Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gorgeous New Yarn at the Store

Look what's new at my store!! Malabrigo sock yarn!! Plus 2 new colours in Malabrigo Worsted. Its the first time I saw the sock yarn this close. It really is so beautiful. Soft and well plied. I've chosen some lovely colours (it was quite tough given that all the colours of Malabrigo are so lovely).
Its a light fingering weight yarn and has 440 yards in the 100gm hank.

Malabrigo Sock Yarn

From left to right is Tiziano red, Alcaucil, Solis and Cote d'Azure.

And the two new colours in Malabrigo Worsted : Red Mahogany and Stone Blue. These colours are well suited for both men and women.
Malabrigo Worsted Red Mahogany

Malabrigo Worsted Stone Blue
Some more Indian yarn arrived today :) I'll be posting pictures very soon.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crochet Sling Bag for Shreya

A couple of weeks back we had a welcome change in our routine when Shreya and Akshay visited us. They are my husband's eldest brother's children aged 13 and 10 respectively.  We had so much fun together. They are adorable kids who love crafting. We shopped for craft supplies, made cards, talked and laughed a lot. The kids and me also made a custard cake which turned out super delicious. I also taught them how to make their own washi tape.

As gifts Akshay got story books and Shreya got this crochet sling bag. This started as a clutch which I lined with felt and plastic canvas to give it structure. I also added a magnetic snap closure and a cute flower button on the flap. The strap was Shreya's idea - of course teenagers prefer sling bags don't they? The addition was very last minute. She braided the yarn and I attached it. She absolutely loved the bag.

Akshay did not get anything handmade on this trip because I'm totally clueless as to what to make for boys. For the girls I can think of a thousand things to make, So I asked Akshay himself. Pat came the reply - a pencil pouch! And the creative person that he is he gave me a drawing of how he would like the pencil pouch to look. That will be quite a challenge - making sure that the pouch turns out to be like what he has drawn. Hmmm....but secretly I feel like a superstar because they believe that I can make anything :) Wish me luck with the pouch!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fleece shoes for cold feet

Its a constant battle with cold floors every rainy and winter season here in Bangalore. This year I decided to make myself a pair of fleece shoes to treat my feet to something really warm and comfortable. Initially I had wanted to make fleece boots but given that I've been so busy with other projects I just decided to look for a pattern/tutorial. I found this lovely tutorial in Russian. Once translated its really simple to follow. The only change I made was adding an interlining. This is usually used in coats. It  gives my shoes a bit of loft.
Here are the 6 pieces cut out from the pattern

And here's the lining all sewed up. I've sewn the interling to the fleece using an edge stitch so that it doesn't shift while sewing.

Sewing the pieces together around the curve near the toes was a bit difficult due to the three layers. So I resorted to a bit of hand sewing there.

I'm quite thrilled with my first fleece project. I hope to make those fleece boots soon :)


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Blog is Now on Facebook

Yaay!! My blog is now on Facebook and that's the cover photo which I shot myself :)  This is really something I've been meaning to do for a very long time since many like to receive updates on facebook. It is also a great way to share design ideas, WIP pictures, some drawings and links to other lovely things which may not necessarily need a blog post.

I had limited my social media use until now. So I'm still figuring out its nuances.
Do check out the link: and do "like" it if you like it. There's not much there right now but I'm sure it'll get better with time.

See you soon.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blouson Dress

It does look like a skirt and a top. But guess what? Its a dress. Meant to be made for my birthday last year  it was this year that it finally got done. After abandoning it for quite sometime, I'm glad I've finally finished it.

My initial sketch was that of a raglan sleeved bodice with a high collar attached with a shirred waistband to a godet skirt.

But later I decided to make this dress - a yoked panelled skirt attached to a blouson top.

The snake skin printed top is made of chiffon and the yoked 6 panelled skirt is viscose. The top pattern is the same as the one in the previous post. The skirt pattern was drafted separately. The panels are cut on the bias. Both the top and the skirt were lined separately and then joined at the waist. The dress has a zipper running from the hip to the armhole on the left side. The dress was a great learning experience - I sewed with chiffon, did a huge number of french seams, sewed the skirt on the bias, did hand rolled hems. And made a HUGE mistake. I totally forgot to add interfacing to the yoke before sewing and realised this after completing the dress!! Yes I know - really terrible! I did add the interfacing later though but its juts not the same thing is it? :(

Ok lets talk about what went right -

Sewing the Chiffon bodice - Not at all as difficult as I thought it would be.
1. I first sprayed the chiffon with starch (made my own with cornflour and water) and ironed it.
2. I took great care in aligning the print at the centre front line.

3. Changed to a new needle before starting to sew.
4. I basted the main fabric and lining pieces together and used french seams to sew the shoulder and the side seams. I'm in love with French seams now.

