Sunday, November 2, 2014

FO: Happy Halloween

Three newly made costumes this year and one vintage.

One of my 9yo's went as a Tootsie Roll.  While we freestyle-sewed the 'roll' we spent some time making a lovely headband and ensuring that we had the right lettering.  My daughter cut the letters from a pattern (did you know that the Tootsie Roll font is really close to Cooper Black?), traced them onto fabric, cut them again and then glued them to her costume?  I am proud of my little DIY-er in training.  We also put together a cute headband with red ribbons and a real Tootsie Roll on top.

My other 9yo went as a cat - her favorite cat from the Warrior Book Series (by Erin Hunter), hence the yellow color.  I think the cats name is LionBlaze.

My 7yo wore a leopard costume that must have been sewn by my Mom in the very early 1980's.  I am amazed at how well it is holding up.  She wore a similar costume - also made by my Mom - last year too.

My 3.5yo is a snowy owl, inspired by her favorite animal and an article in Family Fun magazine.

The body suits for the owl and cat are from the patterns that are annually available by McCall's or Butterick for various Halloween costumes (lion, frog, dragon, cat, bear, etc.).  It is so easy to use that pattern as a base and then build off with details from there.  The cat really didn't have any additional details, but the snowy owl needed wings and the headpiece, both of which I borrowed on heavily from the Family Fun October 2014 issue.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

FO: Striped Socks

I finished up this pair of socks for my husband this past week.  They took a long time to complete, but for no other reason then my lack of interest (smile).  They are great socks in the end and I know that he will wear them a lot.  Did I mention his favorite colors are brown and blue?  I am not sold that this brown and this blue exactly compliment each other, but they do provide a nice contrast and give a 'plain' sock some interest.

He asked for another pair after a) telling me that his Globe Trotters tend to slip down because the ribbing isn't tight enough, and b) confessing that he felted the last pair of socks I knit him in the laundry.

This pair should hold up - elastic enough with a an all around traditional rib pattern and sturdy enough for the washer and dryer thanks to KnitPicks superwash sock yarn Stroll, in Midnight Heather.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Pattern Test: The Messenger Bag

I am one lucky girlThis past month I was able to test sew a pattern for my friend Melissa Q. from a happy stitch.   I am not an accomplished sewer - very much still a beginner - but I am keen on adding new skills and giving this messenger bag a test run was a great experience. 

Overall it took under 4.5 hours to cut, prepare, assemble and sew the bag - not bad for something so incredibly functional, unique and awesome.  My favorite feature - aside from the slender, compact size and customized strap length - are the inside pockets.  Perfect for a phone, lip gloss, pens and your headphones.

As a beginning sewer I was a bit nervous about how it all might come together, but following Melissa's photos and clear directions made it very easy to pull off.  She provides lots of helpful hints along the way.

It is quite a professional looking bag and I have gotten lots of compliments on it already.  The lining looks wonderful and fits well.  The bag is also reinforced with interfacing, giving it the right amount of body and structure without any additional bulk.

The biggest compliment of all is that one of my older daughters (9yo) desperately wants to have this. "Mom, messenger bags are WAY cooler than backpacks," she says.  I have to agree with her on that.  Especially when it is this messenger bag we're talking about!

The pattern for this bag should be available in Melissa's Etsy store starting today.  Go pick up the pattern, find some fantastic fabric and sew yourself one.  You won't be sorry you did.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hitofude and Murakami

The inspiration struck when I was about half-way through my very first Murakami novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.  It dawned on me to search for Japanese knitting patterns and off I went.  It had been awhile since I had been inspired with a new project - and this one just came to me.

I wound up with Hitofude and have just a half-repeat to get to the end of the arms.  The construction of this piece is incredible - what you see in the photo is half of a rectangle that reaches wrist to wrist.  I will eventually fold the rectangle in half the long way and seam to make two arms.  Whew.

This is an amazingly clear pattern so far and the knitting has been very, very enjoyable.  I am working it up with Madelinetosh Merino Light in scarlet.  A red knit for a red head?  I think I can pull it off.

The photos I have seen of the finished sweater are lovely (over 2,000 in Ravelry) and I hope to have this one done and off the needles by the holiday season.