Tag Archives: Denim

The Happy in Hampi Shorts

It is interesting for me to consider the way my sewing and dressing trends have been affected by spending so much time in India. I’ve written about this before, of course, but it’s a continually evolving relationship, I realize, as I change, as India changes, as my comfort levels rise and fall. When I first came to Mumbai I was fairly nervous about clothing, what to wear, what was appropriate, what would make me feel safe. Of course, it is patently insane that women have to police their own safety through their clothing and feel that what we wear needs to safeguard us, that we need to work to not “provoke” men with our garments, but hey, that’s the world we live in, and as much as I loathe it, I also participate in it. I’m so extremely visible in India, although of course if I were blond and blue-eyed I would no doubt be even MORE visible, so I’m grateful for my hair and eyes, at least! But that visibility also makes me self-conscious, because it’s like a sign that says “look at me” in a country where man habitually stare at women ANYWAY.

Now, living in Mumbai, which is, in my limited experience, the best city for women in India, I am in a rare and privileged position because people come from all over India to live in Mumbai, the city where you can do and say and wear anything, relatively, that is. But I still feel tentative with my clothing choices, because while the temperatures are consistently steamy and you do see women in shorts and mini skirts on occasion, it’s still India, and the overwhelming majority of people dress in traditional Indian dress or a Western-inspired derivation of it. While my initial ideas of what to sew and wear in Mumbai might have been more limited, and I’ve certainly expanded my shapes, silhouettes and hemlines over the past two years, there are some styles that I have, well, say reserved for trips to Singapore, Puerto Rico, or the US in the summer.

But recently, I’ve decided to take the leap, and I’ve made a few pairs of shorts. I know! Scandalous! I experimented with a few patterns, finally settling on the Deer and Doe Goji Shorts. At first I just wore them at home, but having completed a pair of slightly longer sorts out of a lovely lightweight denim I picked up at Thakur, I decided to test them out on the world, and tried them out for a meal out, and then an afternoon coffee, carefully observing rickshaw drivers and waiters to see if anyone was shocked. As far as I could tell, at least in my very sophisticated and upscale neighborhood, I wasn’t making any waves with my outfit!

So I figured, let’s take this show on the road, and wore these shorts on a recent trip to Goa, which I knew would be completely fine, as the laid back party capital of India plays host to thousands of backpackers in skimpy outfits yearly, so my shorts put me on the more conservative side down there. But the real test was sporting these in Hampi, an AMAZING archeological site in Karnatika, which my friend Ben and I visited and basically had our mouths open in awe the entire time. It’s hard to get to, but absolutely worth it if you are in that part of the world.

And I explored it in shorts!

As I mentioned, these are the Deer and Doe Goji pattern, which is really easy to put together. This is my second pair. I did a first as a wearable muslin, which are great, but they are pretty short. I don’t even think that’s, like, my India-based consciousness, they are SHORT. I wore them in Singapore, and I do love they way they look, but I lengthened these about five inches, and one inch became the hem, but just so you know, and it’s not like these are really long!

The original pattern has a facing for the hem, but I find that a little fussy, so I just allowed for the hem when I lengthened, as I mentioned above.

So this pattern can be a skirt or shorts, but I prefer the shorts. All the details make it fun, the paneled legs, the patch pockets (which are wonderfully designed and like, the perfect size and shape!), the drawstring waist. I made the string a little wider, because I like that look. These are wrinkled from days and days of wear, but I think you can still see the lovely color of the denim. It’s a nice lightweight but it still has body and substance. Thakur, you get me!

I didn’t, sadly, make the t-shirt. It’s actually from Lulu Guinness’ collaboration with Uniqlo from YEARS ago.

Isn’t it weird that when you have a sewing blog and you make a bottom you are basically like, okay, guys, check out my butt? But….check it out! Also, I’m basically imitating this Russian chick we saw have her MUCH older husband/boyfriend/whatever take sexy photos of her on the beach in Goa. Oy.

And check out Hampi!

It’s the second largest archeological site in Asia! And it’s STUPID awesome.

Like my shorts!

