Archive for the ‘sewing for me’ Category

Hello hello. I have been very good this year doing the “disappearing act,” and so without much ado here is another blog post from me–before the year ends!

DSC_0027I know that you rarely, if ever, see a photo of me on the blog, and there is a good reason for that. I mostly hate being photographed, and definitely not in clothes that I have tried to sew, with the operative word here being “try.” When Nadja of Schnittchen patterns had written to me sometime last year asking me if I would like to participate in a a very interesting “Sewing Around the World” series (SATW) that this independent German sewing company had put together, I had enthusiastically said yes, because well, the patterns upon initial perusal looked fantastic, and also because truth be told, it was quite far away (then), and who worries about sewing that is happening almost a year later. Well, as is always the case, the year went by rather quickly, and when she wrote again and it was time to choose a pattern. Truth be told, I almost pulled out. I think what made me didn’t pull out was infact the option of being able to, or being able to extend the deadline (that she was so gracious to allow). And so with new determination, and finger crossing (that I would manage this) I chose two or three patterns that I would have like to try. Luckily for me, she sent me the one that was on the top of my list.DSC_0023This is the Mila Blouse, and what follows in a pattern review of sorts. In my very limited sewing experience, I have realised that I busy size falls pretty far away from my hip size. My biggest problem has been how to move from the small bust size to a much larger hip size without what I am sewing looking like a umbrella. So to be on the safer side, and especially to get a sense of the built in ease, I decided to sew myself a muslin.DSC_0033The patterns has four main pieces. The instruction sheet is quite short and concise and come in both German and English. Initially I was worried that the instructions are quite limited. For visual learners, it might be worth keeping in mind that there are no visuals for this top (as a part of the instructions), but for many of the other (I assume complicated patterns) there are plenty of diagrams that are put up on their blog. Despite my initial worry, I needn’t have worried and this one came together just fine (in fact I barely had to use the seam ripper). My favourite part is the the way the sleeves come together, and I love the way they look.DSC_0034

DSC_0030I was quite pleased with my muslin and and so without making any changes and with increased confidence, proceeded to make version 2. The only difference in terms of sewing is that I had cut the yoke and sleeves on bias in version 1, which I didn’t feel the need for in version 2. This was also in part because I used stripes and I wanted to try some stripe matching on the sleeves.DSC_0028In terms of fit, there is not much difference. For both, the back is the same with a simple button and loop closure.DSC_0029The fabric here (in v.2) is ikat for the bottom and linen for the yoke. This is slightly heavier than what I used for the muslin which is a very lightweight cotton. I love the checks pattern, and if I were to really choose, the muslin is my favourite of the two.

Either way, I really love both, and I wore both them plenty  when I finished making them, and got a lot of compliments too :-). All in all, I would say it’s a great top to try if you like me are sitting on the fence with not enough confidence to sew for yourself. This has definitely pushed me into a unfamiliar zone and I want to try out more. Perhaps even another version in knit fabric!

Thank you Nadja and Schnittchen patterns for this opportunity!


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Considering the going-ons of the past few weeks, these last few days have been positively quiet. For me it has meant coming to terms with Trump, figuring out ways to live with seriously bad air quality after days of panic, and now dealing with our latest drama of demonetisation. Things look unsettled, but I think this is about as settled as they will be for a while. For some reason this morning as I was bemoaning the fact of Trump (yet again), I suddenly thought to myself – would I rather be in 1916 instead of 2016, and my answer is a clear no. Because that means being in the middle of one war, then yet another one and by the time I want to live which is the early 1970s I would be dead anyway. So, I guess this becomes a roundabout way of saying -I think I need to settle down into into things as they are at this moment.

Here is some things that brought us cheer during last week.   dsc_0200

dsc_0110dsc_0132dsc_0206dsc_0198This last thing, a mobile of starts and moon something N made in her pottery class. Passing by it when going from one room to another is making me quite happy.

During the past crazy few weeks I also made something. Or rather, I finished a project – yet another one that has been sitting unfinished in my list of to-do pile for long.dsc_0142It’s a  bag is for me to carry my yoga mat to my newly joined yoga class. As it turns out however, the class provides these really lovely straw mats. And they are so much nicer than the generic rubber ones like what I have, that I am inclined to leave my mat and the bag at home. But still I like the bag.dsc_0154It has a cute little pocket and a strap to carry it across my back. Carrying it makes me feel almost sporty!

I am not sure why this one took so long really because the construction of this couldn’t be any easier.  The fabric is canvas weight, and the pattern on it bring peacocks to my mind for some reason. If I remember correctly, it was purchased at Ikea in New York many moons ago. The pattern, if you can even call it that, comes from this book, one of the first sewing books that I ever purchased and still my favourite. As the title says it is really “simple sewing” and just the kind that can make you forget current worries and let all noises recede in the background, even if temporarily.

