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DIY: shirt into pillow case

Publié le par Charly C.

This week is for another do-it-yourself project presentation. YAY?

Let's learn how to make this pillow case from a shirt! shall we? In the first pic I used a different shirt because i didn't think of the pics I'd use, ahead of time. Plus I realized a bit too late I could make a blog entry about this process, so not all the pics are with the same shirt. I hope it doesn't bother you much. 

from the shirt on the left to the pillow case on the right. from the shirt on the left to the pillow case on the right. from the shirt on the left to the pillow case on the right.

from the shirt on the left to the pillow case on the right.

There's a little backstory for this DIY, so let's start with that. If you're not interested in it, scroll down till you see the first picture. ;)

We received some pre-owned/pre-worn shirts because "they're still in a good condition, maybe they fit you and you can wear them!" As great as this sounds for a minimalist person or someone who's concerned about too much waste and poverty, the reality is that those shirts were obviously worn. 

The shirts were in decent condition, but they're yellow on the collars, the fabric is also a bit destroyed because they've been worn too much. Even washed, these garments are nowhere near to be worn again, not even indoors. See first picture, here below.

 

ewww, to gross to still wear >_<

ewww, to gross to still wear >_<

I didn't throw them away because I thought I could do something out of them. I first thought of cleaning rags, but the fabric is not quite the right type, but more of a bed sheet type. And then it hit me that I needed more pillow cases - stitching together pieces of fabric to make a sheet is too much even for me. 

Things I used: 

  • an existing pillow case
  • scissors
  • sewing needle and thread
  • clothes iron
  • measuring tape (not really used in the end) 
  • pencil 
  • extra needles

 

very old scissors, sewing thread and measuring tape. pencil type is below.

very old scissors, sewing thread and measuring tape. pencil type is below.

The first step is to make sure the garment doesn't have holes and clear of wrinkles, hence the clothes iron. If it has holes, either patch them up or give up the garment. My shirts don't have holes, so I checked to see if they're big enough to make a case. They're mostly men's shirts, so there's enough fabric - see below. 

making sure the shirt is big enough for a pillow case

making sure the shirt is big enough for a pillow case

If you align the old pillow case to one of the side sewings of the shirt you'll save yourself some time as you'll only have 3 more sides to sew together.  Make sure to turn the shirt inside out to have it ironed (not even designers work with wrinkled fabric), and buttoned up.

In my opinion, the bottom hem is the easiest to start with, especially if it's a straight one. But you could align the shoulders in place, pin the case to the shirt and start sewing all around it. 

I sew by hand, and this means I needed more visual guidelines and this is where the pencil proved useful as I drew around my pillow case, on the shirt. Depending on the type of lead, it will be really easy to draw on fabric. My pencil is a Staedtler norica 132 46 HB 2 if it's of any help. 

Sewing all sides with the pillow case still attached to the shirt will save you some time. This is especially true if you have a sewing machine [unlike me]. Well, it will save some time when sewing by hand as well.

DIY: shirt into pillow caseDIY: shirt into pillow case

Now supposedly you sew all the sides of the pillow case. It's time you cut all the excess fabric. Once all the extra fabric is removed, you will have something that looks a lot like a pillow case. See below how mine turned out. I must say I'm pretty proud of myself. 

I purposely left the buttons of the shirt on to save me time and effort. This way I don't have to sew other buttons, nor a zipper. The pillow case looks a bit old fashioned, but I find it really pretty. 

This was my first time completing such a project, and sewing it by hand along with having other projects going on, made this DIY unnecessarily long. I think that with a sewing machine this would be a 30 minutes (tops) project. 

