Feeds:
Posts
Comments

a Hello Hello! January is way past behind us and half of February is over, so it is too late to say Happy New Year, or even Happy Valentine’s day. So I will begin by writing about the most recent happenings and bring my little blog into this new year by way of that.

This year, like last three, I participated in the Secret Valentine Exchange hosted by the talented duo, Sanae and Ute. While my package is still making its way across the seas to its intended recipient, I wanted to share some photos of the lovely gift I received.dsc_0004This little pouch comes all the way from Germany. Isn’t it pretty? The stitching is impeccable, and, the colours my favourite. I have already filled it with some items that I need to carry with me to a upcoming trip that I am looking forward to very much.dsc_0013Thank you Kristen, for this beautiful and thoughtful gift.

In the meantime, this is what went out from here. I will write more about it, but only once it reaches my secret valentine–which I hope is soon!dsc_0051I have been keeping busy, hurrying to finish a few things before leaving next week. I am almost done, so I hope to show it to you before I leave. And…I want to participate in KCW which starts tomorrow. What about you?

More soon!

Asmita/xx

pants

shirtsWe are in Pune where we always come for our annual summer and winter vacations and I am yet to find my way to the sewing machine corner here. But, before this year ends, I thought I’d write about the last bit of sewing that I did before leaving Delhi. dsc_0036I have been eyeing the Mini Hudson pants ever since it came out, but I wasn’t feeling very sure about whether I could find the kinds of fabric she recommended locally, not even being very sure what exactly they were (french terry and sweatshirt knit). So, I averted my eyes and sewed other stuff. But clearly, like all good things it stayed somewhere at the back of my mind. Because, when I went to Sahni fabrics in Nehru place a few weeks ago, I spotted this stuff. I was told it is french terry; I suspect it’s not very good quality (the weave-is that what it is called-seems to not be the greatest), but I brought it anyway, followed by purchasing the pattern the same day. Lo and behold the pants were ready two days after that. From start to finish, I think this has been the fastest sewing has gone, in the last two years! dsc_0059dsc_0019dsc_0028I made it in a size 7 (for the 8yr old Ms. N) and as always extended the length but 1.5″. It hits right at her ankles, which means I could have gone a 1″ longer. I also think I could go down a size for my next make. In case of N, they are more loose on the thighs and hips than what I think the photos by the pattern designer suggest. The instructions are very clear, as I had found previously as well, although to be honest, I did not look at them carefully beyond the pocket making. There is also a sewalong for any extra help needed. The only change I made was to drop the button holes and consequently the cord in the waistband since I figured N didn’t need it. dsc_0039All in all, I think I can count this one as a major success, and sadly none of my photos really do any justice to her delight. But it would be fair to say that N likes, or I should say loves all aspects of it–the fabric, the ankle cuffs, the colour grey (apparently her favourite is grey these days!), and above all the fact that they are so so comfortable. Interestingly, I am actually finding out that she likes my experimenting with different types of fabric, rather than plain old cotton every single time!

And since we mostly find her upside down these days, here is a shot that she insisted I put on the blog. dsc_0066I think somehow if I could magically make 10 more of this she would be delighted!

******

After all this, of course, I had to make #2. But, this time it’s for the baby!dsc_0077As it so happened, toddler M was in need of a nightdress. And since I was itching to make another version of the pants, I thought why not this with a t-shirt. (Never mind that fact that we were leaving in two days and there was really no time for this!) So, this time around it’s the same pattern in size 3 (he is 2 1/2) but without the pockets. I cellotaped the pocket piece to the pants front to make one piece, and did the rest exactly as pants #1.dsc_0060The pattern for the t-shirt comes from Rae, who is one of my favourite pattern makers. I made the shirt in size 2 (with added length), but really should have made it in size 3, because as the patten states it is a fitted tee. As you can see it rides up his stomach a bit, and while it is a cute cute tummy, I have to admit the shirt is also a bit short, with not much space to grow even around the chest.dsc_0118

dsc_0034But of course, he looks beyond adorable in it! Or, at least so we think. Adult M, thinks he looks like Elvis. Whatever it might be–two pants, one pattern, less than a week of sewing. I think I am feeling pretty accomplished.

