As I'm going through old posts to link to the previous jacket I made from this pattern, it becomes obvious to me that...I never blogged it! Well, too late now. But there's at least a photo of it in action in this post.
The pattern is the Uptown Girl Jacket, and I adore it. Two years ago, when I first acquired the pattern, it wasn't available here in the US. (Or at least not in any way I could easily get it.) So a friend, who had made the jacket for her daughter, let me borrow hers. But now, you lucky folks, it's available as a PDF! Yay! And, oh the excitement, it now comes in larger sizes! Hooray!
Last time, I made the size 2 for E, shortly before her 2nd birthday. This year, I made her the size...4? Or 5? Oh, how easily we forget... Anyway, I made it a trifle larger than was strictly necessary, because I didn't get around to making it until rather late in the spring and I wanted to make sure it would fit through the summer and into fall. Perhaps even into spring of next year? We shall see...
The only change I made to the pattern was to omit the hood. I made the hood last year and we never really used it - it was too shallow to stay on her head properly. I didn't feel like re-drafting the hood part of the pattern (and would I even know how?) so I simply left it off. No big loss to us - she's got plenty of hats, if she's actually chilly, and for rainy days she has a raincoat with a nice deep hood.
We spent a good long while in the fabric store, trying to come to a decision about fabric that we both could live with. Oy. She specifically wanted it to be black and pink. The black was easy enough - it's just a simple solid black flannel. The pink was...a challenge. She kept picking out pink fabrics that were probably quite lovely to a nearly 3 year old, but which I knew would absolutely drive me insane if I had to sew with them for any length of time. Not to mention being seen in public with a child in a pink jacket adorned with garish birds or giant flowers. Silly? Perhaps. But I do have my (somewhat arbitrary) standards. We finally settled on this nice pink and white print, that actually somewhat resembles the aqua print from last year's jacket.
Surprising me, she prefers to wear the black side facing out, with the pink only showing where the sleeves are rolled. Maybe the pink lining is like her fancy little secret...
Because I am crazy, I decided to make E a dress for her birthday. Why is that crazy? Because of when I decided to make E a dress for her birthday...exactly one month before her party. Out of hand dyed fingering weight yarn. Yep. That's me.
Well, despite the short (for me) time frame, I did get it finished! I wove in the ends and sewed on the buttons mere hours before her birthday party, all while holding a newly-sick-with-his-first-ear-infection baby. Poor thing.
The dress is perfect. I mean, just perfect. The colors are perfect (since I dyed the yarn myself), the fit is perfect, the buttons are perfect...it is quite possibly the most perfect thing I've ever knit. Just look at the fit on her wee little shoulders!
The pattern is Nova and I was given a head's up that the pattern runs small and thank goodness for that - I knit E the size SIX and it fits her tall, slender 3 year old frame just perfectly.
Also, THREE? How did that happen?
Happy birthday sweet girl!
Dress details on Ravelry.
E is a skinny toddler. I mean, not freakishly so, but she's a slender, tall, string bean of a child. Her pants fall down. Sometimes even off. (One day, at daycare, apparently her pants fell down around her ankles while she played and she didn't even notice.)
So what's a mama to do? I purposely seek out slender brands and styles of pants. Some of her pants have adjustable waistbands. Then there are the pants that have decorative drawstrings. How cruel is that? Here I am thinking I'll be able to hike up her pants and tie that drawstring to keep them there but no. (And then a mama friend mentioned it was because of strangulation hazards. Oops.)
So one day I saw some toddler belts on one of those baby deal-a-day websites and had the presence of mind to realize that duh I could make one, before I clicked that "buy" button.
And that's what I did! My only complaint is that the ribbon isn't double sided and I didn't sew on any backing so if it falls in a certain way you only see the back of it in all its thready glory. Still! For the cost of under a yard of cute fishy ribbon and a package of four little belt loops (I can make another!) I have a cute, custom made belt for my girl!
I bought, I believe, 2/3 (maybe 3/4?) of a yard of 1 inch wide ribbon and a package of 1 inch wide belt loop thingies.
Then I hemmed one end, wrapped the other around two of the metal loops and sewed it shut.
Voila! Toddler belt! It took all of about 5 minutes and was so easy and spur of the moment I'm not even counting it as a finished sewing project for my 8 in 2013, though technically I suppose it is a finished sewing project...
And of course now that she's got a belt to wear, she seems to have grown and doesn't need it as much... Ah, well. It will fit for a while! Those 4T pants are coming right up and I'm sure they'll fall down too without some added assistance.
This was not intended to be my third 8 in 2013 project. In fact, I didn't even know this was going to be a project at all! The story is this: I took E to gymnastics one Saturday morning like I always do and on the way home we stopped at JoAnn's so I could pick up a couple things I needed. While waiting to get fabric cut, E spied this half yard of pink owl fabric in the clearance bin and just had to have it. For under a dollar, how could I argue?
She played with the fabric for a few weeks and then one morning, I asked her if she'd like me to make it into something for her. "Yes!" she said, "A pizza!"
I gave her some options. Skirt? No, a pizza. Drawstring bag? No, a pizza. Finally, a pillow? Yes.
We have a winner!
It was incredibly simple - I simply folded the fabric in half, right sides together, and sewed it up, leaving a hole for stuffing. Then I flipped it right side out and sewed a little border around it, making sure to leave the hole for stuffing. I stuffed it with enough stuffing to make it puffy but not overly filled, as I wanted the pillow to be flat-ish when she actually got around to lying on it. (This was an excellent excuse to use up a whole bag of polyfil that I bought years ago for stuffing, among other things, the black and white pillow in the photo below!) Once filled, I sewed up the hole and voila! Perfect toddler pillow! The whole thing took perhaps 10-15 minutes, with a baby to tend to simultaneously.
I love quick, satisfying projects like this - they're so gratifying! Especially when the intended recipient is in awe and "love love loves it." (Her words.)
Unfortunately, I'm about out of quick projects for my 8 in 2013...anyone want to come help me bind a large lap quilt?
This is the second of my 8 in 2013 projects - brown flannel pajamas for M. And this is an example of my 8 in 2013 projects being defined by being finished this year...not necessarily started. These PJs took an embarrassingly long time to make. I picked up the flannel (in three colors!) on Black Friday of...2011. Yes. Over a year ago. *ahem* I also picked up the pattern - Butterick 5537 - at the same time for 99 cents.
Now, the problem with this pattern or, possibly, the problem with sewing things for M, is that nothing fits him. He's...very tall. So in order to have these jammies fit him, I bought the pattern for the XL-XXXL. Great! Except that M is extra tall, but not extra wide. So, while they fit around him, the length is strange. And part of this must have to do with the pattern itself - otherwise, the lengths would all be too short. Right? The length of the shirt is fine. Possibly too long even. But the length of the sleeves? Way too short. As you can see, I didn't even hem them. I'll need to do something about those raw edges, but I didn't want to subject my husband to 3/4 length sleeves on otherwise warm and cozy pajamas in the middle of winter in Maine.
The actual cutting and sewing went fairly smoothly. It's not a complicated pattern, it just took me forever to finally get around to it. (And, in all fairness, I did sew the pajama pants quite some time ago. It was the shirt that was missing...) It's a pretty straightforward pattern - sleeves, two fronts, back...and some weirdness with the collar pieces that may or may not have had some degree of operator error. I'll let you know when I sew the next set...
Because remember? I bought three lengths of flannel! So, coming up soon (hopefully sooner than next year...) will be two more sets of pajamas! Stay tuned for blue and green...
New sweaters are sooo exciting!
I knit this sweater for H before he was born. The yarn I bought at the Yarmouth Clam Festival a couple summers ago - a gorgeous alpaca blend that is so incredibly soft and squishy. But I only had one skein! And no hope of finding more. So I picked a baby sweater pattern that had...no front. It's called Baby Vertebrae and it's perfect for drooly babies. With no front to get all wet and felted and possibly spit up on, H can usually wear this sweater several times before it needs a trip through the washer - a rarity with baby clothes.
It fits him perfectly, which is lucky considering he's much bigger than I'd imagined he would be at this time of year... The colors look lovely on him, if I do say so myself, and I like to think it keeps him nice and warm and cozy in our chilly Maine house.
The actual knitting of the sweater went rather comically bad. I knew I didn't have enough yarn for an entire sweater, which is why I picked this pattern to begin with. But it soon became clear I was not going to have enough yarn even for this pattern. I figured I'd have enough for the main body and could do the trim in another color. I picked a similar weight dark blue to complement the lighter blues and greens. The yarn was left over from knitting a friend some fingerless mitts. Which is to say, I only had a partial skein. Which is to say, I did not have enough... Curses! Upon realizing this, I weighed my options. Buy more yarn, only to use just a tiny amount? Rip the whole thing and knit a smaller size? Pick yet another yarn and hope it didn't look too much like a Frankensweater? Clearly, I chose the last option. The green of the front border is the same yarn as the blue and it does match...somewhat. I'd rather have had the borders all blue, but alas, I still like the way it came out.
Most importantly, it keeps my little guy warm. And that is all I really could ask for!
See mine on Ravelry here.
I've created a monster.
A snuggie monster.
Backing up to the beginning... For the first of my finished 8 in 2013 projects, I've made a giant snuggie. Or slanket. Whatever you want to call it, it's a warm blanket with sleeves.
Wait, 8 in 2013?
Backing up further... A Twitter friend decided to start an 8 in 2013 project. (Read more about it here.) The general idea is to do 8...things...in 2013. Myself, I decided to finish 8 sewing projects. (Notice I didn't say start...) These sewing projects will be big and small, some are already started, some are only planned. But I decided to tag along, as are a bunch of other folks, and try to challenge myself to complete eight sewing projects.
Why sewing? Eight knitting projects would frankly just not be a challenge. And I have neither the time nor the money to travel to eight new places. Since it's taken me 6 months to read a handful of books, it's probably unrealistic to read eight books. (Sad, I know...) But sewing? Sewing is something I love to do but am finding it hard to find time for. As H gets older, it gets easier and I expect it to continue getting easier throughout the year.
If you want to join in, read the blog post I mention above, check out the Flickr group, or search Twitter for #8in2013.
M is always cold, so I decided to make him a snuggie. I ventured out into the wildness of Black Friday at my local JoAnn Fabrics and picked up something like 5 or 6 yards (yes, yards) of fleece for super cheap. Finally, after some measuring and finagling and googling, I sewed him a snuggie. It was incredibly easy and super fast. Basically, it's just a giant rectangle with two holes for arms and the sleeves sewed in. I more or less followed the instructions here, not that instructions are really needed for a project of this complexity. Fleece doesn't fray, so there was no hemming. I left a lot of fabric at the top because M likes to bury his head in the blankets, so I thought he might like to do it in his snuggie too. And it's ridiculously long, because a) he's very tall and b) I wanted to make sure he could cover his feet if he wanted to while he was sitting down.
So what was the verdict? It's a big win!