31 July 2009

Back to Beads

Assalamualaikum. How are you today? Im alright. Heading off to uni later. haha. awu inda pandai abis. uni uni uni. during summer lagi tu. ish.

Okay, Hari Raya is coming! Well, for the last four years i would have been busy sewing beads. Life wouldve been hectic. I miss it so so much. This year I can't do it! I will be back for good, Insya Allah, by mid september only, a few days before Raya.

Anyhoots, a few weeks back, after browsing through beading website, I saw this! I t is called Butterfly Beads. It is based in Malaysia. But I fell in love with her beadworks. Especially how she played around with the sequins. It is very different and unique! Love it. She mixed different shape and sizes in an outfit and made it perfectly. To those who are interested, please do email her at balqiz_82@yahoo.com. I am not sure if she's still accepting for Raya. Do give it a try.

With permission, here are my favs!

Picture Above: This pink one is awesome!

Toldya the sequins (labuci) designs are cool.

Hugs. Thank You Zai for letting me post this.


29 July 2009

Memoirs of a Fashion Student - Final Day

Sorry for the late post. Once I was back from london, I went straight to my literature review for my dissertation which is due this sept. Haha. One day fashion, next day finance. it felt weird. Anyhoots, I'm done with lit review, now its data collection phase! (phewwh!)
Picture Above: Nice?? look at my waist~ Well it's nothing but look how it is defined...The finished product (in a fabric called calico - for practice- which is why it is stiff and karau)! Well, I havent done the hem of the sleeves and the bottom (the dress and the sleeves will be slightly shorter).

Anyway, It follows the figure around my bust then followed with pleats (I know how to make pleats!).

WHat I did was, add pleats for movement and sleeves to a conventional shift dress. Owh and made it A-line cause i am pear shaped. Usually it has no sleeves. But, quote: it's pretty well executed! YAY! Haha. If I used thick cream coloured wool, and add black buttons, it would definitely look like a Chanel inspired dress. Kan kan kan. All i need is a quilted black and white pumps and a 2.55. Voila! HAHA. HOWEVER, If I want to be able to wear it in Brunei, Ill make it cream (crepe -thinner fabric) and inside my pleats, black! Gorgeous! SO when i move, you can see black stripes. And the fabric will make the dress stick to my body better.

Picture Above: The marilyn monroe inspired dress I was telling you. Made by my friend. So simple, he finished a few hours earlier than me! I will definitely try that (Bah, models get ready!)


On the final day, I had my final fitting after everything is adjusted, my hem for sleeves, levelling (in couture, for dresses you must level it to the ground so it looks straight, instead of following the hem of the dress. so cool. they have this special ruler, a gigantic 90degrees triangle ruler), then hem of the bottom of my sleeves.

Well, it was a less hectic day. So, while we were sewing (our hems - hand sewn), we asked a few questions to my tutor. This is what we found out:
  • He designed our course! (usually, this course was done by another tutor). SO yay! lucky us.
  • The best method of sewing is by hand because it has no tension given by a sewing machine.
  • There is only one person in United Kingdom that hand sew a suit. ONLY ONE. It takes her 3 months to finish it and cost around 25000. Our tutor estimated that it would increase to 35000 in 10 years because of its rarity.
  • Couture - in UK, from his experience (our tutor works in or have -not sure- a couture house in London); couture garments start from 500pounds to 25000 pounds.
  • It is expensive not because how it is sewn, seams etc, but due to the accurate fitting of the garment to the body.
  • He works for Liberty Dept Store (Gorgeous dept store - aku suka dalamnya. And tudungnya :P) , then he also worked in nicole farhi. Awesomee...
  • He said - he would never want to see our work on topshop. because it is predictable and boring and low quality.
  • He said - Mrs M&S (mark and spencers) are boring. colours are dull.
  • He said - couture made by ourself is better even than dior (!!!), because any readymade garments follows a pre-specified body measurement and height!
Picture Above: My pockets! and sleeves. Not bad eyy?? Haha. Thats what i meant, when the pleats start right under my bust. gorge~ I know... Arah my hip looks gigantic! Not only because my butt is big (haha!) but the calico is a thick, stiff, rough fabric. Ignore that, once i use crepe ill have a small butt. BWAHAHA! Bootaayy.

