Episode 45. Ask Us Anything (Nicole visits Ada in Colorado!)

Listen to the episode

This month, we’re bringing you a throwback episode. We spoke with producer Mariko Abe (@marikoabecreative and @theunicornhoax on Instagram), about hers and Ada’s trip to the LA Fashion District last year. This episode was originally recorded on June 25, 2023 on Instagram Live.  Follow the pod at @AsianSewistCollective on Instagram. For show notes and a transcript of this episode, please see: https://asiansewistcollective.com/episode-58-la-fashion-district/  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 


Patterns & Designers mentioned

Wavelength Hat by Tina Tse Knits

Riley Top/Dress by Seamwork

York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet Patterns

ME2003 by Alissah Threads for Know Me Patterns

Celeste Pant by Pattern Division

Multi-Sport Skort 2796 by Jalie


Janelle (@sewn.by.j) on Instagram

Sabra Johnson (@mystyleismybrand) on Instagram

J (@jsusahana) on Instagram

Episode 3 – Pattern Testing with Nandita (@divinedita)

Episode 5 – Quilting with Bhiravi Rathinasabapathi of Strawberry Creek Quilts

Episode 12 – Ella of @HandmadeMillennial

Episode 29 – Gwen of @GwenStella.Made 

Show transcript

Ada: Let’s ask the people on the poster. Why is it harder to record in person?

Nicole: I don’t know. Maybe we should just like, not see each other anymore.

Ada: Just only on screen.

Nicole: This is would just be easier. 

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.so 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: Okay, so today since we are here in person, I don’t know maybe you want to start with explaining why we’re together in person.

Nicole: Yes. So, my brother is he turned 30 this year and his fiancee turned 30 On Saturday, or Sunday. And he wanted to plan his like first big family trip and he’s an outdoorsy person. None of us are.

Ada: That eyeroll.

Nicole: None of us are. But I really pretty like he really planned everything out. He’s like, you probably want to do this. You want sticks. You know, make sure you stay hydrated because it’s high elevation. And yeah, basically, he wanted to take us to Denver because it was kid friendly. So my niece, my two nieces are here. One just turned three yesterday. Three and six. And then my closer to 70 than 60 Mom with one knee. The other is titanium is also here. So like we did easy hikes. I was still panting but you know.

Ada: There’s like 20% Less oxygen. Yeah, it’s understandable.

Nicole: It was a thing. It was a thing. But um, yeah, so that’s why I’m here. And then Ada was kind enough to share some of her time I was saying that I need to like just come here to visit you.

Ada: Yeah, I mean, apparently, even if we were in the same room, like in my house where I usually have the setup, we would struggle.

Nicole: Well, now we know, ish. Now we know ish. So here we are. And we were like, Let’s just, let’s just do it.

Ada: Yeah.

Nicole: We’re podcast pros.

Ada: In between seasons, ask us anything. And we put that question on Instagram. And we got a bunch of responses, mostly foromr one person.

Nicole: I do have another one. I’ll add on here. But I’ll just pull it up on my phone.

Ada: Okay, we have them on my screen. And I guess we’ll just go in order. 

Nicole: Yeah. Let’s do it.

Ada: Okay. The first one comes from Priya @pizzaveri, who was on our episode about knitting, who asked when are we getting matching Wavelength hat pics. And to that I say look, I remembered. It’s, don’t approach this as a set. They just happen to have the same pink color.

Nicole: And they reverse. This light is is cramping my style

Ada: Yeah, this light is not nice.

Nicole: paper towel. There you go. We have a little like, what is it the glare? Yeah. So we are in my May.

This has been helpful. So thank you, Ada for making this for me. I was like we’re having a really hard time packing. I’m very much like, because I’m a planner. I know what we’re going to do on what day? And

Ada: You didn’t know any of that.

Nicole: No, I was like Denver, weather doesn’t make any sense. And I was like, oh, excuse me. Cool. And then we got to Rocky Mountains. Okay, we’re going to Rocky Mountain tomorrow. And I was like, okay, cool, look up rocky mountain. 30 degrees and very windy. And I was like, oh, man, but I’m glad I brought this.

Ada: Because you did see snow.

Nicole: I did. And at the top of Pikes Peak, it was snowing, like straight up like in your face snowing and I was like, I don’t understand. I’m woozy. Like because we’re your highest. But yeah, so it was really hard to pack for this trip. But I was like, You know what I just need I know, I’m gonna need a warm winterr hat. So I’m gonna bring this to honor Ada.

Ada: So like now when I’m making literal winter coats in April, and May.

Nicole:  I get it.

Ada: You get it?

Nicole: I do.

Ada: People are like, it’s spring. And like to that I say it’s snowed last week.

Nicole: Yeah. I mean, it’s snowed in Chicago, like mid April. And that’s normal. But I think our weather is more predictable than yours.

Ada: Yeah, yeah. Ours is very like, you check it 24 hours later and it could be completely different.

Nicole: I can attest to that. So should we do our matching Wavelength selfie?

Ada: We can take it on your phone. 


Okay, let’s see if we can get the light to… This is really great content for a podcast.

Ada: Oh, good. We did it. It will be posted for you, Priya and Tina because it’s, and Tina because it’s Tina’s Wavelength hat pattern, which you if you can see the little lines that I had to look at the pattern for?

Nicole: Priya and Tina were guests on Episode one for season four.

Ada: Yeah. And now they have Between Two Skeins their own podcast. 

Nicole: You gotta watch it. 

Ada: Welcome to the podcast world.

Nicole: Yeah. I love it.

Ada: It’s a little hot down here.

Nicole: It was born on the Asian Sewist Collective podcast. So go listen to that episode, itwas fun. Let me pull actually I’ll do the ones that I have last.

