Apparel: November 2010 Archives
I once promised myself to only knit for myself... I kept that promise until my little one was born and now it seems as though my needles belong to her (even though I won't let her touch them- she puts items away never to be seen again). I can't stop looking for kid patterns or toy patterns. Anything that might get a squeal or a smile. Thus, one day whilst creating my November blog calendar I stumbled upon Bekah Knits Lollipop Skirt. My heart was hardly still and my needles started to sing. I had to make it- I HAD TO MAKE THIS SKIRT. It was cute and made of cotton- Deal- Done- Say no more. I quickly added it to my Google calendar.
My little girl looks adorable in this skirt and the length really works for both of us. The Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn was great to work with. The color selection is very extensive making it easy to pick your favorite colors for this skirt. The over 200 yds on each ball means you can get 2 skirts (depending on the sizes) out of 3 balls in different colors. I will make another skirt once she grows out of this one. It is so fun to watch her play in something I knit.
Anyone who has kept up with the blog lately may have noticed I have a penchant for pink. It's one of my very favorite colors, and I love that is has become increasingly included in holiday designs of all kinds. So naturally, my first thought when thinking about this project was that I wanted to make something pink and a little silly. The rest kind of fell into place from there.
This shrug was super easy. I started with a fleece sweatshirt that I loved but was painfully unflattering. Then I cut a shrug out of it. I ended up reducing the size of the shrug by creating a seam at the back and eliminating several inches of width from the garment.
The ruffles are made of crinkle chiffon. I opted to leave the edges raw to give a shabby chic vibe to the project.
The edging is made from bias-cut strips of red and white striped quilting fabric.
And to finish everything off, a small fleece pointsettia pin. This is a simple item made using basic shapes I cut from fleece and then layered together. It's just a free-hand affair, easy peasy!
Tune in next week for yet another staff shirt as we continue to celebrate the holidays and creativity!
Please excuse a quick detour on Stash Busting. Like many sewers, I have acquired a stash. Often my stash can climb to such amounts that I must impose a limit upon my fabric purchasing until I can deplete my stash back to livable standards or I can hide most of it from the other members in my family (namely, the husband) so that all- including myself- are convinced that my stash is once again at a controllable level. Only then may I recommence fabric purchasing. I get the feeling that I am not alone in the sewing world in this circle of stash fighting/feeding.
Now, I was saying how this book is great for stash busting but it is also good for stash feeding. On the one hand, all the projects are geared to reuse fabrics. On the other hand, the projects in this book are so cute and fun that they make you want to purchase just the right fabric to make your own version. Either way, you will spend many delighted hours in your sewing sanctuary.
I choose to make the Easy, Breezy Skirt which reuses a pillow case to create a simply but beautiful skirt. By taking advantage of the existing hem of the pillow case and the fun detail that often accompanies pillowcases you can sew up a fun skirt in less than 30 min. I was able to reuse a pillowcase that I have been safe guarding for 5-6 years for just such a project. I took stock of my closet and noticed a definite lack of shorter skirts and thus cut mine to 16 in. (17+ in. to include casing). I was in 8th heaven given that all I really had to do was cut one straight line, sew a casing, insert the elastic and sew it closed. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? I was done. Of course, you can also make this skirt out of Premier Print sheeting (which requires slightly more sewing and adds more flexibility for sizing and details) or quilting cotton (to combine your own funky patterns).
There are several more sheet/pillowcase pattern in this book as well as felted sweater patterns and many more great ideas for household fabric. Of course it goes without saying that all patterns can be completed beautifully with fabric yardage as well. The bottom line of course is that this book is perfect for Christmas gifting. Not only will you find a pattern for everyone but you will probably be able to make them all reusing found fabric from your own home. Sewing Green helps to make this Christmas a Green Christmas!
If you can tie a knot, you can make an edgy fringe scarf or necklace for the fashion-forward person in your life. These are great projects for kids or teens to make for themselves or as gifts. Low on cost, high on fun.
