Saturday, July 6, 2013


I have almost 6 to 7 Back Packs dumped in my storage cupboard. And none of them were being used. And why aren't they getting used??? Coz they have company logos embroidered/printed on them and I hate to use such back packs. I don't know why people gift back-packs. Anyway, for more than a year I was successful in ignoring this pile.   

But thanks to the ever increasing list of things I daily need to carry to the college, I desperately required something big, comfy and easy to carry. What else will fit the role perfectly than back packs. So after finding the best among the lot available at home I started with my DIY project. 

*First step of this DIY is to get the logos off. If the company name and logo is embroidered then get it off. After taking the threads away you might see tiny holes on the fabric. try washing that area and pray that the fabric shrinks a bit and the holes vanish. If that doesn't help then you can sew buttons in that area to hide the holes.
If the logos are painted then you needn't worry. Apply some dark color as base and then get your design on it. 
This one had the company name and logo embroidered on it. Getting the embroidery off is a tedious task. Try using bent-nose-scissors for such purposes. 

*Second step is finding the right design. 
For beginners: Choose less intricate designs. This way painting part would be easier.  
In my case :
I was able to remove only the name of the company, the logo was really stubborn. Hence I had to build my design around it. Initially I wanted to use giraffe print and nothing floral. But thanks to the logo, my design already had the floral touch. So after many permutations and combinations my final design was a  mixture of giraffe and flowers. 

*Third step is getting the design on the material. There are many ways you can do so. I drew my design directly by using the all-surface-pen. 
The other ways are: 
-By using yellow/white carbon paper. These are available in few stationery shops.  You can use these colored carbon papers on fabrics too. 
-Some use chalk powder+kerosene method.
-You can also use stencils...
I know these many methods only. If you know any other do let me know. I would love to try them.

*Lastly painting your design: I have used Acrylic Colors and after letting them dry, I have applied two coats of Varnish.
This is how my back pack now looks... 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

My First Interaction With A FASHION DESIGNER

Before I start with my topic let me warn you this is a LOOONG post.
Almost a week back I met Anuj Sharma. Well it wasn't a one to one interaction. He had come to our institute for a guest lecture cum work shop. 
Anuj Sharma... He is a Fashion Designer. Does it end at that... NO. 
Well let me introduce you to Anuj and his work. 

 He has done 6 Lakme Fashion Week (LFW). After which he stopped. Because he felt there is more to fashion than the ramp. He wanted to reach to people. And thats where it all started. The 6th LFW gave birth to BUTTON MASALA, his well known and highly creative collection. 

About Button Masala: 
It is the most easy way to make hundreds of outfits from a single piece of fabric. 
Its easy to make and easy to wear. 
Anyone can make it, age no bar if you know the concept. 
Its cost friendly. No tailoring charges. No heavy production or manufacturing charges. 
If you look at the bigger picture then its even environment friendly too. 
Basically its creativity at its best. A single piece of fabric can be a dress. Which can then be a skirt or may be pants. Can be a cape or a shrug. And then can also be a bag. And after all this you can also make a nice pair of footwear out of it for winters (obviously to be worn at home). How can one miss the accessories. Yes you can make nice neck pieces and even belts with this concept. What else women need. 
On a second thought husbands and dads will be more happy with this concept, right?

 When initially he came up with the concept it looked like this:

Over here on a fabric buttons have been sewed. And its been held together with two long straps full of loops. 
 This garment can be worn in several ways, want to know how...keep watching.

And it can go on and on. I think you can wear it in thousand different ways.

Here is the glimpse of BUTTON MASALA- LFW Spring Summer collection

Even his pants are of Button Masala concept.

Then came the improved button masala. Which is the most amazing thing I have come across in clothes. All you need is an easy fabric, buttons and rubber bands. Yup thats all. Let your needles and threads take some rest. 

The good things is that you can swap the buttons and use different articles too. 
Apart from Button Masala, he has also come up with

Pao-Bhaji Masala

 Kids wear

Smirnoff for men


  And Masala Chai, buttons took a back seat and the chai (tea) cups came into action...

