Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Little Knitting

Here's Clara's new winter hat. Sadly, she outgrew my favorite green one. I guess I shouldn't be too sad, because it made it through 2 winters. This one I made the same way, about a 1 1/2 inch ribbed edge and then alternating 2 knits/2 pearls every 2 rows. Once it was big enough I just started a simple decrease. Really pretty simple.
Clara picked out the yarn herself, a pretty purpley alpaca blend.

Christmas Dress

There are times I wish I had a good camera. Usually, it's when the pictures I take don't do the thing I made justice. This is one of those times. This was Sophia's Christmas dress. It is a brown print, with the viney green and rose colored flowers (Brother and Sister design, bought at Hobby Lobby--I do love that design line). The green matched Clara's wool jumper, which was a hand me down from Sophia, who inherited it from someone else. If I remembered, I would have taken a picture of the girls together. I didn't.The pattern is an old (circa 1960) McCall's pattern #7929, which sold for 50 cents at the time. On it is has 2 disclaimers: 1. A dressmaker tested design. 2. Suitable for Chubbies (I kind of love how politically incorrect this is. The pattern included instructions on how to make it larger). This dress was easy to make and came together in a couple of hours.
I added the vintage wooden buttons and the lace around the collar and sleeves. I also added about 3 inches to the hem and it still only comes to Sophia's knees. Tis the style of the time, I suppose.
Here are the details on the sleeves.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Project Run and Play

If I knew how to "grab a button I would, but I don't, so go here to see what I'm talking about.
I've always like the idea of Project Runway, but have only seen maybe 3 episodes. I like the idea of giving someone a theme/idea/item that they have to go with. It fits my way of crafting, because I have a hard time coming up with something out of the blue, however, give me a purpose and I have a goal.
This idea 'Project Run and Play' is a new take off on the original. They've invited a bunch of blogging seamstresses to create 6 things in 6 weeks, each week being a different theme. This weeks theme was "Winter Wonderland" and it was a lot of fun to see the different interpretations of it. I also had fun thinking of what I would create. I think I would have created a skirt out of light blue, soft wool, maybe with snowflakes around the bottom or some cream velvet accents. For the top I would have done either a soft knit sweater or a cream velvet jacket with fake fur around the neck and front. How about you? What would you come up with when given the theme of Winter Wonderland?
If you want to vote, do so on the sidebar. Take a look though. There a lot of pretty things. Oh and the neat thing is, I think they have to have a tutorial for something they made, so there should be a lot of neat ideas coming out of this little competition.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Christmas Crafting Part 2--Gifts for #1 and the Nephews and New Niece

It's hard to craft for a 12 year old boy, do you know that? And seeing that I really want to stick to our 3 gift--1-something special that they want, 1-book, 1-something made by me--I have to think really hard to come up with something. This year I had this brilliant idea, a book with a hidden compartment to hide something that keeps getting found by the younger brother. All I did was google how to make a hollowed out book and found lots of help. I have since deleted the bookmark of the actual one I used (this only works if it remains a secret after all), but they were all pretty much the same and most were easy to follow. I hunted for a book big enough at a local thrift store and then went to work. Between cutting out about 1000 pages with an exacto knife and the carving for the girl's gift, I think I gave myself carpal tunnel. So far, the book has served well as a hiding place for a certain electronic gadget that he doesn't want others to find. This is just one of the two capes and crowns that I made for 2 of my nephews. The other cape was yellow and the 'N' was on blue. I hope they like them and that CA has 2 new super heroes. Their little sister got some magnetic dolls and a purple crown (I forgot to take a picture of the dolls). Then the newest member of the clan got this little onesie and 2 of these birds (they really do make great chew toys). She was born on Dec 18th (I think I have that right), but they didn't find out what they were having, so I had to make the gift gender neutral. The onesie was made using the freezer paper method of stenciling.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sibling Gifts--Round 1

Ethan wasn't too happy to be getting his picture taken. He probably won't be too happy that I used this picture either, but hey, if he's going to be grumpy about it this is what he gets. Jakob made these shirts after seeing the idea here. I thought I was being smart by suggesting a bleach pen for the words. You can see the result, it still bleached out a lot more than we planned, so he went back with fabric dye and wrote out the letters. The first go of the girl's shirts didn't work either and we had to get new ones and start all over. He tried just using snowflakes cut out of paper and it still bled underneath the design. The second time he cut snowflakes out of freezer paper, we ironed it on and used the bleach pen again, this time dabbing it on the design. The girls were really excited about their shirts and Ethan thought his was really cool. It was fun to see Jakob think of each of their personalities and what they would like.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Crafting Part 1

This is THE project, the one that I've been thinking about for a long time, the one that took a lot of effort to make and the one I had the most expectations for (you know, that excited smile on Christmas morning that lets you know you hit the spot). I think this one met all of those expectations. Santa provided the fairies and gnomes and the little wooden things to go with the fairy house, plus a little wooden box to put everything in. Mom provided the house, the furniture and the little extras to imagine with. I put a lot of love into this creation, along with a lot of sweat equity. Here's how I did it: sawed the log in half (by hand), drew out how I wanted the rooms to go and drilled out most of the excess with a wood bit. Then I did the fine carving by hand with some carving tools. A little late in the process I thought of including shelves and the likes for all of those little wooden things that Santa was bringing. I learned a little about wood in the process, like freshly cut wood would have been much easier to work with and would not have split on me (some mending was required with wood glue and a clamp). I finished it all with by rubbing in some beeswax, which gives it that nice golden color. The swing was added for a little fun.
Here is Sophia's first set up, with the help of a cousin. It's amazing what they came up with just using the wool roving, pieces of silk, 'leaves' cut from a felted wool sweater and the things that they got in their boxes.
Here are the sleeping fairies and their collection of berries and a fire.
Here are some of the miniatures that they got in their boxes. And then here is Clara's set up from today.

Christmas PJs

Here are the girls in their Christmas pjs. I had picked up the knit fabric with the summer clearance fabric at Hobby Lobby, thinking it would make Christmas pajamas. It's bright and cheerful and not really Christmas-y, but it made great pjs. For Sophia's I used one of the latest from the Oliver & S line. Again, I loved their very detailed patterns/instructions and again, I realized their patterns run a little small. For Clara, I used my go to dress/pjs pattern and then made up some pants/bloomers because she said she really wanted pants too. This year the boys got store bought ones. We don't live close to a Joanne's to get a good price on the good flannel and really at their size, it's cheaper to buy them (especially on the after Thanksgiving day sale).

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