Episode 44. Asian Sewist Collective Roundtable

Asian Sewist Collective Roundtable The Asian Sewist Collective Podcast

It's our season finale! Over the past 40+ episodes, you've gotten to know Ada, Nicole and our guests – so this week, we thought we'd introduce the rest of our podcast team. We're talking about sewing, crafting, and fashion in this roundtable episode. For show notes and a transcript, please see: asiansewistcollective.com/episode-44-asian-sewist-collective-roundtable/  If you find our podcast informative and enjoy listening, you can support us by buying our limited edition merch, joining our monthly membership or making a one-time donation via Ko-Fi: https://ko-fi.com/asiansewistcollective  

Members of the collective

Ada @I.hope.sew

Nicole @nicoleangelinesews

Sareena @dresslikeanonion

Mariko @marikoabecreative (formely @troubleshootingstitcher)

Shilyn @shilynsews

Koss @withorwithoutice

Esther @esthermakesadventures

Cindy @cationdesigns

Not heard on this episode but participated to the making of this episode or of this season’s episodes Henry , Aarti , Clarissa

Patterns & Designers mentioned

The ANORAK Sewing Pattern Low waste design by the Sew Sew

Clyde Work Pant Sewing Pattern by Elizabeth Suzann

Emerson Pullover Knitting Pattern by Vivian Shao Chen

Zakkuri cardigan by Noriko Ichikawa

Kuoria bag by Hansedelli

ZW stash bag by Bag.uettes

Koma and Lanai bra patterns by Lilypad designs

Zadie jumpsuit by Paper Theory

Envelope dress by Criswood Sews

Resources

Episode 31. Vintage Sewing Machines Part 1

Episode 32. Vintage Sewing Machines Part 2

Episode 25. Color Theory and Palettes

Episode 17. Imposter Syndrome in Sewing

Boobie lights: google “LED neck light” 😉

Millennial Gen Z tiktok

Show transcript

Nicole
Did you see the video that was like, How dare you Gen Zers Millennials took so many hits for you. We didn’t have eyebrows we overplucked our eyebrows so you can have all the eyebrows

Ada
Welcome to the Asian Sewist Collective podcast. The Asian Sewist Collective is a group of Asian people from around the world brought together by our shared appreciation for fiber and textile arts, and our desire to see more Asian representation in the sewing community.

Nicole
In this podcast, we explore the intersection of our identities, and our shared sewing practice as we create a space for Asian sewists and our allies.

Ada
I’m your co host, Ada Chen, and I’m recording from Denver, Colorado, Denver is a traditional territory of the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. I’m a Taiwanese American marketer turned entrepreneur and these days you’ll find me running my own natural skincare business called Chuan’s Promise. That’s C-H-U-A-N apostrophe S Promise in sharing my marketing tips on my blog. Most importantly, for this podcast, you can find my sewing @i.hope.sew on Instagram.

Nicole
And I’m your co-host, Nicole, I’m based outside of Chicago, the original homelands of the Council of the three fires, the Ojibwe, the Potawatomi, and the Odawa people. I’m a Philippine American woman, a lawyer by day and a sewing enthusiast the rest of the time. You can find me on Instagram @NicoleAngelineSews.

Ada
Before we dive into this week’s episode, Nicole, can you tell us about your current sewing project?

Nicole
Yes, I can. I am doing another pattern test after I said I wasn’t gonna do them. I stopped doing pattern tests because I was like, Ah, it’s too much pressure. Turns out I need the pressure to keep sewing. But I am actually very excited. I am working on the low waste anorak test from the designer, the Sew Sew s e w s e w. And it is a originally it was marketed as zero waste, but she’s converted it to low waste. But so far, it seems like there’s just going to be like a couple tiny scraps which Fair, fair enough. But there’s some really neat design things and creative ways to use some of the scraps for example, you know, part of the neck cut out gets used as a zipper guard in the front, which I had never put together. You and I talked about this though, and I was gonna go with a very practical Canvas jacket. It was going to be pretty straightforward, utilitarian, perfect for going to Colorado. And then one day I was like, nah let’s do something wild. Do you remember the terno jacket that I made for New York Frocktails in October?

Ada
was it the silk Mikado?

Nicole
Yes, yes. So I’m making a silk Mikado anorak

Ada
fancy. So fancy.

Nicole
Feels more me feels more me. So I will be making the crop version and it’s due in a couple days and just been chipping away at it. I’m pretty I’m pretty pumped about this one and looking forward to wearing it more. Or when it’s done. Really. What about you Ada, what are you working on?

Ada
I mean, I love using a nice fabric for a low waste pattern because then you kind of get like the full value out of the fabric.

Nicole
Yeah, and the we just, the episode with Aims, where she says cut the good fabric cut the nice fabric and I know there was a little bit of chatter about that on Instagram as well after the episode came out, I’m like, I’m gonna cut the nice fabric. So

Ada
nice.

Nicole
And it’s because it’s zero waste, it’s boxy. A ton of ease unless I really mess something up which I have before on zero waste patterns when I sew the sleeve to the side instead of to itself. Did I tell you, that happened twice.

Ada
Oh, you told me about the first time and you were like very pissed.

