Wednesday, November 28, 2018

This blog has moved

Hello everyone,

I have moved my blog to this new address:

See you there :)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Sequin Top

I am catching up on my previous makes :) This sequin top is what I made for New Year's Eve. I really don't sew with occasions in mind but New Year's Eve does deserve a new dress or a top at least. And sequinned!! I do love sequin fabric.

The fabric is leftover from the sequin skirt I made quite a few years back. The pattern is from this shift dress.  I love it when a pattern I've already made turns into something completely new with just a few changes or simply by changing the fabric. The fabric is a bit see through. So it does need either a camisole or a lining. Since I do not like wearing garments with linings attached I went with the camisole. The fabric has drape to it which I love.


Changed the length  - made it hip length.
Shortened the sleeve. I also took out some ease in the sleeve cap. I did this by drawing a short dart - taping it and re-drawing the sleeve.
There are 2 bust darts and it is not very fitted at the waist and hips. I did not want to use zippers. 

Construction :

The sewing was actually a breeze. Using the walking foot and needle No. 14, I used both my hands to guide the fabric slowly. Sequins do not scare me anymore.
The sleeves and neckline are bias bound. I also bound the seams since there is no lining attached.

It was ready in time for New Year's Eve but like the past few years we stayed at home. I did wear this top hoping these sequins would make it a sparkly 2018. Little joys of life.

Photos : Manisha Shrotriya
Make-up : Anusha


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Drawstring Backpack

Whenever my niece visits me, no matter how many gifts I buy for her, everything feels a bit incomplete without a handmade gift. This time, I made this drawstring backpack with a casing on the outside, gusset, a flap that has a Velcro closure and a pocket on one side. 

I used a heavy weight cotton for this. The casing for the drawstring is made of polyester fabric. If I had used the cotton it wouldn't  have been easy for the child to pull the drawstring. Fortunately, I found the fabric that was the exact same colour as the pink used for the gusset, flap and pocket. Since the main fabric itself is a bit heavy no interfacing was needed. The lining has two layers of muslin which I treated as a single layer while sewing. 

While planning the pattern I started with Debbie Shore's fantastic duffle bag tutorial and made my own changes from there.

Pattern pieces

2 pieces of main fabric - 14 inches x 15 inches 
- Rounded off the bottom edge while drafting the pattern

Lining - as above 
Straps 6 inches x 44 inches 
Flap 6 inches x 7 inches
Side Pocket 10 inches x 7 inches
Side Panel 43 inches x 3 /12inches. The length depends on the round edge at the bottom of the bag. All the above measurements include a SA of 1/2 ". 

Attach gusset to the main fabric pieces. Do the same for the lining piece leaving a 3" gap in the gusset. Flap - with right sides together sew 3 sides with a 1/2" seam allowance. Turn right side out and press. Sew on casing to the main fabric. Sandwich the flap between the lining and main, body pieces and sew around. Turn the backpack to the right side through the gap that we had left at the side of the gusset . Sew on the casing. The casing on this bag starts and ends on the gusset with a 1 inch gap between the front and back casing strips. The casing strips are made by cutting fabric on the bias.

Make straps by enclosing all raw edges and sewing all around. Sew the straps onto the backpack leaving a loop of about 5-6" at the top. Finally sew in the Velcro closure. Finally I just think a pocket on the other side would make the backpack look more balanced. 

Meera loved her new backpack. It holds her favourite dog softies Shongu and Shonguli and her water bottle.  


Sunday, December 31, 2017

The 32nd Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar

It is no secret that I love craft fairs. I hear about one in my city and I just have to be there. I truly believe the weavers, artisans and craftsmen of our country do some really spectacular work and they could do with as much encouragement as is possible. And whenever I have  bought anything from these fairs, I have most often got a 'Wow! Where did you buy that from?' 

