Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Happens When You MUST Craft...

We've been in Georgia for a little more than a month now, and I've gotten the sewing machines up and running, I have some fabric for a new upholstery project, and am working on an entry way sign.

Lots happening.

But today I'm sharing what was my first crafty project of the new house. A simple knit baby blanket. (Now, don't get ideas, I am NOT having another baby.) 

No, this blanket will more than likely go to Project Linus. Most of my small quilts and blankets do.

Anyway, here's what happened. I packed up my sewing machines in May. We moved in June. By the time we were a week into unpacking, I was literally twitching from all the pent up stress. I needed an outlet. My hands had NOTHING to do, and they were driving me nuts!

So, in the middle of the afternoon, in the middle of all the unpacking and the chaos, I dug out my bin of needles, hooks, and yarn and found a basic baby blanket pattern online. I used the Super Easy Baby Blanket pattern from the Purl Bee, and a bunch of Caron Simply Soft yarn I had in the bin. I went into my bedroom, closed the door and refused to come out. (Those of you that know me personally, well....you can probably picture this happening!)

And knit I did! for about a week straight, every late afternoon and evening. Unpacking and getting organized be damned! I could feel my center start to regain it's balance, and I got calmer with every stripe. And after the week was over, I had a cute little blanket, and I was a much happier camper!

But then I noticed something odd. The blanket seemed a little...small. But.....I used the right needles, and the correct type of yarn, the width was right, but the blanket seemed too short. So, I went back and checked the pattern and sure enough, I had misread the row count. Instead of 11 ridges of every color, I had 11 rows. Which basically means that my stripes should be twice as wide as they are in order to match the size in the pattern.


Ah, well. So, I have a vertically striped baby blanket instead of a horizontally striped one. Not a big deal.

I still like it, and more importantly it helped me get my groove back. The moral of the story is partly--double check your patterns and partly--when you need to get your craft on, just do it!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Girls Raglan Tee

Here's an easy sewing project that I finally got around to trying this week. (Seriously, this one has been on my "to do" list for a looooong time!) 

 I made a pattern from one of Lilah's t-shirts using this raglan tee tutorial from Craftiness is Not Optional.

I had this great neon pink striped fabric in my stash for the body of the shirt.

For the sleeves, I used some white stretch lace from a thrifted shirt that I picked up for $1 last week.

Assembling the shirt was very easy, sew the sleeves to the front and back of the shirt.

Then, sew (or serge) the side seams from the sleeves to the bottom of the the shirt.

Add ribbing (or other binding) around the neck edge and hem the bottom and the sleeves.

Try it on your model, and when she strikes a pose and smiles, you're DONE! (For a much more detailed tutorial, use the above link to CINO, it's fantastic!)

I think I will be whipping these up by the dozen. Vary the sleeve length, maybe some color blocking, this shirt can be super versatile, it could probably even be lengthened into a dress...hmmmmm..... I may even try to make some for the boy!

I love this photo, she's already got the blogger pose down perfectly! I'd say she likes her new shirt!

Linked Up HERE

Friday, July 11, 2014

Little Book Bags

Moving can be exciting, scary, thrilling, and pretty exhausting all rolled into one big question mark. It takes some time to get your bearings in a new city or town, but there is one place I've always found comforting in its familiarity in every new town.

The library.

Libraries are like havens to me. For one thing, they have books. And if that's not enough, they have librarians, who are often some of the most connected folks in the town. So, information in many forms. And everyone is welcome at the library. Plus, children's programs, which is an excellent place to take the kids at least once a week--for free!

Naturally, the library was one of our first stops where we all got new library cards. Yep, the kids got their own cards this summer and in order to make using (and not losing) the cards as easy as possible for both of them, I made them some new library bags.

These couldn't be simpler. I used my favorite tote bag pattern re-sized for the kids. I used plain canvas for the outside so they would be nice and sturdy, and let the kids choose some fun fabrics from my stash for the linings. 

I cut the canvas and lining approximately 14" wide X 24" long. I also wanted a pocket for the library card, so I found some clear vinyl and cut it just slightly larger than the card itself. I also cut out some letters to use as an applique on the front of the bag.

I sewed the letters onto the front of the bag, then sewed on the vinyl pocket leaving it open at the top. Then I added some bias tape around the outside of the vinyl to give the pocket some reinforcement and as a decorative touch. (On my daughter's bag I used pink rick-rack on the pocket.) 

Then, I stitched up the sides and corners of the bag and the lining and after adding the straps, stitched them together along the top edge of the bag.

And as quick as that, 2 simple and cute bags ready to go to our new libray to be filled up with books!

Here is the happy first time library card holder!

And the old pro!

And off to the library we go!! 

I hope everyone is enjoying their libraries this summer and their summer reading as much as we are!