Monday, September 15, 2014

babies everywhere!

Somehow it seems like pregnancies come in groups, and this time I have a group of ladies I can sew for, but am not pregnant/with newborn myself! It's actually really exciting and I had a grand time figuring out what to make these growing families. I am just going to round up all the gifts I made for these two special families in one post since most are doubles anyway.

To begin with, each gets a quilt. One is the cat quilt which I already posted about, and the other is getting my cascade quilt since she mentioned loving it, so obviously that is the largest part of the gift. I then made each babe a rattle out of an awesome stripe jersey knit, a teething ring, and a hooded towel. The rattle is from simple sewing for baby, in case you were wondering, and my only issue with it is that it is not washable....and I strongly believe anything for a baby should be washable, particularly if it is to go in their mouth, but oh well. Also, I think hooded towels are my favorite to make. They are so cute and so useful and quite honestly, most of the ones in the stores stink. I know I love the ones I made my little and she is still using them.

One package got robot burp cloths (which go with their very loose theme) and an open wide zip pouch and matching key fob, which incidentally is the first thing I made for this friend and when I was going to get her address to mail it, found out she was expecting.

The other got the most awesome little baby vest! Seriously, almost makes me wish I'd had a boy. This vest is from the pattern parcel that I mentioned last week, and I think it will just fit their style perfectly. I made the 6-12 month size in gray corduroy with a voile lining and it is just the cutest. I decided against real pockets and the back tie since it is for such a little guy.

That wraps up the baby stuff I have been working on. I hope the parents and their little people love them and get a lot of use out of them. Isn't that what we all wish? To know our things are used and loved? Now I am just trying to get a bunch of things done before I start my next big project late next week. I am really hoping to finish my sweater, make good progress on the baby's first year book, start organizing and making my planner for next year, finish a quilt, cut a bunch of fabric, and maybe work on another quilt. I don't know how much will actually get done, but I guess it's better to dream big :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

tote or backpack??

Are you familiar with perfect pattern parcels that have been happening lately? Every couple of weeks there is a two week sale of 5 indie designer patterns and you choose your price. It is pretty awesome and a great way to get some really great patterns. This last one (the second one I've purchased) was actually geared towards sewing for boys, but there were a couple of patterns I just loved so much I had to get it. I have another item sewn from these patterns coming up soon, but for today, I wanted to share my Jet Pack bag by Betz White.

I know I mentioned not too long ago that I am always on the hunt for a bag. And I was all set to make myself a new super tote (which may still happen) when I spotted this bag. It has one very important feature that I have been looking for, and that is that it can be worn either as a messenger/tote bag or as a backpack. This seems brilliant when going out and about with little people, so I figured it would be a perfect bag for walks to the park. I had already worked out the super tote in my head, so I just transferred my ideas to this baby and it worked beautifully! Mostly this meant that I knew I was going to do some bright, summery patchwork, and use the wrong side of some denim for the accents, and use this amazing polka dot for the lining. I even had most of the hardware for this, which was perfect. Speaking of the hardware, I did tweak a little bit to accommodate the 1.5" hardware that I had instead of buying the 1.25" that the pattern calls for. An easy adjustment that worked out just fine.

My only complaint is that I had to hand stitch the lining, which I hate doing, but I admit it does look quite nice. I omitted the inside pockets since I never end up using them, and with two outer pockets, I felt like I would be fine, and used a magnetic snap instead of a twist lock on the front pocket since I had it. I quilted the patchwork to batting and some outdoor fabric and the lining is intefaced with some shapflex. The denim is actually a pair of old jeans that the hubs was getting rid of. I had just enough length for the strap pieces actually, and it felt like a great use of old fabric. Using the wrong side was an idea I got from someone on insagram, but I can't remember quite who. It looks pretty chambray-ish really, but is so sturdy. I love it, and didn't have to interface the denim at all. My machine even took it pretty well!

So now I am ready to start using this and I am pretty excited! I think it will still be a bit small for longer outings involving more diapers and food and such, but for some short trips I think it will be perfect, and will continue working as they grow. I hope to be back soon to show a whole lot of baby stuff for some dear friends/family that I can't wait to share!

Friday, September 5, 2014

fall wardrobe time

Alright, so it definitely does not feel like fall around here. In fact, we are having some pretty hot, humid days that make it seem impossible that fall is even on the way. Still, the beginning of the school year convinced me that a few new shirts were in order for the little.

These are all made using the flashback skinny tee pattern, which I love. I am using the 4T size at this point and it seems to fit well, although a bit of extra length doesn't hurt. Two of these are repurposed, one from my old shirt, one from my husbands, and she picked all the fabrics out. I went with short sleeves for the robot since it was short sleeved to begin with and I didn't have enough fabric, plus I wanted to reuse the sleeve hems.

I actually didn't bother to hem any of them, so the only one with a bottom hem is the black one where I used the existing hem. I may go do it later, but I kinda like the raw edge look on these. The gray stripe I made longer so it is more of a tunic to wear with leggings. I made quick work of these on the serger and had them done in a couple hours.

I think the baby needs some of these soon too. With these my problem is that I want to make tons of them but they don't need that many shirts haha! So hard to narrow down the cute fabric options! Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

transmute: a finished body!!

Well hello there, September! My goodness, with a holiday weekend and my little starting preschool, things feel nuts around here. I find myself always feeling a little behind these days, but I am working on it. I have been finishing quite a few things though, small ones mostly, but also this next pause on my sweater journey, which feels huge.

