Ballet Inspired Look – PR&P Nothing but KNIT Challenge

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Project Run & Play is back for another season! I love following along to see what the designers create each week. Plus viewing all the great submissions to the sew-alongs is definitely something else to look forward to. The theme this week “Nothing but knit” and I instantly got a notion in my head that it would be fun to take KNIT fabric, turn it into yarn, and then KNIT something with it to create new KNIT “fabric”. What?!

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Patterns
Wrap Top:  Ballet Sweater by Heidi & Finn
Leotard: Little Ballerina Leotard by Shwin Designs (free, one-size)
Tights: Abby’s Footed Tights by The Wolf and the Tree
Tutu: Self Designed
Ballet Slippers: Self Drafted

Fabric
Pink Raindrop Stenzo Knit is from Mabel Madison.
S
adly, I think it is out of stock now. Mabel Madison has a bunch of other good alternatives though so the site is still worth a peak.

ITY Purple Stripe Spandex is from FabricsUniverse on Etsy.

Jersey (t-shirt) yarn I made myself. Tutorial is here.

The rest of the fabric came from scraps or unknown stash sources.

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About the project…

The Project Run & Play themes announcement came along around the time I started working on some knitted skirt ideas for Pen . With the idea that I should knit part of the outfit already in my head, I thought the thick DIY jersey yarn could add a sculptural element to a skirt. When I think “sculpted” skirts, I think tutus.

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As a kid, watching a ballet like Swan Lake and I was always completely awestruck by the seemingly gravity defying tutus. Sure, the dancing was pretty good too but the costumes always amazed me the most!

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All the knits used in this project had a good amount of stretch and the slippers would have been a mess without the elastic casings. I’m really glad I thought of it early in the making of the slipper. I used a bit of flannel, the only non-knit material in the entire outfit, for the sole. I wanted wearability from this outfit and did not think anything else I had on hand was suitable for a sole.

Since this was version 1.0 of the slipper design for me, I did not know how well it would come out and did not bother shooting photos of the process for a tutorial. I can make a followup pair with a tutorial if you ask for it.

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It was luck that Pen is a close enough size to the 24 months only FREE Little Ballerina Leotard pattern by Shwin Designs. The length of the pattern looked about right but Pen’s chest is a bit smaller than the 19 1/2″ that the pattern size. I remedied this quickly by being a little extra generous with sewing the seams. Since the spandex fabric I used had good stretch and recovery, I rather risk the leotard fitting a bit “small”.

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The Ballet Sweater by Heidi & Finn came together quickly. So fast that I wondered why I have not sewn the pattern sooner! It is really cute as a layering piece and would be a great alternative to sweaters when extending the light of short sleeves shirts during cooler months. I left off the waist ties.  Pen is now training to become a stunt woman and I worried they would end up caught up on something possibly causing further injury. Oh the grey hairs she is giving me!

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Finally, I’m yet again using Abby’s Footed Tights by The Wolf and the Tree. I really think this pattern, and the sock pattern, are great staples for any pdf pattern archive. The whole idea of making coordinating socks or tights for any outfit tickles me all sorts of shades of pink.

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Now my little dancer has her first ballet inspired outfit. I’m sure this will be one of many because Pen loves to dance!

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

If you have interest in making your own jersey yarn, I posted a tutorial a few days ago that explains how I did it.

I LOVED sewing a long with this week’s PR&P theme and I have another idea that I’d love to do for the Cosplay theme next week. Fingers crossed that I will find the time!

Tutorial: DIY Jersey (aka. “t-shirt”) Yarn

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Later this week I’ll unveil what I made with this yarn but in the meantime here is how I made jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn from knit fabric yardage. This project can easily be done with a t-shirt as well.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com
Materials Needed:

Knit fabric yardage OR t-shirt to upcycle
Scissors
Rotary Cutter* (nice to have but optional)
Ruler*
Pen or other making device
Coordinating Thread
Sewing Machine
Ball Point or Jersey Needles*
Cardboard Tube (optional)

This post has affiliate links (marked with an *). Thank you for supporting my blogging adventures!

How much do you get from a yard of jersey?
With shrinkage, trimming off the uneven bits, and seam allowance, I calculated that I got about 48 yards of yarn by cutting 1″ strips from what was originally one yard of a mid-weight knit. Your mileage may vary depending on how much stretch/recovery your material has,  the width of your starting yardage, and any trimming/shrinkage.

