Friday, August 23, 2013

What I learned from Gertie

I have and just finished reading Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  I bought her book after becoming a fan of her blog. While I have completed a couple dresses I am definitally a novice and I would like to share a few things I learned from reading her book.  This is the second sewing book I've read.  The first was Sew What! Skirts.  Making these skirts was a good way to start sewing.  I just wish I had read Gertie's book before I had moved onto sewing dresses. Here is why. 

1. I know how to size my patterns.  Like I said, I had never read any other sewing book before so I was creating my dresses exactly the size the pattern was written for.  No wonder some of my patterns are large on me.  I have since taken apart one of my dresses and made alterations.

2. Use tracing paper or other to create a copy of the originial.  Yes, I commited a horrible mistake, I pinned some of my orginial vintage patterns. They are still in tack but to help preserve my patterns I will be using tracing paper going forward.  It also makes it easier to create size adjustments right on the paper before even cutting my fabric.

3. Interfacing. I hadn't used it before and maybe was just intimidated.  I now have some ready to go with my fabric before I sew my first Gertie pattern.

4. Another thing I learned from both Gertie and Lauren of Wearing History.  Although I had seen it mentioned several times before I will finally head the advice of creating a muslin. This is one of Lauren's entrys, Tips to a Successful Finished Sewn Garnment. Gertie mentions in her book that if the bottom of the dress is full there is no need to create an entire muslin, just the bodice portion.

I realize these are some basic things many who have sewn before know.  If however you are like me and want to start sewing, I recomment picking up her book to understand what patterns don't tell you.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Starting and Stopping Problem 2

I started this top years ago and now have run out of yarn!!

The pattern is Cupcake from Stitch N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker. I know I started this in 2007 because I brought it on the plane to Japan with me.  Its a little tight; I must have grown wider since then. :p  I also know I made it a little shorter on accident. Otherwise this will a great summer top if I can find the yarn.  Its purple Lion Brand cotton.  I've been to a few Joanns where I initally bought the yarn.  I've found other brands with purple but they're not the exact purple.  I'm going to keep searching and try even looking online on ebay and such.  Do you know anyone who has purple Lion Brand cotton yarn?  Help a knitter out!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Tim's Sweater

Started this for Tim's Christmas present years ago.  He graduated from Law school this year so I can give it to him as a graduation present.  After all, lawyers dress up and wear sweater vests, right? Well at least my brother does.  While I had fun wearing what I wanted in college, my brother always liked to dress nice and presentable.  He wore button down shirts to class to his undergrad classes. Most kids I went to school with wore pajamas!  For now I just have a picture of the sweater laid out below.  I'll see if he sends me a picture of him in it to share (you know how brothers are!).

For any of you wanting to make one for your own brother here is the pattern below.  It includes mens and boys sizes!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Stopping and Starting

This is a reason why I should not start projects...wait a year...then pick them back up.

I obviously used a different size needle or I knit much looser than I used to.  I also thought if I made any changes to the pattern, I wouldn't remember what I did differently now.  I hope the sweaters I plan to finish don't suffer the same fate.  I frogged the smaller wristlet and knit a second wristlet of a much closer size.  These will come in very handy at work in the winter when I am cold but need to use my fingers to type!

Pattern is Fetching from

Monday, June 24, 2013

Another Finished Project!

Another finished project! Why did it take me so long to go through and finish these? Its a great feeling flying through these projects I've had sitting around forever!

First up is the free pattern from Woolly Wormhead - Meret.  Found this on Ravelry and its the second hat I've knit from this pattern.  Quick and easy but cute and very warm and practical in the winter!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Yellow Vintage Sweater

The buttons are all sewn on!  Find the pattern for this sweater below.  I made a few changes by omitting the stitch pattern and collar. 

Hope you enjoy this pattern!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Halloween Cross Stitch Pillow

Its been a long time since Christmas but I said I would post an update the Halloween Cross Stitch Pillow. The first picture is of my Aunt and I after she opened her present on Christmas. 

I finshed a second one recently as a present for my mom.  Its fun to make presents for gifts, but its hard to stay focused on such a long detailed project when you make two!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Return of the Princess Leia Hat

First on the list of projects to finish, the princess Leia hat!

Modeled by the adorable Abigail Leia.  Yes, that is her middle name!

