Sunday, December 22, 2013

DIY : Red Wool Coat w/ Shawl Collar

It's been exactly one year since I've started DIYing, it's amazing how time flies! My very first project was a circle skirt and I was naive enough to think that I could actually make a circle skirt with no sewing experience. LoL. At least I tried, and this time I'm going about it with a different perspective of DIYing my very first coat. I learned that you have to do a bit of research and planning before diving in to save yourself time and heartache (like ruining your expensive fabric).
For those of you who are interested in making your own coat, I'll direct you to a few resources and what foundations you need before sewing your final piece. This is a project that I started Thanksgiving weekend and just finished a few days ago, so it took me almost a month (spending a few hours each day). Keep in mind, I pattern and sew at a snail's pace so don't get discouraged by how much time it took me to do this....I'm sure most people can do it a lot quicker.

Making a coat your size:
1) You need to create a bodice, skirt and sleeve sloper to create a dress sloper. I used the dress sloper (you can also use a jacket sloper) and added extra room all around to accommodate for layers underneath. There are numerous tutorials on how to create those slopers, so just Google those terms and you'll be on your way! More info about slopers here.
2) Then I added princess seams (tutorial) to the front and back and also pleats (tutorial) to the side of the coat.
3) I first drafted an asymmetrical collar, but ended up not liking the look for this coat and decided on the shawl collar instead.
4) After drafting my coat pattern with princess seams and pleats, I wanted to line my coat for extra warmth. Here's a really easy tutorial on how to draft a coat lining pattern. Most coats are lined with a thin slipper fabric, but I wanted something thicker and cozier. I initially bought a medium weight satin, but thought it wasn't thick enough to keep me warm in this unusually cold winter in SF. I decided to use flannel instead since it's thicker and insulates better. I also remembered that my J. Crew coat was interlined with thinsulate and wanted to try that. I did some research and eventually decided not to go that route, as I was unsure if you sew the thinsulate to the fashion fabric or to the lining. Before I forget, here's also a tutorial on how to sew a lining into a coat -- watch after the hour mark. The sleeves were lined with the satin fabric instead of flannel. Satin fabric is slippery and it makes getting your arm in and out of the coat much easier.
5) After your pattern is finished, you'd want to sew up a sample first using a cheaper similar weight fabric. It's always good to sew a sample so you can see if your garment fits. If it doesn't, then you can go back to your pattern and makes changes (which I had to do). For my sample, I used a cheap wool that pilled up in no time so don't use cheap wool for your final piece! You can get very basic black or grey wool blend for $10 a yard (they are on the thin side), but most coating weight wool that is not black or grey will run you about $20+ per yard. For a coat this length, I bought 4 yards (60" width) and ended up with about 1 yard leftover.
6) The buttons I used below are self covered buttons from Jo-Anns. I thought they would be expensive, but ended up being only $1 a button. I was going to send out my coat to get the button holes professionally put in, but I ended up doing it myself. Helpful resource here about buttons and button holes.

Making a coat is a lot of work and definitely not a cheap process. An alternative you could consider is buying a commercial pattern because the majority of my time was spent developing the sloper, patterning my design and correcting the pattern after the sample fitting. The sewing part felt like a breeze compared to the pattern development. SPG wrote a really good article on when to buy or DIY and on her list of things to buy are coats....after making a coat and understanding the process, I can definitely see why one would buy instead of DIYing. But overall, I did really enjoy the learning experience and am happy with the end result and would consider using my pattern again (since I've put so much work into it) to make this coat in another color. 
DIY Red Coat. (similar here, here + here)
 Nine West Flax Pumps. Size 5. Runs 1/2 size too big.

DIY enthusiasts - would you consider making a coat? If you have already, please let me know your thoughts and the challenges you faced!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013


Outfit inspired by Blair of Atlantic-Pacific

F21 Peter Pan Blouse. S. (similar here)
Armani Exchange Sheath Dress. 0P. (similar here + here)
  C Label Luxe-23 Pump (buy here, here or here). Size 5.5. Runs 1/2 size too big and narrow at the toe area. Returned, but would recommend to those who have narrow feet.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Blue Heels + Good Company

Hi ladies! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend filled with lots of food, love and shopping! I didn't do much shopping during black Friday because I've done it in previous years and honestly never found deals that were impressive enough to warrant the crowd and chaos. 
H&M Denim Shirt. Size 2. (similar here + here)
F21 Pleather Skirt - sold out. XS. (similar here + here)
Qupid Potion-89 Pumps (buy here or here). Size 5.5.
I ordered these Qupid Potion-89 Pumps a couple of weeks ago and have been wearing them non-stop since I've gotten them. They run very true to size and the heel height is about 4".  I have worn them for short periods of times (1-2 hours) and they felt comfortable. I really pushed my luck today and wore them while shopping and they definitely hurt my feet after extensive walking. Despite that, I still love them!

I got to see my 2 little cousins during Thanksgiving. I've watched them grow up and can't believe they are still taller than me with my 4" heels. I always tell them that I wish that I was as tall as they are and they always tell me that they would happily switch places with me so they could be petite. LoL! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side.
I also got to meet up with SPG & Karen for some delicious Thai food at Lers Ros. Their menu is huge and I love that their offerings differ from your usual curry, pad thai noodles or papaya salad! If you are in the mood for something exotic, they also have dishes that contain alligator, rabbit or frog legs. I'd say this is definitely one of my favorite restaurants and would recommend it to those who love Thai food.
Fried Trout | Duck Larb | Fried Pork Belly | BBQ Chicken | Pan Fried Noodles 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dancing Penguins

I fell in love with this fabric when I first saw it. I thought the penguins were too cute and the vibrant red color was just so festive and appropriate for the holidays!
And all bundled up to go outside!
DIY Tulip Dress. Available for custom order. Email me for info. Similar here & here
Aritzia Babaton Bromley Coat (review). Size XXS. Comes in a few other colors. I've been loving this coat because it's extra heavy and keeps me super warm. I'd say it is heavier & warmer than my J. Crew Lady Day Coat (review).  
H&M Faux Fur Scarf. Similar here.
Vince Camuto Bootie. Similar here.
F21 Crossbody. Similar here.  

I also did a little shopping this week and picked up a pair of strappy blue pumps & pointy color-blocking heels from the Piperlime sale. There's also the 72 hour Kate Spade event on ebay (ends Monday morning) and of course I had to take advantage and grab the primrose hill little kaelin crossbody. I've been eying this bag for the longest time and I can't believe it's on sale for only $126!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Self Indulgent

Decided to indulge and make a bias cut gown for myself!
DIY Bias Cut Gown - Available for custom order. Email me for info. (similar here, here + here)

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Etsy Shop + Chevron Skirt

Hi everyone! I have big news for you today! After much encouragement from friends and fellow readers, I have finally opened up my own etsy shop. You can purchase this flared chevron skirt that's made custom to your size and desired length. I love pockets and added that to the hips with stripes matching the skirt so it looks almost hidden. It has an invisible zipper at center back and blind hem at the bottom. The skirt can be purchased lined or unlined. I have enough fabric to make another skirt in the exact 1" stripe fabric shown below. The other available option are 1.5" stripe fabric in black + white or other colors (email me for other color choices).  I hope you like this skirt and please let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Cozy Fall Outfit

We had an Indian summer in San Francisco and have been enjoying beautiful sunny weather until this week. I feel a little unprepared for fall and feel ambushed by this chilly weather! When I leave my apartment during the evenings, I can see my breath and feel the crisp air cut into my skin. I have lived in SF for most of my life, but I have to say I just never got adjusted to the cold. I know, I know, I do complain about the cold all the time. If you’ve ever been into my apartment, you would know how much I like the heat. I was told by a recent visitor that her bf almost fainted due to the extreme heat in my apartment.  I guess I just like my apartment to feel like a tropical beach! Hopefully in the near future, I could move to somewhere where the weather is a constant 80 degrees so I could turn off the heat and save money on my electricity bill. Until then, I’ll just embrace the cold with a few cozy items that will keep me stylish and warm. 

