Saturday, 15 April 2017

Cotton summer dress to die for

   
This friend of mine bought several sarees at a sale. She wanted dresses made of them. Since I love using what is already there, this turned out to be a very fulfilling experience for me. I encourage anyone who wants to refashion / reuse / re-purpose clothes and fabrics.
Not only she bought beautiful fabrics but also each saree was unique. This saree had delicate embroidery on it all over. The pallu (in navy blue), had very pretty floral motifs sewn on it. So, we used the pallu as the border on the dress. Since it is going to be a summer dress, better to have generous v neck and no sleeves. 
I gave armhole darts to give the bust a better fit. Took a 1" facing for the neckline and sleeve opening. 
First time I stitched zipper on these dresses. I am grateful to her for giving me this opportunity to gain some experience attaching zipper on dresses.
It so happened I saw a tutorial on how to attach zipper and the very next day I got these orders to make three dresses with zippers. I used to be petrified of making clothes with zips, I don't know why. May be because I hadnot seen it done.
Overall, the dress came out well, as you can see she is happy to be wearing and posing for the photos....

Monday, 27 March 2017

Tunic out of saree fabric

On a trip to Dharwad, I wanted to collect a souvenir. Not having much choice, I settled for a Dharwad saree. I didnot need 5.5 m of the fabric, so decided to share it with my niece. It was lying around in my stash for a couple of years before I was fed up of seeing it there and decided to make something with it. Then the hunt began for some suitable pattern  for the cloth. I must point out here that the fabric is semi transparent of cotton and silk mixed weave, silk border and zari design on it.
   Liked this pattern from internet
The drafting, cutting and trials were a long process. Initially I thought of making cap sleeves with the border, after attaching the front and back main pieces, it looked the border on sleeves would be over kill. So dropped the idea of the sleeves. 
           
 Rough sketch showing the borders     Under construction 
Should I use the full width of the border or only part of it, for a thin edging, was a decision I had to make. I decided to as well make it a bold statement. Attaching the borders on the hem turned out to be very challenging. By the time I attached the sides ie, front and back together, I realised I should left more of the border at the ends. I had to attach some more and not to make it look like a patch. The back hem is a straight line, instead it could have been asymmetrical too. Well next time.                                                 
  

   
Aired it a few times already. Get a lot of compliments every time.

Kurta in Moonga Kota fabric

Moonga Kota fabric is generally thing and semi transparent, but then, that is the beauty of that cloth. Since the fabric has some cotton in it, after a couple of washes, it shrank on the sides.
This is part of a set of Churidar / salwar in bright orange, kurta with border and butas and a multi coloured chiffon dupatta. The border design is woven in green, yellow and red. The butas are machine embroidered in matching colours of border. Very pretty fabric overall.
It is a self drafted kurta for myself. Since I made so many kurtas for myself, I get the sizes pat... Hardly need any alterations.
I like border designs, because you get more features to play around with. Instead of using it at the hemline, I took it across the chest. I used part of the orange churidar fabric for lining the bodice, and as facing for the neck and sleeve edging.
3/4 length sleeve, straight cut, side slit, round neck kurta is bright and my go-to dress for any occasion.

Tunic in stretch fabric

    
She is a friend of a friend; visiting Goa. Brought this fabric from Mumbai and wanted me to make a flattering garment for her. 
The fabric is mostly cotton but has considerable stretch to it. And it is thick. Would have been ideal for trousers or a close fitting skirt, because of the stretch. Since she chose the design, i went with it and did my best. The top has a 'V' in the front. The horizontal print of the skirt is attached along the arms of the V. The tunic / dress dips in the front centre. 
Short sleeves and round neck are other features. Took side darts to accommodate bust. it was a rush job or the finishing would have been better...

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Cotton kurta in bright print

I stitched this kurta for my neighbour. It is part of a set of 3 pieces; kurta, salwar / churidar, and dupatta. As it so often happens, the dupatta is very pretty, churidar is so-so and the print and colours on the kurta fabric are rather too bright and garish. There were more border designs and different colours on it believe me. She was discouraged by the profusion of designs and colours on the kurta. We tried draping a few different ways, and finally decided to leave out some of those borders and thereby reducing the colour palate to manageable extent! 
Then I got work on the pattern, and suggested taking the border vertically, instead of a hortizontal border as it was intended I guess. She was ok with this idea. Gave it an asymmetrical neckline by keeping the vertical border straight. Cap sleeves were what she wanted, so there they are. Also gave side slits for a comfortable feel.

 There were tiny mirrors stitched on to the front, as can be seen in the photo, rather a pretty feature!
My friend was pleasantly surprised at the outcome and since the fit was also good, she was happy! That is one more happy customer!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Kurta in 3 different Block prints

 My friend recommended me to a close friend of hers. She was more than happy to find someone (me) who suggests designs, and also makes clothes to their specifications. that said, I am particular who I make clothes for. I cannot pin point the exact reasons, but I know who I want to dress. Sometimes I do take on the wrong customer (for me), but overall, get it right. This friend's friend turned out to be the perfect person!!!
he does most of her fabric shopping in New Delhi, and picks up a load of any and all fabrics she likes. She saw a kurta on a mannequin which used 3 different prints; all block prints. She liked it so much, that she went ahead and bought similar prints in similar colour.
The above photo did not do justice to the lovely block prints on mustard colour handloom fabric. Total cloth - 3.5 m
It was a knee length kurta / tunic, having three fourth length sleeves, to be worn over a loose olive green salwar. Depending on the length of the cloth, I used them, larger print in the center and fine print on either side, medium sized print for the sleeves, as it was the smallest piece. Instead of taking darts at the back, I did the adjustment in the seams itself.
The small print became the facing around the round neck, though I would have liked to have had the sleeve print for the facing. 
Beautiful fabric makes for a great fit, and this kurta did come out well.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Cowl neck Cotton Dress

This friend of mine brought his lovely hand-loom cotton fabric in tie and dye design, which she had lying around for ages. There was around 3.5 m. of it. She wanted a dress in summer and which she can wear it as tunic when necessary to wear leggings.
Since the fabric was so soft and fine, I didnot want to spoil the effect of it by adding sleeves. Cowl neck also gives that airy feeling...
used only about 2.5 m. of the fabric.
I took the measurements and based on those drew the pattern (rough sketch) and and did the cutting and sewing myself. Did not use any ready made pattern. 
It fit so well and looked so good on my friend that, I planned to make one myself.