Sock Yarn Baby Sweaters

pink-sweater-3Sock Yarn is irresistible.

Every knitter has a skein or two (or 12) of soft, squishy sock yarn in gorgeous colors in their Stash.

My Yarn Stash included 3 skeins of sock yarn rosy-pink with yellow, darker rose and purple highlights.  Never had any idea what to knit with it, but Oh! Those colors!

The yarn found its purpose when news of baby girls came along!

pink-sweater-nakingDoubling the yarn produced a gauge that worked for Bellarose, a topdown ruffled cropped cardi/shrug designed by Tiaga Hilliard.

The pattern was designed for 20 sts/in on size 7 needles.  Size 7 needles produced a very loose fabric even with the doubled sock yarn.  Size 5 needles produced a nice fabric at  22 sts per inch.  To accommodate the difference in gauge, a larger size was knit.

pink-sweater-4Topdown patterns are perfect for babies.  Limited seaming and finishing!  No bulky seams!

The ruffle is just too cute!

pink-sweater-2The sweater decided it needed a matching bonnet.  The lace stitch of the ruffle edges the bonnet.

Two babies – two sweaters.

pink-sweater-trav-2The second sweater modified Misty Lily by Gabrielle Dansknit.  It is also a topdown pattern with a lace panel.  Designed for fingering weight yarn, the sock yarn was knit single strand on size 3 needles.

The lace panel was just the right touch of elegance to the sweater.

The body of the sweater was modified to an A-shape below the  underarm seam.

pink-sweater-trav1The softness of the yarn, the lace pattern and those gorgeous colors made it perfect for a beautiful baby girl.

The Button Stash contained several small yellow buttons that were sewn onto the sweaters prior to gifting them.




Posted in Knitting, Knitting for Babies, Lace Knitting | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Traveling MOB Wardrobe…

all-dressesHow many dresses are too many to take to a wedding?

If one is the Mother of the Bride, there is no limit.

If one sews, the limit is only established by the time available for sewing.  Using Tried and True Patterns helped with the limited time availability.

Vogue 8764

Vogue 8764

From left to right:

  1. Long Dress:  Vogue 8764
  2. Beach Cover Up
  3. Short Dress:  Vogue 8764
  4. Linen and Lace Dress:  Butterick 6953
  5. Mother of the Bride Dress:  McCalls 6953
  6. Yellow Dress
  7. Rehearsal Dinner Dress:  Vogue 8764
  8. Silk Tunic Dress:  Vogue 9062
  9. Floral Linen Dress:  Vogue 9062
Long Dress

Long Dress – Back View

Jetson's Dress

Jetson’s Dress

Vogue 8764 became a “Go To” pattern not long after it was used to sew the muslin “Jetson’s Dress.

It has a raised front waist that angles down slightly toward the back.  The simple lines of the pattern allow for easy modification.

Pleats added at waist seam

Pleats added at waist seam

The Long and Short Dresses (1 and 3 in the above photo) were sewn with knit fabrics.  To accommodate the graphic pattern,  the skirts were cut straight.  Pleats were added at the waistline seam as gathers would have been bulky – and distroted the graphic pattern.

tumblr_inline_nklo9itivg1t8nhkxThe necklines were rounded and the notch was eliminated.  The bodice was lined with a plain white knit. The stretch of the knit fabric eliminated the need for the center back zipper.

After the dresses were completed, I noticed the weight of the fabric pulled the bodice down and away from the body.  To counter the resulting unflattering fit (think caftan – Mrs. Roper for those that remember Three’s Company), 3/4″ elastic was sewn to the seam allowance of the waist seam. The elastic successfully returned the waistline seam to it empire waist location and provided shape to the dresses.  Sorry, Mrs. Roper.

McCall's 8172Vogue 8764 was also used for the Rehearsal Dinner Dress.  Several modifications were made to reflect a 1960’s pattern.  (Lesson learned:  Patterns from 1960 do not fit even close to current patterns.) 

Bodice Back modified for button closureThe bodice back was modified for the deep V and button closure. The back skirt was doubled and pleated.  The skirt   was seamed closed on one side to ensure those wonderful Caribbean breezes did not blow the back opened!

