Saturday, October 27, 2012


I took the shortall pattern from one step further and modified it extensively , back and front , to make a pair of overalls.  Back details are copied from a readymade denim overall design.

Unfortunately after all that work, it turns out they are too tight in the crotch region so the little fellow cannot wear them. They have been consigned to storage until little sister is old enough for them. Just as well, says big brother, the floral pattern was too sissy for  a boy

Sunday, October 14, 2012

'Capucine' newborn baby top

This top is inspired by the 'Capucine' top from a French pattern company called  Citronille. A very dear friend got me three of their patterns called Rose, Guillemette and 
Dorothee , but they are rather large for my 3.2 kg newborn ( anyway they start at 3mo size!) . 

I liked the look of the Capucine top on their website, so I drafted a pattern based on a simple A-line pattern, newborn size.  I drew up the instructions for future reference.  If anyone would like more details I will try to take pictures when I make this top again.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mom-made shirts again

More shirts with the Jalie 2111 pattern - they like having matching shirts. I use the 12 year and the 2 year sizes with the shoulders taken in  and sleeves shortened to fit  ( the pattern is rather generous in those areas).

Quilt from recycled fabrics

This is a quilt , baby sized ( 100x80cm) that I made  a few months ago. I am proud to say that it is completely recycled - the only new thing about it is the sewing thread used.  The patchwork is all scraps left over from kurtas made using my favorite fabric, block pinted hand loom cotton. There are also a few plain cottons in there. The yellow solid blocks are an old kurta cut up, and the backing and binding are likewise   fabric pieces left over from dressmaking.
The batting was, believe it or not, a pair of old XXL Hanes fleece jogging pants cut up and stitched together to get a 85x110cm piece of flannel , which was the original inspiration for making this quilt; I had to hide the ugliness of the grey flannel somehow!

I quilted the patchwork squares using a free motion stippled design, my first attempt at this technique, and it turned out pretty good, I think! The pink square was quilted by my 12 year old son, always an extremely interested spectator and contributor of ideas to my sewing projects.

Better pictures of my scrap quilt ( after I decided to stipple quilt the whole thing - I had previously left out the solid yellow squares) . My quilt photography could be improved, I agree. The random diamond embroidery on two of the yellow squares is from the sleeves of my recycled kurta.

Mom-made shirts

We have been wearing a lot of mom-made shirts recently - ever since a kind cousin in Canada bought us a  sewing pattern for men's shirts in 22 sizes ( Jalie 2111) . Here are two of them.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Smocked baby dress

Tried my hand at smocking - this is Simplicity 6767 , one year size. The bodice is shortened to make room for the smocking , and the zip replaced by buttons at the back opening.  Fabric is a checked cotton, the smocking design was inspired by  an excellent tutorial on 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another pair of shortalls

LiEr's shortall pattern (  is so good that I had to make another one;  the little fellow needs more play clothes now that he goes to play school for 3 hours a day. This one is blue denim with contrast pockets ( modified shape) and white topstitching . I am very happy with the way they look. They seem super-comfortable too! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oliver and S pattern - customized ruffled halter

This is a free pattern from the children's clothing pattern company Oliver & S - it comes in sizes 2 - 8 years but I wanted to make a smaller size , so I reduced the pattern to a 6-12mo size.  I did this by comparing the differences in the smallest two sizes around each pattern edge , for example 0.5 inch around the ruffles, and drafting new pattern pieces based on these differences. This is the  finished dress. 

After I had made this dress I started thinking about design variations for this very versatile pattern. Each of the ruffles could be omitted for a different look, for example. I had some fabric left over from making a dress so I used it to make this variation , in which the drawstring casing at the neck edge was replaced by bias binding and the armhole bias binding was extended as ties. The ruffles were omitted completely in favor of a 3.5cm deep frill at the bottom of the dress.  This made it longer than the original since the hem allowance also contributed to the total length . 

Back, front,bias binding and bottom frill pieces laid out. A very small amount of fabric was required for this project.

Neck bias binding attached, and the finished dress below, with ribbon and antique button trim.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Self bound receiving blanket

What is a receiving blanket? Something used to receive a newborn baby from the labour room staff - in one of the most exciting moments in the life of the new dad, siblings and grandparents waiting eagerly outside.  So you need something nice looking ; not that anyone will notice anything but the new baby …

This is an easy and quick project, any number of tutorials are available online. I think I used the one from My blanket consists of one layer of white cotton  flannel and an outer layer of floral cotton, size approx 34" and 44" respectively. The process simply involves sewing together the pieces right sides together leaving a small gap for turning inside out. The corners are mitered before turning inside out. One blogger recommended checking the shape of the corners before cutting off excess fabric just to make sure. Very sound advice.  Then iron the fabric flat and sew the gap closed  to get a beautiful bordered blanket. This would be a very nice gift for an expectant family.

I also added a decorative stitch which closed the gap in addition to providing a designer touch :) .

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Overalls or shortalls

This is a free pattern from the blog by LiEr - a very creative lady who works wonders with fabric and also with cardboard - to dress her kids and to keep them amused respectively. Thank you, LiEr! 
It is meant for a 3 year old,  but my 2 year old looks fairly comfortable in them.  LiEr suggests piping around the pockets but I added some different decorative elements such as zigzag stitching in a contrast thread and a purchased label on the back. The first one I made was a trial version and did not have pockets. The buttonholes are on the straps, a mistake I rectified in the second version. Fabric is recycled adult jeans for the first ( trial) version and a sturdy denim for the second ( about 270 rupees per meter at Parthas , I bought 60 cm of 150cm wide fabric ).

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dress your kids differently

I subscribe to this motto , mainly because most readymade kids' clothes seem to be overpriced, overdecorated and made of fabrics with a high synthetic content.  I like natural fibres. 
My two sons have been wearing my creations for a fair number of years now , and the older one is now old enough to bring his own design ideas into the process.  The younger could not care less, alas.  This blog will chronicle the various garments I have made for them , and hopefully serve as a record of sorts for myself ( as a reminder of past successes and goof ups !)