Self Help, Helps Sustain!

Before I start this blog post, I just want to thank God for all the lovely people I have met because of my blog and because of the cause and ideals I am slowly but surely making progress towards. Ever since I started blogging about sustainability in what we wear, everywhere I turn around I see only sustainable brands, ethical bloggers and people who have adopted slow fashion as a form of living and its just so motivating to know this community is not a very small one. Am I experiencing the Baader Meinhof effect (*Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information—often an unfamiliar word or name—and soon afterwards encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly.)  Probably, but look who isn’t complaining? Me! 🙂

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So as I had mentioned in my previous post, I am doing a few blog posts on the various ways you can live a little gently, and ease into sustainability in fashion. To take that forward, today I wanted to discuss about stitching our clothes ourselves. Learning to sew your clothes is an important life skill which is not being stressed enough. It means you are taking proactive steps to ensure the clothes you wear have been made ethically and no one has been unfairly exploited in its making. There are two plus one ways of doing this (you’ll see why I didn’t say three in a minute 🙂 )

  1. Source the fabric and sew your clothes. There are countless Youtube and blogging tutorials for literally every piece of clothing you can imagine. So even novices can enjoy stitching if they invest in a basic sewing machine. The least one should know is to do quick fix sew tricks like sewing back a button, or stitching up small holes, etc because that will ensure you don’t end of throwing or letting an outfit sleep in your closet simply because of a small correctable defect.
  2. Take an old piece of clothing and give a fresh spin on it. Now this is a trend I have honestly never tried, but that being said, this is also my favourite genre of videos I love watching on Youtube! This is also the kind of sewing which is popularly seen in the US because there are so many stores where you can get oversized second hand clothes for prices way cheaper than what you might be paying to buy raw new fabric to make them!
  3. The third method is not exactly a self-sewing method, and is popular in India. It is where we don’t stitch our clothes ourselves, but get it stitched through our friendly neighborhood tailor! (Or tailors who literally live in another city if you are a crazy person who is a sucker for good stitching like me :O) When you think about it, even this form of stitching is so much better than fast fashion clothes because you actually know #Whomadeyourclothes and chances are these tailors are well taken care of because of the scale of operations and achievable targets set for them. Stitching blouses and salwar kameez sets are so common in India but many tailors these days are ready and eager for a challenge, so next time try giving your tailor a piece of not very expensive fabric and get your a nice pair of pants or a simple top stitched. You’ll be surprised how customized and one-of-a-kind the end result will look!

I have taken a course on stitching in the past and have made my fair share of clothes and I intend getting back to stitching very soon.

For my birthday this year, a close friend decided to present this beautiful skirt she completely stitched herself! It was such a perfect and thoughtful gift and I was moved by the gesture! When I decided the theme for the current post a few days ago I realized there was no other better way to portray self-sewing than by creating an outfit around this cheerful, floral skirt! I didn’t technically “self-stitch” it myself, I know, but hey showcasing a handmade gift like this makes this whole theme even better! You can thank me later for showing you what best gifts are made of! 🙂

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My friend has used a stretchy synthetic fabric for the skirt which is what gives it its beautiful fall and pleats. Sewing a circle skirt is quite easy (once you get over the weird and rocket science-ish measurement part of course) and I have attached an easy but detailed tutorial of it here!

Sewing can be a lot of fun once you get a basic hang of it and the pieces you sew is going to help you in the path of sustainability because when you put in your hard work to make something this beautiful, chances are, you are going to treasure it, treat it like an heirloom piece! When my dad had a short stint of about a year’s work in Germany before his marriage, he lived with an old grandmother-ly lady there as a paying guest, and as a part gift she made a fully hand embroidered handkerchief for me. Guess where it sits till this day in my house? In our locker with our other valuables! 🙂

After much contemplation I paired this skirt with this maroon top. I was feeling so reluctant to blog about this top because I bought it a couple of years ago from Forever 21! But then I realized sustainability is not about changing your wardrobe overnight but is a gradual process! Also, by throwing out all the fast fashion clothes I own, I am doing exactly what I am trying to move away from ~ cloth waste! So don’t judge me!

I’m going to leave you with a few more images of this beautiful outfit! Hope you enjoy it and get motivated enough to buy yourself a new sewing machine and in case you already have one, I hope I have intrigued you enough to wipe the dust gathering on that thing and start using it! 🙂

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P.S: Oh! And finally, I watched two very powerful documentaries on Netflix recently. The first one was The True Cost which is about the evils of fast fashion, the effect it has on the laborers, the effect to our planet and what marketing strategies these large brands use to make people buy clothes they really don’t need! The other one was more of a lifestyle documentary called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Strongly urge you to watch it to understand how liberating minimalism and slow fashion are! 🙂

Thank you as always for reading all the way to the end! Have a great week ahead!

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Print Preview – Western Symmetry

Its Monday my dear readers and publishing this post will probably be the best thing I’ll be doing today. 😟😀 Today’s post is about a few western prints. When I think western prints I think geometry I think precision and I think formals. I don’t know why, but all that comes to my mind are these prim and proper pencil skirts and A-line dresses but let’s try and break that stereotype henceforth shall we 🙂

Houndstooth Print

The houndstooth print became pretty famous last year with it taking over the runway and many blogs too. I love (with a capital L) monochromes so I had no problems embracing the houndstooth print.
The houndstooth is literally in the shape of a houndstooth. No really. 😛

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See? 😀

This print started being used in predominantly every outfit possible. Skirts, blazers, scarfs, entire dresses, etc. Since its basically a black and white (mostly) print it lends itself beautifully to bright colors like red, yellow, violet, pink and so on…and on.. 😉

This is how I styled this print!