So when I got this mail from The Dastkari Haat Samiti  making a note of my work and inviting me for the 32nd Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar  I was super thrilled. I have been following this organisation and I know that they do some outstanding work in providing a wonderful platform for Indian handicrafts and handlooms.  Dilli Haat is a place I have never missed whenever I have visited Delhi,  Like every year this year's craft fair too, curated by Ms. Jaya Jaitly, founder of the Samiti, will be working with Indian artisans and weavers to bring their craft in focus and also 5 renowned artists from Israel as well. It is a great opportunity to see a variety of work from artisans from all over India. The organisation also requested if I would share it on my social media. Would I? Of course, I would!! This is a place not to be missed if you happen to be in Delhi between the 1st and 15th of January 2018.

This is also an excellent place to shop for unique textiles and handicrafts also gifts that come handy when you have sudden visitors. I do that most of the time and the quality and artistry is always appreciated. Not just that you will also get to meet the artisans  Do catch it if you can. And don't forget to let me know, I would love to see what you bought.

Below is their entire detailed press release.

Jaya Jaitly, Founder of ​
Dastkari Haat 
​Samiti brings 
the 32nd Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar
​the fortnight 
extravagant exhibition of art, textile and culture

Where: Dilli Haat, opposite INA Market, New Delhi

When: 1st – 15th January 201

Timings: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Entry: Rs 20

Jaya Jaitly, Founder of ​
Dastkari Haat 
​Samiti brings 
the 32nd Annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar
​the fortnight 
extravagant exhibition of art, textile and culture
 at Dilli Haat from 1st - 15th January 2018 

 January 1, art enthusiasts will get to see a mélange of colorful and traditional handicrafts, textiles and classical dance performances as artistes from India and Israel will come together to showcase their cultural legacy
 while cementing cultural and diplomatic ties—a vision seen by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his recent visit to 

The 32nd edition of the annual 
​craft bazaar
 which will take place at Dilli Haat, will witness 
​the ​
participation of around 200 artisans from different states assuring a peek into the myriad art and craft traditions.

For this year, Dastkari Haat Samiti has collaborated with Ministry of Textiles to create an interactive platform where local artisans from India and Israel will exchange their skills and art while creating intricate art pieces that are significant of artistic legacy which both the countries are known for.

Five craft persons from Israel will work with their Indian counterparts from Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan to create two completely new art pieces each combining common understandings and skills in entirely new designs under the guidance of two Indian designers.
​ ​
The Israel-India workshop which will be held between January 2- 14 will showcase fresh art pieces to the public. During the workshop, art connoisseurs will also get a chance to interact with artisans and watch their work in progress.

“This festival is a unique platform where our craftspeople get to interact and share their skills with their foreign counterparts. Our vision is to bring back the original essence of Dilli Haat where only those artisans who don't get to display their work 
​in New Delhi could showcase 
their work exclusively ," 
​says ​
Jaya Jaitly,
ounder of Dastkari Haat Samiti.

​15 day Dastkari ​
​Craft ​
ar will showcase a mix-bag of art pieces which will be created with finesse by Israeli artists
​ ​
in different art forms—papier machie by Vered Otmy, patchwork by Orna Shahar, embroidery in textile by Sassona Schits , paper cutwork by Janine Golbert and wire mesh by Nihad Dabeet.

The bazaar will also touch upon the important aspects of the craft producers' life by showcasing myriad cultural performances including folk music from Rajasthan, the exotic tribal martial Chhau dance
​rs who will be dancing as well as demonstrating the mask making​
 from West Bengal, the mesmerizing ‘Pinguli Art’- a unique style of painting that incorporates storytelling from Maharashtra, traditional weaving and singing performances from Gujarat and soulful flute renditions by a Varanasi flute player who will be willing to teach to the interested viewers.

​annual bazaar ​
cites to serve as a platform that provides unique inputs to the crafts sector while creating employment opportunities for local artisans.

