Saturday, June 30, 2012

The LAST Cupcake Hat

I am officially tired of Cup Cake Hats.  This is another Odessa Hat modified to resemble a cup cake.  I promise... no more Cup Cake Hats!  I have to tell you though... I have been craving cup cakes for several weeks now.  Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting, Yellow with Chocolate Frosting, White with White Frosting... you get the idea.. I am NOT picky!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

More sewing... a bunch of bags

I found this cute sewing project on Martha Stewart's website... It's a good thing...

Again, using items on hand, I made four of them. The website has a printable pattern template which requires enlarging. I took the pattern to my local print shop and they were able to enlarge it (200%) as recommended.  The printshop had a special printer which allowed the enlargement to be printed on one single page (cost $1.80). 

I remember I got this "kitchen looking" fabric from Michaels' Craft store a number of years ago. I tried to make quilted placemats but ended up with just one completed placemat which sits on our dining room table (to protect the wooden table when we set down serving dishes).  I am thinking this bag will be good for a lunch bag.  Better than a plastic market bag.

Two of these bags are lined with lavender fabric and one is lined with tan fabric.

I took a few photos of the three other bags in an effort to allow you to see how pretty the fabric is.  I can't recall when, where, or why I bought this amazing fabric. Both sides are very pretty. The "right" side of the fabric has streaks of metallic gold on it...

Ah, finally a photo which shows you the fabric in a flattering way!  I think these bags will be nice project bags for small to medium sized knitting projects. 

I had one problem with this pattern just like the problem I had with the market bags I made a few weeks back.  The project resembles a "tank top".  You first sew the tops of the handles and then the bottom curve of the bag. Then you sew the "neck" portion BUT you leave the "armholes" untouched. Eventually you have to fold under and iron/press the "armhole" portion (you have to leave it open for turning the bag inside out).  It was tricky to fold under, press, and stitch in these areas.  But as I am trying more and more patterns, and relearning things about sewing, the gears in my brain are turning and I am considering ways to modify the pattern to help me get over this hurdle.  On the Martha Stewart website, you can also watch a brief video about making this project.  Martha goes on and on about clipping the curves on both convex and concave curves. The written pattern doesn't mention this step. I was a bit lazy and I thought it was a bit tricky to clip curves on 1/4 inch seams but if I make this pattern again... I will clip the curves.  Listen to Martha. 

My mom taught me to clip the curves too.  Mom knows best, too!

Listen to your Mom! It's a good thing!

Friday, June 15, 2012

More sewing...

A little more sewing.  Any ideas what this is?

With the exception of these cool wonky buttons I found at my local yarn shop...
Grandma's Beads and Yarn...
I made this project with items on hand...
blue jeans, elastic ponytail bands, white fabric for lining, and quilt batting.
Any idea what it is?

It's a laptop cosy!

I made some mistakes along they way but am overall pretty happy with my laptop cosy.  I am re-learning a lot of things about sewing along they way.  I used to sew A LOT but took a break for many, many years.  Much like knitting, I am AMAZED how many fun project ideas and free patterns I am finding on the Internet. 

I've been spending a bit of time on Martha Stewart's website.  I show you more about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Cupcake

Another cupcake hat.  This hat is a modified Odessa, a pattern I've made several other times (I LIKE it THAT much!).   The link to the Odessa pattern (by Grumperina) can be found HERE.  My pattern alterations can be found on my Ravelry Project Page. 

Here's a photo of an ORIGINAL Odessa if you'd like to be reminded of that.  This one has no beads but the pattern can also be done with beads with really special results.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Another Cupcake

Another cap for Camp Happy Times.  As you can tell, I am really enjoying the cupcake/birthday theme.  My hat is based on a pattern called "Cupcake Hat" by Bonnie Jacobs (the pattern link is HERE).  I used a speckled blue yarn (Berroco Comfort DK) for the pleated paper cupcake liner (Berroco Comfort DK).  The chocolate cupcake peeking through is Tahki mercerized cotton in a rich, slightly glossy rich brown.  The pink frosting and I-cord cherry on top are also Berroco Comfort DK.  I made some modifications to the original pattern, which called for worsted weight yarn.  The modifications I made can be found on my Ravelry project page (click HERE).

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More sewing today...

I had a precious pocket of time while the boys were away for a few hours today, so I got out my sewing supplies and this is what I have to show for my sewing frenzy for the day!  I am still using fabric from my stash of fabric. My goal is use what I have on hand and then treat myself to a nice folding sewing table I found on line.  The blue and white fabric are the same fabrics I used in some other market bags recently. I had sewed the fabric into stripes a number of months ago (probably more like a year ago) and I did not know exactly what I was going to do with it. Today I cut it into market bags and both bags are lined with the white fabric.  I like that I am learning a little something new with each project I try.  This time, I used the same pattern (a plastic market bag from the store), but I followed different assembly and sewing directions. The link is HERE.  In this version, the instructions were more simple and more straight forward but this method did result in some bulkier seams.  But after all, they are market bags... to bring home groceries... so it works.

