Handmade Gifts: Baby Sweater Set

Sunday, July 23, 2017

This Spring I had the chance to knit my first baby sweater! Now that it's been gifted and the baby has been born, I can share it.

The parents didn't find out the baby's gender, so I knew I'd need to knit something gender neutral. I love this Malabrigo colorway (pearl ten, which I also used for Michael's convertible mitts), and thought it would work nicely as a basic in baby's wardrobe. It's a difficult color to photograph and it looks different depending on the light, ranging from black/brown to purple-ish gray. I almost bought yarn in an oatmeal color, but thought this darker color would be a little more practical.

I chose the Baby Sophisticate Sweater pattern by Linden Down. I love how it looks like a little grandpa sweater with the shawl collar. It knit up pretty quickly, and the sleeves were small enough that I could knit them on my favorite little 9" circulars. I knit the 3 month size.

I hemmed and hawed about the buttons, but ended up finding these super cute wooden ones on Etsy, that are made on a farm in Ohio. These particular ones are made from Elm, pretty cool! Find all their wooden button options here. I was a bit nervous about putting buttons on a baby sweater, and I did quite a bit of research on the most secure way to attach the buttons (helpful articles here and here).

Once the sweater was finished, I knit up a simple hat to match. It was easily the fastest thing I've ever knit, so quick and tiny. I used this free Calming Baby Hat pattern by Stacey Winklepleck.

Of course as a maker I couldn't stop there. I ordered some Robert Kaufman speckle french terry knit (sadly now discontinued) destined for a sweatshirt last year. When it arrived I couldn't help but think that it would be great hemmed as a blanket. I ordered another cut and made a little throw for mama and baby to hopefully enjoy together. I used a stashed chambray for the binding. I rounded the corners and using bias binding, I bound it double fold like a quilt. I have to say, it was totally pain-less. I think my french terry cut is destined to become a blanket too! So cozy and simple.

All the years I've been making and giving handmade gifts, and it's still one of my favorite things to do. When I'm not rushing at the last minute that is! Thankfully I started these projects early and finished with time to spare.

Happy Making!

Adventures in Softie Making: Henrietta Hippo

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

It's time to share another set of softies! This time I worked from the Henrietta Hippo Pattern by Lucy Blaire. When I was looking for my next softie project, I came across this pattern and knew I had to make it. I've been obsessively following the progress of Fiona, the baby hippo born at the Cincinnati Zoo earlier this year. They update their Instagram regularly with photos and videos of her!

I managed to chose the fabric for this project pretty quickly. I wanted a small, dense print and I happened to have just the thing in my stash. I've been hoarding this print from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane since it came out in 2012. I matched it up with some leftover Widescreen for the accents.

Why make one when you can make two? I went ahead and made two softies at the same time, one for my Mom's birthday and one for me. Now we have matching Fionas!

I found little navy buttons for the eyes and stitched them on using purple embroidery floss. Look at those cute ears!

Glad I finally cut into this print, I think it's a great use for it. Plus I still have about 3/4 yard leftover! I auditioned a few other accent prints in the same color, but the widescreen ended up being just right.

These are by far the best softies I've made so far. The pattern was nice and easy to follow and I didn't even mis-cut any of the mirrored pieces! This was a fun one to make, it was nice to work at a larger scale than my last set of softies. Next up, I'm making a whale softie!

Happy Sewing!

Shibori Indigo Picnic Quilt

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Happy Wednesday! I'm very excited to finally share this quilt finish with you all. This quilt has been a long time in the making, and it feels great to have it finished at last.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
Five years ago, a group of friends and I rented a small cabin southwest of Madison for a weekend. We sewed, ate, and tried out indigo dyeing. Each summer since then we've gotten together to do the same. This quilt top is made from the first fabrics I dyed using indigo. I've been hooked on this type of dyeing since that first summer cabin weekend, and I'm still not tired of it.

I pieced the quilt top together in the summer of 2014, and then the top sat while I figured out what to do for the back. I kept most of the dyed pieces in tact, filling in with some patchwork blocks.

Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial - In Color Order
A few summers later, I dyed more fabrics for the back.

All of the fabrics for this quilt started as plain Essex Linen in white. I created pattern using Shibori resist techniques, then dyed them using indigo kits.

For more information on indigo dyeing, check out my Shibori Indigo Dyeing Tutorial.

Pulling the fabrics from the dye pot and slowly watching them oxidize and turn blue is pretty mesmerizing. I figured it was about time that I finally finished this quilt.

Since it's all Essex linen it's pretty heavy. So I sent it to Melissa Kelley for some simple loopy quilting. It's bound up in a swiss dot cotton that I also dyed with indigo.

I think this quilt will be the perfect picnic quilt. It really feels like summer to me, probably since I've only ever indigo dyed during the summers.

Happy Quilting!

Canvas Pencil Pouches

Friday, July 7, 2017

Happy Friday! As I've mentioned before, I love working on small projects. They're great instant gratification, especially in between quilt finishes. This week I have some cute little pouches to share!

As soon as my friend Anna posted her Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial, I dug into my canvas stash. I love to buy canvas prints, but I'm not always the best about using them.

I love using these donut pull metal zippers, and they definitely take these simple pouches up a notch in my opinion! I used leather cording to make little pulls. I buy my metal zippers from Zipit (these pouches take 10" zips).

First up, a pouch for my Mom's birthday! For her pouch I used this scrap of Yoyogi Park canvas, which is so cheerful. Plus some Euclid for the lining.

Next up, a pouch for my friend Amanda's birthday! I cut into my Rough Cut fat quarters for her pouch. Maybe now I'll be brave enough to cut into the rest of this collection.

Finally, a pouch for me! I used this adorable Tinies canvas paired with a cute lime Mochi Dot for the lining.

I love how these pouches turned out, and it was a great excuse to use some canvas. I'm looking forward to making more, including some with a pieced exterior.

Happy Sewing!

June Monthly Report

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy June! It's time for June's monthly report. See past reports here.

I did quite a bit of sewing this month. I started working through my big stack of knits by stitching up three t-shirts. I've really hit a groove when it comes to working with knits. Looking forward to continuing to sew basics for myself.

I used the free Plantain T-Shirt Pattern from Deer and Doe for the t-shirt shown above.

I also finished two big quilts, including my Little Folks Voile Quilt that I shared mid-June. It's been getting daily use!

I can finally start sharing some of the gift sewing I've been doing lately. For now, here is a pouch I made for my Brother's birthday. It's a downsized version of Anna's Open-Wide Pouches. I sized the large size down by 50% and used a 7" zipper. I made it for him to hold his headphones and the colors match.

 I buy all my zippers from Zipit.

After making my block for The Fussy Cut Sampler quilt along, I decided to make at least one block from each chapter to add to my fantastic quilt voyage project. Here are the four blocks I've made since posting my block from chapter 2! (see that post here)

This month, Jacey and I set a small challenge for each other. Her challenge to me was to get my feet wet and practice some improvisational curves. I stitched up my experiments into this little block. Another addition for my fantastic quilt voyage!

To keep myself accountable for my stash goals, I'm tracking my yardage for fabric and yarn each month. Read more about how I track my here. Here is how I did in June:

June Fabric
Used up: 37.25 yards
Brought in: 27.5 yards
Net: -9.75 yards
Year to date: -14.75 yards

June Yarn
Used up: 1348 yards
Brought in: 225 yards
Net: -1123 yards
Year to date: -2912.5 yards

I used up a lot of fabric this month! Finishing those two quilts really helped. I did still bring quite a bit in. I bought most of it while I was home in Ohio visiting family. Going to try to bring that number down this month. Continuing to make good progress on reducing my yarn stash. Bought my third skein for the year, but finished a few small projects and destashed a couple skeins.

On my other goals I've made a little progress. I pulled out my double wedding ring quilt again, although I only made four wedges. As we enter the second half of the year I need to recommit to that project. I really want to get the wedges done and move on to putting it together! I still have a stack of garment patterns to stitch up too. I did cut out a Gemma tank, am hoping to sew that up this month.

Around the Web

Something to eat: Strawberry Sour Cream Ice Cream from The Perfect Scoop
Something to sew: Urban Zoologie Pouches by SewVery (free pattern)
Something helpful: Make Bias Binding From a Fat Quarter by Radiant Home Studio
Something to knit: How I Roll Socks by Mara Catherine Bryner
Something super cute: Fiona the baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo
Someone to follow @littlepincushionstudio on Instagram, super excited for her Daisy Chain line with Windham coming this Fall.

I was home in Ohio for about a week and a half this month. Blackie helped me break in my newly finished quilts. She's really good at holding down quilts. That's the Modern Plus Quilt that I gave her on the end of the couch. So spoiled!

Last but not least, George the bun! He's as sweet as ever. Always keeping me company and begging for treats.

Have a Great Month!


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