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the days go by

barasa dresstee 2tee 1summer hat 1summer hat 3at three weeksrakhi 6Has it really been three weeks? The last few days feel like a blur…

Thank you dear friends for your loving wishes. We are doing well and settling into a new life with a new baby.

There has been a flurry of activities (naming ceremony of baby M–i.e. when he was officially named ‘M’ and wore his new kurta and the tiny pajamas made by my friend, and raksha bandhan where N tied a rakhi on M and then got one for herself at school). And, then there have been plenty of visits from friends and family, all here to see the baby. So it’s been a pretty nice and hectic time!

In the midst of this, I have even got a tiny bit of sewing done. The tee-shirt is from recycled knits and the pattern is a free one from Danamadeit. The tutorial is excellent, especially if like me you continue to be a bit nervous around knits. Finally I figured out how to attach ribbing to the neck, and though I did not do such a great job of it, it is no fault of the instructions but mostly my currently tired self. Right now I couldn’t be bothered with redoing the stitches, and I’m happy that it is done and wearable.

The sun hat is from an Liesl Gibson’s book. N was badly in need of one since she lost her last hat and I hope this one stays for a while, also since I made it in a size too large. The instructions of course as usual nothing less than perfect.

So that is that my friends. I have been missing sewing and writing, but for now my visits here are going to be a bit sporadic. Still, do drop by and say hello! And I hope your sewing and summer is going well.

Asmita xox

 

new

madhav 1I don’t have anything by way of KCW to show you, but we do have a brand new baby boy here.

Introducing baby M! Born exactly a week ago as of today, I have hardly had time or energy to think of anything else.

So just wanted to pop in and share this very good news with you. madhav 2

N is suddenly in her ‘big sister’ mode, a role which she has adapted to quite easily and very very happily.

(I love this picture of the two of them)

More soon.

Asmita xox

 

purple skirt 1

With the baby heading our way, possibly sooner rather than later, I am becoming very good at posting the stuff I make instead of waiting around for a few days until I manage to get decent enough photos.

So here is the skirt I finished this morning.purple skirt 2

Given that it’s a skirt, in her (new) favourite colour (purple) and somewhat twirly, N was ready to pose in it almost as soon as the last bit of hemming was done. purple skirt 7purple skirt 6

The pattern is another Oliver+S one, this one called the swing set tunic and skirt.

And it just so happens that the skirt goes perfectly well with the top that I made last year. It does look like I made it as a set, didn’t I?

The size is 5T with the usual 1″ extended length, but I extended the lining by almost 1.5″ so it is hemmed just above the main fabric.

purple skirt 3

The main fabric is khadi (hand spun cotton), from Khadi Gram Udyog here in New Delhi. The lining is blue printed muslin that I brought in Pune. Oh, and for some visual interest I added beads to the tie.

purple skirt 5

The skirt is a super quick sew, and despite the fact that I took my time with it, the whole thing didn’t take more than three hours. With only three pattern pieces, I want to make more. Maybe even double sided?

So. Anyway, happy with the new skirt, she went off to the Farmer’s market attired in the new skirt, which brings me to the next topic (unrelated) which is of plums.

plum cake 2We bought them last week, and they have been absolutely delicious. Today I made a cake with the last of the plums with a recipe from here.

Can I just say that if you have any love for plums, make this cake. plum cake 1

N usually helps in the baking, but loses all interest in eating it post the cake being out of the oven. But even she was willing to have more than a piece. plum cake 3

All in all, a good skirt, cake and a day. purple skirt 4

How was your Sunday?

Asmita xox

 

Or, really, what I mean is a frock.

fairy tale dress 7

I bought this pattern a while ago lured by the idea of making an old style frock for N. I mean the kind that we wore as kids, and which is reminiscent of the dresses I saw Julie Andrews wear in Sound of Music.

fairy tale dress 10

Of course buying does result into immediate production, no matter how excited I maybe about it at that time, and so it sat in the cupboard until I realised that it would be the perfect birthday dress for N.

So fabric was chosen (a lovely yellow voile) for the main dress, and a plain white thin “lining” fabric (as the shop keeper told me) for the inside, and everything duly cut for the actual sewing. This was all done almost a week before N’s birthday (now almost three weeks ago), but then things got in way (as they invariably do) and the frock didn’t happen.

