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Oct 15, 2014

Me N Mom Matching skirts

Made matching skirts for Adithi and Me. We love wearing matchy outfits and flaunting our matchy accessories. Just the thrill that we both are wearing alike keeps us motivated to wear matchy match . Not sure though, how long this will continue , with Adithi growing up, I am not sure if she would like to be seen wearing outfits which matches with her mom's... That is for future, now lets enjoy the moment right now where she really loves to match with mom provided I reassure her that despite the similarity , her outfit is better than mine :)

l Made half circle skirt using By Hand London Circle Skirt App which made my job easier

Used waist facing with back zipper closure
for  Adithi it's a Full circle skirt for her seat measurement which us fitted using elasticised waist band.

Thank you By Hand London for the circle app, which saves me from doing the math. 


Sep 22, 2014

Meet Kawairashī on'nanoko aka Japanese Girl Avatar

Meet Adithi in her pretty little Japanese Girl Avatar


Making Yukata (the traditional Japanese Summer Kimono) was qutie challenging. I had never seen this outfit in person before and had to make use of the pics i found on the net as reference. Checked a few online tutorials on how to make it, and more i saw them, the more confused i was. so after an hour or so of wandering on the net, i decided to take things under control and started drafting own pattern directly on fabric. 

Fabric folded lengthwise with chest width + 1.25 inch (mistake, i had to add 2+inches or so for overlap at front, will correct it next time ) and marked front and back pieces together without shoulder seam (sorry didn't take any pic while making it as i was too preoccupied figuring it out) , so mostly a rectangle with neck curve and sleeve without any curve as in armhole which are cut straight

Collar was another lengthy rectangle and had to sewn around neck and center front overlap sides . this is more like modern day bathrobe . I had miscalculated length of collar and next time when i make it will cut neck depth bit more at front so that overlap collar is up until low waist, rather than just below ribs in this outfit.

Sleeves were also a rectangle cut on fold with sleevelength as desired and breadth being armhole depth  * 2 as sleeves hang extra beyond armhole. This was most tough for me as couldnt figure out armhole vent which was there in pics and finally figured it out. I am still not sure if i did it right and i need to get my hands on Yukata to see if i did manage to sew it right.

 Made an Obi Belt, which was basically a  rectangle to fit her waist and added velcro straps at back. made a huge interfaced bow and attached it to the back of Obi. Making Obi was the easiest part of this entire outfit.

We were supposed to go to Bon Odori - festival on Saturday and since my hubby was unwell and it was raining heavily, we had to cancel it at the last minute. never mind we had a Bon Odori photosession at home! And she had loads of fun and said the outfit was very airy n comfy !!!! I did a cheatseat and added a godget at back for ease of movement and also to make up for my shortage on front overlap added a hidden flap overlap at front underside part. Liberty of sewista ...yay!!

Bon Odori @ home 

 Better view of Sleeves and yes a little bow hairclip made to match :)

She loved every moment of it and was jumping with joy ! ahoy !

Next time when i make yukata i will be more prepared and it will be much closer to original traditional version. 

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Jun 25, 2014

Jewellery organizer DIY

My dressing table had been a mess for long now. Even though I had made 3 of these jewellery organizers as gifts, didn't get down to making one for self. Finally here it is 

Here are the ones that I made earlier 

Let's do a quick picture tutorial for the same 

I made use of felt 2 layers and pvc book wrapping sheet on top and some bias tape

So what you'll need
1. Felt or fabric , if choosing fabric choose think ones like canvas or interface fashion fabric
2. Plastic pvc wrapping sheet
3. Bias tape , though easier not compulsory you can even use normal fabric strips to bind the edges as they will straight edges

Cut felt into rectangle or square of dimensions you like I had made ones ranging from 12*12 to 16*24

So the grey one I made for self  is 16 * 24 (width * length)

Cut 2 felt pieces . I cut grey in 16 * 24 and black felt for back side in 16 * 21 
3 inches extra in grey felt fabric for flap over . Actually I had cut same dimensions for both black and grey and later added extra 3 inches to add for flap.

Then cut pvc clear plastic sheets  measuring 3.5 * 16 . 4 pieces
Finish the top edges of pvc sheets using bias strips

Then pin each strip of pvc sheets to the grey felt and stitch the on 1/4 inch from the fabric edges

Pin the bias tape onto bottom edge of pvc sheet and top stitch it through pvc sheets as well as felt together 

Add Velcro to the top edge of grey felt and the other half of Velcro on to the black felt. Pin the Velcro and check if alignment of the same is right on both felt pieces

Place right sides of two felt pieces (grey n black) and stitch the 3 sides together. Leaving the top side open

Trim the corners and turn to the felt to right side

Add bias tape loop on top , which can be used to hang the jewellery organiser .

