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Nov 14, 2014

My little angel turns 8 - mood board inspired dress

Dear Readers,

I know I haven't been posting regularly on the blog, but those of you who are on know that I have been sewing ... I still have so many pending posts ,..oh yes elsa dress is still WIP post :( 

Ok now let me get on to this post. This is about the birthday dress I made for my little girl who actually isn't little anymore, she turned 8 !

Had made a sewing mood board using thermocol  and the first project on it was for her bday dress. I gave her collection of magazines and asked her to choose dresses she liked, it could be color, cut, design, embellishment anything she liked. She chose few and based on that I added a few and made the mood board

I have the mood board right above my sewing desk . I am surprised at the impact that it had on my design and sewing, I was improvising and working on bodice of frock and after having completing it, it was shocking to me that a design on mood board had come through in the bodice albiet in a morphed form , but It did come and without actually intending to do so while working on the bodice yes Mood boards work big time and I recommend it for every sewista, infact for every creative person , I am sure it will help in your design and execution , especially when you get a whole whirlwind of ideas and don't know which ones to shortlist and choose ...pls try it out and you will be happy with your mood board .

Now let's talk about the dress in detail. As you can see the number 8 itself was in teal color as chosen by Adithi and the dress base color will be teal. She wanted to have peocock colors so teal, blue and green, slight hint of purple,  but I gave up on green and used teal, light blue, ink blue and a purple, blue, teal mixed fabric, sorry forgot the name, it was japanese something fabric I found in Kamdar. 
Oh yes fabric shopping was an ordeal, as I tried Spotlight once and couldn't get much to suit the mood board within my budget, which is surprising and had even thought of changing the pallete for the dress but decided to try one more attempt at shopping and I stuck s good deal this time at kamdar, the right colors, texture and price that I was looking for .

Bodice took an entire swwing day , with blink tuck pleats (yes my latest sewing technique obsession!!) which were in bias and then I filled in the gap between two pleated spaces using fan made of fabric in 3 colors, yes I went avant garde and to be honest I am pleased with the result, though I was initially apprehensive thinking if I am going over board... One shoulder bodice was drafted and I added elastic infused, intertwined straps for more stability on the other side. It has back zipper opening and is lined with cotton satin. Oh yes the main fabric for bodice is teal color tafetta . Wanted the skirt to start from low waist , hence added a big waist band with mixed color fabric 

With the bodice done, it was a tough decision to choose which fabric to use for skirt the dark blue organza or the mixed color name not known fabric . Adithi chose the later. Made an high low circle skirt which runs high low from side to side rather than front to back. Also another layer of ink blue organza is beaneath it and then  It is interlied with tafetta and underlined with cotton satin half circle skirt . Yes lots of layers for skirt and it adds fullness and gives shape without using tulle and is light in weight ...the only fabric heavy was cotton satin lining!

Bow on strap is last minute addition as I felt strap too nude compared to all those avant garde fabric fans on bodice. Bow is separate and is attached to broooch pin, so it can worn with any other outfit. 
After a trial session, Adithi said waist was itching , since the waist seams were visible though overlocked..i adding a seam covering using bias strip of cotton sateen and covered up seams, yes couture finish fit for a princess ...

 Oh yes had also made tile jewellery to go with it, earrings and necklace using fabric .

She had an awesome day at school, yes this year she wanted to go to school on her bday ..every year at the start she says how she would like to celebrate her bday and we plan accordingly ...last year she wanted a surprise a big one, so we took her to disneyland hongkong, this year she wanted to celebrate with friends at it was ..then we went to park and temple in the evening ... Her favourite Geronimo Stilton book collection was the bday gift, which we had hidden in different places in the house and sent her on a treasure hunt, she was thrilled and elated. ... Made her handmade pop up card and then evening surprise gift was scrabble , which we played seated at the park until late into night when mosquitoes ensured it was time to head back home was awesome birthday fitting for a princess.... 


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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