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Jumbish – an adventure

Join me on my roller coaster ride of cultural differences and personal experiences

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Saskatchewan

Bias Tape – a love & hate relationship

Dear fellow Sewers, Crafters & Hobbyists out there,

I have a confession to make. I am not sure if I love working with Bias-tape or absolutely hate it.

Here’s why:

I did the dreadful and looked up Pinterest to find a new craft project for myself and stumbled upon Make a Case for your Hot Iron (hair straighter or roller).

I admit, I was in a dire need of one, as when I travel, just before leaving for the airport, do my hair only to realize that the hot iron is too hot to pack in my bag so I give it another 15 minutes to cool down just enough to NOT-burn my other belongings in the bag.

Here’s the method I decided on from Sew 4 Home.

I picked out two coordinating fabrics. Cut the layers as measured, sandwiched the layers together, stitch them together and  then quilt them with straight lines.

Then came the part I was really looking forward to. Sew 4 Home made using bias-tape to hide edges, look so easy. My previous experience with bias-tape was with making bunting or flags and with making blankets which by-the-way use very broad blanket bias-tape.

I used two coloured ones to give it some edge. Purple and Red. First, I bias-taped the top of the two layered fabric with purple bias-tape.

I struggled the most with the red.

When I had to turn around the edges, my knuckles hurt from having to keep  it pulled enough to get caught in the machine stitching. Needless to say I did not have any fancy quilting clips or pins that other crafters use. Then, of course for some reason the pink fabric escaped the bias-tape while stitching. So I had to unthread a whole side, cut the fabric and the batting to fit-to-size and again stitch them together.

The edges nearly drove me crazy.hot iron case 1

On the last edge, my machine needle broke with only an inch to finish the project. Changed the needle and  finished the remaining inch (that seemed like a mile left) to extreme satisfaction.

However, I LOVED how it turned out. The bias-tape gave it such a nice cut, crisp and fine-looking shape.

I’ll let you be the judge of it! Viola.

hot iron case 2

 

 

A Hijabi-nista in Style

As I  wear a hijab everyday to work, to grocery shopping and to pretty much everything, I get asked how do I style myself. People are curious to know where I get my hijabs from and how do I coordinate it in my usual day-to-day style.

A typical ‘hijabinista’; a girl who loves to wear one and still look modest and stylist, would know the answers to all these questions. Apparently, people asking me these questions are curious to know what makes you one. So I thought I would write about it. There are so many people out there who appreciate the pain we take to find the right colour for just the right outfit for the right occasion.

Primarily, there are 3 things for me that goes into looking for a scarf or a hijab:

  • The Colour – complements your skin tone
  • The Fabric – should be light enough to make layers and breathable for warmer weather. Viscose for warmer and linens and silk for colder temperatures.
  • The Length – rectangular instead of square (square ones form a gypsy style head covering that I do not like)

I always look for brighter and reddish hues of scarfs as they look the best with my skin tone. Despite the fact that I’d love a white scarf with a black dress, I try to resist it as whites and pastel colours make my skin tone paler or even yellowish. Who wants that?

Here’s the collection in my wardrobe:

scarfs 2.png

However, there is an added trick. I usually wear an under-cap to keep my hair together. So if I am stoked on wearing a sparkly white scarf I’d add a contrasting coloured under-cap to add to the style and yet helps add a border to my round-as-a-pumpkin face.

Secondarily, there are 2 things while selecting:

  • The coordination of the scarf with your outfit
  • The wrapping style

The coordination of the hijab colour and fabric is the key to a good looking outfit. For my usual work day attire, here’s the formula:

Fall & Winter: Dark coloured scarf (silk or georgette) + light coloured under-cap + long dress + tights + boots

Spring & Summer: Light colours scarf (pastel colours) Viscose or cotton (breathable) + coordinating coloured under-cap + tunic / long shirt + pastel colored tights / trousers + pumps / flats (no socks). Showing legs is a big no-no so I try light coloured pants or even summer tights.

The Wrapping Style for me is primarily the one that shows my earrings. There are  others like the double chin style, the turban style or the easy flowing style. I usually consult with Sanam’s Make-up and Hijabs for that.

Where do I get them?

For a girl living in Saskatchewan, we don’t have much choice compared to what’s available in Ontario or in B.C. I am a bargain haunter. I’d wait for the Ardenes sales and stock up when they have 3 scarfs for $10 sales end of summer. A casual walk down the mall will end up in bagging a Cleo scarf for $5 or a Marks Work Wear House one for $4.

Accessorise: I prefer adding a necklace to my look depending if there are corporate meetings or dinners that I am attending.

Fridays instead of jeans, I wear my glasses to relax my eyes (I wear contacts everyday).

Jamal 1A
Reds with blue striped light sweater and pink hijab. Notice the statement necklace.
Jamal 3A
Blues with black hijab and a bit of shimmery butterflies with a long necklace.

Iftar (meal during breaking fast) for my non Muslim neighbours

Today was the third day of Muslims fasting.

I have already started working on a couple of decore’ ideas that I will share in my next blog.

