Friday, August 11, 2017

Arabella Skirt

I had the pleasure of making the Arabella skirt for Rebecca Page Designs. It's a sweet, simple, gathered skirt that comes in a variety of length options. I chose to make a maxi skirt.

Pattern Description: The Arabella is a gorgeous ladies maxi skirt pattern. An easy & quick sew with 4 lengths and lots of options, it’s a perfect beginner skirt pattern!

The pattern is very quick and easy for a beginner to do. I probably completed it in an hour. I used a burgundy crepe fabric which was opaque. At 2 yards, it was just enough fabric for this project. I'm short and can often get away with less fabric than pattern calls for.


I love that the skirt has just the right amount of gathering to make it feel full but not add bulk. The airy lightness of the fabric makes it almost an ethereal feeling.
The pattern comes with 2 waistband options - Tall and regular. I used the regular waistband and sash.


There is a child's version of Arabella as well that I'm hoping to make for Aanya.

Monday, August 07, 2017

McCall 6696 Shirtdress review

I finally made the Mccall 6696 shirdress after owing the pattern for over a year! This is my first time making a shirtdress with actual buttons and stand collar. I was afraid of this pattern for no reason at all. It is a very well drafted and fitting pattern. I made a muslin and understood the mods I needed to make for my unique fit challenges. Muslin is so very important for any garment, wovens more so than knits.

We'll talk muslins and adjustments but first, let's get right to the photos!


The fabric is a foil print cotton woven that I got from Joanns. It feels really nice and smooth. I love love this fabric! Went back to check if they still have it but alas, I couldn't find it. I got this dress out of 2 yards!



I made View C - sleeveless dress with straight skirt, size 14. Before starting the muslin, I had decided to take out most of the back gathers. That is the #1 complaint most people have from this pattern that the back is too blousy. I took out all gathers from the top back and converted the bottom of back bodice gathers to a tiny pleat. 
Other major change to the pattern was length adjustments. I took out 2" from bodice sections, 1" from skirt to accommodate my height. 

Closeup of back pleat

I used the A/B cup bodice as I'm a sewing B cup. It worked well for me. 

Once I made the muslin, I found out the waistband was too fitted. So for my final, I added 3" to the waistband. I wanted it to be fitted but not so much that I couldn't breathe. I added 3/4" to the skirt side seams as the skirt was too fitted for my taste. In hindsight, I should have used size 16 skirt and waistband. 


I love the details like pockets and stand collar. Very proud of the way it all turned out! 



All in all, a great pattern! I will be using this again and this time with sleeves and view A skirt.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Spring / Summer Capsule 2017

I have been fascinated by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. The idea that a few staple pieces that could be mixed and matched to come up with endless combinations was exciting! While I embraced the idea of a capsule wardrobe, I wasn't sure I wanted to go boring or safe. I'm all about colors and prints while keeping silhouettes simple. When the Capsule Wardrobe group decided to dedicate some time this year to do a Spring / Summer Capsule challenge, I decided to join in and see what happens :-) Best kind of plan.

The challenge was to create 10 of the 16 items that make up a sudoku capsule. It is funny to look back at where I started originally and where I ended up. Original plan contained various images cured from Pinterest and such. It should be noted that this plan was made up in early spring so naturally I included blazers and sweaters.

Spring Sudoku

Now it is June and the capsule is complete! Here it is - 

Now I went ahead and photographed each outfit because I wanted to make sure the silhouettes worked as they did in my head. Without further ado -

Diagonal  (I seem to have missed the other diagonal while taking pics)
Top: P4P Favorite Top in sweater knit
Bottom: P4P SOS pants in ponte knit


Column 1
Top: P4P Everyday Elegance in rayon
Bottom: P4P SOS pants in ponte knit
Layer: New Look Blazer (Not pictured here because it was way too hot to wear wool blazer :) )

Column 2
Top: P4P Everyday Elegance in crepe
Bottom: Simplicity knit pencil skirt pattern

Column 3
Top: Simplicity Tank in rayon
Layer: Designer Stitch Willow Kimono
Bottom: Simplicity knit skirt


Column 4
Top: Rad patterns Everything tank with shelf bra
Layer: Designer Stitch Willow Kimono
Bottom: Simplicity Knit skirt pattern



Row 1
Top: P4P Everyday Elegance in crepe
Bottom: P4P SOS Pants in Ponte
Row 2
Top: Simplicity Tank top - this time tucked in the waist
Bottom: Simplicity knit skirt
Row 3
Top: P4P Everyday Elegance in rayon - this time tied around my waist
Layer: Rad Patterns Everything Tank
Bottom: Simplicity Knit Pencil skirt

Row 4
Top: P4P Favorite Top in sweater knit
Bottom: Simplicity Knit Pencil Skirt

I made some bonus pieces that will extend my wardrobe beyond this sudoku and work perfectly.
This is another Favorite Tee - knotted option. This pattern certainly is versatile and very flattering.


Another Favorite Tee! Curved hem option.



Bomber jacket - Mccall 7100. I made this during the McCall Bomber jacket sewalong last fall. Colors work perfectly with my capsule (and yes, I used the same fabric for a capsule skirt). I believe this is a Simplicity skirt in cotton twill. 

My little girl wanted to be in the pic (and give me bunny ears). 


There's more outfits to photograph and combos to make but I will stop here! Thanks for visiting. Comment below if you liked my wardrobe and share how you feel about capsule wardrobes. 

Whole 30 Biryani

Whole 30 Biryani

This recipe has 3 components that are prepared separately and come together in the end in layers. It looks like a long process but I swear it is not. Took me about 45 min and that included processing the cauliflower. It does use 3 pans but to me it is worth it for this recipe.

