KOTA TINGGI: Children donning attires made from the Jalur Gemilang may look cute and creative, however, dressmakers are reminded to be mindful in guarding the sensitivity with regard to turning the Malaysian flag into outfits. Dressmaker Rozita A Manap, 37, said National Day celebrations have always been an opportunity to earn extra money with people ordering various outfits to be made from the Jalur Gemilang. She said most of her customers who place such orders are parents who want the outfits for their children to wear at National Day costume competitions in kindergartens and schools. "Sewing normal clothes is different than sewing flags. We will become more spirited and patriotic when designing clothes made out of our flag. "It is not an easy task because at the same time, we have to be mindful of the sensitivity pertaining to the flag. "For me, I will always make sure the moon and star are placed on the top, and the stripes can be used for the sarong or pants," Rozita said. Explaining further, she said for a Jalur Gemilang baju Melayu, she would use two 3' x 6' large flags and one 2' x 5' small flag. "For a dress, I will use three large flags and one small flag," she said.
Rozita A Manap (left) with her husband and daughter show some of the her creations. Pic by OMAR AHMAD
Having dabbled in the making of flag-based outfits for six years now, Rozita said she can complete one baju Melayu and one peplum dress in a day. She informed that for tiered dresses, it will take her two days. As for the traditional Malay headgear or tanjak, she can make three in a day. "Most of my customers would bring their photographs of the kind of outfit they want and I will then take their measurements. From there I will know how many flags I need to use. "Initially, I was not keen about making outfits from flags, I started out doing it for fun for my three children. I would hang the clothes in front of my shop everytime it was August. "The people who come by my shop were attracted to the outfits and began asking if they could purchase the clothes. I sold the clothes then and from that point many more began requesting to purchase my flag outfits," Rozita who runs a dressmaking shop in Kampung Gebut, near here, said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd