Thursday, August 28, 2008

Favorite Socks

Favorite Socks.... the book by Interweave has become a favorite of mine for some great sock patterns.

I really have not knit much this summer---I think knitting is a winter hobby for me. But in the car when I'm not driving I do take my knitting with me. A few weeks ago I finished this pink pair of "Embossed Leaves" by Mona Schmidt from the Favorite Socks book.

The burgundy socks were completed several months ago, and actually, I like this pattern better than the Embossed Leaves pattern. This design is "Retro Rib" by Evelyn Clark. These are knit in KnitPicks Essential yarn.

So---I no longer have any socks on the needle, although I do admit to having yarn for several more pairs in my yarn collection. After Labor Day I plan to choose some yarn and start another pair. I can't do without at least one pair of socks on the needles!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Brilliant Blog :)

One of the many things that Jessica and I like about blogging is all the wonderful people that we get to "meet" who read our blog. We read each comment with delight, and we feel honored by your encouraging and kind words. Thank you!

Thank you to Kathy and to Cheryl for choosing Sew Chic for this Brilliant Blog Award. We see this badge on many others of our favorite blogs, and we are blessed to be included.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Undies Quartet

I can't believe I'm making little girl undies. And I can't believe how easy-peasy they are to make. The pattern pieces are just the right size of small to use up fabric scraps; you may recognize the recent outfit I made. 100% cotton knit. Double thick just where it's needed. Soft. And did I mention how easy they are to sew? You can bet I'll be making more....this little girl of mine goes through about 5 a day!

happy sewing,

Pattern: That*Darn*Kat
I made size 2; The pattern goes up through a size 8 and also includes a boy version.

Changes I made:

I encased the front and back crotch seam so that no seams are exposed. In Kat's pattern, the front crotch seam is serged and left exposed.

I added elastic in the waistband casing. Kat suggests using a knit with lyra and does not call for elastic. My knit is 100% cotton, and I'm not sure if the stretch recovery will be enough . It was very simple to add elastic to the waist casing.

Next time I may use FOE (foldover elastic) or even a soft undergarment elastic instead of the knit bands at the legs and waist.


This morning I tried the panties on E. and the fit is perfect! The leg bands are snug but not binding. The waist band is just right and I'm so glad I added the elastic to the waist.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Jammies for Jacob

Jacob always asks me why I don't sew for him like I do for his sisters, so I decided to make him some much needed pajamas. You know, it's just not as much fun sewing for boys as it is for girls, at least in my opinion. :) But Jacob was delighted with his new pjs, and that made it worth it. Both the summer and winter jammies are from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Children book.

Size Medium (7/8)
No seams down the side of the pants legs.
Just the right amount of "too big" for this coming winter.
Fabric: Jersey knit for the tops, interlock knit for the pants/shorts.

With the fabric scraps, I had just enough to make a shirt for the most adorable little grandson in the world---Eliott---see Jessica's previous post.

happy sewing,

My baby is growing up...

Thought you might enjoy a couple pictures of Elliot that I took yesterday. He will be 18 months old next week...time has gone by so fast! He is such a joy, and we've had a lot of fun at this stage. He's walking, and starting to communicate so much more with words and signs, and he is even learning things like helping pick up his toys, and getting ready to go out.

Elliot is wearing a shirt that Mom made for him last week. I'm not sure what the pattern is, but I'm sure she will write about it sometime, as she made matching pj set for Jacob.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tutorial: How to Convert Jeans into Maternity

Let me start of by saying that there is an awesome tutorial on craftster for maternity jeans, and I'm not trying to copy it. While I really liked that tutorial, and it was the basis for my inspiration to make these jeans, I wanted something a bit different.

First, I wanted the wide elastic band in my jeans rather then just solely using a t-shirt for the knit fabric to hold the jeans up. I've found that some knit fabrics tend to bag and sag pretty badly after one wearing, and I wanted something stronger holding up my jeans!

Also, I wanted to have the option of being able to have more coverage and support then just a wide elastic band. Many of the rtw maternity jeans just have that, and sometimes they don't stay up well. I've actually patterned these after a pair of jeans I had my last pregnancy from Old Navy. The elastic band is there, but there is additional knit fabric that goes up higher for more support, but it can also be folded down if desired.

