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They really do make it look SO easy on Project Runway.  Sewing is hard, especially if you are a newbie.  Making a “simple” dress is hard, especially for a newbie.  Sewing in an invisible zipper is hard, especially for a newbie. Here’s the dress, minus the sash and sewn hem line.

It’s safe to say that this dress got the better half of me today.  At one point, I wanted to burn it on the spot.  On the bright side, I learned a LOT of new things while sewing this dress:

  • I like to knit a LOT more than I like to sew.
  • Working with fabric other than cotton is tough to get used to at first (fabric is dupioni silk).
  • Zippers take patience.
  • Sewing good, takes practice.
  • I need more practice.
  • I need more patience.
  • I like to knit a LOT more than I like to sew.

I am glad I made this dress though.  My niece is so damn cute that no one will even be looking at my sewing skills.  Plus, the sash is going to cover up some of my “mistakes”.

PS – I am done with my projects for my sister’s wedding and it feels DAMN GOOD.

The last couple of months have been rather busy.  If you are friends with me on Ravelry.com you may have noticed the multitude of baby patterns that I have been adding to my favorites and queue.  I have good reason for this as I am currently 13 weeks pregnant!!  We are super excited to welcome ‘Baby K’ into the world on or around March 8, 2011!   In between all of the morning sickness, working, taking care of our son and teaching a knitting class, I somehow managed to whip up a new pattern! 

The Knitted Baby Onsie is a great first garment piece for a beginner, a super quick baby shower gift or a stash buster project (only takes one skein!).  On September 18th I will be teaching a class at The Knitting Nest to show you exactly how to make this!   In the class, I will also be teaching a tutorial on how to attach the snap button closures and the cute little fabric patch embellishment.  No sewing machine required! 

The ridiculously adorable fabric can be found at this Etsy shop called ‘A Little Sweetness‘.  This artist designs her own fabric and then prints it via spoonflower.com.  WAY cool!  The shop owner also has a bunch of embroidery patterns and she loves the aqua/red combo.  If we have a baby girl, I will definitely be picking up this kit:  Little Red Riding Hood Dress.

So yeah, Baby K  is on his or her way!  So far everything is looking great.  We’ve had an ultrasound and also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  We are going to wait until the baby’s birth to find out the gender (such an awesome surprise!!).  Also saving the name announcement until then as well.

Download the Knitted Baby Onsie Pattern here:

Knitted Baby Onsie by Fiber Fervor

PATTERN ERRATA:
Row 3 should read: K1 Kf&b, K11, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K8, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K14, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K8, Kf&b, SM, Kf&b, K3 (63 stitches)

*I am still working on different sizing for the pattern.  Please email me with any questions you may have.  Also, if you find a mistake, please let me know that as well!  I am very new to the pattern writing scene!  fiberfervor@gmail.com

I couldn’t resist.  The mermaids just speak to me.  I love how whimsical and fun this fabric line is!   The Mendocino collection is just one of many out of print rediculously adorable Heather Ross fabrics out there.  Lately I have become obsessed with the ‘Lightning Bugs and Other Mysteries’ line.  Go ahead, google it and proceed to become addicted…

OK, back to the mermaids.  After the first tote I made, I decided to make a couple of mods.  For starters, I wanted a deeper tote.  One that can hold magazines or books or knitting supplies.  Kept the quilting the same and then changed the straps.  The straps on this bag are more sturdy than the previous.  This tote is deep enough so that it does not require any type of closure.  The inside of the bag features a single pocket. 

With all of this sewing fantastic-ness going on in my house, my head is swimming with ideas.  I have plans for different styles of bags, clutches and zippers!  Yes, I am going to be brave and venture into the land of zippers.  I also have the pattern and material for a new, what I am going to call “couch quilt”.  Please stay tunned!!

 

 

I had a pretty craft-tastic weekend.  3 projects were completed and I even learned a new technique!  Now, for those of you who are experienced sewers, this may not seem all that impressive, but, I made a bag with pleats AND piping! 

Don’t you just LOVE this fabric?  It is Echino by Etsuko Furuya and is a cotton/linen blend.  The fabric is sturdy enough for a bag without having to use any interfacing.  The pattern is my own.  I have seen bags like this in stores and on etsy.com and I just love the shape/style.  It is big enough to hold the important stuff, but not overwhelmingly huge.  For the lining, I used Kona Cotton in eggplant. 

Just a couple of months ago I could not sew a straight line to save my life and now, check it out…pleats AND piping detail!  I have come a LONG way.

The back of the bag features two antelope grazing.  I just love this fabric.   

Shown in this photo is the interior of the bag.  I included a small pocket that features a friendly giraffe. 