I’ve always liked the idea of a sweatshirt dress because it’s sporty and girly – sounds like an oxymoron. Haha!  I’ve owned one before, but thought the fabric was too thick and made me look bulky so I eventually got rid of it. I really like this sweatshirt dress made of fleece because it fits close to the body and looks quite slimming at the same time. I added a no fuss faux fur vest for extra warmth and feel that this piece can be easily transitioned into SF winter and spring as well. I’ve been wanting a faux fur vest for the longest time, but my bf always gives me the thumbs down when I try it on. He says it reminds him of a sachsquatch! To keep my legs warm, I picked out these Reef winter moon boots with faux shearling. They kind of remind of a more refined version of the Ugg boots that I used to wear during college years. I know a lot of people think they’re ugly, but I still rock them…in my apartment (that is!) because I’m too embarrassed to wear them in public. Haha! I finished off the look with a satchel and arrowhead necklace because the colors in those two items really add pop to the outfit. And I just love the drop earrings because of the chevrons and think they would be cute with any outfit!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Love My Skirt

 I got this skirt  about a month ago and I have worn it at least a handful of times! I'm a little obsessed with it! The length and fit is great for petite ladies and the XS has a waist measurement of approx. 24.5".
F21 Circle Skirt. Size XS. Fully lined.
H&M Polka Dot Blouse. Similar
Armani Exchange Faux Fur Cardigan. Similar
Nine West Rocha Pumps (currently on sale!). Size 5. Ordered 1/2 size down.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More (P)leather Please

I had scraps of pleather left from my last DIY and couldn't let it go to waste. Of course I had to incorporate it into my new dress! ;) 
I commonly get asked where I buy my patterns or what kind of patterns I'm using. I draft all my patterns from scratch and they do take a long time to do accurately. To give you an idea of how long this dress took me to make: I spent 2 days drafting the pattern and 2 days to sew the dress. I do enjoy the process since I end up with a one of a kind dress that fits me the way I like. Also awhile ago, I complained about the invisible hem on my sewing machine and that the results were not completely invisible. Well I did the invisible hem by hand this time and I love it so much better!
DIY pleather dress. (similar here & here)
F21 Boxy Faux Leather Crossbody. I love love love this purse and wear it all the time!
Franco Sarto Sandals. (similar here)
F21 Necklace. (similar here)

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I've had this Free People utility jacket (left pic) for the longest time, but never really wore it because the sleeves were super long! They measured at 25" in length and my arms are only 21.5" long. Every time I wore the jacket, I would have to roll up the sleeves and then they'd eventually unroll throughout the day and I'd have to roll them back up again. So annoying! I've been wanting to change out the sleeves and didn't have the the right fabric, until recently when I found a pleather fabric that was thin enough to go through my little table top sewing machine!! I love this fabric and want to add pleather details to all my clothes now. :D
 Shop utility jackets with pleather sleeves
 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
H&M Top | AE Jeans (similar here in petite) | Asos Henley Sandals. Size 5. Runs 1/2 too big.

P.S. - In the last post, I mentioned ordering a circle pleather skirt from F21. I just got it and the size xs actually fits in the waist (measures at 24.5")! See pic here.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Pretty From The Inside

Hi everyone! I know it's been awhile since I've last posted. Hopefully you haven't forgotten about me. I've been super busy and haven't had time to shop, DIY or take pictures. Also, my serger jammed recently when I was trying to over-lock my friend's sweatshirt. I brought it to a local Brother dealership and they sure took their sweet time. I haven't DIY'ed much because I dislike making garments without over-locking the edges.
 Well, I remember a technique called the french seam which is great for really thin fabrics and makes the inside of your shirt look pretty and professional. This technique encapsulates the edges so you don't have raw edges hanging out (right pic below). It is pretty time consuming to finish your edges this way, but it's a nice alternative when you don't have a over-locking machine handy. I also played around with darts placement and moved it to the neckline rather than having it below the armhole.
DIY Blouse
F21 Circle Skirt. Similar here (in pleather) and also just ordered!
F21 Boxy Faux Leather Crossbody
Pour La Victoire Mai Wedge + other colors here. Size 5.5. RTTS.
Adorable custom name necklace thanks to The Hatters