What is the weight of the resulting yarn?
Again this will depend on how much stretch/recovery your material has. Some will stretch thinner than others. Chances are your resulting yarn will be something in the Super Bulky to Jumbo range. If you use a really light weight knit it could even fall under Chunky.

One of the contributing factors to deciding a yarn size is the WIP or Wraps Per Inch. They sell testing devices for this but really all your need is a stick, a pen, and a ruler. Not only is this technique great for testing your DIY yarn but also for any mystery skeins you may come across.

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Mark at least one 1″ wide space on your stick and wrap the yarn around the stick. You want each wrap to lay close without pushing against the strand next to it and the tension not so tight that you will distort the yarn’s true structure. How every many wraps you can fit in that 1″ space will tell you the WPI.

I used a store brand yarn that I could easily  check the official WPI of. for this example. The yarn wrapped 6 times around the stick which falls under “Super Bulky” and indeed the example yarn is a Super Bulky yarn. Ravelry has a handy chart with WPI data that you can use for reference. It does not include Jumbo WPI but it 4 or less would probably fall under Jumbo.

Of course whether you are working with DIY, mystery, or known yarn you always need to knit a test swatch (or two) to make sure the drape and gauge is suitable for the project.

Any reason I can not cut the strips a different size?
I’ve found 1″ wide is a good number in general. If you want a Jumbo yarn from something really light-weight then 2″ might be better. From personal experience I’ve found that a lot of knits start to lose their structural integrity once you go smaller than 1″. Cut too narrow and really light-weight knit will start to stretch unevenly which will lead to wonky looking stitches. Some knits start to get weird and fuzzy. When I made the yarn to make the pompoms for the Face of Boe hat, I cut the width closer to 1/2″ and I think that mid-weight knit that was a cotton blend had a good enough balance that it would have worked for knitting as well. The 100% cotton knit I used for this tutorial would have probably done wacky things cut the same width. In the end, the best advice I can give you is sacrifice some fabric, cut a few test strips, and give them a good tug to see what happens.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

How to make your own jersey (aka. “t-shirt”) yarn.

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Step 1: PRE-WASH your fabric and fold it in half. Right sides together, folded with greatest stretch going up, and wrinkles smoothed out.

I had our family cat assisting me so keeping the fabric completely wrinkle free for photos was a frustrating adventure. Of course the cat won.

When folded as neatly as possible the top edge did not exactly match up. You can either trim this off now or do like I did, sew a straight line across a bit below the edge and trim off the excess.

Skip everything but the PRE-WASH in Step 1 if you are using a t-shirt then skip to Step 3b.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 2: Sew a straight line across the top of your fabric. I used a 1/2″ seam allowance and trimmed the excess off being careful to not cut through the stitches.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 3: Turn the fabric right side out and again fold the fabric width-wise but this time leaving a 1″ gap at the top between the two edges.

I made this sample using contrasting fabrics so you can see the gap clearly.

Step 3b: If you are using a t-shirt you can skip past the sewing part. Lay your t-shirt with the length horizontal to you, fold according to the directions in Step 2, trim off the hemline and anything above the armpit.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 4: At the bottom fold use a ruler* to guide your 1″ (or strip width choose) cuts. You can use a pen to pre-mark the cutting lines. Only cut to the first top edge. DO NOT CUT BEYOND THE FIRST TOP EDGE!!! That 1″ gap we made in Step 3 is a no cut zone.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

After I took the example photo above I dragged everything over to my cutting mat* and used the rotary cutter* to quickly cut the 1″ increments. Much faster than scissors. Just don’t go crazy and cut into the gap!

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Now you should have what looks like a potential flying spaghetti monster.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 5: With the strip connecting the loops in hand, cut the first loop at an angle slightly below the line of stitching.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Which will look like this.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 6: Wind that now loose strand around until you reach the next loop junction and cut diagonal through the junction.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 7: Keep doing the winding and cutting diagonally as described in Step 6 until you have no more loops and one long continuous strand. Which most likely looks like a giant noodley mess.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Step 8: I like cutting off a 2-3″ piece of a cardboard tube, cutting a small slit on top, catching one end of the yarn in the slit, and using that as a base to wrap the yarn into a ball. There are other ways to do this and you are welcome to make your ball or skein as you see fit.

DIY Jersey (aka. t-shirt) yarn tutorial // pensebrox.com

Tada! Now the big question is… what am I making with this yarn?

If you make your own jersey yarn using this tutorial be sure to tag any shares with #craftyrox on social media so I can check it out!

