April Sew Along Project: Sewer’s Choice

I finished up my One Yard Wonders sew along nice and early this time around. We had plans to travel to Moab for the holiday weekend and I didn’t want to leave the project for after our return. However, we bailed on our Moab camping plans…between the winds and sands storms, and a seriously jet lagged and tired husband. But, that meant no last minute scramble, and completed projects ready for blogging. This time around, Kelli set us to the task of picking our own projects for the sew along. As she generously sent all the participants from last month’s project a yard of fabric, I decided to use it in one of my projects this time around. The fabric was a fun bold floral print, which I thought might be cute as a dress for my daughter. I bought a solid burgundy fabric to go with it and decided to tackle the Playday Frock (page 86). I had a grand notion that with the pockets this may be a dress my daughter could get behind. I should have known better. She is pretty particular about what she wears, and has a history of not being too fond of dresses. However, in my defense, she has been wearing more dresses recently, and has a particular fondness for all things pockets. I thought that perhaps with the prominent pockets in a contrast color, she might be into it. Alas, upon completion, the dress was promptly rejected. The giant scowl, crossed arms and verbal protests kind of put a damper on my plan for a fun photo shoot. At any rate, here is the dress…hopefully one day she will be open to wearing it!

Playday Frock

I actually did a few things from the Fabric-by-Fabric book this month. I made a second pot holder like the one I blogged about for Mother’s Day as a gift for my son’s teacher in a different fabric. I am still getting used to the fact that school is out for Summer and my little guy is headed for the first grade!

I also decided to sew a project for the little guy. A while back we purchased a loft bed and I added a little curtain to make a fort or cozy nook for him. I had fabric left over from that and intended to make him a pouf of some sort. I ended up making the Tuffet Inspired Ottoman (page 165), and I am happy to report he was thrilled with the project.

Tuffet Inspired Ottoman

At the 11th Hour

School is ending for the year. While I was organized and prepared for my son’s last day, as of yesterday I was not ready for my daughter’s. To add to the challenge, she has two teachers in her class, and two different teachers for the day she is in the afternoon explorers program. I scoured the blogosphere for ideas and settled on coffee cozies. They are cute, quick and make good use of the fabric scraps in the closet. I whipped up a few, stuffed them with a small gift card and was done, a nice little teacher gift pulled together at the 11th hour.

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Stripey Jersey Fun

Nana is visiting, and wanted a tutorial on making infinity scarves. We saw some cute striped knit jersey fabric at the store, bought enough for two scarves and banged out a set this afternoon.

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My husband holds dear the saying that the number of bikes one needs is n + 1, n being the number you have. I think I am in the same boat for scarves. Every time I get the itch to whip up or cast on a new neck accessory, I just think to myself n + 1 baby, n + 1. And, my little problem doesn’t pose quite the storage challenge of his!

Camp Out Mitts

I finished my camp out mitts, and handed them over to my lovely neighbor. I brought them over to her place one night, and knitted while we were handing out. She spotted them, and promptly announced they would be hers. I love that she abducted my mitts, i think its hysterical. I love even more that she made me a funky pair of my own. I hope it is cold enough in California for her to wear the camp out mitts occasionally, and when she does that she will think of me. I know every time I see this hot pink and bright bright blue,I will smile and think of you Natasha.

Steeks

I can’t avoid it any longer…the time for steeks is upon me. The Alberta Vest is off my needles, patiently waiting for me to take the next intimidating step. Before putting a pair of scissors to all my hard work, I figured it would be a good idea to give it a go on a test patch…enter bright scrap yarn, and the iPad with the See Eunny Knit steeking chronicles at the ready. I tired the crocheted steek, and it appears to be working. Do I dare to move onto the vest?! Oh the nerves…

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Race Track Play Mat

I have some pretty great neighbors. Sadly they are moving away this week, and by away I mean far far away, out of state away, away all the way to California away…sniff, sniff! You may remember the dad’s appearance on my blog from some time ago here, and the mama recently abducted a finished project I was planning to blog. At any rate, their  youngest just turned 2, and I wanted to do a little something to celebrate his birthday and came up with this simple race track play mat – a rectangle mat with a race track on the inside, and a set of handles along with a pocket on the outside to hold a few cars.


Race Track Mat Tutorial

Materials

  • Fabric – main and contrast (I purchased 1/2 yd of each)
  • Scrap of fusible interface for snap backing
  • Metal snap (or other closure system)
  • Felt (I used two pieces of the pre-cut rectangles)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Supplies for the handles (I used webbing, or you could sew one with the remaining fabric)

Steps

Cut pieces for the bag:

  • Body: 2 rectangles, one from the main and one from the contrast fabric (mine were 18 x 13 1/2).
  • Pocket: 2 smaller rectangles for the pocket body – needs to fit onto one side of the main body when folded in the carrying mode (mine was 9 1/2 x 6 1/2).
  • Pocket flap – 2 small pieces for the flap. (mine was 9 1/2 x 3 1/2)

Cut felt to make race track. I folded the felt in half length wise, cut one the top half of the figure 8, and then traced it to make the bottom half on the second piece of felt.

Once cut, I pinned the pieces to the contrast fabric for the inside of the play mat and stitched it in place. I stitched around both the outside and inside of the track, and also ran a zigzag down the center where the two pieces meet to secure those edges. With the track firmly in place, I moved to the outside of the bag, creating a car pocket.

Both the pocket body and flap were sewn with the right sides together, leaving a small opening to turn the fabric. Once turned, I pressed the fabric and top-stitched around the top edge on the main body to close the opening. For the pocket flap, top-stitch three of the sides (one long and both short ends).  Determine the placement for the pocket and flap, and then sew each piece to the front of the main fabric of the play mat, stitching down and around the packet body, and across the single long edge of the pocket flap.

In preparation for the final assembly, I attached the fusible interfacing to the backside of the contrast fabric, and ran a little basting stitch to hold webbing handles to the main body of the mat – remember to have all the raw edges lined up.

With the right sides facing together, I sewed around the edges of the bag leaving a small opening for turning. Clip the corners and turn right side out.

Instal the closure per manufacturer’s instructions, leaving enough space for top stitching. Run a top stitch around the edge of the mat to close the opening and create a nice finished look…

…and then, go make a little person happy.

Mother’s Day

When I picked up the fabric for last month’s apron sew along, I decided to get enough to make a gift for my mama for Mother’s Day. Being from Holland, my mom has a special fondness for orange and who doesn’t need a fun pot holder, especially in a new kitchen (my parents had a major kitchen remodel done last year)? I turned to my trusty, and always handy, Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders book…and made a cute pot holder. It is a little hard to tell in this picture (double handed modeling and simultaneous iPhone pic taking just wasn’t happening), but the pot holder is a long strip with a pocket for your hands at each end. Seems like a clever design to me, I’ll have to get feedback on the practical application from my mom.

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It just so happens that my mother in law (and pop too) is visiting with us. She recently picked up an iPhone, so sewing a cozy seemed like a good option. The fun part…well at least I think it is fun…is that I used fabric remnants from my knitting bag project which she helped me pick out – so I felt pretty confident she would like the print.

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For my part, I am meeting some other lovely mothers to hike the always brutal incline in the morning (thank you Nana for watching my kids on mothers day – my husband is still out of the country – so I can play in the morning), and later we are going on a family outing to the MAT circus performance in the afternoon.

Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!

Update: picture from this mornings adventures with some mama friends – the incline/barr tail on Pikes Peak.

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