Friday, February 29, 2008

Wristlet Tutorial

Happy Leap Day everyone! In honor of this day - I decided to post another sewing tutorial.

This time it's for my Wristlet pattern.

Remember these?


Well, now you can make one too!

- Less than a quarter yard of linen,
- Scraps of quilting cotton in two patterns (one for the lining and one for the outside accent fabric)
- Less than a quarter yard of medium weight fusible interfacing
- Thread to match
- Cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter
- Zipper (7 inches or larger)
- Pins and other sewing tools


Step 1: Select and cut your fabric. I used linen for the body and strap, but you could use anything. Cut out the pieces:
-From the linen:
- Cut 2 pieces that measure 8'' by 6''
- Cut a piece for the strap that measures 22'' by 3.5''
- Cut 1 piece of cotton fabric for your outside accent piece that measures 8'' by 6''
- Cut 2 pieces of Cotton fabric for the inside lining that measure 8'' by 6''
- Cut 2 pieces of interfacing that measure 8'' by 6''

Step 2: Iron the interfacing to the inside lining pieces.

Step 3: Cut one of the inside lining pieces, the outside accent fabric and one of the linen pieces to create the opening for the zipper. Determine where you want the zipper to go - it can be anywhere. I cut my pieces 2'' from the top. (Leave at least an inch and a half on top for the seam and handle)
After cutting your pieces - your fabric should look like this:

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Step 4: Pin fabrics to zipper.

Starting with the pieces that will end up below the zipper, pin the inside lining and outside accent fabric pieces to zipper. Make sure to put the outside accent fabric "right side to right side" with the zipper. (The front of the zipper should go against the right side of your outside accent fabric and the back of the zipper should be up against the right side of the inside fabric.)

You are basically making a sandwich with the zipper on the inside:
Like this:

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Pin in place, making sure to only pin through the top half of the zipper - otherwise it will make it harder to open and close the zipper if you pin through both sides (more on this later).

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After pinning the fabric to the zipper, open the zipper about halfway before you start sewing.

Tip: The reason I open the zipper before I start to sew, is because if you leave the zipper closed, it is harder to sew next to the zipper pull. You will close the zipper after sewing halfway across.

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Step 5: Start to sew the zipper to the bottom inside and outside fabrics. Use a zipper foot, or about a quarter inch seam allowance. Stop before you get to the zipper pull.

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When you reach the zipper pull, make sure your needle is in the down position (in the fabric) and then raise the pressure foot. Turn your work so you can see where you are, and close the zipper. Now the zipper pull won't be in your way anymore, and you finish sewing across the piece.

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Step 6: Press.

After sewing across the piece, iron the piece so the fabrics on both sides lay flat against the zipper.

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Step 7: Pin the top pieces to the zipper.

Again, make sure to put the right side of the zipper face to face with the right side of the outside accent fabric and the back of the zipper face to face with the right side of the lining fabric. Pin in place

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Your zipper sandwich should look like this.

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Open the zipper about halfway again so you can sew more easily and not have the zipper pull in the way.

Step 8: Start to sew the zipper to the top fabrics using a zipper foot or a quarter inch seam allowance.

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After sewing halfway across, make sure the needle is in the down position, raise the pressure foot, and close the zipper just as you did in step 5.

Step 9: Press.

Make sure both the top and bottom lay flat when the zipper is closed.

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Step 10: Top stitch.

Sew across the top and bottom of your zipper using a quarter inch or an eight of an inch seam allowance.

Tip: It helps to use foot of your machine as a guide. Make sure to line up the foot to the edge of your fabric for a straight clean top stitch.

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Step 11: Add your own label (if desired).

Now is the time to add any labels or logos you want to be on your wristlet. Sew around the edge (getting as close as possible to the edge while still catching the label) making sure to leave the needle down when turning the corners.

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Step 12: Prepare the handle.

Fold your fabric in half legnthwise and press a middle seam. Then open the handle, and fold the two halfs into the middle seam and press again. Finally, fold the handle in half (after folding and ironing the outside edges into the middle) and press. This will create a sturdy and neat handle with all the raw edges folded into the inside.

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Step 13: Pin handle and sew two border seams.

Using your pressure foot as a guide, sew the legnth of the handle with a quarter inch or an eight of an inch seam allowance on both sides of the handle.

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Step 14: Cut about a two inch piece from the end of your handle. This will act as a pull to assist in the opening and closing of the zipper.

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You should now have two pieces - one long piece for the handle and one small piece for the pull:

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Step 15: Fold the handle and pull pieces in half and pin them to your fabric above the zipper.

Make sure the handle and pull are on the inside (you are about to make another fabric sandwich)

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Step 16: Make the fabric sandwich.

Layer your pieces as follows:
- The bottom layer should be your fabric with the zipper - right side up.
- Next, add the linen right side down (or the piece of fabric that you want to be the back of the outside of your wristlet)
- The last layer is the lining fabric right side up.

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Check to make sure your handle is in the inside of this sandwich.

Step 17: Open the zipper - otherwise you will have a hard time opening the finished piece after you have sewn all the sides.

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Step 18: Pin the pieces together.

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Step 19: Sew all around the outside.

To reinforce the handle and the pull, sew backwards and forwards over them a few times for extra strength. Be careful when sewing over the zipper, and when sewing over the handle. The fabric is very thick! Go slowly!

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Tip: For neat corners, remember to turn your work with the needle in the down position.

