May 24, 2011

Almost Ready!

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 3:42 pm by merknits

Now, a few things that I actually made!  I had bought quite a bit of fabric to make a ruffled crib skirt, and didn’t use much at all because the style of the crib we ended up getting wouldn’t have worked with ruffles.  Here’s the finished project:

crib skirt

I didn’t really use a pattern – I just cut up an old sheet for the center part that goes under the mattress and then cut rectangles for the front, back and sides. There is a pleat in the center of each panel, but you really can’t see it. The fabric is Herb from Jessica Jones, and I’ve got a lot more of it so let me know if you have any suggestions on what I can do with it!

I also finally hung up these birds, which are made from leftover MOMO It’s a Hoot fabric from my art project.

crib and birds

Here’s a look at the rest of the room so far:

nursery wall

dresser and rocking chair

wall art

Just a few more weeks to go – eek!

May 5, 2011


Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 6:08 pm by merknits

Since I haven’t completed too many crafty projects lately, I thought I’d share some of the fabulous handmade gifts that I got at my shower.  I have some very talented relatives!

embroidered bibs

embroidered burp cloths

Embroidered bibs and burp cloths by my sister – aren’t they cute?  The embroidery on the yellow burpcloth, in case you can’t read it, says “BURP!”

woven rug

woven rug with Phoebe

Rug woven by my husband’s aunt.  It is made from a bathrobe so it is super-soft.  Phoebe tested it out for me and seemed to like it.

knit booties

My sister-in-law knit these adorable tiny booties.

blanket and sheets

baby sling

My mother-in-law sewed two sets of flannel sheets and a matching blanket, along with a sling!  Very impressive.

Of course I got lots of other wonderful gifts, but I thought I’d show off some of the handmade ones.  Now to find a place to put everything!  And just to show I haven’t been slacking too much, I’ll share what I ended up making with the owl fabric that I bought earlier:

owl pillow

February 20, 2011

Nursery Decor

Posted in Sewing at 8:01 pm by merknits

Yesterday my sister and I headed over to The Needle Shop to look for some fabric to begin decorating the nursery.  I wanted something nature-themed but still somewhat modern, since our apartment is very modern, as is the furniture we ordered.  Oh, and did I mention that we’re having a girl!?!?  I don’t want the decor to be too girly, but I do still want it to have some feminine touches.  I think these fabrics are a good start!

nursery fabrics

Both of the leaf patterns are by Jessica Jones – the big leaves are called “Sprig” and the small ones are called “Herb.”  The other fabric is “Spotted Owl” by Alexander Henry.  I’m planning to make a laundry bag with Sprig and a crib skirt with Herb, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with the owl fabric – but it was just too darn cute to pass up!

owl fabric

I’m actually almost finished with the laundry bag – I’m using the pattern from One Yard Wonders.  I can’t actually make the crib skirt until our crib comes in (well, I could, but I want to make sure it is the right size)!  And I’m hoping to incorporate these cute birds into the room somewhere.  I’m looking forward to updating as the room takes shape!

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

Posted in Finished Objects, In Progress, Sewing at 4:08 pm by merknits

I knew that I wasn’t going to make many gifts for Christmas this year, considering how slowly I am knitting and sewing lately, but I did manage to make something for my mom:

cuddle up cardigan

Pattern: Cuddle-Up Cardigan from Sew Everything Workshop
Fabric: Sweatshirt fabric from JoAnns
Notes: Very easy and a nice comfortable cardigan!  I made the sleeves narrower than instructed, and I think they still turned out a bit wide, especially if you are trying to do anything that requires the use of your hands while wearing it.  But overall, I think it was a good project.  There is an error in the instructions on steps 24 and 25, though the diagrams are correct.  It is pretty easy to figure out the issue – if you follow the instructions as written the belt ends up being inside-out.

I also made a beret for my aunt, who saw the one I made for my mom and asked for a similar one in black:

purl beret black

purl beret back black

My photographer kindly made the pictures more interesting by focusing on the view from our window!

Pattern: Purl Beret from The Purl Bee
Yarn: St Denis Nordique in black
Notes: I actually made two versions of this, as the first turned out too big.  I cast on ten fewer stitches the second time and it worked out much better.

And finally, a new project:

Francis Revisited in progress

This is Francis Revisited, and it is so nice to have a quick project on the needles after the Apres Surf Hoodie!

November 15, 2010

My Ruffled Dress

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 7:36 pm by merknits

Another work-in-progress I neglected to mention!

Ruffle Dress Finished

Ruffle Dress Finished Back

Pattern: McCall’s M5972, View C
Fabric: Gray/Burgundy Red Suiting from Fashion Fabrics Club
Notes: Although I don’t watch Glee, I love checking in on What Would Emma Pilsbury Wear? for all of the cute outfits.  I fell in love with this dress and wanted to try to recreate it – I searched around and found the pattern on sale, which was pretty darn close.  Soon after, I found this posting and loved her Anthropologie inspiration as well!  Unfortunately I should have paid more attention to her notes before attempting the pattern.  The use of heavier fabric for the ruffles does indeed weigh down the neck, and even without one of the ruffles, the lining kept flipping out.  Eventually I had to take the lining out entirely and did a bias neckband.  This is by far the most complicated thing I’ve sewn so far, and I’m pretty happy with it.  I think I could have gone down a size, especially on the top, but the muslin that I did in a smaller size seemed too small.  You can see a bit of fabric bunching in the back, and I’m debating whether or not to try to fix it.  Considering how long this took me, I think I’ll leave it!

