Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY Draped Dress/Shirt

Sewing is not my strong suit.
I'm not really comfortable with the machine yet.
I never know when it's going to eat the thread or make an ungodly sound or show some other example of user error.
I've made a boat-load of curtains and now clothes for the girls and yet I still have to wipe off my sweaty palms before tackling my next sewing project.
I might do better if I actually followed a pattern...a real sewing pattern like one of those McCall's packages.
So far I've never done a real pattern, mainly because they all seem very dated to me.
But winging it is probably what makes me nervous, lol.
I imagine how easy it would be to just lay a paper trace over material, pin, and cut it out instead of measuring umpteen times and angles and a pattern might actually seem simple for me. ;-)
(My overhead light would probably thank me too as its been hit by my yardstick many times.
I know I need to get one of those measuring mats...or whatever they're called.)
But I digress...and ramble!
I love the look of the circle shirt.
They always catch my eye...but tend to be pricey, especially for how simple they are.
I mean, a basic T-shirt has more sewing.
This one runs around $35 at Nordstrom's. (wherever that is! ha!)
I found a tutorial to sew my own circle shirt here, and thought that even I should be able to handle that...
Then I pulled out my material and realized I had enough for a too-short dress or very long shirt, and actually I had been looking for something that length to go with some of my snugger capris and leggings.
So I went back to the Internet to search and see if this actually was...something.
Is it a style or would it look too frumpy?
Then I found this site with a basic tutorial and a picture of this BCBG dress from Macy's.
 So I brought out one of my T-shirt dresses for a template for the sides and another shirt that I liked the neckline of, so I could trace that for my pattern.
See my trusty yardstick on the counter? ;-)
Laying out my T-shirt dress. I then pinned around it where my lines would be sewn.
I tried it on and then adjusted the pins as needed.
I wish I had a dressmaker's do not want to see how scratched up I am from all the pins.
I am my dressmaker dummy! Ack!
Then another hop online to double-check what type of stitch I should use on this type of material.
(z) not (--) and I put my sewing machine to work.
Shiloh took these photos of me this afternoon.

It's really simple but somehow makes me feel glamorous.
It's also super comfortable, and really I just love it....and I don't know why!
I might dress it up a little or keep it casual, I haven't decided yet.
I have some material in bright pink and also a patterned material that I might tackle next, after all the only way to build my confidence and experience is to keep trying! :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Cheers and Applesauce

I've been having Shiloh read "The Story of Helen Keller" for her schoolwork.
She's been enjoying it and I have also. I had forgotten a lot about Helen's later years.
Today's reading was a lot of fun.
I'm listening to Shiloh read and correcting her here and there when suddenly we both started cracking up after Shi read one line.
Then Shiloh gave me a funny look and giggled "But that's what it says!"
She found where she left off and started reading again
"Helen said "Thank you! I feel your applesauce with my feet!".
"What? She feels their applesauce with her feet?!"
We laughed so hard before I composed myself enough to correct her pronunciation of  "applause"! LOL
Even after that though, Shi kept forgetting and reading it as "applesauce". ;-)
Then she wanted applesauce.
(*In case anyone doesn't remember Helen Keller was both blind and deaf which is why she "felt the applause through her feet")

Friday, August 24, 2012

My shrug!

I finally finished my shrug!
I had a hard time finding time to work on it, so thankfully it was extremely simple.
I even left the sleeves without ribbing, preferring instead the natural curl from the stockinette stitch...which gives it a bit of flared sleeve. (Love that!)
The color is a Deep Plum Heather.
I have some material I'd like to work with for my next projects...but then again there is this big stack of books from our library's book sale that's just calling my name!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rain or not...

 Wearing a purple raincoat.
On a sunny, 80 degree day.
While doing her schoolwork.
'Cause that's how she rolls! :)
I saw a craft project in a magazine. You make a clay and then have your kids decorate it with pebbles, and then bake the clay.
So I decided to put my own spin on it.
We collected tiny shells on our vacation and I had some leftover clay from our last clay project, so the girls pressed the shells into the clay and we're letting them dry now.
The round one is Shi's and the heart shape is Vivian's.
A cute way for them to display their aquatic finds!

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Just sharing some pictures from our recent vacation. :)

Vivian petting a snake at a reptile exhibition.
The girls floating on the river.
Vivian and Grama
Shiloh and Daddy taking a ride.
The girls enjoying the swim area.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stained glass with window crayons

I love window crayons! :)
The girls and I spent the morning washing off our old window crayon artwork and then drawing  new ones.
We decided to limit ourselves this time since it took so long to clean off all the windows we decorated before.
Shiloh drew this scene of a fair...with colorful birds flying overhead.
Poor Vivi wasn't too happy with her drawing.
She kept saying "Why do I scribble and you draw? I can't wait til I can draw!"
Then gesturing between my drawing and hers she said "Scribble! Drawing! Scribble! Drawing!"
She's such a funny kid.
I decorated the door. I tried to go with a stained glass look and I really love it!
They now also make Window markers and Crystallized Markers.
(Sigh) I have to rein myself in though...

After all, it did take all morning to clean off our other window drawings. ;-)

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Reading rewards

The girls finished their reading program.
See the many, many tiny stickers we had to put on to keep track of their time spent reading?
It came to a grand total of  42.5 hours for Shiloh and 30.5 hours for Vivian! :)
So proud of them both!
The total for all the kids in the program was nearly 3,000 hours!
I'm kind of amazed at that because out of the three kids in front of us in line (to get their charts and certificates if they passed), one kid had read 50 hours and the two others hadn't read any. :-S

The power was out for over an hour so I wasn't even sure that the program's reward party would still be held but just minutes before it was to start, the power came back on.
They served cake and very melted ice cream...but kids don't mind that!
The party was in the basement so I'm very thankful the power came back on and stayed on!
Then they received their certificates and got to choose a new book. :)

Shiloh took forever to choose....just like every time we're at the library! ;-)
Vivian was set with a Fancy Nancy book until Daddy spotted a Mr. Putter book hidden in the back.
Mr. Putter beat out Nancy. ;-)

Vivi was so tired after our day of errands, and heat, and power outages (no fans or ac!), and the party.
Sleepy girl asked to go to bed at 6:30!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Second Girls' Knit Shrug

Last night I finished knitting Vivian's shrug/bolero.
I followed a Red Heart pattern found here.
I left off the lacy edging and used Red Heart's Light and Lofty yarn.
The yarn is a pain to use, but it makes incredibly soft and warm items!

Now it's my turn! My shrug is next! :)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Girls Knit Shrug - Part 2 (without added ribbing)

After having Shiloh try on the shrug again this morning and analyzing it from every angle...I decided I really would prefer it without the added ribbing around the arm/torso opening.
I especially didn't like the fact that she couldn't put it on by herself with the extra ribbing, because it was more snug.
So...I took out the ribbing.

(*I would not recommend this if you haven't been knitting long, if you picked up stitches through the yarn instead of between the stitches or other issues it could make a big mess of your whole knitting project.)

Now the shrug looks like this...
And fits like this... :)
Much better. :)
I thought it was too plain at first so that was why I tried the ribbing...but less is more with this type of sweater I think.
Now I am planning to enlarge the pattern and make one for myself as well!

The girls were very helpful with the unraveling.
I gave them each a color to wrap around their hands as I unraveled so really it went very quickly and neatly.
I think this shrug is perfect for traveling.
Nice and warm, but takes up minimal space! :)

I am also planning to make a shrug for Vivian, but she found a pattern that she likes.
It's more sweater-like, so I'll be making a lot more pieces with that one.
It has two front panels, a back panel, two sleeves and an a bit more work!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Girls Knit Shrug - Pattern

I've been doing a little crafting for Shiloh lately.
I put this heart decal on one of her shirts...finally!
I bought this decal when she was a baby, I was planning to put it on a onesie, lol.
It wasn't sticking too well...perhaps because it's so old?
So I bought some fabric paint and sealed the edges with that.
Sorry, I didn't realize I didnt have a pic of it completed, and now it's in a drawer and the girls are sleeping so...

Project #2
A shrug. Looks rather caterpillarly in this picture!
My model
My model...and a kiddo that has to jump in every picture with a weird face, lol.

I couldn't find a suitable pattern for this so I created my own.
I probably would leave off the ribbed collar part if I did it again, it looks tight to me but it's actually not and Shi says it doesn't feel tight...but it looks it.
Hmm...I might take it off anyways. I'll look at it a few times.
(I interrupted Shi's playing and she didn't give me all the time to analyze the fit that I would like)

The Pattern.
Girls Shrug - size 6
(Gauge: 12 rows K3,P3 Ribbing = 2")
I used size 7, and size 8 needles and worsted weight yarn.
Cast on 50 stitches on size 7 needles.
12 rows of K3P3 ribbing equals 2"
I changed the color every four rows.
Change to larger needles and work in stockinette stitch to desired length (minus 2" of ribbing).
Keep pattern going.
Switch to smaller needles and finish ribbing for sleeves.
Sew arm sleeves about 13" on each side.
Ta da!

Optional ribbing around opening.
Pick up 102 stitches (number needs to be divisible by 3 and 2) using a circular needle (size 7 or 8) around neck/torso opening.
Work 12 rows of K3P3 ribbing, continuing in pattern.
Bind off loosely and weave in all ends.