Free: June 2011 Archives
I cannot seem to say enough good things about Hot Patterns so I won't disappoint with the All Wrapped Up Tank and will keep to my ways. First, I was very surprised with how fast this tank went together. I was expecting something this interested to take much longer than the 4ish hours it took me to assemble the pattern, layout and cut the pattern pieces and stitch it up. It was pretty easy considering it looks so edgy in the picture and other twisty, tied projects I have researched have complicated reviews and challenging patterns. The All Wrapped Up Tank is a nice tank pattern that comes with ties that you wrap around your waist to give it a cinched look (even though the tank is fitted). The ties and wrap give texture and add detail. You can wear this tank many ways, with jeans and sandals for a Fourth of July Picnic, under a fitted, cropped jacket for work wear or after hours, or with my linen version of the equally fun Bossa Nova Skirt for a girls lunch/shopping trip (though why you would be shopping when you can make such cute clothes, I don't know). The only suggestion I would make is that there should be a mark on the front wrap pattern piece to indicate where to pin it to the tank around the neckline so it will be secured under the neck binding. I had to guess and rip back a few times to get it right. I will also make the wrap pieces extend down 2-3 in. further next time to accommodate a larger bust but that is not a pattern suggestion, just a fitting detail.
I made my All Wrapped Up Tank in ITY (Interlock Twist Yarn) Stretch Jersey Knit and it is soft, kinda slinky with great drape. It is hard to distinguish wrong side from right side so you really can't go wrong- this is especially helpful with wrapping since you don't have to worry about the wrong side showing). There is also a slight sheen and did I mention the awesome drape (I think I may have). I used a self binding for the armholes and neckline to give it a monochrome look that really helped the wrap detail to stand out. I really like that the ties are not bulky which makes it possible to wear this tank under a cardi, jacket or shawl. The ties can also be placed to help cinch in your tummy so you can wear this when you want to look good but also do some serious eating. Lastly the basic tank pattern without the wrap is also a great wardrobe staple that I would recommend for your printed knits.
Doilies-My initial mental picture is a plastic covered living room bedecked with coarse cotton doilies on every available flat surface, Oh and shag carpet. But that is just a stereotype perpetuated by Hollywood and is no longer the true reputation associated with Doilies. Doilies are cool now- no seriously, cool!
Just check out what Jared Flood has done to help the Doily
on its way up the social ladder with his Hemlock
Ring Blanket. Doilies do not have to be just doilies either. You can knit
or crochet them up to be just about anything these days, blankets (as above),
shawls, bowls (with some setting spray) or adornments. You can control the size
of your doilies by using different size yarn, needles and altering the
patterns. I choose to make some different doilies to embellish a plain tank
top. I choose several doily patterns
and some worsted
weight yarn. However, no matter how small I tried to make the doilies, they
still came out too big to embellish my tank. So I just knit the centers of the
doilies and cast off once I had the size I liked. Some of the edges curled and some
didn't and I like that. I used a 100%
cotton yarn to make it washable and durable as I am a big tank top wearer
in summer and these will get lots of wash time since Potty training is set to
start soon in my house. I originally tried to glue each flower on with fabric
glue but that didn't work for several reasons:
1) the fabric glue ruined the stretch of the rib knit under each flower
2) The fabric glue darkened the tank top under each flower so the glue had to be applied perfectly
3) My little girl could easily pull off the flowers
So I hand sewed each flower which was better in the long run than the glue because I could keep the shape better by hand tacking each doily in place and in the shape I liked.
What I really like about most doilies is the openness of the design which really makes it perfect for summer time projects. You could work up a bunch together for a hem detail or even some to adorn a matching headband. The options are endless and they only take a few minutes for each.
