Thursday, January 28, 2010

Burda WOF - Charm tunic 113

I finally took some pics of the lovely jersey knit tops I made a few weeks ago. The pattern is called Charm Tunic # 113 in the June 2009 issue of Burda WOF magazine. I just love this magazine. It is such good value for money and I seldom find that there is nothing in the magazine I do not like. This specific issue has several lovely jersey top patterns in.

This is a pretty crappy pic of the Charm Tunic top I made. It was rather hot here in Joburg a few weeks ago, so I decided to make this top to keep cool. It is a strapless jersey tunic with a tight bust, front darts, covered with two wrap-over pieces of fabric in the front and one in the back and finished off with an elastic casing at the top.

I made three of these tops, each one different. You know me, I cannot stick to any pattern! This pink and black tunic is my favorite, and third attempt. I decided to leave the cross-over pieces out, added wide straps to hide the bra-strap, and added an extra piece of fabric to the neck edge for the elastic casing. I found the bust piece to be a little on the short side.

This was my second attempt at this pattern using some of my stunning silk knit fabric. With this top I just left the cross-over pieces out and also added the extra piece of fabric for the elastic casing. These tops are so easy to wear and cool!

This was my first attempt at this pattern. (Another crap pic. Sorry.) The top is actually made from a bright yellow jersey knit fabric and I stuck to the original pattern, with the cross-over pieces in. Not easy to see on the pic though. A really nice pattern and as always with Burda, the fit is perfect! My favorite patterns. I think I might make a few more of this one sometime. As you know, if I like a pattern, I make a few!

And as promised, here is a pic of the felted little green bag with the interesting handle. As you can see, the bag is very small and the beautiful big green beads did not survive the hot water in the washing machine. The small polka-dot beads are fine. Not sure why the difference, I am not a bead expert. Must be the painting method. I still need to put in a magnetic snap closure. I really like this bag, I'm just miffed because it shrunk so much!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Circular Knitting Needle Storage

My collection of circular knitting needles is growing. All the time. Storing them neatly has become such a problem lately that I was forced to start thinking of a better way to store them. I do not like any of the products on the market, so started looking at ideas other crafters came up with.

The idea I liked most was using smaller ring-binder type pouches such as in the photo above. I started looking at CD pouches, but could not find what I was looking for. CD pouches have slots for CD's and I wanted the ring-binder type. So Friday I paid my one and only local Thrift Store a visit. And I found THREE pouches just perfect for it!

I also found tins that I wanted for my straight needles.

The shorter, round tin will be suitably "embellished" to show off pretty knitting needles on my desk and the long tin for all the other straight knitting needles. I am delighted to say that all these items cost me less than $10! And can you believe the pouches are all leather?!

Most crafters used zip-lock type of plastic bags to store their circular knitting needles and just added stickers with the needle size and length on top. This is very neat and a great storage idea. However, I wanted to SEW my storage bags, not buy them. So I planned, plotted and measured and cut out fabric. Basically, it is just a long, doubled rectangle of fabric sewn up, and folded over for the pocket. I ironed on a very thin, lightweight fusible interfacing on one side only to give it some strength but not make it bulky.

This is the first sewn "pocket". I am so pleased with how it came out. Next step was to make the holes and set the eyelets.
I used my old faithful Crop-A-Dile from my scrapbooking days to make the holes and set the eyelets. My favorite and most useful tool!
Here's a close-up of my finished pockets with the eyelets all set.

The first pouch almost completed with 5 pockets for now, but still need to make quite a few more. I still need to work on an idea to label each pocket with the size and length of each needle. This must be an idea that allows me to add to my collection all the time, so I need to be able to change the label often. I do not want the pouches to be too bulky, so will only make up to 8 pockets per pouch. I still have some small changes to make to the pockets to make them perfect, but overall I love my new Circular Knitting Needle storage pouch.

I am so in the mood to sew a few handbags again! I went through all my patterns the weekend and selected a few bags I have not made before. I even selected fabric for one of them. Now I just need to find the time! Hope you all have a great week!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Felted bags

A few weeks ago I made a few bags. This pattern caught my eye a while back but I was not keen to cut up any of my dresses to make it! This is the Sack Dress Sack. You can find the FREE crochet pattern over at CrochetMe at Very easy to make and quite cute. I used two skeins (two threads of yarn held together and worked at the same time) of Elle Gold yarn, a local yarn that is really lovely, in a bright peacock blue colour. I made the bag slightly bigger than the pattern calls for as I really hate small bags.