Added buttons at the bottom edge of grey felt so that I can use them as hangers for chains. Go ahead innovate and add as many options to your organizer ! Hope this tutorial was clear enough and helpful . Would like to see your creations made using this tute. Feel free to share the link of your creations in comments sections 


Feb 2, 2014

Cheongsam for Chinese New Year 2014

Back to Sewing with a Cheongsam, my first sewing project for the year 2014  !

Hi ... I am back. Yes its been more than 2 months since i posted last. These two months had been quite a remarkable time to say the least. Month of December , meant vacation and i had dreamt of concentrating on having own online site and it would mean having a sample line of collection. Lot of designs in mind, wanted to rejuvenate myself, went for a book exhibition and got loads of them and did what i love  to do, read all night, its been almost a decade since i last did that !

Loved every minute of it, finished novels overnight, read non-fiction motivating speeches as well... all was well until i felt it, ouch the shoulder blades hurt like hell ... i couldn't even manage to do normal house hold chores, i have had this stiff / frozen shoulder for more than a decade now...yes i don't like going to the doc and do alternative healing and so far it had helped it stretch, but not anymore i guess and i listened to my body and took an appointment with the X-ray and MRI scan later i have been diagnosed with cervicular radiculopathy...pain which starts due to herniated neck disk and hence pinches a nerve which stops blood supply to shoulder muscles and also to the pain radiates from neck to shoulder and to the arms.

I had weekly appointments with the doc and slowly was put into physiotherapy. when it wasn't showing much results, i realized that i indeed was missing out one big routine of mine, YOGA , ever since school holidays began, i had bunked my daily Yoga sessions and... realizing my back to Yoga with vigour and guess what it showed magical results, the pain subsided albeit oh so slightly, but it did ... With the combination of yoga and physio, i could feel i am slowly but steadily on the path to recovery...still am not back to normal as in No Pain will take time...but i wanted to test my limits and decided to get back to sewing ... yes the neck forward posture that we have during sewing is detrimental to my current state of health, but something that you love would surely not be bad...or so i believe and hence got back to sewing...

Chinese New Year Dress had been long in my mind, ever since Adithi's bday trip to Hong Kong, where i set my eyes on this lovely brocade , not silk but synthetic brocade. Red and Gold , how much more authentic chinese can one get... this fabric deserved to be a Cheongsam and so be it...

Pushed my self to get started and didn't bother making a pattern, just started with her shoulder measurements and total length, every thing else fell into place. The dress just ormed its shape as i went about sewing !....

The front bodice has mock overlap, actually no overlap, but just the bias tape giving an illusion of overlap. The mandarin collar is one of my favorites, but Adithi doesn't like close neck outfits so i gave a slight gap at center front neck and used that space to insert the mock overlap bias tape. After sewing up the bias tape, then added the collar. Before that i had to finish the back and attach the front and back bodice.

For the Back Bodice, adding an invisible zipper was a breeze using the concealed zipper foot that i got as X-mas present remember (for those who follow me on facebook  would have known


Making the collar without the pattern took quite a bit of time, as i had missed the length by a whisker and made another one and then realized that i had to give opening a the back so two different collar pieces are required and used the earlier version for one half and then the new version for the other half


Now it was time to sew side seams and then add side slit bias tape.

Entire bias tape was made at home using golden tissue fabric from my stash. 2 inch width was just perfect to refold ala the store bought ones and gave clean 3/8 inch finished result.

Now was the time to make chinese frog button closures. (sorry forgot to take step by step picture while making them) Since it was mock overlap the closures will be fixed and not realtime usage of being closure. Still i had to make the actual ones and get them fixed permenanatly. Making those frog buttons took 2 hours..yes after trial and error and till i got satisfied with the end result !

Dress in total took 9 hours from the ebgining to end and was spanned out in 2 days. I am quite happy with how it turned out. After adding the second and final frog button , we dressed her up and rushed to the Thean Hou (Hainanese Temple near where we live) and soaked in all the festive fervour, the temple was all lit up and thronged by chinese devotees.

The entrance was all decked up and there was a stage highlighting the Year of the Horse 2014.

Chinese Lanterns all over the place ,

 pink lit trees which were on the pathway of the park which features all 12 animals which represent Chinese Calender. 

This year belongs to the Horse , so here is the pic with the Animal of the Year !

Dog is her Birth Year Animal, so a click with that

And last with the designer and doting mom, Pose suggested by Adithi (most of them are as is a big time Nautanki ;)
I love love love this pic !

We came back tired but happy ... shoulder and arm joint hurts a little but the satisfaction is a soothing balm which put me to sleep.

I will rest for  a while, before i get back to sewing ...with V Day coming up it wont be far. But may be smaller projects and not quite extensive ones..

Will also do a post detailing my Journey from Pain to relief soon as i feel a slight tinge on my right arm as i am typing this post ....

With front and back done

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Dec 7, 2013

Little Princess Turns 7 - Sleeping Beauty Princess Aurora Inspired Dress

Adithi's Birthday is the special event of the year for us and we plan for it a couple of months ahead. Making the dress has been one of the important things to be planned and executed as it takes lot of time. Last year we had relocated just a month before Adithi's birthday and i missed out on making a dress for her and wanted to make up for this year and hence roped her in the design stage itself.

