Tiramisu, the second.

I finished my second Tiramisu!

Untitled

I am really happy with it. This time, I made the bodice pieces just like I did in the muslin, but I went up one size for the skirt (since I had the issue where the skirt pieces were way too small) and that meant I also had to retrace the bodice pieces as well. I also used my cutting table, pattern weights, and my rotary cutter instead of pinning the pattern pieces and using scissors, and it made a huge difference.

I didn’t make any effort to match up the chevrons, but I think it still looks okay. This knit is a little heavier than than my muslin fabric, and it was much easier to work with. I also remembered to use the stretch stitch when I attached the binding to the sleeves and they are super comfortable – no tightness at all. I wore this dress all day at Easter with my family, and it is so comfy!

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I topstitched the sleeves and the neck binding, which seems to help them lay flat and also just looks nice. I haven’t hemmed this yet because the pattern says to wear it unhemmed for a bit so it can settle before hemming. NO PROBLEM. The nice things about knits – it doesn’t look unfinished without a hem! (I mean, it will look MORE finished with a hem but I’m totally fine wearing it with a raw hem for a bit.)

happy about my dress

 Y’all I cannot get over how wearable this is. I want to SEW MORE KNITS! and also more clothes! I always get the itch to sew clothes for myself when the weather starts getting warm, and this year is no exception. Luckily, I went through my fabric stash and found a bunch of voile that I bought last year – probably enough for a few dresses and a shirt – and I still have enough knit fabric for one more Tiramisu. I also may have hit up Joann’s during the one dollar Simplicity pattern sale and bought some more patterns that are meant for knits. Other things I’m planning to make are the Amelia dress (look at all the gorgeous versions in that blog post from Bolt!) and the Endless Summer Tunic (One Stitch Short Sarah made a super cute version of this tunic!) I always make grand plans for sewing and they don’t always happen, but it’s nice to dream about doing it and maybe I’ll actually make everything this time :)

My family!
Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates! We lucked out with some gorgeous weather here, so it was a perfect day for an Easter egg hunt. Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

More sewing!

It feels so good to be blogging again! And it’s so nice to chat with people in the comments. HI!

As soon as I finished Ollie’s quilt, I already knew what my next sewing project would be: the Tiramisu dress, by Cake Patterns. I’ve been wanting to sew with some knits for a while, and THEN Jacob got me a serger for Christmas, so now I really have no excuse. I ordered some awesome knit fabric from Girl Charlee - including some super cute and super sale fabric to use for a muslin – and got to work.

tiramisu-muslinI learned a few things in sewing my muslin. The Tiramisu pattern I used is one that you print out and then tape together, which is super handy but also sort of a pain. (But, instant gratification, so.) When I do patterns like this, I usually use freezer paper to trace the pattern pieces in my size, and then pin the freezer paper pieces to the fabric to cut it out. For me, the knit fabric was way harder to cut precisely than quilting fabric or some other woven fabric. So lesson one: clear off my cutting table, and use pattern weights and a rotary cutter instead of the floor, pins, and my scissors.

The pattern tells you to use a “lightning stitch” to seam the pieces – this is a stretch stitch that you’re supposed to use with knits. On my machine, (a lovely Pfaff Ambition) this stitch is called a stretch tricot stitch. However, it’s way more difficult to rip seams that have been sewn with this stitch. So I learned that I need to baste, baste, baste with a straight stitch, try the pieces on, and THEN sew with the stretch stitch once I’m sure things fit right. (I know, DUH. I didn’t say these were lessons that everyone needs to learn. ha.)

So I got the bodice all sewn up – I got lucky and the bodice mostly fit great. I had to make a few adjustments,and the neckline is a little snug, but not uncomfortable, and I’m taking notes for the next time I sew this. It’s my muslin, right? I just want it to be wearable. Next, I go to sew the skirt pieces together, and they are WAY too narrow. Now, I had a choice between sizes when I was cutting out pattern pieces, and I did choose the smaller of those two sizes, but I think the issue was in my cutting. (See lesson one!) I think the fabric was moving around too much when I cut and I cut incorrectly. To fix this, I cut two strips of fabric and seamed them on the sides of the skirt pieces. It’s a design feature. HAHAHA.

Finally I put all the pieces together!

Tiramisu muslin

It’s *mostly* wearable. I would need to wear a sweater with it at work because there’s a hole in the back where my fabric got stuck in my machine, and the sides might be a little weird from the extra fabric I had to add. BUT I can totally bum around the house or at the playground in this! and I think I’m going to be able to make one that fits really, really well next time around. So hooray for muslins! I’ve already cut out the pieces for Tiramisu number two.

Well.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I miss blogging, and how I’d really like to blog about some things – mostly sewing, and some knitting, and maybe some mom stuff too.   Someone on Twitter asked why I’d stopped, and I realized that, in my head, I’m still a blogger…I’ve just been on a super long extended break. ha. I couldn’t bring myself to take down this site, because I like going through the archives every now and then, and hey, what if I decided to post again?

OH HAI I AM POSTING!

So, what’s new?

C is two, and kind of a big boy now:
Happy!

I just got a new sewing machine, a Pfaff Ambition 1.0 (purchased with some of my prize winnings from being on Wheel of Fortune) and I love it. I’ve been working on some quilt blocks and making lots of clothes, including two Darling Ranges dresses:

Darling Ranges Dress.

Darling Ranges dress #2.

I’m knitting too – I’m working on Olga’s lovely  Aranami Shawl using some lovely Yarn Pirate yarn, and I’m about to start the Through The Loops Mystery Shawl KALat the beginning of June. I’ve never done a mystery knitalong of any kind and two of my friends at work are doing it too – it should be fun! I can finish Aranami before June 1st, right? ha.So, everything’s pretty much the same around here. I’m working on a new dress now - Simplicity 1801 - and am venturing into the world of full bust adjustments – eek! We’ll see how it goes.

I don’t know if this post means I might start posting more often … or if I’m just feeling nostalgic for my blog and needed to post. either way, hi!

o hai.

o hi there! remember me? I’m still here! It’s been a pretty busy two and a half months, as you can probably imagine. I’ve been feeling great – yay second trimester! – and if you can believe it, this week marks the start of my third trimester. holy crap.


27 weeks, 4 days.
my belly at 27 weeks, 4 days.

yep, I’m definitely pregnant. hee.
I’ve been sewing and knitting a lot. The sewing has been in preparation for a craft fair that I’ll hopefully be at in early December, and the knitting has been mostly baby oriented (surprise!) — some for our baby, some for baby swaps, some for the awesome tiny teamie Hayes.

My creation
1. Tiny Schmoo Sophisticate for our little guy., 2. Doodie. , 3. Garter Stitch Kimono Baby Sweater for my doula’s son Judah., 4. Buzzbee for Hayes!, 5. Elfin for our little guy., 6. Tubey for a baby hat swap.

Baby stuff is so fun and fast to knit! I’m sure I’ll be making a few more sweaters for the littlest schmoo before I’m done.
You can see some of the stuff that me and my friend JoAnna have been sewing here in this Flickr set. If all goes as planned, we’ll have a little booth at the 2009 Athens Indie Craftstravaganzaa Holiday Market in December under the name “teamie & schmoo“, and we’re really excited! We’ve been making lots of cute baby stuff and some box bags and bags as well. I’ve also had a few people commission me to make some diaper bags / messenger bags for them, and it’s been super fun to work on those. Like I said before, I’m trying to take advantage of my energy while I’ve got it. :)
I also received some amazing handknits from my awesome friend Sarah. I got this package in the mail last week on a particularly crappy morning, and man, did it cheer me up!

amazing.
amazing knits! and so wee! and adorable!

I don’t think it’s possible to be grouchy when you are holding teeny tiny handknit baby socks. The littlest schmoo is going to be so well-dressed! thanks again, Sarah, for this beautiful teeny tiny wardrobe. OMG baby knits are CUTE. and Sarah is made of awesome.
In addition to the crafting, we’ve been working on getting our house ready for our newest family member. There’s been painting and carpet ripping and furniture assembling (mostly by Jacob) and we’ve still got more to do, but we’ve definitely made some progress. I feel so lucky – we’ve had so many people give us baby things that they are no longer using, and our kitchen is totally full of baby awesomeness right now – toys, clothes, chairs, etc – and maternity stuff too! We have really generous people in our lives, and we are lucky, lucky schmoos. Hopefully we can return the favor someday!
Anyways, that’s the story around here. Lots of things going on, but I’m trying to relax and rest some too – although I *do* like being busy. :) It’s been really nice to get things done at home and spend time with Jacob and Bella.

365.2.282 me and Bella, again.

It’s almost the holidays! I hope this post finds you staying warm and feeling great and not too stressed about holiday crafting. :)

sewing bug

I’ve been sewing. a lot. I’ve been knitting too – I’m *this* close to finishing my Smock – but I’ve just been feeling the urge to sew lately! (It’s a nice change from my first trimester, when I didn’t feel like doing anything, especially sewing.)
First up: a yoga mat bag! I’m going to prenatal yoga twice a week, and I almost bought a little bag for my mat at REI, and then I realized that I could make one with some stash fabric.


Yoga mat bag.
Amy Butler fabric + yoga mat bag = hooray.
I used this tutorial from Bored & Crafty, and borrowed the measurements from Jess’s blog post. I just used some ribbon for the drawstring, although I might end up trimming it or using something else later. I lined it with some heavy linen that I had laying around, and it fits perfectly. This was a super quick and easy project!
Next: placemats! We’ve been eating dinner with friends at our house a lot lately, and we have a nice new-old dining room table from Jacob’s parents, but no placemats. I have no idea why – they’re probably packed up in our crawlspace upstairs somewhere. BUT! why not just make some?

I made some placemats.
New placemats make the table look better.

For these I used an Orla Kiely tablecloth half that I’d been saving for the perfect project, some solids from my scrap bin, and some super heavy interfacing. I’m really happy with the way they turned out – even Jacob approved. I used this tutorial to make them. She actually does binding around the edges, and I’d planned on doing a binding with the Orla Kiely fabric but I didn’t have enough left over. So, I just decided to sew the right sides together, leave a hole, turn them inside out, and then top stitch. easy peasy!
and finally: my first baby-related project! a diaper bag!

365.2.246 I made a diaper bag.
I’m so proud – can you tell?

I love love this bag. It’s completely lined in vinyl, has pockets galore, including a back zipper pocket, and is super sturdy.

Diaper bag front flap (with magnetic snaps)

I used this fantastic tutorial over at A Mingled Yarn, and seriously, I can’t say enough about how great it is. I’m not a new sewist, but I’m not advanced AT ALL – I’ve learned everything from books and the Internets, and friends who are nice enough to help me. The tutorial for this bag is so clear, with great instructions and pictures, and gave me confidence that I could actually make the bag, even when I was scared of all the fabric and vinyl that I was cutting out. hee.

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like this moment, when I was like, WHAT AM I DOING.

It’s a great tutorial! and it would make a great bag for anything, not just diapers. I mean, who wouldn’t want all these pockets in their bag?

Diaper bag, inside pockets
pockets!

I was so happy and excited when I finished – I kept parading around the house with my bag, and Jacob was nice enough to keep exclaiming over it. Har.
So yay for sewing! I think I’ve probably got some more patterns to try out soon…do you have any favorite sewing tutorials?

april? really?

How is it already April? I feel like this year is moving so quickly. Pretty soon it will be summer and I’ll be longing for the nice 65-70 degree weather we are having right now. oh, summers in Georgia, how I love/hate you.
Work has been super busy lately, which is great, but also makes me a little overwhelmed sometimes. That means that I get home from work and immediately want to do something crafty to relax.
There has been knitting:


Monkey in progress.
Spelling Bee Raffle socks for Stephanie!
(the colors in this pic are a bit off – the blues are little more pastel than they are here.)

