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There is a very short window during our long summer months when N can wear shorts to school. It means that the temperatures are high enough to warrant shorts, but the fear of dengue hasn’t yet set in. A few weeks ago N and I combed through her cupboard to realise that many of her pants needs to be given away. Given that it was still April we decided to settle on shorts.

And so, I finally got to try out the Oliver+S lazy days shorts which was a super quick sew and got done in half a metre of fabric. That felt like an achievement, because as it turns out I have a lot of cute 1/2 metre (and yard) cuts that are languishing in the cupboard!

DSC_0593The 1/2 yard, however, did not leave enough for the waistband, so I added one with a contrasting fabric. I hope you can see a bit of it peeking out in the photo below.

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I tried a size 6 based on her waist measurement, and I think the length is good. After a few wears however, she is complaining that it is tight at the crotch. I think it means I may have to size up for the next one as we would need to retire these sooner than I had hoped. (Oh, and also then give up my dreams of cutting a few more pretty 1/2 yard fabrics to fit in this pattern!)

Shorts #2 come from a free pattern from the Purl Bee.

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I have had these pinned forever and I am so glad that I finally made them. Based on my experience before, and after checking her hip size, this one is in a size 8-9.

DSC_0756 At first, I was worried that the width of size 8-9T was going to be too broad for her legs, but it doesn’t seem so does it? The waistband too felt a bit tricky to start with. As the instructions say it is actually five layers of fabric, and given that I was using quilting cotton (brought from Purl Soho years ago…) I was afraid it might be too much. But it isn’t, and N says that they are very comfortable on the waist.

I have to say I love this pair! And, given that I could use different fabrics for the main front-back panels, waistband, and binding, the possibilities are limitless.

The final pair, #3, is a longer version of something that we had to give away so I already knew that she liked the fit and pattern.

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The highlight of this is the fabric (she loves the patchwork). I should say that I did not make the patchwork fabric but purchased it a few years ago from Pune. It won’t be hard to “make” I think just perhaps a bit more, ok maybe a lot of extra work. The pattern itself is simple enough (flared shorts ‘D’), with only two pattern pieces. The top part is folded over to make a casing for the waistband. It has a feel of a skirt or culottes and I think are her current favourite. It comes from here and I made a size 120 cms with added length.

So that’s it on the shorts front. And to go with it all I also made a quick t-shirt, again, using a pattern from my to do list.

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This one also comes from Oliver+S. I made view A it in size 6T with 7T length on both sleeves and main panel. The fabric is entirely re-cycled. The grey and red both come from my old t-shirts. A relatively easy and quick sew, I was happy I could finish it in one afternoon.

So, that’s it from me today. I have recently had the good luck of finding some extra time to sew, which makes me really happy. And, so I will be back with some more to show very soon:-) Hope you are having some happy sewing days too.

Asmita/xo

 

 

 

 

 

for summer

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This dress started out as they usually do with a particular fabric in mind. The bodice is a lovely embroidered remnant with chikankari work of my old kurta and I had just enough to make the top part. So N and I went some fabric hunting and got 1 metre for the skirt, and then some more. The green striped fabric is a gift from my mother. And this way eventually one dress turned into two!

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The pattern for both is exactly the same. And given that it’s my third dress in the last year from the same pattern, I think I can put it down as one of my all time favourites.

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My only slight annoyance comes from the fact that I cut a size 120 cms, when I knew that really I should have stuck to one size smaller and just extended the bodice and the skirt. The pattern runs wide as is common with Japanese patterns. And despite me going a size up and extending the length of the skirt by a good 1.5″ it is still on the shorter side if you ask me, and the waist is very wide.

N however seems to not mind. For the very hot weather it’s a non fussy simple dress and I suppose it is nice not to have fabric sticking to you anywhere.

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Plus the fact that we could use different fabrics for the bodice and the skirt makes this one a current favourite. N is all for very colourful dresses right now. Her favourite is the green one at the moment. I am tending towards the blue….But all in all they are really good usable everyday frocks for summer!

And now, I have saved my favourite part for the last.

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I was so happy to finally be able to use these button that Marta sent me almost two years ago! It’s taken me two years to find the dress to go with but I am glad to have found a match. N is particularly pleased to have them on her dress too, since they come from (what she terms as) my “blog friend” and she is fascinated by the idea. Thank you Marta!  I think that is one of the nicest parts of sharing here is that I get to meet like minded people who love sewing and making as much as I do, and somehow in this virtual space magically a connection happens!

Have a good Sunday.

Asmita/xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

old joys

After N was born and for quite a long while after that we did not think of having another child. So I am not sure why I hung on to these but I am kind of glad I did. N is almost 8 now and these are from a long time ago….

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Baby M has been wearing them almost everyday and I cannot say how happy it makes me to see him in N’s itty bitty clothes. I did not of course make the little shirts. We bought them really cheaply at an old shop famous for these in Tulsi baug, Pune.

I got the embroidery designs from here and here, and I don’t think each took more than a an hour or so.

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It’s hard to get a photo of M sitting still these days.

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He loves looking at himself in the mirror these days and can spend at least a few good minutes noticing the “badak (duck)” (a swan actually but never mind!) and the “phool (flower).” I can tell he is mesmerised by them.

We are headed to Pune for summer vacation in another few weeks, and I would like to optimistically hope that I make a few more of these. But for now, they are such a joy!

Asmita/xx

 

 

fancy

I have always felt a bit terrified of sewing with silk, and even though with a wedding in the family there was going to be a chance to do just that I didn’t immediately jump into it. Well, because you know there is always the possibility to wear something store bought and not fret about it.

