Friday, May 30, 2014

Pillowcase Dresses - Example 3

This is the third post in the Pillowcase Dress series.  Click here to see the first and second posts.

This dress has one side made of a blue-plaid pillowcase.  The pocket, as you can see, is made from yellow scraps (I had a lot of them), with a tad-bit of left-over blue bias tape as an embellishment, matching the top edging.

The other side is made of a green and blue striped pillowcase, with a slightly darker green scrap as the pocket.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Pillowcase Dresses - Example 2

This is the second post in the Pillowcase Dress series.  For those of you who missed it, click here to see the first post.

Today, I'm going to talk about the second dress I've made, with a blue edged pillowcase and a flower-patterned pillowcase.  You can see that I used a striped scrap with light blue and light green for a pocket, as well as another yellow scrap.  This time, I used light green bias-tape for the top edging.


Monday, May 26, 2014

Pillowcase Dresses - Example 1

I've been on a little hiatus for the past week.  There have been several things that have come up recently in my personal life that have made it pretty hard to keep up with my blogging.  However, I'm back on track (mostly) and am kicking off a new series on Pillowcase Dresses!

These really are a fantastic thing to have in your repertoire.  I started making them about a year ago, when the church I attended back in Rochester, Trinity Alliance Church (ps: I'm on the front page!).  One of the events the women's group hosted was a giant sewing party for Dress a Girl Around the World, an organization that strives to get pillowcase dresses with labels into the hands of young girls in Africa.  You see, a new dress is a sign of value, and many young girls only ever get hand-me-downs, which makes them more susceptible to victimization (it's easier to take someone if you don't think anyone will be looking for them).  The labels on the dresses serve to affiliate the girls not only with value, but also with an organization that is looking out for them, and therefore decrease their vulnerability, as well as help their self-value.

Well, in case you haven't heard, the past year was a bit hectic, and so I vowed to finish a few dresses that I had started and ship them off to the church when I finished.  They were done a few months ago, but I'm just now getting a chance to post about them.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting examples of dresses that I have made, ending with a tutorial.  Keep these in mind for any younguns in your life -- they're easy to whip-up and great for scraps!

All of my dresses are double-sided, and so to start, I'm going to post about two dresses that I made that look nearly identical.

As you can see, one side of the dress is made of a plain, tan pillowcase.  I sewed on a pocket for decoration out of an old forest green and tan gingham scrap I had.


The other side is made of a blocked red, orange, yellow, tan and pink with texture stripes.  I took a scrap piece of yellow fabric for the pocket, as well as a scrap of orange rick-rack for embellishment.

The neckline and armpit holes are made of double-fold bias tape in a complimentary orange shade.  The shoulders are tied in bows or knots, so they are adjustable.

What do you think?  Has anyone made one of these before?  How did it work out?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Zig-Zag Dishcloth (PATTERN)

I previously posted about the second set of dishcloths I made from Aunt Vi's yarn.  Today, I'd like to share the pattern I used for the "zig-zag" dishcloth.

You will need:

  • Scraps of yarn (about 50 yards)
  • Size 6 knitting needles
  • Cast on stitches in a multiple of 6 (I used 36)
  • Row 1 (Base Row): (k3, p3) to end
  • Row 2: k2, (p3, k3) to last 4 stitches, p3, k1
  • Row 3: p2, (k3, p3) to last 4 stitches, k3, p1
  • Row 4: (p3, k3) to end
  • Row 5: k1, (p3, k3) to last 5 stitches, p3, k2
  • Row 6:  p1, (k3, p3) to last 5 stitches, k3, p2
  • Row 7 (Base Row): (k3, p3) to end
  • Row 8: p1, (k3, p3) to last 5 stitches, k3, p2
  • Row 9: k1, (p3, k3) to last 5 stitches, p3, k2
  • Row 10: (p3, k3) to end
  • Row 11: p2, (k3, p3) to last 4 stitches, k3, p1
  • Row 12: k2, (p3, k3) to last 4 stitches, p3, k1
  • Row 13 (Base Row): (k3, p3) to end
  • Repeat rows 2-13 as necessary.

