Monday, June 26, 2017

How to be a Fine Tailor - Through The Kitchen Experience...

I actually Google search on the topic 'how to be a fashion designer'. The answer that popped out was not pleasant to my eyes. Get a four years degree in fashion designing. NOOOOOO~! I don't want to go to school and take exams~! I only enjoy taking exams where I know my marks will be high, other than that... NOOOO~!!! How to be a fine tailor then? 
The desire to create something from scratch. It's just like cooking and baking - especially baking. From a few hundred grams of flour, a few eggs and a few drops of this and that, mix them together and viola~! When the oven 'ting', your heart skips two beats and then you will smile at the perfect wobbly cake. I don't look forward to the 'ting' of an oven now... I really like the whirring of the sewing machine.

The level of desperateness... 
I'm talking about myself. When I'm not desperate enough, I won't budge to do anything. When you're so desperate to do something, you will start squeezing your brain and ideas will come especially at night. Don't listen to what others tell you. Just like when you want to bake something, and you hear people telling you 'for goodness sake... go and buy, why mess up the whole kitchen when you can simply just buy...' It's not the same... the taste, texture and the satisfaction. So, when you look at a piece of cloth, thinking how simple that piece of cloth is, when you sew two pieces together, fix the collar and the sleeves - because you're so desperate to see how it will turn out to be... and you'll be amazed at how wonderful your hands are.

Get help... 
For one solid year, I looked through the pattern books and I thought I could understand the drawings. I'm very used to lengthy instructions. You need to read instructions and understand them really well when you're baking. You can cheat when you're stir-frying but you can't skip a line or two when you're baking. Mi madre has many old books on sewing and embroidery yet mi madre doesn't sew. Mi madre also has lots of cookbooks but never cook anything from the books. Just mi madre's collection which I put to good use. Hubby always says it's easy to sew. Then I got really angry with him. If he says it's easy, how come he never sew anything for me. And lo' and behold he made me a huge pencil case and sew our bedsheet plus pillow cases. Hubby taught me how to cook as well. Then, I just went ahead and overtook mi madre and hubby. Well, sometimes you just need help to get started.
One day, hubby went to Balik Pulau which was work-related and he de-toured and stumbled upon this simple tailor shop at Balik Pulau market. The lady agreed to teach me privately. Hubby accompanied me for the first few months. I learned but went home and did not do anything about it. I'm not one who will practice diligently. Almost every week, I was just moving back to the beginning and it was really frustrating. I think my teacher was more frustrated. The other day when I brought in my handiwork, she was beaming with pride.

Do it for others, not yourself...
I started cooking because of my precious. I wanted her to have good food instead of having outside food everyday. Then, I was inspired by the movie 'Julie and Julia' and I started cooking for my friends every Friday. When you plan to serve others, you will put in more effort. Eight years later, I started baking. I was not baking for myself. I fed a whole lot of piranhas in my house. I'll be teaching, my students have papers and plates on the table, one of their hands holding onto pen while another hand will be holding a spoon or a fork. A few of my students went on to become chefs. I'm just cooking at home and they are working in the kitchen of various restaurants. 
I love dresses. I wanted to sew for myself but I was such a cheater. I cheat in every corner. I don't even care if my sewing was crooked or how horrible the whole thing turned out to be. As long as it's wearable, no one will know. But when you're sewing for someone else, it's different. Mummy came into the picture all of a sudden. I thought I'll just make one simple blouse for mummy for Chinese New Year but I almost fainted. It was not easy at all and it would be embarrassing when mummy see all the crooked stitches. I always remind mummy not to flip over. But now I can gladly tell mummy to flip over and admire the hidden seams. There's nothing to see there... all hidden. I do still make mistakes in almost every piece. Mummy has been very supportive and never say anything that will hurt my pride and cause me to abandon sewing completely. Mi madre says I sew worse than those cheap China clothes. I don't know why a perfectionist like I am cannot reach the level of perfection in sewing right till now. 

Study, study and study...
I have a private tutor and mi madre is teaching me as well, YouTube videos taught me more and Google gives me teachers from all over the globe. Books and more books. One cannot learn them all. There's always something else that you have not seen and heard of. I probably have 5% of knowledge right until now. To be a fine tailor will take a long time. To turn this into a business, I think I will have to put in 200% of effort. Mummy will be showered with new clothes while I'm experimenting on different designs and polishing my skills. Just like cooking and baking, you can never imagine how many recipe books I have yet I still Google to get more information at times.

