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Posts Tagged ‘sewing for girls’

Hello Hello! I have of late completely ignored my blog,but it’s not because I have not been sewing. In fact, I am happy that I am sewing with greater regularity than the past few years, but what with school schedules, other activities, Diwali and such there has simply not been enough time to post. Cooler weather is finally here, and before I put away some of the clothes for winter, I thought I ought to do a quick post of things that got sewn last month.

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DSC_0035This little summery top was cut way back in August, but I didn’t actually finish it until last month. That’s a pity because it really is perfect for the hot months of summer and I wish I had not ignored all the way until summer was almost over. The pattern (previous version is here) is from Happy Homemade vol 2(I have the Japanese version). I almost cut it in 120cms (what I thought was N’s current size with added length), but then later re-traced it in one size larger. This turned out to be a excellent decision. For one, I think it is not at all looking big on her, and two, given how late in the year I finished it, this way she can now use it next summer too. I have written often enough about this particular Japanese sewing book on the blog, and given how lovely so many of its patterns turn out, it remains on of my favourite.

The fabric is voile that I got locally at H.P Singh (Nehru Place). This is the first time I used ready made bias tape (purchased long time ago in New York) and I must say having the stuff ready at hand made sewing a breeze. It was super quick–I rarely get things done in one afternoon (or morning), and I as well as N were pleased to have it ready to wear by the end of the day!

But speaking of favourite Japanese patterns books, I might have another one that is fast becoming a new favourite. This blouse pattern comes from Kana’s Standard for Kids. As with other Japanese pattern books, this one has simple but pretty patterns for tops, dresses and pants, where one basic pattern yields several variations. Additionally, as the cover claims, most of them don’t require sewing buttonholes or zippers. It runs upto size 140cms–the one I made is in size 130cms, and the patterns come with added seam allowances (definitely a plus and time saver for me).

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DSC_0071This is A-7 from the book, and on N’s special request I made two of exactly the same tops –one for her and one for her friend. They wear their matching tops to school every Friday which is very sweet. My favourite part is the frill on the sleeves-it definitely makes the otherwise simple design quite lovely.

DSC_0065(Apologies for those rather scary looking fingers popping in on the bottom right. I am sure you can guess who they belong to!)

The fabric comes from a new shop I discovered in another part of town (Ffab Creations, Central Market, Lajpat Nagar), and they have a nice constantly changing collection of cottons, especially khadi. My only gripe is that the colour of this one still runs like mad, which means I always have to wash it separately.

Here is another picture (showing more of the owner of those little hands)

DSC_0064Apparently, this was one of their colour coordinated days. His pants come from the same fabric and the pattern is my all time favourite (“Big Butt” baby pants from Made by Rae). (They look awry above, I know, and would have looked much better in the photo had he let me adjust them a bit, but of course now that he can put them on his own, no one can touch them anymore.) I have lost count of how many times I have used this pattern. It is fantastic, and as I have mentioned before highly recommended, but, M is three now, and the largest size is 2; sadly, I am not sure how long I will be able to use it for. Sadly, these may very well be the last ones I make.

And finally the pants. The pants! Or rather, more specifically, the leggings. I hope you noticed them in the photo above….because there are the most loved, the best thing of this moment (according to N of what I have sewed).Thank you Shelly for unknowingly giving me a nudge in the right direction. I have had this pattern for ages; it was N’s dire need for some bottoms, and seeing these made me finally trace out the pattern and make them in less than a few hours. The pattern is from Oliver+S and it has only two pattern pieces. I traced a size 8 and extended the length by 1.5″ and they are a perfect fit. N adores them. And, she wears them constantly as you can perhaps judge from all the photos above.

DSC_0002I had very limited amount of fabric for this one, something I had for long (Riley Blake Design), but it was finally put to good use here I think. I need to make more pants for N and have cut one more pair in different pattern, but I can’t wait to make more and more of these.

And before I sign off–I had almost forgotten about this pair:

DSC_0012N’s and M’s littlest cousin had his second birthday a few months ago. My sister-in-law asked me to make something for him and I couldn’t resist using the Lullaby Layette pattern (from Oliver+S) one more time. The only addition this time was a pocket and some embroidery on the bottom of these pants. Tiny pockets on tiny clothes are so cute–I wish I had had this idea when I was making tons of these tops for M. The fabric is again local, from H.P. Singh. I am rarely able to find kid friendly prints in India, so this one with a tin soldiers print was a find.