Ada: Okay. Okay, so the next few questions come from Esther, who is on our podcast team. And her first question was what was most surprising about each other and now that you’ve met in person?

Nicole: So we got a similar question from Koss who’s also on a team. Koss’s question came with a caveat, which I’m going to use to answer Esther’s question.

Ada: Okay.

Nicole: You’re taller than I thought you would be.

Ada: I told you I’m five, four. The only thing that threw you off is that when the day that we met I thought it was going to rain like, again weather. I thought it was going to be rainy all day. That is with the forecast said. The forecast lied. And so I was in my water proof water resistant like rain boots for like…

Nicole: They have like a three inch block heel. 

Ada: Yeah, they have a three inch block heel, because there’ll be only pair of rain boots. I haven’t managed to like to chew the heel while walking.

Nicole: Yeah, so we were eye level, but that’s actually not true. Yeah, but that was like, Oh, your job. It’s funny, because when I met Lisa Woolfork of the Stitch Please podcast, shout out to Black Women Stitch.

Ada: How tall is Lisa?

Nicole: We’re about I don’t remember what shoes we were wearing. But the first thing she said when I walked into the room for her session was Oh my God Nicole: , you’re so much taller than I thought you would be. I was like, Yeah, I get it. Like that’s just that’s the digital world. Right? Sometimes when I meet when I see coworkers, like for the first time, and I’ve been only on virtual meetings I’m like, wow you are a lot taller, but it’s usually a lot taller. It’s not like people who are shorter than I expected. It’s like shocking. And it’s just a tall part. I guess maybe because I think that because we’re looking on tiny screen. Yeah. And I’m like everyone so small.

Ada: I feel like my perception of that as like, skewed because for three years, I worked with people like mostly on the internet, and I would see them twice a year, three times a year. And so after the first time you kind of like know how tall or short they are. But like when you meet them for the first time you’re like, Yeah, I kind of guessed you would be like, I don’t know. 5’10”, 5’1”. 

Nicole: Yeah I don’t know. Like, whatever. So anyway, that’s my answer to Esther’s question. And then Koss’s question was the same, but except for being taller so no cheating. So, but yeah, go ahead. You go next. I got to think about something else besides being taller. Now.

Ada: What was most surprising? I don’t think you were wearing anything me-made you were wearing this. SEW sweatshirt. 

Nicole: That’s true.

Ada: With the like S-E-W. Like this. Its it Sewrority?

Nicole: Yeah.

Ada: The Sewrority sweatshirt and your thrifted 90s. Dad, like colorblocked windbreaker. And I was like, so stylish. So cool. Definitely vacation giving vacation vibes. But also would have thought you would have had something in there that you made. Oh, you were wearing your bag.

Nicole: True. Yes. Yeah. I made my own bag.

Well, that’s because I only sew frosting.

Ada: Okay, touche. Fair enough. Fair enough.

Nicole: Doesn’t make sense in on a trip where I have no idea what I’m supposed to be wearing.

Ada: Also fair, I was like, neither of us have some leggings and like that would be the most applicable garment.

Nicole: I just can’t Yeah, I can’t get myself to do it. Because I have leggings that are like 10, you know, polyester lasts forever. And I’m like, it’s still lasting forever.

Ada: I have so many pairs of black leggings. I do not need more.

Nicole: Yeah, no, absolutely not. So I’m like, Yeah, I only need need, quote unquote, more when my body changes. And like I’m in a phase where I need larger sizes now. So I’m like, Okay, let me think about how to do this. I saw this really because like, maybe we’re going off topic, but it’s okay. Wouldn’t be the Asian Sewist Collective if I didn’t bring us off topic. @sewn.by.j, she is a Philippine American sewist based out of New York. And she had taken a top No wait, a pair of leggings that was too small and refashioned it into like a workout top.

Ada: What Oh, I saw that.

Nicole: So I think that would be a great way to like, if leggings are too small for me, then I can like cut them off and make like, you know, use them as like, muslin or muslin fabric for sports bras or Yeah, because it’s got great recovery.

Ada: It’s got really good recovery.

Nicole: So anyway, yes, I was not wearing any me made.

Ada: I think yeah, but active where I’m like, ooh, now I want to sew more activewear which is kind of related to the project. They brought in a bag today. Panic sewing last night, but…

Nicole: Classic.

Ada: We will that’s for the end of the episode. Okay, we’re gonna keep going with questions unless you have an answer to cost us question beside height.

Nicole: I don’t know that the interesting thing is like, we’re meeting each other for the first time in person, 

Ada: But we talk all the time.

Nicole: We talk all the time. You know, I’m not just about podcast stuff like you consider you a true friend.

Ada: Yeah.

Nicole: So it’s like there weren’t any surprises. You know you were wearing panic sewn Clyde pants, classic in black and your neutrals, like you’re wearing. This is exactly who I thought you’d be so and it’s it’s nice. Like, I mean, wouldn’t it have been terrible if you were an asshole in real life?

Ada: That would be so bad. I’d be so annoyed.

Nicole: Yeah, I’d be like, oh gosh this is just isn’t working. But we would go on for you all until the tension was too much and then we just had to quit to have this like band. We’re like a band that splits up. 

Ada: Oh my god no splitting up. 

Nicole: No splitting up, we’re good.

Ada: Although we could, it could be a Jonas Brothers and then you get back together

Nicole: A solo project? I’m too lazy for a solo project. Everyone else on the podcast really carries me.

Ada: Yeah but, you got a solo project and you married Priyanka Chopra.

Nicole: Oh yeah, yeah, she could be my sugar mama while I do my own things. Yeah. Okay.

Ada: I’m really selling it here. Okay. Next question proudest make to date. I don’t know proudest make to date.

Nicole: It might be my birthday dress from 2020, still.

