Pink Potpourri- arrives in Kimchi Land

안녕하세요! Greetings from Seoul! Yes we’re finally here!

I have been counting down to do this post. Here’s presenting to you my first holiday collection for my twins, Pink Potpourri.

This collection was inspired by the hanbok 한북 ( traditional korean dress; clothing from the Joseon period) , Qipao 旗袍 and Changshan 长衫 (both are chinese traditional costumes for female and male respectively).

I wanted the twins to don in something korean ( twin’s virgin trip to Korea) and yet have some Chinese elements in it (yes, we’re Singaporean Chinese). So here’s my mish mash of the 2!

CHAR’s Dress

I am totally in love with this dress! Here’s Char in it. ( This photo is so vogue don’t you think?)

This was my first attempt in designing a totally new dress from scratch. It was altered along the way for practicality and Char’s comfort. Below is a shot of the first sketch I had of her dress.

The TOP

Initially, the top of the dress was almost haltered like. Char had tops previously which had cut in sleeves; she looked adorable in them. However, the high collar, a common sight in qibaos ;which I wanted for the TOP might make it too stifling for my little girl; I decided to opt for a looser fit. The final design: sleeveless, high collared but looser neckline TOP for the dress.

TOP deconstructed: Floral Fabric, Bias tape, Frog buttons

The Cotton fabric which I used for Char’s dress was quite thin. I double layered the floral cotton fabric ( TOP) and ruby cotton fabric for the skirt before sewing the parts together.

Process of doing the TOP

As you can see from above, the process was tedious. I had my first go with bias tape edging. Having so many curve parts did not help as well. I took a week to get this TOP together. (This was done in the wee hours, after putting the kids to bed at night).

Getting the Skirt down

I decided on a bright coloured ( Ruby) , Long full length gathered skirt for the dress. Like the hanbok Chima 치마, which was usually gathered or pleated from a rectangular piece of fabric into the waist band; I did the skirt of the dress similarly. However, the waist band is hidden internally in the dress.

I decided on a gathered lining for the skirt as well. The weather in Seoul now is quite hot as we’re in the midst of summer. Therefore, Cotton Voile was the chosen fabric for my skirt.

Before sewing my gathered skirt close, I attached a hidden zipper to it. I wanted the dress to be easily worn and taken of as I did it according to Char’s body measurements for a good fit.

Hidden snap buttons were also sewn to the side of the TOP so that my little girl could slip in and out of the dress with no struggle.

Here’s the dress itself, in it’s full glory

I couldn’t help but did a matching 배씨댕기( baessidaeng-gi), a traditional hair ornament worn with the hanbok; inspired head piece for Char. (Read my earlier post 배씨댕기 DIY tutorial)

Elli’s TOP

Boys being boys, 2 year old boys to be exact, are never going to let u get a desired photo of them. This was the best I could for a self portrait. This photo doesn’t show the best of the shirt I did, but at least the best of little Elli. Cheeky but adorable.

His shirt is a replica of the pineapple frenzy shirt I did previously. This time I added a contrasting trimming for the sleeves. I sew frog buttons to his shirt to complement char’s dress. My modern take on a Changshan.

Putting the shirt together

Hand sewn frog buttons

Here’s a tip with Frog Buttons, if you decide to sew them on your garments. Frog buttons by the way are ornamental fasteners used commonly in Chinese traditional costumes. It consists of 2 parts, namely the button and the loop. When sewing them down, I find it so much easier to use fabric glue to fuse them to my desired position on my fabric before securing them by sewing.

A Quirky Twist to the Changshan

You can see from the above, I used the similar flora fabric from Char’s dress for Elli’s shirt; contrasting fabric for the collar and the sleeves trimming. Peach coloured frog buttons were used to give a softer look to it.

Unfortunately, my serger broke down before I could get Elli’s pants done, right before my trip. I was pretty upset as I had his pants, baji 바지 korean inspired in mind. His Zara maroon jeans couldn’t be a better match though. It added a updated look to his outfit.

As promised previously, I will be flooding this posts with shots of them in my holiday collection. So, here goes.

The following shots were taken at Gyeongbokgung Palace 경복궁 , and Bukchon Village Seoul.

Char’s little Dance outside the palace

Getting Curious what’s inside the Royal Courts

Searching for Oppa in the Palace

Mama and her little girl

Their first encounter at Bukchon Village

Finally,Bingsu 빙수 to cool down a hot day

Our first day out at Seoul was filled with joy, tears ( unexpected tantrums all the time) and surprises;on our way back to the hotel from Bukchon, we chanced upon a cat cafe. The kids were thrilled. We spent a good hour in there playing with cats.

I am crossing my fingers and praying that we will have more good times ahead of this vacation. It was a dream come true to bring the kids here to Seoul.