In retrospect, I am glad I did not try to hurry through things. Because with most of the Oliver+S patterns, there is a lot to be learned when one reads the instructions carefully as Liesl does such a fantastic job of it.

Finally I am feeling a lot more confident with invisible zippers and also ensconcing them nicely inside a lining.

There was, as you can see here  a bit of a minor issue with the hook at the back.DSC_0789fairy tale dress 3

N didn’t like the way it felt so I ended up taking it out while thinking of an alternative. She prefers it a little open right now, so I guess for now it stays as such.

But all in all, I *love* the dress. Completely worth the many hours it took and the effort.fairy tale dress 8

Just look at the lovely petal sleeves! I am so impressed with them :-),  esp. with the fact that I could follow and execute the instructions.fairy tale dress 5

The only tiny change I made was the finishing around the waistline, where I used a velvet ribbon instead of what the pattern suggested.fairy tale dress 6

Oh, and I also increased the length of the bottom skirt (but not the bodice) by 1″ for both the main skirt and lining. The pattern is pretty fitted as mentioned somehwere in the descprition, so it might be worth making a muslin first as suggested, although I didn’t.

I made it in size 5T, and I think it fits N well, with tiny bit of room to grow around the waist. My favourite part is how well it fits her on the shoulders.fairy tale drss 9fairy tale dress 1

All in all a great dress to make and appropriately called the “fairy tale dress” I think. I, for one, am glad I made it when I still have some physical energy to spare and am not all bleary eyed :-)

And as for N, who always has the last word on these things–I am happy to report that she is very very pleased with it too.

Asmita xox

DSC_0804

old times

Hello.

I have about one month to go for the baby to come starting today, and I have been thinking…I still have not felt any urge as such to sew for the new baby. For one, I have been really lucky to get enough clothes, blankets and what not from friends new and old the the coming baby. And then there is stuff here and there saved from from the time when N was little.

Needless to say a lot of time these days goes in bringing everything to one room, putting the AC on the lowest possible setting and then going through the stuff to see what is useful. With N as part of this process as she often is, there are lots of oohs and aahs. Clearly, someone is having a whale of time going through these tiny clothes and seeing which doll of hers they will fit, and which the baby can get into! You can imagine there is a lot of folding and refolding….dupata 2

But anyway. Not to digress. In the middle of all this, I have also been thinking about how long I have been sewing for.

And this is the one of the very first things I made for N. It’s what we call in Marathi a “dupata,” a swaddling blanket of sorts, and I remember sitting at my mother’s sewing machine cranking this one out in the first month after N’s arrival.

The fabric I had gathered from my tailor who still makes clothes for me, some of it is random furoshiki (Japanese wrapping cloth) from my time in Japan, and the yellow I bought. But really I had no clue how to cut; it was the first time I was trying out a rotary cutter and all those fancy  rulers that go with it.

Still it got made. And six years later it is still in use. N plays with it and used it to wrap up her dolls, and as of yesterday she willingly gave it up to now be used by the new baby.  DSC_0768

 

Leaving aside the fact that the sewing is not all that straight, I am still pretty impressed, or really looking back surprised  that I kept going. It was, I remember not a whole lot of fun, but then you know how something still sticks and I kept going back to it.

After that it was not for a while that I tried my hand at teeny tiny clothes. But that’s for another story, for another time.

This one-patchwork-quilt-like thing got me into making a few more small things. Looking back, already I think, I was getting into things a little bit more.quilt 2quilt 1

For a while they went up on the wall in N’s room, and then they came down again to be played with. Now N wants them up again, next to the baby new crib (i.e just as the ways they hung above her bed when she was in the crib :-). Talk about excitement levels!

It does feel a bit strange I must admit to revisit these ‘old’ things, which while not very old do feel that way. I feel like I haven’t really looked at them, or thought about what went into making them for a long time. And the last six years have really swept past. Do you also sometimes get that feeling about what you made before?