She is growing up fast and states her requirements whenever i make a dress for her and so the timing was just right to let her decide and choose the design for her b'day dress. Opened up PInterest for her and let her search for b''day dress designs, since we had planned a HongKong DisneyLand trip as her b'day surprise, i told her to chose some princess dress as she is of course our little princess.

She searched and zeroed in on Princess Aurora dress , the next day !

Now that the design had been chosen, i didnt quite like the collar shape of it and to my pleasant surprise found that the new dress design for the disney princess had a much softer pleated off shoulder collar, which Adithi also liked much and we finalized this design.

The fabrics as is the case with most of my outfits are Indian to the core. Banarasi Brocade, Kancheevaram silk, where else can you get such rich , luscious fabrics which stand up for the special occassions !

So with the just the design of sleeping beauty dress, we decided to use Indian fabrics and make a dress of a kind, Indo-western as is the style mantra for Adithi and Me.

I had earlier done off shoulder design for her. Check her 3rd Birthday outfit .

so the design part should'tn be difficult, or so i thought. Guess what making and draping of the off shoulder collar took a day.

The bodice itself is 3 pieces at the front and are embellished at the seam joins that form a "V"

The skirt part is enormous and twirls a LOT. Made use of 7 metres of fabric and gave it a double shade effect by using fuschia and gold tissue fabric for the skirt part and it has been lined using a full circle skirt in golden color satin fabric. The outer layer skirt actually is made of 6 circle skirts !

The Flower petal layer on the skirt also went through lot of brainstorming sessions as i initially planned to retain the sharp edge close fitted petals and then realized, it wont'be comfortable for Adithi and hence decided to do gathered loose fit Petal layer and glad i chose to do as it drapes far better than the sharp edge one on the Disney princess!

Made her try the dress and then altered the hem after letting the dress hang on the clothesline for a day so that hemline gets stabilized and all the bias edge of the curve hemline gets sorted. I do this for all the birthday ball gown type dresses so that the dress hangs beautifully even after washing.

The pleated collar drape has been handstitched (Oh yes i dont 'like to handstitch much and this dress tested my patience !) Somehow it felt little incomplete and decided to add tissue fabric handmade flowers and it took me a day to make those 4-5 flowers and chose the best ones to be hand stitched onto the beside 

since the neck was deep at the back and it is an offshoulder neckline, decided to add a Dori (tie-string to tieup the back and hold the dress in place) with beaded hangings..perfect Indian touch i must admit and i just loved it :)

Now that the dress was complete, or so i thought, realized that i need to have those full sleeves which Adithi wasn't comfortable with so made a removable sleeves using net fabric.

The dress had taken a cool 3 weeks to complete and was well worth all those hours that went into making it.

Adithi was absolutely thrilled when she got to know that it is DisneyLand that she is going for her b'day celebration ! She got to know only when we boarded the Disneyland train and was jumping for joy!

We also had a session at Bibbidi Boutique to give her the princess makeover and i opted for the package without dress as she would of course wear her Amma made dress. It was surreal for her to be getting the princess makeover litereally !

Though the experience was enjoyable for her, as an adult, i could make out the commercial overtones at the botique and the staff werent actually that friendly considering their clientele age group. They were just milking money from lovestruck parents who wouldn't mind on their loved little one's special day!

The dress that boutique had to offer for  the princess aurora one was nowhere near the one that i have made, not saying this to boast, but really after checking the fabric, the design and the finish of the dress they offered and the one that is handmade by me, i can say with confidence that please opt to make one for your little ones or get it custom made, the one with the package isnt as comfy for the little ones.

Then there was the photosession which was cool as she was made to pose in myriad styles and she started the session with Oh My Goodness i am a celebrity mood to ending it with please I have had enough snaps, no more, i quit attitude !

The boutique obviously was charging sky high prices for physical copy of the photos and we chose to taken soft copy of the photos for which we paid HK$100 for each soft copy !

After the photoshoot we had a late breakfast and in the hotel lobby those who were around checked with us asking where we got the dress as it is very beautiful and different from the one the boutique had to offer, i was thrilled and tried being modest while saying I Designed the Dress.. it was a yes I have made a mark moment for me as a designer :)

Princess Adithi enjoyed her outfing in the dress until breakfast and then got changed and went to play in the disneyland Theme Park. She had loads of fun, especially at the Toy Story part of the park and also during the Disney Characters Parade at noon.

Much more fun was in store in the evening as we had booked dinner buffet and had ordered for custom made cake to be cut by the bday girl in the Enchanted Gardern Restaurant and the food spread was also good and extensive. The disney characters roamed around the restaurant and posed for snaps at each table and little one did have nice time. After the cake cutting, we headed for fireworks at the theme park and it was indeed a memorable birthday which i will cherish forever.

May god bless my little princess with all the love and happiness that she deserves . God Bless.



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