Saturday, August 09, 2014

Uptown Downtown Dress

Has it really been 4-plus months since I last posted here?!  Well, there you go.  Such is life.

When I saw the call for pattern testers for a simple child's dress, I thought maybe this would be just the thing to motivate me to sew again.  (How I have missed sewing!)  So I answered the call and made my 9-year-old princess the Uptown/Downtown Dress designed by Terri of Sew Straight and Gather.


There have only been a handful of times that I've used a PDF pattern, so this was a somewhat new experience for me. I found that printing and taping the pattern together really wasn't as difficult or time consuming as I expected--certainly no worse than tracing the Ottobre patterns I'm used to sewing.  One extra-nice thing about this PDF pattern is that I was able to choose the size I wanted and print just that one size---no maze of overlapping pattern sizes to follow. 

The pattern includes a wide range of sizes from 2T all the way to size 10.  I made a size 8 for Emily.  The fabric is jersey knit that has been taking up space in my sewing room for years.  It was perfect for this pattern.  And Emily loves the dress.  She has worn it every week since I made it in June, and she keeps asking me to make her another dress in the same pattern, even going so far as to pick out fabric at the store.  (I didn't buy the fabric....just told her to shop my stash!) The pattern is quick to sew, and both the fit and instructions are great.  I do hope to sew it again, and soon.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Crocheted Flower Garland

One cold and blustery day last month, I walked into Walmart and spied the bright and cheery cotton yarn on the bottom shelf in the yarn department.  I bought multiple colors, not really sure what I would make, but I knew I had to make something, anything, to help chase away the winter blues.  Thanks to Ravelry, I found the perfect patterns for a daisy garland and daisy coasters.  Well, we are starting to get a few warm days now and again, but the winter cold still seems to be languishing around.  My colorful garland is hanging over the fireplace mantle ready to welcome the spring while the heat from the fire keeps me warm.  I am so ready for summer.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sweetheart Granny Squares

Not exactly square, but in the tradition of crocheted granny squares, these granny hearts are made with brightly colored yarn left over from other projects.  I found the pattern at a new-to-me blog, Yarn Pumpkin.   (Thank you, Yarn Pumpkin, for sharing your pattern!)  

I crocheted the hearts using a size J hook (6 mm) and assorted cotton yarns.  My finished hearts are approx. 7.25 inches wide and 7.5 inches high. The hearts are super easy to crochet, and I made all five in an evening while watching the Olympics.

My daughters told me the hearts are too pretty to use as dishcloths and that they would use theirs as a coaster or doily. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ottobre Cap Sleeve Pinafore Dress

Ottobre Cap Sleeve Pinafore Dress
Design #21 from the 6/2013 issue

The fabric is not the best for this pattern, but my sweet daughter really wanted a dress from this corduroy print, and I really wanted to sew something quick and easy for her to wear to her piano recital in December.  The busy print pretty much obscures the design elements of the top stitched seams, the drop waist seams, the skirt panels, and the mock pocket flaps in the front.  Other than that, I love the dress on Em.  She has worn the dress often, so I know she loves it too.

It was a cold, snowy day when I took the photos.  I have no idea what to do with my camera, especially on a bright snowy day.  (One of these days, I will learn!)  Poor child of mine was so cold, but she was a good sport. 

The dress is fully lined as you can see from the following picture.  This makes a quick and easy finish for the armhole and neck edges.  No facings or binding to mess with! 
I made a size 128 (US size 7,8) for Emily, and lengthened it several inches.  The pattern does go up to a size 146, and I can see myself making this pattern again with a solid colored fabric in the future.  Other than lengthening, the only other change I made was to interface the fabric along the edge where the invisible zipper was inserted. 

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

13 in 2013, Socks

One knitting goal I had for 2013 was to knit 13 pairs of socks. I only made it to 12 pairs with number 13 still unfinished on the needles.  The green pair was sent to my second daughter in Switzerland for her birthday, and the pale blue pair was gifted to my third daughter.  My firstborn daughter can choose a pair for her upcoming birthday. (Did you read that, Jessica?)  My fourth daughter doesn't like wearing socks, and the fifth daughter has a few pairs that I shrunk by mistake.  So many daughters, so many socks.  All is well.  Happy New Year, everyone, and happy knitting, happy sewing!

This red pair was to be number 13, but is now promoted to number 1 for 2014.  By the way, I do not plan to knit 14 pairs for 2014. :)


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Felt Nativity Ornament

The idea came from Pinterest.  Of course.  Like many of you, I find all kinds of clever and inspiring ideas on Pinterest.  But for once, instead of just pinning that idea, I actually took it and made my own version.

Mary is standing in my version, and I gave her a head scarf. 

I sketched it out on paper and then traced around the "parts" for my pattern pieces.  

A loop of jute was sewn between the layers so that the ornament can be hung around a doorknob or on the tree.  Don't ask why I tied knots in the jute.  It just happened.  :)

And then I made, not one, but two.  
One to keep and one to give away to a special friend.  

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ottobre Meoow Cat Skirt

When my most recent issue of Ottobre arrived in my mailbox and I saw the "Meoow" skirt with cat face pockets, I knew I had to make it for Emily. As everybody knows, she loves cats!  So here it is, Emily's cat skirt!
Pattern Description:  "The skirt is pepped up with images of the pet cat on the pockets.  The skirt has a separate elastic and drawstring casing at the waist.  The contrast-color bottom-hem facing forms a piping-like trim that gives body to the skirt."

Fabric: grey gabardine from Hancock's with blue contrast cotton for the hem and waistband

Size:  European size 128 (US child size 8)

Changes I made:  I cut a wider hem band than called for so that I could have more blue contrast showing at the hem.  I modified the face of the cat, substituting buttons for the eyes and using a blanket stitch to attach the pockets to the skirt.

Likes:  Ottobre patterns are so simple, but so extraordinary (in my opinion) because of all the little details that are included: the contrast waistband and hem, the topstitching, the ribbon threaded through the elastic casing, the buttonhole where the ribbon comes out at the waistband, and of course the cute kitty face pockets. 

Dislikes:  The skirt is very full!  It's not really a dislike, but I would have preferred less fullness.  The fit of the skirt is determined by the elastic waistband, so a smaller size may have been more suitable for my slender daughter.

Overall, I like the finished skirt very much, and so does Emily.  It will be a great addition to her winter wardrobe.
 The ribbon drawstring casing is added to the elastic waistband for a pretty effect.  

 The cat looks adoringly at the girl who feeds him and loves on him. 

 Three of her many cats.  I'm glad they all live outside.

 Ottobre Winter 6/2013, Design #15, Meoow Skirt