Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last One, I Think

Armed with another remnant from my shopping spree at Denver Fabrics (the Mood of the west) I tackled that Simplicity pattern, again. It is Simplicity 2560 and a combination of versions. It has the front hem of A and the sleeves of C.

With my trusty serger I was able to use a 2-thread rolled hem. I read in my manual that a 2-thread rolled hem looks the same on either side -- more suited to an edge like this that can be seen. (The 3-thread rolled edge supposedly has a front and a back.). I used a basic overlock for all the other construction seams. It took 2 hours to whip together.

I stand by my original feels about this patter. Easy and easy to alter. Get it. As this is my third knit cardi in about 3 weeks... I think I might need to retire the pattern until spring.

PS -- Against all photographic evidence, neither my dress form, nor I, have a front bum.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't Be Fooled

This may look like an innocently simple tote bag. That's a trick.

Not only was it a pain in the arse to create, it's loaded with pockets and compartments. In case you want to actually bring the kitchen sink.

There are two compartments that are large enough to accommodate a large file folder or small laptop. They both close with heavy-duty magnetic closures. Then the center compartment is gigantic and zips close. You could put two bowling balls in that section -- and zip them safely in. I used a high-quality brass zipper.

All the fabrics are home dec weight. But the exterior is especially heavy and is covered in lime-green flocking. The bottom panels and the interior folder compartments are duck cloth. Basically, you'd have to work really hard to shred this bag. If anyone can do it, though, I can.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

That's How I Roll

You could say I have a compulsive streak. Not so much a disorder, but a tendency to get excited about something and go overboard. Case in point. The knit cardi. I saw one. I made one. And now I've made another one. I can't stop. I have two more in the plans -- and have already purchased the fabric for them. But I'm sticking with tendency, not illness. For now.

This was a great pattern, Simplicity 2603. I want to try it, again (obviously). And I want to try the version with longer tails. I made a modification to the sleeve and to the neck. The fabric I was working with was slinky and actually a bit sheer. So though the pattern called to create ruching with an elastic in the neck, I elected not to do that. It would have shown through the fabric. This fabric drapes just fine without the help of an elastic.

Drapes well. Working with it was a bit troublesome for a person with my limited experience in knits. Slipping all over the place. No sense using an iron. Pins literally fell out of it. But I loved the color and I did like how if felt against the skin. Though I fear it will showcase my bra fat hanger-over bulge in great detail.

I created a 5-inch cuff on the sleeve. I did this to create enough weight to make a nice sleeve that would hang nicely and not roll or bunch -- again, very flimsy material. I used a double needle to fake a cover stitch on the sleeve's hem. But I did go ahead and use my serger for all other construction, including a real cover stitch on the hem around the bottom and along the neck.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


If cowpokes indulged in retreats in secluded places -- you know, to practice the principles of yoga and meditation they would want one of these three totes. Might actually serve as a saddlebag, if they were creative.

OK OK OK. No more pictures of yoga totes for at least a month. :0)

Next? Another knit cardigan. Yikes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Knits! I Sewed a Knit Cardi!

So, there are a few things that frighten me. Spiders in my fabric stash, and sewing knits. But now, I'm over the latter fear. I'm forging ahead into a whole new world of sewing knits. Here's my first attempt.

I cheated a little bit. The knit I chose was a bit sturdier. It was a little bit like the thick polyester pants with the perma-crease for which women of a certain generation have an affinity. I like it. It was a remnant, so spent less than $3 on materials. $3! Of course I spent more than that on the brooch -- which are THE hardest accessory to find. And much more on the riding boots that will finish the look.

I have a tall pile of slinkier knits to try and another pattern I want to tackle. This pattern is Simplicity 2560, version D. I recommend it. Of course it was easy to follow. Granted, I didn't try any of the fancy gathered sleeve styles that are also featured (soon, I promise) but I can't imagine it gets that complicated.

In choosing another pattern to try, I visited Philigry's blog. She had sewn a cardi a while ago that I thought was darling. In fact, you could say it was the needle in the pincushion that spurred me toward trying knits. She used McCall's 5241. But when I researched 5241 on Pattern Review I found that most reviewers recommended Simplicity 2603 instead. Because Simplicity is on sale for .99 at JoAnn's this week, I decided my next attempt will be a cloister brown knit with a thin white stripe in 2603. Wish me luck.