Ada: Ohhh that’s a good one. Yeah,

Nicole: I mean, I’m proud of almost everything I make. Sometimes they don’t work out. I made some I threw together a woven tank not that long ago and I was like, this is okay.

Yeah, my birthday dress it was just because I was so new and it looked bomb and when I was finished with it, I used a wedding dress McCall’s pattern with ITY. And you know, I was there’s ease all over anyway, but then it was knit and was super stretchy. And I was like, Oh, I forgot it. I’m just gonna do it. And it turned out really cool. Yeah, I think I learned a lot just from that project. And it was really fun to like, be able to have something like that. And then I was like, I’m gonna make myself something every year. I went two years. And I was like, it’s fine. What about you?

Ada: Does an alteration count? Okay, so I would say altering my wedding dress. Oh, because that is the most expensive thing I own besides a car. And I did all the alterations where myself so I put in the boob cups which you know, that’s like pretty straightforward, but if I hadn’t like the whole front would have been like, just see through lace see through lace, but like see through. I did the bustle. I think the bustle was like the biggest part.

Nicole: Wow, how did you engineer that?

Ada: I well, I trimmed first I trimmed everything to be even. And then I like I didn’t even hoist a dress onto the dress form. I put the dress form into the dress. Because it’s like cupcake topper level like it did break one leg of the dress form it was so heavy. But my dress form survived. I put it in I zipped it up as best as I could and then just pinned and held things. 

Nicole: Wow.

Ada: And then kind of like marked them and sat on the floor it just like hand sewing buttons and hand sewing loops. And it worked out like pretty well sure it did they have issues like lining up the loops day of but that wasn’t on me that was the wedding planner, my sister and Vincent not being able to find loops. Because we were like outside in the grass and whatnot. And

Nicole: Yeah, bustling and peeing. Those are not things you can do on your own on your wedding day. 

Ada: It was actually okay. I will say you surprisingly not bad.

Nicole: Okay. 

Ada: You just kind of like do a scoop and drop. And then, you know,

Nicole: I had I also had a ball a ball gown looking back, I might have done something different. But I was like, Yeah, sure. Why not? And but yeah, my sister excellent matron of honor at that time. Yeah. And like, yeah, there was there was like hoisting and holding, and yeah, it’s fine. It’s all part of the experience.

Ada: I think the most interesting part was like, they had to keep getting us in and out of golf carts to go take pictures at different spots. And so we have all these great pictures of like, you know, it looks like a bamboo forest. But it’s really just like the rough area where like the golf balls all get lost. And like overlooking with sunset and like there’s a mountain view. It’s cool. But like in order to get to all those spots within the time with the lighting. It had to be like in out of a golf cart. And I was not allowed to drive the golf cart in that because I couldn’t even like see my foot.

Nicole: Yeah, fair. Safety.

Ada: So they were like hoisting me I’d have to like back into the seat. And like kind of like, hug everything together to make sure I was like all in

Nicole: and not like dragging out of the golf cart.

Ada: Yeah, yeah.

Nicole: That was a very good, me made alteration. something to be proud of for sure.

Ada: Right? Definitely save myself. If not $1,000 A couple 100 bucks there with skill. The next question we have is related to formal fave Met Gala look, that was this week. 

Nicole: It was, I had a look at it. And nothing. I mean, besides Pedro Pascal, because he’s amazing. I didn’t see his so he’s the hot stuff right now. But I think I want to throw back to a different era, and not an era but like it’s too close to a recent memory to be an era that I can remember, but I really loved the Zendaya

Ada: Cinderella dress 

Nicole: Cinderella dress. 

Ada: My friend met her at Coachella and didn’t know it was her. 

Nicole: Wow 

Ada: right.

Nicole: Wow.

Ada: Right, I’m like What a sweet gentle pure soul that has no clue who she is.

Nicole: Not at all in touch with pop culture.

Ada: Not at all in touch with pop culture yet at the biggest pop culture event. Dancing in the desert. 

Nicole: What about you?

Ada: I so normally on my personal Instagram not my sewing Instagram I do like a mag gala red carpet kind of takedown off of I I try not to do everyone and I’m trying to be you know, wholesome about it and critique not the wearer but the designer, the stylist. And that was getting increasingly difficult and people were kind of demanding that I put this up even though it was something I just started when I was like working my desk job. Add on top of that, that Karl Lagerfeld was a terrible human.

Nicole: Problematic

Ada: Very problematic human. Yeah, when they announced that that was the theme I was like well, we’re not doing the Met Gala commentary this year. There’s plenty of commentary on the internet. You can go get it somewhere else, but I just choose not to partake. I did see a lot of photos and I found it hilarious that Jared Leto I mean Jared Leto always kind of goes to stun Yeah, and he showed up in the giant Chupette the cat suit is a really good cat suit. It was a good it was a high quality cat suit.

Nicole: Probably made from real cats. 

Ada: I mean him Did you see him and Doja Cat?

Nicole: Yes, Doja Cat. Doja cat as a cat was was wild. That was very Hunger Games like yeah, that one character in The Hunger Games. I was like, Oh, wow ok.

Ada: So I will give the two of them credit for having either the cat face prosthetics or cat suit on the whole time because that could not have been easy. Honorable mention. Daniel Ricardo, the F1 driver, who I have binge watched all of drive to survive and He is hilarious. I just genuinely think he’s like a hilarious human. And everyone’s like, what are you doing here? Anne Hathaway had a moment where she was like, oh my god, I love you. And you could see the genuine shock on his face that like somebody there knew who he was.

Nicole: Aww, yeah.

Ada: But yeah, I think he was in a Tom Brown suit. It was a very it was like a nice kind of modern take on a traditional

Nicole: and that was this year.

Ada: That was the year yeah.

