Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Color {Block} Maxi Skirt

I LOVE the maxi skirt! (You can probably tell how much because of the caps/bold/underline of the word love.) It is impossible to quantify just how much I love this clothing item. Seriously, I know of no other article of clothing that is as comfortable as yoga pants or sweatpants, yet so much more acceptable to wear outside of the house! I bought one last summer on sale and I have never looked back.

This summer, in general has been the summer of skirts for me, so after buying a ton of fun knit fabric from one of our local fabric stores, I set out to make myself some new maxi skirts.

I was just going to go with simple, one color skirts at first, but some fun patterned fabric caught my eye at the store and got me thinking. I knew I wanted to use the patterned fabric along with a solid color, but I didn't want to do traditional color blocking. I am very short so I was worried that it would cut me in half and make me even shorter, yikes!

Then I saw this tutorial from iCandy Handmade, using striped fabric fabric and a diagonal layout and inspiration struck.

I bought 3 coordinating fabrics, 2 different solid blues and my wacky patterned fabric.

Then I made a pattern for the skirt using the maxi skirt I already have. Once I had the whole skirt traced and cut out, I drew 2 diagonal lines at different heights and lengths across the pattern. There was no measuring or math involved, I just eyeballed it and drew 2 lines that gave me shapes that I liked.  Then, I made notch marks through the lines on my pattern, numbered them and cut it apart.

I chose the light blue to do the upper panel and the waist band of the skirt. (To make the waistband, I used this fantastic tutorial from Sew Much Ado.) Then, using pattern piece #1, I cut out a front and a back from the light blue fabric, transferring my notch marks onto the wrong side of the fabric.

Having some kind of marks to match up is super important because knit is stretchy, and since I was going to sew it on the diagonal (bias), I wanted to make sure that I didn't stretch it out as I went. Then I did the same for the dark blue fabric, and the patterned fabric, pieces #2 and #3.

Then, beginning with the light blue piece (the largest) I sewed the 3 pieces together, being careful not to stretch the fabric as I sewed and serged it. *Note, it's not necessary to serge knit fabric because it doesn't fray, so if you don't have a serger, just sew the pieces together.* 


Once all the pieces were together, I had a skirt front and back. I sewed the side seams together, and added the waistband. Then I tried it on before hemming to double check the length.


I don't know that this truly qualifies as color block, but I really love how it turned out, and of course it's a maxi skirt, and I think we all know how I feel about them! The extra bonus with this skirt is that even with the piecing, this is still a make it tonight, wear it tomorrow project, another one of my favorite things. It could also be an excellent project to use up scraps, for you or any little girls who like long skirts.

Linked Up With
We Like To Learn As We Go
Sew Much Ado
House of Hepworths

Friday, July 6, 2012

Knitting Amigurumi

I do believe I have found my knitting niche. (Thanks, Alison for the very grown up word as well as teaching me how to knit.) I love amigurumi! I love to knit little critters. All kinds of critters, sometimes the same ones over and over again. I like to watch my kids' faces light up when they find a new little something on the dresser in the morning. I especially love how fast they knit up, I am able to do a simple owl or cat in one evening. (All this practice must be making me faster.)

Plus, I am learning how to do new things as I get into more complicated patterns. I even took a class from a local knitting shop, Kiwi Knitting Company, and was surprised and excited to find out that I wasn't clueless! If you're a Tucson knitter or crocheter I highly recommend this shop. The stock is excellent, the ladies are just wonderful, and the class was really fun. I am going to take the beginning crochet series, but that will have to wait until my darling kiddos are back in school in the fall.

So, what have I been making, you ask?  Let me show you.

I made an amigurumi firecracker in the class.

And then started looking up free patterns online. Here are some of our new friends;

This is the princess kitty, made using a pattern by Natural Suburbia. Too cute!

A little bluebird, made using a free pattern from Berroco. I took him out to the bird bath for his photo shoot.

I've been calling this one Pinky's Cousin, it's a gift for my mother-in-law who loves flamingos. (Happy Birthday, Mary!)  I found this pattern at Spud & Chloe. This is a fantastic blog.They have so many adorable patterns, I can't wait to knit the frog and the pig!

I also got a request for another one of these owls, pattern by Jenna Krupar found on Ravelry. I have a bunch of these little fellows.

And last but certainly not least....

My son's very own personal minion, Dave. This pattern came from Just Crafty Enough. Love the Pocket Robot pattern too!

Okay, I love Dave.

 In fact, it was hard for me to part with Dave. Not to worry though, my son has already asked for another minion to assist Dave, his name (so I'm told) will be George. I was not very clear on who George would belong to though.

I have started to worry that I may be overrun with amigurumi critters at some point, so I came up with a solution, sharing.  Something I ask my kids to do daily. So beware, one day you may get a critter in the mail from me or find one on your doorstep or in your mailbox!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day

For all who have made sacrifices for our freedom, I thank you!

An amigurumi firecracker.

And a festive treat, marbled mini cheesecakes.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!!