2.23.2014

Two and a Half Yards



Well in case you were ever wondering, here's what you can make out of two and a half yards of luscious Valori Wells knit fabric?

One cardigan.

Two waistbands.

And one dress.


Sadly, I think that this is the last thing that I'll be able to make out of this fabric since I've used up just about every remaining scrap of it.  That's probably a good thing though since I'm guessing that you're kind of sick of seeing this fabric.


The dress is the ever lovely Oliver and S Hopscotch Dress which I happen to think is kind of perfect for everyday wear.  It's made out of knit fabric so it's incredibly comfortable plus it's long sleeved so it's a bit warmer than most dresses.  Those are both big pluses in my book.  The only downside of the pattern is that O is on the verge of outgrowing the sizes that I own so this version is actually a size four with some added length.  Fortunately, O is a bit of a string bean so this actually worked perfectly for her.  I love it when things actually work out  - like unintentional pattern matching at the seams.  Glorious, I tell you!


The neck binding is just leftover brown organic jersey from the same cardigan and harem pants.  I happen to have a tiny bit of this fabric left so you may have to put up with seeing it in at least one more project.


And lest you think that O is happy all the time, here's the face that she gives her little sister to let her know that she is not pleased.


2.15.2014

Hats For Bats. Keep Bats Warm.*


I realize that the rest of the county has been buried under snow for the past couple of months but would you all hate me if I told you that we've had a fairly mild winter around here?  Sure it was really cold (at least for us) for a while, but we've had no real snow to speak of.  Well, except for last Sunday.  I didn't even realize snow was in the forecast so imagine my surprise when I woke up to a blanket of it (albeit, a very thin blanket).  We spent what felt like 45 minutes bundling the kids up to go outside and then we hit our local park for some sledding. 


In an effort to tie this in to knitting, allow me to point out the kids' hats.  I made them!  They're actually really simple beanies made from this pattern.  For O's I tried to make it super-slouchy so I added a couple inches to the length of the hat.  The benefit of this is that the hat also now fits my head so I can wear it in a hat emergency (should that ever arise).  The yarn for her hat is an Art Yarns super merino that I purchased six years ago for some long forgotten project.


For C's hat I used a wool-silk blend from Tactile Fiber Arts Studio that is dyed with all-natural dyes.  When O was a baby I attempted to make a tiny baby sweater out of this yarn but I ran out of yarn (and motivation) 3/4 of the way through and the half-knit baby sweater sat in an unfinished pile for the next four years.  I finally got around to ripping it out and while you're technically supposed to wet ripped out yarn and hang it to dry to get rid of the crimp, I decided "screw it" and I just knit it right from the ripped out sweater.  I mean, it's just a kid's hat, right?

So there you go.  Two hats and two happy kids.


Oh, and if you find yourself out in the snow and you're super-lazy like me, just make your kids take a picture in front of a snowman that someone else built.  No one will ever know the difference (unless you write it on your blog, of course). 

*Awesome 1980's movie reference, anyone?  Anyone?

2.10.2014

The One In Which My Children Join A Harem - Or At Least Wear Harem Pants


I officially have a new approach to life.  Well, that's probably over-stating it.  Let's just call it a new approach to sewing.  In an attempt to keep sewing from the stash (one month and counting, baby!) I now find myself looking at my stash and wondering "what can I make with you?" rather than just asking "what do I want to make?" followed by the inevitable next question - "what do I need to buy?"  In some ways it's a bit more constricting but in other, very real ways, it's more liberating (no choice paralysis here).


In any case, this is all just to say that in continuing to work my way through the stash I've made two more garments with leftover fabric.  Now I wish I weren't the type of person that makes matching clothes for my kids, but I am so the type of person that makes matching clothes for my kids.

I.  Just. Can't.  Stop.  Doing.  It.


Perhaps  if they didn't look so darn cute in their matching clothes I'd stop, but until that day comes, too bad, suckas!


For this round of "I'm a lame mom and I make my kids wear matching clothes" I made them both Harem Pants made from leftover fabric from my Meridian Cardigan (the main fabric is plain brown organic jersey and the patterned fabric is Valori Wells jersey - both purchased from Fabric.com).  The finished waist measurements for the kids' ages didn't match up with their sizes so I did a little tweaking with the pattern.  For O (who is almost five) I cut between a size four and five in length but they're around a size three in width.  For C (who is almost 2) I cut a size 12 months for the waist but then tapered out to a size 2 for the width and I kept the length a size 2.  For both kids I changed the curve of the crotch so that it doesn't hang down quite so much (I took off about an inch or so).