I used to make a yearly trek to Savannah, Ga every year and stroll along River Street with a drink in my hand and the breeze in my hair. Watching the Sunset down there is my favorite activity; still wearing my sundress from the hot summer day, as the sun crept down toward the horizon I would begin to shiver. No one to take my husband's oversized jacket, lest it cover my pretty dress, I set out to make a "little something" to cover my shoulders and add some detail in the back. My River Street Shrug fits the bill with a lovely Star motif radiating out from the center of the back to mesh lace that sweeps around your shoulders in caps sleeves. The River Street Shrug is the perfect complement to any sundress, summer top or bathing suit. Knit in Amy Butler Belle Organic Cotton it is as good for the earth as it is to your wardrobe. The River Street Shrug can easily be converted into a long sleeve cardi by continuing the oval for several more inches and extending the sleeves to your elbow or wrist. The pattern is easy to extend.
A small and medium only need 2 skeins of yarn as pictured and a large only a smidge more with 3 skeins. Grab your US 7 cable needles and this makes an excellent KIP project (Knit in Public). The techniques are easy and the River Street Shrug is a great beginner's lace piece. You will need to know how to knit in the round, decrease, and pick up stitches for the sleeves. This is best wet blocked with lace wires.
Subtitle: Where I recreate my wedding dress.
I love a June wedding and I am not the only one. June is a lovely time to marry; flowers in bloom, cloudless skies and warm summer breezes. A good wedding dress is just what you need to make the perfect wedding. But what makes the perfect wedding dress? Something beautiful to make the bride look even more beautiful, ethereal, with silk and that moves with grace. This was just what I was looking for in a dress and luckily I found it. Years later I am still in love with my dress and wish that there was some occasion to wear it again. Happily, I am not getting married again soon so I really have no need for a wedding dress, but if it were in a different color or length then...yes, perhaps... I could wear it to many occasions. This is a wonderful dress that can be worked up in many different fabrics to give a different look. You can recreate the wedding dress for your own wedding or in a different color for a bridesmaid dress or to wear to a summer wedding or any special occasion. The green dress has a hem at knee length or 30 in from underarm; the white dress is floor length. Here's how to make your own:
2 yds of Cotton Bubble Gauze in Grass (or any semi sheer/sheer fabric like chiffon, organza or georgette)
To make the slip you will be combining the Cupid top with the lower skirt potion of the Nancy dress. Cut out your size in the cupid top and the same in the Nancy dress lower skirt then tap the cupid top to the Nancy dress lower skirt lining them up where they meet.
Measure down from the underarm to your desired length (mine is 30 in.)
Place a piece of paper under the neckline of your cupid top and draw a new, V-neck line. Tape this new neck line to the Cupid top and cut the new neck line.
Follow the instructions for the Cupid top to cut, sew and complete your slip (I used a 1 in. wide edging tape and cut the length of the tape across the direction of stretch because you want the edging tape to stretch across the width). I also made my straps 14 in. long and eliminated the tie.
To make the dress you will be modifying the Cover-up pattern. I used the front pattern pieces for both the front and back, to make a v neck on front and back. You will be left with no skirt and just the top pieces. Next you want to draw a new arm hole. I started right at the under arm and drew a diagonal line to the shoulder. You want to be left with about 4-6 in across the shoulder to gather up later. You have just drawn up your bodice pieces; you will cut 4 bodice pieces from the gauze. Your waist band is 4 in. wide by your waist measurement plus 1 in. Cut 2 of the waist bands (one is the facing). The skirt piece will be approx 20 in wider of your waist band (my waist band was 30in. so the skirt was 50in. wide or the width of your fabric) by your desired length plus 1 in. for a double turned hem (I cut my skirt to 25 in.).
