Posted in Parenting, Projects

So…..Sewing

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First thing’s first, as is the case with many things in my life, I never would have bet on ever wanting to sew.  Given that sewing for me has always been synonymous with trying to repair a ripped pant hem by hand and ending up with a wobbly line of very uneven stitches, it’s not very surprising that I found it unpleasant.  However, ever since taking out the old sewing machine, I’ve fallen in love with it.

Now, if you remember, I mentioned a few weeks ago that the machine stopped working mid-project.  The needle wasn’t picking up the thread from the bobbin anymore.  Well, I got it serviced and it turns out that the problem was this:

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It turns out that a broken gear isn’t very conductive to a  working sewing machine…

Now that everything’s working again, I’ve been going a little crazy with projects.  I first made a Mei Tai (I used this pattern.  It was super easy to follow and perfect for a beginner). for Amélie and then one for Charles.  I mostly used some flat sheets because I had them on hand and we don’t use them in our beds.  Also, given that I had no idea how the projects would actually turn out, I didn’t really want to go out and buy any fabric.  This project allowed me to learn about backstitching and thread tension.  I also got better at sewing in a straight line as the project progressed.  The Mei Tai’s are by no means perfect, but I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out and the kids love them so that’s a plus.

Then, I decided it was time to try to create something simple.  I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but here, in Québec, we have vaccination booklets in which, well, the given vaccines are registered and where the doctors write in the height and weight of the kids during each visit.  We also each have a medicare card that we have to bring with us when we go to the hospital or doctor’s office.  Plus, if you’ve ever been to a hospital, you’re issued a hospital card that you must bring the next time you visit.  That’s a lot of stuff to carry around!  I decided to make a case for each kid to hold their booklets and cards.  Through this project, I learned a lot about planning and taking into consideration an appropriate seam allowance while deciding the dimensions.

The first one I made is the one with the foxes.  I changed the pattern slightly for the second one and prefer it.  I only need to sew a strap on the fox case and it’ll be finished.

After that, I decided to tackle our washable diapers.  You see, I’ve had some of them for years (we bought our first ones when Charles was a baby) so they’ve seen a LOT of use.  Unfortunately, there were quite a few that I had put into storage because the elastics were completely shot.  I had considered getting them repaired, but just kept procrastinating.  Instead, I decided to just bite the bullet, find an online tutorial for elastics replacements in the brand of diapers I use and just went for it.  And you know what?  It worked!  By the time I had gotten to the diapers, I was getting pretty good at sewing in straight-ish lines.  It was still a challenge though and I learned a lot about using elastics and a seam ripper (as well as how to be very careful with PUL).

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(Left: diaper with shot elastics, right: diaper with newly replaced elastics).

Last but not least, I decided to try to find a way to use up the rest of the fabric from the cases.  I found a really simple bow tie tutorial.  So far, I’ve made one for Charles, I’m then going to work on one for Elliot and then I want to make a headband with a bow for Amélie.

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Lookin’ good!

So, what’s next?  I have some nice sheer pink fabric that I’d like to use in place of tulle using this pattern to make a cute skirt for Amélie.  I would also love to make a dress with this super cute pattern once my skill have improved a little.

What projects have you been working on lately?  Feel free to link up in the comments!

Posted in Parenting, Projects

Stellar: Earflap Beanie

This is the new project I just finished.  Isn’t it cute?  I used the standard earflap beanie pattern that can be found here, on the Repeat Crafter Me blog.  This is my go to spot for the hat patterns because they work up quickly, the seams come together nicely and the sizing is always spot on.

Then I crocheted a star using the pattern here.  The star worked up super easily (I tried a few patterns and this one was definitely the winner).  I didn’t use the fabric stiffener, but I did block the piece overnight to give it a more pointy look as it looked like a flower once finished.

I finished off by using surface slip stitches to create the tail of the shooting star.  Here  is the tutorial I used when first using the technique a few months ago.

The yarn I used for the hat is Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Navy and Gold for the star and accent colour.

Now it’s time for me to start a poncho for my son.  Cheers!

What projects do you have going on right now?

Posted in Projects

Getting (Re)hooked

A couple of years ago, I started to learn crochet.  And once I got the “hook: of it (because, yes, there was a lot of cussing and starting over…and over…and over, at first), I loved it.  I mostly stuck with simple stuff like scarves, dishcloths and beanies, but I enjoyed it.

Then, last Christmas came along and  I spent an insane amount of time crocheting.  I was really happy with the way everything came out, but since I had gone crazy with it, by the time I was done, I was done.

But recently, I decided it was time to get my yarn and hooks out again.  Since it’s getting chilly (and I have a nice sample of different colours from past projects), I settled on a poncho for my 2 year old.  I found a graphic pattern here (which I had to learn to read, because I only knew how to read written patterns) and got to work.  It took a bit of finnicking before I could figure out how to join and start a new row correctly, but in the end, I managed.

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What do you think?  Pretty cute, eh?

Since the blogger who posted the pattern didn’t give any indication as to which type of yarn she used, I had to play around with what I had (I used worsted weight yarn, by the way).  What I did know is that my initial chain had to be in multiples of 8 and I ended up going with a chain of 64.

I have to say, I am pretty pleased.  This thing worked up quickly (which is a good thing because the 3 month old has decided of late that naps weren’t his bag of tea…) and it gives an amazing result.

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Because she’s two years old (and she knows it), Amélie showed me how absolutely thrilled she was at posing for me this morning.

I think it looks pretty darned good.  I really like the length, but I think the neck opening is a bit too large.  If I were to make another poncho for a two year old, I’d probably go with a chain of 56 (or even 48) instead of 64.  But hey, it’s no biggie.

Now, on to my next project.  Stay tuned!