Skip to content

Spring Sewing

April 6, 2016

Pongal Outfit
Summer is already in full swing in Chennai and I am still writing about my Spring Sewing. Its been 3 months since i last posted on my blog… Sewing more than i write (though been taking pictures of the finished projects and some modelling pics).

SEW-Floral Peplum-Front1 SEW-Brownie Skirt
H is not much into dresses, separates rule her wardrobe. So i wanted something that work together but also can be worn with something else. she is extremely pleased with both the blouse and the skirt, She has worn both together and separately more than a few times and that in my book is success.
SEW-Pongal2016-Ms H

Top: Pattern 1 from “sewing for your girls” with modified sleeves from Pattern 2
Skirt: Paris Skirt tutorial modified to a button front skirt.
Top: Floral Stretch Poplin from cotton street.
Skirt: Natural Dyed 30’s handloom cotton in black (in real its deep olivish brown though i was expecting deep grey when i ordered it online from
dacottonhandlooms ). Lovely store and i totally recommend them but be ready to expect the unexpected as it is with handlooms, natural dyes and computer screen colour differences 🙂
Top: 110
Skirt: Drafted to Ms H measurements.

This blouse is the inspiration, but its really this one by Deepa that finally pushed me to take the plunge.
The bodice is cut 7″ above the 100cm size line. The peplum is a long rectangle drafted to the top measurements. I did a muslin first and it was a really good idea.
The top waited a long time for the buttons… there are only 2 shops nearby that deal in tailoring stuff and both didn’t have anything that i like. I ended up ordering the present ones from Pradhan Embroidery stores.

Should have under-stitched the bias… there it is peeking out
SEW-Floral Peplum-Front Close

The back, my favourite. Buttons in red thread.
SEW-Floral Peplum-Back SEW-Floral Peplum-Back Close

The Chinese takeaway pockets idea is from hopscotch skirt by Oliver+S. Finished with some coconut buttons. The buttons are printed on the right side, i used the wrong side.
I love how the whole skirt turned out and it does look good on her.

Should move that button so that the placket lays straight.
SEW-Brownie Skirt-Close

Adjustable Elastic in the back (this is the true colour of the skirt)
SEW-Brownie Skirt-Adj Elastic

SEW-Brownie Skirt-Button Placket
I have to mention the button holes in both top and skirt…. somehow my very basic brother machine did a decent job this time 🙂

Here is Ms H wearing the skirt with a RTW Tee.
SEW-Brownie Skirt-with RTW Tee
She wearing the top with Jeans for an outing (an out of focus photo is all i have).
SEW-Floral Peplum-With Jeans

Ms J didn’t have a mum-made dress this time. Couple of muck-ups by a local large format printer kept me in bad mood. I didn’t want to rush her ice-cream dress intended for Pongal, so she wore a dress my SIL gifted her even before she was born.


Floral IceCream

March 4, 2016

This dress is what i call slow-sewing… I took my time (almost 3 weeks) to finish it and only because i worked on it when i absolutely wanted to and couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

SEW-Floral Icecream-Front

The dress is meant for Ms J to be worn for Pongal festival but didn’t get to finish on time as i didn’t want to rush it. Here she is dressed-up to attend her Aunt’s birthday party.
SEW-Floral Icecream-Ms J

Pattern: IceCream Dress by Oliver+S, View A without pockets.
Size: 2T
Fabric: Stretch Poplin and veg-dyed handloom cotton(same as Ms H’s skirt here)
No Changes to the pattern pieces at all but the back closure is modified to include two discreet snap buttons. A little cut into the back body (which is finished with a bias tape) for more head room while getting on and off.
SEW-Floral Icecream-Back closure2 SEW-Floral Icecream-Back closure1

Of-course a little bit of flat piping at the very last minute and french side seams. I decided to include the piping just before i top stitched the main yoke to the body, so i basted it before i top stitched the yoke in place.
SEW-Floral Icecream-Flat Piping

I confused myself with the hem instructions and had to to rip quite a few stitches. (nothing wrong with the instructions)
SEW-Floral Icecream-Hem

I ordered a metre of the handloom cotton (used for the hem and for H’s skirt here) and still left with a decent piece, just enough for size 4 yoke. Since Ms H already put a request for a top in the floral fabric… May be an Icecream top for her?