 

Products mentioned in this post I purchased using my research and money. Any affiliate links in this post (marked with an *) may one day generate enough commission where I can buy the kids an ice cream cone but do not influence my support of any product linked to in this post. You can read the full disclosure over here.

Sunday Lately: Week 57

Spoilers!!

I’m back for yet another Sunday Lately. Since February is my Blogiversary month I plan on kicking off my plans for the future. Goodbye January!

This week’s themes are: Doing, Appreciating, Designing, Humming, Expecting.

Doing
Exercise! I’ve started working out daily again. Now hopefully I can keep up this enthusiasm and momentum!

Appreciating
We were involved in a major car accident back in August and it is an event that I still often find myself dwelling on, for better or worse. I spent a lot of time appreciating my kids during the week.

Designing
I’ve been working on something special for this upcoming week. Let the photo at the top of the post be something of a teaser…

Humming
Like many of you out there, David Bowie has been on my mind and in my ears a lot lately. “All the Young Dudes” is a song written by David Bowie and originally recorded by Mott the Hoople. The Mott the Hoople version will always be one of my favorite songs.

Expecting
I expect to be very busy this week just because I have so much that I want to accomplish.

 

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe
The link up can be found here and you are always welcome to join the Blogger Tribe Facebook group.

Tutorial: Sewing machine cleaning tips and replacing the blades on a Brother 1034D.

Sewing machine cleaning tips @ pensebrox.com

Today I got up and was so very excited to start work on sewing a special outfit for Pen. Then it dawned on me that the last time I used my sewing machine and serger I sewed very linty fabric which meant both my machines probably could use at least a good dusting. My serger also was in need of new blades. The current ones were limping along acceptably but they were not working like they used to.

As much as I wanted to charge ahead on my new project, I needed to put on my grownup sewist pants and clean my machines. Boo!

I mean… Yay!

This post has affiliate links (marked with an *). Thank you for supporting my blogging adventures!

Sewing machine cleaning tips @ pensebrox.com

My biggest sewing machine cleaning tip ever: Sewing machines have odd crevices and because of those crevices I’m with the NO canned air crowd. I’m sure canned air fans would argue their support but I LOVE my Micro Vacuum Attachment Kit*for my household vacuum cleaner. That kit can do no wrong! They kits are not that expensive as well. You need to own one!

Sewing machine cleaning tips @ pensebrox.com

Just like the name says, they tools are micro vacuum attachments* attachments that, aided by the included adapter, fit on the hose of an ordinary household vacuum.

Sewing machine cleaning tips @ pensebrox.com

My favorite attachment in the set is the tiny brush that is perfect for cleaning off linty bits from a sewing machine. I also use the same attachment to clean both my desktop and laptop keyboards. The set also comes with a slightly bigger brush that works well for the exterior of your sewing machine or things like upholstery crevices in the car.

Sewing machine cleaning tips @ pensebrox.com

The included hose extension makes it easier to get up close to things. It also reduces suction to levels where you still pick up dusty bits but you are not absorbing your sewing machine with the intensity of a black hole.

Sewing machine cleaning tips @ pensebrox.com

Another quick tip that I often use while cleaning: I  do not own one of those fancy screwdrivers with a movable head. When I’m trying to get a screw in a hard to reach place, I use pliers and the proper sized bit from my screwdriver set.

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

I’ve been sewing with the same set of blades on my Brother 1034D since I bought the machine about 2 years ago. Yes, this machine is about as old as this blog! The upper and lower blades are not something you need to replace all that often, unless you have some sort of mishap, but at one point or another you make notice things are not cutting as cleanly as it used to.

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

It is way easier than it sounds. The most complicated thing for me was finding the replacement blades. Amazon had a great deal on a set of both upper and lower serger blades* that qualified for Prime shipping. Yay! I worried I’d have to order something that would take weeks for it to arrive on my doorstep.

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

With the Sew Kitty knife set*, you not only get the upper and lower blades but also a robust lint cleaning brush and a cat trading card. I have to admit that the cat trading card totally made my day!

Disclaimer: If you have any doubts about fiddling around with your machine. Don’t do it. If you follow any of my instructions or those given in any links I’ve posted, do so at your own risk.

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Step 1: Unplug your serger. Safety first!

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

Step 2: Flip the switch to disengage the blade.

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

Step 3: Take a look at how each blade is positioned and where the screws are. It does not really matter which order you remove the blades but removing them both at this step makes it easier to get the lower blade back in.

Detour: With the blades both removed it makes it super easy to get into a couple of sneaky areas for cleaning!

