Lessons from the 100 Day Project (and a project)

I finished! It really ended up being more of a 101 day project for me, as I missed one day due to getting home from a church music practice and finding the toddler still awake. My poor husband had been on bedtime duty for a couple of hours by that point, so I took over. Such is mom life. Since I didn’t end up posting about it during the process nearly as much as I initially planned, I’ll just look back now.

But first, a little project that didn’t make it on here yet!

I had a substantial amount of the coral knit left over from my recent Stasia tee, so I made a little something for my daughter. This pattern is the Chicka Chicka Bum Bum, by Peekaboo Pattern Shop. It’s a cute little pattern, with options for elastic and shorts that make it versatile. But I’ll admit that I’m partial to the little skort option, because it is so stinking cute. And quite practical, as my girl was happy to prove.

Because going down the slide a thousand times was way more important than what her skirt was doing.

It was a very quick make, too—I think something like 3 days from start to finish, which is amazingly fast in my world. In fact, it was so quick that I immediately made two more, this time a matching set in black for my daughter and my niece, who is six months younger. I probably still have enough of the coral left that I could have made that for my niece, too, but my brother likes to find black clothes for her whenever he can, so I know that one will get used.

Back to the Project. During this 100-ish day stretch, here’s everything that I did:

  • Finished the Mountain View jeans (already started)
  • Sewed the Atenas jacket, which was the most time consuming garment that I made in this timeframe
  • Sewed the Jade Skirt
  • Sewed the Stasia tee
  • Did a test run of a knit pants pattern and started one for a tee as a new pajama set (both to be blogged soon)
  • Mended pants for my husband and younger son, and my daughter’s fabric Easter basket that got attacked by a mouse before she even hit her first Easter last year
  • Made the three Chicka Chicka Bum Bums mentioned above

So, all together, I did nearly as much in this 100 days as I did in almost all of 2020. Crazy, right?

It was certainly helpful to me to think of this in terms of just needing 15 minutes a day, though there were many days that I went longer. In particular, I spent hours of my evenings trying to finish up my jeans jacket by my self imposed deadline of my birthday. Overall, though, I found it very sustainable to think of just doing a couple of seams and then moving on. This is something I’m hoping to continue.

Because I was focused on this as my “project”, though, I did notice that I wasn’t reading or scrapbooking as much. The latter in particular is something that I prefer to not get too far behind on, so I don’t forget what details I want to write on the pages. There were definitely days, once I hit the 80 day mark or so, that I felt that I’d be ok with taking a break and doing the other creative outlets that are important to me. And I think that was a valuable takeaway as well.

August round-up, and a stashbusting update

How is it September already? This summer’s been kind of a sleep-deprived blur for me, I guess for obvious reasons. But it’s still weird to think that soon I’m going to be having to start layering up for colder weather.

Before I get into this post, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who commented on my last post! It was really interesting and encouraging to hear your thoughts on creativity when interpreting vs. designing/composing.

So, all factors considered, this was actually a pretty productive month for me as far as sewing goes! And I do have a couple of projects that I haven’t shown on here yet. I did finish up a second Rae skirt yesterday, but I haven’t had a chance to photograph it yet, so I’ll save that for a later post. But aside from that, and the first Rae skirt and the flamingo skirt, here’s what I’ve been up to:

puzzle bagMy in-laws have been bringing a lot of stuff over lately. They recently came for lunch with three boxes of kids’ books and a few toys that they picked up at a yard sale for $1/box. I didn’t keep everything–there were a lot of things like coloring books that were already colored, and they ended up taking the girlier stuff for when our niece is over there. But there were some excellent book finds, too. Somehow, several puzzles ended up in the bottom of the basket of things I kept. Since Hobbit is still a few years too young for even these simple ones, I made a bag to keep everything together until he’s old enough. It only took one naptime, I recycled a zipper and effectively used up the largest piece left over from the diaper bag, and my label worked. So I’m happy with this spontaneous project.

Merida costumeThe other thing I spent a good chunk of the month on was a costume for my best friend, who is going to DragonCon again this year. She gave me permission to post this photo. She wanted to do a Disney princess this year, and chose Merida. We actually started this back in the winter, with a plan that I’d work through it with her so she could learn a little sewing along the way. But life and mostly my pregnancy meant that there was still a good chunk to do with the deadline approaching, so I finished it. The pattern is McCall  , and while she bought the main green fabric and trims, I happily donated part of my stash to the cause–the sleeve lining bits and the white brocade was my contribution. (Now if I could just figure out what to do with the other polyester brocades that have been hanging around!) I’m happy that, although I can’t go with her this time, and I’m ok with that because the baby needs me here, some of my sewing will still be there.