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DSC_1171When we left for our annual vacation (which now was a while ago!) I carried with me a whole bunch of stuff-books that I planned to read, fabric that I hoped to make something out of, a few patterns to accompany them, and finally, not to forget, embroidery related bits.

At that point I had only some very vague ideas of how I wanted to spend intermittent free time I would get, and so I can honestly say that I surprised myself by making not one but two tops on my now favourite sewing machine.IMG_0686The pattern I used is Camber top by Merchants and Mills. I remember buying about a year ago because I was so taken by their overall aesthetic having read about it first here. It so happened that around that time Mr. M was to go to the UK, and so I ordered three of their patterns  with plans to get down to sewing them immediately upon his return. I recall excitedly opening the package and reading the not too detailed instructions, followed by hastily putting it away since it all looked far too complicated. But since then, and especially since this attempt I was in a mood to try something else for myself and so I went back to first of the three M&M patterns I got back then.

Since this is only my second real attempt at sewing for myself, and because I could not make much of the instructions even a year later, especially how to attach the lining of the back yoke I decided to make a muslin first. (The fabric is mangalgiri cotton that I had bought in Pune sometime back.)IMG_0703After three failed attempts at figuring out how to do it and almost giving up I decided to scour the web, albeit quite pessimistically, in hope  of some help. And thus, finally, with many many thanks to this blogger, I got it! In fact, it was a kind of an a-ha moment, because as many others have already said, when you get it, you immediately realise that it is really quite brilliant how the front neckline gets sandwiched beautifully between the the back yoke and its lining. From then on it was smooth sailing and I finished the rest of it in less time than it took me to figure out the yoke.IMG_0714Having most definitely liked the muslin, I almost immediately made another one. asmita 6Based on my bust size, I made the top in UK size 8 with 10 at the hips. There is however, again as others have mentioned, a lot of ease. So I briefly contemplated if I should make the entire thing in a 8, but I like how the muslin fits, and the second fabric with kalamkari print was the one that I had been saving up for a while. So in the end no changes were made, and I am happy to report that these make perfect summer tops.IMG_0666

asmita 7

I am now actually wanting to try the Camber dress, and there are some lovely versions out there. I especially liked this one.

For reasons not entirely clear as yet, making the tops has also left me feeling particularly self satisfied (although, admittedly I look rather morose particularly in the last photo). N, however, when she saw me making the second one, did come up and ask if I was enjoying this far more than making stuff for her. A kind of a momentary worry I suppose. Of course I am far far from tired of sewing stuff for her. But sewing for myself certainly brought about a different kind of pleasure, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

What are you sewing these days? Is it anything for yourself? I would love to hear about it.


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I made this back in March when it was my birthday I decided that a birthday gift for myself would be to begin sewing for self. This isn’t the first time to make for myself, but it is definitely my most successful project to date–of course “successful” in relative terms.

The pattern I chose was Liesl+Co.’s Gallery Tunic.  I had loved this style when it first came out and read tons of reviews, but really my guiding logic was that it was Liesl who taught me the basics of making children’s clothes. And so, it made the most sense to try out her women’s patterns knowing well that there would be her usual excellent instructions and lots of hand holding along the way. I wasn’t wrong. Plus, as it so happened, two weeks before I started, there was a sew along for the pattern that I followed and read through avidly.

In terms of size I fell into one size for the bust measurement and another for the hips (apparently not at all uncommon) and found this really helpful. Still, not feeling sure if I had read enough I also tried to read this, but then, I knew that if I spent more time reading I would probably give up on this project entirely. So, finally, settling for the size with measurements that were the closest to my upper bust size and then going two sizes up at the hip (following my hip measurment) I settled on a over all size 6 (10 at hips).

Then came fabric. I had bought this last year to make a pair of pajamas but since I never made them, I thought why not a top? I wanted to make a wearable muslin and this seemed like a good choice.  The sewing went really well–the instructions are indeed super clear and excellent.

What however, turned out is as you can see, kind of largish!


I think the part that I mind the most is the lack of fitting at the shoulders. But over all, I feel it looks kind of okay.


The part that I love are the placket and the sleeves, but perhaps I need to go down by a size the next time I try to make this. I am also thinking maybe make the dress length with slits on the sides…something like a kurta perhaps?


What I am not so sure is why it took me so long to post this. I am, I realise, happy to share the clothes I make for my kids, although not all of them are successes. But, I notice I am much less kinder to myself, and couldn’t find the courage to post this, although this is really the first thing that I am willing to wear out. A few people have even complimented me, and found it amazing that I made it myself but then I always put it down to the fabric choice, or them not really taking a close look at the mistakes that I so clearly see. The truth is that it is not actually a unwearable piece of clothing and yet, I see it so differently than what others outside me see it as.

