Thursday, November 11, 2010

Butterick 4277

Here's a quick and easy skirt to sew.
It's a bit wrinkled because Sunny wore it to preschool today.

Here it is before she went to preschool:
Butterick 4277 on Sunny
She likes that it has a dog on it (of course!).
Butterick 4277 again
Can you tell the girl likes dogs?

Some construction details:
I serged the seams, added an adjustable elastic waistband, and added dog paw print bias to the front top edge. It is made from a midweight corduroy that I bought at Joann's many moons ago.
B4277 skirt inside
It was easy to sew and I might sew it again. It's a nice skirt, but I think the pattern is drafted for a beefier kid. Sunny is anything but beefy.

I bought the embroidery from Embroidery Library and embroidered it using my Husqvarna Viking Designer Diamond. I love my embroidery machine!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Another Swirls Cap

This post should really be called A Day In My Life because this photo sums it up.
Swirls Cap
Everything I do lately seems to include a screaming child. Really. And I've been sick for 8 days now. It's the icing on the cake. And the state of my house? Well, I won't even go there.

But, I like to look at the bright side of things and the bright side of this week is that I finished my Swirls Cap. I really like this one.
Swirls Cap III

It is crocheted with Berroco Blackstone Tweed.

Next up: my Everyday Cardi. It's almost finished. Then it's on to a newly released pattern that I'm really excited to start, Cassis, by Baby Cocktails.

I have some sewing to show next week and I'm working on some patterns. Say a prayer that I can kick whatever it is that is clogging my lungs and that my kids stop screaming. That would really be nice. :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Knitting A Sock A Day Keeps Insanity At Bay

Or so they say.

My question is: How does one photograph one's own feet?

My first pair of hand knitted socks

It's much more difficult than it would seem. If only I could take my feet off and then put them back on.

Knitted socks

Then I could take better photos of my first pair of hand knitted socks.

knitted socks
They're really basic, but I love them. Next I'd like to knit socks toe-up in something other than stockinette stitch. With Koigu. Mmmmmmmm....Koigu!

Long Live Hand Knitted Socks! (and crazy people)

Pattern used: a Red Heart Heart & Sole free pattern leaflet from Joann Fabrics.
Yarn: Patons Kroy self-striping yarn
Needles: Size 3

You can also check these out on my Ravelry page.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Woodland Explorer Vest in American Patchwork and Quilting

This is way. too. cool. I loved seeing the Clothworks Fabrics advertisement in American Patchwork and Quilting!!
Woodland Explorer Vest Ad

I think it has ruined me, though, because now I want to see more of my stuff in magazines!
Woodland Explorer Vest Ad

That's not a bad thing, is it???

Thank you to everyone who has contacted me about a pattern for the vest. It was really nice to hear that you like it! I'm working on putting a pattern together in three sizes: 18-24 mo, 2t-4t, and 4-6. There will also be options for different pockets and d-ring placement. Would you prefer a paper pattern or a .pdf that you can download?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Flights of Fancy Baby Quilt

Flights of Fancy Baby Quilt
At work, we are making baby quilts that will be donated to the NICU at the hospital where my girls were born. My twins were monoamniotic/monochorionic, which means there was nothing necessarily wrong with them, but there was everything wrong with their environment, in utero. They are identical twins and because their egg split a little too late, a membrane to separate them did not form. So, for almost 8 months they shared the same amniotic sac and during that time, they got their umbilical cords all knotted up together. So, I sat in the hospital for 6 weeks on 24 hr fetal monitoring and they were born via c-section a month and a half early. That's not too bad, really, considering that many monoamniotic twins are born earlier than that. And if their egg had split any later they likely would have been conjoined, if they had survived at all. So, because I'm a hopeless optimist, in my opinion, I lucked out. It could have been worse. However, they still required a stay in the NICU, which is a very, very stressful experience for new parents. The NICU is a blessing, but it also sucks.

So, this quilt, and two others that will soon be finished, will be donated to their NICU.
Flights of Fancy Baby Quilt

I love the backing to this quilt. I found it at Joann's and can't believe how good it looks with Flights of Fancy by Paula Prass!
Flights of Fancy Baby Quilt
As for the quilting, I stippled the center square and made loop-d-loops around the white border. The outermost border was not quilted. It measures 33"X33"...kind of a weird size, but that's how I roll. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Applique Dogs

My girls won't wear anything unless it has dogs or monkeys on it. So.....yesterday, I turned two inexpensive, plain, sweatshirts into two cute, still inexpensive, sweatshirts that my girls will now wear without tears.
Ellie's Doggie Sweatshirt
Sunny's Doggie Sweatshirt
The funny thing is, they don't like to be dressed alike. So, when I asked them to stand next to one another for a photo, this is the best I got:
They don't like to be dressed alike!
You'll be seeing this dog again because I have a quilt planned that will use this applique along with a few other dog appliques I'm sketching. I also have a few coloring books with dogs in them and will probably copy some from there (the dog applique above was copied from a coloring book). Coloring books are so great for applique ideas!!

