A girly shrug from unwearable leggings

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Last week I finished another sewing transformation project. This one actually started back in November. Grad school is great but also intense. You can tell Josh took these photos because he’s making me laugh.

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These leggings were supposed to be one size fits all but they didn’t fit me. I really liked the pattern though and suspected I could turn them into leggings. I took my trusty seam ripper and took out the elastic waist and separated the legs. After attaching them together by the waist ends, I sewed on some ruffled black trim I bought at a fabulous store on Dihua street that sells trim and groovy patches.

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There’s an abundance of art, history and food to explore in the Dadocheng neighborhood but if you love to sew like me it’s Dihua street that’s the gold mine. There’s so many fabric stores with a dizzying variety of textiles for sale. Josh wrote about the neighborhood here.

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The legs that became the sleeves were too long so I took a few inches off of them. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

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These leggings made a shrug that’s stretchy and comfortable. I can see wearing this a lot in the spring when Taipei is starting to warm up but there’s still a hint of chill in the air.

While walking around Taipei we found this cool street art.

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This is an interesting bit of graffiti. The Formosan black bear has become an icon for Taiwan and is portrayed as happy and smiling. This gritty reboot is a new twist.

Home cooking

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Life is getting busy now that grad school has started. But despite my full days I’ve managed to squeeze in some home cooking. The above pic is my latest batch of kombucha. I left this one in for a full two weeks and it turned out delicious. I think my scoby mothers have fully matured as these last few batches have turned out very well.

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I have an early morning class so these biscottis were great breakfast meals. They are made with almond flour so are naturally gluten free. I definitely need to make more. Our friend Li Chun brought us some homemade coconut chocolate as a housewarming present and it made a great topping.

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Josh and I were hanging in Dihua, one of my fave neighborhoods, when we found a vendor selling black garlic. Black garlic! I’ve been meaning to try this for months but hadn’t found any.

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At first I thought it was fermented but some sources say it’s carmalized. Black garlic is incredibly distinct and has a taste reminiscent of figs. There was a moment when I thought “I should make my own” but my pile of reading for school tells me otherwise. It pairs well with so many foods I definitely recommend trying some.

Sewing machine and cover

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I finally got a sewing machine! After two failed attempts with second hand machines I decided to buy a new one. Costco not only had my trusty Singer brand but one with flowers.

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Dihua neighborhood has fabric galore and after a shopping visit I set about making a cover for my new machine. It’s so wonderful to be working with fabric again!

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This is my first sewing project since leaving Portland. Not only does it fit great, the fabric is a cheerful print.

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I finished it off with a blind hem stitch for practice and it turned out great.

Speaking of new additions

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Hazel is welcoming the puppets’ newest roommate to Casa Twosh.

And speaking of puppets, I managed a couple more visits to the Taiyuan Asian Puppet Theatre Museum before school started. I got to hang out with my friend Rosie before she leaves Taiwan and work on more pillow supports for puppet costumes. This internship has taught me so much!