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A Reversible Box Tote Knitting Bag

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Just before Christmas, my Aunt very kindly sat with me one afternoon and taught me the basics of knitting. Oh my, how I wish we had done this years ago. I have instantly fallen in love with this new hobby, and now grab every opportunity I can to sneak in a few rows ( I’m knitting a scarf, of course), and I’m a little obsessed, I admit.

Of course sewing is my first love, and thinking of how I could combine both these I decided that I wanted to sew up a bag to keep my knitting tidy as it was currently sitting in a pile on the coffee table in everybody’s way.

As with every new project idea, I searched the internet for free sewing patterns that might be ideal, and finally narrowed it down to two that I liked. The one that I chose is the Reversible Box Tote which is a free download from Very Shannon. I loved the shape of this bag, the pockets, and the fact that it is reversible. Another great free pattern that I loved is the Knitting Bag Project from The Sewing Directory. This bucket style bag is quilted and I’m certain that I will come back to this another time as it’s really cute and one knitting bag will not be enough for me I’m sure!

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I was over the moon with this pattern. The instructions are clear and thorough, and it doesn’t take very long to sew up. I made it in a morning. The fabric is a pretty floral cotton on a navy background which I picked up from Hobbycraft and I chose a coordinating pale blue for the lining.

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I decided to cut two pockets (these are both lined) and placed both of them on the inside of the bag. Although this bag is reversible, I cannot see that I would ever use it with the plain side out, so although the pattern gives you the option to have an outside pocket too, I didn’t. What I did do though was keep one of the pockets open and add a pale pink Kam snap on the other pocket, just in case I wanted a pocket that was more secure. Sadly I caught some of the pale blue fabric in the snap tool when I was squeezing the snap in place and this has left a little oily mark above the pocket. Grrrrrrr.

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The pale pink snap is such a lovely colour match you can barely see it.

The bag is 14″ high (from the top of the handle), and is 17″ wide, so there is plenty of room for large knitting projects, your pattern, and all the other bits and pieces that are handy to have close by. I have used my pockets to store a tape measure, stitch markers, a row counter, yarn needle and my glasses. The scarf pattern that I am knitting is the Wheat Scarf from Tin Can Knits. It is part of their Simple Collection, which is a range of free beginner knitting patterns, with step by step tutorials if you get stuck.

 

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The knitting needles are precious to me as they used to belong to my Mother. I’m so thankful that I still have them, along with lots more in different sizes.

The only thing that I would advise with this pattern is to use the fusible fleece that is listed in the supplies needed for this bag. I didn’t have the Pellon fusible fleece that was recommended, just regular quilt wadding, and because I didn’t have the patience to quilt it in place on the fabric, I chose to use some firm iron-on interfacing that I had in my stash. Whilst this has done an o.k job, it’s not ideal and long term I think this bag will sag. Bad choice there and I would definitely recommend using the correct materials for the best result guys!

The fiddliest and most time consuming part of the make is attaching the outer bag to the lining. Because this is a reversible bag the raw edges on both the outer bag and lining bag have to be pressed under 1/4″ and pinned into place before stitching to each other. Usually with a lined bag you can quickly machine stitch the two bags together and simply pull it right side out through a little gap that you have left in the lining. Not in this case. However sometimes it is good to slow down and take your time to ensure a nice neat finish. Careful measuring, cutting and accurate seam allowances gave me a really great result on this bag. Instead of pins, I found it easier to use Wonder Clips for this part of the bag construction.

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Finally the really clever thing about the bag is that you can just hook it through your arm and knit on the go -pure genius!

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Not forgetting some essential accessories..

‘Me Made’ pin badge from Pink Coat Club.

‘Love Knitting’ pin badge from Crafty Pin Up Shop.

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Huge thanks to Very Shannon for this very generous free PDF download. Are you #teamknit or #teamsew ?

Take care, I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

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Sewing for my boys – the Jalie Nico Raglan Tee.

Before I start, I must mention that I am limited with the number of photos that I have to share with you of this project. I did wonder whether or not to even include this as a blog post due to the lack of images, but have decided to go ahead in the hope that despite this, the written post itself might be helpful if you are in the market for a good boys/mens baseball t-shirt pattern.

The reason for the lack of photos is that I made these three t-shirts for my husband and two boys as Christmas presents. Despite being super organised and buying the pattern aaaages ago from Sewessential, in order that I wouldn’t have a last minute rush to make them, I still ended up making them all in the last couple of days before Christmas when everybody was in the house and I was creeping around trying not to get found out. I had no opportunity to photograph them full length without someone spotting me, and as I don’t really think it is fair to pop photos of my family on here, we are just left with a quick little shot that I took of them on the kitchen table before wrapping them up.

It is also worth sticking with this post until the end so that you can see what happened when I washed one of them the first time – despite pre-washing .. oh dear ..

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The pattern is the Jalie Nico Raglan Tee. This is the second time I have sewn a Jalie sewing pattern – last year I made the Cocoon Cardigan as my entry into the Cosy Cardi Challenge, and this is a cardigan that I reach for all the time.  Jalie patterns have an impressive range of sizes on their patterns, 27 on this one in fact, and one of the reasons that I chose this pattern to make for my boys was that I only needed to purchase one pattern to cover the sizing of my 14 yr old, my 20 yr old and my husband. (In fact the smallest size on the pattern is age 2)!

I chose to use some wonderfully soft cotton interlock jersey that I picked up from eBay. I had purchased some recently when I made my Christmas Tilly and the Buttons Frankie t-shirt, and was so impressed with how soft and lovely it was that I returned to the seller to buy some more for these projects. I wanted to keep the main body pieces on all of them white, and then mix and match the colours of the sleeve and neckband pieces.

The pattern gives you three sleeve lengths to pick, and a choice of either a straight or curved hem. I kept all the hems straight, and chose long sleeves (in grey) for my youngest son, and short sleeves (in khaki and brown) for my eldest and husband.

As you might expect with such a large range of sizes, there is a huge measurement chart to go through. I had to grade between sizes for a couple of my tees, but it didn’t take long before long I had three sets of traced out pattern pieces, all with their names scribbled on them so that I didn’t get confused. I also sketched out three little drawings and coloured them in, so that I had a reference on what pieces needed cutting in which colour and for whom!

Although I cut them out all in one session, and they were all ready to go in three neat piles, I made a deliberate decision to only make one at a time, otherwise I knew that I would get muddled up. Time was now limited and I really didn’t need to be unpicking silly mistakes.

The pattern was really easy to follow, and they were a quick make thankfully! Of course I didn’t have to opportunity to check them for size, but kept my fingers crossed that they would fit. To find out what size I needed to cut, I told my husband I was measuring him to get a rough idea for a top that I was going to make for my eldest (they are fairly similar in size) and measured my eldest telling him that I was making a secret top for my husband. Sneaky. I already had my youngest sons measurements from some recent school uniform purchases.

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For some reason, despite the absolute lack of time before Christmas, I still wanted to make handmade gift tags, and made up these little tags to add an even more personal touch. I’m pretty sure this was a waste of time, but I enjoyed making them.

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I’m happy to say that all t-shirts worked out really well and I was really pleased with how they fitted. I would have no problems recommending this pattern, a winner all round!

My husband pointed out that in the 21 years that we have been married, this is the first thing I have ever sewn for him! No need to rush these things hey?

So a great Christmas day was had by all. Hubby made the roasted brussels sprouts with garlic, bacon, pecans and blue cheese and swiftly splattered oil down the front of his t-shirt but no worries, it’ll all be alright when I throw it through the wash. Or will it..

Fast forward to Boxing Day. The light coloured washing goes in, including my husbands grease splattered t-shirt. All good. One hour 15 mins later, the washing comes out a very pretty shade of pink. Eek! Despite pre-washing all my fabrics, the brown sleeves of his new t-shirt ran and ruined the whole wash – his white work shirts and everything! I vaguely remember noticing during the pre-wash on the brown fabric that the water was a bit pink but didn’t think anything of it.

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My beloved pale grey kitty Cocowawa Chestnut Sweater is now also pale pink. Sad times.

So lesson learned guys, sometimes one pre-wash just isn’t enough, and maybe for particularly dark fabrics like this brown one, take a good look at the colour of the water in your machine during the pre-wash and if you do spot any colour, run it through again just to be sure.

Not to worry, I’m pretty sure that with my track record it’ll only be another 21 years before I sew him another, so he won’t have to wait too long..

Take care, and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sew To Grow Meridan Knit Dress

 

Happy New Year! I do hope that you are all feeling rested after the Christmas break and are ready for everything that 2019 will bring.

My January make for the Minerva Crafts Blogger Network is The Meridan Knit Dress    from Sew To Grow. It’s a cute knit dress with an elasticated waist which I chose to wear on Christmas day, and I couldn’t have been more comfortable.

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Roomy pockets are essential and you can make a feature out of them by using a contrasting fabric.

The fabric I chose is this dramatic scuba as I was really drawn toward the colours and liked the irregular stripes.  I know that I have lots of striped dresses with elasticated waists, but there’s always room for another!

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I particularly like the shape of the neckline at the back, and although I wore it with a cardigan on Christmas day, I can’t wait to wear it when the weather warms up during the Spring so that the back neckline is visible. It’s cute right?

As always the full review is over on the Blogger Network, so I look forward to seeing you all over there. As always many thanks to Minerva Crafts for all the lovely supplies that I used for my Meridan Knit Dress.

If you like this style of easy to wear ‘throw over your head’ dress, then you might want to take a peek at another Sew To Grow dress that I reviewed back in July 2017, The Flatter Me Frock.

Take care and I’ll be back soon,

Kathy x