I went through several different versions of these socks before I landed on this combination: Monkeys + Mama E’s sock yarn. It’s a perfect match! I started some Monkeys with some other yarn, but the pooling started to get to me, so I tried again and so far, the colors are working out nicely with this yarn. They need a good blocking, obviously, but I’m happy with them. and this pattern is fun, y’all. at first I had to really pay attention to the pattern, but now I’ve got it memorized and I can just knitknitknit while I’m watching TV. LOVE.
There has also been sewing. More box bags, of course:



Box Bags and one zipper pouch, actually.

and some progress on my quilt wall hanging:

Quilt in progress.
yay quilt.

This one is turning out just how I imagined. and Jacob likes it too, which is good since I’m planning to hang it up in our den. SInce I took this picture, I’ve added the last row of color blocks, and I’m about to add about 3 inches of brown all around and a blue binding. I think it’s going to be perfect.
Since I’ve been sewing like a fiend, I’ve started reading some quilting/sewing blogs as well. If you haven’t seen the Quilt Along posts over at Oh, Fransson! and you’re wanting to get started quilted, check them out. She basically did a virtual quilt-along and went through her entire process from picking fabrics to binding and quilting. The posts are really clear and full of great info. I’ve definitely tagged a few of those posts (color choices, free motion quilting) to use in the future. I want to try and do free motion quilting for this wall hanging, but I need to practice A LOT before I do it.
While I’m sending you to other places on the Intarwebs, here are two more:

I’ve started another quilt while I’m working on the wall hanging because I am addicted – I’m experimenting with some scrappy strip quilting using this tutorial from Quiltville (and hello she is another awesome online resource that Carolyn introduced me to). I’ll take some pictures this weekend if the strips aren’t ugly. ha.
have a great Friday!

it’s a frenzy!

Hi y’all! The last time I posted, I was playing in snow – we ended up getting six inches, and lost power for two days. woot. it was actually sort of fun at first – we dragged our mattress out to the den and sat by the fire and played Scrabble by candlelight. It became not as fun when we woke up the next morning and it was COLD in our house.
But, I shall not complain, because today, a week later, it is 75 degrees. It’s beautiful outside! It’s also Spring Break at UGA, so I might take a couple of days off this week for the heck of it. We’ll see how busy work is.
I’ve been really busy crafting lately, both knitting AND sewing. I finally finished my second quilt – a baby quilt for my dear friends Drew and Joanna, also know at the Teamies.



Stacked Coins.

I used the Stacked Coins pattern from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, which is a seriously lovely and awesome book. There are great directions in the back for basting your quilt, quilting, and also two different ways to do the binding. I love this book. And I think would be an excellent first quilt for anyone – it’s very forgiving if you aren’t so good at cutting straight (like me, for instance). I think the real challenge with this quilt is picking awesome colors.
So, finishing that quilt has made me want to make MORE quilts. and sew. A LOT. My Flickr contacts can attest to my, um, crazed sewing frenzy lately.


yay sewing time!

For the box bags, I’ve been using this fantastic tutorial by drago[knit]fly, with the modifications found here. It took me a few tries to understand what I was doing, but now I am comfortable doing it without checking the tutorial every five seconds.
Also, the zipper wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be! The hardest thing for me is cutting STRAIGHT. I am so bad at it, and yes I have a rotary cutter and cutting mat and rulers and still I suck at it. that’s why I need to make all of these bags! to practice!
For the zipper pouches, I used Caro’s sew a zippered wristlet tutorial – super clear and she has a great Flickr set with detailed photos to go along with it. The zipper on top is harder for me – I haven’t quite figured it out yet. but I’m getting there. The last little purse is this free pattern called the Buttercup Bag at Made by Rae.
Ack, I have the sewing bug, y’all. Next up, after eleventy million bags, is a quilty wall hanging for our den. I’ve chosen a dark brown background and some variations on teal and aqua as my color palette (because that’s what is already in our den):



fabric pile.

