Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Top 5 Sewing Misses.

Sewing Misses

1.  Jamie Jeans - this version was intended to be a wearable muslin so I was anticipating having fit problems but thought I could make it work.  I've decided that the colour just doesn't work for me for full length pants so I've had no motivation to finish adjusting them.

2. Jacole Skinny Pants - the pattern is simple and a fairly quick sew for pants.  Whenever I wear these I feel like I have to keep hiking them up all day.  I've taken the waistband in a couple times and initially that  helps but I still feel like it doesn't work.  I made 2 pairs of these.  I made the coral ones because I thought the colour looked really trendy and I could pull it off.  Instead I just feel really conspicuous wearing them. I like the colour of the bluish grey ones.  When the weather gets warmer I might cut the legs shorter and make them capris and see if they are better then.  I also now know that I need to increase the rise in the back.  I squat down a lot while playing with my kids and when teaching kindergarten and if pants slide down when I crouch I won't wear them.

3. Velvet Disaster -   I used the Jamie Jean pattern again . . . because I had it and used a size up because I was using velvet.  I could get them on but they felt like a was wearing a vice when I went to bend down.  I took the side seam apart and added this stripe of black velvet.  My husband's comment was "you look like you are wearing velvet track pants" not the elegant look I was going for. These I am just abandoning.

4. Melly Sews Hi/Lo top - This is a great free pattern.  I tried adding a bit of width to it and ended up with the neckline being to wide.  It slides over to expose my bra straps, which I hate.  I am usually so worried about making something too small that I end up making my first versions too big.  I don't have a picture of this one.

5. Plaid Natalie Top - I was so excited about making a cozy plaid top for the winter.  I've made the Natalie top 3 times already so I knew it was a Tried and True (TNT) pattern for me.  Except somehow when I was cutting it out I added an inch to the front width and the same for the back.  I've been ripping out seams and adjusting and trying to save it.  I went back to the fabric store to get 1/2 m more of the same fabric and they didn't have any more! So I went home and thought more about it.  I found this shirt with a lace yoke.  I'm currently trying to fix the neckline by adding the lace yoke and a colour so it will match the rest of my family with their matching plaid shirts.  The pockets are terrible.  The collar is too big.  I'm not sure it's salvageable.

I don't dislike any of these patterns . . .  sometimes my fabric choice wasn't good, I didn't cut the pattern accurately or I need modify the fit just for me. 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Top 5 Sewing Hits of 2014

Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow is hosting a reflection series called The Top 5 of 2014.  First up is my top 5 Sewing hits of 2014.

1. Julia Cardigan

I made a whole rainbow of these.  They are the perfect light layer for spring, summer and fall.  I wore them all the time in the warmer weather. I will probably make a few more again next year when the weather warms up.  If you haven't made a Julia cardigan yet you should.

2. Natalie Top

This is my third version of the Natalie top.  I like my green one and even my first blue one that I made but this floral one is my favourite.  I love the fit of it. It looks great with pants are a skirt.  I gave it a slight hi/lo hem so I'm comfortable wearing it with skinny jeans or cords.  I like that the sleeves have little tabs for having them rolled up but I also like rolling them down to full length.

3. Newsboy Hat

Cutest hat pattern ever!  I bought the adult and child version.  Here are the first 2 I made for my kids.  The pattern is reversible so it is fun to play with fabrics.  I also made a fleece lined one for my daughter for the cooler weather.  I can see myself making one of these each year for the kids as they grow.  My cousin loved the look so much she asked me to make one for her as.

4. Weekend Rambler Skirt

I do love this skirt, even though the front pockets aren't very big.(Here's more details) I've worn it this winter with heavier fleece tights and I will wear it in the summer as well. 

5. Family Button up Shirts - Kids shirts Lumberjack shirt, Men's shirt: Simplicity 1544,

These turned out to be the cutest things.  I had bought some plaid to make a shirt for myself (you'll see it under my top 5 misses) and had enough leftover to make a shirt for my son.  It is a bit fiddly to sew a button up shirt but so cute and somehow addicting.  I then decided to make matching shirts for my husband and daughter.  I've never sewn anything for my husband because he's quite picky about clothes so I was prepared for him to not like it but he does.  Aren't they cute.  My shirt was a fail.  I think I have a fix that will work but I didn't get it done before the holidays.

