Thursday, December 27, 2012

Polka Dots and Cables

First of all, I wanted to show you all the finished baby sweater I posted last time. I finished it up a week or so ago and have since started a new one. This one is a newborn size, so it won't be very practical as it won't fit long enough to make it through the cold next winter, but since it was mostly a cabling experiment on my part I'm ok with that. Someone will be able to make use of it again at some point. 

The left shoulder buttons with three little buttons that I had in my stash. They came off one of the cuffs of an old sport coat. I only made a few alterations to the pattern, primarily choosing to knit the sleeves in the round in order to save myself one more seam. I really like this pattern and will probably make another one at some point, but in a larger size.

I've also started a second baby sweater (this one is a 6-9 month size) for next winter. It's a cabled jacket with hood, and also has matching socks. The yarn I'm using for this one is a burgundy superwash merino. It feels absolutely wonderful! The pattern I'm using is very poorly written, making it a bit difficult to interpret some of the instructions at certain points. I made the mistake of not reading them all thoroughly before I started and after knitting about 5 inches of the back had to rip everything but the ribbing and start over. Now that I've got the pattern figured out (after needing to make a few minor adjustments) it's turning out very well. I've got the back finished and have started the right front. I'll be taking this one on vacation with us next week and will hopefully be able to knock out the majority of it (if not all of it) before I have to go back to work on the seventh.

Now, this baby is not the only one who's got new clothes in the works. I am about half finished with a 1950s maternity top (that's been on the back burner since I started the sweaters and have been busy with holiday stuff). The pattern is one that I was given by a good friend. It's a 1950s maternity pattern (Simplicity 1174) with a top, skirt and shorts. I'm making the top in version 1 to wear once I get bigger and the weather warms up. 

Image from Vintage Patterns Wiki
The fabric I found for just a few dollars a yard from Denver Fabrics, and I think it's going to look cute with my jeans and the black knit pencil skirt I have also. 

I still have to attach the sleeves, hem the bottom and finish the closures on the front. It's a bit of a wrinkly mess on Tabitha right now, but I think it's going to be really cute once I've got it all together. The fabric has a woven dot pattern in white, yellow, red and pink. The black trim is a scrap from my black linen pants that I made last summer, and I have solid black buttons for the front of the blouse.

Once I get this second sweater finished I'll probably go back and finish up this top. I also have to finish trimming some pajamas I made and try and get our couch recovered before the baby gets here, but that's going to be kind of a tall order, so we'll see what happens. I hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays  and I hope to have some finished garments to show you all very soon! 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A couple of little projects and a big announcement

I've been working on several projects here lately, but haven't had the time to photograph them since things have been so busy. The end of the semester was hectic, then I was laid up with a cold for a week (from which I am just now recovering), and the holidays are always busier than expected. I finally managed to take a few pictures of a couple of little projects I have in the works in order to prove that I haven't been sitting around doing nothing for the last several weeks. Hopefully I'll have a few more projects up soon.

However, before I show you the projects, I've got a announcement. We're having a baby! I know of at least three other bloggers who are also pregnant (CaseyNabby, and Quincy), and wouldn't be surprised if there are several more out there as well. I also have a cousin and several friends who are due early next spring and next summer. Mr. S and I are expecting our little peanut at the end of May (fortunately a month after the semester is over here, so I will easily be able to take time off this summer). Of course, a new baby (quite a big project in and of itself) means lots of new projects for me! I have a 1950s maternity top on the sewing table right now. I'm about half finished with it. However, what I have to share is for the baby.

I've just finished up the front and back of a baby sweater from this pattern on Ravelry.

So far so good. First of all, working on a sweater this tiny provides much more immediate gratification than all of the sweaters I've made for myself since the pieces are so small. It's the first time I've ever knit cables, and overall they turned out pretty well. There are a couple of minor mistakes in the pattern, but nothing too glaring, and I had gotten too far to care about ripping them out when I noticed them. I just finished blocking these pieces so that I can join the side seams and begin the sleeves, which are knit onto the body instead of as separate pieces. I have yarn for a couple of other baby sweaters that I will be starting once I get this one finished.

The second baby project I've been working on is a baby quilt. I'm actually recovering the quilt that my maternal grandmother made for me when I was born. I'm just going to remove the binding and use the whole quilt as batting. I'm making a bunch of tiny nine-patch squares for the quilt top, and all of the fabric for them is from scraps left from dresses I've made for myself. There are even a few little pieces from squares I used for a family quilt I made several years ago as an art project. I'm planning on alternating nine-patch squares and solid squares for the quilt top, using the white polka-dots as the contrast squares. The green dot will be with quilt back, and I'm going to being it in yellow.

I've been thinking about doing a little bit of embroidery perhaps on the white squares of the quilt top, but we'll see. I really like what Bessie did with the quilt top that she finished recently. I don't know if I have that much time and patience though. I may be lucky to get the squares finished. I found the green and white dot fabrics, along with the yellow for the binding the other day. I'm really pleased with how they look with the nine-patch squares. It was lucky that so many of my dress scraps were baby friendly, gender neutral fabrics. We're not planning on finding out the gender so I wanted to make sure it didn't look too girly, but still wanted it to be a little bit cutesy.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far!

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I was just recently nominated for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award by Sara at The Pretty Pickle. First of all, I have to say I am flattered. I really enjoy sharing projects with all of you, in order to get your opinions on things, share things I've come up with, and I particularly enjoy seeing what you all have created. I have a couple of local sewing friends, but it's nice to be a part of such a wide community of like-minded (and helpful) people. 

The rules of this lovely award are as follows:

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger
Award to your post.
3. Share 7 things about yourself.
4. Pass the award on to 10 nominees.
5. Include this set of rules.
6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

So, without further ado, I guess I should share 7 things about myself. 

1. I play the viola (or at least I used to). I took lessons for seven years, and I still have my viola, but it's hard to find time to play ever. I'm really shy about playing in front of people so I won't play if anyone else is home. Silly, I know, but what are you going to do. 

2. This is just totally weird, but unique I guess. I can pop my left shoulder in and out of socket. It has freaked out even die hard yoga practitioners who can do all kinds of strange things with their bodies. 

3. When I was ten years old I spent an entire summer trying to memorize all of Puck's lines from A Midsummer Night's Dream. I saw it at a local University and became a little obsessed. I still know most of his monologue from the scene in the fairy realm, before Oberon and Titania enter. 

4. I love to dance. I dance all of the time. Even while I'm teaching. My students tease me about it. I took tap, jazz and ballet as a little kid, took irish dance lessons for a couple of years when I was about 10. I have dabbled in belly dance, swing dancing, burlesque, pole, salsa, ballroom and have been taking flamenco lessons for the last couple of years. Flamenco is a beautiful art form, lots of fun to do, ties in with my love of Spanish culture, and is also just totally cool. One word. Ruffles. 

5. I hate bananas. Hate is a very strong word, and in this case it is entirely appropriate. I can't stand anything about them. I can even smell it if someone is eating a banana in the next room. 

6. The Land Before Time is one of my favorite movies of all time. It has great sentimental value to me, since my brothers and I used to watch it at our grandmother's house all the time. I cannot watch it without crying through three-quarters of the movie, though (and by crying I mean bawling uncontrollably). Full blown waterworks. 

7. My eyes change color. Sometimes blue, sometimes green, sometimes grey. For the past couple of years they have been much greener than they have ever been in the past. 

Now to pass this award on to ten other bloggers. I'm going to try and stick to people whose blogs I have found recently and really enjoyed reading back through, but I may have to toss in a couple of my old favorites. 

1. Jo at Bridges on the Body - I am very impressed with the projects she has completed working her way through Corsets and Crinolines. There are a few things in there I would really like to make, but haven't had the time. 

2. Jane at Handmade Jane - She does a lovely job tailoring to her body, and I particularly love her new polka-dot wiggle dress!

3. The knitting fiend MCONIECZKI at Tres Bien Ensemble (she's also on Ravelry) - Her sewing projects are lovely. Check out her new pjs! However, what really floors me are her knitting projects. She's prolific and very skilled. Everything she makes seems to turn out beautifully. 

4. Technicolor Cutie - Her outfits are adorable, but I really admire her commitment to fixing her hair with a new baby on hand. 

5. Cynthia at Dapper Duds - Because let's face it, she's precious. I really love that she makes clothes for her husband though. She always does a great job. 

6. The sisters of Brentwood Lane - great outfits and wonderful taste in film ;)

7. Jennifer Lauren at Jennifer Lauren Vintage - Her dresses are adorable and I love reading about her other crafty escapades. 

8. Nabby at This Old Life - Her clothes and hair make me drool. 

9. Milenushka of The Home Blues - Her new version of Gertie's wiggle dress pattern is killer! I love seeing all the photos from her travels as well. 

10. Jeanne at Sew Vera Venus - One word: Exquisite. 
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