THE SEWING DIVAS sewing, design, fashion

June 19, 2009

Diva for a Day: Katharine in Hong Kong

Filed under: Designer,Inspirations,sewing,Sewing Friends — Els @ 12:00 am

We are proud to present you a very talented lady, Katharine Yeung from Hong Kong .

Katharine responded on our blogpost   visitors from all over the world  and now you can read her sewing story too.

After graduating from fashion design school 2 years ago, I worked at a bridal studio in New York. I learned a lot about pattern making and some sewing technique. Now I’ve returned to Hong Kong where I was born, it had not been easy to find a job I love (compare to the vibrant design scene in NY). So a month ago, I decided to start my own collection, work on something I truly enjoy, and see where this will take me. 

I love bridal and evening, but I need to have something more wearable and profitable 🙂 So I’m creating a small 9-looks casual-evening collection, with dresses, tops, skirt and pants.



I started this project with a little strapless A-Line dress. This dress has tons of seams; each panel will be in contrasting colour (dark area: some type of silk, think duchess, shantung or taffeta that has a bit of shine… the grey area will be matte: black/grey organza overlay on whatever I used on the dark area.) It will have a bustier inside, as I can’t stand those low-end garments without a proper structure inside. This is how I stumble across the Sewing Divas blog. Google took me to your post of December 31, 2007 (Evening wear, bustier and skirt). Gorgeous work! Even it wasn’t exactly the type of bustier construction I was searching about, your blog just took my breath away! I loved loved loved all those technique you showcased on your blog, it’s not easy to see someone who blog about their sewing secrets! Not to mention your techniques are so professional/couture (in contrast to some home sewing technique). Your blog is just too nice to be true!

So I went through tons of your old post over night, absorbed as much as I could and see if I could use some of the technique you blogged. Even if it’s not related to the collection I’m creating, I still enjoyed reading every post here 🙂



Back to what I’m sewing. Here is work in progress of the toile of that strapless dress. The original sketch has a chiffon draped panel that rest on the side, with one panel that can be flipped up and rest on shoulder (for those who want more than a strapless look). However, after stitching up the toile, I’m obsessed with all the seam detail and the dress just look so sculpted and 3-dimensional, that I felt it might be a shame to cover up all those seams (and the cute in-seam pocket!), even it’s chiffon. So I’ll make that decision later on when I sew this dress in the real fabric choice, and keep that chiffon option in case the seams are not laying as smooth as I want it to be. 

I’m sewing in my tiny bedroom in Hong Kong with an IKEA table and a Janome sewing machine. 


I don’t have a huge kitchen table, but we do have an un-occupied room in our apartment…. so yea, I’m one of those who do their pattern and cutting on the floor. Hopefully one day I can afford to have my own studio with a giant table!



Since I’m prepared to re-use those pattern, I tried not to fold them (the pattern paper quality is pretty bad… (Does anyone know where I can find a more sturdy pattern paper in Hong Kong?) I don’t have that extra money to buy a bunny hole puncher and pattern hooks yet. So I clip the pattern with binder clip and hang them behind the door. 



















And this is my cheaply made ham…. I swear to myself, I’ll buy a real tailor’s ham once I sold the first piece in my collection.




  1. Love the shaping in your dress, can’t wait to see the finished garment. Excellent

    Comment by ANGELA REGAN — June 19, 2009 @ 3:58 am

  2. What a terrific feature! It was fun to read her story and inspiring to see how she does her work. And, the BWOF always show that handmade pressing ham 🙂

    Comment by Cidell — June 19, 2009 @ 6:24 am

  3. She is a fighter. I apreciate very much this kind of woman.
    I hope that her collection will be finished fastly and her tailor’s ham and giant table come soon.
    My respects for this lady

    Comment by Laila — June 19, 2009 @ 7:02 am

  4. Amazing seams. Love all the detail. Hope we get to see the finished dress.

    Comment by Beth — June 19, 2009 @ 7:17 am

  5. Great story and great designs! I’m sure you’ll have your dream studio in no time. 🙂 As for pattern paper: my stash ran out yesterday in the middle of a project, so instead of ordering some online and waiting for it to come I went to one of my local stores and bought a ton of cheap interfacing. So far it’s working like a charm, and the nice thing is that you can buy it in a different weights depending on your needs. Good luck with your collection!!!

    Comment by Anitra — June 19, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  6. I enjoyed reading this story. It brought back memories of making do and looking forward to one day. That’s what life is about.

    Katharine, the dress is a great design. As for paper, I have use brown wrapping paper for quick pieces and sturdier poster board to make pieces that I trace a lot. You might be able to find both in an office supply store.

