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Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas!

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Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas!

It’s almost the Winter Solstice (the first day of winter) in the northern hemisphere, which means that fall is wrapping up and it’s time to think about winter sewing and knitting plans! I’m always thinking about sewing and knitting plans, and since I love to read about what other people are considering making, I thought I would share a snapshot of my ideas with you! There is no way I will ever make all of these ideas, so these are just ideas, not plans. I change my mind about what I want to make quite frequently until I have started on a particular project or batch of projects. So here are my thoughts at the current moment.

Sewing: Garments

I love sewing tops, and I have a few ideas of some that I would like to make. I have been wanting to make a Western-inspired shirt for a long time, so I bought out-of-print McCall’s 6262, which is a unisex Palmer/Pletsch pattern with lots of design options.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

Since this pattern doesn’t have the option to make shaped shotgun cuffs, I also purchased Threads magazine, Issue 67 from October/November 1996 from Vintage Pattern Warehouse. It has an article by David Page Coffin, called “Updating the Cowboy Shirt” explaining, among other things, how to make these super cool cuffs. This one is going to take some real thought to figure out exactly how I want to make it up, but first I need to sew a muslin to check out the fit and practice a few techniques. I was hoping I would have enough of these two rayon fabrics in my stash for a muslin, but I don’t think I do, so I’ll have to look through the stash a bit more to see what else I’ve got. I should probably start by tracing my pattern pieces so I can hold them up to the various bits of fabric I have to see if they’ll work.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I don’t wear a lot of turtleneck shirts right now, but this year they are really appealing to me. I have a few Polartec fleece fabrics that might work to try out the free Yoko Square Roll-Neck Top pattern from Jalie. It looks so comfy! (Tessuti has a similar pattern called the Monroe Turtleneck if you want something slightly different.)

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I really love a good Henley-style shirt in the winter. I made one previously by combining the Thread Theory Strathcona Henley and the Deer and Doe Plaintain Tee, but I have wanted to try one drafted for women, and Itch to Stitch has just the pattern, the Visby Henley. This is also a fun change because the Strathcona Henley has set-in sleeves and the Visby has raglan sleeves. I would love it if I could make one either from my wool knit scraps

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

or my Cotton + Steel knit scraps

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

but the wools are of various weights and amounts. The only one with significant yardage is the green, but it’s pretty thin. Maybe it would work better as a Yoko or Monroe Turtleneck. Hm… The Cotton + Steel knits I don’t love all together, although I like some of them in combination. This may be a project that I eventually buy fabric for and save the wool and cotton knits for something else.

On to sweatshirts! I have had Burda Style 6315, View A (the colorblocked view) on my list for awhile. I think I might have enough leftover Polartec Powerstretch to make it, but like the Western shirt, I really need to trace out my pattern pieces to see. I had originally planned on using light pink with the ivory and purple, but the scraps I have left of that are very small. Luckily, I have a bit more of this dark gray.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I bought some really, really soft Tencel sweatshirt knit from Pintuck & Purl in a sale, and have been looking for the perfect pattern to use it with. It’s light to midweight, and drapey. I think a Hey June Handmade Brunswick Pullover with the hemline shape from the Style Arc Josie Hoodie would be great with leggings this winter.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I love how you can put in a little burst of color in the Brunswick with the pocket on the arm and on the sides by the snaps. I have made both the Brunswick and the Josie and they are two of my favorite sweatshirts.

Leaving tops aside, I’m interested in trying out the Ullvi Slouchy Hat from The Last Stitch. I’ll have to modify things a bit since this is drafted to be a double layer hat, which would be great with a fleece that is brushed on both sides, but won’t be as good with the scraps I have since one side is smooth and the fabric is a bit thicker. I’ll probably cut it to be a single layer and either hem the bottom or bind it with foldover elastic. The double layer instructions would probably work on some of my thicker wool knits, though!

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

Sewing: Non-Clothing Items

It is one of my sewing goals to do a few projects using leather. I have done some small projects with leather and vinyl in the past, but I want to get in some more practice. My husband bought Leather Bags: 14 Stylish Designs to Sew for Any Occasion by Kasia Ehrhardt for me, and I have some leather scraps that someone gave me, so I would like to maybe start with one or two of the smaller and easier projects to get my feet wet.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I also still have this partial Hudson Bay Point Blanket that I got for free at a yard sale. Parts of it are very worn, but I have thought about making a bag with a leather bottom from the good portions, so I might use this book as a starting point, although if you have any pattern recommendations, please leave them in the comments! I don’t have experience making heavy-duty bags, so I need a pattern that will give me guidance on supplies and techniques.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I posted awhile ago about making some of the Twig + Tale Tropical Leaf Blankets, but I still haven’t made one for myself, and I really want a Monstera blanket, so I may make one for myself and a friend. Maybe I’ll even try one of the doll-size Fan Leaf blankets. While digging through my stash, I found this old wool blanket remnant someone gave me and this leftover twill from a bag I made, and I LOVE them together! I really don’t know if I have enough or how practical these fabrics are for what I want to do with the blanket, but I’m willing to piece them if I have to.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

These blankets are so much fun to make, and now there is also a North American Leaf Blanket Collection that I really want to try!

