Saturday, September 6, 2014

September is National Sewing Month

Sewing has been a passion of mine since I was about 7 years old.  My mom taught me the basics as I hand stitched an apron for my first project.  Throughout high school, I spent as much time as possible in the Home Economics sewing room.  I made most of my clothes and several outfits for others.  As the years went by, I didn't have too much time for sewing and I began to knit more.  The last 15 years, I've been able to spend a considerable amount of time both knitting and sewing.  Instead of clothes, I've turned my sewing efforts to tote bags and doll clothes.  Since September is National Sewing Month, I wanted to share a few of my projects with you and some that I plan to sew inspired by my Pinterest Board.

I teach a Beginners sewing class at the local community school.  Here's last year's projects.

I used the I Can't Believe I'm Sewing book by Leisure Arts as the class workbook.  It's a terrific book.

Here's a few other purses that I've sewn.

Fabric choices are always a fun part of the process.  Have you discovered Spoonflower.  So many terrific fabrics and I've designed a few of my own.

Next on my list are these hand warmers.
What a great post and wonderful directions by

 A few baby bibs that I've added to a new Board on Pinterest..

And of course, One can never have enough tote bags and knitting project bags and there are plenty on my Pinterest Board.

So Happy National Sewing Month.  Get out your sewing machine and create a one of a kind item for you or your loved ones.  Leisure Arts is helping with the celebration by offering 20% on sewing items this month.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sewing with Cath Kidston Fabric

I received a lovely gift for my Birthday, a pack of Cath Kidston Fabric. I discovered Cath Kidston on my recent trip to London.  As I wrote here, she is one of my favorite designers. This is the Patchwork Fabric Bundle with 8 pieces of cotton fabric in various prints that each measure 46 cm x 56 cm (a fat quarter in U.S. terms). 

The perfect item to add to some of this fabric is this lace trimmed zipper that I purchased when I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum on the same trip to London.  I went to the Wedding Dress exhibit and it was fantastic.

The fabric is 18 inches wide so I cut it in half, starting with a piece for the front and one for the back that was each 9 inches wide.  I chose the blue polka dots fabric for the lining and cut that to the same measurements. I added a thin batting to give the purse some stability.  I used a 12 inch length to start.  The zipper is sewn to the right side of the fabric.  Before sewing the zipper.  I seamed the lining fabric to the outside flowered fabric.  Sewing the zipper was tricky.  This is the first time that I sewed a zipper to the outside and I was careful that the seam didn't prevent the zipper from opening and closing properly.

Once the zipper was in place, the rest was simple.  I made the top fold 2 inches above the zipper and trimmed the front piece 7 inches.  With right sides together, I sewed the side seams of both the bag and the lining and then sewed the bottom seam of the bag pieces.  Turning it was a challenge.  I unzipped the zipper and turned the whole thing so that the lining was on the inside.  The last seam was the bottom one for the lining.  I did that seam on the right side of the fabric.

That's it.  Here's the purse.  It took about 3 hours. 

The finished measurements are 9 inches long and 7 1/2 inches wide.  It's a great size for one of my smaller knitting projects or when I need to just carry my phone and keys.

I have six more beautiful prints to work with.  I think the next one will be used for a doll dress for my Dressing our Dolls collection.  After that, I'm not sure.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Joyfully Twirling A Special Edition Knit Dress Dishcloth

Joyfully Twirling is a special edition dress style dishcloth that I designed in honor of a good friend of mine.  The pattern is not part of my online shop and will not be in the future.  The sole purpose of this pattern is to generate funds to donate to Breast Cancer Charities.  Currently the pattern is available at Funky Needles as part of their fund raising efforts for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Simple to knit, this is the first dress style dishcloth with a cable stitch pattern.

If your organization is interested in selling this pattern as part of your fundraising efforts, please contact me.  I will gift it to one fund raising campaign at a time. 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

My Ravelry Queue

I have been a member of Ravelry since 2008. If you knit or crochet, I highly recommend that you join. The forums are a wonderful way to converse with other knitters.  Learning from each other has expanded my knitting considerably. Posting finished projects in my notebook allows me to share my knitting with others and provides me with a diary of some of my work.  I continue to find ways to use the features to help my knitting time be more productive.

 Recently, I took the time to list some of my yarn in the stash section.  Then I started matching up some of the 238 patterns that I've added to my queue to the yarn that I already have.   It was great fun.  Like putting together a puzzle.  I now have a master list of projects that I already own the yarn.   Here's the next project that I want to knit.

Buttons Cardigan #606 using Cabin Fever Yarn

Button Cardigan by Dana Gibbons

I have 2 skeins of Cabin Fever Tweed in Denim.  I'm not sure what I originally planned for this yarn but this sweater is the ideal project for it. Cabin Fever Tweed is 45% Cotton and 55% acrylic, machine wash and dry which makes it great for clothing. 

Actually, I may cast this on today.  As always, I'm working on several projects.  My projects seem to take a long time to complete and taking a break from one to work on another seems to make them all get finished sooner.

Here's to working with the yarn in my stash, although I know there will be new yarn and new projects that aren't in the queue.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

One Beautiful Button

My trip to Avignon, France in May included visits to many wonderful places and as always, I visited lots of shops.  After visiting the Yarn Shop, I noticed a shop window full of buttons and ribbon and other treasures.  To me a good shop is as wonderful as a good museum exhibit.  I love to experience the way that people express themselves by how they arrange the items that they stock in their shops.

The shop is Le Cartonnier de Marie and it was a joy to visit.   Everywhere I looked, I found wonderful things. At the rear of the store was this incredible work space.

  A display of postcards caught my attention too.  I bought this one which totally expresses my love of doll clothes that are handmade. There's lots of doll clothes on my blog Dressing our Dolls.

Postcard by
Even the bag that the store owner used is beautiful.

So now that I'm home, what will I do with this one beautiful button?  I decided to look for a sweater pattern that only needed one button.  After looking through the patterns on Ravelry, I found one that I really like.  It's the Lady Kina

Once that was decided, I needed yarn for my project.  Guess what, I went to several shops before I left on my trip during the New Jersey Wool Walk and I had purchased 5 skeins of Perfection Tapas by Kraemer Yarn at All About Ewe in Clark. 

The color, Roquefort #9010, is my favorite green with a hint of teal and golden threads running through it.  The button compliments the color beautifully.  The green of the leaves and the small golden blossoms come alive next to this yarn, along with the turquoise blossoms.

I cast on this sweater this week and hope to finish it in about 6 weeks.  This is a project full of wonderful memories.  I can't wait to wear it!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Woven Ribbon Style Knit Dishcloth Pattern

I designed a place mat that I'm using for meal time this summer.  I really like having place mats especially knit ones.  I use worsted weight cotton that is machine washable so I can wash and dry them whenever something spills on them.  The pattern is available in both my Ravelry Shop and my Craftsy Shop.

While looking through stitch patterns to use in another placemat design, I discovered a woven ribbon style that uses knit and purl stitches only. When repeated, it is great as a dishcloth.  So I thought that I'd share it with you.

The yarn is Bernat Handicrafter Nautical in a color called Stormy Skies a nice grey.  With so many stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, I was happy to finally find grey yarn.  I bought the big skein, 608 yards so I have plenty for lots of dishcloths.  I'll be making The Night on the Town Dress Dishcloth from my Knit a Dish Cloth Dress Book so I have gift sets ready
for the holidays.

The finished dishcloth is an 8 1/2 inch square. Hope you enjoy knitting and using this dishcloth

Woven Ribbon Dishcloth

Worsted weight cotton yarn
U.S. Size 7 knitting needles


Cast on 38 stitches

Knit 5 rows of garter stitch


Row 1:  (RS) Knit across
Row 2:   K3, P32, K3
Row 3:   Knit across
Row 4:   K3, P2, (K4, P2) 5 times, K3
Row 5:   Knit across
Row 6:   K3, P2, (K4, P2) 5 times, K3
Row 7:   Knit across
Row 8:   K3, P32, K3
Row 9:   Knit across
Row 10:  K3, K2, (K1, P2, K3) 5 times, K3
Row 11:  Knit across
Row 12:  K3, K2, (K1, P2, K3) 5 times, K3

Knit Rows 1-12 Three times

Knit Rows 1-9

Knit 4 Rows of Garter Stitch

Cast off on WS

Monday, June 16, 2014

My Friend Jen Knits A Princess Dress Dishcloth

My friend, Jen posts the Leisure Arts Blog.  Recently she knit the Princess for a Day dress dishcloth.  I wanted to share her post with you.  So here it is!

"I realized that it’s been a while since I knitted a dishcloth dress, so I had to remedy that immediately!  I love all of the patterns in DishclothDresses but the Princess for a Day pattern really grabbed me.  So I made it!
This takes about 55 yards of yarn, and you have to be sure to set aside a little separate amount to work one side of the bodice. 
Other than that, this is one of the few patterns that doesn’t require switching up your yarns.  Sometimes I’m in the mood for that sort of thing.  Sometimes I’m not.  I had a blast knitting a patriotic version of Happy Day #2 for the 4th of July last summer, but this time I felt like the variegated yarn would be enough.  I know these colors aren’t especially princessy, but they’re so cheerfully summery!  They make me think of kitchen decorating styles back when shows with names like “Princess for a Day” were on the air.
This was a quick and easy knit, and I had a blast making it just like I was always do.  My work tends to get a bit gappy when I have to make a lot of decreases in just a few rows, so I was careful this time to pull my yarn tight after each decrease stitch in the bodice so that the knitted fabric looked tight and tidy.  I love how this looks!  Maybe it’s my favorite dishcloth dress yet?  I won't know if it's my favorite dishcloth dress of all time until I knit them all, and I do plan to find out which one is my favorite someday.
One thing I do want to note: the vertical lines of knit stitches on the skirt.  I love them. But the pattern calls for slipping your stitches as if to purl them, and then purling them on the next row.  Maybe it’s because I twist all of my stitches (I could have tried to learn how to knit correctly once I discovered this, but I quickly realized I wouldn’t have a handy excuse on which to blame all of my problems and pattern misunderstandings if I fixed that), but I just don’t see how that’s going to make a stitch that looks like a knitted stitch.  So I unraveled my first attempt because it was only a few rows long, sang “Lorrrrrrrrrrrd, I can’t chaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaange” under my breath because summer is coming and that’s just how I get, and went ahead to just slip that stitch as if to knit it, and then I purled it on the next row.  And ta da!
Lynyrd Skynyrd lyrics and a few rows of concern aside, everything about knitting this little dishcloth dress was a dream.  I always feel a little silly when I’m making these, but in a good way.  This is fun!  It’s a nice reminder that I have fun knitting and that sometimes you can just make things to be pretty.  And yes, I know these can be used as dishcloths but DON’T YOU DARE.  I almost never feel this way about dishcloths, but this is a dishcloth dress.  You don’t just take some princess frock and use it to scrub some greasy pots and pans!  This is the dishcloth dress of royalty!
I mean, this is not a whisk.
It’s a scepter.  I bid you good day.
This post originally appeared on Everyday Life at Leisure."
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