Sunday, November 16, 2014

Another hat : this time, a Panda hat !

I've made another hat for one of my daughter's friends who adored the piggy hat I made previously ... but this little girl is a lover of pandas.

Who am I to say no to a panda lover?  Plus, I love gifting a handknit hat ... makes me so happy.  (Even happier when I cast on for the project at 11:00AM and am weaving in the ends at 3:45 ... and the party starts at 4:00.  Nothing like a little last minute knitting to put some excitement into your weekend, right?)

My daughter is wondering when *she* is going to get a handknit animal hat ... ;)

Pattern : Bamboo the Panda hat  (From Knitted Animal Hats book) 
Yarn : Yarn Bee Tender Touch (?) - from Hobby Lobby, and it was machine washable. That's my defense!
Ravelry : project page here

Friday, September 26, 2014

Finished knitting : the wintertime bandit

I previewed this recent handknit in my previous post as I wore it for the first time the same day I wore my new Scout Tee.  It makes me so happy when I can squeeze in two (or more) handmade wardrobe items in one day -- and it's even better when they are both brand-new!

I'm happy to present a finished handknit -- one that I started last winter (thus the name) and managed to knit entirely with the exception of the last two rows.  As I wound the yarn for this project, a small ball broke off from the rest and I misplaced it, thinking it was a measly extra 20 yards or so.  Well, I couldn't find it as I was coming up on the tail of my yarn and with two rows to go -- only two rows to go!! -- I put the project away.  The project has been languishing in the naughty corner of my craft room since then.  Luckily, I cleaned up my craft room and found the mysterious tiny ball of 20 measly yards and managed to finish this scarf off.  Phew !  That was close. 

The best part about finding an almost-finished project is that it only takes about an hour to finish it up and block it -- then wear it the next day, which I proudly did with my miáucoles shirt.  

As it's currently fall, I've been smitten with the late afternoon light and couldn't help trying to get some photos with the sun rays shining in.  

My dog, named Callie because she is the calico dog in the house, joined me in the photo op.  She does match the black scarf nicely, don't you think?  

Project notes :
Pattern : Springtime Bandit, free on ravelry here
Yarn : Malabrigo Silky Merino
Needles : US7
Mods : none!
{{On ravelry here.}}
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Scout Tee #2 : the miáucoles version

I'm back with another Scout Tee ...  #2 in a series of never ending Scout Tees, that is.  I recently saw someone (somewhere) say "Another day, another Grainline Scout Tee," and that about sums it up.  I love this pattern!  I sized down slightly from the last pattern and I think I could size down even one more size next time I make this.

I think it's time to get something out of the way.  First, I like cats.  (I am The Calico Lover, after all.) ;)  Second, I teach Spanish.  Third, I may not be able to help it if the middle day of the week is known as miáucoles in my classroom ... instead of the boring, traditional miércoles.  Let's call it the Spanish-speaking world's version of "Caturday".

So, when I came across this stupendously cheeky and amazingly soft organic cat fabric at my favorite fabric (and yarn) mecca, I knew what to do with it ... whip it up into a Scout Tee worthy of wearing on miáucoles.

The really cool medical clinic-in-a-trailer that students at my high school put together hasn't left yet for Mexico City, so I took advantage of it for a quick photo op, even though I've already used it once before.  I can't help it - the artwork is beautiful!

The scarf I'm wearing is a recently finished handknit item - blogged about separately, here.  Double points for wearing two handmade garments in one day. 

(There may or may not have been a powerpoint filled with cat memes - in Spanish, of course - today.)

Project notes :
Pattern : Grainline - Scout Woven Tee
Fabric : Here Kitty Kitty by Clothworks
Mods : Size 8 -- with a wiksten pocket added
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Scout tee #1 : the sewing machine version

I finally made my very first Grainline Scout Woven Tee, after seeing many cute versions online and being amazed by the talented Jennifer and her blog.  I first came across her handknits, which led me to her sewing blog, but in either case she definitely inspires me! I immediately purchased her pattern and decided to make this one of my go-to summer shirts.


I found some really goofy AND super cheap fabric at Joann's to try a wearable muslin.  I adore this fabric, actually -- it's a bunch of sewing machines, mod style, some with a lime green accent color.  I feel totally goofy wearing it (which is a good thing for me). 


This first incarnation was a size 10, and is probably a bit large.  I'll size down next time.


I added a pocket à la Wiksten tank, and managed to place it perfectly so it blends in.  Can you spot it?


I feel a bit like a medical professional in this tee, but that's mainly because of the bagginess and the stiffer cotton I used.  I can't wait to make this pattern in different fabrics!  My last favorite thing about this tee shirt is that the robin's egg blue of the sewing machines perfectly matches my favorite color to wear on my toes right now.  Hard to tell in the photo, but they are a perfect match!


