Posts Tagged ‘sewing’

When it comes to sewing, I’m usually all talk and no action. A few weeks ago Markus reminded me that two years ago I had this great plan to sew new cushions for our kitchen chairs. Uh yeah, I’ll get right on that. The following week Markus again reminded me about the cushions and said if I didn’t want to make them, he would be very happy to do it himself. He then pointed out that his method would involve a swingline stapler and some duct tape. Right, I’m on it!

So without further ado… Cushions!

I really like the pear print- it reminds me of 1970s fabric. Although the print on this fabric doesn’t match the funky square patterning of the kitchen tiles, the green, yellow and brown match somewhat. I find this to be especially nifty, mainly because I didn’t plan it at all. Awesome retro cushions are awesome.

And this month’s synesthesia socks? They are coming along nicely. I hope to be finished in a week or so with pics to follow.


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We had a splendid vacation on Cape Cod, despite the fact that we had to cut our trip short by one day because our return ferry and flight were canceled due to the hurricane. It was great to visit my aunt who I don’t see very often. Basically all I did for a week was relax, sew, knit, read, walk along the beach, and do Zumba! with my aunt. The best kind of vacation if you ask me! We did almost no sight-seeing at all which is fabulous because it gave me time to sew. My aunt has a great Elna sewing machine at her house which I used to make the cover skirt Sewing School Skirt from Brett Bara’s new book, Sewing in a Straight Line. So now I have some good and not-so-good skirt news.

The good news first: It turned out super cute! I got to use my coveted light green woodgrain fabric, and now I feel like quite the little seamstress.

As you can see above, the skirt lacks buttons. I made some practice button holes but for some reason they weren’t working quite right, so I need to check if my Singer machine has a button-holer thingamajiggy or something. Below is what it will look like with buttons. I picked up these buttons at a knitting store a few years ago and they are just perfect for this skirt.

So now for the not-so-good news: I believe that one of the measurements given in the instructions is incorrect which I didn’t find out until after I cut the fabric. I was befuddled as to why I didn’t have enough width to make all the pleats on the back. I enlisted Markus’ help and we calculated that it needs an additional 18″ in width for the back piece (measurement C), not 10″ as stated in the instructions. This 18″ accounts for six 3″ pleats (3″ x 6 pleats = 18″, not 10″). Also, in step #5, the instructions tell you to put the right sides together to make the french seam. I believe it should say wrong sides together. Glad I read the how-to section in the front of the book first!

I was fortunate to have enough of my favorite discontinued Joel Dewberry Aviary woodgrain fabric left over to cut another piece in the correct size and I will use that first piece as part of the Staggering Strips quilt, also from this book.

And knitting. Well, I worked a bit on the westknits shawl KAL during my aunt’s croquet game. The game must have been so riveting that I messed up. Again. This time I ended up adding an extra 2 rows to one side only. Ummm, seriously??? How did I manage that?? I did fudge it so the row count is now correct. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve messed up this project, and it’s not like the knitting is hard or anything. I have no explanation.

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My friend announced that she is expecting a baby girl, and I immediately knew I wanted to sew her something using really wacky fabrics from my stash. I think the fabric choice is perfect, don’t you?

I followed a nice tutorial for the bibs which can be found here: Chickpea infant bib pattern. They were fairly easy to sew, even with the curved edges. I backed the bibs with some cream colored terry cloth fabric and stitched on snaps by hand. I didn’t follow a tutorial for the burp cloths. I simply cut rectangles of the print fabric and cream colored flannel, stitched the right sides together, then turned them right side out and top stitched around the edge. They turned out to be approx 19″ x 11.5″.

My friend is also a knitter, so I made her a Two Kates knitting bag, again with some awesome fabric. I say, if you’re going to sew, make it pop. (Sock yarn not included, just a prop).

Next up, I’m thinking about sewing the cover skirt from Brett Bara’s new book Sewing in a Straight Line. Perhaps I’ll use some of my light green woodgrain fabric. Best. Fabric. Ever. I even have the perfect buttons, too.

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Over the holiday break I acquired some really pretty fabric. My wonderful husband went to Loom and secretly bought me the remaining orange woodgrain fabric (yay!) along with some other fabrics I’d been obnoxiously obsessing about. My mom and I went to the Quilt Patch in Tecumseh, MI, and I bought these:

I couldn’t resist the owl fabric because it was just too cute. The blue and white Michael Miller fabric was discounted so I snatched up the remainder of the bolt. And the leaf fabric? I plan to use it in a log cabin quilt along with my prized woodgrain fabric. I made a mock-up of one of the log cabin squares using leftover scraps from my knitting needle cases:

This square turned out about 12″ x 12″ which seems a little large to me. I’ll probably make another mock-up with narrower strips but keep the center square the same size. I really like the off-center style and will probably do this for all of the blocks, varying the placement of the center square each time. I haven’t yet decided how to piece the blocks together, but I figure I can decide that after I assemble a stack of blocks. Any thoughts?

I’ve also set a personal record for the fastest knitted sock. I knit this beauty up in less than a week. I’m still in shock! Let’s see how fast I can finish up the 2nd sock…

Thanks to Cheryl for the yarn: Socks That Rock medium weight in colorway Wild Irishgirlie. The pattern is slightly modified from the Skyp Rib Socks by Adrienne Ku which is one of my favorite sock patterns.

Here’s hoping for a productive year of knitting and sewing!

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I’ve been busy this past month. My aunt gave me her sewing machine and I’ve had all sorts of fun making small project bags for my knitting friends. I found the patterns through a new sewing site called My Sewing Circle. The site was designed to be similar to Ravelry in that you can keep an online notebook of your sewing projects, link your projects to the fabrics you used, search for sewing patterns and join online sewing circle groups. If you sew, I recommend signing up! My username is handknitsbysusan, so friend me!

I started off my little sewing adventure by making the Sock Sack pattern by Terry Atkinson. I really had fun with this pattern and made 5 bags, mixing and matching different fabric from my stash with new fabric I bought from Loom and the Quilt Patch. I learned how to sew zippers too, which really isn’t difficult. The next pattern I made was the Reversible Patchwork Bag by Ayumi Takahashi/Pink Penguin. I found out I really enjoy patchwork and have loads of ideas for other patchwork stuff I can make. Especially if the patchwork project involves orange woodgrain fabric, if I can buy more of it somewhere…

Cheryl game me this lovely yarn from her stash for Xmas that I’ve been coveting every time I went to her house. It’s an exclusive colorway called My Wild Irishgirlie from Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock in medium weight. Socks for me, I think.

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Yes, I’m still here. I’ve been busy knitting and sewing holiday gifts. Lots of projects done, a few more to finish. The drops scarf for my boss is finally finished!

Pattern: 108-4 a – scarf by Drops
Yarn: Wool and the Gang Sugar Baby Alpaca (100% baby alpaca)
Needles: size 4 US
Size: approx 7.5” wide and 61.5” long

My yarn is heavier than the suggested yarn in the pattern, so I cast on fewer sts (55 sts). I then worked 3 garter sts at each edge instead of 5. After working the first row, I had a total of 43 sts (3 garter, 37 chart, 3 garter). I worked chart M.1A once, M.1B once (not twice), and M.1C once. After I finished the M.1 charts, I realized I didn’t have the correct stitch count for chart M.2 since I started the scarf with fewer sts. I poured over my stitch dictionaries and decided to use the Palm Leaf Chevron stitch from Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, p. 277. It worked well, I think.

This scarf grew immensely during blocking. I didn’t take a formal measure before blocking, but I would wager a guess that it grew at least 15″ in length.

Another item I made recently actually contained the drops scarf while it was in progress. I sewed a small project bag with this totally cute fabric I bought from Loom.

The fabric is from the Child’s Play with Kate & Nate collection by Sheri Berry Designs. The outer Girl fabric came in a panel containing alphabet blocks. The inner fabric (from the same collection) is called Ditzy Mushrooms. It has an allover pattern of little mushrooms and dragonflies. Love this fabric! I just had to get the “Y is for yarn” on one side, obviously. 🙂

And one last thing. If anyone knows where I can get more of this fabric in orange, I will be eternally grateful:

It’s by designer Joel Dewberry from his discontinued Aviary collection. It’s the Woodgrain orange. I can’t seem to find this fabric in orange anywhere for sale online. *sniff, sniff* Hopefully Loom still has some in stock. I’ve used it in a few projects and have determined it is the best fabric ever. I even dreamed about it 2 nights ago. Seriously, I’m obsessed.

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This past weekend I took an intro to wheel spinning class at my LYS. The wheel I used was an Ashford Joy which is a double treadle wheel and I really liked it (both the class and the wheel). And here’s what I spun, all 11 yards of it. Not too shabby. The fiber is Kraemer Yarns Mauch Chunky Roving in the colorway Juju Fruit and it’s real purdy.

As a prerequisite to the yarn plying class, I need to log about 10 hours of spinning and be able to produce a finer weight yarn. So I just, ahem, had to buy some Louet Northern Lights wool top in the colorway Ocean Waves to practice on. The instructor had spun up a shop sample and it was calling my name. Very loudly. These are definitely Susan colors. Wait, don’t I already have some cotton on a cone in this exact same colorway? Why yes, yes I do.

I’ve also had lots of ideas for sewing projects. The projects I’m thinking of sewing require 2 different matching fabrics. And wouldn’t you know it, not one of my fabrics matches one another. None. Of. Them. How is that possible? I guess it’s time to visit the fabric store again.

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