Minnie and Mickey Dress

It is too hot to play outside in the afternoons, so we’ve been stuck inside. My way of dealing with being stuck inside with two very active children is to obsessively sew (if you have been around for awhile you probably already picked up on that).

Today I made Audrey a Mickey & Minnie dress. She picked out the fabric when we went to the store last weekend. I picked out the black with white polka-dots to go with it. I used a Simplicity Learn to Sew pattern. I made the dress a size bigger than her measurements so it will last for more than a season. I didn’t love the pattern. I was very confused about the way they said to add bias tape, so I ended up ignoring it and adding the tape like I did when I made the Fen dress. I think it worked out OK.

When I was making my list for the fabric store I forgot to write down bias tape. I would normally make my own, but I didn’t buy enough fabric. I went back to JoAnn today to pick some up and ended up letting the kids pick out fabric again, so I guess I’ll be making shorts again soon. I need to stop taking them to the fabric store with me.

WIP Update

I missed my normal WIP Wednesday post yesterday. My in-laws babysat so John and I walked to sushi and then to our neighborhood downtown to get a drink. We ended up on a rooftop patio of a restaurant and enjoyed how great how neighborhood is. Please note that the bar serves vodka tonics with huge straws, so it was weird to drink vodka through a smoothie straw. Also, my husband is not Amish, he just shaved his beard like that as a joke and keeps forgetting to shave. I’ve started calling him Mose in the hopes that he will shave.

I have not made much progress on my knitting this week, mostly because I can’t motivate myself to do much other than sew. My playground socks are creeping along, as I keep forgetting to throw them in my purse.

My TDF socks are moving along. We are several stages behind, so these should see some progress again soon. I should have gone up a needle size for these socks, the fabric is very dense. They will be comfortable, but may be too thick to wear in shoes.

I pulled my shawl out to get started on it again. It is slow going, but it feels good to be working on it again.

I am currently sewing a dress for Audrey. There are a lot of steps to this, and I’m not sure I’m up for the challenge, but I’m giving it a try.

I had to run to JoAnn because I forgot to buy bias tape or buy enough fabric to make my own. I ended up buying fabric for four more projects. I have a problem. Meanwhile, the kids love picking out fabric for shorts.

What are you working on this week?

Emerson Sewing

I’ve been busy sewing lately. Not only have I made things for the kids, I’ve made a few things for myself. I’ve made two pairs of shorts and a pair of cropped pants.

I used the Emerson Pant & Short pattern from True Bias for all three items. I made the chambray pants first and I love them. I wear them constantly. Yesterday I finished the green shorts and today I made the gray shorts. The only change I made to the pattern was increasing the length of the shots by three inches on the gray pair.

I did not love the waistband construction on these pants, and I could not have made these without a walking foot. I’m not entirely sure why I didn’t just do a simple waistband and ignore the directions, I’m never ever ever going to wear a shirt tucked in with these pants, so I wasted a lot of effort on something that will never be seen.

I am not loving my knitting projects at the moment, so I’m going to either cast on a new project or cut out a dress for Audrey tonight. I suppose I could clean my room, but there is always tomorrow for that.

Do you have any patterns you want to make for yourself? Do you also want to copy Alissa and make a Farrow Dress? Should I give up sewing and get back to knitting? It’s too hot to make any decisions.

Sunny Day Shorts

I was at the fabric store with the kids this weekend, and to reward them for being good I let them each pick out fabric for an item of clothing of their choice. Audrey picked fabric for a Minnie Mouse dress. Elliot picked up some knit fabric for construction shorts.

I used the Sunny Day Shorts pattern by Oliver & S. It is a free pattern and is very basic. That was just perfect for the level of effort I was interested in.

I have a few projects ahead of Audrey’s dress, so I was feeling bad about that. Then I remembered the shirt I made in the spring that fits me funny and I was never going to wear. Sometimes it pays to be a large woman with small children.

I did change the pattern a little bit. The waistband seemed fiddly, so I just folded the band in half, sewed it mostly on to the pants, put elastic in it, and then sewed it up the rest of the way. That change allowed me to use 1 inch elastic instead of the 3/4 inch elastic called for in the pattern (yet sadly missing from my stash). Once the waistband was sewn up I pulled the elastic taught and did a zig zag stitch through the middle of the elastic around the shorts to keep the elastic from rolling. I think this will work fine, but if there is some reason I shouldn’t do this in the future please let me know.

I really liked how fast this project was. I can see letting the kids pick out fabric as a reward for good behavior again. I might try making shorts with pockets next time.

Do you have any pattern recommendations for kids?

WIP Wednesday

I said I needed a break from socks. I didn’t listen to myself.

Last weekend I caught up with my friend Jess. We decided during our Green Bay sock knitting adventures that we were going to start doing a small striped sock club of sorts. We take turns buying the yarn for the other person. When I met her for a walk she gave me the yarn she picked out. She picked it up in Berkeley when she was in California for work. The yarn is not superwash and it’s 100% wool. It’s wooly and I love it. I couldn’t wait to get started, so I cast on a vanilla sock to use as my park knitting project.

Last month when I went crazy at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival I bought a project bag, even though I have about 19,000 project bags around my house. I decided that I should justify buying the bag by continually having a project that uses yarn I purchased at the festival on the needles. I won’t rush through these projects, but they will be at the ready. As an added bonus, if I finish knitting all of the yarn I bought this year by the time the festival starts next year I can totally justify getting even more beautiful yarn.

Because I can be a little obsessive about things, I have decided that my current project will be knit only when watching the Tour de France. John and I spend hours and hours watching the Tour each July. I thought it would be fun to see how that watching correlates to knitting productivity. I’m making another pair of Rose City Rollers, as I’m using a 65 g skein. I wanted a project that I could knit even when there is an exciting mountain stage to pull all of my focus.

The yarn I’m using is a farm yarn from the festival. It’s a 65% Cormo/20% mohair/15% Tencel blend. I love the bright pink. Sadly John has to work tonight deploying code, so I won’t get to work on these until tomorrow night.

I was planning on picking up my shawl again this week, but instead I decided to make Elliot a hat. It is the middle of summer, so obviously I need to make a new winter hat for the three-year-old with so many hand me downs I don’t have the space to store them all. Last December John and I spent the day in Winterset, and while there I picked up some camel yarn for Elliot. Elliot loves camels. He sleeps with two camels every night. I felt a camel hat was in order. The yarn is Viking of Norway Camel (78% camel/22% nylon). The yarn is soft and looks very much like camel fur (skin? hide? I’m not sure what the right term is here. If you are a camelid expert please help me out in the comments).

I’m using the Tyson hat pattern in the child size. I’m contemplating adding camels to the hat using the chart from Bedouin using purls instead of a contrasting yarn. It all depends on how motivated I am this evening. Feel free to weigh in with your opinion.

I am only interested in knitting small projects at the moment. I would like to knit another sweater, but I don’t want to deal with a big project in the heat. Do you knit large projects all year long?

Sewing

On Saturday I met up with a friend for a trip 30 minutes north to Ames, Iowa. It was an odd trip, mostly because it was taken for the sole purpose of visiting their quilt shop. I’m not a quilter, but I wanted to go check it out (no, there is absolutely no way I’m ever going to be a quilter).

While at the quilt store I looked at the kids fabric, and found some that I knew the kids would love. High on fabric fumes, I decided I would make them both pillowcases. They don’t need pillowcases. I have lots of other projects I should be doing. I ignored reason and bought the fabric.

John went out biking last night, so I took the opportunity to get some sewing done. I made Elliot a Thomas pillowcase. Elliot loves James from Thomas and Friends, so when I found fabric with James on it I knew it would be perfect. For the cuff I went with another Thomas fabric. He is very excited to try out his new pillowcase (perhaps this will get him to sleep more?).

For Audrey’s pillowcase I used My Little Pony fabric with the cuff in a Tula Pink stripe. She loves reading My Little Pony books and her favorite stuffed animal is Apple Jack (one of the ponies).

I returned my MILs serger a few months ago and I’m really regretting it now. I had forgotten how much I dislike French seams. I think I’ll make the kids holiday pillowcases throughout the year, and when I do I’m going to borrow a serger to finish the seams.

Have you been sewing lately?