5. Since my chiffon top is lined I didn't have to use tissue paper underneath it while sewing. Else, using tissue paper underneath is a great way to sew chiffon easily and preventing it from getting sucked into the bobbin area. Many recommend using masking tape over the plate where the needle goes down. A hole is then punched into this tape by lowering the needles. The bobbin thread is brought up through this hole and the rest of the sewing takes place as usual. I haven't tried this though.

6. I lightly sprayed starch and ironed the pieces again before sewing. The starch trick is just amazing.

7. The bell sleeves were attached next. I did a hand rolled hem. Here's a great tutorial to sew a hand rolled hem

Sewing the skirt:

Like I mentioned earlier I totally forgot to add interfacing to the yoke. I did learn how to sew on the bias and I see what a lovely drape it gives to the skirt. Sewing on the bias is definitely not scary anymore. I used tissue paper underneath the fabric before sewing the bias seams. The tissue paper tears off easily after the seams are sewn. I also used a stitch length of 3 mm and also stretched the fabric ever so slightly while sewing.

So there. The dress is finally ready. I may always regret the mistake and I may never wear it outside because it may not look perfect, but the comfort more than makes up for that and I am surely going to be wearing it at home. Wearing lovely clothes at home does make me work better :)


Monday, June 9, 2014

Blouson Top with Bell Sleeves

I had been working on a dress which was taking quite a lot of effort. So to motivate myself to complete that mammoth project I decided to sneak in a smaller, quicker project. So, here is my blouson top with bell sleeves in 100% cotton. The pattern belongs to the dress that I was making - I made the bodice part of the dress into a top.

Below is how the top looks before I added the sleeves and the elastic at the hem. This by itself would look nice as a crop top. Maybe in a different material. I saw something similar in a sequinned fabric recently.

What I love about this is that its super comfortable and  that the boat neck turned out well. I'll be back with pictures of the dress - very excited about it!! :)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Denim Fold-Over Clutch Tutorial

My most recent project - this time with a bit of grunge - a denim fold-over clutch. I sketched this clutch in one of those late night inspired creative bursts when you just have to put the idea on paper. I'm very happy with the way it turned out. Just like I had imagined it to be. I used just one leg of my husband's old pair of jeans.

You will need:

Main Fabric - Denim - 11 1/2" X 7 1/2" - Cut 4
I joined 2 pieces to form a rectangle measuring 11 1/2" x 14" You can just cut a 2 rectangles measuring 11 1/2" x 14" . If you do this skip step1 and proceed to step2

Lining Fabric  - 11 1/2" X 14" - Cut 2

Zipper - 10 1/2" -From  The Happy Hands Store

Tabs for Zipper - 1 1/2" X 1 1/4"

Strap - 12 1/2" X 2"

Rivets (Gold) -From  The Happy Hands Store -  I used 15

A piece of lace - for the zipper pull


1. Place the 7 1/2" side of 2 pieces of main fabric right sides facing each other. Sew down with a 1/2" seam allowance. Open the seam and press. This forms a rectangle measuring 11 1/2" X 14". Do the same for the other 2 pieces. Keep aside.

2. Fold the 1 1/4" side of the tab by 1/2" towards the wrong side and press. Place this on the edge of the zipper overlapping by 1/2". Sew down close to the fold. Do the same on the other side as well.

3. Take one piece of the strap and mark for the rivets. You can add rivets in any random fashion as well. My markings went thus: 1" from the shorter edge and 1/2" from either side of the longer edge (for 2 rivets), 1" from the longer edge for single rivets.

4. Use an awl to punch holes into the fabric and attach rivets using a eyelet tool and punch it down.

5. Once all the rivets are attached, sew the longer edges (wrong sides together) with a zig-zag stitch. I did this to minimise the layers that the needle passes through. Keep this aside.

6. Take one piece of the main fabric (it now measures 11 1/2" X 14"). The zipper will be attached to the side that measures 11 1/2". Place the right side facing up, align the zipper (runner side facing down) with the edge of the main fabric. Now place the lining fabric with the right side facing down. Make sure all the 3 edges are aligned and sew the whole thing with a 1/2" seam allowance. Do the same for the other side.

7. Flip the fabrics round the right way. Topstitch along the edge of the fabric on both sides. This ensures that the lining will not get stuck in the zipper teeth while using the clutch.

8. Baste the shorter edges of the strap to one side of the main fabric (keep the lining away while doing this). I placed the strap 4" from the bottom edge of the main fabirc.

9. Open the zipper more than halfway.

10. Now make the right sides of the main fabric face each other do the same for the lining fabric as well. The zipper will automatically move into the lining side of the fabric sandwich.

11. Pin all the layers starting with the main fabric layer and matching up all edges. Leave a gap of about 3  about a 3 1/2" in the lining fabric. Sew all around using a 1/2" seam allowance.

12. Turn the whole thing right side out through the gap that we had left in the lining fabric and press. Sew the opening in the lining closed. Put the lining into the main shell.

13. Pass a piece of lace through the runner and tie a knot to make a zipper pull. I sewed the raw edges of the lace as well.

Ta-daa! Your clutch is ready!!