Monday, December 28, 2015

December Crisis

Another year end was all planned out... We would go to Pondicherry, get back to Bangalore and then travel to Kerala. Twist of fate, we have cancelled our vacation. Dear Husband took a fall while we were in Pondicherry, and has a hairline fracture. So he got his cast on and we returned back to Bangalore. That is another year end in Bangalore.
I haven't had much time on hand to blog. Since I don't have extra helping hands, I need to get everything done around the house. Kids are bored, but they survive :-).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Class Party, snacks, decorations, Christmas cards, gifts and more

Got the circular from school yesterday, saying, Grade 1 will be having a class party today and kids have to carry some extra snacks. And off goes mommy bear trying to figure out what to send. For the last class party I had sent Veg & Non Veg Samosas and Kiddos favourite Choco chip cookies. So this time I wanted to send something different at the same time easy to make / cook.

Finally after much brain storming, searching for inspiration online and discussing with sisters came to the conclusion I'd make a Veg & Non Veg version for Breadizza i.e. Bread Pizza, which is basically using a slice of bread as the pizza base and building a pizza as normal and then grilling in the oven with cheese on top and a brownie to satisfy the sweet tooth... Yum yum yum :-). Kept aside cooking for today and Naima and I started with the decorations. We got some thermocol shaped as hearts and thermocol balls. We painted all the hearts red and kept them to dry. We made snowman using two different sizes of thermocol balls. Stuck the two pieces together and kept them aside to dry. The leftover thermocol balls also we coloured using different acrylic colours. We had our dinner much later. I am planning to make some tree decorations for kiddos teacher. To complete the decoration, I used some wire I had got last year. I also had some flower stalk wires which are thinner than the other wire.

Some of the decoration pieces

Cards for Teachers

So today morning I started off with the cooking. For Veg Breadizza I choose sweet corn as my topping and for Non - Veg I got some chicken breast, butterflied them and sliced them further to tiny cubes. I then sprinkled some salt & pepper over the cut chicken pieces and mixed it in. In the meantime I heated a pan with oil in it. Once the oil was hot I added a batch of sliced chicken cubes and fried them. Then prepared the bread base - spread the tomato base paste, added cheese, the topping and cheese on top and popped 6 slices of bread on my baking tray per batch. That is all my oven can handle at one go :-). I sliced the bread pieces into two i.e. two triangular pieces. So I had more than 30 each of veg & non veg breadizza.

Brownie was made at the last moment. I made two batches of brownie. It is gooey, sweet brownie. I should've started on the brownies a day ahead. Next time...

Today the kids will be having their Musical "Lion King"... Need to get the kids fed, dressed in time and take them to school as well. I got busy with making Christmas cards / gifts for the teachers. I wanted to give them to their teachers today but I wasn't able to finish them on time. After kids went to bed I completed the card making. Needless to say I have glitter of different colours all over me!!! I made the cards and their envelopes. Need to make the kids write a word on two in the cards. Will do that tomorrow morning.

I wanted to make a top for myself to wear for tomorrow. Didn't get started on it and looks like I may not be able to finish it in time for the program tomorrow... Let's see. I also wanted to make candles for kiddos teachers. My wick tabs got spoiled, because of which I couldn't make the candles. Still thinking if I should spend money and buy the tabs.

Party Dress for the 6 year old

I knew there would be a class party for my 6 year old, right before the school closes for winter vacation and so I got an early start on making a dress for her. I liked the outcome :-).

So here is the latest addition to my 6 yr old's wardrobe.
For the cap sleeves, I added a velvet trim and to the bottom of the dress I've attached a satin ribbon.

Then I added the flower shaped ornaments all over the front side of the dress. There is a zip at the back of the dress. The outer fabric has been lined using a white cotton fabric. The outer fabric is cotton silk.

A closer look at the ornaments

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Christmas is at our doorsteps

It is almost Christmas time... soon the year will come to an end and the new year will begin. A time to remember all of God's goodness in our lives and a time to be thankful for all that he has done. I have a week left to do all our packing, sewing etc. I do hope I can finish up all the projects I started this year :-).

Last night I made a tunic for my son. He has a class party today and is supposed to be "Party wear". He has the usual shirts and t-shirt so I thought I could add a dash of colour to his wardrobe :-D. It took me about 2 hours to complete this..

The Fabric is Cotton silk, so it has a shine to it. I wanted him to wear it over the Indian white pyjama, but I ran out of time to sew hi one... Maybe next time I will do it. The tunic is made a little longer than his usual shirts and so are the sleeve slightly longer than the normal half sleeve.

My Chocolate boy :-)... He is a cutie pie, he can melt you with his smile and kisses. Or maybe I feel so 'coz he is my flesh and blood.

