Countdown to Christmas

Technically doesn’t start until a week from Friday, but that means you’ve still got just enough time to make an advent calendar. This one only took me parts of two days last week. And then waiting for the numbers to be delivered.

I started by figuring out the placement of the pockets, which are 4 inches by 4 inches, and then I created strips for each line. I folded the top edge down half an inch and stitched it with a zig-zag stitch. Next I centered the strips on the green felt and stitched along the bottom of each row before flipping the whole thing over and drawing the Christmas tree outline with a Sharpie. Then I cut the tree out to make it easier to fit through the sewing machine to sew the side of the pockets.

I sewed the lines in between and on the ends of the strips that ended inside the tree outline. I left the ones that go over the edge free until after attaching the tree to the background fabric.

Next I sewed the trunk of the tree to the background, so it would be behind the bottom of the tree.

After pinning the outside pockets out of the way, I sewed the entire outline of the tree down. Everything is sewed with a zig-zag stitch to flatten the edges.

I sewed the remaining pocket edges down and added a star for the top.

I finished the whole project off with a backing (of purple muslin because it was the only plain woven fabric I had that was large enough to cover the whole back) and a wooden dowel for hanging that was slightly too short.

I added a screw to each side, which worked out well anyway for attaching the string to hang it. I had ordered stick-on felt numbers, so all that was left was to stick them on when they arrived. Now we just have to figure out a way to hang it for December 1.


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Making a Peanut

This year I had a request to turn the smallest (and I really mean smallest, as he was only barely three months old for Halloween) into a peanut for Halloween. Ever up to the challenge, I said yes immediately and then began searching for a pattern.

Did you know there aren’t any peanut costume patterns out there? At least not any good infant ones that I could find. So I looked at the above picture of a previously available costume (which I found on a webpage about creating a Mr. Hankey costume for an infant. The Internet is a truly strange and wonderful place.) and the below pattern and set about making a costume.
Since the little dude is still quite little and this was a blanket pattern, I used the back of the three-month size as a base. I divided it into four columns and then two-inch rows, cutting armholes and drawing a circle for the face.

Hopefully this pile of bits will be a peanut in a few hours. #sewing #halloweencostume

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I cut everything double, and then went back and cut just the front pieces for the face hole. I sewed the columns, then sewed those together around, leaving the front for a zipper to make it easy to get into and out of.

I lined it in muslin and stuffed it a slight bit at the top and bottom, to give it more of a rounded peanut look.

I cut a two inch strip width-wise and the single strip managed to finish off all three holes, single fold.

Then it was on to the zipper. Fleece and zippers don’t mix easily, but I got it in there. Mostly.

The best part is, it fit!

A finished #peanut. Hopefully it fits. #halloweencostume #sewing

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Something Different

Because I never have enough things I’m doing, right? Recently, we had an outbreak of monsters and bad dreams around here. So I made some “emergency” dream catchers for the littles out of supplies I had laying around. I cut the ends off a circluar box and covered it in electrical tape, then used some leftover yarn to weave it.

Turns out, dream catchers are super addicting to make. So I’ve started making proper ones with metal rings and suede string. I like to make felt feathers, though, because real feathers get too messy and they get messed up easily.

Look for these to be hitting the shop soon!


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Mitts Week 5: Confetti Mittens

This week, I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to make full mittens. But I wanted them to be a little less boring than plain old mittens.

I wanted to create texting mittens, but actually useful texting mittens. Most of the time you see ones where you can uncover your fingers, but the thumbs are completely covered.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to use my phone with just my thumbs. Takes me back to those days when we texted one handed under our desks without looking because we had all memorized the keys. You know, back when our phones had actual keyboards.

Anyway, I thought I’d solve that problem by making full mittens with open thumbtips. Just the very tips, so it still keeps your thumbs warm. I have to say, I really like the way it worked out. I think these may be the mittens of the future. 😛

These are currently available on my Etsy Shop, along with all the previous mitts and other things.

Mitts Week 4: Peacock

For week 4 of the mitts project, I found some bright Red Heart yarn I had left over from some other project I don’t exactly remember. I thought it would go good with some small cables on each side of the back of the hand. The kind of get lost in the colors, but it makes it look rather nice.

I managed to knit most of these while babysitting and watching a classic movie marathon on Netflix. Which was good, because I started them at the end of the week instead of the beginning.

As always, you can find these and others on my Etsy Shop.

Mitts Week 3: Sunny Hearts

Well, I kept my promise to myself to make a pair of mitts each week leading up to Christmas from Halloween (mostly). I just got lazy on writing about them. As I tend to do. So now I am going to catch myself up. This is my third week’s design:

I’ve called it the “Heart in Hand” mitt because there is a heart on each side of each hand. I wanted something simple but also decorative, so I just made up a heart pattern of purl stitches as I worked the hand.

As always, these are now available on my Etsy Shop.

Mitts Week 2: Color Shift Fingerless Mitts

With a sick kiddo Tuesday and Wednesday, plus a school holiday on Friday, I’ve kind of been off-schedule all week. So this is a couple days late, but I did finish them on Friday.

This week’s mitts are knit in Chroma by Knit Picks in the discontinued “Buttermint” colorway. I cast on 50 stitches (in a different yarn) and knit for 6.5 inches. I grafted the ends together, except for the thumb hole which was ten stitches on each side that I bound off with a stretchy bind off.

These were so easy, and I had another bit of Chroma laying around, so I made a second pair as well. These are in the “Groovy” colorway.

Like I mentioned last week, I am putting these up on my Etsy store. I also post in-progress pictures all week long on Instagram and Twitter.