Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hat making season!

I'M BACK!  Although it is going to be 80 degrees here tomorrow, the brief moment of fall weather provided enough inspiration for me to get back to sewing...yay!  Sewing hats specifically...lots of different styles of hats.  Felted wool sweaters, fleece and thread in hand- I went to town.  Dinosaur hats, hello kitty hats, animal hats etc.  Wow.  Now, what to do with these hats?  Take them to the playground for an impromptu modeling session (not a very cooperative one).  I really need a better way to photograph these for my shop.  Yikes.  Enjoy the cuties I did get though!  My absolute favorite is obviously the recycled sweater hat with the pink fleece ears- so sweet!  I am so excited about it that I have already started on a fox version...will post soon!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lost my mojo

I have officially lost my crafting mojo.  Having worked 4 out of the last 5 days at my real job, I have had little time to do any crafting...dealing with 2 little ones after coming home from work doesn't leave you with much energy!  What little energy I have had has been devoted to a few horrible attempts at creating- a crochet beanie that turned out to be the size of my daughters doll for instance.  It was intended for my 2 year old- yikes.  Looks like baby "elise" (the doll) will be getting a nice xmas present this year.  ha ha.  Two attempts at following an awesome sew along hosted at Craftiness is not optional resulted in improper cuts of fabric- discovered after the shirt was about 4 inches too short- yikes.  I need to be more patient.  While I am tempted to toss all of this rather than take my seam ripper and fix my mistakes, I will gently put these aside and step away!  No pictures of these disasters that is for sure...

I need a break. 
I will assume my ineptness is due to exhaustion not a permanent loss of my skills?  Does this happen?  Mistake after mistake...I need a breather to recollect my thoughts.  Or, maybe just a nap?

One plus is that I have a few great ideas for the upcoming cold temps...and some great wool finds at the thrift store that I am hoping to transform into some cold weather come soon!  Hopefully the next two days off will be good for me- ahh, a breather.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My First Tutorial! Simple Jersey ruched scarf

Ok, I am all about the scarf these days.  With the weather turning colder I am always looking for ways to snuggle up and get warm...the scarf is the socially acceptable way to feel like you are curled up on your couch with a warm blanket when you are really sitting at your desk at work.  And it can be quite inexpensive and fashionable! 

For this I took a simple yard of jersey fabric, combined it with elastic thread and within an hour I had a new scarf!  Total cost probably 12 bucks...and this is because I splurged and went to Joanns without a coupon and bought the nicest feeling jersey I could find (in the most luscious eggplant color I might add).  Alternatively you could go the less cheapo way and buy 1 1/2 yards or 2 yards of fabric and skip right to the elastic step. Ok, Let's break it down.  I can't say that without thinking of Yo Gabba Gabba (lets do it, break it down)...what is wrong with me?

1 yard of any stretchy, jersey, knit fabric of your choice.  Avoid anything with no stretch or with ribs or heavyweight.
Elastic thread.  I used black to blend in with my fabric color...choose appropriately
Regular thread- again to match your fabric. 
That is it! 

Start by folding your fabric lengthwise and cutting in half.  I chose to fold mine in half and pin with straight pins along the edge, so I could cut along the fold line and ensure an accurate cut.  I could've also taken the time to clean off my work surface and use my rotary cutter, but the amount of clutter on there now is insane and I found this faster.  hmm.

pinned to cut lengthwise
When you have two long strips of your fabric, place them on top of each other and sew one short end- to sew them together into one long strip (using regular thread).  You could do a straight stitch, but I chose to do a french seam on mine to enclose the edge, but it isn't really necessary with knits- I just prefer it.  You can find a great tutorial on french seams here:

elastic thread
Now that you have one long strip you can get to work setting up your elastic thread.  Now, I find it completely impossible to use elastic thread in my computerized drop in bobbin sewing machine.  So, I always pull out my old manual machine to do my elastic thread.  This is one case where it is worth hanging on to things!  I simply hand wind my elastic thread around the bobbin.