Thats about it you guys! Im back to work. SO to those of you who are interested in the fashion industry and needs introduction to professional fitting, and will be around in london around this time next year. Should definitely try it. Its by London College of Fashion and it cost around 400 pounds.

Next plan: Once I am back, other than the beadings, I am planning to experiment different designs that I have on different shape and sizes. Insya Allah. Will talk about it next time!

24 July 2009

Memoirs of a Fashion Student - Day 4

Today, we continue doing our own project.

For me its zip, sleeves, and gathers.

I did my zip (Payahhhhhh), we were taught to do invisible zip, conventional zip, trouzers zip. Zips are nasty. My eyes were glued on the needle of the sewing machine saja, have to give 110% concentration and have to be sooooooooo slow.

Picture below: By the end of the day, I completed most of my sewing parts. Except bias tape and hemming. That I will do Tomorrow. Owh and we did couture fittings too. Well thats what i call it. You know the part where you sew everything together and see di mana yg loose and pin it, then sew it again. You know, refitting. supaya PERFECT. It reminds mcm in the movie, masa fitting bridal gowns, ada jarum here and there.
Picture Below: How cool are my pockets! Payah tu ahhh. :P Seriously, never underestimate the IQ level of your tailor. They are skilled and gifted. There are so many arithmetic and geometry required in making a garment. I was gobsmack. Especially, perpendicular, 90 degrees, 45 degrees, 1.5cm seam allowance tia, but put 2cm, 6mm tia. It is even more important when you are altering a pattern. Have to be precise if not the seam wont fit together! Anyway, about this pocket, it is so impressive (its not really ONLY me, i did it with proper instructions and supervision of our strict -my way is the best- teacher) that when i let go of my finger you dont see the pocket as if the seam is sewn together.

Picture below: After done with sewing I have to deal with my zipper. So back to the workroom. SO it will be bang in the middle and perfect. I have to pin, then jahit tangan THEN sew. But I love the end product.
Picture below: Ignore the blue chalk. hehe. salah label. Look at the shoulders, the plus sign seams! and the gathers on the sleeve! I did that! Alhamdulillah. Awal awal I was like, what the hell am I doing. Especially sleeves! my dress was all over the sewing machine! Mcm kemana kan tujunya niii?? Hahaha! Apparently, this is how a couture seam looks like. Basically, neat, flat, barely there seams.
If we did wrong, this is what he will say " ahhh, the home made look....no no no...you must do this..." or " ahhh, you can get this in the high street, but you dont want that...".

I can't wait for my dress to be done!! Well I obviously can't wear it because it is made of toile. BUT it is good practice.

PS: A freind of mine is doing a dress which is similar to marilyn monroe dress. you know the one with the wind. Was it red in colour? Lawa. And surprisingly easy. Many gatherings needed. Tomorrow is the last day! :( I'm having so much fun. Dont want it to end.

Memoirs of a Fashion Student - Day 3

Today, its sewing. I dont really want to put borinng post. So I'll just share with you, the cool stuff i learn today.

Below: Our sewing room! Theres only 11 of us. So there were more than enough. The sewing machines are the heavy duty ones and you lift the foot with your knees (sewing jargons).
Picture below: My baby! In the morning, we were ask to practise with scrap materials. Haha. I couldnt control it, Lajuu bahh.
The dress form I was talking about in the previous posts. There are several in our work room. This is also where our teacher showed the curves and how to do darts and stuff.
And you can't see it from the pictures, we were taught how to press, you know for kipas on kain, seams, trousers or pleats on kain apa. Tips to get the perfect crispy line on trousers! Clue: Ironing it is not enough!

Guess what my dress is? A Coco Chanel Inspired Shift Dress! With sleeves! SO dapat pakai brunei. Inda seksayy! Haha. Today I did my front and back and pockets! of my dress.


