Knitted Headband with Bow

 

Knitted Earwarmer - CoverSummer has sadly come to an end with fall in full swing, which means that winter will be here before you know it. As much as I want to protest the coming of winter, it has given me a reason to pick up knitting again.

While I was reorganizing my office this summer, I stumbled upon a knitted headband that I had started a couple years ago, but didn’t finish. Well, I decided to give it another try, and I’m proud to say, I’ve finally finished a knitted headband to share in today’s post.

When I took a look at the unfinished headband, I remember the reason I never completed it. I had made it too small, probably got frustrated that I had to start over, and that was that. So this time, I decided to start over again and find a different pattern. I came across this. The pattern was simple and had fairly clear instructions.

I used a weight category 5 yarn and 5.5mm needles. My head circumference is 22.5″, so based on an estimate of 5 stitches per inch of head circumference, that came out to 112.5 stitches. I decided to round down to 110 stitches. In hindsight, I should have made my own gauge, but that’s a lesson learned. However, this mistake also happened to work in my favor at the end (more about that below). I knitted a total of 12 rows before casting off.

My finished piece for the headband measured 24″ lengthwise and 2.75″ in width. Now I had made it too large for my head! After dealing with my panic and frustration, my problem-solving mode kicked in. I WAS going to make this work. I knew the ribbing allowed the headband piece to stretch when worn. So I stretched the headband piece around my head to determine how much excess in length there was. Turns out there was 7″, that’s alot! So instead, I did the following:

  1. Fold out each of the ends to 3.5″. This is the total excess divided in half.
  2. For each end, pinch at the fold and sew in place to form one side of the bow.
  3. Join together the two pinched ends of the head band and sew in place.
  4. Sew each of the bow ends to the headband to secure and make the bow pop up.

Here’s the finished headband!

View from the side:

Knitted Earwamer 1

Another view from the side

Knitted Earwarmer 2

View from the front:

Knitted Earwarmer 3

I love bow detail! Plus the yarn is really soft since it’s an alpaca blend, so it has a cozy feel. Now I can keep my ears warm this winter and look stylish, too!

Knitted Earwarmer 4

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Hi-low Dress with Pockets

Cover Photo B6086 Dress

Hello there! In today’s post, I’m glad to finally share about the first dress I made for myself. This year we have quite a few weddings to attend. My rotation of dresses hasn’t changed much within the past couple of years. This year, I made it a goal to make at least one dress to wear to one event.

I knew I should start with a simple silhouette. Luckily, simple silhouettes are in-style. I found this Anthropologie dress that looked fun for a day wedding.

Anthro GeoJacquard Dress

I was able to find Butterick’s B6086 commercial pattern that matched this dress. The dress is lined and has pockets! I love dresses with pockets ❤ ❤ ❤

B6086 Pattern

 

I tried not to go too crazy with my fabric selection. I was able to find a this floral lace jacquard fabric at Joann’s for 60% off the regular price. What a steal! Together with the lining, thread, and zipper, the material costs for this dress came out to about $35. Compare that the Anthro Dress at its original price of $168!!

Floral Lace Jacquard

 

This fabric is great because it’s reversible! I chose to use the darker side for my dress. Since this was my first time making a dress with this pattern, I decided to make a mock dress with remnant fabric I had lying around. I wanted to see how much ease (i.e. extra wiggle room) I would need to remove from the commercial pattern size. 

Mock Dress Front

Mock Dress Side

Mock Dress Back

 

Overall, the general fit wasn’t too bad.The length of the dress was fine. The bust and waist needed the most adjustments. With the help of my mom’s careful instructions, I learned to make the necessary alterations to the bust darts and take in the sides. Once I was happy with the fit, I moved onto making the dress with the nice fabric. It was kind of nerve-wrecking, especially piecing the fabric to the lining, but it came together alright. I finished it just in the nick of time to wear to a wedding.

Cover Photo B6086 Dress

 

Here’s a photo of the hubby and I . Perfect weather for a beautiful day wedding.

B6086 Dress

 

 

I’m quite pleased how the dress turned out. It’s going to be a nice staple in my closet. 🙂

 

DIY Sequin Sweater

Cover Sweater

I’ve been itching to do another clothing upcycle/refashion project for the past few months and I finally got around to it this past week! Today I’m excited to share my DIY Sequin Sweater. Yes, I went in to the hubby’s closet again, but to be fair, I’ve never seen him wear this particular sweater/shirt since I’ve known him.


Before Sweater

 

I’ve always stumbled across this shirt when we swap out our clothes as the seasons change. Somehow the hubby has always managed to convince me to keep it. This time I’m glad he did, because it became my guinea pig to refashion into something for myself. My inspiration for this refashion project came from this pin from here I came across on Pinterest: a short sleeve sweater layered over a dress shirt.

I tried on the sweater to see how much fabric I was dealing with. Yes, it looks like I’m swimming in it.

