Crochet: Baby blanket

My daughter was born last year in September, and while I waited for her to great the world I crocheted a blanket for her. I wasn’t much of a blogger back then, so when I put my baby girl down for her nap the other day, I started contemplating about bragging a bit on my blog about this lovely blanket that I crocheted.

I made it up as I went along, and I didn’t write a pattern recipe down, but I think it’s:

  • beginning with a row of single crochet
  • then alternating 2 double crochet (American dc) with 2 single crochet, followed by a row of single crochet and this repeated four times. (repeating this step after main part of blanket)
  • The main part of the blanket is made with half double crochet along a row and then next row single crochet in front loop (or maybe it was the back loop?), then repeat that through with a change of colour after 5 repeats.
  • The edge is some sort of shell stitch. I guess I could look at the blanket and see what I used, but I just but baby girl to sleep for the night and the blanket is in her bed.

Anyway, now for the bragging part…. the nice pictures of my wonderful blanket

Baby blanket

Baby blanket

Baby blanket

I used this yarn:

baby blanket crochet in progress

 

I am really satisfied with the result. It has been much used and will probably be loved for years to come.

🙂

The bag is almost finished!

I have taken the time to sew quite often these past few days, and now the bag actually looks like a bag,  but is not yet totally finished – I still need to add buttons and their holes!

But to get this far I had to do a lot of pinning, basting and sewing – and along the way I made a few mistakes, because let’s face it: I am still learning how to sew. 😉

Last time I blogged about the bag project I had only cut the fabric and hadn’t done any sewing. That was just step 1 out of 12 – now I will tell you how I made my way through step 2 to 11.

I stay-stitched across the top of the felt bag pieces and flap and the ends of the straps. I had never heard about stay-stitching before so this was a new thing learned. Then I top-stitched a fancy line pattern to the front piece of the bag.

After turning flap right side out, I pressed the seams flat and top-stitched around the edge approx. 6 mm in.

Bag

The pattern has a fancy line pattern that you top-stitch across the front.

Bag

Next the felt bag pieces was sewn together. As always first pin and baste…

Bag

The book tells you to sew the seam twice for strength. This is another sewing tip learned. Then remember to notch the rounded corners after sewing.

Bag

Next turn right sides out and press seamed edges flat. Tadaa.. so far so good. 🙂

Bag

Then I repeated the steps for the outer felt fabric with the lining fabric.

Bag

The twist is to remember to leave an opening at the bottom so you later can turn it right side out after sewing it together with the outer layer. I did remember to leave an opening, but I forgot to notch the corners. Luckily I remembered at a later stage, so no actual fault was made here.

Bag

Then it was time for the flap. First I ironed on the interfacing to the lining. This was my first time ever ironing on interfacing, so I learned to do something new again!

Bag

More pinning and basting…

Bag

And voila! The flap is sewn together. Here I learned how to do layering: trimming the seam allowance to reduce bulk.

Bag

The I moved on to do the straps…. and I began making mistakes. 😦

Can you see what I did wrong here:

Bag

I didn’t put the right sides together. I actually pinned and basted both straps before noticing. Luckily I hadn’t begun to machine sew before I could correct my mistake.

Here is what it should have looked like:

Bag

Then the book tells you to sew down both edges and then to also sew across one end before turning the straps right-side out.

Bag

Bag

And then I made my second mistake! I didn’t read the instructions carefully enough, because if I had, I would have unpicked the end stitching, but to make matters even worse I begun to slip-stitch the other end, and managed to to this very nicely to both straps before realising the error I had made. 😦

Bag

The lesson I learned here was that you only sew the end of the strap to make it easier to turn right-side out. It is just to aid you, so remember to unpick the stitches afterwards, otherwise you will have too much and unnecessary bulk at your seams.

I unpicked both ends of both straps and continued on with step 9 which is to attach straps and flap to the outer layer of the bag. As always: pin, baste and sew.

Bag

Step 10 is to attach the lining. It was here that I noticed that I had forgot to notch the lining around the corners, but better late than never.

Bag

You sew the seam twice for strength and then layer the seam allowance.

Bag

Now the bag actually began to look like a bag, because now I turned the bag right-side out through the gap left in the bottom of the lining.