Then came TT balls, 

It will help you to float. A swimsuit-dress for the non swimmers. 

And he also tried using some tin lids and metal parts.

Masala Chai concept has no boundaries. It easily can be used for interiors too.
Doesn't this cup garland look FABULOUS... Add strings of tiny bulbs and a fairy tale decor is ready.

I would had said this is a mind blowing INVENTION... but as per Anuj, nothing is an invention if its source is Earth. Whatever is said to be an invention is nothing but doing a thing in a different manner.   Thats it. 
So all the bloggers who keep complaining that so and so stole my content or my thoughts and ideas. Give it a rest and relax. Well I made peace with my qualms.

Anyways... Apart from being a Fashion Designer Anuj Sharma, is down-to-earth and a humble person ( I got that from the way he presents himself). The fact that he willingly wishes to share his Button Masala concept with everyone speaks a lot about him. I mean who does that. Everyone wants to cash in every single idea or concept. 

 He is a writer. He was kind enough to share few of his poems with us. They were beautiful. They spoke of real and of hidden human feelings and human nature.

Apart from fashion concepts, he even talked about spiritual and philosophical concepts. Personally, I really loved it. For the first time ever Fashion concept was explained with a spiritual touch. The one thing during his lecture stuck with me was: Create designs with good intent because only that will help you become a good designer. Only thinking about the monetary rewards won't make your designs famous and/or creative in the real sense. Think beyond that. 
There were many other things he talked about like love, death, life... I won't be talking about them because the post is already way to long.  

Anuj claims that he is a lazy person but his laziness has helped him in many ways. Best example is BUTTON MASALA.
His laziness hasn't stopped him from acquiring good knowledge about all the factors involved in his field of work. He is a lecturer in National Institute of Design, Gujarat. He has taken his formal FD education from the same institute. 
He has good understanding about craftsmanship too. He asked us to focus more on analyzing the fabric's texture and fall and start making the garment rather than getting your ideas on the paper first and then trying to force it on the fabric. Illustrations won't help much but working directly with fabrics will. He stated a simple fact but it was the most helpful one. 
Anuj Sharma also gets invited for guest lectures across the globe. He has also spoke at TEDx. 
He even has won an award for best innovative designer. 
After hearing all this who will say being lazy is bad. 
But as Anuj said : Its not bad to be lazy until and unless you know the importance of commitment.
Fair enough.

Being a very simple and approachable person it was easy to connect with him.  His attitude helped in breaking the student-teacher barrier. Due to which the Question-Answer session was fun (people who had to face the gibes and ridicule wouldn't say the same though). 

Moving on to the workshop:
In this session he taught us how to actually make garments with help of Button Masala. 
These are the outfits made by me. Instead of buttons I had used counters (used in board games and card games) and used dupattas. 
My first attempt of using the BUTTON MASALA concept

I have only two pictures... sorry...

So this was all I know about Anuj Sharma and his work. I would love to hear and learn more from him. 
I really hope that more and more people come to know about this amazing concept and start using it. 

How about a Button Masala Bag for the blog post... 
It will be on the blog soon. So stay tuned because I will be giving you a step by step illustration on how to use The Button Masala concept. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

After A LONG Break

Yup.. I am back. And it feels lovely to be back. 
This interval was unintentional and wonderful for me. So many things have happened and am gonna tell you all of them...naaa...few important ones.

To begin with... I AM A FASHION STUDENT NOW... It was my dream to be in the fashion industry and am so so so glad that I have taken the first step into this dream which now is a reality. YAYYYY... every time I tell this info to people and my heart skips a beat and does a small dance...Literally. 
Just had a repeat telecast. 
There are so many things to know, learn and understand. Not only related to clothes but also in drawing and painting. This two hours a day thing has changed my life in the BEST WAY. And all the credit goes to my Brother-in-law (my sister's hubby) and my friend Renu. The best gift my BIL gave me on Woman's Day was a speech/advice of getting into Fashion industry and convinced me throughly so that I had no doubts left. He reinstated my believe in myself and my talents. And the best guidance given by Renu has helped me choose the right options and take the right decisions at right time. Thanks a ton both of you. 