Nicole
It happened the exact same way a second time. But anyway, we can talk about it later. But it was it was a thing. I can wear it now though. So that’s good. But anyway, enough about me or what are you working on?

Ada
I listeners will be unsurprised that I’m making another pair of Elizabeth Suzanne Clyde pants, but this time in black linen. I made them in black cotton canvas before and I actually ended up picking apart that project. And actually the other pair that I had made in the black are not black canvas like a khaki colored canvas just because they felt really stiff and heavy. And I thought that the linen pair I’d made I think last summer wore a lot better and they’re kind of my like all weather pants except for when it’s snowing so felt a little bit overdue and I was very proud of myself for shortening the pocket bag because we were talking about pockets in our warm-up and the side pockets on the pattern are actually quite deep. And I was running a little a little low on fabric so I decided to just make the pocket bags like, two inches shorter so that I could squeeze them in and I think it will be fine.

Nicole
Okay, I mean those sound like very ADA pants.

Ada
They are very, very ADA pants

Nicole
All right everyone. Well today we are introducing the collective. You know very well myself and Ada, you’ve had four seasons of listening to our voices by now but we are an entire team that produces this podcast. So we want to share some of their voices with you and hope you love hearing from them as much as we love working with them. Can everyone introduce themselves?

Sareena
Hi my name is Sareena, she/her, my instagram handle is Dress like an onion. My father is from India. My mother is from the Seychelles and I live in Western Canada. I’m mostly a rough editor on podcast and big brat on all the slack chats. And right now I am cutting out the Clyde pants just the paper pattern so far I haven’t even picked a fabric but I might be might be knocking on your door there Ada

Mariko
And I’m Mariko, so my handle is at troubleshooting stitcher (now MarikoAbeCreative), pronouns she/her, Japanese father, Cantonese mother. I’m based in Orange County, California, and I also do a bunch of things on the podcast but mostly produce, working on four things right now. An Emerson pullover by Vivian Shao Chen. Zakkuri cardigan by Noriko Ichikawa, a Kuoria bag by Hansedelli and then last but not least, as zero waste stash bag by Baguettes.

Shilyn
Hi I’m Shilyn, my instagram handle is ShilynSews S h i L Y N S E W S. I go by she/her I am a 1.5 generation Filipino American and I am based in Central Florida. On the podcast I usually do producing or sometimes I do rough edits. And currently I am working on the Koma and Lanai bra patterns from wireless bra patterns from lilypad designs. This is my first time so.

Koss
Hi, I’m Koss my instagram handle is with or without ice. I use they/them pronouns. I am of Cambodian descent, Khmer for people who speak Cambodian I live in Aotearoa New Zealand, I do a mixed bag for the podcast because last season I was guest and researcher and this season I am producer, I produce this episode. And I also help with social media. I am right now working on a Zadie jumpsuit. Colorblocked so it’s going to be very fun. Let’s see if I wear it when I finish it.

Esther
Hi, I’m Esther I use she/her pronouns. I am an Asian American with roots in Hong Kong and I’m currently living in Virginia. And for the pod I am a producer for the pod. You can find me on Instagram at Esther makes adventures.

Cindy
Hi, I’m Cindy and I go by Cation designs on Instagram. My pronouns are she and her and I am of Chinese descent. I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area. And right now I’m working on a Hanfu top. So going to be part of a larger project for a Asian inspired fairy tale.

Ada
So the way that this episode will work is that Nicole and I will ask a few questions and a few members of the collective will be answering each time. So first of all, we’re going to start by asking, how would you describe your style? If you can’t tell from Nicole’s earlier comment. My style is very, I would say laid back. Borderline preppy, very basic tends to gravitate towards a lot of linens and wovens. And in the winter, I like a lot of knits that I do not make, I purchase, big sweaters, chunky knits. That kind of stuff. I stick to a pretty neutral palette and I do own a lot of black and I will until I die claim that is because I spent a lot of time in New York growing up. So I’m gonna turn it over to Serena to describe your style.

Sareena
Think I would describe my style as layers and sometimes vintage and lots of knits. But then when I walk into my closet, none of that seems to translate So I’m not sure, basically is what I’ve what I’ve got there and what what I grabbed first,

Ada
Mariko?

Mariko
I think my wardrobe is probably similar to yours ADA very practical. I’ve made a bunch of roughly poofy things dresses and blouses when I first started sewing and those are gathering dust. I do not have that much black and I thought I used to like it more because you live in a city you’re always wearing black, but a lot of neutrals for me and a lot of yellows as you can see in my background. And earthy colors are my jam right now.

Ada
Shilyn round us out.

Shilyn
Okay, so I would describe my style as heavily influenced by the 50s style like era, because I like a lot of cinched waist and big skirts. It kind of changed to like a little bit flowy-er. So when I moved to Florida, and a lot of my wardrobe switched from like, a lot of I used to do a lot of poly cotton like blends, but now I do like purely cotton, purely linen, because of the Florida weather which is biting me in the butt right now because we keep getting these cold fronts, and I have thrown out all of my warm fuzzy things. Yeah, I generally like layers, but it’s not something that’s normal anymore.

Nicole
Can I just comment that Sareena? I think I only just realized how your Instagram handle correlates to your style. Can you? Can you explain for listeners dress like an onion?

