Category Archives: New collection

Designing Elly’s CNY 2017 collection

I’ve just spent days staring at the CNY pictures from The Studio Loft wondering how I would tell you about the past few months worth of stories which culminated in this large collection, all in one blog post.  There’s so much to say!

We started working on this CNY collection in June (way before we started working on our Holiday 2016 collection which you can read about here).  Coming out of CNY2016, it was always going to be hard to do something different again. CNY2016 was about embroidery. We wanted our 2017 collection to have two distinct looks – a luxe collection and an everyday collection.  Two looks to give you a good variety to select for each day of Chinese New Year (and this year there are 3 days)!

The Luxe collection

Without hesitation, Carol knew she wanted gingko leaves as a theme because it was traditional and yet when drawn as an outline, it looked modern. I guess you could say the luxe gingko collection is the “Carol” part of our team.  She loves pretty florals and traditional colours and trims.

Gingko trio.jpg

The result as you can see is really something different.  It’s something you can wear not just for CNY, but suits any other formal occasion too!

introducing gingko.jpg

Our new Sarah dress design!

We’ve been known for our jade buttons on our Cheongsams, which have always given them a touch of luxury. In our luxe collection this year, we used gold foil and gold piping for our gingko prints, which just brings them to a whole new level of luxe!  The best thing is that for us, luxe doesn’t mean expensive.  We are keeping our prices for the luxe collection the same as the rest of our collection so you don’t have to think twice about buying them as gifts or as extra dresses for day two or three!  Just like anything else that is precious, you need to treat these pieces with gold foil with extra care – you must only lightly hand-wash and iron on the reverse with a cloth over it.

Our luxe collection comes in three colours for the Cheongsams- red, turquoise and fuchsia, and two colours for the Mandarin-collared shirts – red and turquoise. Moms can also choose from red and fuchsia for their matching Ladies’ Tops!  (P.S. If you’re buying our outfits for a CNY Family photoshoot, the red gingko leaves and pandas photographed really well in our studio shoots.)

To cater to tweens who might prefer not to wear dresses, we’ve designed a halter top in two colours. You can get light cotton pants from us or wear them over a pair of leggings or jeans.  Your tween can dress them up or down according to their mood!


Carol’s second theme was cherries and birds.  We didn’t like the solid red / round / symmetrical cherries you commonly find on fabrics, especially nearing Christmas. We wanted a faded vintage look and we added a touch of gold foil so that the birds would shimmer in the light. I love how special this fabric turned out with the highlight of gold foil on what would otherwise be a normal cotton fabric. Subtle luxe!


In keeping with our luxe theme, Carol and Stacy handmade gingko leaves and painted individual squares of our rainbow wall sets for the shoot and our store display.  I love how our sets bring out the prints so clearly.  We can’t wait to show you our pictures from The Studio Loft taken specially by Maryann and her team!


Rainbow wall.jpg

The Everyday collection

Of course, we can’t forget the fun part of everyday Elly  – the crazy fun that we, as a family, are sometimes all about. When we started to think about designing this year, we realized that in our earlier days, a lot of what we designed had been inspired by Lil S, before Lil E came along. Even this year our Holiday collection (which you can find here) was inspired by Lil S soon becoming a tween. So we thought it was about time Lil E got a collection inspired by her! She inspires us all the time anyway with her constant laughter and crazy antics.

So this year, we chose “pandas” as our theme.  Yes, PANDAS! Although I bet some of you were thinking I’d choose Pokemons (if you heard how Carol and I went abit mad playing Pokemons back in September, even making our staff follow us at lunch to catch Dragonites and Snorlaxes near our office at Bukit Merah and Telok Blangah Hill Park)!

So why pandas?  Because earlier this year around the time we were designing this collection, Lil E was crazy about pandas!  We brought her to a toy shop at Serene Centre and the ONLY thing she wanted from this huge toy + Lego shop were two tiny pandas which she could hold in her hand.  (Ok luckily that makes her more affordable between my two nieces to bring on outings since that present cost me only $6. Haha.)  For days, these two pandas followed her around in her chubby little hands. She would hold them in the car, to Grandma’s house, to dinner and ever so often, would ask, “Where my panda?” whenever she couldn’t find them.