The fabric here is what I had for a while from my New York days. It is by the designer Anne Kelle (I think, but sadly I didn’t save the selvedge). It’s (again, I think) a jersey knit, which is very stable and nice to sew with. It didn’t have as much of a stretch (only 25%–so less than what the pattern asks for), but it worked in this case. I somehow like the fit more on him than her, but it could because the fabric is simply better quality.The pink ribbing is really nice and comes from here (something I have had for a while). The cuffs are wider than I had hoped them to be (I cut them wider than what the instructions asked for, but I didn’t go back and check). Rae’s instructions are impecceable and worth following closely if you are making it for the first time. The tee turns out exactly as she describes it to be -a really slim, and fitting shirt , which means it is important to follow the chest size and sew accordingly. dsc_0061M is growing so quickly, that in all honestly I am not sure for how long he will wear it. But right now it’s perfect. And, while he doesn’t seem to have noticed his new clothes we are all oohing-and aahing over how nice they are.dsc_0016So that’s about from me. The year is almost over. It feels like much has happened, but that is for a different post. I still miss Christmas in New York and going to Chinatown for our Christmas dinner, even more so this year than before. But well, for now we are still here–in Pune and Delhi. I hope you have happy holidays and a good beginning to the new year. Thank you for visiting.

Asmita/xx

dsc_0163Hello again!

So, on our aforementioned trip N wore her new dress. I had finished making it a few days before with no particular intention of packing it for our trip. But as things go, she decided she wanted to take it, possibly because, well, it’s the newest thing in her cupboard and super comfortable.

And to think that I had almost abandoned this one half way!

The original plan was this: to have the bodice and skirt from the same print that you now see in the skirt. The bias binding was to be in shocking pink. Neither fabric, both straightforward jersey knit (or so I thought, still think) presented any particular problems because I had sewn enough t-shirts, and binding seemed like something I could do in my sleep. Well, the lesson learn here is never to be over confident. I am still not sure what I did to get the waviest neckline, and why I continued to proceed thinking somehow that everything would work itself out. It didn’t, of course. When the first neckline went bad, I should have stopped. But, instead, I cut off that neckline, bound it again (if you can believe it) and made her try it on, sans skirt and sleeves. I could see half her chest, and I think she was clearly wondering if this was somehow going to be a swimsuit of sorts. Or god only knows what. It is almost sad, I don’t have photos to show of this, because once I got over it, it was quite funny!

To continue the story, at that point it didn’t feel so entertaining. But, thankfully I decided to take a short break  and come back to it the next day. To start over, I realised I needed some new fabric for the bodice, and so what you see is the remainder of yoga pants that I had made earlier. I still had plenty of pink, but decided to stay away from that too, to not jinx this dress any further. So, the green binding comes from an old t-shirt of mine. The rest is what I had originally cut into from a lovely knit that I have had for several years now.dsc_0066 The dress, if I may say so is actually really simple. I have made one from the same pattern before (you would think I would have gotten it right, since I had no problems whatsoever the last time around). N had loved the last one, and I thought it would be fun to make it in a different print this time. I didn’t take a look at the instructions this time, but I remember that were very clear when I had taken a look for dress no. 1. It can be sewed up fairly quickly, if you do the binding carefully, and there is a fair bit of that. I made it in a size 7 based on her measurements, while adding 1″ to both the skirt and bodice.

I am happy to say both she and I are pretty happy with the fit. I think she likes the fact that the pockets meet, so it’s not two really separate pockets but one continuous one. (Does that make sense? Perhaps its clear from the photo below.) For me, it’s an elegant looking dress, which seems more complicated to sew than what it really is. Plus it’s in a knit fabric. The comfort level is hard to beat. dsc_0170

dsc_0178N wore it happily on the first day of our trip. And, I must say, I am so glad I did not send it to the to-do pile.  Knowing me, it would have sat there forever, and by the time I would have got to it she would have definitely outgrown it. dsc_0080

dsc_0122

Asmita/xx

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 :-)]

dsc_0041dsc_0110

dsc_0254dsc_0109dsc_0243

dsc_0043

dsc_0237

dsc_0208

dsc_0224

dsc_0182

dsc_0190

dsc_0173

dsc_0369

dsc_0304

dsc_0360

dsc_0313

Asmita/xx

 

 

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.

pretty pleased

A few months ago, I embarked on bag making. The said pattern was purchased, paper tracings were made, cut, and even the fabric choosing happened, all at relatively good speed. And then, as with many other things right now the project sat in a pile in my cupboard waiting its turn to get set sewn up and see some fresh air.

dsc_0109dsc_0125

dsc_0159I am happy to say that I finished making this just a few weeks ago, and since then it has hardly left my side.Yes, I love this bag that much!

