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Sewing in Singapore

photo (11)

Helloo guys! I’m extremely excited and honored to be guest posting while Maddie is away. Maddie has always been an inspiration and I’m always encouraged by reading her blog to continue learning and practicing my craft.

I’m Adeline and I live in sunny Singapore with my husband and my little 8 months old bub. I started sewing when I was much younger but lost the interest along the way and only re-kindled my passion in the last couple of years. And that’s when I found this entire sewing community that I’m so glad to be part of. I thought it might be interesting to share about the local sewing scene as compared to the States.

Singapore is a small country in South East Asia and we are neighbors with Malaysia and Thailand. Due to our geographical location, it’s summer all year round in Singapore! If I had a choice, I would prefer having 4 seasons as it could get really humid and hot in the warmer months (like now). But June is usually the best time for visiting Singapore as there is the Great Singapore Sale. Singaporeans like to eat and we are big on food, I suppose you can find almost any cuisine here, from Mexican to Korean to Italian.

The skyline of our little red dot

Singapore_Skylin

Being a small nation, we definitely have a much smaller sewing community. As big international fashion brands are easily accessible and online shopping being the fad now, RTW is widely popular. And that makes lesser people being interested in making their own clothes. So you can imagine how excited we all are when we find fellow Singaporeans who sew. It is in my wish to help grow this sewing community here in Singapore! Maybe someday, alike our counterparts in the States, we too can plan a fabric buy meet-up or have a party to do some fabric swopping and just be in the company of likeminded people.

Ahh, paper patterns are not easily available for us as our local store usually carries only a small selection of paper patterns. I suppose paper patterns are more accessible in the States as there are the big 4 and plenty of indie patterns to choose from (totally envious). I always purchase my patterns from overseas online shops and it can be costly due to astronomical shipping cost. There is also an element of exchange rate that I have to constantly take note of.

I’ll love to visit Moods fabric someday stemmed from my obsession over Project Runway. Here at home, I think it’s safe to say that we buy our fabrics from shops in Chinatown and Arab Street. Personally, Chinatown is my one stop shop where there are 2 floors full of small shops that carry fabric to haberdashery and even plenty of knick knacks. I can spend hours just combing the place looking for fabric and unique buys. I’ve written a post on my blog some time ago on fabric finds in Singapore, so if you are making holiday plans to Singapore you can check it out.

Chinatown

Workshops that teach sewing or bra-making are pretty rare in Singapore. I think it might be due to the fact that it’s quite costly to rent a studio space to conduct workshops. While some community clubs do run short courses on dressmaking, I haven’t been able to find something suitable. Which is why I am always tempted to jump on a plane and head over to the States and take a class or 2 from Maddie. I’m definitely hoping to see more workshops being conducted in Singapore. A bra-making workshop would be soooo cool!

So there, I hope you have found my guest post interesting and gained much insight as to how sewing is like in another continent. Thank you Maddie for giving me this opportunity to share and I trust that you have had a great holiday and restful break.

13 Comments

  1. Reply

    Spikeabell

    Arab street is great. I visit every time we stop over in Singapore.

  2. Reply

    Nina

    I’m half-Singaporean and love fabric shopping every time I visit my family! Plus I love making light dresses for the warm weather (you wouldn’t believe how grey London can be, even in July…). Half of my stash is from Arab Street… Hope you manage to get some Singaporean sewers hanging out together soon! x

  3. Reply

    Adesays

    Yes! Arab street has some really great stuff! And it’s really like a pandora box easy to get lost and immerse in it. I’ve been approached by a few sewers in Singapore and I’ll be excited to meet up with them!

  4. Reply

    mlga

    Really enjoyed your post!
    Great job!

  5. Reply

    Anna

    Thank you for a great post, Adeline! I never thought it would be hard to find paper patterns in some countries. I wonder if you could find someone to teach a course where you could make your own basic patterns? You could hold on to those and make changes to them to sew different kinds of dresses etc. It really is quite simple once you’ve learned the basics. 🙂 Good luck!

    • Reply

      Adesays

      Thanks for the great tip Anna! I did go for a course and is drafting my own patterns most of the time now, else I’m resorting to using PDF pattern. But you know, sometimes it’s nice to hold on to the real thing! 🙂

    • Reply

      Chris Griffin

      Or, find someone who will ship you patterns. USPS has boxes that are flat-rate, so you can stuff them *full* and ship them. We used to mail things to my parents that way when they lived in Penang. Its not fast, but its reliable and far cheaper than most international shipping 🙂

  6. Reply

    Veronica Darling

    Hi Adeline! I’ve been to Singapore a couple times, and met Adey (who sews! She’s the Sew Convert online) and love the fabric area, but it’s so overwhelming! I’ve also recently met the Couture Nomad sewing group, the head teacher is here in Shanghai but started the sewing classes in Singapore and you can get in touch with Amaia! They have paper patterns and lovely classes! http://couturenomad.com/workshops/workshops-singapore/

    Happy sewing!!!

    • Reply

      Adesays

      I’ve heard so much about Adey but have never gotten acquainted with her, given a chance i’ll love to! I’m glad you enjoyed Singapore and the fabric places. I went to take a quick peak at Couture Nomad and it looks interesting. I’ll probably get in touch with them! Give me a holler when you come to Singapore again 🙂

  7. Reply

    diana

    Hi, I am mad about sewing…

  8. Reply

    Chacha

    Great to a bit about the sewing scene in Singapore. I’m relocating there in the new year and am currently wondering what sewing supplies I should bring! How difficult is it to buy sewing machines there, for instance?

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