Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sewing an Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress

I sewed this dress for my niece for her birthday back in March, but it's only in the last week that my mom could persuade her to try it on and take pictures. Judging from these photos, I think she likes it.

Pattern: Oliver + S Family Reunion Dress
Fabric: I wish I could tell you. I bought this a few years ago, and there's no company name on the selvedge! It's pretty though, isn't it?

A close-up of the dress front

This was my first time sewing an Oliver + S pattern, and I love the instructions. They're so detailed, and if you follow the instructions completely, you'll find that sewing the dress is much easier. For example, the instructions have you sew seams that later serve as turning guides -- something you usually have to figure out yourself after many years of sewing.

I think beginners would especially find the instructions helpful.

I went with the ruffle front instead of the button tab, but I'd love to make another version.
Back of the dress
I chose flower-shaped buttons for the back. I was worried they'd be a bit much for the print, but I think it works well. Plus, how often do you have the chance to use such cute buttons?
Front of the dress
Next I have my eye on the Oliver + S Ice Cream Dress. Maybe that can be my niece's birthday dress next year.
Have you ever sewed an Oliver + S pattern? Which one?


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Crafty Stuff in Austin, Texas

Chair at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center's café

I visited Austin, Texas, a few months ago and I neglected to share all the awesome crafty stuff I saw. Better late than never, yes?

I was super lucky to see Shou Ping's paper sculpture exhibit at the Wildflower Center.

The Wildflower Center has a special Fiber and Dye Garden. I want one.

The LBJ Library was one of my favorite things to see in Austin. And as if I needed another reason to love Eleanor Roosevelt, I spotted this portrait of her knitting.

We stopped in Hill Country Weavers on South Congress to drool over the gorgeous yarn and while we were browsing, Alex spotted Chunky Knits! Even though my book has been out since October and I've seen it in dozens of stores, I never get over the thrill of finding it in new places.
Bike gear art on a fence in an alley near South Congress. This could be cool on an indoor wall, too.
The Alice's Adventures in Wonderland exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Pass to Try Creativebug FREE This Month!

Creativity is Contagious - 1 month free

I'm a longtime member of Creativebug. I took their Imposter Shawl class over the winter, and right now I'm working on a sampler from the Advanced Embroidery Sampler class taught by Rebecca Rinquist.

Creativebug recently restructured their pricing, so it's much more affordable. And now, if you use this pass, you'll get Creativebug FREE until June 30th, plus one class to keep forever. Pretty good deal, huh?

Click here to redeem your FREE month using code SUMMER2015!

*Note that this is an affiliate link, and I will be compensated if you use this link to sign up.*

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Enter to Win a Copy of Super Simple Stick Weaving

Last week, I had a little booklet called Super Simple Stick Weaving published. The book uses Clover weaving sticks, a neat tool that lets you use yarn to weave pieces of fabric without a fancy loom.

This booklet is meant for tweens and teens, but anyone can try out the projects in it. There are even instructions in the front to help you learn all the basics.

A special thank you to Lion Brand Yarn who provided all the awesome supplies for the projects! I had so much fun choosing yarn to match each one.

I've teamed up with Taunton Press and Clover to host this giveaway. Three lucky crafters will win a copy of Super Simple Stick Weaving, as well as a set of weaving sticks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

Enter to win Simple Stick Weaving by Ashley Little and Clover Weaving Sticks here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Oh, Baby! Knit Baby Booties + Choosing Baby Yarn

Knitting baby gifts is awesome because they're so darn tiny. They take no time at all when compared with, say, that pair of socks you knit your Dad for Christmas that took more than ten hours.

I made these cute booties for my friend Anna's baby girl. She's due very soon, though I think it might take some time for Baby L to grow into these. Anna was the first person I met in Asheville, and as an ex-NYCer herself, she was a lifesaver when I transitioned from Brooklyn to Asheville. Her baby deserves lots of handknit goodies.

Yarn: Lion Brand Modern Baby in Green

Pattern: Time Flies Booties from What to Knit When You're Expecting by Nikki Van De Car

I'm not a fan of gender-specific colors for babies unless the mom requests it. I decided to go with green yarn and pink buttons for these, and Anna was very happy about that. (Later, Alex pointed out that these are Sex Pistols colors, which was a total accident. This kid's gonna be way cooler than she knows.)

Choosing baby yarn

Choosing yarn when you're knitting for a baby can be tough. You want something soft, but also something that's easy to care for. Though I don't have kids myself, I learned over the years that moms throw everything in the washing machine. There's no time for hand washing!

Even if you can't find a yarn that's safe for the dryer, at least find one that's safe for the washing machine. Fortunately, the Lion Brand Modern Baby yarn that I used was safe for the washer and the dryer. I also love that it has nylon so that the booties will keep their shape more easily.

A gift tag is a must when you're giving a baby gift. I made this tag using cardstock and a paper punch. I included the fiber content of the yarn, plus the care instructions.

There's your dose of adorable for the day. Are you making or buying any baby gifts this year?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FREE eGuide: Take Better Photos of Your Crafts (and Everything Else)

When you blog on a budget, you have to be a jack of all trades. You need to have skills in HTML, CSS, writing headlines, tagging your posts -- an amount of knowledge that is usually spread throughout a web team of ten people. But the one area where I struggle most is taking photos.

Photos are one of the most important parts of blogging. Photos are what most readers notice first, and if your photos are yucky, you're likely to miss out on a lot of page views.

Taking great photos doesn't just apply to blogging. It can even apply to crafters who want to sell their patterns, photograph an event, or show off their work on Ravelry.

If you're like me and you struggle with getting the right light, focus, props, and angle with your camera, then this free eGuide from Craftsy is for you.

Download the Free Photography eGuide from Craftsy and start improving your photos now.

*Please note that the above is an affiliate link.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Feisty Links: Succulent Towers, Three-Color Shawls + Textured Clutches

It was a weird week, weather-wise. On Monday it snowed. Today, the high is 66 degrees.

Here's demon kitty in a rare peaceful moment, watching the snow on Monday.

And now for some of my favorite links this week!

1. These pinecone succulent towers from Rad Megan are a great distraction until spring arrives.

2. My sock knitting obsession led me to the public library, where I checked out The Knitter's Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. I love checking out knitting books from the library so I can take my time flipping through them and deciding if I want to buy them. Definitely going to buy this one.

3. These Three-Color Shawls from Kettle Yarn Company might just make me drop my socks for a minute to knit up another shawl.

4. I added this free Short-Row Textured Purse knitting pattern from CraftStylish to my to-knit list. Sigh. That list is realllly long.

5. This needle-felted pincushion from Mollie Makes is shaped like a teacup. A teacup!

6. My friend Liz from Cozyblue is creating and testing new constellation prints. They are awesome.