I had invested stitch after stitch, something seemed wrong when I was about to assemble the pieces. The whole process didn't feel very theraputic all of a sudden.

I get overwhelmed quite often when I've got too many things on the go and throttled time for myself. My priority is to be a good mom, and this will never change. But sometimes it's not enough for me. I want more for myself and my own personal growth. Most of the time, these two things conflict. I've seen people with daily cleaners and baby-sitter in the house so they can relax and have a cup of coffee or a manicure. This will never become me, no matter how wealthy we are one day. Plus, I like my plain nails that show a sign of hardwork on healthy meals and get-me-dirty arts and crafts. What is the new motto? Don't get sick. :-D

C has been away today for a playdate. I spent my morning in a dentist's office locating the culprit of my headache. My afternoon was more of a relaxed time spent in the kitchen --- curtsey of load shedding that has made evening cooking unreliable. I've got much needed break and my positivity back. I am recharged (I want to say this with big letters). More holiday fun times? Let's do this.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Homeschool, or not?

Just before the winter school holiday started, I was looking at a few homeschool options, all U.S. based. You know, I was reading a blog, then one thing led to another, I was hooked into homeschooling, or at least reading about it. A customized education for your own kid sounds very appealing. I'm not exactly sure if it's because of me taking up crafting seriously, it seems I would very much like to DIY my child's education too? Plus, that possibility of graduating-from-university-at-the-age-of-13 sounds sick but fascinating.

We are in the first week of holiday, and I've positively cancelled the idea. Being an only child, C thrives on play mates. She doesn't possess the ability to entertain herself for too long, and that's usually when I kick in, crafting and playing. But sometimes situations don't allow that to happen, due to multiple chores, or the fact that I just need a bit of peace for myself. She's so into role play that if given the chance, she could easily carry on the whole day, or longer. Five minutes into a "pretend play" game, I'm already yawning with a brewing headache. I have to honestly admit I've certainly lost my imagination for pretend play. I phoned a friend who has a daughter of the same age for rescue. For two days, the girls played non-stop! That's something I know I'm never going to provide for my daughter.

C loves her school and all the activities, given it structured or free play. If she is to be taken out of school, I will have to search high and low for all sorts afterschool activities to give her chances to socialize with other peers. I am an indoor person, already on the extreme side, but C has to be bribed to go to parks. If it was just the two of us at home during the day, we are probably going to kill each other --- with her being super bored and me not surviving her on-going pretend games. For sure it's unhealthy for either of us.

I might have been heavily influenced by Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother before, but I've dropped Kumon more than a year ago and I'm on a more relaxed approached since. C repeatedly states that she wants to be artist when she grows up, and that she cannot wait for Grade 1, so they can have more advanced math than the "baby math" they are doing now at preschool. I've learnt to go with the flow, meaning not to force anything upon her. And to take her away from her friends that she enjoys so much on a daily basis is just not right. That homeschool will only come when one day if she decides on it.

Happiness is when you know your child is having great fun. Run free, my girl.