One thing that's really great about converting non-maternity pants, is that they fit normally through the hips, thighs, and bottom. Most of the rtw maternity pants I've tried on sag and bag funny right under the front waistband. I hate that! These capris I've converted feel just like they used to...only more comfortable now. =) I plan to go thrift store shopping and hopefully convert some more as I need them.

Materials needed:
Jeans that fit well though the thighs and bottom
Wide elastic for waistband
Knit fabric
Heavy duty needle (size 100) and thread
chalk marker to mark on fabric

Here's what I did

Put the jeans (in my case, capris) on and make a mark to where they will comfortably zip up to. The pair you pick should fit comfortably through the thighs and bottom. Take them off and mark a line from your zipper mark curving up and around to the back of the pants to just under the back belt loops.

Stitch, using heavy thread on this line. You may need to stitch several time over the zipper and fly area to make it really secure. I had trouble getting my machine to sew well through some of the thick layers of denim. Using a jeans needle (size 100) and jeans thread seemed to help.

Cut off excess waistband just above your stitching line, about 5/8 inch. Try them on again for fit. If they seem big, that's ok. You need extra ease, and the elastic band will bring them in. You should be able to pull them up comfortable over your hips.

Next take your wide elastic and sew a band that fits comfortable around your lower belly about where your pants will sit. I used 2inch wide elastic, but you could use wider if desired.

Take your knit fabric and make a long tube. I made mine a bit narrower then my elastic band because I wanted it to have to stretch to go over my tummy, not just loosely fit around it.

My knit tube was about 14 inches tall before I folded it in half (see picture below) If I make these again, I will make it several inches taller because the finished band didn't go up nearly as far as I would have liked on me.

Fold your tube in half wrong sides together. Next you are going to sew a casing from the elastic. Using chalk, mark a line 2 and 5/8inches up from the raw edges. (if you use wider elastic, make your chalk line up higher)

Using a narrow zig-zag stitch (or your favorite stretch stitch) to sew along the line you marked. A regular straight stitch won't work because it will break when you stretch it to pull your jeans on and off. I'm using regular navy colored thread here.

Now you can insert your elastic between the two layers and sew the lower seam to keep it in place.
Finished band should look like this. As you can see, the elastic is sewn in a casing at the lower part of my knit fabric tube. The top is just loose, stretchy knit fabric.

Mark your center front and back, and sides, on your knit tube and pin it, right sides together, to your cut off jeans. Sew together, using a narrow zig-zag, or other stretch stitch. I sewed this seam twice for strength.

It looked like this!
I also serged that final seam to prevent fraying and make it look nicer. This is optional.

I'm done!
Here they are on me with the excess knit fabric folded down over the elastic band part. It would be cute to use a print fabric and then it would look like I had a cute undershirt on if it showed!

This shows it with the knit folded up for more support. I wish I would have make it several inches taller, as the line is at a funny spot on my belly and show under my shirts. Overall though, I am very happy with these pants. Like I said above, they fit like NORMAL, non-maternity jeans. I feel like I'm wearing the same capris I always wear, and that's so nice!!


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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Beautiful Puckery-ness

One of the best feelings in the world is when you take a newly finished, just-washed quilt out of the dryer and wrap yourself up in its warm softness. Yes, I finished the quilt!

I love this quilt. I love the beautiful puckery-ness of a quilt when it's been through the dryer for its first time. I love seeing all those tiny squares and am awed that I actually had the patience 10 years ago to sew those little pieces together. I love that I have a new quilt on my bed, and that I made it!

I think I'm going to wrap myself up in my quilt and take a nap...

Ruth :)

If I recall, the pattern is either a 9-Patch Variation, or "Trip Around the World" "Irish Chain" (thanks, Tammy). I machine-pieced the top and then hand-quilted the layers together in a hoop. The binding was sewn to the quilt front by machine and then hand-stitched to the back. This is a big quilt---it fits my queen size bed with a 12 inch drop.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The 10-Year Quilt

This quilt has been 10 years in the making, and I'm determined not to let it go another year. While cleaning my closet the other day, I unearthed this quilt that I started 10 years ago. The last time I worked on it was 4 years ago, and it has resided in my closet ever since. Can you believe I only have about 3 feet of hand quilting to complete before sewing on the binding?!!! Only 3 feet--probably less than 3 hours--and the quilt would practically be finished! I'm determined to finish it before I start another project. I hope I remember how to hand quilt....