Archive of ‘DIY’ category

Halloween Costumes!

DSC_0634

Anaabel from “Extra Yarn” and Lady Bug Girl. Excuse the muddy shoes, they could not help themselves.

Lawrence fixed the issue with the memory card, and as a result of all the drama we are sorting the images into files by month/year, so things are going to be so organized! I mean, sorry that the halloween pics are 2 weeks late but yay for getting organized.

So I really slacked this year, but this was because what the kids wanted was super easy! Cara wanted to be Ladybug Girl and I just didn’t see a reason to make these things from scratch. The leotard, tutu, and wings/headband set are all from Amazon. Fiona wanted to be Annabel from Extra Yarn. This is such an amazing book, but only 2 people knew what we were talking about! The costume was as easy and black/white/gray striped clothing and a sweater. I looked EVERYWHERE and I could not find yarn the looked anything like the yarn in this book, so I dyed some yarn from Knit Picks using Kool-aid and I am thrilled with how it came out! I based the pattern on the One Night Sweater but I cannot remember what I did exactly. I know I held the yarn double and used US 17 needles. I knit it with still damp yarn in the middle of the night before her halloween party at school on 10/30, because I am a responsible adult. It is a bit too short because I forgot how tall she was, and a lot too short because it shrunk when it dried all the way. I bought a little doggy for Fiona and made a sweater so she could have “Mars” like Annabel does in the book, and so of course Cara needed a little basset hound to be Bingo. The kids went to 2 parties on Friday, as well as trick or treating on Saturday. They had a great time, and ate way too much candy before the “Candy Fairy” swapped it out for a small treat.

DSC_0639

My super fancy costume.

I was extra super lazy for myself, I went as Elizabeth from The Paperbag Princess. Surprisingly, a lot of people didn’t know who I was either! I used a giant leaf bag, a cut up sheet of glitter card stock, and a headband. This was a lot of fun, and fortunately it didn’t rain during the times I wore it (I did go costumeless to the school party, and went late to the Friday night party because the weather was so terrible!)

DSC_0291

My little paperdolls!

I thought it would be fun to show off the costumes from the last 2 years (since I have been going through costumes anyway) and so last year they were paper dolls. Super easy, made out of poster board, these were a lot of fun to make (and wear, so I’m told.)

DSC_0467_1

Little Faeries!

Last were these little hand made faeries! I made the tutus from the book Little Things To Sew. More info on the crowns here and the wings here and here. All of the patterns are from the book Woodland Knits which is SUPER ADORABLE!

Halloween is a favorite time of year for me, and honestly this was the first year where the kids really got into with their own costume ideas, and their own anticipation. I look forward to many more years of seeing their creativity and personalities bloom.

What have I been up to?

IMAG0507

I totally made this in August 2014

So, obviously this is a pattern for me. I get into a posting groove just long enough have it look like a groove, and then I disappear for months at a time. There are 2 major reasons why I do this. The first is that I tend to avoid blogging in times of stress/anxiety/crisis because I don’t want to sound like I am complaining. The second is that when things are great but I am too busy to craft things I tend to avoid posting because I don’t want to sound like I am bragging. So I only tend to post when things are pretty even, with the exception of my posting earlier this year about myself.

The truth is that I was putting all my value on things I was doing/producing, and not a lot of value on who I am as a person. This is something that I have been working on in real life, but I am still working on in my online life. I rarely post pictures of myself or my family on social media, because I have very much taken all those “nobody cares” memes and articles to heart. It feels like in person, I can gauge interest in what I am saying, but online is much harder. This is especially hilarious as the only people who read my blog are people close enough to hear me talk about these things anyway, and my long distance family who would LOVE more content about my kids.

IMAG0511

I did not make this at all, but I wanted to post a pic of each kid.

So what have I been up to since April? Well, Fiona got accepted to the school of our dreams, and I did a weird thing where I knew I would have extra free time so I committed to more than I usually do. Which would have turned out fine except a lot of those things came due to start before school did. We also had an issue where we had a huge water leak in the foundation of our house, and there was a tremendous bill, and we totally almost moved but they agreed to work something out with us… and then the ceiling in our garage collapsed. It looks like a roof leak in just the right spot soaked the insulation till it was too heavy and the ceiling gave way. It never dripped, we had no advance notice. This started a nightmare where Someone came to look at the ceiling, and said a roofer needed to come. The roofer said an insurance adjuster needed to come first, but this was in May during the flooding and so we had to wait. After the adjuster came a roofer came who said there was a stray branch in a tree next to our house that needs to be trimmed. After they came… silence.

Reader, we rent. While it is amazing we don’t have to pay $10,000+ on these repairs, I am so over the waiting and this legal dance. No, it is not fixed yet. Yes, I am on that, and allegedly someone is coming this week to start the process. Start it. I die.

I am going to save a kids update for another post dedicated just to them, but Fiona started school and I am aware of my now changing role as a mother. It looks like Cara will be starting in January, and while some of my time will be filled teaching regular craft classes at the school I will soon have so much free time! Once I scrub and reorganize my (empty!) house and fill the pantry and freezer with food, what next?

More crafting, of course. I have been slacking on making things for me because now that my health is stable I am loosing weight, but I basically have no clothes now. I am also wanting to pursue a long cherished project, a webcomic idea I have had for ages. I am also reading books and following blogs regarding UX design, which is a subject I feel passionate about as surprising as that sounds. Uuuuuuugh, ugly websites with confusing designs make me so crazy. I am being really casual in my learning right now, but once January rolls around I plan to actually set aside time each day for studying.

IMAG0522

For my church raffle

So have I been crafting? Kinda? I made a pair of identical Tea Party Sundresses (Shown at the top.) The top is swiss dot lined in voile, and the skirt is an old lisette poplin from Joann’s. I have no pics of the inside, as my kids started wearing them right away, but the construction is identical to how I made them last time.

I also made an adorable Garden Party Dress (above) in September for our church raffle, and it was the first thing I sewed up in a looooooooong time. I used an old voile from Joann’s and some quilting cotton for the trim. French seamed everything. I am absolutely planning to make more, and will do a more indepth review when I get there.

As for the knitting? I have also been slacking there. To see what I am up to, you can always go to my Ravelry page. You need an account, but it is free. I am planning a post soon dedicated to knitting though, so if you don’t want to log in it will show up here eventually.

So why now? Why not? I am going to be 30 next year, and I don’t want to keep deferring everything indefinitely. I plan to do every day for the rest of November, and every weekday in December, and hopefully that will give me an idea of how I want to use this space. Partly I am hoping this will inspire me to make the time for crafting, but I also really crave connection in greater than 140 characters and vaguebooking. To know that I can share these things with friends and family (and the larger web?) and have that lead to deeper conversation instead of repeating the same basic story a million times feels freeing. It is nice to have a place to sort my feelings, to document my improvement in my craft, to play around. I am on day 2 and I am already glad I am doing this.

See you tomorrow.

 

My Grown Up Dress

I tend to wear super brights all the time, but I have been wanting a less conspicuous dress in case I need to pretend I’m a grown up. The pattern is the Anna Dress by By Hand London and I just love it! The only changes I made were to shorten the bodice by 1/2 inch and to grade the dress from an 8 at the bodice to a 10 at the hips. Looking back, I don’t think I really needed too, as I would have had enough room for my hips. I do like the exaggerated A line though, so I left it.

The fabric is a now discontinued Lisette cotton Lawn that I got at Joann Fabrics. It is lovely and airy, but it wrinkles so much! Those waist wrinkles? Just from me sitting. I would also would suggest that if you are making this in a drapey fabric, you should pinch some out of the kimono sleeves. In a stiffer fabric they will stick out, but here they wrinkle as I wear it and it drives me insane! It is the only thing I would do differently about this dress.

As for construction, nothing really special. Everything is french seamed, and the zip is a lapped zipper (my favorite kind!) using this tutorial. I did use seam binding on the hem because I think it is fun.

Looking forward to wearing this now that the weather is warming up. What lovely things are you making?

My Marion Cardigan

DSC_0102

Okay, so sorry you have to see the same dress as earlier, this is what happens when you own, like, 3 dresses (the other 2 didn’t go.) Soooo, this is my Marion Cardigan, and I can tell you for sure that this will not be my last knit designed by Andi Satterlund. She is pretty talented, and her small seems to fit me perfectly. I love the look of cropped cardigans because they not only look cute with dresses (my preferred garment choice) but they also don’t ride up, which is a serious problem I have with anything that hits me at the hip (unless it is huge, of course.)

The yarn is Cascade 220 in “Turquoise” and I love this yarn. It is so soft and squishy, and even though it is 100% wool, I don’t find it very hot. It also absorbs, uh, moisture? So that is nice. I found the buttons on Etsy at The Bling Bazaar and I really feel like they make the sweater pop. Love it!

DSC_0123

This was my very first cable project, and I am quite proud of it. Honestly, the pattern really holds your hand through the whole thing, and if you can knit, purl and understand basic shaping, you can do this. VERY straightforward knit.

DSC_0126

Look at the sleeve detail! I love things like that, how it isn’t simply ribbed but has cables incorporated! These things make for a fun knit. If you want to see more details then you can check out my Ravelry page for it here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

The “500 Days of Summer” Sundress

You guys! I made my first dress! Alright, so this dress has been done forever, to be honest, but I just had the most awkward time getting pictures. Still, it is so exciting to have something that actually fits my body in a way that is even remotely flattering. Seriously.

The name was picked because I was trying to get it done in time for the kick off of season 4 of Project Sewn. I didn’t make it. The theme was leading ladies, and although I had already planned this outfit before the theme was announced, I did find this inspiring image from one of my favorite films. And so it was named.

The pattern is the Lonsdale Dress, made in this Lisette Cotton Poplin that I got at Jonanns. It is on a deep sale right now too. I really loved this pattern because, being drafted for pear shaped girls (which in this case means having a generous half circle skirt) I was able to make a straight size 8, and not worry about grading for my significantly larger lower parts. I did do some little modifications, I took in some gaping by the underarm and I did a small sway back adjustment following the tutorial here. I am actually thinking now that I should have shortened the whole bodice and done an FBA, but I couldn’t tell that by the muslin, I needed to be actually wearing the dress for a little while in order to see this. It is still the best fitting dress I have ever owned. So there is that.

DSC_0121

I followed the sewalong almost exactly. I french seamed throughout, turned and stitched the front of the skirt, bound the back seam, and hand hemmed it with contrast seam binding. The only real change I made was the zipper insertion. I originally hand picked it, but the zipper showed too much for my taste. I then did a hand picked lapped zipper.

DSC_0118

I know it looks like the zipper is in backwards… but it totally is. This was a conscious decision, since my left arm is more flexible than my right, and my husband (official zipper helper) is a lefty. I had to mirror the directions because none of the tutorials had them facing this way.

See this goofy model like pose above? Yeah, that was an outtake. I would never knowingly pose like that. Unfortunately, this turned out to be one of the least awkward pictures. So, why should you guys reading print get anything less awkward than the individuals who see me in person. Seriously though, I am considering vlogging my makes, so you can see them in motion, and so I don’t have to pose. You have been warned.

All in all, I am very happy with this dress! I plan to make another one at some point for sure. What is that pink thing around me, you ask? Why, it is my Amalthea Shawl, details can be found here.

Oh man you guys, nothing is better than clothes that actually fit.

Underclothes!

DSC_0971

I made a bra! How crazy is that? Okay, maybe it isn’t that crazy… here is what I was working with:

  • Find bra in size 32DD
  • No underwires, no padding
  • but still lifts tho
  • no synthetics/all cotton
  • under $80

So I had to make one, because that list above is just insanity. The good news for me was that this was really simple! All of the things that make bras hard (padding, underwires, slippery fabrics) were totally not an issue in the pattern. Oh yay! I made it in about 4 hours, and that was because I kept making silly mistakes because tiny people were trying to climb me. Why? Because I’m there?

DSC_0117

So the pattern is the Bambi Bra by Ohhh Lulu, and it is pretty great. The seaming is a vaguely vintage shape (think subtle 1940′s, not bullet bra 50′s) and the woven fabric makes it more stable. Those combined together gave me exactly what I was looking for! I made a little etsy treasury of the supplies I used here. It is lined with jersey, which adds stability, but I just used my regular needle. I had no issues. Ooooh, bad bad blogger! Also, my cloure was smaller than the strap, so I just added a little pleat. No biggie.

So, did I like the bra? Yes. Will I make it again? Yes, but there are a few things I would change (warning, frank talk about breasts, look away if you must!)

  • Pay more attention to the elastic! I way over stretched mine… I measured the elastic to my body, and then attached it, only to discover that I needed to shorten the band for the bra by about an inch. Ugh, oops. I totally just shortened it and it still works, but when I’m not wearing it it is so wavy/ripply. 
  • Size up. Yeah, at first I thought it was just the elastic, but I need more room. I made a small, which the measurements said I should fit, but since the bra is drafted for C cups it makes sense to me to size up and just shorten the back strap. No biggie. I actually knew I would have to, but second guessed myself on the muslin. Which leads me too…
  • Reduce the curve on the top of the bra. Ugh, this is an anatomy issue. I have a curved breast bone, no cleavage for me! Not even enough to smooth out these wrinkles. I think smoothing a bit of the curve and moving the straps will make a big difference. (The curve is cute, but not for my body)
  • The adjustable band. Blergh, I will pass next time. I plan to try a vintage closure like the one shown here. No, it isn’t adjustable, but with a woven, how fast will it stretch? I would rather shorten it every 3 months than try to sew in one of those itchy pokey things ever again.

So, I love the pattern, and even with all the issues I still wear it, because it is still the most comfortable bra ever. And there will be more. You have been warned.

Princess Pajamas

DSC_0046

Hello everyone! Sorry I took a little time off… and by a little I mean a whole year. Ooops. I have been doing stuffs of great importance! Unfortunately most of it isn’t interesting at all. I have, however, been spending my summer being very productive. Lots of things have been made and even more are being planned. Kidlet clothes? Check. Mommy clothes? Check. Mommy underclothes? I may have said too much… oh, and cardigans for everyone!

DSC_0032

But today I thought I would start with pajamas! Now, confession… I made Fiona’s last month. Also confession? I made Cara’s last August. I know. At least they still fit? 

So the pattern is Oliver + S Bedtime Story and don’t let my procrastination fool you… this was a dream to sew. All of the fabrics are from the “Once Upon a Time” line by Alexander Henry. Ooooh, so cute. Nothing much to report, the instructions are impeccable as always. The only thing I did different was to french seam everything (Fiona calls it a “fancy inside” and I quite agree. Cara just loves the dragons)

DSC_0030

All right, so I plan to be back next week with more handmades and other such awesomeness… to earn your trust back I will include a super cute picture of the girls in their swim cover-ups (that I did not make)

DSC_0070

Until next time…

Spring Dresses and Sweaters

DSC_0071

Bad Blogger! Bad!

Okay, okay, so it took me a while to get back. I confess, as ridiculous as this sounds, that the blogging part is harder than the “do cool stuff to blog about” part. I know that sounds insane, but… truth.

Anyway, enough about the difficulties of blah blah blah, I know you want to see what I promised… that trifecta of knitting, sewing, and adorable children…

DSC_0084

I always keep my promises… eventually.

DSC_0109

Oooooh! The cuteness!

The pattern is Oliver + S Tea Party Sundress. This was a fun sew, and I think we will be seeing more of this pattern… oh yes.

Details!

DSC_0121

DSC_0105

DSC_0119

Okay, that’s not a detail shot, but I love it…

DSC_0120

And of course, the dresses don’t cramp their style.

DSC_0134

Warning, sweater cuteness!

DSC_0156

Okay okay, some flat shots for the garment nerds.

DSC_0168

DSC_0174

Of course, I took pics of the inside (side seams turned and stitched, front and back seams pinked) but, um, I remembered to take the inside pics after they were worn… so… just know it looked neat. I don’t remember off hand who designed the fabric, so if anyone wants to know, tell me and I’ll dig up the selvages.

The sweater info can be found here for Fiona, and here for Cara.

Adorableness!

WIP Wednesday

DSC_0266
All right, I’m back!

I didn’t plan to take such a long break. We have been doing well, back to our old rhythm, but i just needed to get back into the habit of posting.

I’m so naughty.

So, while I get back into the grove, what better way to start than with a simple WIP Wednesday post, yes?

So, I am knitting a BFF Cowl, and this is the link I am going to be trading away. I really love the yarn. Love Malabrigo. Love love!

This is one of my favorite stitch patterns I have ever done. Look at the pretty seed pods!

I am reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It’s a special super long anniversary addition (but of course). This is one of my favorite books, but it has been a long time since I read it. Do it you guys.

I will be back tomorrow with pictures of the girls, sewing, and more knitting. It’s the ManicPixieDreamMom trifecta!

I am linking up in the Yarn Along at Small Things

PS, that lurid green background is my couch, and I swear it is much nicer looking in person!

WIP Wednesday

DSC_1080

So, this sweater is finally starting to look like a sweater. I hope to have it done soon. It has been very enjoyable, but I may have promised that it be done by the weekend. While Cara is perhaps too young to hold me accountable for such things, Fiona is not. She is asking me every day if I am done!

Fiona has asked to read Alice and Wonderland, and I am quite enjoying myself. I have not read it since college. What a lovely book to revisit!

I am linking up in the Yarn Along at Small Things

1 2