Oct 8, 2012

Row, row, row your boat...

And we continue rowing our DIY boat into the vast sea of sewing :P and most of the time we are just lying in the boat staring lazily into the sky and dreaming away... WASTING precious time! But we are in the boat none the less and we dream (which is the most important thing).

This is the second attempt trying to make a boat neck or bateau neck or Sabrina neckline. The fabric was bought from an exhibition in Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore. The neck embroidery is done using old silk threads. These deserve a post of their own!! The design stitches are the standard in-built ones for the sewing machine we have. This design almost caused a mental break down because the threads kept snapping every now and then (especially the wicked pink ^$@^&!). In spite of adjusting the thread tension this kept happening and we think that was because of the old threads. Lesson learnt: Use new threads!

The embroidery doesn't really stand out because the threads and the stitches are too fine and are lost in the patterned fabric. Lesson learnt: Coordinate design, threads and the pattern of fabric.

A better idea might be to make this dress in black with gold piping at the neck and a thick pink and red hand embroidery around it!!! Can't wait to make that one!!!!

But this kurta turned out better than the last one we made. Will post the pictures of the first boat neck dress tomorrow.

Sep 22, 2012

A 'Langa' for Avni

After a looooong break... we are back and we are back with a small and pretty gift for a little friend 'Avni'!

The skirt (langa in Kannada) fabric was bought from Ramchandrapuram and has been part of our stash for more than a year now. The blouse is made out of silk cotton.

The dress was made in a short time and we couldn't experiment much with the detailing. All we did was add the ties at the shoulder and patch a motif from the skirt fabric onto the front of the blouse. But thankfully the simplicity of the blouse compliments the heavy brocade of the skirt material.

We louve, loouve, and just looouve the rich and glorious pinks and magentas.... and we adore the golds in the brocade. This is one of our all time favorite dresses! Hopefully we should be able to post a picture of the dress with our tiny model! :)

Mar 15, 2012

Embroidery: Black Silk Saree

Again Bhagyamma was restless and this time there was no need to trace design also. Just a dot. Then she would go like Gobman and eat all dots. And voila ! The saree was done !

Material from MSIL Mandara
Threads for embroidery from Anchor
Stitches: Stem, Lazy Daisy

Feb 26, 2012

Trial and Error: Dyeing

I do not believe there is one perfect way to achieve nirvana. Everyone has a different path! What I am trying to explain here is that there might be many ways to do a particular thing. And below is my way of dyeing a fabric! :)

what u need: fabric dye, non iodized salt, hot water, stove, wooden stick or spatula, a large aluminium vessel, pre-washed fabric that you have to dye. (I have tried only with cotton so far.)

The dye I bought from Devi Stores came in powdered form and 20 gms of powder costs 20 rupees. This quantity is enough to dye about a meter or so of the cloth.

So you take about half a bucket of boiling water and dissolve the dye and some salt in it. No wet the pre-washed fabric in water and wring out the water. This helps the dye to penetrate the fiber better I guess. So you immerse the fabric into it. you need to keep stirring occasionally so that all parts of the fabric are evenly colored.

The shop keeper told me to boil fabric in this dye 30 mins. I bet the actual dye container will have proper instructions. Since I bought only 20 gms of the dye I didn't get the container. What I did was let the fabric soak for an hour and then boil it for 20 minutes. Then I let it cool and then washed it 2-3 times in clean water.

The intensity of the color will depend on the amount of dye you add and the duration of time you soak it/boil it.

Feb 25, 2012

A Dash of Color - Devi Stores

After living in Bangalore for 9 years I finally found Devi Craft Supply Stores in Shivajinagar. And I promptly went for my first Darshan today! Yippee!

Thank you Bangalore Craft-lovers group on FB for guiding me to it!

So the story goes like this... I had been hearing a lot about this place in Shivajinagar that stocks craft supplies but no one in my circle knew its name of the directions to get to it. So I continued to brave the claustrophobia and the agoraphobia and all other the phobias in general that deal with getting to Chicpet, Bangalore.

So 25th, the Saturday morning I set out for Shivajinagar armed with Google maps print-out and address. And as fate would have Russell Market had to catch fire early that day! I lost my way and ended up in the chaos near the accident area. Finally found Shop #405, Devi Stores :) and it happened to be a garment shop... As he would have done, I suppose, many times in the past, he patiently told me the route to the Devi Craft Store. (Reminder to self - add the location in Google Maps.)

After seeing the stored I realized why it hadn't registered earlier... it looks just like a plain hardware and paint store from outside. And inside its a treasure trove of tools, glues, paints, dyes, boards, sprays, glue guns, and what not. Needless to say, for a few minutes I couldn't make up my mind regarding what to buy... cos my mission was to just locate the store... I hadn't made any list of things to buy. But we women need no list I say! Went ahead and bought some fabric dyes. Hurried back home to test them out.
The colors are fantastic! I cant wait to try something new with them!

Jai ho Devi Ma ki!

Feb 24, 2012

Proudly Primary

I tend to get sucked into complexity. I tend to ignore what comes naturally. Somehow the primary colors never seem to be my initial choice! And this dress changed all that.

This is the first dress I embroidered for my daughter. And this was the first one she truly appreciated! I did not trace the design. It just grew. As you can guess this design draws a bit from Mexican embroidery. What I loved most about this dress is its vibrancy and simplicity. There is hardly anything complex. Its a simple dress in basic colors.

The polka dot cotton fabric is from a Jayanagar 4th Block, Bangalore shop.The red fabric is super thin cotton from my stash of leftover fabric. The threads are from Anchor.

Feb 22, 2012

The First Sewing Machine

Singer Multipurpose was my first sewing machine and our relationship lasted for more than 15 years!

Learning to sew with this stubborn piece of machinery was traumatic. I have literally pulled out my hair, scratched my skin out and swore every time the thread snapped and acted like a total psycho while using it. I have sung so many songs with it! Talked to it! Ok I am a psycho! :)

All said and done most of my early projects turned out well! I have bitter-sweet memories with this machine. But it had to be done and I exchanged it for a new machine in March last year. It is almost one year now... And I still think about it very often.

Dear Machine, I hope you are out there, happy, with someone more pleasant than me... who doesn't abuse or throw tantrums when the needle breaks! And on top of all I hope no one blames you to hide their poor sewing skills (that is me!)