Let me start off by saying, WOW!!! Carla sure did a fantastic job on her new book Sewn Hats. This book has 35 different hat projects that range in skill level from beginner to advanced. There is a hat in this book for everyone, in sizes ranging from baby to adult. The hat projects are arranged into 6 categories that cover most of your hat needs; Staying Cool, Keeping Warm, Going Vintage, Stepping Out, Working and Playing and Having Fun.
Carla and I got to know each other (via a lot of emails and some phone calls) when I was working on Jennifer Paganelli's two books, Girl's World and Happy Home. She was always so helpful and supportive, while I was trying to get to know the Sis Boom world. So when she approached me to be a contributor for this book, I jumped at the chance to be included with such a wonderful group of contributors and I knew that Carla would pull it all together so it would be a fun, easy to understand and useful book.
When I asked what type of hat she wanted me to make I knew it was the perfect project for me... Hello, the Jackie Pillbox Hat! I love making small fancy cocktail type hats with a vintage twist, so it was a match made in heaven. I looked through my stash and found a small remenant of a pink, grey and black tweed (perfect). Searched for a bit of black silk for the lining and topped it all off with a grosgrain ribbon bow. I kept the embellishments a bit on the conservative side, which is so not like me (have you seen my turqouise and red wedding hat), but thought that it worked with the theme and looked polished. But I think that you could really have fun with embellishments on this one; vintage buttons, ribbons, feathers, veiling or even a costume jewelry broach. Also, another way to keep this type of small hat on your head (in the book bobby pins are attached to small ribbon loops) would be to loop a narrow piece of elastic (close to your hair color) through the ribbon loops. This is my preferred way to wear cocktail hats, since bobby pins just slide out of my stick straight hair. If you can't find narrow elastic in the right color at your local fabric store, buy one of those skinny elastic headbands at the drugstore and use that.
This book is not to be missed (and take a look at all the below contributors)! Wiley Publishing is giving away a copy of this book to one lucky winner, so please leave a comment below to be entered for your chance to win. Let us know what type of hat you would like to make.
*** Update... Forgot to mention when the winner will be announced, oops. I will announce a winner of the book on 9/17. Please make sure I have a way to contact you.
Check out the rest of tour, here is a schedule of each stop:
9/5 - Mod Kid Boutique
9/10 – Pink Chalk Studio
9/11 - LuluBliss.com
9/13 – Green Bee Patterns
9/14 – Goosie Girl Boutique
9/17 – Melissa Lilac Lane
9/19 – OneGirlCircus.com
9/20 – Tie Dyed Diva Designs
9/21 – Figgys Patterns
9/25 – Craftiness is not Optional
9/26 – Bari J.
9/28 – SisBoom.com
10/1 – Sew Mama Sew
10/2 – Aesthetic Nest
10/3 – Blue Nickel Studios
10/4 – Betz White
10/8 – YummyGoods.com
10/10- Wiley Craft
Despite the lack of new Lulu Bliss Patterns lately, I have been working on a few personal items and have a couple to show you. The first one up is just perfect for the warm weather we have been having, my second Sorbetto top. If you haven't guessed by now, my favorite color combo is aqua and red (must be 'cause I got married in it)! So I wanted to make a fun summer top with those colors:
I do fill out the top a bit more than my dress form, so the bust doesn't look weird on me. The only change to the pattern I made was to pivot the bust dart down, so it starts at the waist and ends just under the bust (I have heard that this type of dart is called a french dart). If you have never pivoted a dart, don't be scared... It is a fun and easy way to change the look of a garment. I think Gertie does a great job explaining how to do this in her tutorial. This top will go great with the package I received today:
My birthday clogs have arrived! I was so excited to get them and they fit great, so please ignore the pasty legs and lack of pedicure. I seem to be in between Lotta from Stockholm's sizes, so I ordered a size 38. If I ever order a closed toe pair of clogs from Lotta, then I think I would go up to a size 39. I do think there will be more clogs purchased from Lotta.
I also have been doing a bit of knitting. When I am working on something for myself and not writing a pattern, I love me some mindless knitting. The Phiaro Scarf fit the bill, I didn't follow the pattern really, even though I own it. But I read what others have to say about the scarf on Ravelry and sort of did my own thing. Biggest difference is that mine is a cowl and not a scarf or wrap, it is a lot narrower too. I had some random balls of yarn in my stash that I thought looked good together so there you go. You can't really tell, but I alternated between two different yarns for each round, so it is technically striped. If you would like more notes about yarn and modifications made check out this project in my notebook on Ravelry.
