Tuesday, January 7, 2020

My Year of Mittens!

I finished off my 2019 knitting goal just in time! Twelve pairs of mittens!

I ended up having to stop blogging about this project since some of them were secret gifts! But now they're all done and here's the round-up of all 12 pairs. With ravelry links if you want details!

Thrummed mittens

Colorblock mittens #1

Sailor's Rib fingerless gloves

Mittens to order

Blue Selbu

Colorblock mittens #2 (for The Girl)

Baby niece mittens

Yellow and grey Olines Vantar

Blue and grey Olines Vantar

Yellow and grey fingerless mitt

Colorblock mittens #3

Zigzag fingerless mitts

What a fun project this was! I met my goal of 12 pairs, although I didn't knit everything on my dream list. I got a lot more practice in stranded colorwork and I'm feeling pretty confident there!

I also made up the patterns for several of these, a few of which I might write down nicely and put up for free on ravelry.

I'm not sure what's next for me, but I already miss having a mitten always going! They are such handy little projects (pun intended!).

Sunday, September 22, 2019


I love aprons! They're cute, fun, and practical, and I wear one every day. I am pretty hard on them so I have to replace them pretty often. Here are my latest two!

This one has cute little forest mushrooms! The front bib is my usual pattern with front darts. I scooped the neck and used a 5-gored skirt, with pockets that extend into the gore seams.

The second one has pies! Same bodice pattern but I cut a v-neck. Both bibs are fully lined to make finishing easier.

My usual cross-over back on both. Neck straps annoy me, so this is more comfortable. The pie apron has a gathered skirt instead of gores - it uses a little less fabric and I ran short!

Here's how I made them. The skirt and bib sections are made separately. First I finished the skirt portion on its own - sections seamed and serged, edges hemmed, waistband on. This could be a perfectly fine half-apron by itself.

But I am very messy! So a bib/bodice section is required. I finished the bib and serged the bottom edge.

I joined the bib by lapping the serged edge under the waistband and topstitching. Then put it on to test the strap placement before sewing, and done!

To tie these on, you just put your arms through the armholes, cross the ties behind your back, and tie in front. I put a little video up on my Instagram if that doesn't make sense.

This is probably the 10th time I've made some variation on this style, and I love it!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tree Print Dress

The best thing about having a big pile of half-done projects is how quick it can be to finish one up! Here's my latest UFO all done.

It's the same pattern again that I used for a green lace dress and a linen print dress (which is now in the UFO pile for alterations). It was a decent pattern but I think I'm over it now. Something different next time!

I had wanted to make this dress without a waist seam, but cutting it this way was more stingy and this fabric was expensive! It's a loosely woven, cottony-feeling rayon.

I also tried a new-to-me technique for lining the bodice. I assembled the bodice and lining except for the shoulder seam, then joined them and clipped, turned, and pressed. Next I sewed the fashion fabric's shoulder seam:

Then handsewed the lining's shoulder seam.

The finished shoulder:

I don't like this technique. I've read it in pattern directions before and always thought it was silly, but I figured I'd better give it a try before I judged it. Well now I have, and I can: it's annoying. I much prefer the method of leaving the side seams open.

I also tried the dress with a white collared blouse, which I like in theory but I'm not really sure it's for me.

Pockets of course!

The whole front closes with about a million tiny buttons. They are grey-blue and blend in really well with the fabric, which is what I wanted with such a lovely print. The whole dress is lined with light blue cotton lawn.

I really love this fabric!

I haven't worn it for real yet, but so far I really like it!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Unicorn Quilt

I made this quilt for The Girl's 10th birthday! I realized last year that I'd been making quilts for everyone in the family, but I haven't made one for my own kid since she was a newborn baby!

It is 100% UNICORNS! I spent almost a year collecting a bit of every unicorn fabric I could find, plus a few coordinating prints. There's one with glitter, one with glow-in-the-dark, rainbows, candy sprinkles, and at least 6 different unicorns.

It is absolutely the simplest pieced quilt I've ever made. There are two patchwork panels along with un-pieced strips of the fancier fabrics. I love the big chunks of unicorn print; it seemed a shame to cut them up too much.

The back is made of pink flannel with more unicorns, with a strip of coordinating cotton (because I ran out of flannel). I rounded the corners, because I like the look, and I hate miters. The binding was eked out of the scraps of rainbow print.

I free-motion quilted it in a swirly curlicue design.

The Girl and her unicorn!

She loved it! She got right into bed in the middle of the afternoon and wouldn't get out again!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Year of Mittens: Summertime

In June I finished my blue Selbu mittens!

Then I made some colorblock mittens for my kid.

The next mittens I made are for a holiday surprise, but I don't think the recipient reads my blog. I made this pattern up and charted it on graph paper.

Then in August I made this pair of yellow and grey stranded mittens from the pattern Olines Vantar, available for free on Ravelry. I loved this pattern so much I immediately started another pair!

I'm still on track for my goal of one pair per month all year! And I still have loads of mittens I want to make!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

New Skirts!

These three new skirts all have one thing in common: I finished them, and then went back and took them apart again and altered them!

This first one is in a chambray linen with a geometric print. I used Simplicity 8019 and added a curved patch pocket and three 1/2" tucks at the hem. I also swapped out the straight waistband for a curved one for a nicer fit.

My silly mistake on this one was trusting the measurement chart. My waist and hip both fell perfectly into the same size, so I cut out the size indicated and went ahead. I like to wear my modern skirts just a little below the waist, and figured any ease would just make it sit lower.

Well I learned my lesson! The finished skirt was about 3 inches too big in the waist and I was swimming in it! It sat WAY too low on my hips for comfort. I picked out the stitching at the side seams and waistband, took it in, and sewed it back up. Now it's perfect!

The tucks at the hem are my favorite part! 

I made this yellow denim skirt for a work display a few months ago, from New Look 6346. (I probably could've ironed it for pictures, but let's get real: I'm not gonna iron it, like, ever. So this is true to reality!)

Like the linen skirt above, I cut out a larger size than I should have because I was following the chart. I ended up taking the waistband off and taking in the skirt and waistband seams, then reattaching it.

I made a pocket and fabric-covered buttons from a teal floral print that I thought coordinated well.

The denim is very crisp and I love the way it makes my skirt stand out!

This embroidered chambray skirt is a couple years old. I also initially made it for a work display - you can see the blog post here. 

The fit was fine on this skirt, but the wide, straight-cut waistband never sat right on my shape; the upper half of the waistband stood away from my body.

I replaced the wide, straight waistband with a narrower, curved one that contours around my shape much better. I also added the pockets that I initially left off. 

I decided to ditch the belt loops and sash from the original. They were cute but I don't often tuck my shirt in and they're lumpy otherwise.

So excited to have three new skirts in my wardrobe, all in great weights for fall layering!