Yellow Lines

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WEAR FROM: Dress – Michelle Pham | Heels – Calvin Klein

Hello friends + loved ones!

I finally completed my first sewing project in San Francisco! I’m aiming to complete a piece each week over the remainder of the year! I picked up this cloth at Britex Fabrics, the nest of luxury fabrics in San Francisco. When I first started sewing, I was based out of Maine, where stunning fabrics can be found at outrageously handsome prices. There’s an older population demographic out in New England and many people there still sew or quilt as a hobby. Out here in San Francisco, most people live a fairly fast-paced life outsourced to technology, so the stores are fewer and the selections are more limited. If you enjoy high-quality knits from Milan and the most divine printed silks, Britex is the place to go. You’ll find men and women shopping there with their personal tailors and women picking up embellishments or white fabrics for their wedding dresses. Frankly, almost everything I touched and was enamored with was on average $100/yard, but you can find some bargains on their uppermost floor where they sell remnants and clearance fabrics. Not to mention, their notions, ribbons, and embroidered accents are reasonably priced.

So, why did I choose this particular cloth? Since working at Google, I’ve been commuting  and spending more time on a bus than I ever wanted to. Subsequently, I’ve been trying to buy and work with more comfortable, breathable materials that can stretch and allow for freedom of movement. I cannot hop on a Google bike and get to my next destination if my skirt is designed from a stiff fabric. One of the biggest issues that I have with my clothes is the lack of pockets. No one makes pockets for women’s business clothes. I find myself at a loss for where I am supposed to clip my ID badge and I am always leaving my  phone behind in bike baskets because my dresses don’t have pockets and I don’t want to be encumbered by my oversized work purse. I’m not quite finished with this dress yet, but when I am, there will be pockets for me to slip my phone, pen and badge into.

The design process started with the fabric. I was immediately attracted to the simplicity of this material. The peachy-beige tones were muted and sophisticated allowing the yellow stripe to add a refreshing pop to the textile. This material was stretchy, intricately woven and so comfortable. Comfort = key. I knew I wanted this as soon as I picked it up. Shapeless dresses have been the new movement in women’s fashion as of this past little while. Otherwise known as the beloved potato sack dress, this shape is:

– Very forgiving! You do not need to worry about underwear lines or what bra you are wearing.

– So liberating! Feel free to kick a soccer ball or to go out to brunch in this dress because you are not going to be restrained in your movements.

– Easy to accessorize and style! Minimalist dresses can be worn as-is, appreciated for their lack of bows and ruffles. Alternatively, you can spruce things up with a statement necklace or a simple piece of jewelry.

In case you haven’t caught on, I’m all about being as efficient as I can with my morning dressing routine. It took me only two hours or so to complete this dress from start to finish. I used one of my favorite Marimekko shift dresses to build my pattern and I decided to go for very simple sleeves and a regular neckline. Originally, I wanted to sew roll-up sleeves, but that proved to be a little too much with the simplistic chicness of this dress. My unruly hair is covering some detail, but the collar has a hint of yellow on the edge because I thought it would be a rather cheeky touch.

The process of sewing for me is returning back to that very hands-on sentiment when humans used to be makers and creators. It’s absolutely therapeutic to work with my  hands after sitting at a computer for 10-12 hours a day. Seeing that you were able to create something from scratch is an incredible feeling. I’d encourage anyone who was interested in a particular hobby to just dive into it. When I first started sewing, everything I made was imperfect, and to this day, it’s still not quite perfect, but there’s beauty in that slight imperfection and there’s always a lesson to be learned.

The Cherry Blossom Girl

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WEAR FROM: Pink Gown – ASOS | Wedges – BCBG | Earrings – Kate Spade

A few weeks ago, I returned to my beloved hometown of Vancouver for a weekend trip. After all this time, Vancouver is still as alluringly nostalgic to me as it was when I left at 17. I couldn’t resist capturing the cherry blossoms in bloom with this Japanese bow-inspired dress. I  found this pink gem while I was on the hunt for a gala dress last spring. It caught my eye, but it sold out in the United States so quickly that I had to ship it in from London after I saw it. I was obsessed! When I have my eye on something and am smitten, I will find a will and way to make it happen – and this principle applies to all aspects of life. I adore this dress because of its unique draping. Strapless dresses are hard to embellish with a statement bow or ruffle without the outfit becoming too gaudy and tacky. However, this dress was a perfect mix of demure and fun with its muted pink and very conveniently placed leg slit. The bow was also artfully placed and I appreciated that this dress is made from such a low-maintenance fabric. I’m all about wrinkle-resistant fabrics these days.  Fabrics that are easy to maintain and care for save so much time and one can actually move and walk in garments that are made with a little bit of stretch.

