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Archive for the tag “sewing”

Inspiration overload! I need to focus

So much to sew, not enough time. Have you ever been in a situation where you are either sewing or dreaming about sewing. Well that’s me these days. Even in my office, I am wishing I could just go home and sew. And of course reading reviews on PR doesn’t help either. Like just the other day while going through the review gallery, I spotted this skirt Erica B just reviewed.

It’s a Vogue Pattern – 1092

Image Courtesy: Vogue Patterns and

And now, I so desperately want to drop everything and make it! I got the pattern and I even have the perfect fabric for it. Check it out:

And then, I thought, hmmmm I’ve never made a vest before, I need that too. So this Simplicity pattern caught my eye.

Simplicity 4079

Image Courtesy: Vogue Patterns and

Oh, and did I mention that January is a big month for all pattern companies and we are getting deliveries of new patterns from pretty much every pattern company these days. Patterns everywhere! Sounds like a dream office doesnt it? It isnt!!!!

What to do? I need more time or need to focus. I think tonight I will drop everything else (who needs to eat, right? ) and work on my Burda Magazine Denim skirt.

Marriage of Fabric and Pattern is important!

A few weeks ago I got to test the prototype of the highly anticipated new tie front Jalie pattern 2921. PR weekend Portland attendees may remember the white top the lovely Emilie was wearing there. So excited I was to get this pattern that I didn’t pay attention to the fabric. I bought this fabric from Metro Textiles last year because I loved the color combo and the fact that it’s rayon jersey. It’s so hard to find good quality rayon jersey isn’t it? Of course what I did not see closely there : the really large concentric circles all over the print. See where I am going with this?

This is an example of a BAD Marriage!

In retrospect, even if I had paid attention on placement, there is simply nothing I could have done to avoid the “target” look. The circles are all over the place! And so engrossed I was in the construction of this top and the sheer excitement of it all, that I didn’t notice it until it was done and I wore it. And when I did, I was shocked to see it. There is no way I could wear it outside the house. My Solution? Wear it under a jacket. But then what’s the point 😦

Can you imagine the agony I am in? I simply love this pattern and you will too when it comes out (very soon!) But this is the lesson I learned in this project, never jump into a project without placing the fabric on yourself first.

Now, about the pattern. Did I say that I love it? The tie has endless possibilities. My friend Donna was playing with the top and together we were trying to figure out if there is anyway this top can be used. So she took the ties and tied a cute little knot in the back and voila! We have a cowl neck.

I still love the version with the buckle though. I am cutting out another top tonight in a solid rayon jersey which I know I will get lots of use from. The construction of this top is brilliant! My advice, don’t over think it, just go with the flow and it’ll all come together.

Jalie 2921

A Diaper Bag, Can I do it?

Honestly… I don’t know why I take on projects I KNOW I can’t finish on time. But… it’s my first nephew and a thought occurred to me while shopping online for him. Should I make one for him? Granted that it’s more for his mother and his father (my brother). But I like to make things which I know will get used.

When I searched for Diaper bags on PatternReview, Butterick 4560 stood out with most number of good reviews. But here’s the caveat, I don’t think I have time.

I am leaving for India on December 12th and before that I have to sew a couple of baby sacks and finish my coat. And we’re heading towards the thanksgiving weekend. First week of December is super busy for me so I don’t foresee doing any sewing. But looking at the pattern, how many hours do you think this bag will take from cutting to sewing? Can/Should I do it? Or is my time better spent on searching for a RTW bag?

Be honest…

Catching up…

So by now we’ve established that I am not a blogger. But that’s ok, it’s not the end of the world. I’d been beating myself up about it and as months flew by, it just got harder and harder. So going forward, no promises about how frequently I’ll post. I’ll do it when I feel like writing. So before I write about what’s going on now, a quick catch up.

Since August, I’ve:

1. Sewn a Cardi. I decided to make the shorter version because for my frame, its more flattering. Less fabric and more usable. The reason I’ve not written a review is because I want to make it again in a better fabric. But following others’ advice on PatternReview sewing this was a breeze and I love it.

2. Organized PatternReview’s FIRST booth and on-stage Fashion show at Novi!

3. Knit up a storm for my new nephew before he arrived and finally became an auntie on October 26th, 2009.

See the knitting album here

4. Inspired by one of the winning entries, in the Top Ten contest at Novi, made my own version in October.

Simplicity 3835 – Built By Wendy Dress

5. I am currently working on my second coat. So far, I’ve cut out the pattern pieces and marked them carefully. I was supposed to sew the lining tonight but I decided to catch up with my blogging instead. I’ve decided that sewing is therapeutic for me so I am taking things slow. These days I only sew an hour at most in one session and I am loving it!

Burda 8603

Isn’t it cute?