So while I am right now in the process of making (yet another) something for N, I am looking forward to seeing more of this old(er) stuff around me. And maybe appreciating myself just a little bit :-)quilt 3

Asmita xox

Someone just had a birthday around here, so for the last few days I have been frantically getting my act together to make some things. All that was planned didn’t actually get made, but here is what did. kangaroo 1This sweet little thing is a kangaroo with her baby (…just in case you can’t tell you know….). For the last few years, well, four to be precise, we have had a sort of a tradition where N has received a soft toy for her birthday. So this is the fourth year in making (past attempts here, here and here, in case you are interested), and finally I am getting around to enjoying the making I think. kangaroo 4

After poring over a few books, not surprisingly N wanted something with a baby. Enter kangaroo, with a tiny pocket and tiny baby inside it. :-) Usually we name him/her right around the time of making and this one is called ‘thumbs up.’kangaroo 3

Just for fun, I added a label at the bottom with the name. While N didn’t know this when the naming ceremony happened, it is of a soft drink which  tastes very much like coke or pepsi :-).

It’s also the first time I tried using buttons to attach limbs and while it took a bit of practice, I am quite impressed the amount of movement it allows.

All in all, a fun thing to make, esp. with N’s help and some from my cousin who was visiting from Pune for the birthday.

And now the details. The pattern is from the lovely book Hop, Skip, Jump by Fiona Dalton. The book does seem to be easier to get in Australia then elsewhere, but if you like me want to venture into the world of soft toys it has really adorable projects with great instructions, and totally worth getting.DSC_0712

The main fabric is linen sourced locally from H.P. Singh, and the rest is scraps.

Now onto the next thing, which was… oh meant to be a birthday dress, then a skirt and ended up finally being a really simple top. parrot shirt 2

All because I totally ran out of time, and we were too busy doing fun things with first my sister and then my cousin :-)

parrot shirt 3Ok, so more about the top. It’s really really simple. The pattern is from my favourite happy homemade vol. 5, and I made it in the 110cms size, with 120 cms lenght. This means its a tad broad and roomy but it works well for this season which is so intensely humid.parrot shirt 1

The real beauty is the fabric, which I adore, and N adores. The first day of school coincided with her birthday so she wore it quite happily to school for the morning. The cloth comes from a shop in Meherchand market (in Delhi) selling curtain and upholstery fabric, but I think I am going back there to get some more of their cute prints :-)

So that’s about it in terms of sewing. N had a nice party (two actually, so parties I should say), and is now waiting excitedly for the baby, and ready to be the big sister.

I have some more fabric cut (for the supposed birthday dress) so I hope to be back soon to show more. parrot shirt 4

Asmita xox

It’s been a week with lots going on….

We have had a busy last few days with my sister visiting. This is her annual trip to Delhi, and what it usually means is that we do a lot of going out, eating good things and generally hanging out. M also considers her his personal shopper so we spent a fair bit of time on shopping for him :-)

I did manage to get a bit of sewing done in the midst of all this, but before I show it to you, I want to say a big THANK YOU for all your kind and loving wishes. We made a small tour of the hospital that I will be having the baby in this last week (since N was born in a different city and we have moved three cities since…) and that has made the having-the-baby part really sink in.

So without more talk, here is what I made.fishes blouse 1

The pattern comes from the Cali Faye collection, which has been popping up all over the place. I made the blouse in size 4T with extended length. The fabric is mulmul (muslin) with the cutest design, and the button is a little vintage thing that I got from my neighbour….
fishes blouse 2

It is super comfortable, and between the style and the fish N really likes it. I initially thought of it to be too broad, but it’s growing on me, and I think there are going to be more of these in the making soon. (Did you see the one in the super stylish Stylo magazine? That’s what I want to make….)fishes blouse 3

As for the instructions, they are not a whole lot complicated. But I didn’t find them to be be very good either, and after a point I gave up. I also realised that this is the first pattern written in English that I am using after my favourite Oliver+S patterns and the problem might be more mine in being used to a certain style of writing than that of these instructions actually.

And so that was about top #1, and now moving on to #2.
dotted summer blouse 1

Can I just say how much I absolutely adore the style. N is pretty tickled by the fact that there are no buttons and yet the whole thing holds itself together.dotted summer blouse 2

Given the largeness of the Viola blouse, I graded down in terms of size for this one and so it’s actually 100cms (unlike my usual 110 cms size) with a 120cms length. The pattern is from here and the fabric is another mulmul that I have had for ages. The instructions, in case you are interested, are at a minimal, but with no closures and such it was not a huge challenge.

So that’s all for me for this week. I thoroughly enjoyed sewing them. I hope you are having some fun with your sewing too :-)

Asmita xox (…and here are two more photos of the tops that I couldn’t resist putting in….)fishes blouse 4dotted summer blouse 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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