 

 

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Filed under Deer and Doe, Sewing

Me Made May Days 8 through 11 including the Swing Swish Dance Outfit

Ah, life, how it goes. And yet we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. I did not write that. It’s from The Great Gatsby, which is a fun book, and, in my personal opinion, a fairly meh movie. And I’m not the only one…read this, if you don’t believe me. I just feel like this is not a book that lends itself well to drama, which is interesting, because there have been SIX movie adaptations of this! Also, real talk, I’m not a romantic, and Baz Lurhmann is not my best friend forever (ahem, Moulin-Rouge-is-a-trainwreck, ahem…)  The costumes are pretty wonderful, though, if almost unbearably anachronistic…

But that’s not what this is about! I’m not here to tell you that I saw The Great Gatsby, I’m here to tell you about the clothing I made that I wore! And so I shall…

Day 8, in which I emerge from the sickroom and back into the world

MMM8 1These are new pants and a new t-shirt, but though my wonderful friend Allie (hey, Allie!) snapped some good shots of me, I realized afterwards that I really needed more detail shots to do a true outfit post, so I’m just giving you this, more explanation on the pants to follow, and expect a post about the shirt soon. Oh, and I made that jacket.

And Cadfael:

MMM8 2Yep. Seems about right.

Day 9, or, The Swing Swish Dance Outfit:

MMM9 8Okay, so, the pants! These are Clovers, of course, as always, I need to send Sarai a fruit basket or some wine, seriously. I shortened them about 2 inches, but altered them not at all otherwise. I’ve worn them probably 5 times since I made them. I LOVE THEM. Perfect spring pants…

MMM9 1

See? See how happy they make me?

MMM9 3A bit more of a close up. I took these photos with a tripod and kept cutting off my feet, sigh. Just accept that I have feet, okay? They exist. I promise.

MMM9 7A little rear view for you. I did flat felled seams for most of the seams on these. and the inner waistband is a quilters cotton. it’s the little details that make things fun to wear…I gotta say, the curved waistband on this thing is excellent for girls with, um, curves…

And the shirt, I love the shirt! Oh, I love this outfit, is that weird to declare? But hey, I flipping DO, what’s wrong with loving what you’ve made? It’s better than hating it….

The shirt is Dixie DIY’s swing shirt, which I’ve made seriously 7 times now…I lengthened it by 4 inches, always having wanted it to be longer, and I gotta say, I don’t hate it…

MMM9 6The fabric is from Paron’s, and I’ve made a dress about it that I still need to blog, sigh, But I still have some left, even from these two projects! I think another dress, something sleeveless, thoughts? I love this fabric, the drape is great and the graphic pattern is really fun.

MMM9 5Did I mention the drape? Because it’s swishy and swingy and I love it…

MMM9 4

I love this photo. Look at my hair! It’s almost perpendicular to my head! What the what!

MMM9 2And there we have Cadfael.

Day 10, in which I wear another unblogged dress WHAT IS MY PROBLEM:

MMM10 1Yeah. I went to see this amazing show and the look on my face pretty much communicates how I felt about it. I really need to take more photos of this dress, I adore it…

And Cadfael:

MMM10 2Day 11, in which I don’t leave Brooklyn:

The days I don’t have to leave Brooklyn are the best days…

MMM11 2The my new denim Clovers, LOVE, and a blouse I had made for my Halloween costume this past year. It’s a bit big but I still like it.

And Cadfael:

MMM11 1There we go! All caught up. How is YOUR Me Made May going? And if you saw Gatsby, what did YOU think?

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Filed under Challenge, Clothing, Colette Patterns, Dixie DIY

The I Guess It’s Okay Skirt

First of all, thank you all so much, SO much for your amazing and thoughtful comments on my last post. I haven’t been able to respond to them yet the way I would like to, but your thoughtful responses just thrilled and amazed me (though I really should stop being amazed at how awesome this sewing community is). If you haven’t read the book discussed, give it a gander if you get a chance, it’s really worth readying. I think this is such an interesting subject and clearly is something that we all think about or consider when we sew, both the gender roles involved and it’s impact on our lives and then the world in general. And just to clarify, when I talk about smugness, I really mean myself, I’m SUPER smug about sewing, I’m really just the worst, on the outside I’m like, ohhh, no, it’s really NO big deal, but on the inside I’m like, yes, I’m just generally better then you, ain’t no thang. It’s okay to be impressed about what a huge flipping deal I am. No biggie.

In other news, meh. Meh on me. I have NOT been a diligent blogger of late. Or a responsive person. Or a good emailer. The only thing I’ve kept up is consistent feeding of the cat and if I don’t do that he screams at me.

