Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Keswick + Spiffy Stitches Sweater Calculator

I used designs from the Keswick Sweater with my own Spiffy Stitches Sweater Calculator to create a bay sized cable cardigan.

I was able to figure out my gauge and test to see if I like the yarn, which is Cascade Pacific worsted. And I also got to see if I could manage the intricate cable design of the Keswick sweater, which I hope to make for myself.

My little guy likes the sweater, but can't sit still long enough for better pictures. haha

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Barley Hat

A few months ago, I made my SHB a hat.

I used the TinCanKnits Barley pattern. The only change I made was doing a moss stitch instead of the plain garter stitch.

For yarn, I used Cascade Pacific worsted. Overall, the hat looks cute and was an easy project.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Politics of Pockets

I always knew that women's pockets were inadequate, but now I know more of the history around why. This article on Racked talks about the politics of pockets and is a fascinating read.

Turns out pockets in female dress are quite feminist. One of the main reasons why I sew is to improve the functionality of my clothes - and that includes pockets.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

DIY Personalized Fabric Baby Book

Thanks to Spoonflower, I was able to create a personalized fabric book for my little guy. He really loves the few fabric books that he has, since they are fun to touch and make crinkly noises. But, I realized that a lot of his book deal with representations of things he won't see in real life for a while (I love sea creatures, but what baby comes across an octopus or starfish everyday? haha). So, I decided to make one for him with images that are more personal.

The book started out as a very large image meant to fit a cotton fat quarter. Spoonflower recommends 150px per square inch and a fat quarter is 18" x 22". This meant my image was 2700px by 3300px.

I took of 1/2" worth of pixels around the edge and divided the remaining space into my pages. There are 12 rectangles for 10 pages and the cover. I added different background images and did collages of everyday things on top. I used The Gimp to make my large image.

My fat quarter
I ended up ordering my fat quarter in satin. I'm glad I did, because it has such a nice soft feel to it. However, I wish I knew sooner that a satin fat quarter is bigger than a cotton fat quarter, since I could have made my book a little bigger.

I cut the pages out (leaving 2 pages each attached) and sewed them inside out with some thin batting. I then layered the pages together and sewed down the center to make a book.

My favourite page was one with our dogs, since he loves them already. I also put 2 layers of grocery bag plastic in the center pages for making noise.

I wanted to make some pages with interesting textures, so I included some of mommy's and daddy's hobbies: knitting, sewing, and woodworking.

I used piping on the cover edge, which turned out to be challenging because the satin is so slippery. Overall, I think it looks pretty good.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Spiffy Raglan Sweater Calculator - Updated!

I updated my Spiffy Raglan Sweater Calculator. A few errors were fixed, some areas were made clearer, and there is one neat new feature.

The calculator now has the ability to input custom V-neck depth. The number of increases and on which row is all figured out for you.

When you select V-neck as your neckline type, a box will appear where you enter your desired depth:

Once you input your measurements and your gauge, a finished V-Neck depth will appear below:

It will usually be slightly different than what you input as your target measurement due to rounding (for example, it is impossible to increase every 3.22 rows, so it will be rounded to every 3 rows). Play with you target depth to get the measurement closer to what you wish the final sweater to be.

If you want to read more about the calculator, go to my tutorial here. If you would like to download the Spiffy Raglan Sweater Calculator go here.

Note: If you have purchased the calculator in the past and would like the updated version, please contact me and I'll email it to you. :)

Friday, August 5, 2016

A Spiffy Baby Cardigan

I finally knitted something for my little guy. He has a ton of sweaters from his great-grandma, but I wanted to make him something, too. Also, knitting this cardigan gave me an opportunity to test out my Spiffy Raglan Sweater Calculator further.

To make this sweater, I used my baby's measurements and also measured a sweater that fits. This is what the measurements looked like in the calculator (he is bang on average for a 6 month old).

The finished sweater is adorable and perfectly matches the cardigan I was copying for size.

I used up some Rowan All Seasons Cotton that was sitting in my stash. I only had partial balls, so I went with stripes. If I was thinking ahead and not just rushing, I would have reviewed the total number of body rows and came up with a repeating pattern that worked a bit better. I had to stop one row short on the length because I would have had a single light blue line.

On the first sleeve (above), I remembered to use slipped stitches to make my stripes jogless while going in the round on the sleeves. But, I forgot to make sure I was wrapping yarns as I did my colour changes, which leads to small holes (see below).

At least I remembered for the second sleeve (below), which looks much better.

I did a seed stitch for the button band. I really like how it turned out and it lays flatter than a rib.

Overall, it was a great project for me to get back into knitting: simple and quick. Also, I found many ways I can improve my sweater calculator and there is one error I have to fix (gasp!). I hope to work on that during his naps and have the updated calculator up in a few weeks.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Dog Sweatshirts

Another project I completed, but have not blogged about yet was some sweatshirts for my dogs.

I used an old sweatshirt of mine for the fabric. I traced and measured one of the dog sweatshirts we already had and made modifications for a better fit for both of the dogs.

This is the dogs on Christmas morning with their new sweatshirts. They are both Chihuahua mixes and like to be warm in the colder months.

It was a fun little project that cost me nothing but some time - and that was time spent sewing. Yay!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm Alive! and Mystery Afghan Update

Yes I'm alive! I had my baby back in January and life has been pretty crazy. I had a severe case of post-partum PUPPS (if you don't know what that is, I envy you).

I have managed to make a few things. I got my Kaffe Fassett Mystery Knit-a-Long Afghan about 95% complete. I was able to patch it altogether and do a quick border. I did a single crochet border around the edge to hold it together - much faster than knitting one. I would have gone around a couple more times, but I ran out of yarn in the same colour. Actually, I had more yarn, but the Rowan Pure Wool Worsted disappointed me because it had A LOT of breaks in it. Also, my afghan is all pilly already and it's barely seen any action. Not cool...

I think it has turned out good enough though. I just have a few more ends to tie in and I'd really like to put some fabric on the back.

In other news, I have a new niece. So, like I made the panda for my first niece, I made a penguin for the new baby.

I used some Liberty Lawn for the belly and left over purple stretch velour for the body. Velour is really great for penguin fuzz.

My sewing room is a mess, but I have ambitions to clean it up and sew the new Closet Case swimsuit. A girl can dream...

Wish me luck!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Vogue 8964

I haven't posted in awhile, but I actually did a lot of sewing lately. I just couldn't post any of it, since it was all Christmas gifts for family members.

I used one pattern in particular for making several gifts. Vogue 8964 is a pattern set of boxers, pjs, and bathrobes.

Bathrobe - View B

The bathrobe was probably the most challenging part of the pattern because of the large pattern pieces you have to wrestle without shredding.

The fabric I chose was a polyester looper fleece in olive. It looks a bit like terry on the right side. It is light weight but warm.

I used navy bias tape as piping, since I forgot to pick up actual piping while at the store. I'm glad I added it though, as the robe might have looked a little dull without it.

I made a few alterations to the pattern. I added a hook loop at the neck for easy hanging. I sewed the belt tie into place with a rectangle of stitching at the center back. This means the tie won't fall out and get lost in the future. I also omitted the lining. Instead, I serged the inside edge of the collar and topstitched it into place (see below).

Overall, the robe looks and works great. My hubby loves it.

Boxer Shorts - View E

I made a pair of boxer shorts for my Dad. He had a pair he really loved, so my Mom measured them all over (including front and back crotch depth). Using the measurments, I was able to pick a size that was super close.

So, without having to do any fitting alterations, I was able to make a great pair of boxer shorts that my dad loves. They are a very lightweight cotton denim.

Boxer shorts are a fun project to practice sewing skills, like matching plaids. The pieces are small and easy to work with. And, if you mess up, they are just boxer shorts - not something as noticeable as a jacket or dress.

Pajamas - View F

I made three pairs of the pajamas in flannelette - for my hubby, my brother, and my sister's hubby.

I did my best to guess the right sizes. I measured my hubby's other pjs in secret and my sister did the same for her hubby. For my brother, I just guessed that he was very close to my hubby. The great thing about pjs is that they don't have to be perfect to still work. It looks like I guessed right for my brother, as he approves:

One alteration I did for the pjs was leg length. For my hubby, I was able to make them the right length right away. For my brother and brother-in-law, I wasn't sure. So, I made the length I thought they needed plus less an inch and added 1.25" cuffs on the bottom. That way they could adjust the length by rolling the cuff.

I tacked the waistband elastic in place on the sides, so that they don't roll. And for the drawstrings, I used bias tape that I sewed shut.

The dinosaur pjs are for my hubby and I made sure to buy some extra of that fabric so I could make matching pjs for our baby when it arrives. :)

Vogue 8964 is a great pattern for making a lot of handmade gifts.