Buy, buy, buy...
It is never a mistake staying here, so near to Kamdar. I never set foot to Kamdar because I thought the name Kamdar was kinda silly. And I don't see why I need to buy cloth. It's different now. Nagoya was such a huge disappointment I thank God I'm not staying at mainland, I will drive over to Kamdar every week if I'm staying there. I have everything I need near me. God knows best. One can never understand the need to buy this cloth and that cloth. The cloths are fast selling in Kamdar, if you don't get it know, you'll never see it anymore. We saw it with our own eyes the other day. It was less than 30 minutes, the whole roll of cloth was gone and the one wrapping the mannequin was removed as well. Hats off to the person or team making purchases for Kamdar. When I started cooking, hubby bought lots of kitchen stuff and then when I went into baking, hubby bought for me baking utensils. I have lots of toys in my kitchen. Now that I'm into sewing, hubby bought for me more toys. I think it's scary whenever I have a new hobby. Not to mention the fishing equipment sleeping in the storeroom. 

Just do it~!
Yeah... just do it. Again, I am grateful to have mummy as my model. And I'm thankful that I have been drawing quadratic graphs for so many years that I can draw a proper curve without using rulers. Do not despise what you learn in school. You will never know when you will put what you have learnt into good use. I'm using Maths formula to get my calculations right. Circumference of a cicle = 2πr ... and I'm using protractor to get the angle I wanted. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Why My Mummy's Blouse Cost £999 999 999.99

Who made me upgrade my sewing skill to another level? That person is mi madre. Mi madre likes classical fashion that will never go off season. That will be a front-button blouse with collar~! Dang~! I have no idea how to do that. I have not even learn up to that level because almost every week I went for my lesson, forgetting what I just learnt the previous week. 

I have no choice but to just do it. So, mummy has to be my model. 
I put that price on because it's all my hardwork and my eyes were spinning in circles because of the cloth. I was literally in tears because the eyes hurt so much. I thought I could finish in one day but the hard labour stretched to 5 days long.

Day 1:
Trying to figure out how to draw the design. After it was cut out from the brown paper, 6 hours have flew by. Yeah... 6 hours. I think I was a real slow poke. Then, I spent a couple more hours just cutting the cloth, I was scared of making mistakes. Cloth cutting means there was no point of return. Then, made a few fusible for the collar, collar band and both sides of the button bands. The eyes refused to cooperate already.

Day 2: 
Fixing the yoke to the back portion with pleats and then fixing the yoke to the front. This was where I just saw my mistakes but the blouse was already done now with me improvising. I'm a novice who is always improvising like I'm a professional. I changed almost all paper patterns because mummy wants it this way and that. My teacher always tell me I can do as I wish because I'm the one holding the scissors. So, day 2 was just sewing two pieces here and there together

Day 3: 
I have many hours of free time and I could not even finish anything. It was my first time sewing until all seams were hidden. So, mummy can turn the blouse inside out and not be horrified with my handiwork. I was actually really proud of my sewing skill by now. Most of the straight lines were sewn straight. It's not easy to sew straight. Try drawing a straight line without using a ruler. 

Day 4:
The collar band was finally connected to the collar. This one mi madre helped out. Mi madre has no idea how to sew but mi madre has more common sense. I have no cow sense when it comes to sewing. I could even sew until everything turned out wrong.

Day 5: 
The button holes~! It looked so easy on YouTube until I realized that it wouldn't work. Then, I wise up and searched for my sewing machine model on YouTube to see how the button holes were being sewn. It was a completely different method. I spent so many hours doing the wrong way. This was my first time sewing buttons~! Yeah... yeah.... you will say it's easy but I did it wrong also. I had to remove a few times I thought the buttons would die in my hands. The cloth suffered bruises in many areas.
At last... it was done~! Mummy looks awesome in the blouse. It was cheap cloth but my teacher says that even with cheap cloth we could create something really beautiful and make it expensive. Oh, £999 999 999.99 is too expensive? Nah... it's not for sale. I will not simply make clothes for anyone. It has to remain exclusive.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mummy's Double Front Blouse...

