Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa

Hi, Everyone! Even though, Hmong New Year is barely over I’m already thinking about what I’m wearing. There were a couple of outfits that I had ready but didn’t get to wear. Apparently there weren’t enough days. Also I wasn’t able to go all of days for Fresno New Year. I drove back to the bay on the first and one day I had a photoshoot scheduled. Today, I’m sharing a Hmong outfit from Sapa as part of my Hmong Outfit Series

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-03-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Black Hmong Sapa ::

Black Hmong of  Sapa live in Lao Cai province of Vietnam and are distinguished by their “black” clothing. The clothing appears black due to the dark indigo dyes that are used. There are quite a bit of groups of Hmong that are referred to as Black Hmong due to their dark clothing or due to their dialect. This group is different from another Black Hmong group in Vietnam in Son La province and Laos in Sam Neua province. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-01-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Indigo ::

Women wear a jacket with embroidered sleeves and a vest on top with an embroidered collar. Fancier jackets have embroidery and applique across the back and shoulders similar to the jackets/shirts that the Hmong Leng Yen Bai wear. The embroidery on their jackets and collars usually consists of dark colors outlined in black. The fabric is made out of hemp that has to be softened before it is woven into fabric. Afterwards the fabric is dyed with indigo giving a very dark appearance. Some jackets look shiny because they are covered with beeswax. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-06-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Shorts ::

This is one of the only Hmong groups that I’ve seen wearing short trousers.  The shorts, jacket, and vest are held together with an embroidered belt with hemp ends. Additionally, Hmong Leng Sapa wrap their legs with nrhoob. Originally they wore a skirt with an apron but eventually transitioned to shorts with the overlapped jacket and vest. I personally love looking at how Hmong clothes change over the years and the fluidity shaped by culture, environment, and access to resources. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-05-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Sapa Jacket / Tsho

Hmong Leng Sapa Vest

Shorts 

Belt

Leg Wraps / Nrhoob 

Traditionally they wear a black head wrap that consist of yards of fabric wrapped several times. Similarly to the Flower Hmong and Hmong Leng Yen Bai they will sometimes wear a brightly colored plaid headscarf. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-02-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Photography ::

Alexandria Castrovillari

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Sapa-04-scaled-1024x682 Hmong Outfit Series :: Black Hmong Sapa HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

Thank you for reading! I didn’t really make official New Year’s Resolutions this year, but I’m hoping that I can update my blog more regularly. This Hmong Outfit Series is special to me and I have outfits that have yet to be photographed. Also, I’m trying to buy less since I’m running out of room. However, I will probably change my mind since there are various outfits from Vietnam and China that I really want. Stay tuned for my next post! I still have a super over due Lululemon post…

 

Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade

Hmong Vintage Outfit

Hi Everyone! Today is the last day that I’ll be attending Hmong New Year in Fresno and the last day of the year and decade! This year I wasn’t able to explore as much during Hmong New Year as I wanted because of other commitments. However, I still made the most of it and can’t wait to start the new year. I wasn’t able to plan as many shoots as I wanted during my break, but stay tuned for another Hmong Outfit Series post next month.

:: Day 1 ::

Hmong-New-Year-Day-01-04-685x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

For the first day of Hmong New Year I wore an outfit from the Luang Prabang Province of Laos. I wish I took pictures of the back of the outfit. This outfit is near and dear to me and I have many different versions but always end up wearing my blue one.

:: Outfit Details ::

Phuam

White Hmong Luang Prabang Outfit

:: Day 2 ::

Hmong-New-Year-Day-02-02-683x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

This outfit was vibrant and my second Hmong Thai Outfit! Part of me wished I wore a green money belt to bring out the green in the apron and skirt.

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Thai Outfit size 36

Hmong Thai Skirt altered to (38 X 18)

Money Belt

Xauv

:: Day 3 ::
Hmong-New-Year-Day-03-01-684x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

This outfit was one of more simple outfits but I love the contrast of black and red. Additionally, there is more focus on the skirt.

