Easy Knit Skirt

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Project: Easy Knit Skirt

  • Patterns used: McCall M6654
  • Fabric Used:
    • 1 yard of gray polyester blend knit fabric
  • Notions:
    • hem tape
    • ball point needle for sewing machine

This is going to be a quickie. It’s been a busy week: interviewing for a job, preparing for our annual weekend camping trip with college friends, and some re-structuring of my site. I haven’t had much time to do new crafting but this was my most recent project that I did about two weeks ago. The picture was a quick snap from my phone, nothing fancy, folks.

Having had success in several sewing projects making purses (which I will post when I can get around to uploading my pictures!), baby accessories, and kids clothes, I decided to take on making a skirt for myself.

I was under the impression that making a knit skirt would be super quick and easy. For the most part, it was as advertised, except the final execution of the skirt was not my best work. I’m going to chalk up the less than stellar performance to my super basic sewing machine not being able to deal well with stretchy fabric. …that or I’m a totally novice at working with stretchy fabrics (totally the latter).

I used a McCall pattern to cut the main panels of the skirt but I wasn’t thrilled with the elastic band it was proposing, so I did some internet-ing and opted for a yoga-style band instead (much better for hiding the gut). Here were some super helpful tutorials I came across:

The band part came out great. It was definitely tricky figuring out dimensions but I ended up measuring my waist and subtracting about 4 inches from the waist measurement. In the construction of it, I had trimmed off even more because the fabric was pretty stretchy and at only 4 inches short of my waistline, it was still too roomy. The hemline was the trickiest part for me. Granted the picture I posted is of the skirt unpressed, but you can see how super puckered the hemline is.  I had wanted to use a twin needle to finish the hem, but after snapping 2 (ok, 3) needles, I decided my machine wasn’t savvy enough to know how to use a twin needle.

I’m not sure if I’ll be adding this to my wardrobe without some tweaking, but it was definitely a good first try at making an “easy” knit skirt. I’d definitely try this again, perhaps when I have a better machine.

Circular Baby Bibs

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Project: Circular Baby Bibs

My youngest nephew is approaching 9 months and is a drooling machine. Unfortunately, this means he goes through a crazy number of bibs per day and inevitably, requires a costume change to replace his drool-soaked onesie.

Babies are adorable, but gross.

My sister asked me to make some circular bibs with the idea that when one portion of the bib gets wet, you can rotate the bib to have a fresh dry patch available for immediate drool absorption. It sounded great in theory….but we really had no idea how well it would work. Design-wise, it seemed pretty straightforward so we decided to give them a try.

There are so many bib making tutorials online but none for these circular bibs we had in mind. My sister gave me my nephew’s measurements and the desired length of the bib so that I could make a custom cutting template. The original neck hole ended up being way to big for my hefty, but skinny necked nephew so I had to make some adjustments on my original template.
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To construct these, I cut out three pieces for each bib: a flannel piece for the back, a nylon piece for the middle, and either a flannel or cotton twill piece for the front. I ironed on a total of two 1″x1″ pellon interfacing squares on the flannel/cotton pieces where the snap was going to be inserted. With right sides of the two exterior pieces facing together, and the nylon on top, I sewed all around leaving a 2 inch hole to reverse the pieces, and topstitched the edges. Then I used a dritz snap fastener to attach the snaps.

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Fabric wise, there are so many different types of fabric to choose from. Since this was a prototype, I opted to use flannel and cotton twill because they were relatively inexpensive as compared to other recommended fabric types, such as fleece, terry, chenille, microsuede, bamboo, PUL, etc. I wanted to add a waterproofing element, but was appalled that PUL fabric at Joann’s was $14.00/yd. Instead, I purchased some sport nylon fabric (with a 50% coupon) to use as a middle lining, to help prevent drool seepage onto clothes. This ended up being a totally affordable replacement option for waterproofing the bib.

Final thoughts on the bib, my sister was happy with the size, but I think I’d make it a little smaller. The flannel is definitely more absorbent but the selection of “fun” flannel prints is much more limited. I’d consider using a more luxurious fabric, like chenille, if these bibs are being worn in the winter, otherwise I think the flannel/quilting cottons are a better option for warmer weather. I think the jury is still out on whether these bibs are better than the standard shape for bibs. If you’re going for practicality, these are great because the kid can wear this bib for longer, but they are definitely not as “stylish” as a standard bib.

DIY Yoga Mat Bag

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Project: DIY Yoga Mat Bag

  • Fabric Used:
    • 1 yard of navy stretch denim for exterior (I think – Any medium weight fabric will do)
    • 1 yard of light blue cotton twill for contrast color and lining
    • 1 fat quarter (for pocking lining)
    • 1/2 yard cotton twill tape
    • 9″ sport zipper
    • Pellon Fusible Featherweight Interfacing 911FF
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 27.5″ with drawstring open, 24″ with drawstring closed
    • Diameter: 6″

The first time I did yoga, I hated it. I had no idea what I was doing, everyone else seemed so much more bend-y and flexible than I, and there was a whole lot of unfamiliar breathing and group recitations of “ohms.” I left with weird back pain and probably a pulled groin. I concluded yoga wasn’t for me and vowed to never stray from my kickboxing and hip hop classes again.

Then a man named Pete came into my life. I decided to give yoga a second try and found myself in a class led by a free-spirited, life-loving, odd but strangely hot instructor, who encouraged us to imagine we were projecting light from our fingers and told us to “hump the air/floor” instead of saying “tuck your pelvis in.” Oddities aside, he always went around the room to correct people’s positions and I realized I had previously been practicing contortion rather than yoga. Since then, I’ve been hooked and have tried to keep it up as my schedule permitted and had access to a good (and affordable) yoga class.

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Back to the crafts, I always wanted to get a nice carrying bag for my yoga mat but never found one to my liking. Naturally, with my new found sewing skills, I figured I could make one. It’s just a piece of fabric sewed into a cylinder with a round bottom attached right? HA.

After extensive searching through people’s patterns and homemade bags, I couldn’t find the exact specifications I wanted, which was a lined, drawstring bag with an zippered exterior pocket. I pillaged features from different bags and came up with my own design: a lined, drawstring bag with a zippered outer pocket that would fit my keys, phone, and wallet. Yes, a girl can have it all.

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There was a lot of trial and error and I’m very glad I purchased extra fabric (Thank you 50% off coupons from Joann’s). The most challenging part for me was the pocket, especially since I’m pretty new with zippers. I couldn’t find any pocket designs I liked so I had to fashion my own. I took some photos of my process (more as a personal reminder for the future) and have compiled them in an addendum post (DIY Yoga Bag-Supplementary Material). It is by no means a full tutorial on how to put together the whole bag…I made too many mistakes along the way to keep up with the photo taking.

Here are some links I found very helpful. They have more detailed pictures and instructions on making your own yoga bag.

Despite the headaches and the many redos, I think this might be my best project yet!