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Posts Tagged ‘dolls’

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.

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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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food etc.

More cooking has been done this week than anything else. Late last weekend we went to this place called the French Farm (directions are here). The place is located so 60 kms outside Delhi off Delhi-Jaipur highway. He grows organic veggies all of which can be procured quite easily in Delhi itself. But because I have a friend who often goes to the source itself and likes to see things before they are dug up from the ground and procured as it were, we decided to tag along.

The outing itself was not as fun as I had anticipated–N got car sick, cranky etc., but the produce itself was (is) so fantastic that one way or the other I am going to have to figure out how to do this again.

So here is my haul.

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Given that our entire dining table was covered with only veggies (and it is a pretty large table) I have spent a lot of time cooking this week. Mostly stews and soups since it’s still very cold–at least too cold for me. My current favourite blog for recipe hunting is smitten kitchen, and we’ve so far had the most yummy swiss chard pasta, and swiss chard bean soup (with still more of swiss chard in the fridge), celery soup, and…

So, anyway, feeling pretty well-fed, N and I embarked on our long term project this week. “Long term” because I have been planning this with her for the last four months at least. This week after a major melt down over this issue I stopped procrastinating, and we have finally begun work on our DOLL house. And here is our first room–

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This was a lot of fun to make, given that I am not a fan of making tiny things. And, if I wanted to sound like a brochure, I would add that the room has a lot of “fun details” like extra “room” for guests to sleep in.

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train bedroom

And a train service! Apparently, this is necessary because we do not have any other rooms as yet, and if  turtle and fish need to travel some distance to get supplies they need some mode of transport. So I have been told. Not a bad idea, and I wouldn’t mind a train at my real doorstep. (Seriously, there are too many cars in Delhi.)

N is pretty delighted with this, and hopefully this will give me the necessary impetus to get going with the other rooms.

N in her hat

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And now having finally shaken myself out of my procrastination mode, I am also on to getting into the mode to make some other stuff. So here is what is coming up.

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More on this soon!

Thanks for visiting. I am very happy to be back. Hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

-Asmita

P.S. My long running favourite read is the Orangette blog. I really like the way Molly Wizenberg writes and what she writes about, and I loved this essay that she recently posted.

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