Accessories: May 2012 Archives
(Her reply: "Super cute!!!!")
First off, where has this pattern been all my life? No use crying over the absence of a thing. I'll just celebrate it now that I've got it. My advice is download it now! Right now!
Here's the rundown on my test drive:
For the first sample, I used a small cut of dupioni from the stash. For interfacing, I used a plain heavy canvas, also from the stash. I lined it with the same dupioni I used for the outside.
The pattern instructions mention the teeny tiny seam allowance you will need to use to create the zipper opening. It is not fibbing! That said, it's clearly marked and is no problem if you take your time. Here's what mine looks like flipped and ironed after I stitched and slashed it to make way for the zipper:
Now, here's my trick for a little reinforcement at the base of the pyramid, which forms the bottom of the bag. I use craft foam. Yep. Regular old craft foam.
I actually stitch my craft foam into the bag structure. First, I fold my pattern along the lines that mark out the square at the bottom of the bag. Then, I use the folded pattern as a guide, and I mark that line with pieces of masking tape, working my way around all four sides of the square base.
Here's my square, roughly marked out with tape:
After that, the bag finishes according to the pattern directions -- stitching up each of the four sides, and setting in the strap as you stitch across the top of the pyramid. The softness of the craft foam allows for easy turning, and before you know it, a bag is born!
I made a second version out of a damask cotton print, using the exact same technique for the base. Worked like a charm on the second go, too, so it wasn't just a fluke on the first one!
The size of the bag is fab -- the wide base easily accommodates an iPhone or similar-sized mobile device, and there's still plenty of room for a wallet and any must-have cosmetics. In fact, this pattern could easily be used for cosmetic bags instead of purses.
The quick nature of this bag means that you can whip it up in an afternoon for a party that night, and you're practically guaranteed you'll have the best bag in the room!
Hop over here for the download, and have a blast playing! I see a version in a sand colored silk with hieroglyph embellishments in my future ...
I love a tie top pocket! They are the perfect detail to add to a cotton dress, a sassy pair of shorts or to finish off the front of your tote bag. These pockets feature a cute knot at the top that really takes any project to the next level. Tie top pockets are really easy to make as well. By downloading my pattern piece you can make your own to any size you need by increasing the size on your copy maker until you get it bigger enough or small enough to meet your needs. Or you can draft your own using a circular object: plate, lid or bowl.
To start print and size you pattern. You can download mine by clicking on the pattern above and printing or downloading. To create your own, trace a round object that is about ½ in. bigger than you envision your pocket to be (this takes seam allowance into consideration). Trace it and then add elongated bunny ear to the top of your circle. Line up your ears with the outer most part of the circle and the ears should be as long as the circle is tall and as wide as 1/3 the width of the circle (i.e. if the circle is 5 in. diameter than the ear should be 5 in. tall and 1 ¾ in. wide). These ears are your ties. Cut out your pieces from fabric and pin RS together. Stitch your pieces together leaving a gap at the bottom big enough for turning. Trim seam allowances, the tops of your ears and sharp curves. Turn your pocket right side out and press. Press the turning gap closed and topstitch your pocket into place onto the finished project. Tie your ties and you are good to go.
Team Green: If you are Team Green you are opting not to find out the gender of your wee one until the big debut (the birthday!) so you are probably going for a neutral theme in your nursery. This is a great idea also if you know the gender but you plan on using the room for several babies or for siblings to share, then neutral is the name of the game. This is easier to achieve than the past version of yellow and green. You can go truly neutral by painting the walls a shade of grey or beige and bringing in similar shades in bedding, accessories and textiles. If you stick to a warm shade of either grey of beige your will create a soft, comforting and peaceful nursery that only needs a few gender specific accessories that can be easily changed for each babe. If you need a pop of color try adding it in bright colors like orange, green and turquoise which can swing either way and add it in small dose that any baby will love like an animal silhouette, bold letters in interesting fonts or bold colors in traditional motifs (turquoise paisley, bright green toile or big zig zag). Use these fabrics for your neutral nursery:
(Picture from: Laybabylay)
Team Pink: If you are loath to paint your room like every other feminine nursery- pink with ruffles, lace and a flood of hearts- take a look at some of the new trends for girls. Try a different twist on a pink paint color, maybe a bright hot pink or turquoise with pink accents. If you have your heart set on pink walls seek new accents in orange, turquoise and Kelly green. I am in love with pink/Kelly green combination. Unlike the typical pink/light green you are used to, Kelly green adds some sophistication and elegance that can take your little girl beyond baby hood and into school age. Use these fabrics to bring these trends to your nursery:
Check out this Twill Girly Turquoise coordinate collection
You can't go wrong with Heather Bailey; she offers both the Kelly green and turquoise
Team Blue: Rooms for baby boys are branching out from the standard navy, white and baby blue color schemes with trucks and monkeys dominating the scene. This decorating trend allows for a room that baby can grow with into school age instead of having to redecorate every few years, just change up the accessories. The new trend is bolder, bright colors and silhouettes that mean as much to the parents as they will to the growing child within. I found this great example on Café Mom; it combines bold reddish orange, turquoise alongside subtle grey horizontal stripes and neutral furniture. The accessories really make for a calming yet interesting room perfect for a baby to find stimulation and comfort in one space. Instead of a bombardment of cartoon characters and nursery rhymes, black & white real life animal photos, oversized letters and a few matted story book pages give baby a view without being busy. I especially love the dog silhouette pillow as an accent. Try these fabrics to gain a similar look in your baby boy's room:
Integrate the stripes on your window treatments is you are loath to paint your walls
Try these bold solids to create stunning accessories or as welting accents.
