Tuesday, May 31, 2011

a '52 dress

'52 dress

B4919 retro butterick

'52 dress

When I heard that my cousin will be getting married in October, I began *imagining attending his wedding in a self made vintage/retro looking dress. I got really excited about the wedding mainly because I have not, in many years, attended an elaborate wedding function where guests would sit down on a decorated table with courses of dishes served. I miss attending such an event and really hope I could make it for his. The few weddings I'd attended in Palembang were usually hurried affairs and lack the air of love hence romanticism that ought to (in my humble opinion) hovers a wedding (if not, what for?).

In one recent occasion, I'd witnessed guests rushing to the buffet table of food when the lids were just removed, before the hosts mentioned anything about eating in the function hall and only shortly after the wedding commenced. I was stunned and had felt so sorry for the new couple and both sets of parents/guardian when they looked onto the scene from the stage. The wedding was over in less than 2 hours. A stream of people started leaving once after their stomachs were filled. Very few went up front to congratulate the newly weds. Perhaps it's because of this sad scene etched in my mind, I desperately want to right the idealism of a wedding in my head again.

I know I need to start practicing making dresses more if I want to fulfill my little dream*. So as I was looking around at paper patterns, I chanced upon the US$1.99 sale going on over at Butterick and promptly ordered some retro styles off the website. I had this soft flow-y fabric of roses print in brown tones for awhile. The local shop lady said the material is chiffon when I enquired. But I'm still not too sure. I bought 3 metres of it. Once I had the patterns on hand, I decided to match the fabric to B4919,'52 style. It's a lot less yardage than required but luckily I had some hand me down beige silky fabric which I used for the front bodice lining and because of my not so tall height, the fabric was just enough after I adjusted the skirt length. 

I am pretty happy with how the dress turned out except that the v neckline is too low for me. It looks like the pattern is for one with a very high waist. But it isn't a problem a nice brooch can't fix. I might just wear this on the day!

Tomorrow, a giveaway!

Friday, May 27, 2011

wearing vintage blue

1950's shirt dress
circa 1950's shirt dress; from Granny's Day Out

vintage blue dresses
 circa 1970's chiffon flutter sleeves dress; from By My Old School

vintage blue dresses
circa 1970's ribbon bow tie front, umbrella print dress; from By My Old School

When I was back in the Lion city, I shopped and bought to replenish whatever necessary supplies, vitamins and favourite foodstuff that would last us from just a few days to a few months of our stay here in Palembang. Then I allowed myself the luxury of books, fabric and you guessed it, clothes. I completely give the common name brand shops in town a miss but shopped vintage this trip. I'd have loved to thrift shop but there wasn't enough time but I managed to make a beeline to two vintage specialty shops on separate occasions.

I go weak kneed at clothing from the past eras. The style and fabric choices and that there is hardly another similar one to be found in any other shops. What story would a dress tell of its life and past owner(s) if it could communicate to me? I was lucky to score three blue dresses (and a red 1980's romper which I'd already worn 3 times!) that were in my size.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

3 favourite places

Beach, Sentosa
15 May 2011

at the beach

at the beach

Singapore Botanic Gardens
20 May 2011

at the Botanic gardens

Bukit Batok Fire Station (our first visit)
21 May 2011, Saturday
open house 9-11am

at Bukit Batok Fire Station

at Bukit Batok Fire Station

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baby Chair Slings

Come have tea with me!

About a little more than a month ago, I paid a local seamstress to help me sew a batch of baby chair slings out of some fabric (100% cotton) I'd purchased, then brought them over to Doinky Doodles! shop during my last trip back to Singapore. The best thing about the sling is it folds into a small lightweight attached pouch.

Don't know a thing about a chair sling? Simply put, it's a handy item a parent/guardian brings along for meal sessions during outings with a young child who isn't ready to sit on a regular chair without supervision and aid. During the time when Kaeden was just learning to sit, I find it very useful, particularly during my stay in Palembang where many restaurants/eateries are not yet equip with feeding high chairs or if there are, they are few and not cleaned regularly! I also brought my chair sling along each time I returned to Singapore and stayed with my parents who do not have a baby feeding chair in their home. It was a good tool for me to instill good eating manners ie. staying at the table until food is finished, into Kaeden, starting at a young age.

So do pop over Doinky Doodles! to have a look at the selection of the baby chair slings (and also check out my other items). Xin, the artist shop keeper has so creatively made a baby model and drew an illustration for the instructions! \('u')/

illustrations and image by Xin

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Home. Clutch Bags.

vintage leather clutch

vintage AILY clutch

I'm home in Palembang, to most things a-okay except for my withered bonsai plants. Took an early morning flight back, and rested for a bit after unpacking. I can't help but feel a little homesick for now. I'd like to sort out the photos the family has taken and post up the best parts of some outings next and soon, get back to sewing once the humdrum has settle in.

Brian and I, just as per every trip, have brought back goodies, especially food we love which we couldn't get here, tons of books and some favourite things. The clutch bags above are two favourite items of mine but I'd left them behind instead. The vintage blue leather clutch was bought from Granny's Day Out and it had proved to be a very spacious and easy to use bag. I'd already used it on many short trips out and on errand runs, when Kaeden wasn't following because if he was, I'd to lug more items (of his) out.

The brown AILY clutch which belonged to my mum and who used it in the 70's, was a surprise find after some clearing of space in the bedroom and I promptly claimed it as mine. In the bag, I found a handwritten note of relatives' Chinese names, a long pencil and a pair of small tear drop shape jade which mum had totally forgotten about.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Don Handmade :: Day 4 & last day 5

Day 3 - 13.5.11

We had a car for the day driving to places where taking public transport was a bit of a hassle. We went around getting medication, shopping at Mustafa Centre; Little India and then lunch near Sungei Road. I was wearing the polka dot blouse, something I hadn't put on in a long time.

