Archive | April, 2009

Happy birthday!

28 Apr

Once upon a time, in the shadow of a tall tree, there was a colorful little barn.

barn by the tree

Inside the barn, lived a happy mixed pack of animals.

this is our home

Luckily for two-year-olds, they like to come out and play on the lawn.

let's play

Pattern:Fabric dollhouse tutorial

Fabrics: Amy Butler, Ikea (reinforcement is batting taped to thin cutting board pieces)

Reception: The barn got carried around, buttons were examined very carefully and assorted animals were tossed into the pan together with the felted food for a rather straightforward stew. A success all around!

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Easter and other past times

16 Apr

I spent a nice long Easter holiday back home. Despite the ridicule of friends, I persisted with my Martha Stewart approach to easter eggs this year. Decoupage on both sides, baby!

easter eggs 1

easter eggs 2

I spent some time cleaning out my grandparents’ closets and found some treasures. Some were even mine! These are rocks from a holiday, very important to 10-year olds. The candies in the box were good, too.

treasures?

treasures!

And some could become mine if I were to take the plunge… Actual sewing fabric might be a stretch but I’d love to weave a scarf.

weave your own fabric

Amongst the impressive collection of bottle caps from the 80s were these. Boy was that Lemon Palma soda good on a hot summer day! But what is that baby drinking?

remember that drink?

Girly things

8 Apr

As promised, here are some practice dresses. I recently traded some yarn for sewing magazines, more specifically Ottobre magazines which include fun patterns for kids. Having only made a few clothing items, I decided to start with some easy dresses. I made these two last weekend. First, a linen summer dress with gathered neckline and sleeves. I appliquéd a little bird on it from Tula Pink’s Full Moon Forest fabrics.

linen dress front

linen dress back

I battled with the elastics a bit but once I figured those out this was a breeze to make. The pattern is from Ottobre 2/2005. It’s a size 92cm (chest circumference 64 cm and total length 55cm) and big for that size. For summers to come, I suppose.

I wanted to make something my goddaughter could wear already now, and decided upon a corduroy vest dress from the latest Ottobre (1/2009). The size is 86cm (chest 62 cm, length 51 cm).

corduroy dress front

corduroy dress back

The second dress offered more challenge for a novice like me: buttonholes, top stitching and partial lining. It came together quite quickly though. The main fabrics for both dresses are from Hilco, the lining is Midwest Modern from Amy Butler. The buttons are from my late grandmother’s stash.

I like looking at the details the most. I think it’s safe to say these aren’t the last dresses I’ll be making.

dress details

NYC loot

7 Apr

I went, I bought, I conquered. Hardly, but I did make some great craft purchases while in New York. Here’s the major part of my loot:

Noro Kureyon sock yarn (oh so thin) from Downtown yarns
Koigu KPPPM sock yarn (a first for me) from Purl
Ribbons from MJ Trimmings
nicely folded fat quarters and yardage of Sweet by Urban Chiks for Moda Fabrics from City Quilter

crafty loot from NYC

I also finally bought some fancy Oliver+S patterns at Purl Patchwork. I had also ordered some Katie Jump Rope fabrics from Sew, Mama, Sew. How do you think this combination looks for a Tea Part Sundress? I’ve already started sewing practices on easier dresses, pictures to come sometime later this week.

oliver and katie

And finally a reminder of how easy we have it with our modern sewing machines. I swear that’s how my sewing nook looks! This is a print reproduction I got from the #44 Market between W. 76th and W. 77th Street’s on Columbus Avenue.

oh so luxurious cropped

Paging spring

4 Apr

Alas, no reply yet. It’s been cold and dark and slushy ever since I got back from the definitely springtime New York City with my partner in crime, err, craft. (She has already posted some photos, and I will, too)

My apologies for the lousy pictures but I have to show you something. The long awaited (at least by me) nature shawl. To make this thing last a while longer I’m gonna lay out the whole transformation.

First, I dyed some yarn. Actually, lots of yarn. You saw all the shades a while back. I ended up using 22 different ones for this project.

when we grow up we want to be a shawl

Then I settled on a pattern. I picked Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl by Sarah Bradberry because I had already seen quite a few on Ravelry knit with naturally dyed yarn and they looked promising. Here’s the pattern starting to emerge.

shawl taking form

By the end up March I had it all knit up. As all shawls with any lace pattern it looked pretty sad at this point. Add to that the 44 yarn ends I had to work in. It’s actually quite fun when you get into the flow.

done by not quite ready yet

Then it was time to block. I’m a skittish blocker, never dare to block anything to an inch of its life as lace should be, plus I keep changing the needle positions constantly. My craftdom for some blocking wires. Here’s a relatively clean shot of an edge.

blocking shawl

And then she was all dry and ready to go out on the town! I’ve worn the shawl both on my shoulders and wrapped about my neck. Granted, not everyone was as excited as me but it does feel nice to wear something you’ve created from nearly scratch. The homefront suggestion was to start raising sheep so I could shear and spin and really have a homemade shawl. I’m sure he didn’t realize those words could come back to haunt him in a few years. ;)

shawl done!

The shawl took 132g of fingering-weight silk-wool yarn, meaning I could squeeze about 6 more out of the amount I’ve got dyed right now if I use the same 2,5 mm needles. The next time I knit this I need to pay more attention to contrast. I pretty much just picked the next shade at random. This meant that I had used up my darkest yarns by the middle of the shawl.

shawl b&w

But I still love watching the colors change and remembering what plant or mushroom I got those from. I can even remember what the day was like when I gathered the dyestuff and dyed the yarn. Yellows from heather picked in the woods at my grandfathers on a crisp autum afternoon. Light greens from stinging nettles found by the railroad tracks and snipped carefully with gloved hands on the backyard as the dog wondered what I was up to. Browns from walnuts soaked for days by my dad so I could get the most color out of them. Special thanks for my aunt who picked all the cortinarius sanguineus mushrooms that gave those lovely dark reds.

shawl closeup