Craftmas in July: Ornaments!

For the last couple of years, a few friends and I have done Craftmas in July. In years past, I’ve had grand plans, and not really followed through with them. As usual, I love planning but don’t always do a great job of finishing.

So, this year, I’ve decided to keep it simple and have a theme! My theme for this Craftmas will be ornaments.  I love small projects, so I think focusing on smaller things will help me to actually finish them. I also have this dream of making ornaments for each family member and making those be the tags on their gifts. I don’t know if I’ll get there, but it will be fun to try!

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My initial inspiration for this theme was this awesome Star of Butin pattern. I am going to make the multicolored one and hope to tackle this during Craftmas. I already know I’m going to want to keep this one for myself.

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This week, I checked out some library books and went through my bookshelf to find some inspiration. Can’t go wrong with a little Martha Stewart! I also hit up Pinterest and made a board for ornament ideas. I’m going to try not to plan too far ahead, and instead make a list of ornament options to consult when I finish each ornament. Luckily, there are lots of ornament projects that use things I already have (fabric scraps, ribbon, etc), so I shouldn’t have to make too many runs to the craft store.

My crafty mojo has been a bit hard to find lately, but I think Craftmas in July is just what I need to get it going again. We’d love for you to join us, even if only for one Christmas related project during the month of July! If you do, I’d love to hear about your Craftmas projects.  It’s a million degrees outside, so if you’re looking for me, I’ll be in the air-conditioning making stuff and pretending it’s Christmas time.

Zig Zag Dress

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I finished my dress from Cal Patch’s Pattern Drafting with Knits class!  I am pretty happy with my first attempt at my updated pattern for working with knits, though it was not without its challenges. Some of the challenges were self inflicted (“I know this isn’t what Cal recommended, but I’m going to try this” bad idea), and others were just growing pains as I began to learn the techniques she shares. The dress almost got thrown out of the window this weekend due to my frustration when things didn’t work out well initially, but I’m really glad I persevered.

The color is the most accurate in the top image, but I still wanted to share a few more views of the dress. There are a few things that I will do differently next time. It turned out too big in the underarm area. I will adjust the pattern to correct that next time. This time, I just added another seam about 1/2″ in from the original seam. Also, the hem is a bit ripply. I will try a twin needle hem next time to see if that fixes it.  Finally, I didn’t do the greatest job finishing the armholes and neckline, but it was my first attempt at using elastic around the neck and armholes to finish a knit. I will play with that a bit and see if I can improve it. It’s just an issue of practice, I think.

Overall, I ended up with a very wearable dress that is super comfortable. I’m sure I will be wearing it a ton this summer. I’m excited to play more with the pattern from this class. I think my next step is a tank top (or two or three).

Five Things on Friday

Here are a few things that are on my mind today.

  1. We planted some container plants a few weeks ago and we’re starting to get tomatoes and peppers, as you can see above! We have a cherry tomato plant, grape tomato plant and a couple of jalapeño plants, all of which are going strong. Something is eating one of my basil plants, but I moved things around to make it harder for them to get to it, so hopefully that will help.
  2. Teacher Appreciation week is coming up. Our schools do it in May. I tend to forget about this until the weekend before and then I just throw something together, but I really enjoy putting fun gifts together for the boys’ teachers, so I’m going to try to do a few things ahead of time to avoid the scramble. I’ve started a Pinterest board of ideas if this is something you’ll be doing, too.
  3. We still have two months before the oldest is out of school, but I’m in the midst of summer planning. Summer this year will include a trip to the beach, some days of entertaining C1 while I work and our first try at swim team. Lots of fun in store, but I want to do as much planning ahead of time as I can to make it as relaxed as possible.
  4. Jason and C1 are going camping this weekend. It’s a boy scout campout and C1 likes these to be just with dad. I am a little bummed to miss out on the time outside, but C2 and I have a lot of fun planned.
  5. Last night, I couldn’t decide what to watch so I just watched Carpool Karaoke videos. Oh man, this Adele one is my favorite. I’m sure I’m the last person to watch it but, just in case, go watch it if you haven’t already!

Pattern Drafting with Knits

I took Cal Patch’s pattern drafting class and made a couple of tops and a couple of dresses with patterns made from it a couple of years ago. I was really excited for Cal’s Pattern Drafting with Knits class, but have only just found the time to bust out the sewing machine again, since last year was consumed with moving.

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I still had my pattern from the first class, and this class takes that pattern and adjusts it to make it work with knits. You can see my original pattern on the left, then the middle one is the one I traced from that and taped up to adjust for knits per the class and the one on the right is the pattern I used for the bodice on the dress I’m making. The one on the right has the front neckline cut out of it, which is why it looks a bit different. I saved the piece and pinned it to that pattern, you can see it at the top there, so I can tape it back together if I make another one.

I find Cal’s Creativebug classes to be very straightforward. She really does make Pattern Drafting easy. In the knits class, she shows you exactly what measurements to take and where to mark and tape to adjust the original pattern for knits, and she has some great tips for working with knits, as well.

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When I tried on the top of this bodice, it was magic! It fit so perfectly! I still need to finish the armholes and neckline, and hem it. I wanted to take a bit of time to decide the length, so I’ve worn a couple of dresses this week to decide which length I want for this dress. I am excited about my dress in progress, but even more excited about making some t-shirts and tank tops using this pattern this summer.

Crackerjack Plans

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I have a plan for my Crackerjack and I’m SO excited! For those who aren’t familiar, the Crackerjack is a recipe for an infinity scarf worked in stripes where the colors each represent the wins and losses of your baseball team. We don’t have many opportunities here to wear a big infinity scarf, though I do love them, so I am going to make mine into a blanket. Here’s a bit about how I came to this decision.

First off, I searched Ravelry for striped blankets. I knew I wanted to keep it simple and the simplest concept seemed to be strips of fabric with the stripes indicating the wins, losses, etc. At first I thought I might have one blanket represent three seasons, with a strip for each season. There were a couple of lovely blankets that caught my eye that gave me an idea of what this would look like. However, I don’t know if I want to drag it out that long. Then, I ran across this blanket with one row of stripes and then color blocking, and I think that might be the ticket! I’ll make one long strip with the stripes representing the season, and then I can add the color blocks and a border at the end of the season.

Or, I’ll decide I’m tired of it at that point and drag it out for three seasons like the original idea. It’s nice to have options!

To keep it extra simple, I think I’m going to do it in garter stitch. I looked at some garter stitch scarves and I love how they look in stripes, and I also just love the cozy squishiness of garter stitch. Plus, it means I never have to purl which is an added bonus for me.

I’m really excited for a new baseball season and I hope I can keep up with my Crackerjack this time. Go Astros!

Five on Friday

 

 Just a few random things that I’m thinking about today (and a random picture of C2’s Dino watching him eat breakfast this morning).

  1. A couple of years ago, Stacey came up with the great idea of the Crackerjack pattern!  I started one that year, but failed to complete it…truth be told, I didn’t make it very far at all. This year is my year! I’m going to the home opening day for the Astros and I will make a Crackerjack of some kind this year. I’m trying to decide between the original infinity scarf or maybe something else using the same concept. Season starts next week, so it’s decision time!
  2. I’m working on some socks for Jason. They have been slow going, but I’m making some good progress on the first one now. I wanted to have them done by the time he rides the MS150 in two weeks, but I’m not sure if I’ll make it.  
  3. I’m in spring cleaning mode big time over here.  This weekend the goal will be to get the boys’ room back under control. All of their clothes need to be switched out for spring/summer clothes and I need to get rid of more toys since they keep multiplying.
  4. C1 (who is 8) is super into April Fools’ Day this year. I started off the day giving the boys “frozen” milk. It was pretty fun. 
  5. I’m in the midst of sorting summer day camps, travels, swim team, etc. for C1. He has exciting times ahead of him, but man, it’s some work.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Making Plans

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I sew one skirt and decide I need to sew my wardrobe. I guess that’s how it goes! At least I have a little while to get things together before Me Made May.  I have purchased a couple of pairs of shorts for this spring and summer, but I’m hopeful that I can sew much of what I need to round out my wardrobe. Here’s what I have planned:

  1. Lark Tee – I purchased this shirt pattern as soon as it came out as I basically wear t-shirts daily and would love to make my own. I think I will make the scoop neck first and go from there!  I love how many options the pattern gives you.
  2. Items from the Cal Patch Pattern Drafting for Knits class – I have made a few items (here’s one) from the patterns in Cal’s original pattern drafting class on Creativebug, but haven’t given the knits class a go, so I’m hoping to make that happen. I would love to make a dress, along with some basic tanks to add to the wardrobe. The picture at the top of this post is the stack of knits that is waiting for me for the Lark tee and for the items made from this class.
  3. More Everyday Skirts – I would love to make at least one or two more of these. My next one will be in a print, but I think another basic staple color would be good, too. I just need to decide what color I need. I may wait to see how some of the tops develop to decide what solid skirt to make.

I’m excited to get sewing, now I just have to figure out how to carve out more time to do it! Anyone else have spring/summer sewing plans?