Free: June 2012 Archives
I started by cutting out a size 3 short from the Freshcut which turned out to be a bit big for my 3 yr old but I don't mind because that just means she can rock these shorts next year too. Then I cut two 4 in. wide strips about twice the length of the shorts for my side ruffles. With RS together press the ruffle in half lengthwise and then stitch down the open side using a ¼ in. seam. Turn ruffle RS out and press flat centering the seam. Run the ruffle strip through your ruffler foot stitching down the middle, along the seam. I set my ruffle to pleat at 12 sts, but if you want more ruffles set it at 6. If you don't have a ruffler foot (see my post on the ruffler foot here) then you can run a basting stitch down the center and pull the bobbin thread to gather as much or a little as you like. Fold each short piece in half and press a center seam. Pin ruffle- seam side down- to the short along the center seam you just pressed. Stitch in place along the center, going over your ruffler or basting stitch. Trim ruffle. Follow remaining short instructions to complete your short.
If you opt for shorts in a solid color, you can add some kick with a butterfly or owl appliqué and ruffle in the same material. You can also add the ruffle just to the bottom or right below the elastic casing for some waist drama. It is also fun to play with the length of these shorts. I love having some longer shorts for my daughter; it really fills out her wardrobe. These shorts are quick and fun and a perfect complement to any little boy's or girl's closet.
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1) Shrek Hat: My daughter is IN LOVE with Shrek so much that I knit her a hat for her 3rd birthday and she has rarely taken it off since. She has nicknamed her soon to be sibling, Shrek. So the new baby must have a Shrek hat to come home in at the very least so my oldest will know her at once to be a kindred spirit and welcome her right away (I hope!). This hat is knit with a combination of wool and cotton to make it a 3 season hat but it can easily be knit in just cotton for a spring/summer baby or merino or cashmere for a fall winter baby. Just make sure you get just the right shade of Ogre green!
2) Baby slippers: of the 2 must haves for baby on my list slippers make the cut. Hats and slippers were something I used for my #1 everyday no matter what else she wore. Socks slip off so easily but slippers were worth their weight in gold. I love the styling of Chaussons Mignons slippers and also how simply they slip on. I don't want to have to deal with fangles (buttons, ties, or buckles) on newborn so I am glad to have found a slipper pattern that is both cute for boys and girls and slips right on. I am going to work these up in a merino blend for softness but make sure they are washable because you never know where that spit up will land.
3) Toys: it is never too early to play with your babe even if it is just you acting silly with a knit toy. I love all patterns by Rebecca Danger (see Albert and my Murphy Dog) and Basil the Dino are perfect for boys and girls and will last into the preschool age while snazzing up the nursery. You can easily adjust the size by using a larger or smaller gauge of yarn and needle. Plus should your little lock onto this animal as their favorite, can't go anywhere without it, "oh no we left it at the restaurant which is now closed what are going to do now" you can knit another just like it. No need to scour store shelves to find its twin. Just make sure you choose a washable yarn of this on since it is sure to go places you wish it hadn't.
4) Hats: I love a good hat for babies when they are first born till about 3-4 months (when they can hold up their head and start to lose the monk hair). It not only keeps the babes warm but also adds some style to what can be a boring onesie streak. The Poppy hat could work for boys or girls depending on the yarn color and texture. For boys, I would go for a dark yarn or a denim textured yarn and something chunky. For girls, I would go for a finer gauge and I love the variegated look of the cover picture or a tweedy yarn. If this hat is destined for a newborn or less than 2-3 yr old, omit the button and add some style with a duplicate stitch instead. This hat is so amazing it could work well alone.
5) Pants or diaper covers: whether you are cloth diapering or not, you will want to show off those little legs in something super cute and more than a little fun. Das Monster leggings are both. With fun stripes that can be sized to your liking or omitted for a solid look; these leggings are sure to bring a smile to everyone's face. They fit right over an onesie or under a t-shirt or dress for easy dressing. The fun monster face on the bum will be as much fun to knit as it will to see in action for tummy time, first crawling or walking. Plus you know the old sibling will just giggle uncontrollably when they see their new baby with a smile on its bottom. Be sure to knit these leggings in a washable cotton blend for durability and to prevent pilling.
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For the 4th celebration I have revamped my Felt Play: Wand with Magic Streamers in mighty red, white and blue. This is a fun alternative for younger kids how want to join in the fun without all the pyrotechnics. The variegated yarn streamers swish through the air with all the splendor of sparklers with no danger for little hands. The new design features the honored stars and stripes in fun felt that will last all the days leading up to the 4th of July and for many weeks after while the euphoria lasts even after the banners come down. My little one, who is on the cusp of preschool age but still a toddler in our book loves swinging her wand around, delights over the streamers and the occasional whacking o' the dogs goes unnoticed by the victims. I stuffed my wand extra this time because a year after my original creation made its debut, I noticed it is slumping a bit. I almost doubled the stuffing and the wand is stiff and much easier to swing and twirl.
Here's how to make your own Kid Safe Sparkler with magic steamers:
2 sheets of 9x 12 in. felt in Crystal Blue, Red and White
1 skein or leftovers of skeins in many colors or variegated colors. I used cotton for durability.
Download and cut out the wand pattern from my downloadable Felt Wand with Magic Streamers post. Cut out the wand and wand end from the blue and then cut out various small stars from the white and small ¼- ½ in. wide stripes from the short ends of the red and white felt.