Out with the old and in with the new!

This time of year seems like the perfect time to change the things we aren’t happy about into things we love and want in our lives.  With this thought in mind, I ended the old year, and started out the new year, with a couple of recycled projects, one for knitting and one for sewing.

Three years ago, I took a winter vacation to Santa Fe, New Mexico and bought some Berroco  Boraelis yarn as a souvenir.  I love the yarn but didn’t love what I made with it, a hooded scarf.  The hood doesn’t stay on very well.  I found the Dropped Stitch Cowl pattern by Abi Gregorio (free on Ravelry) and finished cowls for sale at Abi’s Etsy shop, Red Comb Vintage.  I decided to make this cowl and some boot cuffs.

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The cowl turned out great.  I think this yarn is beautiful, but it doesn’t show its beauty in photos and is really a yarn made for close inspection.

The boot cuffs I am making are Boot Candy boot cuffs by Sara Gresbach for Addisma Designs on Ravelry.  I made one pair for a Christmas gift.  The cuffs knit up quickly in bulky weight yarn.

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The cuff is on the left, and the scarf I am unknitting is on the right.  The cuffs have cables, which won’t show up well in this yarn, but I think the effect of coordinating the cuffs and the cowl together will be nice anyway.  I have two rows to go and will start the second cuff!

What has taken most of my time and will continue to take my time until after the DFW FiberFest in March, is sewing for my booth.  I am so excited!  However, I also will be keeping new and fun things coming in the Etsy Shop as well.  The newest listing is really an old thing…an old dress in a beautiful fabric.

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I transformed the dress into two Serena bags and two sets of Stitch Hoodies.  What do you think?

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The fabrics for lining  and coordinating dots in the Hoodies are new materials.

I love the idea of making the old new, not just with things, but with our lives as well.  I wish each of you a bright and shiny new year full of the best of the old and new.

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Sewing with children

In addition to sewing knitting bags and fun things for my Etsy shop, I have taken time this summer to sew with some really fun girls.

Alli is really into watermelons this year.  She wanted a skater skirt, so we made this one together.

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Circle skirts are fun and easy to make without a commercial pattern, if you have a circumference chart.  I used the chart in Patternmaking for Fashion Design by Helen Joseph Armstrong.   Alli helped to draft the pattern and to sew the skirt.

 

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It was a simple project and fun to work on together.

I also had the pleasure to share my love of sewing with my granddaughter, Kayla, as she sewed for the first time this summer!  We started at the fabric store where she selected the pattern and the fabrics.  I couldn’t have been more pleased with her selections.  She also was quite talented at sewing for a beginner.  She sewed the skirt, and I sewed the blouse.

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The pattern is Simplicity 1627.  Kayla chose a white eyelet fabric for the top and a cotton voile floral print for the skirt.  We trimmed the top in a pink ruffle and added sherbet orange ribbon to lace it up.   The pattern envelope featured younger girls wearing more all-over florals or prints.  Using a solid white color for the top gave the outfit a more grown-up look, and the texture of the eyelet gave the outfit some texture and subtle visual interest.  It was a perfect choice.

Five Minute Zippered Pouches

I have been having fun with Pet Screen! For those who may not know, Pet Screen, or Pet Mesh, is a vinyl or plastic coated screen material that is designed to resist tearing. It is very flexible and can be embroideried on. Also, bonus, it is super easy to sew as well.

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I embroidered the designs as usual, but I was careful to use a black stabilizer and bobbin thread on the black bag so there would be no bright white showing through!

When I got ready to sew the bags, I sewed the zipper in, right sides together with the mesh, pressed the seam allowances along the stitching line (using a press cloth) and then top stitched. Next, I unzipped the zipper about half way (for turning later) and sewed all around the bag with a straight stitch and then again with a small zigzag (just to be sure!) Then I clipped the corners, made sure my seam allowances were straight and pretty and turned the bag right side out. Again, I used a presscloth when pressing. Truly a 5-minute bag. You can see from the inside photo that the seam allowances are almost invisible.

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I will definitely be doing more of these fast bags!

The design on the white bag is Kokeshi Knits from Embroidery Library. The bees are from Renae Lindgren’s collection, Maggie’s Garden. Fabric Depot has the mesh in several colors. I love the mint green.

Craftsy Freebie – Drawstring Bag

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I am not a real fan of drawstring bags; however, 3 things have induced me to make one.
1. I am working on a market bag with a very loose weave. It seemed to me the drawstring bag would hold the project better.
2. I inherited a huge amount of hand-embroidered linens from my mother and grandmother and am looking for ways to make them usable in modern life.
3. I found Craftsy and took their drawstring bag class as a free sample.

The class was very basic, designed for beginning sewists; however, if you don’t want to watch the videos, the printable cutting diagrams and instructions are included in the free class. I made my bag a little taller and sewed triangles across the inside bottom corners to make the bag stand up better. The instructor, Kristin Link, discusses this option in the video. I love the drawstrings on this bag. It opens and closes very easily.

I combined modern fabrics, the green/white print and the pink lining, with one of my mother’s embroidered linens. Also, I wanted to add some modern embroidery to the linens, combining the old and the new. I used built-in stitches from my sewing machine, as well as embroidery to write “Knit” on the bag in a cool font. Here is the result!
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Now I need to make a Stitch Hoodie to match! Especially for this project, where the yarn is so loose it easily falls off the needles.

I have since enrolled in other Craftsy classes – Natalie Chanin’s hand-embellished knit class and Sandra Betzina’s pants fitting class. It is so nice to be able to attend class with these great teachers at one’s own pace. So, more of those experiences to come here on the blog.

Also, I have a LOT of linens to modernize and will be showing off those projects here on the blog as well. Next on that agenda is an apron using the linens.

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Pattern Keeper Free Tutorial for knitting and crochet patterns!

I have just finished a PDF tutorial for a simple pattern keeper to hold knitting and crocheting patterns.  Click the link to open the PDF file.

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I recommend frosted vinyl for the pattern keeper.  This is easily available from stores like JoAnn Fabrics.  I used a page protector for the first one I made.  The page protector forms permanent creases.  However, you can still see the pattern; and it will work if you can’t find the frosted vinyl.

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I hope you enjoy the tutorial!