The pattern recommends any lightweight knit fabric but I think that the waistband definitely needs a knit fabric with some lycra in it or at least some ribbing.  My fabric is just a simple jersey with very little recovery and as a result the waistbands ended up being way too big on both girls.  I solved this problem by inserting elastic in both waistbands but it would have been nice to be able to skip this step and I think using a fabric with more recovery would let you do just that.  Although I probably shouldn't be complaining about this extra step given that this pattern is ridiculously easy to make.  Ridiculously easy.


2.05.2014

Fancy Pants


Remember when I told you that all I wanted to do all day was eat bread?  Well, I lied.

Because really all I want to do all day is eat these legs.  And this tummy.  And this face.


And this booty.


Nom, nom, nom, nom.

Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be talking about sewing.  Well, the pattern on that cute little booty is the Fancy Pants Leggings pattern by Titchy Threads.  The instructions were primo and the pattern pieces fit together perfectly.  You already know of my love of the That Darn Kat Undies Pattern and the fact that I think that it's the perfect pattern to use up all of your leftover bits of knit fabric.  Well, this booty panel may now be the official rival of the That Darn Kat pattern when it comes to using knit leftovers.

As for the fit of the leggings, the instructions guide you through several ways to modify the pattern to make it fit your child perfectly, but my child happened to be sleeping while I was making this pair so additional measuring and fitting was not an option.  Instead, I just used the 18-24 months size as it was given.  The fit seems to be  a teeny bit on the big side for C, but that's a welcome change from the Sunki Leggings that I made and that she outgrew in no time at all (damn you, toddler growth spurts).  The only thing that I had to change for the next pair that I made was the length.  I took off about an inch and it seemed to fix all the bunchiness that I had in the first pair.   That's right.  I already made a second pair - only this time with a strawberry booty panel.


Want an action shot?  Here she is rocking her Fancy Pants Leggings at the Mariner's Fan Fest as she runs the bases and stomps in the dirt.





Let's just say that as a non-sports fan seeing her run around on the field (or at least the part that they would let you run around on) was the highlight of the event.  The rest of the time there was time in my life that I'll never get back.

2.02.2014

Surprise Undies

Surprise!


I've actually quietly been sewing along for this round of KCW.  I've had nothing to show for all my sewing thus far though because all I've been making is undies.  Lots and lots of undies (well, eleven pairs to be exact).  Sadly O is just about to outgrow the last batch of undies that I made for her so  I figured that I would use this week to whip out some new ones.


This is my third time using the That Darn Kat Undies pattern and I love it just as much as the first two times.  I'm beginning to think that it runs a little small though since I had to make the size six for my four year old who doesn't turn five for another three months.  I've also come to realize that the fun part of sewing this pattern is sewing the two main parts together.  Sewing 33 leg and waist bands on undies?  Decidedly less fun.  I've also come to realize that top stitching with a good old zigzag stitch is the way to go.  I used a straight stitch the first time around and I felt like it really limited the stretchiness of the undies.  And while I love the double needle I haven't found it to hold up well over time.  And these undies need to stand up over time because if they're anything like the last pairs that I made her, they will get a ton of use.


I also have to say that the first time that I made these undies I hadn't sewn much with knits so I had to go out and buy a bunch of knit fabric in order to make them.  After spending fifty dollars on fabric (and another ten on the pattern) I was pretty convinced that I had lost my mind.  I mean, who spends 60 dollars on kid's underwear?  But it turned out to be totally worth it because the pattern uses so little fabric that three years later (and three rounds of undies later) I'm still using the same fabric that I bought the first time around (plus some scraps from other projects since I've definitely fallen in love with sewing with knits since that time).  It turns out that that was sixty bucks well spent.  Who knew?

PS - Getting 11 undies to all stay stuck to a wall is a lot harder than it looks.

PPS - I am so not a football fan but GO HAWKS!

2.01.2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner


And the winner of the Meridian Cardi pattern is Beth!

Congrats, Beth!  I'll pass on your info to Rachael! 

And thanks to all who left comments!  I've loved finding new blogs!
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