DIY: shirt into pillow caseDIY: shirt into pillow case

Of course, I leave the project for 5 minutes, and I return to see this (below). If you have kids, cats, dogs, any other pets, make sure they don't have access to the needles if you need a short break from your sewing or whatever you're doing. You may know this, but while it looks cute in photos and in real life, such a situation can be dangerous - luckily my boy wasn't sitting on the one I was working on. 

sometimes cats happen

sometimes cats happen

PS: Sometimes, after you finish your first project, you may realize that placing the pillow case in a different position on the shirt, it could make your job even more easy. In my case, I placed the existing pillowcase in "landscape" position while the shirt was in "portrait" mode. Like this, I only had to sew 2 sides only, saving me even more time. See the pic below for a better understanding.

The resulting is not much different than the first one I made, so I didn't think another image would be needed. 

DIY: shirt into pillow case

 © Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Some money saving tips

Publié le par Charly C.

Recently I started watching videos on finances and minimalism. I'm not good with money and I'm not a minimalist either ... well, not really. I guess, I decided to start learning about the mistakes I could be faced later on, or how to fix the ones I already made [and I'm too embarrassed to talk about].

However, I realized that in a way I can be described with both epithets depending on the situation. Now, I decided to share with whoever reads this blog, some possibly new [and some definitely old ways] in which you can spend less money.  

yes, doing this saves me some money

yes, doing this saves me some money

"hacking" my clothes

Some of you might remember my post in which I shared how I added a pocket to my sweatpants that didn't have one. 

How does it save money? I didn't have to go buy another pair with pockets [not that I would have found something I liked] and I didn't pay someone else to do it for me. Of course, for this you have to know how to sew [by hand or with the machine]. 

To do this, you'd have to sacrifice some time. For this project I wasted a bit more time than I was supposed to, because of extra steps that proved not needed.

I have a similar project going on for a bag. Hopefully I can post it soon enough.

old stuff to rags

If you were to calculate how much you spend in a year for certain cleaning supplies - mop replacement, kitchen sponge, dust cloth, whatever else you use, how much do you estimate that would add up to?

Honestly, I didn't calculate myself because I'd have to keep track of how often I need to replace them. But my wallet is a bit happier I didn't have to buy kitchen sponges anymore - for like a year. 

Instead I use old kitchen towels that I cut into smaller pieces. Most my kitchen towels used to be bath towels that got too worn to still use as such. Yes they were that old. 

By doing this not only do I produce less waste and pollution, but I also save a bit of money. Why are kitchen towels so expensive? 

How about the clothes I mentioned, you say? Depending on the fabric type, I cut those into the shape and size I think I need, and use the rags to clean windows and their sills, doors and their frames, dust the few horizontal surfaces I have, or the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Cleaning the toilet with those rags is a good idea because once that's done, I can throw away the rag feeling less guilty about pollution. 

I have to mention that as long as I don't clean the toilet with said rags, I can wash them in the laundry machine, and re-use them until they can no longer be used. 

Some towels make an even better mop than the one I have, so why not taking advantage of that? Not to mention that once the dishes are done, I can rinse off the piece of towel I used, and hung it to dry - it's more hygienic than a sponge in this regard.

Tshirts, sweat pants and matching sweat-shirts are the best candidates here. I find this a really good idea for when cleaning due to moving

This is especially do-able for those who don't have a charity or some other place where to go donate or sell old clothes. Let's just say, towels are not a thing to make others use.

Some money saving tipsSome money saving tips

by cooking

Cooking can save you some money as oftentimes the ingredients are cheaper or add up to 1 meal at a restaurant, depending on what you order. Let's not forget that usually cooking means you get several servings of the food you make, and if you really like what you make, that's always cheaper and better. 

What I cook is usually sweets, soups, and stews. I can't really find the stuff I prepare at home in the store. Even if I did, the taste is not the same, and may have ingredients I want to steer away from (garlic, onions, preservatives, food coloring) from a health related perspective.

If you want to prepare a meal that is not really specific to the country you live in, the ingredients can cost quite a lot. You might actually save money if you went to have a serving of an "exotic" dish at a specialized restaurant. You'll also realize whether that food is really worth trying to make at home or not. 

 

eating directly from the pot

"Whaat? that's gross, weird!" - it's what you may be thinking. 

