Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Feature: Baby Names

Asalamu alaikum,

When our first son was born, the name discussion was rather short. We agreed that my father in law would be choosing his first name, but I wanted to be able to select a middle name from my side of the family. Tariq's father selected "Saad", which was the name of his father's elder brother(Tariq's great uncle). I wanted to select a middle name that was important to me, and that showed a connection to and respect for my side of the family. There are certain requirements for Muslims' names(it can't be the name of a pagan deity or denote worship of one, it should not have a bad/negative meaning, etc.). Going through family names I selected one that belonged to my maternal grandfather, one of my father's brothers, his grandfather, and brother in law.

When our second son was born, the discussion was a bit longer as Tariq's father had run out of male relatives' names(mashAllah lots of grand kids!). Tariq and I had a list of possibles for the first name and I was still going to go with a middle name from my family so I had my own list. In the end Tariq's elder brother suggested "Saif" and his father liked it, so the first name was settled. I got four or five names from my side-my father/grandfather's name(dad is a Jr.), my brothers' names(one first and one middle), and my other paternal uncle's name. I decided on my father's name, and that was that!

Occasionally I get odd looks or comments about the kids "mixed" names, but I try not to let it get to me. InshAllah I am planning to raise them to be proud of both sides of their family, where they come from, and to understand why I would give them names that are not traditionally Muslim.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Feature: An Aqiqah for my boys!

Asalamu alaikum,

After Saif was born, we started thinking about doing his Aqiqah(for those not familiar with the term-it is an Islamic tradition that involves sacrificing two goats/sheep etc. for each son, and then cooking them to feed family, friends, neighbors, and the needy). Since we had not been able to do Saad's when he was born, we decided to do them both together now, while we are still in Pakistan.

We held the function on our roof, alhamdulillah it is spacious enough to hold a good amount of people. We ended up with around 60 guests. As with every function in our family it was all arranged at the last minute! The orders for tables, chairs, caterers, soft drinks etc. were all given only one or two days before, and the butcher came to perform the sacrifices only that morning!

We got matching sherwanis for Saad and Saif along with groom's kullas(turbans).


Tariq was going all around organizing all the last minute details with the waiters and food while I stayed downstairs and got the boys ready at the last minute so they wouldn't ruin their outfits. When everyone had arrived and all was ready, I suited up the boys, Tariq came and all four of us went up to the roof together. At the top of the stairs all the younger ladies had lined up to shower rose petals on the boys, and Tariq's father put rose and jasmine hars(garlands) on them. After greeting everyone and passing Saif around like a game of musical baby, it was time to eat.

MashAllah the food was fantastic, we had mutton biriyani and qorma with taftans(small round slightly sweet breads), with doodh dulari(a thin pudding with bits of fruits, jellies, and colorful noodles) for dessert.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Alhamdulillah a family of four!

Asalamu alaikum,


Our second son was born on November 8th! Mashallah he weighed in at a healthy 8.5 pounds, and we have named him Saif. I had really been praying that I would have a fairly easy normal delivery as I had with our first son, but right at the last minute I ended up with placental abruption and an emergency C-section. Alhamdulillah we made it through ok, but recovery was much harder this time.

I want to thank everyone who posted congratulations (I have been trying to get online to do that, but as you can all guess we have been rather busy recently!) Thank you all!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sewing some baby clothes

Asalamu alaikum,


I have been working on some little things for the impending little one, some sewing projects and a little knitted set. The knitting is not quite finished, but I did get these two little shalwar kameez suits done.

First is this little set, remnants from one of Saad's Eid suits 2012, and the check fabric is left over from two pairs of lounge pants made for Saad and Dada. I wanted buttons, but Tariq wants snaps, he suggested that we compromise and I can just move the buttons to the upper side of the placket and sew snaps on the inside. I will end up doing it because he is kind of right, it will probably only be worn once or twice, why go through the bother of buttons?

Next is this suit, remnants from Saad's Eid suit 2013-

 Saad loves the idea that his(not mine apparently :-) will have matching clothes. MashAllah he is very excited about all this, and talks to the baby a lot.