Been MIA lately and feeling guiltly about it. I have been busy with other projects and not working on my own stuff for the last few weeks. When I have other jobs/projects to do I tend to just focus on them and leave my own personal projects (writing pattterns, blogging, making samples) on the back burner, which isn't so great when you are trying to build a business. I think I need more structure to my days and really devote time to my projects (no matter how little) when I do have other jobs to do. It will be an ongoing process, but hopefully one that I will become better at.
So what have I been up to? Well, I have been doing some sewing for private clients (mostly home dec items), drafting and grading a pattern for Jennifer Paganelli and Carla Crim, and doing all the work associated for the monthly Bobbin's Nest Pattern. So as of last week there is a new crochet pattern available on the Bobbin's Nest site, the Petit Four Scarf:
This is a fun and quick project to make, that would be suitable for a beginner crocheter that can chain, single crochet and double crochet. For the sample I used The Fibre Company's Canopy in Quetzal and Cat's Claw. It's a great project for the warmer months, since it is so lightweight. I want to see it made up in a solid color and also try doing one with scraps in multiple colors with added fringe. So check it out at Bobbin's Nest, this month the entire site is having a great moving sale, so now is the time to get it.
Want to see what is going to be part of our dinner tonight?
Home grown artichokes! That big one (bottom center) is going to taste delish tonight with dinner. Yum!
Okay, who can resist cute animal pictures? I know I can't, so here are a couple for your enjoyment.
- Sweet Lulu
Guess who came for a visit to maison Lulu Bliss... Why the lovely Natalie from Coquette and her adorable dog Lulu! My two doggie boys were quite impressed with the city girl Lulu, and Lulu seemed to love our backyard. While the doggies played (in some cases scared or annoyed Lulu), Nat and I worked on finishing up a project for her daughters' school. I got to show Nat a quick way to bind the edges of the school wall hanging, we got to chit chat and do a much needed catch up. Then a yummy lunch.
- Another sweetie, Peanut.
Yesterday, I delivered a slipcover to my friend Carolyn and got to hang out with another adorable pup, Peanut. We went for a quick trip to the very interesting Fabrics R Us store, in San Jose. Then I finished the slipcover for her home office recliner. She recently redecorated her home office in shades of black, white and yellow (as you can see in the pic of Peanut), the brown recliner in the corner just wasn't cutting it. So, we slip-covered it. Let me tell you, that was the first time I slip-covered a recliner, a probably the last. There are a lot of moving parts to consider. Here are the before and after shots:
-Brown recliner before.
-Black and white recliner after. It still needs the ticking pillow to be made.
-Skirt shown with waistband folded down.
I did a few things differently:
1. Cut waistband wider, so it finishes to 6". The cut piece measured 13" tall, folded in half to 6 1/2", 1/2" for seam allowance.
2. I only had one yard of fabric on hand, so I cut the skirt piece the length I wanted, plus seam allowance (20") by the entire width of the fabric. Then trimmed off the selvages. My skirt piece isn't as full and doesn't have as many gathers.
3. I didn't want the raw edge to show at the waistband/skirt join, so I just put them right sides together and sewed them together on the wrong side.
4. I hemmed mine on my serger using a rolled hem.
Overall this skirt took about 1 hour to make from cutting to finished product. If you are new to the world of sewing with knit fabric then this would be a good first project. Just to be clear, you don't need a serger when working with knits (they are very handy), but you do need to have zigzag capabilities on your regular sewing machine.
-Skirt shown with waistband unfolded.
Sewing with knits tips:
1. Always use the correct needle when sewing with knits, you will either need to use a ballpoint needle or one that is labeled stretch! If you are using a serger, then you need to change those needles also. Believe me on this. Universal or sharp point needles cut the fibers of the knit fabric which will create holes in knit fabric, making what you have sewn unwearable. The ballpoint or stretch needles will not cut the fibers of the knit fabric, so no holes.
2. TEST, TEST, TEST your stitching on scraps before sewing your project. Try out different zigzag settings to see what works for the fabric you are using. Make sure the stitching stretches about as much as the fabric, on any seam that goes around your body. So on this project you really must make sure that the waistband/skirt join does stretch enough to go around your hips. Also, if your machine has specific stitches for working with knit fabrics you will want to test the settings for each of the different stitches you will be using, you may need to adjust the tension/stitch length/stitch width to get something that works. Refer to your manual for the basic settings and go from there.
-Close up of rolled edge done on my serger.