The first item I made in my knot-stravaganza is a scarf made entirely from recycled tee shirts.
-I took three tees out of my scrap pile, and cut 1" strips across the shirts so they would stretch lengthwise.
-Then I stre-e-e-e-e-e-etched those pieces out so the edges curled in, giving the strips a ropey, corded appearance.
-After stretching, I cut one base strip about 40" long, then the rest of the strips into 7-14 inch pieces (I like variation).
-The next step was to attach all those little pieces to the longer piece. I used a Lark's Head knot (also called a Cow Hitch) to tie my smaller pieces on, but any knot you like will do! I went with a basic repeat of my three colors (I loved you, shirts - thanks for the memories!), but I encourage you to play with color patterns to your heart's content. The fabric has enough tooth that if you tie a nice tight knot, you don't need to do anything special on the ends. I just cut the extra fabric on each end off and tied it into a basic knot, leaving enough length so the "tail" would look like another piece of the fringe.
If you prefer to start with fabric instead of a tee shirt, jersey is an excellent choice.
For my second knot-speriment, I wanted to go a little more elegant. This is a simple necklace (easy to extend in length to become a scarf) made from grosgrain ribbon. It's construction is identical to the scarf above, except I used a basic right-over-left simple knot. The ribbons were cut in 8-10" pieces, with the base piece about 40". It's a fast fun project, again, great for crafters of all ages!
This year, we challenged staff members to make holiday-themed shirts, but we added a twist: their shirts had to be made using an existing shirt from their collection, or something found at a thrift store. No new shirts allowed! In a time when many families are short on funds during what can be an expensive season, we thought it would be great to find new ways to love old things, and spread some cheer in the process.
First up is an elegant take on our challenge from our Merchandising Director Kristl. She started with two butter-soft sweaters in complimentary colors. Then she deconstructed them and reassembled the pieces into a color-blocked cardigan using her serger, leaving the seams visible on the outside of the garment. Printed chiffon flounces and a ribbon tie closure complete the look. Just looking at this sweater makes me think of cozy gatherings with family, but I love that it also has a style that far outlasts the holiday season. Kudos, Kristl!
Stay tuned for more shirt makeovers from our staff as the holidays approach!
I absolutely love this project,it is so easy to do, but it will look like you picked it from some swanky boutique! This is the perfect Christmas project because it is perfect to make for your girlfriends, but I promise once you complete your shirt and see how amazing it looks, you are going to want to keep this baby for yourself! The best thing about this project is that it requires no sewing and doesn't take much time to complete.
The first thing you need is a T-Shirt. You may have an old shirt laying around or you can go out and purchase one. For my T-Shirt I went with more of a fitted one, but any kind of T-Shirt will work just fine. For the shoulder fringe on the shirt you need strips of fabric, preferably a cotton knit fabric or a polyester/rayon knit fabric for the best results. You may have scraps laying around, if not be sure to browse the knit section on our website for some fabric options.
Once you have selected your fabric for the shoulder fringe, you will need to cut the fabric into strips. Cut different lengths of fabric to add more dimension and make sure to taper the ends of the fabric strips. Make the fabric is folded in half and cut the strips at the crease. You determine how many strips you want for your T-Shirt, but I think the more fabric strips you have, the better your T-Shirt will turn out!
Now that you have your fabric strips cut, turn your shirt inside out and cut tiny holes on each side of the should seams. These are the holes that you weave your fabric strips through. Once you weave fabric strips through all the holes, you can go back again and weave additional strips of fabric through the holes to give your shoulders more bulk.
Once you have completed adding your fabric strips to each shoulder, you can stop there or you can embellish your T-Shirt even more. You can add apparel trim in with your fabric strips, for example the ZipR Trim would give a really cool effect mixed in with the fabric strips. Or even try adding some brass & copper embellishments around the neckline for more of an edgier look. The style possibilities are endless!