I have started making a dress for my sweet princess. Hoping to finish it by today. Have to think of all the gifts I need to make / buy/ take with me when we go home next week.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December Projects

I have quite a few projects I need to complete this month. Was held up with kiddos exams, which got over on Friday. From Sunday evening I'll have to plan on finishing up my projects. We'll be travelling next week, which means everything should be done by next Saturday. I have 2 wallets, one laptop sleeve, one clutch wallet, two drawstring bags and one school bag to complete. That is 7 projects. I need to tackle at least one project per day. I will cut the pieces for wallet and keep them ready. I've already cut pieces for one drawstring bag and the school bag. For the Laptop sleeve and clutch wallet I need to do something!
And on top of all this I've also cut out cloth for a dress for Naima. She might be having a class party before school closes for Winter vacation. So I wanted her to have a new party dress :-) with beads and things. Let's see how it works out. Sometimes I think I need more than one machine :-) so I can switch back and forth between projects.

The most recent work was I made two trifold wallets and two pouches for my dear girl's teachers. I run out of material and my craft budget for the month gets over before I can purchase again which leads to delay in completing the work. For the school bag, I need some more material and I can't get them until next payday. I enjoy making things at home, with love. Doing my sewing and baking etc fills me heart with joy and I feel like when I make things and give to someone I'm spreading joy :-).

Time to hit the sack... so long... adios! Bon nuit! Good night :-D

New pattern trifold wallet

Here is the latest trifold wallet. This one was made for my dear girl's favourite teacher. It took me about 5 hours to make this. This time around I made the card slot facing up and I didn't make provision for ID card / clear vinyl slot. I've added three little jewels in front of the magnetic clasp. I liked the little decoration :-). The outer fabric is a light weight cotton and the inner light blue fabric is a little thicker cotton jeans material.

And on the closing fold I attached the zip to put in coins / pen etc. I put in the magnetic clasp on the first fold right above the card slot. Used bias binding to cover the card slot.

Provision for mobile pouch is on the centre fold. Mobile can be secured using the Velcro closure. And the third fold I made provision to put in currency notes. Bound the edges using bias tape made with the main fabric.

The outside fabric

Friday, December 4, 2015

Projects in the making

It seems my to do list is expanding and I'm not getting much done these days. Exam has coming knocking which means I'm going to be busy "not sewing" for at least a week now. And I also need to complete off my existing list of things to do AND tackle projects I've initiated AND complete my Christmas gifting projects. Seems like a lot needs to be done in such a short time! I'm sure it will all work out just fine. In the mean time I thought I'd share some projects I am still working on or perfecting and some that have been completed.

A quick 5 mins project I did for Dad A small pouch he can hook to trouser

A bag for Dadda to carry a dress or two when he travels. This was made with Faux leather in black colour.

The laptop sleeve for MacBook for my sis

New lunchbag for my girl. Her lunch bags become dirty so fast! I made this one using the bag fabric which is waterproof instead of using regular fabric.

A clutch wallet that can fit your phone, card, coins etc. This is a WIP... I'm trying to perfect its pattern :-). This is by order of my dear friend. All provisions made in this are as per her request. It is a modified version of my Trifold wallet.

Provision to put in cards and vinyl ID card / photo section. The elastic across ensure cards don't "jump out"

I've also put a provision for a wristlet.

Some dollies in the making. Kid's school is having "Joy of giving" and we thought instead of giving away old toys we'd make some new ones.
This was the first family batch. The Mumma doll is in school and I made the rest when my daughter went to school. And yes as always I forgot to click pics of the Mumma doll I made at night.

The first set of dolls made for "Joy of giving". The Mumma doll is missing

The second doll family

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Large Two toned Faux Leather Tote

I completed my Leather tote project yesterday. Feels good having my own customised version of tote. The tote is completely normal in its construction. I have used coffee brown faux leather of two kinds and made the handle with the bottom material of the tote.
There is a zip pocket at the back of the back and one on the inside too. I made a pocket to keep my phone and then there is the pen / pencil holder and a hook to hang my keys. For some reason keys go missing in my normal totes / bags and so when I decided to make a tote I knew I wanted a hook provision to ''hang'' things like keys or maybe extra pouches etc. I used a waterproof bag lining for this tote. I did not put in a regressed zip, instead attached a magnetic snap to the center of the tote.

The finished work - a Large tote. I can fit my laptop in here and an umbrella, some note books as well.

You can see the magnetic snap and the inside zip pocket. I had just one brown zip, which I used for the zip pocket on the outside and ended up using a grey zip for the inner pocket.