Nicole: Wait, Pedro Pascal.

Ada: Oh, Pedro Pascal. Went in shorts and a trench coat?

Nicole: I know. And like, I don’t know. 

Ada: He looks good in red like that. Reds. Yeah, he was wearing the other day that Mariko really liked.

Nicole: I did look up the Cadbury easter egg Pedro Pascal.

Ada: it’s good.

Nicole: It’s good. Very onpoint for folks on the podcast, Google Pedro Pascal as Cadbury easter eggs.

Ada: Pedro Pascal’s stylist needs a raise. Yeah, that should be the hashtag. Hashtag Pedro Pascal’s stylist needs a raise. 

Nicole: Absolutely. 

Ada: On that note, who’s your current fashion? inspo?

Nicole: I don’t know fashion anymore? I don’t know. I have no idea. I don’t know what about you.

Ada: I don’t know. I think since I started sewing, I stopped paying as much attention to fashion week looks. And kind of started trying to figure out more like what do I like to wear what’s practical for my lifestyle? For me, I think it was bridging the gap between like, there are these styles that I really like and love to wear, but are completely impractical for who I am as an individual person who you know sometimes has to lift 25 pounds of coconut oil as to receive 55 gallon drums. And so I think there’s I’ve definitely shifted to like there’s a work wardrobe and then there’s a fun wardrobe and then there’s like me and my PJs at home wardrobe. Yeah. Which I think kind of got lost in the midst of like lockdown. Yeah, but I also Yeah, I can’t say I have like a specific fashion or style icon necessarily.

Nicole: After some more reflection. I think I may have said this on the podcast before Mindy Kaling. I follow her on Instagram, and she’s just so freakin stylish, and I would love to emulate that. And there are actually a couple of other people on the worldwide webs. That are not celebrities, but there is a woman who is an older black woman and apologies I don’t I don’t know how old she is. But just because Okay, now I feel weird. Like I’m making an assumption, but

Ada: Older than you.

Nicole: Yeah. And I think she’s just talked about. So “My Style is my Brand” that she posts like Get Ready With Me for like, reels and then it’s just really great, confident person. She’s a great confident person and I love how she mixes and matches, prints and colors and you know, doesn’t adhere to a single look. And at one point, she had said that I don’t like to preparemy outfits, I like to kind of roulette in the morning, and just see what works. And everything just is so great. So it’s at @mystyleismybrand. She recently posted a reel about how, over the last few years, her styles change. Yeah, and how that like with one article of clothing that she has. And it started with like a more conservative look, you know, kind of somebody that you could see at Macy’s or whatever. And then a next look a year later with the same skirt, but like mixing up a little bit, and then how she would do it now. And you could really I love how she did that it was really cool. And I’d like to evolve to that level of confidence. And it is this skill, like you know, to look and know what works. Like I want to get into print mixing, but anyway, at @mystyleismybrand on Instagram, I might say that she’s probably a fashion icon of mine, for sure.

Ada: I’m gonna have to check her out. Also, Mindy Kaling to your point didn’t write in one of her books or somewhere in an interview. I think that basically, to look that good. You have to have the money and time and resources 

Nicole: fair.

Ada: In order to have all those outfits kind of on point all the time.

Nicole: Yeah. 

Ada: And I was like, respect for, you know, being real about it. Yeah, being honest about it. Like, she was like super honest that like that wouldn’t have worked for her when she was just starting out. So

Nicole: no fair and her. Her closet looks amazing.

Ada: That is yeah, I I do have, I wish you had come over to see my shoe wall in my closet. I do have a shoe wall in my closet. That was the one request I got in when we got the house. But um, everything else we’ve had to put in shelving or like kind of figure out how to make the closet design work for us. And like I know there’s like systems and you could go IKEA or like Elfa Container, Store it but I don’t have that kind of energy. Yeah.

Nicole: Work with what you have or what you have access to describe the moment when you felt connected and became friends. It was pretty fast. For me. I think part of it was that when we started the podcast, we were all in a really vulnerable space. And we we came together because we have something in common. But then we found comfort in each other. And I just found myself like talking about things with a veritable stranger that I don’t think I would have if like we had met in person somewhere because you’re more guarded in person. I guess part of me was like, well, if this doesn’t work. I could just never see her again. But yeah, I think it was pretty early. I think it was like you and I, I think we stayed on longer. We had a lot more just you and I had like a lot more like wider ranging brainstorming sessions and troubleshooting things. We spent a lot of time together right at the beginning. And I think that added that vulnerability allowed me to be more authentic, I think with you right away. And it was just No, I don’t I can’t pinpoint a moment, but it was early. 

Ada: I have a moment.

Nicole: Oh, gosh. Okay, here we go.

Ada: I was in the Joann Fabrics parking lot. Which it’s a special place. You know, the Joann parking lot. Many a video has been filmed there. I don’t remember what I went to pick up there. I think it was probably like thread. Because I like I don’t know what I had run out of it was just like I needed something that day. So I was like, Fine, I’ll just go. And it was near the beginning, I think because we mostly talk on Instagram, and Slack. And so but we had exchanged numbers because we hadn’t was up Slack yet. And I was like running about I was like I’m here and then I’m here and then I’m here and then like, I’ll be home at this point. And you were like texting me or like, I think we should just like set up a Slack. I know how to do that from work. I’m just gonna set it up, you’ll get an invite. And I was like, I That’s genius. And I would have also gotten a conclusion like in two days. But like for you to say that while I’m literally at Joanns trying to like find threat or whatever. Yeah, I was like, Oh, we’re gonna be friends.

Nicole: I think it’s because I’m decisive. I can be really indecisive when it comes to really like you really stupid things. But like when it’s something the decision needs to be made. And like, you know what, I feel confident in my like that this is gonna work. Let’s do it. You’re busy. Like, you know, it’s fine. I’m just gonna do this. And then if it doesn’t work, we’ll figure it out.