Knitting

Although knitting hasn’t shown up a ton on the blog, I have done a lot of knitting this year. Sewing is definitely my biggest love, but I like having a knitting project going as well because it’s more portable than most of my sewing projects.

Right now, I have the Wool & Honey Sweater from Drea Renee Knits on my needles. I started this as part of a winter sweater make-along through Pintuck & Purl. I am a fairly slower knitter, so having a regular Zoom craft night was a good way to get started. Even though I didn’t finish in the allotted time, it got me going. Now I am partway down the body, and am hoping I have enough yarn for everything.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

I really like this pattern, and the yarn, Shetland 2ply Jumper Weight by Jamieson & Smith, is beautiful. I think Shetland yarn is so cool. I have often questioned my sanity in choosing to knit a full sweater out of fingering-weight yarn on tiny, tiny needles, though. After this, I’ll be ready for some thicker yarn or just smaller fingering weight projects…

And that is why my Mom and I plan to have our own little knit-along and cast on the Sparks sock pattern at some point in the near future. This pattern is also by Drea Renee Knits. Knitting the Wool & Honey Sweater made me realize that knitting two socks in fingering weight was not a big deal. They are a lot smaller than a sweater, so I can definitely get them done! I’m hoping to use up some of the odds and ends in my group of sock yarns. I ordered some “Real Black” Cascade Heritage sock yarn from Wool & Co. to tie all the colors together.

Winter Sewing and Knitting Ideas

And that’s it for now! Well, when I say that’s it, you should imagine a further mental list of projects a million miles long, but these are at the top of that list for now and are the most likely to be made this winter. Since I don’t want this blog post to be a million miles long, I’ll leave it at that. ūüôā

However, I would LOVE to hear any creative winter projects you are planning. Do you have any sewing, knitting, or other craft projects you are thinking about? Feel free to share them in the comments. And Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate Christmas! I’ll be taking the next few weeks off, but I hope to see you here in January.

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A Vest from a Men’s Shirt, Secret Christmas Pillowcases Revealed, and Sewing Ideas for 2016!

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Nothing like a long title, right?¬† ūüėȬ† There are plenty of projects and ideas for projects¬†floating around my head these days, so I think it’s time to power-share!¬† (There’s another word for the dictionary.¬† Makin’ up new words all the time over here!)

When I think about new projects to share, I keep forgetting to post this vest that I made.

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

My original plan for it was to be an additional entry in the Refashioners Contest last year, just to pad out my entry, but I’m glad now that I took it off my list.¬† It wasn’t too hard to make, but it isn’t anywhere near the quality of the jacket I made as my one and only entry.

When the cooler weather sets in, I start thinking of polar fleece and really anything warm, so when I found this oversized men’s fleece-lined flannel shirt at the thrift store, originally by L.L. Bean, I knew I wanted to use it (similar shirt here).¬† I found this pattern:

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

After reading the reviews on Patternreview, I convinced myself that I could create a J.Crew-esque style vest.¬† Well, that didn’t exactly happen, but it’s cozy!

The good and bad part of getting better at sewing, is that now I am less satisfied when my own sewing is of a lower quality.¬† What a problem to have, right?¬† I know I am “supposed” to match up plaids and make things look pretty inside, etc., etc., maybe make sure my pockets are on the same level, but you can’t have it all.¬† I made this out of a shirt.¬† That’s cool!¬† I’ll learn to match plaids another day.

As far as any other details the sewing people among you might be interested in…I made View A, minus the quilting.¬† I cut a size 16 and graded out to an 18 in the waist and hips.¬† This may not have been necessary.¬† It’s fairly boxy and loose, but I wanted to be able to wear it over sweaters.¬† Instead of putting in the zipper, I left the buttons from the original shirt.¬†¬†I also¬†took off the original chest pockets.¬† In the process, I¬†may have made a few holes, but that was an opportunity to return to my old standby of running over any sewing problems with my machine, and I just sewed over them until they blended in.¬† Problem solved!

The other problem I ran into was that I ended up with “wings” at the front of the armholes.

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

I did actually go back and take off the bias binding and try to take the princess seams in a little bit.¬† It worked better on one side than another, and I’m a lot happier having tried.¬† It definitely fits better now.

Learning to do a sway-back adjustment is on my mental list of things to learn, but I’m trying not to tackle too many new techniques at once, so that one is for the future.¬† Dealing with the armholes was my fitting experiment for this pattern.

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

Simplicity 1499 (vest)

Overall, I think the pattern is good.¬† This isn’t my favorite thing that I have ever made, but I like it and I’ve worn it and will wear it again.¬† I don’t know that I will keep it in my closet for the ages and pass it down to my children, but I guess you never know.¬† More fleece is always better than less fleece in the winter, so it may survive longer than I think.¬† I would try the pattern again if I decide I want another vest.