Two months later, and a having worn this a few times already, I am thinking that I want to slowly make more stuff for myself. This is a start.  But a beginning that I have long wanted to make. And so this post was a necessary part of that beginning, and writing it has taken more courage than what I thought was needed here. I hope I can over time gather enough confidence to sew for myself, but I also now realise that the day I make clothes that I like(i.e. what is “perfect” to me) is not going to dawn all of a sudden. And so small steps are in order. And I know that will only come with doing more and more of it.

(And, if you have managed to make it till the end of the post, thank you for reading! I really appreciate it.:-))




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front 2

Hello everyone! This is my long overdue, made for myself birthday present.

Making bags has not been my forte. I have made a few pretty bad ones which are right now lying somewhere in the deep recesses of my cupboard where I can quite conveniently avoid seeing them. Nothing dramatically wrong, either just a bad choice of fabric, not strong enough interfacing, that kind of thing. Mostly of the variety, where once I was done sewing it, I felt like I couldn’t care to take it anywhere with me and was already thinking of ways to recycle of the fabric.

But. As it turns out I have a short term memory. So, not so long ago I decided to make yet another bag, very conveniently, and perhaps luckily forgetting the earlier disasters. Maybe it’s all about, try try try and you will succeed?

In any case, here is the latest one, and this time with only one glaring mistake. This is the back-back side of the bagAnother view of the front (I love the divided pockets)back 2And the mistake. Can you spot it?side of th bagBut anyway getting back to the positives. I love the inside, in which I can fit in a fair bit of stuff.inside of the bagI even used it today. Definitely a first for any bag that I have made!

The fabric on the outside is by Heather Ross. The orange one is a really nice and light cotton from Commercial Street in Bangalore, and the Green is handspun cotton from Khadi Gram Udyog.

The pattern comes from here, and and on her blog there are also some fabulous tutorials that are worth checking out. I am even tempted to make another one.

Anyway. Lovely rainy weather here. And looks like a storm is brewing up. I am off to enjoy it! Hope you all have a nice evening.



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Hello! Finally, I some new sewing to show, and tell you of some new decisions made around here. But more about that below.

Early this week I had friends leaving for Taiwan, and one of them has a adorable niece. N has seen many photos and videos of her, and we wanted so send her something. So this is what I made.

dress for nini

The dress is from an Oliver+S in size 3T, and I have made it several times before. But I was working against a deadline and N was at home on a school day (due to heavy rain) and therefore a bit cranky. So, not to blame anyone, but I messed the back pretty badly.


Here it is. Can you tell what went wrong? I accidently used the side as a fold line when cutting the fabric from the paper pattern. This meant that I had to cut the same piece of fabric again into half and sew it. (I had no more of the same fabric to re do the whole thing.) So the back centre has a seam running through it. I hope the mistake doesn’t look too obvious when the wearer puts it on.

To get over my frustration, I added one of my favourite things to the dress. A label, of course!

name tag nini

The second thing got made this week and that I am really happy about is a dress for myself.

linen and cotton japanese pattern book

This is not the first time that I have tried to sew for myself. But I haven’t tried for a while. And I happy to say that unlike all earlier attempts, finally I have something that is not too small and does not look weird.

dress close up

So, ok. This was (is?) intended to be a summer dress–as in I wear it outside once it gets warm. It is meant to look like this, but I am afraid that I am not looking as stylish in it.


In other words, the “wearing it outside” part I am a bit unsure about–on me it looks a bit dowdy and I think this one is going to be a nightdress. Two problems–I should have measured myself instead of just assuming that size M out of a Japanese sewing book is not going to fit me. And two, I should have made it shorter.

Still the important thing is that I like it, which means that I will wear it. Day or night doesn’t matter.

The book itself is quite lovely and has many nice patterns. The part about “how to make” is very very clear, so it’s a book I would highly recommend especially for those who don’t read Japanese. As for me, now emboldened by this experiment, you’ll be seeing more of clothes for me.

Which actually brings me to the other thing I want to write about. I have been thinking about this for a while now, and I have a resolution for the rest of 2013. I am a non-resolution person, so it has taken me most of January to decide, but the plan is this: I have decided that this year every week I will have something new to show–a dress/ pillow cover/ quilt, doesn’t matter. But something. I am going to try and not keep the same pattern (and size) on repeat cycle, but in a pinch this is allowed. (No point in being very hard on oneself.) But the  whole idea is try new things, and just make instead of procrastinating, and I figure about a week is enough time to get something down.

My public declaration hopefully means that I’ll stick to this:-) . We will see.


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