FREE hat patterns to keep you warm this winter!

It’s getting cold in Wellington – time to knit some hats! Mr. EP requested a new one for him, since the last one I made is in storage – and with plenty of leftover yarn I thought I’d make one for me too.  They were super quick – the beret was done in a day!

I didn’t follow a pattern for these, I just based them off patterns I’ve made in the past, but as a couple of people have asked about what I did I thought I’d write them down and share them.  The pattern assumes you know basic knitting skills and terminology, as well as knitting in the round and either using DPNs or magic loop.  If you find any errors please let me know so I can correct them.

Basic Ribbed Beanie (see my Ravelry project page HERE)

Basic Ribbed Beanie pic

Basic Beret (see my Ravelry project page HERE)

Basic Beret pic
(Please excuse the low-quality phone photos!)

Hope these help you to keep warm this winter!

Advertisements

Busy butterfly!

Although things have been a bit quiet on the blog, life has been pretty busy! With so much going on I thought I’d catch you up in one go.  SO – there’s been lots of…

  • Crocheting…

Making a hexagon blanket from this pattern.  No recipient in mind, just a good acrylic stash-busting project!  I plan on adding a border of cream hexagons to match the individual borders.

P1050790

  • Knitting…

I made a hat to match this shrug pattern a couple of years ago, but it got snatched away by my sis almost as soon as it came off the needles! I finally got around to making myself another one, with a matching scarf.

Knitting 2013

And this – since it’s getting pretty cold here, our new puppy has been feeling it!  More photos to come soon, but project details here.

DSCF9911

  • Reading…

I got this pile of books from my almost-sister-in-law as a late birthday present! I’ve started on “Along Came A Spider” – great so far, as to be expected from one of my favourite authors.

P1050755

  • Sewing…

This t-shirt blanket has been on the books for ages! This was supposed to be a Christmas present for sis, then a birthday present, then Christmas present again the following year, and it’s finally been completed – and it was well received!

Pre-sewn: I used a favourite book from childhood as a template for cutting out all her childhood t-shirts…

P1050735

After sewing: I used a flannel blanket for extra padding in the middle, with a cute chunky hem, just the right size for a double bed!

P1050739

  • Wedding prep…

13 weeks to go, and still SO MUCH to do!  Much of my wedding is DIY, so there’s been lots of cutting…

P1050788

… folding…

P1050789

… and sheet music cut-outs!

P1050765

When things settle down a bit, I’d really like to take on another challenge and get into some style posts, but in the meantime, you can check out these favourites that I read all the time – they are great inspiration!

http://franish.blogspot.co.nz/
http://www.merricksart.com/
http://www.puttingmetogether.com/
http://refashionista.net/
http://www.workclothesisuppose.com/
http://www.ajwearsclothes.com/
http://www.bluepaperlanterns.com/

Or check out my “My Style” Pinterest board to see what I love!

εїз

PS: since it’s the beginning of the month I’ve updated my Popular Posts on the side bar – who knew my “Snapshots of my day” post would be my second most popular post in the last month! Should I do another one?

Tea-stained origami flowers

Time for some wedding talk! I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to go down the track of making origami flowers for the big day, rather than real flowers – because tiger lilies aren’t available in November unless you’re willing to pay big bucks for them!  It’s taking WAAAAY longer than I thought, but it will be completely worth it in the end.

The majority of the flowers will be orange, but to break up the bouquet a little I wanted to add in something extra to match the theme.  I still liked the idea of using sheet music, but the white paper seemed too bright against the orange, so I toned it down by dying the paper with tea!

Here’s a little how-to if you want to try it for yourself:

201305

  • Step 1: I used already-used tea bags – I didn’t want to waste good tea bags in case it didn’t work! I laid them out in a paper-sized baking tray
  • Step 2: Cover with boiling water and leave to stew until you like the colour of it
  • Step 3: To prepare the paper I dabbed one of the tea bags all over the page, which added to the texture too, as some of the tea leaves stuck
  • Step 4: Soak the paper for 15-20 minutes – the longer the better! (You may have to press the paper down until it has soaked through a bit, so it doesn’t keep floating to the top, although make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the tray!)
  • Step 5: Once the desired colour is achieved, lay out to dry on a cooling rack overnight

The last picture shows the difference between the beginning and end result – exactly what I wanted!

They look fantastic all folded up into flowers…

P1050759

P1050762

…ready to add to the bouquet!

Next on my wedding list: now that our ‘Save the Dates’ are out, I have to start thinking about invitations! And buying bridesmaid’s dresses, and booking cars, and sorting out a timeline for the day – the list goes on and on!

(Sweet side note – the sheet music I used is the song that Mr EP and I first played together in our worship band, a few days before he asked me out!)

εїз

DIY: Red shirt refashion

I finished this one a while ago, and it’s slowly become my all-time favourite shirt!

I got this from the Salvation Army store for $5.  It’s a size 16, but the fabric and pattern were so nice that I couldn’t leave it.  I’ve been reading Merrick’s blog and the Refashionista’s adventures (highly recommended!) for a while now, so I felt up to the challenge of resizing it to fit me.

Here’s how we started:

P1050582

You can see that it’s just a little too big on me! The top of the shoulders hangs well off my shoulders, the base of the arm hole is nearly at my waist, and you can’t even see my hands because the sleeves are so long! What you can’t see is that there is also lots of extra width.

The first thing I did was cut off the sleeves along the seams.  I then tried it on again inside out and pinned several places down the sides where I wanted to take it in, then stitched down that line and cut off the excess.