Blankets with sleeves continue to be popular - and they're super easy to make. We call ours a Cuddle Bug! You can give everyone on your list the gift of cozy comfort, without giving up all your sewing time this season.
These directions are for an adult-sized Cuddle Bug. Scale down for kids or smaller adults.
Start with 3 yards of fleece, and cut according to the diagram below. (You'll have a little left over.)
-Cut two yards for the Cuddle Bug body.
-23" down from the top of the body, cut 2 circles 10 inches in diameter. To mark the center point of each circle for placement, divide the width of the body into thirds. Most fleece is 58-60" wide, so the center of each circle will be about 20" from each edge.
-Cut the remaining yard down to a piece that is 25" long along the grain.
-Cut the 25" piece in half lengthwise, so you have to sleeve pieces which are each 25" x approx. 30"
-Fold each sleeve in half lengthwise, and stitch closed along long edge.
-Sew the sleeves into the sleeve holes, orienting the seam towards the bottom and easing in as necessary.
(Since fleece is so easy to work with, I don't even bother with pins or clips on this step - just go for it!)
-If desired, finish the edges of the blanket body. You can hem them, serge them, cut them into fringe - you're the designer!
And that's it!
Cuddly fun for everyone. Couldn't you just curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and a remote right about now?
You might be wondering why I am writing about making tutus right after Halloween instead of before so I will explain. In my house, the weeks right after Halloween were prime dress-up time. With the costume glow still upon us, my siblings and friends would bust out all our old costumes and dress-up clothes. Our other toys were put aside for imaginary princess and warrior games outside more often, enjoying the fall air. Tutus were always my favorite. I would stack them around me, wearing as many as possible; the object of dancing irrelevant. Being that time of year and my own daughter at the age when tutus become the staple of a proper wardrobe, I had to make one or several and write about how easy it was. I have heard from many people and received many comments that tulle is difficult to work with. Another reason for today's entry. I was determined to find a way to make tutus easy and fun for both the maker and wearer!
I scoured YouTube till I found a video by Wowzzy.com for a no-sew tutu that also shared tulle tips. It was easy but I will tell you that as you are cutting your tulle into the rolls put the cut strips under a pattern weight of some kind or whatever is handy. You DO NOT want your tulle unwinding; that is a pain! The tutu by Wowzzy.com requires 4 yds of tulle and 3 yds of ribbon. I made mine for a 2 yr old using our 54 in. wide Tulle in Amethyst (which is a gorgeous dark purple) and Jessica Jones 1 ½ in. Jacquard Blooms ribbon (amazing design) and planned to make a lining out of cotton but nixed it once I saw how my tutu was progressing. It turned out to have much more body than I had thought. From the video, I envisioned a more skirt-like tutu but what I ended up with was much more ballerina-like and better than I hoped. The video was easy to follow and watch while I cut and tied. I folded my tulle several time before I rolled it up since I was using one color and my piece was much bigger than the 4 small pieces used in the video. I cut my rolls to be about 3 in wide and then under folder each roll (carefully not to tangle) so I could fold it and cut each fold so I ended with 3 in. wide strips about 20 in. long. This made for a short, fluffy skirt.
4 yds of tulle and 3 yds of ribbon made 2 tutus in the 2 yr old size. The same yardages would only yield one for a longer skirt or a bigger size. In all each tutu took about 45 min to make with cutting and tying and fighting the tangles. Once wore the tulle gets a little messy (I mean it is no longer straight and wrinkle free) but this adds to the body and fluffiness and really makes it look more like a ballerina's tutu. Plus it is all for fun. This tutu is also easy one and easy off with a delicious big bow in the back. Considering the ease of this pattern and the cost of the materials, I think have several in favorite colors is an excellent investment. Plus they make great stocking stuffers!!!!
Photos by Brandi Watson- Thank you!!
Photos by Brandi Watson- Thank you!!