It has been raining regularly in Singapore since the 2nd week of July. I went for a quick dinner while it was pouring and returned to writing my needlework story for this upcoming week. It's perfect weather to write with peace of mind :) How was your week so far?
July is a good month to reflect on what I have learned while achieving my goals between Jan-June 2021. I realized that I have too much content to update in a single post, therefore I separated my 4 goals update into 4 separate posts to share with you on a weekly basis, on my takeaways from learning and practicing these slow crafts.
Below are the links to have a peek on my July posts:
Week 1: A journey to create a variety of eco-wrappings from daily life object
LIFE CYCLE OF TREE: FLOWERING 7/12: GIFT WRAPPING
Week 2: A complete handbook for a beginner or for friends who want to learn natural dye and Ayurvastra
LIFE CYCLE OF TREE: FLOWERING 7/12: NATURAL DYE/ AYURVASTRA
Week 3: A full mending story with needlework on CC's dress
LIFE CYCLE OF TREE: FLOWERING 7/12: NEEDLEWORK & MENDING STORY: CC DRESS (current post)
Week 4: A diary about practicing illustration skills from scratch
LIFE CYCLE OF TREE: FLOWERING 7/12: ILLUSTRATION (to be released next Thursday)
Last week, I posted a pretty juicy post about natural dye for a beginner or for friends who are interested in this slow and beautiful craft. This post will provide you with the basic knowledge and tools to get yourself started.
Today, I will be sharing with you one of my needlework projects: Mending CC's umeshu navy dress.
It was CC's first visit to my place. And she instantly fell in love with a dress that I hid for 2 years in my mending wardrobe, waiting for it to be rescued someday. I personally really liked the unique prints and color combi of yellow and navy on this dress. The yellow fruit looks like umeshu to me and with a navy background, the contrast between the two colors brings out the best of each other. It is made with 100% cotton, printed with the "Kanebo" logo, (you're right) a the popular cosmetic brand from Japan, who used to produce textile from the year 1889-1959 at the start of their business formation.
The dress is entirely hand-sewn, in times when not many could afford a sewing machine, unlike today. Unfortunately and sadly, it is poorly sewn, which I suspect could be the first dress that its maker had ever hand-sewn or was rushing to get a dress completed within a limited time.
The quote “一期一會” means once in a lifetime in English (from the people you meet, places you travel and the little moments that you have can never replicate). It's CC's all-time favorite quote which reminds her to cherish every tiny moment in her lifetime. When I was mending this dress, I was consciously reminding myself to take things slow.
There are many ways to deal with a torn/ badly sewn piece of dress: keep it (but you will not wear it anymore), toss it (so that you don't have to deal with it), or repair it (face it and fix it) to give the dress and yourself a second chance to fall in love with each other again. To break the cycle of fashion waste, our choices play an important role by just pausing to think about what we wish to buy, choosing with a conscious mind, taking care of our belongings, and repairing when it's needed. Just the motion of slowing down before making any decision, can propel the cycle of fashion into greener horizons.
In the end, I spent 3 months, digging for spare time and space from my very packed workdays to repair this dress, one stitch at a time. The process is simply therapeutic. After a long day of working on needlework, I will sometimes treat myself to a hot and nice bath to rejuvenate myself. It is tiring to bend my head and stay focus for long hours. Recently, I unwrapped a candle made with soy and herb garden essential oils, which was a lovely handmade gift that I received from my dear friend, 韋茹, whom I met in the beautiful place of Chi Shang in Taiwan. She is currently running a retail store: Is well
- a quaint little cafe + air BnB + retail shop that sells local artists' handmade products. At the moment, she does not have an online shop and only ships within Taiwan but her pretty little shop will make you want to visit Taiwan (So, do start to stalk her
on her Ig account
When my bath is prepared, I lit up the 花舒甦 (herb garden) candle, 5 mins before I started my bath (with the door closed) to allow its smell to linger strongly in my bathroom. The smell welcomes me into a wildflower garden, with the sweet aroma of rose, lavender, eucalyptus, and rosemary, immediately softening the energy of the room like a magic wand.
The experience makes my body smile :) Even after the shower, the wild garden scent surprisingly lingers in my bathroom for a full day! How could I not love this? During the stay-home period, self-care is really important to keep ourselves sane. How do you reward yourself after a long day at work (even when you need to work from home)? Do you cook a nice meal for yourself or simply sip your favorite wine to wrap up the day? Do share with me in the comments below.
I thank you for reading this far, as it always makes me happy to share my journey and tiny moments with you. Before I go for my next wild garden bath, I wish you peace and love, as you are definitely worth, to be loved :)
Showering blessings of love,