And you're right when you cook for a whole family and not just yourself. It's also not really gross if you just warm the food on the stove, in a small enough pot to hold 1 serving of whatever you eat. 

How does it save money? indirectly: you have only 1 container to wash, not 2. You save water and dish washer because you use less of both. Of course, this works only if you do the dishes by hand. If you use a dish washing machine, you might actually want to use a separate plate to eat in. 

I have to say that these machines are not very common in Romania yet, though they can be found in stores. Younger families are more likely to own them, than older generations. They are more likely to be found in newer or renovated apartments. We don't own one.

Each household is different, of course, and what works for me might not work for you. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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some thoughts on moving to another country

Publié le par Charly Cross

Moving to another country is not what many people expect it to be. Sadly. 

It can't happen overnight - unless you're very rich, or maybe don't care about going into a big debt. To avoid this, you could sell everything you own of value - but what if you don't own anything at all? This is perhaps one of the first things to keep in mind especially if you're older and a school exchange program can't be applied to you.

You should choose a country where a language you know is spoken. In case you'll be interested in getting a job, having a diploma, degree, certification, or experience, will help greatly. Any of these attributes will help you secure decent employment. You do have other ways of generating income, and as a woman you could even get married to a rich man from that country - a practice frowned upon.

But I'm nobody to talk about those topics. As you know, we plan on moving to France, and it's not an easy process. We want to learn more about the life there, but there aren't many people writing or making videos about it. Following Youtube France ... I only get suggestions for comedy channels with pranks, or challenges. Not helpful at all, but we still try.

We're also trying slowly improving our grasp on French. We luckily learned some in school, but it's been so long ago. We do know that the quality of life in France is far better than over here, so why shouldn't we want to move there? After all you don't want to move to a country where you don't have access to running water or electricity, do you? You also want to have enough money from your paycheck to be able to have some fun as well.

The political atmosphere of the country is important. While I'm sure there are some people who would like to live in North Korea, they will never outnumber those who want to live in USA, Sweden, France, the UK, Japan, or any other country where people are free to say and do whatever as long as they don't hurt others. Not many people want to live in a very corrupt country either - Romania is one of the most corrupt ones out there.

some thoughts on moving to another country

Some countries have a more accepting attitude towards foreigners than others. This is why Canada is a place where foreigners are very welcomes, but countries like Japan, China, Switzerland are very enclosed and rejecting towards them. Sure there are reasons, however it is quite difficult for many people going to those last countries to feel at home, welcomed and accepted.

It is well known that some products or services you might need or like, are not available in other countries. For instance, Europeans going to USA won't be able to eat or even buy Kinder eggs, or that internet is heavily censored in China and that many sites are blocked over there. We're going to France, so I'll be missing some foods that I'm pretty sure I won't find there, unless I can find Romanian shops there. What's more, some stuff will shock you - maybe the so many vending machines in Japan qualify ...? Or that all the shops are closed on Sunday in France, Germany, and Switzerland - or this is what I heard.

Your safety is important, especially if you're a woman. You will want to know just how safe it is to walk down the street at night, or even in the daylight. Bucharest is rather safe, plus you definitely don't risk getting randomly shot because we don't own guns. We don't need them. Having thieves breaking into your home is relatively rare, as far as I know, especially since most buildings now have an intercom system, sometimes even a guard downstairs, and cameras.

What do you do if you have pets, like we do? You of course have the option to re-home them, but if you're like us, you probably think the pets are part of the family and can't imagine anyone else taking better care of them. Plu you'll be missing them a LOT. We decided to take 2 of them with us [we have 3], and to return for the 3rd one at some point when we become more stable with the money. But the pets need passports, vaccines, microchips, and I forgot what other documentation. What's more, is that we need money for all these vet visits and paperwork.

