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What We Should Be Sewing: Mumbai Rain & Pink Velvet

What We Should Be Sewing: Mumbai Rain & Pink Velvet

Let’s face it, fashion is a fickle thing, and it can be overwhelming to keep track of what we should be sewing to keep up with the trends!  Luckily, I’ve asked fashion-guru Katie (who is always one step of the game) to tell us a key fabric, colour and style we should be sewing together!

I love hearing from Katie and living vicariously through her latest adventures in Mumbai!  Katie is a designer through and through – constantly on the look out for trends and finding inspiration everywhere she goes.  This month, her fashion vibes are telling us to go a little retro as she’s inspired by Indian deities, rain and fabulously vibrant colours.  See what fabric and patterns she’s put together for us, so that we can stay ahead of the trend!

Katie Thomas:

I’ve spent a week in Mumbai, India, before so I thought I had some idea of what to expect when I came back. But here lies the land of surprises, where every breath is a new adventure.

There is a strange charm about seeing men getting their hair cut roadside, or watching a woman balancing a total of eight barstools on her body as she walks (yes, really). One thing I admire about the people here is their love for the chaos and unpredictability of it all. One example of this was being told by a local that they actually enjoy the rainy season and will sit along Marine Drive for hours awaiting the rains to come with anticipation – like a child waiting for Christmas morning! Enjoying standing out in the rain?! What an alien concept to me, in cold, rainy Britain.

Another exciting part of Mumbai is that because it is such a spiritual place, you’re never any further than a few metres from a Ganesha shrine. Ganesha is the elephant Hindu deity, known as the remover of obstacles and God of wisdom and knowledge. His colourful pictures are seen on every street corner in all places high and low, contributing to the colour and vibrancy of this place. Even in the rain, there is breathtaking vitality.

Katies mumbai experience ganesh

Being August and mid-monsoon in Mumbai, it’s extremely hot and humidity can reach up to 90% here. And, like many hot countries, it may be scorching outside but you find yourself spending time inside with air con blasting. So when it comes to clothing, it is a constant state of confusion: from wet sweats to freezing chills.

With that in mind, my inspiration for this week’s fabric recommendation is the changeable weather here and the vitality of the country. So I thought I’d recommend something that can be both tailored for inside and outside situations.

Seeing the Pink Organic Velvet fabric made my heart skip a beat at first glance. Deep down, I have always been a lover of dressing up and having fun with my fashion. The fabric ticks all the boxes: It’s made in India, animal cruelty free, azo-free, fair trade, made with low energy and little water, low impact dyed and no GM crops are used in its make – a match made in heaven!

Pink organic velvet


For beginners the easiest way to work a fabric as fun as this is to create from a straightforward pattern, for example a mid calf length skirt with a thin elasticated band at the top to secure the piece on your hips.  Try these patterns for a modern take on retro looks. Left: 40s pattern from McCalls 7278. Right: 60s Simplicity Pattern 7704.

Pink Velvet Skirt Pattern

For those with experience, it is easy to create a show stopper piece because of the colour of the fabric. I would suggest a mid thigh length sleeveless dress with a turtle neck collar. Try out this 70’s Butterick Pattern.  This way, a coat or cardigan can be added for warmth, or taken off to reduce any overheating outside.

Velvet Pink Dress

I’d recommend keeping the shapes you choose simplistic, as the colour will create the impact.  I implore you to bring out the secret retro pattern lover within!


Katie will be back next month with her next pattern / fabric combo, but if you simply can’t wait then read more on her website:

And if you’d like to be kept informed my next post, please do sign up to my monthly mailing list (at the top right of this page)!

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