Sareena
uh Okay. Well, well, layers, right? That’s all. In art school one morning. I went to art school for a little while. And we did some drawing outside. Now I live in Canada. So that meant cold. But the instructor said okay, everybody bring your you know, your pens and your notebooks and your camera and your lunch and dress like an onion. And that was 20 years ago, but it kind of stuck in my head. But it makes sense, right? Dress Like an onion. Because it could be hot, or could we live by the mountains. It could be boiling, it could be freezing.

Nicole
I am terrible at layering. I might take that comment as like so I can wear stinky clothes. Is this what we’re talking about?

Sareena
Nooooooo, nooo, you have a tank and then you have a little cardigan and then you have your jacket. Or I don’t know, there’s so many. So many people I follow on Instagram that have all the pretty layers in different patterns. And they all look good together. That’s not how my closet looks. But I look at them. And I think yeah, I can do that. I could put everything together. But no,

Nicole
it was the first thing that you said was layer sounds like wait a minute. Oh, onion love it. Yep. So Sareena, you and Mariko are not exclusively sewists, So can you describe your fiber art and why you enjoy it?

Sareena
I’m a knitter. I’m a knitting tech editor. It’s such a weird question. Because I think do I do it because I enjoy it? Or do I do it just because I do it? Like I can’t I don’t know if could I stop doing it? I don’t know. I think I like keeping my hands busy. I like how it feels. And I am a process knitter so I have no problem ripping it out and starting again. So maybe it’s just actually a literal security blanket. Maybe ?

Ada
respect

Nicole
Ada your eyes got really big. When you said I could just rip it and start all over again.

Sareena
You know what, I have a partner who plays video games and I don’t like video games. But if you got to sit there for like five hours, you could just sit there with 10 bags of chips and stare at the video game or you could knit next to them. I think that’s probably how it really started.

Nicole
What about you Mariko?

Mariko
I’m just making a face because I love video games and knitting. So I have to alternate both while my partner play. So I also knit I named two knitting patterns earlier. And I just started off wanting to have something to do while I was traveling and I hate hand sewing. My hands are not nimble, even though I know Ada, Nicole, both of you do it to some degree. And I you know back in my previous lifetime when I was in tech, I was constantly in meetings where it had to really sit and listen and really focus, and, keeping my hands busy while I do that is so much easier than me trying to focus on a screen for hours on end. Like it looks like I’m not paying attention but really I’m listening to absolutely everything that’s going on.

Ada
Sareena and Mariko are my personal knitting helpers after we did that knitting episode. And as you both know, I don’t like frogging things or seam ripping for that, you know, to that end, but

Nicole
for our listeners, can you just can you tell us what frogging means? And by for our listeners, I mean, me too.

Ada
Oh, it’s like the equivalent of seam ripping like you just undo all of it, or part of it.

Nicole
Painful

Ada
Yeah,

Nicole
Absolutely painful.

Sareena
The theory is the sound it makes is Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit, ribbit.

Nicole
That makes it a little more adorable. For a non knitter, I think, to call it frogging.

Ada
I don’t know Nicole, I’m now frogging the hat that I’m making you

Nicole
What happened to my hat?!

Ada
It’s still in progress. I’ve made no progress on it since the last time we chatted about it. But instead, I will turn the conversation to you and ask, do you think your heritage influences your sewing practice? And if so, how?

Nicole
I know if you addressed this on the podcast before, I think there’s a direct thread, pun not intended but very intended, between my practice and my heritage, and that it has allowed me to dive a little bit deeper in those certain aspects of you know, Philippine culture, like the colonial pre colonial history, learning more about, you know, what, how fashion evolved, which we cover a little bit the season. And it also has just, I guess another way that is, perhaps it might seem tangential is that it’s changed the way that I see myself as as like a person as like my body. I think, growing up as someone who is who was taller and girthier than other, you know, Filipino women around me. It was just something that I thought was a, like a defect, you know. So sewing has, in a way turned everything into just measurements and set aside that sort of I don’t fit in feeling. And I don’t know if that relates to my heritage, but it’s something that has contributed to the way that I see myself and my place in the Philippine diaspora. So I know, you all have heard me talk about Shilyn when I talk a lot about my Philippine culture, and how I’ve gotten to learn a little bit more about it through sewing so Shilyn, how does your heritage influence your sewing practice?

