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Friday, May 27, 2011

Dishcloths

My Mom taught me how to crochet when I was young.  I remember making her a crochet square that said 'I love you' in the middle.  Like most things I did I winged it and it came out looking like something only a mother could love, but I was proud and so was she.  I also remember learning how to knit.  I tried to make a scarf a few different times and as rough as my crocheting was, it was better than my knitting. 

These childhood memories lead me to my recent desire to learn to crochet.  I was looking for a portable hobby.  I LOVE sewing, but it does have its drawbacks, namely, I have to be sitting in front of my sewing machine to do it and there can be a lot of clean up.  Don't get me wrong I have a few projects on the go and more in my head, I just thought crocheting would be a nice addiction addition to my life.

This past Christmas my Mom bought me a few essentials to start me on my new hobby of crocheting.  One of those things was a book of patterns for dishcloths.  They turned out to be pretty fun and easy.  It is nice to work on a nice quick project and see immediate results.  I love how colourful yarn is and how beautiful a grouping of colourful crochet items look, like these dishcloths I made for the kids teachers this year:


The pattern I used turned out to be one I found online and not one from the book I have, I wish I could remember which site I found it on.  I found so many great looking patterns and ideas, so far I have been keeping my projects pretty simple.  One pattern I did try was a pattern for dish scrubbies made out of tulle or netting.  How fun is that, and I had left over netting at home, so free to try.  The pattern I used left a little to be desired and all 7 or so scrubbies i have made look a little different, but hey they are for washing dishes so who is going to complain.  3 of the nicer ones will be going with the dishcloths to the kids' teachers.


I also found another use for them, my fish tank had a little algae build up on the sides, so I was looking in the pet store at all the options I had to clean the tank.  One of the tools they had looked exactly like a kitchen scrubbie.  As luck would have it I already had one made and unused at home, so off I went to clean the tank.  Beautiful.  My fish tank looks sparkly new again.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sleeping Shorts (aka boxer briefs)

Who knew that I would be sewing boxer briefs.  All winter my oldest daughter was sleeping in pajama pants, but now that the weather is warming up, she is looking for alternatives.  Pajama pants are too hot and I have a hard time finding comfortable, reasonably priced shorts for her to sleep in.

Then I came across this pattern on Etsy.  The pattern seemed a little pricey, but it came in a few sizes and I figured once I had the pattern I can easily adjust it for more sizes. It is a pattern for boxer briefs, but I thought they would work great as sleeping shorts.  I love that there is no elastic waistband.  Of course you can buy these in the store, but they would always look like boys underwear, which I don't want my daughter to have to wear underwear that looks identical to her brothers.  So, I figured this pattern was cheaper and easier in the long run.

I am thrilled with the results!  They are very soft and stretchy (I can choose the fabric), she loves them and they fit perfect.  She wants more!  I have some great purple striped fabric for the next pair.

UPDATE:  I  made the purple ones!  The first time I use a pattern I usually follow it exactly.  After that I can see if there is anything that I would like to alter.  In this case I made the front panel flat, a little more fitting for girls.  Another thing I did was make the waist and leg bands the same colour.  There are days when she wants to wear pretty summer skirts or dresses and cannot find a decent pair of shorts to wear under them, because let's face it, some girls play just as hard as the boys, but still like to feel pretty!  This way, she can wear them under her dresses and get good coverage.



Saturday, May 14, 2011

Crochet Stuffed Toy Blanket

I had a special request for a crochet blanket.  I used a different kind of yarn then I have used before.  It was a little difficult, but made a super comfy cuddle blanket.  I made up the pattern.


The recipient of the blanket is a tiger named Roary.  Apparently, Roary has been having a hard time sleeping at night because he is cold.  There is not enough room for him to sleep in the bed, so he sleeps alone on the floor.  Here he is, patiently waiting for his new blankie:


And finally, much better:


The real reason I made it... this wonderful face!  I am sure you would cave in to smiles like this if you had the chance too!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sew-a-Long the 11th - A Wallet for Me

Blogger went down and apparently ate my original post!  Here I go again...

