Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Twirly peace in under 14 days

I made a twirly peace skirt in under 14 days! By necessity the project was split into manageable chunks of time. And I kept my expectations low regarding how much I could finish on any given day - the nursing and baby wearing is keeping my body occupied most of the time right now - but I kept at it.

Day 1: open the pattern package and read it.
Day 2: cut out the pattern
Day 3: cut as many pieces of the skirt as I could
Days 4-6: same as above
Day 7: thread sewing machine
Day 8: iron and sew as much of skirt as I could
Days 9-11: same as above
Day 12: finish skirt
Day 13: photo shoot

Unfortunately I mis-read the pattern, or more likely forgot what the pattern said, and sewed with 1/4" seam allowances rather than 1/2". So even after leaving off an entire panel it is a smidge too wide, and it's definitely too long. Sadly I placed the skirt in the 'next summer's clothes' box in the closet.

But, I'm sure it won't stay there. My 5 yo girls wear all manner of too big, too small, and just right but out of season clothes all the time. In fact, I'm certain they seek out these 'forbidden' clothes on purpose and revel in my reaction when they stumble down the stairs with pants that are 3 inches too long or toddler sized t-shirts stretched so tight they can't get them off again. So really I don't know why I bothered putting it away at all. Before I realize it one of them will be out the door with it on.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


This is amazing yarn. I love working with it. I just finished transforming it from the skein into a 1 yo sized cardigan vest. The color changes are subtle, the yarn is thick and warm and it will make a great layering piece next spring (or this summer if it doesn't warm up around these parts).

The yarn was a gift and the label simply stated, "4 ozs. 100% wool. Goldenrod." I wonder if it is dyed with goldenrod plants? I know that you can't see the yarns true beauty in this photo. You'll have to trust me on this one.

And oh the knitting fates are tempting me these days too! I've got this, and this (needs rav sign-in) and this pattern on my mind. Have any of you knit these yet?

p.s. For someone the considers herself 'crafty' I have the lamest collection of buttons. The ones pictured here are only placed for effect. I need to get myself a decent stash going. There's a Trash & Treasure sale at the local church today...maybe I'll stop over to see what can be found?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Re-Cap: kcwc

In my last moments of kcwc I managed to squeak out this skirt. I picked it up at a clothing swap (free!) knowing full well it didn't fit me, but it held promise as a skirt that could be re-fitted for the younger set. I cut out the zipper from the back, resewed it together, and then shortened the skirt by 4 inches from the top. With an elastic casing waistband the project came together rather quickly on Saturday morning.

I had grand hopes of making a skirt from this pattern, but it will have to wait for another day (solid pink and peace fabric). Here are my leftovers, staring at me longingly after a good week of sewing. They will get their day to shine soon. Not sure what will become of the blue floral - maybe outdoor dining napkins for the summer?

I gained back a bit of sewing mojo this past week. I look forward to keeping it up, and the fact I got Scandinavian Stitches at the library yesterday will help! I am going to take some time to plan out a few special projects for the fall challenge, I think that I am ready for something a bit more complicated (oliver + s, Leila & Ben, and Carefree Clothes for Girls are some possibilities...) The challenge also added a new filter to my brain for when I go to the thrift store/garage sales - if something is too small for me, could it be re-fitted for my girls?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mid-week report: kcwc

As we approached the middle of the week I accomplished two more items for my younger girls. First up is a pair of baby leggings. They are really the simplest of projects; I'm embarrassed that I didn't make other pairs for my older girls when they were itty-bitty. It will be a few months before the baby is big enough for these, but they should be perfect for covering her delicate knees in the fall and following spring.

I've seen project tutorials for these around the blogosphere for awhile, but I didn't rely on any particular one for these. My directions were: Take a pair of unused thrifted women's knee high socks, cut the feet off, and hem the bottom edges. Done and done.

The second project is a pair of cropped pants for my 3.5 yo. I tried making something like this earlier in the week with some scrap cotton that I had in my stash. I failed miserably. First I took a pair of jersey cotton pants that fit her tush perfectly and did what many others have done: traced, cut and sew. But they did not turn out at all. They were too small (narrow) and had no give at all. So I decided to put those pants, unfinished, aside and instead sought out advice from an expert.

Heather Ross came to my rescue. I pulled my copy of Weekend Sewing off the shelf and found the pattern for the Huck Finn pants. I followed the pattern for the 2T, but added an extra 3.5 inches to the length of the pants. And what do you know? They fit her!

The material is from an upcycled linen skirt that I had set aside, and to punch them up (c'mon, what little girl is excited about brown pants?) I added a faux knee patch featuring her favorite character: Scooby Doo. We don't normally go for commercial characters or name brands, but Scooby just makes her, so...well, happy. Thankfully she l-o-v-e-s these pants. And they look darn cute on her too.

Last on the sewing list for this week are two skirts. One twirly, one upcycled.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Baby Knitting

"What to knit for the baby?" Is a question that has me perplexed these days. What do you knit for a baby that was born during the craziest spat of weather we've had in a long time? She needed winter clothes when we brought her home, and just yesterday the temps climbed into the upper 80's. And all of this is complicated by the very real fact that babies grow so fast!

I settled on a little shrug. It's something that can be layered for cooler weather, or worn over a onesie on the warmer days. I pulled out some left over cotton yarn from the stash and knit one up using the Confection pattern, by Tonya Wagner (free). The smallest size took just under one skein. I didn't follow the pattern exactly, as my little one has long arms. I also lost track of how many stitches I was picking up for the ribbed hem, but it turned out great anyway. Knitting for babies is so forgiving.

It really is the perfect item for weather like this. Not cold enough for a full sweater, but not warm enough for her to be out in short sleeves. And it is just plain adorable, don't you think?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Progress report: kcwc

skirts for older girls

chicken skirt

In my first progress report for kcwc I am happy to show you three skirts. They were accomplished in about 3 hours, including shopping for, and laundering, the fabric, and sewing time. I worked from the lazy days skirt pattern, generously offered up free by Oliver + S. I have made this skirt quite a few times before, but why mess with something good, right? Especially if I only have a precious few hours - I need results, and fast! [There was also a first (botched) attempt at some pants for my 3yo You'll hear more about that later this week.]

My girls are very happy today, wearing their new duds. I carefully picked out fabric for each of them: dogs (doing yoga no less) for my dog-lover, flowers for my care-free spirit, and chickens for my ever-present helper and budding chicken farmer. Each of these skirts was made from newly purchased materials, but the rest of the projects I am working on for the week are from up-cycled clothes or other fabric from my stash.

By the end of the photo shoot with my 3yo the chickens had become quite interested in what we were doing next to their coop (that's Sandra looking on, with Betty on the stoop). Little do they know that her skirt was made in their honor!

curious chickens

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kids Clothes Week Challenge (kcwc)

I'm jumping back into post-birth blogging with this challenge. Head on over and join in if you are so inclined. My grand plans include a set of six skirts - two for each older girl for this summer. I'll report back with my progress. This is my first time participating in this week-long challenge and I'm pretty excited. I'm tackling something familiar and easy, with hopes that next year I might be able to branch out into something new and different (garment sewing is decidedly not my comfort zone).

I also have some recent knitting adventures to share. More soon!