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Sam Neua Outfit

Skirt (38 X 18)

:: Day 4 ::

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-10-1024x683 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

I’m inserting a picture from my Hmong Leng Yen Bai shoot since I wasn’t able to take a photo this day at Hmong New Year. This is one of my favorite outfits and I can’t wait to find a reason to wear it again.

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai Shirt size 36

Money Belt

Skirt altered to (38 X18)

:: Day 6 ::

Hmong-New-Year-Day-06-01-682x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & End of a Decade HMONG OUTFITS

Originally, I bought this skirt just to wear once but it grew on me. I paired it with a vintage outfit with sequins.

:: Outfit Details ::

Vintage Hmong Outfit

Skirt (38 X18)

Money Belt

Phuam

Thank you for reading! I’m halfway done with grad school and I can’t wait to have a consistent workout routine again. I miss lifting and wearing leggings.

Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai

Hmong Leng Yen Bai

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since my last Hmong Outfit Series Post. I have a couple of outfits to share over the next couple of months with you all. Today, I am featuring one of my favorite outfits, Hmong Leng of Yen Bai. 

:: Yen Bai ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai live in Northern Vietnam and dark earthy colors distinguish them from other Hmong groups. Their outfits have some similarities to the Hmong Leng in Sapa.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-04-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

The Hmong Leng Yen Bai shirts have a royal blue collar and sleeves with batik, applique, and embroidery on the back and shoulders. My shirt is quite simple and made more on the modern side with fitted seams. I love the embroidery on the belt. There is a mixture of cross stitch and chain stitch embroidery and the ends of the belt are made out of hemp dyed with indigo. 

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-06-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Skirt ::

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-07-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

The batik design on the middle of the skirt is quite simple on my skirt consisting of dots and lines. The more expensive skirts have a more complicated design and the batik design seems to vary. Unlike the Hmong Leng in Laos and Thailand, the colors used in the embroidery of the bottom of the skirt is made with earth-toned colors instead of bright pinks, oranges, and yellow.  I almost bought a skirt that had more purple and dark blue in the embroidery but I wanted a bit of variation in my collection. My skirt has red, white, and black cotton applique lines on the taab tab with some red and blue rectangles. The embroidery consists of brown, white, and black cross-stitch.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-11-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

The original skirt that I bought had a waistband made out of hemp but I had the waistband of the skirt altered since I wanted the skirt shorter and not as wide. I usually have Crossroads by Nancy’s mom alter my skirts for me. I understand the process but love her work so I just bring skirts for her to alter for me so that they fit better. She also makes one of the prettiest white pleated skirts. So far I haven’t found anyone that makes white skirts better than hers. High quality and extremely flattering.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-12-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Hat ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai wear a black head wrap that is wrapped multiple times with paj ntaub on top similar to their belt. Usually, the head wrap is decorated with coins. For everyday wear, they opt to wear a colorful plaid headscarf.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-02-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Outfit Details ::

Hmong Leng Yen Bai Shirt / Tsho & Apron / Sev

Belt / Hlab

Skirt ( 38 X 17)

Leg Wrap / Nrhoob

Hat/ Phuam

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-08-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Photography ::

Alexandria Castrovillari 

Thank you for reading! Fresno New Year is here and I can’t wait to share the outfits that I’m wearing. I will be wearing this outfit one of the many days that I am attending. If you want to see what I wore last year click here.

Hmong-Outfit-Series-Yen-Bai-09-1024x683 Hmong Outfit Series :: Hmong Leng Yen Bai HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

 

Lululemon :: Favorites & Workout Update

Lululemon All the Right Places Crop II

I’m part of the lululemon collective and will receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links below.

Hi Everyone! It’s been a while since I updated my blog! Just finished my first semester of grad school and I miss updating my Hmong Outfit Series.