I am now done the body of my sweater, and more than that, it even fits!!! It is not without mistakes, of course, and I might end up wishing it were a bit longer, but it fits and it's beautiful!  It took me a month from start to finish, which I am actually really happy with, and now I have another 3 weeks or so to do the sleeves before the knit-along ends. I won't know until I start them if that is possible, but I'm hopeful.

One afternoon this week I am going to sit down and figure out how to pick up the sleeve stitches I need and how to use my double pointed needles and get to work. Also, I am kind of on a sewing tangent right now, since I got it into my head that I needed to make a bag. So I am doing that, plus I have a lot of non sewing/knitting projects that need some attention soon. I am feeling pulled in many directions right now, but nothing a few deep breaths and a little focus won't help :) Next up, some clothes for the kidlet to be shared!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

necessary, very necessary

I wish that I didn't always feel like I was on a search for the *perfect* bag/wallet. It seems like a search that will never end, and even now that I can make my own, I find myself always searching and never finding the exact thing that I apparently am looking for. Honestly, I'm not even sure what it is that I am looking for at this point. Not too big, not too small; not too stiff, not to slouchy; just the right strap length, versatile enough to go out or to the park.....the list goes on and it may be an impossible task. Still, I keep looking and trying things. I am already plotting a new diaper bag/tote, possibly even another super tote since while I love mine, it is pretty slouchy and not sturdy enough. So I am thinking of trying that again with a little more body.

But I have gotten away from myself. The point here, is that I am trying a new wallet/clutch pattern and I have high hopes! I tend to use a small clutch that holds all my necessary items and that I can throw in a bigger bag when I need to. My previous wallet/clutch is the have it all wallet that I made last year. It has gotten really good use and I have loved it so much. My main problem has been that it kind of flings open when I unsnap it and I have been increasingly worried about things falling out. Enter the necessary clutch wallet. You may have seen the one that I made for my sister recently, which ended up being my test version, and here is the one I made for myself.

I used a twist lock for this one, for the first time, and I absolutely love the professional finish it gives. I got myself some special gnome pants lawn for the outer. I was hesitant about the lawn, but figured with some good interfacing it would be fine. It is fine, in fact it worked out great, but it must be said that this is not a light, smooth voile like the Anna Maria Horner/Amy Butler/ Joel Dewberry voiles that have been out for a while, which is what I was expecting. It is a bit heavier and not quite as soft and is only 44" wide. Had I bought it for something other than a bag, like clothes, I would have been really disappointed actually. But for this, perfect. I used some amazing cotton and steel basics inside plus a nice deep pink kona cotton (I forget which). The zipper is one I ripped off a bag that was in the donate pile.

I used decor bond on the outer pieces and shape flex 101 on the lining pieces and that seems to have given good strength. It is a really good pattern that comes together really nicely. I added a piece of ribbon with a d-ring on the side for a wristlet strap, so I am hoping that holds up to wear and tear. It fits everything I need an then some just beautifully. I love when they so nicely fit my phone and chapstick, and I can just clip my keys to the wristlet strap, and voila, it holds everything.

So that is the story of my new clutch. I will continue searching for the perfect bag to go with it, but I suspect a new super tote with a sturdier outside and different inside pockets will be just the thing :) When I get around to it, that is.....

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

cat love

Do you ever get an idea, and it seems like it should be so simple, and then you try to make it work and it is anything but simple? Because that is the story of this quilt. You see, I found out recently that a dear friend from high school is having a baby boy in a couple of months. I decided ages ago that I would make her a cat quilt at the first opportunity, and this happened to be it.

Now, there are tons of great cat blocks out there, really there are, it's just that I had my mind set on using a Florence layer cake that I have been saving for just the right thing. So basically I wanted a cat block that would use 2- 10" squares, one for the cat and one for the background, and would end up 10". Apparently that is no easy task and I am not kidding when I say that I had one piece that was 1.5"x2.5" left of each background, but I made it work! It took quite a long time to come up with something I was happy with, and a couple of test blocks, but here we are.

The binding is stars and it is backed in some delightfully soft minky. I quilted it with some random grid design. I stinking love this quilt. It will be a tough one to send away, but I know that it will be loved. Now I just have to make some other cute little things to go with it! Right after I finish about 10000 other things ha! I am hopeful that I will be back with some other sweet finishes later this week :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Transmute: update time

After a long weekend of fun and celebration, I think that a sweater update is in order! I have to admit, I was a little worried that I would be bored with a stockinette stitch sweater, but it is actually great! I feel like it is going fairly quickly (until I remember that the sleeves are still coming) and I have made some really good progress on the body of this in the past almost 3 weeks. It even looks like a sweater!!!! It is also super relaxing to just knit away at this while hanging out with my littles or watching something with the hubs.

So here are a few pictures. I don't know if anyone can really tell aside from me, but I did mess up one stripe and do it two rows later than I was supposed to because it was right at the part where I made the sleeves and I was so focused on learning to do that properly that I forgot. I think it's okay though, I just have to remember to make the same mistake on the sleeves. So far this yarn is lovely to work with and is make a really nice, soft fabric. I still haven't tried it on since I am scared of messing it up when I go to put it on the waste yarn/holder, but it looks like it will fit, so I hope that's a good sign.

I think the next update will be when the body is done and I have tried it on and everything, which I am aiming to have done in the next 2 weeks. Then I will just have sleeves to tackle, which I have mixed feelings on. I don't love working with double pointed needles, but I really really want to get this done and try it on, so I hope that keeps me motivated! Anyway, now that all our guests are gone, I need to sit down and regroup and figure out what needs to be done and when. No small task, but a necessary one. As always, so much to do, so little time. Does life ever calm down?!?!?