Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Don't forget the knitting

despite the enthusiasm I've had for sewing this year, there has still been some knitting happening.

Such a a pair of socks and and a wee cardigan.

Although I must admit that the final incentive to finish off the second sock was the lovely new knitting bag i sewed up. It's a boxed bag in a fabric that makes me smile. There's some nice solid interfacing to keep pointy needles inside the bag.

Also you can't really use a sewing machine in the car. Not even when you're a passenger.

I've also been working on a baby sized pieces of knitting.  We don't know the flavour of this little one so I'm hedging my bets.  One in sky blue and one in hot pink.  I really love this pattern. I must do cause this is the third time I've knitted it (quite an achievement).  But it will have to remain a secret till my niece/nephew makes an appearance.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

More Christmas crafting

I couldn't stop at one cape this year.   So there were two extra presents under the tree this morning.

I love the lime green/fuchsia combo.

And blue stars are super fast.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Crafting

I've been making Christmas presents. Time constraints have meant that the needles involved have been the sewing kind, rather than the knitting, but I was so pleased with the results I just had to share.

For giftee #1, a four (and a half) year old girl we have a doll with matching sleeping bag.

 The doll pattern is from Gingermelon Dolls. I have to say that I LOVED the pattern. It was really well written, and a lot easier to follow than I anticipated.  The main problem I encountered was that I only had 'Christmas-coloured' felt (red, green and white), so there was a little difficulty finding co-ordinating fabrics.  I'm sure I'll be off to track down some different coloured felt to make a couple more of these in the future.

The matching sleeping bag was made up from looking at these and these. The base is 'quilted' - I sandwiched some polar fleece and stitched a couple of stripes along the length. The fabric on the top of the pillow is a little bigger than on the bottom, and there is a pleat where the top sheet is attached at the bottom. The whole thing is held together with bias tape.  All up, it took about an hour and a half to make.

Giftee #2 is a two and a half year old boy.  He scored his very own cape and bandolier.

The cape was made from this pattern. I didn't read it that carefully, though, so it's a little different at the bottom, and I used velcro instead of magnets (I don't trust magnets with kids - even sewn securely inside capes).

The bandolier is the Snack Bandolier, designed by Deborah of Whipstitch as part of Made by Rae's Celebrate the Boy series. I popped a matchbox car in one of the slots, cause you can never have too many matchbox cars.

Last up, giftee #3, was a gorgeous 10 month old girl who received some blocks and a squooshy bunny.

The blocks were SUPER EASY to make. I used the tutorial from Zaaberry, which was really well written, and easy to follow. I think these may end up being my 'go to' gift for new babies.  With a bell or rattle inside they'd be even better.

This was my second attempt at the Mooshy Belly Bunny.  Number one had a rather wonky head, and the seam allowance was bigger than anticipated. So I tried again, with as small seam allowance as possible, being really careful to make a round head, and it looked a lot better.  The best thing
 was that the fabric was a left over from t-shirt I'd made used to make leggings for Mim, and I think I can get another one out of the remaining fabric. Hooray for upcycling.

After all this sewing, I'm inspired to make more for my own kids for Christmas.  I think they each need a cape of their own, a bandolier for Jude, a baby basket for Mim, oven mits & aprons for each of them, and a handbag for Mim. We'll see how much I actually get sewn - only 2 weeks to go!

On the knitting front, I'm putting off finishing the second sock of Devon, but knitting lovely things for my new niece or nephew that will be making an appearance early next year.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

More sewing

I promise to return to knitting posts soon. But in the mean time I only have photos of sewing projects & fabric to share.

I randomly entered a Free Fabric Friday over at Sew Mama Sew. My first comment on a sewing blog. And would you believe it, I won! That was so strange seeing my name on the list of winners.

I was REALLY hard choosing a fabric, by I finally decided on this

It's Confetti White from the Happy Mochi Yum Yum collection. I think it may be a dress or peasant top for Mim this summer.

In the meantime she has this pair of overalls to roll around in.

I was given the pattern amongst a big pile of knitting patterns. It's rather cute, but realistically, overly complicated for babies' overalls.

And even though the pattern is a little old (from the early eighties), it's still a tight fit for her cloth nappied bottom.

 There are a few areas where the finish isn't too crash hot. But these are the first thing I've made from a 'proper' pattern since I sewed under supervision.

I AM pretty pleased with the inseam - it has snaps for easy nappy changes. That was a bit of fun with the hammer!

The next pair of overalls I make will be more like these, at Whipstitch. Cute, and not too fussy.

But before I sign off, here's another pic of a cute girl in her cute overalls.

Monday, 8 August 2011

A different type of needle

I'm such a fan of knitting. I love it's portability. I can knit just about anywhere - car, lounge, waiting room, centrelink queue, birthing suite. Aside from that, I have a certain level of trust in what I have knitted. I know that it won't randomly fall apart (my seaming has improved dramatically over the last few years). I know how to read patterns (and ignore them when necessary). And I have all the basic equipment ready to hand - a variety of straights, circs & dpns in many sizes, stitch holders, needle gauges, row counters, post-it notes, safety pins, crochet hooks etc etc.

However, when it comes to sewing - ie fixing together pieces of material, with a needle and thread and/or sewing machine - I've not always been such a fan. It's not particularly portable, and requires a decent amount of room on the dining table or floor (and the floor needs to be clean/swept too). I don't trust a seam I sew not to fray. I'm not too sure on when it's okay to treat the pattern as a guide, and when to follow it to the letter. I haven't had all of the basic supplies to hand. And I have flash backs to sewing attempts as a child: when I seamed straight over pocket holes (instead of going around); cut patterns out the wrong way; forgot to put right sides together; and could make no intelligible sense of a pattern without my mum to interpret.

I've come to realise, funnily enough, that I used to have the same attitude to knitting. And now I'm all grown up (ha ha), and sewing is starting to make a little more sense. I've also realised that it's a lot quicker to sew a garment than to knit it.

Here's my first sewing project. Made in one evening. It took longer to wash & dry the fabric. I don't want to think about how long it would take to knit something similar.

The pattern was rather simple, I downloaded it from here. Overall I'm happy with it, and will make another. A few issues, though. I think the print settings were a little off (I now make sure 'shrink to fit' is not selected). I was a bit rough, and though I pinked the hems, I didn't clip them around the curves, so there's a bit of a pucker under the arms. Finally, I need more practice hemming - the base of the pinafore is circular, and I could have been more careful lining up the two hems.

I love the buttons. I bought them ages ago from Made It, and they were waiting for the right project.

There has been knitting, and more sewing. But that will have to wait for another time.