Ada: So it worked out.

Nicole: Yeah. I think so. That’s cool. Slack. That’s how you remember that’s like how we became friends.

Ada: Well, I think someone did. We talked about Microsoft Teams.

Nicole: I think so.

Ada: I was like Absolutely not. Like, I’ve used every chat product.

Nicole: So the next one is Have you ever made anything without unpicking or redoing some part?

Ada: Oh, this was from somebody else and I will find it and we will insert it in the show notes. Thank you for sending this in.

Nicole: No. I can’t think of but really single thing no. I think the answer is still no. You know the ones that you do multiple times that and those are easier, but I’m the type of person that will I’m not a multi- I don’t have a T, I have a TNT I guess I don’t really have a TNT actually I’ll just flat out say that. So that’s probably why I’m seam ripping shit a lot all sorts of mistakes. Okay, I did make a Seamwork Riley top which is a woven tank. And I think I got away with not having the seam rip anything. I do need to make fit adjustments for the next version. But it’s a simple enough pattern where I problem and I French seamed everything’s been too lazy about serging, which is makes no sense. I know. But I actually think Yeah, yeah, I think that might have been this but my latest one. So I’m growing. Now.

Ada: The question came from J or J Susa Hana. J-S-U-S-A-H-A-N-A. On Instagram. I think I saw this question. And I was like, oh, yeah, for sure. And it wasn’t because I was perfect at sewing it was because I was just so far along or panic sewing that I was like, You know what, screw it. I’m just, we can live with the extra clips seem or whatever’s going on here either. Definitely, like, in the middle of the neckline of my first York pinafore, which is a blue denim pinafore that I made. And I somehow decided that silver thread was a good idea. very visible.

Nicole: Sure.

Ada: I think it was the first thing I ever finished with a bias bound neckline. And I definitely I fucked up right in the middle. Like there’s a little crooked zigzag. And I was like, You know what, we’re not unpicking. We’re just gonna go. I know, if you’re staring that closely to my neck. What are you doing?

Nicole: You know, that’s funny, because I, I would really struggle with leaving that in there. And, and this is something where my husband would be like, I didn’t even notice it until you said something. And I’m like, now now I know it’s there. And I would unpick it. I would.

Ada: I would. No. I mean, if it was like really bad, or there was a thread nest going on? I would, I would definitely pick it.

Nicole: I’ve left thread nests. I’m like, you know, at the seems secure enough. It’s fine with me

Ada: so long to figure out why I was getting thread nests. It was like, Oh, you have to hold this.

Nicole: When you start? Yeah. Yeah, no, I do that now as well. I don’t do that. I have my machine has an automatic cutter. And I don’t do that anymore.

Ada: Fancy.

Nicole: Because it starts like because then you can’t reach the bottom. Yeah, yeah. And yeah. So there’s my my thread around the sewing room count has gotten a lot higher. Now that I’ve like have to pull and cut the thread, but it’s fine. I vacuum every once in a while. 

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.

Nicole: Got two more questions. What is the greatest accomplishment of ASC? In your opinion? I don’t know. I think I think it’s just you know, creating high quality podcast, centering Asian voices. It’s so broad, but I mean, like our mere existence is, is its own accomplishment and that we’ve made it past one episode and that, you know, people love hearing us and that we ruffle some feathers. Like I think that that’s not a bad thing, either. You know,

Ada: I think I knew that we had obviously like formed a community and that like your guys’s or everyone’s DMS, in response to episodes or things that we repost and share and educate on I think are great to show that like we needed a space because for me, it felt like before this, we were kind of co-opting other people’s spaces. And so to have our own space is, like one thing and one really big thing, and I hope that listeners and followers on Instagram kind of feel that. And then I would say the other thing is that I knew we were making a real difference when multiple people tagged us in a post calling out a pattern maker, an indie pattern maker from the UK, who appears to be a white woman for appropriating. And they were like, that’s not a kimono, please see these episodes right over there. And it felt really good that we didn’t have to be the ones kind of like screaming into the void anymore on our own. And that folks had actually listened to us processed it and we’re going and using that information and saying they’ve done this really great work. You need to do some work. Yeah, here we are serving it up to you like in a handy dandy comment. And so that I think that happened a few months ago, a few weeks ago. Yeah. And that was really satisfying to see that kind of unfold and not have to be in the literal like depths of internet disgusting-ness.

Nicole: We talk often about on the podcast about you know, doing the work and don’t ask us questions like listen to what we’re already saying. And I think that having someone who’s an ally, whatever they look like saying hey, they already did the work here, you know, like that’s, like that’s really great to have become a reliable resource and voice in the sewing community, whether that person did anything about it, who knows, but like, just being that, like being listened to like that. I didn’t I guess I didn’t really imagine that we could have that big of an impact. Yeah. And maybe it’s more me, I think I think it’d be like, I’m, people care about what I have to say. And you know, but, you know, everyone has a voice that’s worthy of being listened to. And so it’s really cool to see that rollout. So yeah, that’s a great. You’re better at specific answering specific questions. I’m like, “Everything!”.

Our existence is our greatest accomplishment.

Ada: But also, I think our professional backgrounds kind of, yeah, lend us to these things. Like I’m used to getting very pointed q&a on like, a product webinar, like, hey, when’s this feature gonna launch? Yeah, and having to be like, very soon can’t commit to a date. Here’s my skirting around the answer answer.

Nicole: I’m used to having to explain things to everybody. And like, not everybody, but just like, yeah, a lot of what I do what I have been doing last few years is like breaking down things and explaining them. And I’m, I can be really long winded, I always have to be like reined in. Anyway, speaking of being reined in. I have a final question. Okay. This is from my colleague, Irma. She asks, Where do you see your podcast or collaborative in the future?

Ada: Oh, I’m going to start with one thing that I’ve noticed over the past few months, and maybe it will lead us into other things I don’t know. Lately, we’ve been getting reached out to by companies big and small. You know, in the case of it’s a publisher for an Asian or person of Asian descent author in the in the fiber arts and crafting world, like we are more than happy to support that author, because it is their work getting published. And sure the publisher, you know, that person works for a company. What has kind of like intrigued me and sometimes pissed me off is that like, small and large companies will reach out to us and say, Hey, can you promote this thing? Without offering compensation. Yeah, without really acknowledging that, like this content is, is essentially like it’s a passion project, none of us are really profiting off of it. Like we are basically breakeven and making pennies for every hour we spend. And so like, what I love to get to a point where we could hire a professional editor and like, have all this stuff sure, but like, we need the financial backing to do that. One of the ways to do that is to take on sponsors, but then do these do we really know that these people actually and these companies actually align with our values? And the answer is from a lot of emails that we get cold. No, because like

Nicole: they Googled Asian

Ada: Yeah, they just googled like, places to distribute our sewing stuff and sell to people. And so I’m kinda a little more protective of the community in the audience that we’ve built, because I think that’d be doing a disservice to everyone. But it’s kind of interesting to see that, like, we are getting more recognition, I guess, as a identity within the crafting community that is lucrative to target if you’re a business, like, I’ll be honest, I’m, I’m a business owner, like, you know, I get it, why they’re doing that. But it seems disingenuous to me when you send us those emails being like, Hey, can you promote this thing or this pattern or this contest? Without saying like, and this is why, like, we’ve done our research on you, basically, yeah, I think we’re probably not going to be taking those on anytime soon.

Nicole: without compensation 

Ada: without compensation, and without understanding that they’re, like, aligned with our values. Yeah. Which like, if you were, I would think that that’s something you would lead with email

Nicole: And Yeah, you have to listen to understand what our values 

Ada: Yeah, you can’t just be like Googling and then see our front page of our website, which really doesn’t have anything besides links to the show notes, and then links to where to find where to find the pod where we’re going as a podcast. I don’t know. I like doing it. It’s still. It’s still fun. It’s so interesting. I think we only work on topics that are interesting to the team. Yeah. Because we don’t want to shove any content down anyone’s throats. And since the team spend so many hours on each episode, like I’m talking 8,12, 20 hours, depending on what role you’re doing. Yeah, we want the team first of all have amazing sewists and crafters to enjoy what they’re working on. Because it is it is a labor of love. It’s a passion project. So yeah, I would love to see us all meet in person like it’s been so fun meeting you and that I would love to see us meet in person at some point. I think that would probably require a significant financial investment from all of us. So it would be something maybe down the line. Or maybe we could like, organize some sort of sewing retreat. And then I would also love to open it up to the broader community of our Asian Sewist listeners who want to meet and connect in person, because we get to connect with you on Instagram, on a regular basis, but I guess Instagrams not really helpful or easy for us to be like, and then like, you should talk to this person, like, yeah, you know, have kind of those group discussions. So I don’t know, if or when any of that would happen. But I think that’s something that I would like to do. Thoughts?

Nicole: Yeah, I think podcasting can just be quick and dirty and done. But that’s like, not who we are. And I think that being able to, and also, none of us were podcasters. And we’re podcasters now! We’re sewists that’s what we do. Needle and thread right, like, and I think that being able to, we’ve all advanced our skills in some way, but being able to make this, like a livelihood, is, I think, probably the big goal, everything, you know, a lot, a lot more can flow from that. I think when when we’re all able to make, you know, think about the places that we can make more space, you know, if we’re able to make something, you know, sustainable, and but I know that like most podcasters have other jobs, but and I think the meeting in person would be a lot of fun, like a like a retreat, you know, we’d have to, we have to pay our way. But it would be nice to be able to do something where if people want to come, you know, they’re available, they have to pay their way as well. But

Ada: I would love to find a sponsor if like if we did a retreat, I would love to find someone or a company to sponsor it, who understands and is aligned with our values to sponsor folks who like it may just be out of their price range. Yeah, right to start from because we are so much about equity and like access, that I think if we’re going to do something in person, and it’s going to require travel or paying, like, that’s what I would love to find someone want to do that because like, this is not a whole shameless plug for like, buy our labels, like subscribe to our Kofi, but it does take significant amounts of time to do the research and the producing, and the writing and the recording and editing to get to a final finished podcast episode. Not all of them are like this. Yeah, so I think that’s something to highlight that I don’t think I think I like kind of acutely understood, where content creators and podcasters were in terms of making a living and being able to do that before we started the podcast and then really doing the podcast and meeting with like a lot of our guests and talking to them behind the scenes about what’s your day really like like when can we get you on live? Yeah, like it does actually make a lot more sense. And I think helps me appreciate more. Yeah, what we see anyway, sorry, I cut you off.

Nicole: No, I mean, like, I don’t I don’t have particularly intelligent thoughts, like, pay us.

Ada: So the answer is, we don’t know but we’re trying to figure it out. We have cool ideas, but we need to figure it out.

Nicole: I’d like to say like low hanging fruit is we meet up but it’s not that low hanging. Like you know we we do it like you know we are a lot of us are in North America. But you know, Koss is, oh we should do an Auckland Retreat.

Ada: You just told me how much it cost a flight to fly to New Zealand. 

Nicole: I know, it’s expensive right now. That is something that’s the dream. I think we’ve all been meeting you know, one by one by one, including guests. Yeah, so it would be really cool to have like, not a Frocktails. I don’t want to call it that. But like you know, something, I think a sewing retreat would be fun.

