Sewing ain’t Easy, Wait, Yes it is

I have been honing my sewing skills.

From t-shirt make-overs to pattern making (this isn’t it, later, promise).

I have found the crown jewel of adorable beginner sewing pattern! I’m so excited, I had to share. It is the Abby coat pattern by Shwin Designs.

I’ll be honest, I went to their ETSY shop everyday, trying to muster the courage to buy this pattern. It looks very intimidating! I even messaged the shop, asking a few questions to determine if I were up to the challenge. Sadly, they never responded to my inquiries, which brings me to wonder if they thought I was a pattern writer trying to pick their brains and develop a like pattern (don’t snicker, it totally happens). Regardless, I purchased it, and YAY!

It is super easy to follow. I’ve tried following online patterns before, and it was horrible! I much prefer winging it, or better yet, purchasing a pattern at the store with the super fabulous tracing paper that you use to cut fabric. I find the store bought patterns difficult to understand though. The most difficult part of the Abby coat is cutting and pasting the papers together to cut your fabric. The instructions to cut and paste the tracing paper is really great, easy to understand and great to follow.

Sewing the fabric was simple too. The pattern you purchase has extreme detailed photo instructions. I’m talking about a photo of all your pattern pieces, a photo that shows connect piece A to piece B like so, stitch, iron seam open, etc.

I’ve made so many of these coats. I love the versatility, and it’s so soft and warm. My friend even caught her daughter sleeping in hers, which is the best compliment ever!

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I even adapted the pattern to make a boyish version for my son, complete with glow in the dark collar and elbow pads(ish).

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He loves his coat, and brags that I made it for him wherever we go, total proud mama moment.

I LOVE this pattern! I’m a very slow sewer, but this sews up pretty quickly, and always looks fantastic!

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Have A Crafty Day!

 

Flower Power

I’ve been obsessed with newborn photo props.

Any photographers I encounter at craft shows, always ask for some.

I found this fantastic pattern on ETSY by Crafty girls of Avon. It works up quickly, and uses soft chunky yarn. Although it has a lot of sewing, which I’m not a fan of. I find myself crocheting up all the pieces, and letting it sit, for days, until I sew it up. Not the best strategy, but oh well. It’s great for beginner crocheters, can be done in multiple color combinations, and here’s a little hint, use a bigger hook for a larger size bonnet =)

Did I mention, this pattern is only $3.99!!!

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Special orders

I know, I know, I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks, sorry. I’ve been inundated with special orders. It’s been wonderful. I love when people recommend me to their family and friends. It helps me KNOW the quality I’m putting out. It’s different when you THINK you know, but it feels so much better when you KNOW you know, you know? (ha-ha-ha)

Here is one of my special orders. Nursing cover and burp cloths, made with Monster Inc fabric and coordinating Monster faces, and a baby Mike Wazowski beanie.

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Here is the link to the Nursing cover tutorial. Nursing covers take a lot of fabric! I have never done something so large before. Never worked with boning, or sewing hardware onto a project. This tutorial is fabulous for a novice sewer. My dimensions were different, simply because I had already cut the fabric for the burp cloths before my friend requested the cover, so I added trim from the coordinating burp cloth scraps. It made a matching set =) She was tickled, and I was able to add another item to my volley of “can do’s.” Fyi, I purchased this super cute fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop.

This is my new crown jewel achievement (I know, I keep saying that). Another crafter/baker, and I had traded items (love it when that happens), she recommended me to a customer who was looking for a very specific baby shower gift. Can you guess what it was? Well if you’re a Star Wars fan, then maybe. (Insert exciting unveiling music here)…..

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TA-DA!!!!! Mommy and me Boba Fet helmets! The photo shown to me had the details in felt. Maybe I’m just not experienced enough to work with felt, but I can’t seem to use it, unless felt is just glued, not sewn. Either way, I choose to crochet each piece, and sew them on individually. Very painstaking work, but the end result made it completely worth it. The gifter relayed that her niece was practically jumping through the phone when she saw it.

I vow to post more patterns this month, so stay tuned…

Have a Crafty Day!

 

Let’s Trade

I have been amazed to discover the amount of talented military spouses that surround me. There are Facebook pages dedicated to sharing talents throughout the base. So what happens when money is tight for the holiday season and you find something that you just HAVE to have. If it’s between crafty folk, or those with other talents, we barter and trade.

This is fun, but can be hazardess depending on the people you’re dealing with. One of my very talented Facebook friends who makes splendid cakes, had a run in with someone that wanted to trade (we’ll call her the requester), but didn’t have anything my friend wanted. A trade has to be agreed upon by both parties, and the value has to be equivalent. My friend told the requester, thank you but I do not need or want any of that. This produced anger, frustration and a little vindictive behavior on the part of the requester. My poor friend was in disbelief, and shared her experience with us (Thanks for the blogging fuel).

