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Posts Tagged ‘dresses’

Sometimes the most time consuming part for me is the tracing out the pattern. It means making enough space on the dining table at the time of the day when M is not running around. And, it has to be daytime, because by night I am too tired to trace out patterns. Motivation usually kicks in by the time I have cut the fabric after which I am eager to get to get to the sewing machine. (This actually even happens with sometimes M on my lap!).

Something similar happened to the dress here.

DSC_0033Back in April, I added length to a previously traced size 6 of the Mini Southport dress pattern. You can see it here.  All of four months went past until, in August, I realised that it was going to be too short. I dragged myself back to the table for more tracing (because by this time, as is often the case, Ms. N had remembered the fabric we had chosen and was wondering what happened to the dress).

I should mention that I tried to push it off to next year because mosquito season is upon us, and I tried to convince her that she won’t be able to wear it much. Honestly, I was also not feeling much upto making something that I hadn’t thought of for a while. But, as luck would have it, her luck that is, I also remembered that I don’t have much of this fabric and it may not be enough next year for the said dress. And so eventually between her pushing for it, and me giving in, first somewhat unwillingly and then quite eagerly (as is often the case), the whole start to finish took less than a few days.DSC_0018

DSC_0013I suppose the current version could also be slightly longer, but I think the length looks good on her. The fabric is lovely Alexander Henry, if I am not wrong (but, I entirely unsure since I forgot to save the selvage and can’t find details of it anywhere). I have held on to it for a good six years because I loved it so much, but it was time to make something of it. And, I agree with N, the dress suits the fabric well.

The pattern instructions, for anyone making it the first time are very clear, and in general I like the fit of True Bias patterns on N. (These pants were a super hit and I plan to make more). I would say the same about the dress. Version 1 still hangs in her cupboard and while it is incredibly short she wears it plenty.

And so here she is–chatting with M as I am trying to take photos.

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DSC_0030I have to say I am pretty pleased it got off my to-do pile as well. The fact that she has worn it almost non stop since it got made means that it was worth it.

Which really brings me to the question that I have really been pondering over. What and how do you really decide what you are going to sew next? As I read blogs of other sewists, I know a lot of you sew because you don’t buy anymore for your kids. I do the same for N, not only because I like sewing for her, but also because it saves some serious amount of money. But it also means that many choices are dictated by the need of the moment, and so for instance, the reason why I was hesitant to go ahead with this dress was because the girl needs pants and full sleeves shirts, and not, in my mind, a sleeveless dress! (With M, I am incredibly lucky because he gets fantastic hand me downs).

But, then on the other hand, there is also what your child wants you to sew, right? Not just in terms of pattern of a dress or a particularly style or fabric, but increasingly, what does he/she want? I am sure most sewists, including me want to accomodate that desire, because let’s face it: there comes a time surely when you don’t want your mom to be sewing for you? So while N loves for most part what I make, and can be quite exact and demanding at times, the time when she doesn’t care much about what I make may not be too far away.

And then, last but not the least, there is small but significant aspect of this business of sewing which is entirely selfish, right? That, I am not sewing for my child, but really I am sewing for myself because I really really like to do this. But between negotiating what the wearer needs and what the wearer wants, I often feel quite lost in terms of what I want to make. Or at the very least, what I want to make comes the lowest priority.

I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. Certainly, I hope not to be! But I always wonder how others negotiate this, and would love to hear from others.

Thanks for stopping by. Happy sewing!

Asmita/xx

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello Hello. It’s been a long summer. We went away for most of it (to Pune, as always) and just returned two Sunday’s back to a terribly hot and humid Delhi.I am trying to inch my way back into everyday life, but it looks like its going to happen really slowly. M and N started school the very next day,  but it’s taken M a few days to really settle into things. I think with the really long seven week break, he forgot that he ever went to school in the first place 🙂 While very little sewing got done in Pune (despite plans–oh, always there are plans!), I did manage to do a bit of prep so a few things are ready to be sewn.

July is a big birthday month for us as both kids have their birthdays this month. Ms. N having already had hers on the 1st, is already nine. 9!! I feel like each year passes by so quickly and here she is another year older.DSC_0111DSC_0081Birth-day this year was more like a week long celebration this year. She had three separate do-s in Pune, plus one small celebration this week in school. All birthday parties were super low key and fun, but yes, there were THREE separate events (not to mention the one in school!

The final Pune do was on the morning of her actual birthday at my grandmother’s house. We had breakfast from her favourite South Indian restaurant and some cake. My grandmother turned 92 this year, and for the last few years N has wanted to have her birthday party at her house. I wish I had a few decent photos to keep and share, but as with any occasion where everyone is having fun, there are sadly none.DSC_0095I do have photos however, of before we just left for my grandma’s place that morning and this is the dress she wore. I made it in a fabric of her choice, but one that I had not expected her to pick out. Pink is not her favourite colour, and the checks pattern figures pretty low on her list, but she chose this fabric herself. (I gave up on surprises a while ago now, having had not such good luck with them). The reason I think is this is the softest, lightest double gauze that she, or for that matter I, has ever laid hands on. And, so the real attraction here is in the kind of fabric. Oh, and the flutter-y sleeves- very summery!

