We held a silent auction at work as part of an ongoing fundraiser. The organizers asked us to bring in things we crafted – we have a lot of talented people in my workplace! These were my contributions:
It’s a lavender neck and eye pillow. You can freeze them, or heat them up in the microwave for aromatherapy and relaxation. The lavender is mixed with jasmine rice. If you’ve never tried this, rice makes an excellent hot pack. It forms to your body and holds heat well.
And I also did a little acrylic dandelion painting. On slate, because I just think these make cool wall hangings. I’ve got a few around my house as well.
My theory on silent auctions (and secret santa/yankee swap types of occasions) is that whatever I bring should be something I’m happy to take home again. If I love it that much, then I know others will too!
Been busy around here! Neil and I celebrated our 10th anniversary, not this past weekend but the one before. If your on instagram you saw me taking photos of skyscrapers. We managed a dorky Boston selfie too:
When we got back to vermont I bought a car! I’ve been joking that would be my present when Neil graduated… And it turns out I miss the fuel efficient diesel jetta that I drove for years and years. So I got another:
Except this one is 13 years newer than the one I finally gave up last January…
In related news, know anyone looking to buy a reliable toyota corolla? It’s just not my style.
All that has left me very little time for crafting. The closest I’ve come in the last week is two rolled and tacked hems and a couple of kam snaps:
In case you have no idea what that is, it’s a dolly diaper. Yup:
We made a last minute trip to visit my relatives this weekend. And one result of packing in a rush, in a rainstorm, was that I didn’t pack any summery clothes. So of course it was a warm, summery weekend! Like many crafters before me I decided I could totally solve this problem by sewing up a little skirt for Windsor (you know, instead of just buying some shorts)
This went about as well as you’d expect. Actually, maybe better – because I totally had that skirt finished for her to wear the last two hours of Sunday!
The other thing that happened is I dug through the box of clothes my mom saved from when we were all little kids. So many of these outfits had gorgeous, hand-stitched smocking. I was amazed at the general changes to little kids clothes over the last 25 years. You don’t see stuff like this commercially available anywhere, anymore.
One thing about this baby is she’s keeping me busy! And sometimes that means even too busy to blog. Which means I never showed you the finished beanstalk britches I made!
They turned out perfectly, but very nearly didn’t turn out at all. I reclaimed denim from a pair of old jeans. And in the first steps I managed to cut out 3 right back pieces… I didn’t have enough denim in a matching color to try again. Or at least I didn’t until Neil sacrificed a too small, but otherwise perfectly good, pair of pants.
The brilliance of this pattern is the series of snaps in the waistband combined with the turned up cuffs. This pair is size 6-24 months. With any luck my stitching will hold up that long!
The one thing I might try to modify for next time is the length of the pocket gussets. The reinforced spot is just above the crotch and there’s about an inch of vertical length where you can see the fabric is a bit tight even though the waistband is a good size. I think if the “pockets” were just a bit longer there’d be more flex there. Which would be good since she’s much more mobile now than when I took these (back in November. Oops)
I hope you had a wonderful holiday no matter what you were celebrating this week and this month. We celebrate Christmas, and with Windsor and her cousin (a year older than her) underfoot it is a very joyous holiday! As I suspected, I gave a few IOUs, but only to the adults on my list who will appreciate January Gifts just as much. The children mostly got sewing this year, instead of knitting. Sewing is much faster, so you can see what I did there…
Capes all around! Windsor got a hat and a skirt too. I had dreams of making a robin hood hat for my nephew – but my lack of time and craft felt got in the way…
I have one more gift-along present to show you all, my Stasia Cowl – which I finished in mid December, but apparently forgot to blog.
I knit this out of a full skein of peace fleece. It’s lovely and squishy. The cowl is knit flat, pulled through a keyhole style opening in the middle, twisted around itself, and seamed together at the ends to make a second keyhole. The result is this cool twisty squishy fabric which can’t quite be explained, or even demonstrated in 2D photos.
So you’ll have to take my word for it (ravelry project here.)
I didn’t make any progress on Windsor’s little vest this weekend. All it needs is an i-cord belt and some garter trim around the armholes. I really, really thought it would be done by now. But I do think I’ve isolated the problem- I’m not actually knitting it… All my free time this weekend was taken up by something else.
As the pattern says, these are the Beanstalk Britches from Stitch Upon a Time. They’re little pants designed to fit properly over her cotton diaper bottom. If they work as well as they look like they should I can see myself making SEVERAL more pairs. They’re one-size-ish, by which I mean the pants I’m making should fit a 9-24 month old. The brilliant part of these pants is the fake pockets – which are actually giant pleats. And at the top of each there’s a range of snaps. So you can easily get the pants on over a diaper, and then snap the waist closed so it’s snug at the top and doesn’t fall off again. The pant legs have generous cuffs at the bottom that can be turned up and then adjusted as the kiddo grows.
