Feb 26, 2012

Trial and Error: Dyeing

I do not believe there is one perfect way to achieve nirvana. Everyone has a different path! What I am trying to explain here is that there might be many ways to do a particular thing. And below is my way of dyeing a fabric! :)

what u need: fabric dye, non iodized salt, hot water, stove, wooden stick or spatula, a large aluminium vessel, pre-washed fabric that you have to dye. (I have tried only with cotton so far.)

The dye I bought from Devi Stores came in powdered form and 20 gms of powder costs 20 rupees. This quantity is enough to dye about a meter or so of the cloth.

So you take about half a bucket of boiling water and dissolve the dye and some salt in it. No wet the pre-washed fabric in water and wring out the water. This helps the dye to penetrate the fiber better I guess. So you immerse the fabric into it. you need to keep stirring occasionally so that all parts of the fabric are evenly colored.

The shop keeper told me to boil fabric in this dye 30 mins. I bet the actual dye container will have proper instructions. Since I bought only 20 gms of the dye I didn't get the container. What I did was let the fabric soak for an hour and then boil it for 20 minutes. Then I let it cool and then washed it 2-3 times in clean water.

The intensity of the color will depend on the amount of dye you add and the duration of time you soak it/boil it.

Feb 25, 2012

A Dash of Color - Devi Stores

After living in Bangalore for 9 years I finally found Devi Craft Supply Stores in Shivajinagar. And I promptly went for my first Darshan today! Yippee!

Thank you Bangalore Craft-lovers group on FB for guiding me to it!

So the story goes like this... I had been hearing a lot about this place in Shivajinagar that stocks craft supplies but no one in my circle knew its name of the directions to get to it. So I continued to brave the claustrophobia and the agoraphobia and all other the phobias in general that deal with getting to Chicpet, Bangalore.

So 25th, the Saturday morning I set out for Shivajinagar armed with Google maps print-out and address. And as fate would have Russell Market had to catch fire early that day! I lost my way and ended up in the chaos near the accident area. Finally found Shop #405, Devi Stores :) and it happened to be a garment shop... As he would have done, I suppose, many times in the past, he patiently told me the route to the Devi Craft Store. (Reminder to self - add the location in Google Maps.)

After seeing the stored I realized why it hadn't registered earlier... it looks just like a plain hardware and paint store from outside. And inside its a treasure trove of tools, glues, paints, dyes, boards, sprays, glue guns, and what not. Needless to say, for a few minutes I couldn't make up my mind regarding what to buy... cos my mission was to just locate the store... I hadn't made any list of things to buy. But we women need no list I say! Went ahead and bought some fabric dyes. Hurried back home to test them out.
The colors are fantastic! I cant wait to try something new with them!

Jai ho Devi Ma ki!

Feb 24, 2012

Proudly Primary

I tend to get sucked into complexity. I tend to ignore what comes naturally. Somehow the primary colors never seem to be my initial choice! And this dress changed all that.

This is the first dress I embroidered for my daughter. And this was the first one she truly appreciated! I did not trace the design. It just grew. As you can guess this design draws a bit from Mexican embroidery. What I loved most about this dress is its vibrancy and simplicity. There is hardly anything complex. Its a simple dress in basic colors.

The polka dot cotton fabric is from a Jayanagar 4th Block, Bangalore shop.The red fabric is super thin cotton from my stash of leftover fabric. The threads are from Anchor.

Feb 22, 2012

The First Sewing Machine

Singer Multipurpose was my first sewing machine and our relationship lasted for more than 15 years!

Learning to sew with this stubborn piece of machinery was traumatic. I have literally pulled out my hair, scratched my skin out and swore every time the thread snapped and acted like a total psycho while using it. I have sung so many songs with it! Talked to it! Ok I am a psycho! :)

All said and done most of my early projects turned out well! I have bitter-sweet memories with this machine. But it had to be done and I exchanged it for a new machine in March last year. It is almost one year now... And I still think about it very often.

Dear Machine, I hope you are out there, happy, with someone more pleasant than me... who doesn't abuse or throw tantrums when the needle breaks! And on top of all I hope no one blames you to hide their poor sewing skills (that is me!)

Feb 21, 2012

Design Specifications of a 5 year old

She is not an easy customer! You can't please her easily! She has specific ideas... and she won't budge! My daughter is one true critic.

Its difficult making clothes for her. This is what she likes "shiny, glittery, bling-bling, sleeveless/spaghetti straps, flowy and floral prints!" And oh yes, "PINK"!

But I still keep trying! This is a satin dress I made for her. The violet fabric is from Shrirampura, Bangalore and the peach fabric is from the old stash. The real challenge here was sewing those flowers to the dress. Next time I am definitely using something more lighter than satin for those flowers.

As evident from the picture, she wasn't too thrilled with the dress and finally it was gifted to my niece. She too showed her appreciation for the dress by unintentionally smearing some cake frosting onto it! :) Kids! What can I say!

Feb 20, 2012

Embroidery: Silk

This off-white silk saree was embroidered by our Aunt. We chose the design and colors but are not diligent enough to finish :) so BhagyaDayini sprang into action and finished the saree which we all proudly wear !!

Material from MSIL Mandara
Threads for embroidery from Anchor
Design source unknown
Stitches: Chain, Satin, Stem
Importantly, more hardwork, some dedicated time and perseverance !

Feb 19, 2012

The Undelivered Gift

The Khadi tea coasters were for someone who had been sending my kid gifts for a long time. This set of 6 coasters were embroidered and sewed late into the night. I believe they even made the journey to the city. But we never got any confirmation whether they were handed over to the person they were made for!

This Khadi fabric had a very strong texture and was slightly difficult to embroider. We used silk thread and the thread kept snapping every now and then. A layer of batting has been sandwiched between the two layers of  embroidered fabric.

Feb 18, 2012

The Applique

Found the photo in my archives. It was the first time I had tried the applique technique.

This turned out pretty decent despite having an old singer machine that refused to co-operate! Also, this was one of the few projects that I completed in less than 2 hours!!!! (This happens once in a blue moon!! seriously.)

I had cut the design of the butterfly and stitched it with the zigzag stitch using silk embroidery thread.

The polka dot fabric was from 'Dandi-Bandi' (Also called Shrirampura or Ramchandrapura... this is near Sujata talkies near Rajajinagar. Its also called Chindi market!) The plaid fabric was from Shivajinagar. It was leftover from another dress.