Hello Friends! Hope things are going fine with you all! Happy Summer (or Happy Winter to our Southern Hemisphere friends)! This post is dedicated to my parents, especially my mother:
We did not have much growing up materially, but we have our mother’s love and dedication, and to be honest, this is far more important…
When we were little, my twin sister and I couldn’t see much of our mother during the day because she had to work. Yet her positive vibes always put us at ease. She loves us with a childlike giddiness, she liked to sew us stuffed vegetables and fruits when she had time. She reminded us that, playing with the toys was like seeing her and being with her…and I agree that was true!
Fast forward some years later, we moved to the United States. While this was an opportunity for my sister and me to continue high school, it was a new challenge for both my aging parents. Knowing very little English, my parents had to work as housekeeper/janitor. I remember when we were in college, my parents would work for 3-4 part time jobs after their full time jobs in order to support our education and the family bill.
Yet, no matter how turbulent the storm of life was, the rainbows in their eyes never ceased to disappear…
They wear smiles all the time; They make time to memorize English phrases for conversation; During the planting and harvesting seasons, we can easily hear their laughter at the backyard for their fruits of labor; Every year, my mother would use her two weeks’ vacation time to travel back to China and take personal care of her parents (, whom I call “Gung Gung” and “Paw Paw” in Cantonese) – she wants to share as many memories as she could during the time they are on earth…
It is from my parents that I know I have everything that I needed to create the future that I dream of. They are my first teacher, my guidance and my backbone – the things they do may not show in grandeur, but always in the little things that add joy and value to our simple lives. From my parents, especially from my mother, I have learned unconditional love, respect, passion, independence, filial piety… and most importantly, strength and gratitude.
Let us not underestimate the power of those tiny blessings and changes that are occurring and have occurred, especially within our family; Let us revel in those brief moments of happiness that brought a smile on our faces. For without the tiny seeds, there would be no tree; Without birth there would be no growth and without the small, there would be no big. 🙂
Sometime ago, while I was shopping with my mother, she acknowledged, “Having a baby and becoming a mother has been one of the most meaningful, powerful experiences in her life; and for as life changing as having a baby is, it changes her body in a profound way too…”. Looking into her eyes, I seemed to sense some hidden disappointment. However, at least in my mind, mother’s reflection in the mirror may have changed over time, but the reflection from her heart is always pure like the carnation.
I realized what makes my mother truly happy is not something material, but something from the heart, so I decided to take this opportunity to do something that I feel I am best at for my mother – create a custom dress.
I bought this fabric remnant when I first started sewing. The “peacock-colored brush strokes” from the fabric invoke a feeling of beauty and femininity, of intellect and wisdom- an impression that I think would represent my mother very well.
Like my previous design, this design is also intended to create an illusion of curves, a fashion style which helps accentuate our best features, and better, invert the flaws into something we wish we had! Since the fabric is an all over print, it would be better to focus on a unique general impression (when looking from afar), rather than showcasing small details within the style.
This is a fully lined, fitted, slightly flared dress that has front and back drapes, side zipper, french seams, featuring:
- Asymmetric Front Bodice with cap sleeve: I decided an asymmetric front bodice would bring the unique general impression that I was looking for – it draws attention to the neck. The cap sleeves allow modest amount of flesh to be displayed.
- Ruched Waist: In my opinion, print fabric has the magic to create an illusion of a fit and slim waist naturally, and the ruched waist just strengthens this advantage. The extended ruched waist runs from my mother’s high waist to her hip, creating an illusion of a more slender upper body.
- Side inserts: Initially, I intended to create an all- ruched waist, however I realized that I cut the fabric a little too short, so I had to make up the sides with two inserts. I was surprisingly happy that the inserts work so well on creating the illusion of curves – they seemed to have created two “pseudo” princess seams. This also reduces the fabric bulkiness at the zipper portion.
- Flare high-low skirt: I prefer a high-low skirt style on my mother’s dress; yet, instead of using the same skirt pattern as my previous design, I decided to achieve this impression through left- and right- panels. The skirt is slightly pleated in the front. This simple midi-length skirt is feminine and timeless, it also balances the sophisticated details from the bodice.
- Contour Tango Back Waist: Compared to real tango dresses, the contour in this dress may not be as apparent since the back is covered for modesty; however after several experiments, I find that a tango contour (“U” or “V” back waist seam) is able to emphasize the beauty of a woman’s back no matter how subtle it seems! The slight blousing effect also contributes to a more slender look.
I find it very empowering to have garments fitted to my body, instead of trying to make my body fit into the clothes that I find in a RTW store, so I decided to share this satisfactory feeling to every of my clients! Similar to last time, we offer custom-made dresses with custom color and sizing.
Also, you could choose any two of the following custom options with no added fee:
- You could request a custom lining color if you are choosing chiffon. Sheer fabrics (Fabrics #1-6, 12-15) are very spontaneous like watercolor – you can mix and match different colors to create something unique. For example, instead of using the same color on both my dress shell and my lining, I prefer using a deeper and slightly different lining color because I think this will invoke a mysterious feeling. Pinterest is a great inspiration source for color palettes, you could find lots of captivating nature photography for such inspiration!
- You could also request to elongate the skirt to floor length, and turn it to a special evening dress. While print fabrics depict more of a whimsical feeling, solid fabrics present the elegance of a woman in a simple and effective way! Think iridescent silk chiffon! The most wonderful part about this chiffon is that you find different colors from different angles. Our current stock iridescent silk chiffon is Fabric #2, rose-marine; other classy options could be shimmery opaque fabrics such as Fabric #7 and 8! You could also request another solid color that’s not in the list.
- Another request you could do is on a small detail twist in the bodice, which is another opportunity to reflect your deepest desires. If you are unsure what looks best on you? Just go for the one that excites you the most… go with you heart!
Thank you very much for your time! If you like, please feel free to access your dress from our online store !
Should you need any further information and/or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us! We would love to hear about your travel inspirations as well!