My Love for Sewing

IN MY CONTEST CRAZE days (link), I even entered sewing competitions in my younger days, and surprisingly won some prizes too!

My first attempt was back in 1989 when I was a varsity student. I entered the 1989 National Sewing Competition organised by Urusetia Hal Ehwal Wanita (HAWA), JPM, Bahagian Kemajuan Masyarakat (KEMAS) and Berita Harian Sdn Bhd.

Mind you, one had to go through the preliminary round (by sending in entries to the organiser in May) and semi-finals (held at Jaya Supermarket, Petaling Jaya, on 18th June 1989 for the Central Zone) to reach the finals.

(Top) My two entries that got me into the semi-finals, I took a photo of them atop the organ, not expecting to see them again once I mail them off; (Bottom) My semi-finals entry which was put up on display together with my preliminary entries.

(Top) My two entries that got me into the semi-finals, I took a photo of them atop the organ, not expecting to see them again once I mail them off; (Bottom) My semi-finals entry which was put up on display together with my preliminary entries.

Berita Harian news of the semi-finals results (19 Jun 1989).

Berita Harian news of the semi-finals results (19 Jun 1989).

The final round was held at The Weld, Kuala Lumpur on 9th July 1989. I received a Telekom Malaysia telex (yes, a TELEX) on 7th July that requested me to turn up for the registration the next day at the Grand Continental Hotel, where all the finalists put up for the night as well.

The competition was divided into two categories: schoolchildren and the public; and for each category there were embroidery or appliqué; in total there were 60 finalists.

I entered the public category and did appliqué. For the finals, we were required to sew a ”chair back” within three hours. Much to my surprise, I got third place and won myself a Singer sewing machine. My parents were there to see me receive the prize from (then) Prime Minister’s wife, Datuk Seri Paduka Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali.

My beloved Singer served me well for over 20 years and travelled with me to Moscow and Hong Kong, before finally calling it a day last year, sob sob (link)

At the finals held at The Weld, KL on 9 July 1989; accepting the third prize from the PM’s wife; in the background is TV3 personality Nurfarahin Jamsari who emceed the event (little did I know I would join TV3 some 5 years later).

NST news of the finals (10 July 1989).

NST news of the finals (10 July 1989).

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Berita Harian’s news report (10 July 1989) which elevated me to “Puan”/Mrs!

My subsequent attempt at the National Sewing Competition was in 1992, shortly after I joined The Star. Once again, I managed to thread my way into the finals, doing appliqué in the public category.

My preliminary entries which earned me a spot in the semi-finals.

My preliminary entries which earned me a spot in the semi-finals.

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I found later that my design was used in Singer’s advertisement brochure!

The final round was held at Nagaria, Kuala Lumpur on 29th September 1992. I have no records (nor recollection) of which hotel we were put in but I recall sharing a room with one of the finalists, Chantha who went on to emerge the winner in our category, in which I didn’t make it to the top three but won consolation prize. Chantha sent me a Christmas card that year but we lost touch after that. I just googled her and learnt that she’s now a dressmaking shop owner Down Under!

The 1992 National Sewing Competition finals held at Nagaria, KL on 29 September 1992; with winner of the public category (appliqué), Chantha.

The semi-finals was held at Kuala Lumpur Plaza on 27 July 1992; then Law Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar’s wife, Datin Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin presented the prizes. (NST, 28 July 1992)

The semi-finals was held at Kuala Lumpur Plaza on 27 July 1992; then Law Minister Datuk Syed Hamid Albar’s wife, Datin Sharifah Aziah Syed Zainal Abidin presented the prizes. (NST, 28 July 1992)

Years later, I met Datin Seri Sharifah again and received a certificate from her in an event in Putrajaya on 19 May 2004; and who knew, even shared a table with her (then wife of Foreign Minister) in Moscow on 19 June 2007.

 

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The Day My Singer Died

My trusty old Singer sewing machine 😦  She turned 23 years old in July. She has been with me for more than half my lifetime, and had travelled with me as far away as Moscow, Hong Kong and back, and served me ever so loyally.

Together we created so many wonderful projects – from placemats to curtains, dresses to costumes, and quilts that cuddle my kids to sleep. 

I won her in a sewing competition while still a university student. I worked hard to woo her, and proudly took her home as the third prize after receiving it from the then-Prime Minister’s wife herself.

In a corner she now rests, broken beyond repair, yet too sentimental to part with.