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

Step 4: Install your brand spanking new lower blade. The proper direction is pretty self-explanatory but I noted it just to make things extra clear.

How to replace a Brother 1034D Serger Blade @ pensebrox.com

Step 5: With the lower blade secured you can now install your upper blade. I had to carefully use my finger to keep it from leaning too much towards the needle plate. Just a smidgen.  After the upper blade is in place very GENTLY advance the wheel to make sure that the upper blade does not hit the needle plate. If it does, loosen the screw, adjust the blade, and tighten again.

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Not too long after I purchased my Brother 1034D I accidentally sewed over a pin. The resulting noise was horrible and I thought for sure I broke something importing but after an inspection the machine kept sewing like nothing happened. You can see in the above photo the spots where the steel blade got chipped by my little accident. Definitely not a good idea to serge over pins!

Changing the blades on your Brother 4 is just that easy! If you do not own a Brother41030D like me,  the procedure is similar enough with other models though everything might not look exactly the same.

 

Products mentioned in this post I purchased using my research and money.  Any affiliate links in this post (marked with an *) may one day generate enough commission where I can buy the kids an ice cream cone but do not influence my support of any product linked to in this post. You can read the full disclosure over here.

 

 

Sunday Lately: Week 56

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I’m extra late with my post today. We spent a good chunk of our day yesterday taking the kids to meet their new cousin in Boston. Then this morning I spent a lot of effort trying to scrape together the meager amount of snow in our yard into something Seb could sled on. I totally could never see snow again and not miss it but he of course loves the stuff. I’m sure that will change once he is old enough to shovel the drive way on his own. Ha! The link up for Sunday Lately can be found here and you are always welcome to join the Blogger Tribe Facebook group where all the blogger goodness originates from.

This week’s themes are planning, loving, reading, wishing, and feeling.

Planning
I started working on a prioritized list of the projects I’d like the sew during February this week. I’m pretty good about meeting obligated deadlines but not so much with “just for fun” sewing. I have a couple of ideas for the sewing along with the upcoming season of Project Run and Play and Kids Clothes Week that I’d like to follow through on.

Loving
The kids have been really good with playing together this week. It warms my heart to see them having so much fun with each other despite the age difference.

Reading
The most read by me book this week has been the manual for my new sewing machine a lot this week. Boring to some but I’m actually a sucker for reading technical manuals.

Wishing
I had a few more hours in the day and for more sleep. Both would be super awesome right now. Ha!

Feeling
A bit sad for my crestfallen 5 year-old. I grew up in a part of California where snow was something you saw on TV or on an occasional trip Tahoe. In fact the “real” winters are what I hate about living in our area. Regardless of my feelings towards the stuff, the lack of a real winter this year is starting to frustrate Seb. In my mind it is a good thing that we were grazed by the storm this weekend and I feel for anybody up to their armpits with snow. Though, I also feel bad how disappointed my son is that there has been a distinct lack of sledding and snowman building this year.

Pen on the other had with smallest plop of snow and thinks the snow we found this morning was the beeknees.

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I am also feeling a bit proud that I finished not one but TWO quilts this week. I’m on a roll! First was the rag quilt for Pen that I posted about earlier in the week. Then I finished the quilt I volunteered to assemble using pieces of fabric that  were decorated at the baby shower, for the soon-to-be-born cousin, a few months back. I finished it in time to bring with us when we went to meet the cousin Saturday. It was my first time working with quilt batting. Try Something New Every Month may have created a monster!

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Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe
The link up can be found here and you are always welcome to join the Blogger Tribe Facebook group.

TSNEM: Scrappy Rag Quilt For Pen

It took me long enough but I’ve finally finished the quilt I started planning for Pen almost two years ago! All thanks to the Try Something New Every Month challenge which gave me an extra kick in the pants to get over my fears of neatly assembling that many squares.  The suggested theme for January is quilting and I thought it would be silly to start a completely new project when I had two that had been UFOs for months on end.

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I have to tip my hat to all you quilters out there. The whole process from selecting the fabric, to arranging the squares, and then making sure the squares  matched at the corners was a big adventure for me. I know I probably put together a really simple quilt! Assembling all those squares together was a big first for me.

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Project: Pen’s Scrappy Rag Quilt
Tutorial used: No specific tutorial. I read several tutorials found via a Google search and then went out on my own.
Fabric: Quilting cotton purchased specifically for the project, vintage sheet/linen scraps, and other scraps I had around. If you really need to know a fabric I’ll probably be able to dig through my files for the name/source. Just leave me a comment.

