Sunday, February 23, 2014

Do-It-Yourself Plus Size Crop Tops

I've been obsessing about crop tops the moment I saw this and that! I think that I can pull it off, but I wasn't sure where to get one. Some of the ones I found in Forever 21 won't fit my twins and my budget. And when I finally got this crop top and matching skirt from Erzullie, I had to postpone the much-awaited world premiere until I get my dream boots customized. Nope, this does NOT count as world premiere haha!

For this assignment for, (Click it, share it!) I decided to ask for Chiara Causaren's expertise on how to create crop tops in the comfort of our own homes. Her old-shirt-noon-crop-top-ngayon posts always never fail to amaze me! Does it take a fashion designer to do it? As long as you can imagine your creation and determine how cropped and flirty it will be, you are good as a pro. Do we need to sew? It will depend on the fabric, but cottony and stretchy ones will curl up nicely even without doing so.

So, let us show you how to chop away!

Level 1: Easy!
You can make a crop top out of old leggings!

1.) Fold your leggings sideways in a flat surface. This will ensure symmetry when you're about to cut it.
2.) Cut a half-circle between the leg sleeves (pundyo) to create the neck hole. The wider the cut, the lower the neckline will be.
3.) Stretch the fabric to keep it from fraying.
4.) Try it on!

You can make a front-tie crop top from an old shirt!

1.) Mark a line on where you want to cut. You may mark a bit longer to have a room for error.
2.) Lay your shirt sideways on a flat surface.
3.) Cut the lower back part up to the line you drew before.
4.) Cut until the middle of the shirt then cut diagonally.
5.) Cut the uneven fabric into half.
6.) Flip it over and tie both ends.
7.) Wear it and flaunt those curves!

Level 2: Moderately difficult, but feasible!
You can make a crop tieback top out of an old shirt!

1.) Lay out your top sideways on a flat surface.
2.) Cut the middle of the neckline up to the bottom.
3.) Cut the lower end at the back, up to the preferred length.
4.) Use the removed part at the back as an extension in the front. Sew it together.
5.) Put it on and tie the loops at the rear!

Level 3: Difficult!
You can make a knotted crop top out of an old shirt!

1.) Cut both sides of the shirt vertically up to the preferred length.
2.) Cut tiny strands all the way up to the middle so the knot design will fall below the bust. Make sure you have strands in even number to make the knotting easy.
3.) Since the t-shirt hems typically curl up once cut, pull them to make it easier to knot.
4.) Knot the strands together in twos. Continue making knotted rows until the bottom to create diamond-shaped holes.
5.) Cut off excess fabrics.
6.) Voila! You're now ready to make heads turn!

Now you’re all set to make your own. It’s important that you take note of the following:
1.) Crop tops are for everyBODY! Whatever body frame you are in, you will look fabulous in it!
2.) If you can’t decide how much of the hem you can chop, the suggested length is about 1-2 inches from the bustline.
3.) If you realized you’ve cut more than you intended to and you’re not comfortable with the amount of skin exposure, pair your crop top with high-waisted shorts, skirts or pants.
4.) Make sure to wear good-fitting undergarments.
5.) Compliment your look with a great smile and have fun in it!


You think you still need more crop top inspiration? Let me leave you with other Pinay curvies who rock this look. Hot, hot, hot!

L-R: Pasha, Chiara & Nina
Pasha's photo taken from Erzullie, Chiara's & Nina's photos from their timeline and blog, respectively.

Monday, February 17, 2014

WORLD PREMIERE: That Striped Dress / PINAY CURVIES EVENT: #StartingOverAgain Movie Date / Erzullie's Showroom-warming Party

What an action-packed weekend! I started the day with this much-awaited movie date with beautiful strangers Avon and Miss Annie and long-time sister in fashion, Loren. Sadly, my partner Mitch can't make it due to a family affair in Batangas. So I felt the pressure to be doubly madahldahl to compensate for her absence. 

Did I succeed? As always, I need not to fret. Any Pinay Curvies gathering always felt like a reunion of sort; the moment we strangers recognized one another, we instantly hit it off. In fact, I was quick to initiate a bet: "Kung sinong unang iiyak while watching Starting Over Again..." I didn't get to finish my sentence as they admitted they're crybabies just like me. But I think I was the first to sniff and wipe my eyes dry. How competitive, huh?

