Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hers & His (Kiddie Fleece PJ)

So, I got some fleece fabric and decide to make something for the kiddos. December is right around the corner and it gets a little cold out here. I haven't made anything for my son in some time and thought it was just about time. It didn't take me awfully long to do this. 
I used clothes that fit the kiddos to draft out my pattern. I cut the fabric and got right to sewing. And the post is titled Hers and His because I made Her version first ;-)

So the first one I made was for "her" and this is how it looks.

A closer look at the top - I thought it would be nice to add their first letter to their PJs

 The Pant

Then I did "his" version... The kiddo agreed to pose for a few pics - Lucky mumma :D

Closer look at the Top - His "N" is different from hers

This fits my almost 3 yr old just fine :-)

Butterfly and Flower pouch (with applique and free hand embroidery)

My girl gets inspiration to ask me to sew something while she is playing. And so, a few days back she asked me to make her a new pencil pouch with butterfly and flower on it. And I got right to work... I looked at my fabric scraps and found a few pieces I could used to whip up a butterfly and a flower. I also got some fabric left over from the bags i'd made for the kiddos and decided to use that as the main fabric. I also found scraps of lining I had used from the bag and I used it for the inner lining for the pouch.

First I cut out a rough shape of butterfly and one I was satisfied with its size I cut another piece, using the first one as my guide. Then I appliqued it on the main pouch fabric. I put the butterflies on two ends and a flower in the middle. Cut out 2 circles for the base of the flower then cut 4 more sets of circles in concentric circles. For each of the 4 sizes I cut out 4 pieces each. So in total I cut out 18 circles - 2 circles of same size for base, 4 circles that were a little smaller than the base circle, another 4 circles a little smaller than the previous circle, another 4 circles a little smaller than the previous circle and last 4 circles a little smaller than the previous circle and these 4 smallest circles forms the innermost petals of the flower. The base circles are kept as is. Fold all the rest of the circles into 1/4 i.e it will be 90 degree pie pieces. the 1/4th pieces of the largest circle will form the 4 base pieces and the rest of the pie pieces will be stacked on top in the decreasing size order. Sew through all the layers. I covered the centre of the flower with a big pearl piece.

The Pouch

It is a slim pouch and opens all the way. The pouch can be opened flat out

The back view
 The lining

Peas Pulao

Kids had off on Tuesday and I thought it would be nice to make something different instead of the normal rice and curries for lunch. So, made the Peas pulao this morning and some chicken kheema to go with it and a raitha with cucumber and tomato. Made the pulao in a pressure cooker and must say it was rather quick. We enjoyed the Pulao :-). 

Dadda's lunch box ;-)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Phone / tab holder (viewer) for car

Last weekend our family decided to go out for a spin and the kids wanted to watch Narnia on the phone. And they have to bend and watch with the phone in their hands, which gets uncomfortable. To top that my little one decided to fall asleep on his sisters shoulder, because he was leaning on her and watching, and in the process fell asleep.

Líttle bro is fast asleep and big sis is so engrossed in Narnia that she doesn't notice at all...

And yes I keep the kids strapped in at the back... No, it is not a common sight in India :-)... well it is a "miracle" if the front seat passenger buckles up. Enough said I suppose. I do care deeply about safety and as a family we always buckle up.

Well getting back to the topic of the day, I decided that moment that I would make a pouch / viewer where we can slip in our phones or even a tab and kids could lean back and watch songs or their favourite Narnia.

There it is, my pouch / holder. It is basically a pouch with see through vinyl cover and the back side is made of fabric. The whole unit is held together with a fabric band with elastic on either side. I made a little large to fit all the different screen sizes from 4.5 to 7 inch screens.

The pouch goes at the back of drivers / front passenger seat

With the tab inside

The back view

I took this pic once we got home and parked the car, which is why their seat belts are off :-). The kids were happy to have their hands free ,to play with their toys - ya my multitasking kids.


From time to time our house fills with the smell of fresh baked cookies. Recently I made a batch of choco sprinkles cookies and today I made chocolate hazelnut cookies with choco chips. Yum yum yum.

A bad picture of the Chocolate Hazelnut cookies

Chocolate Sprinkles Cookies

Fabric bookmark

One morning I was looking around to see what I could do and I saw a book my dear husband had bought and decided to read it. I read a chapter and wanted to close the book for a while and noticed there was no bookmark anywhere around. So what do we do? well you got it we make one!\

I know I could easy cut one out using a chart / handmade paper and embellish it, but we never do the easy thing do we? So I rummaged through my fabric scraps and voila! found a strip just enough to make a bookmark.

That is when I remembered reading about freehand embroidery without any fancy darning foot and I wanted to try it out without ANY foot on. Crazy right? well I lowered the feed dog (that is the teeth like thingy which pushes the fabric under the foot. it moves in a circular or box form.
It is important

to lower the feed dog because to do freehand embroidery, we don't need our fabric being pushed in a uniform manner, what we want is to be able to move the fabric around on our own. Only then will we be able to get the design which we want. My "embroidery" wasn't sure neat, but for first attempt it is passable (I think ;-)).. oh well, one always think one's work is far better than it really is :-).

I also punched a hole and inserted an eyelet and put a golden ribbon through and Voila! my fabric bookmark for my beloved is done!

Fabric Bi fold wallet

I have always had a bi fold wallet and I'm always used to having it in my back pocket. And I was beginning to miss my old wallet. So, I went through my fabric stash and found a grey cotton material which I felt was perfect for my bi fold wallet. I prefer not to make floral motif fabric - I feel it's too feminine. Anyway, here is the end product.

