Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Assembly line sewing!

When you have a lot of girls/women on your Christmas list (yes, I'm still getting those posts up), especially when some of them you don't know really well anymore, it can become difficult to find nice but not horribly expensive/time-consuming/specific gifts to give.  Last year was supposed to be the year of infinity scarves, but it didn't work out.  (That purple linen/cream lace scarf was the only one that was actually made for Christmas 2013 - but then I hung onto it until Christmas 2014).  I posted about two months ago about the plaid ones that I made, but now I'm showing the linen/lace ones.  There are even a few duplicates!

Back row, L to R: "deep lake" linen blend with black lace (stash), "potting soil" linen blend with hunter green lace (Grandma), black linen blend with red lace (coworker, friend's daughter)

Middle row, L to R: purple linen blend with cream lace (This was the one I made a year ago, from the leftovers of my sister-in-law's baby sling.  This is for a friend's daughter.), "ocean" linen blend with turquoise lace (from leftovers of another baby sling; also for a friend's daughter), "deep lake" linen blend with deep purple lace (2 of this - one for my aunt, one for a friend's daughter), navy linen blend with cream lace (this is from the leftovers of the original sling for my sister-in-law; for a friend), black linen blend with turquoise lace (stash).

Front row, L to R: "potting soil" linen blend with yellow lace (for my mom), "potting soil" linen blend with turquoise lace (stash)

So I made 12 of these linen/lace infinity scarves this year!  That made me pretty happy to get that yardage out of the stash.  The brown and teal linen blends were purchased specifically for this project, but the black linen blend was originally intended for dress pants for the Things - obviously that didn't happen so far, and I decided this was a more pressing need.  I have to say that the turqhoise  and black scarves are more drapey - I think that those fabrics had a lighter hand than the brown, teal, navy, and purple.  I can't remember if they were a different percentage blend now.  But I think they all turned out very nicely.

With the purple, turquoise, and navy scarves, I made them a little wider just because that was the width left over from the baby slings.  With the others, I was able to get 3 out of each length by making them a bit more narrow.  Still should look good, but allowed me to get more out of the same fabrics.

I like the way these turned out, and I hope that the recipients enjoy wearing them!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Little bits....

Before Christmas, my husband was attending a white elephant gift exchange as part of a work get-together.  He ultimately decided to take a bottle of homebrew as the gift, but he thought it looked kind of lame, since he'd forgotten to buy a bag to put it in.  I asked how long he had before he had to leave, then brought him a couple of Christmas fabrics from the stash.  He chose this one, and I whipped up a quick lined bottle bag, which we then topped off with a red ribbon tie.  He told me later that the bottle of beer was the hit of the party, and that everyone was surprised and impressed to learn that his wife made the bag, let alone so fast!  (This is why we sew....and keep a stash!)

Thing 2's teacher is due any day with her second child and second girl.  The room moms decided to throw a baby shower for teacher and kids, and so of course I had to contribute some dinosaur appliqued onesies!  But I also thought it would be fun for the older sister to get to "match" her new baby, so I did matching appliques for the little girl.  Unfortunately, WM is down to very few long-sleeved no design shirts, so I ended up with two shirts of the same color - but one is a turtleneck and one a crew neck.

While I had the Jeep fabric out, I also appliqued two onesies with Jeeps, to go in with my sister and brother-in-law's Christmas box.  These are for their first baby.  I hope to be the first one to give them Jeep baby stuff. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Box bags!

I've made box bags before (pattern here) - they're very useful gifts.  Cute in and of themselves, but good for storing things - maybe for traveling, maybe just for organization.  But I've always made them for females.  This time, I asked my brother whether he thought that, in appropriate fabrics, they'd also be good for males.  He thought so, even though I hadn't told him he'd be a recipient! :)  These first two are for him - computer keyboard fabric.  I went to the quilt store hoping to find the print that looks like USB plug-ins, but no such luck.  I think these are just as fun, though.  Both are lined with the bright green you see peeking through the right one.

I had actually asked the question with the intention of making some for my brother-in-law, who loves his Jeep.  I found this fabric at Nancy's Notions and thought it would be perfect.  The one with an orange zipper is lined with a dark green, and the other has an Army green zipper and is lined with bright orange.  I used a heavier weight of interfacing for this set, and it does hold its shape better.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Flannel pillowcases!

While I was fabric shopping at JAF on Black Friday, I spotted this adorable camping flannel.  I have a friend who loves camping, so I thought it would be perfect!  I already have flannel (from the prior Black Friday!) for a new pair of PJs for her, so I thought pillowcases would be great.  These worked up really quickly.

On another trip to JAF, I walked through the flannel aisle "just to see," since they had a great sale going on.  Oops!  I have a friend who is completely into tae kwon do, and she'd love this flannel for pillowcases!  Total impulse purchase....

Which also led to these monsters - found on the same sale.  They are just so cheery that I had to get some.  I didn't figure my DH would go along with them on our bed, so I decided that the Things needed new cheery pillowcases.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More yarn-y goodness

First up, slippers from a different pattern!  These are for my aunt.  I thought she'd enjoy the same purple variegated yarn I used for my niece.  (Actually, I started with my aunt's, but ran into difficulty on the braided cuff - more on that later - and then used the leftovers for my niece's second pair.)  The pattern is the Knit-Look Braid Stitch Boots, from Bonita Patterns.  As I mentioned in my last blog post, I thought that the Crocodile Boots pattern was very well written.  I'm not quite as happy with this pattern - partly my issue, partly theirs.  The sole is done in such a way that it feels very flimsy - in fact, the pattern even suggests making two soles per slipper and then stitching them together!  (Yep, that's what I did.)  The sole on the other slipper pattern feels much more sturdy.  Then the instructions for the braid stitch cuff are very fiddly.  I love how it looks, but I quickly realized that I was going to lose my mind trying to make it as directed.  So instead, I adapted the cuff instructions and did it my way.  I think it turned out pretty well.

I realized that I needed another portable hand project to keep myself occupied over Christmas, so I decided to make a pair of slippers for my grandma.  I don't know her shoe size, so I had to email a cousin for a guess.  Here's hoping that they fit!

And for my mom, I was looking for a more plain slipper pattern that looked really warm.  This fit the bill.  I was guessing at size here, too, but went larger so she can wear them over socks.  This pattern was pretty mindless, once you got past the toe, and I enjoyed working it up on my lunch breaks - easy to talk and stitch!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A little yarn detour....

So last winter at some point, my sister-in-law posted the link to this slipper pattern and said she wished she could make these.  I took the bait - asked about colors and sizes - and ordered the pattern.  I never did get around to making them last winter, but this fall, I realized that I needed a portable project for lunchtimes at one of my jobs.  These came out, and they've worked out great!

The solid green ones are for my sister-in-law.  The other two pair are for my niece.  By foot measurement, the red/yellow/green ones should have been the right size, but they seemed awfully big (quite possibly user error!).  So I also made the purple/green ones in the smaller size.  (The purple/green variegated yarn was leftover from the slippers that I haven't yet finished for my aunt!)  I figured that even if the smaller size is right, she'll eventually grow into the larger one.

A close-up of my favorite buttons.  I found these at JAF, and I really wish they'd had other colorways to fit my slippers.  These are so cute!

To be honest, these are totally not my style.  The cuffs are way too foofy for me.  But if that's your thing, I can highly recommend the pattern.  It is well-designed and well-written, and it really works up quickly.  I could see myself using it again, if I thought the recipient would like this style.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dribs and drabs

My sister-in-law likes having matching mother-daughter stuff.  Not sure that she's quite taken it to PJs/loungewear, but hey!  Why not?  :)  I made her a pair of Tigger PJ pants last Christmas (she hasn't gotten them yet - shhhh) when I accidentally cut the wrong size for another friend.  Now I made a matching pair for my niece!  These are from the Kwik Sew Sewing for Toddlers book.

A friend commissioned some special flannel pillowcases for some friends, and I was happy to oblige!  There are two of these, and I hope that the recipients love them as much as she hopes.

And more key fobs!  I think there will be a few more to come - don't think I have any teacher ones left - but these are for a few coworkers and friends.  The short ones are for my boys for stocking gifts - they like putting them on their backpacks as zipper pulls.