I’ve been trying to incorporate exercise back into my life. I settled for yoga once a week and cardio 3 times a week with the hope of getting into weight lifting. Unfortunately, I’m not very strong and still intimidated by all of the machines so I’m starting out with light free weights first and then transition over. Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces from Lululemon. It’s a little embarrassing, I go to Lululemon so often that multiple employees recognize me. When I’m more consistent, I’ll update on the specific exercises that I do. Honestly it’s still trial and error for me right now.

My Top 5 Lululemon Items

My all-time favorite is the All the Right Places Crop II. It fits all of my requirement for leggings – no front seam and they have pockets! I usually just run on a treadmill because I like running with air conditioning, but they also have a reflective cuff which is helpful if you run outside.  I have them in multiple colors and just got one replaced because there was a small hole. Love Lululemon’s commitment to quality.

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All the Right Places Crop II – Size 2

Second favorite item is the Speed Up Shorts. They have 4-way stretch and the shape allows me to have more range of motion. I wouldn’t necessarily wear them for yoga but love them for running.

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Speed Up Shorts – Size 2

Next up are the Swiftly Tech Long Sleeves. Lululemon offers free basic hemming so sometimes I’ll have them hem it so it’s shorter like a longer crop top to wear with my leggings. This helps elongate my legs. Some I have it hemmed to end at my hip to wear with my speed up shorts.  I love the thumbholes and the sweat-wicking material. I wore one on my hike up Mission Peak. Even though I was super sweaty there weren’t any visible sweat marks. Lighter colors are more likely to show sweat. Some days I’ll tie my longer tops to turn them into crop tops and to add variation.

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Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve Crew – Size 4

I really like the energy bra long line sports bras as well. This is one of my favorite staple pieces in my workout clothes collection. I love it when my leggings and sports bras match! Cute workout sets help me stay motivated to work out. Additionally, I like that it’s longer so there’s more coverage as some of my tops are open back. So there’s a little peekaboo of the straps as well. The additional coverage allows the sports bra to be worn as a crop top. I haven’t gained enough confidence to do this and my gym also doesn’t allow this so maybe one day.

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Energy Bra Long Line – Size 4

Finally, the last item would be the Align pants. The leggings are designed for light activities like yoga and it feels like you aren’t wearing anything. There isn’t compression and I personally like them more for lounging in.  The pants are versatile and flattering with minimal seams. If I could, I would collect them in every color.  Additionally, I would be scared to do cardio in these pants as the material is more delicate but I love the feel of them. I like the 25″ inseam and I tend to size down in these pants as they lack compression. When I get a chance, I want to try the Asia Fit Aligns to see how it compares.

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Align Pant II 25″– Size 0

Thank you for reading! Since I’m down with my spring semester I hope to update more on my projects and fitness journey.

DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev

Hmong Outfit Carolyn Chang

Hi Everyone! I’m pretty much all packed and I’m moving most of my stuff to San Jose this weekend. I finished two outfits but I probably won’t have time to do a shoot before I leave Fresno. I wanted to do a quick picture tutorial of how to sew sev plooj before I move. This is highly requested and I know people are going to request a video as well, but honestly recording is too much of a hassle for me to do myself and I don’t enjoy editing videos at all. So if you are waiting for a video it won’t happen because I tried and failed. I usually don’t finish that project and loose the drive to. Once grad school starts there will be less tutorials as I will be busy with school, work, and eventually committing to working out again. Last year, I made numerous outfits and that was one of my biggest excuses for not working out.

:: Sev ::

There a different types of sev or aprons. The type that I am showing today is sev plooj. Typically, White Hmong in Luang Prabang, Sayaboury, and Luang Namtha wear this type of apron. Traditionally the middle or plawv sev is a different color than the outside. Sometimes embroidery or paj ntaub is used in the middle was well. I try to make each section about the same size, but I usually prefer for the middle to much skinnier especially if I’m making a full length sev. If I know I’m just planning on wearing it with a skirt I tend to make my sev quite short anywhere from 18-22 inches long.

