The charm of handmade gifts is hard to match. When you put the time and effort into doing something, especially for someone special, it makes the gift even more memorable.
This Mother’s Day, instead of buying something online for her, start a DIY project together to make special memories. Here are some ideas to get you started:
From summer crop tops and handbags to floor mats and blankets, crochet is all the rage in both fashion and decor. All it needs is a hook and a yarn and you can have endless design possibilities. Himabindu Manchaha, founder of Hyderabad-based Crochet Now, which makes and sells custom crochet products, shares easy crochet steps: you’ll need thick yarn and a hook that goes with the yarn. Once you have that all you need to know is a few basic crochet stitches i.e. slip knot, single chain stitch and half double crochet stitch. Always remember the rule that you have to crochet left to right for the foundation chain and right to left for all other rows. Once you reach the end of each row, you need to flip your work horizontally. When you’re done, leave an eight-inch tail and remove the hook from the last stitch of the last row, and tuck the free ends with a coarse-eyed needle on the reverse side of your finished project.
Similar to the tie-dye technique of bandhej, Shibori is an age-old Japanese dyeing technique. He can give away any old piece of fabric, be it an old t-shirt, bed sheet or kurta, new life by binding fabric that has either been folded, crumpled, sewn or twisted, says Amit Vijaya, co-founder of the Delhi brand Amrich, specializing in the art of Shibori. There are four types of Shibori, namely Itajime Shibori (clamp-resist), Kanoko shibori (bound-resist), Arashi shibori (pole sheathed) and Nui Shibori (Stitch resists shibori). Her guide to creating Shibori: You can easily use string to tie and create patterns using the Kanoko shibori home method with little or no resources. Those who are more skilled at using needle and thread can explore Nui shibori to create all-over or placement patterns. For dyeing at home, the kitchen provides quite a few ingredients: turmeric for beautiful shades of yellow, tea for shades of brown, beet for pink, etc.
The Kantha point is a shining example of the wisdom inherent in the sustainable development of the country. This includes sewing rags to make quilts, a practice embroidery artist Anuradha Bhowmick learned from women in her family. Vibrant patches rescued from tattered sofas and cushion covers turned into unique clothes, fabric jackets for curtains, blankets in old sarees, gamchas and other soft, quilted, patched and padded muslin fabrics to become a blanket, nothing has ever been wasted because of Kantha’s miraculous stitch, she says.
Bhowmick suggests how to master the form: Make something unique for your mom. Embroider her favorite poetry or song lines onto a solid color blouse using the Kantha stitch. Upgrade an old kurta with a flowing Kantha stitch on its bodice, you can also create a plaid pattern or a simple tessellation of triangles or chevrons. Use brightly colored threads over dark tones; my favorites are magenta and pink cotton candy over indigo. Personalize it by embroidering simple line drawings of the two of you.
A pearl necklace can be a way to add something cool, funky, and upcycled to your mom’s jewelry box. Anmol Vaswani of Goa-based jewelry brand Love Letter says the 1990s trend gained momentum because of its playfulness and considering how 2020 was and 2021 was unfolding for us, I suspect this playfulness provides a subconscious escape. Her guide to learning how to make pearl jewelry by hand is simple and fun to try: some old pieces that you or your mom no longer wear can be cut out and made into new pieces with just a needle and thread. This way you also don’t have to search for new closures, just recycle the old ones and you have a new, truly durable piece of jewelry.
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