The pattern for this handy little tote comes from Noodlehead. Anyone, I think, who has tried making stuff from her patterns will agree that she completely de-mystifies bag making for novices, and even makes one enjoy the whole process. I am pretty positive that without Anna I couldn’t have pulled off a recessed zipper.dsc_0179 All I can say, is that I am feeling quite proud of this. Perhaps it has something to do with being able to insert a zipper without any help from the seam ripper.dsc_0138The main fabric is a canvas weight print by Lotta Jansdotter. At first it seemed heavier than what the pattern was asking for and I contemplated on skipping the interfacing that Anna recommends. In the end I decided to not go with my instinct. I have enough bag failures to my credit, and I didn’t feel like taking a chance on this one. It turned out to be a good decision. The bag turned out sturdy but has enough slouchiness to it as well.dsc_0177For the rest of the fabric, I dug into my deep pile of scraps.

So, as I think is clear, I couldn’t be happier with the bag. The inside has a small convenient pocket, but of course my favourite part is the zipper because it makes it safe to carry my wallet inside even on the metro. It’s perfect for me, and I might need to make another one…maybe in a few years…after I have finished my several other unfinished projects!dsc_0109

Asmita/xo

three

Of late I have found myself making versions of the same pattern not twice but thrice in one go. I am not saying it doesn’t get a bit tedious, but N is currently in the state where when she likes one thing (in this case what I have made for her once), she wants another one exactly-the-same. In part, I suspect it is because she sees things in shops where the same design comes repeated in different sizes and same size in large quantities, so perhaps I should take this as a compliment. And, sure making the same thing over and over again is a huge time saver, for all the obvious reasons.

Thankfully I usually don’t have so much of one fabric to make two let alone three of exactly-the-same. So I have made a deal that she will get the same pattern but in three different fabrics. If one has a favourite top and a good fit, it’s not a bad deal actually -certainly one that I would be happy with!

So, without further talk, here’s the first version:

dsc_0143dsc_0046dsc_0031The fabric is a lovely voile, that I bought a few years ago in Bangalore (on Commercial street) and this is the original top that N fell in love it. I made it in size 6 with 1″ added to the bottom length and 1″ to the sleeves. However when a request for the second one came I thought she could do with a longer version. dsc_0201So I added another inch at the bottom but kept the sleeves the same length as above. I had only about 1/2 metre of the beautiful Nani-iro double gauze, so I added a contrast pink bodice (in mangalgiri cotton). My favourite part is the fabric buttons, but sadly N is not particularly impressed.dsc_0193

dsc_0212In fact as it turned out, she is not pleased with this one at all, despite my thinking that she would fall for the double gauze and my lovely buttons. Sadly, no….!

So, then came the third one in which she chose the fabric.dsc_0142This is another lovely double gauze that I had been saving for long. It’s from Echino by the designer Etsuko Furuya and is softer than Nani-iro. Plus she loves the lions.

I did a couple of things differently for this version. For one, I added slits on the sides and did a bartacking stitch right on the top both for decorative purposes and durability. Then I added tabs on the sleeves so that she could fold up her sleeves like this.dsc_0161

dsc_0138The yellow fabric which is as gorgeous and soft as the blue double gauze is locally purchased from here. (For those of you who might be in Delhi it is worthwhile checking out what else the Sunbird studio has-Karin Koch, the owner, has some of the most beautifully tailored clothes for children and adults.)dsc_0163Needless to say this is N’s favourite with the pink flowery one coming a close second. She adores the tabs on the sleeves, and of course the lions. The second one, despite some initial interest, is, at the moment, barely getting worn. But, I think she will come around to it once it gets cold. dsc_0153Oh, and before I go, a word on the pattern which I have failed to mention until now. It’s the after school shirt from Oliver+S. With much excitement about Liesl’s new book, and I can’t wait to get to it too, I am happy to be trying out an older Oliver+S pattern. As with her other patterns, there is almost a guarantee that it will teach me something new and I enjoyed the making every bit of it.

As I already mentioned I made it in size 6 with some length adjustments. The fit is roomy and relaxed, more so than I felt of some of her other shirts, and perfect for N to wear to school. As the pattern states there are buttons on both the front and back yokes. For versions 2 and 3, however I have closed off the back buttonholes. N’s head is pretty small and I figured that she didn’t need to unbutton both front and back to get it over here head.

And, that’s about it from here. Before I go here’s one last picture, my favourite one, of N and M.dsc_0158

Dasara holidays are coming up so I hope you are doing something fun!

Asmita/xx

%d bloggers like this: