Wednesday, October 15, 2014

It's a Sunshine Day....Everybody's Wearing a Sunnyside!

Let me count the ways, folks.....I LOVE this sweater!  It seems I love all the sweaters I'm knitting the kids!  And there ARE reasons, clearly....I mean, LOOK a the little guy!

(Pause for this brief PSA:  the wind was - I KID YOU NOT - 567 mph today, so, pardon my crazy pictures and excuse the shadows.  This is Tiberius's FIRST official blog post on his own, aha, and while he happily smiles, I am not a baby photographer.)

This is the Sunnyside (FREEFREEFREE pattern) by Tanis Lavalee of Tanis Fiber Arts.  I have some of her yarn for a future sweater for ME, but I have knit nothing else in her yarn, and I'm dying to.  This is my first pattern of hers to knit - and I'm beyond excited to one day knit the Lady Sunnyside that she recently published!
Stealing leaves
Enough about all that nonsense, though - check this thing out!  I knit it with marigoldjen (again, I can't say enough about Jenny's gorgeous colorways!!!  If you haven't checked her shop out yet, PLEASE do!  She is the nicest dyer ever, and she totally works with you if you have any questions/special requests...besides simply dying all that lovely yarn.)

The reason this sweater is great is that you can knit it with ONE skein of fingering least the two smallest sizes, LOL.  So, I ordered the colorway Anchors Aweigh on the BFL/nylon base - and here is my project page.

Tried in the shade, which was silly
Anyway, the pattern is LOVELY - and I like that it's free, but cute...with details!  You can girl or boy it up as you please - cables or a lace edging.  It is something likely best knit in a solid or semi-solid, as I did.  I had no issues, other than knitting TOO far before the sleeve split, LOL (because why NOT?), so, I had to rip out.  Make sure to use stitch markers as needed, in order to keep track of your cables, and you'll be fine.

Also, I HAD to use Tessa Ann buttons...naturally!!!  As always, Steve and Tessa worked with me, as it's so tricky to find just the right type of button for a wee sweater - and for boys!  They offer so many designs, but I wanted to keep it sort of simple, yet fun.  I love these tiny dinosaurs!
Capturing the colorway just inside the doorway

Those dinosaur buttons are HARD to photograph in any sort of light, aha!

Before I added buttons...a few weeks ago!

Not much else to say - I just love it!  And they are both wearing hats (I knit Tiberius's here) knit from the Baby's First Hat pattern by Blue Sky Alpaca (that I always modify into bigger sizes).  Camden also happens to be wearing her Figgy's Sunki dress (the first one I ever made...two years ago - wayyy too big then, LOL), though you can't see it well in today's pictures.  (And while I can find the second Sunki I made camden, I can find no original photos of the one she wore today.  So, I'll a photo for the fun of it!)
Forever ago - June 2012!
And the works will be an Anders sweater, though I need to figure out my gauge issue, as I don't want to go smaller than a size 3 needle, etc.  Also, in sewing news, I do have an Oliver and S Explorer vest to whip up as a gift for someone ;)

Friday, October 10, 2014

So Fancy! The Bloomsbury Sweater

Say helllloooo to the Bloomsbury sweater by Svetlana Volkova!

Honestly, peeps!  What an PRETTY sweater for such an EASY pattern!  I vote y'all should go out and knit one up now ;)  I did, however, put my right hand through some rough times, as I was trying to rush finish this sweater, what with all the knitting I have on the docket.  I really should take another knitting break, but I want to finish my Whispering Pines...and then the Cabernet cowl and hat set I have planned for Camden...and an Anders for Tiberius.  The list, as usual, goes on.

I had purchased this blue yarn LAST year in order to match these pants.  (Don't ask me while I failed to get photos THIS time with those very same pants, aha!)  It is the insanely gorgeous Colour Adventures Dia Worsted in the Glacier colorway.  In the size 6, I used just BARELY over two skeins.  If I'd done short sleeves, I totally wouldn't have needed the third skein; as it is, I only cracked that sucker open when I was basically at the ribbing of the second sleeve, LOL.  And, as always, I likely lengthened the sweater.  I am in love with it.  If you can't tell, aha!  Naturally, also, I'm in love with Elena's colorways; Glacier is no exception.  I'd realized my yarn stash was lacking in blue, and I'm glad I went with this!

My ONE mistake is in NOT lengthening the shoulder/yoke/whatever it's I'd sized up because of the yarn I used and the gauge I was at - so, I should have lengthened the top, as it cuts pretty closely into Camden's poor armpit.  Ugh - another 4 rows would have been nice.

Well...and I lie.  I wish I'd used size 4 needles on the sleeve ribbing.  I did do that on the hem ribbing, for which I'm glad.  I had used size 6 needles for the main body and sleeves, and I always think it's a good idea to go down two sizes for ribbing.

Anyway, I have decent lighting in the pictures, even if there aren't great shots, and I tried to pair the sweater with three different bottoms - it is quite versatile, which is awesome!

Lastly, these are two recent pictures of the little guy!  
The little guy eats everything...
On a hike up at Todd Lake

Camden....Ben and Mia??? A Lily Bird Studio Pattern!

A gorgeous Friday afternoon...and even better, as I finished a pair of pants for Camden - the Ben and Mia pants by Lily Bird Studio.  I'm not sure when, exactly, I purchased this pdf pattern, but when I realized I had next to no tracing paper left - and needed to sew SOMEthing, I found this in my files.

That fuzzy was invisible when I was taking photos, LOL

I will start out by saying that this is NOT my favorite colored purple - a jewel tone.  I have hopes to buy a better purple some day soon from, but it's what I had.  Secondly, I almost gave up hope when I had to tape together the pieces, as there is only ONE label for each pattern, out of the six pieces I cut out for each pants piece, only ONE section was labeled "pants front" and so on.  It didn't take TOO much brain power, but I do think there needs to be labels on each piece of paper or letter match-up points.
Sorry about the strap sloppiness, LOL
The pattern itself goes together easily, and the fit is okay.  I often find with Camden, pants have an awkward fit - she does have a flat bum, but they often seem to be wide across the front - well, or that, coupled with the fact that her belly sticks out a bit, so, pants ride lower.  This fact makes for awkward pictures, as it wrinkles funny, etc.  One might suggest I go to the effort of making a muslin or somesuch - but not in this lifetime will I make a muslin for a wee, cheap pair of pants, aha!  (This will not be the case when I make her jeans....)

Because I was in the zone of "let's get 'er done," I am glad I had buttons on hand for the button tabs - though I know (I promise I do!) that bigger buttons would look nicer on the tabs.  But hey - let's just say I was awesome for using something within my stash.

In keeping with the theme of not truly loving these pants, I left the flat piping wide, rather than bringing it in....and I left the piping on the back pockets, though I am NOT kidding myself that it looks good.  I know there is a trick for not putting it all the way up to the corner before attaching the lining and outer pocket piece together, but I didn't want to rip out and think on it.  We'll just say it gives the back a splash of color and be done with it.  Also, I will say the back pocket piece itself is rather large for a small person.
That is some insanely wide piping - oops
Overal, the pants are cute enough, and they work, which is great.  Am I in love with the pattern itself or the job I did?  Not really, but that's all right - moving on to bigger and better things, aha!  (Well, one can hope!)

Also, Matt is building a tiny chair for camden.  He is planing down the fiddle wood here.
Matt wants me to mention he has no good working bench, so, he has to slave away on his knees

Friday, October 3, 2014

Four Skirts in TWO??? Oliver and S Hula Hoop Skirts!

Dudes.  BEST Christmas go-to gift EVER.  Y'all need to give this skirt a whirl - literally and figuratively.  What skirt, you say???  Why, my friends, the Oliver and S Hula Hoop skirt.  I'd purchased this pdf (You CAN'T be serious, Autumn, you don't buy THOSE!  I KNOW, right?!) a while back, because the look of the skirt did interest me, but I hadn't gotten around to it.

Then tragedy struck.  Tragedy of the first-world problems NO SWEDISH TRACING PAPER kind.  I realized, as I grabbed my roll of tracing paper a couple weeks ago, that there was not nearly enough on the roll to make the Oliver and S School Photo Dress I'd been planning to sew (worry not, for the fabric is still sitting at the end of my ironing board).  I refused to buy it on Amazon, as I like to support my peeps up at Modern Domestic - but that meant I would have to wait until nearly the end of October.  Sad times.

So, I did the only thing a girl CAN do.  I turned to my pdf patterns.  I let the girls over at That's What She Crafted and Irons in the Fire what I was about to do, and they couldn't believe their ears (or eyes, as it were), aha!

I'm soooo glad I made the decision to go with this pattern.  It is insanely easy (even if you're like ME and do ridiculous things with the easiest patterns, which then involve seam ripping, clearly), and after one, it's easy to pump out several - which I have :O  Two, however, are for Camden.  As always, I will excuse away the photo quality....but trust that they're cute, and Camden loves them and has been complemented several times while we've been out and about :)

I don't have much to say about the pattern itself.  I think there might have been a step or two that I thought were unnecessary, so, I didn't do them (I was maybe supposed to baste the top edge of the waistband before I folded it, but that seemed like a silly waste of thread).  Other than that, though, the pattern goes together super fast, and if you cut out a few at once, you can whip through these suckers.  Plus, people...HOLLA!!!  It calls for a full yard of fabric for a size 4, and you totally only need 3/4 yard for each side.  Yard schmard, I say!

I love that Camden gets a skirt....but not just ONE skirt - TWO...and not just TWO - FOUR, really!  I did use stash fabric I'd already used once before, which is nice.  The Halloween fabric is from Camden's second Halloween, when I sewed a knot dress, and the bunnies (Cotorienne) are from one of her Oliver and S Sailboat sets.  So, thumbs up to me for using up fabric from my scrap bins

How was she SO young???

I definitely need the next size set - totally worth it!!!..........And stay tuned for the Christmas gift versions of this skirt!

Friday, September 12, 2014

That Whole Two-For-One Special - Starring the Family Reunion Pattern!

Do NOT look closely at the wacko ruffle stitching!!  I twinge looking at it!!  I might have to fix it.

I have to say this straight off - the Family Reunion is an easy cheese cream pie pattern!!!  I like that from Oliver and S, which can be soooo detailed sometimes (which is also great....otherwise, why would Camden's closet be full of their patterns??).  It's funny, now that I have more experience with sewing - and especially with sewing Oliver and S patterns - I'm noticing that there are so many directions I can totally ignore.


I SAY that, but really, I still take a peek, because I'm that person who misses things alllll the time, so, I like to be extra careful....when I'm actually thinking about it.  And speaking of....with this particular pattern, I certainly DID mess up, as I though the facing pattern pieces were INSIDE the dress, but that was alllll a lie, LOL.  I didn't even know the term "facing" could mean something is on the OUTSIDE. I should go look that up.  The point is that I totally wasted time, thread, fabric and facing by cutting out the facings on shot cotton....because if I'd known it was an outside piece (meaning, if I had even LOOKED at the picture, aha!), I would have used the main fabric, as I wanted these projects to have a pretty clean look.  Suffice to say I decided the shot cotton would work on the dress version - but NOT on the top version, so, I re-cut, etc.

Sometimes, with Oliver and S, I remember to look up errata for a pattern, but I didn't happen to check this time, and everything went together smoothly (minus the facing mis-hap).  Pintucks clearly take some energy, especially because there are NINE just on one garment...and I was doing TWO garments.  So, I assembly-lined that shiz, and all ended well.

I again (I say this alll the time, I know!) used stash fabric.  Well, let's not get hasty - I did that for the top (I just hadn't know for the LONGEST time what to do with the ONE yard!) - but I bought the flower fabric for the dress just last October, actually planning to use it for a coat.  Oops ;)  (And now that I'm thinking on it, wouldn't a VEST for the Art Museum pattern be cute with that???)  I had to purchase new buttons (seriously...I have soooo many great buttons; why does NOTHING ever work for a given project???  I guess y'all should refer to THIS post from last year) today on the cheap - coupons at
Jo-Ann Fabric Store.  Tiberius and Camden helped out, and a nice customer at the store chatted us up while we did picked them out.  (Side note:  I have a beef with Jo-Ann Fabrics.  Why'd you change up the button situation???  I swear they removed a line of buttons and replaced it with an even cheaper-looking line, which is a dreadful thing!)

The only modification I made to the top was to lengthen it by an inch, as I know how that story will end if I do NOT lengthen.  And, as seen in the pictures, I chose to use the button tab for the dress and the ruffle for the blouse.  You may have guessed by now, but I'm not super frilly and into ruffles, so, this was stretching it for me, and I think it works....???  Jazzes it up a teeny bit?

I did my most BANG-UP sewing job EVER on the snaps, too - check it out!  I have a weird thing about sewing on buttons.  I refuse to sew them on by machine, as I think I make a tougher anchor than a machine (I'm weirddddd), and I sort of like doing it, even though I'm straining my eyes and all hunched over (no, seriously, I was pretty sure I threw my back out for a split second while sewing those buttons).  I was super impressed, though, by my snaps.  When you have to use snaps as an anchor point, it can be tricky trying to finagle the sewing of them under a decorative button.  I'm not sure how any of y'all do it, but I want the snaps to be secure....yet not UGLY, right???  Check it out, though!
I am nit-picking over my finish/edge-stitching here, but whatevs, I guess

Size-wise, I did the 5 - at this point, I'm sadly just trying to get things SEWN for Camden, so, fun and fancy isn't in my vocabulary; I didn't want something difficult (I honestly felt bad for NOT using the main print as the facing....and then adding piping with the shot cotton, but I told myself to slow my roll), so, I'm sort of the pumping-things-out mode.  You can see the dress definitely looks big on her, which is obviously no fault of the pattern - but add to it that I used a heavier-weight fabric on the dress, which does that awkward thing where it looks stiff/doesn't quite fit right.  I like to think she'll grow into that.  The shirt fits beautifully, even if the photos on a COLD, WINDY morning don't capture that well.

All in all, a lovely pattern, and I'm glad I sewed two of them - bang for my buck and all ;)  Next up???  Likely the School Photo HEDGEHOG fabric - holla!