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Changing a jacket' sleeves

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

I had a thin Zara jacket with faux leather sleeves. I bought it several years back during the summer sales, if I'm not mistaken. But as it goes, faux leather started peeling and I don't like that. I don't know who likes peeling leatherette, to be honest.  So, I thought to myself that I won't be wearing the jacket anymore though I could try to change its sleeves now that I have some good fabric shears and a decent sewing machine. I also have a few books that teach how to make sleeves and attach them to the garment. The only downside was that I would be ruining the pretty (and very cheap) fabric A got me (from a second hand store. It was there because someone cut it twice on bias, and it probably wasn't enough for their project.) 

So, my thoughts were:

  • I wanted to make something with the fabric
  • I HAD to use it (the fabric) in the end, somehow
  • the fabric was cheap - about $1 for a yard or so? I didn't measure it, sadly. 
  • I wasn't going to wear the jacket anymore
  • I would be learning something
  • I received encouragement to "just go for it!"

I don't think I needed more excuses. So I started with ripping the seams apart because I wanted to use the existing sleeve as pattern for the new sleeve. 

  • the sizing was the right one, especially the arm-hole
  • the length was ok - i could always cut a few extra cm if needed, which I did anyway.
  • I wasn't in the mood to learn how to make a sleeve pattern from scratch. That day will come, but it wasn't this day. 

Sadly, I don't have pictures for all the steps :( I thought of taking pictures when it was too late. Some steps don't even need pictures because anyone can do those with the right tool.

the process

I started by removing the sleeves from the body of the jacket using the seam ripper. My sleeves also had zippers, so I also removed those after. 

Once I had my sleeves, I took one and I placed it flat on some newspaper to make a sleeve pattern, so I can cut the new sleeve from some fabric. I placed the fabric folded over.  When I cut the fabric, I included more seam allowance vertically, but not for the width. 

I didn' like what the fabric felt against the skin, as I knew I would wear this jacket over a tshirt as well. This meant I had to find some fabric to make a lining. The fabric I found is brown and ugly, but serves the purpose just fine. 

You can't really tell from the picture, but first I sew the sleeve to the lining (former sleep wear i believe) at the wrist-end. I then pinned down the sleeve to the rest of the fabric, and then I cut the lining. (note 1)

I also sew the lining to the tartan, before assembling the sleeve together. I figured that shiny and slippery fabric would be difficult to work with if it's not attached. I also ran a zig-zag stitch. (note 2)

Originally, the previous sleeves did have lining as well. I couldn't use it though. The seam allowance was fraying badly. Additionally it was shorter, because the leatherette was folded over some, like the sleeves on suits and coats. 

As I said, I wasn't going to learn how to make such sleeves. This means that the brown lining can be seen at the wrist level, on my sleeves. It also looked ugly. I decided to run a top stitch to see if it looks any better, and it did! See the picture below.

If you do a sleeve like I did here, I highly recommend you do the same. In my opinion, the piece looks 'done more professionally.' You can do this top stitch AFTER sewing the sleeve, so that  the seams would lay flat against your wrist, and rub less. If I ever do this again, I'll know what I need to improve :)

 After my sleeves were complete, it was time I attached them to the body of the jacket. The sleeves I made were a bit larger than the arm holes of the jacket. I started pinning the sleeves starting at the armpit seams going to the top. At the shoulder part, I needed to create 2 pleats. Gathering the fabric is an option, but not for this lined tartan. The pleats give the sleeves a more structured, put-together, "professionally done" look, in my opinion.

And this is the final result! What do you think? 

extra step

However, before attaching the sleeves, I decided I wanted some lining for the back part of the jacket as well. I used the same ugly brown one as for the sleeves. The jacket is very thin, and the spring was cold this year. I wanted some protection from the wind, and the lining would provide just that. 

I used the back of the jacket to serve as guide for a pattern, drew it on paper, cut the brown fabric, and sew it onto the seams of the jacket. I don't have more pictures, sorry. :( 

 That's about it! Don't skip reading the notes below to learn what I wish I did differently.

See you soon! 

Note 1: The funny thing is that while I tried to sew the right side of the tartan fabric to the lining, i only managed with one sleeve. The other one, the tartan is on the wrong-side. I obviously saw too late. I didn't and won't go back to fix it. 