    Best wishes for a successful career. You are talented.

    Comment by Mpressive Threadz — June 19, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

  7. I must say I’m so honored to be a diva for a day, and it has been lovely to read all these comments. They’re so encouraging, made me much more confident and focus on what I’m doing. I’m aiming to finish all the pattern of my collection before August (finger crossed), I hope I can share with you all how that A-Line dress turns out. Again, Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, and everyone’s comment.

    Comment by Katharine Yeung — June 19, 2009 @ 12:47 pm

    • We are so glad you wanted to post with us, Katharine.
      Please let us know when you are ready to show everyone your dress!

      Comment by Mary Beth — June 19, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  8. Hi Katharine.

    This is mike. I am from Hong Kong too, I am currently working for myself making custom pieces for different clients. Lets be friends. Just want to share experience with you. (facebook me)


    Comment by mike cheng — June 19, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

  9. Katherine,
    I love the dress with all the seams. Good luck with your venture.
    I am from HK too, but I live in Los Angeles now. I agree with you that Hong Kong clothing is mostly cheaply made; it’s hard to find local quality brand. I hope to see your creation in HK and worldwide one day!

    Comment by Kennis — June 19, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

  10. Your sketch is beautiful and I can tell you have a lot of skill based on your muslin! If I were in the market for an evening dress, and saw that one-I would buy it in a minute! Best of luck, I hope you get your ham, dream studio, and more!

    Comment by Arlene — June 20, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  11. What a delight reading your “story”. I wish you the best of luck in marketing your collection.

    Comment by Bunny — June 20, 2009 @ 6:12 pm

  12. I really enjoyed this story and I love the
    dress and the lovely detailing.

    I’m sure it’s only a matter of time
    before we see your designs worldwide.

    All the best Katherine.

    Comment by Sandra — June 22, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  13. What a great feature! Katharine – your designs are lovely – I love that curved pocket detail on the strapless dress, I’m guessing that’s what that is. All best to you and your new collection.

    Comment by Summerset — June 22, 2009 @ 8:22 am

  14. LOVE the sculpted toile strapless dress. Please keep designing. YOU ARE WONDERFUL!

    Comment by Angela Airey — June 22, 2009 @ 1:44 pm

  15. Hi Katherine! What a talent you have! You are truly gifted! that is an artform! As far as your patterns go.. I sell wholesale template plastic for patterns and I ship to Hong Kong if your interested… I will gladly help you out if you want, just email me ( ! I once lived in NYC and worked in the fashion district .. there is NO OTHER place like it in the world.. Good Luck in your future.. by the looks of your sketches.. we will see your name in print everywhere! =) Kristina

    Comment by Kristina — June 22, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  16. Love this new feature on the Sewing Divas. And Katherine, I love your design for the strapless dress. Don’t give up your dreams. You’ve got great talent. I hope to see your work on the runway!

    Comment by eword10 — June 23, 2009 @ 8:53 am

  17. This is a really unique look into the talent of a young professional. Thanks.

    Comment by carol — June 23, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  18. […] original here: Diva for a Day: Katharine in Hong Kong « THE SEWING DIVAS sewing … Tags: a-lot-about, design-school, famous-quality, pattern-making […]

    Pingback by Diva for a Day: Katharine in Hong Kong « THE SEWING DIVAS sewing … | Hongkong today — June 29, 2009 @ 8:07 pm

  19. It was wonderful to meet Katharine and being able to enjoy her beautiful work. Thank you Els, I’m looking forward to more “Diva for a Day” posts!

    Comment by Tany — July 2, 2009 @ 9:58 am

  20. WOW! I am in awe. That is such beatiful seam detail. I can’t wait to see the final product. Good luck to you in all of your future endeavors. You are inspiring….

    Comment by Deneisha — August 21, 2009 @ 9:21 am

  21. For really great cheap paper to use for pattern making knock on a few architects doors and ask for their off cuts or scrap printing paper. They use large printers to print draft designs for their plans and the paper is very wide and sturdy. They may be able to direct you to a supplier so you can eventually buy a large roll for yourself. 🙂

    Comment by Christine — April 8, 2010 @ 7:03 am

  22. Haya,Im also a “home fashion designer”working on a fab collection that hopfully I will be able to sell after manufacturing.To the point,where did u get your sewing mannequin doll? Im in bad need of one,I live in hong kong and can’t seem to find one any where.
    Would be glad of any help
    Thanks Jenny

    Comment by Jenny — July 18, 2010 @ 9:51 am

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