Monday, 23 November 2015

Finished Project: Toque

My kids love rainbows.  I love rainbows, so it works out nicely.  In 2013 I went to the Fibres West Fibre Fest and bought a set of rainbow coloured DK weight yarn from Rain City Knits.  It's a super soft and smooshy superwash wool and the colours are so nicely saturated.  There are 8 colours, the standard ROYGBIV + pink.  Love it!

For Aki's hat I started with red in the ribbing at the bottom, and worked up to some purple on the crown.  I made the green a really wide stripe as it's his favourite colour and I had skipped the pink.  For Itsa's hat, I started with pink for the ribbing, then went to red up to purple.  I used the Simple Beanie (aka Lollipop Hat) pattern for my inspiration.  I cast on more stitches than called for, which is a bit odd since it's meant to go to adult size.  Hmm...  Anyway, the decreases for the crown are paired leaning decreases, so they make a pleasing star on the top.  I usually just do the standard spiral that evenly spaced decreases get you, but I like the look of this better.

I still have enough yarn left to make either two more toques or mittens.  Or something else, but I'm not sure what.  So, back into the stash with the leftovers.

The kids love their hats and are requesting cat ears on them.  I'm trying to let them forget that request as I do poor cat ears on toques.  They always flop over and look a mess.

Now to knit a toque for myself as my current one keeps flopping off my head.  The pompom is ridiculously large so it weighs the whole thing down.  I'm ready for a nice, light, slouchy hat that I can tuck my hair up into.  I'm thinking the Hinagiku Hat as it has a nice star stitch.  But I haven't done a proper Ravelry search yet to make sure that's what I want to commit to.  I did pick out the yarn to use though, so that's a start.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Finished Project: Quilt

My little girl turned 3 last week!  I am torn between being surprised she's so big and forgetting that she's still so little.  She thinks she's 6, and she tends to act like it.  I guess it's the common younger sibling thing as I remember being the same way.

I tried to finish a quilt for her in time to give her at her birthday party, but we had to move the party up 4 days to accommodate my parents' work schedule and I ended up on the phone all day one day, and at an interview the next, so I chose to bake and decorate her cake rather than finish the quilt.  No big problem though, I bought her some Lego instead and the quilt will be given at Christmas.  I used the Lego to decorate her birthday cake.  I'm not above using hard plastic toys on cakes.

I used a quilt panel of The Little Mermaid for the top, a coordinating printed flannel for the back, and a purple print I pulled out of the remnant bin for the binding.  Everything came from Fabricland except the thread, which was at Dressew for 25 cents a spool.  Coats Hand Quilting Multicolour for a quarter!  I love Dressew so much.

I thought to quilt bubbles on it, but they're kind of wonky.  My quilting techniques need practice.

I used a decorative stitch for the binding top stitching, and I enjoy how it looks with the variegated thread.

It's not a large quilt, but a nice drag-around-and-cuddle-on-the-couch size.  I used the new Warm & Natural batting that Fabricland carries: Warm & Plush.  It is surprisingly fluffier and cozier, and only a couple dollars more.  I think I'll use this on all my quilts I want a cotton batting for from now on.  Such nice loft.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Finished Project: Halloween Costume

For Itsa's first Halloween when she was nearly 1, I made her a black cat costume with inspiration from this tutorial.  I found a black tutu on clearance at the Bay that was too big, but I just used a binder clip to gather it in the back and it was all good.  She wore that costume for two years and told me she wanted to wear it again this year.  Perfect!  I just transferred the ears from the now too small headband to a pair of hairclips like these:
and was going to make her a new black sweatshirt, and she was going to be ready.

Of course, she's barely 3.  She changed her mind.  First, she wanted to be Ariel, the Little Mermaid.  Then she wanted to be Tiana from The Princess and The Frog.  After a few days, she settled on Disney's version of Rapunzel.  She did waffle back and forth on Rapunzel and Ariel for a week before I bought any materials and told her she would be Rapunzel.  

How do you make a good Canadian halloween costume?  Make it fit both under a coat for school and over a coat for trick or treating.
I didn't want a regular princess dress that she'd outgrow in a few months, so I was inspired by some Princess Aprons I saw on Etsy.  An apron is perfect!  She can wear it for a long time without outgrowing it, it can be worn over any seasonally appropriate clothes, and it takes very little fabric.  The only thing that took a lot of thought was how I would do closures.  Ties weren't the best as she'd be dependent on me to do them up for her, Velcro wasn't a good choice as she's a bit rough and it would come undone all the time.  So I went with a Japanese style apron that crosses in the back.  I used this pattern and kind of winged the construction as it was pretty straight forward.

I scaled the pattern down to 75% as I paper-fit the full size one to Aki and found it to fit perfectly.  I figured Itsa was about 75% the size of Aki.  I guessed right, but wish I hadn't as she'll outgrow it within a year.

I used two shades of purple satin I found in various remnant bins for the fabrics.

Ribbon as the bodice laces.

Trimmed the hem in lace from a thrift store.

I used single fold bias tape on the underarm and top of strap to finish the edges.  The seam allowances are just serged.

I am really happy with the outcome! I'll be making her more for Christmas.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Finished Project: Halloween Bags

This project was my longest standing WIP.  19 years!

I originally bought the fabric when I was 11 and in Fabricland with my mum and brother to buy some fabric for his grade 7 family studies class. (I can remember it very clearly, actually.  It was in Brampton when Fabricland was beside Toys R Us on Queen Street. 1996.)  He made some grey boxer shorts that I think he wore until they finally broke down in grade 12.  I wanted to learn to sew with the machine since it was set up on the kitchen table, so mum bought me some halloween fabric to make trick or treat bags.  I managed to get them partly done before my brother protested that we were too old to trick or treat and I put them away.

When organizing my fabric stash a couple weeks ago I pulled the fabric out again and decided it was the perfect time to use it up, now that my own kids are old enough to trick or treat.  I searched on Pinterest for ideas, and came across this Spoonflower tutorial that was just perfect.

I appliqued cats on the bags, because cats,

 and used webbing for the straps since I had some on hand. 

Where I managed to get orange webbing is a mystery to me, but it worked out well.  I was going to personalize the bags for each kids, but then decided that it would be better to just make them both exactly the same and avoid fights.

It feels good to finally use up that fabric!  The kids loved the bags, and they were a good size.  A touch too big for Itsa, so she just put her head through a strap and held it open in front of her.  It was hilarious.