Tuesday, January 31, 2012

101 Things in 1001 Days: January Update

16% completed so far : )

#5 Develop the habit of only opening my computer after I've had breakfast and done my morning routine (30/30)  
#2a wake up at 9am every day for 7 days (7/7) 

Started/To Start:
2b. wake up at 8 am every day for 7 days (0/7)
#8. meditate every day for 30 days (1/30)
#9. walk or exercise every day for 30 days (0/30)
#71. Complete one creative writing project each month for a year (1/12)
#84. Do something creative every day.....sewing, drawing, writing (21/30)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (8) - Lace Top

Lace Top with lace border added, MG's Wedding Gown,

Completed hand-stitching the lace borders to the lace top at last. This took a lot longer than I had anticipated and I spent most of the weekend on the applique work. There's still a bit of fine-tuning to do.....I think the lace applique on the sleeves can be tapered a little more at the bottom as it looks a bit bulky right now,  and I found a bit of the applique on the collar doesn't lie totally flat......so these need to be fixed. But at least the bulk of it has been done. 


To angle the collar at the base of the neck, I cut the lace right up to the scalloped edges. For a sharper angle, I would have to cut the lace into two pieces and join by machine stitching.....this is something I wanted to avoid on this design, as the curved shape of the collar is a main feature and therefore one of the most visible parts of this garments.

I did have to machine stitch a join at the V at the base of the collar......this couldn't be avoided, so I added small appliqued flowers  and beads to "blur" the join line.   

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (7) - Lace Top

Lace Top with border pinned to hem, MG's Wedding Gown,

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and here
The lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

Had a change of mind, and decided to cut and hand stitch the lace border before joining the corset base to the lace top. Cutting the lace border takes ages as I had to cut very close to the pattern edges and there are 3 metres of border to cut!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book 13: Sanctus

Sanctus, Simon Toyne. Dec 2011

This book kept me up the whole night, ruining #3a go to bed by 2  from my 101 list.  I just could not put it down. I like a good mystery thriller with plenty of action. Throw in some religious conspiracy and I'm hooked.

A monk stands on a mountain ledge high above the Citadel, arms outstretched in the pose of the Tau. Crowds gather and TV cameras roll. 

Then, grasping the edges of his robes, the monk steps off the ledge and falls to his death. 

Brother Samuel is a member of the Sancti, an ancient order of monks and guardians of the Secret of the Sacrament, a holy relic believed to have healing powers. The Secret is kept in the Citadel and is so closely guarded that only a select handful of monks have ever seen the Sacrament. 

His death is a message. 
A message meant for his sister who believed he died 8 years ago....

Monday, January 23, 2012

Spring 2012 - Carolina Herrera Bridal Collection

Caroline Herrera Bridal Collection, Spring 2012
from Youtube, uploaded by rebeccalasposa

An elegant and timeless collection from Caroline Herrera.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (6) - Lace Top

Lace Top, MG's Wedding Gown,

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and here
The lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

Before sewing the lace top, I had to remove all the beading within and next to the seam lines and darts, otherwise it will cause the sewing machine to get stuck, damage the lace and/or break the needle. The beads will need to be sewn back where it shows on the main garment, but this can be done later. 

All the seams on the lace top are french seams which look neater especially along the visible shoulder line. Next step is to join the lace top to the corset base, and sew on all the interfacings (collar, sleeves, back opening) before adding the lace border to the collar, sleeves and hem. 

one glitch I had to resolve: the organza frays easily and I had to re-do the organza lining on the back bodice. What I should have done right after I cut the organza was to run a line of machine stitching along the edges which would have helped to prevent the fraying. But I didn't. And so I had to do double the work just because I wanted to save some time earlier. *sigh*

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spring 2012 - Oscar de la Renta Bridal Collection

Oscar de la Renta sfilata sposa Spring 2012.
from Youtube, uploaded by rebeccalasposa

A unique and beautiful collection for Spring 2012. 
Love the music on this video. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (6) - Corset Base for Lace Top

Corset  and Organza lining for Lace Top, MG's Wedding Gown,

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and here
The lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

MG had her first fitting, with the toile last Thursday, and she really liked the collar and the sleeves. 

I made 2 changes to the draft, before working on the actual garment:  
1. the top of the corset was lowered by 1/2 inch 
2. the sleeves had too much bulk along the lower armhole, and needed a dart to add some shaping. I was glad I did a toile, so I could transfer the armhole dart to the bust line on the draft, so the armhole dart does not show on the final garment. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Rules

~ Sister Mary Corita Kent
Artist & Educator
November 20th, 1918 - September 18th, 1986

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spring Summer 2012 - Haider Ackerman

Haider Ackermann Spring Summer 2012
Youtube. uploaded by FatalefashionII

This season's collection has to be my favorite.

Haider Ackerman seems to have an almost intuitive feel for fabrics and colour.....his designs are clean, creative and drapes beautifully; his use of colour subtle and effective. The whole effect is one of fluidity and uncontrived elegance. 

The presentation is simple, but then Ackermann has never needed props.....his collection speaks for itself. Groups of models stroll slowly to soft music along a wide walkway taking us into another dimension and a zen-like state.....perfect for this exquisite collection. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (5) - Lace Top Toile

Wedding Gown for MG - Lace Top Toile  - Work in Progress
Jan 2012

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown here and here
The lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

We have decided on wider neckline after MG saw the photo of the draft, which I posted in my previous post here. It does look much nicer, don't you think?