Here’s my WIP Review on PatternReview

6. Oh, and I have got to tell you this. The PatternReview book manuscript is done! finished. This is actually going to happen you guys! I am so excited…

Personally I’ve gone through some trying last few weeks but the good news is that I am out of it. The thing with sorrow: when you’re going through it, the whole world comes crashing down on you, but as long as you figure out what gets you out of it, it only makes you stronger. And that’s how I feel today so I thought I’d share it with you. I receive emails from so many of you expressing how sewing helps you in sadness and I feel the same way too now. It really does help to “create”. So here’s to sewing and creating. May we all continue to create and share!

Wishful Wednesday – The Cozy – I want it!

I haven’t sewn at all this month. In fact I’ve been so busy with PatternReview that I haven’t even thought of what to sew. And I am ashamed to admit that I haven’t been able to even read reviews.

That said, I get e-mails when some of my favorites write a review on Patternreview so this morning outlook notified me that Christina has a new review. Of course I had to jump right in. And I love it! Simplicity 2603 is a knock off of the coveted DKNY Cozy.


Image courtesy :

The Video sold me on it. I even started a Sew-along on PatternReview.

Christina points out that it’s best worn with the same color shell underneath. She chose black. I am thinking a rich burgundy. And I am dreaming of silk jersey. It is after all wishful Wednesday 🙂

I am so impressed with Simplicity. Over the years they’ve really turned their designs around. Each collection just keeps getting better than last. Kudos to the design team. I am looking forward to meeting them at the American Sewing Expo next month. A cozy would be so nice to wear to the expo too wouldn’t it?

So, if I were sewing right now, I wish I was sewing this wrap. Gagan is out next week so I have the house to myself. I am thinking take out every night and pulling overtime on that sewing machine 🙂

So what do you wish you were sewing right now?

Rain Rain Go Away….

All this RAIN! I think my plants are dying because of too much water! But what the heck… I am EXCITED about my FIRST Trench Coat. A few months ago I never thought I’d need a trench coat. But now, I can’t imagine my life without it. At the PR Weekend Portland, I tried on some fabulous trenches and now I want one of my own!

This one actually belongs to Leslie, but I fell in love with it, so had to try it on. I think I pulled it off 🙂

And look at the fabric I scored from Mill End in Portland!

It’s a little too bright but that’s exactly what I need to get over the gloomy rainy days here in New England.

I also bought a Buckle from Pacific Trimming on my recent trip to NYC.

So what else do I need? Ah yes, the pattern…

Remember the coat I made back in October/November last year?

Well that pattern also has a trench version!

And Stacey’s review convinced me, that is the right pattern for my first trench.

See, I believe in setting myself up for success anytime I try something new. So for my first trench I want to keep things simple. So while this pattern may not have the traditional details like Leslie’s version, at least it has enough to pass as a trench.

Plus I know this pattern works for me so no fitting involved!

I am contemplating whether or not to make it knee length or mid thigh… decisions decisions.

I’ve spent a good part of this morning reading all trench coat reviews and I like the idea of putting in lining just in the sleeves like Leslie (loohoo) did on her Burberry trench. So I shamelessly e-mailed Cidell to help me find the same burberry lining! Fingers crossed!

So there you have it. Now that we have a record of this trench, I HAVE to make it 🙂 This will be my July project. And you know what’s going to happen don’t you? The minute it’s ready to wear, the rain is going to STOP!

And now some photos of the coat

As I mentioned yesterday, the fur coat deserves good photos, so I donned my black top, put on some lipstick and got down to it 🙂


IMG_0143 IMG_0141 IMG_0142 IMG_0146 IMG_0154

People who’ve made my life a whole lot richer

In the 34 years (I still feel like 25 though so that’s what counts 😉 ) of my life, I’ve come across many individuals who have inspired me, people I’ve looked up to, people who I turn to for advise, people whom I trust. And then there are people who are so incredibly gifted and yet so humble and modest that I feel proud of having been in their company.

Owen Aftreth is one of them. Owen is my ex-colleague from when I used to work for a software company. It’s been a little over 2 years since I last worked with him and yet, it warms my heart every time I think of him.

When I think of the smartest and most intelligent people I know, besides my brother and my husband, Owen comes to mind. And yet, he is also the the kindest, most down to earth man I’ve even known. In the years we worked together, he helped not only me, but whoever came to him. The guy just doesn’t know how to say “No”! During the stressful times at work, he would still somehow manage to remain calm and offer to help whoever needed him whenever he could. I still remember the night I was working late because I had committed to finishing my last project before I left. When he was still lurking, I asked what he was doing.. to which he replied, “Well I thought I’d stay in case you needed someone to help out.”

When it came to technology he was way ahead of most of us and still whenever we were troubleshooting, he would always downplay himself and say to others, “Its probably my code causing the trouble.”

