more of simple

A few weeks ago I saw Gail’s post on the mini Southport dress. Her version is lovely, the fabric choice for the pattern is as always spot on, and I was reminded that not only had I bought the pattern but also traced it out.

N went  away last week (on yet another trip–a school trip this time–without parents!) and with a little bit of extra time on my hand I was able to finish this.



N had chosen the fabric before she left–it’s something I purchased locally a while ago. I realised that it is on the sheer side while cutting it, and almost lined the skirt but then decided not to at the last minute. A good idea I think because I love the way it looks and I wonder if that would have somehow changed the look.


I cut a size 6 but increased both the bodice and skirt length to 7. It’s on the shorter side but the style goes well with the length and I think in a few days she can even wear it with a teeshirt underneath and tights below.


It has been a while since I have sewed from any pattern other than Oliver+S or Japanese pattern books. I am happy to say that Kelly’s instructions for the pattern were excellent. If I may so so myself, I am pretty pleased with the neckline and armhole binding and that this is my best experience so far on attaching a single fold bias tape in these places :-) Also, I discovered this much later, but if you need extra help with the binding she even has a tutorial on her blog.

N wore this dress through the day right after she got back and so here are a few pictures from around the house through the day.



I think I may need to make a few more of these soon. It’s a really straightforward pattern, easy to make,and would look lovely in different kinds of fabric. Perhaps my next one is going to be in flannel!

Have you tried out any new patterns recently that you loved?


keeping it simple

I have been unbelievably tardy as far as posting is concerned and now it is almost the end of September and four months since I posted last! Summer is almost over; it has been a long one–difficult and exhausting in parts and while I still see not much brightness in day to day life, I am relieved that the temperatures are slightly lower and that good weather will soon be upon us.

Last week N, (who turned 7 a few months ago already) went on her first trip with four of her friends (and one friends’ parents.) This was not her first time without us (she has travelled before with her grandparents) but definitely the first time without any family. It meant that to a certain extent she had to look after her things, speak up for herself, and say when she is hungry or tired. The trip went beautifully well (much thanks to the brave parents who took the four kids)–no phone calls at all (!) and the kids didn’t want to come back.

To mark the occasion as special I made her this: a little something to take with her.



The fabric are all all scraps, and the instructions come from this lovely tutorial by Anna from Noodle-head.

While she was away I also had my evenings free and so I finally finished the dress that has been languishing in the to-do pile for too long.



She loved the little toothpaste case, but oh she has loved this dress! In part it is the fabric, the other part is that it is very roomy and relaxed. The days are still quite hot so she can wear it for the next month or two and its roomy enough to keep wearing it through winter.

And I added yellow buttons at the back, just for fun.DSC_0154

The fabric is from Pune where I think I bought it several years ago. The pattern is from this Japanese book (pattern B in 120 cms). The dress is on the shorter side but having used this pattern before I know the style runs slightly short. I lengthened it with a different coloured fabric. It’s still pretty short but I feel that the roomy style, so common to many Japanese patterns, makes a shorter version look better on her than something longer.

Now about the book: the instructions are excellent and if you are just starting out on Japanese books this is high on my recommendation list. The patterns start at 90cms and go upto 130. This in fact was my first Japanese pattern book and while it has only about five basic patterns with a few variations the drawings are thorough and the photos lovely.

Given how difficult it has been in the last few months to start and then finish anything, I am glad to have finished this one before we finished summer entirely!


Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon!



The last few weeks I have tried to stay away from pink but I knew that I would have to give in eventually since it’s back to heading the list of N’s favourite colour. What she wanted was a pink frock with a pink frill–and luckily for me I had this pattern which pretty much fit the bill.

(Apologies for the bad ironing job in all the photos: these were taken the almost the second after I finished making the dress.)


Well, ok,my version of the pink “frill” didn’t exactly make the cut because she also wanted pink pompoms in place of the white bias but I successful convinced her otherwise :-)

This pink fabric, quite lovely actually I must admit, is perfect for summer and I had several metres of it (brought many summers ago in Pune for making pajamas). I made the tunic out of it, and as you see in this layered version, also the flounce of the dress.


For the back I added a ribbon that I had bought a long time ago while still in New York.