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While you get skirts and dresses with really big houndstooth prints I chose really tiny prints because..well…I’m not exactly petite and nothing gives that fact away like big prints. 😂

Outfit Details : Houndstooth shirt : Fast Fashion | Chino Trousers : Marks and Spencers | Nude Pumps : Westside | Purse : Lifestyle from Lifestyle | Shades : Rayban

Chevron Print

Chevron is basically an Multi National Company and their logo is basically two downward arrow heads. For some reason this print grew really popular about a couple of years ago and what’s more, they decided to call it Chevron, the name of the company that originally designed it. Ha.

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So chevron is one all-rounder print let me tell you! It lends itself as much to outfits as it does to home decor!! Don’t believe me? Google it! Also here’s what I did with the chevron print for home decor. (Warning! This was when I used paint and canvas for the first time in my life. So shoddy painting ahead!)

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Outfit wise, the chevron print again is used on any and every outfit. They are a special favorite of the shift / shirt dresses because the vertical downward arrows and lines give some amount of shape which is clearly lacking in those dress styles. I have no dress which has this cool print yet. I’ll get one soon!! 😤
After publishing this post, Nandhini, my running inspiration and reader of my blog told me she had an outfit in this Chevron print and so sweetly and readily agreed when I asked her if I could put it up on my blog! So here you go! Nandini owning the chevron in this mint and white peplum chevron top for you!
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Thanks Nandini for contributing to my blog (again!) You’re a savior 💝🙏😍

Polka Dots
Polka dots is a classic. Its so 80s I feel like an old time heroine whenever I wear it. Nope that’s not same as feeling old. Nope. 😂 Polka dots are everyone’s favorite and everyone has at least one Polka dotted outfit as a matter of principle! 🙏
I have styled my polka with stripes once on the blog before.

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I also own a beautiful polka dress which I am just realizing I’ve never shown you guys before.! 😱

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Yes. Short hair.! 😍 so long ago!
Also, here’s how my fashionista friend Madhu satisfied her polka craving.

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I love the frills on her sleeve and her choice of shoes too! Thank you Madhu for contributing to my blog. I couldn’t have asked for a better outfit or photo! Yayy 💝💝

Outfit details (mine) : Polka shirt – Thrift shopped in Mumbai | Striped T-shirt – Waves Chennai | Polka Dotted Dress – Max

Outfit details (Madhu) : Polka Cardigan – Splash | Black Jeans – Calvin Klein

Symmetrical patterns

While all things east are handmade and labor intensive, they can’t and they don’t follow much symmetry. This symmetry is more than achieved in western machine made outfits and don’t we love them. 😇
I recently bought this diamond print silk jacket from Vesa Online and here’s how I styled it again for this post.

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This jacket defines style in so many ways for me. Its classy, its colorful, it’s rich in material, its Indian in texture but western in print. Ufff! I love it!

Also,going completely off topic, guess what readers? I STITCHED THAT DRESS.!! 💃🍹🍻🎶🎊🎉🎇
Yes that’s right! If you’ve been following my blog I made no bones about my stitching experiments and this dress is one of its results. Its a bit loose (I might have cringed and cribbed about how loose it is if someone else had stitched it, but now I use “bit loose” 😂) but its a labor of love and I can’t but love it two hands and two legs. This is how I styled it without the coat!

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I cinched it up at my waist with my tan belt to give it some shape.

Outfit Details : Dress – Stitched by me | Jacket – Vesa online | Platform Heels – Westside | Tan Belt – Lifestyle

That’s all from me readers. Thank you so much for coming back and reading and loving my blog every single time. Have an amazing week ahead!

Print Preview – Sway the Indian Way 2.0!

A quick post this one! Ever since I launched a facebook page for my blog I haven’t been giving the usual life updates that I used to. Granted, I don’t lead a page3 life (not even page 16 if you ask me 😂) but it used to be fun, talking about completely random stuff. But going big means channeling and focusing on strengths which effectively put an end to these ancillary topics. *Sob. Sob.* However, here’s a “life update” I’m gonna have to give you! I’m learning STITCHING.!! Ahhhh!!! Yes its the most fun thing to do! I enrolled myself in a stitching class recently and boy am I having a ball – a cotton ball – a stitched cotton ball – hahaha! So far I’ve done a pillow cover (elementary my dear Watson!), a kids jubba, an A-Line dress (more on that later 😍) and now an umbrella skirt. Yay!

So when my teacher asked me to buy material for my next class which was going to be an umbrella skirt I didn’t quite know what print I wanted. I went shopping and a bit of picking and prodding ended with me getting a beautiful material. Add a class of sewing hemming and a lot of struggle and Ta-daaaa 😇😍🙌👇👗

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I won’t say this skirt was easy for me to stitch. Especially the waist where I had to insert an elastic into a slit and sew up after that but I had fun all the same with my tailor-teacher. 😍📍✂📏😇

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This skirt is basically a patchwork of odds and bits of plain and kalamkari prints which were probably in excess. It must have involved so much labor because use square you see there has been individually sewn to the next square. I got this running material for Rs.200 per meter x 3 meters. So for Rs.600 ($10) I have a lovely summery printed maxi ready!! 😍

Outfit Details : Plain T-shirt: Globus, Skirt: Material Color’s Choice Chennai, Stitched by yours truly, Necklace: Gift, Platform heels : Khadims Chennai.

I found a lot of Indian fabrics and prints in this skirt. Its a prettiest and the most satisfying thing I have done and/or worn in a long time. Hope you guys liked this post. Thank you so much readers for coming back and showing so much love every single time. 💝