vintage cheongsam patterns

vintage cheongsam pattern

vintage cheongsam pattern 2

tomorrow is the start of another week. i have the most ridiculously packed five days ahead but cheongsams are all i can think about, all i want to wear to work. last week i wore my first one that dips slightly below the knee and suddenly i am smitten with that perfect length, dreaming dresses up in colours and prints. i don’t know why i spent twenty years rejecting cheongsams for being uncomfortable and scratchy when they are really just sheath dresses with pencil skirts, with delicate collars that go no higher than a regular button-down. sensible but sensual — what’s not to love?

(sorry — i’ve forgotten the links to the original images. saved them a while ago from etsy/ebay sale posts.)

what keeps me going

sunset sew

my day job is lovely. but as a bonus, i spend a few hours sewing and drafting every week and it’s when i am happiest. and then, if i’m lucky, sam is waiting outside when i’m done, and what a feeling — to know that your heart still skips a beat.

it’s been a long time since i’ve filled up this little white box. i’ve been good. in four words: very tired, very blessed. have a happy weekend x

back to basics

dress forms

skirt blueprint

I’ve been trying to think of ways to tell you how I feel about this, but there’s really only one word: HAPPY, in big, shiny letters, with lots of exclamation points at the end!!! i am an excited kindergartener, rosy-cheeked and baggy-uniformed, ready to whip out my colour pencils and draw up a storm!

sewing diaries #4: camera strap

DIY camera strap

My old camera strap was worn out and due for a replacement, but new straps from canon run around $30 USD, and customisable handmade options on etsy cost even more. Is it just me, or do these tech-accessory things cost so much more than they should?

Found this embroidered fabric in new york last year and i’m relieved my fabric hoarding is finally paying off. Happily spent a quick hour today sewing tiny, almost invisible stitches to make myself a brand new camera neck-strap — currently feeling very thrifty, and very pleased :)

Have a happy weekend!

sewing diaries #3

happy place

welcome to my happy place. my mother’s old desk recently got moved into our back room and i jumped at the chance to temporarily set up a little sewing studio space. this way, the machine is always plugged in and i have enough room to work with pattern pieces at the same time. the room also currently holds our laundry equipment, so a regular iron, steam iron and garment racks are all already within reach. it’s perfect.

have taken to stealing a few minutes in here with my mug of coffee each morning, flipping through my sewing books and looking out onto the hill to check for presence of rogue monkeys. my father is in the midst of installing extra shelves and a sofa bed so this setup won’t last forever, but i’m going to make sure it’s well-used in the meantime.

sewing diaries #2

sewing diaries #2

the bodice on my first handmade dress is slowly coming together. pinned the darts on the front and back and managed to at least sew one down (the rightmost one) before it got too late for noisy machine chugging.

tonight’s tools: tracing wheel, carbon paper, a heckload of pins and some 100% steely determination to override the goondu mistakes and insane line-matching obsessions. never give up! never surrender!

sewing diaries #1


I know how to sew, but teaching yourself how to decipher commercial patterns? Bigger headache than I imagined! Also, what kind of goondu throws herself into the fray of line-matching a wide gingham fabric…

Fun fact: apparently the word ‘gingham‘ originates from the Malay adjective ‘genggang’, which means ‘striped’, and came in to the English language via Dutch! Take that, coklat!