Tag Archives: spring

The Springtime in Bombay Outfit

I have no idea what springtime means in Mumbai. So far, it seems like there are only really three seasons here. Monsoon, slightly cooler handful of days (aka winter), deeply humid sea of time (summer). Right now I’m in the deep humid sea that is the Mumbai summer, but I’m also just a wee bit delusional, and I want to pretend that it is actually spring.

When I went back to the States last month I was so happy to be back in the cold. I know, I know, you are amazed, but seriously, I miss seasons. I miss SEWING for seasons. It’s one of the difficult things for me about living in Mumbai, and of course that means it’s also one of the things that what’s his face likes best, adoring how warm it is while I close my eyes and think about cold rainy days in which I was completely miserable and had wet feet with something like longing.

I like watching the world change and I like watching my wardrobe change with it. I think it goes back to when I was young and I had a subscription to YM Magazine (which I LOVED, by the way, and now that I look back on it it was so sad and anti-feminist and I want to squeeze younger me hard and get her the later subscription to Jane that changed my life sooner. Guys, did you read Jane? Jane was amazing. India needs something for young women that teaches them all the ways they are are okay, just like Jane. India? Get on it.) Anyway, pre-Jane me loved YM, and always stared with rapture at the changing seasons fashion spreads, the plaid schoolgirls skirts and sweaters which were always completely the same in every way. I sometimes think my whole adult life is just about unlearning the lessons of YM and influences like it.

But not that one. I love that 60 degrees in September feels cold and 60 degrees in April feels warm. I love that one inspires the donning of wool and one the discarding of it. I miss that. So despite the fact that Mumbai legit has no Spring, in fact, the one great thing about this sweltering heat is that it kills the winter mosquitos, I am clinging to the concept of spring with both of my nail-bitten little hands and making spring-inspired things. Including this outfit.

SIB 1

I feel like this would have been a great May outfit in New York. Maybe with a little cardigan? Sigh. But it’s a pretty good Mumbai outfit as well. You can totally see the lines of my bra under this shirt, sigh. OH well!

SIB4

The skirt is, believe it or not, and when you see it up close you totally WONT, a Deer and Doe Chardon skirt. This whole outfit is a Deer and Doe special, actually!

SIB 7

In person you must trust me, the pleats are real pleats. In this photo? They totally look like gathers. Who knows how these things happen?

This time I added the belt loops, and I’m thrilled I did, I love this with a belt.

 

SIB2

Can you guess what the shirt is? Can ya? CAN YA?

SIB 6

Duh, it’s a Plantain. I know there are a lot of knit shirt patterns on the internets now, as opposed to, like, five years ago when there were NONE, but this is my favorite. I live and die by the banana.

The skirt sewed up quickly. As I have been these days, I lengthened the hem. I wouldn’t say it’s a requirement here in Mumbai, but it’s definitely something I’ve been doing a lot that makes things just a little bit more comfortable out on the street. And I spend a lot of time walking around, taking trains, taking rickshaws, so it does sort of make sense.

SIB 5

Honestly, I could probably do everything knee length or above and live with it here, but I don’t know, somehow living in a more conservative place has always changed my own sense of what is too short and what is the right length. It’s made my other pre-India skirts seem really short, though!

SIB3

The shirt is a breeze, as knits and tried and true garments always are. The skirt has pockets, which of course are magnificent.

SIB 8

A little hand stitched hem for you. I made a nice deep hem for this guy, which is always nice, it gives the hem a little weight, which this light-weight fabric needs! It’s a Rajasthani block print from Kolkata, but not from my favorite market. Still, it’s nice.

The shirt fabric is from Girl Charlee because it’s really hard to find knits here, sigh, so I brought a TON of them back from the US with me. No clothing, just jersey. The customs guys must have laughed and laughed.

So now I’m back in the humid sticky arms of this hot city, dreaming of chilly nights and cherry blossoms. Sigh. Enjoy Spring, people who have it where you live! A luxury I miss…

 

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Filed under Deer and Doe, Sewing

The “April Is The Cruelest Month” Top

I don’t want to sound like a low rent comic, here, but what is the deal with this spring weather? After a cold winter we here in Brooklyn we have been enjoying a cold and chilly Spring. Ah, well, it is what it is, and after all:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Thanks, T.S. Elliot, you’re the best. The rest of the poem can be found here. Also, side note, for someone who is, in life, not that into poetry, I sure as hell am throwing a lot of it down on this blog, now, aren’t I? Bizarre. I’ll have to talk to some booze about that.
Still, I don’t mind it all that much, except that I happen to believe I look a whole hell of a lot cuter when the weather is warmer, sigh. But on the other hand, I did get to make a lot of cold-weather things this past winter, and now I’m trying out transitional things for this temperamental season we call “spring in the mid-atlantic”. Not quite New England, not the South, but somewhere stuck between the Mason-Dixon line and the Cape, we few, we happy few, we band of mercurial-Spring havers.
So I’ve been trying to make things that look cute, remind me of Spring, and are warm enough to survive my commute and daily needs. It’s been a challenge, but what are you going to do? If you are me, you are going to buckle down, you are going to suck it up, and you are going to make a silk dupioni blouse!
AITCM 1Recognize the pattern? It’s the blouse from Simplicity 3688, that lovely 40’s reproduction business I’ve made once before.  I have altered it EVEN MORE! Bahahahaha. I omitted the waste tucks, lengthened it by four inches, added two darts  to the existing three on each sleeve cap, and lowered the neckline. Oh, and I did french seams throughout. For next time, and oh yes, there WILL be a next time, for such a simple blouse it really works for me and I always get compliments when I wear it, I plan to lower the neckline just a smidge more, but keep the rest as it is, this length is perfect for me!
AITCM 4See? See how happy I am with the length?
AITCM 3Oh, and I cut the back on the selvage and seamed it together. I do that so often now I kind of forget it’s an alteration!
AITCM 6I love my expression here, like, oh, really, a photo? I couldn’t possibly, despite having set up the tripod and the timer and jumped into place for this photo. It’s all so unexpected!
AITCM 5I love the yoke, I really do, I don’t know why it’s so flattering but somehow it is.
AITCM 2That expression says, I am, indeed, feeling like a pimp, and I shall, in due time, be brushing my shoulders off, if I didn’t have such qualms about ending a sentence with a preposition.
The fabric is, as I said, a silk dupioni, one I bought at the Pennsylvania Fabric Outlet a year and a half ago for, get this, 1.98 a yard. WHAT THE WHAT? It was a steal. I got a bunch, and I still have some…what to do, what to do. It has a lovely texture that you can see in this closeup:
AITCM 8The leaves sort of shimmer a bit in the light.
Fun fact about this photo, I wanted to get a close up and I was alone at home so I just took off my shirt and took the photo. I can do that because I also make these CURTAINS!
AITCM 7I made them for most rooms of our apartment. It’s been a recent sort of boring but totally important and useful project. I also made the futon cover which you can sort of see, it’s the red sofa on the right. Anyway, home decor, it’s a bitch, but when I do it’s just so satisfying!
In other news, can it get a little warmer soon? I think I’m making the best of it but seriously. SERIOUSLY. Ah, well. Elliot and I will just have to live.
PS: I promise I did make a Mad Men inspired dress, though I’m past the deadline, but I will be posting it soon just for your viewing pleasure, I swear! Stay tuned!

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Filed under Simplicity Patterns, Uncategorized, Vintage