But then I remembered that one of my aunts had given me her old but gorgeous kanjeevaram silk sari.  The border of it, a beautiful red had seeped into the yellow in some places so parts of it were unusable but I still had enough large parts left to make something fancy.

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And so I made the Fairy tale dress. The pattern comes from Oliver+S (view A). N had loved and worn plenty the last dress I made using this pattern, plus she adores the sleeves. We recently gave that one away so clearly another one was in order. Plus, in cutting up this gorgeous piece of cloth I wanted to stick to something tried and tested, knowing well that provided I didn’t mess it up N’s love for this style was already guaranteed and would wear it.

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I made a size 6 with both bodice and skirt length increased by 0.5 and 1″ respectively. The sari had a pretty large border, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use the entire width so I cut of a fair bit and just left about an inch of the top part of the border (where the yellow begins) and used it at the bottom of the bodice.

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As it turns out sewing with silk (this was the more stiff variety and not as slippery) was not a whole lot different than with cotton, although of course it was a tad bit more slippery when cutting and  I had to use a lot more weights and be extra careful. The only thing that I wish I had done differently was to pay more attention to cutting the front bodice. Part of the sari has the small lovely motifs and I wish I had centered it.

She still loves it, as do I! Especially the sleeves–

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And the zipper needed a bit of fiddling but was well worth the effort! I didn’t add the hook on the top because N complained of it on the last dress.

DSC_0559All in all, I think I can say that it went well. I am glad I could make it at a slow pace and the effort was well worth it. And an extra plus: it feels good to sew something fancy. N wore it at the wedding of course, but then also plenty more–always a good sign!

Summer is almost here, and so N is wanting to wear this at every chance she gets. I realised that this silk does not stretch at all (unlike regular cotton fabric which becomes a little loose over a period of time), and so it means that another month of it and we may have to pass this one on!

Here she is off to her friends house for a playdate.

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DSC_0544But I will still be left with a little bit of border and I am already wondering what I want to do with it. Any suggestions?

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Asmita/xx

It is hard to write about an embroidered project, isn’t it, especially if it is something that one has begun really long time ago?

At least that seems to be the case with me. I began this early last year sometime.

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I finished it early this year, and then waited a bit to figure out what I wanted to do with it. A cushion cover perhaps? But then finally I ended up framing it, as the pattern suggested. It is after all a simple and sweet little sampler.

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The second one was a harder choice, and the one that I have been working on for even longer. I think I have no memory of when I even started!

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Alicia Paulson’s book Embroidery Companion, which is the source for both these designs suggested dishtowels for everyday of the week, a lovely idea. But I wasn’t sure if that was what I wanted. So I started by embroidering them on small patches of cloth in shades of white. In the end it came together quite nicely as this little patchwork wall hanging.

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I cannot say enough about how much I love love love this book. I have tried many things from it, and each time I find her instructions very clear and the design charming.

My final piece also comes from a free design that she offers on her website. (Oh, and if you haven’t visited her blog yet, you should do that it right about now.) This one is actually on a dish towel, as suggested:-)

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Ok. I think that is enough embroidered projects for the day. No?

As I have said before so many times I enjoy  hand sewing and particularly embroidery. It is almost as if I can’t get enough of it. It’s one of those things: doing hand sewing is incredibly relaxing and it makes me feel why don’t I do more?

Oh well. For now, these things are hanging on our walls and being used in our kitchen and looking at them is making me happy:-)

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Do you have a hobby or a craft about which you feel this way too?

Asmita/xx

 

 

 

 

a gift

 

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A few days ago I received the most lovely present when I was psyching myself up to deal with a whole bunch of clothes that required urgent mending.

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This comes all the way from New Zealand from my Secret Valentine!

Isn’t this just so adorable? The cross stitch is beautifully done and perfect.

I showed it to N right after she came back from school knowing that she would like to see it (recently she has been wanting a penpal and is quite intrigued by the idea of SVE). I had of course expected her to like it but not demand that I hang it next to her bed. So we have already found a place for it in our house.

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Thank you sweet “Secret Valentine” for this lovely gift.

Asmita/xox

 

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I made a top! It took almost two weeks of sewing tiny amounts everyday, but I am so glad to be done with it. Especially because it is just perfect for the current weather–the very few days we have every year when the days are warm but the evenings and mornings are lovely.

 

The cutting didn’t take long, because I have already made this pattern once before, and comes from this Japanese pattern book (The link is for the English version of the book, but I referred to the Japanese one since that is what I have). And although N had not liked the last one when I made it but then had subsequently grown to like it a lot, she requested the same again! So for this time, I just increased the overall length by 1.5″.

The fabric was brought locally comes from H.P. Singh (Nehru place)and while it resembles chambray it isn’t exactly that. It’s thinner and I think has perhaps a tiny bit of something other than cotton (but no idea what).

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It however crumples quite easily. I took these photos in less than half an hour after she wore it but already it looks like she has been wearing it for half a day!

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But, it is a nice kind of a “crumple” and I like it a lot, from the front and the back!

The source of the the buttons I have no memory of, but the little bit of lace comes from my days in NY.

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Ok, that’s a lot of photos. So here’s my last one. By this time, she was  beginning to lose her patience as well. DSC_0644

It was good to sew this one. I was happy N wore it right away, and that also to school. I have realised over time that she only really wears clothes she really likes to school, so I guess this one is for keeps. And it was good to be able to use a pattern I already had traced. Sometimes that makes things move along so much faster.

And finally I wanted to say: thank you all for writing in with so much good advice and support. I am trying to keep the desk clear of all things for every little bit of time I find, and do the small things when a few minutes pop up every now and then.

Asmita/xo

 

 

 

 

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