Thursday, 18 December 2014

DIY Knitted Boots

I saw these knitted Ugg boot last year on Pinterest and I loved them.  I really wanted them but I couldn't justify buying them.
UGG Australia boots

I had an old pair of mucklucks that I still wore on occasion but not often. So I into my yarn stash and found this purple yarn that had been a scratchy sweater at one point of time. 
I measured around the boot and the length of the upper part of the boot.  I did a guage swatch to figure out how many stitches to cast on.


Yarn: I used 2 strands of worsted weight yarn held together.
Needles: 5.5 mm
 Gauge: 3 sts/inch

Finished Size: 8 1/2" wide by 8"  tall

Cast on 36 stitches.  I knit the Twisted Braided cable pattern according to these instructions from Knitting on the Net  I knit until I had a rectangle that was 8 by 8 1/2 inches.  Then I attached it to the boot by stitching around the bottom, around the top and overlapping the sides.  I picked a few mis-matched buttons and sewed them on over the seam.

Voila!  DIY Knitted Boots that cost me nothing to make.  In a few years I think I will get some blue yarn and make a pair like my inspiration picture.   These would be easy to make with thrift store pair of slip on boots and easy to customize with your own pattern.
Have you ever knit anything inspired by Pinterest?  Follow me on Pinterest Christa Lakeknit

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Are you a Cowl Girl?

Are you a scarf or cowl person?  I've just come to the realization that I'm more of a cowl girl. I wear scarves but I wear cowls more.  Cowls stay in place.  There's no ends to come loose and droop down into my kid's artwork/food/random mess.  When I'm working I teach Kindergarten  . . . definitely no dangly pieces of clothing there.

I've had this scarf for quite a while and I've worn it in the winter as an outdoor scarf in November and March but then didn't really get much use out of it.  So I decided to stitch the ends together to make a cowl.

Another thing I realized . . . I never blocked it!  Here it is blocking.

Pattern: Wakefield Scarf   (free pattern)
Yarn:  I have no idea, some sort of wool with a tiny bit of silk.  Something that matched the gauge suggested.

I love it!  Now I wear it all the time, sometimes as an outdoor scarf and sometimes as an accessory.  What do you prefer scarves or cowls?

Friday, 12 December 2014

Rainbow Yarn - an Adventure in dyeing with Food Colouring

Have you seen the yarn from YarnInk.  She's a Canadian hand dyer.  I follow her on Instagram and everyday she puts up yarn that I have to resist buying.  I really hope that I'm getting some sock and shawl yarn from her this Christmas.  I gave my husband my list  . . . and he's pretty good at getting me stuff I like!

I keep looking at the Rainbow yarns she does.  My daughter would love a rainbow sweater, but at $27 a skein for DK weight yarn . . . .that's not happening.  So I decided to dye some myself.

I have 7 balls of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes that I had bought to make myself a white sweater.  After making another sweater for myself in Knit Picks Swish Worsted I decided I wanted to save up for a better quality yarn for something for myself.  For kids knits Knit Picks is great.

I wound 5 of the balls into skeins and followed the directions in this Knitty tutorial for how to dye using food colouring.

I got all my supplies organized before my son's nap and I had it ready to go in the oven just as he woke up.

 I left it in the oven until it reached 82 degrees Celsius.  The water looked all clear. 

I let it cool and rinsed it.  Hardly any colour came out.

Rainbow yarn skein yumminess!!  I'm so thrilled with how they turned out.  If I was to do this again I would use a bit less yellow dye . .  . to make it a bit mellower.  For the purple I used Kool aid, which I've done before but I would like to try purple food colouring and see if I get get a bit more variation in the purple.

For a sweater for a 3 1/2 year old girl!!  Perfect.

And I've already cast on  for her.  A pre-school size Baby Sunnyside Sweater. (It's the same pattern as I knit my last sweater, the Lady Sunnyside)  .  I'll have to call them Thunder and Rainbow sweaters since mine is grey.

The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn so I'm knitting the 3-6 month size using worsted weight yarn and 4.5 mm needles.  So far it looks to be the perfect size.  Happy Knitting.