Monday, December 10, 2012

Donuts and Other Recipies

Asalamu Alaikum,



Saturday morning I woke up early, and had a craving for donuts. I have been thinking about them for a while but suddenly just had to have one.

So off to to net to look up recipes. I ended up with 30 donuts, 30 donut holes and five sticks from the last bits of dough. It didn't take too long to make, maybe less than half an hour. They were a hit! Tariq, Saad and the two SILs loved them. The SILs raved about them to the other SILs who asked us to save some. :-)

Unfortunately all the donuts got eaten by tea time, so I figured that I can just make fresh ones then next time anybody comes visiting. Then Sunday night SIL2, her DH, and baby came to visit, so I made fresh donuts! I made a bunch extra because SIL2 was going to visit SIL1 and her family after she left so we packed some up to send over. So now the recipe has been requested and I will be showing them how I made the donuts.

I love how we all learn so much from each other. Each SIL/Bhabi has their own dishes that are their specialty and so we teach each other those. Then each SIL has her husbands family's recipes that she learned and can now teach the rest of us. We also all love to try new dishes, and anytime it works out well, we share those new recipes.

So this is a new dish to add to the family line up, in case anybody wants to try it out I used the recipe from here-"Super Easy Doughnuts" , and they definitely are super easy!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Feature- Shoping and Time Waste

Asalamu alaikum,

I like to make lists. In America I made lists to go shopping, and I loved crossing off things on the list. It helped me to get in, get what I need and get out with a minimum of wasted time.

I am also not a bargainer. I really dislike arguing with a shopkeeper over something I want. I want to sit, select my stuff(I also do this fairly quickly, I know what I like and what I don't), and get out. The whole feel is just weird, I want a dress, the shopkeeper wants to sell it, I know what is a reasonable range, he does too. Why can't he just toss out a reasonable number, I will say yes, pay and move on?

The whole experience of shopping here is difficult for me. I don't like crowds(the markets are always packed), I hate bargaining(if it was an Olympic sport, these shopkeepers would win), I don't like wasted time, and on top of all that I can't actually say a word myself as then the prices skyrocket because everyone knows I am foreign and they assume I have $$$$$$$$$$$$.

My sisters in law and husband all bargain, for everything, even things that make no sense to me. Arguing with a shopkeeper over 20 rupees on a lace trim? To me totally not worth it. I would rather pay the extra and save the 5 minutes. That time is much more valuable to me than the 20 rupees.

That is the main issue I have with shopping here, time. People make jokes about "PST/IST"(Pakistani standard time/Indian standard time), or "Desi time", how Southeast Asians are always late. Stereotype though it maybe, it is very often true here. People value their time less, and respect your time less also. So when we go shopping, it is so much wasted time, and it just stresses me. Shopkeepers have nowhere else they are going at that moment, and the shoppers just want to spend all their time arguing the guy down to his lowest price.

To me time is valuable, if you say you are coming to my house at a certain time, I expect you to be there at the time you agree to. If I am going to someones house, it bothers me so much that I am sitting ready and everyone else is still getting dressed at the time we were supposed to arrive. And that 20 rupees for lace trim? I am totally going to pay that so I can get home and be using that extra saved time to play a game with my son or snuggle up with my husband and watch our favorite TV series.

A Line kameez- Part 3

Asalamu alaikum,

Click here for Part 1
Click here for Part 2

Here again for reference, the measurements list that you need for a basic kameez

-Measurement one is your chest measurement. Measure across the widest part of your bust, I add about three inches of ease because I like my suits on the loose side. Plus 2 inches for seams.
-Measurement two is what I call the "under bust" measurement. It is roughly 2-3 inches below your bust or about 4-5 inches above your belly button. I also add three inches of ease to this measurement.
-Measurement three is your hips, measure at the widest part. I only add two inches of ease here.
-Measurement four is your sleeve length, measure from the top of your shoulder(where the seam of your shirt sits) to the length that you want and add 2 inches.
-Measurement five is around the widest part of your upper arm. Here also I add three inches ease.
-Measurement six is your wrist, if you want half sleeves measure around the area you want your sleeves to end. If you go for long sleeves, you may want to measure around the widest part of your forearm, to make sure your sleeves are loose enough that you can push them up if you need to.
-Measurement seven is the kameez length. While standing measure from where your shoulder seam is to where you want your kameez to end, then add two inches. I like a finished length of 38", and I am 5'2" tall. The kameez is exactly at the middle of my knee cap. Current fashion in Karachi is longer kameezes, but for my daily wear I try to stick to regular length/fit.
-Measurement eight is your shoulder measurement, just measure from one shoulder seam to the other, and add 2 inches.


Now that the sleeves are attached, all that is left is the fitting measurements and the hemming of the side openings and bottom.

Step 1-Fold your kameez so that the wrong side faces out, and lay on a flat surface.

Step 2-Starting at the sleeve measure how wide you want your sleeve opening(there may already be a mark from when you cut your sleeve so you might have to do this to only one sleeve.)

Step 3- Mark the rest of the sleeve fitting.

Step 4- At the bottom of the arm scythe measure across the shirt and place on mark at the center. From that mark measure out towards the edge half of your chest measurement(measurement one above) and mark.

Step 5-From the chest marks on each side, measure down to where the underbust measurement will be, it should be a minimum of about 6.5 inches. If you are taller or have a larger bust, it should be a bit longer, I suggest measuring a shirt you already have that fits well.

Step 6- Repeat Step 4 for the underbust, then draw a line connecting the chest points and the underbust points(A-D, and B-E).

Step 7-Repeat Step 5, measuring down from the underbust to the hips, and mark.

Step 8-Connect the underbust points to the hip points(D-G, and E-F).

Step 10-Starting at the sleeves, sew along the sleeve fitting line, to the under arm. Making sure the needle is down in the fabric, pick up the foot and turn the kameez, put the foot back down and sew along the side fitting line to the hips. Stop and then turn and sew back up an inch or two to secure the stitches.
Your Kameez is almost done!

Step 11-If your kameez is unfinished at the bottom(mine had the blue fabric so there is no need to hem it), then now is the time to do that. Fold the bottom of the kameez up half an inch, then again half an inch and sew two lines, one on the top of the fold and another on the very bottom edge, as clost to the edge as you can without going off. Because the chauk(the side openings from the hips to hem of the kameez)  is not straight but cut on the bias it can be difficult to fold without getting wavy and odd looking. Place your kameez wrong side out on a flat surface for ironing.
Step 12-Fold one of the sides over one inch, and press well with the iron.
Step 13- Fold the raw edge under half an inch and pin along the length of the chauk, pressing well.
Step 14-The bottom corner is kind of tricky, if you just fold it over then the raw corner will stick out
Fold the bottom corner diagonally up towards the center.
So that when you finish folding the chauk the bottom lines up nicely with the hem. Repeat the same process for all four sides, pressing very well.

Step 15-On the outer edge of the fold, sew a line of stitches up one side, across the side seam(one inch) and then down the outer side of the other side. then sew another line along the very edge of the fabric, straight up, then turn and straight down the other side.
That is it and your A-Line kameez is done!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Line Kameez- Part 2

Asalamu alaikum,

Click Here for Part 1

Here again for reference, the measurements list that you need for a basic kameez

-Measurement one is your chest measurement. Measure across the widest part of your bust, I add about three inches of ease because I like my suits on the loose side. Plus 2 inches for seams.
-Measurement two is what I call the "under bust" measurement. It is roughly 2-3 inches below your bust or about 4-5 inches above your belly button. I also add three inches of ease to this measurement.
-Measurement three is your hips, measure at the widest part. I only add two inches of ease here.
-Measurement four is your sleeve length, measure from the top of your shoulder(where the seam of your shirt sits) to the length that you want and add 2 inches.
-Measurement five is around the widest part of your upper arm. Here also I add three inches ease.
-Measurement six is your wrist, if you want half sleeves measure around the area you want your sleeves to end. If you go for long sleeves, you may want to measure around the widest part of your forearm, to make sure your sleeves are loose enough that you can push them up if you need to.
-Measurement seven is the kameez length. While standing measure from where your shoulder seam is to where you want your kameez to end, then add two inches. I like a finished length of 38", and I am 5'2" tall. The kameez is exactly at the middle of my knee cap. Current fashion in Karachi is longer kameezes, but for my daily wear I try to stick to regular length/fit.
-Measurement eight is your shoulder measurement, just measure from one shoulder seam to the other, and add 2 inches.


Step 1 Cutting the back neck opening- Measure the width of the shoulders on the front side of your kameez. Then measure on the back side of the kameez from the armhole edge(top of the picture below, above the inch tape)  inward toward the fold and mark.

Step 2- Measure down from the width mark, 3 inches and draw a line.

Step 3-Draw a line straight from the point you just marked to the fold, forming a square.

Step 4-From the point, measure out diagonally 1 inch and mark a point.

Step 5- Draw a curved shape from the top of the kameez, through the point and to the fold.

Step 6- Cut along the line.

Step 7-Prepare a bias strip about 12 inches long by one inch wide.

Step 8- Fold the strip in half and on the right side line the cut edges up along the edge of the neck hole opening. pin it all around the opening.

Step 9-Sew a line a bit less than a quarter of an inch from the edge. Cut any excess bias strip.

Step 10-Fold the strip over to the wrong side of the kameez, and sew a line along the very edge all around the neck.
The back neck opening is complete.

Step 11- Place the front and back of your kameez right sides together and sew a one inch seam across the tops of both shoulders.

Step 12- Unfold the kemeez and the right side should look something like this-

Step 13- Mark the center of your sleeve tops.

Step 14- With your kameez right side up, place the sleeve right side down on the center of the armhole. Line up the mark on the center of the sleeve top with the shoulder seam.

Step 15- Place a pin through the mark to hold it in place.

Step 16- Take one edge of your sleeve and match it up with the edge of your armhole. Pin in place.

Step 17- Do the same for the other side. You can add more pins, lining up the edge of the sleeve and armhole as best you can(it may not be exact, but it's ok).

Step 18-Sew a line of stitching along the edge of the sleeve, it some times helps to start the stitching at the center of the sleeve and sew to one edge and then go back to the center and sew from there to the other side. This is helpful if either the sleeve or armhole is a bit to big and they don't line up exactly.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A-Line Kameez Part 1

Asalamu alaikum,

Finally got everything done for my A-line kameez tutorial! Sewing an A-line kameez is not the different from sewing a regular kameez, the main difference is in the cutting. So lets get started-

Here again for reference, the measurements list that you need for a basic kameez

-Measurement one is your chest measurement. Measure across the widest part of your bust, I add about three inches of ease because I like my suits on the loose side. Plus 2 inches for seams.
-Measurement two is what I call the "under bust" measurement. It is roughly 2-3 inches below your bust or about 4-5 inches above your belly button. I also add three inches of ease to this measurement.
-Measurement three is your hips, measure at the widest part. I only add two inches of ease here.
-Measurement four is your sleeve length, measure from the top of your shoulder(where the seam of your shirt sits) to the length that you want and add 2 inches.
-Measurement five is around the widest part of your upper arm. Here also I add three inches ease.
-Measurement six is your wrist, if you want half sleeves measure around the area you want your sleeves to end. If you go for long sleeves, you may want to measure around the widest part of your forearm, to make sure your sleeves are loose enough that you can push them up if you need to.
-Measurement seven is the kameez length. While standing measure from where your shoulder seam is to where you want your kameez to end, then add two inches. I like a finished length of 38", and I am 5'2" tall. The kameez is exactly at the middle of my knee cap. Current fashion in Karachi is longer kameezes, but for my daily wear I try to stick to regular length/fit.
-Measurement eight is your shoulder measurement, just measure from one shoulder seam to the other, and add 2 inches.


