Tuesday, May 5, 2009
These days, apart from doing those regular house chores I've been trying to polish my sewing skills. In ancient traditional China (especially during the dynasty era) it's a must for all women to know how to sew. Basically back then, there were four skills all noble women must know in order to stay in the high ranks of the aristocratic society. The four skills are known as 琴棋书画 (qing qi shu hua) or in English it's translated as strings (musical instrument), chess (Chinese Chess), books (literature) and art(sewing AND painting included). Now during those times, only the rich can afford to teach their children all four skills and it is these skills young maiden are tested to show their worthiness of marrying someone of the same social ranks or higher. However today, these so called requirements have become hobbies for some people while the majority of society seems to forget them all together.
As usual, I get my cloths from that Japaneses second-hand store -MF Mart. For a brand new 1.5 feet x 32 feet 100% cotton cloth, I only paid MYR5 (about USD1.40). Based on the original labels on the cloth, it was meant for sewing a yukata or Japanese summer kimono. But instead of sewing a yukata robe, I've other plans for it which I'll post it once I'm done. I've also bought some curtains (also MYR5 each), but modify it into cushion pillow cases instead. And since my hubby had bought me a big plastic box, I can use it to store all the cloths when not in use. In the mean time, I'm borrowing my father-in-law's sewing machine and while we scout for a suitable sewing machine for our home. Most electrical stores here no longer sell sewing machines because it's not in demand. So to look for one in the first place is difficult let alone choose the style we want.
Honestly, my sewing skills isn't very good and sewing a straight line can be a daunting task for me (unless predrawn the cloth with a pencil). And silky materials like polyester and nylon just makes it all worse! So I try to stick to cotton and only sew basic items like pillow cases. While I make an effort to learn some skills it's quite sad to know that modern parents only think of sending their children from one tuition center to another tuition center just for a string of As during exams. Or some parents in the city will send their children to special classes instead of teaching themselves basic skills like changing water taps, sewing or even cooking. What's worse I've know of friends of friends who's mother still buys for them their undergarments! Anyway, with such a person who highly depends on his mother just makes it all harder for him (or her) to find a spouse...
About the photograph above, I've used macro mode, ISO-80, with small focus point (spot metering mode) and NO flash. I then point the focus onto the red-colored number 112. Extra lighting is used which I used my hand phone (Sony Ericsson's W810i) and shine onto the measuring tape.