Sewing · Weight Loss

Hey, I’m Back!

Hi There,

I am back to my blog after a long time away. Did you miss me?

Work has been super crazy and I have been quite stressed trying to get everything done. There are so many tight deadlines and a lot of issues requiring a quick turnaround. It’s been rough but we are finally starting to see the light at the end.

Work has taken so much of my energy that I really didn’t sew a lot. I did make a Blackwood cardigan that looks very nice. I made it in a light sweater knit that is the perfect weight for transitional layering.

I have also gotten back into my makeup. I’ve been enjoying making myself look nicer again. I’ve come a long way from my first forays into makeup with only knowing stage makeup for dance recitals. Red lipsticks and dark eyes, oh man. That and purple/orange/pink/red hair was quite a look I am sure. Those hair colours were not all at once mind you. I have definitely learned how to tone it down.

On the diet front, I am trying something new again. This time it’s the 5:2 diet. That means eating normally for 5 days and fasting for 2 days. A fast is 500 Calories or less in 24h. I’m on my first fast day today so we will see how that goes. I weighed myself today and I am a little down from the last time I weighed myself in December, about 4 pounds. So my weight hasn’t gone up at least, in fact, I have pretty much maintained my weight over a year so that is not bad at all. My measurements are also pretty steady so at least I am not moving in the wrong direction!

We will see how things do coming into the holiday season. For Christmas gifts for the family, I am sewing stuff for them. I got all the fabric and I have washed some of it. All but one are patterns I have made before, and those patterns are even already altered for length so it is literally just cut and sew.

We have a new person starting at work tomorrow so hopefully, he will be quick to get up to speed. He is pretty senior so he should have no troubles. It will be nice to have another pair of hands.

knitting · Sewing · Weight Loss

Weight Loss Progress

Hi there,

So as the title suggests I have made progress in the weight loss front. I measured myself yesterday and I have lost 3 inches from my waist and 1/2 inch from my hips. Amazing!

I noticed it on Monday when a skirt I made around this time last year was almost falling down at work. Luckily my shirt was long that day so there was no inappropriateness.

This is kinda bittersweet because I liked that skirt and I put a fair amount of work into it, but on the other hand, I did want to become slimmer. It’s an interesting dilemma when a large portion of my clothing is me-made but I want to change in a way that it will all no longer fit. I need to keep in mind that this is for my health and wellness and it’s important to keep going with this, but it is quite sad that I have to say goodbye to some favourite pieces.

I guess that just means more sewing in the future.¬†ūüėÄ

In other news, last weekend I did a big tidy of my apartment, (much thanks to Mom for helping). I have so much fabric that it is not fitting into the 2 designated shelves for fabric, which means I am not only on a food diet but a fabric diet as well. I have lots in my stash to choose from so it’s not like I’ll be running short anytime soon.

I am very wary about letting my stash get out of control. My late grandmother was notorious for the stash in the basement of her house. The entire basement seemed like one large fabric/yarn pile. It was always so sad because she bought so many nice pieces of fabric and yarn but had nowhere near enough time left in her life to use them all. I just would keep thinking of all the work that went into producing all that material and get very sad for all the workers and farmers that put their time into making it. I want to make sure I honour the people who made the fabric and yarn I buy by actually making it into something and trying not to waste it.

I hope my grandmother is resting peacefully if there was an afterlife I think she would be in one giant yarn/fabric pile where ever that would be. Whenever I craft I feel like I am honouring her memory, even though she wasn’t the easiest person to get on with. In fact, I see a lot of myself in her and gained an understanding of how she was on a personal level. I see a woman who went through a lot of the same psychological struggles I am but didn’t have anywhere near the same supports.

Great, now I made myself cry…

TTYL

knitting · Sewing

Soft Harmony is together!

Hi There,

It’s been a bit crazy the last few days. Mostly just work business so nothing out of the normal, don’t worry. When stuff like that gets busy it’s so helpful to take some time to relax. For me, that’s working on some projects.

This morning I completed the sweater I talked about here. It looks great! It is just the right weight for a summer/spring sweater.

img_20180609_084220

It’s a little loose, I think my tension was a little looser than specified in the pattern. I was worried while knitting the sleeves that they would be too short, but now that it’s together I see it is a bit of a dropped shoulder situation.

I also completed the tap pants from¬†here.¬†I don’t think they are my best work. I still have to figure out how not to let rayon challis grow out of size one me. Probably didn’t help that the pieces were draped over my iron board for a while. Oh well, it still is comfy and it’s pyjamas so that’s what counts. I still have to cut my bias tape for the cami, I find bias tape a little fiddly so I am definitely procrastinating on that one.

TTYL

 

 

Gardening · Sewing · Weight Loss

Fabric Haul

Hi There,

On Sunday I decided to go fabric shopping (yay) and had a pretty good haul I would like to share.

From the top left, we have: a poly-linen blend sweater knit, cotton linen blend medium weight woven fabric, cotton voile, rayon voile, poly-spandex knit.

All are super soft. That’s the nice thing about sewing my own stuff, everything can be soft.

I have some initial ideas for the fabric. The sweater knit would be a nice summer/fall light cardigan. the cotton-linen blend would make an excellent summer dress. After that, I don’t know. I bought at least 3 meters of each. Some of them I bought 4 meters. That should be enough for whatever I want to make.

On the weight loss front, I noticed my jeans I bought a month ago are fitting a little better, so yay. I had a couple off plan days, but now I am back on track.

I still haven’t planted my planters yet. My potting soil was old so it’s taking a little while to rehydrate it.

Anyhow…

 

TTYL

Gardening · Weight Loss

Time for Plants

Hi There,

It is super warm in Toronto this week. At least for me, I don’t do well with warm. I joke with my coworkers that I would die in South Asia.

So with it regularly hitting 25+C, I think it is time for some balcony gardening. I went to my favourite garden centre to get some plants, Plant World at Royal York and Eglinton.

So now for what I got!

  • Cayenne peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Roma Tomatoes x 2
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Marigolds
  • Petunias

All so pretty. As you can see I enjoy vegetable gardening more than flower gardening. But I usually buy some colourful plants to brighten up my space. Marigolds do double duty as they tend to deter pests. I still need to get them into their final homes in pots. All my pots are living in my storage locker right now.

My diet is still going well. We had some family over so I had a night off of that. Jumped right back on again though. I even made Harvey’s work. I had the Veggie burger with a side salad and that put me in the right range for calories. I figure based on the calorie counts I see in the app I should be having: 300 calories for breakfast and 400-500 calories for lunch and dinner.

The portion sizes took a bit of getting used to but I am fine with them now. Sometimes I find there is even too much food now.

I haven’t sewn much since my last post. I did get my bias tape makers in the mail so I can make a few meters of bias tape when the mood strikes. Maybe this weekend…

TTYL

Coding · Sewing · Weight Loss

Weekend is here, time for friends

Hi there,

This weekend brought beautiful weather and a great opportunity to hang out with some good friends of mine.

We enjoyed the amazing weather with a walk in High Park. That park has to be the best one in Toronto and it was the perfect day. We chatted about everything and just had a generally great time.

Over the past few years, we have worked together on a mental health app aimed at children. We have over 1,000 downloads and are well on our way to more. The app is Strong Minds and it is a great tool for anyone that needs some tools to help them manage their feelings. I did most of the development and one of my friends did practically all the design and drew all the images by hand. The app is gorgeous and I am proud that we have had no crashes for the past 3 months. It was definitely a passion project between the four of us and one that we are all proud of.

In sewing news, I have cut out those pyjamas I mentioned last time. I just received a set of bias tape makers from Amazon and I can now make my meters of 1.5-inch bias tape for the neckline and the straps. Self-bias tape always looks so good but making it is quite tedious.

As to the diet, it’s still going well. I still have more energy despite my seasonal allergies dragging me down a bit. I’m surprised that my food budget isn’t too far out of line, but I haven’t eaten out in the past 2 weeks so that definitely helps things. The recipes are still delicious and the recommendations from the app are definitely getting better. That AI they are hyping definitely is doing something. There is a pair of leggings I made last summer that are fitting better today than when I first made them.

TTYL

Sewing · Weight Loss

Skirt is done, now what…

Hi there,

I finished the skirt! It looks great!

 

IMG_20180519_114029.jpg
The Pleated Skirt from Knipmode

 

This was overall a fairly straightforward sew, but I totally ignored the instructions for the invisible zip. After the pocket fiasco, I wasn’t too confident in the instructions. It came together well in the end and I am happy with it. I did go up to a size 52 for this one, I remeasured myself in the waist/hip area and that was my size. This would be the largest size I have measured in European sizes.

The next sewing project I am thinking of is pyjamas. I am thinking of doing the Cupid Cami and Tap Pants from Hot Patterns. I have a few choices for fabric. Trying to decide between a rayon challis or a cotton voile. Both would look great in this pattern. The rayon challis has a paisley print in a pink and purple. The cotton voile is a royal blue colour.

A quick update on the diet plan. Still going well on the food plan.¬†Unnatural Vegan¬†did a spot with her criticisms of the meal plan after trying it for 2 days (that’s what I think she said in the video). I don’t quite agree with her assessment. For one, it sounds like she was setting herself up for failure by deliberately choosing recipes that she knew she probably wouldn’t like. She also sounds like quite the picky eater when it comes to texture. I actually own all of her recommended books in the video, and they are very good. I might incorporate some of the recipes from Appetite for Reduction in my meal planning, some of those were very tasty. As an aside, that was one of the first vegan cookbooks (maybe the first?) I ever bought.

I should probably segue into how I am actually doing the meal plan. For starters, when it’s just me I am cooking for, the recipes call for small amounts of veggies (ie, 1/4 apple, 1/2 lemon, 1/4 bunch asparagus). That will add up to a huge expense if I do a different recipe each meal. What I do is I have a bunch of leftovers, I don’t mind eating leftovers for meals. I figure out what number of servings will use the most whole ingredients and scale the recipe up to there, keeping in mind how well the recipe will keep to the next day. Then I use¬†Paprika¬†to enter in all the recipes and plan my meals in the app. The app generates a shopping list that I use to do my shopping. I don’t mind repeats of meals in a meal plan. I don’t get bored that quickly and honestly doing that many new recipes in a¬† week are overwhelming.

I try to follow roughly what meals are recommended for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but I don’t follow exactly the entire day. I may take one breakfast for one day and pair it with a lunch from a different day, and maybe a dinner from yet another day. This way if one of the meals is a dud I am not stuck with a meal I don’t like. This avoids the Unnatural Vegan’s issue with the meal plan. As to her complaint that the recipes don’t have enough flavour. I figure as long as I am not adding a lot of calories to the meal. Increasing the spices and aromatics should not be an issue, and honestly, I don’t like my food too heavily seasoned anyways, it tastes fresher and cleaner to me without a bunch of extra spice. Although if I am eating Indian food, spices all the way, the more the better.

Well that was a long post. TTYL