glitz, glam, and salmon pink

it’s 2016, it’s February, and my only 2 sewing projects of this year consist of salmon pink colour and glitters. i swear i didn’t plan them (the fabrics were all bought separately, except those i used for this project. i mean, the glittery tulle was bought in 2009!), but it looks like i have decided what my trend-colour/style is this year, i.e. NOT rose quartz and serenity as Pantone suggests.

africandress2

self-made dress and necklace, tights from Daiso, Crocs ballerinas, Forever 21 earrings, Indiska bracelet.

anyway, i bought these 2 awesome & glittery African wax cotton fabrics with a plan to combine them. part of the reason why i bought them, other than the obvious one (glitter? yes, please!), was because if you look at the “brand”, it’s called “Budaya Java Design”. that sounds very Indonesian to me, as budaya means culture in bahasa Indonesia, and Java… well, that’s where i came from.

each of the fabric is about 110-120 cm wide and 1,2-1,3 m long. i didn’t know what to make yet at that time, but then i came across this super lovely dress pattern on a Finnish handicraft magazine called Suuri Käsityö, edition 1/2016, pattern no. 1.

suurikasityo1-2016-1the original pattern calls for a flowy material like viscose, drapey silk, and the likes. but of course i had to make it using a stiff material instead! something about the shape of the dress translates to stiff fabric in my head.

africandressdetail1

the pattern doesn’t have side seams, instead the front piece is somewhat triangular and the edges continued on to the hemline of the back piece. that was why i figured using 2 different fabrics is the perfect choice for this pattern, as you can really see the unique seamlines.

another thing this pattern features is an exposed zipper at the back. if you hate sewing zippers as much as i do, you’ll understand that even if the pattern doesn’t suggest exposed zipper, i would’ve made it like that anyway. i used one of my late Grandmum’s old zippers for this dress, and you can see how easily you can turn any kind of zipper as an exposed zipper!

and the front pockets! oh, i love dresses with pockets! since the shape of this dress isn’t tight on the waist, the pockets actually look neat and they stay put in the right places.

i also love the long sleeves. this way i can also wear the dress even in the autumn.

africandress4

the dress was supposed to have a lining, but i am too lazy to bother with any full lining. instead, all i did was make a partial lining only for the neckline part (both front and back) using the same fabric as the dress. i didn’t even need any interfacing as the fabric is stiff already.

africandress3

this is my fourth time sewing African wax cotton fabrics, and i really can’t tell you enough how much i love it. it’s just like any other cotton, but better because it’s thin enough yet quite stiff so that you don’t even need any “stabilizer” (= interfacing). when it comes to sewing the sleeves, it’s still very easy to adjust to match the marks on the pattern due to the stretch (as with any normal cotton fabric that always give a little bit of stretch, even when there’s no elastane involved) without fraying the fabric. in fact, here’s a little secret: i didn’t finish the edges of my African skirt that i made almost 2 years ago, have washed it many times, and none of the edges have frayed yet to this date. it is THAT good.

africandress1

in case you can’t see it already from the pics, i am super duper pleased with the result! even my husband said that the dress looks so neatly done, and honestly i think so, too (i think i’m allowed to be proud about this once in a while, considering how lazy i usually am when it comes to sewing neatly).

this was also the first time i ever sewed using this magazine’s pattern, i must give a praise for the pattern maker as it fits me so perfectly i didn’t even need to make any size adjustments. i hope they will have other interesting clothing patterns in the future that i can try sewing again!

Advertisements

feeling festive

hinditop1

self-made top, second hand skirt from Pasar Senen – Jakarta, earrings from Oasap.com, bracelet given as a gift from my tabla teacher’s wife, bindi & nose-ring from some Indian store in Jakarta.

i bought this fabric some weeks ago, already thinking i could make a simple top with it since the print is already a bit… much. this fabric is actually an African wax cotton, but when i finished making the top it reminded me so much of Indian choli, which was why i decided to channel my long-forgotten Indian side. this fabric was about the only colourful one among my other fabric finds lately, and boy, am i glad to see other colours than black, white, and grey in this gloomy season!

i used the same pattern as the one for this simple top, and this time i added a tiny bit of soft tulle for the sleeves.

hinditopdetail1

for the neckline & closure, i used bias tape + small button. i don’t know if you can see it, but there are glitters on the gold part of the print = the main reason i bought this fabric. 😀

hinditop3

there was only about 80 cm of the fabric, and it was about 110 cm wide. the print, as you can see, is very bold, so placement is everything when i cut the fabric.

hinditop4

i think i pretty much nailed it, hehe. putting on this top & the “complete” make up made me miss my Indian moments. not that i’ve actually been there, but you know…

… i meant those moments when i played tablas with the rest of my classmates from JNICC Jakarta. (since these are all old pics, i’m hoping no one would mind me posting them… didn’t really ask anyone’s permissions, sorry!) oh, those days! every time we were going to perform somewhere, i was nervous for the tabla playing but at the same time so excited for all the blingy Indian clothes i got to wear!

