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DSC_0051Well, so as it turned out the poor boy did not get to celebrate his birthday because he fell sick. He got swine flu! And while the worst had passed by the time the big day came around, he was still very tired and cranky and not up to much. We still did a few things to commemorate the occasion, had cake, and of course he got all his gifts. DSC_0037

DSC_0046And so, in effect, I did not get to finish the sewing I had started for him (It’s just about getting done only now….). But since we are here, I thought I might as well write about some of the stuff I finished a while ago, and which in fact comes from the same book that M’s birthday clothes come from. DSC_0042And so to change the topic…

These pants for Ms. N got made way back in May. She wanted orange pants at the beginning of her new school year, and orange she got. With some blue pockets…DSC_0093The fabric for the pants is mangalgiri cotton with thin orange stripes on it, and being mangalgiri, it is perfect for summer. I bought it in Pune, but really quite easily available in Delhi too I am sure. The pockets come from scraps of a Lotta Jansdotter fabric that I used previously for a skirt. The pattern tried and tested several times before, comes from one of my all time favourite Japanese pattern books. As you can probably tell, these are pants with a lot of style (slightly flared bottoms) and come together in no time. They are incredibly simple to sew. There isn’t even a separate waistband, which means there are essentially only two pieces of fabric, three if you include the pocket.

This time I made it in size 120 cms with length at 130 cms, but she complained about some tightness at the crotch. Next time, I will definitely need to size them up. Uncomfortable or not, she is still wearing them, and four months later these are very much a part of school wear. And while she loves them, I have actually been surprised as to how many adults have come up to me and swooned over these. I suspect it has something to do with the brightness of orange. Or, perhaps it’s such a unexpected colour in pants? I really have no idea.DSC_0056And now the top. DSC_0077It wasn’t particularly made to go with these pair of pants,, but somehow both happened around the same time. And, can I just say, I love this slightly large, slouchy shirt. It’s been my favourite and most fulfilling bit of sewing in a while. I like the shape, it’s swing-iness, the fabric (knit from Okadaya, Shinjuku), and how in general it looks on her. The pocket was a bit of an afterthought (yes, I did sew it after the rest of it was made) because it looked like it needed a pocket. The fabric is a scrap from her old favourite pair of tights,so it seemed like a good way to hang on to those tights too.

The pattern appropriately titled “big silhouette t-shirt” comes from this book (I am currently using it for both of M’s shirts), and has a good bunch of patterns which are unisex. Most of the patterns are in the 100-150cms range, but a few also run as small as 80cms, so it’s a good book to have when one is sewing for both a boy and a girl, who are quite a few years apart. This was one of my earlier “tries” from this book, and was a easy sew (no different in effect than other t shirts that I have made). The length is on the shorter side, despite my adding a good 10cms to the 120cms size–it rides up a bit as you can see, but she is not complaining. And it’s pretty wide–no worries there that it will fit her for some time to come!DSC_0082

DSC_0060DSC_0078That’s about it…looking at these photos taken on an outing during our Pune vacations not so long ago, makes me feels like it happened many moons ago. This summer, has been particularly hard and somewhat long (it still continues to be hot in Delhi despite intermittant rains, unending in the humidity, it seems), and I have at times been relieved that I have had some chance to do sewing.

I am not sure, if we get another opportunity to celebrate the boy’s third birthday–he has had his cake and received his gifts, and is a bit confused now at the mention of a birthday party, thinking perhaps that there is endless array of cars still waiting for him. So, while we are skipping this yea’s full fledged party, I am posting here one last photo of his taken during the same outing.DSC_0076IMG_20170614_084125843As with N who turned nine, at the beginning of July, I can hardly believe M is three. And he is marvelous–with his incredible energy, quiet sensitivity, and beyond everything the sweet love for his sister.

Asmita/xox

 

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Hello Hello. It’s been a long summer. We went away for most of it (to Pune, as always) and just returned two Sunday’s back to a terribly hot and humid Delhi.I am trying to inch my way back into everyday life, but it looks like its going to happen really slowly. M and N started school the very next day,  but it’s taken M a few days to really settle into things. I think with the really long seven week break, he forgot that he ever went to school in the first place 🙂 While very little sewing got done in Pune (despite plans–oh, always there are plans!), I did manage to do a bit of prep so a few things are ready to be sewn.

July is a big birthday month for us as both kids have their birthdays this month. Ms. N having already had hers on the 1st, is already nine. 9!! I feel like each year passes by so quickly and here she is another year older.DSC_0111DSC_0081Birth-day this year was more like a week long celebration this year. She had three separate do-s in Pune, plus one small celebration this week in school. All birthday parties were super low key and fun, but yes, there were THREE separate events (not to mention the one in school!

