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January for some reason never feels like a start of the new year to me. Maybe because sometime at the end of the year we are in Pune and by the first week we are back in Delhi. Then it’s school, Delhi winter temperatures and the trying to get back into things. So this means I usually come around to the idea of a new year by the first week of February.

So, on that note, happy 2016 friends! I hope it is a happy, good lucky year for everyone.

I got a tiny bit of sewing done last month and here it is:DSC_0533A good friend’s sister-in-law had a baby and my friend wanted me to make a baby quilt for her. Specifically she wanted something that would be good for the first six months or so, so I made a tiny blanket with patchwork pieces on the front and one single piece of fabric on the back. I put a few layers of an old saree in between the front and the back pieces of fabric to give it some thickness and used a satin stitch in place of tying it. The whole thing measures 30″X30″. DSC_0537As you can see above I sewed it shut with my current favourite way, the blanket stitch. And I embroidered the baby’s initial on the back.DSC_0565It was a quick fun project and it got me back into my sewing groove so I enjoyed it immensely.DSC_0561 What has your new year been like so far? And what projects are you working on? Any resolutions? I have a few to share here, and I will be back soon to share them.

And before I forget, Happy Chinese New year to everyone! We are celebrating with friends; I hope you are doing something nice too.

Asmita/xx

 

warm

Hello! Winter vacations have begun, it is very very cold in Delhi and we are off tomorrow to Pune for two weeks to be in warmer weather, meet family and friends and attend a wedding in the family.

As I finish the last bit of packing on Christmas eve I wanted to post my jacket which I finished yesterday.

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The Sunday Brunch Jacket is an Oliver+S pattern. To tell you the truth, I bought the pattern ages ago when it first came out. Then I seemed to have forgotten about it. When I did find it about six months ago,  I wasn’t feeling too keen on sewing it but then also felt terribly guilty. O+S patterns are expensive, and I have had this pattern for so long. Plus, it runs only till size 8. So I knew it was high time I used it, and luckily N was kind of in need of a jacket.

After reading several discussions on blog land regarding lining vs. non-lining and following O+S forum on sizing I decided to sew without lining in a size 6 and extended the length by 0.25″ in the bodice and 1″ in the skirt.

But, as it turns out it looks huge on her!

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Or maybe “huge” is the wrong word. What I really mean is odd. Clearly sleeves are too long, on top of which she refuses to fold them. Its kind of loose through out but then appears to me to be too short.

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What I do like is the lovely flannel (also from such a long ago that I entirely forget its source) and buttons (that I got from a Japanese friend in New York).

So, all in all I am not feeling super excited about. N is less ho hum about it-it is cozy and she likes the too long sleeves. And I suppose large is better than small.

Finally one word of reminder to self, and a word of caution to anyone out there increasing the length in the bodice. I did not notice until it was too late that part of the armhole runs into the skirt. When you extend the bodice you don’t consider that so my bodice sewn to the skirt required a bit of shaping before the sleeve could fit into the armhole. In my case,  it was only 0.25″ so it could be achieved with not much difficulty but I think I lucked out.  But definitely something to keep in mind, and perhaps better only to lengthen skirt length.

So, if I can be motivated to make another version I will look more carefully at the finished measurements I think, and perhaps line it entirely for greater warmth. The description clearly does not suggest a winter jacket but again I thought it would do for Delhi winters. But, as it turns out I was wrong. The current unlined version is not enough for Delhi  (do you see the second underlying jacket peeking out from below? :-)

Alright, this is all from me for today.

Have a lovely Christmas and new year. See you in 2016!

Asmita/xo

scraps

Do you like cute? Sometimes I am not sure, but I couldn’t resist these….

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A couple of days ago, I came across this blog which has the cutest hand made Japanese things. Scrolling down the several hundred zakka posted here (and there by wasting several hours in the process), I came across various little and quick to make items that I could easily use around the house. Such as these-

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So now we have four more coasters. Each measures 4.5″ takes about 7 minutes each if you include the little bit of hand sewing and is a perfect way to use up scraps. Plus, they can make perfect gifts for just about anyone.

 

We now have them lying all over the house–we use them as coasters, baby M uses them as playthings!

Check out the website if you are interested in this kind of thing. I want to sew up a dozen more of these in different styles and colours.

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Oh and while I am intermittently making these I have also been cutting up some fabric to sew up something warm for N.

DSC_0519 Delhi winter temperatures are here and I want to finish this soon.

I hope I’ll be back to show you more. For now, bye!

Asmita/xo

P.S. I am making some changes around my blog (long overdue)–trying to organise stuff better. But, I am technically challenged and it takes me a while, so please bear with me as I do this over the next few days. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

simple enough

DSC_0618The pattern for this dress comes from one of my favourite Japanese pattern books.

I have to admit that the sole reason why this dress got made right now is because I am panicking about the rate at which N is shooting up, and very soon I won’t be able to use any of my hoarded and beloved Japanese pattern books anymore. Either that, or one fine day she will not want me to sew anymore for her!

Ok, at 125 cms, clearly the panic is unnecessary. And she does still want me to sew for her!  But this particular book runs only till size 110cm, and N has far exceeded that. Thank fully the patterns are pretty roomy (as Japanese patterns usually are) and N is on the thinner side, so in this case I cut the pattern on the largest size and  added  1.25″ to the bodice and 3″ to the skirt.

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It’s a simple enough frock, to me somewhat reminiscent of the kind that we wore as kids. Which is exactly what I love about it. The back has a concealed zipper (that I successfully put in–yay!!) and ties.

DSC_0570The simplicity makes it tremendously versatile. I actually made it for Dasara (which is already almost two months ago!), but we had no chance to do a photo shoot until recently. The girl clearly could not stand still… Meanwhile, the weather has gotten progressively colder. But I am happy to report that she has worn it quite a few times with increasing number of layers underneath, and finally I have a few decent photographs too.

DSC_0595That seems to be the same exact facial expression as above when she wore the dress last. I am guessing this is her current “face” when I ask her to pose. Who knows?

Anyway…so back to the dress. In a different pose…DSC_0569

Of course, what makes the dress so special is the fabric. Of the fabric is gorgeous! It’s the first time I have used Liberty of London–purchased years ago from Purl Soho and never cut into, for the fear of making something that didn’t quite live up to my expectations. But this time she chose the fabric out of the pile in my cupboard, and I figured that Dasara was a special enough occasion for using this lovely fabric. And, the pattern simple enough for me to not mess up!

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So I took my time and in the end it worked out pretty well. And, it’s already making me look in heretofore un-approached directions as far as fabric is concerned. Liberty has a silky feel to it, so maybe next time I should try out silk?

Of course the pattern helped. And, I am make something out my favourite pattern book which I will happily recommend to anyone interested in Japanese sewing book. The patterns are simple and high on style. Explanation and drawings are adequate but not great . In other words, it’ll be easier to use if you are already used to a few other Japanese patterns book and have a hang of it. I.e., there isn’t an over abundance of drawings. The patterns do include a seam allowances though, which I think is unusual for Japanese book.I am already thinking of which one to make next :-)

So, that’s all for me today. I hope you are enjoying your sewing too.

Asmita/xo

 

 

 

everyday

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A few weeks ago I had a busy weekend full of fun and quick sewing with knits. I managed to make two teeshirts back to back from the flashback skinny tee pattern from Made by Rae.

The first one to be made was this in size 5T with length extended by 2″ throughout.

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N loves this fabric. My sister bought it for her from Sahni Fabrics (Nehru Place, Delhi) a while ago and I made a frock out of it right away.  But then recently it got a torn which was kind of unrepairable and N has been pestering me ever since that I make something for her out of the leftovers. I had just the right amount left for a t-shirt and so this became my first attempt at the famed “skinny tee.”

Alas, N nor I was too happy about the fit. She complained that it was too tight at the elbows and upper arms, and I was, well, just not too taken by how it looked. So enter pink.

Same size but I widened the upper arm part through the elbow by a scant 1/8″ and look at the effect.

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I am still not happy. :-( But she is. :-) And that too for exactly the same reasons!

I don’t think I meant for it to be slouchy. Of course she loves exactly that “falling off my shoulder-almost covering half of my palms” look. And my hemming is at an all time low, but of course she doesn’t care for that.

I am thinking that the fabric has made all the difference. The pink and black knits both had an almost 40% stretch and they are old recycled teeshirts. Comfy and nice, but not exactly the skinny flash back tee I was envisioning.

Still happy to have made these. The brown one is getting plenty of wear despite initial protests and its just the thing she needs for school on cold days.

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Oh and I almost forgot, I have one more thing to show. And this is my favourite…

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I have been meaning to make these yoga pants for the entire year and I am so very glad that this pattern has finally seen the light of day.

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(Apologies for the crumpled look and water stains on the front. Hands were wiped on pants before I could say “No-no-no! Photo shoot!”)

The pattern comes from the all time trustworthy Oliver+S. I made them in size 6 with 2″ length extended. But as you can see they barely make it to her ankles. It means I suppose that he legs are longer than her torso, something to keep in mind for the many many yoga pants that I am dreaming of for the future.

Yes! We both love them so much!

Here is one final photo of her in the cold.

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Incidentally, that’s the fit I want for the aforementioned skinny tees, but this one is from a shop and not made by me.

In any case, I see many more knit pants and teeshirts in our future. So I shall keep trying.

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Thanks for stopping by! I have only one more thing to show from my backlog now so I will be back again soon.

Asmita/xo

 

 

3 pants

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I promised to come back with some more sewing and here I am. These pants, my current favourite and pretty much on the top of N’s wear-to-school pile of clothes, are Moon pants from Made by Rae. With just two pattern pieces, well three, actually four if you include the pocket and bottom band are super quick to make and high on style and fit.

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I made these from some red khadi cloth that I bought in Pune last summer. The bottom band and the pocket comes from the selvedge pieces. I think it all came together rather nicely. Khadi becomes softer and softer with each washing and this one is looking lovelier by the day :-).

So of course given how much N liked it and the ease with which it came together, I made pant #2.

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The fabric for this one comes locally from H.P Singh in Nehru Place.  And to make them a little different from pants #1, I added a bit of trim to the pockets.

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Pant #3 was soon to follow :-) This time in a fabric that I have been holding on to for a while.

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I know these don’t give much of an impression, but I love this soft grey linen, sourced again from H.P.Singh in Nehru place (Delhi). I combined versions A and B this time–so no pockets and no band at the bottom. I did however add a bit of velvet ribbon for effect.

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I wish I had photos of N wearing the grey pants, but all three have been in constant rotation, and in a hurry to get ready for school any photography is nearly impossible. So this last weekend I finally got some photos (with a fair bit of bribing), but alas she refused to change into the third one.

So, if you are looking for some quick and stylish pants I recommend this pattern highly. This is my second time with Rae’s patterns (the first is a free pattern, which you can read about here), and the instructions live up to the many good reviews that she regularly gets. The fit is spot on-i.e they are not too wide on the thighs, a problem that I sometimes face for a thin-ish 7 year old who wears her size in terms of length but not otherwise.

And finally, I have a last few photos of our photo shoot which I could not resist putting here.

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Yes, they are of N playing with the now almost 16 month old toddler M!

DSC_0507Asmita/xo

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Hello dear friends!

I made this dress for Diwali.

Of course the way things go around here I didn’t finish it in time for the first day (thank god this year we had Diwali for four whole days) but I did finish in time for the last day.:-) That makes this little frock the official Diwali dress for 2015.

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So a little bit about this dress then:

Pattern: Gardenia Dress from the Cali Faye collection.

Details: I made it in size 5T with a size 6 length. Unfortunately I had cut it a about a month ago, and so by the time I actually got around to making it, it appears that Ms. N had become taller. So I needed to do a hem facing. (You can see it peeking out in the bottom in the above photo.) It still leaves the dress a bit on the shorter side, but taking another look at the photos, I notice that it does stop quite clearly above the knees.

Other than the bit of hem facing, I followed the pattern instructions which were quite detailed and very clear. I made the piping too from the tutorial that came with the pattern. Again–simple and clear. I used yarn instead of cording since I didn’t have the latter and it worked out fine. The hardest part is attaching the bottom part of the front yoke to the top part (to make one whole front bodice). It needed more time more than skill, but the rest came together pretty easily.

Fabric: The main fabric is a lovely yellow from Lecien (I think); the blue for piping and the hem facing are scraps from my old pajamas :-). For lining the bodice (which you can’t see) I used white voile.

Thoughts on the dress: I think the most special part of the dress is the back.

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Look at the lovely tear shaped opening! Mine turned out so-so, but I love the idea. The button too doesn’t exactly go with the yellow blue combination but N was kind of obsessing about it and it doesn’t look too bad I think.

The dress somehow feels different than the ones I have made before. I don’t know exactly what it is is, but perhaps it is the fall which was totally different than what I expected. I started out being quite excited about it, then lost interest as it began to take shape and then liking it after all, after seeing it on N for the whole day.

Speaking of Cali Faye, this is my second pattern from her collection. The details of the first one are here, and now that I think about it I remember not feeling too sure about it as I was sewing and then ultimately loving the result.

As for N, she pretty much likes it as she still loooves her frocks very much. There is currently some vague complaint about the waist being too high or some such random thing, but clearly she did not want to take off the dress. I do hope though it gets a good bit of wear, because the rate at which she is growing taller I don’t think we have more than a few months in it!

So that’s about it from me for today. I have a few other things to show from the last few weeks, but for today I’ll leave you with a few more photos….

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Asmita/xo

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