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Good News: I’m really glad I went to the trouble (migraine inducing…) of combining fabrics on my own. I did not set out to make an “I Spy” style quilt but Pen loves exploring all the different prints.

Bad News: I bought a pair of Fiskars rag quilting scissors and about 1/4 of the way into the cutting the fringe they decided to stop springing completely open. That made the scissors difficult to use, annoyed me to no end, and probably slowed me way down. If they had worked as intended I think they would have saved my hands from strain but they did not work for me. Fail!

Scrappy rag quilt for Pen // pensebrox.com

Tips & Tricks: It seems like cutting whatever you use for batting about 1″ smaller and stitching a big X from corner to corner on your square sandwich is pretty much the default way to do things.

I did not do that…

My reasoning was as follows:

I originally planned on making a biscuit quilt and selected prints without considering stitching over the print. Stubborn me did not want an X or any sort of extra design element even though I changed my plans.

The flannel used as “batting” would be cut the full size of each square thus it would be caught up in the seams and I figured at only 5″ square things would not be that hard to keep from moving while sewing.

Since I used a variety of cottons from different sources, some already pre-washed due to being sheets in a previous life, I thought the flannel in the seams would help ensure a good texture all over.

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Pen loves her new blanket and it will probably be a companion for years to come.

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It even doubles as a toddler eating monster!

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Now the big question is… will I go the extra mile and make Seb’s quilt this month as well? I hope to. The theme for February is “tactile crafts”. Things like paper mache, soap making, or clay.  Deciding on a quilting project was easy but I have no idea what to do for that one!

Sunday Lately: Week 55

DSC_5346I’m back for my second Sunday Lately. Just a little motivation for me to reveal some of what I do “behind the scenes”. Sunday Lately is a thematic weekly post prompt. The link up can be found here and you are always welcome to join the Blogger Tribe Facebook group where all the blogger goodness originates from.

This week’s themes are completing, visiting, repeating, writing, and scheduling.

Completing
I wrapped up a test for the lovely Stephanie of Swoodson Says and next in line is sewing the quilt that I started way back when I was pregnant with Pen. The motivation to finish the quilt was prompted another project of Stephanie’s, Try Something New Every Month. Quilting is January’s theme!

Visiting
Our trip to the club store yesterday included me stopping by the blood mobile that was in the parking lot. I’m glad that I was both in good health and I finally found a location where it would be feasible for me to donate blood regularly. It was something I’ve been wanting to get in the habit of but the drives immediately near my home always happened when I have no childcare options. Mr. Rox calls me “blood bag” now. I have to admit that I’m pretty geeky over the fact that I have the same blood type as the fictional character Mad Max! Ha!

Repeating
Right before the New Year, I splurged on a new computerized sewing machine for myself. My weekend and the following week after it arrived was so hectic that I never got a change to turn to machine on.  When I finally did last weekend it became obvious that I had a lemon. Amazon sent me a replacement quickly which arrived Monday. It was like deja vu unpacking the second machine!

Writing
I’m actually in the midst of writing several blog posts, Including the one I promised about me cleaning the vintage Babylock I picked up at a flea market and a review of my new computerized machine.

Scheduling
I have a lot of blog related plans for the year and I’m working on getting some sort of schedule together. Not just for my own efficiency but then you as a reader will have something to expect.

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe
The link up can be found here and you are always welcome to join the Blogger Tribe Facebook group.

Sunday Lately: Week 54

DSC_4500-1My posts have been sparse over the past few months but I have some ideas for the upcoming year. Expect more regularity and exciting things! Yay!  Sunday Lately is a thematic weekly post prompt (say that three times fast!). The link up can be found here and you are always welcome to join the Blogger Tribe Facebook group where all the blogger goodness originates from. I’ve admired the challenge from afar for awhile now but today is my first Sunday where I am participating, albeit a little late in the day…

This week’s themes are updating, remembering, needing, wearing, and being.

Updating
This week I’ve been working on updating my sewing area. I received several sewing related items for Christmas, including a full length mirror. I have not had access to one for the 5+ years I’ve lived in this house, so it will be a game changer when sewing for myself. No more trying to decipher Mr. Rox’s  not particularly clear suggestions. Plus it keeps Pen pretty amused when I’m in the area working!

Remembering
Note to self: The kids have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I was so frazzled last Monday that I missed my own appointment. Whoops!

Needing
To weed through the 50 billion photos I took this afternoon for an upcoming guest post on the Mabel Madison blog.

Wearing
Grubby jeans with muddy knees and a fleece pullover. I knew  thatI might get a bit muddy and rained on while shooting the photos, so I dressed accordingly.

Being
I’m pretty optimistic that this year will be a good one!

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Tutorial: Doll quilt for non-quilters.

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialChristmas is almost here and I’m plugging away on a few handmade gifts for the kids. Seb requested that I make blankets for his menagerie of stuffed feline friends and Pen is getting a cradle for her baby dolls. So why not make blankets for both?

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialIf you are a frequent visitor to my blog you may have notice a recurring theme of  myself planning on one thing for a project and then doing something completely different. Making the doll quilts was no different. I planned on making blankets doing it one way and then I got a late night idea that using some of my leftover bits of polar fleece for a backing could create a fluffy quilt-like effect without the need for messing around with things like batting. Since I was now making doll “quilts” instead of blankets I was then inspired to try two finishing methods to make the finished product even more quilt-like.

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialThe top shows what it looks like when I created a grid with top stitching and the bottom image shows the first version of tying the quilt with yarn knots. It should also be notice that the pink fleece was much thicker than the blue. That created a much more quilt-y appearance in my opinion. Both versions look pretty cozy. Not that the dolls care of course but it looks visually appealing and required minimal effort. Easy and cute!

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialBy pure coincidence the fabrics I had picked out were all already cut into fat quarters. This lead to me just using that as the template for quilt size.  The size works well with both Pen’s 12″ and 18″ baby dolls. It works fine for Seb’s stuffed friends of various sizes as well. It is a bit big for smaller his 6″ friends but he likes wrapping them in blankets so the sizing works out well. If you need a smaller or larger blanket it would be easy to just cut the quilting cotton to your desired size and follow the rest of the tutorial as written. I think this method would be awesome for quick and cozy throw blankets.

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialI’ve condensed the tutorial down into a PDF file hosted over here. This is my first experiment with making a tutorial easy to save for later or to print. Let me know what you think! I’m providing this file with the understanding that you will not sell the tutorial itself and you will not redistribute the tutorial outside of a direct link to original source.

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialMaterials needed: Fat quarter of quilting cotton, same size piece of polar fleece (or larger), coordinating thread, water-soluble pen, scissors, ruler, iron, and sewing machine. You will also need yarn and a large eyed needle if you plan on tying the quilt.

Finished blanket size: Approximately 16 1/2″ x 21″. I say “approximately” because I’ve found that the amount of selvage that needs trimming varies.

Instructions:
1. Select your fat quarter OR a piece of fabric cut to 18” x 22”.
2. Trim away any selvage IF using a fat quarter.
3. Place fat quarter on fleece with right sides facing. Cut around fat quarter if needed.
4. Pin or clip fabric together with right sides still facing.
5. Stitch around using a 1/2” seam allowance. Leave a 2” gap for turning. Clip corners.
6. Turn right side out using the gap and press using an iron set to LOW.
7. Top stitch using a 1/2” seam allowance. Be sure that the gap closes.

Finishing Options:
8. Use yarn and a needle with a large eye to hand tie the “quilt”.
OR
9. Top stitch following a grid pattern to create quilt-like squares.

You can design your own grid to follow but for my example quilts I did the following:
Long side: 3 lines spaced 5” apart measuring from the top stitching NOT the edge.
Short side: 2 lines spaced 5 1/2” apart measuring from the top stitching.

If you are an eagle-eyed observer you may notice that the two hand tied versions made different ways. With one version I started with one knot in the center and worked my way out just eyeballing the whole thing. The other version I followed the grid I made for top stitching and placed a knot in the center of each square and where each line intersected, as pictured in step #8. Since you are not trying to prevent batting from shifting drastically, I don’t think it matters where you place the knots. Just do whatever suits your own eye and compliments the fabric.

Download the tutorial here.

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialSince Pen is pretty much my constant companion who rarely naps, she spied me trying to discretely photograph finished quilts and came to help me put her “babees” to bed. Being 18-months old, the surprise aspect is kind of lost on her anyways. I’m sure she will still be surprised with the final presentation Christmas morning with one of the quilts displayed with her new cradle and another baby doll for her growing collection.

www.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialwww.pensebrox.com // DIY doll quilt tutorialNot wanting to spoil the cradle surprise, I turned the basket that I use for my knitting into a temporary doll bed for the photo shoot. It turned out so cute that I’ll be keeping my eye out of similar baskets second hand.

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Getting my craft on.