He took a sabbatical to travel with a friend who needed help with a research project and the university would not let her go alone to China!

I still remember the times we would take a break and talk about anything and everything over our cubicle walls. I could always talk to him. He has that quality you know…

When I think fondly of the people I used to work with, he is the one who always brings a smile to my face. He is the kinda guy you never forget, who doesn’t need to say anything to make you feel better, he just has to be HIMSELF. The kind who always makes time for you. That’s the kind of person who enriches lives. Owen personifies humility and kindness. And I am lucky to have worked with him.

Kenneth King is another great guy who has influenced me in many ways. I remember the first time I met him. It was in the elevator of the Avalon hotel in NYC where I was organizing the 2nd or was it the 3rd PR Weekend. I had requested Kenneth to be our guest speaker for the day. Having never met him before, I was waiting in the lobby of the hotel hoping to welcome him when he arrived. As I was waiting, I started chatting with other PR members and lost track of time, when suddenly one of them alerted me to the fact that Kenneth had arrived and was going up the elevator. I rushed and welcomed him and apologized for not seeing him earlier. But he was just so cool, he didn’t care. In the elevator we chatted like old friends and if you were there at the PR weekend you’ll remember how much fun we had.

Kenneth is a self taught couturier whose work has been shown in various museums. He now teaches at FIT and Online Classes on and continues to develop new cool techniques and makes couture possible for you and me. He is also the author of Cool Couture.

He amazes me each time with his energy but having met him personally again a few weeks ago was a treat I cannot describe. He is Kenneth King and anyone who loves to sew, knows who he is, and yet when I meet him, it’s like we’re in that elevator again. We’re like two friends having breakfast and just chatting about fashion and sewing. Like Owen, Kenneth is also very humble and for as long as I was there, he gave me his full attention.

We went to his apartment and I fell in love with a fur coat he had made. I tried it on, posed in front of the mirror and you know… just had to have it. Instead I promised him that I will make a fur coat this season following his fur class.

And today, a big box arrived for me.

Puzzled, I opened the box and in it, was the FUR COAT with a nice note from him, “Dear Deepika, wear it in good health, love Kenneth”

My Mother in law once said to me that a true gift is when you make the other person believe that they are doing you a favor by accepting your gift.

When I called Kenneth to thank him, he said, “I wanted to send it while its still cold so you could enjoy it.” When I said “I am speechless, thank you so much. I don’t know what to say”, he said “You don’t need to say anything, I’ve had fun making it, now you’ll have fun wearing it”.

In this day and age when there is no dearth of people with giant egos, big heads and insufferable attitudes, people like Owen and Kenneth remind you of what truly means to be “Great”. These are the people I’ve had the good fortune of working with and who continue to inspire and enrich my life. I am grateful for them and many others, but today I dedicate this post to the two Smartest and the Kindest men I’ve known : Owen and Kenneth.

Perhaps this will remind you of someone who touched your life in a similar way with their kindness and humility.

For The Record – January Project

So just so I don’t forget about it and for the record, I present my January Project. I was quite productive in January actually.

Incidentally both the projects came from Burda WOFs.

Full Review here



I have been in love with this top ever since I saw Christina’s Review

The full cowl neck was a style I’ve really been craving. So when I couldn’t locate a copy of the magazine, I asked Christina for help and she sent me the pattern right away! And I’ve already made two tops from this pattern. This is a gift which will keep on giving for years. Love it!

One a month Sew Along on

My Wardrobe Plan – How did I do?

Has it been a year already! OMG I can’t believe it. But I have a lot to be thankful for. It’s been a phenomenal year for me! I’ve gotten a lot done and proud to say that I’ve achieved my goal of ONE Garment-a-month. Not only that, a Sew-along started on PR about this generated a lot of interest and many of you joined me in this motivating me even more.

So what did I sew?


Kwik Sew 3263 (TNT)


Burda 8498 (NEW)


Jalie 2794 (NEW)


Burda 8356 (TNT)


New Look 6699 (NEW)


Jalie 2806 (NEW)


Simplicity 2936 (NEW)


Vogue 2925 (TNT)


Kwik Sew 2856 (TNT)


Burda 7765 and Textile Studio Basic Top (NEW)


Burda 8124 (NEW)


Jalie Sweetheart Top (TNT)

This is the most expensive yardage I’ve ever sewn with. Its Rayon/Silk Jersey I bought at Sawyer Brook at the PR Day a few months ago. The good thing is that I only had to buy a yard and I squeezed a 3/4 length top from it. Not bad right? It feels like butter against the skin! I used clear elastic in the neck binding all the way around so it doesnt sag. LOVE IT!

Jalie 2794

So 7 out of the 12 garments I made this year were NEW. Not bad if I may say so. I am actually quite pleased with my progress this year. My goal for this year is to try one NEW pattern each month.

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