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Getting Crafty in Pakistan

September 19, 2013

It turns out that if you need anything haberdashery-related in Islamabad, you need The Karachi Company.  As it is, my friends and I have been having some haberdashery requirements recently so my friend’s ayah offered to take us.  I’m not sure what I was expecting – maybe something akin to The Covent Garden General Trading Company which used to be a huge shop in London full of interesting corners and knick-knacks and stuff. (I seem to remember it specialising in novelty number plates and soap.  I can’t for the life of me work out why it went out of business.)

The Karachi Company isn’t like that.  It’s more like a whole area of the city full of tiny shops each selling fabric.  Then, in the middle of a row of stall holders, there’ll be a gold shop with outrageously expensive (for Pakistan) earrings and the like.  And then another 12 fabric shops.  We were happy.  So, I bought:

Fabric for a new shalwa kameez:


The bit on the right is the front, the bit on the left is for the sleeves and there’s a plain bit for the back.  Apparently.

Wool, so I can knit some christmas stockings for H, J, and my nieces – it’s going to be a busy autumn…:


And some fabric to make H a new sleeping sack. He’s just started having a sleep at pre-school and they have plastic mats to lie on. This cunning construction means that you can hook the top bit over the mat and then he’s got a clean bit of cotton to put his pillow on. I ran it up yesterday and was feeling really rather chuffed. That was, until I got home and showed it to my ayah and her friend.

“It’s nice, but did you shrink the cotton first?”

I hadn’t shrunk the cotton.

There was an audible “tut” from ayah’s friend.

“It will shrink,” she said, inspecting the seams.  There was another audible “tut”.

“You haven’t even left a wide margin in the seams so you can take it out when it shrinks,” she said.  “Tut.” And with that she went home.

It wasn’t the unmitigated applause I’d been looking for.  As it was, my ayah then washed it yesterday with no appreciable reduction in surface area.

H, however, thought it was wonderful.


He slept in it last night and took it into school this morning.  He’s asked for another one, so he can have one at home too.  I’m off to find some more fabric…..and give it a wash.

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  1. Sara permalink

    I want to come with!!


  2. Cool – it’s a date. x


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