Wednesday, February 29, 2012

101 Things in 1001 Days: February Update

Since I started the 101 list at the end of May 2011, time has flown by and I can't believe it's already 9 months into my 1001 days!  This month, another completed item brings the total-completed to 17%, slower than I want.

The non-starters are to do with establishing a daily routine.....going to sleep earlier and waking earlier....but I have started walking in the park 3 mornings a week and now I look forward to it. Having a walking buddy who can wake up early really helps : )

17% completed so far

#84. Do something creative everyday (30/30)

Started/To Start:
 - not much progress from January : (
#2b. wake up at 8 am every day for 7 days (0/7)
#8. meditate every day for 30 days (1/30)
#9. walk or exercise every day for 30 days (0/30).....started walking 3x a week
#71. Complete one creative writing project each month for a year (1/12)*

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (11) - Lace Top completed!

Completed Lace Top ,
MG's Wedding Gown, Feb2012

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and hereThe lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

After many days and a few sleepless nights, the Lace Top is finally finished. It took a lot longer than I anticipated mainly because I had under-estimated the time taken to do the beading and also the finishing....stuff like sewing on hooks and eyes, doing the hemming, sewing on buttons etc. So next time I work on beaded lace, I need to allow a lot, LOT more time!

I also discovered the main reason for the lace top being too tight at our first fitting was due to the facing on the corset! I had cut the facing slightly wrong, and it had the effect of making the bust to waist area too tight. I am still amazed that such a tiny bit of fabric can have such a huge domino effect! Of course, I had deconstructed the whole garment before discovering this......arghhhhhh!

We had our final fitting and MG looks absolutely gorgeous in the top and mermaid skirt.

She says it makes her feel like a million bucks.
It's worth every bit of all the effort and sleepless nights just to hear her say that : )

I still have one more thing to make.....this will be the train, and that will complete the wedding gown.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Small and Hip

from youtube. uploaded by kirstendirksen

 Another amazing apartment..... Christian Schallert's 258 square feet apartment in Barcelona. The design is inspired by space saving furniture aboard boats and the clean lines of a small Japanese home. 

Living Small in Style

from youtube. uploaded by pangjin

Award winning architect Gary Chang's tiny 344 square feet Hong Kong apartment transforms into 24 rooms.

I'm at the stage in my life when I want to downsize and get rid of's amazing what you can accumulate in just a few years. Getting rid of stuff I don't like or need is on my 101 Things list.

In line with my new philosophy for a Minimalist Lifestyle, I moved from a 2000 square feet condo to an 800 square feet apartment a few years ago, and found it's just perfect for me......less cleaning, less time spent fixing things, less utility bills; less stuff to clean, maintain, store and worry about. With less space, I am forced to think about buying stuff and so I only buy things that I really love or things that I need, and I don't mind buying the best quality I can afford since I can't buy a lot of stuff : )

Far from feeling restricted, living small has been an amazingly free'ing experience.

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (10) - Lace Top

After the Fitting.
 Lace Top , MG's Wedding Gown, Feb2012

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and hereThe lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

We had our first fitting for the lace top yesterday. 

1. The first thing I noticed was that I had to use some strength to pull both sides together at the back to button up. And I knew it was going to be too tight around the waist. Sure enough.....

"You look like a trussed turkey" I blurted out. 

MG was really gracious about that and still had her smile on, though I can't imagine anyone appreciates being compared to poultry.  

I removed the boning and MG tried it on again. This time, it fitted snugly and she could move around quite comfortably in it. I feel it's still a bit too tight as I still needed to use some pressure to button up, so I will loosen the garment from just below the bust to the hips. 

MG hasn't put on any weight so one thing I need to remember for future projects is that I have to add some allowance for boning, underlining, lining .....all these things that can add bulk to the completed garment. 

2. The corset needs to be taken in over the can see where I've pinned up the excess fabric in the photo above. 

This will give more "wrap" to the top of the bust. Normally, I do that with strapless garments, but I thought with the organza underlining, this would not be needed on the lace top. That was quite a blunder. *duh!*

Here's the problem: After taking in the excess, the corset will be narrower than the lace top along the over-bust line. 

If the organza underlining is not attached to the corset as well as the lace top, this isn't a problem. But as you can see from the photo, taking in the excess on the corset also requires a corresponding change to the organza. And since the organza is attached to the lace top, it pulls on the lace creating all these folds under the arm. The easy solution is to not have the organza lining. 

But I want to keep it as it looks really nice on MG, and it's more comfortable than having the beaded lace next to the skin. So I will have to give this some thought and possibly do some kung-fu to resolve this. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (9) - Lace Top

Button loops, MG's Wedding Gown,

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and hereThe lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

I cut a strip of the duchess satin to sew on the button loops. The button loops could not be sewn directly onto the lace/organza as the fabric is quite translucent and the ends of the loops show through the lace. 

To get loops of more or less the same size, I drew adjoining squares on very thin tracing paper and pinned the satin strip to it, doing the looping as I machined. It's easier shaping the loops while machining, rather than pinning the loops in place before sewing. 

After all the loops have been sewn in place, I trimmed the satin and wrapped it over the ends of the loops