Monday, September 22, 2008

A Different Kind of Fabric

Recently I have been involve in a different type of Weekend Project, not of cloth, but of a different kind of fabric. This is the first time I write about something other that my craft hobby. This is related more to my mainstream work, which I do take passion in that I decide to share it.
In hopes of preserving the existing fabric, we did measured drawings and documentation of the existing structures along the Old Markets along Gambier Street. Education and Awareness (plus nostalgic sentiments, we hope) will save these remnants of Old Kuching waterfront. At least, I will be able to tell our next generation of what our heritage was, through our documentations.
I actually found myself enjoying the talks and walks, I gave to young people; getting them to identify old buildings and monuments. Telling them about the hey-days and those handed-down stories. I realised that kids this generation knows nothing about old Kuching buildings. So, if we don't start being conscious about our culture and heritage, soon, our history and heritage will be just stuffs of myths and legends.Now, a walk down memory lane and the current state.
The Old Fish Market & Vegetable Market at Gambier StreetInterior of The Old Fish Market (before, full of life)Interior of The Old Fish Market (abandoned and left to rot)Interior of The Vegetable Markets (before, full of life)
Interior of The Vegetable Markets (abandoned and left to rot)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Treasure Chest

YAY for more storage space for my sewing gadgets and fabric! Can also be use as props too!!So happy how it fits with my other antique metal storage trunk!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wrap Pants

My most comfortable pair of pants ... is getting really old & shabby. I will continue wearing it until it rips apart. Meanwhile, I have made another one based on my own pair, with a few modification to the pattern, for economic use of fabric.

My parents told me before that my grandfather who came from China, wore this kind of wrap pants a lot. I know why.

I recorded all the measurements taken off the existing pair of pants. Before planning to cut on it.
2 nos of A ; 4 pieces of B ; 2 pieces of C (I hope the scan is clear enough to see the dimensions)
Joining 2 Bs together as shown below along the red line, twice; one for the front and one more for the back. Then I attached A to BB (ref pic); As are the side panels. Folding the As half, I attached the last piece of BB.
Then, I attached the waist piece (C). I kept the joints for CC, aligned with the joints for BB. Finally, I tucked and hemmed all the exposed edges.
To wear the pants (since the waistline is bigger), I'll have to overlap it in front, and fold down twice, to secure it in place. You can try variations of how to wear them, but this is the method I am very used to and it is really quick.Here, I am seen parading in front of the mirror again. I have worn it to the office too!

Monday, September 8, 2008


Harangus is the epitome of a successful senator. He is a multifaceted man - part politician and part philosopher, but all Roman. As a military tribune, years ago, he stormed the shores of Normandy. . . and conquered the Normans. Harangus owns a considerable amount of land in and around Rome, but he does not crave wealth and property. He holds closely to Stoic philosophy, maintaining complete control over his emotions and eliminating all wants and desires. If given the opportunity, he will expound on the virtues of Stoicism for days on end, as he did in his now-infamous, three-day oration, "It's my party, and I'll be Stoic if I want to."
[extracted from character description in the Guest List]
Costume Suggestion: Toga with a purple border worn over a tunic.

As ruler of the known world, Licentius Caesar walks proudly in the noble tradition of his late father, Disgustus Caesar. When Disgustus died unexpectedly several years ago after eating some tainted shellfish, the youthful but determined Licentius managed to put aside the cloak of grief that weighed heavily on him and took on the mantle of leadership. Since that tumultuous day, Caesar has made great efforts to bring together the military, the temple, the senate, and business interests in new and unique ways. As a devoted friend of poet Flabbius Corpus, Licentius Caesar also demonstrates an undying interest in the arts. He considers the arts an essential complement to the rigors of statecraft and international relations. His current international relation is a particular Queen of the Nile.
[extracted from character description in the Guest List]
Costume Suggestion: Purple cloth draped over a tunic. Laurel leaf crown.

Starting with a cloth of 3m(L) by approx. 90cm(W), I folded it in half, lengthwise. Marking the centreline, I offset it bothsides by about 12cm and marked it.
Cutting it straight across where I marked it previously, I created a 24cm wide opening for the neckline and hemmed the cut edges.
For the embellishments down both sides on the front of the tunic, I offset 15cm from the side, and sewed on the gaudish gold ribbons.

Finally, I sewed the front to the back, on right and left side of the tunic, while leaving a 25cm opening on the top for the hands.
Adding a belt will give it waistline and you can garnish the head with the laurel leaf headband for the Roman look. Below, the grey tunic with silver ribbon would be for Harangus.
And the beige colored tunic with red&gold ribbons would be Caesar. I improvised on the pattern above for the embellishing, by sewing it across under the neckline and one more vertical down the middle. (picture of left would be without the belt, and picture on right is with belt and leather gauntlets/cuffs)
More cloth would be required (about 3-4m length) for the toga drapped over tunic.

For earlier posts related to my Roman Murder Mystery Costumes Project, please refer to the following links:
Roman Ruins : Prologue
- Introduction my Roman Murder Mystery Costumes Project.
- A rough guide to the construction of a ladies tunic.
- Construction of a Roman Centurion's costume

Ottoman Makeover : Redux

The flaps on the sides of the ottoman cover from the Ottoman Makeover project were not secured in place, so still revealing the original PVC cover underneath it. So, I fixed this problem by making flaps for the inside, around the corners. I attached the new inner flaps to both sides of one outer flap, and the other one on the opposite side.

The existing flaps without the new inner flaps were for the button holes. 3 down both sides (therefore a total of 6 button holes on one side), and then 6 more on the opposite side. Sewed the buttons on and voila ...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Roman Ruins : Part 2 - MAXIMUS TESTOSTERUS

Maximus is a renowned military commander - a master of warfare. His battles against the Gauls are already becoming legend. He has little use for such intellectual conceits as trickery and delicate subterfuge, but instead has built his reputation on bold, head-on attacks. With Mars, the god of war, fighting on his side, his armies crash through enemy ranks like a massive fist, flattening everything in sight. He is proud, with a no-nonsense personality, rugged good looks and a truly intimidating physique.
[extracted from character description in the Guest List]
Costume Suggestion: Orange tunic with armor breastplate and centurion helmet.

Okay, mine's not exactly orange and there is no centurion helmet. May get to make it some day. But for now, I did the following from cardboard box for the breastplate and red cloth for the 'skirt'. I figured that any red t-shirt should suffice for the top.

Freehand-sketched the breastplate and cut 2 pieces. I painted the 'abs' on later with brown postercolor paint.
Drew and trace multiple flaps for lower part. And cut.Making a loop over the top narrower end allows it to be stringed onto a belt. Piece of cardboard for the loops were stapled in place.

After all the components are in place, we painted it. For a touch of glamour, I drew on the trims with a gold paint pen.

The red tunic under, was actually made of the red cloth. I just sewed it into a 'sarong' (wrap skirt).

No pictures to show the process, but I attached the front and the back breastplate pieces with 2 gold/red colored straps. Later I added the gold lion-faced (gaudish) buttons on the front breastplate. The front and the back pieces were held in place with another belt.
And instead of the centurion helmet, I just gave him a laurel leaf head band.
(seeing the friend in the above picture, we probably have to scrap the "He is proud, with a no-nonsense personality, rugged good looks and a truly intimidating physique" part)

For earlier posts related to my Roman Murder Mystery Costumes Project, please refer to the following links:

Roman Ruins : Prologue

- Introduction my Roman Murder Mystery Costumes Project.


- A rough guide to the construction of a ladies tunic.