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Always Remember To Layer

I wore this outfit over the weekend to run errands in and should have known better to layer up. Within SF, you can go into different neighborhoods and the temperature can vary up to 10 degrees. If you leave SF, the temperature and weather varies more drastically. There are days where the temp is in the low 60s, but neighboring cities are experiencing beautiful sunshine and 90 degrees. This outfit was definitely fine where I live, but once I left the city I felt so hot in this sweater! I should have layered a tank underneath so I could have taken off my sweater in anticipation of warmer weather. So a message to friends visiting me next month, bring clothes you can layer up in! ;)
H&M Sweater. Size XS. I was going to buy another one in a different color, but this dang thing snags so easily.
F21 Skinny Jeans. Size 24. Only $8!! Inseam 29, but I shortened it by about 2".
F21 Chevron Necklace. Similar here
 Michael Kors Python Tote. (Zip Top Version & MacBook Version)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Red Lipstick Story

When I was younger, my mom used to wear no makeup and JUST red lipstick. I thought it was absolutely the most jarring thing ever and said to myself "I'm never ever going to wear red lipstick." As I got older, I told my mom about my feelings regarding her red lipstick and she stopped wearing it eventually. What I didn't realize was that she never lined her lips and the red color would bleed all over her lips and it looked so messy and awful. I feel bad for saying this, but I seriously never wore red lipstick until now because of my mom.
I've seen red lipstick look so pretty on other girls, but I was always fearful so I've stayed away for many years. I have tried a number of red lipsticks, but never bought them because I thought the color was too dramatic and overwhelming for my pale skin. Well this week, after a couple of drinks at happy hour, I decided to go to the makeup counter and try on red lipstick. I thought I'd be a little more open minded with some alcohol running through my veins. Well I shocked myself and actually found a red lipstick I can stand wearing! LOL!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A New Challenge : DIY Cigarette Pants

I feel like I've made enough dresses over the past few months and wanted to give myself a new challenge. I decided to tackle pants because I have such a hard time finding ones that fit my smaller waist, bigger bum and short inseam. A few of you have asked me where I learned to sew and honestly a lot of my projects are from trial and error. I spent countless hours taking apart and re-sewing certain parts just because I couldn't get it right the first time. I had to redo the welt pockets a couple of times because it looked really messy on my initial try (see pic here). If I had extra fabric, I'd redo the knee area. I underestimated the knee line and should have lengthened it by probably an 1". Overall, I'm pretty happy with my first try and can't wait to make another pair of pants! If any readers have made pants before, please share your experience with me. :)
DIY Cigarette Pants - inspired by these  J. Crew Pants
Aritzia Blazer. (similar here - great reviews & inexpensive)
H&M yellow shell. (similar here)
Ann Taylor Pumps. (similar here)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Philosophy on Diet and Fitness

I had a reader ask me to write a post on diet and fitness and I've been contemplating for the longest time if I should really write one just because I'm not an expert on either subject. So this is definitely not "advice" on how to lose weight or become fit, this is simply a post on my philosophy on diet and fitness and what works for me.

When I was in college, my roommate and I took a couple of nutrition classes together and got really into health and fitness. I remember being kind of obsessed about it and eating so healthy and working out 4-5x a week. We'd count calories and read every nutrition label of the food we ate. This type of restrictive lifestyle eventually just got to be too much and made me a very unhappy person. So from that experience, I just know I'm not that type of person that can be on a strict diet or exercise regimen ever again.


I've been going to the gym pretty regularly now for the last 4-5 years. I have taken 3-4 month breaks during winter time and gotten back when spring season rolls along. It's not for any reason, but just the mere fact I get bored and lazy during the winter because it's so cold in SF and all I want to do is snuggle up with a blanket.