Day 5 - 14.5.11

Here I am, in the 'Just because' dress, sitting on the sofa at my parents'. I'm dressed up for dinner somewhere. By today, I'm kind of exhausted, a result of the past days' activities and I don't have a ready smile for most people, let alone the camera. Do pardon me.


It was a challenge for me to take photos of myself, especially in consecutive days. Having to rush from one place to another also wasn't ideal for locating a nice background and slowly taking the time to pose for the camera. I'm really usually camera shy and these photos for the past days were not my best front. However, I'd succeeded in making myself wear my handmade clothing for 5 consecutive days. I know I'll have to start making more bottoms: pants and skirts.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Don Handmade :: Day 3 & On Burdastyle 'Member project of the week'!

Day 3 - 12.5.11

Brian and I went out to town. Just the two of us hanging out for almost a whole day which is rare and precious. I wore my pink sleeveless blouse and a pair of pants for easy commuting. I brought along a cardigan for keeping warm in the malls as we did some shopping today. I got a few vintage pieces which I'd like to write about in another post.

When I was lunching at Nando's where the above photo was taken off my mobile phone (I didn't want to lug the camera around today.), I received a text message from talented seamstress Adey; The Sew Convert telling me that my summer tent dress is featured as Burdastyle's member project of the week! I was so thrilled and anyone could have guessed that helped increase the appetite for my meal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don Handmade :: Day 1 & 2

In an effort to wear the clothing I'd made more often, I'd decided to challenge myself to this self campaign of 'Don Handmade Daily'. But I could only do 5 consecutive days. I know, I'm such a cheater. What 10 / 14 days? I looked through my wardrobe and picked out 5 pieces (4 blouses and 1 dress) which I would wear for my visit and stay in Singapore. This 14 day trip, I limited myself to 9 tops, 4 pants, a skirt and a dress. A lot more separates so I won't quickly get sick of similar entire outfits and for practicality as well.

Day 1 - 10.5.11

day 1 outfit 10.5.11

I started the self campaign off yesterday when I took the flight back to Singapore accompanied by my husband and son, wearing my green handmade smock, over a white camisole, matched with a store bought black chiffon skirt and a grey cardigan. I love this skirt  I've had for many years a lot but I seldom wear it. I thought I'd like to wear a skirt more and that it's black, it shouldn't be too difficult to match with my other blouses.

I like the above photo which captured a pretty Singapore Airline flight attendant walking behind us at the airport. I was happy to be home. But boy, the day started to get really busy.

day 1 outfit 10.5.11

Day 2 - 11.5.11

day 2 outfit 11.5.11
thinking ahead of the possibly total achievable errands

day 2 outfit 11.5.11

Today is busy errand running day. Brian took a few quick photo shots of Kaeden and me in front of the mailboxes before we set out. I'm expecting some mail coming. I'm wearing the white peter pan collar blouse with a pair of loose blue shorts by cotton ink and a pair of flip flops. I had to do a fair bit of walking in the hot weather in the neighbourhood, going to the banks, got an old pair of sandals fixed at the cobbler's, lunch and a trip to the printers and library, dinner grocery shopping at the supermarket, met our father and son duo friends. It was a lot.... and I'm beat. 'til the next outfit day!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Today, I ....

'Today I saw' postcard

out of my window

Yesterday I received a postcard from Jill who records her daily impressions by drawings and written words on postcards, of which she'll send them out all around the world. Thank you, Jill! On my card, it was a drawing of a Magnolia tree almost in full bloom, in view from her kitchen window on 28th March 2011.

Today I saw that the starfruit trees are starting to flower from the window of my sewing room.

pear tarts

Today I baked two round pans of pear tarts. I added drops of butter and a sprinkle of almond slivers for toppings before baking.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

It's Superpig! pouch

It's Superpig! pouch

It's Superpig! pouch

Before I head out, here's a quick post on a pouch I'd made for Kaeden,
to fill his medication and AeroChamber for on the go.

The applique patches were cut off from the boy's used t-shirt. After many washings and colour run I decided to throw out the garment but salvaged the adorable embroidered patches of the Superpig and his veggie friends before doing so. Kaeden chose the orange zipper out of my bunch of colourful ones and I used blue gingham cotton and a pink alphabet theme fabric for the lining. I also interfaced the pouch with felt for some sturdiness. The size of the pouch is almost as big as a tissue box.

It's Superpig! pouch

Monday, May 02, 2011

'almost a skirt' shorts


I'm running low on steam when it comes to sewing, blogging and sadly, keeping up with the everyday. What I was afraid would happen last week, didn't. Our domestic helper has decided not to relocate to another town. That was a huge relief for all three of us at home. She is an immense asset to us and we don't want to lose her at this point if we can help it. However that didn't spike me up. Maybe it's the lingering cold bug in my system. Whatever it is, I know I need a break, some stimulation to the spirits and a bit of excitement of being in a city again. A stay by the sea also seems ideal  for the soul but the pragmatic me knows it's out of reach for awhile more. Did you watch the Royal wedding? I witnessed the vows and most of everything that could be aired on television. The romanticism is still swirling around in my mind and I'm still a bit off the ground.

I made the (1951 McCall's 8552) shorts I wanted to last Thurday and wore it out yesterday with a yellow store bought blouse to match. The thing is a little loose on me and my, I totally forgot about making adjustments to the crotch. I need to re draft the pattern again. and the current mood calls for holding off the making of the blouse from that pattern.

'almost a skirt' shorts