This is the start of my Pamuke blanket. Pamuke isn’t a fancy pattern name, it is the combined name of the people whom I’m making the blanket for (you know how celebrity couples are given a combined name) I wanted an easy name when referring to this blanket.
I’m making this as a wedding present. I’m using Lucy’s from Attic24 Granny Stripe pattern but I’ve made it longer. I found this blog post from Easy Crochet Pattern which lists the starting chains needed for various size blankets. A Granny Stripe might sound boring or plain for a blanket so significant as a wedding present but I wanted a blanket they could use everyday and be practical. A blanket that could be thrown on the back of the couch and used when watching movies or could be thrown over someone if they fall asleep and you don’t want to wake them. I’m using Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply Classic 100% wool again as it is machine washable, the colours are Tasman Blue and Magnolia. I wanted to make it in the colours of their favourite Rugby League team (Canterbury Bulldogs) At first when the yarn arrived I must admit I thought I had chosen the incorrect colours as I was after a deep royal blue and a white whereas these a more a muted blue and a cream. After working up a row or 2 my mind changed and I really like them. They are more sophisticated and better suited to a wedding blanket.
I’ve never done a 2 tone Granny Stripe before and I wasn’t sure how many rows I would get out of each 200g ball. I lost crochet roulette but it gave me and indication of how many rows I will get. I’m hoping to get as much of this blanket done before Sunny CAL starts March 1st.
I have a gift I want to make this year but it involved a stitch I’d never tried before Knit One Below (K1B) I can only do basic knit and purl so I had to learn this new stitch. Thanks to Pinterest and YouTube I found this clip which explains it. Once it is explained it is actually very easy. Instead of placing your working needle (the needle the stitch is going onto) into the stitch as you normally would do, you place your working needle into the stitch below and knit the stitch dropping both stitches as it passes onto the working needle. Watch the clip it explains it a lot better than I do 🙂 After a couple of minutes of practice I got the hang of it.
I decided to test out the pattern I’ll be using and make a dishcloth from it. It was easy enough to do and I like the texture of it. I can’t just knit something unless it is going to be used so dishcloths are great to practice new stitches and patterns on. If the stitch isn’t perfect it doesn’t matter as the cloth will still clean your dishes regardless and really you can’t have too many dishcloths.
Softies for Mirabel is a toy drive to support the Mirabel Foundation, an organisation which supports kids who are abandoned or orphaned due to parental drug use.
The toy drive has now been going 9 years, for the last few years I’ve wanted to contribute to it but have never gotten the chance. This year they have a theme “all creatures great and small” After this mishap of making Pony early last year I decided I would donate her to this years toy drive, by chance she fitted right in with this years theme when it was announced towards the end of last year. When I finished her off I was really pleased. The koalas also went to the toy drive. I hope these little guys make some kids happy. They are not fancy toys but they were made with love with the intention to be loved by a child. Every child should be able to cuddle up to a soft toy when they are scared or lonely or just because they want too.
The deadline for this years toy drive is January 28th 2016. The toy drive is usually announced around mid October. This year when it is announced I’ll post the details on here if anyone else wants to get involved.
These little guys were from a pattern in Patchwork and Stitching Yearbook magazine (Vol 16 No 3) They are very cute. They are meant to have clothing but I never got around to making the clothing however I think they can get away naked (most koalas do) These were quick to make. Even though they didn’t get there clothes I really like how they are different just by the colour difference in their inner ears. Its just a subtle variation in them. You could make a batch of these and just change the colours of the ear around for each child. All the fabrics came from my stash. I had actually finished them last year but they were set aside. This is a very basic toy but basics are best. They are a toy a child can snuggle up with and that’s the purpose of a soft toy.
Castaway To Couture 2016 is a competition being held by the Australian Sewing Guild where participants are challenged to bring new life into old garments. The rules are pretty simple you either purchase an item/s from an op shop (charity / good will shop) or you raid your own stash for clothes you don’t wear for whatever reason and you alter the item into something new. It is a nationwide competition with some fantastic prizes for the winners including a sewing machine, gift vouchers and patterns. Winners are awarded by judges on the most transformed item but there are also viewers’ choice winners.
I’ve decided to enter this competition. I’m not in this to win some of the fantastic prizes, but who would say no a Craftsy voucher. I’m going to do this a personal challenge. Bringing new life into old garments is something I have wanted to do for a long time, it’s about time I gave it a shot. The first item I have chosen was an article of clothing I have culled from my stash just this week (thanks CC for the inspiration) This is a nylon/polyester velveteen stretchy long tube skirt. After picking it up for the first time in years I discovered that some of pile had started to come away from the fabric. It has been dragged on the ground or caught in shoes. It was time for it to go, I was going to add it into my fabric stash thinking I could use it in a toy. 2 days later I discovered this competition and thought perfect I have something already.
The 2nd item I’m using is some polyester imitation suede pants. I had culled these about 12 months ago, it was only during a night of insomnia and hot weather that I remembered I hadn’t actually taken these to the op shop yet and they were still sitting in my spare room. I’ve had these for a good 10 – 15 years. I stopped wearing them due to a) they are really hot to wear and b) they sit low and there isn’t much room in the crotch area. Looking at them now the hem has come undone on one leg and I never bothered to fix it. Also they don’t have pockets, I can’t wear pants without pockets. These have a funny story. In a department store once I went past the baby section and happened to see pants that were exactly the same as these! Same fabric, same stitch detail above the knee. I remembered thinking I have toddler pants. I have a feeling I never wore these again after that day.
Both items have pasted the first test, the wash test. Both say to hand wash separately but I stuck them both together on a cold water wash and they survived. I dare say that’s how they’ve always been washed all this time as I don’t do fancy washing. I have a few ideas of what I want to do. Not sure if all will work but you never know if you don’t try. I can say during my night of insomnia I pretty much planned it all out at 1:30 am and wrote all the ideas down later. With the ideas I have in mind I don’t see myself winning most transformed item, however hopefully I’m going to have an item that I can wear. An item that I have created using principles that I feel strongly about – upcycling, recycling, simple living by making it myself. It will be a free item as I’m not planning on purchasing anything extra for this. All materials will come from my current stash or the item itself. I love a good challenge and this is my challenge to me. Watch this space and no matter the outcome I’ll share this with you.
Last year I made pony but I wasn’t happy with her look. Pony is toy from Fun at the Fair by Melly and Me. I still can’t really explain why I didn’t like her original look when I made her, maybe it was the fluro buttons. I just don’t think they were the right size for her legs. Also they were the wrong colour, just too bright for her more muted colours. At the time I took off her legs and then she just sat in a box unfinished.
Recently I decided to get in and complete her. I appliqued her eyes on and gave her some lipstick (lipstitch) I attached her legs again this time using dental floss. Dental floss is good for attaching limbs as it is a stronger than regular cotton. To me she looks better now. I think the fabrics were so busy and bold that her features needed to be simple.
She is off to a new adventure now. I hope someone likes her
Don’t you just love it when you develop an idea in your head and the idea actually works!
I needed to make a gift for an 8 year old who recently told me she liked doing craft and her favourite colour was purple. From the preview of the January Sew Box I anticipated the box contained an activity that kids could do (it is the long Summer holiday school break in Australia) and possibly would have some fabric that kids could colour in themselves. I was hoping from the box I could create the child’s gift as I hadn’t really thought up a plan b. My mind started ticking of the items I could make – pencil cases, aprons, bags. I finally decided upon a skirt. In my mind I planned a simple rectangle / tube skirt with an elastic waist. I found this size chart on Pinterest from Whipstitch Modern Sewing was useful. It has a link to a tutorial on how to make a 20 minute skirt. I read the tutorial but forgot to refer back to it when it came to sewing, resulting in me having to do my elastic differently. I made my elastic casing before I stitched my seam to make the tube shape. Thinking back now this was the way I did it when I made the Mikayla skirt. Next time I however I will do the side seam first then fold back the casing. Like when I made the skirts before I stitched across the casing on the opposite side from the seam to stop the elastic from rolling.
For the hem I decided to do a rolled hem. It looked really nice however I thought it didn’t really suit the skirt so I folded it under about a ¼” or so and top stitched it in place. This was a much better idea as it left a nice neat finish to the hem and meant I didn’t loose much length. Normally I do a double folded hem and loose about 1″ of fabric, also this simple hem wasn’t as bulky as the double fold hem. I’ll be doing this style of them again.
I love this fabric panel it has so many images, I even found what looks like a Girl Guide bell tent! I did Girl Guides with the child’s mum and the child is now doing Guides herself so when I saw this it made me smile. The purple fabric was some that I found in my stash and is perfect. It ticks the purple box and the other colours on it are the same as the fabric markers (from the Jan Sew Box) that I will put with the gift. I think the purple panel at the top and bottom really frames the skirt.
The child is the oldest of 4 including 2 younger sisters so I was wanting to make her a gift that is a little older than her siblings had so she could feel that little bit older than them. Colouring in this skirt is something she can do on her own in her room or whilst the younger kids are sleeping. When she is finished with the help from her mum she can iron the skirt to set the fabric markers.