Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

a journey into past

Four months is long time even for me, the otherwise somewhat intermittent blogger, to be away from my blog. Except for my super short post sometime in February, I admit I almost gave up on blogging. Lured by Instagram, I considered making use of my account which I opened sometime ago, but then it seemed too complicated and I retreated. (I am sure in reality Instagramming–if there is a word like that–is actually quite fun, and I love looking at what other people make. But for now, I have no head space for figuring out how yet another social media platform works and so I gave up on that idea too. At least for the moment.). Interestingly, what this longer than planned break made me realise that while I do miss posting about my latest sewing, what I miss even more is the writing part. And so here I am, with some determination to give it another chance.

And so without further explanations here is some news of the past few months.

In early March, around the time of my birthday, my husband and I went on the much anticipated trip to Tokyo. It was short (only 5 days), and we didn’t do a whole lot, besides eating, walking, and meeting a few old friends, but it was tremendously soul nourishing and absolutely lovely. For one, my parents were very generous to come all the way to Delhi to take care of the kids, and it was the first time Mr. M and I were travelling anywhere sans children. And then, it felt like a homecoming of sorts. I hadn’t been back in close to a decade, and although of course I have been there many times before, this was the first trip where there was no agenda as such. All in all I came back feeling rested and nourished–not very different from what trip to a familiar and well loved place feels like, I suppose.

Here are a few favourite photos from the trip:DSC_0056A shop selling pickles outside Sendagi station  DSC_0043Aoyama cemeteryDSC_0021The ryokan where we stayed in HongoDSC_0004A bakery in KagurazakaIMG_20170305_093351009And finally, one of my all time favourite places in Tokyo–the Nezu Shrine. Most of the week had been bitingly cold, but the day we walked to the shrine, after meandering through the lanes around Tokyo University, was beautiful and sunny. We mostly sat in the sun for long and reminisced about all the earlier times I had been here.

Besides eating and walking we did some shopping too, and I myself bought a fair bit of fabric from Okadaya in Shinjuku. In my current life, which I cannot envision without sewing, it is, in retrospect, strange to think that before this trip I had never even entered a fabric shop in Japan! My interest in sewing is only about seven years old, and so initially I had no idea where to go. A quick Google search brought my attention to this blog, which was particularly useful.DSC_0062It’s all knits and double gauze, as you can probably tell, and not exactly inexpensive. Of course! Thankfully the cost, and the fact that we went to Nippori, the official “fabric town,” on the day when all shops were closed ensured that fabric shopping was limited. Still I love what I got; N oooh-ed and aah-ed over it after we got back and immediately put in a few requests.

That, in short, was our trip and the highlight of 2017! I can’t believe it’s already been two months since we went. I have sewn up a bunch of stuff in this time and will be back in a few days to show what I’ve been making.


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a trip

A little less than two weeks ago we got back from a trip to Jodhpur, the famed “blue city” of Rajasthan. By we, I mean my sister Shalu, her old and my relatively new friend Ekta, N and me. It was a lovely trip, the kind of which I dream about and would like to have more of. We did all the touristy things like visiting the famous Mehrangarh fort and going for a camel ride, but also some not very touristy stuff such as taking a tour of the Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park. And, of course we ate the most delicious kachoris and jalebees, of which I wouldn’t mind a few as I write this post! All this in only three days, but somehow it felt much longer. In a good kind of a way. If I were to think of the “best part” of something as N and I often discuss, my best part of the trip would be the park and the jalebees, and the beautiful hotel that Ekta chose.

Here are a few photos from our travels, the memories of which will stay with me for many years.[Warning: this one is a picture heavy post, but I do hope you get to the bottom of it :-)]

















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dsc_0113I got a lovely fabric gift earlier in the month and thought I’d share it with you all. The yellow one is Liberty, and has been picked out by N as a favourite, and  I think I am going after the blue. They all come from London where Mr. M had to travel for work. He was good enough to go here and here (of course with directions kindly sent by me) and get back these goodies. I am wondering what to make with them….dsc_0188On the sewing front I finally made the bag that had been on my list for a while. N started dance classes in July and needed something to carry her stuff. Of course she has other bags but she wanted something in the “backpack” variety. This free pattern comes from the trusty Purl Soho. It is really simple to make so I didn’t really take a look at the instructions, but from my past experiences I am sure they are thorough. They have three sizes (I made the child version) and despite some earlier doubts, it’s the perfect size for her.

The fabric is remainders from an earlier sewing project. She chose it because she now likes grey.Well, who knew?! I have no idea what the line is called. I had it saved it for long enough and am glad I made something that would get a lot of use. I used a different fabric for lining inside, but sadly no pictures.

So that’s about it. I am sewing other things in a meandering kind of a way, but mostly I have been spending large amounts of time pottering around the house, thinking that I need to cleanup some spaces small and large while desperately waiting for the weather to change. dsc_0600dsc_0091But, before I go, here is something hilarious that my sister sent me yesterday. If you haven’t seen it before, and I hadn’t, it’s worth a read. Enjoy!



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I have been unbelievably tardy as far as posting is concerned and now it is almost the end of September and four months since I posted last! Summer is almost over; it has been a long one–difficult and exhausting in parts and while I still see not much brightness in day to day life, I am relieved that the temperatures are slightly lower and that good weather will soon be upon us.

Last week N, (who turned 7 a few months ago already) went on her first trip with four of her friends (and one friends’ parents.) This was not her first time without us (she has travelled before with her grandparents) but definitely the first time without any family. It meant that to a certain extent she had to look after her things, speak up for herself, and say when she is hungry or tired. The trip went beautifully well (much thanks to the brave parents who took the four kids)–no phone calls at all (!) and the kids didn’t want to come back.

To mark the occasion as special I made her this: a little something to take with her.



The fabric are all all scraps, and the instructions come from this lovely tutorial by Anna from Noodle-head.

While she was away I also had my evenings free and so I finally finished the dress that has been languishing in the to-do pile for too long.



She loved the little toothpaste case, but oh she has loved this dress! In part it is the fabric, the other part is that it is very roomy and relaxed. The days are still quite hot so she can wear it for the next month or two and its roomy enough to keep wearing it through winter.

And I added yellow buttons at the back, just for fun.DSC_0154

The fabric is from Pune where I think I bought it several years ago. The pattern is from this Japanese book (pattern B in 120 cms). The dress is on the shorter side but having used this pattern before I know the style runs slightly short. I lengthened it with a different coloured fabric. It’s still pretty short but I feel that the roomy style, so common to many Japanese patterns, makes a shorter version look better on her than something longer.

Now about the book: the instructions are excellent and if you are just starting out on Japanese books this is high on my recommendation list. The patterns start at 90cms and go upto 130. This in fact was my first Japanese pattern book and while it has only about five basic patterns with a few variations the drawings are thorough and the photos lovely.

Given how difficult it has been in the last few months to start and then finish anything, I am glad to have finished this one before we finished summer entirely!


Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon!


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I know, I know…You are thinking…another top? What’s with that?

Well, hear me out, as  the story of this one is pretty exciting.

A few weeks ago, I think I mentioned that we were going on a trip. Our destination was Jaipur, and while the weekend was a rainy one with hardly much chance to explore we did visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. It’s a fantastic little place which documents the textile hand printing tradition in the area using predominantly hand carved blocks. And the best part of the visit was that N got to print her own fabric….



Presenting to you, a little shirt I made with fabric entirely hand printed by Ms. N.



Given my last experience and because this fabric was entirely hers I wanted to make sure we choose a pattern that she liked. The fabric was just enough to make a top and she chose the 2+2 blouse pattern by Oliver+S. I have made this top twice before and love both the skirt and top. Luckily this time around, she didn’t want the gathers on the front, nor the ties, and so with this excellent tutorial by Cindy I could do away with both and in its place have a facing.


N wasn’t too keen on back buttons either, but I wasn’t sure if the forward slit would be large enough to fit through her head (it does), so I decided to keep the back as it is in the original pattern. I have had these buttons forever, and I thing they compliment the pink of the facing quite nicely.