While making the tunic (which I did first) I had a hard time with the flounce. I think I overdid the seam allowance on the flounce which made it a tad shorter than the tunic. And so in an attempt to get it to fit I was a bit overenthusiastic and ended up tearing it a bit.

Do you see it on the left in the very first photo on the top?

I mended it by hand but despite the busy print you can still see it quite clearly. Of course, I panicked momentarily! But, we leave for Pune tomorrow and I am thinking of taking it to the guy who sits outside our regular dry cleaning person and is a whiz at darning. Post his work (“rafoo”) I am sure it’ll become pretty much invisible. :-)

This is the dress:


For the top part here I used linen which has also been around or long–too long I think because I forget its source. Incidentally the binding is also from the same linen and I hand stitched it entirely, since I don’t much trust my edge stitching. I made the dress in size 5T with 2″ added to the bodice of the tunic and the dress. It’s still pretty roomy, but sits nicely on the shoulders and looking at some flickr photos I think that is supposed to be the fit of the dress.

By the second time I was a little more adapt at attaching the flounce and didn’t get any more tears. The rest of this dress (and the tunic as well) come together quickly–thanks of course to Liesl’s excellent instructions. If you are new to this I would say that the flounce does take a little bit of time, although it’s not difficult. One just has to proceed carefully and with some patience especially around the front V part. All I am saying is that it’s not something to do as the last bit of sewing late at night!


Since the top is linen and fairly see through I did not want to attach facing in the way the pattern suggests. With some newly gained confidence post-tear and attaching one flounce I decided to line the bodice entirely with the same pink fabric used elsewhere.


Can you see it here?


Depending on the light you can barely see it, but the overall effect is quite nice and I am very glad that I decided to do it.

The inside, as a result, looks something like this.


Sadly it doesn’t make the dress reversible because the pink does have a front and a back but it does make for a very clean finish.

Despite the tear,and not withstanding the pink-pink everywhere I enjoyed making this dress/tunic tremendously, far more than what I had thought I would.

N loves it too, for obvious reasons!


We leave for Pune tomorrow for a month and half long. It’s summer holidays for everyone and I am looking forward to meeting my parents, sister, friends and some nice weather!

Do you have any holiday plans?





I am currently in love with the Oliver+S lullaby layette shirt pattern. With the paper tracing already done it’s possible to whip one up  in less than hour including a little bit of embroidery added to make it extra special.


I made two in this last week and with temperature rising by a degree everyday (we were at 43 deg C today!!) these are perfect for the summer.

Here are a few photos of the boy in wearing these –as you can see from all possible angles. :-)


For the orange one, I added a bit or running stitch to the top placket with two press buttons on the inside. The fabric is a lovely mangalagiri cotton that I know will only get softer with time.



The fabric for the black one is also mangalagiri cotton, both of which I purchased on one of my Pune trips.  On the black one I tried some free cross stitch from here.





I think adding a bit of hand stitiching, especially something as quick as this makes the pattern more special and I hope to make lots more.

To me, this is simple, basic and yet very gratifying bit of sewing. It has just a few complicated bits (one has to get the placket right and make sure that the sleeves are set in right), but I can manage that even at the end of a long tiring day. I really do love this little blouse. And it is reminiscent of the ubiquitious “zabala” that all babies wear–both girls and boys.

It’s what baby M is going to live in this summer!

Okay! I think I have told you enough about how much I love this pattern. Do you as well? I would love to hear what you think and what variations you would do.




Here is my next KCW offering! I have had this frock on my want-to-make list for the longest time. I loved this pattern when it came out and have ooh-ed and aah-ed the several excellent versions of it in the Oliver+S flickr pool.

Finally I got down to making my version of it this week.


I’ve pretty much followed the pattern to a T. The pattern came with excellent instructions and it was a breeze to make. The instructions for the pockets are super clear and they turn out exactly what I had imagined them to be.

My only tiny addition is embellishing the yoke with small embroidered circles.


I made it in size 5T with length extend by 2″. It’s already on the shorter side, I can tell, but given the general loose fit I wouldn’t add more because with N’s very narrow shoulders it wouldn’t look good.

The fabric comes from one of my favourite shops in Pune “Banjara” and is a very light cotton perfect for summer. The yoke fabric is a Japanese one from which I made pants for N many moons ago. I am sorry  I can no longer find a good photo of those. N even barely remembers them herself.