Then, we'll need more money for plane tickets, food while we're there till we find employment, and so on. Not to mention the time we need to invest in all of this. Just the pets' stuff might take up to 2 months. I always thought I can just pack my bags and be out the door, but I never really put much thinking into all these aspects that can be scary at times. Remember you can't succeed with fear in mind: you have to be somewhat brave.

I may have been a dreamer, and still am. There is nothing wrong with that as long as I'm aware of the effort needed to make my dreams come true, and being willing to do the work. And A and me ARE preparing to turn those dreams into reality.

In conclusion, if you too wish to move to another country, get as informed as possible about your destination to ease the process, and then start doing the work for it. Don't forget that sometimes it just takes more time than expected. Good luck!


©2013 – present. Charly Cross. All rights reserved.

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Stuff I wish I knew before re-branding

Publié le par Charly C.

As some of you know, I recently moved my blog and I also re-named it. All this trouble can be called re-branding! YAY!

So my rebranding consist of:

  • new hosting platform 
  • new blog name
  • new author name 
  • new blog and author logo - that I designed

In case you're wondering, the old version of the blog still exists, still on the platform I was using before, however it is being hidden from the public. 

Like many other people that try new things for the first time, there are some things I wish I knew before doing this step. Well, to be completely honest, I did no research on what rebranding or moving a blog so it's partially my fault. In any case, if you want to learn a few things, or think you might need a few tips in the future, please read on. 

Backing up pictures

Not everyone posts pictures along their blog entries. You'll see some of my own entries with no pictures whatsoever - they're not always relevant. 

However, if you do have pictures on your blog, you might want to back them up. From the start. The same goes for your videos. 

When I rebranded, I noticed several posts [this is just one of them] had broken images, and I was really scared I didn't have them anymore. But thanks to the hoarder that I am, I did find them. 

You might want to edit them and have them bear your new brand if you watermark them. I didn't do this, but maybe I should. The thing is I am not 100% sure I still have the originals or that I want to waste even more time for that. 

that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.

that entry was deleted before rebranding, as i changed my mind about it since the time i wrote it.

Edit / delete posts / entries

Rebranding usually has something to do with having changed your mind about the purpose of your blog. This means you'll have to go back on your posts and see if there is anything that doesn't fit your new perspective. Rebranding is similar to a face-lift so to say, so you'll have to do this.

I had to delete some entries that for some reason or another were blank. Originally those were re-blogs on my other platform, but perhaps the original poster also deleted the entries or something weird happened. Blank entries look weird and unprofessional, so in the bin they went.

At the same time, you might want to delete or add new pages for a better organization of your entries. Editing them [their content] is also a good idea, to breathe in some fresh air. 

Check and fix your URLs

My URLs were a mess after I moved my blog. It took me several days to go through all my entries and fix them. As a curiosity, they read something like: "http://www.obscurejourney.com/http://theownertravelsto.wordpress.com/missing-entries-on-my-blog" - WordPress is my previous blogging platform. This type of URL looks complicated, not functional and very unprofessional. My old blog is still there, but it's hidden from the public: it's my way of backing up my site. 

Not only did I have to fix the ugly URLs, I also had to fix any links I had in any post as well! My links were directing the visitor towards my previous blog and therefore the links appeared broken. I hope I did well and managed to fix them all. 

Learn about your new host

This should be a no-brainer. But, I jumped on this new platform without reading too much about it. I still hope I won't regret it, haha. 

You should learn about your new host because you want to go LIVE as soon as possible, so learning about the host - how to post entries, customize the appearance of your site, so on, should be done beforehand. 

For instance, WordPress and over-blog work differently when it comes to creating new pages. In WordPress you create a new page and it appears at the top, by default. On over-blog, you have to create the menu yourself. Each method has its own advantages - and i like that here, on over-blog if i want to change what a page says, i can just change the URL of the old one [if I want to keep it] and create a new entry with the previous link. It sounds a bit complicated, but it's really easy. 

Let's just say it took me a while to realize a few things, and only because I didn't properly study my new host.