Step 1-Fold your fabric with wrong sides facing, first in half length wise then width wise(selvedge to selvedge. You will have one side with all four corners, that will be the bottom hem side of your kameez. My fabric has a contrasting band at the hem.

Step 2- Measure for the length of your kameez, measurement 7(I have flipped my cloth after taking the first pic, for a now unknown reason). My desired fitting length was 39 inches, so I measured forty. My contrasting hem is already finished, so I only needed an extra inch for the shoulder seam, you will need to add two inches to your desired fitting length. Mark straight across the fabric, and cut on the line.
Step 3 Measure out from the fold on the top side, this is your shoulders, it will be half of measurement 8(mine is 7.5 inches)and mark.


Step 4 From this mark, measure straight down 8 inches and mark. Draw a line from the first mark to the second.


Step 5 Measure out from the fold, parallel to the top of the kameez, and mark C at one quarter of the total chest measurement (Measurement 1 )

Step 6   Now measure out from the corner of the rectangle you just drew, and mark at 1 1/2", Mark "D"


Step 7 Now draw a curved line from the top mark A, down through the diagonal mark at D, and end at the bottom right corner C.


Step 8-Then measure down from that line 7 1/2"(if you have a larger chest, like a D cup or more you may want to add an inch or two). This is the distance between measurements 1 and 2 above.

 Step 9 From there measure out from the fold for the the underbust measurement and mark at G for fitting(one quarter of measurement 2) and F, one inch away, for the cutting/seam allowance.

Step 10 Connect point C and F, and mark another line one inch in from C to G




Step 11 From point F measure diagonally to the bottom hem of the kameez, one inch up from the bottom and mark a line.


Step 12 Cut along the curve of the arm scythe, and along the cutting line all the way down to the hem.




Step 13 I am using a contrasting reverse neck facing for this kameez, so you can see my tutorial here for a more detailed explanation Now for the neck you will need a piece of light weight fusible interfacing. It needs to be at least 8 inches wide by 7 inches tall. Fold it in half, and draw the shape you want for your neck opening, keeping the piece one inch wide. If you like a larger neck opening then you can use a larger piece of interfacing, but the neck piece should always be 1 inch wide. Take your interfacing and iron it to the wrong side of an extra piece of cloth that is half an inch larger on all sides except the top.


Take one of your shirt pieces, and place it wrong side up on a flat surface. Take the interfacing that you just sewed and place it interfacing(wrong) side up. It is very important that this part be exactly centered between the shoulders. You may want to pin it, so that it doesn't move while sewing otherwise your neck opening will be crooked.

Step 14-Sew a line of stitching along the inner most edge of the interfacing.


Step 15-Leaving a quarter of an inch seam, cut out the two center pieces of fabric(kameez front and neck facing)


Step 16- Fold the facing to the Right side of the shirt, and sew one line of stitching at the very edge of the neck opening.



Step 17- Fold the outer edges of the facing under, and sew a line of stitching along the outer most edge.


Step 18-For the sleeves cut two rectangles, the width should be the number you got for measurement 5(including ease) plus an additional two inches for seams. The length should be the number you got from measurement 4 plus two inches. My sleeve has a finished edge so I only added one inch. If the original cloth you got for the kameez was only 32" by 96", you may need to join two pieces together to make each of you sleeves wide enough. If you want short sleeves this should not be a problem.

Place the two sleeves with right sides facing each other and fold in half. In the picture below the fold is on the bottom and there are four raw edges at the top. From the bottom right corner, measure a diagonal line(from point A to point B) across to the raw edges that is nine inches long and mark.

Step 19-Then draw a curved line from the fold side to the raw edges as shown below.

Step 20-Cut along the line.

Step 21- Draw the fitting line for your sleeve. For a straight sleeve you will use measurement 6, and add one inch for the seams. Measure out from the fold and mark, draw a line connecting the arm fitting measurement and the cuff measurement. The second line is for cutting.

I am using a bell shaped sleeve, so my measurement 6 is where the blue cuff starts, then my sleeve flairs back out.

Step 22-Cut along the outer line.