Have a happy weekend!

The specs:
Main fabric: quilting cotton
Purple fabric on ears and nose: linen
Wonder Under used to fuse pieces to sweatshirt and then I straight stitched around edges.
Hand embroidery for eyes and mouth.
Applique measures 4.5"X 5"

Monday, September 13, 2010

Arizona + Belly Dancing = OMG LOL!

Yes, I've taken up belly dancing. To say I look ridiculous is an understatement, but it's so fun I can't help myself!! There will be no photos of this new undertaking of mine, so there is no need to shield your eyes from this post.

The sad fact is that my waistline has grown and because I am a working mother of three young kids I eat poorly and rarely have time to exercise. But, there's no time to whine about it because I have a project to show you! And no, it isn't a belly dancing outfit. ;)

Sunny's Drawstring Backpack
My girls needed backpacks for preschool, so I made them quick and easy drawstring backpacks with fabrics they chose. Of course Sunny chose dogs.
Sunny's Backpack
And Elle chose monkeys.
Elle's Drawstring Backpack
Ellie wanted her name on her backpack, so I did a quick embroidery of her name for the pocket.
Elle's Drawstring Backpack
I used fusible fleece as interfacing on both backpacks. That will add durability to the fabric (it is quilting cotton from JoAnns) and add some cushion. Both bags are also fully lined with contrasting fabric.
Lining in Ellie's backpack
I used a heavy duty grommet kit from Home Depot to install grommets on the bottom of the backpacks to hold the straps. Seriously, if you want good grommets, get the kit from Home Depot. Previously, I had the plier tool from Joanns and nothing I ever applied with it stayed on for long. I also fused vinyl to the corners of the backpacks to help the grommets stay put.

Next, I'm making reusable insulated sandwich and snack bags for Luke's lunchbox. That will save hundreds of plastic baggies from the landfill during this school year. I'll post a link to the tutorial I'm planning to use after I've made the bags.

My sewing room is also getting a mini makeover, so hopefully I can show you some pictures of it later this week. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

EQ Users: Help!

Have you all upgraded to EQ7? Do you think it is worth the upgrade? I have not yet purchased an upgrade because after seeing what is new/different from EQ6, it doesn't seem to have much more that I would find useful or easier. So, what do you think of EQ7? What new features do you think make it worthwhile to purchase the upgrade?

Thank you for your opinions!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fabric and Books

There hasn't been too much sewing going on since my kids went back to school this week. I do have two backpacks to show, but I don't have photos yet. Now that the school year has started, I'm looking forward to having lots of sewing, knitting, and crochet projects to blog about!! First, let me show you some stuff I got.

Back in March, I won a contest for free fabric from Clothworks Textiles and yesterday I received it.
It's very pretty, isn't it? It's even better in person! I have a quilt in mind for this.

Then, I saw this fabric (below) at Joann's and immediately loved it. It will be a jacket soon.

It's been ten years since I've sewn a jacket, so I'm still trying to decide which pattern I want to use. I don't want the jacket to be real fitted, but I don't want it boxy, either. I plan to wear it casually with jeans.

Then I got some books on crochet. One is a cute book with patterns for amigurumi dolls. I have so much left over yarn and amigurumi is great for using up left overs! The other book is one about improving your crochet technique...

But, the book I'm really excited about is this one:

With my kids in school, I finally have time to really study patternmaking. My boss is completing her Ph.D in apparel and textiles and used to teach at a university, so I'm incredibly lucky to work for her. She's going to take my measurements for me and help me navigate my way through this book. I'm really psyched!

So, that's all that is going on here this week. Next week the kids will be settled into the new routine and hopefully we can all have a great school year! It's funny how I now live by school years. ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sewing A Pillowcase is Fun!

One of the classes I teach at Joann Fabrics is Kid's Sewing 101: the Pillowcase. I have never been interested in sewing pillowcases because I thought it would be so boring. But, I had so much fun sewing my class samples! I made a Curious George pillowcase for Ellie (her favorite character). There it is behind her in the photo.

And there it is again.

Ellie, my daughter who would never allow me to photograph her, is suddenly the big ham.

For the class I teach, the students are instructed to straight stitch and then zig zag the seam allowances, but for Elle's pillowcase I used french seams. I don't know if you can see them in the photo because Ellie was trying to model it for me. She's so funny.

Oh, and there's some topstitching. Hey, Elle, can you move your cute face for a minute?


Speaking of Joann Fabrics, they are hosting a quilt contest and the grand prize is $2,500. You can also win an AccuQuilt GO! and a lot of other great prizes. I'm not eligible to enter because I work for Husqvarna Viking, but I thought I'd tell you all about it in case you want to enter. I really wanted to enter and am bummed that I'm not eligible. Let me know if you do enter...I'd love to see your entries!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Went Back. Yes, I Did!

To Stitches. On Sunday. At 2:30 pm. I couldn't help myself because the needles were calling to me.

So, I bought two size 3, 8" circulars, another size 2, 8" circular, and 12" circulars in sizes 2 and 3. I 'm good with Addi Turbo circulars! And while I was there I grabbed some more yarn, of course.

Rustic Wool DK. This is darker and warmer than the photo shows. It's really hard to take good nighttime photos. Usually, I take photos during the day in front of the window and that produces pretty true-to-life color photos. But, it's almost 10 pm and I can't wait until tomorrow to take photos. ;)

The above yarn is Nashua superwash wool and this is what I'm going to use to knit Ellie's Secret Garden jacket. I can't wait to start it. I was hesitant to buy it at first, but when I showed it to Ellie, she gasped and shouted, "Pooopoe!" (that's purple, in preschooler speak). So, it's a winner!
And below, is Nashua chunky which will be a Heather Hoodie vest as long as I get gauge.

Honestly, I can't believe I didn't come home without any Malabrigo or Koigu. I really love Koigu, but I didn't see much of it there. And even though there was a lot of Malabrigo, I ended up leaving it behind. :( Next time. Next time. lol.

So, now I just need to finish my Everyday Cardi, which is going well. I love to crochet and this pattern is great. I'm using Alpaca Love. If you haven't used any of the Stitch Nation yarns by Red Heart, I highly recommend them. They are lovely to work with. And no, they aren't paying me to say that (although, they can if they want to. lol!!!).

I hope everyone's week has started out well. Talk to you later!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Stitches Midwest!!

I really wish I could go back to Stitches Midwest today because there is so much more I want to buy!!

Yesterday, I got a few needles that I've wanted for a while. I got 3 circular needles; sizes 2 and 3 that are 12" long and I got another 8" long circular (size 2). Check it out:
8" circular knitting needles
Isn't it tiny??!! I'm going to finally knit socks for my girls with it. A lot of people have told me I should just use the magic loop method to knit socks because I could save money by not having to buy such small circulars and because it's easy. Plus, lots of knitters don't like the 8 inchers because they say they are fiddly. The thing is: I know how to do magic loop and I don't want to be bothered with it. Not because it's hard; it isn't. But, because I don't want to have to slide my stitches and then pull up the cord and blah blah blah. Yes, I'm that lazy. I like to cast on and knit. Don't ask me to divide my stitches between 4 dpn's and don't ask me to do magic loop. Because I'm lazy. And because I really love the small circulars. For me, they're fast. And fast is good. ;) Last year I bought two 8", size 10 circulars and I love them. I'm just bummed that I didn't get 2 of each size I bought at Stitches. If I had bought two sets of each size I want, I could cast on both socks at once and alternate knitting each one. That way I wouldn't have one completed sock and then have to cast on for an entirely new sock. For some reason having to start from the beginning all over again is a psychological mine field and it's likely I'll end up with lots of single socks. So, I'll be ordering another size 2 8" circular and two more in size 3. I'll probably do the same with the 12" circulars I bought. Those are a good size to knit socks for myself.

Of course, I bought some yarn, too.
Rustic Wool DK superwash
In real life, this one is more purple than pink. I bought 10 skeins of this one because that's how it was packaged. ;) I had my girls with me and I thought they weren't really paying attention to anything at the convention since they were in strollers and because they each brought their favorite stuffed animal with them. But, suddenly, Ellie jumped out of her stroller and grabbed the bag with this yarn in it. She loves purple, so she asked me to buy it and "needle" something for her. I really want to knit Alice Starmore's Secret Garden, but the pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn. The yarn I got is DK, so I know I won't get gauge because I'm a tight knitter. I'll probably get a darker purple something-or-other in worsted weight to knit Secret Garden and save this DK weight yarn for a spring jacket for her.

I also got some Lamb's Pride yarn.

8 skeins in Chocolate Souffle. I want to eat it. This is a worsted weight yarn and would be beautiful knit into Secret Garden, but Ellie won't wear it because it isn't purple. So, I'll just have to suffer and knit something for myself with it. lol. Oh, and did I tell you it was 50% off? Yep. Love that. Y'know, come to think of it, I think they had a few skeins of Lamb's Pride in purple. Doh! Why didn't I think to buy it??!! See? I need to go back!

So, that's what I got at Stitches. I almost bought a Namaste bag, but they didn't have the bag I wanted in dark purple. I'm tired of always buying black bags, so I'm going to order a purple one online. I wonder if I could sneak away for a while today and go back for more yarn??? Hmmmmm...... :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Pair of Crazy Bright Capri's

My three year old twin girls love bright, funky colors and prints. So, whenever we go to Joann Fabrics, they always pick out some crazy fabrics and I spend the afternoon sewing shorts, capri's or pants. Yesterday, I made these Snoopy capri's for Elle.