Picnic in Bagh

January 16, 2016

Its Harvest Festival here in South India and is celebrated all over India with different names, customs and yummy food.

Ponglaoooo……. Pongal.

For all those who were searching for the nearest gardens to have a picnic this afternoon or weekend and landed here…. or if you think its about my picnic in gardens…. you might be disappointed 🙂

This is my first 2016 sew, incidentally its also my first Oliver+S make. While i have been following the brand for more than 5 years (gosh i waited too long to take the plunge) and own two patterns in bigger sizes… This is my first make.

Picnic Blouse in Bagh Fabric
Ms J in her new blouse, a day after i completed it, She wore it when we had to step out for an appointment.
SEW-PinkBagh Picnic-Ms J2

I am totally in love with this pink version of Picnic Blouse made from soft block printed cotton from Bagh.
May be its the cleverness of Oliver+S Patterns…
May be its how nicely the pattern fits in with traditional indian print.
Maybe coz i turned odd shaped leftover fabric from this skirt into a lovely summer top (yup its already hot in Chennai… combined with cold nights means its sniffles for everyone)
Maybe coz Ms J is looking super cute.. 😉
May be its everything together… totally love how it turned out.

SEW-PinkBagh Picnic-Ms J1

Pattern: Oliver+S Picnic Blouse
Fabric: Bagh print cotton fabric from Mrignayanee
Size: 12-18m
Though she will be 18m in couple of 4 weeks, i made it in 12-18m size. The blouse is roomy with space to grow.
I followed the pattern and instructions to the dot this time but there are lots of ideas floating in my head about some future modifications.

SEW-PinkBagh Picnic-Front
I am OK with that little bit of elastic showing, its mentioned on the forum couple of times that the elastic came undone after couple of washes and i am not a fan of mending… so didn’t quite pull the elastic while cutting off the excess.

Such a quick sew that my tiny stash of bagh fabrics will be turned into picnic blouses.

Reindeer Skirt

January 15, 2016

Ahh… 2016… Time seems to be running these days.. especially with a baby around 🙂 Ms J will be 18 months in less than 4 weeks and i am still wondering when she grew up so fast..
No new year resolutions for me as just can’t stick to them… This is what i wish to do in this year
Sew more…
Blog regularly..
Stay on top of laundry 🙂

I have two projects from 2015 to be shared and documented…
While this skirt is one (made at the end of November)…. the other one is what i am super excited about… lack of photos means, its down my blogging queue.

Holidayish Skirt

SEW-Reindeer Skirt-Ms H

We spent the Christmas long weekend (2 weeks of holidays cut to 4 days by the school)visiting my parents. Ms H wore this skirt couple of times there and my mom was telling all the neighbours that i made it (felt proud… patted myself invisibly couple of times ;-)). I forgot to pack it while returning to Chennai so some old pictures have to do.

Though the fabric was set aside for a dress for Ms J, Ms H wanted a skirt out of it… i may have enough for a dress for her, but now i really want to make a floaty blouse for Ms J. Dress or Blouse????

Any way here is the technical info 🙂
Pattern: Paris Skirt Tutorial
Fabric: Stretch poplin from cotton street (Has a slight stretch crosswise), I am sure it has lycra and would make lovely blouses and shirts.
Size: 5Y
I cut the fabric with every intention of adding the two pleats but in the end i decided not to, so its a tad longer on her.
Completely lined the skirt. Lining fabric is a bit heavier than the skirt.
Lined and interfaced the front yoke.
Added a bit of lace near the hem.
The back has two rows of 0.5″ elastic as i have ran out of 1″.

Detailed shots
SEW-Reindeer Skirt-Front SEW-Reindeer Skirt-Front waistband

SEW-Reindeer Skirt-Back waistband SEW-Reindeer Skirt-Lace

Long Skirts for Diwali 2015

December 18, 2015

The post which has been in my draft folder for the past month, for the lack of pictures is finally out.