Shilyn
So surprisingly, I did not actually look to my Filipino background for a long time when I started sewing, I started sewing because I wanted to do like Lolita style and like all these crazy things I saw online, and then it just ended up not being my style anyway. But going back to Filipino culture, I actually found the, Nicole, you said this in the in the terno episode, you had seen it as gaudy. Your grandparents and your aunties. You saw the terno and you’re like, I don’t really want to wear that. So that’s how I felt. And I was like, I don’t really want to make that. And it wasn’t until like, a couple years ago, my grandfather passed away. And I felt like I lost something like huge in my culture, because my grandmother passed away when I was first learning how to sew. And she was one of the first people that kind of told me to keep going and keep learning how to sew. And when she passed away, I stopped. So I picked it back up again. And I started getting closer to my grandfather, and he passed away. And I was like, What do I do now?! I have to learn everything about my culture, because it’s like, the eldest person in my family is gone. So I got into the Filipino mythology got into the tattoos, which I ended up getting a tattoo. But anyway, the tattoo motif like all of those symbolism and tattoos led me to the embroidery and, and weaving of like the hand woven designs and the weaving, and the embroidery of like the barong. And that eventually brought me back to sewing. Because I started collecting all of these fabrics and books and I was like, oh my god, this is so cool. This is my culture. And then I finally was like, Alright, I think I’m ready to learn how to make the butterfly sleeve. And then that’s how me and Nicole met, when I like, put it out there like Look what I learned throughout the years. Like, this is so cool. Um, I don’t want to say that I fully integrated all of that into my sewing. But I do think that a lot of the processes of like seeing how meticulous the hand weaving is and all the embroidery that’s done, has made me rethink what I do as a sewist because I used to do a lot of one offs. I used to make like You know, like 31 Days of Halloween or 25 Days of Christmas. And like, that’s not what I do anymore, because I realized, that didn’t really make sense. It’s not something I can wear throughout the year. And there are these people that are like hand weaving all of these beautiful designs, and it takes them months. So now I just tried to make sure that everything I sew is something that I can wear in my wardrobe more often. And I think that that’s my first. Like, that’s the biggest thing I’ve taken on it.

Nicole
It’s like honoring the the labor that is put into this part of your that aspect of your culture and making sure that you are using it as intended as often as possible, as opposed to just throw away. I think that’s really neat.

Cindy
It didn’t use to, but it definitely has now in pretty much the last two and a half, three, three years now, since the pandemic started. I think I’ve been leaning more into exploring my heritage through my sewing with primarily I do cosplay. So trying to do an Asian spin on a lot of my cosplay stuff. So, you know, reinterpreting the Little Mermaid but with a historical Chinese twist, or taking sort of more American pop culture icons, like Wonder Woman, or Loki and then turning them into like, well, what if they were, again with a historical Chinese twist? So doing a lot of reimagining of popular characters, and then also just working on making my own historical clothing, but not European historical clothing, you know, Chinese historical clothing that doesn’t have a tie to American pop culture.

Nicole
And one thing that I want to ask Ada is, do you have a favorite sewing tool? Because I don’t know if I have one? I’ll have to think about it while you’re answering.

Ada
I had to think about this. And I think it’s going to be snips because i i The my snips are like an old pair, I thrifted them I think they’re like $2. They’re the kind of like, you squeeze, and they kind of just like retract or not retract, but like bring the two blades together. A little bit dangerous. But I use them not only to snip threads, but also to like stab buttonholes. For example, in a looser weave. They’re pretty sharp. They are always I try to always keep them like to the right, hung up next to my sewing machine. So they’re always handy. And I find that I always kind of reach for them. So yeah, do you have any? Have you come up with one yet?

Nicole
Well, I, the one that I thought of is the first one that made me smile. So we’ll go with this. And it’s actually not related to my machine sewing practice. It’s related to my hand sewing practice, as such as it is, I typically only hand sew when the pattern calls for it. And it’s like, I want a super clean finish. Because the truth is, is I’m just gonna run it through my machine if I can. And I have this needle minder that I believe is intended for embroiders and Cross Stitchers. To put on their hoop once they’re finished so that it will, it’s magnetized so that you could they can store your needle. And it is a heart shaped needle minder, it’s a lighter pink color. And the, it says fabric slut.

Ada
I love it.

Nicole
That might be my favorite because it does make me laugh and how I use it is, and this is really when you really need something like this, is if I’m on and if I’m traveling and I’m on an airplane, I’ll where I like to cover my legs and my arms on an airplane. Like I just want my skin touching anything. I don’t know if that’s weird. But I will I will clip it onto my cuff or whatever is like near where my watches so that I can sew and then just stick it there if I need to grab a nice beverage from the attendant, kind of like you know, so it stays in one place instead of can you imagine if you dropped a needle on an airplane, like you’re not getting that back. I wouldn’t want it back.

Ada
I wouldn’t want it back. But I’ve also like dropped a needle on my couch and been like oh my god and then have to go find my magnetic wand. So that does sound like a very practical tool.

Nicole
You need yourself one of them fabric slut needle minders. And I don’t even think I bought it, knowing what I would do with it. I just thought it was so funny, I think. I don’t know. I like the use of the word slut in a way that’s not like not negative. You know, it’s just one of those things. It’s a word that, for me is reclaimed, like reclaimed. But that I think might be my favorite tool.

Ada
On the topic of favorites. We’re going to go through our favorite episodes at least maybe for the last like two seasons I know we’ve done a bunch at this point, I think we’re up to the 40s. So almost 50 episodes, start with Esther and then go to Nicole.

