super simple crochet shrug

This shrug kind of took forever. My mom bought me some yarn for my birthday back in September and shortly after I started this Lion Brand shrug pattern.

My first attempt was no good. The gauge seemed good but my stitches were way too tight and when I had gone through a whole skein I only had a few inches complete. I only had three skeins, as per the instructions, and it’s supposed to be 40″ tall when finished.

My second attempt was working with a very loose stitch but doing back loops only in a super simple rectangle that’s 32″ wide was so boring.

2015/01/img_3631-0.jpg
I got distracted by several knitting projects along the way, but took the half-finished shrug along with me to Italy since I knew that there’d be plenty of downtime (at least 8 hours flight each way and bus time).

I could have finished it up on the flight back but foolishly thought that I’d met the height requirement. I finished out the rest of the third skein of yarn back in Kentucky, stitched it up and was surprised at how pleased it was with the result.

2015/01/img_4433.jpg
So here it is all finished. Considering the whole thing is just one giant rectangle, it’s really quite flattering. And warm!

Advertisements

infinity scarf of loveliness

The best way to “get back into blogging” is just to do it, right?

I enjoy blogging and I’ve thought about it often over the last few months, but with my graphic design classes and making stuff (and Instagram, I’m photosarahcrafts!) and traveling to visit family and friends it always seemed like there was something else to do instead. So I’m going to try to stop overthinking it and just do it.

Here’s my latest completed project.

2015/01/img_4211.jpg

I am modeling it along the Tiber River in Rome. I got to go to Italy with my parents over the holidays and it was awesome!

It snowed and the roads weren’t good one morning so I had some time to catch up on my knitting while we were waiting for our bus to get to the hotel.

2015/01/img_4376.jpg

It was pretty cold the whole time we were there so I was glad to have another scarf option. I used Madeline Tosh Sock in Modern Fair Isle and I only needed one skein to make this infinity scarf. I used Purl Bee’s Checkerboard Lace scarf pattern because I wanted a pattern that was subtle but still interesting.

I am in love with Madeline Tosh yarn. I had a bit of a splurge before Thanksgiving and am working my way through it. I am halfway through one hat/cowl set and just cast on another infinity scarf last night.

So anyway, back to blogging, keeping it simple and just getting it done! Hope you all are having a lovely new year so far.

reenergizing refashions

I’m still not where I want to be with sewing, but graduation at my school was this weekend so I’m hoping I’ll be able to work less and ramp up the crafting in the next couple weeks (after I take a mini-vacation to visit my brother for his college graduation that is). To get a jump start on my sewing I took a little bit of time to rework a refashion. I made these hot pink and brass zipper jeans almost exactly a year ago. I wish I would have taken a before picture when they were bootcut.

zipperjeans01A

I really liked the pink zipper, but found myself never wearing them. I don’t have a lot that goes with hot pink besides black or white, and my tendency to always cross my legs under me when sitting means having a zipper pressing into my ankle. For me, the zipper jeans trend is over anyway so I refashioned the refashion. I sewed the zippers in pretty well, so it took a lot of seam ripping, but after the zippers were out I just had to sew up the opening where they were. Voila! New skinny jeans, which fit into my wardrobe much better than the hot pink zippered ones. Plus I have two cool zippers to use for another project.

skinnyjeanscollage

My favorite part is that these jeans are thicker than many of the “jeggings” out there since they were made from regular jeans with just a little stretch. Have you ever tried to skinny out some regular jeans?

yard sale saturday

First yard sale post of the season!

Yesterday was gorgeous and since I was in town and didn’t have plans until later, I headed out to the yard sale circuit. I got back into the groove pretty quickly and found a number of bargains.

At the first stop, I picked up two baskets for $0.50. I really just wanted the taller one to house sewing projects in, but the other one will be good for company or picnics. The picnic basket I got for $1 at another sale later in the day. It’s in great shape, UK colors and it’s collapsible! The boyfriend and I will have to go on a picnic soon.

yardsalefinds414_01

Jackson is a big fan of the blue basket as well. It’s well suited for his napping purposes.

JacksoninbasketA

This cool art cover Moleskin notebook ($0.25) is for a friend.

yardsalefinds414_03

 

Yarn extravaganza! This woman had a booth at the local Peddler’s Mall and was getting out the business. I got all this yarn for $4. Now to figure out what to do with it…

 

yardsalefinds414_04

 

…though it does look nice in my new basket!

yardsalefinds414_05

Next, a couple of household items.

A new market tote bag ($1) since some of my old ones are biting the dust. Yeah, I mostly bought it because of the blue edge but the penguins didn’t hurt either. The table was $2 and is just a sturdier upgrade of a table I already have.

ysf414

Then I got some clothes of course.

A $0.50 robot shirt for the nephew.yardsalefinds414_06

 

Some ladies with good taste were selling these sweaters. $2 for the gray and purple, and $3 for the teal 100% cashmere cardigan. Both are super comfortable. The woman selling the teal told me she was happy it was going to a good home.

yardsalefinds414_10

I sold a few things at the consignment store and came away with an awesome dress. Since I made some money, the brand new Limited dress with tags on cost me less than $7. It looks very Kate Middleton to me and it’s fully lined and has nice pockets.

yardsalefinds414_11

And finally, I wrapped up the morning with a quick Goodwill trip. I have a big backlog of those to post about, but this time I just got two things. An IZOD madras skirt and fireworks shirt for $3 each.

yardsalefinds414_09

I’ve had far more luck at the Goodwill near my house but decided to try a different location this time. The layout is cleaner and it’s usually less crowded and I didn’t have it in me to battle crowds and subpar dressing rooms after my morning of yard sales.

So there you have it! First yard sale Saturday of the year. As always, a shout-out to my yard sale crew in Alabama for teaching me everything I know. Hope you all are having a lovely weekend 🙂

 

 

 

 

baby outfit and something for mom too

I completed another round of sewing for Emily last weekend. She welcomed her daughter Grace about two months ago, and it took me this long to deliver the goods on a baby present. I knew what I was going to sew and cut out the pieces weeks ago, but finally sewed them together this past weekend.

Both were made from thrifted adult clothes that now have new life as a baby outfit.

graceoutfit03A

I knew I want to make a peasant dress from this fabric from a thrifted skirt I got back in Alabama. The fabric is a bit tricky as it was cut on the bias and is very shifty, but it came together without too much trouble. (I made a purse from the fabric before.)

I made a couple of baby peasant dresses from thrifted sheets before for charity, but I think this is my new favorite.

I added a little something extra to the hem with the leaf stitch on my machine. I wanted to do some really pretty embroidery as the fabric is perfect for it, but opted not to since I also wanted give the dress to Emily before Grace outgrew it!

graceoutfit02A

The dress seemed so small after I finished it, but when I went to see Grace I realized she was still pretty small. I think she’s already growing too fast for Emily though!

The second part of the outfit was actually finished first. I took a plain brown t-shirt that I decided I wasn’t a fan of in its original state and made a pair of knit pants for the baby. I used the existing hem of the shirt so no hemming! The pants were so easy (I’ve made several pairs now) and should be super comfy for Grace.

graceoutfit01A

The last item I threw in the bag was adult-sized. I’ve made this cardigan pattern before and figured it would be an easy piece to wear for a mom with adorable girls who are two months and two years old.

stripedcardigan01A

The fabric is a slinky knit from fabric.com. I had to do a bit of maneuvering to get all the pieces out of one piece of fabric (notice the perpendicular stripes on the lower front panels), but look how nicely I lined up the stripes at the sleeves!

stripedcardigan03A

It was so nice to finally meet Grace and to hang out with Emily again. Can’t wait to see a picture of Grace in her new outfit!

upcycled cashmere cowl

When Crystal was here in September, she left a few things. She was taking some clothes to a consignment store on the second part of her trip, and let me have my pick first 🙂

A couple of items I can wear as is, but I was stumped by this purple sweater for a few months. I didn’t take a regular “before” picture but it was a lavender, short sleeve, scoop neck cashmere sweater with in-seam pockets.

 cashmerecowl02

I let Jackson mess around with it at first because I was thinking it could be a cozy cat bed but he preferred attacking it and dragging it around the house to laying on it.

He’s done this before with cashmere or angora sweaters. I think he thinks they’re alive.

jacksonconquerssweaterA

A couple of weeks ago I got the idea to turn the sweater into an infinity scarf.

Not surprisingly, the cat mauling caused a few holes that I had to cut around or sew closed. Since the bottom of the sweater had in-seam pockets, I just sewed the pocket openings closed and let them be a design element in the scarf.

cashmerecowl03

I didn’t have enough width for the scarf to wrap around my neck twice, but I was able to make a decent cowl out of it. I just cut off the bottom of the sweater below the neck, sewed the top and bottom edges together to create a tube, and then sewed the ends of the tube together with a slipstitch.

cashmerecowl05

You can see the edges of the pockets on the front of the scarf, but they aren’t very noticeable.

cashmerecowl04

The cowl is really cozy. I finished it yesterday morning and have already worn it out a few times.  It pairs well with a warm sweater…

cashmerecowl01

and with my new (Black Friday!) coat that I’ve been wearing a lot these last few weeks.

meincowlA

Columbia outlet for $70! I’ve been needing a real winter coat that actually keeps me warm and dry for a while now and I love it!

After this Friday, I’m off work for two full weeks so be on the lookout for more posts soon. Hope all of your Christmas crafting is turning out like you’d hoped!

shirt to shirt dress

My friend Crystal came to visit last weekend. It has been way too long since we saw each other last, and it was a blast.

She’s mentioned to me that she wants to start shopping at yard sales and thrift stores, but got overwhelmed when she tried it on her own. We were heading out to do some non-thrift shopping Saturday when I saw that there were two yard sales on my block.

The first one was a wash, but at the second one there were lots of plus sized clothes. Neither of us is plus sized, but I know you can get a good amount of fabric to work with in one shirt. I found one in a fabric I thought she would like and convinced her to buy it. For $0.50, I thought I could make a cute skirt with buttons in the front and get it done before she left.

stripedplussizeshirtA

 

When I brought the garment up to the sewing room after a marathon day of non-thrift shopping, I realized it had dress potential.

I wasn’t sure it would work, but here are the steps I took.

First, I removed the sleeves. You can see just how big this dress was on Crystal initially. It fits around her twice!

shirt_dress01A

Next I took off the outer bodice panels. In the previous photos you can see where the bodice seam goes all the way up to the top.

After this step, we had what looked like a jumper. Thankfully I had a model to try it on at each stage of the process!

shirt_dress02A

 

I took the skirt in on the sides, and realized the the bodice just needed a few inches on each side to make it wearable.

shirt_dress03A

 

I took a piece of the extra fabric that I cut off the sides and stitched it in place on the bodice, then did the same on the other side. From there, I cut a rough armhole and did the rest of my fitting.

There was a good bit of tweaking on the fit. I basted my stitches so the dress could be easily adjusted in or out. Crystal often has trouble finding clothes that work for her, and a lot of time she needs things taken in at the tailor, so I really wanted to make her a dress that fit well.

Once I got the fit and armhole shape looking good, I showed Crystal how to make some bias tape. I also had her help on the ironing, pinning, and cutting because she wanted to get some insight into the whole sewing/refashioning process. I cut the bias tape, and she ironed it all quite nicely. I attached it to the armholes, and voila!

shirt_dress04A

The dress turned out even better than I thought it might. I contribute it to the fact that we made an awesome team 🙂

She was so pleased with her new dress, and especially the fit. I know because she kept it on for an hour after we finished it and wore it when she left the next day!

I was happy to show Crystal the process of refashioning, though at first I was a little nervous to have someone watching me while I was working. I wish she lived closer so we could get together and sew. She’s sewn some simpler projects, like aprons and basic dresses, and they’ve turned out great, so hopefully now she’ll try her hand at refashioning!

I made her a lunch bag and snack pouch to take with her, so I’ll post about those next time.

I did manage to snag a photo of her wearing her new dress with her new lunch bag, so here’s a sneak peek!

shirt_dress05A

 

And doesn’t she make it look fabulous ladies and gentlemen? I wish I had a willing model around more often!