Thursday, August 21, 2014

Baby Buddy!

Two couples in my church are expecting babies in the fall, and we recently had a mini-baby-shower for the two couples combined.

I didn't know what exactly to do, but I knew they had both expressed appreciation for handmade items, so when I saw this as an example "one-skein-project" for a particular yarn in a bitty shop, I couldn't say no!

Here are the two buddies!  What do you think?

Ravelry Pattern
Ravelry Project: Purple
Ravelry Project: Yellow

Friday, August 15, 2014

Carry-On Bag Liner: Instructions

Before I left for my fantastic family reunion, I whipped up a quick Day-Bag to take with me as my carry on, based on the DayTripper Bag I found on Pinterest.  However, I knew that my bag needs were left desperately unsatisfied by the liner provided in the bad tutorial, so I designed a new one.

Here is the pattern, as promised, for the new bag.  In this tutorial, I will be re-making a half-size version of the bag as I go using paper.

All seam allowances are 1/2" unless otherwise stated.


  • 1 yard of the main fabric (brown fabric/ printed paper)
  • 1 yard of the lining fabric (yellow fabric/ plain paper)
  • 1.25 yards of stiff, iron-on interfacing, such as the kind that comes on a bolt
  • .5 yards of thin, iron-on interfacing, such as the kind that comes in a folded package in notions
  • two buttons
  • thread
Directions: Bag Outside
    Figure 1
  • Cut your fabrics into 15" x 22" pieces.  You will need (1) piece in your lining color and (3) pieces of your main color.
  • Iron the thick interfacing onto (1) of your main color pieces and (1) of your lining color pieces.  Iron your thinner interfacing onto (2) of your main color pieces; these two will become your "front-pocket" pieces.  Set all un-interfaced pieces aside.
  • (Figure 1)
    Figure 2

    Place your two front-pocket pieces right sides together and fold them in half to measure 15" x 11".  Measure 3" down the folded side and mark; then, draw a curved line from that mark back up to the corner, and seam along that line.  Cut the excess off, trim the curve, turn the pieces right-side out and press.  Top-stitch at 5/8" and 1/8".  This will become the front pocket.
  • (Figures 2 and 3)
    Figure 3

    Place the lining piece with interfacing on the table with the right side facing up, and place the front pocket on top of it.  Then, place the main piece with the interfacing on the pile with the right side facing down.  Line up the pieces as precisely as possible and pin them together.  Then, measure, mark, and cut two three inch squares out of the bottom corners of the pile.
  • (Figure 4)
    Figure 4

    Seam across the sides and bottom of the pile, and then square the corners.  Turn the piece right side out.  The inside will have the interfacing showing.  You have now completed the outside of the bag.
Directions: Bag Lining
  • Cut your lining fabric into the following pieces:
    • (2) 18 inches x 15 inches
    • (2) 10 inches x 15 inches
    • (2) 7 inches x 7.5 inches
    • (2) 11 inches x 5 inches
    • (2) 8 inches x 7 inches
  • Take both 8x7 pieces and seam them, right sides together, almost all the way around with a half-inch seam allowance.  Then, turn this piece inside out, and seam it all the way around at 5/8" and 1/8" from the edge.  Repeat this with both the 11x5 inch pieces and the 7x7.5 inch pieces.

  • (Figure 5)
    Place the larger lining pieces right side up, and lay these pieces on top of the corresponding pieces, as seen in Figure 5-a, b, and c, and then sew over the pre-existing 1/8" seam, as seen in Figure 5-d, so that these smaller pieces become pockets.  If you prefer to divide the pockets, particularly the larger one, for phones, pencils, or whatnot, then simply add an extra line where you want the division to be.  Be aware, though, that the more you separate them, the less the top will open, so, particularly for pencil-sized pockets, you might want to ruffle the bottom a bit so you get more room.
    • Note: if you prefer to have the pocket for the "smaller" section on the outer edge, you can complete the next step first for the 10x15 pieces, and then return to attatching the pocket over the seam.
    Figure 5
  • Place the two 18x15 lining pieces, right sides together, and square the edges, as with the outside sections.  Repeat with the 10x15 pieces.  Sew the seams open at 5/8" and 1/8" on ONE side seam of each pocket.
  • You now have two pockets that will fit exactly in the outer shell.  Press the top edges over half an inch.  Line the two pieces up, un-sewn-seam to un-sewn-seam, and sew at 1/8" and 5/8" to join the pockets.  Place your finished lining in your outer shell, and whip-stitch by hand across the top layers, keeping the ends tucked in.  Seam the top edge again at 5/8" and 1/8".
  • As a finishing touch, measure how long you want your straps to be, including 4-5 inches extra to attach them to the bag (mine measure 29-30 inches).  Cut two pieces of main fabric 4 inches x length measurement, and fold them each in half lengthwise, with right sides together.  Sew along the edge, with a half-inch seam allowance, almost all the way around, and then turn them inside out, so that you have two strip-tubes that are 1.5 inches x length-1inch.  Press them flat and sew a seam at 1/4" from each edge.  Measure and mark where you will attach them to the bag, and then do so, sewing 4-5 horizontal lines, about 1/4" apart, on each strap-end.
Congrats on your finished bag!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Becca Shawl

I got engaged.  I made the wedding party gifts. I got married.

My husband and I both realized that we had good friends we wanted to thank for basically being our "unofficial attendants."

The groomsmen were easy.  I made two extra BEERds for the gentlemen in question.

The bridesmaids, not as much.  I had made them shawls, and I knew that realistically, the first lovely lady would never wear a shawl.  So instead, I made her a series of earrings (totally up her alley).

This second lady, though.  She would wear a shawl.  But I didn't want to make her another one just like the bridesmaids.  I have a strict list of projects that I'm working on, and I'm only allowed to buy more one I finish a few, so by the time that I got around to purchasing the yarn for this shawl, it was too late to really make her an identical shawl, and I wanted to give her something personal, anyway.

I also had recently gotten all four Jane Austen Knits magazines from my husband.  Ergo, I found the perfect shawl, for a lovely lady who appreciates that style as much as I do, and found just the perfect yarn on knitpicks.  And here is the finished project, my friends.  What do you think?

I sent it out last week, so lets hope she gets it before she reads this!