Ada: I will say that like I have travel back to the other two places that I call home this year planned so the Bay Area and New York. And for some of those trips I’ll be there longer and I’ve just like toying with the idea of like, what if we did a meet up Would anybody come? What would we do? So that’s not completely out of the question. It just requires a little more bandwidth.

Nicole: Can I come? I got miles.

Ada: If you want to.

Nicole: I’ll just show up wherever

Ada: we can see I’ve definitely had that conversation with one on one people in the past. And I am seeing Mariko when I go to LA next month like you’ve said it’s been a one on one max two on one like I met Bhiravi and Ella together on the East Bay and I know Ella has been organizing some Bay Area meetups which is cool. What if we could do a bigger one? Yeah, I have event planning skills in the background. We could do this.

Nicole: Look at us using our skills for the podcast. Who knew.

Ada: All right I have one final sewing related question because we usually open our episode with what are you working on? And clearly you’re on vacation and you did not bring your sewing machine 

Nicole: I did not I thought about it. 

Ada: You thought about it and you thought about bringing stuff to Yeah, but I started a panic sew last night and I need okay and I I thought it would be great to just bring it in person because we never get to do this.

Nicole: Okay, it’s buried underneath our wall of pillows. 

Ada: Buried under Yeah, if you want to grab me the bag. Yeah, I um, you know, if I’m going to an event I want to wear something new.

Nicole: I am the same.

Ada: which is a problem. It’s a problem. A byproduct of fast fashion. I don’t need something new. But if I can wear it, if I’m going to wear it again, Like, I’ll I’ll try to go out of my way to do it.

Nicole: Where you going? What’s your what’s your event.

Ada: I feel almost shameful saying this. I’m going to Miami for the Formula One Grand Prix

Nicole: Why? Why is that shameful?

Ada: It just seems really frivolous. If I’m being honest.

Nicole: Lots of things are frivolous.

Ada: I’m not going because I love F1 that much, or whatever. I literally binged the Netflix series in order to go and have an intelligent conversation while I’m there. My partner got invited for a work thing, so we’re only going one day, but I thought like, you know, it’s gonna be a weekend. It should be cool. It’s gonna be hot. And I don’t like I haven’t last year I said I was gonna make more shorts. I didn’t end up making too many more shorts. So I was going through my patterns. And this actually came up because I was looking at this pattern for a wedding that I have to go to where I’ve been encouraged to try again, with wearing my sari.

Nicole: Ah, yes.

Ada: And I needed a petticoat and I was looking it up. So I was like, oh, make the skirt as a petticoat, because then I can wear it again. Then I was like, Ooh, skirt has a shorter view. So I can wear it for Miami. And it’s a knit fabric, and I found the knit.

Nicole: It doesn’t look knit. 

Ada: It’s kind of like a legging fabric. It’s this teal that it’s not coming in great on my camera. It’s coming across sky blue, but I swear it’s more green. Yeah. And it’s very close to the accent color of one of the teams that I can get behind in this sport.

Nicole: Wow, that’s very specific.

Ada: And I was well I when I bought this fabric. I was like maybe I’ll make like athletic wear with it. Yeah, never did because it was a little I wear black leggings. This is not my color. But a cute Know Me pattern from Alyssa Threads. Which is Know Me 2003. It’s for listeners who are watching on YouTube. It’s the sweater set with the top has a V neck sweater with a ruffle and buttons. The bottom is a knit almost pencil skirt with a slit two lengths Maxi and not quite mini. I also thought Alyssa was a small human that I’m looking at these pattern photos. I’m like, Are you a small human? I don’t think so. 

Nicole: You just don’t know.

Ada: You don’t know I’m making view D so I’ve made this I haven’t attached the waistband because I had to do some adjustments. But right now this it says to use stretch knits only for c&d use Ponte double knit sweater knits. I did not listen to that clearly because I just said I use an activewear knit.

Nicole: That’s fine.

Ada: It feels like it needs a lining though. I tried it on last night, which I almost never remember to do. And it was a little too clingy. And yeah, it’s supposed to be kind of tight body con. Yeah. Can I do you think I could, you know, essentially make the same thing inside out and attach the skirt. 

Nicole: That sounds like it’d be really thick for Miami.

Ada: Really thick for Miami. Right? So like, how do you make this work? Do I have to wear Spanx?

Nicole: I would I would just wear it. It’s Miami. I mean, I haven’t spent any time there, seems like the kind of place where you you just whatever looks hot.

Ada: You can see everything like I’m gonna need to wear some seamless underwear

Nicole: I mean, yeah, I mean, you mean like dimples and stuff.

Ada: It’s less the dimples. It’s kind of more the fact that it’s like, it feels like it should look sleeker. Because in a heavier knit that would cover up like seams the seams. Yeah,

Nicole: I mean, there isn’t really anything you can do about the seams. I don’t know, I would probably just wear it as is with seamless underwear. And even then I Okay, and this is maybe just me being like, I don’t care about what people think. I’m like, not trying to like pretend like I’m not wearing underwear.

Ada: Yeah, yeah, that’s true. 

Nicole: Like, back in the day. It’s like, oh, you know, you got to wear a thong like no pantie lines. Panty lines look terrible. Like, I mean, sure, but not trying to fool anyone into thinking. Like, I’m going commando. I don’t really care like surprise. I’m wearing underwear like anyway, but that’s just me.

Ada: Alright you think I can attach the waistband? Hem it and call it a day.

Nicole: I mean, yeah, I don’t really know what you would do, though.

Ada: I did think about making it a skort.

Nicole: You could do that too. Right? Yeah, I know. You have. You have like a shorts pattern. Yeah, because from a skort, you could just drop in there.