Before I get too excited about my next project, let me tell you a few details about this one. I have a serger so I was able to use cover stitch (narrow) on the hem, the neck hem, and the sleeves. I used a basic overlock for all the other construction seams. It took only a few hours to whip together. May I recommend you have very sharp scissors to cut knits?!?!?!

This pattern would be easily altered. In fact, I think the collar could be switched up to create a double-breasted and buttoned front. Likewise, could be longer -- but I think this about everything because I'm tallish.

PS -- Does anyone else out there thing that some of today's styles are quite Star Wars-ish?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Little Blue for Your Bhuja

A little quilted solid navy is the canvas for some fun prints and polka dots in this yoga tote. Pocket closes with velcro and is hidden by a fun acrylic button. Again, used the serger to finish interior seams.

A little quilted solid navy is the canvas for some fun prints and polka dots in this yoga tote. Pocket closes with velcro and is hidden by a fun acrylic button. Again, used the serger to finish interior seams.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Yogic Path

I told you there were a few more. Here's that same quilted poka dot/damask in black and white. This time the pocket doesn't close with velcro but a fancy pre-fab frog. I forgot to mention on my past post that I've extended the length of the shoulder strap for this tote -- for those folk who are say... above 6 feet tall or who are busty.

Friday, January 15, 2010


I've been a busy bee. So, let me indulge in a little ahankara and take a look at what I've been working on. Six simple totes for yoga mats. This is a modified pattern with a big patch pocket and flap. The flap holds close thanks to velcro. The fabric is pre-quilted. I used my serger to overlock the interior seems.

Come back in a couple of days to see a few more versions.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

See You Next Year

I appreciate the fact that most of you have taken down your Christmas decorations. But I took the gracious words, "finish at your leisure" quite literally on my last custom order. Thankfully the client knew I needed to spend some time with my family during the holiday rush and let me finish the stocking for the pets in their family when I could get to it.

Lucky for her, that meant I scored some velvet and Christmas prints at rock-bottom prices. And with the spare time I always seem to have on Christmas day -- when all the house is playing with its new toys -- I chose to adorn this last stocking with hand beading. See, good things DO come to those who wait.

PS -- The Pièce de résistance of this project is the lining. It is little cat angels adorned in Christmas gowns. What good hunting dog wouldn't want that in their stocking?!?!?!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Art Aprons For Kids

This colored pencil apron is perhaps the easiest pattern, ever. It's really just layers of fat quarts but has a knack for keeping creative fingers busy. I've been using them as birthday and Christmas gifts for all the budding artists in our lives. I've been filling the Aprons with everything from flashcards to playdough to 6 colored pencils and a small pad of paper.

Approximate Measurements:
8"x22", plus apron strings
Will fit most children sizes 2T-5T, shown tied on an adult sized dress form.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Husband Factor

When I started learning to embroider, I know for a fact that my husband rolled his eyes. You know, ANOTHER crafty thingy. But when he discovered that I wanted to embroider tea towels for our home he was muy supportive. Those are his favorite kind of towels for the kitchen. In fact, he even suggested I go online and buy a case (of like 800) and start making gifts for everyone in the family.

If I'm going to do that, I'll have to start now to be ready for Christmas 2010. But, I do so like a flour-sack tea towel with a little flair. My favorite ones have gingham bias tape around the edge and a little embroidery in the corner.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Felt Easter Chair Backers

So, I made a few of these -- along with every crafter on God's green Earth -- last Spring. They were promptly snatched up at a Spring show I had. But now, I'm thinking about doing another set and wanted to look back and see what I liked and didn't like.

I think I would prefer -- in my own home -- non-holiday specific bags. Not discreet bags for each holiday. Particularly for Easter, we do baskets. (But these bunnies are adorable -- and might find themselves in another project like a quilt.) I also think I'd prefer to line these with a simple cotton... just to improve the shape of the bag and to add more color.

I also am not sure about the buttons. But, I want to think through how a tie would work. Any suggestions out there? I could use any advice. I'm also wondering about size. This is a pretty big bag, could accomodate a large coloring book, plus crayons/markers/coloring pencils. And I'm not sure I want to encourage that much toy giving at every small holiday. (I'm a scrooge.)