So I go to the gym 2x a week and I keep my routine super simple and easy!
  • I run 4 miles on the treadmill (takes me about 40 mins at a speed of 6.0 mph) or 
  • I go on the stairmill for 40 mins (on level 10-13)
  • If I'm not too tired after my run or being on the stair-mill, I'll do 3 set of crunches (15 each set) on an incline chair.
That's pretty much it! I switch between the treadmill and stairmill because running can be so hard on my knees. If I run too much, my joints will start to hurt! I've noticed that running really helps tone the calves while the stairmill is great for toning and giving the illusion of a nice bubbly lifted butt! I know I could do more, but I don't want to push myself too much. I know myself, and if I push too hard and overdo it I'd eventually stop going to the gym. I've had trainer say to me, Ping 2x a week at the gym will not do anything. Maybe it doesn't do much for me physically, but it makes me feel good mentally. 

In terms of weight, I've been 95lbs for the last 4-5 years. I used to be a few pounds skinnier before working out. I'm happy being my weight and personally don't think I need to loose or gain at this point.


If you follow me on instagram, you probably get a good idea of what I eat on a regular basis. I don't put any restrictions on what I eat, but I do eat everything in moderation and keep my portions relatively small. I remember a friend approached me years ago and said I am eating so healthy, but why am I not losing weight? I said it's because you are eating too much of it. Just because something is healthy, fat free, or low calorie, doesn't mean you can eat as much as you want.

To give you a better idea of my diet, here's what I eat and I never skip a meal!

For breakfast:
  • I normally eat 1 piece of wheat toast with peanut butter or 2 pieces of toast with butter. I like the peanut butter or just butter because both food items have fat to it and it keeps me full for hours. If ate things like cereal, oatmeal or just drank a smoothie, I'd be hungry in no time. So I do like to eat things that have fat to satiate my hunger.
For lunch:
  • I normally eat udon noodles (with an egg or 2) or a lean cuisine frozen entree just because it's quick and easy. It's also very light and doesn't make feel sleepy or tired. I also try to incorporate a piece of fruit like nectarine, apricot or mango just because it's good for my digestive system. ;)
  • I do eat out too sometimes, but really depends on my mood and if I feel like going out to get food.
For dinner:
  • Dinner is when me and my bf eat together! We just eat whatever we feel like that night. It depends on where we go, but if a restaurant offers big portions we'd just order an appetizer and 1 entree to share between us. If I feel like dessert, I will order it too and make my bf share it with me. Go check out my instagram for a better idea of what we eat!
To give you an idea of my portion size, anytime there is an option for a small size I will order it over the normal size. For example, I always opt for a small latte with soy milk rather than the venti latte with regular milk. Or I'll get a small bowl of noodles instead of the large and save room for dessert or a boba drink afterwards. If me and my bf go to McDonald, we'll share a double cheeseburger meal and a side order of 6 pieces nuggets and we always opt for non-sweeten ice tea instead of soda. Although I like sweet things, I'm just not a fan of soda (I know, it's weird). Another food item I don't eat is corn, but I eat everything else. I'm not a big snacker through out the day, but I do like items like chocolate, candy and ice dream after dinner.

Like I've said in the beginning, I'm not an expert on diet or fitness! My doctor will probably yell at me if she knew what I ate, but at least my vital stats are great! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Asos Strappy Heels

Hey guys! I have a quickie review for you from my last Asos order.
Free People Seamless Medallion Bodycon Dress. Size XS/S. Runs really small and hugs every curve like a bandage dress!


5 - runs 1/2 size too big
5 - runs 1/2 size too big
5 - runs 1/2 size too big

Heel Height and Width of Footbed 
4" / 3.25"
4.5" / 3"
4.5" / 3"

I am keeping this pair because it's the most comfortable compared to the Hollywood and Hoxton. I like that there's no backing to these sandals and therefore won't scratch the back of my heels. I also like the wider footbed and that the straps do not squeeze my toes. 
I am returning this pair due to the heel height. The 1/2 inch makes such a difference. I feel like I can barely stand still or walk in these shoes which is not a good sign! I also do not like how the straps squeeze my pinky toes. There's also space between my foot and the backing of the heels which causes my foot to slide back and forth!
I am also returning these for the same reason that I'm returning the Hollywood. I also feel that the Hoxton straps felt really tight and were the most uncomfortable out of the 3.