Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sewing in 2017’

Of late, I seem to be making a lot of pants. All of a sudden, N’s pants don’t fit her anymore, or, more specifically, the problem seems to be that the distance between the waist and the crotch is a tad too small.

DSC_0062I perhaps would not have been too excited to cut and make a bunch of pants at this point, had I not made this a few months earlier. N loves it so much, so it made sense to repeat, i.e. make what she and I like. To resolve the aforementioned problem, I went up a size (8T this time) using the same pattern but brought the thighs in a bit.

It almost worked I thought, but I wasn’t too happy with how it looked:DSC_0041It’s too loose around the crotch. So I went back to size 7, reduced the folded in waistband by a little over 1/4″ and got much better results. Here is the second version. I like the fit around the crotch much better this time, although she can’t tell the difference, and loves both equally. 🙂DSC_0112The pattern for these leggings comes from Oliver+S. I added a cuff in the case of both, a pretty simple on for the purple ones and a “fancy” one for the black pair. (The idea for it comes from here.)DSC_0044The fold over “petal shape” was meant to be on the outside, but alas I was much too much in a hurry. I didn’t feel like unpicking it for a red-do it, and so inside it stayed. Ms. N hardly cares, because she is perpetually in some dance position which requires her to point her feet out!

Needless to say they are super comfortable. As it turns out the fabric is also perfect for winter. I bought both at Sahni Fabrics in Nehru place. The knit is a “double knit” jersey and entirely reversible. I haven’t seen it before, and am in love; I want to go back to get some more. 🙂

The same trip also yielded some nice silky knit in blue which is N’s favourite colour. The fabric was too light for a pair of pants (thankfully), so I decided to make a t-shirt. DSC_0005This is the Field trip Raglan T-shirt pattern from Oliver+S  which I also made in size 8. DSC_0009It turned out that I should have also stuck to size 7 in this as well (or perhaps even a 6?) with probably only a slightly bigger opening for the neck. See how enormous it is around her chest?

Since the fabric was so slippery, and the shirt was kind of feeling too floppy, I made a couple of minor changes to the pattern: I added a waist band (after cutting off the bottom 2″) and did the same with sleeves. It seems a bit more together now. She wore it immediately and to school the next day, so I guess it counts as a success. DSC_0011

DSC_0020But of all, this has been the more fun project, and I have been saving it for last!DSC_0084I had been wanting to try out kid’s undies for a while, and after spending some time on Etsy I found this pattern and this. That Darn Kat pattern gives different styles for boys and girls and runs upto size 8. I made the largest size for N. (When I checked right now for the site, the owner seems to be on a break but promises to be back soon.) The slight problem for me was that it does not give body measurements, so I made the largest size with the hope that it fits or is too large for her. I am happy to say it fits perfectly and they are very very comfortable. The fabric is all scraps–our old t-shirts, the kids’ old t-shirts, even her leggings– and by all accounts they are super comfortable. I have to admit, I balked at the idea of showing these on my model, but truth be told she was more than willing to model for these!DSC_0086The second pattern is from MBJM (Made by Jack’s Mum) and has two styles as well: briefs and boxers. This goes to till size 12. So far, I have made just one for M but it looks so cute on him that I want to make more.DSC_0003So. That’s it for today I think. I still have some more backlog stuff to post, but for now I need to go and pack. We leave for our holidays very soon.

Asmita/xx

 

Read Full Post »

Hello hello. I have been very good this year doing the “disappearing act,” and so without much ado here is another blog post from me–before the year ends!

DSC_0027I know that you rarely, if ever, see a photo of me on the blog, and there is a good reason for that. I mostly hate being photographed, and definitely not in clothes that I have tried to sew, with the operative word here being “try.” When Nadja of Schnittchen patterns had written to me sometime last year asking me if I would like to participate in a a very interesting “Sewing Around the World” series (SATW) that this independent German sewing company had put together, I had enthusiastically said yes, because well, the patterns upon initial perusal looked fantastic, and also because truth be told, it was quite far away (then), and who worries about sewing that is happening almost a year later. Well, as is always the case, the year went by rather quickly, and when she wrote again and it was time to choose a pattern. Truth be told, I almost pulled out. I think what made me didn’t pull out was infact the option of being able to, or being able to extend the deadline (that she was so gracious to allow). And so with new determination, and finger crossing (that I would manage this) I chose two or three patterns that I would have like to try. Luckily for me, she sent me the one that was on the top of my list.DSC_0023This is the Mila Blouse, and what follows in a pattern review of sorts. In my very limited sewing experience, I have realised that I busy size falls pretty far away from my hip size. My biggest problem has been how to move from the small bust size to a much larger hip size without what I am sewing looking like a umbrella. So to be on the safer side, and especially to get a sense of the built in ease, I decided to sew myself a muslin.DSC_0033The patterns has four main pieces. The instruction sheet is quite short and concise and come in both German and English. Initially I was worried that the instructions are quite limited. For visual learners, it might be worth keeping in mind that there are no visuals for this top (as a part of the instructions), but for many of the other (I assume complicated patterns) there are plenty of diagrams that are put up on their blog. Despite my initial worry, I needn’t have worried and this one came together just fine (in fact I barely had to use the seam ripper). My favourite part is the the way the sleeves come together, and I love the way they look.DSC_0034

DSC_0030I was quite pleased with my muslin and and so without making any changes and with increased confidence, proceeded to make version 2. The only difference in terms of sewing is that I had cut the yoke and sleeves on bias in version 1, which I didn’t feel the need for in version 2. This was also in part because I used stripes and I wanted to try some stripe matching on the sleeves.DSC_0028In terms of fit, there is not much difference. For both, the back is the same with a simple button and loop closure.DSC_0029The fabric here (in v.2) is ikat for the bottom and linen for the yoke. This is slightly heavier than what I used for the muslin which is a very lightweight cotton. I love the checks pattern, and if I were to really choose, the muslin is my favourite of the two.

Either way, I really love both, and I wore both them plenty  when I finished making them, and got a lot of compliments too :-). All in all, I would say it’s a great top to try if you like me are sitting on the fence with not enough confidence to sew for yourself. This has definitely pushed me into a unfamiliar zone and I want to try out more. Perhaps even another version in knit fabric!

Thank you Nadja and Schnittchen patterns for this opportunity!

Asmita/xx

Read Full Post »

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.

DSC_0032

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).

DSC_0076

 

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

Read Full Post »

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

 

Read Full Post »

DSC_0003

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.

 

DSC_0012

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

 

Read Full Post »

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.

DSC_0020

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

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

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

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: