Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Quick Arm Warmer Tutorial


I am popping in to show off arm warmers that I whipped up in the last 30 minutes.  That includes taking pictures of the "making of" and the most challenging part, taking pictures of the finished product.

Disclaimer:  the product you are about to see is meant to be thrown away, and therefore, the level of care I put in it is not what I would do if I was to keep them.  But why would anyone make arm warmers to throw away, you ask?  Fair question, and the answer is on my other blog, Running Nimble (so named at the suggestion of Jeanette - I still get a kick out of it).

OK, so, those arm warmers...

1 - Start with these dollar store high-knee socks.  Of course, you can use better quality ones, if you are going to keep them, or - this opens up a whole world of possibilities... sweater arms.

 2 - Cut the end just where the toe seam is.

3 - Zigzag the part you just cut.  You want it tight enough so it won't fray, but stretch the opening so it will fit over your arm.

4 - Cut a small opening at the top, front of the sock (opposite the heel)... Edited to add: for the thumb.

... like this:

 5 - Zigzag that opening as well.  It's a bit tricky, I could not take pictures because I needed both hands.

Now, what to do with this leftover bit?

6- Why, make it into a little bow, of course!  Twist and Pinch it like this...

... and attach to the top, side of the sock with a wide zigzag & nil stitch length.

7 - Repeat with the other sock, and you have cute arm warmers!

Now, you're ready to stretch the sleeveless running / cycling season for just a little while longer!


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Nothing Like a Deadline...

There's nothing like a deadline to force a girl back to her sewing machine.

I have been in a bit of a slump lately, and a birthday invitation for one of my kids was just what I needed to get back into action.

The party was today, so in typical "me" fashion, I started at 9:00 pm last night.  No time for fancy patchwork  there (plus, quite frankly, if I really feel like sewing something fancy, it will not be for a 10 year old boy).

I really like the vibrant orange against the black and white, and the bold letters.  The layout wasn't planned... I cut my letters way too big and I did not feel like starting over again.  I liked the look so I finished it before I changed my mind!  The raw edge appliqué also serves as part of the quilting, and for the background, I used this:

Well, that wasn't so bad!  except that the birthday party was for two kids, not one!

After much debate, I used one of my "comma" fabrics and some bright blue.  I had planned on using black thread, but I was not too happy with the contrast so I went for cream instead which adds a little bit of definition to the letters.

For the quilting, I went with simple straight lines (well, maybe not that straight) but I forgot to quilt the piece before I appliquéd the letters.  What do you do in such a case?  If you notice, the lines do not go through behind the name.  I just turned around every time I hit a letter, and tried to continue the line on the other side, like this:

More "Comma" fabric for the back...

And here they are together:

I always find it hard to choose fabrics for boys, especially as they get older.  My stash just does not have that much fabric that is appropriate and that will stay relevant for many years.

Seems like I found my happy combination with black &white and a bold colour.  Big thumbs up from my own kids and hopefully the little recipients like it too.