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Tip: To make sure you don't accidentally sew through your handle, you can pull it through the zipper opening.

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Step 20: Trim the corners.

When you are finished sewing, trim the excess fabric from the corners and the outside edges, being careful not to cut through your seams.

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Step 21: Turn your wristlet right side out through the zipper.

Iron one more time to press out any bulk.

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Step 22: Enjoy your new wristlet!

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I hope you try to make one too - and definitely write and let me know if you make one. I'd love to see the finished product!

Have a great weekend!

** Updated**
Many people have asked where I got the labels.  I got them from

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Ariann Photoshoot

Yes - she's done!

I went out to breakfast this morning to meet up with some friends beacuse Stacey is in town! I had to show off my Ariann of course! Here we are:

Stacey came to visit!

Lolly, Stacey, Jolene (and baby Joe), Coleen and I had a grand time catching up and sipping coffee. Some of us even knit! (not me!)

After our coffee and conversation, I had Coleen take a few photos for me. This is taken right outside Panera. Don't you just love the 70's style architecture of these strips malls - ha!


: Ariann from Chick knits
Yarn: Classic Elite Skye Tweed in Upland Green from Webs
Needles: Size 9 Knit Picks Interchangebles
Buttons: Purchased at Cloverhill yarn shop
Alterations: I made this sweater a size larger than the pattern. It actually came out a little big in the end.

I love this pattern - it's so simple, yet has a striking effect. I did have to rip back twice because I'm an idiot and forgot to stop yo'ing at the raglan shaping - oops!

Of course I had to have John take some more when I got home...




I found the most awesome buttons at Cloverhill too...


Yeah for new sweaters - go say congrats to Sarah - she just finished her Central Park Hoodie!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Odds and Ends

I've had a severe case of knitting ADD lately. I'm working on so many things at once!

- Ariann - I finished it!! I still need to take photos - will the sun ever shine again!?
Here it is almost done...
Ariann in progress
- Top Down ragaln - that I started a year and half ago and has been hibernating for a loooong time! I finally picked it up again a few days ago and finished the body - now it's on to the sleeves!!

Here's a picture from the last time I worked on it... I'm done with the body now.
Top Down Raglan

- Swatching for a new sweater

-Morning Surf Scarf - I cast on for this in a moment of uncontrollable desire. I was surfing around Ravelry and saw this scarf (sorry non ravelers!) and had to have it.

I cast on with some Koigu...
Morning Surf Scarf

And finally - these awesome mittens!

Kiss That Frog Mitts

They were designed by Beth from bethtoons.

Kiss That Frog Mitts
Go check out her finished version. When you put your mitts together the palms make a frog! So cute!

Hopefully I'll get these UFOs finished up before March because I have plans! Michelle from the Sweet Sheep is doing her March Sweater Madness again this year.

I don't think I'll ever be able to knit a sweater in a month - but I can dream! I hope I like the pattern!

Go sign up and join the madness!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jaywalking... again!

I finsihed another pair of Jaywalkers last week. This is defiitely my all time favorite sock pattern. It's quick and easy to memorize.

Jaywalkers in trekking XXL

Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina
Yarn: Trekking XXL in color 107
Needles: US 2 dpns
Alternations: Knit with size 2 needles instead of size 1s (I knit tight!)

Jaywalkers in trekking XXL

Jaywalkers in trekking XXL

I bet you can't guess who took these picures...

I'll give you a hint...

She was visiting town this weekend from Rhode Island...

She has a cute dog named Murphy...

She knits socks faster than anyone I know....

Yup! Sarah! It was so great to spend some time with her - it was just what I needed :)

Thanks for a great weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope everyone has a great day today!

I noticed that Sew Mama Sew posted a tutorial on how to make these coasters that I made back in July of last year:

Quilted Coasters

I thought you all may be interested in the free pattern!

Enjoy! and I hope everyone gets some Valentines Day Chocolate (because those calories don't count - right?)

Diet Coke Update: No DCs for me yet! Thanks for all the support emails!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

I can finally show you my latest lace project now that it has been gifted to my mom. I was keeping it a secret from the blog and from my flickr (because she reads them both!) and I didn't want to ruin the surprise! I made my mom the Diamond Fantasy Shawl to wear on a cruise my parents are taking. I'm happy to say she loved it!

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

: Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding
Yarn: My own Handspun (100% merino wool) - the roving was a gift from Jolene
Needles: Size US6 Addi Lace needles
Alterations: I was worried that I would run out of yarn, so I only did 8 lace repeats instead of 10 (but in the end - I do have quite a bit left over)

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

I really love the way this roving producted yarn that is subtly variegated. It changes from light to dark turquoise.

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

The construction/design of this shawl is fabulous. Instead of starting at the top like most triangular shawls do, this one starts at the tip and grows up from there. I love the zig zag edging that is created by binding off stitches as you go.

Also - the final bind off is fantastic - it's an i-cord bind off that creates this neat rounded edge. It took me forever to bind off this sucker though - having to knit every stitch three times!! I finished it during the superbowl and I think it took me a full hour just bind off!

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

It has definitely wet my appetite for more lace. I'm trying to finish up some little projects I have lying around before I start another lace project - but it's hard!

Diamond Fantasy Shawl

Don't you just love my wind blown hair in this shot - it was sooooo windy during this photoshoot! This is one of the only shots my hair isnt totally hiding my face!

Overall it was a very quick knit. I think I finished it in about a week. I highly recommend it!