Monday, May 21, 2012

train trip accomplishments

Ok, so I made these in November on my train trip to San Francisco.  I even took the photos then.  But now I'm cleaning up my desktop, so voila!

A giant cowl, with giant yard.  Kind of odd looking, especially as it ends right at the fullest part of my breasts, but it's warm.

My new favorite hat.  It's really soft.

A mobius wrap.  It's how nerds stay warm.  If anyone can explain to me why Blogger sometimes doesn't give a crap how I want my photos turned, I'd love to hear it.  This was rotated and saved six months ago, but apparently Blogger is too good for that.

A small grocery bag. 

All of this was the perfect level of brainless knitting/crocheting for staring out the window at the incredible scenery.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


After years of knitting and having sweater yarn for four years I finally made a sweater.  I went with a pattern that has no seams and was knit from the top down.

I'm really happy with the sweater, but it's now 85 degrees out so I won't get to wear it until next fall.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween 2011

Remembering last year's time crunch (as well as Conor having no idea what he wanted to be ahead of time) saved me from trying to make all three costumes again.

As usual, it started with Ellie finding a $50 costume in a magazine, and me scoffing. It didn't turn out exactly the same (as she'll gladly tell you) but it worked. It's just a simple robe pattern, with lengthened cuffs and bottom trim, and a widened belt. The mask came with the weapons, and hides part of the collar. Pretty puffy sleeves for a ninja, but whatever.

This is the costume I love. It turned out SO WELL!!! Not just pretty good, but "this is why I sew" good. The pattern called for using tissue lame, but a) Hancock only carries that in gold and silver - Rowan wanted black - and (more importantly) b) the lady at Hancock, when I asked what it was, said "Oh honey. Unless you like to swear a lot when you sew, let's find something else" Apparently it's not fun to sew on. This is just some kind of silky fabric from the Halloween department. No different to sew with than my normal cotton. The chest armor is supposed to have horns as well, but Rowan asked to not have them. It's the silky stuff, a cotton broadcloth lining, and batting in the middle. The "muscles" are just top-stitching. It's still getting a lot of use!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quiet Book (lots o' pictures)

Edited to add: The word "sewn" looks completely wrong to me, so if it's incorrect, sorry. Come back later when your spelling/grammar sensitivities are lessened.

This was the big kids' present to Rowan last Christmas. And as it's not yet this Christmas, I'm not too late in posting it, right? It's pretty heavy on the hand sewing, which I'm not minding as much these days. I'd love to take credit for the ideas for all of the pages, but really can't. I searched for quiet book templates, and found a ton. A lot are religious based, but I chose to skip them. Because really, this was planned more to keep R occupied at a basketball game than in church.

I found the most amazing ideas here:

This was also helpful:

The fabric, as usual, was the result of a crush. The pages are cheap muslin with batting (warm and natural, maybe?) in between. Bias tape around the edges, then buttonholes on the sides to accommodate binder rings. The cover is made-up, so I'll spare you the discussion of that. The felt pieces are doubled, sewn together after I sewed the velcro on. Most of them have a scrap of interfacing inside as well, so I feel like they're more tuggable. Here are the pages:

The cover. It's supposed to have a button on that strap to keep it closed, but I let R pick out the button and it's so hideous that I can't bring myself to use it. So it's just a flap, and the book doesn't stay closed. Big whoop.

Button on flowers.

This is one of my favorite pages. It's a lot of the places we go, that are recognizable to a non-reader. And our house, which is open at the bottom of the garage so a Matchbox car can be parked in it.

Velcro on the shapes, snaps on the apples.

Counting beads.

Velcro stoplight and tie football.

Velcro alphabet (iron on letters on felt).

Another favorite. The left is a set of pockets for 4x6 index cards and pencils. The right is a mailbox with a lid (cover? door?) that opens and closes. The mailbox is only sewn around the outside, so the cards fit inside.

Mr. Potato head and a zipper pocket for his clothes. Of which he needs more.

An old-school phone with a curly shoestring cord, and a treasure chest with a padlock and key.

A barn with finger puppets, and that back cover, which has an extra pocket.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crafted gifts part deux

I just unpacked this next item, which I must have swiped on St. Patrick's Day to add some more fabric around the edges so it actually fits on a human head. Steve drew this during the cousin gift exchange for Christmas 2010. It inspires me to do something for myself for March 17. I love the flames!

Crafted gifts

Guess who found her camera cord? So I'm thrilled to post some hand-crafted gifts. I love the sweatshirt embroidery - the fan dancer is on the back. Front is all freestyle stitching, obviously since the sides don't really match. There is a little more orange accent around the hood, but I forgot to take pictures :)

I'm really proud that I sewed the fan dancer backwards - the pattern wouldn't show up on the back so I ironed it on the inside and stitched from the reverse side. Plus, the sweatshirt was on clearance at Old Navy for $3.50.

Friday, September 23, 2011

More Nesting: Valance and Pillow

Years ago, when I was on a trip to one of my favorite fabric stores--this one happened to be in Paris and I apologize to whomever came with me that day--I found this orange check fabric that I just loved. So, naturally, I bought 3 meters of it. And it happened to be about 3 meters wide. When you have a chunk of fabric so large, it's hard to cut into it. Luckily, this project didn't take too much of this precious commodity, but I think it was still a lovely use of it.

I am really proud of myself for the valance. I measured a lot to make it. I measured the 1x2 that holds it up, I measured to install the 1x2, I measured around the velcro that I attached to the 1x2 to hold up the valance. I measured the fabric I cut; I measured the hems and the tucks that make the valance look tailored at the corners. And I measured all those things more than once.

This valance even has a box pleat. Look:

Turns out box pleats are REALLY easy to make. I almost even matched the fabric at the pleat. Close, but not exact. Maybe next time. Next time I'll even remember to hem all the fabric BEFORE making the pleat. It got a little ugly, and next go 'round I would just use my seam ripper to un-pleat, hem, then re-pleat. But it still looks okay.

And with this close-up, you can definitely see the cording I put in along the top of the valance. Cording was also really easy on the valance.

After my success with the valance, I moved on to the pillow, which also is corded. I should have used The Google to learn more about making pillows with cording, because there is definitely only one presentable side to this pillow. And the cording is certainly not as tightly wrapped as I would have liked. But it looks okay enough, and a baby is just going to get bodily fluids all over it, which reminds me that I need to Scotchgard it pronto.

And since I'm on a roll here, I'll just show you that I was successful with making changing pad covers, too. I followed directions on aloadofcraft's blog to MAKE A PATTERN and it worked. You can see that the pad cover is contoured to the shape of the pad. Fancy, eh?
Okay, so that wraps up my crafting surge that will most likely come to a screeching halt in the next few days.