The 旺得福 Cheongsam

Hello everybody! It has been a year since I last sewed and blogged. Sewing plans didn’t quite materialise in 2017 and my wardrobe crisis still remains. Since I have been sewing a cheongsam for myself every Chinese New Year since I started dressmaking, I can’t possibly break this tradition this year.

I bought 2m of Daily Like’ poddle print fabric last year for our outfits this CNY. The plan was to sew something for the family: 1 cheongsam for myself, 1 cheongsam/dress for C, 1 shirt for J and 1 pocket patch for the husband (the print is a little too cute for him to wear it). I also plan to use fabric from my current stash so I cannot buy any other matching fabric too. I started working on the outfits really late: a week before CNY. The shirt for J didn’t turn out well. The pattern was way too big for him (at 22mo) though it’s stated for 2-3yo. I’ll save the experience for another post. So I only had time to complete C’s and my dress. It was familiar ground!

For both our dresses, I matched the poodle bodice with a satin blend of some sort that I bought years ago (yes I hoard fabrics). It’s very soft and drapes well. Best of all, it doesn’t leave behind water marks! For my dress, I used the same pattern that I drafted last year (phew! still can fit into it) for the bodice and a rectangle skirt for the bottom. To save time, I folded the waist darts instead. I also added frog buttons on the imaginary curve of the cheongsam to create the same the illusion.

For C’s dress, bodice is drafted from the same pattern book that I have (I’m using a 4yo size which fits perfectly!). The skirt portion is a rectangle skirt too! It’s probably the easiest to make in a short time. I ditched the mandarin collar but attached frog button to the neckline to achieve the chinoise style. 

A Tartan Cheongsam

Hello fellow sewing comrades, I am back in action after the longest hiatus! 2016 was spent being pregnant, caring for the new born and shifting to our current place. Fabrics were left on the work station and eventually packed and stored in the cupboard. New outfit for Chinese New Year was the largest motivator this time round.

Since daddy has a tartan-plaid kind of shirt, I thought we could all be matchy matchy. The fabric which I bought from Nomura Tailor in Kyoto came in useful!  And apparently it is very difficult to find nice tartan. I know because I ran out of fabric (for J’s pants) and combed through spotlight and Chinatown to no avail! I started a little too late on our outfits this year so I didn’t have time to finish up J’s pants. I hope to make J something real soon!

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Back to the dress, my dress is modified from the nursing dress pattern that I drafted, which I realized that I never got to share the pattern tutorial. I am tidying up the post and will be sharing real soon! I extended 5cm at the hem which I joined to the end of the dart on the bodice for a little flare.

Besides the tartan print, my favourite part of the dress is the black lace trim, which I was trying to destash. I think I got it from Troyes.

 

 

C’s dress is drafted from a pattern book that I photocopied from my sewing teacher and I added the mandarin collar for the occasion. She also had matching cotton crotchet trim for a softer look.

 

 

Now that I have overcame the inertia, I hope to continue to sew this year. For the obvious reasons: wardrobe crisis! I still have clothes, just that I need a little more variety because I have retired many while I was packing for the move. I hope to be able to sew 3 dresses (1 down, 2 more to go), 3 tops and 3 bottoms for myself this coming year. If time permits, I hope to squeeze in some clothes for my little humans too! And of course, destash!

Me Made May 16: Week 4

I must admit that the final  week of MMMay 16 was difficult. What I could wear in week 1 can fit me no more! Some repeats of staple and new additions. 

Day 22: Another 3-hole dress in a beautiful fabric from Berlin. I wore this to a wedding dinner.
Day 23: Peplum blouse in Nani Iro

Day 24: V-neck tank in Atelier Brunette  and maternity pencil skirt 

Day 25: Refashioned maternity pants

Day 27: Perfect for lacey days blouse and elastic waist band skirt 

Day 28: Aprils in Paris skirt. This is another favourite combination, basically anything with stripes. Haha. I didn’t thought I could still fit into this and wished that I had worn this earlier!

So what about Day 29-31? I did wear me-made but accessories. Photo evidence? Too tired from work, too busy with work to snap photos of my earrings. I will try harder next year!!!

Me Made May 16: Week 3

Now that we have moved back from my in-laws, I have returned to the convenience of having everything in my own home. However, we are also slowly preparing for the move to our new place! It’s a really exciting phase and we can’t wait to finally have our own space. With that said, I will be starting to pack up some of my sewing supplies. I don’t foresee myself sewing big projects with a baby, toddler and the house to handle. However I will be definitely sewing little projects for the new home. Stay tuned for that!