The buttons are lovely wooden ones that I got in Bangalore on Commercial street a while ago.


All in all, N has her first summer dress.


Her favourite feature is the pockets and the buttons. And I have to admit I love the back of this dress as much as I like the front.


So that’s it from me. As you can see, still pretty far from the “wild things” theme, but I am enjoying every bit of this week’s work. I have still a tiny bit of sewing that I plan to do today and tomorrow. If I manage that it’s going to be a very productive kcw for me!


I had almost let another kids clothes week challenge pass me by, but then at the last minute I decided to buckle down and get an hour of sewing done on Monday night.

And here is sewing from day 1. DSC_0008

A quick pair of baby pants from a pattern that I had recently had a chance to use. I made them in the same size as before (6-12 M). They are roomy but not too large, accommodate a cloth diaper really well, and all in all very comfortable.

Here’s a few more baby photos: DSC_0100 DSC_0049

As you can see the boy loves them (or so I assume :-). The main fabric is from a Melody Miller line that I have had for ages.The orange one is scraps and the the reason why there is only one pocket is because that’s all the fabric I had left.

They are made exactly according to instructions except that I folded a lot at the bottom (almost 2″) Perhaps he is shorter than babies in this age range? –I have no idea.

Day 2 was the following: DSC_0009

Yes, another pair of pants made with exactly the same pattern. But this time with two pockets :-) DSC_0002

I love love love this fabric even more that the first one. It is what I had left over after making the library dress for N a while ago, and the cotton is the softest possible, with a beautiful weave of red and purple. DSC_0010

My apologies for no photos of baby M in this pair. I finished it as the light was fading and the boy was getting cranky. Photos were impossible, especially since considering how long the first “photo shoot” took!

But, I am actually glad I took the plunge! And while my sewing is clearly not in line with the KCW theme “wild things” this time, I can guarantee that the boy is definitely moving around like a monkey.

I will leave you with one last shot (my favourite), while I get back to some more sewing. DSC_0005

Happy sewing! Asmita

Day 1


I made this a good three weeks ago, when N out of the blue demanded that she have new clothes to wear on the first day of school. She rarely makes these kind of requests, usually they are for a particular kind of a pattern, mostly for a specific colour. But this time for some reason a new set of clothes was needed on the first day of the new school year and that too in green.

I was happy to oblige and made this over the short break in the first week of April.


The pants come from the book titled Girly Style Wardrobe. It’s simple enough and requires only two, well three pattern pieces if you include the pocket. I have already made it a couple of time before, and so I knew the fit would be comfortable. For fun and a little bit of change I added buttons at the bottom instead of ribbon like this one, or elastic like this pair. The fabric here is khadi, from our local Khadi Gramudyog in Connaught Place. It’s super comfortable because it only gets softer with each wash and perfect for summer.


The little blouse is another repeat. The pattern is class picnic blouse from Oliver+S. I made it in size 5T which I had already traced out last year. For this making, I  extended the length by 2″ while keeping the sleeve length the same.

And just for fun, I did the facing with the same green as of the pants and added a piping to make it more into a matching outfit.


You can’t really see the the green facing here, but it looks quite lovely. I have had this fabric for ages and N loves it for all its little “holes.” Keeps her cool in increasingly warm weather, just as it is meant to :-)

Here is a photo of her wearing the blouse…


And well…all for my making a blouse and pants that match. She finally went to school that day wearing something entirely different the day.

So I have no photos of her in this pants (which she did wear the following day, and loves it as it keeps out the mosquitoes of which there are too many). But here is another one of her in this same shirt.


Despite all the current upheavals, of which I cannot talk as yet, I am glad that I could find the time to make this simple pair of matching blouse and pants and also share it with you. So while my “mind is elsewhere” as N puts it, there is comfort to be had in making repeats, and this has been a very relaxing bit of sewing. Plus, she likes it, I like it and it was nice to make the first day of school special.


I have been away for long, too long really, and as always it’s nice to be back here. How are you dear friends? I hope you are gearing up for the next kids clothes week challenge. I haven’t entirely made up mind yet, but I hope I can make at least a little something. What about you?



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