Project notes :
Pattern : Grainline - Scout Woven Tee
Fabric : Cheap-o cotton blend
Mods : Size 10 -- with a pocket added
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Finished tank top! : Sorbetto #2 : the Mexican Skull version

After my first Sorbetto, I decided to move on and make another one using some inexpensive fabric that I picked up a loooong time ago at Joann's on clearance.  


The fabric is a Mexican skull-inspired print, which is perfect for me because I'm a Spanish teacher -- but also because I also have a deep and not-so-secret desire to be just like The Friz.  


I love that the red skulls match my favorite red clogs.  I used red thread on this tank top in anticipation of an outfit with red accents.  I also omitted the pleat because I thought this print might be too much with an additional pleat going on.

This tank top looks at home with a pair of shorts, but will also be perfect with a certain jean skirt I have in mind for a school outfit.  


I can't wait to wear this during our hot days head as I start the school year!  

Project notes :
Pattern : Sorbetto top by Colette (free!)
Fabric : mystery sugar skull fabric from stash
Mods : Omitted the pleat / Size 8, armscyes graded to 10.
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Finished tank top! : Sorbetto #1 : the trial version

I decided I needed more tank tops this summer and so tried out a pattern that I hadn't attempted yet -- being obviously the last sewing blogger on the planet to have made this, the free Colette Sorbetto top.  I have long admired the many versions of this tank top, and am pretty excited to add this to my repertoire.


I wanted to make a version using some stash fabric that wouldn't kill me if this didn't turn out -- so I dug into my men's button down shirt collection and picked out one with a fun print.  To modify this tank to use the shirt as a base, I used the button down front in the back, removed the pocket, and moved the pocket to the front.

I made a size 8, with the armscyes graded to a 10, and it seems to fit perfectly!  I could have sized up to a 10, but this slightly smaller version is just perfect.


I feel pretty proud of my bias facing, which is coming along now.  For this top, I used a 10" square of fabric cut from the arm of the men's shirt, and followed the tutorial on continuous bias binding by the Coletterie.


On to the next Sorbetto project, now!

Project notes :
Pattern : Sorbetto top by Colette (free!)
Fabric : thrifted men's button-down shirt 
Mods : Omitted the pleat / Size 8, armscyes graded to 10.
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Myrtle sewalong : get ready, get set, go!

I'm pretty excited to participate in the Myrtle sewalong that Colette is hosting!

One of my goals this year has been to A) maximize my time I spend crafting (instead of wasting time on mindless things like candy crush -- yes, I'm on level 418, thankyouverymuch), and B) expand my crafting skills and learn a few more things.  To that end, I've decided to sew more, not by going crazy with the most complicated garments but by spending time sewing simple things until I really feel confident in my skills -- and then, slowly add on to them, one by one.

Some people may think the remaking of the same garment to be quite boring, but I find it very therapeutic to sew something where I'm not trying to figure out every step but can simply just sew.  Enter the endless Wiksten tanks, Scout tees, and Everyday Skirts that have made up my summer wardrobe this year.

So -- I'm excited to venture into different fabrics and different constructions now.  For the Myrtle pattern, I decided to try sewing with voile -- a first for me!  I picked up two fabrics for the two versions of Myrtle I anticipate making.


Version 1 will be made of this soft Lisette voile that I bought (on clearance, yay!) at Joann's.  This seems like a rather lightweight and see-through fabric so I will need to add a lining to the back of this dress, as well as perhaps the skirt.  We'll see.

Version 2 will be made of this amazing Anna Maria Horner voile that I purchased at my personal mecca (Fancy Tiger Crafts in Denver).  This is the most perfect fabric for me, as I'm a Spanish teacher, and one of my life goals has been to dress just like The Friz.  This dress will bring me close ... the print (Banner Days voile) is based on the traditional paper craft called "papel picado".  I can't wait to wear this while we are cutting our own papel picado in class !  (Anyone know where to get some papel picado earrings ??)

The purchase of the AMH fabric actually led to the Lisette purchase as this AMH print is so beautiful, I am afraid of creating something disastrous.  So, the Lisette will be the trial-run, and the AMH will be the masterpiece.  Or, so I hope!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Finished top! : Wiksten #1 : the pinstripe version

So, I've been sewing more than Everyday Skirts lately ... I have a few Wiksten tank tops that I've whipped up to share.


I used stash fabric for this first version to get a feel for the fit ... the fabric is some cotton/polyester shirting fabric that I bought for super cheap years and years ago and it's been hanging around in my stash since then. I recall buying it to make something for my daughter when she was a baby ... my daughter who is about to turn 12.  That's some languishing in the stash, I tell you!  Luckily it made a great Wiksten tank.  


This was my very first experience at making bias tape to apply to the neckline and sleeves.  It was very interesting and the experience has become easier, luckily. 

I find the tank to be extremely comfy to wear in the summer heat, and the polyester (or whatever makes this not 100% cotton) means that it wrinkles less, which is a plus, in my opinion.  I also love the subtle stripes that don't really reek of the 4th of July (like my first Everyday Skirt sort of does), yet they convey that simple "casual July tank top" feel.  They also go great with my red clogs, which is a huge bonus.  