Here’s my update for MMMay’16 Week 3:

Day 15: V-neck tank in Atelier Brunette. Another favourite breathable fabric!
Day 16: Curtain shift dress, which is also the last time I could fit into this. I should have brought this out a little earlier.

Day 17: Navy lace cheongsam blouse. I love this is so luxe and roomy as well, perfect for a formal event. I wore this for my school’s photoshoot. 
Day 18: Refashioned maternity pants

Day 19: Happy Birthday Dress as a dress. Shift dresses are definitely a favourite to wear pre-, during, post-baby!

Day 20: Jakob from Burdstyle. Yes, wearing men’s wear.

Day 21: Patternless smocked coverup as tube top 

Me Made May 16: Week 2

Pardon me as this little space is not as updated as I would love too. I’m slowly trying to get back my sewing mojo post confinement amidst managing a baby and a toddler. Sounds like I have plenty on my plate?  A little but I will manage! I have also been updating more often over at 2mamas4kids as I try to spend more time with C. Head over to take a look at what my blog partner and I have been up to! Anyhows, here’s my update for MMMay’16 Week 2.

Day 8: Perfect for lacey days blouse
Day 9: Happy Birthday dress as a top

Day 10: Pencil Skirt! 

Day 11: Anda Cheongsam. This is another favourite of mine, so roomy so comfy

Day 12: Bring back the peplum blouse in Nani Iro and the pencil skirt. I also love to wear this post-baby. The peplum allows me to cover my baby while breastfeeding! Many wins!

Day 13: Me-made two-leaf earring, inspired by Kate Middleton’s

Day 14: Frilly Sorbetto tunic in Liberty cotton which is SO breathable. Perfect for the heat flashes during the third trimester. 

Me Made May 16: Week 1

And so for this year’s MMMay, I pledged to wear a me-made/refashioned item or accessories during Week 27-30 of my pregnancy. Here’s a round up for Week 1:

Day 1: Jersey Pencil Skirt. No I did not make the stripe tee but this is one of my favourite outfit!

Day 2: Furry Baroque-esque Blouse

Day 3: Emerald Green 3-hole Dress

Day 4: Snow White Casual V-neck Blouse 

Day 5: Elastic Waist Rectangle Skirt

Day 6: Re-wearing the pencil skirt (already). This is a staple, the most comfortable staple!

Day 7: Pattern-less Elastic Waist Skirt in Atelier Brunette957B2B63-B8E3-41F6-B802-EF9D0C79D14C

 

It was pretty fun in Week 1 because I had not ran out of combinations (though I repeated the pencil skirt) and I can still fit in most clothes. More updates for the subsequent weeks coming soon!

Me Made May 2016: Maternity

After participating in Me Made May last year and feeling pretty much empowered wearing more me-made stuff, how can I not participate in 2016’s? Me Made May 2016 will take on to another level because I will doing a maternity series. Since I am due in May, I have also pre-planned my me-made outfits during Week 27-30 of my pregnancy, rather than the actual month of May itself. Yup so a me-made-may maternity it is! 

‘I, Tiffany of http://www.sewwhatt.wordpress.con, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’16. I endeavour to wear a me-made/refashioned item or accessories during Week 27-30 of my pregnancy, rather than the actual month of May.’

  

Me Made Holiday: Maldives, A Sun-Sand-Sea-Sweetheart Getaway 

The husband and I took some time off at  Maldives to recuperate and recharge individually and as a couple. It is also a semi belated  anniversary trip. I have already retired most of my me-made beach wear from pre-baby days and it’s time to make new ones! Time is so precious (our little friend takes shorter naps and sleeps later now) so I needed really simple DIYs that can be completed in at most 2 afternoons per item. They also need to be practical so that I can still wear them on other occasions.

So I spent the month of November working on these: a kimono cover up, a kaftan cover up, a 3 hole dress, and a smocked tube dress. I also used a scarf and refashioned an old sandals.

Day 0: Me-made shell earrings

Day 1: Rectangle elastic waist skirt to tour around Male

Day 2: Kaftan coverup,

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and basic V neck tank which was perfect after getting mildly sunburnt.

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Day 3: Black smocked dress to minimize friction at the shoulders and kimono coverup to shield from the sun.

Day 4: Snow White Tank and scarf sandals as we transit to and explore the resort

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Day 5: 3-hole dress


Day 6: Snow White Blouse and another pair me-made earrings for the flight home


If you are planning for a beach vacation and intend to get somewhat sun burnt, do remember to pack clothes that are made with extra soft material so that it reduces the agony as your clothes rubs against the burnt skin 🙂

I have MOVED (sort of)

You might have noticed that I haven’t been updating much on activities with/for little humans. Nope I havent pop and we also haven’t been lazy.  In fact I am documenting them in a co-space with with another mama friend at 2mamas4kids.