Esther
My favorite season three episode. I think I’m biased because I actually produced the vintage sewing machine episodes. But if we’re choosing something that I did not produce, I really like color palette and theories. Because I’ve always struggled with trying to figure out the right color palette for myself. And quite honestly, it still is a struggle today that I’m trying to figure out. So

Nicole
I can’t answer this question. I’m on every single episode, I not really sure I think I don’t want to pick an interview. Because I have, I had a great time speaking to every single person. So I think one of the ones I really love was imposter syndrome, because you can hear me having live revelations during during the recording of the podcast. And it’s also an episode that I have sent to a lot of my friends. Once I started discussing, and learning, you know more about the idea that or the notion that impostor syndrome is not solely something that’s in your head, but it’s also you know, systemic issues help contribute to that feeling within yourself. And I was like, what, that’s amazing. And so I’ve sent multiple of my friends, my work friends, my podcasts episodes, and what do you know, they come back and say, Oh, I listened to it, it was so good. And some of them have listened to other episodes now. So it’s, it’s an episode that’s special to me, because of the personal growth that occurred during it again, you can probably even hear the gears turning in my head during that episode. But it also is something that I’ve really been able to share well beyond the my sewing community and into people who don’t sew, and they still, you know, really take something away from it and enjoyed it. And it’s a gateway to other episodes, it seems.

Ada
Koss, What about you?

Koss
I do really like the episode Nicole just mentioned, because at the time, I was just a listener. And it really clicked with me as well. And then and then I started volunteering for the podcast. My favorite episode, and it’s one that Esther also mentioned. And I’m super biased because I was a researcher, is the color palette one. Because it’s, the research is a work I’ve done on several years. Like it’s, it’s not a PhD or anything. It’s something that I like pick on from time to time. But it’s like, yeah, the this it’s so interesting color palettes because it’s obviously super whitewashed. And I always wonder how it applied to people of colors. And I’ve done this research for myself. And I was just so proud when the episode came out that like, other people could relate to it. And every time I talk about it on my Instagram page, I always have people who answer to my stories. I just, I just love it. I was just so proud when it came out. And I remember fun fact, I was, when it came out, I was listening to it. And my partner was like, I don’t know, in the corridor passing. And he was like, oh my god, it’s on color palettes. It’s like the episode for you, you must be so happy. And I was like, Yeah, I wrote it with Mariko, like it’s literally the episode for me by me!

Nicole
I mean, that was a really great episode. I think. I remember when recording that and reviewing it. Like, I kind of just do whatever. You know, like I hadn’t really thought about color palettes. I think that was the the episode where I was like, I’m mix metals. I don’t care. I look good and everything. I think that’s the episode? So true.

Koss
I pushed so hard for this quote to be one of our labels.

Ada
Maybe round two

Koss
Round two, yeah.

Nicole
But you know, so I learned a lot and I actually ended up buying something, a color wheel, a color wheel keychain where you can, like spin it and it’ll show you. You know, the ones that are complementary the ones that are analogous, just because it was fun. It was not really because I do sometimes look up colors and think about them most of the time. I’m just like, do I like it great. But I know that color palettes is something that a lot of sewists and a lot of the folks in our collective use and consider so Sareena, do you use a color palette? And if so, can you describe your color palette?

Sareena
Um, I think it’s really interesting that you mentioned those two episodes actually because I was I am designer and interior designer, everyone was black and I’ve never Ever ever felt comfortable wearing black? In my life? I always thought it made me look too dark because I had lots of black hair, and then black by my face and there was this like message in my head. You’re too dark to wear black. So, um, do I use a color palette? Yes. I tend to buy yarn in the same pink-y beige-y, beautiful speckly shades and then I buy fabric that’s basically the same kind of beautiful light springy, and it never makes its way into my wardrobe, but it sits in the closet. So do I use it? Yes. Do I end up using the fabric and the yarn? No.

Nicole
It’s too pretty to use.

Ada
Your stash is beautiful.

Sareena
It’s gorgeous. I’ll never wear it. I’m sorry. I’ll try. I’ll try. And and now I can actually say I’m too old to knit with black yarn. So that’s never gonna happen because you can’t see the stitches at nighttime. You can only knit with black yarn during the day when you are my age.

Nicole
I was gonna say like, oh, you’re not too old to wear black and oh, it’s a sight problem, I probably could not probably knit black, like black yarn.

Ada
Let me tell you I have an astigmatism and driving at night yesterday. I was like, probably shouldn’t be doing this for too much longer.

Nicole
Good to know. How about you Mariko? Do you use a color palette?

Mariko
Before answer that, Sareena? You gotta get those boobie lights. I think they’re colloquial colloquially known

Sareena
I do not need more Craft Tools Mariko. I really really do not

Ada
technically, you can use them as a reading light.

Sareena
No, no.

Ada
I am making it more than a single function tool for you.

Sareena
What kind of little batteries are going to be in there that I’ll throw away? No, no. Or plug it in? Can you imagine having to charge your boob light? No.

Nicole
I have no idea what this boob light is. But I will find out soon.

Sareena
Mariko will tell you

Mariko
they’re great. Yeah, they’re great for sewing anything where you need a point extra light in your direction. I think people call them boobie lights because they hang kind of close to your boobies depending on how high or how low they sit on you.

Nicole
Do they go around your neck?

Mariko
Yeah.

Nicole
Is that what it is?