Matching social media

I decided I should make social media accounts that match my new brand and identity. This is because I want to appear more serious and more professional. however, don't expect to see me on those accounts too much for they make me anxious, and it's close to a panic attack. But, if you want to show your support, you can do so there, if it's easier for you. Send me a private message or a public one, and i'll make sure to reply to it [sooner or later]. 

Before I was "the owner of the blog" or "the owner travels to" or something weird like that. Now I decided to take on a pen name [yea, sorry this is not my ID name - I don't connect at all with it] and a easier to remember URL. 

I therefore created "matching" social media accounts: on twitter and on facebook, and I connected both to this platform. I also have a "matching" email account on gmail [4charlycross [at] so on]. There's also an instagram account by the same name - you have higher chances of seeing me active here. 

You don't have to be very active on all of these platforms, but it's nice I guess to give people options to get in touch with you, other than through your blog [or youtube channel -yes I have one of those as well, for when I think stuff are easier to show through a video rather than pictures and writing. but don't expect 4K HD quality or anything as I'm just an amateur]. 

the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.

the logo that i made myself in MS Paint.

Logo

As you can see, I also have a "logo" that I use "everywhere." It's like a virtual signature for easy recognition. 

Use the logo across your social media accounts or wherever you want to be recognized. You can use a picture of yourself, if you're ok with it [i'm not u_u] or the same handle across all your accounts [as I tried doing]. 

This idea came to me, after seeing a vlogger i was watching, renaming her Twitter, and now her old handle belongs to a random guy who will benefit from her hard work. Her new handle is difficult to write and pronounce, and doesn't really have a connection with her life, except slightly. I try not to make that mistake and you shouldn't either.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Rapidly gaining weight - a nightmare

Publié le par Charly C.

Some of you might remember one of my past entries in which I talked about losing weight, and you can read it here. At the time I promised I'd talk about how I also gained weight. 

It wasn't very easy for me to talk about gaining weight, and the only reason I can find is that this is something a bit hard to think about. Right now, I passed through 2 periods of rapidly gaining weight. 

First time of weight gain

The first time happened after we rehomed a puppy we found on the street. There's no secret that owning a dog makes you go out a lot, and sometimes walk a lot. Owning a dog is great if you need an excuse to go for a walk to either stay in shape or lose some weight. Best results are when you find a dog that needs long walks, that is full of energy. 

Sadly, such a dog is not really happy in an apartment with other pets, or with people who are more lazy than active - such as myself. 

As you know, Kali [the puppy] found herself a home with a dog-loving family [we're more of cat people], and this meant I had no reason to go out and walk as much. This lack of exercise translated into extra 7 kg for me [about 15 pounds]. 

I gained this much weight in about 2 months. Sadly, I can't remember my before or after weight. 14 pounds in 2 months seemed a lot to me, but it really can be worse, like the second time around. 

Second time of weight gain

The second time when I gained weight happened at the beginning of 2017 after I gave up my job as a supermarket cashier. I haven't talked about this job because it needs a separate entry, and I'm not ready for that yet. You can read about other jobs I had though, if you're really curious. 

A bit of background info

Working in a supermarket as a cashier is close to working for the devil himself. And giving up that job was both a good and a bad thing for my health. If you ever worked in a supermarket, you'd know what I'm talking about. 

This place was opened from 7 am to 11pm and we were supposed to work only 2 shifts! i was very "lucky" [can you sniff the sarcasm there?] to work mostly the afternoon shift ... and this meant I'd get home at 1 am [because of random "duties" we were supposed to perform after the store closed]. 

This messed up my sleeping hours, that I tried hard to fix [I used to go to bed at about 3 or 4 am, and managed to make myself sleep quite early at midnight. with my new job, i'd go to bed at about 2 am]. A poor sleeping habit also means poor quality sleep, therefore not getting the rest I needed. Especially for the weekends I had to be there the whole day, from 7 am to about midnight. yes, you read that right - 2 days of 14 hours in a row, meaning on Saturday [make that Sunday morning] I'd sleep 2 or 3 hours? 