So we thought it would be so fun to have them on our cheongsams as our theme this year!  But because pandas are black and I’ve been told by customers that grandparents can be superstitious about wearing black on the first day of CNY visiting, we needed to include festive colours and other themes! So our panda prints come in two colours – with a bright red or a blue lattice!

Panda teaser.jpg

When this print was first drawn, we showed it to Lil E and asked if she liked it. She excitedly got down on her mat and showed us the panda’s poses (because “Eme panda”).

Panda pose 1.jpg

Panda pose 2.jpg


Safe to say, I think she liked the pandas!

But pandas alone were not going to be enough.  As you know, Elly is about variety as well so you can choose your entire CNY wardrobe from us!

So what else does Lil E like?  Ice-cream!!!  She has such a happy face whenever she gets to hold a cone!

(I know what you’re going to say… bad auntie… ice cream is a terrible bribe!  But how can you say no to that face???)

So for our final print for CNY2017, we decided to put together a combination of what Lil E loves – pandas and popsicles.  And this is what we got:


We played around with the Pantone shades on the actual piece to ensure the grid didn’t obscure the popsicles on the fabric.  I think the finished fabric has just the right effect to ensure there is not too much white on the dress. So there you go – the final product.


Side note:  I was having fun during the shoot with this tua pao which I asked Hayley to gamely pose with (much to my prim and proper older sister’s horror).  Before that, I tried asking two other children but got snubbed by them because, well, I guess the bao is so uncool… Hayley on the other hand hammed it up for the camera and got us such adorable pictures!

As always, we will have four other prints from the U.S. joining our CNY collection. Do note that only the blue satsuki print comes in a cheongsam design. The other four have been made in our everyday dress designs – so you’ll have a variety of options for CNY Days 1, 2 and 3.

The others.jpg

The best news this year is that we will have bigger sizes for boys (finally)!  Our shirts and bermudas will go up to sizes 8Y, 10Y and 12Y.  Instead of just our usual red or white, we will have four new colours of bermudas so you can mix and match!  I find yellow and chambray a really nice departure from the usual red and best of all, these new colours will be usable every day of the year, and not just during CNY and National Day!

Older boys finally.jpg

Because this collection turned out to be massive with the increased number of sizes, designs and prints, we didn’t have time to run the Chinese knot buttons or the sling bags and clutches which we had last year.  Instead, moms can choose from four ladies’ top designs to match their children.  Look out for our launch promotion in our CNY 2017 FAQ  here.

We hope you’ll find something you love! Look out for the complete album on 19th December on Facebook and our blog.

Ladies Top Fuchsia Leaf 1.jpg

When we look back at all the stories in getting this collection (and the Magic collection and the Holiday collection) completed this year, it is impossible to jot down in one blog post how we feel – the constant vacillation between the feeling of accomplishment and of failure, of joy and of tears, and so many moments where your heart is on the table – that, is the difference between running your own business and working for a large corporation. This is our heart on the table.

We proudly present Elly CNY 2017 – Spring – launching online at 9 p.m. on 21 Dec ’16 and in-store at 10 a.m. on 23 Dec ’16.  

x, Audrey

Campaign shot 1.jpg


Elly – Holiday 2016 collection

It was right around this time last year when we opened Elly number 2 (or larger Elly). Just when we thought we were settling down, we leapt into our expanded shoe range with 11 shoe suppliers and a whole host of other new products we were finally able to stock with the larger space (which meant even more suppliers, more sale reports, more re-ordering etc).  The one thing we didn’t have time to focus our energies on was our clothing, which was rather ironic.  At some point, we promised ourselves to re-focus our energies this past twelve months.  To be honest, there was a point running a retail front (actually two!) and an online store started to wear us down, especially when we were having to design our own clothing plus manufacture plus constantly manage inventory for thousands of SKUs in a retail front that had to stay open for 362 days a year.