They're very bright and fun. They have a mock front fly which you probably can't see because the print is so busy and they are supposed to have ties at the hem. But, Ellie wanted yellow binding so I eliminated the ties. Bias was quicker to finish, so I didn't mind. Since the bias binding was extra wide double fold binding, I used my adjustable bias binder foot on my sewing machine. Have any of you used an adjustable bias foot before? It's one of my favorite feet to use next to my regular bias binder foot. I'd show you a photo of it if my camera's battery didn't die.

Since Ellie loves her Snoopy capri's so much, she was a very cooperative model, which is always a good thing. Here's the "jumping-on-the-couch" shot.

And the "I've-fallen-and-I-can't-get-up" shot. lol.

Sunny wants a pair just like this pair, except she wants bright blue bias binding instead of yellow. So, you may be seeing another pair of these soon. They are made using Burda 9890, which I reviewed here on Pattern Review, if you are interested.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Loretto Vest Finished!

Yay! It's done!
The Loretto Vest
Yes, the left shoulder is slightly lighter in color. I was a skein short and when I went back to Joann's to get another, they were out of my dye lot. I'm going to soak the vest and hope it evens out a little. Regardless, I'm proud of this vest because it's the first garment I've finished for myself. And I'm going to wear it proudly to work on Wednesday even if the color doesn't even out. I'm hoping it isn't that noticeable when it's worn.

I do have a photo of it on me, but it's not a very good photo.
Blurry photo of my Loretto Vest
See? It's kinda blurry. My photographer is a little inexperienced, so I'll cut him a break. Plus, he's kind of cute.


Friday, August 6, 2010

The Woodland Explorer Vest

Good morning!

In my haste to finish and send in the Woodland Explorer Vest I sewed for the Clothworks contest, I forgot to take a photo of it. So, I'm swiping this photo taken by the crew at Clothworks.

The ad for Clothworks that will be featured in the next issue of American Patchwork and Quilting is here if you want to see what it will look like.

I really loved working with the Woodland Friends II fabric. It's very cute, isn't it??
WoodlandFriends II
You can click on the above photo to go to Clothwork's Flickr page. They have a lot of cute photos on their Flickr page of their fabrics and projects sewn with their fabrics, including this cute quilt, which is a free pattern:
Woodland Friends II Free Pattern

I want to thank Clothworks for this contest. It was truly a lot of fun to design and construct the vest! Thank you!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Loretto Vest....

is almost done!!! All I need to do is knit the buttonbands and sew on the buttons.
The Loretto Vest. Almost finished!
I can't wait to finish this one so I can start on a crocheted cardi (the Everyday Cardi from the current issue of Crochet Today).

Also, remember the contest I entered from Clothworks Textiles? I ended up winning it! YAY! You can see it here on their blog (you'll need to scroll to the end of the post). So, my Woodland Explorer Vest will be featured in an ad for Clothworks in American Patchwork and Quilting magazine. It was a really fun contest and I'm very honored to have won it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do You Have A Bias Binder Foot? You Should!

Yesterday I made two pairs of shorts for my girls and they reminded me of why I love the bias foot for my sewing machine. Here's Ellie's pair:
Ellie's Monkey Shorts
Do you see my glaring mistake? I really thought the fabric had one column of monkeys facing up and one column facing down, so I thought it wouldn't matter how I placed the pattern piece. After I cut them out I realized that wasn't the case. So now Ellie's shorts have one leg with monkeys facing up and one leg with them facing down. Ugh. She doesn't care, so neither do I. Well, I do care, but not enough to throw this pair out and start over.

Here's Sunny's pair:
Sunny's Polka Dot Shorts
She has a thing for polka dotted dogs, so when she saw this fabric at Joann's she asked to have pants made from it.

Now, about the bias binder foot. I love them so much I have two just in case one breaks or something (the heir and the spare, so to speak!). Check out the stitching on the bias on Sunny's shorts:
Bias bound edge
Click on it to enlarge it if you can't see the stitching well. Isn't it beautiful? I could never do that without the foot. Well, I suppose I could, but not as reliably as the bias foot. ;)
Here is how you use it:
Bias foot in action
And one last photo of it just in case you aren't sick of seeing it yet:
Bias Binder foot for Viking Sewing Machines

Next month it looks like I'll start teaching beginning sewing classes at Joann fabrics, so that will be fun! Between working for the Viking Sewing Gallery (where I'm now a Manager In Training. YAY!) and teaching sewing classes I'll be busy! Then add three kids and a home to take care of and suddenly I'm thinking I'd better hire a maid. :)

Have a great day!!!


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