Category Archives: juebejue’s Dad sews

Juebejue’s Dad sews – the furniture edition

My dad doesnt just sew – he makes furnitures! So one of the things he made was two couches that we used for as long as I could remember until I was at least 12 (had to leave them behind for grandparents when we moved). pic037 pic045 pic049 pic054

As you can see, he didnt have a picture of the couches specifically, but you can appreciate all the work that went into making those curved arm and piping for the edges from those shots, right? I still dont quite understand how he made those professional looking couches with the tools available back in the days – he made the whole thing, not just the slipcovers!

Juebejue’s Dad sews for my Mom

Here’s some of the stuff my dad made for my mom:






I am pretty sure he made both the tops and bottoms in all the pictures above 🙂 Its amazing that such a selfish seamstress (me) was born out of such a selfless seamster, no?? 🙂

Juebejue’s Dad Sews

Its been a while since I posted anything sewn by my dad back in the days. Here’s a few!

Red dress my dad made for me:


Layered skirt he made:


He made summer dress for me and a shirt for my grandma:


Poncho coat he made for me, with matching hat!


Its literally been decades since he made those for me to wear – funny thing is, i still remember how the fabric feels and how happy I was getting those clothing made for me – and I dont remember any of my store-bought clothing!

Juebejue’s Dad Buys A Vintage Sewing Machine!

Oh my goodness you gals/guys, I have the most awesome dad a seamstress can ask for. One day at 9:30am I got a call from my dad. “Hey, I see this old sewing machine for sale for $20 bucks, it looks pretty good and still works, its a P-F-A-F-F 362, do you want me to buy it for you?” Just a week ago I was cleaning up my sewing room and told myself to get off the habit of collecting old sewing machines, since I rarely touch them after working on them. But this seems like just too good of a deal to pass up!

That night I went to check out the new machine, and wow, I am floored by how silent and smooth it runs. It even come with the original manual and a case! The most awesome part – my dad’s as geeked out as I am about this machine 🙂 He googled about it a bunch, and found out what its really worth (lets just say, a lot more than $20!).



So this machine is not sitting in my collection yet. It doesnt require any fixing (and even if it does, my dad is more capable than me at that sort of stuff), and the Singer I gave/loaned to him does not run nearly as perfect/silent/smell-free as this one. He still needs a machine for utility sewing these days since I broke the very old brother we had (also from flea market, but it was a more present-day machine) when I first started sewing. So he’s going to use this one until… maybe until he runs into another great vintage machine 😀 😀

Juebejue’s Dad Sews

It’s been almost two years since I posted anything dad related! Last Father’s day reminded me that I still have a lot of things to post. So here’s one!



I know I know, it just so happens that the years when my dad was interested in sewing, I sported a boy’s haircut. I remember wearing this drop waist dress when playing with some kids near where my grandparents lived in hangzhou. Dad was trying hard to get a good photo of the dress with me running around like crazy.



Here’s dad and I 🙂 I never noticed it before but when I was looking through all the pictures, I noticed that in the ones I take with my dad, I am always smiling/laughing more.


The haul from China

I have the most awesomest parents, ever! They just came back from a two week trip to China, and my dad visited one of the whole sale markets near my grandparents. The whole place is HUGE, and all they sell is sewing related stuff in bulk! Its basically Costco for seamstresses.

And here’s some stuff he got for me from there. There’s a few trims that I probably would not ever use (the colorful ones). But the earthtoned trims are just AWESOME. That plus bamboo jersey = cute and flowy tops and dresses!

There’s tones of snap buttons, velco, elastics, laces, and colorful threads 🙂 I remember when I was little, whenever my parents come back from their business trips, I would always have  a fun time rummaging through their suitcase for my gifts. now 20 years later, its still the same way 🙂  (adding cute outfits for little kaylee, of course).

My dad promised some pictures of the “costco”. He said that he couldnt get through half of the place cos it was so big. That is saying something about the place, as my dad has quite the stamina for shopping!

Juebejue’s Dad’s Sewing Book!

My family may not have bought all the wonderfully sewn garments my dad made to the states, but we did bring over his favorate sewing books. I thought I would show you how patterns are like in China as they are quite different from the patterns we usually use.

book #1: Toyko Summer Outfits

It features Japanese girls in some color outfits. the shapes are pretty boxy and not quite my thing. However, it comes with 100 patterns! 100! and they are not just variants of eachother. Of course, take a look at their patterns:

You have to draw them out and “draft” the patterns yourselves. But with the detailed guidelines, i think it could be easier than fitting muslins onto oneself and drafting them. It could also fit better than using the conventional patterns, where you have to guess your fit by folding the height lines to make them shorter, adjusting the sizes for chest, waist, hips according to different measurements, etc.

Note the lack of directions! On every pattern there’s a few words on how much fabric you need, and maybe 1 sentence of tips/notes on making the dress! I personally dont mind it, as I never read directions anyway. But I can see a lot of people having trouble with this!

Though I disliked most of the patterns when I looked at the photos, they looked much more appealing on drawing. You can still see the emphasis on the strong shoulders in most of the pattern though! The page I should had a dress(48) that somewhat reminded me of vogue patterns, if you soften the shoulder!

