Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crochet: Ruffled Rose Earflap Hat for Baby (Pattern)

I feel like I should apologize for the amount of Tess baby photos lately but it's so difficult for her biased mother to edit them when she's at the perfect age for cute shots! I'm working on it, really I am, but it's so beautiful to be able to photograph children when they light up so naturally for you. And there is the circumstance of working on a few things that are represented much better on this little fit model than a hanger. She is certainly my little muse of late, Tess, and I wanted to figure out these earflap hats before she isn't so little anymore.

So here we have the earflap hat with Ruffled Roses. I like them doubled up, one on either side of the head, similar to the knit bonnet I made for Scarlett when she was one. It is a very old fashioned look, which I think is over the top and fun. But I also like a single Ruffled rose just above one eye.

This lavender version of the hat is made up with longer ties so the earflaps can be worn up as well. Another very cute look, I think! So many options with this pattern....

The hat can be made with contrast edging as well. It's hard to decide which version I like the best.

A note about the sizing. The lavender hat is the large size, which is certainly roomy on Tess, who has a head measuring 17". The aqua hat and the yellow Flippy Floppy Earflap Hat in this post are the medium size which look like a good fit, but not for long... so it is with babies!

You can find the pattern for the Flippy Floppy and Ruffled Rose Earflap Hats (it's an all-in-one pattern) as a free download until April 8th, 2011. After that the pattern will be available in my shop.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crochet: Flippy Floppy Earflap Hat for Baby (Pattern)

I really, really should be sewing Easter dresses right now, but  I've had an earflap hat pattern on the brain for months now (since designing the Best Baby Cloche), and March is still acting like a lion rather than a lamb, which makes me feel like I could get away with making earflap hats in Spring. And I can't forget the southern hemisphere, where they really should be considering something like an earflap hat for the next few months. So here I've been crocheting away on Flippy Floppy hats for babies telling myself I can squeeze them in and still finish the other things on my list for Spring. I just might. We'll see.

So here we have a trio of earflap hats. These are very easy to make if you are familiar with crochet, and quite cute on boys and girls alike.

I wanted some sort of embellishment that would work for boys, but didn't really want to do a pom-pom. This is sort of a pared down pom and could possibly be construed as a flower, but it's certainly not too feminine for a boy, so I've come up with a "flippy floppy." That's just what it does too. It flips around and sometimes curls and generally gives the wearer a lighthearted appearance.

I like this hat in a solid color or with contrasting edging and flippy floppy.

This earflap hat provides great coverage for baby when going out in cooler weather. It's always nice when something cute works well too.

The pattern was designed for Lily Sugar'n Cream cotton yarn, but other worsted weight yarns will work as well, perhaps with slightly different results depending on the gauge (for instance, I found I had to use a larger hook when working with Hobby Lobby's  I Love This Cotton yarn). The hats are designed in small, medium and large a bit on the generous size for babies approximately 0-3, 3-6, and 6-12 months. Tess is wearing the 3-6 month size below... You could also make a newborn or preemie hat by using a lighter gauge yarn (I Love This Cotton, for instance) and following the directions for the small size.

I'm posting the Flippy Floppy Earflap Hat pattern for free downloading until April 8, 2011 and then it will be available in my shop. And, good news for some who asked a few weeks ago, the pattern also includes instructions for a ruffled rose embellishment: it's the Flippy Floppy and Ruffled Rose Earflap Hat pattern. I'll be showing that version in my next post...

Find the pattern here in my shop.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sewing: Ruffled Chemise for Tess

Sometimes, or very often, one thing leads to another. I was working on a pattern design for Tess' first Easter dress, an a-line chemise with a ruffle down the front and short slightly full sleeves, when I thought it would be equally darling sleeveless. And then I thought it would be fun to have a little dress for Tess to wear with a sweater I'm working on for her. So I looked through my fabric stash and picked up this floral voile, which I have used before, and love! It is perfect for wanting spring! And it works with the yarn for the sweater! And, Audrey and Scarlett can likely still wear their dresses made with this voile, which means potential for a very cute sister portrait if I have it all ready to take on our trip in April!

