Tag Archive | simple

Sleeping bag bag

No, that’s not a typo. I suppose I could have said sack or receptacle. But that’s not as fun.

Last week, Konik and I were in the fabric store (buying my pristine cardboard cutting mat) and I spied a roll of Curious George fabric in the remnant bin. For a little boy who loves monkeys, Curious George is tops. I checked the remnant and it was just a little under a yard. Definitely enough to use for something. For the next several days, Konik pestered me about what I was going to make out of it. I didn’t give him any hints because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with it. At first I considered a pillow case, but… meh. He has pillowcases. He kept begging me, “Don’t cut George!” So what could the boy use?

Then I remembered when I was a kid, my Aunt E made me a bag to keep my sleeping bag in. I still have it and use it (Thanks, Aunt E!)! It’s a little faded and dingy, but it has served its purpose well for the past 25 or so years. Konik got a sleeping bag for Christmas and really didn’t have anywhere to keep it, nor does it have any straps or ties to keep it rolled up. It’s kind of a pain. But a bag! He could use that.

The sewing is so easy it’s barely worth mentioning. I put in some elastic on one end to be the top and then sewed up the side and bottom. Done!

IMG_4047

Elastic top keeps things inside

Elastic top keeps things inside

Konik demonstrates how to take out the sleeping bag.

Konik demonstrates how to take out the sleeping bag.

And how to stuff it back in.

And how to stuff it back in.

Soft and squishy

Soft and squishy, good for hugging.

 

And I didn’t even have to cut George.

 

 

.

Sweater for the new (little) man in my life

Tell ya what, peeps: Single parenting? Not for this girl. Mr. Gren just completed four weeks of Corrections Office Academy last Friday (Congratulations, Mr. Gren!) and there was much rejoicing. [Yay!!] He was able to come home on weekends, thank goodness, or I might not have any hair or sanity left now. To all military families and anyone else who has to do the single parent gig for whatever reason: mad props (or, for you, mon frère — mad promps). Going into it, I had the endearingly naive idea that I’d be able to keep up with blogging.

Bwahahahahahahaaaaa!!! When will I ever learn?

Miraculously, I did manage to complete a few crafty things and now that Mr. Gren is back home in his semi-official position as Munchkin Wrangler, I can tell you about them!

You may recall that I had begun knitting a little wrap sweater for Sprinkaan several weeks before he was born. This was my first real knitting project. Ever. In my life. With real needles and a pattern and angst and stuff. Yeah, that’s right, knitting is not quite relaxing for me because the entire time the project is just mere millimeters away from disaster. Does that make knitters more daring than crocheters? I don’t know, but I kinda like the safety the hook provides. Besides that, if I screw up in crochet, I can fix it; I can’t fix knitting errors yet. If I had dropped a stitch, I probably would have had to start completely over and the likelihood of that happening: Pshhh. You so funny. So this whole baby sweater was a bit of a do-or-die moment for me. A very long moment.

The pattern I chose was a baby wrap kimono sweater. I needed something super basic for my inaugural knitting project and this pattern fit the bill. It used only knit and purl stitches (I can do that!) and had simple decreases and increases (I figured out how to do that!). It was worked side to side in one big flat piece. I wish there had been pictures of what that looked like because I was having a hard time visualizing how all these flaps were going to turn into a sweater. So I took pictures of it while it was blocking out — for posterity and any other novice knitters who might want to see what the finished product will look like. To me, it kinda resembles an animal pelt stretched for tanning.

IMG_3743

In a noble attempt at stash-busting, the yarn I used was leftover from a baby blanket I crocheted for my nephew when he was a newborn. He’s 10 now, so this yarn has been kicking around in my bin for 9 years too long. It is a Bernat baby yarn. Kind of crinkly with green and yellow strands woven together, plus a little white shimmery strand. So here I am, knitting along, knitting, knitting, knitting. I get to the second shoulder and… I ran out of yarn. Like I said, this yarn was 10 years old, so there’s not much chance I’m going to find the same yarn, much less the same color. And forget the same color lot! Besides, buying more yarn really defeats the purpose of stash-busting. I dug through my bins and found another green Bernat crinkly baby yarn, minus the yellow strand. “It’ll be close enough,” I told myself. Also, the light in my living room was dim. Come daylight, I found that the new yarn isn’t as close to the old yarn as I had thought. But you know what? Too bad, so sad. It’s on there and it’s staying on there. If anyone happens to wonder aloud to me why one sleeve is a different color than the rest, I will tell them it’s a design element. So there.

IMG_3900

IMG_3901

IMG_3904

The little sweater is not without other imperfections, either. There are random floating rows of purl stitch where there should be knit. “Look, Baby Sprinkaan — this is where one of your siblings had dire need of me and when I came back, I couldn’t remember what I was doing.” Ah, memories.

IMG_3902

I’d say I finished the sweater none too soon. Sprinkaan is a little log of a baby and probably won’t be able to wear the sweater for long. But who knows, maybe if I move the buttons over, we can buy a bit more time in it and Sprinkaan’s little tiny T-rex arms will have a chance to grow into those long sleeves.

IMG_3824

IMG_3825

Toga! Toga! Toga!

Tell you what, after making this dress, I think the Greeks were on to something. Soft, roomy, comfy, stylishly wrinkled, togas have got it all! Seriously, if we all just had togas in multiple colors, we’d be set for life.

(Ok, for the nitpickers and fact checkers among us, yes, I am fully and completely aware that the Greek garment was not called a “toga,” but a “chiton.” But nobody talks about “chitons” and half of those who do, probably don’t know how to pronounce it anyways.)

The main difference between this dress and togas is that this is sewn and not just an artfully draped piece of fabric. But the sewing was super easy. Because it is so simple, I was able to put in some nice French seams. This thin cotton lawn is perfect for that treatment.

IMG_2324

Now, the girl on the pattern cover seems to have a much more pleated dress than I do.

IMG_2335

I don’t know how that happens. Also, she is so fashion forward that she doesn’t even need the little fabric tie to cinch it in. I liked that look. I cannot pull off that look. I realized that, without the fabric tie, I basically just made a purple version of my nightgown. Really, the differences between the two are negligible. Negligible, I said, not negligee.

IMG_2330

You may notice that the hem is not straight across — it actually dips a bit lower in the front and back than it does on the sides. The pattern drawing for view A makes it look straight across which is what I wanted because I’m not a big fan of asymmetry (sorry, views B & C). I suppose it’s alright because, in the end, it is symmetrical, just not how I expected.

IMG_2328

I wonder what this would look like in a slightly heavier fabric. I may never bother finding out because this is a fabric monster. But hey, if I could add fall/winter/spring togas to this summery one, my wardrobe would be set for the year!

IMG_2333

And once again I am fascinated by the incredible pallor of my skin. I live up close to myself so it never really registered. Oh sure, I knew I had pale skin, but man, I am white. Just living up to my name, I guess (Jennifer: Welsh form of Guinevere means “white, soft, smooth.”). And, I suppose given my ancestry, coloring, and the forest background, I’m more akin to some kind of Celtic fairy in this dress than I am to any Greek goddesses. I’ll take that.