So, we sat back down and re-prioritised how we worked, what we did, what we didn’t or shouldn’t be doing; and the most wonderful thing that came out of re-prioritising was first of all, really being able to go on breaks without carrying the burden of work through the holiday and that meant being more energised to come back and pick up where you left off. It also meant being able to take the time to design our pop-up store at the recent Boutiques, work with bloggers, do professional photoshoots again, make our own props and of course, design more collections like this one.

In previous years, we skipped Christmas collections because Christmas was / is too close to Chinese New Year (when we normally launch our largest collection in the year). But this year, we thought it would be a good change to have a sea of blues, whites, blacks, cream or pastels and turquoises before the CNY red hits the store.

We wanted this Holiday collection to be special. We were so busy just “doing” anything and everything to keep our store going that for awhile, it stopped being fun. We stopped doing what we loved (i.e. designing, pouring through fabric catalogues regularly, being able to spend time conceptualising and creating) and it stopped having meaning to us. (Yes I’m an idealist about life having to have some meaning.)  So I roped in family members to help me brainstorm. This collection we worked with Lil S and a cousin from overseas – you’ll see how Lil E influences CNY2017 when we blog about that in December.

We chose the Love and Hearts theme. Why?  Because in the many years before her mei mei came along, Lil S would have sleepovers at our house and she would always leave notes for us to find if we were away or if we didn’t come home early enough to say goodnight to her. They would be stuck on our walls with a lot of tape!  The top left one she did years ago but the bottom right one, she just wrote for us yesterday when she spent the day at my house being baby-sat.  She has formed smiley faces with the peas at the Japanese restaurant and then made me take a picture to remember our solo dinner date. She asked for heart balloons! If these hearts do have smiley faces, I noticed she draws the eyes with long curly eyelashes (like the pokemon goldeen).

The hearts did stop for awhile when Lil E came along. We found it harder to reassure her that she wasn’t being neglected especially when everyone would rush to cuddle the baby wombat. It’s been tough putting time aside to spend with her now that she’s in primary school. We can’t just take off randomly like we used to when we first started.  Our week days now are crazy intense and relentless.  This year, I didn’t even get to spend her birthday with her until dinner because we were at Boutiques fair all day.

In June, I told her to draw something for me.  If she worked hard at it, I would print it for her on a tee and it would be her design.


So, this tee is by her, for her.

Her dad remarked that she’s been “promoted”. No longer just a model, now a designer too! You should’ve seen her face when she saw the finished tee for the first time. She grinned like a cheshire cat.

Why black? Because this 7 year old is starting to look for black tops. She scoured our tween store, Twelve by Elly, and remarked there was no black for her!  I don’t know why they start this early because I remember turning grunge-y only in Secondary 3!  But just as she likes black and wants to attempt to look cool in hip shorts, she’s still young at heart and loves long skirts and being a girly girl.

So we created this collection carefully to cater to the girl who’s struggling so hard to want to be like the “big girls” but really, is still only 6, 7, 8.  Our tween is a ready-to-wear shorts and tee child, just as she is a twirly girl with fairy skirts and long twirly dresses. We deliberately didn’t design themes or allover colourful prints and kept our designs classic, understated and extremely easy to mix and match because our next collection (CNY2017) will be all about prints.

We’ve styled this Holiday collection quite deliberately to pair tank tops with tulle skirts and shorts and to include turquoises and fuchsias alongside blacks and whites. Our collection is meant to be worn after the Holiday season – for school holidays and also for weekends when school re-opens.  Our skirts are just as versatile for dressing down after the festive season!




So whilst we designed matching onesies and rompers so babies could match their older siblings, the inspiration behind this collection was the tween we had started this label for many years ago. You can find love and hearts in all shapes, sizes and forms!


And, to complete our collection, we roped in our young cousin who is a truly talented artist to draw this print for us. She is hard at work in college and we hope she pursues art because talent like this is a rare find. I hope she never stops dreaming.



Yes there are days I feel like that clown with the party hat. Most of the time, we feel amazingly inadequate with designing, IT technology, accounts and well, basically everything we are confronted with every day. But hey, you should never stop dreaming.


x, Audrey

(Photo credit: The Studio Loft)

What’s new in June 2016

Some days I am torn between over-loading our mailing lists with mailers every other day / week or over-loading a mailer with information. There is just not enough days in a week or fortnight to be telling you about the new products we have. In fact, we’ve had to skip a few mailers in May so that we didn’t overload you with shoes. So I’m summarising June’s new products in this one blog post.