Note 2: I wish I assembled the tartan first into a sleeve, then the lining, and then attach the tartan to the lining at the wrist. I thought of this too late. 

Note 3: This project is from April 2019. I didn't get to watermark the images. Now with my arm in a cast, doing so is more difficult. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Life is weird

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all. 

This post is some sort of an update until I receive the instructions for my current writing gig. I have 2 part in this update: 

  • health related
  • found treasures

I want to write another entry about some of my adventures in the parks of Bucharest. I was also working on an entry about how I changed the sleeves on a jacket, a horror movie review and a TV show review. These last 3, I already started writing, but my writing gig and some lack of inspiration prevented me from actually sitting and finishing them. 

i still wear them around the house until i can get new ones

i still wear them around the house until i can get new ones

Health Related Updates

Those were my 'good' eyes. i'm nearsighted. Long story short, I tripped in my long pants, fell onto the asphalt, hit my head, broke my glasses, and injured my dominant hand. OUCH!

This happened on the evening of July 2nd. mostly because i didn't dare suggest A to withdraw money on the mastercard instead of the visa, when mother refused to pass by. 

Apparently the head is fine. Or as fine as it can be, given the circumstances. 

This is from that evening, in the hospital. Later on, the cheek was swollen a mile out! in the morning it was somewhat better. Ciel looked at me with very curious  eyes - he saw there was something wrong with my face. 

Today, the face looks pretty much the same. the bruise just started to form. I tried to drink more water than normal, to ensure my blood doesn't clot much, and so on. I had to sleep on my back or on my left side. (why is my left eye so fallen? o.o guess it's just the angle.) 

I have to stay with this cast on for a week. It ends before reaching the elbow, about where it doesn't fit in the picture anymore. I hurt a LOT the first night. Then i took some painkillers and it passed. I'm still getting some sharp pains when instinctively i try to move this hand in ways i'm not supposed to. 

The weird thing about all of this is that I could have prevented it. And i didn't listen to my gut feeling. AGAIN! will i ever learn my lesson?? So first, mother said she couldn't come, and i did think about the easier solution, i just kept silent. Then, I also had a supernatural experience - the first one i can remember. While being on the computer, in the morning, i SAW with the corner of my eyes, a brilliant entity sitting on the chair, looking at me and smirking. The whole corner where the entity was sitting, was engulfed in a VERY strong light. This was a sign/message to be careful. i was not. i pray next time, i will pay more attention. 

new found treasures

A while back, i talked about what's trash for someone, it's a treasure for someone else. Since then, my trash-found treasures increased. 

I found some Burda Style magazines and other vintage patterns, along with some crocheting tools and yarn. The yarn came later though. Also several books with knitting and crocheting. I gave some away, because knitting especially, didn't keep me interested. I got bored when i tried it. Crocheting seems easier, so I will practice with that. The crocheting yarn i will try give away as well, to the person who took the tools. 

Some of the books I found. Yes old - about 40 years old. The pics inside are not clear either. But I wouldn't go out of my way to buy these nor anything else similar. 

This is a pile of various things: 2 old notebooks, a photoalbum, a pile of various handmade crafts with 2 unfinished ones. In the plastic bag, there's some crocheting  yarn and some crocheted ropes that are used in the Romanian point lace needlework. You can see one peeking from under the blue cloth. The blue cloth has one of the unfinished handcrafts, with Romanian point lace. 

A close-up of the nearly finished work. The unfinished part is in the upper part in this image.

A close-up of the photo album. Covered in silk. I saw something similar sold for some 20 dollars (or was it euros?) I think it's gorgeous. It's brand new too, in a box. Can't wait to use it - I'd like to use it, I mean. The color is more vibrant in reality. golden.

Here I was boiling some cutlery I found at the same time with the handcrafts and photo album. It's a set for 12 people: 12 knives, 12 spoons, 12 teaspoons, 12 smaller forks (are these for fish or something? i have no idea), a soup ladle and a bigger serving spoon. They were made in Japan if I'm to believe the inscription on them. Stainless steel, not silver, though they're tarnished. :( 

I searched online and saw a similar set. It was dated around 1940s? 1950s? I forgot exactly, and sold for about 170 euros? I don't have the money to spend on cutlery. The cutlery we were using was all mismatched and ugly. Away it went. 

My injured hand prevented me from editing the images with watermarks. :/ 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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I hate youtube's commercials!