From start to finish, the project took about 3 hours.  I plan on making more with different fabrics and embellishments and hope to put them up for sale in my Etsy store.  I would love to hear what you look for in a bag.  Do you like a big or compact bag?  Pockets?  If yes, how many?  What kind?  Long strap or shoulder strap?  What do you look for when purchasing a new bag?  Please tell me what you think!

All I wanted to do this weekend was complete at least one project.  With Hunter’s space quilt nearing closer and closer to its end, I thought for sure it would be on his bed by Sunday.  I had been making good time on the quilt and by Saturday evening, I sat down at my sewing machine, quilt sandwich in hand and ready to quilt that bad boy.  I really thought the quilting process was going to be the easiest part of this project.

‘Easy’ is far from accurate when describing what I experienced next.  Not only was the big ass quilt (only a twin size!) heavy, it was also completely awkward to hold and feed through the machine.  To top it all off, after ONE horizontal line, my machine got so jammed up that it simply stopped working.  The needle was jammed (stuck) all the way down and would NOT come up.  Eventually I had to unscrew everything and pull the needle out through where the bobbin is located.  I then cursed a bunch, which is always how my Mom gets her machine to work.  When that didn’t work, I phoned my Mom.  She too was at a loss and advised that I walk away from the machine.  It’s a good thing I took her advice, otherwise, there probably would have been a broken window and a sewing machine on my front lawn.  Tears of frustration were literally welling up in my eyes. 

The next morning I ventured back into my craft room and sat down at my machine.  I gave it some love, turned it on and to my surprise, it actually worked.  Turns out, my machine was only “nearly dead”.  Did a little oiling and a little testing and voila, my machine is now running great.   A great lesson was learned from all of this…  Knitting does not require relying on a machine.

Coming soon….  Ring Bearer Pillow! 

I have been sewing like a mad woman lately and my son seems to be very interested in what I am creating.  Yesterday he asked me if I would make his blanket.  The fabric has been stashed for a couple of months now and it’s about time I put it all together.  I made a fun afternoon activity out of it by having him help me lay all of the squares out.  The rules were simple – no two of the same square can touch. 

While we were laying out the squares, Hunter reminded me every single time (literally) I placed a new square that “no two of the same can touch Mommy”.  He did a really great job.  In fact, he placed most of the squares. 

When we were all finished, he wanted to “test” out his new blanket: 

Now, I just have to piece it all together…

Outer Space Quilt specs:

Since this is my very first quilt, I am making it super simple.  Each square is 8 inches by 8 inches.  The quilt is 8 squares wide and 12 squares tall.  According to my calculations, this should fit Hunter’s twin bed perfectly.

Last year, I stumbled upon some amazing fabric designed by Heather Ross.  From sea turtles to mermaids, the ocean inspired fabric is 100% cotton and super soft.  Since the fabric line is now discontinued, it can be pretty hard to come by.  Luckily I scored some a little while back.  It’s been sitting on my shelf for some time now and about a week ago, I finally decided on a project.  A tote bag!

The outer part of the bag is quilted, as well as the outer pocket.  These quilted pieces give the tote extra sturdiness, which I find is a requirement in a good tote bag.  I really wanted to feature the mermaids as they are my favorite part of the entire bag.  While the handles are not quilted, they do have a layer of batting for some extra support.

The lining (and handles too) is this super cute sea horse pattern.  I really cannot get enough of this fabric line!

This project was a lot of fun!  I think I am officially hooked on sewing.  Compared to knitting, sewing is light years faster.  Almost like instant gratification.  I was chatting with my Mom the other day and I confessed that I may have a new addiction to fabric.  She commented that I just have an addiction to textiles in general. Needless to say, I have many more bags lined up to make.  Can one really have too many bags?

As soon as my craft room was set up, I felt this compulsion to make something.  For the last couple of weeks I have been drooling over quilts, fabrics and sewing books.  I checked out the book ‘Weekend Sewing‘ by Heather Ross (one of my FAV fabric designers!!) from my local library and knew right away I needed to make the ‘Flower Girl Dress’ for my rediculously adorable niece. 

Once the fabric was cut, the entire dress took about an hour to put together.  The intructions in the book were very clear (even for a very, very beginner sewer!).  This is actually the first garmet I have ever made and I couldn’t be more proud of myself!!   This project was SO satisfying and has only fueled me to sew more. 

See that in the photo above?  Look a little closer…  It’s an almost straight line!  Practice makes perfect right?  Something tells me this will not be last last dress I make!  In fact, I have a gazillion ideas stewing in my head now.  I never really thought I could have room for another craft in my life.  Especially one that is not yarn related.  Turns out, I totally do. 

Now I just have to patiently wait til sometime in June when my niece passes through Austin with her family.  I hope she is just as excited to wear this dress as I am to give it to her!