The fabric is a beautiful silk from my mother’s Stash.  Her husband bought it for her in Asia.  The piece was over 4 yards in length.  The bodice was self-lined.

Bodice Front with Squared NecklineThe neckline was squared to reflect the 1960’s pattern neckline.   The length of the dress hits just below the knee – the perfect length for a even gathering at the beach!

The silk was wonderful to sew with and wonderful to wear in the heat and humidity. My mother gifted me several pieces of similar silks.  The blue/grey Silk Tunic Dress (Number 8 in the above photo) was sewn from a yard length piece.

More on the other Mother of the Bride traveling wardrobe soon (I have to find the pattern for the Yellow Dress and the Beach Cover Up!)








Posted in Clothing, Scrap Couture, Sewing, Stash Couture | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Stash Couture Mother of the Bride Dress

A tropical wedding in a beautiful island setting.

Bride and Mother

The bride was breath-taking.  The groom handsome.

So much planning! Bride’s dress.  Fittings. Bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen attire. Flowers.  Cake.  Dinner.  Seating.  Imitating impossible Pinterest pictures. And the logistics of transporting everything and everyone to the Caribbean.

McCalls 6953

McCalls 6953

Somewhere near the bottom of the priority list, was a dress for the Mother of the Bride.  Somewhere, almost impossible to find, was the time to sew a dress for the Mother of the Bride.

Simple seemed best.  Silk was a must in the heat and humidity – which also dictated the pattern should be sleeveless and above knee-length.

The Stash contained 4 yards of raspberry silk dupioni (which matched the deep pink in the bouquets perfectly!)

McCalls 6953, a cup-sized pattern, had the simple lines I was looking for and been used to make this dress.

Finished edges and top-stitched pleats

Finished edges and top-stitched pleats

The dress bodice was interlined and lined in the same silk.  The skirt was interlined in a pink quilting cotton.

To ensure the pleats remained crisp in the Caribbean humidity, the inside folds were top-stitched through the interlining.

Modified back necklineThe back neckline was cut into a moderate V – allowing for additional “ventilation” in the heat.

Mother of the Bride Dress

The wedding was beautiful.  The reception fun.  The dress (and the Mother of the Bride) danced the night away!

(and the shoes – Ferragamo print silk slides!)

The perfect shoes!

The perfect shoes!



Posted in Sewing, Stash Couture | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The B-C-D-A quilt!

Hours spent piecing and hand quilting a baby quilt.  


Only to hold it up when finished and have the husband ask, “Why are the letters out of order?”

So excited for a niece’s new baby that I just hurried to finish…


The nursery had a Dr. Seuss theme, so a Dr. Seuss quilt would be a perfect gift!

No Dr. Seuss in the Stash, so a “cheater” top and backing was ordered from an online store.  

sq-1The date of the shower was quickly approaching  when the fabric arrived.  I quickly added few squares on either side of the panel and then sandwiched iron-on quilt batting between the fabrics. 

Travel took us away and a picture of the unfinished quilt was our representative to the shower.

We returned in early fall when the start of football season provides opportunity for hours of hand quilting.

It was not until the hand quilting was complete and I held it up (during a half-time pause) for the husband’s approval that he noticed the letters were out of order.

sq-back-frontIt was not an A-B-C quilt.  It was a B-C-D-A quilt.

Oh my!

How did I miss that!

The use of iron-on batting prevented taking the quilt apart and redoing it.  So, it has been bound and sent to the new baby – with a note that a new quilt will be forthcoming – with the A-B-Cs in the correct order!





Posted in Didn't quite work out, Home Decor, Quilting, Sewing | 5 Comments

Free People-esque for $6

fp front closeupLove the Free People look.  Boho and comfortable!

Don’t really love the prices.

I came across a long ecru slub-knit top for $6.  It fit like a bag and the V-neck reached a point below my ribcage.

But, it was $6!!

Contrary to the “Hand Wash” and “Line Dry” indicated on the care tag, I subjected the top to the washing machine and dryer.

It did shrink, but not as much as I had hoped.

fp front wholeTo reduce the cavernous neckline, a pleat was sewn at the “V.”

I wanted to add some color and decided on a very basic cross stitch design.