Memoirs of a Fashion Student - Day 2

Today its the A to Z of sewing patterns. By taking this class, It feels that some mysteries in life have been answered! Haha. Banar!

For example, misalnya why if skirt when it is at first worn below your waist then after jalan jalan it has shifted to somewhere above your waist. Answered! Or why when seluar lunggar, you cant just trim the sides. Answered! or why sometimes baju kurung after alterations masih jua lunggar tia (arah parut labu tia.) AND!! the best of all, why bila kami pakai skirt (very relevant to pure silk baju kurung), kalau duduk, its kumuh at the side arah the crotch area (my point is every kumuh at different places will explain a misfit somewhere. SO COOL). Answered! or why is it despite an accurate measurement, say of a trousers, when you sit, sampit jua and nampak your behind. You know the simple things that you dont really know before.

We were taught how the body measurement should be applied to the patterns with regards to actual body shape. And how to alter the patterns without ruining the shape of the final garment. Trust me I need this, Cos I am petite! Banyak putung sana sini, tambah dart sana sini. Kadang kadang for me, If say my kain yg putung payung, like a princess cut too long, sudah altered, no longer kambang. U know those problems. SOLVED!

The things I learn today:

Different professional methods to transfer information accurately
How to alter a pattern to fit your body (from a 3D angle)
How to cut accurately from a pattern on to a cloth.

ofcourse, the professional way~

Today our teacher (who apparently has his own couture clientele) said if you want to do something, even if its hard, you will succeed. Impressive huh. So wise.

Ok I wont bore you. Basically, How to cut fabrics the right way! Which also includes how to prepare the different type of fabrics before cutting it.

It may sound simple, but its easier said than done! OMG. The tackinggg. The concentration I need to give, very tiring.

I love every minute of it!

I think once im back in Brunei, Im gonna practise making clothes as many times as possible and once im confident with my work, it is then, i will open offer this service. Start small, just like Armani and Levi's. Heh heh.

22 July 2009

Memoirs of a Fashion Student - Day 1

Timing was perfect. I reached the campus on time. Then, we were asked to wait at the canteen (more like a room with vending machines) until our course is called. Then we were showed to our class. It reminds me of dance studios with islands of sewing tables.

SInce its a summer course, it is an intensive 5 days course (they do offer during term time but its once a week for 2 hours - not recommended). Some of the things I have learned

-even with same size; diff age has diff shape.
-by understanding the lifestyle of a customer, you will know what her style will be and what colour she wears
- a 9.99pound dress looks different than a 2009.99 dress.
- how to be unique and be inspired
- how the mrket conditions affect fashion (its soo awesome) - his observation is so truee.
- how to work with diff types of patterns
- how to get the best look for an outfit from fabrics (how to not make u look fat!)
- the best of all ---> professional tip every step of the way

Studied all this in a day! Hectic! The class is very practical. We spent most of the day pinning and cutting. We were given calico, the first step in designing. using cheap cloth for design. (U usually see this in Project runway, where they used this fabric before designing the actual final fabric).

Owh and my fellow 'classmates' are sooo interesting. Talk about it soon.

PS: Im making a tunic dress! with pleats. bye

London College of Fashion (LCF)Intensive Course

Hi guys!

My course takes place in Curtain Road, one of LCF's campus (es?). It's such a retro place banyak grafitti and colourful posters. The first time I went there, was on a weekend. Dodgeyyy~ Barijap berabis. Like ghost town. (i was like...what the hell~ this is what i get for a 400pounds course, in this location?)

But somehow, during the weekdays, it is TOTALLY the opposite. There were soooo many people. A lot of red buses. People in well- tailored suits everywhere. Owh yeah this is also because curtain road is located 3 minutes by bus from liverpool street, near the bank area, you can even see the gherkin building (building talur - the earlier scene in Harry Potter 6 movie). Anyway, My LCF course has started yesterday. It is amazing. I learn so much. Theres so many things to explain! I dont even know where to start. So i will try and do a once a day diary of what i did and what i have learned.

