Monday, January 17, 2011

A lazy Monday sewing...

We were very lucky in that the kids' had today off of school and Daddy had today off of work.  So we got to enjoy an extra long weekend, which means we stayed up late last night and let everyone sleep in this morning. Well, everyone that would anyways.... which means I was up around 9:30 with Lila.  But since we didn't have anywhere to be or anything we had to do today I thought I would take advantage of the quiet morning and do some sewing. 

I have recently noticed that Jake must be going through a growth spurt, as all of his pajama pants are now a couple of inches short.  So I cut out three new pairs.

He's so pleased not to have cold ankles...

I also noticed that lately Evie is going through a dress phase. All she wants to wear are dresses. And most of her everyday or play dresses are light cottons meant for warmer weather. So I am making her a dress out of flannel. It will be so soft and warm. Plus I just love the colors in the fabric; it will look great layered over teal, or brown, or orange, or white, or cream! Yay for options!

Today I also screwed up my courage and set about dealing with "THE GREEN SWEATER"

Why such a menacing title for such a little dainty piece? 

I started this sweater almost two years ago. It was originally intended for Evie. I had knit a couple of more challenging pieces for her by this point and they were almost all pink or purple. I had had enough of pink and purple so I choose the lovely and soothing shade of dark sage.  Once it was knitted I tried to try it on her only to have her flat out declare that she would NOT wear a green sweater.  After a wrestling match in which I was eventually the winner and I could determine that it did indeed fit her, I found out that she meant she would not wear the green sweater without sobbing and screaming the entire time it was on her body.  I was so mad I threw it to the bottom of my knitting basket and there it sat, only needing to be blocked, for about a year until Lila got big enough to fit into it. Then I pulled it out and tried it on Lila, who was all smiles and hugs for the new sweater.  Evie came into the room while Lila had it on and said, "Oh! That is so cute! Will you knit me one?"  

No. No I won't.

Today I finally got around to blocking the lace on the bottom and cuffs and was pleasantly surprised and how quick and painless it was. And thank heavens it still fits Lila perfectly, with room to grow.  Which is good, because I love this color and this just may be the only green sweater I ever get to knit...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Delicate Lace and Button Cuff

I got the idea for this cuff when I was sewing my girls' Christmas nightgowns.  I was playing around with my box of lace trying to pick something to embellish the nightgown and ended up overlapping some pre-gathered lace to make a double sided ruffle.

Then I had a light bulb moment; I could make a pretty cuff or choker with the same technique!

I chose a piece of flat black lace and laid it out so the pattern was offset.  I stitched it down the middle with a small zig-zag and fairly short stitch length.  Then I measured my wrist, cut the lace to size, including enough to fold over a 1/4" seam on each end and stitch down.

Now for the fun, pulling out the grab-bag of buttons my sister bought at Hobby Lobby and finding the perfect embellishments. (P.S. Caite- I owe you three buttons and a jewel sticker...)

My choices: A large white button to which I added a three dimensional scrapbook sticker to cover the thread, a small metal button with an antique silver finish, and a tiny mother of pearl button that was probably originally from a man's shirt collar. 

I sewed on two medium snaps for a closure. 
(I would have preferred to use black snaps, but silver was what I had on hand, and you can't see them once the cuff is on.)

This was a fun and quick project that would be easy for even beginning sewers to accomplish. You could whip up a fast accessory to match any outfit or make one to give as a unique gift for Valentine's Day! 

I am entering this idea into this contest! Check it out for some other fun sewing and craft ideas.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Just when you thought knitting couldn't get any cooler...

I asked my brother to design me a new cover for my pattern binder. 

It's really cool when talented people love you... I'm just saying.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas 2010 Revealed!

I have finally given all of my handmade gifts and gotten pictures for most of them. I was really bad at remembering to photograph my projects this year. So, in no particular order, here is a show and tell of what had me holed up in my sewing room for the better part of December...

Apron #1 for my sister. "tis the season to eat chocolate..."  Totally her.

Apron #2 for my MIL. Plus a matching set of oven mitts. She wore it all Christmas day, and that made me happy. 

The oven mitts.
 I will admit that I now have a love/hate relationship with this particular project. I found this tutorial last year, but not in enough time to make some in time for Christmas. So I had it in the back of my mind all year that these would be my go-to gift for 2010. I couldn't get the pattern provided with the tutorial to print out correctly, so I just read through it and drafted up my own copy making a few minor adjustments.

The love part is how great they turned out. I packaged up each set with a cookie mix and everyone who received it seemed very pleased with the gift. It was also a lot of fun picking out all the fun Christmas fabrics and mixing and matching them. The hate part stems from the fact that I ended up making 14 sets of oven mitts. That is 28 oven mitts. That is a lot of oven mitts. And they just seemed to take much longer to sew up then I thought they should. I don't know that I will be making these again in the near future. I am kind of oven mitt-ed out! (And seriously bummed that I didn't make a set for myself before that happened...)

Three sets of Maine Morning Mitts and matching head-wraps with flower embellishments for my cousins.

Aw. Aren't they cute?

A matching neck pillow and fleece throw for my hubby.  

But not just your average blanket.  This one has pockets lined in minky for his feet.  He has nerve damage in  his legs and feet that have led to neuropathy, which basically means his feet are always cold.  He also doesn't have a lot of strength in his legs so if someone bumped into his feet it would knock his legs out from under the blanket. A common phrase around our house in the evening was, "Would someone please cover my feet."  Now even if his feet are knocked off the foot rest they stay warm and covered while he picks his leg up and puts it back. It's a stroke of genius if I do say so myself!

This is the girls Christmas outfits. (This is Lila's as Evie's is in the laundry after the first wearing...) The skirts are slightly different styles, so matching with out being exact. They also have white tights with red snowflakes on them. I will have to get a picture of these outfits in action soon.

The one project I haven't finished! Jake's vest.  It's made out of the same yarn as the girls' tops. I am so close. Just have to bind off the shoulders and knit the ribbing around the neck and armholes.  I also made him a tie to match the girls' skirts.  They look pretty darn cute all together. 

One of my favorite projects! A Harry Potter sweater for my nephew Huck.  I couldn't resist, I mean he even has the right initial and everything!  Plus my brother and sis-in-law are big movie buffs so I knew it would be appreciated. 

This is the best shot I could find of the kids in their Christmas Eve jammies. The girls nightgowns were pictured in the previous post, but here you can mostly see Jake's. The shirt says Reindeer Games on it so I picked a great soft flannel in heathery green and grey for his pants. I'll be sad when the day comes that I can buy a pair of pants cheaper then I can make them for that kid. 

Some of the other projects that missed the camera were a pair of grey striped socks for my husband, a pair of purple lace work socks for my SIL Elena, a pair of fingerless mitts in lovely dark green and blues for my brother (I thought they would be good for doing photography).  I don't know, it's doesn't seem like that much now that it's all listed up there... or maybe that's like forgetting the labor pains once the baby is born.