Flowers in Singapore

Yesterday we had our team activity day and one of the things we did was go to Gardens by the Bay. If this place was in the US I’d probably think it was super touristy and be sniffy about it. But the fact is, it was gorgeous and amazing and I don’t care if it is considered touristy.

I took a bunch of pictures (shocker) but the surprising thing is that I didn’t bring my DSLR on this trip. 😬 And I didn’t even regret it! I did have the lenses for my phone that George gave me for Christmas though and I especially had fun with the macro lens. Oh, and none of these photos were edited!

Behold:

And some non-macro shots of the flowers and the Cloud Forest dome that we visited next, which was lush and jaw-droppingly gorgeous:

Okay, maybe I took too many pictures of flowers.

The other thing about this beautiful setting is that we couldn’t resist taking a bunch of selfies and pictures of each other. So many nice backgrounds!

Okay, I suppose that’s enough photos for today. Tomorrow (well, to be honest, some other time) I will blog about the other adventures we had yesterday!

Oh, and in these pictures I’m wearing a dress I made by elongating a Seamwork Akita. Not perfect (in fact, definitely too big, and the pattern on the fabric not bold enough so the overall effect is a bit hospital gown, but it’s comfy and cool and soft, so whatever.)

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I’m in Singapore!

After 28 hours of travel (which included maybe 20 minutes of sleep) I finally made it to Singapore late Tuesday/early Wednesday (I left New Orleans Monday at 7am for context.) And then we only had about 5 hours to sleep before we had to get up to work Wednesday morning. Thank goodness the hotel has a magic coffee machine in the restaurant so all you have to do is press a button and caffeine comes out.

We haven’t been anywhere except the hotel and the coworking place so far (and they’re only about 500 meters apart) so I don’t have much of an impression of Singapore yet but tomorrow we’re going to do fun stuff.

Some photos so far, mostly from airports.

Tokyo airport!

After the one hour flight to Houston, I had a 13-hour flight to Tokyo. I watched lots of movies on that flight. Then I had a four-hour layover where I met up with Karen and Deborah, and we walked around the terminal pretty much the entire time. We had some delicious ramen, I bought the boys some manga in Japanese (obvs more for funsies than anything) and I got my Starbucks mug. But I was so, so, so tired. Deborah and I got on the flight to Singapore (Karen was on a different one) where I slept a little, watched a couple more movies (it was a seven hour flight) and ate a little bit of a real Japanese meal (this leg was on All Nippon Airlines.)  The airplane also had the fancy bidet toilet seat too. (I keep wanting to say “I was tickled that the airplane had the fancy bidet toilet seat” or similar, but it just comes out all wrong so I’ll leave that out.)

Anyway, we got to Singapore after midnight, met up with Karen again, got an Uber to the hotel, passed out in our rooms, and basically worked all day yesterday, passed out last night, and are finally feeling a bit rested today. Oh, and so you don’t think I’ve completely forgotten about sewing, I wore a Cashmerette Concord shirt I made last week that I’m really happy with, and I made Karen take a picture of me wearing it.

My new shirt!

 

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Look how cute we are!!

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Hopefully my next post will have more actual photos of, you know, Singapore.

Outdoorsy stuff

Last week I went on a field trip with Oliver’s class and brought a camera. Here are some pictures I took of things besides 10-year-olds (except my own, of course.)

The program is called Earthkeepers and they teach it at the Jean Lafitte National Park (the Barataria Preserve in particular, I think) and it’s quite pretty. This all is sounding familiar. Did I blog about it already? When I went with Miles? Well, at least this time I have good pics.

a pretty path through the woods
Ollie looking at me like he’s a teenager and I’m an idiot
can you see the spiders?
caterpillar!
snake!
classroom in the woods!
Ollie being cute in the hat I made for myself that he stole

Not totally about sewing

I’m going to try to blog about other stuff for once. I will probably fail.

Let’s see.

Okay, well, how about I get the sewing stuff out of the way first, and then I will talk about other stuff? Okay.

I currently have a wealth of fabric. Definitely not complaining! I don’t have plans for most of it, I’m just going to wait for the right project to come along. I am going to make another Akita shirt out of some teal linen for my upcoming trip to Singapore, though, and I want to make a dress as well out of another linen I got. (Okay, since I started this post, I made the Akita shirt, and I even made my own bias tape for it and NEVER AGAIN at least not until I forget what a pain THAT was.)

But the dreamiest is this gorgeous Art Deco rose gold sequined fabric. I don’t have the skills to use it yet, but I will one day. It will need to be lined in satin or something, and zippers might need to be involved. So it will have to wait until my skills have caught up. But it’s going to be amazing. And I’m going to wear it every day.

I had a pretty bad fail this weekend. I have been dreaming of this Charlie Caftan for a while and finally bought the pattern and made it with some fabric that I was given and liked but wouldn’t be devastated if it didn’t work out, and guess what, It didn’t work out. It looked like a hospital gown. Probably partially down to the fabric, but also the fit just isn’t great, and I think the pattern just isn’t for me and I just need to accept it and get over it and deal with it. Probably because I’m so cheap the hardest part to swallow is the $14 loss on the pattern – since it’s a PDF pattern it’s not like I can just give it to someone like I could if it was a paper pattern. But it’s a lovely dress on plenty of people. Just not for me.

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Recent sewing projects

My sewing obsession hasn’t waned, and here is proof.