now i unfortunately don’t have my tablas anymore (nor do i have the flexibility in my fingers), and i also left all of my sarees behind when i moved here.

hinditop2

so i hope you can understand why i went all out for this photo shoot. luckily i have a few bindis here with me, and my nose-ring is still intact. after all of this gold, glitter, and colour therapy, i couldn’t help feeling festive.

chin up, celebrate life, and don’t forget to add some colours to it! 🙂

dummies, elephants, and Africa

dummyelephant1

self-made blouse & bow tie, Gina Tricot skirt, Just Kulkith batik shoes, Swatch watch, unbranded glasses.

one of my previous co-workers brought me this fabric as a souvenir from California some years ago. the design is by Fabrice de Villeneuve for Robert Kaufman, called “Dress Up”. it has little images of dummies (or mannequins) with all kinds of different dresses, and my ex co-worker said that she immediately thought of me when she saw this fabric. that was so sweet of her! 🙂

for years i’ve been saving it for something special, and now finally i found just the perfect pattern for it.

burda7255it’s one of BurdaStyle’s vintage collection, pattern no. 7255. the size starts at 38, so i downsized it as i usually use size 36 for all my previous BurdaStyle patterns… and let me save you from all the trouble of doing it by yourself, because it turns out that the result was a bit too tight. i guess the pattern also has vintage sizes or something, and 38 then is the equivalent of 36 now. d’oh!

but anyway, it ‘s still wearable (it wouldn’t be me if i just declare it a failure!). all i needed to do was put more buttons than the original version, because otherwise i would be stripping even with the slightest movements. :p

dummyelephant2

dummyelephant3

the special detail about this pattern is the back side, where there’s a small …er… flap (?) in the middle. anyway, i suppose back in the old days they used net-like fabrics, to add some sort of ventilation to the shirt. pretty handy in the summer. 😀 and this is perfect for me, because the fabric i got was actually not big enough for me to make this shirt… so using the old trick, i combined it with another fabric, just for that flap thing in the middle of the back side.

dummyelephantdetail1that’s where the elephants came in. 🙂

this elephant fabric is an Indonesian batik fabric, and i think the colours are just perfect to be combined with the Robert Kaufman fabric, don’t you? and since i already put the elephants there, i thought, what’s the harm in putting them also on the bow tie?

dummyelephantdetail2

 

the other project i’ve just finished also uses old fabrics (yay for sticking to my 2014 resolution!). just like the rest of my poor old fabrics, they had been waiting in my closet for far too long just for that perfect pattern… or actually, in this case, for an idea to come up in my head. because not only did i use old fabrics, i also used an old pattern. by old, i mean, only 2 years old. 😉

burda106-05-2012

picture borrowed from BurdaStyle magazine.

it’s pattern no. 106B from BurdaStyle magazine, May 2012 issue. when i first saw this pattern, all i saw was that it needs over 2 meters of fabrics and i thought, well, i don’t have any fabric that is that long. only now did it occur to me that i could actually combine 2 fabrics for it. so that’s what i did.

african1

H&M t-shirt, self made skirt, Spirit sandals, jersey fabric worn as headband, necklaces from Legian -Bali, earrings from ITC Permata Hijau – Jakarta.

those brilliant-looking fabrics i used for the skirt are called African wax cotton fabrics. it’s basically cotton, but the colouring technique uses wax (kind of like batik) so that the end result is a bit stiffer than normal cotton.

the first time i saw these lovely fabrics, i was screaming joyfully inside. i had always wished Indonesian batik fabrics could use neon colours like these, so when i saw these it was like i found a distant cousin of Indonesian batik. it made me happy too, because i was so fed up with the kind of impression that “African look” = safari look. i mean, yeah sure, if you, as a tourist, go to Kenya or something, then you would probably want to go on a safari and wear those jumpsuits, but i mean, come on… there’s much much more to Africa/African look than those boring khaki jumpsuits (that are not even originally African). now THIS is what i think of when i think of African look. ❤

anyway, enough ranting. so, i ended up using 2 separate fabrics for this skirt, which thankfully have the same colour palettes. i made it using the size 36, which is one size smaller than usual for bottoms, because i usually feel too much looseness in the waist when i use size 38. since this skirt has very wide hemline, i thought i’d be okay with 36. but yeah, i was wrong yet again. the skirt ended up a bit too small even on the waist area, which resulted in a small alteration on the front part. and this is why i couldn’t make the graphics on the center front of the skirt align with one another. thank God i don’t have OCD.

africandetail

african2

african3

 

all i need now is warmer weather (it did actually get very warm here for a while, +20C and even more… but for the past week it’s been cold again, snick!). well, hopefully these colour therapies would help summon more sunlight & warmth!

now for a small bonus, i’m gonna put on a Julia Fordham song about South Africa, called Happy Ever After. i just LOVE this song, and it’s been playing in my head ever since i started sewing this skirt. it’s time now to pass on the catchy-ness. 😀

PS. i do not own the video, the song, nor the lyrics. i just borrowed them for personal use.