Tuesday, January 26, 2016

An Actual Quilt

I have a mixed relationship with quilting. For all that I'm getting comfortable with making quilt tops (one blogged here, the other set needs blogging), I've never actually finished a proper quilt. I've always gotten stumped at what to do once the top is finished. But I'm happy to report that I've finally finished a whole entire quilt:


The quilt in question is a Jelly Roll Jam quilt using this adorable Moda "Into the Woods" fabric. I really got into using quilting precuts in 2014, particularly mini-charm packs, and recently thought I would try my hand at different kind of precut pack - a jelly roll. It didn't hurt that the Fat Quarter Shop came out with a pattern (with video!) for making a simple and cute jelly roll quilt.


For all I like how things turned out, being new to a craft always means a few things to do better for next time. In this case, that means making my backing a little bigger, using a less lofty batting, and trying a more complex quilting pattern (I would rather my quilt didn't look like a row of mounds in a plowed field). Otherwise, I think my bumbling attempts (with help from this book) to actually quilt something turned out well and I'll be much more comfortable with the process for my next quilted project.


Overall, I'm happy with the final quilt, especially that I was able to use the second half of the jelly roll pack for a striped backing. I think the final quilt is adorable and I'm feeling much less anxiety about this whole quilting thing. This is good, as I have a couple quilt tops on hand to finish and my eye on the Fat Quarter Shop's second pattern in this series, Jelly Roll Jam II. :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Baby Bits and Bobs

We're continuing the theme of baby knitting here at casa BrineyDeep. This time by revisiting a pattern I've knit a couple times before: Magic Slippers.


These booties are seamless and straightforward to construct, which makes them fun to knit. Plus, I learned that I can knock a pair out in the time it takes to watch a football game, which is perfect for getting me through all of the post-season NFL games that are on right now.


And of course, you can't have a pair of baby booties without matching mittens. These are the Teensie Weensie Mittens (Ravelry link). Not only are tiny mittens adorable, but I love that they don't have a thumb.


I'm hoping that these will both fit baby at the same time and that baby will be able to get some wear out of them before it gets warm again. Then again, I do live in Wisconsin, so baby might just be wearing these from the time zie's born in March until May or June when the snow finally melts! All the more reason to stock up on knitwear.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Prep Work

As we get close to baby's due date, the good knitter in me is feeling the need to get some baby knitting done. It's been hard enough to knit while pregnant that I can only imagine it will be impossible once the baby arrives. So if I want to stock up on baby knitwear, I'd better do it now.


The first item I finished was a Norwegian Sweet Baby CapI've knit this pattern before and loved the results so I was very happy to have one I could keep for "myself".


The second item off of the needles was an EZ Surplice Baby Jacket (Ravelry link). This one is really adorable and kind of ingenious as it adjusts fit with a growing baby. A row of yarn overs along the hem allows you to button the jacket up as tight or loose as necessary. My only complaint is that the pattern was written in a very Elizabeth Zimmerman style, meaning instructions were not laid out in an orderly fashion and there were lots of sidebars for variations. Still, it's quite a cute sweater!

I have a few more knitting plans for baby (and a few items I've already put away), so we'll see how much I can get done before March!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Camden

It's been a little quiet on the blog in the last few months. There are two reasons for this. First, I over-committed myself this autumn and haven't had a lot of crafting time until recently. Second, I just haven't had that much energy to craft. The reason why brings me directly to my latest sewing project:


I've had my eye on making a cape for a while now. In fact, I bought McCall's M6446 a couple years ago and have been hoping to get around to actually making it. That point finally came this autumn now that I'm actually in need of some looser-fitting winterwear.


Being due in early March in Wisconsin means finding new warm clothes that are hopefully also stylish. This had me pulling out my M6446 pattern, buying some absolutely lovely wool fabric, and starting to plan. And then Seamwork magazine (whose patterns I subscribe to) threw a wrench into the whole works by releasing the Camden cape pattern. All of a sudden, I was faced with the dilemma of which beautiful cape to make (I had enough wool for either).


