Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FYI: Pattern Testers Wanted

I'm working on a couple sewing patterns I hope to have out sooner rather than later and I'd love to have some of you test them. Are you interested? I am looking for feedback from seamstresses of all levels, sewing for children 18 months to 10 years.

If you'd like to test one of my new sewing patterns please send an email to Anneliese [at] AestheticNest [dot] com with the subject line "Pattern Testing." Let me know your sewing experience, the age(s) of the child(ren) for whom you are sewing, and your experience with digital patterns. Having a blog is not a prerequisite.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sewing: Ruffled Rag Flower Applique

I had so much fun with the Ruffled Rag Applique in a heart for Scarlett that I had to try another, for Tess. (Audrey is not at all interested in something with this much frilly texture, which is fine.)
So Tess got a flower.
This time I used one fabric for the first, inside outline of the flower, and a second for the outer outline. I love the corals and pinks together. And it was nice that the shirt happened to match the Prairie Pants I made her a few months ago (they are getting a bit short) (still working on finishing that pattern...).
The other difference between this applique and the heart one is that I sewed directly on the t-shirt after applying some HeatN'Bond to the reverse side, and then I adhered a piece of white knit to the reverse to cover up all the stitching and just stitched around the perimeter of the flower to make it permanent. 

She's a peach. Full of personality. Thank goodness for her good humor, especially after a long weekend of indoor time...
You can find the original tutorial here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

FYI: Babble's Top 50 Craft Blogs List for 2013

I just received an email that made me very happy so I have to share: Babble has included Aesthetic Nest in their list of Top 50 Craft Blogs for 2013. Yippee!

It's such a great list of blogs every year, and so nice to have Babble's editors culling through the great amount of talent out there and sharing their perspective on the best for moms. I always find fabulous blogs that are new-to-me (I need to browse around more!). It's amazing to see the beauty and generosity of ideas out there, isn't it? And to think this blog made the list again (I was happily surprised Aesthetic Nest was named "most beautiful" in their 2011 list) makes me want to keep on posting...

Thank you for being such a kind audience for my ideas.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sewing: Faux Fur Slip-Through Scarf (Tutorial)

I love white in any season--before or after Labor Day--but it is especially beautiful in Winter. I have always been a fan of a reduced palette: whites, neutrals, tints. So when Kirstin asked me to join her and Delia in their Winter Whites series I was thrilled. Not only to participate, but also to see how others are inspired by a whitewashed Winter palette. You may have seen my post KoJo Designs but just in case, I wanted to share it here while it is still Wintry (I'm really getting Spring fever--aren't you?!)

It is stating the obvious for you who have visited before, but my creativity is centered on my family, predominantly my three little girls, so I predictably thought about making something for them: Faux Fur Slip-Through Scarves. I'm such a sucker for animal prints and textures. And they like them too.

I made some Faux Fur Infinity Scarves before Christmas in rich browns and was excited about the idea of using faux fur in white once January arrived. So I made a White Faux Fur Infinity Scarf (Audrey is wearing it above) and for the Winter Whites series, a Slip-Through Scarf in a child-size. And why not one in light pink too?

I love these slip-through scarves because they go on so easily, and they stay on. And this light and fluffy variety is pretty fun to wear.

I've got a tutorial for making a Faux Fur Slip-Through Scarf for you or your little girl. Or one for each of you! And all your friends... 

This is a pretty easy and quick project but if you haven't sewn with it before you may want to check out my tips for sewing with faux fur in this post before beginning. They make a big difference in cutting down the mess and making sure the final product is just what you had in mind.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sewing: Ruffled Rag Applique (Tutorial)

Happy Valentine's day! Were you up late last night making prepartions? Audrey, Scarlett and I were our own little production shop getting boxes of candy hearts labeled (I reused this idea for lack of other inspiration).

It's not my favorite holiday. A bit like New Year's... But maybe I'll get better at making it special for our girls with some family traditions. I'll start next year!

I did however make a little heart t-shirt for Scarlett to wear to her school party.