Stash used: Not counting the skirt I finished yesterday, mostly because it was half a refashion and I have no idea how much I used on top of that, this leaves me with a total of 8 yards used up, and 6 that were straight out of the stash. I counted the flamingos, even though I broke habit and used it almost immediately.

Stash added: I bought 2 1/2 yards of chambray with a gift card that had been sitting around, because I felt that I needed a denim skirt for the fall. Then I made the happy discovery that my TARDIS skirt really is bigger on the inside, and I can squeeze myself into it again! So now I need to figure out what to use it for, since there’s a LOT of options. A shirt? A dress? A shirtdress? Augh! And then remember what I said about my in-laws? Someone they knew, I think one of Doug’s aunts, was getting rid of fabric, so they brought it here. Again, I didn’t keep everything, because I don’t have much use for upholstery fabric. But the potentially useable stuff still totaled 18 1/2 yards! Yikes!


The best find in there, hands-down, was this. It’s large scale and crazy bright and I must use it. But not until I start next summer’s clothes, I’m sure. I have more pressing wardrobe needs. And Sarah is hosting my favorite annual sewalong again, so of course I want in!

Since we’re starting the last third of the year, I thought this would be a good time to give an overall stashbusting update. I started off the year with about 375 yards of fabric, and according to my records, I’ve used close to 79! (Thank you, diapers.) The best news to me, though, is that even with the additions, my current tally runs around 351 yards.  So as of now, I have about 24 yards less than I started with. I still feel like I have a ridiculous amount of fabric, especially now that I just ended up with over 20 extra yards in a month. But every project gets me one piece closer to my goal of a manageable-to-store, better-curated stash.

a little owl cape

The nice thing about sewing on Saturdays is that I can instantly post! I literally just finished this project about 10 minutes ago, minus photography/writing time.

Anyway, as I mentioned in the last post, a friend of mine emailed me while I was on the Paris trip to ask if I’d be willing to help her out with a Halloween costume for her foster son. I’ve made some capes for her before, for her own boys and her nieces/nephews, and the idea was pretty cute, so it was hard to say no! The boy loves owls, and really wanted to dress up as one. This was the inspiration link she sent me. And she bought the owl mask herself, so my only responsibility was the cape.

Owl cape, frontAnd this is what I came up with. I made this one a little differently than the others, mostly in that it involved a half-circle rather than a rectangle. The bottom-most level of feathers is the cut edge of the cape, but all of the others were cut and sewn on. I was also able to use all stash fabrics! The boy’s favorite color is green, so I was glad to find a piece of cotton that didn’t have a girly-looking print on it.

Owl cape, backAnd here’s a view of the back, as best as Donna could model it. I’m sure her shoulders are wider than a little boy’s! I left all the edges of the feathers raw, because it would have taken forever to make this otherwise, though I stitched the edges about 1/4″ away from the edge to prevent too much fraying as it gets washed and worn. I figured a little fraying would actually be ok for this one, to soften the feather edges! The rows of feathers are just zigzagged on, so I did add the lining that you can see above in order to hide that. The rows got pretty crooked in some spots! I know there’s this huge span of tan at the top, but honestly, I ran out of the green so I had to improvise!
Owl cape liningOne more detail my friend requested was some “handles” so he could use that to spread his wings. I made them pretty wide in order to accommodate growth, but it’s just two pieces of ribbon stitched on so that the feathers above it were left free (minus the hem feathers, of course.)

I sent her some pictures in progress and she was excited about how it was turning out, so I’m hoping the boy loves it! This was more of a fabric hog than I thought, too– I only have scraps left of the tan leaf print and the darker brown. So all in all, about 3.75 yards of fabric. I’ve been remiss in keeping track of the numbers on my spreadsheet lately–I still have some subtracting to do for the DragonCon projects and my TARDIS bag. So I’ll have to catch up on that soon so I can at least see how I’m doing on my Stash Diet at the end of the month!

Are you doing any Halloween costumes this year? Or are you all too busy sewing your fall and winter stuff, like I need to start doing?


IMG_1517So I finished a knitting project. Despite all of the crafty geekery that’s been going on around here lately, these handwarmers are not for DragonCon! They were a birthday gift for my sister-in-law, who is also very much into all things Doctor Who. (Happy birthday, Julia!)

The pattern is “The Oncoming Storm” by Laura Isaacs. She gives options for knitting in the round and flat, and I chose to do the flat version since this already had a couple of things going on that were new or fairly new to me– I haven’t done that much knitting with multiple colors of yarn, and I’d never had to pick up stitches for a thumb before. So for the latter in particular, I figured it would be simpler to just leave a hole when sewing it up instead of lots of binding off for a thumb hole or whatever.

IMG_1520The black yarn was leftover from Doug’s hat, and I’d actually purchased the grey yarn for this (Caron’s Simply Soft) about 2 years ago, because I’ve been meaning to make these for her for that long. But, time being the wibbly-wobbly thing it is, it got away from me a bit and I just never seemed to be able to get them started. So I started knitting these back in January, because I figured if I did that, surely I could finish them by August! I probably would have finished them a lot faster, if I hadn’t been doing things like taking Craftsy knitting classes with my mom, working on that never-ending cardigan, and having my usual springtime work-induced carpal tunnel flareups. So it was very stop and start. But I did finish these around the end of July, save a quick wash and light blocking that I had to do last week. I don’t think the blocking made much of a difference in the stitches since it was all acrylic yarn, but one of the silly dogs likes to carry things around in his mouth, so he’s perpetually stealing things like any sock he can get his paws on, and my pajamas. And apparently, one handwarmer, because I was dumb enough to leave my knitting bag on the sewing room floor. You just can’t give family members gifts that are coated in dog slobber, you know?

IMG_1519Aside from having to figure out the picking up stitches thing, they went together pretty easily, and I’m feeling a little more comfortable with switching between colors now. I do still have a pretty good chunk of that grey skein left over, and a little of the black, but I figure I can always use that to make Doug another hat or something. Hopefully it won’t take me another two years to get to that.

I didn’t manage to get a picture of both mitts on, because Doug was working on a messy house-related project outside at the time and I didn’t want to interrupt. But I can leave you with a canine photobomb shot!

a post of small things, part 1

None of these are really the sort of thing that warrant an entire post by itself, so this is going to be more of a round-up. Which I’m actually going to do in 2 parts, because otherwise it’s going to be super-long. So I’m going to start with what I’ve actually been working on or finishing up lately, and then move to the things I have to think through a little more tomorrow.

1. First off, my most recent completed sewing project. I’ve used this bib pattern before, though I think this may unintentionally be the last time– I left it on the kitchen table and now it’s not there, so I’m thinking that the dogs ate it. (Our dogs are the type who would have legitimately eaten my homework when I was a kid. They recently ate our checkbook, as evidenced by the fact that we recently found a quarter of one check with a chewed-up edge on the floor….and we haven’t found any other remnants of it!) I hope I can find it or something similar again. It was an online freebie, though I can’t remember from where since I downloaded it years ago. I like that it’s a larger size to keep clothes cleaner, and this has become my go-to for the homemade portion of any baby shower gifts. And I have another friend who recently found out she’s pregnant, so I know I’m going to need it again in the next few months!

I made this set for one of my oldest friends, who is expecting a baby girl in May. It’s kind of neat when you unintentionally choose perfect fabric–I needed a little more on a recent order to get free shipping when I picked up something for my Tauriel costume, and knew this was coming up, so I ordered half a yard each of this owl fabric and some coordinating flannel to back it with. The owls were cute and on sale, and I figured the colors were neutral enough that she could continue to use them if she has a boy somewhere down the road. Then I found out that she’s decorating the nursery in an owl theme! So there was a lot of owl-themed stuff at her shower. (And a lot of pink. So yellow is probably a nice change!)

2. My mom and I are working through a Craftsy knitting class together. We agreed that it’s probably a little too easy for us, though I have still learned some useful things. This was the main scarf from the class, which I finally finished a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out since I used a more textured yarn and the ends were lacy, but I kind of like the funky look of it. Also, I managed to knit the entire thing continental-style, and I’m pretty proud of that since continental purling is the weirdest hand motion. I still don’t really feel like I have the hang of it, but the ability to switch back and forth from my usual English-style might be useful with my carpal tunnel issues.

The yarn is Chacabuco from Araucania, which Ravelry says is now discontinued. I found it mostly ok to work with, though pulling the puffier bits through the loops was sometimes difficult, particularly when binding off. I’ll have to keep that in mind when choosing a future project, because I do still have one skein of this in a different colorway. I actually got to this particular skein pretty quickly as far as stashing goes, since I bought it back in August specifically for this class, and I mostly used it up. (There’s about 20 yards left. What do you do with 20 yards of bulky yarn? Seriously. There really weren’t that many options on Ravelry.)

3. My costume for the Shieldmaiden Sewalong continues to go slowly, but I did get a little further, at least.

I have two more pieces to cut out, plus any other little decorative overlay bits I may want to do. It’s a good thing I’m making this out of bedsheets, because it’s a bit of a fabric hog!

February Stash Diet update

Here’s my totals for the month!

For sewing, I finished a whopping 6 projects! Three pairs of Thurlows, a Plantain tee, plus an infinity scarf and a tablet case. I love the months off from my retail job. I only used up two pieces of fabric completely, though I made nice dents in the fabrics I used for the pants. I did also buy several pieces of fabric this month–there was my travel exception that I made for Mood, plus I used my regular allowance to buy a piece of faux leather for my March of the Shieldmaidens project. I also bought two half yards of fabric to make a baby gift for a friend, since I needed a little more to get free shipping anyway and I really don’t have baby-friendly stuff on hand.

Total fabric out: 7 1/2 yards
Total fabric in: 10 yards
Difference: + 2.5 yards
Total stash left: approximately 327 1/4 yards
Pieces of fabric completely used up: 2 (the cherry print cotton for the charcoal Thurlow pockets, and the paisley knit for the Plantain/scarf)
Patterns used: 2. I believe I have one more to go for my pattern buying allowance.

For knitting, I finally managed to start the sleeves on my cardigan! I also finished up a scarf for the Craftsy class that my mom and I have been working through together, aside from sewing the two halves together and weaving in the ends.. I am so, so close to finishing up that skein of yarn– if the method for figuring out yardage from weight that I found is correct, I only have about 20 yards of this particular yarn left. Seriously, what do you do with 20 yards of yarn?

I didn’t do so well on the yarn in vs out this time. Since I was sharing my beginner knitting Craftsy class with my mom, she decided to buy another one for us to work through together–the “Improve Your Knitting” one, which is probably what I would have gone for in the first case if it had been available at the time. I did check my stash, but unfortunately didn’t have anything on hand in the right weights and amounts for the three projects that we’ll be making for this class. So I ended up buying another 8 skeins of yarn! Hopefully these will get entirely used up during the course of this class, but I will not be counting these towards my yarn purchase allowance when I do use them up.

On the plus side, aside from my cardigan, I can make my totals a little more accurate now. I was finally able to give one secret project to its recipient–I made these dishcloths for my bestie, who recently bought her first place! So this was part of her housewarming gift, which had a geeky-but-practical theme going. So these have the Earth symbol from Stargate, a TARDIS, the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter, and the Starfleet Academy symbol from Star Trek. (I also bought her this apron–it references both Lord of the Rings and the Big Bang Theory, and is a favorite quote to throw at each other on a regular basis–a cookbook, and a cast-iron skillet–also known as Samwise Gamgee’s/Rapunzel’s security system!) I basically used up both skeins of yarn on these dishcloths.

I didn’t quite finish my Robson coat in time for the end of #bluefebruary, so I’m going to count that yardage total towards March. I also did some dyeing to prepare for my costume yesterday–I’m trying to do my costume on a pretty tight budget, so I dyed some bedsheets that my parents were getting rid of. They did get darker, though not quite dark enough for my intended costume. So I think I might sew the main part of the costume up anyway, and then try the one dye I know works for polyester. (You have to boil it on a stovetop, so I need a smaller quantity than queen-sized bedsheets!)

Thurlows so nice, I made them twice

Twice more would probably be more accurate. But I finally got to test out my plan to sew these assembly-line style. I still have one more pair cut out to sew, but the serger thread has to be different for it to look best, so I waited. Navy blue and charcoal, though? Black served absolutely fine for both.

Navy Denim ThurlowsSince I’ve already showed two pairs of these, there isn’t too terribly much to say. (Other than I need to work on my tripod camera positioning, because this angle makes me look kind of stumpy!) I did make a few minor detail changes to make them more jeans-style, since both of these are made from a lightweight denim. There’s topstitching on the waistband, the darts, and around the welt pockets. I added a bar tack on the fly and some topstitching to just after the front pockets after wearing the charcoal pair for a day, because a stress point was already showing! (I also reinforced the stitching in the crotch and thigh areas for the same reason.) I did not, however, make the belt loops for these two pairs– I didn’t even cut them out this time, since by the time I got to that step for the other two pairs, I was pretty much mentally done and just wanted to hem them and be finished.

I am happy that this navy denim pair can count for the #bluefebruary sewalong!

Charcoal Denim ThurlowsAnd here’s the charcoal pair. Do I look a little smug here? (That wasn’t intentional. I also need to work on my posing. Sadly, this was the best of the lot.) Even though you’re probably tired of me talking about making pants, I think these will both be great additions to my wardrobe that will go with tons of stuff. I had to give myself a break from pants yesterday and made a quick knit project instead (to be blogged soon), but I think I’m ready to continue with the last pair now. And then take a bit of a break from pants…but it won’t be forever, because I need some jeans! (Especially since my one pair of skinny jeans accidentally ended up in the dryer this weekend and now I can’t get them on anymore. So sad. On the plus side, now I know what to do with the leftover stretchy denim from the TARDIS skirt…)tablet case- outside

One bonus project– I actually finished this in January, but couldn’t show it until now, since it was part of Doug’s birthday present. He’s been talking about wanting a Microsoft Surface tablet for months, so I teamed up with both sets of our parents to get him one. It came with a thin keyboard-style case, but I thought an extra case would also be helpful to keep things from jamming between the keyboard and the screen. So I used a scrap of the charcoal denim to make this envelope-style case, basically just winging it on the measurements by folding the fabric around the actual tablet.

tablet case- inside

The inside fabric was a fortuitous find– I went to Goodwill with my bestie recently to try to find some preliminary costume materials for some stuff we’re hoping to do later this year. While poking around the home decor section, I found this bedsheet that’s all the various hockey teams in the NHL. Doug is a huge hockey fan, so I snatched that up and smuggled it home! I only needed a small scrap for this bag, but made sure to center one of his two favorite teams so that it was showing–the one that would require me to cut into the least amount of fabric, of course! I still have quite a bit of this left, though I’m not counting it as adding to the stash, but I’m sure I can use it up for some big blocky project like making pillows for the basement, aka his “man cave”.

And now for totals:

Pattern: Sewaholic Thurlows (plus improvised pattern for tablet pouch)

Amount of time it took to make: About two weeks, plus some breaks to make the pouch while Doug wasn’t home, so that averages to a little less than a week per pair. Not too shabby.

Fabric used: lightweight denims from Fabric.com

Amount of fabric used: approx. 3.5 yards (about 1.25 yds of main fabric/.5 yd lining per pair) – there’s approximately 1.75 yards of each main fabric remaining, though not the full width of the fabric. (Any ideas?)

Stashed since: 2012

Current stash total: Counting the 6 yards I just bought at Mood, about 336 yards. Well, it’s still some progress.

Two last projects for 2013

Now that Christmas is over, I can show one of my more recent secret projects! And even though most of my “craft” time since then has been “completely reorganize the craft room” time, I did take a break from it on Saturday night to knock out another project. So I thought I’d share.

Christmas placematsFirst up are these placemats, which I (partially) made for my mother-in-law. I can’t take credit for too much on here–making them in the first place was Doug’s idea, and I honestly would not have been able to get these done even remotely on time without some greatly appreciated help from my own mom. I did the quilting and cutting, but she cut and sewed on all of the binding strips and also did the majority of the hand-sewing for that. Thanks, Mom!

Christmas placemats

A close-up of the fabrics. The penguins are because my mother-in-law is pretty much obsessed with them–seriously, she loves anything with a penguin on it! And Doug thought this would be more practical than another figurine. The flip side with the Christmas puppies are because the lighter one in particular strongly resembles the older of our two dogs, which she also loves a lot. It’s really hard to find penguin fabric that isn’t blatantly Christmas, but I’m glad I succeeded, because then she can use them more often.

Another Renfrew topThe other project I finished over the weekend was for the #SewGreenDecember sewalong that the Sewcialists on Twitter have been doing. It’s another Renfrew, my third one now, so there’s not too terribly much to say, other than this:

1. This was my first time doing the V-neck. It’s not quite as crisp of a V as I would have preferred, due to the fabric, but I’m proud of how it turned out nonetheless.

2. The fabric itself is a very drape-y, more or less a textured slinky knit. Thus the not-crisp V. The other effect that this had was that this one seems to have ended up a little longer than my other ones. The sleeves in particular do bunch around my wrists a bit, and pull down to handwarmer length. I don’t mind this, actually, since my hands do get cold frequently. My only regret is that I didn’t think to add thumb holes until after I tried it on! As for the print, all I can think when I look at it is that it’s like a closeup of Impressionist shrubbery. Which is probably what this shirt will end up being called on the sidebar, because I’m not-clever like that.

3. Since it was already cut out, this was super-quick. It’s really nice to have a TNT pattern that I can knock out in a few hours while watching tv. It’s also nice that I was able to use up a piece of fabric that has been sitting in the stash since before I started this blog!

So now I’ve done all 3 neckline options, and two of the three sleeve lengths on this pattern. I’m sure there will be more, though I don’t have any more planned for the semi-immediate future.

I do have one more end-of-year post I’ll need to do, since I did get some fun crafty/handmade things for Christmas that I wanted to show off. I’m also in the middle of inventorying my fabric (on a spreadsheet) and my yarn (on Ravelry), to give me something tangible to track in my stashbusting efforts. I do have to say that the numbers on my fabric are embarrassing at the moment–I haven’t quite finished due to finding some things in unexpected places (and another fabric purchase that Gillian and Heather completely enabled me on, when I commented on Twitter that I had an Archer pattern and literally nothing to use for it), but at last count, I was over 320 yards! And that’s not even counting scraps! Yikes!

Top 5’s of 2013, part 4: Knitting and other craftiness

Because those things deserve recognition, too, right? So here’s all the things that weren’t sewing clothes.

Top 5 hits of 2013: 
1. The Branching Out mitts that I knitted. Look, I did colorwork! And they’re soft and cute and from a pattern I already had on hand. And I used the yarn in a fairly timely fashion, so win all around. I did have a bunch of this yarn leftover, but I’m actually using the leftover blue in a current project, which I will blog about when I have more to show for it.

2. The “Project Life” scrapbooking system. I started playing around with this during the summer as a way to try to stay more on top of my scrapbooking and document newlywed life. For those of you who don’t scrapbook, the basic concept is that you can get these kits with pocket page protectors, cards that fit into those slots, and then you just add your writing and photos and you’re basically done. Most people seem to do one spread a week. I’ve been doing more of a system of add stuff as I have photos for it or things I want to write down, occasionally mixing in more “traditional” scrapbook layouts, and go on a more month-by-month basis. I can’t say I’m caught up, but it really is making it easier to scrapbook on a more regular basis–it’s so easy to just grab the stuff, sit in front of the tv, and see what fits where. I’m also able to use some paper and stuff I already have, just slicing it down to size. I haven’t showed too much of that on here, so here’s a sampling of some things that I’ve (mostly) already gotten done!

Scrapbook Layouts, 2013

It’s not all pocket pages, obviously. The top two show what I’ve been doing when I have a “real” scrapbook page on one side–I’ve been making my own cards here and there to coordinate with whatever the main page is. The bottom left-hand corner is a finished page, from a concert that I went to over the summer with two of my closest friends, the bottom lowest right is one of the straight-up Project Life pages, though with a few additional filler cards that I made or printed myself, and the one above that is an in-progress one from the honeymoon. Yes, they’re all Instagram pictures of a little plastic TARDIS. Doug and I were having fun with that! I just need to print out the captions and paste them on, and then that spread is done, and same thing with most of my honeymoon pics. I’ve only gotten stuff through the end of the summer mostly done at the moment, but I’m still feeling much better about this particular hobby than I have for a couple of years!

TARDIS shoes!3. Geeky shoes. My bridesmaids and mom got a huge kick out of our mostly Whovian shoes for the wedding reception! And I have occasionally worn mine since, though not recently since it’s been wet and icy a lot lately. Not the best scenario for painted canvas footwear.

Roheline cardigan (in progress)4. It’s nowhere near finished, but I’m going to add my Roheline cardigan. This is what it currently looks like. I have a long way to go, but once I got past the initial trouble with starting it, it’s been a pretty easy knit, albeit slow. I think my stockinette knitting is starting to look pretty nice and even, which is why I’m calling this a win, even if it’s still in progress! And now that I finally understand what it means by “wrap and turn” on the short row sections, the top will look even better.

5. Making things for others. Yes, this includes sewing too, but I tend to often be selfish in my crafting, and I did make more things that were gifts for other people this year. So that makes me feel pretty good.

Top 5 misses of 2013:
1. The scarf I knitted for Doug near the end of last winter. It was successful for stashbusting, but he hasn’t really worn it at all so far this winter. This isn’t a criticism, because he does wear the hat I knitted for him in 2012 all the time! He just doesn’t get as cold as I do.

IMG_05132. The bedroom curtains, to some extent. They do block more light than the blinds do alone, though it still can get way more bright than I like in the mornings. They’re way shorter than I would have preferred. Note to self: Next time, be more generous with curtain yardage estimations.

3. Jewelry-making. Mainly because I just didn’t take the time to do any this year. Note to self: must start playing with beads again, because I have way too many of them not to!

4. Home decor crafting in general. I meant to do a lot more, but once again, time management and I didn’t get along so well, and I only got to the bedroom curtains.

5. Honestly, I can’t come up with a fifth thing, because that more or less encompasses everything I made this year! So let’s just say the time factor and leave it at that, since having more plans than I finished was a running theme this time around.

Finally, in the interest of not leaving projects unblogged, here’s the handwarmers I actually finished to wear to my retail job.

work handwarmersIt’s honestly not my best work–I messed up the very easy stitch pattern here and there because I was in a hurry, and the yarn is pilling very quickly, because my job is hard on them. The stripes don’t match up, and I don’t care, because I just wanted to get them done–though I did do a surprisingly good job of getting the thumb gussets to match the stripes without even trying! But they’ve been keeping my hands warmer than they would have been on their own, especially during October when I was still mostly sitting at an outdoor register. This is how I was wearing them then:
Yes, those are other gloves underneath. Along with a hat, a scarf, long underwear, at least 2 other shirts, and a 2-layer sporty winter coat. Incidentally, one of the main reasons I still want to sew a new winter coat rather than just use this one, other than fashion, is that the inner layer is fleece, and I’ve found that it’s really, really difficult to pull that on over my sweaters and blazer jackets, on the occasions that I forget to bring my “real” winter coat with me to switch to before I go do my teaching!

Aside from a couple of secret projects that I won’t post until after Christmas, and a few in-progress things, that pretty much wraps up 2013! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas (or whatever you celebrate)!

Red Velvet, Green Velvet

I’m still plugging away at my first project for the Doctor Who Sewalong, and am hoping to have it finished and ready to show by this weekend. But I took a break on Tuesday to whip this little bag up.


It only seems to want to go sideways. Probably what I get for doing a phone photo. But this is the Red Velvet mini-clutch by Cake Patterns, in green velvet! Which kind of makes me laugh.

UntitledThis one’s sitting a little better, at least. It’s hard to see in there, but the inside is a white brocade. I was able to make this entirely from scraps that I had on hand, aside from needing to purchase a zipper. And aside from the hour or so it took me to figure out how on earth those scissor pleats were supposed to work (I could only mark the dots with thread, because I didn’t want to mess up the velvet), it came together very quickly– I had this cut out and stitched up in one evening.

I’m not keeping this bag. A friend from church is fundraising to adopt a little girl from China with a heart condition, and she put a shoutout on her Instagram recently to ask for donations, so I told her I’d make a little something for her. So this is part of the Christmas-themed bundle she’s doing, out of three bundles total. Hopefully the winner will like it! Thanks in particular to Steph, who graciously granted permission for me to make this bag for the giveaway when I asked her about it on Twitter. Now that I know how it works, this won’t be the last one I make. I’m already plotting at least one for a Christmas gift!

Speaking of giveaways, there’s still plenty of time to enter to win a recent issue of KnitScene. There’s already been several entries, so thanks to everyone who’s commented so far! It’s been fun to see what’s caught your eye.