Next up, a finally finished Apres Surf Hoodie!

October 31, 2010

In Progress

Posted in Finished Objects, In Progress, Sewing at 7:09 pm by merknits

Apparently I’m not very good at keeping up the blog when I don’t have any finished projects to show.  So how about some work in progress?

apres surf almost done

This is the Apres Surf Hoodie, and I’m finally done with the main pieces.  I definitely do not have enough yarn left to do the hood, but I hope that I at least have enough for the neck and finishing!  This is all there is:

yarn left

We’ll see!  Also, I have been working on the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitting with some pretty Mama Llama yarn:

lace ribbon scarf

And I do have a finished sewing project, and it’s a Christmas present! (So if my sister is reading this she shouldn’t look.)

pj pants

These are the Wear Anywhere Yoga Pants from the Sew Everything Workshop in flannel from Joanns.  My sister is fairly tall and has a hard time finding pajama pants that are long enough, so I thought I’d make her some.  They will fit her better than they fit me, I hope. 🙂

September 26, 2010

Watercolors Skirt

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 6:18 pm by merknits

I’ve been trying to dress a little more professionally lately, and I’m happy that the “Naughty Secretary Skirt” will be able to help with that.  I’ve been lucky to have jobs that haven’t required me to wear anything too conservative or dressy, but that means that I don’t really have many well-put-together outfits.  This one is a winner!

skirt finished

skirt close up

Pattern: Naughty Secretary Skirt from Sew Everything Workshop
Fabric: Midnight Jewels Collection-Watercolors Stretch Sateen from JoAnn Fabrics
Notes: I love this fabric!  So pretty, and the stretch cotton is perfect for a pencil skirt.  I ended up making a size between a small and a medium, though I think I could have gone with a small so it was a bit more fitted.  Also, I don’t think I followed the waistband instructions correctly, but it looks fine on the outside, so I’m ok with it.  Sewing is pretty nice for quick projects – I love having a new skirt after just one day of work!

September 11, 2010

Look, I made something!

Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 6:36 pm by merknits

Actually, several things:


Pattern: Purl Beret from Purl Bee
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Meringue Heather
Notes:  This was a birthday present for my mom who had wanted a plain, off-white winter hat that wouldn’t give her hat-head.  I ended up starting with size 3 needles, but realized the hat was coming out huge and had to frog and restart with size 2.



Pattern: Rose Window Beret from Interweave Knits Spring 2010
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in High Dive
Notes: Sorry for the fuzzy pictures – I’m not so good at self- portraits.  This took me way too long to make than it should have, but I’m happy with it!  The band is not very stretchy because of the cotton yarn, but it is tight enough that it won’t fall off my head.


Pattern: Naughty Secretary Skirt from Sew Everything Workshop
Notes: I re-purposed fabric from a circle skirt I made a long long time ago that didn’t turn out well.  Unfortunately this didn’t turn out well either – it is too big and too short.  I knew it would be shorter than I wanted because I didn’t have quite enough fabric, but I had hoped to still be able to wear it.  At least it now I know the size I should make, and I hope to try this pattern again!


After watching Alton Brown the other day, my husband insisted that we try to make sushi.  I’m not a big fan, but I did like the California Rolls.  They aren’t the prettiest, but everything tasted good!

I’ve actually been knitting again lately – yay!  Hopefully I’ll have more to show for it soon.

July 15, 2010


Posted in Finished Objects, Sewing at 5:48 pm by merknits

I am having a hard time believing that it is already July 15!  The summer has flown by, without much crafting on my part.  I guess it’s good that I’ve been busy – Chicago has lots of fun festivals and concerts, plus we’ve been going on some fun weekend trips.  Which included a lovely long weekend in Playa del Carmen, Mexico!



I was able to make a quick beach cover up before we left:


I used the Summer Nightie pattern from One Yard Wonders.  I had more fabric so I lengthened it and added a ruffle at the bottom.  Perfect for the beach!

Unfortunately we’re moving in a few weeks so I still won’t have much time to sew or knit.  Perhaps once the weather cools down I’ll have the urge again – I have to say that working in a building built in the 1880’s can be very cool, though unfortunately not literally.  No central air (and broken window units) really sucks.

April 27, 2010

Frenchy Bag

Posted in Sewing at 5:34 pm by merknits

In my list of languishing projects, I should have also included a sewing project. I’ve had the pieces for the Amy Butler Frenchy Bag cut out for about six months and just recently put them together. It seemed like the perfect warmer weather project!

Frenchy Bag

I appreciate how easy her patterns are to follow. I got this fabric as part of a kit on etsy, and I’m happy with the bag though I wish I had done the larger shoulder bag size instead of the handbag. I don’t generally use bags that I can’t throw over my shoulder.

Now that spring is here, I’m in the mood for more sewing. Next up I think I’ll try some pajama pants!

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