Sunday, February 24, 2013

Quilts - Brag Pics

Since I sew, I also make quilts.  I am in the process of making another quilt, this one for myself, and I thought that I would intro it with the quilts that I have made in the past.  I made my first quilt in a quilting class in Mass with my friend, Kjestine.  It was about the year 2004-ish, I think.

My first quilt I made a wallhanging size.  Now I have never hung it on the wall, but use it as a throw.  I still use it to this day.  The style is a logcabin.

My First Quilt - 2004

My First Quilt - 2004

My second quilt I made as a gift and it was a baby quilt size, which was quite large actually.  The baby's bedroom had a jungle theme.

Joni - 2005

Joni - 2005

Next, later in 2005, I made another baby quilt for my cousin Stephanie's baby, Aiden.  This was made with fleece and did a blanket stitch around the edges.

Aiden - 2005

I was a quilting fool in 2005, I made a third quilt for my friend Erin's baby, Janelle.

Janelle - 2005

Janelle - 2005

I took a small break and made a quilt in 2007 for myself.  I made it bedspread size.  This one was a spin off the courthouse steps style.  I used flannel as my backing (back fabric).  So snuggley.

Mine - 2007

Mine - 2007

Next, in 2009, I made a baby quilt for my friend Nicole's baby, Allison.

Allison - 2009

Allison - 2009

In 2009, I made two quilts, one for each of Vince's daughters for Christmas.  These were full size quilts and I backed them with flannel, like I did for mine in 2007.

Youngest daughter Gen, I made a daisy chain style.

Gen - 2009

Gen - 2009

Gen - 2009

For his oldest daughter Alex, I made a spin of courthouse steps style.

Alex - 2009

Alex - 2009

Alex - 2009

In 2010, two more friends had babies.  Crissta was first, with Ines.  Her sex was unknown, so I had to make it neutral.

Ines - 2010

Ines - 2010

Next was Sheri, who had Keira.

Keira - 2010

Keira - 2010

I have made another one for my friend Crystal's son, Zander, but I could not find any pics of it.   Hey Crystal, if you can, take a pic of the quilt for me!


I now have pics of Zander's quilt.  His had a bug theme (and little mice thrown in :-) ):

Zander - 2008

Zander - 2008

I have saved all the scraps from these quilts and that is what I will use to make my next quilt.  I will share this with you over the next couple of weeks. 

Let me know which one(s) are your favorites!  I truly love each of these and I got great enjoyment giving them as gifts.  For the ones that I kept, I cherish and use them all the time.  Take time to learn how to quilt, it is a timeless tradition that makes family heirlooms.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fix It - Miss Me Sweater

I bought this sweater at a thrift store ages ago and just never did anything with it.  I bought it because it is Miss Me brand.  Vane, I know.  I recently looked up sweaters from Miss Me and, of course, they do not have this style anymore but the cheapest sweater on the website was $54.  This sweater at the thrift store was $4.  Yes, $4.

But....there is a catch.  The sleeves were waaaaay too long.  Who has arms this long?

So, you know what I'm going to do?!?!  I'm going to shorten them and reknit the cuff.  Yeeha!  I can't wait!

This is such a cute sweater, albeit a bit itchy, but cute.  Funny how when you look at the construction of a garment, you see how cheaply it was made.  First, this sweater is a mix of wool and acrylic.  Yuck, very itchy.  I will have to wear a long-sleeved T-shirt or blouse under this.  Second, the buttons on the front are the same shell buttons that I bought on eBay when I made the Shapeshifter Shrug.  They were $7 for a big bag of them.  Point proven.

First, I figured out where I wanted the new cuff to end; marked it.  Then unstitched the seam that held the arms together a few inches beyond the place I marked.  Then I found where I marked and made a little snip on a stitch at the very edge.  I carefully pulled that stitch out across the width of the sleeve.

Once the sleeve was detached from the main sweater, I unraveled the detached part of the sleeve and balled it up.  I will use this very yarn to reknit the cuff.

I tried to gauge what knitting needle I was going to use to reknit.  I have at least one of each size in my organizer.

I figured that I needed a 9.  I put the loose stitches from the real sleeve onto this size 9 needle.

I then knitted the ribbing again: k2, p2.

I tried blocking the sleeves in order to align the stitches neat, by wetting the cuffs and placing a towel on it.

In addition to putting heavy weight on it to smoosh them into submission.

But, it did not really work.  I think the reason why it did not work is because it was an acrylic blend.  Damn those acrylic blends.  They ruin everything!

Once I accepted this, I seamed up the arms again with the tails of the yarn that were hanging out still.  I weaved in the rest of the ends.

The seam are in-line with how it looked originally and the cuffs back together.

Not too shabby....