Memories of spring always conjured the vivid image of driving down blocks after blocks of pink-petaled cherry blossom trees. I’d love to plant two elegant lines of cherry blossom trees along a driveway leading to a cottage I will spend my days reading, writing and sewing from…



Denim Blues

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It’s been storming out here in San Francisco and I can’t help but feel as if though I’m back in Vancouver. A few days ago, a friend who was in town asked me if the weather we grew up in impacted the development of our personalities…..

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Sunday Kind of Love

_DSC0805_DSC0822_DSC0807 _DSC0808♪ ♫ SUNDAY KIND OF LOVE  – ETTA JAMES ♪ ♫

Dearest friends,

I hope that you’re enjoying your Sunday morning wherever you are in this world! I’m about to head down to the farmer’s market for my weekly bouquet of flowers. These stunningly vibrant red tulips were a pick from a previous trip down to Fort Mason for my flower fix. By the way, on my desk, you’ll notice one of my latest reads, “China Rich Girlfriend.” Kevin Kwan is a huge guilty pleasure of mine with his “Crazy Rich Asians” and “China Rich Girlfriend” series.  I got through both books in one sitting. Consider it the equivalent of any Sophie Kinsella or Candace Bushnell novel, but so much better! I’m partial to the novel for a variety of reasons, but one of the primary reasons is that I have never read a novel with Asian characters who are so developed and being portrayed doing non-stereotypical things. Granted, the series documents the whole Asian wealth stereotypes, but it does so in a way that I think most people are unexposed to. I read a wide spectrum of things over the weekend, and if you want a light-hearted and fun read, check out Kevin Kwan’s novels!

I love Sunday mornings. I can’t sleep in past 8:30 AM anymore since I am up bright and early before sunrise these days. Sunday mornings mean lounging in bed with a cozy book while your toes are warm in socks underneath a fluffy duvet. The lighting in my room is a reddish-pink hue from the red silk curtains, so there’s a soft shade of color permeating the four white walls. Sunday mornings mean brunch: eggs, bacon, soufflé pancakes, waffles, ketchup, dijon mustard and a dash or four of hot sauce. Sunday is errand day: the last chance to run down to SOMA to pick up hangers and something for the house. Sunday is my day to go lie down in a park or by the seaside underneath the sun. Sunday is the day to wander the streets, to go into that nook in the corner, to get lost in a bookstore, to buy a book, to walk in and out of small and quaint boutiques, to eat a taco, to eat a croissant. Sunday is a day for rest and joy. Make the most of yours today before Monday.


Paint The Town Pink

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I have loved flowers since I was a child eating the perfectly manicured grass and yellow tulips at Queen Elizabeth Park, a pleasant expanse of a park close to my home. Nowadays, they have all the flowers and lawns roped off, probably because of kids like me who enjoyed snacking on a few petals every now and then….

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West Coast Sepia

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I’m currently writing this on my sunny morning commute. With the start of a new chapter and what can sometimes be a 4 hour daily commute, I’ve been away from updating Heels + Soul for a minute. I was a nocturnal night owl for almost all of my life, but my mornings start at 6:00 AM now….

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Turn the Beige


I’m about to go from lounging in my dresses to SF fog, so I thought this was a suitable outfit to kick off mid-January in. You already know that I have a love affair with prints and colors, but my hometown of Vancouver is so color-averse that it…

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Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

Here comes the age old question: “Will I ever be good enough?”…

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New Year’s Eve


As I’m closing the chapter to a year of many goodbyes and many hellos, I’m grateful for all the luxuries that we are privileged to have without want or thought…..

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I can’t believe that there are only a few days until Christmas! How time flies. I haven’t even begun to make a dent on my gift list, so tomorrow will be a concentrated shopping + design day for me!….

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