So Easter dress aside and I sewed a sleeveless version of the Ruffled Chemise for Tess. I love it! This is sometimes the reason for not working more quickly down the list. I keep inserting serendipitous projects! But they are impossible to resist.

So Tess now has a floral dress. Her favorite thing about it seems to be that the ruffle is near enough to her mouth for her to chew on, which wasn't intended. But she looks pretty cute in it all the same.

I made this dress a bit longer than many of the patterns and purchased dresses because it seems so often I put her in a little dress and it works more like a shirt, never falling below her hips. I wanted this to hit somewhere below her knees, which it does, but since her legs are in the air most of the time there is still plenty of opportunity to show off a cute diaper cover. That is something I'm planning for with the Easter dress version of this.

This Ruffled Chemise is lined, which is a necessity anyway with the voile, but also makes for nice finishing. I chose buttons without shanks since Tess is on her back so often, and found these cute ones with a little flower silhouette. I had actually purchased these same buttons a few months ago, in white, for some future project just because they are so cute.

It's hard to believe it's snowing outside my window, but it is. Ah well, on to the Easter dress!

You can find this pattern in my shop.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Knitting: Sailor Blue Sweater for Scarlett

When I was a little girl my grandmother knit for me a navy blue cardigan. It had a matching hat with white angora trim and my initials on the chest. I found it in a box of childhood things last year. The combination of dark blue and white reminds me of snowflakes. It's not very often you see children in dark colors, like this blue, but I thought it looked beautiful on Scarlett and I've been wanting to knit her one similar since. 

So here it is. A sailor-blue cardigan sweater for Scarlett.

Scarlett really doesn't seem to mind wearing her older sister's sweaters, but she seemed a little bit excited that I was working on something for her. "Me? Me?!" she asked repeatedly. And she cuddled up with it as soon as it was sewn together. I had to take it away from her to block it.

This is a Lion Brand pattern I've used before. I love it. It's such a classic look, though the single button is a nice update, and more practical for my girls really. And, it calls for a worsted weight yarn, which means is project that goes rather quickly. That makes me happy.

The yarn is Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Sailor. Great color! I was a bit apprehensive about using a yarn with Modal but it worked up nicely. We'll see how it wears. Scarlett thinks it wears just fine, of course! I think it's a gorgeous color with her dark brown eyes.

I also love the button I found. A new (to me) line, Dritz "Belle Buttons." JoAnn carried a bunch that were more than the ordinary fare. This one is a great variegated blue (Item #BB370).

To be honest, I was hoping to have this sweater finished for Scarlett to wear last Fall, but it didn't make it to the top of the list, and she had plenty to wear. Spring is just as good I think. I'm going to make her a skirt to wear with it. And I have fabric for a coordinating Fall skirt as well. The sweater is roomy enough I'm hoping it will fit for a few seasons.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sewing: Lovey Boy and Square Satin Luxe Blanket (Tutorial)

Perhaps it's the Celebration this past month, but I am sticking with the boy stuff for a little bit. There are two cute new baby boys who need (well, maybe not "need"...) something cuddly. I love minky and satin blankets--who doesn't? I've been making the girl versions up to this point but it was time for something a bit more masculine. So here are the Lovey Boy and the Square Satin Luxe Blanket. 

Unlike the Luxe Lovey and Luxe Baby Blanket, these are ruffle free. Instead there are little pleats at the corner. Not only do these help turn the satin binding at a right angle, but they create some added dimension on the silky edges. More tactile fun for baby (or whoever is using the blanket!).

I made the blankets 36"x36" before the binding, so they're a little bit larger. It's a good size to use as a blanket or a play mat at home. The Lovey Boy is 12"x12" before the binding, which is a generous sized Lovey, perfect for throwing in the car seat to keep baby company. At least it seems to works for Tess. She has one in her car seat and one in her cradle. I like the idea of a set of these so if the baby bonds with this particular combination of textures there are a couple of options for keeping it close by.

The minky is Robert Kaufmann  Balloon Party and Ribbon Party in Orange/Rust. The satin binding is Wright's in Mediterranean and Orange.

I sewed the binding in a contrasting white thread with a zigzag stitch. I think it looks kind of fun and it has the added bonus of a bit of margin for catching both sides of the binding since I was using the "sandwich" method of applying this. It's quick!

