Friday, November 29, 2013

Lilley's Shrug

This is the shrug I was making back in October for my friend's daughter Lilley as a birthday present. Her birthday is the day after mine. I started early on it because I know how slow it takes me to get things done even though the actual knitting time is very little.

I took one skein of Lion Brand Fancy fur purple yarn with one strand of Red Heart purple worsted weight.

The tricky part was figuring out how many stitches to cast on.

I measured Lilley's wrists around. Then measured her upper arms around. Also, I measured from wrist to wrist and then from shoulder to shoulder.

I originally was going to knit it from wrist to wrist but found that the material stretches out and from the length I chose figured she could still do the fun things kids do without the shrug getting in the way.

I first cast on 20 sts but found as I draped it over my arms that it started to stretch enough to fit me. Her wrists are a lot smaller than mine. I think I eventually casted on 16 stitches and found that it was just right. I don't know for sure as I forgot to write this down, lol!

Then after you figure out how many to cast on, just knit in garter stitch until it's the length you want. It's so easy!

But if you want to make one you'll just have to do the drape part and see how well it fits. I used the mattress stitch to seam it up so keep in mind that it does take away a little of the material.

I ended up making this shrug the length of one skein of fancy fur yarn, which in my case was 24 inches. Then, knowing what her measurements were from shoulder to shoulder (10 inches) I seamed up 7 inches on each side.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to sew a tea wallet

I started out in the morning by cutting out all the material. I made a template according to the pattern I used from here and cut up the pieces lengthwise. This gave me a long narrow strip leftover that I will use to make some headbands with.  I should be able to get at least one headband from the material if not two. Before I forget, I bought the material in 1/4 yard increments. This gives me enough material to make three tea wallets.
After lunch I spent the afternoon pressing all the pocket pieces and pressing the interface pieces to the outer layer of material.
Then, after supper I sewed the stitching on the pockets in an assembly line fashion. After that, I sewed the first pocket piece to the inner layer piece of material, 1 inch from the bottom. After that I sewed all of the first pocket pieces on. I trimmed the threads connecting them all together.
Then I sewed the second pocket piece by lining the bottom of it with the bottom piece of the material. This went smoothly by sewing them in an assembly line.
Then I folded the pocket pieces together in half, pressed it and sewed down the middle using the pressing line as a guide. This creates four pockets.
To put it all together, I fixed the elastic piece with the ends facing the outside and placed the interface material on top with right sides together and sewed all the way around leaving a hole at the bottom end open to turn inside out. Follow instructions on the blog.
I agree, if you keep the interface part on the top while you sew the material won't stretch so badly. Don't ask me how I know! Lol.
Then you need to turn the material inside out and top stitch the outside close to the end to close of the whole hole. When you turn it inside out, make sure that you have sewed securely otherwise your material will fray.
The fun part is choosing the button for the closure. Be sure to trim all threads.
That's it!
Pieces cut and pressed.

I used to pile each of the four pieces together per tea wallet but found if I separated the pockets and put them in one pile and the inside/outside material in another and sew them in an assembly line, things went smoother.

Here I've got all the pocket pieces fold in half and pressed ready to sew. I like to top-stitch 1/4 inch from the top to create a pretty edge. It's not necessary, but I do it.

To save time and thread, here I am sewing the top-stitch on the pockets. See how many I can do at once? 

Next, I take the first pocket piece and sew it on the bottom so that the edge measures 1 inch from the bottom. It looks like it's more than that, but it's not. 

I know the picture is fuzzy, (sorry!) but here you can see the first pocket sewn on. 

Next, I sew the last pocket piece on and this time I just play the raw edges along the bottom edge of the tea wallet. Sew it 1/4 inch to the inside piece. The outside piece is almost ready to sew...

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I forgot to take a picture of this part, so I had to use some other material for the picture. But now comes the easy/hard part depending on your sewing skills. First, you take your elastic piece and fold it in half and stitch along the ends of it. Make sure your loop is on the inside. I like to hold it in place by tacking it down. Then, you take the outside piece and place it right sides together with the pocket piece and pin (if necessary) and sew all the way around but leave an opening to turn inside out. I like to leave the opening at the bottom where it is less noticeable.

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Then, snip corners and make sure you've sewn all the way around on both sides. Nothing is more frustrating to me than turning it right side out only to find that a part did not get sewn. Turn right side out and press. Then, you turn under the opening part and press. Then, top-stitch all the way around, making sure to catch the opening closed. I use my pressure foot back and forth over the part with the elastic to make sure it's firmly in place.

Almost done!

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Now you just need to sew on the button by hand and you're almost there. I found it helps if you put the four tea bags in place to determine where your button goes. Without it, the button placement can be off a bit. Place tea bags in and put where button needs to go. I usually put it with the loop of the closure. This way it can stretch to open and close nice and snug.

Trim threads and you are done!
Was that easier to sew than you thought? Now go, stuff some tea bags in and gift away! These make a lovely gift for a tea lover. For those of you that don't sew, try making a credit card holder. This is made a little different than a tea wallet. Click here to learn how. (insert link)