On another topic, I wanted to give you a quick look at a few pillowcases I made as Christmas presents.  I used a tutorial on the Sew Mama Sew blog that is actually an excerpt from a book by Shea Henderson called School of Sewing.

Pillowcases

Pillowcases

I bought the border print for the first pillowcase as well as the panda seersucker in Michigan over the summer at The Material Girls in Dearborn, MI.¬† The coordinating fabric on each pillowcase is from Joann’s.¬† These really were easy to sew and I’m sure I could use the tutorial to make fancier ones in the future as well.¬† I keep telling myself that if I would just make a billion pillowcases and cloth napkins, I could use up my stash and replace my worn pillowcases and napkins, but so far clothes are too much fun.¬†¬†Except for these two pillowcases, clothes have won out every time.

Lastly, do you have sewing plans for 2016?¬† I have ideas.¬† I’m not calling them plans because my ideas of what I want to make often change throughout the year, but here is what I have so far.¬† I saw the #2016makenine challenge on Instagram, and decided to jump in…except I ended up with ten.¬† This makes me sound like a total overachiever but, like I said, these plans will flex and change throughout the year, and I doubt everything will get made.

#2016makenine

Top row, left to right:  Butterick 5526, Megan Nielsen Briar Sweater and Tee, Simplicity 1538

Middle row, left to right:¬† Jalie 3134, Megan Nielsen’s Mini Briar, Jalie 3023

Bottom row, left to right:  Strathcona Henley by Thread Theory, Coco by Tilly and the Buttons, Jutland Pants by Thread Theory

(most links to these patterns are below)

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#2016makenine

Ginger Skinny Jeans Pattern by Closet Case Patterns

¬†I’ve already cut out some Jutland Pants by Thread Theory for my husband (I’m actually doing a muslin/test garment for this one), and I’ve traced out the Strathcona Henley for him, too.¬† Lest you start to think I’m abandoning my really good streak of selfish sewing, you should probably know that I LOVE henleys, so once I make him one, I plan to adapt the pattern into one for me as well. ¬†(And how about a girl version of some fleece-lined Jutlands?¬† Sounds like wintry heaven to me!¬† I’m saving that idea for the future!)

In the top row are some shirts I’ve tried before, and I still have fabric from the summer to do additional renditions of those.¬† My first version of the princess seam button down on the top left (Butterick 5526) should make an appearance on the blog soon since I made it to wear to a wedding. ¬†I already whipped up a quick Briar fleece shirt (still to be blogged) to wear for travelling to the wedding, and I need to make a broad back adjustment to the pattern for the button-down on the right (Simplicity 1538) before remaking that one.

You can see I still have bathing suits on my list, maybe some kids’ Briars, and a shirt version of the Coco pattern by Tilly and the Buttons.

AND…JEANS!¬† I think it’s time to start learning to sew more fitted bottoms, so jeans are on the list.¬† I’ll keep you posted on that!

Do you have any sewing or other project ideas for this year?¬† I’d love to hear about them!

Summer Fun

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Hi, friends!¬† Happy Summer Solstice and first official day of summer!¬† This has been the first week we’ve consistently had 70-degree or higher temperatures and it has been a gorgeous week.

Summer Fun (Pattern and Branch)

The advent of summer and the end of school has gotten me thinking about vacation activities.¬† I saw a toddler summer bucket list on Pinterest, so I made one for us, too.¬† Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  • Tube down a river.¬† (Maybe we’ll try tubing the Saco River in Conway, NH.)
  • Visit Castle Island in Boston.
  • Try out the Swan Boats and Frog Pond in Boston.
  • Visit a swimming pond.
  • Go to the beach!
  • Try one new beach.
  • Go to Women’s Surf Camp (that one’s just for me).
  • Teach the neighborhood kids to play kickball.
  • Teach the neighborhood kids how to do the big jump rope.
  • Go to a wading pool.
  • Made popsicles, frozen yogurt, and gelato.
  • Do art!¬† Paint driftwood, make a mini art gallery, sew.
  • Try one new park.
  • Have playdates.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Pick some fruit.
  • Go clamming!

Summer Fun (Pattern and Branch)

We may not do all of these, but now we have some fun ideas to try together¬†throughout the summer.¬† I’m pretty excited.¬† What about you?¬† Any summer plans or fun ideas?

 

Before we say good-bye, here’s a little weekend reading for you.

  • ¬†I just checked out the book First Prize Pies by Allison Kave and it looks DELICIOUS!¬† I definitely recommend that you look through it.
  • Check out these super cool Euro bikes.¬† They’re like the mini-van of bikes.¬† You could haul so much with one of these…
  • Have you ever read any of the books in the Singer Sewing Reference¬†Library series?¬† I have two of them and currently have another checked out from the library.¬† They are an excellent and very helpful resource.
  • If you’ve ever thought of stenciling fabric, Alabama Chanin provides the ability to download their stencil designs for free, so you can make your own versions.¬† If you have more money than time, you can buy premade stencils.

Have a great weekend!