Thursday, December 20, 2007

Handmade Christmas

I'll have to admit, I have pretty much decided not to make handmade gifts for Christmas over the last couple of years. But.....I seem to end up with making a couple of gifts, and really enjoy the process since I am not over-extended. We have 365(!) days in a year and in the past I was working like the devil during the month of December trying to get things done. My most favorite blogger, Yarn Harlot, has been posting this month about her holiday knitting schedule....whew! Glad that's not me! But I did make a tablerunner and set of coasters (no photo!) for my hair stylist, and an Amy Butler bag for my daughter's law school roomate:


I will be making more of these bags, this one went together so well. I used simple canvas for the underlining support, which made for a soft yet substantial bag and handle. This pattern comes with directions for two sizes: handbag and tote. I made the tote and the size is perfect for me, tho I plan to make the handbag size for a summer purse, I think :-) I did not feel that any closure was necessary, since top seems to come together nicely on it's own.
What's next??? Wrapping gifts, of course!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Almost like a religious conversion!

Okay, okay......I drank the Kool-aid! I now know the advantages of making a muslin....who says you can't teach an OLD dog new tricks! Making the muslin made making my coat a pure joy:

1: Having made the muslin once already, the directions were so much more clear the second time around

2: I could sew happily away knowing that the fit would be spot-on, unlike my pre-muslin days when I would sew away holding my breath *hoping* the fit would be adequate

When I can, I hope to try/learn something new when I sew, with both quilting and garment-making. This time, the skill set attempted was to 'build' out the cap of the coat sleeve with a sleeve header. Easy-peasy, and makes all the difference in the world in the way the coat hangs off of the shoulder.


I need to thank Lori V from the Sew Forth Now podcast for her show on making muslins...
she does a great job each week getting out the information that we who sew need to hear!

I do have some knitting content in this post .....

These are the hats I've been making from smariek's pattern : the gray one is knit from Cascade 220, the green one from Moda Dea washable wool, and the cream is Lion Brand cashmere blend.
Since this photo was taken, I have reknit the crown of the green hat, making it less 'cone-shaped'. I guess I lost track counting the cables! I would have reknit the gray one too, but my daughter took it back with her to Chicago after Thanksgiving :-) This is a fun, quick pattern!

Friday, December 7, 2007

under the wire

Gee, thought I'd better post an entry before a whole month goes by between posts! Yes, this is a busy time of year, that's for sure :-) Since today is my day off, I plan to get some gift shopping done, begin setting out the decorations and put up the tree. Last night I baked 5 doz cookies for the public library cookie walk fundraiser....snickerdoodles this year. They turned out OK, not sweet enough for me, tho! I have been sewing and knitting as usual. I made a muslin for the coat I mentioned earlier, and have cut out the coat fabric and laid out the lining. I am using a flannel-backed satin for the lining for some added warmth, and since the fabric is an upholstery-weight woven, I am debating the need for fusible interfacing. The jury is still out on that one. I am knitting some cute cable hats, and a diagonal-rib scarf. No gift-knitting this year, and I'm glad. If Christmas gift knitting isn't done by Dec 1, then it ain't happenin'!