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Outfit for Ugadi

April 14, 2015

Handmade skirt and blouse for Ugadi

I wrote this post almost 3weeks back… but then all the usual daily things came in-between which included missing camera chargers and cables to transfer photos….mmmmm still didn’t find them.

Ms. H wore a ankle length half circle skirt with a top/blouse for Ugadi, the set was made in jan/feb but not for the festival.
Here is Ms. H (These days she is not very interested in being photographed… most of the time makes goofy faces)as she is on Ugadi; as of today she looks completely different with her new hair cut.

Long back when we were visiting my sis-in-law, i saw that there is an exhibition by mrignayanee in kalakshetra, asked Mr. A if we can make a detour on our way back home. No particular projects in mind, just stashing the fabric (running material as it is called here) for experiments/wearable muslins. Ms. H wanted something pink and I always wanted make a half circle skirt…the blouse followed because i had the fabric for it. Its Pink, its super twirly and the recipient is very happy with it.
SEW - half circle skirt - pink handprint1 SEW - half circle skirt - pink handprint2

Pattern: Self drafted from Ms. H measurements (not sure which tutorial i used)
Size: 4Y
Fabric: Bagh print yardage from Mrignayanee
Notes: Waist finished swing skirt style.
Hem finished with 1″ bias tape made of same fabric and hand hemmed.
Apart from miles and miles of hand hemming its easy to make. I measured the entire hem of the skirt and made a continuous bias tape exactly to that length (may be 2″ more).
This post gives instructions how to make a continuous bias tape from a rectangle, much better use of fabric than a square. Most of the binding calculators give size of square fabric required to get the needed bias tape. Since i already decided to make it out of a rectangle, used some simple mathematics, the area of the square = area of rectangle and made the bias tape (little more than 1.5m) out of a rectangle.
Details of skirt
SEW - Half circle skirt - waist detail SEW - Half circle skirt - hem detail WS SEW - Half circle skirt - hem detail RS

The top/blouse is a different story altogether, what i envisioned was a semi fitted top that ends just an inch below the waist and has cap sleeves…. and the outcome is entirely different (no mistake of the pattern though, i should have measured properly both the pattern pieces and Ms. H and made more modifications….mmmm) On the other-hand the pattern will make a very nice kurta.
SEW - Sophie Top - Maroon selfstripe

Pattern: Sophie tunic by Sisboom (I got it on scientific seamstress etsy shop)
Size: 4Y (i think… whats the point of documenting if i can’t remember the details….)
Fabric: Maroon self stripe handloom fabric.
Did not do the front slit. I wanted buttons running the entire length in the back so changed the back bodice and back facing pieces to accommodate that.
Sew-on snaps in the back, should have used the hook and eyes, as every time she streches a bit, top 3 snaps would come undone…
Details of blouse
SEW - Sophie top - back snaps SEW - Sophie top - side vent Untitled

While Ms. H and I are happy with the skirt… The blouse is so and so…
Mr. A said The whole ensemble looks like what his sisters used to wear when they were in school… very old fashion????? i will say vintage fashion ;-)

Catching up

March 25, 2015
tags: ,

Summer is here
Its not even April… but the hot, humid, sweaty, sticky Chennai summer is here….
Lots of things happened from september to summer
Little Ms.J has grown up a lot… now stands up holding on to anything and everything, how i wish she would slow down…
Ms.H has only a few days of school before her vacation starts…
I finally visited the famed cotton street of Chennai, while i didnt click any picture you can read about it here and here.

Last saturday is Ugadi, the telugu new year…. with Ms.H already having a new skirt and top (will blog as soon as i take some pictures) I decided on thursday night that Ms.J also should have a new dress made by momma….I made it, she wore it and quite a bit of her lunch somehow ended up on her dress. Its washed but it has to be pressed before any pictures are to be taken.
Here is a picture of the sisters on Ugadi… Ms.H is practising for her dance recital and not interested in the photoshoot, Ms. J will sit still only if she is chewing on a paper.
Udagi 2015 handmade dresses

Between all this, i said to Ms.H that i will make some donuts for her, after school on monday(i don’t know how i even said those words…)
Everything went against me and my donuts. Ms.J woke up on the wrong side of bed and refused to do her day nap…. As i was holding her and trying to do everything single-handedly i forgot to reduce the milk when i halved this recipe (ended adding almost a cup of flour to make it workable). Just before i dropped that first donut in the oil… Ms.J again wanted to be held and only by me. So Mr.A did the frying, with me holding the baby and passing on the instructions, while Ms.H is nagging me when she can decorate and eat the donut.
the only saving grace is… the donuts turned out decent (not as crisp on the outside,,, but yummy on the inside). I might try them again but not before fixing a muhurtham…. i want all the donut stars on my side on that day.
Here is the one that Ms. H decorated…
The rest are just dusted with powdered sugar and were polished off within minutes…

Linen Izzy Top

September 13, 2014

Blue Upcycled Izzy Top

I am a bit of a squirreller (is there a word like that????) while ‘A’ is more like a minimalist. He practically halved his wardrobe after we returned from UK. I rescued couple of shirts from the donate box and squirrelled them away for some up-cycling projects ;-)

The Linen shirt went into the donate box as its a bit faded in the back. After i got out my scissors only the cuffs, collar and couple of odd bits were thrown away. The body of the shirt is turned into top/tunic for ‘H’, while the sleeves became newborn pants for ‘J’

Here is ‘H’ in her top
Sew-Izzy Top-Upcycle Linen H

The front of the top
Sew-Izzy Top-Upcycle Linen Front

The back.
Sew-Izzy Top-Upcycle Linen Back

Pattern: Izzy top (free) by Teri of Climbing the Willow.
Fabric: Upcycled Linen shirt in Indigo.
Notions: Nothing apart from thread
Size: Cut in 4T size for a 4 year old
The skirt is cut to take advantage of the original hem and side seams of shirt.
The front main of the bodice is cut from the back yoke of the shirt.
The back main of the bodice is cut from the front taking advantage of the button band/placket.
Strayed away from the original instruction regarding the back closure, so had to resort to hand sewing near top of the button band in the back to get a neat finish.
Even the lining for the bodice is cut from the shirt. If not lengthening the skirt for a tunic/dress, unto 4T top can be made from a M/L men’s shirt.
Lovely pattern with excellent instructions and a wide range of sizes, can be easily lengthened for a tunic/dress.

I am sure there will be more Izzy tops/tunics/dresses for ‘H’ and ‘J’ in future.

Newborn Pants

August 31, 2014

Stash busting and upcycled newborn pants

Made before the baby arrived, not because ‘J’ needs some pants. We already had lots of baby clothes (gifted, brought, handme downs…) but i was itching to make something, so these super simple and easy pants were the result.

Sew-Basic Newborn Pants-stashbust1 Sew-Newborn Pants-stashbust2

Used some of my half metre fabrics (which i brought long time back… without anything in mind), actually they take less than half metre. The blue one is made from the sleeves of a linen shirt from the donate box. Its ‘A’s shirt brought before our marriage though a bit faded, in perfect condition. The other 2 are cotton, while the brown one is very soft, the black is a bit stiff.

Here is the linen one in action on ‘J'(love the peeking baby feet) She is wearing a pre fold diaper with a cover under those pants.
Sew-Newborn Pants-Upcycle Linen2

Pattern: Basic Newborn Pant from madebyrae (free pattern)
Fabric: cotton and linen (stash and upcycled shirt)
Notions: 1/4″ elastic
Modifications: Added a bit of length for the linen pant
I love this pattern as its free, only one pattern piece, easy to make, easy to dress (as there is no definite front and back), fits over cloth diaper, extend the legs a bit and they will last for couple of more months.

A New Arrival

August 21, 2014


The recent inactivity is due to pre and post baby stuff :-)
Baby J arrived on August 9th night.

Baby J

I did mange some sewing before she arrived, hope to blog soon.


Handmade Dresses from the Past

February 14, 2014

H’s Handmade Wardrobe

These are some of the Tops/Dresses i made for H when she is around 10-14 months, had to dig through piles of digital snaps to find them. These are sewn along with the Cherry Print Dress but were never made it to the blog.