I have seen some amazing fabric wallets on the web.  The sites that interest me seem to have lots of beautiful handmade things!  Part of me wanted to make one, the other part was a little intimidated.  This is because some of the wallets I saw were perfectly constructed while others were, how do you say, made with love.  I make things that are not perfect, quite often actually, they don't make the blog, but I did hope to make a near perfect wallet. 

In February, My youngest son asked for his very own wallet.  I know they sell wallets for kids in stores, but I don't always see them, so I thought it was the perfect time to try one out.  I read a lot of tutorials, but decided to draft my own pattern.  I made my own bias tape for the first time too, making the bias tape was way easier than I expected.  Overall I am thrilled with his  wallet.  I am happy that it is not mine.

Two things that I didn't like; my own pattern, I work well from other peoples patterns, it is best to stick with it, at least until I get a good feel for what I am doing and secondly, the awesome bias tape.  I am not very good at sewing it on.   There is no picture of the wallet, but it is loved and appreciated.

Fast forward to this week, the blog sew-a-long challenge is to make a wallet!  There were a couple other choices, but wallet was a natural fit.  I used this tutorial.  I am super happy with the end product.  The bonus with this tutorial is that the whole wallet is turned and top stitched, no bias tape.  That, I know how to do.

Here she is:

Features of the wallet include, zippered pocket, two slip pockets and 6 credit card holders.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day was(is) perfect this year. I woke up this morning to my wonderful family excited to wish me a Happy Mother's Day and give me the gifts they had made/chosen. They came with so much love, they are perfect.

After all the hugs and kisses were over we headed downstairs for breakfast. Cereal was eaten and coffee was made. This year I had my in-laws over for Mother's Day Brunch. My Mother-in-Law, Father-in-Law, Sister-in-Law and two nieces. Wonderful company and wonderful food.

The menu for the day was Lemon Strawberry Crepe Cake, cinnamon buns, Christmas Morning Wife Saver, farmer sausage, bacon and fresh fruit.

I make the cinnamon buns and wife saver every Christmas morning.  I love doing them, but they are overshadowed by Christmas, so I decided to make them for Mother's Day this year too.  Here are my cinnamon buns:


The crepe cake was new for me.  While browsing through some of my favourite blogs I came across this, it looked amazing to me and I had to try it.  Here is how mine came out (not as pretty, but I assure you it was amazing and I will make it again):

My father-in-law was awesome enough to bring us some great farmer sausage and bacon that my husband cooked up.  The kids love that, and to lighten the meal up my sister-in-laws family brought the fresh fruit.  A wonderful addition, again a favourite for the kids.

Here I am doing the final touches.


I was very happy to be able to fulfill my Mother's Day wish by making yummy food and having special people in my life to share with.  Of course not everyone was available and I did not think of them any less on this day while we celebrated the joy of Motherhood.

Whoops, it sounds like I am wrapping up my post, I got carried away with all my food love!  After brunch the kids played in the backyard, doing what they love.  I put my littlest one for a nap and my company left.  Time to wind down.  In our house I am pretty sure that the television doesn't know much exists outside of sports.  The occasional kids show or home show gets turned on, but mostly the TV is off unless there is sports on.  Recently however we discovered Wipe Out Canada, it is very fun to watch with the kids.  We took a moment to relax while we watched and laughed.

The final part of my family day was soccer.  We had practice scheduled for this evening, we wanted to hold practice even though most of the kids on the team were unable to attend.  When we got to the field it started to rain but we toughed it out.   We did a few soccer drills, then ran up and down a big hill (in hopes of burning off some of the above mentioned brunch).  It was a lot of fun.  After about 1/2 hour we were soaked so we called it quits.

At home my husband put everyone to bed, including himself and I settled in to sewing.  I completed a wallet.  I will post more about it later this week.

What a perfect day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Keepsake Placemat Tutorial

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I wanted to share with you how to make a keepsake placemat.  If you happen to be my Mom or Mother-in-Law please pretend you didn't read this and act surprised when you may or may not receive this.
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