Happy Mothers’ Day 2020

For most of us, our mothers are our pillars of support. During trying periods such as the Circuit Breaker in 2020—an unprecedented partial lockdown of the nation due to a contagious virus—our mothers remain at the forefront of the house, helming the kitchen and the laundry room, ensuring all of us are well-fed and clothed, and the house is spick and span. This is no easy feat, and even mothers need a break!

Recently, the Singapore government gave out masks for her citizens, so I got the idea to glam up the mask, so that Mummy can go grocery shopping, or exercising in style, since it is a requirement to leave the house with a mask on.

Embroidery was something I enjoyed in my teens, but never invested my time to properly learn. I am not about to go all out yet either, so I would just make-do. I thought I would quickly learn some stitches, and embroider some tiny roses on the mask. Scroll on down to see how I did it:
Can you make a guess from which direction I worked? I started on the right, so you can see the stitches getting considerably neater as I get the hang of the stitches.
It helps to understand how your fabric moves as you stitch, so you can take the proper steps to prevent distortion. Generally you would use a stabilizer when doing embroidery, as it would prevent your fabric from getting distorted as you stitch (as you can see from the bumps in the fabric). I do not have the water-soluble stabilizer, and I do not want to damage the mask too much, so I took a chance, by holding the fabric taut (not tight) as I stitched. I ensured I only embroider the first layer of the mask, so as not to damage the inner layers.

It is good to note these first-timer mistakes as well, so you can be well-prepared for your next project.

1. Design
I love roses, so I decided to embroider them. I drew a couple of circles for the flower, and leaves around each flower. I added the word ‘bloom’ for effect. It is best to use a water-soluble pen for marking, as regular pens may bleed into the fabric, or not wash out completely.
2. Stitching the word
For a quality piece of work, you should consider using embroidery floss.
I have one too many sewing kits that I want to quickly finish, so I decided to just use normal sewing thread. I used two strands of black with the back stitch. This is useful information about how you should start and end stitches without knots!
3. Stitching the leaves
For the leaves, I used 3 strands of green sewing thread, and the straight stitch.
The type of needles that you use for an embroidery project is also important! I did not use an embroidery needle, but I ensured my needle is small and sharp to pierce the fabric without leaving too-big holes. However, it is too small, causing friction on the thread, resulting in “fuzzies”.
4. Embroidering the roses
I followed this Bullion Rose Knot tutorial to embroider the roses. You start with 3 french knots (which really looks a lot easier than it is to do), and then create the petals with bullion knots.
It took some trial and error to get the the number of wraps right to create the perfect petals, and it took several attempts to get the bullion knots to sit neatly. Practise!
5. The final product
It does not look too bad for a first-time project, although it would probably infuriate embroidery purists!
It has been quite a journey (a whole day’s project), but it has been time well-spent. Now, to gift it to Mum, to ensure she stays safe and healthy during this daunting period.

A BIG shoutout to all mothers, who play multiple roles in their lives,
whether you are the WFH Mum, the SAHM, the FTWM,
the Mum that YOU are,
you are the frontliners of our lives, and we thank you.
Happy Mothers’ Day!



A Song For Mama

Boyz II Men
Songwriters: Kenneth Edmonds
Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Fox Music, Inc

You taught me everything
Everything you’ve given me
I’ll always keep it inside
You’re the driving force in my life, yeah
There isn’t anything
Or anyone that I could be
And it just wouldn’t feel right
If I didn’t have you by my side

You were there for me to love and care for me
When skies were gray
Whenever I was down
You were always there to comfort me
And no one else can be
What you have been to me you will always be
You will always be the girl
In my life for all times

Mama, Mama you know I love you
(You know I love you)
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like tears from the stars, yes it is
Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul
Yes it is, yes it is, oh, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is oh

You’re always there for me
Have always been around for me even when I was bad
You showed me right from my wrong
Yes you did
And you took up for me
When everyone was downin’ me
You always did understand
You gave me strength to go on

There were so many times
Looking back when I was so afraid
And then you’d come to me and say to me
I can face anything
And no one else can do
What you have done for me
You’ll always be, you will always be
The girl in my life, ooh oh

Mama, Mama you know I love you
(You know I love you, you know I love you)
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart, (You are)
Your love is like tears from the stars
(Your love is like tears from the stars)
Mama I just want you to know (Mama I just want you to know)
Lovin’ you is like food to my soul

Never gonna go a day without you
Fills me up just thinkin’ about you
I’ll never go a day without my mama
Mama, Mama you know I love you
Mama, Mama you’re the queen of my heart
Your love is like tears from the stars
(Your love is like tears from the stars)
Mama I just want you to know lovin’ you is like food to my soul