Category Archives: Completed Projects
Last night, I spent a half hour quickly making soaps. I needed to make some soaps for a friend, and ended up deciding that, while I had the stuff out, I’d make some fun Halloween soaps for the kids, and I also wanted to try some green ribbon (kidney disease) soaps, mostly to see if I could get a good bright green color with the colorants I currently own. (I couldn’t – it’s too light.)
OK, staying out of my office is really hard for me. I enjoy what I do. I like making awesome products for your families. I don’t like not making awesome products for your families. It’s frustrating to not be working.
Actually, what I need to do is take down my Planning Board, because it’s still got my plans through mid December on it, and it yells at me every time I see it, “You’re behind!! You were supposed to restock Cycle Pads last week!!” (And I’m currently plotting to see if I can’t get enough sneak to the office time to get them restocked anyway… shhhhhh.)
It’s not like I’m on bedrest or anything; I’m not. I’m just not supposed to be doing as much work, and I’m supposed to be resting more, and there’s the ever-dangling-over-my-head threat of You Might Need To Have A Baby Right Now.
But I have been sneaking down to my office every now and again to continue plodding along on Christmas presents. As I posted on Facebook recently, knowing that family won’t appreciate their planned handmade gifts doesn’t give me the money to buy them Big Box Store-ish presents like they actually want. Plus, I really do think that one of these years, I just might wear them down and they will suddenly appreciate the thought, time, and effort that goes into their gifts.
(please note: if you believe you are one of these people who might be getting a gift from me this Christmas, I recommend stopping here.)
Over the last two weeks, I was able to quickly bust out quite a few simple gifts. Actually, these gifts started a few months ago, when I happened across a clearance sale at Hanes.com. (No, I don’t normally shop there, I think I saw a post about it at Want Not.) Zip front hoodies were on clearance for far less than I’ve ever seen plain hoodies ever, even at Target on clearance, and these were the nice Hanes ones. Score! So I bought a hoodie for all the kids on my list, and one for me (I wear a boy’s large, lol), and then some adult size ones for a few adults on my list, too.
I was planning to do some screenprinting, but the process of screenprinting, while not difficult, is somewhat labor-intense for what was going to be REALLY small runs. I ended up switching to Wax Paper Stencils and Appliques instead of screenprinting. As a bonus, this allowed me to work in short bursts, whereas the nature of screenprinting pretty much requires the whole process to be done at one time.
This guitar sweatshirt is for my 16 year old nephew (who plays the guitar) and I also made one for Wally (who also plays the guitar). It’s a reverse applique, so the flames fleece was pinned underneath the sweatshirt before I stitched the outline of the guitar and then trimmed away the sweatshirt fabric from the inside of the shape. Super easy, but somehow seems “cooler” than an actual applique. The butterflies and the flowers are also reverse appliques, and are for a friend’s daughter, and my Miss G. (Genna’s flower sweatshirt also has a more traditional applique on the pocket.) I AM aware that these are really bad pictures.
These two sweatshirts are freezer paper stencil. The rocket for a friend’s 4 year old son, and the Jeep for her husband, who is the proud owner of a new-to-him Jeep Wrangler. (A Christmas present AND a gift to welcome him to the Wrangler club.) On the right is a set of four White Sox luggage tags. They, along with a White Sox travel shoe bag that’s not pictured, are for my Father in Law, who travels a lot and loves the Sox.
And I finished these socks for Miss Genna and the Spider Socks for Mr Wally. (Genna’s socks took about a week. Wally’s? The entire month of October.)
And these four little pairs of socks for the new baby, and for a friend’s baby for Christmas.
I’m NOT posting the details of what I made for a friend who I KNOW reads this blog, lol. So I’m all done with the sewn items. Now I need to learn how to make paracord survival bracelets! I’ve still got some knitting that I’m working on, as well - a sweater for the baby, a pair of socks for my doula (just the toe of one sock remaining), and possibly one for whoever shows up to watch the older kids while I’m busy having a baby. Um, and because some idiot (*ahem* me) made needlepoint Christmas stockings for everyone else in the family, I have to track down a nonugly needlepoint Christmas stocking kit that does not feature Santa and get that done, too. Fortunately, the baby won’t know if he or she doesn’t have a stocking for Christmas this year, but I don’t see me having MORE time to do needlepoint once he or she is born, so I’d really rather do it now.
Remaining giftless are all of my brothers in law, who are all really hard to decide about. I have trouble with men’s gifts in general, I’ll be honest. DH is not helping at all with ideas, and since they’re boys and he’s a boy (and two out of the three are from his side of the family), I’ve generally put him in charge. This means that they usually get Best Buy gift cards, and thus the most expensive gifts out of any. We’ll also purchase some sort of small toy for my 5 year old niece, and I’m kicking myself that I wasn’t focused on this need when I hit the clearance aisle at our local Giant Store to find a few small goodies for my own kids (foam bath letters and a suction cup bath mirror for $5!).
I was an extra good girl over Labor Day weekend and worked hard to get my Work work finished. Then I snuck down and took some time to get my own projects finished. I continued working on these in snippets throughout the week – they’re all small, fast projects. I love having them done!
Three jumpers for the fall for Genna. I’ve been hoarding these corduroy prints for several years, so now that cord costs far more than I’ve ever seen it… I didn’t have to pay the higher prices for it. Yay! All based on the same pattern, but each with slight differences. Experimenting with how I like to do the facings.
Found these all but finished in my Unfinished Projects box. They were originally going to be embroidered or painted and listed on Etsy, but with new laws in place now, I’m choosing not to list children’s products with zippers. And of course they’re too small for Miss Genna. Fortunately, I know people having babies.
New carseat cover for Genna. Her old one was FILTHY. This one is kind of busy, but I have several Disney prints I bought for a particular project that I never did and I’m kind of trying to use them up. She was delighted.
I started these little dollies at Knitting Night on Monday, and have continued working on them in bits and spurts this week. I was able to really spend some time getting them done on Friday when I needed some preggo mama rest time, and then in the car while running errands and doing other things this weekend. Two of these will be attached to oiled wooden rings as toys for the new baby; the others will be birthday presents or stocking stuffers for Miss Genna.
She’s seen me working on them, but I’ve made them disappear without her giving it much thought. She picked one up and said, “Oh! My dolly! Oh, mommy, so sweet….” Yeah, her adorable moments help balance out her orneriness.
One thing that sick kids are good for, and that’s lots of knitting time, usually. I was planning to restock fitted diapers again this week, but all I ended up doing in my office was the bare minimum of shipping out a few orders. Instead, I sat in the bedroom with two sick kids, first with high fevers (104/105) and then with what appears to be an upper respiratory cold. Sounds like pretty much all the other little kids I know in town have had the same thing. We’ve been laying pretty low all week. Wally’s spent most of his days laying in bed watching movies, and Genna’s spent most of her days sitting in the chair, either alone and looking sad and pathetic but refusing comfort, or snuggling up with me. Sometimes they snuggled together in the bed, but with both feeling unwell, that often did not go well.
So, very little sewing, but quite a bit of knitting.
I finished up the Jules Verne socks that I’ve been puttering with for a while. I usually make a pair of socks for every “major” book or series that I read. (classics, or good series, or really super excellent single book.) I read two Jules Verne books recently – well, listened to on audio to be truthful. I had planned to read/listen to more, but after Around the World in 80 Days and Journey to the Center of the Earth, I decided that I didn’t really care for Jules Verne’s writing. It’s very flat, his characters lack any real dimension, and they’re just not too engaging. Nonetheless, his books are classics and I’m glad I finally got around to reading (listening to) them. (I listen to audiobooks when I sew on my Work Nights when I don’t have the kids with me.)
So, here they are. The pattern was chosen because it’s kind of a winding path as in Around the World in 80 Days, and because it’s also mountainous as in Journey to the Center of the Earth. The yarn is Unique Sheep Sushi Socks, which I bought for my yet-to-be-knitted Lord of the Rings Socks, because the picture on their website was much, much darker. It’s far too light to be suitable for the LOTR socks, but seemed just right for Jules Verne. It was delightful to knit with, and the skein was huge. They’re a treat to wear, too, and might be my new favorite socks.
I also started and finished the shawl I need to go with some fancy pants dresses I’ve borrowed for an upcoming event. I have certainly felt like an old lady knitting this, lol. There are certainly fancier shawls out there, and I might have preferred one made with a finer yarn, but I needed something simple and fast, and this fit the bill.
The yarn is KnitPicks Shine Sport, which was nice to work with. I bought 5 skeins based on the pattern recommendations, and though I started to panic a bit at the end, I ended up with just under a yard remaining. That’s my kind of project! The pattern was simple and easy to follow, and is based on a 1930s shawl.
I haven’t felt much like cleaning lately. I mean, I’m doing the minimum – picking up toys and washing dishes and cleaning up the 8,000 messes that the two kids and husband make every day. But I haven’t felt like REALLY cleaning – scrubbing and sorting and A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place. Instead, I’ve been reading, knitting, and sewing personal stuff. I tend to hate February. Hate it. Longest month of the year. Cold, depressing. So very winter. ugh.
So, you know, I’m hibernating.
At any rate, I made myself three more skirts and Genna two dresses. A pair of new PJ pants has been requested by Wally, so I hope to get those done next week.
(please ignore the lack of ironing, but feel free to admire my awesome socks.) These two skirts are both made from linen – the green is a nice organic linen I picked up on clearance. The tan is the same linen I use for many of my Wallypop and Boulevard Designs products. I always have a bolt or two on hand. I used my Super Easy Patternless A-Line Skirt tutorial, but actually made myself a paper pattern for a two-panel skirt (a front piece and a back piece) and then cut it out on the bias for both of these skirts. I don’t tend to do bias-cut skirts often, because they use SO MUCH fabric, and I’m cheap that way, but I love the drape of bias skirts.
The green one, I cut out a wedge from the side of the hem and inserted a little ruffle. I think this might have worked out better with a less stiff fabric, but it still looks ok. The green one is made with a zipper at the side waist. The tan one, I cut wider and bound the waist with Fold over Elastic (the elastic binding sometimes used on diapers and covers) to make an easy pull on skirt. I totally borrowed the idea from, I think, Amy Karol at Angry Chicken. I’ve used FOE to bind gathered edges of tops, and on children’s clothes, but never on a skirt waistband.
This one is another made from leftovers from ring slings. It’s a four-panel skirt, using the ideas in the Super Easy Patternless A-Line Skirt tutorial, but making the waist wider to use elastic instead of a zipper.
Genna’s dresses. The blue one is made from a McCall’s pattern (I do actually own patterns, too!). The wrap dress is from this tutorial at Tiny Happy. It would have looked way, way cuter with handmade bias tape, but I was quickly running out of naptime and decided for forgo the pretty, wide bias tape in favor of something pulled from my Bin Of Bias Tape. The dress is actually quite large, and probably won’t fit her well until next year, which is a little disappointing, particularly considering that I could have easily figured this out by just taking a minute to think about it. Ah, well.
Sundresses are my absolute favorite for Genna. They can be made appropriate for winter simply by putting a long sleeve shirt underneath, and maybe some pants or Little Leg Warmers. In spring, or cooler days in summer, they are matched with a short sleeve shirt and Little Leg Warmers if needed. And of course, they can be worn as is for hot weather. Many sundresses also last for several years, if they’re wide and drapey, which is an added bonus.
Some of you might know that our family has an upcoming trip, one for which we need passports.
Fortunately, Thimble, a blog I follow, posted a handy little Travel Documents project about a year ago and I bookmarked it! (And, in an unusual twist, a project I wanted to complete was actually still online when I went to look it up later. Usually, I go back to look at my bookmarks and the webpages have been taken down, lol.)
I made the mistake of doing the topstitching with the inside facing me, so it looks a little sloppy from the outside, but it looks like it’ll work perfectly for our needs. I think that she made hers out of all cotton – I used all bottomweights, because I’m running a little low on cottons, and that consequently make it pretty thick and hard to sew through in places. I was hand cranking my machine, and that’s saying something. (I have an industrial machine that will sew through practically anything.)
On a related note, if anyone has tips on air travel with two year olds, I’m open to suggestions!
I put together some really super quick spring clothes for Genna and a little for me, too.
The skirts were all made from scraps leftover from Ring Slings, so you might recognize the fabrics, lol. I didn’t use a pattern for the skirts, I rarely do. Mine is simply strips of fabric sewn together into a tube, then folded over at the top with Elastic and hemmed at the bottom. One of Genna’s skirts is silk, and is just two tubes of silk sewn together at the waist. I didn’t even hem this one, since the selvage edge of the fabric was quite nicely finished already. Genna’s ruffle skirt is actually made from some nice organic cotton I picked up for a few dollars on clearance at Joann’s a year or so ago, and the ruffle is ring sling scraps.
Genna’s jammies were made using a pair of pants and a shirt that fit her well as a pattern. The fabric is more Joann’s clearance – waffle weave cotton – and the striped capris are again leftover ring sling scraps.
You might notice that my personal sewing is all really simple stuff. Often, people wonder why I don’t sew fancier things.
It’s because I sew every day for hours every day.
When I sew something for me, or my kids, or whatever, I really don’t want it to be some long, involved project that requires careful attention to detail. I used to sew those things. I just don’t have the patience to do it these days. I’m usually trying to squeeze personal sewing in between order processing, sewing for inventory, taking care of the kids, washing dishes, etc. If I can sit down and whip out two skirts in a half hour, that’s GREAT.
Sitting down to a dress or skirt that’s going to take 8 hours… not so great!
This year, Wally and I got new hats and mittens.
This yarn, Mirasol, is my new favorite. Wally picked his out at a yarn store in Phoenix when we were there in March, and asked for a hat (and then, later, for matching mittens, necessitating my finding people on Ravelry with some to sell). I think I picked mine out at the same time, actually, and later I bought a bit more in Decorah to make socks for a friend’s husband.
I’m also knitting myself a hood, which will enable me to keep my noggin warm, but still wear a headcovering. I will probably end up lining both my hat and my hood with microfleece, like Wally’s hat is.
Wally’s new winter hat. I started with a hat pattern, but pretty much rewrote it. That said, this is a really really simple hat pattern. Then I lined it with microfleece to make it nice and toasty. I love it, and he will wear it, so we’re all happy.
An apron for me. I couldn’t resist this fabric with the chickens, but I wasn’t really sure what to make from it. I mean, it’s not exactly skirt or blouse material… so I made an apron.