"Lumaklak kami ng realidad" and discussed how we can relate...over food!

Since we can all relate to film, we decided to talk about this reel-life sob story and our own real-life (un)love stories! Inasmuch as I would like to share our golden realizations, I doubt they'll allow me. So whatever revelations that transpired that afternoon in Glorietta 5, stays there! I can talk about mine, but that probably calls for a separate blog entry. Ha!

Something sweet and colorful from the generous Miss Annie!

To our surprise, Miss Annie (she used to sell plus size clothes on eBay way back in 2005! Isa syang institusyon!) gifted us with jelly beans! It was an astounding sight as I've been wondering where I can find Mason jars here in the Philippines. Plus, I discovered that Avon happens to be a CaviteƱa, too! And she's met Loren in one of the many go-sees before. All together now ---♫♪♪ it's a small world after all! ♪♫♫

Class picture!

What I enjoyed about this meet-up? We were already making plans on our next chikahan even before we decided to part ways. Actually, Avon and Miss Annie would like to continue the gabfest over coffee, but Loren and I had to decline due to another event we can't afford to miss. Off to Pasig we went!

Finding Erzullie's showroom wasn't hard at all. All we had to do was follow the contagious gales of laughter from the hallway and we're home. As always, it was a fun-filled evening with these body-positive ladies!

Meet the Erzullie Icons we got to hang out with: Jayrea, Loren and Kat

Painting the showroom's wall with love, love, love!


For this month's Pinay Curvies Swag challenge, I intended to bring out this striped dress from my Orocan baul (my mum took it upon herself to re-arrange my clothes again depending on frequent usage) and pair it with my ankle boots that I world premiered back in high school (circa 1995-1999). Why this dress? Well, you've heard me acknowledge hand-me-downs in my prior posts, so why not talk about a somewhat forgotten ukay ukay find? 

Unfortunately, I was unable to unearth the mentioned boots which kinda broke my heart since I wore them for the Christmas station ID shoot a couple of months ago. Where did they go? They can't possibly walk out on me, right? As a result, I was unable to join the blog link-up. Sighs. But, hey, make sure to check out these outfits with interesting back stories from Nina, Katee, Keevee and Caroline!

Anyway, I like how this cottony, casual fabric blended well with the sheer fabric that covered my chest and arms. Its contrast pretty much reminded me of this see-through miniskirt... or whatever's the proper way to describe it. How about you, do you think these white flats looked better than the black ankle boots for this striped dress? Let me know what you think. 

Erzullie Icon...NOT!

Outfit of the Day:
Striped dress from ukay ukay
White lacey flats from Solemate
Moonstone crystals from Crystal Empress

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bilbiling Mandaluyong 2014

I've been wanting to watch the annual Bilbiling Mandaluyong beauty pageant since I interviewed Leslie Ann Canlas, the title holder back in 2011. I planned to attend the following year, but I got swamped with work and ended up having this last-minute sole searching adventure. As a result, I found it doubly hard to get up from bed that afternoon. Good thing, I spotted this tweet and got reminded of my dream to watch this beauty pageant live. What's more, I found fellow willing audience in my former colleagues when I posted my inquiry about the event whereabouts! Yay!

We were told that the venue can get too crowded, so we aimed to be first in line. At 05:20pm, the gym was rather empty and we had the luxury to choose our seats. Since the bleachers were divided into baranggays, we, as mere outsiders, were hoping we won't get thrown out or something. The show was supposed to start at 07:00pm, but the judges started arriving around 08:40pm! 

With my friends and fellow early birds Ivy and Chad (before the event marshalls confiscated the balloons and tarps)

When the candidates started rocking the stage at 09:00pm, I found my energy again and clapped away. It was such an awesome feeling to see 27 plus size Pinays in midriff-baring tops (not because they're going to step on the timbangan ng bayan) with proud smiles in their faces. Seriously, I felt my tears well up!

The crowd's reaction was wild and deafening. At first, I was determined to know if it were cheers or jeers. From my vantage point, it was easy to tell. But halfway the program, I reminded myself that I went the distance to enjoy the moment, to support fellow body love advocates, NOT to allow the laughs get into me. But somehow it did. We're still far from becoming an accepting, non-judgmental nation! 

Still, I can't ignore the possibility that events like this may serve as springboard for social change. We can't expect other people to accept and laud people like us right away, but exposure to belly rolls, stretch marks, cellulites and other "flaws" could go a long way. And I intend to patiently sit and watch for this to come into fruition. 

The talent portion would have to be my second favorite! Sadly, there were candidates who conformed to the notions about us (ex. making lechon references in their dance number, having low-energy performance). But it was a delight to see a candidate who shook her booty very well for her own take of gimme gimme, candidates who can give showgirls a run for their money for the amount of lifting and flying executed and a candidate with sing-and-dance power when everyone else grooved to the music. You can't blame me here; fat women are known to be amazing singers. Look at Adele, Radha, Janice Javier, Frenchie Dy and so many others!

Speaking of amazing singers, I'd have to say THIS is my favorite part! Hearing my childhood hero sing my favorite song back in the days! It was so surreal I can't hold my camphone still. 

I must admit I was kinda disappointed with the long gown competition. I was hoping there will be 27 different designs that will somehow give us a reflection of each candidate's personality or 27 ways to flaunt those curves. But they all ended up wearing the same design (or so it appears to me) in different colors. Plus, there was this candidate who, during her turn to ramp, flashed an apple out of her gown. Yeah, another lechon reference. If she were trying to be hilarious, sorry, but I don't find it an uplifting representation of us. I mean, people calling us names is a reflection of who they are, but reinforcing or allowing them to call us names during a body-positive event is another. Or perhaps I'm being sensitive about it. Sorry if I didn't get the humor.

It was a relief that the question-and-answer portion attempted to extract bits and pieces from the candidates' personal lives, views and journey to acceptance. I felt - and I still do -proud and happy that these girls know their worth and they found a good venue to shout it out to the world. 

And the winners are...

Congratulations to all the winners! In fact, there were so many special awards and cool prizes, I didn't get to track them all. But I recall that, if the Top 5 winners, get to lose weight just in time for the next year's coronation, they'll receive extra P50,000 in cash. And the organizers take pride in offering this even before the Biggest Loser did. Last year's beauty queens and their weight loss story didn't get airtime, so I can only guess it wasn't part of the programme.

Sorry, but this slim-down prize contradicts to their objective to celebrate curves. Body mass index (BMI) doesn't equate to fitness and neither is wellness restricted to physical aspect alone. In my humble opinion, being happy with oneself is more important than being conscious about the figures. Besides, being happy leads to finding out what's best for your body and how to achieve it. Thank you! *waves right hand like a beauty queen*

In case you missed this event, I shall leave you with this clip that sums up the beauty contest. Feel free to share what you think. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

MUSIC MONDAY: Datu's Tribe - "Lakambini Bottom"

♪♪♪ Eh ano ngayon kung mataba sya  ♫♪♫♪
♪♪ Mas masarap daw magmahal ang babaeng lumba lumba  ♫♪
♫ Eh ano ngayon kung mabigat sya  ♪♪♪

♫♪ Imbis na tawaging baboy, porkchop, lechon baka, balyena ♪♪
♫♪♫ Since there's more of her, there's more to love ♪♪

Yep, I'm still nursing a bad Bilbiling Mandaluyong 2014 hangover. And I have this cool song to blame for, among others. 

Since my friends and I arrived too early yesterday (around 5pm) in the venue, we got to hear this song and watch this music video way often than the others. Upon hearing it, I kept on asking myself how come I wasn't aware of this song. I've heard Datu's Tribe perform live a couple of times already!

I appreciate how this song offered a glimpse to a guy's perspective about body love. But it makes me wonder, how do we know the difference between appreciation and fetish? 

As you can hear in the background, there was this massive audience impact when they played this music video. I heard supportive cheers from the candidates' ka-baranggays and possibly laughs and jeers from the others. We're still far from becoming an body-loving, non-judgmental society, but I'm grateful for opportunities like this. The more we get exposed to fat bellies, jiggling arms and stretch marks, I believe, the more we will get familiar to such. And I pray this familiarity would lead to acceptance.