Archive for the ‘scraps’ Category


It’s been a while. Once again.

I hope you all are enjoying some good weather. It is heavenly in Pune; it has started raining everyday, and while some of my fellow Puneites may find this a bit too much, all of us slept under light blankets last night.

I have been flaking out a bit on the sewing front. Ok, not a bit, but almost totally. The good weather, and N’s school holidays means there isn’t much time dedicated to sewing.

Here is what I have been doing in bits and pieces.
wipesThese are wipes I made for myself and a cousin. Really simple things, good for wiping countertops and such. A little square of fabric with and old towel on the back.wipes closeupAnd then a bit of hand sewing, which I am afraid is going a little toooo slowly. hexagonsSeriously, I have been working on this… forever. I got hooked on to this when I found out about it here, and the plan was to finish it while in Pune. hexagon flowersI think part of the problem is that I cannot conceptualise what I want to make of this eventually. I have been finding nice things on various blogs, here and here and here, but I still can’t figure out what I want to make. 

So anyway. And, here is my bit of  fabric shopping. fabricN’s birthday is coming up, and part of the fabric was purchased with her in mind. So far, I have nothing to show and two weeks left to go.

Ok, got to go for now. But I plan to improve on my current situation vis-a-vis sewing.

Hope you are enjoying summer holidays!



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I can hardly believe that I am posting again so soon, but I got some unexpected sewing time this afternoon. And, so, hello again!

pancha 1

The thing is that I love scraps. I save the tiniest bits thinking and dreaming of what I could do with them. At times, I think I like them more than all the unused fabric that also occupies plenty of space in the house.

pancha 6I was sorting through this stuff yesterday and making N help me out (not an uncommon feature of our afternoons), and I decided that I could do well to use some of it to make binding.

A few weeks ago, I was at Khadi Gram Udyog (located in Connaught Place) where I bought a lovely thin cotton towel for N to take to school. At that point, all I was meaning to stitch the sides to give it a finished look, but then yesterday it came to me that a colourful binding might do the same job nicely. And put some scraps to good use.

pancha 2

pancha 3

pancha 5

I am pretty pleased with what I got, and the best part was that it got done in one afternoon. Actually, one smallish part of the afternoon, so it was instant gratification. I know I should be getting down to that thing that I am making for me. But I won’t be too surprised if I just keep making more of these!

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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.


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for V

Hello again, after a break much longer than I anticipated!

We ended up staying in Pune longer than intended partly due to lack of train reservations. But the trip was lovely–much relaxing and good eating was done by the parents (us), and N throughly enjoyed her time meeting new and old friends (the “social butterfly” that she is).

So, I am taking off again tomorrow for a short two day trip to see a dear college friend of mine. (I know I am coming across as someone with this very exciting jet set lifestyle, but really there is more to this than what it seems like and I intend to write about this very soon.)

But, anyway not to move away from the topic here which is one of sewing.  I want to show you what came of all that embroidery that I had been doing the past few weeks, and here it is! I finished it a few days before leaving for the Pune trip. But I didn’t want to write about this in my last post, because this one was going to a very special friend of N’s. Her mother (also N’s montessori teacher) asked me to make it in time for V’s birthday which was at the end of October and I thought it would be a good idea to wait till the recipient had her gift. Here is another picture of it:

It’s a really simple cushion cover measuring 16″X16″, with the birthday girl’s  name embroidered on the front and a bit of decorative stitching that goes around it. I used a lot of little bits of cloth to make it colourful and decorative.

 The back is more scraps and the cover closes with two lovely red buttons.

It’s the first time, I did the embroidery in “nagari”so that was a bit of a challenge. But I loved how it came together and while I may have complained a few times about how slow going the embroidery was, I am glad I decided to stick it out.

Cushion covers are usually my instant gratification projects, but I did a couple of things differently with this cover which I am really happy about. The first was to line it entirely, i.e both the front and the back. Then I did a bit of decorative stitching with the machine around the embroidery. I used French seams for the entire cover (sorry, no picture of this). And finally, and my most favourite thing was to put a special label inside with a message. I know that others may hold differing views on this one, and may find my love for label making and putting a bit excessive, but I am really in love with the idea of labelling and the possibilities that open up with this. A little peek to find a message, and to know that it is especially for someone special whose birthday it is can be pretty exciting. At least I think so.

But this is not the only thing that I have made for her in the recent months. So now to back track a bit…

About half a year ago, Amolika (V’s mother) commissioned a quilt for V. Since I like to use older pieces of fabric especially when making quilts for children, and Amolika was quite happy with the idea, I decided to use all that we could from V’s old clothes. Something that would remind V of her favourite clothing, and that which would stay with her as she got older.

The quilt measure 5’X7′ and is made up of whole bunch of 9″ squares. I used some new fabric, but at least half of the squares came from V’s baby clothes. The cream borders come from her father’s kurtas, and instead of batting I used Amolika’s sari as the in-between layer.

Finally the back has a really simply label (yes, I am quite obsessed with these), this time with V’s name in simple cross stitch. Amolika tells me that V loves the quilt, and I am really so happy. She has been a fantastic teacher to N when she started montessori, and I was first introduced to V by N as one of her “friends.” In fact, I think she is one of N’s first school friends, someone whom she met entirely on her own without any parental interference. I still see V once in a while because she now goes to the “big children school” as N tells me. But she is a sweet sweet child and it was a pleasure for me to make this for her. This is all from me today. Still, much to tell, and lots to show but more of that when I come back.

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