As you can see in this pattern, you start with a base row (Rows 1, 7, and 13), then angle left for 5 rows, repeat the base row, angle right for 5 rows, and repeat the base row to start over again.

Hopefully this is clear and let me know how it goes!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Lopsided Dishcloth (PATTERN)

Previously, I posted about using Aunt Vi's yarn for dishcloths in two posts.  Here, I'd like to share the pattern I used for my fifth Dishcloth, which I've called the Lopsided Dishcloth.

You will need:

  • Scraps of yarn (about 50 yards)
  • Size 6 needles
  • Cast on stitches in a multiple of 3 (I did 39)
  • Row 1: (k2, p1) to the end
  • Row 2: repeat Row 1
  • Row 3: k1, p1, (k2, p1) until there's 1 stitch left, k1
  • Row 4: repeat Row 3
  • Row 5: (p1, k2) to the end
  • Row 6: repeat Row 5
  • Repeat Rows 1-6 until you are satisfied with the length.  Bind off and weave in ends.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dishcloth Update (2)

As you've seen, I've already started using Aunt Vi's Yarn as three dishcloths.  Here's the second set.

The first is a simple seed stitch, and I'll be posting the patterns for the second two soon!  Stay posted!

Ravelry Pattern: Seed Stitch | Ravelry Project: Seed Stitch
Ravelry Pattern: Lopsided | Ravelry Project: Lopsided
Ravelry Pattern: Zig-Zag | Ravelry Project: Zig-Zag

If you like this, you might like:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My First Quilt Top

Quilting.  It's one of those things that I've always wanted to do and never gotten around to.

Until now.

My hubby's cousin is pregnant with her third child, and it's the first birth since I've been in the family.  I couldn't decide what to do.  Should I make a blanket?  A hat?  Booties?  I wasn't sure.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Dishcloth Update

Remember Aunt Vi?

For those of you who don't, she was my hubby's Great Aunt, close to the family, and she recently passed, leaving a mini stash of yarn, which was shipped to me, as the only yarn enthusiast in the family.  I posted about my reaction after having been sent this yarn and being unsure of how to use it.)

I decided to make dishcloths from the yarn and give them out to the family at Christmas.  Here are the first three:

Ravelry Pattern
Ravelry Project

If you like this post, you might like:

Friday, May 2, 2014

Homemade Disinfecting Wipes

Getting on the Simplicity wagon means doing things for myself, being in charge of my own home, and being able to simplify my consumerism.  It also means using fewer processed foods and cleaning supplies to keep my body on simple, wholesome nutrients.  And therefore I bring you home-made Disinfecting Wipes!

I started using these a few weeks ago, and I'm here to report that they work wonderfully.

The recipe I use right now comes from, but I have been experimenting with other combinations and I'll be sure to let you know how it goes!

You will need:

  • 1 large-ish glass jar
  • a decent amount of rags or cut up t-shirts
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 c distilled white vinegar
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 8 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • Pour water, vinegar, and essential oils into a cup.  Swirl the contents to mix them.
  • Squish as many rags or squares as you can into the jar, and pour the mixture over them.  Tighten the lid to store.
  • As needed, pull out a rag and clean a surface.  When you're done, put the rag in a "dirty rag" box or basket, and then just throw them in the wash next time!
A few hints:
  • If you mix the liquids in the jar itself, then squish the rags in, it would be best to store the jar upside down for the first few days to get all of the rags wet.
  • The lid will be nearly impossible to get of the first time.  You might need two people.  If that's a problem, use some tinfoil or cling wrap that's secured tightly with a rubber band instead.
  • I have a bog pile of rags that I've cut up and I just squish in as many as I need.  Don't worry about folding or rolling them.
  • Use a jar with a wide enough opening that you can get your hand in to grab the rags.
Best of luck!