Publié le par Charly C.

I just came here to rant..

I hate ads or commercials or whatever else you want to call them. I can't stand them! especially on YouTube and instagram. Lately I tried hard to stay away from words like "love" or "hate", but this time? This is a time when i will use such a strong word. :(

These platforms are the social media I consume the most and this is where I see most ads. Ads outside, on the street are fine because I can easily ignore them. 

The issue is that I have ad blocker installed on my browser, but it doesn't block everything. I have no idea why. 

The more popular a creator is on youtube, the more ads their videos has. I tried playing 3 videos today (just earlier) and all three had 2 ads at the beginning lasting anywhere between 30sec to 1min30sec. I played another video that had 3 ads at the start, and then when it started to play, a few minutes in, another ad of about 1 min.

I can't take this anymore! I gave up owning a TV set because of all the commercials. But man, was i wrong to think I got rid of them!

Youtube was NOT meant for ads. However, they thought they can make more money out them, so they have as many as playing as humanly possible. >_< Only because these youtubers got greedy and rely heavily on ad revenue. 

and instagram? why can't i get rid of advertising on instagram either?! Some days it's better as i see few or they blend better  with the other posts. Other times, i see a commercial after every 2 or 3 normal posts. 

This is NOT acceptable!

/rant over. (i think) (i hope)

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Homemade vegetarian pizza -recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all~~

I have no idea who doesn't like pizza. But there are people out there that have dietary restrictions, and so ordering pizza can be difficult. For us, it is a little overpriced, depending on where you oder it from and it's not always good either. 

A's mom started making pizza at home, and it's a really good one too. spicy, with lots of ingredients, and several of them. one is big enough to fill you up, especially if you don't eat a crazy amount of food at once. But A's mom moved out of city, and it's difficult or us to go there to get pizza if we were to ask her to make some. Also getting the ingredients is difficult for A's parents because they don't own a car, so they have to either call a cab (it can get expensive) or rely on the public transportation that is not always reliable. 

 

Long story short, we decided to make our own pizza. A asked for the recipe, and she said she's going to make it. I said "fine" because I think there's a trick to making pizza that I'm not aware of. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • pizza dough -or base, or whatever you want to call it. We can find it already made in stores over here. At Carrefour it's really cheap too. we got 2 packs, with 2 pizza dough in each.
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes 
  • mozarella cheese - ALL the cheese you want or like. make sure it melts, like mozarella cheese does.  
  • 200 grams olives - get the pitted ones or the already sliced ones, you'll save time. 
  • mushrooms - as much as you want, i guess. The pizza in these pictures didn't have mushrooms. :(
  • 1 bell pepper - red would be best
  • corn - we like corn on the pizza. 
  • tomato sauce - you can use pizza sauce, but regular tomato sauce is fine too
  • aromatic herbs -basil, thyme, parsley, whatever you like
  • some ground black pepper
  • some salt
Homemade vegetarian pizza -recipe

NOTES:

You should know there's no set amount of anything when it comes to the ingredients. A just adds "as much as it fits on the pizza dough."

If you're eating meat, you can add salami, sausages,maybe bacon.  Basically any type of meat you like. A says it's a "trial and error" until you find the balance you like.  Of course you can replace some of the ingredients with others, but the pizza made with these ones was by far the best. 

METHOD:

  • Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza dough.
  • Sprinkle with the condiments - or the aromatic herbs you chose.
  • Add cheese. The more the merrier. ;) It's better to slice it before putting it on the pizza
  • Then add everything else. Make sure to slice the tomatoes, mushrooms and anything that is either too big or has a shape preventing it from staying put on the pizza. Chopped also works.
  • Add more condiments on top. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes, on a really high heat setting, on baking paper. Our oven has a special "pizza" setting, and anymore than 15 minutes in the oven can burn it. NOBODY likes burnt pizza. 

Now you can enjoy it straight from the oven, though leaving it for the next day is perfectly acceptable too. 

Bon appetit~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Unconditional love and its issues

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello world~~~

I just watched a short video in which a (very wise) rabbi was talking about why unconditional love is problematic. And I agree with him. 

My earliest memory of hearing about "unconditional love" dates to several years back. I was visiting a forum dealing with spirituality. I came across this term in the section called "twin flames" (like soul mates, but apparently the bond is stronger - I just call it "special snowflake"). In a nutshell (and generalizing), the users (mostly women) posting here were obsessed with a specific man who entered their lives at some point in the past. In most cases, the man either had no idea or was simply not interested in the woman.

If a man came and posted a similar story, well his story seemed to receive less attention or he received a lot of criticism. Also, almost everyone was labeling him a creep. the women posting a similar story? no! they were considered normal, received a lot of support and encouragement.  Double standards to the maximum! 

What I never understood is what exactly they understand or mean by "unconditional love." After hearing the rabbi talking, I finally understood almost everything. I'll post the video first, and then I'll go a little deeper into my reasons of thinking why "unconditional love"  (as a term) has problems and so on. 

NOT my video

As you can see, according to the rabbi, telling someone "i love you unconditionally (no matter what you do)" disregards the person, their personality. You also force your emotions or feelings onto them, and if they don't feel the same ... you appear as a creep, selfish (you decided how you're going to feel, and nothing can change your mind).. 

Now, I've been thinking about it. I can't see how people CAN think that they "love unconditionally". There's always a condition the person or the item MUST meet in order for you to feel anything towards them/it. And I'll give you a few examples next. Unconditionally comes from the word condition, which in many cases is a cause for something. 

You hear many women saying they want to become mothers. If you suggest they adopt, they'll flat out refuse no matter the arguments you bring. Their main reason to refuse is that "they can't see themselves loving the baby/child the same way they would on who grew in their bellies, who shares their blood." It's clear that many mothers love their children BECAUSE they gave birth to them. Giving birth is the condition a child must meet, to receive their mother's love. 

You can say there are many women who love their adopted baby/child. Not going to deny that. In this scenario, she loves him because she generally loves children and REALLY wanted one. She might also find the baby really cute, and I have yet to find a person who DOESN'T like/love cute people or items. Getting used to living with or caring for some alive creature can also lead to loving them. 

You'll also hear people saying "I love (ITEM) so much because it...". BECAUSE! And yes, they said they love an item. This simply means they're really happy to own the item, BECAUSE -it makes their life easier; or it's of a really good quality, and they won't have to buy another identical (similar) one any time soon, or because it's a status symbol (shallow reason, but still a reason). 

Unconditional love and its issues

Now, I should mention that "love" is a pretty strong word and feeling. This is why in some Asian countries, you'll be hard pressed to hear anyone saying "I love you" or "I love this (thing)." They'll say instead "I really like you" or "I like you a lot." You'll often hear these people saying that "love" is a word they'd say to their significant other, on the death bed. 

Looking at a situation in this light, I don't think anyone would say on their death bed "I love this (ITEM)" but they'll say they love their children, partners, friends maybe. in this light, you can safely assume these Asian people would actually say "I really like this ITEM" and never "I love the item." This is something WE (Westerners) should also do, if our languages allow it. I am doing it. I started using less "I love/I hate....." a couple of years back. I still feel like saying these words, so I'm not perfect. 

I also think that some folks might sacrifice their lives (life?) to save that of another human. Sometimes the other human can be a total stranger -it happened, after all. I don't think anyone would sacrifice their life to save an item from destruction, even if it was the item they said they loved. I find this beyond absurd. Items can be replaced after all, even if the new one won't compare to the original.  

Now, I hope that you can see there are different levels of "love," at least is English. Some other languages have different words to point to the intensity of the feeling.  

So, what do people mean when they say "unconditional love"?

I also hope that you managed to see there's always a reason a person or an item receives our attention or affection. So, "unconditional love" doesn't exist. What does exist instead, is "love without expectations". 

You can easily say "I love you. I know we can't be together, so I have no expectations from you." This will put some pressure on the other person, or make them feel uncomfortable, however, they have some choice in how they'll act from now on. In the first option, they have none, they'd feel like a prisoner. 

You can see how this 'love without expectations' can be directed towards children and pets too. And I believe it's pretty obvious that when a person says "they love the item," they actually EXPECT it to perform the same for a very long time. This 'term' (if I can call it that) cannot be used in relation to items. 

Just a side thought from A. A says that they felt unconditional love in the past. They said it's VERY rare for humans to feel this type of emotion, because it's nearly impossible, as I tried to show you above. A does believe it can exist, however I personally don't think i ever felt it. I will not deny A's experience.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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At 13, they're STILL children

Publié le par Charly C.