The final Pune do was on the morning of her actual birthday at my grandmother’s house. We had breakfast from her favourite South Indian restaurant and some cake. My grandmother turned 92 this year, and for the last few years N has wanted to have her birthday party at her house. I wish I had a few decent photos to keep and share, but as with any occasion where everyone is having fun, there are sadly none.DSC_0095I do have photos however, of before we just left for my grandma’s place that morning and this is the dress she wore. I made it in a fabric of her choice, but one that I had not expected her to pick out. Pink is not her favourite colour, and the checks pattern figures pretty low on her list, but she chose this fabric herself. (I gave up on surprises a while ago now, having had not such good luck with them). The reason I think is this is the softest, lightest double gauze that she, or for that matter I, has ever laid hands on. And, so the real attraction here is in the kind of fabric. Oh, and the flutter-y sleeves- very summery!

The pattern “r” comes from happy homemade vol.2. (Here is the link to the English version.) I have made several things from this book before, and haven’t run into problems before so this one went pretty easily too. I haven’t made a dress with fluttery sleeves for her in a long time for her (the last time was when she was a wee little thing of 2), so it was nice to try out this sleeve style again. In general, I think they look better on slightly more chubby arms but oh well. She does ballet four times a week, and started swimming lessons. Not to mention that all other times she is upside down. So these are strong arms, and that’s good! Oh, and I think I should have stuck to the 110cm size instead of moving up to 120cms because it sort of sags a bit on her shoulder, but oh well, again. DSC_0103She does seem to like it well enough and that’s more important than getting the perfect dress.DSC_0091Which brings me to getting some things ready for the second birthday that is coming up really soon. Again, M is a bit clued out about birthday’s still, but no one is more excited than N. It really is quite amazing that she is now 9–my sweet, sensitive and caring child. Happy birthday to dearest N.

Asmita/xx

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Hello again!dsc_1186As promised, I am back with a post about birthday #2 which also happened in July, this one in Delhi. It was a much smaller affair than #1, although N did initially try and get me to invite her friends as well. We decided against it, and she did eventually come around to understanding that this was baby M’s birthday celebration which meant inviting people-adults and kids that he knows well. That included our neighbour’s daughters who are N’s friends and who M is immensely fond of, and their mother who is our friend too and who shares her birthday with M. We ended up with a really small guest list, actually, mostly the same people who had made it to his first birthday party last year!

N helped me make a banner that I had been long dreaming of.dsc_1218This was super simple. First, I sewed up two fabric triangles together wrong sides together. Then, N did her thing with the pinking shears and I basted the letters cut out of felt with some glue first and then added a machine stitch on the top. I hope it holds up for a few birthdays at least.

Then came the dress. dsc_1228

dsc_0167The shirt pattern is from the Lullaby Layette by Oliver+S. I love this pattern, and having used it several times before I wanted to give it one last shot in the 18-24m size. To be frank I contemplated briefly if it was a tad too girly, but eventually that didn’t deter me from making it. He’s two, and girly or not, I think he looks so adorable in it. Besides, it such a fabulous pattern and the print is so cute . I find children specific prints in good quality hard to come by in India; this fabric was gifted to me by my sister-in-law and I must ask her where she got this. The fabric is voile hence perfect for summer; I had only 0.75 metres and the shirt fitted perfect in the little bit of fabric.

I also made a pair of pants from some mangalgiri cotton to go with it, again from the same pattern I mention above. N wanted to add a helicopter, because he is kind of obsessed with them and so she drew one and I embroidered it at the bottom edge. (I am sorry to not have better photos here of the pant–he does like to roll on the ground a fair bit and I failed entirely in getting him to stand for a photo shoot, let alone wear the shirt and pant together.)

But I do hope you get the idea. It a seriously comfortable pair of pants and shirt/top, and with Liesl’s fantastic instructions it comes together very quickly-even the placket. I will be sad when he outgrows this size.dsc_0123dsc_0121Here are a few more photos of baby M in action (in case you haven’t had enough 🙂dsc_0175

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dsc_0177And, all in all it was another fun party. I didn’t get a picture of the yummy chocolate cake we had. But it was worth making despite the fact that it was hot humid day.dsc_1250And despite some difficult times last year, looking at him now feels like time has flown. With always a ready smile on his face he has become a chatterbox that I never expected him to be! is

Asmita/xx

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After my last posting in early August, I don’t know the rest of my month went. I mean to post these pictures earlier, but as it turns out it’s already the middle of September and and I am still carrying some last bits of news left over from July. Mainly that we celebrated two birthdays and two little ones turned 8 and 2.