Bag

And then I got to slip-stitch the gap shut. I really do like to slip-stitch; it feels like I am performing magic each time. 😉

Bag

And this how far I am with the bag project now. But…. I have just noticed one more mistake! And again it has to do with the straps. I forgot to top-stitch down the edges after turning them right-side out. And now they are already sewn on the bag with lining and all, so I will see if it is possible to do as an afterthought. otherwise I will have to leave it as it is, and none but me and the few that read my blog will be the wiser. 😉

Bag

Next and last step to this project is buttons. I have never done buttonholes before, so wish me luck!

🙂

Learning how to sew – 4th project: Lined tote bag

You might know this already, but I am trying to learn how to sew by following the workshops in the great book called ‘Sewing machine basics – A step by step course for first-time stitchers’.

It has been fun so far and I have learned a lot already; and now I’ve come to the 4th project, which is a lined tote bag! (You can never have too many bags, in my humble opinion.) 😉

I decided some time ago to use the same felt for the bag as I used for the scarf that I sew in the 2nd workshop of the book, and I am also using the same fabric as I used for the apron that I just finished sewing on the 3rd workshop of the book.

Bag

I think I am getting better at cutting in a nice neat line along the pattern paper.

And just look at how much fabric I have left over from that pretty apple/pear patterned fabric. (I might make a cute dress, from the rest of the fabric, for my baby girl when I have learned all the basics of sewing and feel more confident in tackling a dress pattern.)

Bag

And here is the lining for the bag cut out nicely:

Bag

And last, but none the less important – the interfacing…

Bag

I am so very excited about this project. It feels like a real challenge to have to line a bag and sew so many pieces together, but I like a challenge and I can’t wait to start sewing.

🙂

Bound-edged apron – a finished project!

I have finished my 3rd learning-how-to-sew project, and I am happy with the result!

Last time I wrote about the apron project I had already sewn the ties, but still needed to turn them right side out and attach them to the apron.

I struggled a bit turning the first one right side out, but figured out how to to it easy with the second one…

Apron

 

Then I pressed the ties and slip-stitched the ends shut. I am amazed… slip-stitching is like performing magic – you don’t see the stitches even though you are sewing from the outside!

Apron

 

Attaching the ties was actually more difficult than I had expected. The box stitches was very difficult to make look nice, and this was my first try at doing it, so I guess I shouldn’t have expected too much, but I had hoped for a nicer box.

Apron

Apron

 

But I can’t complain about the overall finished result….

Apron

Tadaaa…….! A finished apron = yet another finished project. 🙂

 

Next project is a bag, and I am really looking forward to the challenge.

Learning how to sew: The apron project, continued

The apron isn’t quite finished yet, but It’s getting very close!

I’ve bound all the edges, and it was maybe easier than I had thought it would be, but that’s just because I had thought it would be really difficult.

I started with the neckline edge…

Apron

As you can see the result could be neater, but for a first try at binding a rounded edge I’m happy.

Apron

Some of these photos are taken when I worked in the evening, so they are unfortunately a bit dark, but here is what it looked like when I had prepped the outer edge of the neckline for sewing:

Apron

Look at how neat the stitches are this time:

Apron

Yesterday I got some sewing done during daylight, so I took some photos when I put on the last of the binding around the lower edge;

Apron

Apron

Here the apron is all pinned and with basting stitches just ready to be sewn…

Apron

… and a close-up

Apron

Everything was going fine. This is a learning process for me and one of the things I notices was that I got a nice consisting distance to the edge of the binding if I used the rectangular holes in the sewing machine as guides for the fabric while having set the stitch type to a needle position with the needle to the side – here’s a close-up of it:

Apron

 

And then when I was so happy with my new discovery and thinking how great I’ve become at sewing . . . . .   the thread broke!

Apron

Ah well, I’m sure this happens for everybody sometimes, and I fixed it and continued and the result was fine.

Apron

 

All left to do now is the ties for tying the back of the apron, but that will have to wait for another day. 🙂

The apron gets a pocket

The apron project is all about learning to bind edges and apply pockets, so the apron has a nice big pocket with a bound edge plus the whole apron also has a bound edge too. To make it even more challenging, the pocket has rounded corners!

Baby girl went to sleep early yesterday, and husband was out for a work dinner, so I got my sewing kit out and started on giving the pocket a bound edge and then went on to apply it to the apron front.

I am somewhat pleased with the bound edge, but I might see if I can sew a bit closer to the edge next time. (It was a bit dark so the picture is not so good unfortunately.)

Apron

It was a bit tricky to get the corners rounded nicely, but it was a fun challenge.

Then I had to match the pattern on the pocket to the pattern on the apron front.

Apron

I think I got it matched quite well. Here is what it looks like in daylight:

Apron

I still have to take the basting stitches out, and I must admit that sewing in a consistent distance to a rounded edge is not easy. I guess I will have to practice that a lot more.

Apron

Next is to bind the whole edge of the apron. It has a curved edge too, so wish me luck!

Learning how to sew – 3rd project: Bound-edged apron

My next challenge is an apron and I am going to use this fabric…

Apron

I think it’s perfect for an apron. My extra challenge with this project is to align the front pocket so the pattern match!

Today I managed to trace the pattern and cut out the fabric…

Apron

Apron

Apron

I found it a bit daunting cutting the fabric, but I think I did just fine, look….

Apron

And then there’s the pocket…

Apron

I cut from the front of the fabric to make sure I got the pattern sequence that I want.

Still a lot of sewing to do, but that will have to wait for another day and another one of the baby’s naps.

Embellished scarf – a finished project!

My second learning-how-to-sew project is finished!

Look at how nice it turned out:

Scarf

 

Lessons learned and things I have to remember and get better at:

  • cut neater
  • sew in a nice straight line
  • finding and using a perfect matching thread colour
  • getting the thread tension just right

I used a chalk to trace the pattern on the other end of the scarf. It did not look nice when I used a ball point pen on the first end.

Sewing 2012-04-08

 

Here are a few more photos of the finished scarf:

Embellished scarf

Scarf

Scarf

 

The next project in the book is an apron!

 

Embellished scarf – almost done!

I managed to get a little sewing done yesterday and today. I am so close to finishing it that I can almost smell the success in the air. 😉

Last time I blogged, I had had finished the actual scarf, but hadn’t started on the embellished part of it yet. Yesterday I traced the leafy pattern on to one end of the scarf. I probably should have been patient and gone to buy the proper carbon copy paper, but I in stead used a ball point pen to trace with.  The result looked like this:

Sewing 2012-03-28

Next step was to cut out the leafs. That went fairly well, but again my cutting could be neater.

Sewing 2012-03-28

Then I pinned and basted around the leaves. This was as far as I got yesterday before the baby awoke from her nap.

Sewing 2012-03-28

Today I started sewing the pattern on the sewing machine. Before getting started on the actual sewing, I had to make sure the tension was right. This took a long time, and I was not completely happy with the result, but I think my machine is not any good, and I didn’t want to waste more time, so on I went with the sewing.

Sewing 2012-03-29

Here’s a close-up:

Sewing 2012-03-29

It was not easy, and the result could have been nicer, but for a first try, I am quite happy.

 

Now I just have to finish taking out the basting stitches and taking in the loose ends. Here is how the back looks:

Sewing 2012-03-29

 

And then there is of course also the other end of the scarf to embellish with the same pattern.

Getting closer to a finished scarf

The scarf that I am making has finally taking the shape of a scarf. Now all I need to do is put the finishing touch ob it: the embellishing, which is a leafy pattern on each end.

I didn’t have any major problems while sewing this time, but I do think my sewing could be a bit neater – I’m sure that part will come in time. Practice makes perfect, as they say.

Here’s how it looked before turning it right-side out:

Sewing 2012-03-27

And a close-up…

Sewing 2012-03-27

Here I had turned it – notice the gap in the middle that I had to slip-stitch closed.

Sewing 2012-03-27

Me slip-stitching it closed:

Sewing 2012-03-27

Here is the pressed and almost finished scarf:

Sewing 2012-03-27

Now I just have to figure out if I can transfer the leafy pattern without dressmakers carbon-copy paper. Otherwise I will have to go buy some before I can continue.