Altho it has been 2 days, I know so much it feels like I can do any baju I see. U just know how everything works! with professional tips! Owh our teacher is so fascinating, he has experience from high street designer and he used to work for one of the luxury department store in UK sewing class.

OK i wont spoil it. Ill tell you all about it in my next post.

13 July 2009

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Another one by Azzaro. I love the colour. The boat neck collar. The use of fabric. Crepe for the body, organza for the sleeve. This is rather common for baju kurung with that type of bell sleeve with sheer fabric. But somehow, this looks gorgeous. as a mini dress.
I just had to share it with you.

Well what do you know...

Chanel Haute Couture has made something very malay baju inspired.

Well, thats the first thing I thought when I saw it. But instead of using the satin as the kain, it is used for the top. and the sheer pulang bottom. Very interesting. I like the sleeve. Very unique.

I love the way it emphasise the crystals at the kain and sleeve instead of the bottom of the baju. Can u imagine if your tabur was this much. Bling blingyy. Tepijak the ones on the kain lagi tu. Haha. The fashion show took place at the Grand Palace in Paris. Among all fashion show, I love Karl Lagerfield the most! Its very simplistic yet elegant and classic. Very Chanel. Some day...

And another thing, if u ask me, i rather have the quilted ballet flats than the 2.55. Its so eeurgh. Can that bag be anymore boring. Altho, I dont mind having it just because its a must have. *shallow allert* Apologies.


12 July 2009

Navy Blue and Gold

Maxi dress! By Leaves of Grass (1st time i heard it - interesting name). This is another dress that has used the opposite theme colour combination. Cool Hues (blue) vs Warm Hues (gold). Ok if you look at the top picture in close up, it looks too much and over the top. like whaa~? Even the bead designs looks too...simple (the spiral effect)? very random design. However it is interesting to see it as a whole dress. LAWA.
Picture below: Isn't it pretty?? Like glitters~
Lesson: Dont despair when you think your baju is not what you wanted. Trust me, when its almost raya. Some tailors rush. I understand, They just have to. They don't have enough sleep. They are our heroes at these time of the year.
Anywaaay, incase you think your baju is not what u expected or wanted. Improvise. Make an eye catching beadworks on where you want people to see. And avoid where you dont want ppl to see. NOT THE OPPOSITE. which ppl tend to do.
Say if, your baju is loose, don't emphasise it on the hip or bottom of the baju. avoid beadworks at those area. DO beadworks on the neck or sleeve. The places yg perfect. Or if the neck is not symmetric -sp? like 'biyut'. do beadworks on the waist or the bottom, or sleeve. Thats the good thing about beads and crystals, you can make any dress look so good. If done the right way.
Hope that helps.


Assalamualaikum everyone.

I love it. Love it. First it was Matthew Williamson. Now its Azzaro. *shriek* All her (referring to Vanessa the designer for Azzaro) dresses looks so amazingg. Perfect example is this black mini dress. ANd its longsleeve so u can actually vision it as a baju kurung.

Who knew simple arrangements of the crystals (picture below) can make a baju look so expensive (well this baju is B$6000+, it is expensive but thats not my point...) Rephrase: If it was for raya baju that is inspired by this dress. The focal point is on your thigh. Very creative . Although if it was me I would make it into a shorter baju kurung pendek and let it 'hang' on my hip. Gorgeous.

I love Azzaro because their dresses are so creative. Different then the generic beadworks on collars, sleeves etc. I remember looking at one of their ribbon nude dress, let me check. It is FAB.

let me see~ Here it is! Nude dress! lovely. You can't really see the huge ribbon at the bottom of the dress. But it is so unique and creative. Maybe something to think about for your raya maybe?

Tips: If u have a boring plain baju raya (make sure its fitted) and bored of it. Make a giant ribbon at the bottom. Just like Azzaro. HOWEVER! If you gonna make the giant ribbon, PLS STICK TO THE EXACT SAME KAIN AS YOUR BAJU KURUNG. If not, it'll just be tacky and fashion victim-ie usulnya. haha. Or in another perspective, BOLD. way too bold.

