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!!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meera's Maile Sweater

Pattern : Maile Sweater

Needles : 2.75mm (I think. Have forgotten since its been a while since I made this)

Made for : My niece Meera

This was made for Meera to be gifted when she was born (last June). It fits her now- when she is a 9 month old. Hmmm...maybe Indian kids are tinier. My sister had found out that she was going to have a baby girl and had specifically told me to make the cardigan in any colour other than pink.So I chose this green from my stash. The yarn is called Shine Sport by Knitpicks.

The pattern is called Maile. Maile is a fragnant vine endemic to Hawaii. The pattern is beautifully written and turned out great. The buttons are not my most favourite though. I finished the sweater the day before my parents were to leave to visit my sister. When it came to attaching the buttons I realised that the buttons I had were not of the size I was looking for. I had to make do with the buttons I found at the corner shop.

She's wearing this during her recent visit to Bangalore. She looked so pretty that I couldn't stop taking pictures of her. The polka dotted dress is the one I made and blogged about previously : Polka dotted dress

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A chance to donate your old Denims

I'm posting this for a dear friend of mine - Tanushree Nair, founder of Karaashilp. Karaashilp, an online store that stocks handcrafted products - bags, home decor, jewellery and personal accessories is on a Denim Collection Drive to sustain their Karaashilp Eco Project. This is a great chance to clear your denim clutter as well as to donate for a good cause.

Read more about Karaashilp and the drive here : Donate those old denims

I'll see you soon. Bye for now.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Crocheted Earrings

This is my very first jewellery project. I tried these pair of earrings using Luxor - cotton yarn. I'm very pleased with the result. I just did double crochet all around and attached beads. This jewellery making turned out to be quite enjoyable - it also threatens to be addictive. Must watch out!!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bag Making Accessories At My Store

Its been quite a wait for me but now I can finally let the secret out. The new product line at the store is bag making accessories. The range includes zippers,bag handles,sliders,locks,magnets and metal hardware. I look at these products and I feel super happy that certain things that I struggled to find during my bag making projects I could now make them available online.

As someone who  loves things that can be put to multiple uses I am happy that many of these products are not restricted to bag making . You could use the zippers to make zipper flowers. I love them as embellishments.

In fact, you do not even need to know to sew to use some of these. For instance, you could revamp a dull looking bag or a leather/denim jacket or belts by attaching some rivets or spikes studs to them.

You could even make you own headband like the one Sonakshi Sinha wore at the Zee Cine Awards. Just attach spike studs to an existing hairband and there you have it- your very own spiked headband - no sewing required.

Spike Studs

Twist Lock

Bag Magnet

The pictures here are just few from the whole range. For much much more see the complete product range here : Bag Making Accessories I do hope the crafting community makes good use of what's on offer at the store.