WIP Weds ~ some knitting and some sewing

There is sewing on the blog today! Weird… it’s been a long time since that happened. (Which is not something I’m proud of or happy about. I want more time to sew as well as knit, but machine sewing is not as portable, and the prep (aka fabric cutting) takes more concentration for me than knitting prep does.) In any case, I have a sewing project to share today. It’s technically not a WIP, since I finished it in one evening, but I guess it could still be a WIP if I decide to ever go back and clean up the few messy places in the binding.

Undercover Maker Mat - finished 4/28/17

Whatever – there it is! That’s the Undercover Maker Mat, a free pattern from Craftsy. (Though you do have to have an account to download it.) I really enjoyed the project, and as I said I finished it in one evening. Though, if I had done everything “correctly” (such as done the binding a side at a time and hand stitching the reverse side) it would have taken longer. I took a few shortcuts that I probably shouldn’t have, but since this was a quick project for me to keep, instead of a gift, I decided to get it finished instead of making it perfect.

That said, I just might make more of them as gifts. Part of that will depend on whether I decide to make the gifts before my family members make their own sewing machine covers, since there are plenty of giftable sewing projects out there. But this one is certainly a contender.

Moving on… there is knitting today as well, even if it has all been on one project:

Vanilla is the New Black (sock progress)

The Vanilla is the New Black socks! These have been addicting. I’m not sure if it’s the meditation-like aspect of knitting vanilla socks, or if it’s the fun of reaching the next stripe in the color pattern. (I’m also glad I was able to pick out the stripe pattern, so that hopefully I can make the second sock match up perfectly. That would be ideal. I have a thing about matchy-matchy socks.)

I’m on the heel turn now. The turn itself seems pretty standard (so far), but the increases were certainly not. I really enjoyed that part. I mean, heel flaps are all well and good, but this way kept the stripe pattern more consistent than a heel flap would. I really appreciate that as well. Of course, the actual turn part of the heel turn (which I’m doing now) will mess up the stripe a little. I hope it will be less disruptive to the overall stripe pattern, though. We’ll see.

Have a great Wednesday! (And thank you for your happy thoughts earlier this week. I’m feeling much better now.)

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Very Merry 2015 ~ Ramona

So, this is the first of many FO posts with objects that I haven’t been able to show you in WIP Weds posts, since the people receiving them might read the blog and I didn’t want to give anything away.

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This one is the Ramona Mini Hipster bag, a free pattern on the Swoon Sewing Patterns website. They have some awesome patterns! The free ones are good, and the paid ones are worth it! I have made several Swoon patterns now, and I haven’t had any difficulties understanding the patterns. And I always get compliments on the bags made from these patterns.

The first one of these was a birthday gift for my niece:

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Like many girls her age, she loved Frozen when it came out, so this fabric was a no-brainer.

The other bag was a birthday gift for my mom:

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Cinderella is one of her favorite Disney movies, so when I found this fabric, it seemed a good fit. (My favorite part of the fabric is, predictably, the mice. I don’t think I got a good photo of the mice, though, so you’ll have to take my word for it.)

I sewed up these bags as written, with two exceptions: 1. I only did the stripes on one side of the bag. I wanted the full design of the fabric to be visible somewhere, so I left the back of the bag un-striped. 2. I added pockets:

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I love pockets in bags, so I tend to add at least one if there aren’t any written in. (This particular one was easy enough. I cut out the size pocket I wanted, turned the edges under, top-stitched the top of the pocket, and then sewed the pocket down to the lining before sewing the lining pieces together. It also seemed like a good place for my “handmade by me” labels, so I stitched those on to the pocket piece before sewing it to the lining.)

Anyway, that’s the first of several gift FO posts for 2015! If you like the bag, remember that you can make your own (The link I added at the top of the post takes you directly to the pattern page.)

WIP Weds ~ Patchworking

Today I’ll have a quick WIP Weds for you. This is a project that I’m making for Christmas gifts, and I’ll be making a lot of them. Granted, some of the people who will be getting them might read this blog, so I’m taking a risk in posting this, but nothing is actually finished yet, so these pictures will just be a teaser on the off chance that the recipients see them early.

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Lots and lots of squares! These are for a patchwork wristlet designed by Ayumi and posted on her blog, Pink Penguin. (For those who want to join me in making one – or several – the link to the pattern / tutorial is here.) The pattern has been easy to follow so far. (Yes, I read it all the way through before starting to sew, but reading and following a pattern are slightly different.)

My one suggestion for anyone who wants to make this, is decide ahead of time whether you want to do all your cutting at once. If so, read the pattern once for cutting, and then again for sewing. (Unlike some designers, she doesn’t say at the top of the pattern what pieces you’ll need to cut out. She mentions them as you get to them. Not an issue, just possibly different than you may be used to.)

How about another picture, hmm?

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I’m having fun making these. Patchwork can be a lot of fun, even if it’s a lot of little seams. And now… sadly, that’s all you get to see of these until after they’re given away. Have a great rest of the week!

WIP Weds ~ the long overdue update

Hi there! It’s Wednesday and I’m posting a blog! Fancy that.

So, WIP Weds have been absent not because there has been no progress, but instead because I have been too lazy to take pictures of the progress. We’re going to do a really quick one today, and I’m sorry (well, not really) but one of the “WIPs” is actually an FO.

We will start with a true WIP, though. Here is the current progress of my Dark Side of the Moon socks:  

I love how the striping is perfectly matched and I DIDN’T HAVE TO DO A THING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN THIS WAY. I love this yarn. And I would happily buy any of their other OCD sock skeins.

Another WIP, and another sock-in-progress is the Flutterby Socks. I don’t have the first sock to show you, because when I gave the first one to my niece to try on, she didn’t want to give it back. However, here’s the status of sock #2:  

I need to get cracking on that one before she outgrows the pair. (However, since I could nearly get the first one on, I think it will still be a while before that happens. On the other hand, she’s young and not used to putting on handknit socks, so it’s still a good idea that I finish these soon.) I do still like the pattern, though not as much as when I started the first sock.

There are other knitting WIPs that I could show you now, but it’s harder to get pictures of them. (Shawls-in-progress at a certain point just look like blobs of yarn.) Instead, I’ll show you the FO I mentioned at the beginning of this post:  

This is the Della Wallet Clutch by Swoon Patterns. It was surprisingly easy to make. The hardest part was turning the wallet right-side-out at the end of the project. I also had to do some online surfing to find the findings at the size listed (my local JoAnn’s has a limited size selection on purse findings), so that was a bit of a pain. However, the wallet itself was easy to sew, fun to make, and I learned some new techniques. I love it! And I loved making it. I will be making more for gifts, and if I ever decide to start an Etsy store, I will probably make some to sell as well, since the designer allows you to sell bags made with this pattern.

Anyway, that’s the WIP Weds for today. Hope you have a great day!

(Mostly) Wordless WIP Weds

I’m running late today, but I do want to share my latest WIP with you. It’s a sewing project, and the pictures I’ll be posting today are of items that have been finished. However, I am going to be making several more as gifts, so in my mind this project-as-a-whole is still a WIP. Therefore it counts.

These are tea wallets, and I found the pattern here. I’m not going to detail how I made them — that’s what the linked tutorial is for. I’m just going to show you pictures of these. I have a total of four made (only two are shown) and I probably won’t be showing them off again on the blog until after Christmas, since that’s when I want them completed as gifts.

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WiP Weds ~ Quilted

Quilting is the part where you put one fabric on top and another fabric on bottom, stick batting in the middle, and then sew patterns through all the layers to make a nice soft blanket whose guts don’t move around too much, right? I know I (and most people) tend to think of the piecework quilt top as the quilting part, but I think it’s the sewing together part that is technically the quilting. The quilt top is pieced, and the quilting comes later.

Why does this matter? Well, because that means that this week’s Work-In-Progress post is about a quilt.

I didn’t piece it, though. I bought fabric that looks like it was pieced, but it was printed that way.

Pseudo quilt

I don’t actually know when I started this piece. I just know that it was a LONG time ago. And I started the project then, and didn’t get all that far before I put it aside, where it’s been languishing ever since. So, when I had a night to myself last weekend, I decided to pull it out and start on it again.

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The cat decided to help, naturally.

I had originally started by working on the quilting part. It seemed like the place to start at the time. However, I didn’t pin it enough, or wasn’t careful enough, or something, because the two fabrics started to shift and not square up anymore. (I think this is why I put it aside all those years ago.) In order to still have a blanket of any decent size when I was done with it, this time when I picked it up I decided to sew the binding on even though I wasn’t finished quilting it yet.

Cat helping sew

I don’t know which was the “right” way to do it. I also know that I didn’t add the binding in the “right” way to add a quilt binding if you want it to look good. (I sewed the binding on both sides at once so the seam shows, rather than stitching it on to the front and then hiding the seam by hand-sewing the back. I just wanted it DONE, and YESTERDAY, so I machine-stitched the whole thing at once. If I ever do a patchwork quilt, THEN I will do the binding the right way.)

At any rate, I am having fun with it, and that’s what counts.

Invested

How much time do we normally invest in things for ourselves? A lot? A little? I guess it varies by person, by season, even by day.

For myself, I try to do something, even if just a little something, for myself every day. One of the something I intend to do for me this month is to finish a vest I started many years ago:

Plaid Vest 2

I don’t even know when I started it anymore. I do know that it was one of my first sewing projects, and that it got set aside when something else came up, and has never been finished. I remember my mom shaking her head as she helped me with it, because I did have to pick a plaid fabric with a nap. At the time, I had no idea why that was a bad thing. Now, I’m just amazed she managed to help me put the pieces in the right places so it would all pan out.

(I hope. I haven’t taken a look at the project since we cut it out… I am not 100% positive that the plaids line up.)

Anyway, I’m hoping to have this finished by February 1. I could sure use it – it’s been awfully cold here, for my neck of the woods!