Ada: I have. I thought I had actually like five yards of this. I think I officially only have like three so we’ll see. 

Nicole: But you don’t need that many. 

Ada: You don’t need that many. I thought it’d be like cool to finally use this fabric that I have in my stash.

Nicole: Yeah. 

Ada: I think it’s color appropriate.

Nicole: You know what team you’re rooting for.

Ada: You know that It’s like, but it’s subtle. It’s kind of like Disneybounding.

Nicole: Ah, ok formula one bounding.

Ada: Like I won’t be wearing won’t be wearing Mercedes PETRONAS, whatever the heck the whole name of this team is Yeah. But like if I wear a black shirt, which I own many of and a skirt. It’s like people know

Nicole: They will know.

Ada: Like, if I showed up in all red, they would be like, Ferrari.

Nicole: Okay, no, that’s cool. I think yeah, I don’t know what I think if you make it a skort though. You create more lines, more lines unless you have a pattern that is that doesn’t have like the front and back seam. I have I have a pattern that has a gusset instead. It’s it is. Oh, my goodness. Let me just look it up. It was meant for comfort.

Ada: Okay. There is in that skirt pattern that I like from Jaile. There’s both a quote unquote hot pants version which of the skort which is like shorts underneath and then there’s basically like, underwear briefs version. Maybe I just do built in underwear.

Nicole: Uh, yeah, you could do that. I think that makes sense. Okay, here we go. It’s called as from Pattern Division. It’s called the Celeste pant.

Ada: Oh, okay. bike shorts.

Nicole: Yeah, so the seams are on the side. Okay. And they would align and it has a gusset in the middle. And this is like, totally seamless. Except for that. Yeah, sides. Whoa. And so I think that that might serve your purpose better. This pattern doesn’t even have like, you don’t even finish the waistband.

Ada: Oh woah ok.

Nicole: I found that it was it’s nice for sleeping. I think like impractical for activewear. But that might be something you could install in here would be comfortable. And you could even use like a lighter material. Okay, so Pattern Division, Pattern Division Celeste pants.

Ada: which is really shorts. And it sounds like the UK version of pant.

Nicole: Yeah, there’s a story behind these pants and these underwears and I can’t remember Okay, pants, underwears. I can’t remember what it is. But I’m sure you would think I’ll look it up later. But okay. The designer from Pattern Division. She has not mobility issues, and she has Parkinson’s. 

Ada: Oh, right, She’s okay. Yeah, she made the port top. 

Nicole: Yeah, I know that she designs her patterns to be simple sews. Yeah. Because

Ada: when you have an essential tremor, it’s really hard to keep things.

Nicole: So Nandita from season one. Yeah, is a big fan of her. I have a lot of her patterns, because I wanted to support her business but also because they look really simple. I just I have a lot of patterns. But I did make the Celeste pant, oh, because I was chaffing really bad after a run. That’s what it was. It was like everything hurt. I no longer wear shorts when I run. A barely run. It was cheap. Like nothing was comfortable. So I made those in a almost like a brushed poly like a double brush. Poly like so soft. It was warm, but it was like soft between my legs was really nice. So yeah, that might actually that might be a good option.

Ada: I will look into that. Before I get to because this I’m not even kidding. Like that’s cute. I hadn’t I cut this pattern out only the skirt pieces and cut the fabric and sewed all this up in less than an hour.

Nicole: Wow

Ada: And got to basically like finishing

Nicole: nice.

Ada: right? And I was I had gotten into it. I think I posted a picture to my stories with this leather jacket. I had thrifted A while ago I think Gwen past guests had commented on like I need to turn it into something. Well I put the shorts pieces next to this giant leather jacket. And because they were kind of wide leg shorts, I just there was no way it would be able to harvest enough fabric in time. Yeah. So I was like What else can I do? Well, I already have to try this pattern so I might as well kind of toile it I might end up with do these skirts. Thanks Alyssa for the pattern.

Nicole: I mean hey, but one hour shoot.

Ada: Right? 

Nicole: I should get my serger out

Ada: for one hour in less than one hour including serging like look at my and I didn’t have any matching thread because this is a unique color.

Nicole: I don’t match. No match. I don’t do that.

Ada: I was trying to get like a somewhat closer. But we’ve got lime green thread on the inside.

Nicole: Nice, that’s cute. I like that.

Ada: Yeah. Well, thanks for answering my real life sewing question. Yeah.

Nicole: That’s wild. Let’s do sewing retreat. Can I just come back and we’ll just like hang out your second machine, right?

Ada: No. 

Nicole: Oh shit.

Ada: I mean, I have like 100 year old machine that has a very, not strong motor.

Nicole: Sounds complicated. I’ll bring my own. That’s fine.

Ada: That’s why you have a rolly wheel bag now.

Nicole: That’s right. Yeah. So I can be my mobile with my craft.

Ada: Anyways, now you’ve gotten a preview into our Instagram DMs with each other

Nicole: Okay, I think that’s it. I can hear movement upstairs. We are in the basement of my family Airbnb. I hear tiny feet running around probably my nieces are awake and we’re gonna hit the airport in like 45 minutes so I think that’s a wrap.

Ada: That’s a wrap. Thanks for listening and let us know if you liked this format. We will probably just throw this up for you as a bonus episode. While we are gearing up for our next few episodes, and we already have a few in line that are pretty interesting. So stay tuned.

Nicole: Yep, we did it.

Ada: We did it.

Ada: 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 Kofi by becoming a one time or monthly supporter, or by buying our stickers and selling labels. That’s right, we have merch by 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 and work so hard to provide you with new content each week. The link to our Kori page is K O dash F I  dot com slash 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 AsianSewistCollective@gmail.com This episode was brought to you by your co hosts Ada Chen and Nicole Angeline. 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.