KOTA KINABALU: While many tailors are struggling in the world of fast fashion, dressmaker Norhayati Ajirul is earning big bucks this National Day month.

The 49-year-old seamstress, who owns a shop in the city centre, said this year’s orders for the occasion had exceeded demands in her eight years in business.

“I have received more orders than ever – even before Covid-19 pandemic,” she beamed.

With physical restrictions eased, teachers in schools have been eager to dress their preschoolers and pupils in Merdeka-themed attire for National Day.

Staff in both the public and private sectors have been ordering custom-made traditional clothes to show their patriotism during the celebration.

Norhayati said she has received about 80 orders for August alone.

“I am not sure if these are for the parade, although some did say they have performances on National Day and there were orders from as far as Kuala Lumpur.

“Some came from the Tawau and Ranau districts too,” said Norhayati, who is originally from Kudat.

As a business owner, Norhayati had been struggling with the lack of demand in the past two years, but luckily, things have picked up.

“Business is back to normal and this is something I am thankful for. During the Harvest Festival month in May, I made RM15,000 in sales.

“That is usually when a lot of people order traditional attire of their respective ethnic groups,” said Norhayati, who also makes baju kurung for Hari Raya.

Apart from festivals, Norhayati also gets orders from couples who want to put on the traditional costumes of their ethnic groups for their weddings. The dressmaker said she has two assistants – one who sews and another who puts on the beads and trimmings.