A new dress made for SF trip

Last month, my husband and I put the doggies in boarding, and took a weekend trip to San Francisco for a friend’s wedding. We both grew up in the Bay Area (Cupertino!) so going back to norcal is always a treat for us.


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I bought this fabric from Fabric.com about 2 years ago. I’m not sure, but I wanted to turn it into a dress ever since I bought the fabric. But procrastination got the best of me–I even finished tracing and adjusting the pattern in the previous week before actually sitting down to sew.

 

 

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I love the brightness of yellow, and big bold print.

 

 

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Colette Patterns “Lily” dress

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Introducing.. Colette Patterns Lily dress!

This took just ONE day to make it. I loved the pattern and I”m glad I decided to do contrasting side panels instead of contrasting flaps.

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Fabric: (solid) light gray cotton/poly poplin, 1.5yds; (print) cotton quilting fabric “Asian” print, 1.5 yds

Last Saturday, I made a trip out to downtown LA and did a little fabric shopping in the Fashion District. One of my usual stops is of course, Michael Levine store. I came to know the store because they also carry a decent selection of yarns. But since I started sewing, this has been one of the first stops I make in Fashion District. Yes, the fabrics here aren’t as cheap as other places but they have really good selection and they’re all labeled, priced, and organized. And there are cutters everywhere. you pay a little premium for the service. If you know exactly what you need, try exploring other places but if you’re looking to be inspired or you’re in a hurry, go here!

 

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as always, Colette Patterns offer really great instructions and clever way of sewing things. I loved the flap detail on this dress. It’s a small bit of retro in a otherwise very functional dress. I can definitely see myself wear this to work on Casual Fridays with a cardigan or to someone’s wedding (OMG I think all my friends decided to get married or engaged this year! Happy for them, but I need outfits!)

 

 

wanabelle100: The Story Behind my online ID

A couple of weeks ago, I found an interview on MarlyBird’s podcast with Sarah Wilson, aka The Sexy Knitter. Sarah is one of the co-moderators I work with on the Designer forum on Ravelry.

Sarah’s interview was heavy on the topic of how she came to be The Sexy Knitter and women’s body issues in general.

As you probably know already, I have a lot to say about women’s sizes in America. (and I know, my opinion is not always the “popular” one.)

I had to work very hard to feel ok with my size (note that I used “ok” as oppoased to “accept” or “good”).

Sarah’s interview gave me the courage to share my story on why my online alias has always been “wanabelle100,” and how it came to be.

About 10 years ago, I was away from home for college. I have always been very conscious about my size and dieting, thanks to starting ballet at a very young age. My first weightloss diet was when I was 7 because my dance teacher said that I was too big for my age. I grew up thinking that I was fat, and that I had to constantly diet, unless I hit that certain number on the scale. I was good in school, but the best compliment for me was my relatives commenting on how much weight I lost.

So when I was in college, I felt like I had the control over my dieting. And I went crazy with it.

For 2.5 years that I was in college, I constantly starved myself and tried numerous diet pills. I joined the largest pro-Ana websites at the time (now defunct) and needed a completely new online identity to hide behind. I couldn’t chance my family and friends find out about what I was doing.

So I came up with wanabelle100 = wanna be belle (pretty) 100. The number 100 represented 100% and 100 lbs, which to me at the time was the perfect number for me. This concept of becoming “perfect” was important to me. I felt really good working towards a goal, and felt almost superior that I was managing to do this while people around me “failed.”

I think those 2.5 years were the PEAK of my dangerous dieting. When I graduated and moved back home, I couldn’t do that much anymore because 1) my mom cooked for me and 2) I hit the rock bottom and was really sick. I slowly began to think that maybe there was something wrong with my way of thinking about my body and that I wanted to change. I finally felt that maybe I didn’t have the complete control over my dieting… Instead, the dieting took control over ME.

The journey wasn’t easy. Changing my way of thinking was that hardest and the longest part of the journey. Several times in the past 10 years, I have gone back to my old dangerous habits, and each time regretted it and each time got harder.

And why did I keep my alias? I’m not sure… I think a part of me has always thought that the wanabelle100 side of me was the superior side–someone who is in complete control and disciplined. Another part of me missed the old days when I felt like I was in control. The rest of me wanted to keep reminding myself of my past. There are still many pro-Ana websites and I’m still involved. I’m happy to say that I haven’t gone back to my dangerous habits in the past 2 years. It is a constant battle, and every “clean” year is an accomplishment.

But I feel that this year, my last year as a 20-something, is a good time to put an end to my past, and move onto the new chapter of my life. It has been a life-changing 10 years, I have learned a lot, but I also don’t want to dwell on my past too long and get stuck.

I am slowly making changes to my online identities. For example, I have changed my blog’s name to JDKnitter few years ago. Few weeks ago, I changed my Ravelry ID from wanabelle100 to JeanChungDesigns. My twitter handle is still wanabelle100 but I’m moving on to my new business venture, Candy+Bagel and created a new handle @candybagel on Twitter, and @candyandbagel on Instagram.

I’m making amends and becoming more and more comfortable forgiving my past and letting go of my anger and shame.

Candy + Bagel is now live!

Candy + Bagel is now live!

02/17/2014

After months of planning, Candy + Bagel is now live! 

I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, or whether this was a good idea, but I just know that if I don’t do this now, I’ll regret it forever!

When I turned 29 last November, my resolution was to thoroughly enjoy my last year as a 20-something.

One of the things I wanted to do in my 20s was to own my own business, and share my passion with other people who have been so supportive. 

Handknitting/hand spinning may seem antiquated and almost insane in the 21st century, but like all good things in life, I believe thoughtfully-made clothes and accessories never go out of fashion. If you have ever tried on clothes someone else made by hand, just for you, you know that special feeling. Like you have been wrapped into a warm hug. 

That’s the feeling I want to capture in everything I make for Candy & Bagel shop. That love I feel when I hold Candy and Bagel in my arms, and the warmth and pride I feel when I put on my handmade clothing. I hope my customers will share that special feeling with me.

None of the Candy & Bagel products is made with materials made in China. Fibers are finest materials from Peru, Uruguay,Turkey and USA.