In case you can't make out the words... it says...
 "Princess of Quite a Lot"
Next was a coffee cup cosy.  Pretty clever, huh?  I wish I could take credit for the idea.  I had never seen a fabric coffee cup cozy until the other day.  My neighbor, Elva, had made one of these for her granddaughter, Amy.  Amy had to show it to me and I knew I had to make some.  It's a great use for scraps of yarn. I found directions on line.  Again, I am using Mary Engelbreit fabric.  I love this stuff.  The pattern instructions can be found at this LINK. 

Just like the market bag project, I used a coffee sleeve from a coffe shop for the pattern.  How clever folks are!  I learned that you really have to pay attention to which side is up.

 I had the first one right but the second cup cozy...whoops, it's upside down. Darn it!

Whoops.  I guess Miss Smarty is not so Smart afterall... this one is upside down.  The box is also not centered.  This one was pieced together with three different fabrics... with cherry fabric on the backside.
 This one sits a bit crooked since its' upside down but I think it still works.  Live and learn...

For the elastic ties, I used some of those covered elastic bands (the kind I use for a ponytail in my hair).  Bands wrap around the button which are stitched on at the end. 

I sure am enjoying whipping up these quick, fun, and useful projects...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hey Cupcake!

Another cupcake hat for Camp Happy Times. This time around I knit the stranded portion much more loosely with better results.  The cupcakes don't get so distorted when I put the cap on the hat stand.  I added some contrasting color at the top and I like how that turned out.  I will use that idea again.  These cheerful hats are fun to make.

Friday, June 1, 2012

More Sewing...

My husband picked the American flag pillow.
My son picked the red bandana pillow.
And of course the pastel plaid pillow is for me.

These are neck pillows filled with rice.  You can warm them in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds and the pillows can dangle around your neck. Good for sore necks but I think these pillows might also be nice when it's cold outside.  I can picture curling up with a heated bag on a very cold night in the winter!

There is a pillow and a cover.  The pillow in the center (which you can't see) has four baffles in it so the rice stays even distributed within the pillow instead of pooling at the ends.  There is about 1/2 cup rice in each of the four baffles.   The part you can see is a washable cover.  There is a opening on the backside of the pillow so the cover may be removed and laundered.  I saw how to make these pillows in a book my Mom has at her house.  I believe the book is called "Ready, Set, Serge" and it's a book of incredibly cute and cool small projects to make with a serger.  I just used the straight stitch and zig zag stitch on my sewing machine.

A picture to show you the reverse side of the bags.  I am using up fabric I have at home.

A photo of the pocket on the backside so the rice-filled pillow can be removed.  Boy, when did my hand get so old looking?

Hmmmmm, what do these bags contain?

My Blackberry cellular phone and my eye glasses!

The same book at my Mom's place (which had the pattern for the rice pillows) also had a pattern for an eye glass case.  I tried to figure that pattern out at home but just did not get it!  I had made some notes on a scrap of paper but it just did not work.  Today I tried again, tweaking the pattern as I went, and it worked.  These bags are lined with small black and white checkerboard fabric. The outer fabric is ADORABLE Mary Engelbreit fabric with tea pots, tea cups, cherries, comfy over-stuffed arm chairs, and flowers.  I love this fabric!  I got these two fabrics and some others that also coordinate at WalMart a number of years ago.  The eye glass case is a bit longer than the cell phone case, so I am able to fold down the top to expose the lining.  Both bags are lined with polyester quilt batting. 

Note to self:  Must find more cute Mary Engelbreit fabric!

Cupcake Cap #2

Cupcake Cap for Camp Happy Times

I had a "light bulb" moment yesterday morning after casting on this rolled brim hat. I intended to make a rolled brim hat with a cupcake applique like I made the other day, but I deep in the cobwebs in my brain I remembered seeing these adorable mittens (Click HERE to see them) on Ravelry.  I added a little row of this cupcakes to this plain hat.  I've not done much "colorwork" like this.  I think I knit the cupcake rows too tightly. The hat sort of pulls in over these rows and when I put the hat on my foam hat stand, the poor little cupcakes get distorted.  Darn it!  Good idea for a cap; execution not so good. I will try again.  I hope a little girl with a small head picks this hat at Camp Happy Times.  If it's loose on the wearer's head, I think the cupcakes will still be discernible and cute.