(All seams are ½ in. unless otherwise noted) First with right sides together sew your band pieces along the length leaving the short ends open for turning. Press seams open, turn right sides out and press again. Put aside. Press ¼ in. hems along the arm holes and neck edges (you can topstitch in place if desired). With right sides together, sew front and back bodices piece together at underarms. Press seams open. With right sides together sew front bodice pieces together from raw edges up 1 in. (this will create a deep V in the front). Do Not sew back bodices pieces together. Baste along the bottom edge of the bodice and pull bobbin thread to gather to length of waist band. With wrong side of bodice facing right side of the waist band, pin bodice to waist band, overlapping by ½ in. Stitch in place (bodice raw edges will show). Baste and gather shoulders of each bodice piece, pulling bobbin thread to gather up as much as possible. With right sides together, baste front bodice to back bodice pieces at shoulder, stitch in place.
Baste along top of skirt and pull bobbin thread to gather skirt to match the length of your waist band. With wrong side of the skirt facing the right side of the waist band, pin together, over lapping by ½ in. Stitch in place (raw edges will show). Insert invisible zipper lining up the top of the zipper with the bottom of the V of the back bodice pieces. Finish sewing skirt seam with ½ in. seam. Hem with a ½ in. double turned hem.
P.S It should be noted that I did not make the long white dress. I purchased it at a shop much loved my our First Lady. I only recreated the look using the modified patterns above.
While Christmas is not around the corner for most of the Christmas shoppers, for those of us who love to give the gift of handmade, we need to get started soon. But it doesn't just stop with giving gifts; we also love to make everything Christmas-y, from tree skirts to garland. Sometimes I just get it into my head to make something for Christmas and while I may not complete the thought enough to see the end product, I know that I can get it out of my system by making appliqués. I make appliqués because they are small and fun plus I can add them wherever I want to sprinkle the Christmas spirit. Christmas Appliqués can be sewn onto long sleeved t-shirts, skirt hems, and jacket pockets. But appliqués can be more: by adding some Peltex to the back of an appliqué or sandwiching it between 2 appliqués, you can create ornament, garland and advent tokens. A simple Christmas appliqué doesn't have to be one thing. You only need to steal time here and there to create this fun, universal Christmas decoration.
To recreate my Christmas Appliqué, download the Linen Snowflake Christmas Applique pattern and cut it out. You can lay your fabric over the snowflake pattern to trace the embroidery design. You will need approx ¼ yd of hanky weight linen for 5 appliqués and ½ yd for 12. Trace your circles onto your linen and then embroider them before you cut them out. You can embroider the circle too and then trimming around it with pinking shears. Try off-traditional colors to give a vintage look. I used Copper for my snowflake which really blends well with the natural linen color. I recommend trying turquoise, navy, coral or silver. You can make a dozen and string them on a bias tape length for some garland or stitching some embroidery thread through the top for an ornament. You can also sew several onto your tree skirt or holiday banner.
Mine will be finding its final destination at the end of this month in a Special Holiday Poject. Stay tuned and follow me on Twitter (@tdangermiller) for sneak peeks!
Another chapter in our Felt Play Dress Up series: Magic Wand Edition. Nothing is more fun than imagining magic and casting spells. Every wizard needs a wand of their own in their favorite color or designed to order. But you also need proof of magic: to see it streaming out of your wand and cascading down upon the intended recipient of charm. My Felt Wand with Magic Streamers is soft to the touch for rambunctious playtime and has visible, wispy streamers that give the appearance of magic shooting from your wand. Customize your wand to match your room, favorite blanket or to match your best friend's wand. I created mine in purple with pink and blue polka dots. For Boys, I recommend stars, stripes or mini-fire trucks and dinosaurs!
Here's what you need to make your own Felt Wand with Magic Streamers:
1 sheet of felt for wand (I used Purple)
Several sheets of felt in various colors for decorations (baby pink & baby blue)
¼ yd of sheer fabric (Crepe, Chiffon, Organza, etc)
Small amount of stuffing
Cut out Felt Wand with Magic Streamers Pattern pieces. Cut 1
wand and wand bottom from wand colored felt. Cut out several polka dots from
various colors of felt. Stitch your polka dots (or other embellishments) onto
the right side of felt wand. Set felt wand aside.