I wore it to work a few weeks back and got tons of compliments.  Thank you Miss Me, but move over for Miss Nancy!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dishtowel Aprons

I made my first set of dishtowel aprons back in the early 2000's with a little help from Martha Stewart.  I subscribed to Living back then and got the idea from that.

This project is going to be a birthday gift for a friend and I made a matching one for her daughter.

You will need only a few items:
  • Dishtowel, any size
  • Twill tape (any width, I used 3/4" wide)
    • This is bought at Joann's in the zipper section
  • Scissors
  • Needle & thread

First, I went shopping for some cute dish towels.  The ones I found were really long so I got another idea from that.  Then you will need one package of twill tape for each towel you make.

I cut a portion off the bottom and will make a pocket from this.  A fabulous idea, if I don't say so myself!

To do this, I flipped the towel over so wrong side is facing up.  I placed my pocket, also wrong side facing up, lining up the raw edges.  I sewed a 1/4" seam on the raw edge.

I took the pocket and flipped it to the front.  This has both the towel and pocket right sides facing out.  I sewed up the sides and along the bottom again.  This just so the pocket is not puffy, but is flat against the towel.

I sewed up the middle of the pocket to bisect it.  I sewed right up the middle blue stripe.

Next, take the twill tape and cut a length that is comfortable length around your neck, about 20-23".  This is the neck strap.  Fold the top left corner in 2" and then back to meet the fold 1".  Place one end of the neck strap in-between one of the folds.  Pin.  Do the same for the right side.  Try the apron on and adjust one side until it is comfortable.

Sew through all layers of the fold and twill tape.  I used a zipper foot to get close to the towel's seams.

Take the remainder of the twill tape and fold in half to determine the middle.  Cut so you have two equal lengths.  Try the apron on again and mark where your natural waist is.  Pin the twill tape end to the two places that were marked on the wrong side of the apron.  Pin it so the tape is coming out of the side of the apron.  Sew in place.

I made the daughter's apron first, where she is tiny, so the apron top is very taken in.

For the neck of the daughter's apron, I left the twill tape as two separate straps so that her Mom can adjust it as she grows.

Here they are...this is a really quick project.  Perfect for a housewarming gift or a gift to a new bride.

Of course, I have to model everything...

Try your hand at a dishtowel apron.  Have fun!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fix It - Jeans

I have been knitting so much that I have been neglecting my sewing machine.  I found time one recent Saturday and fixed Cindy's Miss Me jeans and I also fixed a few other things around the house: 2 Pairs of Vince's jeans, 1 pair of khaki cargos for me, and a pajama top.

1.  Vince's Broken Zipper
Jeans with a broken zipper are jeans ready for the trash.  But, Vince likes wearing jeans until they are completely full of holes or ragged in every sense of the word.  So, here I am enabling him by mending jeans I would like to never see again.  Oh well, it's what I do.  

A zipper tooth was missing near the base of the zipper, so the zipper got off track and only zipped up one side.  I took a pair of Vince's wire cutters and pulled off two more zipper teeth.

I was having fun!  I felt like a dentist, pulling "teeth" with these wire cutters.  I tried putting the zipper back on track, but I needed to pull one more out.  Plink!  So, a total of three teeth pulled out and the zipper finally played nice and caught the other side.

Now, I had to make a new zipper stop at the base so the zipper would always stay on track.  I used some Dual Duty jeans topstitching.

This is thick thread to ensure that it stays tough through washings and the wear and tear of the zipper hitting it.

2. Vince's Open Side-Seam
I'm not sure how this seam made it's way open, but none-the-less, there is the open hole:

This was simple.  I turned the leg inside out and sewed along the seam with the thread that was already on the machine.

3. My Khaki Cargo Loose Zipper 
The last few times I had worn these Cargos, when I use the zipper, the unbroken loose thread would catch the zipper head and get stuck.

See my finger through the detached zipper?  This was a simple one too.  Just sewed along the line where the thread once was.  Trimmed away that loose thread.

Yeah, not the neatest job, but it will get covered by the zipper panel.

4.  My Pajama Top Broken Straps
My pajama top's strap broke.  I only wear it sometimes and I was just going to toss it, but when I was gathering the other items above, I decide to just fix it.

One strap broke completely and the other one was hanging on by literally a thread.  I took the zipper foot on my sewing machine and went over it a few times.

It feels good to fix items that were one step from being thrown out.  I usually pride myself on being a fixer, but for some reason, lately, I am in a "clean sweep" mode and just want to get rid of anything that is not in good or better condition.

I want to start paring down my "stuff".  I want to buy a house this year and really have to get rid of junk.  Any pointers for where to even start?  I really want to live with less stuff but I can't shake the "I may need that someday" mentality.  How do I get rid of that kind of thinking??