Of course, this further led to stress and having a breakdown at work and almost fainting. I also started to feel my overall health impoverishing as my diet was all over the place, not getting enough nutrients from my food. The breakdown and near-fainting happened after a couple of months on the job [wow, that was fast]. At that point I decided my health is far more important, so I decided to quit.

The aftermath

As soon as I finished working there, on New Year's Eve, I went into a sort of coma for 2 weeks straight. I'd sleep for 22 or 23 hours of the day straight with whatever breaks for restroom and food. A lot of it. All of it. Can you imagine what food with no working out does to the body? 

Before starting the job from hell, I was about 59 - 60 kg [so about 130 - 132 pounds]. While on the job [for some 3 months] I went down to 56 - 57 kg [123 - 125 pounds]. When I finally started to need less sleep I noticed i reached 70 kg! [154 pounds].

Gaining some 13 kg [28 pounds] in 2 weeks is insane if you're not pregnant! This happened in January of 2017. Only in October I managed to start losing a little bit of weight. Now, in April I'm about 67 kg [147 pounds]. I'm trying to work out as often as I can, and of course I'm eating much less. 

some advice:

If your job is too demanding and you can barely get any rest, it might be better to give it up, unless it's your dream job. In my opinion, no job is worth risking one's health because health is something we take for granted, but it has no price when we have it. As soon as we get sick, we start shelling all the money we have and don't have, just to get better. 

 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Being a hoarder

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello there!

My partner would label me a hoarder - at least in some regards. I totally fit the bill of "don't throw that away as you don't know when you might need it!" In recent years I started to tackle this and I generally stopped trying to keep every little thing. 

As some of you might know, I recently changed the platform I blog on. I used the well known WordPress but I think over-blog might be a better option for me. The blog on WP is still there, but hidden from the public. [as a back up >.>] 

During this move, I had to look at all the past entries and see if the images are still there, to check the links, and other stuff. To my shock, some pictures were completely gone! Luckily, I still had most of them on my computer, on tumblr, and even on a DVD. 

However, one blog entry in particular still had some pictures while others were nowhere to be found! DISPAIR! 

So I started to search for them everywhere. And I mean everywhere. The only place I didn't look until the end was a folder called "COPY." Lo and behold! The pictures I thought I lost forever, were there! The ONLY copy I still had of those pictures!

I was quite happy to discover them. I edited them as fast as I could and I put them in the blog entry. 

This is not the only time I kept something "for later use" and it was actually useful. But I have a hard time recalling the other times, at this point. I really don't know if I could get similar pictures if I didn't find them, so I'm thankful for being a hoarder. 

Piece of advice: You don't really need to keep 5 items of the same type, generally 1 is enough. 

How about you: Are you a hoarder? Did you ever find yourself in a situation where you wish you kept something you threw away only to discover it would be useful for X situation? Or did you at some point need something you knew you kept and were happy you did keep that thing?

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Coloring for adults

Publié le par Charly Cross

Despite coloring being generally considered a children’s activity, more and more coloring books are printed these days and they target adults.

These books are usually called “Art for Mindfulness” or “Mandalas for Mindfulness” and they’re a perfect way to relax at the end of a stressful day, especially for those who dislike watching TV and prefer a more rewarding activity instead.

Opinions on the book

I got one of these books too, as a Christmas present - I really wanted one. My motive was to have another way to explore my creativity and to express myself, other than writing or cooking. 

Coloring for adults

Please continue reading here!


© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

Publié le par Charly Cross

While I have many other things to update you guys on, on Friday that just passed I was hit with a wave on inspiration and I thought I could write about the result, and show you the process of getting a similar look, if you'd like to.

Let's start with 2 things:

  1. pockets are useful and sometimes fun
  2. I have at least one clothing item with no pockets

Clearly, something had to be done, especially now that winter is coming. So I decided to hack my clothes by adding pockets to them. I started with some training pants - is this what they're called? - though, this must be one of the more difficult clothing items to start practicing with.