  
Having reconnected with a ex schoolmate (it’s funny how macarons, crafts and motherhood connects us once again), we decided to come together to share about our adventures with our little humans on a common space. Sew What will continue to document my sewing and DIYs, while everything else on little humans goes to our new space. I am in the midst of migrating my posts so bear with us while we keep everything up and running on the other side.

We have lined up a mint series (updated every Monday for April) over at our newly minted blog. So join me and my mama friend on To Mamas; For Kids!

Blessings,
Tiffany

SW Australia Day 11-13: Perth

And now for the final leg of our trip in Perth City! By this portion of the trip, we had re-planned our itinerary a little to make sure we covered what we set out for this trip. Initially we planned to spend some time with our friend, do our shopping in Perth (because they can bring us around) and visit the animals at Discovery Bay in Albany.  We still did spend time with our friends residing in Perth but visited the Caversham Wildlife Park instead, since we have already maxed out our shopping space in Albany.

Day 11: Donnybrook and back to Perth

On our way back from Balingup, we dropped by the Donnybrook Apple Fun Park, the largest free entry playground in Australia. The space is incredibly large, with a low ride on areas for the younger children and climbing towers, rope bridges and such for the older kids. Toilets with wash area is also available so it makes cleaning up after playing at the sandpit a lot easier.


Once we reached Perth, we checked in to our apartment and planned the rest of the trip. Though our accommodation is located in South Perth, it is very accessible as it is near the highway which brings you to both North Perth and Fremantle. It also boasts of  an amazing view.

 

Since we drove all the way from Donnybrook to Perth, we took a short nap and went to King’s Park before heading to Jamie’s Italian for dinner. We explored the Saw Avenue part of the park which features an “innovative nature based play area with woodcarvings by local artist Nic Compton.”

For dinner at Jamie’s, it was a little disappointing. Truth to be told, food at Jamie’s wasn’t impressive other that what was served for the Children’s Menu.

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Day 12: Caversham Wildlife Park, Fabric Shopping, King’s Park, Ciao Italia

We started the day bright and early, grabbed breakfast from Tuckshop and headed towards Caversham Wildlife Park first thing in the morning!

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As a geography teacher, I particularly like the fact that the animals and grouped according to the various area of Australia so that visitors (like me) can have a better idea of the distribution of animals and some of the features of the habitats across Australia. One of our favourites is definitely the kangaroo enclosure where they are free to roam. There are also packets of food available for feeding. We are extremely proud that C is not afraid of these creatures (I remembered that I was so scared when I visited as a kid).

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My favourite!

After the visit, we had lunch at before heading to the nearby pool for some water fun. For some reasons, the wash area wasn’t working so we had to give her a quick clean up in the toilet.



After a busy morning, C knocked out in the car and we went fabric shopping while she napped. I make it a point to make it a quick one.

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Plan for the rest of the day was to meet our friends for dinner at Ciao Italia. Since we had some time to spare, we headed back to King’s Park. We definitely love the view, the space for C to run around.

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Dinner at Ciao’s Italia was amazing! Portion is huge. Tiramisu is a must have. Sorry no photos because we were too hungry.
Day 13: Pack and Chill, More Shopping at Australia Post,  Home Sweet Home

We spent last night and the morning of our last day packing. Since the apartment had such a great view, we also enjoyed some morning sun along the South Perth Foreshore which was right in front of our accommodation.

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Then we headed to Australia post where we intended to mail out our post cards. Lo and behold, we were so distracted by the Christmas sales of books. They were selling at AUD 10 each at KMart (which was already a very good price) but now at AUD 16.99 for a bundle of 4! How can we not get more? We grabbed whatever titles that we like for C and friends.

This pretty much concludes our mini adventure in SW Australia and I hope it provides some useful information for those who are planning to visit Perth and surrounds with their little humans.

The rest of this series can be found here:
Traveling with a 16-Month-Old Toddler: On Itinerary
Traveling with a 16-Month-Old Toddler: On road tripping
Traveling with a 16-Month-Old Toddler: Accommodation, Food and etc in SW Australia
Activity Kit for Little Travellers
SW Australia Day 1 & 2: Fremantle
SW Australia Day 3-5: Margaret River
SW Australia Day 6-8: Denmark and Albany
SW Australia Day 9-10: Balingup