First up – Baby Elly is back with pom pom onesies. Elly also has a new Summer collection comprising florals and fruits. An odd combination I know. But I guess that’s what Elly is really all about – being able to be quirky, fun and floral within the same space. There’s something so simple and classic about the Red Tulips onesie (see picture below).

Baby girl onesie Red Tulips LARGE

We also love the soft Sarah Jane fabrics with dove and bunnies in our Tinkerbell dress design and party frocks.

tink dove and bunnies 3

And there’s the fun blue apples print (seen here with the princess handbag)!

T Blue Apples 1

Next up – our new range of accessories!!! Have you seen these gorgeous whimsical sling bags, hair ties and hair clips (click on pics below)?  You can find them online under the “Accessories” section although you really should pop by the store to check it out because the range is a lot wider in-store!  Why did we bring in such a large range of accessories? Because it really is so much easier to spend on little bits in-store, isn’t it? When you pop by Cluny Court, you might not always want to pick up new clothing but you can always pick up hair clips!! We hear these sling bags have quickly become a staple accessory to our little customer’s outfits!

We’ve also expanded our newborn baby gift sets online!  Our baby gift sets have been selling really well online because our customers love that we suggest items which could go together instead them of having to pour through the many soothers, bunnies, musical pulls and baby clothing to try and decide on a gift.

Blue Apples Gift Set 1

flower pot gift set 1

Jellycat toys have been restocked in-store and online! Yes you can start shopping right away! One can never have enough Jellycat bunnies! Just click on the picture below to start shopping!



Finally, Happy Socks is the latest new product only available in store! Established in 2008 in Sweden, Happy Socks features funky colourful socks for sizes 12-24 M up to 7-9 years at $16 a pair! You can also get gift packs for 0-12 months. We’ve been getting so many requests for socks for all ages so come on down and take a look!

Hurry and drop by the store before our Great Singapore Sale ends on Sunday 12th June 2016 – enjoy 30% to 50% off past season’s collections and room decor!  Pediped’s regular styles are also on 20% discount until 12th June (only in-store)!

See you at #02-31 Cluny Court!

x, Audrey & Carol


Presenting our CNY 2016 collection – Blooms and Brollies

Presenting Blooms and Brollies

Photo credits: This campaign was shot by the talented Maryann with the help of her team from The Studio Loft

Our Cheongsams in 7 fabrics

CS Red Geo Lanterns

CS Yellow Geo Flowers

CS Red Geo Flowers

Cheongsam Red Umbrellas

CS Turquoise Umbrellas

CS Mosaic

CS Red and Gold Flowers.jpg

Our Mandarin-collared shirts in 8 fabrics

MC Red Geometric Lanterns

MC Yellow Geometric FlowersMC Red Geometric FlowersMC Turq UmbrellasMC Red UmbrellaMC MosaicMC Red Gold FlowersMC Rose Squiggles

Our Mandarin-collared Polo t-shirt

MC Red Polo T shirt

Our Bermudas in 3 fabrics

Bermudas in MosaicBermuda in RedBermuda in White

Our Flare Baby Cheongsam in 6 fabrics

Flare Cheongsam Red Geo LanternsFlare Cheongsam Yellow Geo FlowersFlare Cheongsam Red Geo FlowersFlare Cheongsam Turq UmbrellasFlare Cheongsam Red UmbrellasFlare cheongsam in Mosaic

Our Baby Boy Romper in 5 fabrics

Romper in Red GeoRomper in Yellow Geo FlowersRomper in Turquoise UmbrellasRomper in Red UmbrellasRomper in Mosaic

Our Emily dress in 3 fabrics

Emily dress Red Geo LanternsEmily dress Yellow Geo FlowersEmily dress Red Geo Flowers