So these are my pants. Aren't they kinda plain and boring?

So these are my pants. Aren't they kinda plain and boring?

This is how they turned out!

This is how they turned out!

Not too shabby, if I can say so myself. My partner thinks the result is rather cute and not all that bad for the first ever DIY / hack project. There are a few steps to follow if you want a similar ... look, or result ... however you want to call it.

TOOLS:

  • clothes that need pockets
  • fabric to turn into pockets
  • scissors
  • thread and needle
  • pencil and eraser, maybe
  • paper [for your pattern]

HOW'S DONE, step by step: guaranteed 100% NOT foolproof

  • Choose a clothing item that could need some pockets - in my case, some HM sweat pants I got on sale, in summer or so.
  • Search for fabric that would look nice on the chosen clothing item. I used some old sweat pants by Juicy Couture, on baby pink [is this how the color is called?] Those pants were some 8 or 9 years old and were well loved and falling apart, but I still felt bad for just throwing them away and some parts were still in decent condition. hmmm
  • Make sure the fabric you find matches somewhat in thickness with the garment, and is made the same: woven or knitted. It will look better, than mixing thickness and fabric type.

  • take the pencil and paper, and draw your hand's outline, to make the pattern for the pocket. Leave some space around the hand because you don't want a very tight pocket. Use your smartphone as well, if you want to make sure it will fit into the future pocket.
Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

Remove your hand, and realize the pocket will be too small and possibly too ugly too for an outer patch pocket. Decide at this point to use a bigger item, like an A5 agenda or notebook, or any other item of that size. Trace its outline on the paper instead of your hand.

Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

You can use a different paper, the back of the one you used already, or the same paper like me. You may choose to erase the first attempt, like I did, or not.

  • Cut the paper pattern and use it to cut your fabric. While you could use the agenda or notebook to draw directly on the fabric, the paper is lighter, and you can attach it to said material to make sure it stays in place. This is especially helpful when you're not someone with more experience when it comes to sewing or making clothes.
Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

Cutting the fabric should be easy enough if you laid the fabric completely flat. You just need to own good scissors for the purpose. Make sure to cut enough pieces for as many pockets you want to make. I cut 2 pieces but only used one.  But I may use the other one in the [near] future.

Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

I had to cut away the seams of the pants, as I used the lower part. I also removed their hem as the fabric there was dirty and too thick. eww

  • The next step is to find a position for your pocket, on the garment. I recommend putting the garment on and then deciding where the best place would be. I chose it while the pants were off of me, and I didn't realize it would be too low. I did want it to cover 2 small holes that appeared in my pants [eww, no craftsmanship in the HM labor camps/factories and the cheapest yarn possible.]
Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

While you're here, make sure you choose matching yarn as well. I measured it too, since I was about to had sew this patch and I don't need unlimited supply.

  • You're supposed to start sewing at this point. You are allowed to make some tea or coffee if you didn't have one before. Make sure to sew an upper hem as well - it will look more professional. You should also ensure to fold in in the edges of your pocket patch.
Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

If you also chose pants or another garment that is pretty tight, or don't own a sewing machine [like me], you have to pay attention NOT to sew together the 2 sides of the item. You can avoid this accident by placing an agenda right under the working spot - like I did in the 3rd shot, in the image above.

In case you're wondering, I'm right handed, so I sew towards the left hand, but I placed the pictures in a left-to-right order ... I hope it doesn't confuse you.

  • When you're finally done, more likely an hour or more later, your pocket should look like in the image below. I think I will go with another sewing session, to give it more strength - I don't trust it much with just one go done by hand.
Hacking my pants with a DIY pocket

My partner said she likes it, and I think it's decent enough. I was lucky with the colors too as gray and pink look nice together. The pants are now more interesting, eye catching, and make my life easier when I don't want to carry a lot of stuff.

before and afterbefore and after

before and after

            I hope you find this little DIY project useful. See you next time!


