Handmade Holiday 2012

Wow…how is it mid January already?! The holidays were a whirlwind of family, fun, the flu and some serious movie marathons as we struggled to get healthy. The little people in our house were even sick Christmas Eve, and sadly my son spent much of Christmas day with a bucket at the ready. Despite it all, it was a nice time, and this year’s crop of handmade gifts were well received. I was not quite as ambitious as last year, but still managed to pull together a nice collection.

Most of the gifts were knitted this year, but I did sew up some pot holders for my sister, and Nana and I collaborated on a reading tent for my daughter, which she is pretty excited about. The knit list included these honeycomb mitts, and each of these lovely hats from purlbee.com. I did the wide brim one for my dad and the smaller simple brim one for my father in law in the larger size mentioned in the comments. I made a cowl and slouchy hat for my niece. The slouchy hat was this pattern here, and I tried something of my own for the cowl, a big twist. As I mentioned in my last post (a long long long time ago) the design can use some work, but as a first go, overall I was pleased. I pulled together a few quick cowls (drop stitch cowl and big lace scarf (which I turned into a cowl)) together for friends – in my book nothing says happy holidays like a big ole snugly cowl. Here is a sampling of the projects.
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My sister is expecting which is super exciting and having a baby to knit for is making me giddy. I had an especially good time making this little cardigan for the little bean. It is the Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker of knit.so.quaint, and can be found on ravlery.
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So, that is the handmade holiday 2012 wrap up.  I am looking forward to more handmade gifts this year, and continuing on my journey to become a better knitter, learn more about sewing and doing it well, and pick up the always lagging photography aspect of my little mission. Hope you had a great holiday…and all the best for a crafty new year!
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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

April Sew Along Project: Hot Pad Apron and Placemats

The project for this month’s sew along was a 2 part effort: the hot pad apron from the Fabric-by-Fabric One Yard Wonders book and placemats. I decided to get back on track, having missed last month’s pillows and purchased the supplies for the apron. This was a fun project to sew, and doing the pleats was a new thing for me.  I made one small modification to the pattern, making a skinnier, longer, double sided waist tie for the apron. I like to wrap things around and tie them upfront – makes me feel fancy. The pattern called for quilting weight cotton or home decor fabric. I went with the latter as I liked this print. Its a bit stiff, especially once you factor in the hot pads on the underside. I’m guessing with wear and washing it will soften up. When taking pictures of the apron, my daughter and I decided to try our hand at making raisin bread.

I was going to leave it at that, and just do part of the challenge for this month. However, I got a second wind at the last minute yesterday evening and decided to get the placemats done as well. I searched through the remnants and items in the closet, and pieced together a placemat for each of the kids. The left over fabric from our barnaby bear (February’s sew along project) became a placemat for my daughter, while my son’s is pieced together from the remnants of his messenger bag Christmas gift.

And speaking of my girl, here she is straight out of bed asking for pancakes to go with her new placemat.

Gifts for Gents: Felt iPhone Case

My folks got fancy and picked up a set of iPhones recently. I knitted an iPhone cozy for my mom a while back. My Dad mentioned he was interested in one, but with one small request…a place to hold the headphones that come along with the iPhone. I didn’t feel like a knitted one was quite masculine enough, nor did I know how to tackle the whole pocket thing…so, I opted to go down the sewing route. After a failed attempt with some geometric fabric, I switched gears and came up with a little something else; a felt iPhone case.

I ended up trying a few different options – the flap/pocket, one with a band across the back, one with a narrower flap…all looked good, had varying pocket sizes, and all followed the same basic steps. The fun part is you can easily modify the pattern to suit your needs. Here are the steps I took.

  1. Cut two strips of felt, one for the body and one for the cover. The width of the felt should cover both the width and depth of the phone (including any case on the phone), as well as the seam allowance. In my case, the body of the case was 3.5 inches in width and 10 inches long. The case cover was also 3.5 inches, and I cut a curved edge for interest.
  2. Assemble the pieces and mark the snap location.
  3. Instal the snap to each piece of the phone case. I bought a little kit from one of the local shops.
  4. Line up the snaps and find the proper placement of the cover on the backside of the phone case.
  5. With the case unfolded, sew along the bottom edge of the case cover attaching the cover to the back of the case.
  6. Refold the case, and sew up each side of the case.
  7. Voila, you are done and can enjoy the new phone case.

…and finally, I took some photographs…

My friend and neighbor asked me if I’d be willing to take some head shot or portraits for him to use for work and social media … and I said heck ya! I’m out of practice, but figured it would be the perfect way to have fun with photos while doing a friend a favor. These guys are moving away soon, and wanted to take advantage of the mountainous backdrops Colorado has to offer. We also ran around town a bit a found a few spots to grab some quick pictures.


Hey girl. I made you a gift.

I have been amusing myself with the Ryan Gosling Hey girl images, especially the handmade ones. My random outbursts of laughter got my husband wondering what I was up to, so I have shared a few with him, including this one here….

image source

Anyhow…my sister just celebrated her birthday this past weekend, and in preparation I was perusing her etsy faves list looking for gifts and ideas. I noticed she had a few fabric infinity scarves on there. I received a knit jersey infinity scarf two years ago from a friend and absolutely love it, wear it ridiculously often and have wanted to make one. I’ve saved a few tutorials on making circle scarves to my favorites over on CraftGawker. So, when I saw her list, I got a little excited and called my husband over to get his input. With enthusiasm I say “check it out, she likes these infinity scarves. what do you think? I could totally make something like that” and he said “Hey girl.”

I laughed. A lot.

So despite his teasing, I decided to go for it – continue with the handmade gift giving – and make her some infinity scarves. I picked up some fabric, used the the tutorials here and here, and got to work.

This was my first adventure in sewing with knit jersey. I looked around online for some advice, and noticed mention of using a walking foot. It just so happens that I purchased one when I was starting on my curtain project. So, I got fancy, busted it out and went to work on the jersey scarf. I also made a second scarf from a bright and summery floral print. I thought it would be a fun way to spice up a solid tee or tank this spring and summer. I had just finished up making a set of knitting project bags for my MILs birthday, and as I had more material lying around I made a little gift bag to put it all in.

Here is the finished project.

Happy Birthday Sista…I hope you enjoy your handmade gift!