Mariko
Around your neck? Yeah, as ADA is gesturing right now on camera. For me… Color Palette. I think I drift towards a lot of neutrals, just because I’m quite lazy. When it comes to coordinating my wardrobe. It’s easier when it all matches. And I think that was like the one thing I kept getting drawn to when I was getting into sewing, I’d see people’s outfits on Instagram as always, like, Oh, look at this nice earthy Brown. Sedona I think is sometimes called or I can’t think of anything cactus is another. I have however, in incorporated a lot of yellow as of late and I can tell you, definitely growing up, I never had any yellow I was always told. And this is funnily enough like even in an Asian society, you’re still somehow getting this message where if you’re yellow and you were yellow, it’s going to make you look even more sallow. So um when I produced that color palette episode and both of you are talking about things like makeup palette star for brown eyes or Ada you talked about your wedding dress and how certain colors actually make you pop more than just pure white and I think as producing while producing that episode I was like hell yeah what’s wrong with me wearing yellow plus there are so many shades of yellow we’ve as I remember Koss’ research saying there’s cold yellow or there’s warm yellow. And um to that point I think that episode as well really validated it for me that you pretty much wear what you like. If someone does tell you that: You look ill do you look like you should be buried in something. Pardon my language but they can fuck right off.

Nicole
Yes,

Ada
here for it. Okay, all right, and we will wrap it up with Cindy and then Koss.

Cindy
Generally for myself. I like the colors black and red and then with metallic pops so like silver or gold. Recently though, I’ve been trying to work with more colors than just black and red because I have quite a stash of things that are not black and red because I used up all my black and red already. But I do Find that I like myself best in sort of darker jewel tones. So I know there’s like all the color theory weird stuff. I like those colors on me,

Koss
for me. So as I stated before, I have worked on the color palette episode because I have been working on color palettes, not working, it’s just researching for myself on color palette for years. And when I discovered that the deep winter is my one, I actually discovered it because I looked at the deep, deep winter palette and I was like, oh, that’s most of what I wear. And now I am trying to wear colors that are on this palette that I haven’t thought of before. Like I wear a lot of navies, I wear some like burgundy, black and white often. And on that color palette there’s some deep green, for example, some like pine green. And so I try to incorporate this more in my palette just for the for the sake of research.

Ada
Hey podcast listeners looking for a way to support the Asian sewist collective. Well, we have a great way for you to do that now and we are excited to announce our first set of merch we’ve launched a limited edition set of woven labels on our Kofi page, so K O dash F I dot com slash asian sewist collective and you can get a pack of five woven labels custom designed by our very own producer Mariko with some cute sayings from seasons one through three, like “this was a panic sew”, “forgot to pre wash”, or “made with fabric purchased while traveling”. And they all have really cute designs on them that you should definitely go check out on our Instagram and on our Kofi page, and to get your very own set of five labels. You will be supporting the podcast and helping us bring you new content and new guests week after week. So head to K O dash F I dot com slash asian sewist collective.

special sewing machine storytime. I think most listeners might know that I sell on a vintage machine. But basically I have cycled through many machines at this point. But my main machine right now is about 40, almost 50 years old. Her name is Nina. She’s a vintage Bernina and I found her at a creative reuse store. So I got her for about 200 bucks. She happened to be sewing in very good condition. And she does seven stitches beautifully. buttonholes not so beautiful, but we tolerate them. And I refuse to get into separate button things. And yeah, I tried to take good care of her I get her serviced and I oil her on a regular basis because she is like mostly metal inside. There are a few plastic gears and it’s from when they started using plastic. But she’s a sturdy, sturdy girl. I know Koss also have a special sewing machine. Do you want to share your sewing machine storytime?

Koss
Yeah. So when I arrived to New Zealand, I started putting little listings on the equivalent of Craigslist. So in New Zealand, it’s Trade me. And I will just type sewing and then just wait and see what popped up. And one day, this crazy sewing machine from like, the 50s 60s Maybe it looks like it looks like a Cadillac. It’s like blue and chrome and everything. And I was like oh my god, this is so pretty. And the price was like $40 And I was like I didn’t think I just bought it. Then I had to pick it up. And I realized that the pickup was not in the city I was living in it was like maybe an hour driving from where I used to live. And I didn’t have a car. So I had to rent a car to get my very cheap sewing machine to go get her. So in the end the end it’s like a sewing machine that cost me like 120 and it just sits there. I have not used it like I have tried it. I’ve tried it to see if it works and it does and it’s a bit like a bit noisy so I’m like I should probably just like it probably it probably works fine but I just want to have it serviced so I have like a clean, clean slate? plate? And yeah, so my My dream is to use it only like you know when you’re top stitching and you have like regular thread and topstitch topstitching threads. My dream is to use it for top stitching because vintage machines are beautiful for straight stitch. And so like this, I don’t have to change the threads so often in the sewing machine I use.

Ada
So problem solved if anyone doesn’t know want to change their thread. Just buy another machine

Nicole
But make sure you rent a car to go get it.

Shilyn
So Koss speaking of how it looked like a blue Cadillac because it was like, beautifully colored with Chrome. I used to own a sewing machine that was also vintage. And it was like a lilac color with Chrome on it. And in the vintage groups, they have, you know, the vintage girls, they love doing the whole shebang down to the car. I saw someone with a lilac and Chrome car. And I was like, oh my god did was this a thing? I think it was because I did some research. And there would be people with like matching sewing machines to the matching car. So you are onto something.

Koss
Oh my god, this is who I should be. I remember it’s funny, because I remember when I was a kid I loved like vintage American cars. And I would always tell my mom, when I’m when I’m tall and strong. Like I have a vintage Cadillac. And my very Asian Mom was like, yeah, how are you going to fix it when it breaks? Get a normal car.

Ada
I would say that is the car that I grew up with my dad driving because I think he had bought it like second hand somehow and it had this car made it across the country multiple trips like literally coast to coast, Chrome silver. But by the time we got to riding in it, like the AC was busted, like there was no heat, it was old leather seats. So when the sun shone, like, would.. in the summer, you would have to put towels out, because you could not physically sit. And she broke a lot like she was not a sturdy, reliable vehicle. And I think that is perhaps why a few years later, when we said goodbye to that car… your mom was right, basically.

Koss
I have a fun fact about that machine that I will I will plug just because this is the Asian sewist collective podcast. So when I bought that machine, the brand was Morse and I had never heard about that brand before. And I looked it up. And turns out it’s, what, this brand used to buy a lot of Toyota sewing machines, and they would rebrand them, and they would sell them mostly to like Australia, New Zealand, but also the US because it was a Japanese product and it would sell better if it wasn’t a Japanese product.

Nicole
Wow. Yeah, I was really interesting.

Koss
I know when I learned that I was like, I never thought about this, but it makes a lot of sense. It’s really sad, but it makes a lot of sense.

Nicole
And I love the way that you and Shilyn described the colors that, Shilyn when you said lilac, all of our faces were exactly the same. We were just all in awe. And it’s kind of reminding me of the way that Kitchen Aid mixers can come in fun colors, and I don’t bake, successfully. But I’m like I would love a Kitchenaid like just because they look so cool and a little bit retro and we get them in the different colors. It’s awesome. And so now I’m like if anyone ever releases rereleases these candy color machines I would be such a sucker for them. And when you mentioned Koss that they, Morse brand was distributed in Australia. I think I’m going later this year so I’m like Am I going to try to find one and bring one home?

Ada
the plugs are different the plugs are different

Koss
Yeah, I I brought my American Sewing Machine to New Zealand there had to buy a transformer it’s it is not fun because the transformer is, weighs more than the sewing machine. But if you buy a vintage sewing machine, the sewing machine will weigh more than the transformer, it will not be fun for you to bring back to the US is what I’m saying.

Nicole
Okay, fine. I’ll find one of the American distributed ones. Okay, team. We have been working together as a team for four seasons. And I want to hear from each of you. What is your favorite thing about working on the podcast? We’ll start with Esther.

Esther
My favorite thing about working for the pod is the community. I think we have a really awesome team of people from around the world with different Asian diaspora heritage. And for me, working on the pod is a way a very rewarding way may I say, to examine and to connect with my identity as an Asian American but also gives me the opportunity to learn more about various Asian cultures as I do research and produce episodes.

Nicole
And what about you, Mariko?

Mariko
I’ll try not to make this too much of a long winded answer. But when Ada and you Nicole both started this podcast, it kind of coincided with a time where I was at one of the most toxic jobs I was ever at. So I saw working with the podcast kind of like an escape, I’m not pleased to admit that I worked on a lot of scripts, a lot of background stuff for the pod, on, you know, my work time, but I really enjoyed it, because everyone, everyone in this group kind of brings some sort of expertise to the table. And then we also trust each other to know what they’re doing. So like, for instance, I came in and was completely new to production stuff, and you all let me kind of jump in, and suddenly have to teach the rest of the team how to produce. I’ve really had fun learning a bunch of new things, and also getting to explore other areas of creativity that I’ve never done. So for instance, I created the sewing labels that we’re selling on our Ko-fi. And that was a lot of fun. You know, labels are small, but there’s so much you can do with it. And it was also really enjoyable, kind of digging back on our old episodes and getting some really great quotes from Ada and Nicole, like the whole, I look good in gold and silver, or my pet is constantly interrupting me every episode. So that’s a huge kind of long winded answer. I think if I had to really boil it down, I’m very thankful that I’ve met everyone in this pod, a lot of very talented people. And I also thank all of you for giving me kind of second hand given me that courage to leave my corporate job, I now do a web comic where I draw silly crap about things that happen at people’s workplaces. I don’t think I would have had courage to do that. Had I not had the chance to work with the pod and have that all those successes there.

Nicole
I’m so grateful to work with Mariko. Very cool. Thanks for sharing that. What about you Shilyn?

Shilyn
I agree with Mariko, like the whole, having a community and being able to learn from other people who are experts in whatever they very, are good at. It’s completely different. Because sewing is it’s such an individual hobby. So for me, I tend to stick with what I know or whatever shiny new thing interests me at the moment. And working with the pod, it sort of takes you out of that element when you either are reaching out to a guest speaker, or just within the pod itself. Everything starts becoming like when you were a kid and everything was all brand new. That’s what it feels like because you’re no longer sitting in your room thinking, Oh, how do I do this? Or let me just do this thing that I’m normally I’m just good at this already. I’m not going to learn this new thing because I’m intimidated. It. It makes things fun again, especially like especially when you lose interest or you’re just not inspired at the moment just looking around and seeing what your friends are doing. It’s it’s really great.

Ada
I also loved hearing that you started working on bras because we talked about that in our team chat. So one last fun question for everyone. If you’re not familiar with the concept of frosting or cake in sewing, Love To Sew has a great episode on it. And I want to know do you create more cake, so like everyday wear like regular clothing or more frosting so evening party wear, fun things. Sareena? Perhaps we should start with you.

Sareena
100% Cake 100% Cake when am I going to a party? When?! Oh my god! Evening partywear? no, no, I did. Okay, this is I did knit like a sexy nighty last year. Does that count? Is that party were

Ada
Yeah!

Nicole
I think so

Sareena
okay. And you know, I sent Koss some knitted underpants this like two weeks ago. So okay, okay, not 100% cake. How about that? But that’s not party, is that party?

Nicole
Sorry. That depends on you.

Ada
Yeah that it not for me to answer.

Sareena
Well, it’s not really cake. These are funny words. I’m too old for these words carry on. Thank you.

Ada
okay, Marika frosting or cake?

Mariko
I was so confused at first because I don’t eat cake every day. I think I’m also 100% cake. I do however, find that once in a blue moon, I’ll have to go to a wedding or something. And it realized I have nothing to wear. So like, even if I do make that frosting, it’s really practical. Like, the last time I went to an event, it was my cousin in law’s wedding. And I made a tencel Criswood’s Sews envelope dress, so it’s kind of elevated, but also very straightforward. I do like, I get drawn towards, you know, complicated cake, if you can call it that. So like jeans, sewing is big. I’m trying to get into sewing a leather jacket. And eventually, I also want to make a big down jacket, because I almost froze my butt off when I went to visit Europe in the winter. Because in SoCal, it’s perpetually warm and sunny, and we never dress up. So there we go.

Ada
Shilyn?

Shilyn
I would also say that I definitely make a lot of cake. But now that you have brought up the whole bra sewing thing, I feel like bras are more frosting. Like I just all the fabric I bought for this project. It’s like, like lace-y and it’s that’s not that’s not cake at all. But normally, I definitely, I definitely make more cake, but I always plan and like design, frosting, I just never have a reason to make like my Koi pond dress for example.

Ada
All right, and we will wrap it up with Cindy and then Koss

Cindy
considering that I primarily sew costumes I think that’s about as frosting as it gets. Like it’s it’s even beyond the realm of party where it’s like, no one actually wears this in their in any kind of everyday life. But I do like to find costume pieces that I can work into my everyday life, you know, like using a hanfu top for a sort of like outer layer or, you know, throwing in some cosplay belts into my wardrobe. But generally, in my first I don’t know, few years of sewing, I made enough cake to kind of last me and so I don’t really feel the need to make more cake because I’m still using those and I don’t want to sew cake for the sake of having something new if my old cake is still working.

Koss
For me, it’s a bit tricky. I love silk in general. And so I want to sew silk dresses or silk pants or blouses. But it’s just not convenient in my everyday life because I have to like delicate wash them and like when I wear them they feel so precious that like I don’t want to eat when I’m wearing them and stuff like that and also in the past few years, my body changed quite a bit. And I desperately need cake I desperately needs pants. Like none of my pants fit me these days. And so I need to to sew them. But I can’t apparently I can’t sew them like I just want to sew another silk dress instead of wearing pants to go to work. I guess I would say more frosting because definitely what I do is for like the joy of making and like this idea of like me wearing that like incredible garment. And definitely not excited by like making more pants or T shirts.

Cindy
I wonder if you had enough silk dresses if they could become cake because you just have so many it’s they’re not precious anymore.

Koss
that’s true, maybe I should just keep making them.

Nicole
Thank you listeners for joining us today. This is our season finale for season four. We’re really glad you got to know our team a little bit better and hope you follow all of them on Instagram. Their profiles and makes will be linked in the show notes.

Ada
We will be taking a break before releasing new episodes again. So to find out when we’re back with new content follow us on Instagram at Asian sewist collective. While we’re away, don’t forget to shop our Ko-fi page you can get your very own Asian sewist collective sew in labels for your garments, quilt bags or wherever you want to put them. Your support is incredibly appreciated. Thank you so much for joining us on this week’s episode of the Asian sewist collective podcast. If you like our show, please consider supporting us on Ko-fi by becoming a one time or monthly supporter or by buying our stickers and selling labels. That’s right we have merch buy the labels they are hilarious. Your financial support helps us with overhead expenses and will allow us to give back to our all volunteer team who work so hard to provide you with new content each week. The link to our coffee page is K O dash f i.com/asian sewist collective and you can find the link in our show notes on our website and on our Instagram account. Check us out on Instagram at Asian sewist collective That’s one word Asian sewist collective. And you can also help us out by spreading the word and telling your friends, we would appreciate it if you could rate review and subscribe to this podcast on Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Pocket Casts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Nicole
All of the links and resources mentioned in today’s episode will be in the show notes on our website. That’s Asian sewist collective.com And we’d love to hear from you. Email us with your questions, comments or even voice messages if you want to be featured on future episodes at Asian sewist collective@gmail.com This episode was brought to you by your co hosts Ada Chen and Nicole Angeline. This episode was produced by

Koss
Kossoma Kernem

Nicole
and edited by

Sareena
Sareena Granger,

Nicole
and

henry
Henry Wong

Nicole
thank you so much to the other members of our collective who made this week’s episode a reality. This is the Asian sewist collective podcast and we’ll see you next week.

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