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Malaysian designer and handicraft expert hand-sews items for children

Malaysian designer and handicraft expert hand-sews items for children

2024-02-06

Malaysian designer and handicraft expert Lai Lee Men has won a name for herself with her hand-sewn items for children. The Malaysian immigrant started making items to soothe her own son when he was a baby. Her comforting items helped him settle, and soon her friends were clamoring for the same for their kids. Now Lai even offers classes from her craft studio, to help others create items full of heart.

Every child is the apple of their parents’ eyes. We all want to give our children the very best as they grow up, and Lai Lee Men is no different. When she came to Taiwan, it was to study commercial design. Later, she married and settled in Chiayi, and, with the birth of her son, her career plans changed radically.

Lai Lee Men
Designer and Malaysian immigrant
When my son was born, my mom came to help out while I was confined for the first month. She said to me, “Why don’t you make your son some toys? Something comforting for him?” When she went back home, I found things so hard and overwhelming, and I wondered how to manage my son. When he was crying every night, and I felt really irritated, I thought “I must make him something.” So I started sewing some animals for him, rabbits, fluffy sheep, soft toys like that.

Lai first learned to sew as a child, and later developed the sharp perceptions of a professional designer. Very soon, she was making her son soothing objects like blankets, shoes and toys. As he grew older, she kept on making more and more things for him.

Lai Lee Men
Designer and Malaysian immigrant
This is a little turtle. You can put a pacifier in it. We let him suck on it and it sits on him. Apparently, children feel soothed by this kind of rustling sound.

Lai’s craft skills started to gain a reputation among her circle of friends. She first shared her creations with friends and family – later, people were asking for custom-made designs. Some friends even asked her to design holders for teacups. Before she knew it, her handicraft studio was born.

Lai Lee Men
Designer and Malaysian immigrant
We brought in a kind of Japanese style. You complete the bag with just one knot. You open and close it like this. Our friends in Taiwan love products that have some heart, so each item, even the smallest, is hand-sewn.

This new mother has found a way to soothe her own child with her skills, and then to spread the joy among her friends as well. She’s even offering classes to teach others how to create their own crafts amid the stresses and strains of daily life.

This story was provided by the program "We Are Family"
Funded by New Immigrant Development Fund

For more Taiwan news, tune in:
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Tue to Sat at 1 am on Channel 53

大馬媽媽陪伴孩子成長 手作小物療癒自己也盼分享

2024-02-06

來自馬來西亞的賴麗敏,原本是一位商業設計師,為了陪伴孩子的成長,從嬰兒的安撫小物、到口水巾、小玩具甚至是長大一點的手提袋,一針一線親手縫製,意外獲得周遭親友的好評,開起她的手作工作室,現在打算開班授課,要將這份手作的小確幸,分享出去。

每個孩子都是父母的心肝寶貝,在成長過程中,都希望給他們最好的,賴麗敏也是如此,當年從馬來西亞來臺灣求學,學的是商業設計,婚後定居嘉義,生涯規劃也因為懷孕生子,有了大改變。

[[馬來西亞新住民 賴麗敏]]
“生小孩我媽媽來幫我坐月子的時候,有跟我講說,你要不要做一些東西給你兒子?會給他有一點安撫的效果。媽媽回去娘家以後,我就覺得好慘喔,好辛苦,小孩怎麼辦?然後每一天晚上都哭,覺得很煩的時候,就想說,那我一定要做一些東西,那時候就開始縫一些,好像動物類型的東西,兔子、綿羊啊之類的那種娃娃給他。”

從小打下的縫紉基礎,加上過去從事設計的觀察力,很快的,兒子的安撫小物,口水巾,甚至是小鞋、小玩具,隨著孩子的成長過程,一針一線做出好多作品。

[[馬來西亞新住民 賴麗敏]]
“這是小烏龜,它是可以放奶嘴的夾子一般我們都會讓小朋友夾在他的身上。據說小朋友聽到這種雜音的時候,它會有一種安撫的效果”

好手藝在朋友圈裡傳開,一開始是分享給周遭親友,後來大家想要訂製,甚至還有朋友請她設計茶杯袋,也意外開啟她的手作新事業。

[[馬來西亞新住民 賴麗敏]]
“我們引用一個,比較日式的感覺,日式這種就是一個結就可以完成的一個包包,就這樣子打開,關起來。臺灣的朋友們都很喜歡有溫度的商品,所以呢就每一樣東西,小小的,需要用手縫”

新手媽媽透過手作,療癒了自己,也一針一線陪伴了孩子的成長,現在她更想要將這份快樂,分享給更多人,開班授課,一起找回繁雜生活當中的小確幸。

以上內容由《我們一家人》節目提供
內政部移民署監製

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