I wind up two bobbins, you will need both for this project.  Don't make the same mistake I did here and wind one bobbin from each of my machines- or else you will be sweating and swearing at your machine wondering why the thread is jamming up your machine!  Use the right bobbin for your machine- ugh.  Anyways...
elastic bobbins
machine settings
Ok, now you have a long strip of fabric, and two beautifully wound elastic bobbins.  Thread your machine as usual, this time with the elastic thread bobbin.  I simply line up my fabric so that one edge is along side the left edge of my machine- the other edge rests up against the right.  And sew.  Sew (with a backstitch at beginning and end) all the way to the end of your strip.  Turn your strip so that the other side is now lined up on the left (and your elastic thread is still on bottom) and sew to the other end.  Again, be sure to backstitch.  You will probably have to replace your bobbin somewhere in this second row of stitches.

starting second row
That's it folks!  Clip your threads and your are done.  If your elastic thread isn't ruching up that great you can always take a steam iron to it and watch those threads shrink like magic.

And Voila!  So chic.  So cheap.
*Please ignore my crazy pose- I had a friend take this really quickly today so that I could post this...but I was distracted by my daughter in this pic, not the most flattering pose but you get the idea!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Owl Sweater

I did it!  I actually knit an entire sweater, with long sleeves and everything.  Now, I have knit and crocheted sweaters before, but have always chosen patterns with no sleeves or short sleeves, and cardigans or vests.  I have always shyed away from the full sweater...but not anymore.  Maybe I should make an adult size next- do I have the patience for it?  Would an adult woman look silly with a row of owls stretched across her chest? 
This was a pretty quick project,  all I have to do is add the button eyes and I am done.  yay!  The question now is- will Isabel wear it?  Or at least try it on for me to take a picture?  We will see...
Awesome pattern is available for purchase on ravelry:

Weekend in Pictures

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Finished...and almost on time

I am so excited that I actually finished my 1969 girls dress the other day.  Not so excited that I didn't get it modeled and photographed until almost dark last night, and am only attempting to blog it right now- but oh, well!  Overall I am pretty happy with how it turned out, I guess.  Excuse the dark and grainy photos, I wasn't organized enough to get the shots of this until almost bedtime.  Oops.

I knew it would be a bit too big (and longer than the original style), my daughter is a 4/5T and the dress pattern is a 6x- but this just means it will work for next year too right?  I love the corduroy fabric I used, but I feel like it still needs something?  I am tempted to go off pattern and add cute pockets or some sort of bib/button to fancy it up.  My daughter only agreed to keep it on for a few minutes last night, and she was bouncing around the entire time.  I am hoping that once I pair it with a pair of cute tights and shoes I will be happy with it. 

Either way I am so proud of myself for following the pattern and it will be a nice warm dress for the fall- if she agrees to wear it!  She is now refusing to wear any of the handmade clothes I have made her for school...apparently they aren't cool enough- even for preschool.  I thought for sure I'd have at least a few more years before I had to worry about that!  It certainly is weakening my sewing mojo...not inspired to continue sewing for her if the items just hang in her closet...hmm.  Maybe this just means I should make something for myself next? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


So, 2 days into this blog and I am already struggling to come up with a post.  Not because I am short on ideas, rather short on energy.  I am fighting an awful cold.  The kind of cold that makes you break out into a cold sweat all day- nice.  Ever since my older daughter started school last week my time to sew has been almost nill...the little one doesn't have anyone to play with and walks around the house asking for her sister all day- so sad.  I worked until late last night and woke up this morning totally unmotivated. 

My goals for today are to finish the corduroy dress I started and get my daughter to model it...hmm.  Will it happen?  For now I am focusing on getting my blog claimed at technorati.  Here we go Z3D5BK6UA5FS  There I did it- now recognize me technorati so I can be legit.