I made a vinyl see through pouch to put in the ID cards / photos. There are 4 card slots to put in debit / credit cads, business cards etc.

At the center is a zip pocket to keep in the coins. I've always had trouble with coins before as my wallets never had the pocket / slot for coins.

The wallet fits in the back pocket without any issues.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

New responsibilities and future plans

Have got a new responsibility from kids school. Was nominated as the replacement for the current Parent Advisory Committee member. I have decide to start on my Christmas cookie baking and getting cards ready for both the kids teachers.

Kids are loving the school / classes and specially the teachers. My girl insists I sew her Maám a pouch. I have not yet yielded. I'm sure the teacher already has enough pouches :-). Maybe I'll think of giving something during Christmas. Perhaps cookies and chocolates in a pouch? I got an embossed card stock to make a card for my Daughter's teacher. I will be picking up Glitter and other things as I go. I have exhausted my budget for the month for my sewing / craft etc. I will need to wait till November to get more "stock''.

Sometimes I keep thinking that if I had a part time job / some sort of work from home I would be able to keep some part of it for my Artsy Craftsy Sewy  work (ok ok it is sewing - I know... Sewy is not even a word! Ack!) Then again, one must always look at what one has at the moment and decided how one ought to utilize it :-).
I do wish I could do something about setting up something small on my own. I still haven't got my head around it. I know I can set up an FB page... but I feel odd... can't really express in word as to what or why even. Well, who knows, what tomorrow might bring eh?
Till then... Adios Amigos :-) et Bonne nuit! (whoever said one mustn't be multilingual???)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

What happens to other interests?

I was just looking back at the last few posts and I have only been talking about sewing, sewing and more sewing. Have I been doing only that? most certainly not! Have been baking my cookies, coming up with new recipes for oil less cooking, making chocolates, bags and boxes out of Handmade paper. I have come to realize that one can't quite stop being creative... it just is a way of being. But I do wonder why have all these interests come up in my last 20's and early 30? Why didn't I start of this when I was in high school or even college?
One can stop oneself from venturing into new things, but it can't go on forever... God has formed us in different manner and I am made the way I am for a unique purpose and at the right time the talents / gifts will manifest itself is what I believe.

Laptop Bag

I have been wanting to make a laptop bag from the time we got our new laptop. So what was stopping me from doing so? Well I had to get hold of the loops and hooks and rings and things before I could actually start sewing. Once I got all my supplies from Balepete, I got down to business. That's right I
jumped in to make a bag! Yay!

I wanted the outer fabric to be Rexine or some such. There was just one shop that I found which had Rexine and I was not happy enough to pick up one of them. Either the thickness was wrong or the colour was wrong or the price!!! I found one piece that I liked the price per meter was in the INR 1,900 range. Too expensive for my budget for the day :-).

Anyway, I also wanted some sort of a waterproof or water repellent fabric, but was unable to find any. I got foam for padding (which I was happy about). Came home and went through my fabric scraps / stash and decided to use a white and black check fabric that I had with me. I don't like too feminine floral when I am making something for myself. I stay in the Grey zone of can be used by men / woman. But every time I make something for my daughter I am most likely to pick up a floral fabric... I know... crazy!!!

I measured the length and breadth of the laptop and added an Inch to both sides and decided to have a height of 2 inches. Just compact enough to hold the laptop and charger and accessories.

One side of the bag has an inside zip and there is space enough to hold charger, mouse etc. This space can also be used to store small items like pen drive etc. I have also made provision for two hooks to hang mobile / tablet / wallet pouch or sun glasses pouch / pencil case pouch. The hook can also be used to hang keys so you don't have to turn the bag inside out in search of it! I always have trouble finding keys in my bag and prefer to have some provision so that my keys are easily visible / accessible.

The other side of the bag where the laptop is snug as a bug!

The middle space can also be used to keep charger or files.

I see scope for improvement and feel proud of my first attempt :-). I will do things a little differently the next time around. But for me, it is the experience that counts.

Bag making supplies in Bangalore

I have been searching in Raja Market and Okalipuram for bag making materials but didn't have much luck. I wanted to get hold of the D rings, O rings, height adjusting loops and so many other bag making related material. I believe it was one of the shop keepers in Okalipuram who told me to swing by Balepete for these items. But it took me a long time before I did. And then one day, I decided to go to Balepete. It is a market in Bangalore, very close to the Raja Market and Avenue road (you can check in Google map, which is what I did and got there thanks to GPS) . I would've given better directions but the ''pete'' is a tight place with short lanes (as is to be expected) so it is really hard to give exact directions. Reach Balepete and ask any of the shop owner where you will get the bag making supplies and they will guide you. That was how I found the shops.
Another thing to do is get to (again you could ask around) Sri Venkateshwara Sweet Meat Stall and the lanes inside will take you to the store that sell bag making supplies.
The things I found in Balepete:
1) D ring, O ring, other rings and rivets used for bags
2) Coloured cords for the drawstring bag
3) Magnetic snaps, buckles, different snap fasteners for bags
4) Zips (metal, coil etc) you can get these by the meter.
5) Height adjusting loops
6) Bag hooks
7) Bag lining and Bag outer fabric
8) Water resistant fabric
9) Clear Sheets (also called clear Vinyl) of 20mm and 15mm thickness
10) Rexine (prices vary from INR. 300 - 2000)
11) Bag handles

These are just some of the items. There were way many more things in the numerous shops. There were mainly two stores from where I shopped that day.