Stop (Sewing) and Stare (at Your Sewing Project)…

I began making this piece, fully expecting to use the expected placket neckline treatment and other usual kurta details; but no, a tied neckline (which is not untraditional) danced in my head, at which point I stopped sewing to consider that option, and the staring began. After two days’ of looking at the half-done kurta, I decided to go for the tied look and thus lost two days’ worth of sewing action that would have completed it — to wear this weekend.

Back in the day, I barreled through quickly because the pattern dictated the sewing steps. Now, I like to think I’m more discerning about small details which require slowing down, thinking and a lot of staring. There’s no telling when this piece will be finished…..

About this (unfinished) kurta:

Some things become apparent only in a photograph. See the medallion on the bust? But… I’m running with it since there will be an artfully placed dupatta on that shoulder.

Fabric is a 25 year old crinkly rayon tie-dyed piece, made with a process called “bandini”. I bought it in Pakistan at a shop which had set up the dyer in front. I could stop and see them working. This fabric set (it came with a dupatta) was done and dried, and hanging on a display for someone to buy it. It spoke so loudly to me that I brought it Stateside to stew in the fabric stash. See? The fate of this bandini set was written 25 years ago.

Prep: The fabric got soaked in the sink; it did bleed but not as much as I expected. Yay. It was hung dried, then the wash-induced crinklies were ironed out. No worries, the crinkly look somehow stayed but softened enough for me to sew easily. Remember that when it was newly purchased, the tie-dye process induced many crinklies on the white dots where it was “tied”. That’s the beauty of it. If after-wear laundering brings back more crinkles, I’m okay with it — the looseness of the garment should accommodate lots more crinkles.

The style is a traditional kurta, complete with side panels (kalis) and under-sleeve gussets. I have detailed the process in a much earlier post, which you can find just by typing kurta in the search box.

Seams: It is straight stitched throughout with a serged finish on the inside; nope, not doing fancy French seams and all that. Side seams will be sewn up after the neck treatment is complete. Why? Because I want it to lay flat while I do the neck. This is causing a lot of looking, staring and delay.

That leaves the hems, which will also be plainly turned over and machine stitched; unless I have another epiphany.

To close this out, I am beginning to have some embellishment ideas and will probably have a “stare-down” again. Completion by this weekend may not happen. I’ll keep you posted…..

See you in the next post, friends. All my Florida and Puerto Rico readers, I’m thinking of you and hoping you are safe and sound. My city has been through this….


2 thoughts on “Stop (Sewing) and Stare (at Your Sewing Project)…

  1. I entirely understand and agree with this process, and I thank you for reiterating the reasons why I put the thing on the stand so I can gaze at it and wait for the revelation that will strike me while staring at it for…. awhile. A sufficient amount of staring often results in things being finished.

    I am getting a new to me store cast-off display mannequin from my sister in law, just so I can hang the stuff I am in need of staring at on it, and use the other one for the active sewing jobs.


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