gallery An Early Christmas

I had a Christmas with my friends in VA earlier this month. It was a blast and totally worth the 8 hr trip to visit for the weekend. I made gifts for them all: a skirt, pot holders, a messenger bag, and a scarf/mitten/hat set. It was great to all get together again since we were all over the globe last year.

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Left to right: Rachael, Marta, Me – Alexa, and Brooke

I made the potholders following this pattern. In the end I cut the squares a bit small so it was difficult to fold but it turned out nice.

Brooke loves baking and cooking and for a while she used hand towels as potholders so it seems like a gift she could use. I purchased a small bundle of cotton squares from Hobby Lobby as well as some heatproof batting and set to work. I doubled the batting in the holders because I wanted to make sure there was enough. The back was a larger piece and the edges were a couple long strips sewn together for binding. I added the loops last.

My second sewing project was a messenger bag. Back in high school I made a simple bag for a class, but I lost the pattern so I traced the general width of the outside, used a ruler to straighten it up and make it even, and set to work.

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I added a lining with a hidden pocket (which I had to seam rip 3 times to get right :P) then made simple inside-out squares for the outer pockets.

The flap was measure to be half the lining length and also double sided for strength. The strap was jute squares folded in half, sewn three inches from the edge, trimmed, and flipped inside out. I stitched it flat in the center and sewed the ends in a diamond shape, again for additional strength.

The fancy edging stitch was courtesy of my new sewing machine. I couldn’t wait to try it. Finally I finished the bag with an embroidered stencil pattern and a feathered hair clip from Hobby Lobby.

My winter-weather, owl set was crocheted. Rachael likes to take evening walks with her boyfriend so again I thought she’d enjoy and be able to use the gifts.

It was a blast designing the three different pieces. I plan to make a pdf pattern in the near future. Rachael modeled the finished product for me.

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Marta’s skirt was crocheted  in a large circle from the waist down. Brooke started me on this challenge and I was inspired by this pinterest pin for the design.

I started by determining her waist circumference and then chaining that length  in multiples of 13, erring on the side of “too large,” and slip stitched the ring together. I alternated colors per completed row design to add some interest to the skirt and showcase the texture. After every three rows of completed design I changed hooks (I started with a G, followed by H, I, and J hooks) this gave a nice straight shape to the skirt while not disrupting the design by increasing stitch numbers.

The final step was to take a inexpensive slip and some thick elastic and sew it together. The elastic was form fitted to Marta’s waist, which was smaller than the crochet design, so I safety-pinned the pieces together as evenly as possible and sewed the layers together by hand. The slip was sewn first to the band then the crochet overlay using embroidery floss. Both timed I used the zig-zag stitch. In the picture I know the white floss isn’t zig-zagging, but the side i’m showing is the the “wrong-side” of the cloth so it will look like a row of vertical lines.

The end result was a skirt with a 36″ waist and ~27″ length ending right above her knee, the perfect length for a fashionable teacher.

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