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Archive for the ‘dolls and such’ Category

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

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beam-y

About once a year, I get sucked into making a soft toy for N. This is how it usually goes–her birthday, or some occasion where she is to be receiving a gift, or I have been conned into bribing her comes around. Sometimes it is as simple as, “aai, I don’t want clothes any more, make me a dog/cat/monkey/doll etc”. Or worse, Lata/ Waghu [insert doll’s name here] needs a new pant/shirt/jacket etc.

So you can tell how much I like making soft toys right? What’s worse is making dolls’ clothes. Something to do with the fact that there are tiny parts, that get sewn to even tinier parts. You get the idea. Here is what I made earlier in the week for one of her dolls.Lata blouse

The fabric is from here, which she had loved and which I found I had a a tiny bit of remaining, just enough to make a top for Ms. Lata. Its roughly modeled on N’s own blouse, except that after making it I realised that dolls tend to have really large heads. So a back opening was made, velcro attached, and presented to one child who couldn’t have been more delighted.lata blouse 2

But, I have to say this. The minute I do make something for her dolls or a doll itself, it gets showered with so much love and care that it never fails to amaze me. She not only spends hours playing with them, but also when necessary gives me advice on how to deal with naughty children of my own 🙂 So having spent a lot of time swearing about this tiny top, I then proceeded to make this:b3

b4The pattern is from book that you can read more about here (Unfortunately I cannot figure out how and where to order it, but I think you could write to the author). My friend got it for me about a year ago, and this is the first thing I am making from it. The toys are all lovely, and after following the instructions in this I can say that they are pretty easy to follow. So. For me, the whole process went without a hitch (perhaps having just made that tiny top, my fingers had grown more nimble…), and except for attaching the head to the body part things went pretty well. Making the limbs was not as excruciating as I was expecting it to be, and N helped me stuff them with cotton.  The sweater too was a bit of a challenge. I did not have the requisite felted wool so its a bit stretchy. But, in the end not to bad I would say.

My favourite parts are the fabric that we chose together: the body is from an old washed black denim-like fabric, the snout is a from a silk kurta and the ears are from scraps. The sweater is cashmere which I lined with a bit of ribbon (again from an old top of mine). The result: we think she is quite fashionable young lady.

b8

b7Like with other dolls, she went through a naming ceremony where other dolls were consulted, and they settled on “beamy.” A suitable name I think for a donkey who is looking relatively relaxed and happy. b1I know the next few days are going to be spent in taking her around and doing every little activity with her in tow. Last night N went to sleep with her, the entire morning was spent in playing with her, and then we took her out to lunch…

b9Oh, but I never told you why I ever got to making this in the first place. Once a year on Kojagiri Purnima falls Ashwini when the oldest child’s gets something special. While growing up my family which is not particularly religious, did celebrate this festival. I think I enjoyed it particularly because it was the one day of the year when I could endlessly tease my younger sister that she wasn’t getting anything (and it wasn’t even my birthday:-) The honour gets passed on to N as being the only child, and she gets to choose what she wants from me, just as I get to choose what I want from my mom.

For some reason this day always reminds me of my own childhood and this time of the year when the weather turns for the better. It also reminds me of the year when N was born and I was making an endless number of soft toys for her (she had no say in this of course, given that she was only four months old). But for some reason it was my idea of what a baby “wants.” They were all very very terrible; oh, if you knew my sister she would tell you all about it! (All this to say I have gotten better:-). But. It was that time when I was in Pune, we sat around a lot, entertained this very tiny baby and spent a lot of time with each other. It was lovely, and I miss that time very much. Perhaps it is fitting that N should then want at least one soft toy every year, something that got me sewing in the first place, and something that I persisted with depsite somewhat shaky beginnings.

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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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Recently I have been hit by a clothes sewing bug. This means that when I have a about twenty other things to do such as prepare for our upcoming trip and work on projects commissioned by other people I am frantically sewing clothes for a four year old who does not need or even want any.

Part of the problem as I mentioned in my last post is that I am realising that N is fast outgrowing the pattern sizes that I have. The second equally significant reason to hit the panic button in my opinion is the fact that I have all these cute fabrics cut in half yard or metre. Very many of these are Japanese prints that I absolutely love and they have been too dear to cut.

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But now it seems now that I have procrastinated. Not a very long time ago (ok, maybe until a year and half ago) I could fit a pair of pants, or even a blouse in these. But alas, no longer. And so…

This green skirt is a product of one such panic.

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This pattern comes from one of my favourites–Oliver and S (no surprises here!) and I made this in the largest size which is a 3T and increased the length by 1.5.”  My favourite part was making the kick pleat which comes together easily and looks really stylish.

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As perhaps one can tell from the solitary photo (very posed) the response has been a bit lukewarm. I really like how it looks on her, except perhaps the length. Given that I cut my precious fabric for it, I wish that somehow it had been a bit longer so she could have worn it more, but oh well…maybe under tights. Ms. N “likes” it, she claims, but wanted something more flouncy. So this does not count as a “real” skirt. The print has saved me though, and she now wants another one but with “dogs” on it, preferably pink. AAAH, maybe this should have been pink elephants instead.

And, so the second one is…predictably pink!

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And this one thanks to its pinkness, never mind the lizards has fared better. In fact we are calling it the “pink lizard skirt.”

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The model as you can see is posing a little more happily in this.

The pattern is another Oliver+S one (yeah, I am kind of obsessed with these as you’ll see). If I absolutely had to choose, I’d have to say that this one is my favourite. I love the side pleats–they are so very adorable. And if you can tell it has these cute pockets. N does not care much for pockets but I love them, and this one was a pleasure to make. Again, I made in the largest size that I have which is a 4T, but I seem to be having some length issues. I thought this one would be longer than what it appears to be, but maybe these run a bit short? Anyway, I love this so much that I think you will see many more of these.

And the fabric, oh what can I say! While I do like elephants a whole lot better than lizards, there is something quite unexpected I think about having a pink skirt with black lizards crawling all over it.

OK, enough about skirts. I feel like this is getting to be a school essay along the lines of “an autobiography of the skirt”–and as in a school essay the life of this skirt (or skirts rather) will also end rather badly. Because these were not very wanted by the model in the first place, let me not jinx it.

The last thing made was this bear carrier from Liesl Gibson’s book.

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I cut the pattern for this from an old cloth bag that I had. The fabric is very lovely and light cotton, and I really like the idea of this design having a pocket. And because we are travelling soon, I think a little teddy or doll is soon going to be carried in this. Very exciting for a four year old.

The important point here, and I’m happy to say that this was specifically made upon N’s request. Just so that you know that all sewing is not decided by me.

This is all for today. I hope everyone has a good Friday.

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