The pattern “r” comes from happy homemade vol.2. (Here is the link to the English version.) I have made several things from this book before, and haven’t run into problems before so this one went pretty easily too. I haven’t made a dress with fluttery sleeves for her in a long time for her (the last time was when she was a wee little thing of 2), so it was nice to try out this sleeve style again. In general, I think they look better on slightly more chubby arms but oh well. She does ballet four times a week, and started swimming lessons. Not to mention that all other times she is upside down. So these are strong arms, and that’s good! Oh, and I think I should have stuck to the 110cm size instead of moving up to 120cms because it sort of sags a bit on her shoulder, but oh well, again. DSC_0103She does seem to like it well enough and that’s more important than getting the perfect dress.DSC_0091Which brings me to getting some things ready for the second birthday that is coming up really soon. Again, M is a bit clued out about birthday’s still, but no one is more excited than N. It really is quite amazing that she is now 9–my sweet, sensitive and caring child. Happy birthday to dearest N.

Asmita/xx

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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

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Asmita/xx

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After my last posting in early August, I don’t know the rest of my month went. I mean to post these pictures earlier, but as it turns out it’s already the middle of September and and I am still carrying some last bits of news left over from July. Mainly that we celebrated two birthdays and two little ones turned 8 and 2.

So, here goes…

dsc_0172N turned 8 at the beginning of July and celebrated her birthday during our last week in Pune. Her request for this year was a party at my sister’s dog hostel. (Yes! She runs what I think of as a really cool pet hotel on the outskirts of Pune.). N loves dogs, my sister and she really bond over this, and when N requested her birthday party to happen there we all agreed, since she rarely gets to have her birthday party with extended family anymore.

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The other request was a frock from “something blue” which I was happy to make.

dsc_0144The pattern comes from this Japanese book. Ages ago, when N turned three I had used the same pattern and I remember N wearing that dress for the longest time. She is currently into the colour blue and wanted something really simple, and so I thought I’d try making a larger version of the same.

The fabric is ikat and has the loveliest of drapes. I bought it in Pune last year at Banjaras. The pattern calls for a collar and ideally I would have liked the dress to have it, but I realised at the last minute that I had cut the wrong size. It was the day before her birthday, I wanted to make sure that it gets done and so on a spur of the moment I decided to skip the collar. Well, so I finished it on the night before, snaps and all (which as it turns out is her favourite part), and she was delighted to find out that it was indeed ready by her birthday. (Clearly I don’t have a very good record on that front.)

dsc_0027Only problem—it is huge on her. In fact, I think I can almost put her baby brother along with her inside it 🙂 I made it in 120cms. What I needed to do, knowing that the sizes run rather large in this book was to make it in a size 100 with only the length increased. Oh well. She likes it well enough, despite appearing rather grumpy in a few of the photos.

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dsc_0146 I am already thinking another one, perhaps a different blue, but this time with a collar and definitely two sizes smaller.

dsc_0168So this is birthday #1. The party was fun! I wish I had more photos of it, but I guess that is what happens when everyone is having a good time and no one is really taking pictures. Even though she is already two months into being 8, I can hardly believe that she is actually 8—somehow she does seem so much older (especially when compared to her baby brother) and still such a baby at the same time.

Tomorrow I will post about birthday #2, so if you are visiting I hope you will come back soon.

Asmita/xo

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Last week I went with my cousin to one of the old local markets to buy some silk fabric. There, as I was waiting for her I entered a shop selling trims, ribbons, and such, and in doing so entered the wide world  of buttons. And what gorgeous lovely beautiful buttons there were. And not cheap! So instead of the buying silk, I spent most of my time (and more money that I intended) in this tiny little shop with the shop lady showing me more buttons than what I had seen in my entire life. Here is just a little bit of what I bought–these little gems for frocks and dresses that I am dreaming of making.

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Some of these I am happy to say have immediately been put to use!

I have been eyeing this Apple Picking Dress pattern (by Oliver+S) that needed making. Part of this was prompted by the fact that I have now a more than a few of these Oliver+S patterns that I just need to make as Ms. N is already four. And these patterns are too precious to be wasted. While she is on the smaller size, and I can often make a size 3T with extended length, I love whatever I have made of their patterns so much that I do not want to be able to just make one dress.

So despite having about a hundred other things to do, and the fact that N certainly does not need any new clothes, this is what was made.

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The fabric is purchased here in Bangalore, and is 100% cotton but on the stiffer side. As in the washing did not make it any softer but only a bit stiffer. While this made the sewing a whole lot easier, I was not too happy with the fact that hardly had any drape.

But what a four year old wants in not what I want. The fact that it is flouncy, does not fall well, and kind of stands up is precisely what seems to give her joy.

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What I love is the of course the pattern, which like in the case of all the Oliver+S patterns that I have used turns out beautifully. But I was also happy that I decided to use pink to highlight some aspect of the dress. The placket was a success, after my last disaster, and I do like the way a little bit of pink shows from underneath the ties. I think perhaps they have turned out to be slightly thinner than what the pattern aims at, but I do like the way the contrast works. And this little bit of pink goes a long way.

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So all in all there is a happy child and happy me!

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