Before Sweater 2

But no worries, I pulled out a  J Crew sweater that I owned which I was going to base my sizing on. Now it was time to get down to measuring and cutting by doing the following:

Bodice:

  1. Lay your sweater on top of the black one, matching both sweaters by the neckline to make sure they are centered.
  2. Mark on both sides with chalk the desired width of the new sweater based on your existing one. Baste or pin both sides and try on the sweater first. For me it was too fitted for my liking the first two times around, so I re-drew my lines out a little wider. Once you’re happy with the width, sew a straight line down both sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance. I then finished the edges with an overcasting stitch to prevent them from fraying.
  3. Cut off the ribbing from the neckline. Fold the edge of the neckline under by 1/2″ and sew it down with a straight stitch.
  4. Cut both sleeves off. Make sure you mark each sleeve for which side it came from.
  5. Cut your arm holes. I made a template for the armholes, by tracing the armhole of my J. Crew sweater and factoring in a 1/2″ seam allowance. Using the template, I cut out the shape of the armhole.
  6. Hem your sweater to the desired length.

Sweater Cutout

Sleeves

  1. Similar to the armholes, I made a sleeve template based on my J. Crew sweater and factoring in a 1/2″ seam allowance to attach them to the bodice. Using the template, I cut out each sleeve from the existing ones. Then attach your sleeves.

Sweater Sleeves

Here’s how the sweater turned out. I was quite nervous when it came to attaching the sleeves, since this was my first time attempting it. To make thing more nerve-wrecking, I chose to make the sleeves gathered at the shoulders so they would look slightly puffed. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be because I got them both right on the first try!

Sweater After 1

I was happy with the way the sweater turned out. However, it looked too plain, like it was missing something. So I went back on Pinterest to look for more ideas. I came across this pin: sequin trim around the neckline! So I went to Joann’s to pick up a pack of gold sequins and some transparent thread.

Sweater Sequins In progress

 

Now here’s how the final product turned out! I LOVE it! The sequins definitely make this sweater stand out. This is going to be a staple in my winter wardrobe and maybe into spring!

Sweater After Final

Sweater After 2

It is Well with My Soul

It is Well 2

 

It’s the beginning of a new year and what better way to start it than with a new DIY project. Today I am pleased to share a wall decal that I made for my dining room. I love this project because the concept is so simple and the possibilities are endless!

What you need:

contact paper
– exacto knife/scissors
– desired design for wall decal
– permanent marker/pencil

What to do:

Trace or draw your design onto the backside of the contact paper. Make sure the right side of the design is facing down. It’s better to trace/draw on the backside so that there are no marks on the front that might show. Next, cut out your design. I chose to use an exacto knife to get a more precise cut. Finally, peel off the backing and stick the cutout on the wall!

I am pretty ecstatic  with how the wall decal turned out. For the past few months, this particular wall had been sitting empty because I couldn’t figure out what to put there. The wall decal was the perfect solution. I chose the lyrics from the famous hymn “It is Well with My Soul”.  I chose a font that wasn’t too complicated or intricate. I had to cut the letters twice: once for the paper printout of the letters and then the actual letters traced onto the contact paper. It was a little time consuming doing all the cutting, but it didn’t seem so bad while watching a couple movies.

IMG_2126

It is well Cover Photo

I love that we will see it every day when we sit down to eat and serves as a daily reminder for us in this house. I even catch the hubby humming it around the house now. 🙂

Preview: DIY 3D Dining Room Art

Hi there! It has been way too long since my last post. Sadly, this summer went by too fast and there was not much time for DIY projects. But fear not, I’m slowly getting back on track. So here’s a preview of one of the art pieces I just finished for my dining room. I can’t wait to hang it up! Still have to finish the other pieces…will share when it’s all put together 🙂
20140901-164703-60423215.jpg

DIY Peplum-Style Dress Shirt

My husband’s dress shirts always rip at the elbow first without fail. In the past when that happened, the dress shirt became useless to him, and in the trash it went. So sad. Now that I have my sewing machine, I save them to practice my sewing. It’s free fabric for me to mess around with. If I screw up, oh well.

Lately, I had been pinning quite a bit of clothing-related sewing ideas, one of which was a tutorial to transform a men’s dress shirt to a woman’s dress shirt from Cotton&Curls. Considering I had never sewn a single article of clothing before, I thought this project was perfect to try because it only involved deconstructing the shirt, cutting the pieces down to size, and putting it back together. No pattern needed! So here’s the my husband’s dress shirt that was to be my guinea pig. You can see the tear on the left sleeve.

 

Before Picture

The tutorial was pretty easy to follow concept-wise. My lack of experience in sewing clothing is what made this project difficult. But you have to start somewhere, right? There was definitely a learning curve that I had to overcome. I studied the construction of my own dress shirts to understand how the seams were supposed to look on both the inside and outside.  I didn’t take pictures of the process this time around because I just wanted to focus on making it look right. To be honest, I went through several iterations of sewing certain portions of the shirt  at times. To add my own twist, I chose to make the shirt sleeveless since warm weather has finally arrived. I added mini ruffle sleeves as a finishing touch. Here is the finished product!

After

 

I love it, it’s simple and clean. This is a great addition to my spring/summer wardrobe!

front 2

Side

Back

Ruffles

I feel inspired now to make other clothing pieces. My husband better beware,  his shirts might start to go “missing”. =P