Saturday, August 11, 2012

FO: Trackies that actually fit!

Mr A is impossible to buy trousers for.  At the start of winter I bought him some trackies for school and had to buy a size 3!  They fit fine but are just a touch on the short size and I think he has actually grown a bit since then.  To go up a size is hopeless because they virtually fall off him, so for ages now I have been meaning to drag out the sewing machine and actually make the poor child some that fit him properly.
So today was the day.  Found the pattern this morning (ottobre once again 4/2010, design 11), traced it, chose fabric and had them all finished off before dinner.  Going by Mr A's measurements I had to make him a size 92 so I traced this size but added approximately 10cm length and the final fit is perfect.  I really like this pattern too.  It's designed to be made in woven fabric but I used sweat shirting fleece and I omitted the bottom cuffs from the pattern.  Also as this pair was really just to assess fit I didn't bother with the extra detailing at the knees or the belt loops or drawstring.  I think the next pair I make I will try the knee panel detail but probably not change anything else.
So the fabric I chose was some I had left over from some other trackies I made him ages ago that are now too short.  I'm pretty sure I bought a metre of the fabric and have now got 2 pairs out of it.  These ones are particularly economical on fabric because of the back yoke and option of cutting the front in 3 sections so you don't even need the full leg length to get a pair out :-)
Anywho.... the front
The pocket detail
The back
And on Mr A who is really thrilled with them.  The fit is great and the length is just about perfect.

And apparently they are good for bouncing.
P.S No idea why the photos are sideways but they wont turn around for me.  Will try again later.

Hill walking

During the last school holidays we shared the time off work, still sent Miss M to daycare and each had a few days of one on one time with Mr A.  We got up to all sorts of fun things but I think the highlight for Mr A was a morning hill-walking with Daddy.  They made a real adventure of it, walking up one of the firebreaks on the hills near us and enjoying a well deserved hot lunch at the top :-)
Their trip in pictures.
Setting off

On the way up

Looking across the valley

It's quite steep

Looking across the hilltops

At the top

Looking to the South Island in the distance

Cooking lunch

Yummy pasta

A rest on the way down

Back at the bottom

FO: Teeny Tiny Shoes

About 6 weeks ago we had a new niece arrive in the UK and of course we were all very excited.  Although I was in the middle of a million and one other projects I had to cast on a wee something for the special new wee girl.  Upon request of her Mum that 'something' was some tiny shoes and here is the result.
The pattern is Saartje's Booties, and they are so tiny and cute.
And just to put that into perspective here they are next to some rather large shoes.

Sweatshirt aka taming the cover seamer

Way back in June I attended a sewing workshop with the express hope of getting my coverseamer working.  Unfortunately we were unsuccessful on the day but I have since taken it in for a service and been assured that it is working perfectly.  That being the case I finally got brave enough to tackle actually sewing something on it to try and get over my fear of the thing.
I chose to make a sweatshirt for Mr A using a vintage pattern I had here (actually I strugle to call it vintage since I was at school when it was first released) and some fabric I picked up at the Sallies for $4, can't go too wrong really.  Of course I couldn't find any ribbing to match so had to go for a contrast but since this was only ever going to be for round home who really cares.
So here is the pattern I chose and I decided to make him a size 4 which was the smallest in the version of the pattern I had.  I knew this was a bit of a risk as he is pretty skinny but in actual fact it turned out ok.  Overall I was surprised at how well this did actually fit, the only point I would make is the hood is huge and really just for decoration.
As for the coverseamer well lets just say it is partially domesticated but not quite tamed.  I did manage to get it going which is a massive improvement on all my earlier attempts but I did find that it still skipped stitches a bit.  This may have been something to do with material thickness and I think it was skipping stitches more as I stopped and started along a seam.  I tried it on some scrap woven fabric and it went like a dream but what is the point of a coverseamer that doesn't like knit fabric?
So without further ado here is the sweatshirt.

And a close up of some of the coverstitching.

And finally on the boy.  What is it about 5 year old boys that they can't stand sensibly for a photo?
So overall a semi-success.  Main thing is Mr A likes it and says it is really warm.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

FO: Mini Manu

This wee cardi for Miss M really all started with the buttons.  I popped into HRYC when I heard they had a new shipment of Buttons by Benji in some time ago, especially excited because I had heard rumours of penguin buttons.  I soon found these rumours were in fact based on truth and nabbed myself a set of gorgeous buttons for my "pengin" mad wee girl.  Next job was to find the perfect yarn and what do you know it was sitting right there in my stash staring at me.  Who would have thought that possible?  Out came the Red Riding Hood Yarns 8ply in 'Alice' and the match was done. 
The final hurdle was finding the pattern and after much searching of ravelry I decided on Mini Manu by Kate Davies.  This is where things began to come unstuck a bit.  Firstly the pattern is written for a light DK and the 'fabric' my yarn knitted up into was a lot denser than that really needed for the pattern.  Of course I forged on though assuring myself it would be fine.  Also it appears I am unable to read, which is bound to cause problems.  I realised when I had basically finished the cardigan that what I had read as body measurements were actually the finished measurements of the cardigan, bummer!  This meant that after a lot of hard work, and for a small cardy this one is a lot of work, I ended up with something that fits Miss M - JUST!  It is perfect just now and I am willing her not to grow until spring, hehehe.
So here is Miss M's Mini Manu.
Here are the penguin buttons.
There are a couple of really nice features on this cardy, the pleats at the neckline and the fact that the entire border is finished with an applies icord, it is a bit of work (and a pain keeping all the stitches live as you go) but really worth it for the lovely finish it gives.
The only major alteration I made to the pattern was that the pattern called for all the pleats aroudn the neck to go in one direction but I decided to reverse them from half way so they were mirrored on the front.  If I knit this again in a year or two (when I've forgotten how fiddly it was) I would reverse the pleats so they point towards the centre front.  I will also do the short rows using a different method because even after blocking they are still pretty obvious and that irritates me.
And last but not least a pic on the girl herself.
Little Miss Cheeky trying to tell me what to do while taking her photo.
So on the whole I love this but have learnt a couple of important lessons, choose your yarn carefully to match the pattern (don't be blinded by the image you have in your head of the FO) and learn to read a pattern properly when choosing sizes!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Blouse for Miss M

Months ago, in fact back at the end of April when I had some time off work as Mr A was starting school, I started sewing a wee set for Miss M.  I cut out the blouse and the jeans and so far I have still only finished the blouse.  In my defence I did actually finish the sewing of this about 6 weeks ago and then it took me another 3 weeks or so to get around to putting the snaps on.  That was mainly due to procrastination and the fact that I was going to be brave and do actual buttons and buttonholes but chickened out.
The pattern is from Ottobre 4/2008, design 5, Tilly blouse and I made a size 80.  I love the vintagey style of this wee shirt and really hope I get the jeans and maybe even jacket done to go with it at some point.  I made this out of cream viyella which I actually bought to make baby gowns way back before Mr A was born, see how bad I am at not getting around to things?  At least the gorgeous, soft fabric didn't go to waste though.
So here it is.
And a close up of the yoke detailing.
And now some pics on the girl herself.
The only problem I had putting this together was that I found the collar was too small or probably more likely the neck too big.  So I put a wee box pleat at the back of the neck before sewing the collar on.
Overall I am really pleased with this, my main problem is going to be getting around to ironing it so she can actually wear it.