I did a bit of hand embroidery so it isn't too plain. Just free handed a little boat and used chain stitch.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Feature: Yet another long absence update post :-)

Asalamu alaikum,

Anybody still out there? ;-)

So lots of stuff happening, but we are still in Karachi. Since my last post of any substance(a looong time ago) we have had a wedding in the family(SIL#3) MashAllah, Saad took third position in his first year of school(KG 1), Tariq had a visa interview and got put into the Dreaded Administrative Processing(ahhhhh!), and we are currently expecting our second child(due any day now!).

I am trying to get as much as I can done before the little one arrives. Working on getting the WIP pile to a more manageable size, started a couple baby knits and crochet projects(someone else is expecting also, so lots of baby stuff to get working on), rearranging our room, and cleaning like a mad woman(when I have the energy for it).

Some days I get more done, some days it is all I can do to keep us in clean clothes and get something cooked up to eat. Alhamdullilah it is all slowly getting done though. InshAllah two SILs are coming back from UAE soon, so that will be a great help. It is always easier to have people to lean on when you need help, one of the benefits of a joined family, always somebody there :-)

InshAllah I really want to try to get a bit more posts going on the blog, we'll see how that goes! I have been thinking about an update on my original shalwar kameez tutorials, as I have been improving my technique and learning new little tricks. The originals are kind of basic, I suppose I could just post the improved bits as mini tutorials. Might be easier than trying to re-write the whole things!

InshAllah I'll be back to regular posting soon!

Monday, September 23, 2013

More Urdu(or Hindi) Nursery Rhymes

Asalamu alaikum,

A while ago(wow back in June 2011), I posted a couple little nursery rhymes that I had learned and was teaching Saad. Recently I got a little book full of them and have been learning some more. So here are a couple I wanted to share-

Chand ki Pariyan

Dadi amma kheti hain,
Chand pey pariyan rheti hain.

Roz utar ker ati hain,
Apne per pelati hain.

Aj mein raat na songa,
Chand ki pariyan dekhonga.

Dadi amma kheti hain,
Chand pey pariyan rheti hain.

Translation-
Moon Fairies

Grandmother says,
There are fairies living on the moon.

Daily they come,
To open their wings.

Tonight I will not sleep,
I will look for moon fairies.

Grandmother says,
There are fairies living on the moon.

The second one is a bit longer and sounds a bit silly in translation.

Neeli Cheriya

Eik thi Murgi, eik thi cheriya.
 Lal thi murgi, neeli cheriya.

Cheriya ki awaz sureeli,
Nuna sa moo, gardan peeli.

Murgi din bar gana gati,
Cheriya iss sey tung ajati.

Eik din cheriya boliyu,
Bi murgi sey- chu chu chu.

Ande wande laya ker,
Gana tu mat gaya ker!
 Translation-
Blue Sparrow

There was one chicken, there was one sparrow.
The chicken was red, the sparrow blue.

The sparrow's sound was melodious,
The sparrow had a small mouth and yellow neck.

The chicken sang a song all day,
The sparrow was annoyed by it.

One day the sparrow said
to the chicken, chu chu chu!

Eggs shmeggs, bring them,
Just don't sing a song!
InshAllah I am working on some more, and will post them sometime soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday mini Tutorial: Contrast Paincha

Asalamu alaikum,

Adding a contrasting band to the bottom of a shalwar is a simple way to add detail without too much extra work. It can also help if you've made a mistake in the cutting and your shalwar is to short, or if your fabric is just a bit on the short side.

Step 1-Cut your leg as normal(for this tutorial I am using a simple shalwar as the example rather than a belt shalwar), but instead of adding three inches to the length, add only two.  Also cut two stripes of fabric, two inches wide, and the same length as the paincha(foot opening) of your shalwar.



Step 2- You will need two pieces of buckram(interfacing), one for each leg. They should be the same length as your contrast fabric stripes, and one inch wide. Place the interfacing in the middle of the fabric strip on the wrong side and fold over a half inch from each side towards the center.



Step 3- Unfold one of the edges of your contrast strip and line it up against the bottom of your foot opening, so that it is centered and the raw edges match. The right side of the contrast strip should face the wrong side of the shalwar.  Sew one line along the edge of the buckram and the opened fold line.


Step 4- Fold the contrast strip to the right side of the shalwar. You may want to pin it in place to keep the buckram from shifting around.


Step 5-Sew at least two lines, one at the top of the contrast fabric and one at the bottom, though I usually make more, at least five or six lines, around an eighth of an in apart.


Step 6- Complete the rest of your shalwar as normal.