Our Tinkerbell dress in 3 fabrics

Tink MosaicTink Red UmbrellasTink Rose Squiggles

Our Twinkle dress in 2 fabrics

Twinkle Red Gold FlowersTwinkle Rose Squiggles

Our Ladies Top in 6 fabrics

*Note other than Red Geometric Lanterns which was in size M, all photoshoot samples came in size L and was not fitted to the respective moms. Please check measurements before purchase

Ladies Top in Red Geo LanternsLadies Top in Yellow Geometric FlowersLadies Top in Red Geometric FlowersLadies Top in Turq UmbrellasLadies Top in Red UmbrellasLadies Top in Mosaic

Our Ladies Clutches in 5 fabrics

Clutches ALL


Our Kids Slings in 5 fabrics

Sling bags red umbrella

Sling bags 1


The Sibling Sets and how to wear the collection

We always create a collection to provide you with options to mix and match the cheongsams and dresses without having to buy identical designs!

If you’ve got girls only, you’ve got the widest selection of 7 cheongsams, 6 flare baby cheongsams, 3 Tinkerbell dresses, 3 Emily dresses and 2 Twinkle dresses!

If you’ve got boys only, you’ve got eight fabric options to choose from!

If you’ve got boys and girls, you’ve also got eight fabric options to choose from although Rose Squiggles doesn’t come in a cheongsam design!

Sibling Geometrics

Red Geo Pair

turq umbrella pair with bag

Turq umbrellas pair 2

Clutches umbrellas

Mosaic Pair

Group photo.jpg

We love how cohesive the collection looks!  Have fun mixing and matching and dressing up your children!  The collection launches online at 9 a.m. on Tuesday 5th January and at the Elly store at Cluny Court at 9 a.m. on Saturday 9th January.


Just for the launch weekend until 6 pm on Sun 10th Jan (or whilst stocks last), we’re giving away a free clutch with a minimum purchase of S$200 (one free clutch per purchase).  If you’re shopping online,

  • Add the clutch to your purchase
  • Uuse the discount code ELLYCNY2016 and the clutch will automatically be deducted from your purchase.

If you’ve got queries about our collection, do check our FAQs to see if you can find your answers there! If not, do drop us an email or Facebook message and we’ll respond as soon as we are able to! Can’t wait for tomorrow!


x, Audrey

Elly CNY 2016 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

blooms and brollies blog post

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How do I order your CNY2016 collection? 

ONLINE – The collection will launch online at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, 5th January 2016.

RETAIL STORE – The collection will launch at The Elly Store at 9 a.m. on Saturday, 9th January 2016. (We will open one hour earlier to ease parking congestion problems in Cluny Court.)

2. Where is your retail store?

#02-31/33, Cluny Court, 501 Bukit Timah Road, Singapore 259760.  (Cluny Court is next to the Botanic Gardens MRT station.)  Click on this link for information on parking at Cluny Court.

3. I have purchased your CNY2016 collection online.  Can I opt for store collection on Saturday 9th January 2016? 

Yes you may opt for store collection on Sat 9th January, if you have successfully completed your online purchase before 11.59 pm on Wednesday, 6th January 2016.

For all online purchases received after midnight on Wednesday, 6th January 2016, you will be notified via email when your order is ready for collection in-store.  We expect to take between 3 – 5 working days to pack your order.

4.  I have purchased your CNY2016 collection online and have opted for registered mail / courier delivery.  When can I expect to receive my order?

We expect to send out all your orders within 3 – 5 working days from receipt of your order. You will receive a tracking number once the item is in the post or with the courier.

Customers in Singapore will usually receive their packages within 3 business days after the package is in the post and international customers can expect to receive their packages within 7 – 10 business days after shipping.  Some orders may take longer to reach you during this peak season.

If you have selected delivery option “courier service (no specific time slot)”, your delivery may arrive the day after it has been picked up by the courier at any time between 9am – 10pm.  Please ensure that there is someone available to receive the item.

If necessary, you may opt instead for delivery option “courier service (specific time slot)” and choose from 4 specific time slots (9 am – 12 pm, 12 – 3 pm, 3 – 6 pm, and 6 – 9 pm).  Please leave a message with the time slot you require at checkout.