My friend Robyn had a baby girl last week and as soon as Sabine was born (they didn’t know she was a girl until she arrived) I went to the fabric store and picked out these:

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I mean RIGHT? So cute. So I found a couple of patterns (free!) and with my handy dandy new serger, got to work. I mean, how hard could it be?!?

Cut out everything, check! Used the serger to sew up the pants. Check! Put the waistband on. Okay, it’s a little wonky. Check…ish! Uh oh. The unicorns are upside-down. Meh, let’s say it’s so the baby can see them. (Thanks Kiki for that.) Ooh, was I supposed to cut an inch off the bottom of the pants if I was going to use cuffs? Oh well, too long is okay. Why are these cuffs so narrow? Oops, sewed them the wrong way. No problem, I have plenty of fabric, let’s try again. Okay, pants done! I mean, they’re not perfect, but they’re certainly wearable.

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On to the shirt! This is a little scarier, all those bits and pieces and necklines and sleeves. But everything seems to be…going…okay. I mean, not perfect, but it’s starting to look like one of those baby shirts! The first sleeve is on, and it’s great! Woot! I can do this! Now for the other sleeve!

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&#$@*&%$.

Well. One downside of using a serger is that it cuts the fabric as it sews. Which means that when I take this sleeve off to put it on correctly, there will be less fabric to attach it to. Which means Sabine, if she could talk, would be like “Mom, what is going on with this shirt?!? It feels very off-kilter!” but instead she will just assume shirts are supposed to feel funky and will grow up with a complex all because of me. UGH. (I also forgot to stretch the arm cuffs when I sewed them on so they’re kind of weird too but whatever.)

But I carried on and just added an amusing note in with the package and hey, it’s the thought that counts, and thank goodness Robyn is such an understanding friend.

Project 2:

Hank turned 5 and he loves Paw Patrol so I made him some pajama shorts and he was very underwhelmed as I predicted so I also got him a Paw Patrol plush, but he was also underwhelmed by that, but he’s cute so I forgive him.

Project 3:

Something for myself! I found a lovely knit at Joann and this pattern (now I am realizing that all of the patterns in this post are from Patterns for Pirates) and I am 95% pleased with how it turned out.

Pros:

  • I used the serger, of course, so the seams are all very neat!
  • I aligned the pattern nicely I think with the center of the neckline, instead of just placing the fabric all willy-nilly. That said, I could have done a better job of placing the neckline fabric.
  • I like the fit, overall.

Cons:

  • Hemming knit makes me want to curse a lot. I got the washable tape that was suggested, and it made me curse even more. But I successfully hemmed the bottom.
  • However, when I got to the sleeves, I nicked the fabric with my scissors. So I had to cut an inch and a half off of each. And then I went to hem them and everything was getting wonky and so I just left them serged. I may just leave them. I just cannot deal with them right now.
  • There’s a little puckering in the neckline. I may remove it and redo it to deal with the puckering and the pattern issue. Or not.

I am leaving for a trip to Singapore in a few weeks, and I’d love to make a few more things to wear. I got some linen blend fabric which I think would be great to wear over there, but maybe not so much to put in a suitcase. Hmm. We’ll see. I am full of ideas of things I want to sew, and I got a great deal on some fabric that’s arriving Thursday, so stay tuned!

I got a serger and now I have questions

So yeah, I start a hobby and less than a month later, I have a mountain of fabric (thanks in part to Goodwill and friends), I have two sewing machines (to be fair, I didn’t buy either one of them), and I can’t sleep at night because my mind is racing with ideas and plans and questions.

So it shouldn’t come to any surprise that yesterday I bought a serger. Not a new one, but an old model that someone had posted on FB Marketplace and since I happened to be in the area, and since the seller agreed to my lower offer, and because knits are hard, and because I am Pam, I came home with this baby:

 

The baby pun above was kind of intended.

I don’t know much about sergers, but I mean, I’d heard of the brand, and a quick google didn’t bring up anything negative, and it’s older, which I like to think means quality. Who knows. So far so good. It was already threaded (whew!) and look how pretty!

But I’m not exactly sure where to go from here. I want to try to make something easy with some cheap knit fabric I have but:

  • What about seam allowances? The serger has a little marker for seam allowances but it’s not very useful since the fabric is just kinda flopping around over there. Someone suggested I baste the fabric at the correct seam allowance and then use that as a line. Which makes sense but ugh, so much work!
  • Do I use the serger to actually sew seams together? I feel like I’ve read conflicting info on this. If I’m not, I assume I have to use my sewing machine for the actual seams. Do I have to use a twin needle or zig zag stitch in that case?
  • What about hems on knit items? Say I want to make the boys shorts. So I serge the edge of the fabric to make it nice and neat. But how do I sew the hem? On my sewing machine, right? But not with a straight stitch. But a zig zag would look weird as a hem. So I guess the twin needle? (You can’t hear the whiny voice in my head when I type “twin needle.”) I feel like the twin needle option doesn’t look right, but maybe I just don’t know how to use it.
  • Okay, so I was wondering about woven items and using the serger to finish the edges (how do you take that into account with seam allowances, but as I was trying to fall asleep last night, it came to me in a flash – you do that after you’ve sewn the garment. Right? Or wrong? See why I can’t sleep?
  • Do I need special needles for this? I am working on the possibly erroneous assumption that the current needles in the machine are appropriate for knit fabric but who knows.

So if you have the answers to any of these questions, please let me know!

Oh, also, I moved everything up to the bedroom so we have a dining room table again. Need a better solution for Mt. Fabric but for now this will do.