I’m still nailing down exactly what I want to do, but I think I’ve got a plan. A loose plan.
I haven’t totally abandoned knitting though! I’m still plugging away on both my Tapestry Cowl and my Francis Revisited:

365.2.65 getting there.
I’m getting really close!

As you can see, I opted for short sleeves – it’s already getting hot here again, and I want to be able to wear this year-round. well, maybe not in August, but you know what I mean. I can’t wait for this sweater to be finished!
That’s about it for now. Work is good, and I’m still BODYPUMPing (although this week is Spring Break so it’s canceled. I guess I could get out and run or walk since it’s so nice out. maybe.) I know some of you are still having wintry weather – I hope spring heads your way soon!

finished.

I have some things to show you. Not one, not two, but THREE finished objects! Can you believe it? I can’t.
But it’s true! First, a super quick and super gratifying knit – meet Frank.


Frank!
o hai.

Frank is actually Kate from Knitty. I knitted the pattern exactly as written, using size 7 and 8 Denise needle tips as double pointed needles. (I am lazy). It’s an easy pattern to follow and I think the whole thing took me three days from start to finish. I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fine doubled for his stripey shirt and pants, and Cotton-Ease for his body. I cannot tell you how much I love the finished toy – he is just. so. cute. I see a lot of knitted toys in my future – such a great baby gift, and so fast! (I embroidered his eyes in addition to his mouth and nose so there wouldn’t be any non-baby-friendly parts).

365.265 excited!
oh, Frank.

Okay. on to Finished Object the Second. It’s the February Lady Sweater!

February Lady Sweater
I wore her to work today!

I was so excited that I wore it to work today! It fits great. I used Silky Wool — I think about 3.5 skeins. I had to change the numbers because Silky Wool is DK and the sweater is definitely light and airy – and it grew A LOT after blocking. I actually thought it might be TOO long last night, but after wearing it around today, I think it’s the perfect length. The buttons I used were purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. They are a little heavy, so I’m considering reinforcing the button band with grosgrain ribbon. (yeah, I will probably NEVER get around to doing that. but I’m considering it.)
LOVE this sweater. I think it would be a great first sweater, if you’re not afraid of lace, because when you’re done, it’s DONE. no seaming, just a little sewing under the armpits. It’s seriously a great pattern. I’m trying to convince my sis to knit one! Thanks, Pam, for this awesome pattern – obviously it kicks ass because it seems like every knitter in the blogosphere / Ravelry has knit one. I might make another in worsted weight one day…
and finally! the grand finale. My First Quilt!

My First Quilt!
hanging out on the fence.

This is a lap-sized quilt – I used the Streak of Sunshine pattern from Quiltville. (That site has tons of good info – thanks for the rec, Carolyn!) And seriously, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. The hardest part for me (besides the binding) was picking out colors that worked well together. It’s such a challenge for me, and for some reason really intimidating to me. I’m just going to keep plugging away at it.

Close up of corner
Close up of the corner.

I lucked out because Carolyn was in town for Dragon*Con and showed me how to do a free-form braid on the sides and also how to do the binding. The braid was her idea and I love how it looks against the straight lines of the rest of the quilt. I was scared to do it without drawing it on the quilt, but it actually wasn’t that bad. Carolyn is a fantastic teacher too.
The binding is machine sewn on the top, and then folded and blind-stitched by hand on the back. It was tedious, but seriously, it looks so good. It really makes it looked FINISHED. Carolyn swore it was her favorite part, and I was all, okay, whatever, crazy… but as you work the binding, the whole quilt just comes together – it’s very cool!

