Monday, August 29, 2011

what NOT to do

Had a hard time deciding what to title this post, although a number of titles came to me easily, some of which were: "what not to do", "what to do", and "...and they slept". I'll start with what not to do:
1) Leave the instructions on the computer in one room of the house while you sew in another. My lazy self would often assume that I knew the next step for the project when in fact I did not.
2) Use a pattern without asking a few Socratic questions to yourself, like "Would this pattern allow me to make a bag big enough to put glasses in it as shown Made by Rae's tutorial and Stuff by Maja?" If not, ask why. I somehow printed the pattern at about half of the intended size. Consequently, the project took me about twice as many strips as at should have (and resulted a smaller chevron pattern) to make one approximately the right size.
3) Use a zipper that your mom (or maybe grandma) bought in the 1970s. Okay, this wasn't really the problem (although my zipper did come from one of the aforementioned sources), but I thought it was at first. The actual problem that I ran into related to #1 and #4.
4) Assume you know a better way to do something. Occasionally this is false, but not this time when it came to sewing in the zipper. End result? My lining keeps getting jammed up in the zipper when opening the bag because I sewed the lining too close to the zipper teeth.
5) Rush. This is something that I never seem to learn. Because there is never enough time in a day, right?

Okay, onto what to do:
1) I think I only have one or two of these. And I have pictures to go with it too. I did not like the idea of cutting the strips to exact size and having to precisely line up each one. I am not much of a perfectionist, and, as mentioned in #5 above, I always rush  so I knew that lining up each piece would not work for me. This is what I did instead:
 Cut a bunch of strips of the right width (remember, I made mine smaller than I should have b/c of my small pattern pieces) with diagonals going both ways. I couldn't do really long strips because I only had 0.5 meters of fabric, but this would go even faster if you had a longer piece of material.
Match up stripes of similar length and sew these together.
Cut your pattern pieces from this.

2) The other thing that worked really well for me was to have the kids stay up really late all weekend (okay, this really only applies to 'O'). Then, today, when I went to work on this project during nap time, they slept extraordinarily long (thus the alternate title "...and they slept"). It.was.amazing.

So here are my end products:


The little one is the size of the pattern I printed (not to scale). I just made the size of the bigger one up. I was going to give the bigger one as a birthday gift to a friend this week, but that is the one with the problematic zipper, so I guess it is mine. My friend shall have to get by with the little one as a gift.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A few months back...

My favorite crochet project thus far!

A's Dress

This is the second dress that I have finished just in time for A to fit into it! It turned out to be easier than I expected, although the quality of my work leaves something to be desired. I also think I should have laid out the strips vertically for the skirt part. Next time!

The Beach Robe

Well, here are the pictures of O's beach robe that I sewed up from the MADE pattern. We went to a spray park for a picnic tonight, and even though O was completely dry by the time he got over to where I was sitting, I made him wear the robe for some pictures. It was a fun project, but I'm not going to lie, it was somewhat work intensive. Or, maybe that was because I set a ridiculous deadline for myself and abandoned all housework at the expense of finishing this robe before going out to Saskatchewan for vacation. I've washed it several times already and it seems to be holding up really well. Looking forward to seeing more versions of the robe!!