Thursday, December 18, 2008


During our shopping for Aidilfitri, I spotted a dress for which I would love to see my daughter Nada wearing it. It was a little simple round neck, smart cutting dress with pleats at hip level fitted right for the smart Nada. I always have the fond for these types of dresses rather than those pink-satin-girly gowns with jaggy edges, fancy ribbons and lots of frills. Those are pretty dresses but they just don’t hit my nerves.

As I looked at the price tag…. My, my.. it costs about RM 175 for such a simple dress. Not that I can’t afford the price once in a while, but at that moment I don’t feel like paying the sum. May be it didn’t go well with my overall budget for Aidilfitri shopping. Hey, I am a very wise money spender! ok.
Somehow, I can’t let go the site of the dress. I like it so much. So, I thought I would get some cloth and request my mami to sew. Coincidently, she planned to come over to my place the following weekend and I do have a sewing machine.

Before the weekend came, my mami changed her plan. She cancelled the trip, leaving the cloth that I bought unattended. Having the cloth laying on our utility table inside the utility room for almost a week, I decided to make the dress on my own.
I started by figuring out the plans and steps to be taken to execute the dress…. Not on paper but all in my mind. Visualizing which part should I cut first then the other? How to assemble the parts? How to hide the joining and stitches just like the dress that I saw in the boutique? And many more other questions even before I touch the cloth to start the sewing. I never have any formal training in sewing, but being a tailor’s daughter and granted with good EQ by Allah swt, I am so grateful that I am able to figure things out by just little observation.
All these, I did during my bathing time. Oh yes! I do a lot of thinking during bathing. Because to me, bathing is the 10 to 15 minutes time that only my physical works and hardly use the brain. One doesn’t need to think when to pick up the soap and start soaping one’s back or shampooing one’s hair. It’s all in your sub-conscious mind. It’s rather wasted not to use the brain, further more it’s a private time by myself and I can really focus on matters that I want to. I even answer exams questions during bathing (of course …. In my mind!). Most of the time, I plan my house chores and realize it really save me a lot of time by just doing the 10 minutes planning.

After 8 to 10 bathing, I was confident enough to start on the dress and it took me about 2 hours to finish it during Nada’s afternoon sleep on one weekend. The first person that I shown the dress to was of course… Harris! … His response was … “wah! U finish it ? when did u sew it?” Even Harris didn’t realize. … (he was sleeping too!)

When I went back for Aidilfitri, I showed my mami the dress that I made. She gave a remark… Not bad.. and started pointing out the flaws… where have I gone wrong. I expected that…, she’s a professional tailor by experience and for her to criticize my work, that means she cares. Even-so, I know deep inside her she’s proud of me too because for every relatives that came over, she would take the dress out and started showing off. “Look at this dress Yanti made for Nada….” She said.
Among the many comments that I received… Honest or not.. I do not know, were :
* Ngoh said : Yanti, you have such good talent!
* Mok Teh said : Yanti…… rajin betul.
* Busu said : This dress carries so much more value than the one hanging at the boutique.
* Cik Jah said : Yanti, you actually have time to sew?
* Thirah said : Kak Yanti memang pandai. Dulu masa kecik, Thirah ada baju smocking Kak Yanti buat. (I am so pleased she remembered… I guess, she was only 3-5 years old when I made her that smocking dress)
* Most would exclaim with unbelieving expression : “U sew it?”

AidilFitri gathering housed by Harris’s former boss, one of his close friends actually was looking for the dress’s label while carrying Nada around. Since he couldn’t find any, he judged - “Harris… you only put on exclusive dresses from oversea to your daughter? I couldn’t find the brand.”
Harris answered him… “Even if I did buy the dress oversea, there should be a brand. That dress doesn’t because Yanti didn’t put. She made it herself !” The whole full chorum table “roared” and started praising here and there.
(I wonder…. Ada jugak lelaki yang bz body …. Wanting to know what brand one’s kid is wearing?)

AidilAdha came, Nada wore the dress and I wore the kurung that I also made for myself using the same material. Looking at both of us, my mother-in-law asked, did mami made Nada’s dress? I replied her..
“Yanti made the dress”. Her reaction was… “That is nothing less than those being sold at shops!”…

Christmas brunch party with my colleagues at Chilis-KLCC, I dressed up Nada in the same dress. My principal’s wife, Cindy made a remark… “That’s a beautiful dress Nada wearing…. Suits her Osh Kosh shoes… How much do you buy the dress, Yanti?”. I told her… “o! This dress cost me about RM 10 - I sew it myself!”
Shockingly… with her eyeballs about to bolt out, she exclaimed. “ Are you joking? You are bluffing me, don’t you? That’s a perfect dress!”

…. As a person, as a wife and as a mother …. I AM PROUD OF MYSELF!

Nada being the feast at Christmas Party



ME !

Having said, I made a conclusion. For me to execute and complete a dress for my daughter, I have put in:
1. A reasonable duration of time. Thanks to the unseen thinking process.
2. So little money. The cloth cost me RM 3.90/m, the ribbon complete with ready made cute yellow flowers – RM 4.20/m (ribbon cost more than the cloth? Emph.. emph.. emph…), buttons – RM 1.80 a dozen. All in …. Less than RM 10.

3. Lots and lots and lots and lots of LOVE.

It triggers me, if I put so much Love to make one dress….. what can I say about my mami. All my life since birth until I manage to buy on my own, 90% of my clothing are sewn by my mami. (Save 10% for clothing which were bought by my aunties / uncles).
I thank her sincerely for all my daily use, my outing dresses-gowns-pants-shirts, my night wears, my kurongs, my kebayas, my school uniforms and even my shorts for school P.E classes……………..
My mami had put her mountains of unconditional-ultimate-infinity Love for all that.

Now that I never miss to pay her for the clothing that she makes for me, double or triple of her normal charge to customers as a token of Love and appreciation…………, I know……………….. I can’t never afford to pay her Love. Not even with all the money that I have, in my entire life.

I hope one day…. My daughter will realize and understand, for me to make her dresses is no big deal. After all, a dress is just a dress but the Love being put into it, is the TREASURE to be cherished.