I wore this tank top to a picnic for my son's marching band.  My husband accompanied me and was kind enough to take a few photos in a great spot for a photo op -- it's trailer-turned-into-a-moveable-clinic project that some colleagues and students at my school have been working on. You can see more of the project here in this video on YouTube.  I'm extremely impressed with this project and very proud of my school!

Project notes :
Pattern : Wiksten - Tank Top
Fabric : Cheap-o cotton blend
Mods : Size large - no mods
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Finished skirt! : Everyday Skirt #2 : the summer bike version

I'm back with the second version of Liesl's Everyday Skirt that I recently made, and I need to get going on updating my blog because I am actually working on my FIFTH version of this skirt. That's how everyday this skirt is!

I'm calling this the "summer bike version", as it was inspired by an amazing trip I took to Germany this summer.  Don't you agree that making handmade projects is the best way to create a souvenir of travels?  In this trip, I went as a chaperone to 15 students from my high school to a city that is one of the top bicycle-friendly cities in Germany, Oldenburg.  It was a fabulous experience for me, mainly because I am a French and Spanish teacher - but NOT a German teacher!  Luckily, the German teacher is my friend and invited me along. :)  The ability to experience the language and culture of a new country was really cool, and riding our bikes everywhere in town definitely made it better.  I was obsessed with the many bikes we saw posed next to cute doors and windows, and here is a composite of a few of the many photos I took :

For the second incarnation of this skirt, I made the size medium, as I made previously.  After this, I have gone down to a size small and I think I've stuck with the smalls since then. I'm a pretty typical size 8-10 and would say that this skirt does run a little large.  For this skirt, I made no other modifications (on my first skirt, I shortened the length and I do believe I prefer the longer version).

The fabric is the bicycle print from the gnome living collection by Robert Kaufman, and I'm super tempted to pick up this same print in aqua for a Scout tee.  We'll see.  I receive compliments on this skirt every time I wear it, so that might justify my purchase ...


I need to start taking better finished object photos with my camera instead of my iPhone camera, but in the meanwhile you can see how much I love this skirt.

Last -- I'll leave you with a video of my friend and I bicycling through the streets of Oldenburg. Lovely, relaxing days!

Project notes :
Pattern : Everyday Skirt by Liesl + Co.
Fabric : Gnome Living Bicycles by Robert Kaufman
Mods : Size medium - no mods. 
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Finished skirt! : Everyday Skirt #1 : the 4th of July version

I am pleased to report that I have some finished projects to share, and I plan to actually blog about them!  Come back to see what crafty goodness I've been up to ... in the meanwhile let me share my first project, the Everyday Skirt #1.  (I say #1 because there are others that will surely follow.)  

I purchased the Everyday Skirt pattern by Liesl + Co. recently.  I couldn't wait to make it -- and luckily the 4th of July was around the corner.  I found a super-sale of fabric at Joann's and decided to work up a skirt to go with the holiday, as well as to be my "practice skirt" before I cut into more expensive fabric that I had chosen for this skirt. 

I don't know about you, but I'm not super crazy about making muslin work-ups of patterns.  I know that it's what I *should* do, but if I'm going to go through the trouble of sewing a garment, then I'd like to save something to show for it -- even if I can only wear it once a year.   I ended up making the size medium, which truly is my size, but I feel it came out a little large.  I did shorten the hem by 2" and I think I might go for more length next time.  I'm on the fence about whether to go down in size next time.

I feel pretty pleased with the way this skirt came out, and I think the July 4th fabric that I chose - pinwheels - is pretty darn cute.  I might be able to wear this for more than just the 4th - I'm the kind of girl to wear red, white and blue pinwheels on the 14th of July as well.  (Bleu, blanc, rouge are actually France's colors, too, after all.)

 For me, the very best part about this skirt is the fact that I can wear my red Swedish Hasbeens with it.  I'm obsessed with clogs in general, and probably have more pairs of Swedish Hasbeens than the average girl, but these red clog sandals are my very favorite.

Project notes :
Pattern : Everyday Skirt by Liesl + Co.
Fabric : Cheap 4th of July fabric from Joann's
Mods : Made size medium but shortened the hem by 2".
{{On Kollabora here.}}

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Umbrella Prints trimmings package !

My Umbrella Prints Trimmings package has arrived -- *just* in the nick of time for me to enter their annual contest !

I am entering this contest at the last minute, not because I think I'll win, but because I was hoping for the golden ticket. ;)  I didn't receive a golden ticket, but I did get more than I expected in terms of cute blue-aqua scraps.  I am thrilled with all of the cute elephants !

The question remains -- what shall I do with this?   I have a feeling I'll pull out some thrifted linen trousers and use them to make a bag of some sort, as that's really what I'm craving right now. 

We'll see !  I'll be back before May 30 to let you know what this has become ...