:: Instructions ::

1. For the lining pick a stiff fabric that creases well but don’t feel limited to doing so. I crease the edges of the lining before I sew the outside fabric onto it. I fold and sew by hand, but  you can turn good side to good side and sew and flip if you choose not to sew by hand. I personally never tried it but in in theory it should work. I try to have it be 9-10 inches wide and 20+ inches long. The length is up to your preference. Traditional sev are about 1 yard long. IMG_2975-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY 2. Cut out the fabric that you will use for the outside. It should be about 4.25 inches wide and about 2 yards long depending on length (traditional you’ll need at least 2.25 yards). IMG_2980-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY 3. Fold one edge as you sew it onto the lining. You can iron it all the way down too. IMG_2984-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY 4. I usually leave excess to fold in at the top later. I start on the left side of the lining and work my way around using small stitches. For the top and middle section, cut a piece of fabric off the end. Center and sew IMG_2989-2-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY 5. Now fold the bottom corners of the sev. I try to make a 45 degree angle.

Sev

6. Cut excess fabric from under the corner. This gets rid of the bulk.

Sev

Sev

7. Fold the sev in half and iron a crease down the middle

IMG_2991-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY

8. Center the middle of the sev and pin. Use large stitches to hold it in place
IMG_2993-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY

IMG_3047-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY

9. Fold the inner edge of the bottom portion of the sev in and baste stitch

IMG_3048-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY IMG_3050-e1547241121858-1024x768 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY 10 . Fold the inner edges o the outer side of the sev and baste stitch

IMG_3052-768x1024 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY

11. Fold in the top pieces and hand sew

IMG_3006-e1547245023909-1024x768 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY
12.  Use the sewing machine to sew the middle section. I usually start from the corner. Make sure you sew in the same direction

IMG_3007-e1547245006446-1024x768 DIY :: How to Make a Hmong Apron / Sev DIY 13. Take out the baste stitches and attach fabric to tie it around the waist. 

Hopefully the pictures of the two different sev aren’t too confusing. I wanted to show with a plain middle and one with the paj ntaub. This is how I was taught to sew it and isn’t the only way. Apparently it’s prettier the flatter and thinner it is. I usually just iron it at the end and then fold it up for storage. If you are beginner use fabric with little stretch and that creases well. I prefer cotton.

 

 

Posted in DIY

Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection

Fresno Hmong New Year

:: Fresno Hmong New Year ::

In my last post, I mentioned that I had prepared too many outfits this year for Fresno Hmong New Year. I had to narrow it down to the outfits that took me longest, had sentimental value, and had prior reservations. Now that Hmong New Year is over, and its the start of 2019 I can put my clothes away and start packing. I won’t be able to do as many Hmong Outfit Series posts as I’m starting grad school and moving to San Jose. However, I’ll try to fit in as many as I can throughout the year. I might be busy with grad school, but I know I won’t stop collecting outfits. Honestly, I’m a little sad that I won’t be able to sew as often but I know that I already have plenty of outfits for Hmong New Year.

:: D A Y 1 ::

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I made my cousins and I matching outfits this year. We went with the White Hmong Xieng Khouang style. I wanted something simple but I made a mistake with my fabric choice. Next time if I’m short on time and making lots of outfits I’m sticking to cotton. Plain and simple. I actually burned one of the shirts while ironing so that set me back. It’s still rewarding when I look at our pictures together. It’s not my best work but it looks good from far away. This year my cousin’s boyfriend dressed up with us as well!