This is my first attempt from my new book "Knit-'n- Felt Bags". I really love this book! I did change the pattern a lot though. I felted the bag and now I wish I didn't. It did not come out as I hoped, but I can still use it.
This is the Gelato Bag to be found here in a kit form. The bag is really small, so I made it a lot bigger. Also I did not have the 40cm (16") circular needles needed to start the bottom of the bag. A fruitless search locally for several weeks, made me order a full set of 40cm circular needles from a shop in the UK. Sadly, this parcel was posted several weeks BEFORE Christmas, and has STILL not arrived!
You use felting wool yarn held together with Mohair. This Mohair is really bad. Lovely but so bad. It fluffs and little pieces drift up your nose, in your mouth, all over. Then I am not even talking about what it does when felted in your washing machine! Fortunately I read up on this before I attempted felting it and decided to put the bag in a thicker pillowcase when felting it. The fluff that came from that bag was unbelievable! And it still got through the pillowcase onto the towel, jeans and other stuff I added to the wash. The pre-felted bag was HUGE.
I am quite pleased at the end result though. It shrunk less than the wool yarn normally does. All the yarn I used was local. The Mohair affects the felting process quite a lot. You can still see stitch definition, which I am not so fond of, but it's still nice. And fluffy. A lot of fluff! I still need to finish it off with a nice button and magnetic snap before I can use it. Not with a dark outfit though. I will be covered in fluff in no time.

For the life of me, I cannot remember now which pattern I used for this bag! I will have to look it up and post again on this one. I still need to take a picture of the finished version of this bag after felting, which sadly, did not go so well. Oh, it felted beautifully, but it shrunk plenty! The bag is so small now, my purse won't even fit! I do love the handle and bead effect that I made although the beads did not withstand the heat in the washing machine so well either.
I also made some lovely jersey knit tops recently that I still need to take pics of. I will post again next week and share some of these projects. And of course, I still want to make tops from my two new patterns I purchased recenlty from
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy 2010!

A bit late to say Happy New Year, but I am back from holiday and already into work, if not so much craftiness. Despite great plans, and long lists, of things I planned to make during my holiday, not much of that happened...I did make a few items of clothing that I really like and felted a few bags, but instead of trying to catch up with posting on more than a month's projects, I will rather post more recent projects.

I found this very easy pattern in the digital Creative Knitting magazine that I subscribe to. Saturday I went Arthur Bales in Linden and purchased this lovely yarn that has a small percentage Mohair content, ideal for this pattern. The pattern is really easy, just a rectangular tube knitted on circular needles. It calls for you to make a twist in the needles before you join the first row together in the round. Can you believe how difficult it was to twist the stitches on purpose?! After a few problems when I started knitting with circular needles, I make a point to ensure the stitches are NOT twisted and for the life of me, I could not get it twisted! Eventually I did, but don't ask me how.

I am working on a gorgeous purple dress as well as a purple top at the moment and thought I will crochet a nice hat and scarf to go with it. I really liked the creme and purple yarn together, so mixed the two. I am still deciding on the scarf pattern, so will start this soon.

As always, when paying a visit to the LYS, in this case Arthur Bales in Linden, I end up buying more than the things on my list! I have been coveting this KnitPro set for a while and on Saturday, I bought it. The set has 3 different cables and 3 different size needles and the price was good. I have been buying some of the KnitPro circular needles seperately the last few months and now almost have a full set. I hate it when I want to start a project and I do not have the correct needles. Now I do!

I also bought these, on my list for a while now. With all the clothing sewing going on the last few weeks, and more to come, I have wanted these stretch twin needles badly. They were rather expensive, but I believe worth it. I cannot wait to test them!

I also want to share my favorite new "shop" with you. The last few months I have been buying clothing patterns online from I adore this site. You can purchase downloadable patterns from many companies such as Burda (my favorite), New Look, Butterick, McCalls and many others. This is instant satisfaction! Just my kind of thing. I will be in my sewing room and decide to make a top or dress, but have no pattern. On the Internet I go, select the pattern, pay via PayPal and within 15 minutes I can download my pattern. You actually print it directly from the site, celotape the pages together and cut out your pattern. The patterns cost a lot less too. Most patterns are between $2,99 and $3,99 each, a lot less than in the shops. I just bought two new patterns yesterday again, so look out for some finished projects this week.

Hope you all have a great week and I promise to post more often now!

Monday, January 4, 2010

A New Year!

Happy New Year! I am still shocked that time flies like it does and I feel like I am not getting nearly enough done in my Craft Room as I want to. My apologies for the long silence on my blog. Things were rather hectic at work and once I went on holiday it was the usual rush to buy Xmas presents, etc.

I did complete a few things the last two weeks though. I also received some lovely gift vouchers to spend on crafty stuff, so will be shopping soon! I will post some of my completed items in the next few days.

Hope you all have a craftastic 2010!