Posts Tagged ‘ gift ’

UFO: little pink sweater

I started this baby ballet sweater more than a year ago to give to a little girl born right before Mr. O.

ballet blossom cardigan because new friend is lovely

Got 90 percent done – it was all knitted and partly sewn together – and hit a roadblock. I didn’t like the seams, I didn’t know how to neatly attach the wrap binding to the edge. I put it down.

ballet blossom cardigan because new friend is lovely

It sat. She grew. It sat some more. I swore off seamed sweaters and moved on to one-piecers. She’s way too big now and has been for many months.

ballet blossom cardigan because new friend is lovely

But 2015 is the year of finishing, of using up, of enjoying. So I picked it back up, decided it wasn’t bad and finished sewing her together. She will find a home with a sweet little girl who just popped out last month.

ballet blossom cardigan because new friend is lovely


ballet blossom cardigan because new friend is lovely

Details here c/o Ravelry.


Whenever you’re ready, little girl

Little niece, you can come out now.

cardigan because niece is born

Plain cardigan by Heidi and Anna Pickles. White cotton, pale pink dome buttons from the button box. Smallest size – NB to 3 mos – so she can wear it right away. The little girl, who now is a few days overdue, lives in the desert and by 6 mos won’t really need a sweater!

I like the garter edges and the overall simplicity of the pattern. Should be easy to button her into.

cardigan because niece is born

cardigan because niece is born

Will wrap and mail once we know she’s out safely.

cardigan because niece is born

This pattern gave me a whole bunch of trouble (details here) but I’m pleased with the result. The asymmetry is unintentional but cute.


Wrangling pins and such

Right before this baby was born, a lady friend sent me a present. For me. Which was rare at that time. So very appreciated.


It’s a happy bunch of Peruvian ladies. For pins and such.

I just keep them by my machine. They’re good for morale.

For pins and such, I like a knife bar. It’s magnetic, so everything sticks. I almost mounted it on the wall, but realized while it’s free, I can use it like a wand to pick up spilled pins and needles and all.


Seam guide. Scissors sharpener. Machine foot. Washers for weighing.




I should just give up already

So cute, right? Practice skirts to get back into “real” pattern sewing for my niece. I thought the waist seemed huge for an almost 6-yo, but what did I know? Followed the measurements as supplied to me.

zebra skirt finished

Did a full lining, sewing it in under the waistband and under the hem so no ugly edges showed. Loved this pattern because there was no hem to do. Just a fold over and sew. I *really* hate hemming.

zebra skirt waist

The pink’s from her corduroy Christmas dress last year, the one tragically et up in a house fire. The zebra’s her favorite print.

zebra skirt lining

Yeah. It didn’t fit. Way too big.


How to…make one maternity T out of two Ts

mama shirt-after

This surgery makes a cute maternity top with hip sash from a small plain T-shirt and a giant logo-printed shirt. You use the logo shirt as a sort of pocket for the big belly.

Make sure the top T-shirt fits the top of your lady’s frame. mama shirt-base
Measure where the belly starts to protrude (right under the bosom) and mark with chalk. Carefully cut across the front (only the front) of the shirt. To open the sides up, measure about an inch away from the T’s side seam on the front and cut.

Figure out where you want the logo to go.
mama shirt-logo
Cut across the giant T right below the arms, and slice up the back to open up the fabric. Fit the logo into the front and trim accordingly. The logo fabric should hang down below the hem of the plain T a few inches.   

Chop off the hem of the giant shirt. mama shirt-hem
If you have room, chop  off a few inches at the bottom of the giant shirt and put that fabric aside to reuse the finished hem.

Gather the logo. mama shirt-gather front
With a long basting stitch, baste the top of the logo piece and along the sides. Pin the center top of the logo piece to the center of the plain front. Pull the gathering threads until the it fits. Pin. Baste in place if you like.

Fit the sides. Pull the gathering threads on the sides of the logo piece, too, fitting the fabric along the base T’s sides. Pin. Baste if you like and sew into place. Sew the top, too. (I used a wide zigzag.) 

Finish the bottom. If you chopped off the hem of the giant T, pin roughly the center back of it to one side of the shirt. Pin along so you have a sort of sash at the bottom, easing so the sash ends up longer than the shirt. Remember the front of your new shirt is a lot bigger than the back. Stitch.


mama shirt-after

Big Poppa for Teeny Baby

My dear friends are getting a baby in a few weeks. So of course we made them some presents. The bebe gets a blanky, a giant square of a blanky crocheted from fun Hobby Lobby yarn in circus colors. Mama, like me, isn’t into pastels and is convinced the most unisex color of all is red.

Mama I adore, but Poppa is my colleague and original tie to the family. And since we’re not particularly into indulging the demands of teeny babies, Poppa — our loyal date to summer rock and roll concerts, our link to Boris and the Hold Steadies — has our sympathy and especial love.

Poppa also has fab taste in music and a demeanor best described as  generally nonplussed. At any rate, he’s not into pastel schtuff either, and wasn’t likely to receive any special presents at this weekend’s bebefest, so we made him one to treasure.

And he did love it when we called him, at the shower, Big Poppa, comme ca:

 daddy shirt-after

Really. My mister is loving freezer paper stencils since watching me craft a Halloween costume from a yellow t-shirt. We were Pat Hughes and Ron Santo of WGN’s The Pat and Ron Show, and since Pat – the literal play-by-play broadcast man is so very boring, I had to invent his costume and dress him in a t-shirt of one of the show’s sponsors, Square D, (Part of the Power of Wrigley Field).

But I digress. Mister saw the custom Square-D shirt and became convinced we could copy the method. So we fought over WHICH Biggie Smalls song to print onto a shirt. He voted for the “One More Chance Remix”, featuring the opening lyric, “First things first, I Papa,” and continuing in a filthy manner.

It’s not that  I vetoed, it’s only that I had to cut out the letters and “Big Poppa,” as in, “I love it when they call me”, would be easier to chop out of freezer paper and also would fit better across Poppa’s front.

Anyway, enjoy the effect of a freezer paper stencil. We used this velveteen finish paint from the JoJo if only because it was the only black finish available in the small bottle. 

daddy shirt-texture

I’d buy it again specially since it worked very simply; you wait until the paint dries, then hold your very steamy iron about half an inch away and watch the paint rise and get a velvety texture. Plus it comes readily at the JoJo.

daddy shirt-design after
If I had Poppa’s shirt to do again, I might have the Mister cut out the other parts of the design. Maybe we cut the wrong negative space???

Anyhoo, my how-to is here.