 

So deceptively calm.

But school is wonderful but busy and guess what? Guess what? Guess what? I got a job working in the Tisch undergraduate costume shop! Waaaaaaaaaaa? Yeah. AWESOME.

Actually, in all seriousness, I couldn’t be more thrilled. The people who work there are lovely, the woman who designed the show we are working on right now is a lovely young designer still in college but she’s so talented and smart that I want to just learn from her now, and she’s just one person there! The supervisors are lovely, the shop is fascinating, and I’m pleased as punch to have been able to hustle work-study into sewing time. Seriously, I sew and they pay me (in theory, I just started on Friday so I have no proof of that yet). It’s splendid.

Technically I’m overhire, so I just work around the student productions, but there is something really fun about rushed crazied costume building. (Especially when it’s a part time gig, let’s be real.) But I got to use a serger! On my first day! Living the dream, people, living the dream.

So now that we are all caught up, this thing is a thing I made. Meh to this thing too:

I made this three weeks ago, forced my roommate to take photos of it last week, and am just posting it today. STRUGGLE. I’ve worn it a number of times, and it’s cute enough, I suppose, but it’s not the skirt I set out to make. Can you believe the impulse behind this was to be more pencil than pouf? No? At this point neither can I…

I used BurdaStyle’s Marie pattern, a pattern I have used TWICE before, and yet for whatever reason this time I must have cut it wrong? Or something? I don’t know, it doesn’t taper at the hem which it is supposed to do. I converted the back pleats into darts, but that really oughtn’t to make a difference…..I don’t even know, guys. I don’t even know.

It’s also a bit big. Sigh. And wrinkled. Ah, well, that’s reality for you!

Still, it’s cute enough, and insanely practical (a solid colored neutral modest-but-cute skirt? Yeah, where CAN’T I wear this thing? Other then the Met ball or a nightclub, it’s pretty much a go-everywhere thing). And it’s stash busting, which is, by the way, my biggest fall goal, because I just really need to rid myself of fabric. It’s…taking over my life.

So all in all it’s fine, but honestly, it’s really just okay. Still, I’ll wear it, I’ll use it, but I wish I knew what had gone wrong!

In the meantime, I made another skirt (more on that to come), cut out a blouse and a pair of black denim Clovers, and looked at the men’s shirt pattern for a long time with no motivation. Why is it so hard to sew for other people? Sigh.

Fall Sewing! It continues! Has anything crazy (like a new graduate program and a new city) taken over your life lately? How did you deal?

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Filed under Burda Style, Clothing, Sewing

OWOP 2: The Classic

Day Two. Here we go. Sundays are the days I usually get a chance to relax with my mom. We have breakfast, we take an exercise class, etc. This Sunday we traded our usual awesome Piloxing class (pilates plus boxing, lead by Gina, who is amazing) for a slightly less awesome but still fun Barre Sculpt Class. I liked the Barre workout, but the teacher was a touch tentative. Still, calories burned and all that jazz. Then I slipped on my Denim Clovers, my Never Have I Ever Pants, and walked with my mother over to the Kimmel Center to see a Kabuki Dance performance. Like you do.

It was….interesting. I studied Kabuki in college, (ah, theater major, you are the best) and I have seen taped dances and dance that was strongly influenced by Kabuki, but never actual Kabuki. In point of fact this wasn’t a true Kabuki troupe, they also do Noh theater and other Japanese and Chinese forms, but still, one mustn’t be picky. Kabuki plots are traditionally tragic, and these were no exception. The Last Journey of Two Butterflies, for example, is a lovely tale of two lovers who have committed suicide and come back as butterflies in the meadow. They journey through the world of the dead and eventually are engulfed in flames to pay them back for the sins of their feuding families. Lovely. Good fun had by all, eh? Fun times. Love suicides.

Anyway, here is what I looked like when I was watching all this go down:

Not my most exciting outfit ever, but it’s not terrible, right? I really need to start living up to the “styling” part of this challenge. Still, I love these pants because they really do go with everything, I mean, that’s denim for you! I do think they look better sans socks but it’s brisk today so you do what you must, right?

The waistband is rippling oddly in these photos, but trust me, these pants are cute.  Sometimes I hate photos, don’t you? I promise I’m cute in real life, people, regardless of all the evidence to the contrary.

Still. At least the building looks good.

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Filed under Challenge, Colette Patterns