Cut Sheer fabric into small strips the length of the fabric (about ½ to 1 in. wide each). Stack sheer strips on top of one another and stitch together at the top with an X. Stitch this stack onto the top, wrong side of the felt wand piece. Roll up wand along the length and overlap by 1/8 in. and whipstitch closed. Firmly stuff your wand (I made mine a bit lumpy to give it the old, wonky wizard look). Whipstitch your wand bottom onto the felt wand to close. Swish your wand around and watch the magic fly around the room!
In 3 months a better part of the country will see temperatures drop and a fall chill creep into the air. It seems 100 years away since it just got hot but before you know it you will be reaching for your wooly sweaters, silk shawls and alpaca scarves. If you don't get busy now you will be left out in the cold. And why not start now. The kids are home from school and in need to activities to keep them entertained. Teach them to knit or crochet and they can create their own scarves. Once they learn to knit or crochet, they will love the activity and creativity. You can take your yarny projects to the park, soccer practice or sit at a local coffee shop while the kids play at camp. It is a great excuse to hide away in the air conditioning for a while.
I have scoured the internet for some great knitting and crochet patterns that you will want to get started on right away. You have 3 short months to put a dent in your knitting & crochet projects before the cold weather creeps in.
This is an amazingly constructed sweater- Seamless from the top down, making it easy to try on while knitting. This would look great in tweed!
Such a great idea to make a 2-in-1. I recommend a bright Alpaca
This sassy number needs a tonal stripe to make is just right for fall. I can see it in Teal and Lite Green Superwash Merino (pic © Mia Edvardson)
Great for everyone- it can be a stash buster or to bump your cart up to $35/free shipping
Crocheted delight for kids. My little one loves her poncho and so do I. It makes buckling into her car seat much easier than a coat.
I MUST make this in a trendy, spicy color. I am thinking Candied Yarn Mix! (Pic © madelinetosh)
Elise Shawl: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elise-shawl
This is simply amazing and I love it in a tightly wound red as featured.
Summer Vacation is on us and many of you parents may be looking for play ideas for your kids to stay busy. Dress up is a favorite of many kids and is a great play date or sibling activity to keep your kids entertained while you catch up on the gossip rags, make dinner or take min for yourself. Unfortunately, most store bought dress up is quickly and cheaply produced and won't last the summer. Why not make it yourself and turn one activity into 2. By creating your own Dress Up items you and your kids can work together, picking out the supplies, deciding on the design and creating the final project. You may even find that homemade items are more gently handled than those purchased in a big box store...Naw, I didn't really believe that last one either.
A popular dress up theme, especially in June, is weddings. You can either whip up a super lovely felt bouquet or spend every day with one eye on the back door keeping your kids out of your Hydrangeas. You only need a few supplies to create this darling pint sized bouquet.
2 sheets of flower colored felt (I used dark and light pink)
1 sheet of gray colored felt (When my sister married, she gave her bridesmaids Victorian-styled pewter bouquet holders. I wanted to recreate that look)
1 sheet of green felt (for the top)
Small amount of stuffing
Coordinating thread and hand needle
Cut out your pattern pieces and felt pieces. Roll your main piece so the 2 straight side edges meet and overlap by ¼ in. Whip stitch in place. Hands sew your bottom piece onto the main piece (it may help to turn your main piece inside out). Hand sew your top piece ¾ of the way onto the main piece (you will have to make this piece fit. It should look like an ice cream cone when finished. The top needs to be rounded and puffy). Firmly stuff then finish sewing on the top.
Using your flower colored felt create 10-15 flowers using Creative Jewish Mom's tutorial (number of flowers will depend on their size). My circles were 3 ¾ in. (Psst: you can use the top pattern piece for your flowers). Hand sew or glue in place. You are done! Enjoy your felt bouquet with a felt crown or a dino tail for the ultimate wedding!