These Waverly Destination Prints are perfect to recover some oversized canvases as wall hangings
If the thought of knitting in warm weather just doesn't get your excited but like many knitters you can't seem to quit the habit, consider small projects as a way to bridge the gap until the fall. Small projects fit into cute little summer bags, don't cover your lap and offer quicker turn around. A quick turnaround is key because as summer progresses and fills with activities you have less focused time to dedicate to big projects with lots of instructions. Smaller projects can be knit in a few hours and don't involve staying mentally centered on one technique or project for long, making it easier if you get interrupted or need to take frequent breaks (soccer games, doctors' appt, carpooling, etc).
I love knitting hats for all of the reasons above added to the fact that they can be customized with simple details. Allow hats to give you the opportunity to try new stitch patterns with little commitment. Hats also require smaller amount of yarn so you can try to reduce your stash to make room for your winter splurge or to try daring color combinations. I recently knit a small baby hat in just a few hours and loved every minute. I did try a color combo I was unsure of initially. I wanted something gender neutral since I don't yet know the gender of my incoming little one but also colors that I could add blue or pink to later after we find out. My baby hat was a great knit on a warm day because it was so small, I was totally comfy working my cotton/wool blend yarn and it gave me a great excuse to take a break off my feet.
I used the pattern Kim's Hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Jovelle Hoverson, one of my favorite hat patterns. This is the garter brim version; however I flipped mine inside out so the purl bumps are on the outside. Using the garter brim version but flipping it inside out gives me a look similar to the Land of Nod Chickadee Hat I posted a few weeks ago but keeps the brim from rolling as it would if the hat was knit entirely with Stockingette stitch. This hat is worked on the WS then turned inside out to the RS. I knit the brim in Lion Brand Baby's First Honey Bee then changed to Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky Fisherman (I chose a wool blend for the majority of the hat because my hat will be worn in fall to winter) but you can stick with Baby's First for a cotton based hat. I switch colors on a knit row so you could see the color change on the purl side but if you don't want to see the color change do it on a purl row in the brim. The color change will face you but, remember, the WS is facing you right now. I finished off my hat with a cute little tassel, wound around 3 of my fingers using about 3-4 yds of yarn. Then tie to secure and clip to even up the tassel. Tie onto the top of your hat. The duplicate stitch vertical row and brim whip stitch will be added later once the gender is known.
To start with, pull your shirt -- inside out -- over your sewing machine. A unisex size Medium is just about perfect.
To make marking easier, you might want to pin the shoulders of your shirt so the neck opening sits higher than the top of the machine.
Next, mark the curve of your machine where you'll cut and sew the top of the cover. I used a sharpie so it's easy to see in photos.
Pull your shirt off your machine, and clip along your marked line. I usually taper my curve so it ends down at the bottom of the armscye.
Here's the trimmed top of the former shirt/almost cover.
To true up the top and make it symmetrical, fold your fabric in half and clip your curve so both sides are ever.
Next, just stitch that top clipped edge closed.I usually use my serger.
Pull your stitched cover over the machine, and mark the handle width. You'll clip an opening from one marking to the other to let the handle through. I know what you're thinking. "Why don't you just leave an opening in the seam?" You can totally do it that way if you prefer, but I find that in the course of being carried around, the seams tend to start to split open. This way, the seam stays intact.
You also need to mark the point where the cover hits the table or other sewing surface once it's pulled down.
Use that lower edge mark as a guide, and fold up the remaining piece of shirt. The mark will be inside the crease of the fold.
I make a reverse cuff by folding the hem back down. This will reinforce the top edge of what's about to become a series of pockets.
Stitch channels into the folded lower edge to create pockets. You can customize the width of your pocket channels to match the items you most often take with you when you sew on the go. I like to make one wide enough to hold the foot and power cord, and the rest varying sizes to hold spare needles, thread, snips, trims and whatever else I need.
Here we are, loaded up and ready to go! Who wants to host a sewing get together?