The incidental tourists

Hello my sewing comrades! I’m finally home!

To say I love to travel is an understatement. I live to travel. I live to sew.  But, it never occurred to me that I could enjoy being a tourist in my own lil isle when hubby was on leave in June.

Instead of visiting the usual malls or going for a movie, we ended up visiting chinatown and kampong glam, marveling at the sights and enjoying the distinct cultures at these tourist hunts. We took our new camera out and snapped lots of photos. I’m posting more images here so you too get to play virtual tourist in Singapore while I finally got to document my last few days of Made Me June (in August *sign*).  I hope you enjoy what you see and will visit our lil island some day! And for Singaporeans overseas, I hope you have a Happy National Day next Tuesday 🙂

We started one of the days with some traditional food from my maternal granny’s hometown of Hubei, China at the People’s Park Complex hawker centre (Market Street). Dumplings with vinegar/ ginger slices and handmade dumping skin soup with dried shrimps, minced pork and cabbage. Tien Jin is the name of the stall and the only place I know that sells this dumpling skin soup and it’s simply delicious!

Then, upstairs to my fave favourite stall, Thye Guan Textile (02-1006) to check out new stocks. The owner liked my Au Revoir dress which was made with fabric bought from her store 🙂 Lots of knits and wovens to choose from as usual! I am still waiting for her new border print order to arrive.

At Kampong Glam, we visited Haji Lane (small shops selling home decor, second hand jeans, cafes), Arab Street (Fabrics!!!) and Muscat Street (Sultan Mosque, cafes and vintage toy shop/ musuem).

Graffiti wall at Haji Lane

The Sultan Mosque, oldest mosque in Singapore (1854)

Check out the Roti Prata store opposite the road from Sultan Mosque! Here’s the chef at work.

And if you are a fabric fanatic like me, you have got to visit Arab Street. I found this fabulous chiffon border print at S$8 (US$5.60) per metre. Can’t wait to make a simple dress out of it!

As we still had sometime to spare before picking up the kids from school, we took a stroll along Muscat Street and chanced upon a vintage toy museum/ shop and they still have vintage toy robots/ planes/ vehicles for sale in original boxes.  Too cute!

The following day, hubby and I enjoyed a breakfast of barbecue pork rice rolls  at chinatown hawker centre and a traditional cup of tea/ milo from this stall called the 50s where they sold traditional Hainanese coffee, drinks and bread. There was a perpetual queue at the stall while we were there.

After breakfast, we explored the streets of chinatown.

It was a humid and sunny day so my cape tara and red denim ruby shorts were weather perfect for our ‘excursion’.At the end of temple street was the Sri Mariamman Temple, founded in 1827 it is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore and a national monument.

Another landmark in chinatown in the recent years is the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum.

While playing tourists, hubby and I also ended up with some goodies from the road side stalls. A Chairman Mao bag for him and two Vietnamese handmade dresses for my daughter (below) which I love. The smocking and embroidery details are simply fabulous and I love how they looked so vintage too!

TGIF and I hope you enjoyed this brief virtual tour of Singapore 🙂

I will be sharing some of my fave shots from the Sydney/ Cairns vacation soon. I didn’t wear made me outfits everyday but a good mix of rtw and self made:) On the sewing front, I’m in the midst of rushing out some vintage nautical outfits for my lil prince and princess and will share shots of them soon too! My first vintage kids patterns, woo hoo!


19 thoughts on “The incidental tourists

  1. Hi Adey!

    I love Singapore… 2 months ago I visited Malin textiles for which you gave me the address about 6 months ago (you might not remember…). The fabric selection was amazing and I’m already looking forward to my next trip to SIN!

    Thanks again,


  2. Thank you for showing us around! I hope to make it as far as your beautiful island some day but for now, your photos sure brightened up my otherwise very cloudy and dull Irish morning 🙂 And wow, I envy you your fabric store! (And your dress is sooo pretty too :))

  3. It’s great to see u back in blog land. U seem to ve great fun! And oh, thye guan is my fav fabric store! I always joke to Henry and his wife that I am a fabric collector. Perhaps we can go fabric shopping there together one day 🙂

  4. Thanks for the tour, it looks like a really interesting place. I’ve only been able to set foot in Asia once so far, and that was Malaysia, but I hope to be able to get back and explore more eventually :o)

  5. those are some of my favourite spots. 🙂 made me smile the part where you two bought a ‘mao’ bag in chinatown. Brian got an obama-mao one. and the girly dresses are lovely buys. your au revoir dress had me glanced at it 3-4 more times! the lace!

    i’m looking forward to seeing the nautical theme kids’ wear. my fave dress when i was a child in the 80’s was a sailor dress and i recently got one new sailor suit off ebay for kaeden. you could tell how much i love sailor outfit on kiddos already!

  6. Fiona: Please share with me other vintage hot spots in Singapore if you know, I’ll love to visit them too 😛 The kids wore their nautical red and white outfits today for national day kekeke (so patriotic!) so I will be posting the pix soon 🙂 I am sure kaeden looks super cute in his sailor suit! Will mummy be sewing him nautical related toys like his fire station set? That would be awesome!

  7. So beautiful place ! And the fabrics shops , what a dream for me and a nightmare for my CB !
    I send you a picture of the top inspired from you as soon as I’m back from holidays in 2 weeks.
    Bless you.

  8. I have been to Singapore about 9 or 10 times. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I love the food, the shopping, the people, the food, the shopping, the fabric shops, the heat, the transport … what is not to like in SIngapore???? I would move there in a second!
    I have been to all the places you have mentioned but I want to say that roti place is amazing! We got the best lime drinks next door on the corner and I was just telling my friend on Tue all about it for her stop over on her way home in a month. I am going to send her your blog address so she can see for herself where it is and hope she may take the hint and get me some (more) fabric from Arab St!! Oh I love the fushia dress in your latest post – that colour is you! and that has inspired me to make something for summer with mine. It looks exactly the same colour and weight and I have had it 15 years at least.

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