So, here goes…

dsc_0172N turned 8 at the beginning of July and celebrated her birthday during our last week in Pune. Her request for this year was a party at my sister’s dog hostel. (Yes! She runs what I think of as a really cool pet hotel on the outskirts of Pune.). N loves dogs, my sister and she really bond over this, and when N requested her birthday party to happen there we all agreed, since she rarely gets to have her birthday party with extended family anymore.

ns-8th-birthday-party

The other request was a frock from “something blue” which I was happy to make.

dsc_0144The pattern comes from this Japanese book. Ages ago, when N turned three I had used the same pattern and I remember N wearing that dress for the longest time. She is currently into the colour blue and wanted something really simple, and so I thought I’d try making a larger version of the same.

The fabric is ikat and has the loveliest of drapes. I bought it in Pune last year at Banjaras. The pattern calls for a collar and ideally I would have liked the dress to have it, but I realised at the last minute that I had cut the wrong size. It was the day before her birthday, I wanted to make sure that it gets done and so on a spur of the moment I decided to skip the collar. Well, so I finished it on the night before, snaps and all (which as it turns out is her favourite part), and she was delighted to find out that it was indeed ready by her birthday. (Clearly I don’t have a very good record on that front.)

dsc_0027Only problem—it is huge on her. In fact, I think I can almost put her baby brother along with her inside it 🙂 I made it in 120cms. What I needed to do, knowing that the sizes run rather large in this book was to make it in a size 100 with only the length increased. Oh well. She likes it well enough, despite appearing rather grumpy in a few of the photos.

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dsc_0146 I am already thinking another one, perhaps a different blue, but this time with a collar and definitely two sizes smaller.

dsc_0168So this is birthday #1. The party was fun! I wish I had more photos of it, but I guess that is what happens when everyone is having a good time and no one is really taking pictures. Even though she is already two months into being 8, I can hardly believe that she is actually 8—somehow she does seem so much older (especially when compared to her baby brother) and still such a baby at the same time.

Tomorrow I will post about birthday #2, so if you are visiting I hope you will come back soon.

Asmita/xo

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diwali

diwali 1Happy Diwali.

I am not a big festival person. But N very much is (as I suppose are most children), and so of course we are doing stuff. Like making lamps.diwali 3She made these modeled on what they did in school, and I do feel like they are lighting up our home:-)diwali 2It’s been a hectic last few days. We almost went to Pune to see a sick friend, but then cancelled at the last minute and are now traveling later in the month. N and I are getting over some cold. So things a bit low key for now.

Thank you everyone for their lovely encouraging comments on sewing with knits. It does mean a lot to me. See you soon, with possibly more to show?

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.

Asmita

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a few things

Hello there!

Happy Valentines Day. We spent a good part of last week making hearts–me sewing the fabric to the card paper, and N sticking magnetic strip on the back.

DSC_0018On Monday we posted them – 17 in all (!) to friends, grandparents and various maushis and kakas.

This week, post the card activity, I got down to making a doll. My favourite model had requested one a while ago, and finally she got this-

mermaid

Her name I am told is going to be Lawnhi (at least that’s how I think it is spelt). She is a mermaid (as I hope you can tell), and is meant to be the sister of another doll (Mimi) that I made a couple of months ago.

mimi and mermaid

In fact, Lawnhi was commissioned because  Mimi needed a sister.

Both patterns come from Hillary Lang’s lovely book Wee Wonderfuls. Lawnhi posed a bit of a challenge for me, because instead of following the instructions which clearly said “trace-sew-cut,” I did “trace-cut-sew.” This made the doll a wee bit smaller and needless to say somewhat harder to sew. Oh, and I should add slightly (very?) odd looking.

N M M 1

Odd or not, N is super pleased with her new acquisition. And not just N, Mimi, I am informed, is just as delighted with this mermaid of a sister.

NMM 3

N M M

I am happy to say that as I write this, all of them are peacefully sleeping together in N’s bed.

While N is blissfully aware of this, we find out tomorrow if she has been admitted into any school for the next academic year. Delhi school admissions are notoriously painful. (In case you just want a glimpse of the craziness that goes on for getting a three year old into a school, see this.) The last two months have been intermittently frustrating, irritating and tedious for this reason. I know it’s not the end of the world if she doesn’t get in, because she goes to a pretty decent montessori. But that just means we have to through this again next year.

