Walking with May;

A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely comment from May of Walking In May to share my journey in making the Cheongsam. It was quite a pleasant surprise and to know that there are people who read my humble blog.

May is an avid vintage and cheongsam lover who is based in London. She also blogs about her love for cheongsam in a series called ‘Qipao Love (All about the Qipao)’. Following this series, she intends to feature one cheongsam lover a month in her new series ‘Qipao LoveR’. I was indeed honoured to the kickstart the series. You can read her beautiful post here

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Bridesmaids dress for a peacock wedding;

A close friend of mine is getting married in December and the theme is ‘peacock’. We sat down and finalised the colour schemes for decor, flowers and bridesmaids. She will be having a mighty entourage of 14 bridesmaids and we will all be decked in shades of blue and green. While she gave me the liberty to wear any of the colour in the chart (yay!), I picked navy blue initially.

So while in Berlin, I couldn’t resist this lovely piece of lace made from natural fibres at 16€/m. It is sturdy, like Alençon lace, with a beautiful scalloped hem.

The problem is: I only have 1.1m, which is insufficient for a lace-dress like this:

or this, which were what I planned to make.

So I need to reconfigure the design now, of which I need to consider yardage, postpartum body and nursing needs.

#1 Two piece lace top and french dior skirt with lace border ensemble. It doesn’t show in the photo but the idea is there.

#2 Cowl neck and a flare/gathered skirt dress.

#3 I’m also considering other colours such as forest green,

#5 or teal in this design,

#6 or a shorter version of this.
kate-turquoise jenny peckham

I would definitely love to make use of this new purchase so that I do not accumulate fabrics (I’m running out of space. Help!). Then again, I’ll be going fabric shopping with the bride-to-be later this week so I’ll see what the fabric market has to offer. Till then!

Fall’12 Colours by Pantone

Albeit late, but here’s the colours for Fall 2012 by Pantone. It is rather vibrant combination with honey GOLD, pink FLAMBE, tangerine TANGO, and BRIGHT chartreuse, contrasted by the muted hues like Titanium, Rhapsody and Rose Smoke. Besides Tangerine Tango, the colour of the year which I obviously adore, here are some of my other favourites from this season.

French Toast. Besides the word french (which I’m obviously biased towards), this colour is the first that calls out to me. It is a rich warm shade of brown with the right amount of darkness to it, perfectly roasted. It reminds me of my favourite dark chocolate. As much as I am drawn towards the colour brown especially in my makeup stash, I do not own a brown number in my wardrobe. Time to sew something!

Rose Smoke is for the romantic. I like the fact that it is not the in-your-face type of romantic pink. It’s gentle, secretive, hiding behind a smokey veil. For the feminine, not girly.

Ultramarine Green. This colour is so full of vibrance and character. I always thought that green is not an easy colour to pull off but this is not one of those shades. Because it speaks so much, it will look great on a basic shift dress with an exposed metal zip down the centre back.

 

Well it’s time to go through my huge stash of fabric and see if I own any of these.

L’inspiration française

While blog surfing, I chanced upon this ‘Parisienne’ Dress which was a love at first sight! I love the silhouette, its clean lines and the tulip skirt. Bonus points for being called the parisienne dress! I can do away with the sleeves to make it a little friendlier to the weather in SG.

After some googling, I found out that it’s from Burda Style 8/09, #128. I googled more and found these designs too.

Burda Style 8/09, #117: a dart-less! nude pink-ish blouse with frills

Burda Style 8/09, #129: a black laced blazar
(Both photos credit to loweryourpresserfoot)

Now I want a copy of it! If anyone has a copy (I don’t mind if the patterns are all used. I just want the lookbook pages) and is willing to let it go, or knows of anywhere I can get it in SG or online, please let me know!

In The Mood for Cheongsam

The boyf surprised me with a trip to the National Museum for “In The Mood for Cheongsam” exhibition! You cannot imagine my excitement! This exhibition showcases quite a variety of cheongsams from the 1920s-present, among which includes pieces worn by ‘powerful’ women in Singapore. It is very inspiring and informative on the evolution of the traditional Chinese dress over the decades in our hometown.

Cheongsams from the early days

It’s all in the details!

Lace and georgette

A few of my favourites: funky prints, floral, polka dots, and lace.  The lace number is by Tan Yoong!

Zip detailing by Alexander McQueen

To quote a friend, “I feel zip does not do justice to a cheongsam. It took the ‘delicate-ness’ out of what cheongsams are suppose to represent. Full marks for innovation though.” I do agree with her but it also daunt upon me that cheongsams have evolved and reflect the society too: today’s women are not as delicate any more! In the past, the XX chromosomes were expected to be gentle, feminine, ‘delicate’ … and cheongsams were meant to bring every bit of these qualities.

After touring the exhibition, there is an activity corner designed for the little ones. There is a section on various types of fabrics used (I passed the quiz!), another where kids can trace and colour traditional chinese motifs and finally a model where you can unleash your creativity by styling it.

Here’s what I’ve styled. She’s just short of a pair of pearl earrings.
The other pairs available doesn’t suit the look I have in mind! 

I was very overwhelmed and a little distracted by every single piece featured. I should be making another trip down to be inspired once again!

Ideas shopping;

I like to marry designs to my fabrics so that I know I will make this dress with this cloth one day. This is especially important when I am hoarding 2 ikea boxes full of cloth. Each piece of fabric takes a queue number, waiting for the magic dust from the fairy godmother to turn them into wearable pieces. The bad news is that this queue number system is not fair. Some cut the queue and the queue gets longer and longer and longer. Ever since I picked up dress-making, my stash of fabrics has been increasing at an alarming rate. I started off buying from local stalls, moved on to Etsy (where I went crazy), and eventually expandded my spending power overseas. Most of the fabrics I bought from Etsy were meant for a few sets of cheongsam when I was in my cheongsam craze. One was used to make Breakfast at Tiffany’s Dress. Those I bought from Muar last year and Kluang in June were untouched. Needless to say, those from Hanoi too, except for one piece of silk chiffon for the L’zzie Dress. The sewing class also went crazy over French Dior, which I have at least 2 yards in 6 colours.

I have yet to include fabrics that are gifted by friends. One of the most recent ones was a good 3 yards of Chanel-tweed-ish fabric and white cotton with embroidery. Oh bless me! These fabrics are enough to last me a lifetime!

I intend to make a very simple basic shift dress with this. Maybe with some pleats at the neckline.

Anyway, I was tired of doing school work and went ideas shopping on ASOS. Here’s a summary of what I like.

Sexayye cut-outs but I wouldn’t really bother to make

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic shift dresses with a twist. The first dress that I made was a shift dress in princess cutting. Very easy to wear and I love the absence of joining at the waist which slice across your tummy. Nuff said, make more shift dresses!

Dresses in solid colours

I noticed quite a number of outstanding colours: detailing, contrasting colours etc.

LACE!!!

Simple basic design with nice interesting print

Last but not least, I scouted two dress shapes that I really love. Skater dress and fit-and-flare. Yes they are pretty much similar.