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Posts Tagged ‘sewing for me’

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.

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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.

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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

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DSC_1171When we left for our annual vacation (which now was a while ago!) I carried with me a whole bunch of stuff-books that I planned to read, fabric that I hoped to make something out of, a few patterns to accompany them, and finally, not to forget, embroidery related bits.

At that point I had only some very vague ideas of how I wanted to spend intermittent free time I would get, and so I can honestly say that I surprised myself by making not one but two tops on my now favourite sewing machine.IMG_0686The pattern I used is Camber top by Merchants and Mills. I remember buying about a year ago because I was so taken by their overall aesthetic having read about it first here. It so happened that around that time Mr. M was to go to the UK, and so I ordered three of their patterns  with plans to get down to sewing them immediately upon his return. I recall excitedly opening the package and reading the not too detailed instructions, followed by hastily putting it away since it all looked far too complicated. But since then, and especially since this attempt I was in a mood to try something else for myself and so I went back to first of the three M&M patterns I got back then.

Since this is only my second real attempt at sewing for myself, and because I could not make much of the instructions even a year later, especially how to attach the lining of the back yoke I decided to make a muslin first. (The fabric is mangalgiri cotton that I had bought in Pune sometime back.)IMG_0703After three failed attempts at figuring out how to do it and almost giving up I decided to scour the web, albeit quite pessimistically, in hope  of some help. And thus, finally, with many many thanks to this blogger, I got it! In fact, it was a kind of an a-ha moment, because as many others have already said, when you get it, you immediately realise that it is really quite brilliant how the front neckline gets sandwiched beautifully between the the back yoke and its lining. From then on it was smooth sailing and I finished the rest of it in less time than it took me to figure out the yoke.IMG_0714Having most definitely liked the muslin, I almost immediately made another one. asmita 6Based on my bust size, I made the top in UK size 8 with 10 at the hips. There is however, again as others have mentioned, a lot of ease. So I briefly contemplated if I should make the entire thing in a 8, but I like how the muslin fits, and the second fabric with kalamkari print was the one that I had been saving up for a while. So in the end no changes were made, and I am happy to report that these make perfect summer tops.IMG_0666

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I am now actually wanting to try the Camber dress, and there are some lovely versions out there. I especially liked this one.

For reasons not entirely clear as yet, making the tops has also left me feeling particularly self satisfied (although, admittedly I look rather morose particularly in the last photo). N, however, when she saw me making the second one, did come up and ask if I was enjoying this far more than making stuff for her. A kind of a momentary worry I suppose. Of course I am far far from tired of sewing stuff for her. But sewing for myself certainly brought about a different kind of pleasure, and I enjoyed every bit of it.

What are you sewing these days? Is it anything for yourself? I would love to hear about it.

Asmita/xx

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I made this back in March when it was my birthday I decided that a birthday gift for myself would be to begin sewing for self. This isn’t the first time to make for myself, but it is definitely my most successful project to date–of course “successful” in relative terms.

The pattern I chose was Liesl+Co.’s Gallery Tunic.  I had loved this style when it first came out and read tons of reviews, but really my guiding logic was that it was Liesl who taught me the basics of making children’s clothes. And so, it made the most sense to try out her women’s patterns knowing well that there would be her usual excellent instructions and lots of hand holding along the way. I wasn’t wrong. Plus, as it so happened, two weeks before I started, there was a sew along for the pattern that I followed and read through avidly.

In terms of size I fell into one size for the bust measurement and another for the hips (apparently not at all uncommon) and found this really helpful. Still, not feeling sure if I had read enough I also tried to read this, but then, I knew that if I spent more time reading I would probably give up on this project entirely. So, finally, settling for the size with measurements that were the closest to my upper bust size and then going two sizes up at the hip (following my hip measurment) I settled on a over all size 6 (10 at hips).

Then came fabric. I had bought this last year to make a pair of pajamas but since I never made them, I thought why not a top? I wanted to make a wearable muslin and this seemed like a good choice.  The sewing went really well–the instructions are indeed super clear and excellent.

What however, turned out is as you can see, kind of largish!

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I think the part that I mind the most is the lack of fitting at the shoulders. But over all, I feel it looks kind of okay.

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The part that I love are the placket and the sleeves, but perhaps I need to go down by a size the next time I try to make this. I am also thinking maybe make the dress length with slits on the sides…something like a kurta perhaps?

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What I am not so sure is why it took me so long to post this. I am, I realise, happy to share the clothes I make for my kids, although not all of them are successes. But, I notice I am much less kinder to myself, and couldn’t find the courage to post this, although this is really the first thing that I am willing to wear out. A few people have even complimented me, and found it amazing that I made it myself but then I always put it down to the fabric choice, or them not really taking a close look at the mistakes that I so clearly see. The truth is that it is not actually a unwearable piece of clothing and yet, I see it so differently than what others outside me see it as.

Two months later, and a having worn this a few times already, I am thinking that I want to slowly make more stuff for myself. This is a start.  But a beginning that I have long wanted to make. And so this post was a necessary part of that beginning, and writing it has taken more courage than what I thought was needed here. I hope I can over time gather enough confidence to sew for myself, but I also now realise that the day I make clothes that I like(i.e. what is “perfect” to me) is not going to dawn all of a sudden. And so small steps are in order. And I know that will only come with doing more and more of it.

(And, if you have managed to make it till the end of the post, thank you for reading! I really appreciate it.:-))

Asmita/xo

 

 

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