It stands to reason, that if you want a product, and someone is willing to trade, but the value is not equal, then a monetary supplement is the only solution. Additionally, if you are requesting a service or product, you would be prepared to pay, like in any other transaction, so the behavior of the requester is just bad form!

Luckily, I have had only positive experiences with trading. I saw this crafters work through one of the many crafting groups and we made a great trade. She makes paper products, candy wrapper purses/headbands, and paper ornaments; her Facebook page is Twisted Parchment.

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Aren’t they fabulous? I got 6! She was very excited to trade for a rainbow of crochet butterflies to finish off a blanket she made previously.

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What a trade! My sister first introduced me to these 3-D butterflies in her blog Chucks for Chancho. This butterfly pattern can be found here (must convert to U.S. terms, but she tells you how).

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2-Button Cowl Pattern

I think I have finally found a good balance between knitting and crocheting, and I have to thank my Aunt for that. She loves the items I make and is an avid crafter herself, making traditional Native walking sticks, Native jewelry and baby shower items, (click here to shop at her FB page) however she does not knit or crochet. So with her crafty wisdom, she suggested a trade. With my Mom’s help, they picked out some great vintage buttons from her stash to trade for some items. They sent me 4 gallon size Ziploc bags FULL of buttons, and a bunch of ribbon. So basically anything she wants she’s going to get! Here is my first installation of item payment. IMG_0123

She loves “Earth Tones” which to me always meant brown since earth is dirt right? After my sister laughed at me, made fun of me, she then explained what “Earth Tones” meant. Apparently they’re warm earthy hues of browns, greens, oranges, and even blues, and sometimes greys, well….ok. So naturally I had to pin some color pallets on Pinterest for assistance.

Back to the crafting portion, I thought I would share my 2-button cowl pattern with you. I know this one has four, but you see I have come into an excess of buttons lately, lol. I like this look because it can be changed up depending on your mood. The buttons give you the option of wearing it snug on the neck or loose for better accessorizing. I always love the self striping yarn, it saves way more time then switching yarn colors, but that is always an option. The stitch is large enough that you don’t need to add button holes, but check your button size about half way through your work so you can determine if you need to add button holes or not.

I use Charisma Loops & Threads, (Bulky 5) and can usually be found at any craft store. IMG_0134

Abbreviations:

St-Stitch

K-Knit

Sl-Slip one stitch from left needle to right needle unworked (as if to purl)

*-Repeat

Pattern:

With size 13 needles, cast on 28stitches (or any even number of stitches).

Row1: K

Row 2: K1, *K1, Sl 1* until 3 St remain, K3

Row 3: K

Row 4: K3, *Sl 1, K1* until 2 St remain, K2

That’s it! If you use this pattern as is, repeat these 4 rows for the entire skein until there is just enough yarn left to Bind off. If you need to add button holes to accommodate larger buttons you can do that in any Knit row. I would recommend K8, Bind off 2, K8, Bind off 2, K8 and in the next row you’ll need to Cast on those stitches (for large buttons), or any way you prefer to add button holes. Medium sized buttons fit perfectly between the stitches, or you can mix it up by sewing a ribbon and using it as a closure for a totally different look.

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Steps and Ladders stitch (Rib and Welt)

With our home not being ready till the first of July, thank you Army, we are staying at an extended stay hotel. It’s not too bad, unless you consider the zero privacy mommy and daddy have, the zero space for the little bit we brought with us, and the 2-burner electric stove (OH, how I hate electric burners), and the no oven which limits our menu greatly. Hey, it can always be worse, I mean we can be here during hurricane season, having thunderstorms and flooding, what a minute….AAAHHHH!!! (eyes closed tight, heels clicking) “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home,” nope…still here.

Well taking it all into account, I have tons of knitting/crocheting, and blogging time. I thought I’d share one of my favorite stitches, steps and ladders. It’s very versatile, and a simple knit and purl series. Plus, I think it has a kind of masculine feel to it. I’ve made a few projects with this pattern, first a hat for my big Bro, in his favorite Raider color scheme.  Picture 166

A couple days ago I whipped up a toddler cowl for my little guy. He loves choo-choo trains so that meant a trip to Walmart for some novelty train buttons. They’re kind of difficult to button and unbutton, but oh so cute!DSC00275

It’s so difficult to get a 2-year old to stand still for a picture, they mostly end up blurry, or a huge shot of his face, lol.DSC00287

Once and awhile I can get a decent one, I discovered the secret is using continuous shooting.

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I got this stitch from Vogue Stitchionary Volume 1, hard copy. Luckily Lily Sugar ‘n Cream has it available for free =), this is a link to their new free pattern directory. It is officially called Rib and Welt pattern, just click the link for the stitch, but I like steps and ladders better, yes, I’m one of those that renames things.

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