Jennifer Paganelli from Sis Boom emailed me this link this morning! It looks like Happy Home was picked as one of the Best Books of the Month (in the Crafts, Hobbies and Home department) by Amazon. I am so happy for Jennifer, she has worked so hard on this book and I am so proud to be a part of it. It is a lovely book, if I do say so myself. If you love colorful, girly, fun sewing and craft projects for the home this book is for you.
In my previous post you got to see my out-of-hand scrap bag. In trying to use some of those scraps I decided to make myself a Luncheonette Apron, doing some piecework for the pocket.
I had this small thrifted remnant of a vintage tea towel or dish cloth that I just adored, the print is fab as are the colors. Since it has a market theme I thought it had to be made into something to use while in the kitchen. It was just the right size that I could used it for the center of my pieced pocket. Yay!
Then I started pulling pieces of fabric from the scrap pile that I thought would look good with the center pocket piece. I decided on my favorite combo and proceeded to cut the fabrics I chose into 1-3" wide strips. I wanted each side of the pocket to be symmetrical, so I made sure I had enough of each of the fabrics. I pieced everything together with 1/4" seam allowance. In the Luncheonette Apron pattern, it has you make a reversible apron, but since I pieced my pocket together I had to use the second pocket piece to line the pieced together pocket, so this apron isn't reversible. My pocket lining was also made with two larger scraps form the scrap pile.
Here is the finished apron... I am very happy with it and love the colors. Other changes I made from the pattern was to make the waistband about 3/4" wider (I had to piece that together with different scraps), my apron base is pieced at the center and is slightly shorter than what is called for in the pattern. Overall, this was a fun and quick project. I want to make more of these for gifts.
Bobbin's Nest Studio. Did you know that Bobbin's Nest comes out with an exclusive new down-loadable pattern every month? No, well they alternate between knitting, sewing and crochet patterns, to try and please all different sorts of fiber crafters. I worked 2 years at the bricks and mortar store and was very sad when it closed it's doors on Jan 31st of this year. But, I still get a little taste of the old B&M place every month, since I now design and write up the patterns for the online store. Before the store closed all the employees helped with the designing of each pattern, once the store closed I am the sole designer and writer of Bobbin's Nest patterns. Check out all the available patterns, there are some great ones to be had.
The newest pattern was released yesterday and is called the Luncheonette Apron. It is a very simple project, with great results. And yes, it is reversible!
Another fun sewing pattern is the Oil Cloth Tote. This project used to be a class that I taught at the store as sort of an intro to working with oil cloth or laminated cotton. It was a popular class and now the pattern is available for purchase.
Here is a quick crochet pattern that can be made in an evening or two, the Silken Straw Necklace. I also noticed that this yarn was on sale right now in the online store (there are still many different colors available).
Then there is one of my favorites, The Film Noir Chapeau pattern. It is a seed stitch turban style hat, that is oh so glamorous. This sample was made from Sincere Sheeps' Luminous yarn, which was a treat to work with.
Check back to my blog this weekend for my scrappy version of the Luncheonette Apron. I have a serious issue with keeping fabric scraps and want to start using them up in projects. So I will be posting on my blog the projects that I make using these scraps. Below you can see my "assistants" hard at work "sorting" or um, sitting on my fabric scraps.
Above is Butternut really concentrating on finding his chew toy, that was somewhere within the massive scrap pile.
I got to do some fun crafting this weekend. What do I mean by "fun crafting"? Well, most of the things I make are prototypes or samples for patterns. I like to make samples, don't get me wrong, but you do have to pay attention and make a lot notes while working on them. "Fun crafting" is when I can make something just for the fun of it.
First fun craft are these quilt blocks for Carol's quilt. I mentioned our quilt block swap in this post, these are the one's I made for March. Such a fun and easy way to piece. I hope she likes them, they went off to her in the mail this morning.
The second fun craft was starting this crocheted mesh tee. It is based on this free pattern, but me being me, I changed it up a bit. That is the beauty of a top down constructed garment, you can try it on as you go and get a really good fit. I started out with the neckline of the smallest size, then did 11 increase rows, after that I haven't really followed the pattern. I connected the underarm with 7 chains, added 2 short rows to the front, then added some shaping. Since this is an open mesh pattern, the shaping was really easy to add by omitting the chain 1 stitch between each of the double crochets. It also changes the look of the fabric, which I happen to like. In the back photo, you can really see the shaping, just like making darts on a sewn garment. Hopefully, this will get completed in the coming week. Yay, for fun crafting.