It's Day 3 of the Chinese New Year! We spent Days 1 and 2 trying to do Chinese things. I say "trying" because it's weird celebrating Chinese New Year without family here, or mum's cooking, not to mention the fact that I'm quite hopelessly unChinese in practice. The girls and I visited Emily's and Jenna's classrooms and did a little Chinese presentation on CNY. We got all dressed up in our fancy Chinese outfits - the sorts that hang in our closets the other 364 days of the year- and handed out clementines and red packets containing chocolate coins to the kids. In order to get all dressed up, I had to first go rummage in my Ethnic Outfits Closet* for something I could still wear post-baby.
Found this Chinese blouse I sewed -what, almost 20 years ago.
See - princess seams! Told you I put them in everything. I think it is funny that even back then I was print-averse. This blouse was a sample I made for the seamstress who later outfitted our high school choir for a vocal competition. Not quite as flattering as the classic mandarin-collar style but it was going to be mass-produced, so we wanted to be kind to the poor lady who had to sew them (and she had small children at home with her, besides!). Alas, I cannot show you a picture of me actually wearing it now without being immodest- I can no longer button it up. But still wanted to share it because:
- it's Chinese New Year and I needed a Chinese-looking thing to photograph
- this is probably the only garment about which I can say I made everything from scratch, including the buttons (although no, I didn't farm the silkworms from which to harvest the silk to spin into the fabric).
- it's always funny to see stuff I made years ago- he he he!
- it's always funny to see how thin-as-a-rake I was years ago
- it reminded me that I must do a tutorial sometime on making those frog buttons. Would anyone be interested? Or is this way too ethnic?
I didn't make those last four, incidentally - I bought them in Singapore, as samples for the tutorial-that-hasn't-happened-yet. They're easier than they look, except first I need to google "Turk's Head Knot" to refresh my memory on the knot technique. And maybe I also need to sew myself some new Chinese outfits that actually do fit, so those buttons actually have somewhere to go.
* Why yes, I do have an entire closet of ethnic outfits - what else can I play dress-up with? It contains sarees, aodais, qipaos, kurtas, baju kurongs, sarong kebayas but not a kimono or hanbok (yet). I used to wear them to school when I was a teacher. Ridiculously flamboyant, but hey, I was a different person before motherhood tamed me. Plus, it was all in the name of cultural education.
Happy new year, everyone! Eat lots of food. And you folks back in Singapore, eat one million teeny fried shrimp rolls for me.