Book #2: The awesome book (j/k, its awesome, but the real name is ” New Method of Tailoring — the D way to tailor,Shanghai  whatever “D” means)

This book is the bomb! It doesnt have any colored photos inside, but it comes with a general knowledge on sewing, 32 men’s patterns, 57 Women’s patterns, 34 children’s pattern, 17 pants (yes, separate section just for pants) patterns, and hat, shoes (!?), and gloves. As the previous book, they are not wishy-washy about their patterns. They are truely differently patterns, and not just a variant of each other.

Despite the dominance of big shoulders on the cover page, the patterns actually looked normal. There are some pretty classic patterns –trench coat, motocycle jacket, princess seams, riding jacket, tuxedos, you name it. If I chose to, I think I can actually take quite a few patterns from here and make some pretty updated garments! But of course, the pattern drafting part looks pretty intimidating.

What I love about this book, is that its probably made for a pro-tailor. All the patterns are drafted according to every measurements — height, height of your body, chest, waist, hips, shoulder length, arm length, neck width, etc..There is a small section on ow to alter patterns for older people, as their body shape is different. There are actually a lot of fashionable clothing for men. It was a pity that my dad didnt sew any for himself!

The books were not super cheap — about 7 chinese dollars each and my dad bought it in the early 90s. I would think its equivalent to about 50-60 dollars relative to our earnings here now? But they are pretty darn and worth it 🙂 Here are some patterns they had for your enjoyment. Click on the photos for bigger pictures! If you ever feel extremely adventurous and knows how to read chinese, you can use those pictures as a pattern!

There are a few patterns in there that I would love to make. However, I would need to get help from my dad to decipher some of the stuff!

I wonder if old sewing books from the US is as stripped of how-tos and full of technical drawing as these chinese books. These days I see a lot of sewing books with a extraordinarily amount of tutorial, details how to, stuff that I pretty much learnt from making mistakes and experimenting. Perhaps it is because sewing had skipped a few generations — not many people are lucky enough to have mothers or fathers who sews challenging garments, and thus our generation has a voracious appetite for sewing knowledge!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this rare glimpse into vintage chinese sewing! 🙂

Juebejue’s Dad Sews

Its been a while since I posted one of my dad’s creations! Here is a dress that  he made for my mom:

My dad said this is his favorite creation, it was too bad that he didn’t take a full body photo of it! It looks very flowy and comfortable, and I love white flowy dresses! My mom is posing under our grape vine, which my dad and grandpa planted and fruited delicious grapes (along with lots of fat worms, which I played with a lot 😛 ).

This dress actually remind me of this burda pattern here.

How I wish my mom took this dress with her when we moved! Its too bad that summer is gone — perhaps I will make one next spring/summer!

For those on the north hemisphere, are you still sewing dresses? Or are you jumping to the fall/winter wool skirts and coats?

Juebejue’s Dad Sews – the 80s shoulder pads

While I wish I still had some outfits made by dad, there are some trends that I just dont think I can ever pull off. That is the notorious big should pads, from the power women of the 80s (or in this case, 90s in China).

(YES, THAT IS A REAL SNAKE!!! We didnt realise there was a snake right there until we looked at this photo carefully 10 years later!)

Despite the big shoulders, these suits are so well tailored and beautifully finished. I am quite jealous of my dad’s patience and skills, which I definitely lack.

On the other hand, I lately hear the rumor that big shoulders are back. According to some websites, it can balance out pear shaped body types. Regardless, the big shoulders in the 80s started small and people laughed it off, but eventually became a full blown pandemic that cannot be ignored. Will I eventually dome a big shouldered jacket (I hope that is as far as I will push it), hmm…

(photo credit, instyle)

What do you think, readers? will you go back to the big shouldered look? Burdastyle 12/2009/overblouse108 actually had a big shouldered pattern (tall only), which didnt look half bad! (but definitely slightly ridiculous to me…)

Juebejue’s Dad sews #2

As mentioned in a previous post, my dad is a really talented tailor. Most of time he follows a pattern, but sometimes he dreams something up and after some fabric tearing, frantic sewing, and comes up with dreamy stuff like this:

That is an old photo of my mom modeling a beautiful skirt dad made for her, isnt she so pretty? (And that top, it is so in style RIGHT NOW!) According to mom, dad bought two pieces of fabric, one with blueish patterns and one pure white. When he got home, he proceeded to tear them into tiny squares, which bewildered my grandpa — why would someone tear a whole piece of fabric into scrapes?! But dad then painstakingly sew each squares together, with small laces between each layers, and tada! He created a timeless piece for my mom.

This is probably my favorite thing out of all the outfits dad made for mom. I used to wear it on my head so I can pretend I have long white hair. Almost twenty years later, I conveniently inherited this skirt from mom since its more age appropriate for me.  This is the only piece of creation we kept throughout the years of moving around. We carried it from China, then to Singapore, then to here in the UC. It is probably one of the most sentimental piece of clothing I have. I only wear it during special occasions, like my high school graduation:

And last weekend, I decided to have my husband take a few photos of me in this skirt:

As you can see, the elastic waistband had aged so much that it is sitting on my hips instead of waist. I like the style anyhow — I felt like a belly dancer! Dad had the foresight of sewing casing for the elastic band, so all I need to do is take out the old elastic band and insert new ones! Perhaps one day, my daughter would be wearing this as well! (Lets hope the polyester doesnt yellow with age!)

Do you have anything you wear that is passed down from your parents? Or even more impressive, your grandparents?