I am happy that I can put this one down as a hundred percent success! For once everything came together well, and N was delighted to be able to wear it to her school picnic yesterday.


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to palampur



flowers 1

mushrooms we ate

cloth art

shop in mj

flowers 2

Oh, it was a week of blissfully cool weather, breathtaking scenery, lovely food, and much needed quietness. But I think if I were to choose one thing that I enjoyed the most it would be the amazing bus rides which got us from one place to another.

I am so glad to have taken this trip and then come back home to M and N. N did not miss me much, as she told me of the phone (I did miss both of them though!), but then yesterday when I asked her what her best part of the day was, she said that “it was to not have to tell the best part of her day on the phone but tell it with me in front of her.”

I didn’t get any sewing done this week as you can imagine. But I saw something quite incredible–women around me, knitting all the time, that is, even when they were walking up those mountain paths! Talk about good use of time. I wish I had taken a picture of it!

However, right before I left I made a quick pair of pajama pants and top from this pattern. bedtime story pjs

pants kimonoIn size 3T,  for a sweet little boy with whom we stayed for a few days during our trip.The fabric, which is very light cotton, is locally purchased from Khadi Gram Udyog; the trim is from on old piece of cloth I had. The pattern is quite roomy I realised after I made it, and so might use it with extended length to make on for N as well.

Bye for now. Thanks for visiting, and have a lovely weekend.


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it’s been a while….

Hello again!

…After a month. I feel a bit sheepish coming back having not written for so long. A whole month (well, five weeks to be exact) is the longest I have stayed away any writing and it feels really quite strange. A lot has been happening, and March has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Among the various small and big happenings one major time consuming thing has been my catching the flu. It took all of two and half weeks weeks to get better, and seriously I have never felt so weak or miserable, at least in recent times. Then other stuff happened, that I want to write about by and by but just now still trying to get over some difficult times.

So, its good to be back to here, because despite this and that, I am happy and relieved to note that life has been moving on.

The weather for one has certainly undergone a major transformation. This is a view from my bed, and what I was staring at most of the time when I was not sleeping off the flu.view from doorIsn’t it lovely? I am afraid, it’s no longer looking like this; mornings are insanely sunny and bright, and this foggy feeling is totally gone.

But to move on to what has been happening…. Before I fell sick and towards the end of February, we had a few birthdays to attend. And so, N got to wear her new frock, that I had just made then.N in her orange frockLooking at the photo I cannot believe how much cooler it was then!

The other highlight of early March was my sister’s visit. It was absolutely lovely to have her, although the poor thing ended up spending most of her vacation time looking after a sick sister. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to look after me, but we didn’t manage to do much. Of what we did do, one was a nice trip to Hauz Khas.with puppets

in hauz khasThen Ms. N had her last day of school.last day of schoolI can’t believe that she is done with yet another school and now come April she starts at the big school. She is excited about it, and wasn’t particularly sad to leave this last temporary one where she went only for a few months. That is some relief because she misses her Bangalore school terribly still. I can’t believe that it is now time to be at the “big” school already, where there will also be fourteen year olds along with four year olds!

Post school and since I have been getting better we have been doing some stuff and keeping a little busy. Various little shops have been set up in different places in the house and she spends a fair bit of the day attending to these various enterprises.shop shop 1Here is the shopkeeper…shop shop 2

booksThen there are books. And we have been reading a fair bit of mythological stuff.

So, as you can see, I have very little to show in terms of what I have done. Except for giving the child a very long overdue haircut. haircutYeah, as much as she and even I would like to see those curls getting longer and cascading down to her waist that is simply not possible. I am being told by near and dear ones that this haircut is not as bad as  the last one I gave her, so I think for a while we can continue with me giving her haircuts. 🙂 She and I really enjoy it!

I haven’t forgotten the promise I made to myself about sewing every week, but it has simply been not possible. But I am getting my energy back and will be back to it soon. N’s school, as I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, does not have a uniform but they do have a dress code of shorts and tee shirt. So this means some shorts are in order.

More soon! For now I am just glad to be getting better.

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate all of you who have been checking on me regularly to see if I have written.


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