And that pretty much covers most of my sewing from the last few months, and definitely brings an end to summer sewing for 2017. I can’t believe the year is almost gone. But, I still have a few things planned, so there is more to come. Perhaps even as early as next week. Thanks for stopping by and and come back soon!

Asmita/xx

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In the last few weeks we have had exactly two days of some respite from heat–we were almost delirious with joy due to this event. But now it’s gone and summer continues apace in our part of the world. A few weeks ago, I finished a dress I started for N way back when, and then put aside because of other more immediate demands. I wasn’t sure how much wear she would get out of this, this year, but by the looks of it, she might be able to wear it for at least another month.DSC_0026

DSC_0017The highlight here for me is the fabric. It’s a unusual shade of brown, somewhere between brown and yellow ochre. The golden polka dots are on the duller side, not too bright but you can see them in certain light. I had a different red lace in mind but unfortunately didn’t have enough and so settled for red rickrack to go with the red buttons. The fabric comes from the Kilol shop in Greater Kailash II market. (For those of you interested and having access to Kilol- did you know it sells fabric by the metre? Not all of its branches, but apparently some.) It wasn’t very cheap, but they do have some lovely block printed stuff. The slightly annoying downside is that despite a few washes the colour continues to run, which means it requires hand washing. DSC_0036The pattern is something I have used before (yes, happens often in my case, I know!) and comes from Happy Homemade vol 2. It’s a simple unfussy dress that’s lovely to wear and easy to make. The book itself, as I have said many times before is fantastic. It’s perhaps the one that I have used the most, and is on my highly recommended list. DSC_0016N quite likes it, and is here lounging on our bed atop a quilt that I finished recently. It has been impossible to photograph, but I am glad to be done with two more WIPs – the dress and a very long term quilt. Will try to get more photos of it soon!DSC_0003Dasara is around the corner and then Diwali. We have some travel planned, and I have some serious house cleaning on my mind. We shall see!

Asmita/xx

 

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Our three-year old, no longer a baby, M got a bunch of clothes recently. I made all of them, except one, from the same book, so today I thought I could do a book review of sorts.

I got this book from my last trip to Tokyo in May, the chief attraction of it being the fact that it has several unisex patterns, some of which start at 80cms and run up all the way to size 150cms. N’s t-shirt that was featured in the last entry came from here too, following which I made a few things for M.

First up, the tops:

Besides the t-shirt that I made for N, I made M this loose fitting shirt for M, titled in the book as “cook’s shirt.”

DSC_0025 With a double breasted button placket, supposed to mimic a chef’s uniform, the shirt was pretty easy to put together–good instructions, enough pictures, that kind of a thing. The top technically opens all the way down in the front, but given that these little hands are desperately trying to put buttons on and take them off all the time–still somewhat unsuccessfully, I decided to stitch down the placket for the bottom half while still keeping the buttons. So now thankfully, there are only four top buttons to fiddle with.

The fabric is a light and lovely printed voile that my sister-in-law gifted me ages ago; the buttons come all the way from Taiwan, a gift from another friend.

The second top is even simpler. It is a simple A-line blouse with a back closure.

 

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Given how easy this was to make, and how wonderfully it showcases a special fabric (in this case a double gauze submarine print brought on my Tokyo trip) I had high hopes from this blouse and thought it would be my favourite. Except that, I find the top a wee bit short, and perhaps a tad too feminine. The girl version, in the book shows gathered sleeves with cuffs at the wrists, and I think I might like this one on N more than on M. Oh well, he doesn’t care really for very much except the submarines, and would rather wander around in a skirt than pants on most days. And, who am I say to no to a feminine touch on boys clothing? Plus, its double gauze, summery and we all love blue. So, I would say it works well, and is in heavy rotation.

