HOW TO TAKE BODY MEASUREMENTS / SEWING BASICS


Body measurements can be taken using the inch tape. For e.g., for 0 to 1 measurement, keep ‘0’ of the inch tape at the junction between neck and shoulder and measure up to the required length of the dress. Similarly take the waist length from ‘0’ up to the thinnest part of the body (waist). Similarly measure the waist, hip, chest, and round neck around the body (i.e. full circle) by placing the ‘0’ of inch tape on one end and noting down the measurement that comes after a full circle is completed. For measuring the shoulders, place ‘0’ on one shoulder bone and measure the distance from there to the other shoulder bone. Measure the required front and back neck depth from ‘0’ as shown. Take ‘4’ to ‘5’ measurement from the shoulder bone up to the required length of the sleeve and ‘5’ to ‘6’ measurement around the arm (i.e. full circle).


0-1= length of the dress
0-2= waist length
3-4= shoulder
4-5= sleeve length
5-6= round arm
0-7= front neck depth (similarly for back)

a- Chest
b- Waist                 Around the body
c- Hip
d- Round neck

While taking these measurements make sure that you take all the measurements exact to the body. Do not take it either too loose or too tight. Just take the correct measurement of the body. If the measurements are not taken properly, then the dress stitched will not be perfect.


SHAMI



This is a traditional recipe from my mother’s kitchen. It is very delicious and can be had as a snack or as a side dish with rice and dal. There is another variation of shami called the Shami kabab which contains more spices.

Ingredients

200 gms minced meat (kheema)
100 gms Bengal gram dal
1 Big onion chopped
8 cloves garlic
salt to taste
1 tbsp red chilli powder
4 tomatoes chopped
Coriander leaves
Mint leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Rice powder (optional)
Oil for frying

Method

Add all the ingredients in a pressure cooker except lemon juice and rice powder with 1/4 cup of water. Cook for 5 minutes. Do not overcook the dal as the shamis will sputter when fried. Open the lid and add lemon juice. Cool for some time. Then grind it into a fine paste. Do not add water. In case the shami mixture is very sticky, add rice powder and mix well. Divide it into equal portions; pat them into any shape and shallow fry in oil 2 or 3 at a time. Cook till the shamis turn brown in colour. Serve hot as it is or with tomato sauce.


SPICY CHICKEN MACARONI




This is the one of the most tastiest recipes from my mother’s kitchen. It is simply yummy and can be had for breakfast or as an evening snack.

Serves = 4
Ingredients

100 gms boneless chicken/mutton pieces or vegetables
200gms macaroni
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 tomatoes puréed
Coriander and mint leaves
1 cardamom
1 cinnamon
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 lemon
2 1/2 tsp salt

Method

Boil 5 cups of water with 2 tsp salt. Then switch off the gas and add macroni. Keep the lid closed for 10 minutes. The macroni would have cooked by this time. If not let it be in the hot water for some more time. Once done drain the excess water and keep aside.

Then take a pressure cooker and heat oil. Then add cardamom and cinnamon and onions. Cook for some time. Then add garlic paste, sauté for some time, and then add ginger paste, red chilli powder and tomato paste. Then add mutton or chicken pieces or vegetables, coriander and mint leaves. Mix well. Then add 1 cup water and 1/2 tsp salt. Close the cooker and cook for 10 minutes. Then open the lid and add lime juice, cook till boils appear. Then add the cooked macroni. Mix well. Serve hot .It is a dish on its own right so it does not require any side dish.


TOMATO CAPSICUM NOODLES

This is a recipe that we tried recently and it came out really well. The very presence of capsicum in this dish adds a wonderful taste to the noodles.

Serves = 4


Ingredients

2 packets Instant noodles

2 tomatoes chopped

2 onions chopped

1 capsicum chopped

1/2 tbsp ginger paste

1/2 tbsp garlic paste

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp pepper powder

1/2 tsp salt

Coriander leaves

Method

Heat oil in a pan, and then add onions, sauté for some time. Then add garlic and ginger paste and cook till the raw smell goes. Then add tomatoes, red chilli powder and salt. Cook for some time. Once cooked keep it aside to dry.

Then take a vessel and boil water with 1/2 tsp salt. When it has started boiling, add the noodles and boil for 5 minutes. Then close the lid and switch off the gas. Leave it in the hot water for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile the masala mixture might have dried. Now grind the mixture into a fine paste.

Then take 4 tbsp oil in a pan, and add the chopped capsicum, and cook for some time. Then add the paste and pepper powder, mix well. Then add the noodles, which have been drained and passed through cold water, to the pan. Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Optional

Fry 1 egg in a pan, cut it into thin squares and mix well with the noodles or cook vegetables separately and add to the noodles in the end.

DRESS DESIGNING BASICS

The basics of making a dress are drafting, cutting, and stitching. But designing a dress requires a passion for making something new. Using the standard measurements and the basic construction of a dress, and applying your creativity you can make elegant dresses. I would like to give a brief step by step process of making a dress.


  • First note down the body measurements after measuring with an inch tape or by referring to the standard size chart.
  • Once done, make a paper draft using the basic construction of the dress. 
  • Then draw out the kind of dress you want to make separately and make alterations in the draft accordingly. 
  • Place the draft on the cloth, mark with a chalk and cut the cloth leaving the required stitching allowances. (Stitching allowances usually taken are 1” to 1 ½” at the sides and ½”at all other parts.)
  • Now start stitching according to the measurements. Once done, add extra embellishments to further enhance the look of the dress.

What I have given here is a general method and does not necessarily apply for stitching all types of dresses. Small changes have to be made when stitching some dresses. Another important factor is the measurements. The measurements have to be taken and marked accurately and the dress also has to be stitched according to the measurements because if you go wrong here, the dress stitched might look disproportionate to the actual size.

TAJ MAHAL



This is the miniature model of Taj Mahal that i made recently. You too can make one. The Taj Mahal enclosed in the case is 7"x7"x5" in size. I made this with thermocol and carved the various pillars and domes using sand paper.By referring the photographs of Taj Mahal, I first drew the basic outline, then the outline of the forms of the pillars and domes on paper. Then deciding on the proportions, i proceeded to make the various parts. Each part in the pillar has been made separately and then glued together using fevicol. For the smaller pillars i rolled paper strips and glued them in place. Once all the parts were glued and ready, i placed them in a flat square piece of thermocol of 7"x7" size. I also carved the finer details like doors and windows using a pencil. Then using OHP sheets i made a case for the Taj Mahal. For this i cut  5 pieces and then joined them using cellotape. I have given below some close up pictures.









MUTTER PANEER





The mutter paneer that my mother makes is simply delicious. I am sharing it so that others could also make and enjoy.


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