Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sewing: Baby Doll Baskets for the Waldorf Dolls

Maybe the reason this year feels a bit slow to start is because I'm still consumed with what should have been December (or November!) projects! Ah, well. So it goes.

When Dana released her Baby Doll Basket pattern in time for the holidays last year I snatched it up right away because I had Waldorf dolls in the works for my girls for Christmas. I thought each of them needed a little basket to go with. I love the design. These remind me of the Moses basket I carried Audrey around in when she was a newborn--I just moved her from room to room and set her snuggled nearby me.

It's part carrier and part bed--perfect! And soft so it's easy to carry, and store. I had been thinking of little wood beds but this works better I think. And it involves the fun of fabrics!

I found some reversible, floral quilted fabrics at Joann (so 80s! so fun), which I used for two of these. A very feminine take. And Joann also carried this fun zebra print and coordinating DS Quilts orange and grey dots fabric. The latter is my less-girly take. Can you guess whose doll gets that one?

Yes. Audrey's doll gets the graphic prints.

And for Scarlett's, this aqua and red floral. Though it turns out she prefers the green one I'd intended for Tess's doll. They will work it out.

I lined all the baskets with some cut chenille fabric I'd purchased years ago for making baby blankets and burp cloths, which I didn't make. I love the cozy texture. 

I backed the blankets with the chenille too. And I decided on a few other variations from the pattern: I doubled the binding on the handles just for fun, I used cotton batting instead, which is really nice and soft but thinner so my baskets are a bit floppier than Dana designed, and I added a couple interior pockets to each basket.

My friend, Margie, had the idea for the pockets. I made them out of the lining fabric and added some seam binding at the top. Then I sewed them to the lining before assembling per the pattern directions.

Now the Doll Baskets can be beds, carriers, and wardrobes! 

As soon as these dolls get some more clothes, that is.

So happy to have these finished and ready to use. They were so much fun to make! Pretty laughable that I thought I could knock them out in a day or two before Christmas had I arrived at that point. I keep forgetting to times the effort by three. Three of everything...  

Off to the next project!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Knitting: Arm Knit Child's Cowl (Tutorial)

Have you tried arm knitting an infinity cowl yet? You have to...! I keep thinking of other possibilities for this and thought I'd share one of them with you today (warning: there may be more)... arm knit child's cowl. 

As you can see, it's smaller than the original. It loops just once around the neck, so no infinity twist.

To make it, follow the original tutorial for the technique but change up the pattern a bit:

Arm Knit Child's Cowl Pattern
  1. Working with two strands together, cast on 9 stitches.
  2. Knit every row for 10 rows.
  3. Bind off all stitches.
  4. Seam cast-on and bound-off edges together to form a  loop.
  5. Weave in ends.

That should stretch nicely over your girl's head. Mine have loved theirs! So easy to wear. Audrey wore this all day to school--not just to and fro. That made me happy. I've had fun picking out yarn with them--the younger two opted for purple. That color seems to be the family favorite.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sewing: Bateau Neck PJs with Kangaroo Pocket (Pocket Tutorial)

Audrey and I picked out some fleece before the holidays to make pajamas for her. My girls would rather be in PJs than anything, and who can blame them? 

This December project turned into a January project but they were so quick to sew I wondered why I didn't squeeze them in earlier. (Probably due to the other things I did squeeze in...) I am teaching Audrey to sew a bit. She helped cut and pin the pants. If I hadn't been in a hurry I would have let her sew them too--she made some with me for her Father a few months ago.

I used my Bateau Neck Top pattern for the top. It's cut loose and the bateau neck is perfect for slipping over the head. Perfect for PJs really. I added a kangaroo pocket to make them extra cozy. It's nice to have a place to tuck in those little hands. I used the Prairie Rose Set Pattern for the pants (I lengthen the pants the height of the ruffle minus 1" and cut them out without the side seam for faster sewing). 

I love that pocket. I have plans to use it again for Audrey.

She seems pleased with the results. Except that we sewed two pairs for her and she can't decide which she likes best. I love this graphic, colorful print we bought at Joan. Audrey also spied another, which she just mooned over: puppies in Santa hats! Cute in a pretty awful way. It was one of those things I just couldn't deny her because she was so excited about it, even though it runs contrary to my aesthetic. Some things are like that. At least she didn't want a Sunday dress out of it!

I've created a pattern for the kangaroo pocket in sizes 18 months to 10, which you can add to The Bateau Neck Top and Bateau Neck Dress patterns (both available in my Wee Muses Etsy shop). I can't wait to try it on the dress! A tutorial for sewing it follows. Please click through to see the details.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Knitting: Arm Knit Infinity Cowl (Tutorial)

I have something I think you are going to love! An "arm knit" infinity cowl! As in, knit on your arms instead of with knitting needles!

Have you heard of this trend? Maybe it's been around a long time and I'm just getting to the party. I don't know...

I will just tell you a friend of mine, Angie, had one of these infinity cowls and I thought it was to-die-for and then was even more intrigued when she told me she made it in about 30 minutes watching a Youtube tutorial. Seriously. She claims she is not a knitter.

So I watched and learned and I've made over a dozen of these in the past two weeks! That's no exaggeration. (As you may have learned, I tend to get compulsive about things I enjoy!)

I have made them for friends with January birthdays and for my sisters, just because. And a couple for myself. I would love to make one for each of you except for my list of other creative to-dos I shoved aside. And the laundry. So instead, I'll teach you!

You could just watch the YouTube tutorial (there are a bunch actually), but everyone does things a bit differently so I thought this project would benefit from a photo-tutorial and text explanation as well. Watching a long video isn't my favorite way to learn. And if it isn't yours either I have a tutorial with a few video snippets to show you how to make an arm knit infinity cowl.

So what color will you make?  I keep thinking I need more. It's not much of an investment of time or money (only 2 skeins of chunky yarn!) so you can go a little crazy.

And it's reversible. I'm wearing it "knits" side out in the taupe color and "purls" side out in the hot pink. I think they're both interesting. And these are super soft and snuggly so they're fun to wear.

Ready to get started? Click through for the details.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sewing: Waldorf Dolls for the Girls

Last Christmas I had visions of making handmade (Waldorf) dolls for Scarlett and Tess (I had already made one for Audrey) and giving the three of them doll wardrobes to go with them. I knitted some little sweaters but that's as far as I got. This year I had similar, but more elaborate visions because the wardrobe ideas were growing. Again, I fell far short from the goal. But I did make two dolls! (With some very late nights and finishing them early Christmas morning!) And I dressed them in the sweaters from last year, which I'd tucked secretly away. 

For Audrey, a red sweater on the doll I made her when her younger sister was born.

And some new red hair ribbons.

For Scarlett, a fair-skinned doll with dark brown eyes (like Scarlett) and pale long hair she can play with.

Scarlett is calling her "Elsa," inspired by her favorite movie.

And for Tess, a dark skinned doll with green eyes and dark curly hair in big piggy tails. I know I shouldn't pick a favorite but I love this little one!

January should be a good month for sewing doll clothes...

For the first doll I made I purchased a Magic Cabin doll making kit, which sadly they sell no longer. I bought the supplies for these two new dolls from Joy.

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