            ©Charly Cross 2013 – present. . All rights reserved. [previously known as The Owner Travels To]

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            How many Hanzi do I know?

            Publié le par Charly Cross

            I believe in this post I mentioned something about posting an entry on how many Chinese characters -hanzi- I know. This post is it.

            I don't really have much to say about this, but there are a few clarifications I must make.

            This list below shows translations for single-character words, but I do know a few that are formed of 2 characters. I will create a list for those words sometime in the future as well [ahem, whenever I remember I guess, ahem].

            screen capture :)

            screen capture :)

            I included only the translation I'm more familiar with, though I do know some of them have many other meanings. But that is ok, because other meanings can be learned at a later time. I didn't translate the numbers. The meaning of some of these characters was easier to remember because several years back I wanted to study Japanese. I still have some materials for that, but it basically collects dust.

            I may not know the reading of all of them -seriously, there are a handful with which I still struggle to remember how to read, but I know what they mean, or how to translate them.

            The list is a little over 100 characters long, but I'm pretty sure I didn't include all the Hanzi I know. This simply means I must have skipped or forgotten to add some. I think that if you want to learn and keep track of your progress in a foreign language, then a spreadsheet can be useful.

            A small notebook is a good alternative for languages that use a different script than what you're used to is also helpful because by writing the words by hand, you'll memorize them faster. Just make sure to write on each page the same amount of words if you want to keep a good track of your vocabulary. Using several notebooks might also be a good idea: one for grammar, one for new words, another one to pair words up.

            Please remember that even though I started this Mandarin learning journey last year, I didn't have time to do it every single day. For crying out loud, I had some 3 or 4 months when I had a full time job when I had no more energy to study. And even this year, with all the free time I ha, I didn't dedicate it all to Chinese - you could say I'm not that serious about it. Mostly because I still want to like it, rather than stress about it.

            I should probably tell you what tools do I use to learn Mandarin. There are several websites:

            • archchinese [learn how to write and read each hanzi, their traditional form, and more],
            • allsetlearning [focuses on grammar and you don't always have the translation or the reading on the page],
            • learnchineseez [learn how to write the hanzi, their traditional form, reading(s) and (main) meanings]. All these sites offer free materials to help your individual studies, but you might want to get a tutor as well if things are easier for you that way.

            [I'm not affiliated with any, not getting paid by them - just the tools I used and helped me the most].

            See you on Tuesday with an esoteric entry, on Thursday with a review, and again on Sunday with another blog entry related to my [boring] life. Bye~~


            ©Charly Cross 2013-present. All rights reserved.

            You can buy merch inspired by this post from over here.

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            Quotes can make you look wiser

            Publié le par Charly C.

            It is highly possible to have heard your parents or grandparents citing various things to you that became like a mantra. You probably never understood them and felt almost like an idiot - I know I did. However, most people like to recite very famous quotes, and while you should know who said what, it is time you created a little booklet of quotes of your own, to sound smarter and wiser.

            Today's quotes are by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee. But this is something he didn't really want to be remembered as. He wanted to be his own person, apart from his famous father. Sadly, somehow this is now a bit impossible to achieve, simply because he died way too soon.

            Quotes can make you look wiser

            "Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive your life without it? Perhaps 4 or 5 times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless."

            "You only have the burdens on you that you choose to put there."

            "God knows the times I have found myself in absurd situations."

            "The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering."

            "A fight can express things people might not be able to say with words."

            "Believe me, nothing is trivial."

            "If you've ever found yourself pushed to the limits of your tolerance... you find yourself doing some things that, from the outside, can be seen as quite insane."


            Most likely these quotes will mean something different to everyone. But all of them have something to teach us. They make us smarter and wiser. If we pay attention to some of these words, we might even avoid making some huge mistakes later on.

            I'll see you again on Sunday.

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