I decided to send a platter of Iftar (a meal during breaking a fast every day at sunset) to my non Muslim neighbours. Usually people would invite their neighbours over to share in the experience of breaking a fast and indulging in some delicious ethnic food and fruitful conversation around Ramadhan.

As our Iftar time is around sunset and thanks to the Canadian Prairies and the gorgeous long days it brings, we don’t eat until 9:10 pm or so this year. This is when kids are in bed and their parents usually dozing off on couches. I decided to make a platter of Iftar for my neighbours much earlier.

I needed to make some food and decided for a decent time like 6 pm to send it to them. The food I selected were:

– Black Chickpeas (minus the red chilli and turmeric), click for recipe.

– Dal Pakora (lentil fritters), click for recipe.

– Chicken and egg rolls

– Dates and some fruit

I already texted them and asked them if it will be okay if we dropped in briefly.

Next I prepared little toothpick notes to go with each snack incluing dates which are not ‘usual’ to have at a meal table.

food tags

Hubbie was a bit nervous doing this as we had never done this before.

On my way to the Dollar store earlier, I picked up a round silver platter and some golden star shaped plates that will so go with our festive season. If you are in Canada, the Dollarama or Dollar Tree are perfect places to buy these, specially around graduation season.

star plates

I added a personal note to them from us explaining what Ramadhan is, our wishes and why we are sharing food with them. So glad how it turned out.

platter      note

Needless to say, they were super excited to receive the platter and said they can’t wait to try these out but wouldn’t in front of us as they wanted to respect the fact that we were fasting. That’s always a bonus.

Understanding and compassion is what we intended to spread, and am so happy as that’s what we got.

Till next blog, stay blessed.

Upcylcing or Recycling; I’m loving it!

Today I did something I never thought I could: I up-cycled a nice item into a nicer one and with a process which was much easier from the original one. Well, something called a sewing accessories organizer mat caught my eye when I was Googling ‘organizers’. It was less to do with de-cluttering my work space and more to do with finding an interesting project. Here’s what I found. http://katiesquiltingcorner.com/2012/02/free-sewing-machine-mat-tutorial.html

As you will see the instructions were to buy quilted fabric. Now that’s expensive for a beginner like me who has no idea if the project will work or not. Instead of going to the box store, I went to a thrift store and looked at the ‘bed and bath’ section. Found these gorgeous quilted pillow cases and rest is history. Here’s the story in pictures with some details: quilted pillow 1     quilted pillow 2  quilted pillow 3

1. Pillow case in original form

2. Cut out tie-backs

3. Open seams to release fold back cloth piece, iron on open seams and stitch them to close.

sewing 1    pockets 1pockets 2

4. Made pockets from the fold back cloths. I added inter facing to add some strength to the fabric as it will be holding my scissors.

5. Mark pockets.

6. Sew pockets on lower half of the case and Voila! Done in an hour! finished 2

Finished!If you happen to stop by, do let me know what do you think. Yes, I know I have a very small table. Cheers! ….J

Next step in sewing adventure: Zippers

O my! I had no idea adding zippers to your bag would be such a challenge. I made my first-ever top zip make-up bag.

Well, to start with, I don’t have a zipper foot for my machine so I just swiveled my ‘regular’ foot around.

Then I forgot to insert the zipper edges into the side seams. You won’t see it in the pictures (Creative Photography!). I added a tote bag to go with the make-up bag. What I absolutely love about the project is the fabric, both the oustide and the inside. I named the bag, Oriental Spice. I like naming my products. It brings them to life and adds a personality to it. This will become a gift for my mother who will be travelling to Pakistan end of March and I am sure both of these items will come in handy for her. Also because she loves bags.

tote set  insides of tote

I added a buttons design feature which was inspired by Whitney Sew’s video:

Very proud of how that turned out.

buttons on bag

I have more of the fabric so am open to custom orders, once I am better skilled at the zipper.

Over and out for now! … J

Well, well, I finally did it. Created my first gift and a neighbour’s baby boy will be the lucky one to endure my beginner’s sewing skills.

My hubby told me our neighbour had a baby boy around Christmas and we just got to know a day or two ago. (Thanks to Saskcathewan’s frigid Winter and four weeks of -45 C, we don’t even see our neighbours). The first thing he said was, what can we give them as a gift? I just happened to stumble upon a fellow wordpress blogger yesterday: A Stitch to Scratch’s Barmy about Bunting blog. I fell in love with the idea and even though I promised NO MORE FABRIC after the Friday haul, I went to Fabricland and got two blue cotton blends for the baby. I don’t like to be stuck with ‘only-boy’ or ‘only-girl’ patterns, so I picked a blue striped and a neutral baby print with some bright colours and Voila!

blue bunting 2      blue bunting 1

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the video I followed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXRE9QlSEFo&list=FLPWWdmLpEF6wVJ7e1oSkD3g&index=1

Totally love how it turned out. My Firsts this project were:

– I cut triangles for the first time

– I bought and sewed with binding for the first time

– I made a gift for the first time

– I made a bunting for the first time

Here’s to more ‘Firsts’ in my sewing adventure. If you happen to drop by, do let me know what you think . If you can suggest any other ideas, that would be great.

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