SEW - Polka Birthday Dress - H

Pattern: Birthday Party Dress by Oliver+S. To be honest i didn’t own the pattern when making this dress (I do now ;-) in 5+ size) so i drafted it from an existing top and after seeing lots of pictures of the dress in various stages and angles. The drafting itself took 2-3 days as there are lots of pieces (including the facings). But i was so proud once i finished the dress. Even if it hadn’t fit ‘H’ at that time, I would have just kept the dress.

Here are some close-ups of some details.
SEW - Polka Birthday Dress - Details

I am so glad I had taken Drafting/Drawing Class at Degree level, they all made sense when i was trying to copy the structure, details, seam allowances, facings etc (Its not a pattern drafting class, its a generic engineering drafting class)


SEW - Pink&Polka IceCream Dress - Details
(Sorry for the non-ironed dress)

Pattern: Ice Cream Dress by Oliver+S. This is again a self-drafted dress and my favourite, now i own it in 5+ size.

Though i own some digital patterns from Oliver+S, I still didn’t sew any, but they all have good reviews, fantastic support in the forums, lots of inspiration in their flickr pool. I have to admit that they are a bit expensive, so wait for a sale :-)


Sew - Cord&Print IceCream - H

Pattern: Ice Cream Dress by Oliver+S. This is same as above, just different fabric and no pockets. I couldn’t find any pictures of just the dress.


SEW - Diamond Peasant Top - Details

Pattern: Peasant Top Tutorial by Prudent Baby. Poplin Fabric from my 1/2 metre stash. The tutorial doesn’t show how to make the ties but there is a tutorial on Me Sew Crazy for that.

Apart from sewing for ‘H’, i also knitted some wintery stuff (Cardigan, Pullover, Vest, Scarf, Beanie, some thick socks) before coming to London. She still uses the scarf and the socks, but the rest have gone to charity as she outgrew them really quickly.

Do you like making clothing for your little ones????
Love to hear from you, especially if you are Sew Bee from Chennai ;-)
Any shops to recommend in Chennai for Fancy Buttons, Lace and Ribbons??

Pony Craft Store

February 10, 2014


I am really excited to share the news at large about the new online shop PonyCraftStore for the Knit, Crochet and Sew enthusiasts. Well… the shop is actually not new, it has been there for sometime but i thought i will blog it as i still get mails about where to buy large hooks, DPNs (double pointed needles), Circular needles.

Sangeetha of Crochetkari has blogged about her purchase here sometime back.

There are yarn, needles, hooks, cross stitch kits and more available, just check the shop out.
Pony Craft Store Website

Staright needles (Under Knobbed knitting pin)
Circular needles
Lots of accessories like stitch holder, cable needles, row counters, stitch markers, knitters gauge, knitting calculator… etc
Shawl pins
Knitting elastic

Hooks in many variations and sizes
Circular Crochet hook
Hair pin lace needle
Tatting shuttle

There are lot of acrylic variations but these excited me a bit
Laura Knitting cotton
Nako Super Lamb Special tweed, Nako Nakolen Dreams (49% Wool)
Nako Nature (50% Cotton)
Nako Hosgeldin (60% Bamboo)
There are some more yarns with Mohair, Alpaca, some glittery yarn and also 100% wool.

Lots of Scissors
Rotary cutter and mat
Shirring elastic (can’t wait to try some summery dresses for ‘H’)
Hand sewing needles (Love to see machine ones too)
Snaps to sew, Hook&eye, Fabric covered button kits (would like a snap plier and snaps)
Loop Turner, Bodkins, Tracing wheels, seam ripper (tracing paper please)
Sewing thread (like to see more colours)
T pins, Quilting pins

Cross stitch
Aida cloth (Matty cloth) in various counts by meter and pre cut pieces
Embroidery Hoops
Embroidery Floss (Again i would love to see more colours probably listed individually with colour numbers)
Some Kits

There are some craft kits for kids (I already have a couple in mind as a present for a teen niece), pom pom maker, french knitter

The search facility within the website is not the best one, so i really say go through the entire contents under each section to have an idea of whats on offer. For example if i say “9mm crochet hook” no products will be shown, but there is a 9mm hook in plastic crochet hook under crochet, so dig around.

Happy Crafting.


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