This post was triggered by one of the youtubers I watch, but I would prefer NOT to name her.  Back in February or so, she posted the video of her wedding day and the full name of her husband was (accidentally) revealed. This enabled the users of a certain gossip forum to discover the uncool way in which he makes money. Or better said, of how he became rich. 

The man runs 2 sites, each aimed at readers of a specific gender. The site with a predominantly male audience has some ... controversial  sections, which raised a lot of eyebrows for some of the youtuber's fans. 

At 13, they're STILL children

One of the controversial sections was presenting various pretty looking female models and actresses. So far, nothing wrong, right? Remember this site has a male audience? Well, the women features in this section were half naked and some even fully naked. A little presentation of the model was also provided - it includes her name and her age. With the help of Google, anyone can learn what type of model or actress the featured ladies were. Some of them played in adult movies. 

Not going to talk about the morals of those ladies, as they need to survive too. The striking problem was that several of the ladies there were actually UNDERAGE! Furthermore, some of them were as young as 13 or 14! Yes, 13 or 14  year old CHILDREN were talked about on that site. In this section I talked about! These CHILDREN are indeed models, but they're still 13 or 14 and at this age, they're children!!!

CHILDREN!!!

Most of the pictures were taken off of the featured lady's social media, specifically Instagram. I don't think anyone even asked for permission to use the images. But, I'm not here to talk about the legal implications - and I'm mostly speculating on the subject. I'm here to talk about the moral implications of showing pictures of CHILDREN among the pictures of scantily clad adult women who appeared in adult movies, on a site for men! 

To make things worse, the pictures of the selected CHILDREN were the most questionable as well. They included poses that somehow accentuated their butts, half unbuttoned shirts, upskirt shots, uniform skirts with a button undone and pushed down a little, and the list goes on. How their parents agreed to have those pictures taken, is anyone's guess. 

At 13, they're STILL children

So basically that site is like an online Playboy or other similar publication, for readers in Hong Kong. Do I need to explain what most (probably all, but don't want to use a blanket statement) men do when reading magazines like Playboy? 

Do you think it's normal for ADULT men to lustfully look at questionable pictures of CHILDREN? I don't think it's normal. I personally don't think CHILDREN should be featured on a Playboy-like platform. Does anyone remember the scandal that followed after it was discovered that one of the playboy bunnies, living in Hugh Hefner's mansion, was 17 years old?17! not 13, not 14. The media was up in flames because a 17 year old was living there (she most likely appeared in the magazine too, I forgot the details). Or when Britney Spears was taken photos in her underwear for the cover of that magazine? (The photographer locked himself with Britney in her bedroom. How did her parents allow it, is unknown, and subject for another time.) But in this case, we're talking about 13 year old girls, CHILDREN!!! 

One of the "articles" about one of the CHILDREN said "her body is nothing to write home about because she's underage." O.O If she's underage YOU DO NOT COMMENT ON HER BODY!! full stop. 

The issue was brought to the attention of the youtuber and her husband. What did they do? NOTHING! At first they ignored the comments, deleted them, and then DENIED!!!!! this is true.. People had screen captures of HIS site, and he was STILL denying it's a shady thing to do. 

She released a 30 minute long video in which she explained that this is the culture in East Asia. She ALSO said she doesn't see anything wrong with the articles (not that she knows written Cantonese), with the pictures nor with the site in general. VERY few people believed her, so she talked again in her next video about the issue. In the 2nd speech (posted at the beginning of her video) she mentioned she doesn't visit the site and that she doesn't necessarily approve of it either.  It also appears that her husband, as the OWNER of the site didn't know such articles and pictures were posted. Or better said that MINORS were chosen for them, even though it's him who should have given clear instructions in relation to what gets posted on HIS site and what doesn't.

At 13, they're STILL children

In the end it appears the articles with minors were removed. The decision was only done to appease the upset fans and followers. It wasn't done because he thought it was the right thing to do. 

People with such thinking usually have low morals or no morals at all. While there's an age difference of at least 10 years between them this speaks nothing of his morals. The fact that he liked her to dress like a school girl, or at least to make herself look as young as possible when together, DOES speak volumes about his morals. 

The issue happened back in February. I don't know what stopped me from finally speaking about it. Sometimes I believe it's better to speak about it later than never. Not that it really matters anymore, I did start writing this piece back in February - I just have no idea why I didn't finish it. Now I hope I did. 

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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6 Tips for a beginner seamster or seamstress

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World~~~

As you probably know already, I recently started my journey into the DIY and sewing world. I was gifted a sewing machine for Christmas by my mother and a pair of tailor's shears last month, by someone else. The shears i linked are very similar in appearance to mine. 

DISCLAIMER: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. I used these affiliate links to give you the option to check the book out, for yourself, if you so wish, through a well-trusted seller. While I will be very glad if you buy any of the linked items, the decision to do so or not, belongs to you. Thank you for reading!  

Aren't they beautiful? To me, they're beautiful. And they're also heavy. 

Well, they were cheap and made in China - the box was covered in Chinese writing, and although I started studying this language, I'm still a beginner (read that, as in I made no more progress since this post) and hence, I cannot read what it said. I also threw the box away. What matters more is that they cut what I need them to cut.

While 4 months are definitely not enough to say "I know things," I did learn quite a bit. Here are my few tips if you just start this journey and you feel overwhelmed.

Fair warning though: some of these tips are for those who consider making a living out of their skill, hence they need to appear professional. Other tips are more like a warning, details I didn't think of when I decided to take on this hobby/journey.

1. learn the right names of the tools

I'll talk about 3 different tools, as examples. 

a) For instance, I was saying "my scissors" when in reality I own a pair of shears. In all honesty, I thought these two words refer to the same item, but they're used in different parts of the world. In a similar fashion to how some people say "trousers" and "pants" when referring to the garment covering the body from the waist down, with 2 hoses, one for each leg. 

When it comes to shears and scissors, the difference is in the holes through which your fingers go in order to manipulate the tool. The shears have a larger lower hole, while the scissors have equal holes. 

b) Similarly, if you're into sewing or making (your own) clothes (or for your family), you also have to learn the proper names of the fabrics. If you're interested in up-cycling or refashioning clothes, this aspect might not be as important. 

Personally, I'm in the process of learning about fabrics:

  • fibers (how the name of the fiber was used to name the fabric, though in some cases it's another type of fiber used. Take for instance "linen" used for "linens" made of cotton), 
  • origin, or where you're more likely to find certain types of fabrics. As an example, lacebark originates in Jamaica, and is as fine as muslin.
  • how they're obtained - knitting or waving, natural, synthetic, man-made.

c) Still related to tools, you'll find 2 types of sewing machines: domestic and industrial. You should learn the differences between them! This video explains better, and even shows an industrial one. There's also this other video better showing the differences between sewing machines at different price levels, though all of those are for domestic use. I learned the following from the 2nd video:

  • sewing machines with a front loading bobbin are faster than the ones with a drop-in bobbin. 
  • some machines have 2 lights instead of one, and the difference that makes is quite something.  
  • industrial machines will only have 1 type of stitch - for instance, just running stitch. They can also load a bobbin at the same time you're sewing, whereas a domestic one can't. 

 

2. learn how to correctly use them

If you learn what differentiates one tool from the other (say, shears and scissors), you can also learn how to use them. Usually this happens at the same time.  

This page opened my eyes to how I'm supposed to hold and use my shears. This other page has more types of such tools, and names some of the best you can find. 

Maintenance is important and part of correctly using the tool, if you want it to last for years to come. Not long ago I learned that I'm supposed to clean and oil my sewing machine every week, if I use it often. If i use it now and then, I'm supposed to clean and oil it every time I plan on using it. 

In my experience with my machine, it needed cleaning and especially oiling after about a month since I got it. I can't say I used it a lot in January, but in February it already started to be rather noisy. Once I oiled it, it started purring again, like when I got it.  

Learning about textiles, you'll learn that some fabrics simply are not good for certain projects. You also learn how to care for the end product without destroying it, say through bleaching or simply washing.

3. find some sort of mentor and/or muse

Or at least a person with whom you can connect, or inspires you to go through with your project. As a beginner in any trade, actually doing the task can be a bit scary, right? "What if I cut this fabric wrongly?" "what if it turns out really ugly?" 

Well, I'm lucky and happy to say that I found at least 1 person to support me when I feel scared, or when I'm not sure of what I do. They are A, and they also inspire me with things - mostly with the written stuff. But A can also give great advice when it comes to color combination, or gives an honest opinion if asked "how does THIS look?" 

I'm pretty lucky to have discovered someone I could call a mentor - Angelina, the lady behind BlueprintDIY (her Youtube channel, and her Instagram). /shoutout! She actually gave me the push I needed to enlarge a pair of jeans so that I could wear them. Let's get real, I wouldn't have lost the extra 5kg I needed to get in these pants. I will post another blog entry about this process. ;) 

Someone telling you "just do it!" or "go for it!" is all it takes at times, to actually get over the "what if ..." fear. Instead, you could get the excited "what if this turns out great?!" Which is what happened with a 2nd project about which I will write soon enough, but I will offer a spoiler for it right here:

 

4. don't be scared of making mistakes

As a beginner you'll definitely make mistakes - everyone makes them. And you know what? Even those with experience in the field will make mistakes. Luckily, when you sew, a mistake will not cost someone their life, like it would happen with a doctor for instance. However it can prove more time consuming and more expensive. 

Remember that you don't really learn anything until you try things out and make mistakes. One of the things you'll learn is what you could improve, what technique to stay away from because it's incorrect, and so on.  

5. fabric IS real fabric - no matter its origin

This point was triggered by a video I watched - I forgot which one. The lady speaking (giving advice) was saying to go to thrift stores to buy sheets and curtains to use for your projects, especially as a beginner. This way, you avoid ruining "real fabric" and waste money. I suspect she meant brand new (virgin, if you will) fabric, that was never used for anything else before. 

But, in my book, when you take an item and cut away its seams, it turns into "real fabric." It still cost some money, even it was just 50 cents yesterday, or 100 dollars 10 years back. As long as the material is in a good shape and big enough to make something out of, I call it "real fabric." 

6. it takes time and more actions than what you thought

Let's just say you can't just take a needle and some thread and start sewing: you need a plan first, or a goal. This can be - fixing a hole, applying a button, re-doing a hem, and so on. 

But before you get there, you might have to measure some stuff, draw a pattern or two, cut it, cut fabric, and then sew pieces together in a certain sequence. Depending on what you're making, you might have to try the item on from time to time. Depending on the item and number of pieces you have to sew together, and details you want to add, you'll be spending a few good hours "sewing."

But don't worry: the end result might be worth all the effort. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Recipe for Roasted Potatoes

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

The Great Lent started in Romania - this is the lent before Pascha (or Easter). It lasts for 7 weeks and is the longest of them all, hence the name. OK, now it's close to the end, as I kept on delaying editing pictures and writing. The article is finally here!

During any Lent, Romanians are supposed to fast by eating a vegan diet - so no meats including fish, no eggs and no dairy products. (hmm, I actually don't know if honey is forbidden or allowed.) This page explains better the rules of fasting. It also makes no mention of honey, and thus I think it's allowed.

In any case, when buying premade foods in Romania, we should pay attention to the packaging to say "de post" - this means the product is vegan-friendly.  If you don't want to eat honey, search for the word "miere" (=honey) in the ingredients. Fish is allowed for consumption on certain days during the Lent (fasting period). 

  • Romanians don't celebrate Fat Tuesday nor Ash Wednesday. Good Friday is not a public holiday either, but the 2nd day of Pascha (Monday) is a bank holiday, and only hospitals, police, public transportation, and a few shops still stay in business. 

I already have a few vegan-friendly recipes posted, and I want to share with you the recipe for Roasted Potatoes as well - this is an important recipe to know how to make if you love potatoes because they're awesome when roasted. 

Recipe for Roasted Potatoes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 larger potatoes, preferably suited for baking
  • salt
  • oil
  • powder black pepper
  • other herbs or condiments you like
  • also, a baking tray

METHOD:

Peel and slice your potatoes. Make sure to have rather thick slices and not thin. If they're thin, reduce the cooking time by 15 minutes to avoid burning them. 

Take a baking tray, smear it with cooking oil, place your potato slices in it. 

Smear your potato slices with cooking oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and all the condiments and herbs. 

Let bake in the oven for some 45 minutes, on medium heat, preferably on the middle rack of the oven. 

You can now serve!

I made this recipe over and over, and I didn't always take pictures. This is why some of them are dated "December 2018." The light is bad because I usually cook in the evening and therefore the artificial light is not great.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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What happened with the...

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all.

It's almost 2 years since I did a wish.com shopping haul. Read it here.

NOT a sponsored post, but I advertise an online shop by talking about it or about the items I got from there.

So here are the items I bought back then, in case you don't want to read the post. I recently watched a few videos in which youtubers were talking about their wish.com purchases. I thought I could update you with my experience.

3 watches, a shopping bag/tote, and 2 decks of cards. I really liked the watches. They didn't look as good in real life, but they still looked really good. And they worked too!

Well, what happened to all this stuff? 

I still have everything. But I can't use at least half of them.

The bag is the one item I'm getting the most use out of. It still goes strong, though I think I have to stitch one of the handles. It may have lost a bit of the color and gotten dirty a little bit, but other than that, it's still fine. The zippers are still usable and I couldn't see any tear or another type of damage than the one I mentioned.

The decks they're still in great shape - mostly because I didn't use one of them, and I minimally used the other. The tarot deck got the most use compared to the playing cards.  

The watches. This is where the issues start. They stopped working, one after the other, about 1 year of use. I wore the mechanical watch (the first one) the most. It had a soothing ticking sound. I forgot what happened. One day, it just stopped ticking despite it being winded. The other 2 watches, I accidentally stepped on one of them, in the dark, on the bed. It was instant killing. The other one wasn't working so great to begin with.  Was losing some 5 minutes per week. I only realized this by accident, after looking at it after looking at the phone. One day it stopped ticking even with a new battery. 

What are my thoughts?

First of all, I didn't have high expectations of the watches, except the mechanical one. Well, not even there, considering the low price I paid. All these items were pretty cheap, especially the green watches.  Well, now they'd be even cheaper. I currently feel as if I got ripped off, since many listings on the site say "free, just pay for shipping". 

Would I buy again?

Yes. In fact, I still ordered two items, and I will place another order next week. One of the items I ordered is for personal hygiene, it arrived, I used it, though I don't think it's a good option for me. 

The other item is actually some sewing machine bobbins. 30 pieces for $2, for the shipping. I placed the order yesterday, I paid, and now I'm waiting for the set to ship and to arrive. Buying these here, at this price, would only bring me some 5 bobbins. If you like sewing or DIY projects and you use a sewing machine, you know 5 bobbins are nothing. 

Do I recommend to others?

Well, sure, why not? Just pay attention to the seller's ratings, read product reviews and don't set your hopes too high. You might want to buy elsewhere depending on what you're after - say gadgets. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Forgotten knowledge from my granny - by A

Publié le par Charly C.

This entry is written by A. She shares valuable life lessons and common sense tips she learned from her (now deceased) grandmother. I think these tips are a must know for everyone these days, no matter where you live or who you are. 

This entry is a bit overdue, but the tips can still be applied. A second part might follow at some point in the future.

 

The cold season is also the season of the flu, and every year different strains show up. Of course, you can catch the flu or the common cold at any time. So, I wanted to talk to you a little bit about how my family dealt with issues like this in the past and to be honest never got sick. 

 

When I was a kid, my grandma used to be really careful with me so I wouldn't sick. There were times when I lived with her, my mom, dad, aunt - and sometimes other people would also show up. My grandma always made sure to separate every single dish, kitchen tool, and ask the sick person to wear a mask if it applied. 

 

Every dish was washed right away, boiled - which is really important when trying to get rid of germs - and the healthy people in the family were not allowed to use the same ones as the sick person. (We didn't have dish washers back then, and they're not popular even now.

 

Physical closeness also wasn’t permitted. No hugs,  no kisses, no nothing - you simply had to stay away from the sick person for as long as they were contagious. 

 

These things really helped and as a result,  my mother's sister and all the other family members didn’t get hepatitis when my mom got it. Of course, every disease requires different rules... 

 

Every time I would get a stomach upset I was put on a 24-hour liquid fasting period, after which toast, boiled potato and carrots were introduced gradually.

 

So, I would get well a lot faster than my friends and other people who usually suffered for days while still eating their usual diet. This is because the stomach truly needs rest when sick, and allowing it that time results in a much more speedy recovery. I’m still following these tips up to this day, or try to.

That was it for now.

Credits: 

text: © Charly Cross (2013 - present) and A. All rights reserved.

pictures: are from a book called Florals and Nature - Memories of a Lifetime, published in 2005, ISBN: 1-4027-1998-1, and they're free to use for any type of project. Read more (or buy) here. (Not an affiliate link. Not a sponsored post.)

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