Thursday, January 16, 2014

Welcome 2014

Don`t you agree? when we reach the number 25, times started to speed faster than it used to. Feeling exactly like In Time. I feel a bit tercungap to catch up to those list of must achieved written by the society. Although we know it is not good to peek into other people`s window, but with all the condos and apartments built not far from each other, peeking is something we can`t help. Well, this is just an analogy to explain that it is hard not to feel envy of other people`s gift. But I assure you, this envy, is just my way of `tumpang gembira` of what you have. May Allah bless us more this year.

You know what I mean by the society standard? Like when you turn 25 and their eyes jolted when you said you are still single, and now this, married for more than a month and still no news for reproduction. But, this just happen in Malaysia. The way they show their care for us, is by asking that kind of question. The more fortunate you are, the less question you will get (from my statistical analysis :p).

Anyway, apart from the society standard I wish to achieve this year, I have my own KPI to reach too. But I don`t usually listed it down every time the new year`s eve arrives. I have this list called `things to do before I die` which does not specify the time it has to get done. I will just live the everyday life and squeeze the missions in whenever the time permits. In this list, usually they are not things to acquire. But, most of them are skills to acquire, things to do.

Without a doubt, 2014 would be a very busy year for us. We know it even before it arrives. I can`t even think of time for our holiday in 2014. Every single month is pretty much occupied. But oh well, we never had a well-planned vacation anyways. hahaha. 

New year`s resolution, I have none that is within my power to achieve. Although I have, the first one is all about rezeki. If I get that, then only I can move to number 2. So for now, I will walk through the flow and immerse myself with the new people I will meet, new environment of everything. We are totally stepping out of our comfort zone. We were like changing tunnels randomly and see where it brings us. I really hope Allah s.w.t will show us the right path. May us all be blessed and end the year with a lot of success and happiness to share. 

*Spreading the love*

Wearing Ziggy Shawl (purple) from AkikoInc

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How to master sewing in 3 weeks!

This time around, I managed to get myself familiar with..sewing! yey!! All my life, I have never use sewing machine. There was no one teaches me how to use machine. This maybe due to no one in my family is into sewing. So, I don`t know anything about sewing. 

When I got married, oh my, boys..they always tore their pants. In fact when I just got my machine, I asked husband what can I sew for him, he handed me a mountain of tore pants T_T I spent the whole night figuring out how to repair all those pants. It was not as easy as making a new dress I tell you T_T 

Recently, I took 3 months break just to enjoy my life a bit. I have always in mission all my life, to complete one task after another, to fill expectations, and etc. So, I`m married, I guess I`m entitle to slow down and smell the flower for a while. Let husband worries about everything else for a moment. 

During the 3 months, alhamdulillah, I managed to get as many things done. This I put on hold just because life was in the way. One of it was of course the making of AkikoInc, and another major accomplishment in my life, I have to say is acquiring the skill of sewing. 

Being the best husband in the world, of course he is the biggest supporter for whatever I want to do. It is worrying though because sometimes he cannot differentiate whether I was just hallucinated or I was fully awake when saying things -_-" I hope I would never say "I think I would like to try jumping off the know...just to get the feeling of adrenaline" Next thing I know..we are on a cliff somewhere -_-"

Ok, back to the sewing project. Here`s how to master sewing in 3 weeks!

1) Have yourself introduced to the machine you plan to buy.

Of course, before everything else, you have to ask around for advice from people you know loves sewing. Better, someone who live for sewing. Don`t worry..they are everywhere and these people usually are passionate and bersemangat to answer any of your questions. 
After all the surveys (tanya 2 orang je pun) I had a bit of introduction to use a sewing machine from husband`s cousin (Nurul) who I think was more bersemangat compared to the student herself (me). haha. Then with this short introduction, I used it to start my own project. Both of them recommend me to get a Brother sewing machine. So I did. Being with a semangat tinggi cikgu (yakni: Nurul) she brought me to the Brother service center and...the expo at the KLCC. So that I can have a clear view of which machine I will buy. After all that, I found out the Brother models in Japan are totally different from Malaysia`s. duh -_-" Turned out, there are about millions (to me) model of Brother sewing machine in Japan. adoiyai..and I could hardly tell what`s the difference. So, to not get a free headache, I decided to choose based on color. Pink it is <3 p="">

I.LOVE.IT! No regret! The machine is so easy to use, and so friendly to a beginner like me!

2) Shopping!! 

Now you have a machine ready. Now comes the best part. Shopping for materials. Before, I don`t appreciate fabrics other than those to make your baju raya. Like silk, chiffon silk, flowery cottons. All those cliche fabrics. Now, I know more, my eyes are going wilder whenever I step into a fabric store. Before, I only went to a level where there put japanese cotton to make baju kurung. Because that is all  I know. Now, I started to appreciate fabrics other than them which is of course, not a good news to le husband. But I love it! I feel it it my mind that another DHA bridge is connecting. A skill that is not written in a book! I can now differentiate different kind of fabrics and how can I use them in different projects. I am so proud of myself. Husband also partially happy for now he has a new way to bribe me.

This is the aftermath from my 3rd visit (major) to the fabric store. Otsukaya, I love you!!! This fabric store is definitely the deal breaker to live in Nagoya!

3) Familiarize yourself with the machine.

I met some people who likes sewing and can sew but never handle sewing machine. These people usually don`t have clue how to handle a sewing machine. So, they don`t know what to expect. That`s why, for me and them, it is important to familiarize ourselves with machine. This is important to get the feeling how the machine works and of course experience is the best teacher. I too, made a lot of mistakes and that`s where I learn many tricks. 
To familiarize, sew something easy like pillowcase, fridge`s cover, and the covers of everything that needs protection from dust (or you are just addicted to play with the sewing machine and decided to make covers for everything-that`s yours truly).
After that, start sew something easy, for example, skirt!
Another tip for a total beginner, is to always use cotton first. You know, the fabric is not cheap, so make sure you know what you are doing or it will be wasteful!

4) Buy a Japanese sewing book.

This is the best shortcut ever! The best teacher for me. Everything is in the book, I tell you even a buta huruf person can understands it (of course..I can`t read kanji). I bought 3 books, but after completing one book, I sorta gets everything. Whenever I see a dress, I instantly get how it was done! I don`t know how it happened, but yes, tetibe je jadi pandai. And the urge to buy new clothes become the urge to make the clothes myself, the way I like it to be. I really love how the skills has turned me into.

Top (left-right): wrap around skirt, bottom blossom skirt.
Bottom: Ribbon back one piece (crop to make it a top).
These are among the earliest product of my sewing project.

A few of the tops I made.
(L-R) Top: Slit back one piece (The back is so nice but I don`t have a nice picture to show),  bubble sleeve top.
Bottom: Cardigan (wrong choice of fabric, it ends up looking like a hospital wear), a tunic dress.
5) Challenge yourself to the next level

After doing the exercise from the Japanese sewing book, I started to understand the construction of a dress. All the tricks learned from the book, I used it to try making a dress from my imagination, using my own body as the mannequin. A satisfaction that is hard to get when you buy a ready-made dress!

One of the earliest project based on imagination. After a lot of mistakes and re-construction, finally here is my checkered collection which consist of a maxi dress and a round-pocket skirt.

Then I go higher by making two more maxi dress. I love the Royal Iman from Love to Dress so much, so I made another one in soft pink. I made it! That one cost me roughly RM12 (kain only 3.5m and the kain costs me RM3/m) bahaha.
After I gained confidence with the handling of the machine, and fabric cutting, I decided to get up the notch by using chiffon silk. Just because chiffon silk in Otsukaya are dirt cheap!

Then when I don`t know what else to do (because I pretty much sewn everything I wish to), I started to accept orders. Yes, you read it right, I take orders. bahahah. Left is a wash jacket I made for...myself and Burberry inspired pyjama for none other than my naughty baby boy! He wears it all the time, and some people even complimented him for being so rich wearing baju tidur Burberry -_-" Now the secret is out!

I only able to play with my machine for 3 weeks. Then I had to leave. Here I am now, in KL..working T_T another whole lot of story.
See you in the next post!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A moment to share

When I was citing the list of `barang orang kirim`to hubby, he suddenly voiced out his concern (the same question he always asked anyway).
"Duit you yang kat A dah bayar ke belum? Yang B kirim yang lepas dah bayar ke belum?"

This is because he knows I am bad at asking my money back and I could be easily melt by the happy face of people who get their things from me. Mulalah I want to consider hadiah. But when I got married, I don`t have the privilege to sukahati aje bagi barang kat orang because I get money from him la and I see how he works hard. I feel bad if I used his money for other people. Even I feel bad using his money still up until now. 

It ruins my shopping mood immediately. I could either tell him the truth, or lie.
Like any other time, I chose the truth. I said.. "No they did not. I forgot to ask them any way" and not looking at him while answering.

He said "I dah agak dah.." and he listed all the things I buy for people when they were actually kirim at first. I feel bad. Really. But I don`t know how to open my mouth. That`s why I hate giving people loans :( Even to family members. When I feel that I am okay even without the money I lend to them, I started to let it go. Sebab tu la tak kaya-kaya -_-" 

Then hubby asked "If you keep forgetting, will you halalkan the money then?"

I feel the question was a trap. Hubby never encourage me to use money freely like that. For him, bersedekah ada tempatnya. I tried to show him how strong I was not to easily splurge money on people who can afford. And I said "Of course NO." Then i feel bad for them, I said, "Maybe.." Then, "I don`t know". I`m so screwed.

We were strolling that time, and suddenly he stopped and turned to me saying "Sayang..then how can they perform their hajj? You must think hard. If you want the money, you have to ask. Or be silent and halalkan" 

Once again, I was amazed by this man <3 div="">

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Akiko Inc- The Look Book

It is my principle whenever I got to do things, I must do it the best there is, the best I could.
Although Akiko Inc is at the infant stage, and we are just releasing hijabs for now, I want Akiko Inc to have its own look book. It is like doing all I could and how it is done at its best. Like usual, I just have the ideas but Nurul materialized it. So awesome, that woman.

So here is some of the sneak peek of Akiko Inc first look book! ^_^

The cover- wearing Akiko Premium (Red Ribbon). Red ribbon is made of Japanese seta. Not at all see through and hardly need ironing :)

Location: Nagoya Castle

Akiko Casual (Ziggy Shawl-pink)- One my my favorite shawl (I think because it is pink :`) and it is so easy to wear!)
Location: Tahara

Royal Murasaki Hayai- One of our express hijab. I never know that we can be pretty that instant!
Location: Depan rumah saya :D

The back page. The credits. Wearing Impressa Shawl (Red).
Location: Noritake Garden, Nagoya.

For the rest of the look book, click here : Akiko Inc look book

Or visit our online shop at and don`t forget to grab yours while stock last!


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