Saturday, April 13, 2013

Mine All Mine!

The majority of my crafty persuits are usually for other people. Don't get me wrong, I do love giving handmade creations to others, it's actually one of my favourite things. But occassionally a gal wants to have something new for herself. So I'm taking a bit of a time out from other projects for some "selfish knitting and sewing" that will be mine all mine!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosI have been wanting to make a new purse for awhile and had planned on a spring/summer one, but when I woke up the other morning to -15C and more snow falling I said to heck with spring. I need a new winter purse. I was given Sew Serendipity Bags by Kay Whitt for Christmas and have had my eye on a few of the projects from the moment I opened the book. I decided the perfect bag for right now would be her Tulip Tote. Roomy, yet feminine. Just what I wanted. I dug through my fabric stash bins until I found what I wanted - some yardage of wool/poly blend suiting, a piece of leftover taffeta from a long ago project, a leftover strip of quilt batting that was just the right size. The only thing I had to purchase was drapery grommets, which the little fabric store in our nearby town surprisingly carry!

I love how the bag went together, first quilting the suiting then cutting out the pattern pieces and the bottom corners were so much easier than the way patterns normally would have you do them which usually leads to a whole lot of muttering and seam ripper usage as I can never get that "dog eared" fold to line up the seams properly the first time. This pattern instructs you to cut out a square first. Brilliant! You can see exactly what your seam is doing that way.

This project did take me a lot longer than it should have to complete, but that was mostly due to trying to sew while the boys were up and about. Minor crises such as a tumble off the piano, a sewing machine (and toddler) having a near miss fall to the floor, thread being tangled from my serger all around the room and the like hindered progress significantly. Despite all the mayhem after a few days my bag was sewn. I love it, but thought it looked a little ho hum on it's own. I was going to add a frayed fabric rosette, but really couldn't decide what fabric to use. I also couldn't find the online tutorial I had in mind, so I went a different route. I found the Sweet & Simple Rosette pattern on Ravelry and knit one. I'm really excited about the end result!

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A project that incorporates three of my favourite things! Knitting, quilting and sewing!!

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Close up of the rosette - I especially love how the random button I found in my button tin has a diamond pattern on it that matches the quilting!

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosAfter the Tulip Tote success, I decided to dive into a summer top for myself on the off chance Mother Nature doesn't forget entirely about spring and summer this year. I pulled out a length of cotton and Simplicity 2892. I figured I would do view D or E. Not having enough fabric to cut both front and back out on the fold I thought, "ha! I laugh in the face of not enough yardage!" and feeling rather smug I cut out the back adding a 1/2" seam allowance down the centre instead of cutting on the fold. My smug sense of genius lasted until the point halfway through sewing the blouse I realized I'd not cut out the back that way, but rather the front. Sigh. There went that idea. I'm partway through sewing attempt number two. We'll see how it goes without having a seam down centre front. Yeesh. Yes, folks. I am a trained professional. Somewhere I have a piece of paper that says so. You just sometimes wouldn't know I spent three years learning how to do this thing called sewing. Ha ha!

I have lots of plans for a wardrobe for our yet unseen spring. If I ever finish the Simplicity blouse, I will move onto the ever popular Washi Dress and Tunic from Made by Rae

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My Washi fabric!

I also have plans for a Jamie Dress from Sis Boom.

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My Jamie fabric!

I also am knitting the Augusta Cardigan, Montague Vest, Amerind Cowl and planning to cast on Gemini in a about a week and a half for the Luvinthemommyhood KAL. We'll see how well I do...

Friday, April 05, 2013

A Bit of This And That - A Round Up

Over the last few posts I've showed you a couple of bigger projects - the Storm Fir Shawl and the collection of Hotshots - but over the last month and a half I've been doing some smaller scale projects as well. I thought I'd take a minute to show them to you today.

It seems like the baby boom never ends. So I've been busily crafting for babies to be and babies already born.

This little set of flannel swaddler and Tiny Topper's Cable Tie Topper was made for my great nephew (who, incidentally was just born yesterday! A big congratulations to my nephew and his lovely wife and a warm welcome to the world little man to my great nephew!!) I was worried it might be too warm of a set by the time he was born, but it's still pretty wintery here on the prairies so hopefully it's useful!

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Such a fun little set to make!

Next on the baby gift list was a little romper for my friend's not so new arrival (he was born quite a few weeks ago). It's the Austin Lee Romper from Fishsticks Designs, which is a great blank slate type of pattern that can be customized in so may ways! I really love this pattern (although it didn't love me. My stitch ripper got quite a workout. Not sure why. Usually it goes together with no trouble at all)

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Handpainted stencil appliqué makes it easy to create a unique gift!

Then for another friend's baby who was born in the fall (I really am behind on the gift making!!) I knit a pair of baby monkey socks. The real Monkey by Cookie A. are one of my favourite patterns to knit, so I thought what better than a baby sized pair. They did not disappoint and were a pleasure to knit!

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Teeny tiny socks!

Next up for another new baby I knit another favourite pattern. It's a similar look to the popular Upside Down Daisy hat, but I find the construction of the leaves and stem a bit easier for me on the Berry Baby Hat. I knit it in cotton so the little one can hopefully use it as a spring hat.

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A little cotton flower.

Last but not least in the baby gift list (for now... The next wave starts in May) is another favourite of mine, the Charlie Hoodie also by Fishsticks Designs.

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Cuddly, cozy fleece

Non baby crafting was happening as well! Little Toddler Man had his ice show in mid March to showcase all they had learned at skating lessons throughout the winter. He needed a pirate costume so I whipped one up out of old fabric I had in my stash. But then my friend Stacy mused that a parrot would really top it off. Of course I latched onto that like a dog with a bone. Three days before the ice show I cast on. LTM was ecstatic!

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The costume - using N's old "kilt shirt".

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The parrot!

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Almost ready for the show!

A while back I'd made a quick cel phone cover for my new phone. I used a self drafted pattern and am pretty happy with it although I'd planned on 1/2" seam allowances when I cut it out and by the time I sewed it I used 3/8" so it was a tad roomy, but it works well enough. My SIL saw mine and asked me to make her one so I used a sample fabric I'd got a couple years ago from Spoonflower and whipped up one for her. Eventually I may even remember to get it to her... It's been sitting on my dresser for about two weeks now.

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One for me!

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One to give away!

Another fun gift I made was for my friend's own little toddler man. I perused the Internet for pictures of car wallets and couldn't decide which I like the best so I made a pattern that is pretty much a mash up of all the different features I liked. I think the fact it has a little "road" is one of my favourite parts! It has room to park three Hot Wheels and velcros shut. I'm definitely going to make my little boys their own.

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Vvroom! Cars to go!

The very last project I want to show you is Baby Boy's apron he requested - a black and white kitty. I just made it yesterday and am really tickled that he loved it so much that he wore it all morning! It's from McCalls #6298

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My toddler sous chef ready to work!

Phew! That was a lengthier round up than I thought. It's been a productive two months for me I guess! I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest little projects. I certainly enjoyed making them. I think I'll be shifting gears a bit now though. I'm working on a few projects for me right now that I'm pretty excited about and just signed up for Luvinthemommyhood's spring top KAL. It's going to be a busy few weeks crafting wise, but hopefully I end up with some nice new things in my wardrobe for spring and summer.