IMG_1863-edit-1024x768 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Phuam Txoom Suab

Black and White Xieng Khouang Outfit

Crossroads by Nancy White Pleated Skirt 37×17.5

:: D A Y 2 ::

IMG_1997edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP  I opted to wear my blue hat with my Hmong Leng Sayaboury outfit because my grandma made me this little coin belt years ago. Last year I added coins and since the beads were blue, I paired it with my blue hat. My grandma stopped making paj ntaub mos when I was really young so there aren’t a lot of examples of her work. I think she started me at 3 because I was supposed to practice reverse appliqué and eventually make my own. I can do regular appliqué it’s just not that best. Another reason, I chose this outfit is because my mom is from this province in Laos. She wears the White Hmong Sayaboury outfit with pants. IMG_2126edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Phuam

Hmong Leng Sayaboury Outfit

Skirt 40 X 22

Leg Warmers

:: D A Y 3 ::

IMG_2167edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

This outfit is the outfit that started my sequin adventure. I want a Striped Hmong Outfit but wanted something different and something that I didn’t see before so I opted for paj ntaub cog ci version. Originally I wasn’t going to make the hat but it was hard to stop. At that point I wanted sequin versions of everything.

IMG_2172edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Phuam

Stripped Hmong Outfit

Crossroads by Nancy White Pleated Skirt 37×17.5

Leg Warmers

:: D A Y 4 ::

IMG_2250edit-1024x768 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

Posing with one of my favorite Hmong dance groups Tseem Tub Ntxhais Hmoob. They won 1st place in the dance competition this year! Sequin hat to match my blue sequin outfit. If it’s not already apparent, blue is also my favorite color. I kinda regret not serging this fabric and using french seams as some parts of the gold is fraying and coming out. Every project is learning experience and I’m constantly learning that I’m a little lazy with too many ideas.  I had the chance to meet Neng Now! Can’t wait to see his video. IMG_2519edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Phuam Paj

Paj Ntaub Cog Ci Outfit

Crossroads by Nancy White Pleated Skirt 37×17.5

:: D A Y 5 ::

IMG_2673edit-1024x768 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

The last of my sequin projects was my sequin princess hat. I wanted this hat to shine so I opted for a simple and modern look. I love the poofy skirt and helped me feel like a princess. There were different white pleated maxi skirts that other vendors were selling but I didn’t want to wear one with a hoop under as I wanted it to flow and move naturally as I walked. Also, some weren’t puffy and just sadly hang.

IMG_2683edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Princess Hat

Madewell Shirt XS

3 Tiered Maxi Skirt 36 X 36

:: D A Y 6 ::

IMG_2724edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP  I woke up on the 6th day with puffy eyes probably because I’ve been outside consistently without taking my allergy medicine. My cousins and I had agreed on wearing Thai outfits on this day months ago and we picked one of the coldest days. My outfit barely fit me as I gained a bit of weight since I bought mine 2-3 years ago.IMG_2754edit-768x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Thai Outfit M

:: D A Y 7 ::IMG_2799-edit-755x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

The last day of Fresno Hmong New Year was the day that I struggled to pick an outfit. For a while, I was debating between 3 options but I decided on wearing this vintage Hmong Chinese outfit that I bought a couple of months ago. I always wanted one when I was younger but my mother refused to buy me one because she didn’t like it. When I was old enough to buy myself one they no longer made these outfits. I also promised myself that I wouldn’t alter the outfit maybe just the skirt. However I think I changed everything but the hat and leg wraps/nrhoob. I shortened the tails of the sash in the back, took in the sleeves, and shortened the sev. Now it’s a lot more flattering on me and I’ll actually wear it instead of just hoarding it in my closet.
IMG_2926edit-809x1024 Fresno Hmong New Year :: Outfits & Yearly Reflection MAKEUP

:: Outfit Details::

Hmong Chinese Outfit

Thank you for reading! 2018 was a fun year filled with traveling and crafting. I’m excited to start grad school and like everyone else my New Year’s resolutions is weightless/fitness related. I just need to get back on track so I’m stronger, fitter, and healthier. Sewing makes me quite sedentary and I’m not taking a sewing machine with me so there will be a pause on my projects.

Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads

Hmong Princess Hat

Hi, everyone! Fresno New Year is finally here. Today, I’m sharing my princess hat. This has been highly requested since I’ve been teasing with pictures and videos of the tedious process of making my very own. Honestly, it took me about a little over a month to make. First my pattern was too small and my 2nd attempt it was going to be too large but on my 3rd try I made it just right. I guess the Goldilocks method works.

Unfortunately, I won’t be making more of this hat or selling this hat. There are other vendors out there that sell a sequin princess hat just with less sequins. Like I’ve stated before it’s not profitable for me to sell, and in the upcoming months I simply won’t have the time. Stay tuned for my Fresno Hmong New Year!

A2A0675-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

But first, let’s take a couple of seconds to highlight this skirt. I special ordered this skirt from Nplias Lis Vaj because I wanted a tiered pleated maxi skirt with volume. Mostly for fun outfit ideas and on the rare occasions I want to wear something more modern even though deep down I prefer traditional.

A2A0676-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

:: Princess Hat ::

Originally I wanted multiple colored flower cap beads to match the pattern of the sequins of my hat but I couldn’t find more colors of the flower cap beads. Asia Supermarket in Fresno only had blue, orange, and pink. So sadly, I settled for blue which is still a little bit of win in my book since blue is my favorite color.

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Princess Hats were popular in the late 80s and 90s. They usually consists of cross stitch embroidery, appliqué, and beads. I still have my childhood princess hat stored with some of my favorite outfits as child.

:: Basic Steps for Princess Hat ::

  1. Complete Embroidery
  2. Iron on interface
  3. (Apply sequins if needed)
  4. Bind the hat
  5. Sew trim on top
  6. Bead the hat
  7. Line the hat
  8. Sew the back of the hat shut
  9. Attach rows of beads in the middle of the hat if needed to help hat hold it’s shape

Also keep in mind the steps are more of a loose guideline. It’s how I made my hat but it’s not the only way. I forgot to take pictures of the entire process but here are a couple of closeups.

IMG_0211-copy-1024x768 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

IMG_0449-1024x768 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

After looking at some of the pictures, I might end up sewing the back a little bit more so the gap isn’t as big. Depends on if I have time before Hmong New Year.

A2A0696-643x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

:: Outfit Details ::

Princess Hat

Necklace/ Xauv

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (36 X 36)

A2A0679-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

Thank you for reading! As the year comes to a close, I want to acknowledge everyone who helped me with my various projects and those that gave me words of encouragement and criticism. I completed outfits while pushing some off to the distant future, and explored my sense of self. For me sewing is much more than making pretty things, it’s a form expression, an art form, and multiple opportunities for improvement. Documenting my journey is completely allows me to jog my memory so I don’t forget. Apparently, I’m not known to be minimalist. I might not be able to actively construct things but if there’s enough interest and content with my mediocre drawing skills- tutorials can continue. I still owe a couple pattern drafting tutorials as well. There will be a slight pause in Hmong Outfit Series posts.

A2A0702-683x1024 Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads DIY HMONG

Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags

Hmong Leng Sam Neua

Hi, everyone! I have an epiphanous realization that I have prepared too many outfits for Hmong New Year. Some outfits are a part of my Hmong Outfit Series and others are part of my creative outlet. As I type this post, I see that my fabric purchases don’t seem to be twindling. There’s a lot of outfits on my list and I’m trying to finish them during my break because I won’t be able to sew for a while. Today, I’m sharing an outfit that I made inspired by the Hmong Leng Sam Neua. It’s not completely traditional but contains most of the pieces of Hmong Leng from this region. 

A2A0653-683x1024 Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags DIY HMONG Hmong Outfit Series

:: Hmong Leng Sam Neua ::

This group lives in Northeastern Laos near the Vietnam border in the province Sam Neua. They wear their hair in large hair buns like the Hmong Leng Dien Bien/ Lai Chau in Vietnam. I like the detail on the front of the shirt. The applique doesn’t run straight on both sides but zigzags on one side and the zig zag faces differently than the Hmong Leng of Thailand. It’s typically folded over, but I sewed mine flat on the front of the shirt. I opted to do this because I think it looks cleaner and I like it lying flat and flush against the shirt.

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The shirt has black cuffs instead of the dark blue cuff like the Hmong Leng of Xieng Khouang, and Hmoob Moos Pheeb. Typically the sleeve is a full length sleeve. I did the appliqué of the shirt by hand and that was a very tedious process. My appliqué skills are also quite basic so it doesn’t look very pretty up close. Usually, in the very middle of the appliqué row  there is embroidery or appliqué triangles. I chose to embroider stars.

The video I linked below shows a Hmong girl getting dressed in the Hmong Leng Sam Neua style.

 

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Like the various Hmong Leng groups of Laos their dab tsho is sewn face down. Instead of tying their sash, they wrap it around the waist multiple times. 

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:: Skirt ::

The skirt that I’m wearing is not exactly authentic. It’s the closest skirt that I had in my collection to the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt. Hmong Leng Sam Neua wear skirts with rows of red appliqué in between the spaces of the batik design. Straight lines, zig zags, and criss crossing lines are appliquéd on the middle of the skirt.

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Pictured below is an authentic skirt. My skirt lacks the red appliqué rectangles on the bottom of the skirt or the taw tiab/ taab tab. The bottom of the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt consists of cross stitch embroidery- usually yellow, orange, red, and white and appliqué. In-between the embroidery space is left to appliqué red rectangles.

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Maybe when I wear this outfit next year, I’ll take the time to put my hair up in a large hair bun.

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Traditionally, this outfit pairs with leg wraps or nrhoob. Long triangles of hemp fabric dyed indigo are wrapped around the legs. Inwards for the living and outwards for the dead. I added some red ribbon on the top for decoration.

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:: Outfit Details ::

Hmoob Leng Sam Neua Outfit

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (38 X 18)

Leg Wrap / Nrhoob

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:: Photography ::

Uncle Sai Photography

Thank you for reading! Merced New Year is here and I can’t wait for the grand finale of Fresno Hmong New year. It took me a while to decide which outfits to wear for Fresno Hmong New Year, but I’m proud to say I’m ready and no longer questioning my decisions. I can’t wait to share with you all my outfits for this year. If you want to see the outfits I wore last year click here. Next week, I’ll showcase my sequin princess hat!

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DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab

Hmong Hat Tutorial

Hi Everyone! I know I promised a mens shirt drafting tutorial but I might have to push until after Hmong New Year. Today I’m showcasing a little picture tutorial on a hat that I made. In a previous post I made a version that omitted the top flap so that I could have a huge bun  top. This headwrap has various names from Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab, Phuam Hmoob Lauj, and Phuam Ntswg.

:: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab ::

Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab is worn with a sev plooj outfit and also originated from the Lao province Luang Prabang. This headwrap however is different than the type that my family typically wears as show in this post. We wear phuam dai hlaws or (phuam dai paj which I didn’t grow up hearing as often).

Materials::

Black Aida 14 Count cloth

Cotton  (You can also use more textured material)

Jersey Fabric

Foam

Pom Poms

Tassels

Beads

Tutorial ::

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  1. I drew a little pattern on paper to trace out the shape on the foam. I think I made the highest peak a little high on mine. The pattern above is folded in half and based off my measurements. I left excess on the ends about 3 inches on each side.IMG_1428-e1544814072112-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY
  2. You’ll need two pieces of embroidery. I used a pattern that would match my outfit.
  3. Cut out black fabric that will be wrapped about the hat and for the flap. For the wrap portion, the length is about 60 inches and width is about 5 inches. The flap should be about 15 inches long and 9 inches wide. IMG_1452-e1544814097250-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY
  4. Sew embroidery onto black fabric and hand sew the back.
  5. Next, sew the black jersey fabric around the foam. I used a really thin foam about 1/4 of an inch. IMG_1453-1024x768 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY IMG_1454-e1544814231243-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY
  6. Then, overlap the two ends of the hat and sew.
  7. Position one end of the flap in the middle of the front of the hat and sew onto the jersey fabric.IMG_1460-e1544814321915-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY

Wrap the other piece around the hat so that the embroidery is centered across the forehead. Hand sew it onto the hat.IMG_1461-e1544814374367-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY 10. Now you are ready to decorate the hat with pom poms and tassels!

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Thank you for reading! The pom poms that I used were a little larger but I was too lazy to make new smaller pom poms. The other day I realized that I had too many outfits prepared for Hmong New Year this year but it’s okay I’m almost ready for next year. I can’t wait to wear this hat with the outfit that I’m making. So stay tuned for that outfit post in the next couple of months. Next week do you want to see my outfit based off of the Hmong Leng Sam Neua or my princess hat? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Posted in DIY

Hmong Outfits Series :: Paj Ntaub Cog Ci

Hmong Clothes Paj Ntaub Cog Ci

Hi Everyone! Paj ntaub cog ci is trending again and I’m ecstatic! This outfit took me so long to make! I finished just in time to wear it to Hmong New Year. Honestly, it’s worth buying over making since I spent so much time sewing on sequins. Unlike the other outfits in my Hmong Outfit Series, this outfit doesn’t belong to a specific region. Paj ntaub cog ci was popular in the late 80’s and 90’s and showcases a period of innovation, transition, and adaptation.

:: Paj Ntaub Cog Ci ::

My cousin’s outfit reminded me of the outfits that I wore when I was younger. I had various Hmong outfits made out of the Thai skirt fabric material and I wanted to make an outfit that had elements of the past, incorporated my favorite colors, and that was more fitted.

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Photographer:: Tou Yang

Paj ntaub cog ci consists of embroidery and sequins. There are different patterns – some with more embroidery than others. Sequins are applied in the empty spaces. Sometimes lace is added on top of the borders surrounding the embroidery. I chose to omit the lace to have the blue stand out. I also took out the little triangles for two main reasons – I’m lazy and I don’t like them poking me. The outfit looks clean, simple, and there’s more focus on the blue and sequins.

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I made my shirt the traditional style just not as loose. This was because I thought that the fitted style with princess seams would be more difficult.  Since it would require me to align the diamonds at every seam and I had a limited amount of fabric to use.Then, I ran into another problem with the print of the fabric. I wanted the diamonds to run vertical and not horizontal because it give the illusion of being slimmer and if it ran horizontal I would look wider. So in the end I still had to align the diamonds. Usually with traditional shirts there isn’t a seam across the shoulders but if you look really closely on my shirt you can see the seam. I didn’t really care about the pattern matching super closely where I attached the sleeves though.

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Originally I wanted a 3/4 sleeve shirt but I made the mistake of cutting too much off of my sleeve embroidery.  Do you see a trend here? This entire process was a cycle of failure and compromise with way more patience than I thought I possessed. So I had to settle for a long sleeve shirt. Additionally, I made the shirt a little to small for me. Despite the mistakes along the way, I’m super excited to wear this outfit to Hmong New Year. I’m pairing it with the hat that I featured in this post.

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:: Outfit Details ::

Sequin Outfit

Phuam

Crossroads by Nancy White Pleated Skirt (37 X17.5)

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:: Photography ::

Sweet Capture Photography

Thank you for reading! I can’t wait to show the finished princess hat that I made to go with this outfit too. I’ll showcase it with a different outfit though. Something that is different than what I usually go for. I’m trying to stay away from sequins for a while  squeezing in some last minute projects before the year is over because I won’t be able to sew for a while.