Cauliflower rice layer
2 bags Cauliflower Rice (or 1 medium cauliflower riced in the food processor)
1 tbsp Ghee
1 Bay Leaf
1 Cardamom whole (optional)
1″ Cinnamon Stick
Salt
1.       Heat ghee in a pan and add bayleaf, cardamom, and cinnamon stick. Saute for 1 minute on medium and then add cauliflower rice.
2.       Saute cauliflower rice for 2 min.
3.       Add salt and stir for another couple minutes or so. Turn off heat. It will cook again in the last step for 5 min so keep that in mind for the doneness.

Vegetable layer
1 tsp Ghee
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Cup chopped vegetables (I used orange peppers and broccoli)
1 Medium Onion sliced
2 Large Tomatoes, chopped
2-3 garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp cumin powder  (You can grind whole seeds in a dedicated coffee grinder)
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala powder
Salt to taste
Chopped Cilantro for garnish
1.       Heat ghee and crackle cumin seeds. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add onions and saute until translucent. Now add chopped tomatoes and saute until they get soft.
2.        At this point, add the vegetables. Add the spices - turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Stir and cover with lid and cook until the vegetables are done. Turn off heat and put aside.

Meat layer
Ground turkey 1 lb (you can use other ground meat)
Ghee 1 tbsp
1 Bay Leaf
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala powder
Salt
1.       Heat ghee and crackle cumin seeds. Add cardamom and cinnamon stick and saute until fragrant. Add turkey and the spices - turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt.
2.       Break apart the turkey and cook until it is done. Turn off heat and put aside.

Final step                                                       
Bring out the pan with the cauliflower rice and spread evenly with a spatula. Follow this with a layer of turkey. Top this layer with vegetables. Cover with the lid and cook in low for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

New Pattern release from Rad Patterns!

I'm really excited to share my new sews from this month. I tested the two new dolman patterns from Rad Patterns. Ti of Sewing by Ti sponsored the fabrics used for this pattern. I was unsure of which fabrics to get but since there was a coupon code involved, I went ahead and ordered 3 fabrics just to give myself some options :-)  Yes, I went with Leopard! And stripes, of course. These are rayon spandex and have a nicer, heavier feel to them. Some of the rayon spandex I have is so light weight but these have a nice feel.

Rad Patterns: Slim Fit Dolman

I shy away from Dolman patterns because every time I have tried them, I ended up with weird wrinkle under the sleeve, or just end up looking frumpy. I trust Stephanie's patterns so just went ahead with the testing and am so happy with the results!

Rad Patterns: Loose Fit Dolman

I love the cascading effect of the sleeve and the way the hem floats away from body on the Loose Fit Dolman.


There are two patterns in this release. The leopard is Night on the Town Slim Fit Dolman and the stripe is Day at the Park Loose Fit Dolman.  Both come with various hem options, a gathered front shoulder, and a trendy cold shoulder! I could fill my closet with these! They are so quick to make and easy to wear. 

If you're wondering about the pants, they are the SOS pants from Patterns for Pirates. These pants are part of my Spring/Summer Capsule and I will be posting a status update on that soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Digi scrap layouts

It has been years since I've done any digital scrapbooking. I've been wanting to get started on Aanya's photobooks but had't had a chance to start making the layouts yet. I started looking at my old kits tonight and in no time I had these 2 layouts done. Not bad for 1 night!!


Kit: Diamante Simply You, quote from JM BeautiesOfNature
The quote reads 'Carry laughter with you wherever you go' but you can't really see it in this size. 

 Kit: MCO Sweet June kit
These pictures are from today!! I only have about 8 years worth of pictures to catch up on now LOL!!!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nettie bodysuit

I made something for me! It's the Nettie top from closet case patterns. Love it! Instructions were very clear and fit is awesome! I'm planning another one that should be sewn this week. I have a few days off this week so I've got projects lined up now that I am excited to sew again!!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Halfway through to my fitness goal!

Feeling pretty good this morning. I've been trying to get this extra weight off and making it half way through feels amazing. I have lost 15lbs! I feel like I can make it to the end! I've never lost this much weight before. It has taken a long time but initially I wasn't as strict about it. Since last 2 - 2.5 months I have been more focused on weight loss and am seeing great results. Hopefully the next 15 will go faster. Here's what I'm doing that is working. I will write it here so if I get back to being unmotivated or start gaining, I have a record of what works for me.
  • No sugar or artificial sweeteners. This means no soda of any kind, no sweetener in tea, no desserts except occasional treat. Occasional drinks are ok too.
  • Green tea 3 times a day.
  • Reduced intake of wheat products. This includes pasta, pizza, breads, etc. I initially made whole wheat substitutions for refined flour but found it still makes me bloated and hang on to the weight. As long as I reduce it to once a day, I see some results. 
  • More protein. This is a big one for me as I tend to go back to my vegetarian lifestyle automatically. I started eating chicken last year. It fills me up and is a good source of protein. I just need to be consistent with it.
  • Portion size. I can eat whatever portion for lunch, it's usually ok. Dinners have to be very small or else I get bloated and feel too full. I have seen great progress since reducing dinner portions. Many days I've just been having watermelon for dinner and it's so satisfying and yummy! Again, occasional dinner out with family is ok.
  • I get bloated around middle of my cycle and also before my period. I drink plain warm water or warm water with lemon to reduce the bloat and it seems to work. 
  • Most important of all, walking! I've been walking at least 1 hour brisk walk each day. If I can do it more, I do it. This really helps get the fat burning. I like having this time to myself and look forward to it every day. I take my music and tune out everything else and just enjoy walking.
So there's all my secret weapons to weight loss. Hopefully I'll keep going like this and reach my goal weight before the end of the year.