Week 4. /Creating Unconventional Fabrics

Creating Unconventional Fabrics
Fusing threads and plastic to create fabric

Fusing threads

Material needed:
– Water soluble stabilizer
– Threads, yarns, fabric strips, trimmings
– Sewing machine

– Place the threads in any order you would like on half side of a water-soluble stabilizer
– Fold the water-soluble stabilizer and sandwich the threads in between
– Secure the threads with pearl pins
– Stitch the threads together on a sewing machine
– Wash it with warm water

Placing the threads in random or organized order

Unable to decide what my final theme for my final project would be, I tried using different coloured and types of cloth, yarns and threads. Hopefully, as time passes and I get to learn more new techniques, the color of my work would be more consistent and linked to my final project theme.

Securing the fabric and stitching them together

Mistakes and Challenges

On my first attempt exploring the sewing machine, I find it hard to remember the numerous steps to connect the threads, what to switch on or turn before starting.  I screwed up plenty of times either forgetting to push down the pressure foot or getting the threads tangled and jamming the machine. With more practices, I became more and more used to the consistent movement of pushing down the pressure foot, connecting the threads and turning the needle down whenever I want to rotate the piece. What I find the hardest about the sewing machine is controlling the speed and direction. However, I’m sure with more practices comes improvement and eventually perfection.

Revealing the final outcome

Here comes the most satisfying part of this technique~ Can’t wait to see the results!

20170210_003405-min 20170210_003426-min 20170210_003250-min20170210_003320-min

Learning points and application

All in all, I feel that the fusing thread technique gives really amazing and surprising results and could be applied to make many beautiful things such as wallets, pencil cases, dress, lamp shade cover and this list continues. I quite like this technique, but I would say that this would not be my favorite technique because I prefer to have control and be able to visualize what the end result would turn out to be.


 Fusing plastics

Material needed:
– Iron
– Plastic Bags
– Scissors
– Baking Paper

– Cut and place the plastic in any order you would like on a piece of baking paper
– Place another piece of baking paper above
– Iron over the paper and constantly check to avoid overheating. 

First design


Final outcome

Learning points and application

I feel that this technique, similar to the fusing thread technique, could give a very web-ish or lacy kind of look at the end. It also depends on how much layers of threads or plastic you put. I personally like the web-ish kind of look more because they cast beautiful shadows. If I were to use this technique, I would probably make a lamp shade cover. However, like I mentioned earlier on, I prefer being able to control and visualize what the end result would be. I feel that this technique, compared to the fusing plastic technique is even more uncontrollable and unpredictable. 

As always, looking forward to learn new techniques~ Thanks for reading~

Week 3. /Museum Reflection

About the gallery:

The Modern Colony gallery we went to on Chinese New year’s eve explores the cosmopolitan nature of Singapore as the British crown colony from the 1920s to the 1930s, through the review of the wealthy life of Peranakan Chinese and Chinese immigrants. The progression of Singapore during that period was most evidently shown through the improvement of a female social status and identity. The exhibition looks into how household women express their modern identities and the challenges they face while they play their respective roles in an increasingly globalized Singapore. 



In the gallery, I was particularly fascinated by the amount of detail of the cloth’s surface design and the meticulous effort put into making it. The cloths are mostly embroidered with elaborate floral motifs and lace patterns. The material and amount of details embroidered on a shoe can distinguish the social status of a woman in the society in that period. Wealthy women wore shoes with intricate designs and patterns while poor laborers wore just plain black flatshoes. 




Moving on to the main dish, these cheongsams features a variety of styles, colours and materials. Most of the cheongsam however, have slender cuttings. A slit was added to the left side of the dress while the right side was secured with chinese knotted buttons. This feature makes the ladies’ curve more prominent – a style that was in trend in the 1930s in Singapore.  These cheongsams are the type of dresses that a wealthy 1930s Singaporean woman would be wearing. On the other hand, poor laborers were wearing plain white clothing with loose cutting.


My favorite piece in the gallery was the Patchwork baby carrier. Women (Amahs) employed to take care of the babies would often use such carrier to piggyback the baby. As many Amahs were excellent seamstresses,  they made carriers like this for babies under their charge. I once had a patchworked or quilt blanket passed down from my grandma when I was young. Although many people might have used it before, I still love the blanket as it was super comfortable and it was filled with a mother’s warmth.  Now the blanket belongs to my baby nephew. 

All in all, I learnt from this trip to the museum that the design of a surface of a product, the material or color choice all play a part in conveying the concept of the product. Every product has a personality and every decision a product designer makes for his or her product should echo with the ultimate personality of the product.

Week 2. /My (Failed) Heat Printing Experiment

Here’s my story of me trying to use the heat printing machine~

It all started with the idea of printing a new shirt for my baby nephew for Chinese New year. It was a day filled with lots of mistakes made and I would like to document it down so that I hopefully will not make the same mistakes ever again. 

The design (Shirt front and back):

royce-page-001P.S. The design itself might be a mistake which I will talk about later…


Mistake no. 1:
Firstly, I printed the design on a ttc 3.1 transfer paper using an inkjet printer instead of a lazer printer. (I think I somehow mixed up and thought we were supposed to use inkjet printer instead) It resulted in smudged ink and a sheet of wasted ttc 3.1 transfer paper…

Result of the inkjet printer printed design

There goes my $1 paper…

img-20170130-wa0031In the end, I went to North spine to print a new sheet of design wishing that everything else will go on smoothly afterward. However, things happened…


Mistake no. 2:




To be honest, I’m not quite sure what mistake I made though. I followed exactly what the instruction said on the paper…

Digital print TTC 3.1 on T-shirt fabric 
400 Fahrenheit @30 Secs Hot peel

However, the result wasn’t satisfactory as the ink was not transferred fully at all. I went to reflect awhile and came up with 3 things that may have went wrong.

1. I mentioned from the start that the design itself may be a mistake. Maybe the font was not solid enough, or the color of the words was not dark enough, resulting in insufficient ink on the transfer paper. 

2. Another possibility is that maybe I did not peel fast enough after lifting up the heat printing machine. I tried many times though, leaving a longer timer each time and working faster on peeling the paper, it still failed in the end. 

3. The last possibility I could think of is the material of the baby shirt. I am not exactly sure what material it is though, (probably cotton), however the ink came off once the shirt was washed.

All in all, I have learnt a very important lesson. Which is to never assume that your first try will be perfect and to always have a backup plan. Never leave things to the last minute to do and always start early just in case things does not go how you expected it to. Looking forward to learning new things and starting on the final project. Hopefully, I would be able to find some time to practice using the heat printer again.