Interview: Emcee Couture!

Mei Chi of Emcee Couture is a designer and seamstress who designs her own pieces and takes custom-made orders. I first found her site a few weeks ago, and was enamoured by her Infinity BodyCon Dress- have a look, isn't it the most versatile party dress you've ever seen? 

When I saw this, I just thought that I had to meet this girl! Mei Chi was nice enough to return my email and to my absolute amazement, agreed to do an interview. She specialises in making the most gorgeous bridesmaid dresses, and every week she creates a dress of her own design. Absolutely in awe. 

You blog at Emcee Couture. What is the story behind this name?

Well, My name is Mei Chi. So I wanted something that sounded like my initials ‘MC’ , and Couture meaning dressmaking in French. So it’s really just me, doing what I love best =)

What made you first get into sewing? 

When I was younger, I was always fond of making/creating things. So sewing is really one of my favourite ways of executing it. I did quite a bit of role playing as a part of my growing up in the past. I remember making myself a pair of gloves because I was playing an 80’s superstar.

As I grew older, due to the fact that I’m quite petite, I started encountering fitting problems. Dresses’ armholes which are too big for me, or a knee-length dress would end up being a midi dress (midi wasn’t cool back then!) I was frustrated! And of course there were things that I (or my mother, more precisely), felt unwilling to pay for. It just came to me – “I can totally make that!”

So then I started off with my first piece, a smocked off-shoulder top. And after that, I can’t stop finding things that I’d love to try and make. After all, which girls don’t need a new cute dress each week?

What is your most favourite project so far?

It’s really hard to pick one, and I find that my favourite projects are always one of the most recent ones.

Any particular designers who inspire you?

Hmm… I don’t really have one in particular.

What is your design process? Please share how you work your ideas into reality.

More often than not, I get ideas from everywhere! Magazines, TV, the internet etc. I’ll picture it in my head with the details, the colours, the materials and the techniques to be used in each step of making.

When they (my ideas) more structured, I’ll start to doodle and sketch. To be honest, this isn’t really my best skill (sketching) but it solidifies the ideas pretty well. By then, I have a clearer idea of which techniques to use in order to create a certain effect. Next, I’ll draft the paper patterns, followed by cutting them up. Then it will be sewing time!

What does a working regular day look like at Emcee Couture?

I start my day with reading the mail and answering some of them. Then I’ll start working on the orders. I’ve grown to like sewing in the morning recently as I find it quite productive this time of the day. Once a week I use this time to draft new projects.

After I’ll take some time off for lunch and TV or the Internet. I resume with some cutting and more sewing later in the afternoon. Some days of the afternoons are spent trying out new skills, materials, techniques in new creations. This is my favourite time! =)

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on two sets of bridesmaids dresses and some orders. Oh! I have constructed a blazer last week, and I was delighted with the result. It was my first, really did not expect it to seems “proper enough” and wearable =) These blazers are suited to Malaysian hot and humid weather. (Yes, above 30 degrees thoughout the year and that still doesn’t stop us from putting on a blazer just because it’s trendy!)

Will we be able to see this soon?

I update every week! And most of the time I can’t resist updating as soon as it is completed! So yes, each update is indeed freshly baked!!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

With kids on my back, cooking freshly made pasta with basils from my garden! Kidding! Truth is I can’t be sure! There are a lot of things that I feel strongly upon, and I do hope that I’ll get the opportunity to try many different things in life. What is to be certain is that, dressmaking will still be a part of me whether in 10,40 or 50 years time.

Who knows if I’m lucky, I’ll be a Dietitian with a fashion clothing line. I’m different that way =)

Do you sell your work? Where can we buy it?

Yes!! My website is Emcee Couture- I accept Paypal and ship worldwide, drop by to have a look see! =) I'm thinking about putting them up on Etsy too in the near future! Also I’m currently looking for stockists preferable in Australia, so if you like what I’m doing, feel free to contact me so we can discuss something.

Thank you Mei Chi! x

If you enjoyed this brief preview of Mei Chi's line, have a closer look at more at Emcee Couture! Thank you Mei Chi for taking the time to be interviewed. I love your creations and I hope to see more of your beautiful dresses and designs in Australia in the future. 

Sorry For Party Rocking

My brother is a finalist for LMFAO's poster design comp :O! Voting is by Facebook 'likes' so if you have the time please visit​sk=app_150770805002878 and if you like it, "like" the design 
by 'vtim' :D

Every one of these dancers were drawn by Tim individually. 

DIY: Handbag Wallet Protector

It was my 22nd birthday this weekend, and my boyfriend gave me a Prada wallet (with some jazz CDs, flowers and a sweet card).

I've never received anything so nice, and I was so excited that I quickly transferred all my cash to the new wallet and threw out my old (10 years!) wallet at the restaurant. And touted it around happily the next day. Till I realised that there was a little blob of glue on it.

My brother scratched it off for me as I watched and winced.

Well it's a very nice wallet and I'm hoping to use it for a fairly long time- another decade at least. So in the meantime I made a little pocket to protect my precious Prada commodity- using the fabric in which the wallet was wrapped when I first received it.

Here's how you can make a dowdy wallet protector. It will protect your expensive purse in two ways:

 1) by covering it from the dust and uncapped pens in your handbag and;
 2) keeping the brand hidden from potential snitches.

(As you can probably tell, I love my new wallet so much I'm protecting it like a baby. Charlie was a bit weirded out and is waiting to see how long I will stay with this system).

Please read all instructions before starting :)

STEP 1: Layout your fabric with the wallet on top. Make sure you have enough fabric to cover the wallet and cut off the excess. We're using these to make the sides.
STEP 2: Fold your fabric over the wallet like so, marking with a pin.
STEP 3: Remove your wallet. With the excess fabric you cut off before, lay it on the side of your 'pocket'.
STEP 4: Pin.
STEP 5: Stand your wallet on the excess strip to measure how wide your sides will need to be.
STEP 6: Give it a little bit of room (say, if you had coins or on those days when your wallet's bulkier than usual). Pin to mark
STEP 7: Nah, this is just a picture to show you what it should look like so far.
STEP 8: Flip over your pocket to the back.
STEP 9: Fold over your side strip so that the pin you marked in Step 6 meets the edge of the back of the pocket.
STEP 10: Pin.
STEP 11: Cut off the excess.
STEP 12: Use the excess fabric you just cut off and measure against the side you just pinned.
STEP 13: Pin to the other side and cut off the excess if needed.
STEP 14: Check if your wallet fits!
STEP 15: Hand stitch the sides to your pocket.

I used a ribbon to tie mine but have since removed it since the flap seems to stay closed in my bag.

The only embarrassing thing is taking out the pocket, then my wallet, then the cash at the register.

I'm not sure how long I'll use my pocket for- but while my wallet still feels new, I want to keep it looking like this for as long as I can :D

Thank you Dibs and Free Range Please for following! Welcome to JLTFK! Feel free to email me to introduce yourselves :)