I was in India till last week.went there for a wedding.So I didn’t have time to work on my needlework challenge, now that this feeble excuse is out of my chest, I’ll start with the details of this tunic-

This is a  rebirth for this tunic, In its previous life[ if  I can call it that!], it was a dupatta[swawl, stole].It lost its purpose, so now it is reborn as a tunic.

The fabric is mangalagiri cotton in marroon[ deep red].For sleeves and yoke, two different printed  cottons are used.The yoke and the salwar is the same , the sleeves are different[my tailor was hesitant to attach this fabric for sleeves, but I insisted] and Iam happy with it.The usual mangalagiri zari border is sewn on the sides. now for the tunic-

Marron mangalagiri tunic-1

I used antique sequins  and Anchor cotton skein # 386  for kutch work.The pattern was drawn  in freehand, keeping in line with the neck seam[?] this took awhile,since symmetry was important. after finishing the kutchwork, the sequins were attached. later I added a running stitch outline over the paisleys on the yoke, with randomly placed sequins.

The yoke fabric is ‘kadi’ print- the gold effect keeps vanishing with each wash, so the running stitch outline seems like a good idea now!


This piece  was done over a year ago.The fabric is printed voile.Though it clings ,it is very comfortable  to wear during the summers in India& Oman.I was partial towards the sleeves this time ,while designing.The Tunic-

blue on blue tunic

This is a geometrical  pattern with mirrors. the sleeve closeup-

Blue on blue sleeves

Now the square motif in the centre-

blue on blue motif

 I was on a vacation to India[Chennai] in october.So my tast 2010 posts are still pending. Before getting into  that , thought  I’ll post some tunic projects. still to come— A foolish thing–

I wanted to try some blackwork border for tunic.This tunic is handwoven  ikat  fabric in white colour.I did the blackwork pattern on black fabric.

First , the whole pattern was drawn on a graph paper- A central panel, 2 side panels and 2 borders for sleeves.

 The tunic looks like this-

blackwork border tunic

Then I attached some antique beadhangings to the central panel.the closeup-

blackwork boder -central panel.

And for the side panels and sleeves, small silver colour beads were added. the closeup-

blackwork border-small border

 I could have used brighter pink thread,

while I was doing the embroidery,the pink looked ok. After attaching it to the tunic, it looks a bit dull.I  am quite fond of this fabric.

pink and green salwar set

I was in India for Diwali celebration last year.Where I bought this tussar salwar set.I liked the dark olive green and medium pink set, but felt I may not use the dupatta[stole], block printed in black, with a zari border as much as the salwar set. this was the set before my handling.

This narrow yoke pattern  is for the green top-

paper pattern

 The salwar being medium pink, the embroidery was made in medium-light pink.

pink yoke

The green looks like brown, but it is  green, with woven stripes.After borrowing the border from the stole, the finished  tunic looks like this[ by my tailor]-

pink yoke on green tunic

I think the stripes were not  on the length, but on the width.In this wider is not better at all, but still have to live with it.

 Now for the block printed stole, I chose a black  fabric for yoke.I had used antique gold sequins for the green tunic.This time it is the dark pink zardosi work[lupions?] where you cut the hollow wire , into desired length and use it as beads. Traditional Indian  pattern is used for the embroidery,-

It is  easier to choose colour combinations, with this type of contrast. After choosing a black background, just place the closely related skeins on the pink silk and pickout the shades.This contrast  is alltime  favourite.-

Black and pink tunic

Along with the satisfaction of designing two tunics from one set, The thought  that PINK seems to pervade too many of my tunics!

For some time, I  had the idea of  doing a whole project in satin stitch.The inspiration came from seeing-persian/chinese/chinai embroidery on some designer satin silk sarees.The embroidery is done in single colour.This time, it was aneck pattern , not the usual yoke pattern.I had a pink salwar[I ndian tunic pants]. The fabric was a chiffon in a very dark blue.It is not possible[ or just plain hard] to do satin st on chiffon. So a blueish pink silk cotton was chosen to do the embroidery.The embroidered piece before attaching to the tunic-

embroidery on neck

The pattern is taken from persian embroidery design, I tilted the motifs to my reqiurements for the neckline.

 The completed tunic-

blue and pink tunic

It looks better in real than in picture!

Early last year, I had done a celtic design . This pattern was from http://www.inkcircles.com/html/Goodies.html. [thanks]They gave  a full year of celtic patterns. I chose two patterns from them for frames. The second one  I did in dec2009-

printed pattern-2

I changed the colours. While working-

work in progress-2

This design was of ideal size for the frame, so I used the whole design.I think  it was 16inch aida cloth. the finished piece-

celtic pattern -2

I couln’t resist adding my initials on the four corners.The two frames together look like this-

celtic frame set

Working on the second frame was easier. I liked using fall colours on these pieces.

The inspiration for this came,while looking at Wills India fashion week last year.Maybe it was a printed pattern, it was not very clear,it reminded me of old greek or roman borders on vases. Instead of using mono colour, I adapted  a pink and green combination, It looked like this-

pink and green border

The green was not technically green because, it has a line of blue in it.Sofar so good, then to enhance the effect I added some cream and gold. Now-

yoke border

I got it attached to a printed tunic with another cloth[I was very stubborn on this because, the pattern was made for this purpose] 

finished tunic

After seeing the overall effect, all I can say is I’ll  be open for changes in future.
I did not leave it at that, I custom made a patiala salwar for this, I wonder why?
One smart thing was I left this tunic set in Madras, when I went for my 25th school reunion.