P1050585-001

Then came the monster challenge of the sleeves.  I’ve never done ANYTHING like this before, but I’ve read a lot of tutorials over time about how it should be done, so I had a general idea.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of what I did, I think I was concentrating too intensely! First I cut down the armholes so they would fit closer to my armpit than my waist, and at the same time cut the shoulders back to my actual shoulders.  I also knew that I wanted the sleeves to be shorter, rather than full length, so I tried them on my arms, measured about where I wanted them, and cut them down in the same shape to match the armhole.  To sew it to the body I placed the sleeves right-way-in inside the body of the top which was inside out (so the right sides were together), and stitched the seam.  (Full disclosure – I had to unpick the first one and do it again, because I attached the wrong arm to the wrong side!!)  There is a little bit of puckering where I could have sewn it better, but I’m the only one that would ever notice, and its really not that bad for my first go!

P1050587

The finished product! I’m super proud of my first attempt at resizing clothing!  It is still a little loose under the arms, and could have cut off a little more width from the body, but I like that its not a snug fit.  As I said, its fast becoming my favourite top – I’ve worn it out for dinner over black leggings with boots, and most recently with the front tucked into my lace top jeans.  Here’s how I wore it when we went to see Disney on Ice – belted over beige skinny jeans with matching red flats (‘scuse the rubbish late-night photo!):

P1050679

I think I have the refashion bug now – just waiting for another chance to go to the local op shop again to see what I can find!  Meanwhile, Dad has passed on a couple of old polo shirts, I’m thinking I’ll try out Merrick’s idea next…

εїз

DIY T-shirt Blanket

MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket

I’ve seen several of these quilts around on Pinterest, and when Mr EP mentioned that he had a few old band t-shirts that he didn’t wear anymore, I thought it would be a good chance to try one out.  Since I have no quilting experience I made it more of a blanket, backing the t-shirts with a soft fleecy fabric.

Before I go into the details of what I did, lets take a walk back through memory lane and have a look at Mr EP wearing a couple of the t-shirts when he was younger!

MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - young Mr EP wearing t-shirts

As I said, I have never done any quilting before, so I really just did what I thought would work! If you have any suggestions for better ways of doing things I would be grateful for you passing on your knowledge.

Step 1:
MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - step 1

Step 2: (stay tuned for a hilarious photo outtake with this shirt!)MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - step 2

Step 3: (recognise those old t-shirts?)
MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - step 3

Step 4:
MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - step 4

Step 5:
MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - step 5

Step 6:
MusicalButterfly: DIY T-shirt Blanket - step 6

Just a shame that I didn’t take a photo of the whole completed blanket! It was a rush in the end finishing it off and wrapping it up ready to gift, but I’m assured that he loves it! Its the perfect size for snuggling on the couch.

Up next – another one for Miss Stiletto, made from her childhood clothes! I think I will go with the same technique, using sweatshirts as the backing rather than a single piece of fabric.

~ εїз ~ εїз ~ εїз ~

Photo outtake: Mr EP ‘hulking’ out of his shirt…
P1050371

εїз

DIY Jewellery Cleaner

DIY Jewellery Cleaner

Stay tuned for the instructions…

We had Miss Stiletto’s engagement party during the holidays! Apparently the outfit I had picked out wasn’t dressy enough, so I was allowed to raid her wardrobe to find something better.  That included the jewellery box! The earrings I found were silver hoops, but they’d been sitting around for a while and had become a little tarnished.  A friend told me a little while ago that you can clean jewellery with foil and baking soda so I planned to do that – until I discovered that we had no baking soda! Google to the rescue – I found that salt apparently can create the same effect.  I tried it out, and it worked really well on the earrings, leaving no signs of the tarnish – success!

Miss Stiletto requested the details so she could try it out too, so I tried it out again with my rings.

DIY Jewellery Cleaner

Instructions:

NOTE: You’ll probably want to do this near an open window – the smell of the chemical reaction can get quite strong!

  • Place a strip of tin foil in a bowl – it doesn’t need to cover the bowl, but still a decent size
  • Sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of salt onto the foil, and put the jewellery on top
  • Pour over boiling water and watch the bubbles!
  • I dabbed at it with a soft brush, to really get into the crevices
  • Once you’re happy with the result, which may take 5-10 minutes, take out and rinse in warm water
  • Dry off on paper towel, then buff if required

It worked, but the result wasn’t as good as I hoped. Maybe because my ring has more tricky bits to get to than the earrings….  Anyway, I decided I’d try again with the baking soda version, and I’d clean my engagement ring while I was at it!

DIY Jewellery Cleaner

You can see from the reaction in this picture that it worked much better!

End result: In the end I was much happier with the result from the baking soda, although its good to know that salt will work in a pinch!

DIY Jewellery Cleaner

Feel free to share your own jewellery cleaning tips 🙂

DIY Butterfly Sleeve Tunic

P1050122 - Copy Just thought I would share with you all this super easy top that I made! The fabric is knit – I picked it up from the Spotlight remnants section for $3.50.  That’s the total cost of the whole project: $3.50!

I knew I needed to base the sizing on an existing top, but other than that it was all very much trial and error! The major error being that I cut the neckline too wide, so much so that it stretched right down over my shoulders! Quick fix: I used the fabric left from the cut-out to make a little collar that I re-attached.  Note to self – cut small first, then cut more if you need to! A minor error was that when I sewed the lines down the sides I did them too close together, so I couldn’t get the bottom of the tunic over my hips! Not-so-quick fix: I pinned out a wider seam, UNPICKED the existing seam and sewed it again.  Note to self – allow for 1” either side more than you need!

P1050118P1050119

P1050125

Result: LOVE! Its loose enough around my chest that its not constricting, and snug enough around my hips that its flattering.  Perfect for a cocktail night out, over a black singlet and a pair of leggings.

Favourite photos of the night – being a poser with Becs before she smothered me in a bear hug!

P1050123P1050124

Anyone interested in a tutorial? I’d love to have an excuse to make another one of these!