Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chinese Food Plushies and 70s Fashion

During my super-short trip to SF this last weekend, I didn't get to do a whole lot other than attend my friend's wedding. No time for fabric shopping or anything like that, but that's okay, since I'll be going back again this weekend! My brother has a wedding to attend this time, and I'm tagging along for the ride since my husband will be up to his ears in business. He loves his MBA program, but there sure is a lot of reading, problem sets, study groups, and other official-sounding things.

While I was back home, though, I did get to do two things I've been meaning to do. I was able to snap pictures of the Chinese food plushies that I made my parents for the parental appreciation portion of our wedding. In most weddings I've been to, the newlyweds give flowers to their parents during the ceremony as a sign of respect and thanks. Well, considering that my parents were traveling back to the Bay Area the next day, I didn't want to give them something so perishable. Also, my dad's allergic to flowers. So instead, I made them plushies of the foods I most associate with them. Because, you know, Chinese people are all about food.
For my mom: a felt tray of dimsum (a 砵仔糕, which is a sticky red bean pudding, and a steamed BBQ pork bun), not to scale.
This is what the puddings look like in real life. Mmmmmmm. I think most people know what 叉燒包, the pork buns, look like.

For my dad: a steamed salmon steak with ginger and scallions. I was so excited to find the perfect color fleece, although the salesperson did look at me funny when I bought salmon-colored fleece, silver spandex, and green felt.

Back when I was in college (actually, she still does this now), every time I came home my mom would go out early on Saturday morning to get dim sum to go so that I could wake up at 11 and have my favorite Chinese foods for brunch. Aren't moms awesome? As for my dad, he has a very limited cooking repertoire, most of which is random things that sounded good to him at the time (let's stir fry every vegetable in the fridge together...with walnuts!). But one thing he does actually do well is steamed salmon. My dad and I both looooove ginger, which no one else in the family seems to do as much, so that means that I usually get all the leftovers to myself!

The second thing I got to do was talk to my mom about sewing! In the past, she's only seen me sew plushies (like the above, although she didn't actually see me sewing these) or other ridiculous things. Well, recently I told her about this blog, and she was surprised (pleasantly, I hope) to see all the dresses I've been making. She said she'd try to dig up her old sewing notes to see if I could make sense of them, so I'm super excited about that! She also looked over my dress and was actually pleased with its construction. She also showed me some old pictures of clothing that she made herself as a young woman in Hong Kong. Apparently, one of her friend's father was an amazing tailor, so her group of friends all learned from him. The funny thing is, she said she mostly made dress shirts and pants "because they're so easy." Um. I guess we have different opinions about easy, since the thought of collars and all those buttons and fitting pants scares me to death. Dresses are easy. Anyway, here are some of her pictures. I know, taking pictures of pictures is so gauche, but I didn't have a scanner.

My mom made the dress shirt. Isn't she gorgeous? I totally had a complex when I was in middle school and thought I was ugly. I totally identified with Laura Ingalls, Meg Murry, and every other heroine who's ever had a gorgeous mom.
She made this awesome 70s dress with cute trim and great neckline detail.
Pants! Also, we look incredibly alike in this picture. Err, I mean, I look like she did in the picture. You know what I mean.

More pants! Incredible 70s bell-bottoms.
Like I said, she made lots of pants. I got mad at her for not saving all her clothes. Then again, she would've had to move it all from Hong Kong.
Hopefully next weekend I'll be able to get her notes about sewing and get some fabric shopping in as well!


  1. Wow, your mom is so beautiful! You look a lot like her (especially in the last two photos)! I love that she finally got to see your blog. You have been doing some amazing work! I also love that your dad used to stir fry with walnuts!!

  2. Hee, more awesome plushies! The pictures of your mom are great - my mom is about the same age (based on the fashion), and also made a ton of clothes in the 70s. She also recently told me to make shirts for my husband - "they're so easy!" Yeah, right. Can't figure that one out either. Were collars and button plackets magically easier to sew back then? Am I missing something? Um, yeah, I'll keep going with the dresses, thank you.

  3. @Shayna Thank you for all your encouragement, Shayna! Yes, my dad tries to stir fry everything.

    @aleah Yeah, I think something about the 70s made dress shirts easier? Haha thanks for validating me on dresses.

  4. Your mother is gorgeous. You do look like her :)


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