The pants are really well designed with lots of good details. Top stitching on many seams makes everything look more professional as well as keeping things lying flat. The gussets are really well designed, the cuffs are brilliantly lined, the butt of the pants is formed out of several pieces of fabric to make it nice and roomy. Like I said, very well designed. I would recommend the patterns for a sewer somewhere above beginner though. There’s not a lot of hand-holding for how to make the three dimensional pieces fit together. (if you also sew you know what I mean, how on woven fabric the angles of a 3-D section are opposites – and you have to pin the straight edges and ease the corners) And my sleep deprived brain had trouble with which direction the gussets needed to be pinned before sewing the side seams…
So yeah. I slowed myself down several times on these pants. I cut out 70% of the pattern pieces from corduroy before I realized I didn’t have enough of that fabric. I started over with denim and managed to cut THREE right back pant legs and no left back pant legs. Neil had to sacrifice a second pair of jeans to my sewing-cause to find another piece of denim with matching shades of blue. Then there was all the seam ripping to fix the gussets.
I’m almost done, finally! I need to hand-sew the top edge of the turned cuffs. The pattern recommends machine sewing, but my old sewing machine doesn’t have an adjustable deck for narrow sleeve and pant cuffs. So hand sewing is really my only option. I attached the plastic snaps right before bed last night. I may be a little TOO excited that I finally own plastic snap pliers. If Neil doesn’t watch out there will be snaps on EVERYTHING in our house.
I managed to finish dolly’s outfit in time for Windsor’s birthday. Mostly. I mean, it was done but far from perfect.
Dolly’s hair was done in plenty of time. All her hair is sock yarn, so hopefully it’ll hold up well and not get fuzzy. It’s a combination of all three colors used in the Lady of Rohan shawl, along with some reds and a little bit of pink, brown, and white, just to make it variegated. I like the way it can be french braided.
I stitched up a little t-shirt out of jersey fabric. I solve the “I hate machine sewing jersey” problem by hand stitching the whole thing. It wasn’t too time consuming since the longest seam is 3 inches, and gave me a chance to do a little embroidery on the collar. Unfortunately dolly’s shirt is too big, but since she’s a doll she doesn’t mind. (see what I did there, ahh puns…)
Next came the sweater, knit out of some peace fleece DK. Instead of using standard sweater construction the “yoke” is a flat circle, because dolly’s shoulders have no slope. The shaping is perfect, but the whole sweater is too small by about 3 inches. I’m not sure what happened there (might be that I skipped the gauge swatch) but dolly, being a doll, doesn’t seem to mind.
The jeans have the same problem. It’s like I forgot dolly was three dimensional and would need fabric to go all the way around. The pant legs fit, but the seat doesn’t go over her dolly butt, or the body fabric that passes for a butt. Luckily, dolly doesn’t seem to mind this either.
And since Windsor doesn’t have the dexterity to put clothes on and take them off yet – she doesn’t seem to mind either.
My current crafting project is a hybrid. I started with something boughten, added some embroidery, some crochet (yes, crochet!) and there’s more sewing imminent. There will even be some knitting before I’m done.
What is this thing? It’s a waldorf doll. I didn’t want to make one from scratch (I hate sewing jersey fabric) so I found an etsy store (WildMarigold) where I could buy one – actually just a naked doll body. I got to embroider the face myself. Then I taught myself single crochet so I could make the wig cap, and add the hair. Now I’m sewing an outfit. And yes – dolly will need a sweater. Can I get it all done before October 6th? We’ll find out!
I hope the soon-to-be birthday girl will love it as much as she loves hanging out in the garden with me. Which, for the record, she does!
My “new” slippers have worn out soles. Ravelry shows the problem – they’re not actually new… Appears they were new back in December of 2012… I thought I knew the options – knit new soles, needle felt over the holes, buy some leather soles and sew them on. But I wanted the cushiness of wool, and the speed of sewing. So when I found these wool boot liners in a local store I had the perfect solution:
The patch is easy and quick, and I have one and a half slippers done already.. But I’m not quick enough, because my little helper gets into EVERYTHING these days…
Baby things are fun to sew, they’re so little and quick! I found some tutorials on the internet for sewing baby pants, and decided that would be my next task. I haven’t been very satisfied with the commercially made baby pants. They’re either roomy fleece or super structured mini-adult pants. They’re all adorable, but why does my infant need pockets anyway? She doesn’t have the pincer movement to pick up anything to put in them…
So I started with the fleece pants and cut out a template with a quarter inch along the side seam and a half inch (ish) at the top.
Next use the template to cut some sweater sleeves to match. Using the sleeves means I just have to sew a crotch seam and a waistband! The internet is full of brilliant ideas.
I tried sewing the elastic into the waistband three different ways before I settled on this one. I didn’t want elastic all the way around, just across the back. So I cut a strip the correct length and stitched the edges along the side seams – do this first!
(easier to visualize on the corduroy pants)
Then fold the waistband hem down and stitch underneath the elastic being careful not to catch it. Voila, elastic waist in the back only but still nice and stretchy.
They fit her with a little room still to grow – exactly as I’d hoped! On these I can fold the cuffs down when she gets longer too:
and yes, I have lots more gray sweater still to play with!
Oh yeah, and the corduroys: