Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Personal Favorite - The Book Report Dress!

***Below, I'm astonished I'd never published this post...and here it is, October 2016, and it is STILL not published!  What is going on???  Here we go again!
**Oh, wow!!!!  How had I NEVER published this post from last year?????  It's like a bonus 2016 post, aha!  Originally written in May ;)

One of my favorite patterns - the Book Report Dress by Oliver and S!  I think I love this pattern because there it's fun to find a great combination for the top and bottom pieces.  It's one of those patterns I look forward to re-sewing, though I've been so busy with the baby life, etc, that the last one I made Camden was September of 2013, I think....and the one before that, so long ago!

A month or so after we moved to Bend - September 2013!
The pattern itself is obviously great.  There are maybe eight pattern pieces, but gosh, SUCH an easy construction with SUCH fun results!  It's also a time to showcase any cute buttons you might have, depending on the yoke fabric you use.  I did use a printed yoke fabric this time, so, I ended up going super simple (the last two used balloon buttons), button-wise.  The pattern has pockets, also, which I know some children love, but strangely, Camden has actually never employed the use of.

I was awesome, once again, and stash-dove for some hippo fabric and polka dots.  The polka dots may be a bit overkill, but I was all "whatevs" and used it, anyway.

SOMEHOW (WAY LATE EDIT/November 16, 2017), I never really took photos of this dress and didn't notice!  Below is ONE awful photo, LOL!

That's it, folks!  This pattern is so great - for anything, really, but it's also a lovely first days of school outfit, and I vote y'all should take a crack at it, if you haven't.

And of course....random shots from this weekend!!


An Atwood Shawl for Camden...And a Random Post for Me

(The paragraph that has NOTHING to do with the main post)
I just crocheted a provisional cast-on onto my circular needles...then called it a night for knitting, aha!  That crochet business is some WORK!  I have no idea how to keep the tension...and I strangely feel like it was easier to do this cast-on when I knit my Homegrown sweater.  Anyhow, that sweater will be coming down the pike - finished by the end of February, I hope!  I do have a ballet sweater to knit for Camden, too, so, I clearly already need this sweater off the needles before I've even begun :O

All that nonsense aside, I DO have a finished project!  I knit the Atwood Shawl by Nicole Clark of Hue Loco (she sells yarn and project bags on both her main site and on Etsy).  Nicole also has a podcast, and I've enjoyed watching it, as she throws in tutorials every now and then, too.  I was missing a pattern for a project bag, and I watched her tutorial for bag-making...and voila!
I sent these away as gifts, of a sort!
It's super cool of her to produce these tutorials, especially as there are a million new sewists out there who love a quick and easy project.

Clearly, this lovely shawl is for Camden...no way could I pull it off as well, LOL.  I used Gnome Acres yarn in the Spugnomi colorway, on the House Gnome base.  Speaking OF GA yarn, I just won a skein of it in the This Old Knit podcast group on Ravelry, and I'm super excited!!!  Thank you so much, Nina!!!

It was convenient that I wanted to knit this shawl and that I wanted to use a fun yarn.  Because of that, I am involved in several knit-alongs (KALs) right now, and I'm glad I managed to grab photos today, because YAY for being all done!!  Granted, this was a quick, easy shawl, but man...I can sure stretch a project sometimes.  I definitely had to take it easy on knitting for a few days, as my back was trying to go out (car accident and then bike accident situations at play, and apparently, sewing and just LIVING is wrecking my back at this point).

I was worried the variegated colorway wouldn't quite work for the shawl, but it totally does!  She loves it, and it's just the right size.  House gnome is a light fingering weight base, and even though it felt like there were a million stitches on the needle by the end, it still didn't come out too large.  Also, I didn't block it aggressively; if I had, it could have turned out a wee bit bigger.

The pattern (my project page) was lovely, and I would have had only one question...but others reached that point before I did, with the same question, so, I didn't have to wait for an answer for once, aha!  Otherwise, crazy easy pattern.  I did one extra repeat of the main body, and I knit maybe two fewer rounds of the garter border, as I'm not a huge garter fan.
A sad, sad peacock??

Camden will show it off to her friends at her next community day, but for now...the week in review:
Headed out on one of our walks to fix my back!
A cheerful model!
In line for a Josh Ritter concert - yay!
Helping grandma sort buttons
Bonbon bunny is out for a ride, too!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Two for One - Sewing AND Knitting. A Dapper Little Guy

I'm CRAZY excited about this lovely combo!  LIKE.  You don't even KNOW.

Seriously, the cuteness explodes...and no bias here at ALL, of course.  As always, in such a situation with my little guy, I wish I could have some crazy awesome photos, but hey - it took me one MILLION shots to get the few half-normal ones I'm using in this post ;)
The saddest baby - EVER.  He wants me to pick him up, of course.

Technically speaking, four designers are included in this post - give it up!  We shall start with the sewing, though.  I DID start the sweater first, I think...???  But I finished the pants and top first, as both were ready for Christmas, which I was happy about.

The Treasure Pocket Pants come from the Sewing for Boys book by Shelly Figueroa (of Figgy's Patterns fame) and Karen LePage (of One Girl Circus), and I confess that I have always loved this pattern, from the first moment I saw and made them.  The first time I ever made them was for Camden, years ago (like she's been on this earth for SOOOO long, aha!), and I actually took a wee class WITH Shelly, and she is awesome, of COURSE.
2012....Not the FIRST pair, I believe, but the 2nd pair (and a too-small O and S Class Picnic Shirt)
The pattern always goes together quickly, and there is one piece of errata, which has to do with a pocket piece, and I just have that printed out and have traced it, no biggie!  (Here is the link to that.) One other thing I do, though, is to NOT use the pattern piece for the hem lining on the leg.  I have found that I never get the right sizing when I use the piece, so, I just measure it out - which is how the waistband is done, too, anyway.  Anyway, rock and roll - love them so much!  Though now that I remember AGAIN, I have yet to close the waistband from where I slipped in the elastic, aha!  Oops.

On the street corner, waiting for dad....like we do

For the Sketchbook Shirt by Oliver and S, I used the same robot fabric (which I'd actually purchased a couple-few years ago for Camden but hadn't yet gotten a chance to use), and on the inside, I used a green voile for the back facing.  I realize the fabric is a bit heavy for things like narrow hems, but I couldn't help myself.  Also, don't get me STARTED about that top buttonhole.  A certain sewing machine almost got thrown through a window....so, per usual, the top buttonhole looks ugly, as I had to fudge it, manual style.  (Next time, I'll remember to do that buttonhole before I finish the collar, etc.)  I'm super happy about the shirt, though, and I adore seeing it on Tiberius.  This IS his first sewn outfit, after all ;)  The pattern itself was great, and I had no issues with it and love the final product....though I DID lengthen the shirt and sleeves.
Just some cheap Joann Fabrics buttons

I purchased the yarn for the Carabe Kid (by Justyna Lorkowska of Lete's Knits - group on Ravelry and FB page) many months ago from Marigoldjen (HER Ravelry group and FB page).  I love Jenny's yarn, and she nicely dyed this combo for me, at my request.  The yarn is quite lovely, though I do realize I should have asked for a more variegated yarn (MY project page), in terms of not so much of the navy in the striped sections.  That's totally on me, but ah, well.  Such is life, and it's still cute!  This was the first time I'd knit this pattern, and it is totally well-written, of course, and I knit the size 2.  I didn't really change anything up, length-wise, which is out of the norm for me, but I thought I'd go with it.  It might be a whole few rows longer than the inch-amount called for.  It is definitely big/wide in the shoulder area, but whatevs, I suppose.  He's just a little guy!  I DO hope it fits nicely through part of the fall of this year.  A couple neat things I did - the pattern doesn't call for it, but I did the tubular bind-off on the hem and sleeves...which looks nice and which I did (well, THAT or the sewn bind-off, aha!) on my Homegrown sweater.  And the pattern DOES call for an i-cord bind-off around the collar/button band, and it does take a bit of time, I suppose, but it looks great!  I'm not sure it was stretchy enough through the collar, as it doesn't seem to be wide enough up there, but Tiberius isn't complaining.

Seriously!!!  These buttons!!!
I then decided to show off how lovely the contrast yarn is by knitting a matching hat - the Baby's First Hat, which is always a go-to pattern for me when I can't be bothered to think of something else, aha!  It was published through the Blue Sky Alpacas site, and I've knit it several times - changing the stitch count where appropriate, based on yarn weight.  I love how the colorway just swirls right up, and it fits him perfectly!  And when he's not busy trying to steal and don his sister's Cabernet hat, he'll stick this one on his head.
Working his funny face...which comes out oddly on camera ;)

And hold UP!  I naturally squeezed him into his wee socks I'd knit a few months back - just to finish off the look in an un-matchy sort of way ;)

And there you have it!  This WHOLE deal was part of the make2along run by the Jennie of the Tiny Paper Foxes podcast and Ravelry group....which, if you have NOT checked out her (and officially now Devon's, also!) podcast, you NEED to.

Lastly, some week-in-review photos:
Morning berries
Getting their water resist ON
A little guy!
Water resist results

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Something Flowered and Something Blue - Figgy's and Zonen Combo

I am THIS PLEASED with this outfit!!!

These pants fit Camden so well, and it's one of my best zipper-fly installations (like, the whole shebang, fly-guard, zipper, waistband/button and all!), which really gives it major points.

Also awesome???  Brianne of Ali Cat and Co. sent me this lovely fabric - a blue corduroy and a vintage-looking flowered (super light-weight) fabric.  I knew I wanted to use them together when she sent it to me months ago, and I had the pants cut out a few months ago and only got around to sewing it all up right before Christmas.  So glad it's all done!

I wasn't sure at first which pattern to use for the shirt, and though I know a different pattern would have worked overall better for the fabric and style of the outfit, I chose laziness because I needed it DONE and wanted to use a pattern I already had (always gotta save those duckets, yo).  I will say I am glad I didn't choose something that needed buttonholes, as my machine may have totally eaten the fabric :O  Whew.

The pants and top went together quickly...especially as I had the pants cut out so long ago.  The sewing was nice and easy, and as with the last time, I cut out a pocket facing for the front pockets...wishing I knew a way to do that for the back side.  I'd have to sew up/prep the outer pocket piece and then make a pocket lining after.  I don't like having that raw edge that the directions give you (unless I missed something, aha!) on the inside.  I REALLY want these pants to work for Tiberius in the future, as that was part of the pattern decision-making process for this fabric.  I love the style of the Jacob pants by Zonen, and the directions are great!    As for the fly installation business...????
Clearly not a crazy-detailed picture, but you get the idea!  I hope :O
I kept the Ayashe blouse by Figgy's simple and only used elastic in the sleeves.  The mandarin collar sewing process was about the same as usual.  I always struggle with perfection on getting the corners to sew up nicely.  It will be a great blouse, too, for when the weather returns to normal around here (meaning, HELLO, could we have warmer temperatures any day now???)

Bottom-line, y'all???  A quick sew, and I adore the style - especially with her mittens, aha - and dotted Vans.  Our pairings always crack me up.

Some early January happenings....
Same day as above pictures...Community Day, Monday, January 4, 2016
Practicing from THIS book!
Cats and mice!

Helping dad make fry bread