PS: In the nude dress picture, she's wearing Jimmy Choo~. *adores*


09 July 2009

Suggestions for Baju Kurung

Hi Everyone

I should NOT be blogging at this time. I have a meeting with my supervisor lusa on my literature review and methodology for my dissertation. I am drowning with journals. Eventhough its not hard, u can get really stressed just by reading one journal after another. And draw mind map so everything will connect, then making sure ive been selective enough for it. Not to mention my methodology! Gawwddd why can't my dad be a multi millionaire. So i dont need to study this much. Haha. Enough said

So I found same cool stuff on tips and advice on what clothes that can slim you down on the net. There are TONNES. So do try googling it. Anyway, so some of these tips can be incorporated it to baju kurung.

So hope this helps:

For the busty: An oversize, random print acts like camoflage and makes your bust look smaller. Maybe this is usually the reason why ppl do wear baju kurung.

But please be careful, baju kurung despite its simplicity, it can seriously go wrong. Baju kurung Biasa (the loose ones, straight cut style) are not supposed to be a maternity clothing !!! (unless it is intentional). The shoulder width should be exactly the size of you shoulder! If more,the shoulder pad will be sagging to the side and u'll look like u gain 10 pounds!

And, at the hip, the width should be around 4 inches extra of your hip. SO say you're 36inch, then the width should be 40 inch MAX.

You can only do more (than 4 inch) if it was a chiffon (super duper soft fabric) so it can flow and do use a tube top or tight layers inside. I love chiffon because it can give a slimming silhouette if done correctly. For organza and lace (fabrics that are heavy but sheer ), stick to the 4 inch allowance (or space..whatever u call it).


For the Plus size: No big, floppy shapes! DO keep it simple.

TIPS: Avoid frills and big sleeves (like thos kimono style, batwings styles - I understand they are stylish but they are not forgiving to your body) The best style would be, Baju kurung fesyen (the contoured ones) and thick fabrics. Gorgeous, body hugging and simple.

Wear small prints (bunga yg damit damit), AVOID big prints <-- trust me on this, dulu i disagree but i was so wrong, somehow bunga basar2 makes you look fat. ishh.

dark colours are better, light cream is your worst enemy, unless you are tall. Atu pun, dark colours would be way better. It adds pound to the body.


Sometimes, you dont really bothered about the complexity of fabric and designs. This is a USEFUL TIP:


using 'clip tudong' at the front which is around your chest will vitually make u look skinnier. Not kidding. Especially with baju kurung fesyen. (clip tudong are similar to scarf clips that pinches the scarf together)

pinning the front end parts of your tudong to the side on your shoulder with brooch, (you know mcm ujung tudong yg kesiring mcm nasyid inspired style :P) will emphasise your waist. (I hope u guys get it. I tried sketching it, but its hopeless). So those who are concerned with your waist, AVOID THIS!


Collar is everything!!!

If you have a well defined chin, and would like to emphasise on it, SQUARE COLLAR

If you are too busty, and would like it to appear smaller, SCOOP NECK (careful to not show too much cleavage), it's hari raya a celebration after fasting. Emphasize this to your tailor. Marah nini karang~ I know mine would.

If you are not comfortable with your body. Avoid CREW NECK, BOAT NECK - the ones yg damit collarnya. And it will also make busty babes more busty (trust me, not in a good way)

V-neck is a safe bet. The larger the V, the skinnier you look. My tip would be, to make a V neck that ends inbetween you bust and belly button and use a tube inside. Its as if you have lost weight. ANd you can emphasive the collar with beautiful bead designs~.



Black is slimming and always look expensive. I think a black coloured baju kurung is as important as an LBD. If you think it is dull, add colourful manik or embroidery and use different type of fabrics. Make it work~

Keep the top of your baju and the bottom in the same colour! or the same colour scheme. Having different colour might be stylo, but not as slimming as sticking to the same colour top and bottom.

These are just tips on top of my head. There are more! and as i said ALL THE TIME, it really is up to you. If you have the mood to be bold, just break all this rules. Just be confident and be a style diva baby. Rules are meant to be broken anywayy...

OMG. Must go. Work work work.