All wrapped up to gift: a Square Satin Luxe Blanket and a Lovey Boy. One for home and one for on the go.

If you are interested in the tutorial to make a set click to read more.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sewing: Engineer Cap--Oh BOY! (Tutorial)

I think it's pretty clear that I am thrilled to be the mother of three little girls, so I wasn't sure Dana would go for my BOY idea, but Audrey is a bit of a tom-boy (no pink and princesses for her--she prefers dogs and dinosaurs and purple), and I have a bunch of nephews (5 of them), and it seems all the babies being born around here are boys, and so somehow I've managed to get the boy vibe going well enough to (fake it?) make it. I'm so happy to be Celebrating the Boy on MADE today (almost as happy as I am about getting to know Dana)!

When my family is in Scottsdale, AZ, we love to visit the "Train Park." My girls, especially Audrey, love to ride the train and carousel and generally run around. Last time I found some engineer caps in the gift shop there and thought one would look so darling on Audrey. But Scarlett has to be exactly like her right now, so I needed them in two sizes. Which is how I got to this pattern for a child's engineer cap in  sizes medium (heads 18"-20") and large (21"-23").

With two sizes, and a bit of elastic in the back, this cap should work for boys of all sizes (such as my curly headed nephew)...


...perhaps even the smaller kind, if they are getting closer to "boy" than "baby" (such as his baby brother).

This cap has lots of possibilities in solids, or patterns, with patch or applique, and I just have to say, I think it works just great for girls too! (You can count on a follow up to this with girls in mind.)

So if you have someone in your house who can't stop singing, "Down by the station early in the morning,..." or "I've been working on the railroad..." take a look at this tutorial and see if this isn't the perfect cap for their boyish locomotion (whether they are girls or boys). Chug, chug, toot, toot, off we go!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sewing: Ribbon Dish Towels (Tutorial)

I can't help but think about Easter--I don't know which came first, this ribbon combination or the wish for something pink, yellow and spring green outside--if only it weren't still so far away. It's awfully late this year and our weather seems to know it too.

Well, I'm embarking on some spring sewing anyway! I've got fabric and patterns for Easter dresses, but first, a little warm up in the form of a quick engagement party gift. A good friend of ours is engaged and we were invited to a party celebrating the couple. When I called to find out where they are registered I was told they'd requested no gifts. I can respect that but I still didn't want to go empty handed. I thought it would be OK to bring a small, simple gift: a set of dishtowels--a nod toward their approaching domestic bliss.

I think these are both cute and practical, and sewing them make me think I need to keep an eye out for great ribbons to go in the kitchen. It's a really good way to use up odd ends of ribbon too.

These are essentially a variation on the rick rack dishtowels of a few weeks ago, but ribbon requires a slightly different application, so I created a tutorial. If you are interested click below to read more.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Knitting: One Last Scarflette...

 ...and then we can move straightway into Spring! I hope.

But, since I did make another (Chic) Scarflette I have to say that this one is my favorite. (I realize I say that every time, the nice thing about this particular project I guess, it continues to hold my affection.) But this is really pretty great! I used the least natural of yarns: Paton's Divine in Frosted Green and Lion Brand Homespun in Regency. I love the result! It is lightweight and fluffy and the "frosted" yarn has a look of angora.

This is for another of my friends, who has dark hair and dark brown eyes, and I think this color will be great on her. Of course everything looks great on her, even her newly acquired forty years!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Knitting: Pink and Green Scarflette

The weather here is flirting between winter storm and spring tease. One day it's clear blue skies and warm enough to go without a jacket and the next we're making tracks in a few inches of snow. So I thought a Scarflette still might be a gift well-received. Even though I'm leaning into Spring I had a Scarflette or two in mind for some friends with January birthdays. I'm a bit behind...

This is the Chic version of the pattern (available in my shop). I wanted to try something that looked a bit more funky for my friend who has a great sense of color (she's a floral designer so there you go!) so I went with pink and green. To be specific: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in Lemongrass and Jiffy in Dusty Pink (such a perfect pink color!). I have always had a preppy affection for pink and green together! We'll see if my friend, JoAnn, feels the same way.

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