Quilt

I am really looking forward to working on more quilts, and some larger ones. Obviously there are lots of mistakes in this one, but I seriously love it so. and I actually use it all the time! Woot.
So, there you have it. I’ve been busy with the crafting, in between work and school and life in general. I am in my last semester of my Master’s program – oh boy! – and work is totally slammed. Things are great! Now I have to decide what to work on next…

Just Like I Said I Would

So I said I would show you some pictures of my sewing nook. And so I shall. I didn’t say it would be a *good* picture…


Sewing nook.
Yay!

That’s the little sewing table I bought, my new pretty sewing machine, and my ironing board (and new Rowenta iron). The little piece of furniture to the right is a vintage sewing/knitting/crafting box that my sister-in-law, Alison, gave me as a wedding present. It’s really cool – it’s made of wood, and it folds out and has little trays for notions. I should take some good pics of it, actually, and post them.
The nook is in our kitchen – we have a pretty big space for dining/hanging out, and for now, I’ve taken over this corner for crafting. And it’s a good thing, too, because I just started my first quilt and I need room to cut strips! Here I am, cutting strips….

Strips.
One down.

I’ve done one so far. Gah. It turns out I’m bad at cutting straight. But I’m going to keep trying, even if this first quilt is a bit wonky. I’m okay with that. I learn from my wonkiness.
I’m also still working on the neverending Drops Jacket – the one that I was going to finish as a Christmas present, ha – and I’ve finally got two beautiful sleeve caps. YAY. Now I have to try and finish the sweater before I run out of yarn. I think I can do it. I need to hurry up and finish it, because I’m starting to have wandering eyes … the new Interweave preview is up, some Knitty surprises, and pretty pretty knitting in blog and Ravelry land is making me want to drop the Drops and cast on something new. Must. Be. Strong. Yes, I must, because I really want to wear this sweater before it gets warm again here.
(but I really, really, really want to knit a pretty skirt too. Just sayin’.)
I’ve been so busy lately that crafting of any kind isn’t always on my schedule. Apparently, school and work are supposed to come before knitting and sewing. Sigh.
You know what is definitely going to be on the schedule this week? Watching the season premiere of Lost. OH YES. I’ll probably get some knitting done then too. Happy, happy times!
Last, but not certainly not least, I wanted to mention: Two sweet bloggers gave me a “Make My Day” award: Sophia and Frida. Thanks, ladies! You made my day by thinking of me. :)
That’s all I’ve got in me tonight! Hopefully next time I post, I’ll have a finished sweater and a few more perfectly straight strips to show you. Har.

Finishing

I’m very, very close to finishing BigHeadSchmoo’s very first handknit sweater: Trellis.


seaming.jpg
Seaming.

Here’s me setting in the sleeve, with my trusty Vogue Knitting. I get nervous about seaming sometimes, so I like to keep my Vogue Knitting reference nearby.

sockmonkeytrellis.jpg
And here is a sock monkey wearing an almost finished Trellis.

All I have left to do now is pick up the stitches for the cute seed stitch collar, and put some buttons on it. And take a gazillion pictures of my nephew wearing it. OH BOY! His first birthday party is this weekend… It seems like this was only yesterday.
Time flies.
In other crafty news, I may have been dabbling in some sewing. Er, quilting. Well, I’m not quite to the quilting part yet. I guess I’m piecing. A while ago, my lovely sister Michelle gave me an enormous stack of Amy Butler sampler squares, and I’m using some of them to play. Disclaimer: I don’t know much about quilting. For now, I’m just practicing cutting things and sewing in a straight line.

logcabin.jpg
Log cabin. Sort of.



logcabin2.jpg
Pieces.

One day, I will actually make a large quantity of squares, sew them together, and make a quilt.
Until then, I will play and cut and sew, and maybe make a pillow. Or a dress for a sock monkey.
It’s been very nice lately: work is quiet, it’s hot outside, our flowers are blooming, and most major decisions about our wedding are made. That leaves more time for knitting and playing the Wii with Jacob. And watching ridiculous amounts of television. That’s what summers are for.
Now, if you’re feeling curious, click on the extended entry for 8 random things. I was tagged by Jeanne of Knitty Banter, and I’m feeling sort of random today, so here ya go!

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