Tutorials: May 2011 Archives
These "Coordinates" Buttons by La Mode have endless possibilities. They are stackable, fashionable and fun! With prints and textures, I thought these buttons would make great hair clips. I mixed and matched from several different sets, and left one button all by itself. These flat bobby pins come in 2 lengths and are perfect to use because of the 3/16'' wide top, so the buttons have a good surface to grasp hold to.
My first step was to stitch the top button. Stitching the entire stack together doesn't work because the thread loops on the bottom button create an uneven surface to adhere to the bobby pin. Because you're not stitching the button TO anything, I took my needle through the thread knot, creating some leverage for sewing through the holes. Then I glued the top button to the lower button and let it sit for about 2 hours. The glue is key in this project. I used the E6000 Multi Purpose Adhesive, which is amazing!! Using a tooth pick to dip into the tube to grab some glue, place a small amount on each surface. Let dry for 1-2 minutes and then stick them together. There is minimal oozing- but what is great about this glue- considering how much you have left over oozing out of your project, you can pull the excess right off. After about 12 hours (overnight), it becomes this stretchy clear goo that can easily be pulled off without harming your project.
After letting the glued button stacks sit for about 1 hour, I glued them to the bobby pin surface. I didn't want any chance of the bobby pin gluing itself shut, so I slid the bobby pins on the card the buttons came on, so the bottom part of the bobby pin would not have to be involved. Letting each glued surface dry separately for a minute or two really helps minimize ooze and stability of placing the buttons to the pin. After about 45 minutes, I slid the bobby pin half way off the card so there would be no chance of the card being glued to my project! Let them sit that way for 24- 72 hours to cure and voila!
Among the more interesting and yet challenging knitting stitches is the dropped stitch. It is no interesting because of the ladder effect it creates. I deem it challenging because dropping a stitch is ingrained into a knitter's head from birth as a central wrong and big mistake, yet here we ask you to do it with alacrity. However, like most knitting techniques we have explored here, it just takes a bit of courage (just a teeny bit), some hope, and practice.
Vertical Dropped Stitches (vertical ladders):
The vertical dropped stitch is the easiest but also the most
cringe worthy. Your first row is your foundation and insurance that your
dropped stitches won't go wrong. I cast on 20 Sts. My first row was a purl row
so my increases were Purl into the front and back (Pf&b). Your vertical
ladders will trade places with the 'b' of the Pf&b.
Foundation Row (wrong side): P 1, Pf&b, *P4, Pf&b; repeat to last 3 sts, P3.
Continue in Stockinette until your piece is as long as you like but before you bind off, on the wrong side: P2, drop 1, *P5, drop 1; repeat to last 3 sts, P3. Bind off. Pull out your dropped stitches all the way down to the cast on row. Don't worry because you are pulling out an increase the cast on row will be secured by the original stitches.
Horizontal Dropped Stitches (horizontal ladders):
Horizontal stitches are also dropped increase but they are created and dropped with every 2 rows, not just at the foundation.
Cast on 20 Sts.
R1: *K1, Yo (twice); repeat to last st, k1
R2: *K1, drop both yarn overs; repeat to last st, k1
R3& 4: knit
Repeat row 1-4 until piece is desired length. The ladders are created by the dropped double yo and create stripes of dropped stitches.
Experiment with your own dropped stitch pattern. The created airy design is perfect for warm weather projects. Worked in simple linen or cotton blends will not only add a touch of color and softness but also add texture to a simple summer dress.
Infinity dresses are everywhere these days; a call back from their heyday in the 1970's. And why not! They are classics and modern perfectly combined because you can wear them to suit your style, event or mood. Couple that with Fabric.com's amazing selection of dreamy Stretch ITY knits and your infinity dress can be in a rainbow of colors or lengths (Mine is in turquoise). The infinity dress is perfect for holiday weekends or destination weddings because it is wrinkle free and ready to wear in seconds.
There are many different versions in stores these days but some lacked pizzazz or included too much pizzazz. I originally fell in love with the original on Rostitchery's blog but I had trouble with cutting the circle skirt. Rowena of Rostitchery wrote another version with some great additions for Threads Quick Stuff to Sew that included an easier version of the circle skirt and a small elastic casing (among other great tips) but I still didn't want to deal with Pi or a circle skirt so I developed my own work around : a gathered skirt. What I really loved about the gathered skirt- besides not cutting out a circle- is the ease of hemming, no round hems here! Here's how to make an infinity dress like mine.
4 yds of ITY Knit
1 yd of ½ in. elastic
Measuring tapes of various mediums (seamstress, carpenter's and a solid ruler)
*Always use a narrow zig-zag stitch unless otherwise noted
Measure out your 2 straps which will be 1.5 times your height. I am 5'7" so I rounded to 8ft long for my straps. The width is roughly from your breast bone to under your arm. I measured 11 in. So I cut 2 straps 8 ft long and 11 in. wide. The skirt piece is double your natural waist (mine is 28 in. so I cut mine to 60 in. to make it easy) for the width by however long you want your dress to be. I decided on a 36 in. length and it hits right at my ankle (perfect for dancing). The casing piece is your waist plus 2 in by 2.5 in.
With right sides together sew up the side seam of the skirt piece. Baste 2 lines of stitches along the top and pull the bobbin thread to gather up the skirt until it equals your waist measurement. Stitch the gathers in place. With right sides facing, pin your straps onto your skirt with the seam in the back, fold your casing widthwise and pin to your skirt over the straps, overlapping the ends by 1-2 in. Stitch all these layers in place. Insert your elastic into your casing, making sure not to twist and then stitch the ends of your elastic together and then close and stitch your casing ends (I just tucked one end into the other and stitched over top of the ends. Voila you are done.
Now there are tons of videos on how to wear and wrap infinity dresses on YouTube. But there are also many ways to fancy up your dress as well. You can add a simple ruffle like my Michael Miller Knit post or add many ruffles to your skirt. You can make your dress in white and dye it in an ombre design. You can make your skirt and straps to coordinate but not match. Some designs even feature a built in tube top (just an extension of the waist casing) or a separate tube top for extras modesty or with a built in bra. The possibilities are endless but this is the PERFECT summer dress!
Binding off is not just a utilitarian knitting technique but can also be a beautiful stitch itself. One of my favorite lovely bind-offs is the Picot Bind-off. Not only is the Picot BO (Bind-off) gorgeous but very versatile in terms of style and drama. You can add a dainty detail to your knitting or a big, bold sign-off should you project dictate. Picot BOs are very easy too. It is merely a matter of casting on and casting off. Here's how.
I start off my Picot Bo by knitting 2 sts and then binding one off. Next, I break into the Picot BO. Using the cable cast on, cast on 2 sts and then bind off 4 sts. Repeat till all your stitches are bound off. If you desire a bigger picot cast on more stitch but remember to bind off twice the number of sts cast on. This means if you cast on 4 sts, you will bind off 8 sts, cast on 6 sts, you will bind off 12 sts for each picot tip. It is easiest to deal in even numbers. Should you be a visual learner try my handy video which demonstrates a 4 sts Picot Bind off in Lion Brand Recycled Cotton in Sunshine.
In preparing my home for spring and summer, I wanted to
liven up my kitchen table. I decided to do this with making reversible, mix and
match place mats. What better fabric to use for this than laminated cottons.
They come in a variety of fun prints from some of my favorite textile
designers, and all you have to do is wipe them clean.
As I was working with the laminates, I discovered that not all laminates are created equally. Some are much heavier than others. For example, I had some laminates from the Moda Central Park collection. These laminates were very heavy weight. The laminated cottons I had from Free Spirit are softer and lighter weight. When picking your laminates from Fabric.com, make sure you read the descriptions for weight information. I cut a simple rectangle shape: 21'' x 16 ¼'', then rounded the edges (optional of course).Making the placemats reversible, I just paired the opposite weight laminates together, no problem.
Here's the problem... pins. Once you poke through laminated
cotton with a pin or a needle. That hole is there. And it's not going away. Ever.
So I realized I had to do this project WITHOUT pins. This involves some strategic
maneuvering with your hands as you sew. As you can see, I marked clearly where
I was to sew and tightly held my fabrics together as I sewed around the placemat. This almost worked out better than I expected! Sew carefully, constantly
aware of your grip, and there should be no warping.
Because of the thickness of the laminates, I did a 1 ¼''
seam allowance, and then graded the seam to eliminate bulk around the seams. I
then clipped notches on the rounded corners to they would lay nice and round
and flat when I flipped it. I left a 7- 8'' opening on one side in order to
flip it. The most maneuvering done with the project is flipping the placemat right
side out. Be careful! And it's ok if you pop a few stitches by the opening,
top-stitching solves that later.
I used double sided basting tape to temporarily seal the opening
after my mat was flipped. Because pins can't be involved in this project, this
double sided basting tape is perfect! You can find double sided basting tape at
your local hobby and sewing store. Once you place the tape where you want, you
then peel the top liner off, and then press your seam together.