But anyway, fingers crossed and all that.

Hope to see you soon, and thanks for visiting!

Asmita

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Hello! I hope everyone’s Diwali was as lovely as ours.

We had a lovely time with friends and family visiting, and us visiting some more cousins who live here. Much socialising was done and and good food was eaten. N got to burst crackers for one evening, and here she is in her new dress, about the only thing that I managed to make for her this Diwali.

It’s the music box jumper, made in size 4T. I expected it to be a little big on her, but surprisingly it is not. The pattern is from Oliver+S. No surprises there.

Pretty basic jumper as you can see. I like the inverted box pleats. The fabric is slightly heavy printed cotton bought on Commercial Street and my only little touch was to have a bit of velvet. Necessary to give the dress a special occasion feel. Plus, it’s PINK! Never underestimate the importance of pink–the colour with magic properties, making things instantly likeable.

Sewing the dress itself was cause of some frustration though. I think I was too tired from my back to back trips, I couldn’t get the bottom part and the top to match so I had to re-do the side seams. All in all, I think I was relieved when it was done. Not much sewing related pleasure, but I do like the was it has turned out. Then again, N needed a new dress for Diwali.

Or rather, I needed to make a new dress for her because how can there be a Diwali without a new frock? And this dress rather than something fancy and Diwali like will be useful in the coming months because we are moving! Yeah! To Delhi.

The last few months have been hectic in part due to this. We went in September to look at houses and schools and succeeded in finding a lovely place that we could sublet. The lovely house helps because I am otherwise seriously trying to work up my excitement levels to making another move in less than three years. Honestly, this was not on the cards, and while it is for the better, I cannot also truly say that I am looking forward to making this move. Delhi is a very different place than Bangalore, as different as  Bangalore was from New York, and this is going to require another round  readjustment.

Still of the things that I am counting in the “looking-forward-to category,” one is going to be the lovely cold weather for few months every year. (And then, there is the terrible summer of course, but I’d rather focus on the positive right now). I like cold weather, very much in fact, and while Delhi is supposed to get pretty brutal in winters (no central heating and such luxuries), there are going to be some very nice things about it.

Such as clothes that keep us warm, and quilts that keep us cozy.

So, finally I got down to finishing this quilt that I started almost a year ago. It got done in our extended Pune trip, and I am very happy with it.

Really basic, really simple. Once I was done I had no idea why I was procrastinating for so long.

The squares are 4.5″ each, making up a 12″ block. All fabric comes from bits and pieces left from clothes made for N and others. The sashing is from an old kurta that I just couldn’t bear to wear any longer. I am happy to say that no new fabric had to be cut up for this.

And I love the back as much as I love the front.

This comes from my mother-in-law’s old sari, and I used the same sari for the batting the back, as well as the binding. The sari was in a good shape but well used, so it is really incredibly soft.  The best thing about this quilt is that it already feels like we have been using it for ages. Nothing new-ish about it, and N absolutely loves it. The only one that she has been using in Pune, on the train and since we got back!

The whole quilt measures about 4’X6′ which is the only thing that probably poses a problem in the long run. When I started making it, this seemed like a good size but N is growing fast, and I hope it doesn’t become too small too soon. Still will be nice to cuddle up into, with something warm to drink.

A few other small things got finished, of which one is that which I had been complaining about.

And I got to photograph some things that I finished a while ago and finally got a good picture of.  N who hates sweaters was willing to wear it as the weather got a bit chilly.

The outside fabric is hand spun cotton (khadi) which has a nice rustic feel and a lovely drape. I made this with the usual well written instructions from Liesl Gibson’s book and it came together quite nicely. It is meant to be like a red riding hood cape, but this child I think is liking it and willing to wear it mostly because it is cotton (and not any itchy wool like fabric), and has a button that she can take off on her own (read: mother does not get to decide if she can take if off or not). I am thinking that I will make another one with a flannel lining for Delhi.

Aside from this, a few acquisitions in Pune: fabric for making summer dresses for Delhi-

And these super adorable hair clips for N, that I wish I had made but have no patience for unfortunately-

This has been a long post, about many things. Some, that feel somewhat monumental to us at this point in time, like the impending move. But as I write this, I feel glad that as overwhelmeing as the move seems, it is good to note that the time we spend in planning the move is also punctuated by the smaller day to day normal things, like finishing a quilt.

I want to end today with this photo that I took at my parents farmhouse, of the flowers that N collected there to bring back to our Pune house. For some reason it gives me much joy.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend.

-Asmita

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