The pocket for holding mobile, pen holder and the dangling hook where I keep my keys

Another view

The zip at the back of the tote.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New beginning maybe? Projects to be completed

I've always wanted to put a label to the things I make and haven't been able to find a name that I like. And then one day while I was out, riding my bike, it came to me. I can't tell you what it is but maybe soon I'll be able to... I don't know how soon that soon will be.... And DH and I were discussing things over and we decided to buy a domain with the said name I came up with. I was excited! it didn't cost us much to get the domain but I still need a website to be set up and that costs money. So for the time being we are taking it slow. Maybe, I can reach a point where I can support the whole online ''store / shop" from the orders I take up or sales I do. It is a long shot and I'd love it for our family to have that extra income. But I'm not there yet and I don't know if I will get there, but I sure can hope for it.

In that line of thought, I thought I need to have an identifying symbol for my ''brand'... I want to do the logo, website look etc. I'm not good at drawings, but I know what I want. So one day last week I sat down and drew what I had in my head. I'll warn you, it isn't pretty or artistic... it looks like a child's work of art and I like that :-). I had help from two gorgeous sisters with their valuable input and the input of my long lasting friend - we go way back to college and ever since have stuck together. We got married, had kids at around the same time. I'm almost ok with the way that looks. Now I need a logo. I've been wanting to work on it, but haven't. Things came up at kids school, PTM, meetings, outing etc.

So what is next up on my agenda or list of tasks / projects to complete
1) Make a sleeve for sister's Mac
2) Make 2 drawstring bags for her kiddos
3) Make a clutch for a cousin's wife
4) Make a tote for self using the faux leather
5) And maybe a wallet using the faux leather

I've been very nervous trying to complete the sleeve for Mac, for the simple reason that I don't have a demo piece or something I can use to verify if the sleeve will fit. I thought of getting a demo piece using Thermocol sheet. Rain has been playing spoilsport... we've been having showers the whole day through that I can't go out. I hope the sleeve fits :-S. I've cut out the outer pieces and the foam sheet is ready, but I need the right zip. Been thinking if I should go to the market again for it. I need a few other knick knacks as well. Kiddos bag won't take long at all, but I've been holding back. I need to solve one problem before I can complete those. I don't have the tools I need and I've been debating on whether I need to get them or not. They don't fit my budget at the moment to be honest.I want to insert grommets, but don't have the tools.

In the meantime I've started on the extra large tote for myself. Yet to finish up the bag handle. I want it to look more professional, but  like I said before, I don't have the tools I need.
Clutch is the difficult one in terms of execution. I don't know if my machine can handle all the layers of that fabric and I can't afford to do a shabby job....

What next? Sample drawstring bag and sample laptop sleeve

Now that I've added some more material to my sewing "hoard" section, you'd think I'd make something. You are right! This is my first attempt at using Faux leather and I wanted to make sure I can do a decent job of making a sleeve for my laptop before I attempt the same for an 11" Macbook. I want it to be perfect. I'm making it for someone special and I lover her :-). She has u always  been there for me - through the good, bad and terrible times. They say sisters tend to do that, especially the Big sisters....

So, anyway, I thought I'd make a sample drawstring bag using the new fabrics, just to check how they'd hold up and also to verify if the waterproof lining I got would do its job. And I wanted to make a sample laptop sleeve as well.

And now, the results

Made the laptop sleeve using Faux leather as the outer and inner fabric. Sandwiched between the layers is a layer of 1/2 inch foam padding and foam sheet padding for the front and back panel.
I'm not too proud of the sleeve. I didn't have the right zip and the result is evident... but I'm sure i'll get it right the next time.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Another round of Fabric shopping

Yesterday I went out fabric shopping again. This time, I wanted to get hold of some faux leather, waterproof bag lining and some bag making material. I found just the right things in the least amount of time. I went back to Balepete and I was for some strange reason not able to find the shops I visited last time. Instead, I found new shops and these guys sell the leather of right thickness for making bags / purses. They even have upholstery leather for sofas and car seats. The shop even had a velvet fabric. I thought I'd overshoot my budget, but surprisingly I could stay within my  normal range!

Watch out... in the next few days I should be done with a few projects that have been pending. I'm hoping it works out fine. I'll share the pics then. 

Faux Leather: The first and third fabrics are dark brown the middle one is black. The first one will be used for making sleeve cum bag for a Mac book and the second one is for a clutch. The third one - well I may make a tote for myself... lets see. Maybe even a wallet.

The black one with the lock. This will eventually become a clutch

Waterproof materials for drawstring bags. I may make snack / lunch bag out of these. I loved the pink fabric with hearts on it!

Red waterproof bag material. I may convert this to Lunch bag for kiddos.