This was done real quick. No interfacing or whatsoever. Just cut out two pieces from two different cloth and make two front pieces, no back piece. 
Mummy suppose to flip to the other side halfway through dinner but not that crazy enough to change. If I'm wearing that, I would have changed up then it's like you get to wear two different blouse at one go. 
My mummy is still more chio than yours ☝

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Why My Mummy is More 'Chio' than Yours~!

This is my mummy's Mother's Day OOTD. Don't you think my mummy is chio? While others choose to wear monotone such as the usual black, white and blue, my mummy is wearing a different tone of blue with roses. Fresh roses will not last long, printed roses last longer. If it fades after washing, then throw~! I'll make a new one. 
So what's my mummy wearing? She's wearing a design that just pops out from my head one Tuesday morning. I started drawing on the brown paper, cut them out and then cut the cloth and got confused along the way. I do not have enough cloth for the sleeves. Don't even have enough Italian ice wash cloth for other parts of the body hence the use of the leftover lace from the second piece.
There's not enough lace for two sleeves. In the end I cut one sleeve from each piece and was left with almost nothing. Mummy loves it and my mummy is chio with the back lace and I did the patchwork on the back so as not to waste the leftover. There's no more of such cloth in Kamdar. I happened to step on it while looking for other cloth and persuaded the staff to sell me the half meter cloth. They have no use keeping the half meter in their inventory. It's better to sell to a desperate buyer.

PS. I've finally mastered the art of drawing and fixing sleeves~!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Simple Dress...

It took me only a few hours to have my dress done. All the mistakes were done earlier and I managed a zero-mistake dress for myself. I just hope that I don't forget when to add and when to reduce the measurement. 
Starting on another project soon...

The Story Behind The Four Blouses...

This is the most beautiful piece I've ever done and it looks perfect and it is perfect~! It came with a heavy price money can't buy. Before I started making this, I destroyed a piece of gold Shanghai brocade and killed my own maroon velvet. My drawing on the brown paper was imperfect and my calculation went awry. It has all to do with Maths and accuracy.
This was perfected with the help of mi madre. Many parts of the stitches were removed and re-sewn. It was tedious but worth all the hard work. I felt that I've achieved something and I learned better through mistakes. It was a rushed piece. Something in me just wouldn't change, I just can't bring myself to start anything early. We had a wedding dinner to attend and I have all the time in the world but I just had to start a project at the eleventh hour. The cloth was a perfect Italian print. 
I became really bold after making that red piece. I started on another project immediately. The orange chiffon was harder to handle compared to making a chiffon cake. I needed roughly an hour just to straighten the cloth. It was so soft but once the tedious part of consoling the cloth to stay quiet was over and combining the front and back pieces together completed, it was really nice to wear. I roughly figured out how much centimetres to add so that a hidden zipper would not be needed. I have mastered the sewing of hidden zippers but I just preferred blouses without any zippers. 
Before these two pieces, I made this satin red with white lace. Mummy likes lace. I have totally no idea how to make this but well... it's not a perfect piece coz I don't even like it. I just like the red but the lace was too compact that it stifled the red underneath. 
The first piece for mummy was for Chinese New Year. It was Korean satin and it was kinda scary making for someone else to wear. I have not even perfected my sewing skills. Well, I have to start somewhere right. My mummy is now my guinea pig model...

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Modern Baju Kurung...

I made one for my precious. I wanted to make another one for the cousin but it was too tedious and I gave up halfway through. I will leave the cloth alone and not disturb it anymore. I want to move on to other projects and yes, I'm impatient. I never have patience for anything in the first place. I'm just desperate to get things done and see whether I can do it or not.
Excuse the background. The room will always be messy because I stand firm on my belief that a house with productive humans will never be squeaky clean. You can only afford to clean the house perfectly if you have too much time in hand, with nothing better to do so you sweep, mop and wipe and do it continuously. I don't wake up to make my bed so I do not require my girls to do so, too. It has nothing to do with bad parenting. Sleep is essential, making the bed is not because I used to study on my bed all day long so my precious did the same thing. So, I don't see the point of making the bed when it would be covered with books, papers and eraser shit~!