I have decided to share with you my favorite, my artworks during my term as a fashion student. Hope you will enjoy watching them like the way I enjoyed making them.

The one for today's blog post is

Second update, I purchased four pair of footwear, ONLINE, last week. Yeah its big deal for me since I  never had trust in online shopping websites. I had shopped online once and the quality of the products was so pathetic that I made a rule: never to go for online shopping again. But tempted me to break my rule and am glad that I did. The quality is awesome. The products are original and not duplicates. The delivery service is great. The packaging in good. What else a girl wants.

Sharing with you the pictures of my lovelies.





One more good thing about is the feature 'ScrapBook'. This website was introduced to me by Aditi from So-Saree . Thanx a ton for that Aditi.
In ScrapBook, one can create 'looks' with the products available on the website and you can share it with your friends on Face Book. I love scarpbooking as its a great help for my Fashion Design course. If you wish to check my ScrapBook CLICK HERE

Third one, Bought a new sewing machine. FINALLY. I had bought one in Japan but it exploded, literally, the moment I used it in India. I hate the current conversion thing. After two years of stitching every thing by hand past one month feels like heaven. Almost all my garment related DIY's on the blog are hand stitched.
The good thing about the arrival of the new sewing machine is that now there are 'n' number of DIY's waiting to come on the blog. I just hope I get time to post them frequently enough. 

LASTLY, I got a new haircut. It was supposed to be something else but it turned out like this. Initially I wasn't happy but now I am simply loving this new look.

Haircut by Mom. 

 These were the important updates that I wanted to share with you all...well important as per me. 
Hoping that I will post something soon...catch you then.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Healthy Palak Paneer : The Spinach Recipe

Hi All,
Today's blog post is about my favorite recipe. Its is my favorite because...
1) Its very easy to prepare.
2) Its very healthy (as the title suggests) - no spices at all.
3) I love fresh cottage cheese (Paneer) a lot. I dont like the frozen or fried paneer cubes.
4) The same recipe can be easily converted into a soup with only two alterations.

Spinach leaves

So lets begin. 

-Spinach                     : roughly chopped 2-3 cups full
-Onions                      : 2 medium size
-Green peas                : 100 gms
-Oil                           : 1 teaspoon
-Fresh Cottage Cheese : 150-200 grams
-Sugar and salt to taste

You can change the quantity of the ingredients as per your taste.

Pre Cooking Prep:

-Soak the Spinach leaves in salt water for 20-30 minutes to get rid of mud and impurities. Drain the leaves and then chop them roughly. 
-Wash and large dice cottage cheese.
-Large dice onions.

Large diced onions

1) Boil or pressure cook chopped Spinach leaves + diced Onions + green Peas (S O P) till its wilted.

Boiled till wilted

2) Drain the S O P and don't throw away the stock. We will use it later.
3) Cool the S O P and blend it to a paste/puree. While blending use the stock (not all of it, but as per the consistency you desire).  
4) In a wok heat oil. And then add this S O P puree. 

Simmering pureed Spinach+Onions+Peas

5) Let the puree simmer and cook it well. Add a pinch of sugar, let it simmer some more and then add salt as per your taste. Simmer it again. 
6) If you feel the gravy has become too thick you can add the remaining stock (again as per the required consistency) and simmer it or bring the mixture to a boil.  
7) Add some cubes of fresh cottage cheese.


Serve it HOT...

-For a change: Instead of adding cubed cottage cheese, add loose/fragmented cottage cheese. The gravy tastes yummy this way too. Fragmented cottage cheese tends to thicken the gravy. 

-The soup can be made in the same way with two alteration which are:
 1)Just don't add any cottage cheese in the end. 
 2)Add lots of stock after the puree has simmered well. Bring the simmered puree + stock to a bubbling boil. Serve it hot.

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