I have been thinking about this idea for a while, and was thinking of making a flower shape but couldn't resist the heart for February. It reminds me a bit of rag rugs--I love the seemingly random mix of fabrics and raw edges.

A heart for my sweetheart. I'm glad she likes it.

Want to make one? Click through for the tutorial. It takes a bit of patience, but it's easy!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Knitting: Boatneck Sweater with Gold Buttons

What, are you kidding me? A knitting project?! I get so distracted by smaller projects that it's difficult to finish something more significant. I started this sweater for Audrey last October and it's taken me until now to finish it. Rather than working on it with focus I would pick it up when I was leaving town (which is not very often) since it was portable and so many things are not.

But then I realized that one doesn't really have the luxury of months to finish a project for a growing girl! I barely made it. The sweater was supposed to sit a bit lower on her hips. So I've been working on it the past few evenings to get it done, which has been so nice! Reminded me of when I was pregnant and every evening after the girls' bedtime we would settle in front of the TV and I would pull out some knitting or crochet to work on. It really is relaxing like nothing else.

This sweater is "The Dynamic Duo" pattern by Kristi Porter, published in Knitty back in the Spring of 2003. I substituted a different yarn: Lion Brand's Nature's Choice Organic Cotton in the color Macadamia. I bought the yarn years ago with a couple ideas for it and am glad I finally used it! It's got a great nubby texture, is super soft and I love the color. We'll see how it holds up...
Audrey likes it. And that's what really counts.
I followed the pattern with a few modifications, which I'm including here in case I want to do it again or any of you would like to try the pattern with this yarn. My gauge was a bit different with this yarn, so I knit a gauge swatch with size 7 circular needles and measured Audrey and figured out I should knit the sweater in a size four. I also wanted to lengthen the boxy shape of the sweater (turns out after the time it took me I should have added even more length!) and make taller ribbed section--I love the ribbing! So I knit 12 rows of ribbing (about 3 inches) and knit until the sweater was 8 1/2 inches long before beginning the armhole shaping
Audrey picked the gold buttons out of my button stash. I like the shine on this sweater and the fact that they are in the same color family as the yarn. I picked up her sweater skirt at Target a couple years ago and have been saving it for this ensemble. Cute and comfortable!
With this yarn this sweater looks positively handmade, which I love. I didn't even block it (maybe I should have?) because when I finished it waws laying as I thought it should and the stitches had a regular irregularity. It makes me want to knit more.
If Audrey outgrows it next week at least there are two younger sisters who will happily inherit it!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

FYI: Posting for Winter Whites Today

I am happy to be sharing something at Kojo Designs today for the beautiful Winter Whites series hosted in conjunction with Delia Creates. This series is such a great foil to their "Color Your Summer" series. Smart women!

The talented Kirstin invited me to participate and I was thrilled! She never ceases to amaze me. This series has some great ideas for enjoying the palette Winter provides, especially if you aren't typically inspired by this season. Sometimes it is a bit challenging after the holidays...

I choose to make some Faux Fur Slip-Through Scarves for my girls (something for my girls--such a surprise!). You can take a look here.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sewing: White Faux Fur Infinity Scarf (Tips for Sewing with Faux Fur)

As soon as the year rolls over to January I feel like I have to surround myself with a totally different palette, don't you? I love all the rich tones of Fall but January, and now February, seem to call for something totally different.
Bright colors are great. I'm feeling especially "fuchsia" lately, but light neutrals and white are great too.
When I made some brown Faux Fur Infinity Scarves before Christmas I thought it would be fun to have one in grey and white or all white, so I finally made one. Hoping it brightens things for the while yet that we'll still have snow on the ground. Keeping some of the tree lights on too.
I found the faux fur from this Etsy seller. He's got some great pieces! I bought a great bubblegum pink too for another idea I've had for a while.

If you'd like to make a Faux Fur Infinity Scarf, maybe in a February kind of color, you can follow my tutorial here.
And, after posting the tutorial I received some questions about sewing with faux fur so I've included some tips for doing just that below. Click below to read the tips for sewing with fur. 

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