​decor of Dilli
 Haat will replicate the unique pap
er machie art created by 
 folk artist from Chhattisgarh, Sundari Bai. 

Work by Israeli artists


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Shift Dress

This is a very special make. Designed for my sister as her birthday gift, it contains all the elements she loves in a dress. Its comfortable, elegant yet casual, has no zippers and most importantly has pockets. My sister would wear a trash bag if it had pockets (her line, not mine) :)

The pattern :

The pattern is derived from the dress block/sloper. It has bust darts and side seam pockets. The hem is slightly flared. The sleeves have a ruffled edge; the ruffled edge is one and a half times the width of the sleeve edge. The sleeves follow the rule of thirds. the plain sleeve and the ruffled part are 2/3 and 1/3 respectively. The ruffled edge is cut on crosswise grain since I wanted it to flare out.

The dress is modelled by me here. The idea was to blog about it as soon as I had made it. But this has taken so long  that my sister has already worn it numerous times. She loves the dress. And I am one happy girl!!
P.S. The knee high boots are from Zara which I absolutely love- a gift from my sister :)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Jersey (W)rap in Manhattan

This started out as a wearable muslin which I finished in time for my US holiday.

Derived from the jersey block this faux wrap has a couple of side pleats and a quarter circle skirt and three - fourth sleeves. The fabric belt is 1 1/4th inch wide. The skirt and the sleeves are not hemmed - I didn't have enough fabric to make the skirt longer and hemming it would have made it too short for my liking. I used ball point needles this time (my husband got it for me from his trip to Amsterdam) and it made a world of difference.

I will be making changes to the pattern since the pleats are not too deep.The fabric is lightweight and not of great quality, I think a medium weight jersey would have been perfect which I haven't been able to find in India yet. My search continues. All the flaws aside, it still is one of those dresses that makes you feel fabulous. I wore it the day we visited Bryant Park, NYC. What a memorable day it turned out to be! There was a free figure drawing class with a live model which I got to participate in. Thoroughly enjoyed it. We had a lovely picnic near the Central library. And the day ended with some really fun square dancing in the park with a bunch of happy and enthusiastic but absolute strangers. It might still not be the perfect dress, but I do believe that when you feel fabulous, a perfect day just happens. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tulle skirt and a Turtleneck top

I made these a few months back. It is somehow the photographs that take time. So though I have made quite a few garments in the past couple of months I have yet to photograph them all.  I finally did it. So lets begin with this turtleneck top and this tulle skirt. One of my sewing resolutions is to make a complete garment set. This is because it usually happens with me that if I make a skirt there is no top in my wardrobe that goes with it which makes all the hard work seem pointless. Add to it the shopping for a top. So once I decided to make a tulle skirt I decided to make turtleneck top to go with it. The colette sewing planner has been a huge help in planning my sewing so far. I am so glad I bought it. Here's my inspiration page:

The tulle skirt:
I just love how tulle makes you feel like a princess. This one has four layers of tulle - two layers are black and two are grey. I used the half circle skirt pattern that I made here : Royal Blue faux wrap dress . Though the dress was for my sister I could easily use the skirt pattern for me since we are almost the same size and the skirt is attached to a 2 inch elastic waistband so no worries there. The skirt has a black satin lining and was quite a quick sew. Love how it turned out.

The turtleneck top:
Is made from my first jersey block!!! :) Here's the tutorial that I followed : Jersey Bodice Block and Sleeve block   To the bodice I added a turtleneck following this tutorial : Drafting a turtleneck.  This video by Threads was very helpful in sewing the turtleneck.   iI used the stretch stitch and sewed the sleeves flat (the sleeves are sewed first and then the bodice side seams). This video is great for sewing sleeves flat.
I'm getting more comfortable sewing with jersey. I used size 11 needles for this one since I just could not find ball point needles which everyone recommends.

I think I will have to make some changes to the pattern for a better fit. But for now this one is completely wearable.