To get a even stitch, I used an even weave sheer fabric (also from the Stash) to embroider through.

The even weave waste canvas used on this top would have been too heavy for the thin knit of this top.

Cross stitch was also used on the back.

To add a bit more color, Stash Buttons, that matched one of the colors of embroidery thread, were sewn over the front pleat.

fp backOf interest to those of us that strive to keep everything even and “just-so.”  T-shirt remakes have taught me that T-shirts are not symmetrical.

The distance from the “V” to the shoulder seam on the right side was more than an inch longer than the left side.  The design on the right has ten “legs.”  The left side only nine.

A fun top to make.  The embellishments only required about an hour.

When the weather improves… it will be a fun top to wear!










Posted in Clothing, Embellishment, Sewing, Stash Couture, T-shirt remake, Waste Canvas | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Statuesque Shirtdress

SimplicityStatuesque women deserve clothing that fits and flatters.

Curved hem

Have Sewing Machine, will sew to fit!

The Statuesque Shift Dress served as a wearable muslin.  With one minor adjustment to waist length, a shirt dress was requested.

After visiting a few stores to verify shirt dress details, Simplicity 8014 and a light blue cotton stripe were selected.  We opted for the curved hem (View D) and long sleeves.

Pattern modification

Proportional statuesque women are best fit by lengthening the patterns in several locations.

Cutting out the pattern on a narrow stripe required careful painstaking attention to straight grain markings!

Topstitching and buttonholeThe pattern went together easily.  Interfacings, collar band, cuffs and button plackets … I remember these!!!

Based on the shirtdresses in stores, top-stitching was required.  And not just regular top-stitching.  Top-stitching with contrast color thread.

Completed shirtdress

So, no coffee.

New needle and white thread in the machine, top-stitching it was.  Miles, of it (only had to redo a small portion!)

Note to all sewers and recipients of sewn garments – take a close look at topstitching and other details on ready made clothes – they are far FAR from perfect!!!

After adjusting the buttonhole placements, I realized this dress required 15 buttons (and buttonholes!)

I prefer buttonholes made with the Singer buttonhole attachment. It produces uniform buttonholes with a nice finish.

Singer buttonhole attachment at the ready!Oddly, the Button Stash did not contain 15 appropriately sized and colored buttons.

It is an inexplicable mystery.  I hope there is a investigation soon.  Buttons seem to have suffered from a bizarre price mismarking – on a national level.

To avoid taking out a second mortgage, simple buttons were selected.

Note to self:  Press dress prior to photographing – and stop with the dry cleaning hangers! Tie belt around dress for photo to give illusion of waist shaping.

I hope to have a photo of the beautiful statuesque women wearing the dress to post soon!  A second shirtdress has already been requested!






Posted in Clothing, Sewing | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Stash Couture Boho Top

Silk Embellished Top

Is it possible to be stylish in 110+ degrees?

A question asked in Phoenix every summer, where I believe “melted” is a style.

The stash included two yards of an opaque green silk that must hail from the 1980’s when olive green (cranberry and purple) were wardrobe staples!

Some boho tops have a maternity look (been there, done that – not a preferred style).  Simplicity 1461 has more tailored Boho lines and includes cup sizes. I used it for an earlier top. 

The pattern was modified to add a long button placket and bias binding at the sleeve and neck edges.

Waste canvas was used to embellish this top.  The cross stitch pattern was derived from some of the patterns here.

Waste canvas embroidery

Note to self:  Pre-wash.  Don’t justify your being impatient with “It is silk” 

Just pre-wash.

Once the embroidery is complete,  waste canvas is loosened by dipping in water.  So silk or not, the lack of pre-washing caused the top to shrink.

The original colors for the embroidery were coral and pinks.  They clashed with the olive green.  The colors selected were based on a Pinterest color pallate.

Stash Couture Boho Top

Because I did not pre-wash the fabric, the dipping caused it to shrink. In both directions.

Again.  Just Pre-wash.

Love the colors!  Love the embroidery!

Wish I had pre-washed so it fit better!







Posted in Clothing, Embellishment, Sewing, Stash Couture, Waste Canvas | Tagged , , | 8 Comments