Faux Benaras Traditional Outfits for Diwali
Sew-J-Diwali 2015 Set Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Set

Completely lined faux benaras long skirt and blouse (Pavadai+Chattai/Langa+Jacket) sets for both the girls for this Diwali. Yup… they are matchy matchy 🙂
These are made in 4 nights(coz i mixed up the festival dates) from cutting the fabric to finish… so they have my sweat, blood and sleep.
Extremely proud how they turned out even though it was a race to finish them (I was still fanatically sewing the press buttons for the blouses while Mr A is giving bath for the kids on Diwali morning).
I just couldn’t get a picture of the kids together….as the clouds were on us for another downpour.
Ms J
Sew-J-Diwali 2015

Ms H
SEW-H-Diwali 2015

Pattern: See Notes.
Size: around 5Y and 18M
Fabric: It is sold as faux benaras fabric (its polyester, so i completely lined both the skirts and the blouses)
Both the blouses are drafted from this tutorial , but the sewing sequence i figured out from a RTW silk blouse of Ms J, couple of videos on you tube also helped.
The bodice for Ms J’s skirt is drafted from here.
Ms H’s is a simple pleated skirt with a yoke.
While the basics are easy, there are a lot of small details that take time and effort for a nice finish.
I don’t remember much about the construction as it has been a blur, but here are some detailed pics and click through to flickr for little more details in the description.
Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Blouse Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Blouse Close3

Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Blouse Close2 Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Blouse Close1

Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Skirt Close1 Sew-H-Diwali 2015 Skirt Close2

Selfish Sewing – Salwars

December 9, 2015

Mustard Salwar for me1
(all the pictures were photo bombed by the little one… after that i couldn’t get decent light to take pictures again)
A bit of selfish sewing before Diwali. Even though i had some Diwali outfits planned for the kids.. i just couldn’t stop making salwars for myself, once i started. The fact that its mostly straight lines and you don’t have to fiddle with the fit means they are super easy to cut and sew. Its like an addiction.. seriously!!!!!

Salwar Sewing
The first two (from the right) are handloom cottons… breeze to sew and perfect for upcoming summer.
Then i took out my rayon… silky, slippery, creases easily and ravels a bit. Challenging to cut and sew… I will just say that i used a lot of pins.. a lot even for cutting.
The seam ripper came out a few times to the rescue and even caused an accident by poking a hole into the fabric.. OOPS!!! quickly fixed by some zig-zagging. The whole thing seemed to weigh a ton while my handloom ones are so light. Finally when its done and i tried it on… its like heaven, its so fluid, light, soft, comfy and i didn’t take it off ;-).
Rayons…Bring it on.
I saw some printed rayons in a store nearby and i am definitely going to get some.
I got away with a metre of 60″ rayon fabric… mostly coz i am petite and i fiddled the pieces to fit here and there… But next time i will buy more fabric.

Its was quite a task to photograph them entirely and even if you try they are not pretty :-), but then everybody knows how a salwar will be 🙂 Here are some detail shots from the mustard cotton salwar.
Mustard Salwar2
Pleats in the front

Mustard Salwar3

For anybody planning to make their own….
Pattern: Followed the drafting instructions from here. (if you are making one for the first time, do watch a video or two on youtube… i personally recommend cloud factory)
Fabrics: Both the cottons are 2mts/45″ wide fabrics, rayon is 1mt/60″ wide.
Notes: Used 1″ elastic instead of drawstring… makes life easy.
Interfaced the ankle part with some fusible interfacing.
Next time i am going to figure out add pockets to my salwars as i have seen on some RTWs…

Floating Sinking and Marooned

December 5, 2015


Water, water, every where,
And all the houses did sink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Adapted from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -1798.

We Chennaites are programmed for an overdose of you, Mr Sun… not for the overstayed guest Mr Rain… Please comeback and don’t mind whatever we had said about you six months back or what we will say in another six months from now.