I will make the final adjustments when I align the lace border to follow the neckline. No interfacing added to the facing in the toile. In the final version, I will use netting which will give structure and support for the lace. 

Today, I plan to sew up the sides, add the facings to the sleeves, tack on the bra cups, insert the boning and finish off the hem. I'm not going to finish off the back opening.......just pin it in place for the fitting. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sewing 3: Wedding Gown for MG (4) - Lace Top Draft

Wedding Gown for MG - Lace Top Draft
Jan 2012

You can see the design and fabric for the wedding gown  here and here
The lace top for the wedding gown will be worn with the mermaid skirt shown in this post

Completed drafts for the lace top in the photo above.
After I have finished a draft, I like to leave it for a day or two, and then re-check the draft again before cutting. This way I can do the checking with a fresh mind. 

There are two drafts for this lace top.....one for the lace bodice and one for the duchess satin base. I pinned both drafts to the mannequin to get a feel for the final shape, especially around the collar. 

Found that the drafts fit the mannequin to the millimetre.
MG is a perfect model size!
 : )

Because I am not sure if MG will like the shape of the collar, and the lace fabric is expensive, I am going to make a toile, a test garment which MG can try on. This way, I can make any adjustments to the shape and fit on the toile, before I cut the lace and duchess satin. 

Usually the toile is made of muslin of about the same weight as the final garment. It's difficult to find the right weight muslin here in Malaysia, so I bought some cotton fabric instead. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

#77 Explore South America

Perito Moreno, El Calafate, Argentina. 
photo from Sepilok Fui

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page
~ St. Augustine

#76. Hike the Inca Trail and see Machu Pichu
#77. Explore South America

Tickets booked for end-March 2012!
: )

I share my love of travel with my friend Fui, who was born in Sabah, the land of the Malaysian rainforests and home of the Orang Utans, where exploration and adventure is a way of life. When Fui spent 3 months trekking through South America last year, posting updates and photos on her Facebook page, I was mesmerised by the beauty and cultural wealth of this Latin American continent.

This year, it's my turn. I would love to travel for a few months but with work and other commitments, my travel buddies and I have decided to visit 2 countries, Argentina and Peru. 

Looking forward to explore Macchu Pichu in Peru but won't be hiking the Inca Trail, as I can't get myself fit enough for this physical challenge by March. 

So "Hike the Inca Trail" gets struck off #76 and goes on my someday list.....it'll be a good excuse to return to this amazing continent
: )

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spring 2012 Colours: Pantone Fashion Colour Report


Let's Tango with Tangerine!

After the subdued colours of Winter, Spring promises new energy and optimism with bright and  fresh shades like Tangerine Tango, Solar Yellow, and Hawaiian Ocean. 

The Pantone Spring 2012 Colour Trend Report and designer outlook can be viewed here

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year Resolutions 2012 : Building New Foundations

Stout Grove, Jedidiah Smith Redwood State Park
Oregon, US. Sept 2010

"If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there"
~ Yogi Berra

The good thing about having a 101 things to do in 1001 days list is you don't have to think too much about new year resolutions since you already know what you want to do. 

With 101 things to complete over 1001 days, theoretically I need to complete one thing every 10 days or 3 things every month. But some goals are long-term, such as #25 Draw one thing every week for 52 weeks, so in practise, that is not feasible. The main thing is to start 3 or 4 new things every month and I will get there within the 1001 days. That is what I hope, anyway. 

 1001 days is effectively 2.75 years. It's tough to keep the momentum going and the motivation up for that length of time. A quick google showed loads of blogs doing the 101 things in 1001 days, but most have not been updated for a long time. I think it's safe to assume that most of these folks have given up. 

My strategy to counteract 101 fatigue is to focus on a theme, doing only one or two new things at a time, and resist the temptation to try and do everything at once, which only leads to giving up on everything. 

Since burning the bridge with the corporate world, I find myself rather undisciplined and unfocused. There are no timelines to meet and no one to be accountable to. There's no rush to do anything, which is a sure-fire formula to ambling along slowly. And without a structure to my day, I have been rather lax about building a new life for myself.

So, My theme for 2012 is: Building New Foundations

Monday, January 2, 2012

Writing 1: A Love Story

My Parents on their Wedding Day, 1953
note: please do not use this photo without my permission. 
thank you for your understanding. 

They met in church in Ipoh, Perak, Malaya in 1946.

It was the post war years. In 1945, the British defeated the Japanese and restored Malaya to British Adminstration. Many people lost all they had, and money was hard to come by.

They wanted to get married, but her parents refused to give them permission. Her father said, "If you marry that man, you will be poor all your life."

Sunday, January 1, 2012

50 Questions that will Free your Mind

Crater Lake, Oregon, US. Sep 2010

I love the feel of a new year. The future is brimming with fresh starts and possibilities. And with the Christmas rush and New Year celebrations over, it's the perfect time to spend a few quiet moments in reflection on where I am going in life.

The following 50 questions are thought-provoking and inspiring.

There are no right or wrong answers
Because sometimes asking the right questions is the answer.