I ultimately decided to go with Camden because I liked the clean look, the high neckline, and the fact that the cape was lined (meaning I wouldn't have to professionally finish the inside seams). The one detail I did borrow (loosely) from M6446 was the pockets. If you ever decide to make the Camden pattern, it's definitely worth taking the time to add some pockets; not only do they hold things for you but they provide a natural place for your hands to go in compensation for the unnatural armhole placement.


The pockets themselves are welt pockets, which I've never done before. Thankfully, the November issue of Seamwork also had an article on how to install pockets of this type, with several variations. Installing the pockets added several hours of researching, calculating, and sewing to the project but it was totally worth it and made me feel like a sewing genius for pulling off.


Overall, this was a lovely pattern and fairly straightforward to sew (with the exception of the pocket additions which I highly recommend). I especially loved the opportunity to add a pop of color to the project in the form of the red rayon lining. That said, it took me a good amount of time to pull this together - 3 evenings and 2 days, pacing myself manageably - which was well over the stated 3 hour sewing time listed on the pattern. Still, if you are looking for a stylish pattern for spring/autumn outwear pattern (pregnant or not), Camden is a pretty good option.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Steampunk Crochet

Every once in a while, I like to participate in a good craft swap. Sometimes there's a theme, sometimes it's a random match-up, but it's always fun! My most recent swap was a random match-up, but awesome because I was paired with someone who likes steampunk. Inspired by this theme, I made an epic collar:


I picked a crochet pattern, Hardware Heaven, which always a challenge for me and doubly so because I'm not great at reading written crochet patterns (I'm better with charts). Still, between the awesome design and my skills with wire wrapping, beads, and chains, I could not pass it up. I think it turned out pretty well and my swapee seemed to like it!


It took me a very long time to finish this collar, so I'm really glad to be getting back to knitting again. As fun as this project was, knitting is so much easier for me. So look for more knitting projects on the blog going forward!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mojave

We're in that part of summer that's making me long for autumn. Mostly this entails me asking "why is it still so hot?"  While I can't wait for sweater weather, something needs to be done to keep cool in the meantime. This means a little more summer sewing until I can break the knitting back out.


I saw this pattern, Mojave, in the most recent Seamwork sewing magazine and immediately knew I wanted to make it. It's a kaftan pattern, ideally a swimsuit cover up, but loose and breezy enough to be perfect for hot summer days. Coupled with some Anna Maria Horner rayon challis that I've been hording, I knew this would be the ideal August dress.


The dress came together in about 2 hours of sewing (yay!). My favorite thing about the final dress is definitely the fabric; I love both the print and how comfortable and breathable the rayon challis is. My least favorite thing is the size. The dress came out a little too big, meaning it slips off of my shoulders occasionally. Still, this is the perfect dress for lounging around while still looking chic.


I'm very glad to have finally found a use for this awesome fabric. I now understand why I've heard such good things about rayon challis and I definitely plan on using this fabric again in the future! In the meantime, I'll be here trying to keep cool.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Three-peat

I'm a serial re-reader of books. If it's a favorite of mine, you can bet I've read it at least three times. While I'm not as bad in the crafting realm, there are definitely patterns that are so wonderful that they can't be made only once. On the knitting side, it's a bunch of Ysolda patterns - Ishbel (x3), Veyla (x2), Damson (x2), Garter Stitch Mitts (x2), and Gretel (x2)- while on the sewing front the patterns come from Colette - particularly Peony (x2) and Moneta (now x3).


This is my third Moneta and definitely my best one yet. This has all to do with the fabric; the first version was too drapey, the fabric for number two had minimal stretch, but the blue dotted cotton here is just right. It's actually taught me a lot about matching knitted fabric to a pattern by experimenting with such a wide range for one design.


I'm kicking myself for not finishing this project sooner, as it's perfect for the summertime. Instead, it's been sitting in my craft room for months waiting to be hemmed. I'm really glad I finally got around to it because this dress has become an immediate wardrobe staple. You just can't argue with a comfortable handsewn dress in a cute print!