I did not have good jedi skills when it came to this project or I would have finished this project right away.  Its not a hard knit at all.  I think I wasn't sure how I would sew on the buns.  As soon as I started to work on sewing them together it went fairly quickly.  I first sewed the i-cord together to make the each bun then I attached the bun to the hat. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

UFOs and ADD

I have knitting ADD.  With all the yarn I have and wonderful world wide web of free knitting patterns, I am always looking to start a new project.  Problem is I forget to finish the old project first.  Below is my 'list of things to do'.  Hopefully this blog post will keep me motivated to finish these projects before starting anything new.

1. Princess Leia hat

 Yup, I started this one about a year ago and all I have to do is sew on the 'buns'.

2. Halloween Cross Stitch.  Originally I wanted to make one for my mom and one for my aunt for Christmas.  I gave one to my aunt on Christmas and this second one I was going to give to my mom for her birthday.....her birthday was in January.

3. Yellow Vintage Sweater.  According to my ravelry records, I started this sweater back in 2008. All I need to do is sew on the buttons however I have been thinking about sewing on a ribbon just like in by Gum, by Golly's tutorial here. I would probably sew the ribbon on the inside to give the sweater more structure.  Any suggestions?

4. Winter Hat by Woolly Wormhead. Looks like I just have a few more rows left.

5. Crochet top from Stitch n' Bitch Happy Hooker. I started this one back in 2007 on a long plane ride and all I need to do is sew on the sleeves. I hope it will still fit. 

6. Another Vintage patterned sweater. Although this was a quick knit I think I haven't finished because its a little large.  Still, all I need to do is sew on the buttons. I picked the color to match my little roses dress.

7. I have one fingerless glove and the yarn to knit a second. I should be able to finish this during a movie. This free pattern came from and the pattern is called Fetching.

8. Vintage Men's sweater vest. This was going to be my brother's Christmas present a few years ago.  He lived in Minnesota at the time.  Think he will still wear it in California?

9.  Vintage...

9. ...well you have to believe me that under the cats are 2 pieces of a Vintage lace top. I have the front and back completed and have to finish the sleeves and the tie on the front.

I'll keep you updated and post the projects (and a few vintage patterns) as I finish my list.  Thanks to Layla and Stewie for modeling my projects.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Viking Helmet and Metal!

A friend at work asked me to knit him a viking hat last year.  In exchange he burned me some metal music to listen to.  While camping last October I decided this hat would be fun to wear while camping.  Then the History Channel show Vikings started.  It was destiny that I make this hat!  Thor pounded his hammer as I clacked my knitting needles.

Here is my final result as I drink to the Norse gods and celebrate my Norwegian Heritage!

Thanks to Knit for Your Life for posting this free pattern!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

1920s Style

The Great Gatsby and a new season of Boardwalk Empire are inspiring me to go roaring 20s.  As I started looking for patterns I found I wasn't the only one. Miss Crayola Creepy has started The Great Gatsby Sewing Challenge.  I'm a bit late so I don't think I will finish by the deadline but I am still inspired to create my own 1920s dress. I will definitely have time to finish before the next season of Boardwalk Empire premiers.

I've found the following vintage knitting patterns that would be fun.

Summerland Sweater on Ravely

1920s dresses seem to be harder to find.  There are a lot of reproduction patterns for other decades but it looks like most patterns come in the typical flapper costume or actual vintage patterns.  Miss Crayola Creepy has a blog post about finding 1920s patterns online.  I think I am going to choose one of the following patterns for purchase from Mrs. Depew Vintage on etsy.  She has some cute patterns from other decades as well.

I'll keep you posted on which pattern (or patterns) I choose. Have you found any cute 1920s patterns?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

An Unexpected Knitting Journey

Went to see the Hobbit today and I loved it.  I noticed those dwarves really like to wear hand knits.  Here are some of pictures I've found with some dwarf originals.

I love his cabled gloves and how the pearls look like armor. Also my favorite hand knit from the movie.

Ori and his cabled cowl.
His gloves already have their ravelry page and I'm sure his vest from is soon to come.  Below is a better picture of both his gloves and vest.

Bofer and his two toned scarf.

Bombur and some more fingerless gloves.

I've never been one for writing my own patterns but it sure would be neat to make these into a book of hand knits from middle earth book. I think I need to make an attempt at Oin's gloves at least. 

Did you notice any other hand knits I missed? Which are your favorite?

Photos found on IMBD The Hobbit.