Having said that, I would still like to add my two bit (reminder to myself and others out there possibly interested in the book): check to see the length if more needs to be added–prior to cutting, of course. M was exactly 100cms when I made it, and that’s the size I cut. It’s been about three weeks since I made it, and its already too short. I might add a band in contrasting fabric at the bottom. Two, the sleeve width runs on the side of narrow. This would not, I think matter to a overall skinny kid, but it did for M. This surprised me, since I am so used to sewing for N, and she kind of floats in Japanese patterns. But my over all sense from the tops in this book is that they might not be as broad as in some other books, which is something to keep in mind for future sewing.

And, now over to pants. (I promise we are done with the bicycle photos for some time now.)

DSC_0165These pants were actually the first thing I made from the book. Titled as “Thai pants” they have again two options: either two side pleats, or a gathered front. I opted for the latter, and it produced a rather cute pair of everyday pants with an elastic waist. They sort of balloon at the waist and then taper to become quite narrow at the ankles.

The grey ones are in mangalgiri cotton and the blue fabric is also cotton but slightly stiffer than mangalgiri with less drape. I got both at HP Singh in Nehru place (see here for a write up on Delhi cloth markets).

Unfortunately, as I write this, both pants are no longer in use. After a few wears, they both tore at exactly the same place–right near the seam at the crotch. I.e the tear was in the fabric, which meant that they were unrepairable. I am still wondering if I should have cut them on cross grain, without which there was too much stress on the fabric when the boy was playing around and doing leg splits (in imitation of his sister). I had initially loved the look of these, and given their simplicity was planning to make one for N too. Not surprisingly, older sister has refused this pattern! I won’t be making these anytime soon (unless perhaps I find some very small baby to sew for–someone is the 80cms range, who is not quite as rambunctious)! But besides that I need to figure out what went wrong with these. Because they are so cute!

And that’s about it in terms of the book review. Despite the failure with pants, I still like this new addition to my collection of Japanese books. It has a good mix of standards, and for those interested also carries three patterns in adult sizes. And, I do like all the tops I made from it. There are still a few other pants to try, and I definitely want to make the blouse with cuffed sleeves for N. It will be good for cooler weather which I hope comes soon.

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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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

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Hello! Winter vacations have begun, it is very very cold in Delhi and we are off tomorrow to Pune for two weeks to be in warmer weather, meet family and friends and attend a wedding in the family.

As I finish the last bit of packing on Christmas eve I wanted to post my jacket which I finished yesterday.

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The Sunday Brunch Jacket is an Oliver+S pattern. To tell you the truth, I bought the pattern ages ago when it first came out. Then I seemed to have forgotten about it. When I did find it about six months ago,  I wasn’t feeling too keen on sewing it but then also felt terribly guilty. O+S patterns are expensive, and I have had this pattern for so long. Plus, it runs only till size 8. So I knew it was high time I used it, and luckily N was kind of in need of a jacket.

After reading several discussions on blog land regarding lining vs. non-lining and following O+S forum on sizing I decided to sew without lining in a size 6 and extended the length by 0.25″ in the bodice and 1″ in the skirt.

But, as it turns out it looks huge on her!

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Or maybe “huge” is the wrong word. What I really mean is odd. Clearly sleeves are too long, on top of which she refuses to fold them. Its kind of loose through out but then appears to me to be too short.

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What I do like is the lovely flannel (also from such a long ago that I entirely forget its source) and buttons (that I got from a Japanese friend in New York).

So, all in all I am not feeling super excited about. N is less ho hum about it-it is cozy and she likes the too long sleeves. And I suppose large is better than small.

Finally one word of reminder to self, and a word of caution to anyone out there increasing the length in the bodice. I did not notice until it was too late that part of the armhole runs into the skirt. When you extend the bodice you don’t consider that so my bodice sewn to the skirt required a bit of shaping before the sleeve could fit into the armhole. In my case,  it was only 0.25″ so it could be achieved with not much difficulty but I think I lucked out.  But definitely something to keep in mind, and perhaps better only to lengthen skirt length.

So, if I can be motivated to make another version I will look more carefully at the finished measurements I think, and perhaps line it entirely for greater warmth. The description clearly does not suggest a winter jacket but again I thought it would do for Delhi winters. But, as it turns out I was wrong. The current unlined version is not enough for Delhi  (do you see the second underlying jacket peeking out from below? 🙂

Alright, this is all from me for today.

Have a lovely Christmas and new year. See you in 2016!

Asmita/xo

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