5. How do I redeem the free clutch for your launch promotion if I purchase online? 

  • Add a Ladies Clutch ($29) from the “Other Accessories” category to your shopping cart.
  • When you check out, use the discount code ELLYCNY2016 and the clutch will automatically be deducted from your purchase.
  • The clutch is free with a minimum purchase of S$200 (excluding the clutch). Only one free clutch per purchase.

6.  When does your launch promotion end?

6 pm, Sunday, 10 January 2016 (or while stocks last)

7. How long do I have to complete my online order?

30 minutes

8.  Do you allow exchanges once an online order is made? 

Yes. Only for full-priced items.

  • All exchanges must be made within 14 days of date of purchase and in-store with the item and invoice/receipt/gift receipt.  All items must have all their tags on, must not have been used/worn or washed, and generally be in a re-saleable condition.
  • Exchanges may be made for any item in-store (i.e. different size of the same item, or another item).  Alternatively, you may also opt for store credits which must be used fully within 3 months from the date of issue.
  • On the rare occasion that the full-priced item purchased is defective, we will first offer to swop the item for another piece of the same item.  If that is unavailable, we will offer a full cash refund to you.

We do not offer exchanges or refunds on any sale/discounted item.  Please check all purchases for defects carefully.  Please note that if you are buying a sale item as a gift, the recipient will not be permitted to exchange the item.

9. Is fabric the same as the CNY2015 Home collection? 

Yes for the 6 Elly-designed fabrics.

10. Is the cutting the same as the CNY2015 Home collection?

  • We have altered the measurements of the mandarin-collared shirt and the Emily dress.
  • We have a new flare cheongsam design for baby girls and romper for baby boys (available in 3 months, 6 months and 9 months).
  • We also have a new mommy’s sleeveless blouse (available in S, M and L).

The rest of the measurements have not been altered.

Please check all measurements carefully before you make your purchase.

11. Can we try the pieces before we order online?

If you’d like to try the clothing before purchase, we recommend that you drop by our store anytime from 9 a.m. on Saturday 9th January 2016 once the collection is launched.  Alternatively, please check the measurements of each item carefully before making your purchase online.

12. Do you have the measurements of the collection?

Specs chart Sheet1

The chest and length measurements have also been uploaded on our website.  Just click on the product you are interested in to check the measurements.  If you require any other measurement not already provided, it is best to go to the store to try on the outfit.

13. You have not answered my Facebook message / comment / email / call. When can I expect  response? 

We apologise that during peak season, we are unable to respond to queries regularly or on a timely basis.  We will try our best to address all queries which have not been addressed in these FAQs as soon as possible. Please check these FAQs first to see if you can find your answers here!  We will continue to update the FAQs regularly as we receive your queries.

14.  I haven’t been able to purchase an item because it is sold out online. Will it be restocked online?

The item could have been placed in someone else’s shopping bag, and will remain reserved for up to 30 minutes. Do refresh your cart and try again later.

15.  If I haven’t been able to purchase an item because it is sold out online, will I still be able to purchase it in-store? 

We have set aside a full set of the collection for the store launch on Sat 9 Jan but pieces are limited so do come early.

16. What sizes are available for your outfits?

For girls:

  • Flare Cheongsam: 3 months, 6 months, 9 months
  • Girls’ Cheongsam: 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y, 6 y, 8 y, 10 y, 12 y (8Y, 10Y and 12Y only available for ELLY prints)
  • Tinkerbell dress: 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y, 6 y
  • Emily dress: 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y, 6 y
  • Twinkle dress: 9M (Rose Squiggles), 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y
  • Sling: One size only

For boys:

  • Baby boy romper: 3 months, 6 months, 9 months
  • Mandarin-collared shirt: 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y, 6 y, 7 y
  • Mandarin-collared polo shirt: 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y, 6 y, 7 y
  • Boys’ bermudas: 1 y, 2 y, 3 y, 4 y, 5 y, 6 y, 7 y

For moms:

  • Blouse: Small, Medium, Large
  • Clutch: One size only

Available sizes

17.  How do we understand your sizing? 

If your baby is an average 1 year old, we would recommend you order Size 1 Y if he/ she is between 12 months and 18 months. If he/ she is between 18 months and 24 months, you should order 2-3 Y. This is only an approximate guide. We would recommend that you check the measurements carefully.

Our size labels may refer to 1 Y or 1-2 Y.

18. Do you take reservations? 

We apologise that we are unable to take reservations for our CNY2016 collection.  Please purchase the items directly online or in-store.

Designing Elly’s CNY2016 collection

Every year, designing and launching Elly’s CNY collection is both the most exciting thing we do and yet also the most stressful. It certainly feels like just yesterday when we were furiously packing CNY2015 orders.

Back in 2012 when we first launched our distinctive cheongsams, we started out by buying fabrics from the US. Later as sourcing fabrics became more common, we started designing our own fabrics for CNY 2013 and we have continued to do so ever since.  Every year, we work hard to come up with new ideas, new themes or new details to make each collection different. Especially for those of you whose children have grown up wearing our CNY clothing, we want to give you a reason to keep coming back with a different look each Chinese New Year.

This year, we didn’t want as strong a red colour as we have had in the previous Horse Parade 2014 and Home 2015 collections.  Our fabric designer (a wonderful lady who has had the tough task every year of having to dream up prints from our email instructions) started us on our whole collection with these two red and yellow geometric prints.  Intuitively, both Carol and I immediately wanted it in our collection.  It was a break from the strong red/white and red/orange colour theme in the past two CNY collections. This shade of red is more subtle and yet retains the festive spirit.

BUT our last CNY collection with the Japanese fans was also about geometrics.  So we decided we still needed something different to make this a truly special collection.

So this year, we asked our designer to design a placement print as well. We both knew we wanted a vintage, classic look, so we asked her to design this gorgeous set of blooms.


But to print this over a strong geometric print would have been problematic because it would make the material too stiff (with the additional colour layers) and the design of the flowers would be drowned in the geometrics.  So how could we make this beautiful?


We decided to take it vintage all the way – by using embroidery.   You can see the result yourself! I love the finishing of the embroidery on the dress. Enlarge the picture of Lil’ E above to see how the flowers are carefully stitched onto the base print. Custom designed embroidery! Something we have never done before.  That’s a two-stage process just to get the fabric!!!

CS Red Geo Flowers LARGE

I’ll bet mommies of boys are wondering whether something like embroidered flowers would work for shirts? Well, we thought it would work if we toned down the flowers for the shirts and the little baby cheongsams so the flowers wouldn’t be over-powering. And here’s the final effect.



(And yes, you may have noticed we added Chinese knots for the boys’ shirts!)

This look – the sunshine yellow geometric print with the subtle floral embroidery – has become my personal favourite of the whole collection.

For siblings, we added a second embroidery option. The blooms were mainly red embroidery against a red geometric fabric.  We wanted a contrasting embroidery and decided on lanterns!  We thought this was more “traditionally Elly” and would be perfect for siblings to mix and match across the whole collection.

elly lanterns

That’s 3 designs! We wanted to add 3 more to complete the Elly prints. So the next 3 prints comprise umbrellas and a mosaic print. Why umbrellas? Because we were looking for something oriental that could be turned into a modern print and umbrellas turned out perfect!

CS Red Umbrellas 1

If you like the red umbrellas, wait till you see the turquoise!

The mosaic is a modern take on what is essentially a vintage look (think of those traditional ceramic tiles on our kitchen walls).

tween cheongsam

We wanted this year to be about bringing together the old and the new – mixing the traditional with the modern. When I think of embroidery, I always associate it with traditional frocks and smocking which sometimes can be old-fashioned.  But mixing the embroidery with a geometric print gives this year’s cheongsam a modern look.  Mosaics and umbrellas could also be seen as traditional but, with the right design and colours, becomes the modern prints we put together. Modern yet traditional. Everything Elly is all about.

Rather than describe it more, I’m proud to present, our 2016 CNY fabric designs:

2016 fabric designs

The collection turned out to be really varied and took longer to produce because of the number of new elements we introduced!  There are a lot of details in our collection that made it stand out – each Chinese knot on the shirts and baby cheongsams had to be individually hand knotted and, together with the jade buttons, painstakingly hand sewn onto the cheongsams. The best part is that although we are adding all these intricate details, we are keeping all our prices exactly the same.

This year, we have a new flare baby cheongsam with Chinese red knots to replace our baby girl onesie. I think the turquoise lantern embroidery is a gorgeous contrast with the red.

Baby CS Red Geo Lantern 3

We never forget the boys! We also have a new baby boy romper (without embroidery) with Chinese red knots (as promised to some customers who asked us to look into it during this CNY2015)!

Boy romper mosaic 1

Boys have a new casual option of a mandarin-collared polo red t-shirt for Day Two!

Red Polo 2.jpg

We also have new tween sizes for the girls’ cheongsams – we have added 8 years, 10 years and 12 years.

CS Tween Turq Umbrellas Large

Last but not least, we added a mommy’s top because we think this collection is subtle enough to create matching sets.

Mother daughter pair

Mother and son

To complete our collection, we’ve brought back our clutches for mommies and slings for little girls.

Red Geo pair.jpg

As with previous years, as part of CNY 2016, we have a capsule collection of cheongsams, shirts and other dresses in fabrics purchased from the US (although these won’t be available in the mommy’s top and baby collection).  The Red and Gold flower fabric with its shimmery gold detailing on the fabric and the more pastel Rose Squiggle fabric will bring our CNY2016 collection to a total of 8 prints for boys and girls!

2016 other fabrics

OK I admit – from today till Saturday in-store, I’ll be having sleepless nights worrying what everyone’s thinking of the collection, the prints, the styles, the pictures etc and it’ll be torturous.  I guess all that stress is part of the excitement. 2015 was a turning point for us – for finally figuring out how to get the balance between running a business as a family right.  My takeaway from 2015 is that you just have one life, live it and live it well; keep your head down and chase that dream and work your butt off to get to where you want to go; don’t spend too much time mulling how things will work out cos they just do. With our new re-designed store, it feels like we’re back on that path we wanted to be on when we first began this journey and boy, has it been a roller coaster ride!

So this whole collection actually has parts of both of us (whenever we look at a fabric, it’s either “very Carol” or “very me”. I tell some customers that once you get to know us, when you look at the fabrics in our store, you’d probably be able to tell who chose it!).  Sometimes I worry if having two completely different characters within a creative concept is the right thing to do.  But if you look at the outdoor shoot – you can see the style and colours which I like and when you look at the studio shoot, the pastel and calm and artistic vibrant flowers and brollies is everything Carol. And with that, with our two strong and different characters, somehow, we have made it work.  So whilst I named this collection “Blooms and Brollies” because I wanted to add some fun into this classic collection, it was my sister’s creative vision that ties it through.  We hope you love it as much as we do!

blooms and brollies blog post

x, Audrey

Photo credit: These pictures were taken by the talented Maryann of The Studio Loft. In all the morning craziness, she and her team did a fantastic job shooting our collection again. A Big Thank You to The Studio Loft!  xx

Colour your own dress or shirt!

Our New Collection just made it in time for Christmas shopping and it’s especially for children who love art and craft!  We were so thrilled to see this wonderful idea from Hayley Crouse to colour your own fabric!
At Elly, we’re all about prints – we spend hours combing through catalogues and fabric shops looking for whimsical, pretty, unique and good quality fabric! So when we saw this, we fell in love with Hayley’s idea!
Children get the opportunity to colour the fabrics just the way they want to! You know how boys’ shirts are usually blue or grey! Well here’s your chance to colour it whatever you want it to be! Choose from Space or Construction or a Christmas theme!



LMS construction 1
LMS space
Princesses can paint their own castle. And you don’t have to paint everything! Just the bits you want coloured! Each piece would be one-of-a-kind!
PF princess L
PF ballerina LW christmas
And if you don’t want to colour the fabric, these fabrics will look just as nice with or without colour! We think these make a very special Christmas gift! You can purchase Tulip fabric markers from Amazon or Crayola fabric markers from Abrakadoodle Art Studio at Cluny Court!
Read Hayley’s blog post about the fabrics here (her children did such great job colouring)!
x, Audrey