Arm Knitted Scarf

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I admit defeat. I have given up on my 31 Days of Sewing Series from the month of October. If you want to read what I did accomplish during this series, click here. I will post more updates in the future.

I was eager to finish another sewing project, but my sewing machine has broken and needs repairs.

The last time I took it in for repair, it was a 3 month wait. Yup.

Apparently, fixing sewing machines is a lost art. At least around here it is.

Ridiculous.

So, I admit that I have once again started something that I am not able to finish. Big surprise, right? I bet you have NEVER DONE THAT.

My husband loves to remind me that I struggle in this area.

In my defeat, I sat down in front of the TV to watch the Hallmark channel’s Christmas movie marathon and I conquered the Arm Knit Scarf that you see here.

It’s super easy and only takes two balls of yarn.

It is completely knit on your arms, no needles or hooks involved.

If I can do it, so can you.

It takes less than 30 minutes, even if you have never knitted in your life.

I love how it turned out.

Makes up for my lack of success in other areas.

 

 

 

I found this great video with step by step instructions. This gal has very clear pictures and it is easy to follow. I love that she calls it “Arm Knitting for the Clueless“. I definitely fit into that category!

Give it a try, you’ll love it!

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I had so much fun making the first scarf, that I had to make a second one. I envision this scarf with my favorite blue jeans and a comfortable sweater. Cozy!

It would also make a great gift. Christmas is just around the corner!

Yikes!

Speaking of Christmas, I have to sit down and do some planning. I normally have planned out my holiday decor, food and such by this time of year but this year, I am struggling for direction.

I don’t like struggling. I don’t function well without a plan. Direction normally comes rather easily to me.

Not having it makes me stressed out, and it shouldn’t. Life is complicated enough without having to worry about the simple things.

Tomorrow is another day!

How do you find your direction and inspiration?

How to Sew Knits

This easy to make dress is a great way to learn to sew with knit fabrics. 

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How to Sew Knits, Tips and Tricks for success

31 Days of Sewing: Day 12

At long last, this knit dress is complete. I have had many obstacles recently, too many to list. It disappoints me that my progress on this 31 Day challenge is a fraction of what it should be.

I will continue nevertheless, but it may be fall by the time I have completed it.

Better late than never as they say.

This dress is Vogue pattern #V8972. I have decided I have a love/hate relationship with it.

I love the style of it.

The color fabric is great.

 

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Pattern Notes

The dress was easy to fit with the custom fit pattern options (Using your bra cup size).

I hate that the pattern says you can use woven fabrics or knits for this dress. I can’t imagine sewing this pattern with any woven fabric, it wouldn’t work well.

(I chose a Ponte Knit.)

The pattern directions are geared for sewing only a woven dress, not a knit one. (They don’t tell you this.)

So, I realized this too late, after I couldn’t change my mind on how to construct it. (I am slow sometimes.) I am not happy.

Sewing knits isn’t difficult, but it is considerably different than sewing a woven item. I dislike that they don’t include knit sewing directions with this pattern.

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Here are my tips for sewing knits:

•Use a stretch stitch for sewing the seams. Most machines have one, consult your users manual if you aren’t sure which one it is.

•Don’t bother topstitching the seams. Single needle top stitching doesn’t stretch. It makes no sense to topstitch a stretchy seam with a non-stretchy one. (I realized this too late, my seams were stretched more than they should have been by the topstitching.)

•ou really don’t have to stay stitch anything. The fabric will stretch with or without the stay stitching, it doesn’t really help.

•Eliminate lining the garment. This dress was supposed to be lined, traditional lining doesn’t stretch and therefore doesn’t work well with the knit. Also my Ponte knit was very heavy and I just didn’t think it was necessary.

•Eliminate the back zipper. Stretch knits are easy to pull on without a zipper, plus single needle topstitching the zipper on a knit just doesn’t work that well. It will save you time, headaches and money to not have to install the zipper.

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•I changed the construction a bit because I didn’t use a lining. I contemplated cutting a neck facing to finish the neckline (which would give this dress a more tailored look, but decided against it. Have I mentioned I dislike facings?

Instead, I decided to take advantage of a Cover Stitch option that I have on my Singer Sewing machine for finishing the seam edges.

•Here’s how it works: I turned down the marked seam allowance at the neck, sleeve hem and dress hem.

•Then I basted them in place with a 3.0 stitch length.

Using a Cover Stitch

From the right side, I went over the first line of stitching with the Cover Stitch. You can do it from the wrong side as well if you choose. The idea is that the cover stitch completely covers the raw edge of the fabric, along with the basting and creates a sporty look on the right side. It is a very durable stitch and stretches nicely with the knit.

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This technique is usually found on t-shirts and active sportswear. I thought it would be a nice casual touch for this dress.

You can see the topstitching on the bodice seam is a bit stretched out of shape at the shoulder, I don’t care for it and wouldn’t do that again if I remake this dress. Topstitching works great on wovens, just not so well on knits.

Perhaps I am too picky. I can’t help it.

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I used the same cover stitching on the hem of the dress. Not sure that I love it as much here, the machine didn’t fare well running over those thick side seams.  Alternatively,  I would hand stitch the dress hem in place if you don’t have a cover stitch option.

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The scarf was one I found at a thrift store. Overall, I think I am going to love this dress with a pair of boots for just about any occasion.

Time to move on to the next project!

Here are more top posts:

7 Easy Beginner Sewing Projects

Sewing a Fleece Robe

Simple Pillow Tutorial

Why You Need to Learn to Sew

How to Hem Jeans

Thrift Benefit Linkup

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It’s a special day today! Time for the Animal Thrift Benefit Linkup! I have had so much fun with this project.

Remember the DIY doggie pillow I made recently for the Animal Thrift Benefit?

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This pillow was my project that I donated to the Angel’s Wish Animal Shelter in our area.

This pooch is Maggie, I borrowed her to model the pillow. Isn’t she sweet?

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We don’t have a thrift store that supports our local shelter, but our shelter can benefit from your shopping at their Amazon Link.

Click here to help and shop at Amazon, the shelter will benefit. So will the animals.

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I teamed up with Jeanette at Country Style Design,

Karen from Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza, and Laura from Lovely Wren to talk about our Animal Thrift Benefit projects.

It was great to meet these talented gals!

Thanks to Jeanette for putting this all together! Here’s the video we made:

Animal Thrift Benefit video

Time to show us your projects or just be inspired! Here’s the linkup:


DIY Dog Bed

This DIY Dog Bed is extra large and fluffy for the super sized pooch.

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DIY Dog Bed

31 Days of Sewing
I recently made a dog bed for a local animal shelter.

I did a similar project last year for the Animal Thrift Benefit and it was such fun I decided to do it again.

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I used 1/2 yard of ivory fleece and  an indoor/outdoor chevron print to make the bed. Both are machine washable, durable fabrics.  Make sure to pre-wash and dry your fabrics before you start sewing.

Directions:

1. Remove selvages, block and straighten fabrics matching corners and raw edges.

2. Sew right sides together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn corners by taking one stitch on the diagonal before making the turn. Leave a 12″ opening on the lower edge for stuffing.

3. Turn right side out, use a pin to pull out and straighten corners.

4. Stuff with poly fiberfill stuffing. I used 5 old pillows for this project.

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(The stuffing for the bed was a bunch of old pillows that I cut the covers off from. If your family is like ours, then you have a constant supply of old flat pillows. Rather than throw them away, I use the compacted fiberfill,  pulled and cut it apart, re-fluffed and stuffed it into the new dog bed.)

5. Topstitch the opening closed, 1/8″ away from pillow edge.

DIY Dog Bed

I had to borrow a pooch for the day to try the bed out. At this time, we do not own a pet. This is sad for us.

I have always wanted a dog, maybe someday we will have one.

My friend Sarah has the most beautiful dogs. Since we don’t own a pet, I have to covet other people’s animals.

This pooch is Maggie. She’s the only dog I know with a professional portfolio. She’s even been in TV commercials.

Isn’t she beautiful?

Her coat is just as silky smooth in person as it is in these photos.

She’s my dream dog.

DIY Dog Bed

Maggie thought the doggie bed was A-OKAY.

That is, once she could relax enough to lay down on it.

It took a bit of coaxing.

Somehow a stranger pointing a camera in her face had her all excited.

I can’t imagine why.

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Maggie’s counterpart, Kiera felt differently. She couldn’t understand why Maggie was so bent out of shape.

Both dogs thought that the lady laying on the floor staring at them with the camera was a bit quacky.

Perhaps she is.

The dog bed was donated to our local animal shelter, Angel’s Wish.

They do great work in our community. So many animals to feed and house, especially with the upcoming winter.

In our area temperatures frequently drop to -40 degrees. Even if you have a furry coat, that’s pretty darn cold to be out on the street.

The shelter gives the animals food, medical care and a foster home until they are adopted.

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Today, I am participating in the Animal Thrift Benefit.

You can help the animals by shopping through this Amazon link to benefit the animal shelter.

All help is appreciated!

Come back Oct.14th for the DIY Project Linky Party, you won’t want to miss it!

Thank you for your participation!

Pin this post for later! 

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DIY Knitted Dish Towels

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I am back to the creative projects. I have been painting by day, and knitting in the evenings when I am too tired to do much else.

It’s been months since I was inspired to knit.

I have several large unfinished projects. I am a bit frustrated with them right now, so I have decided to set them aside and focus on something simpler.

Sometimes, the simplest things are the best. Like these little dish towels.

A simple project, easy to make in a few hours time.

I came across these beautiful Plymouth cotton yarns recently at the craft store. I thought they would be perfect for dish towels.

I immediately was captivated by them.

They are 100% mercerized cotton, very soft and smooth.

I loved the feel of them.

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I am also loving these Susan Bates needles. They are easy to grip and their smooth texture works great with this yarn.

These towels are super easy to make, even for the beginning knitter.

Aren’t the colors yummy?

Here’s what you will need:

Size 8 (5mm) Susan Bates needles, or similar needles

3 Balls Plymouth Yarn, one each in Maui Rose, Margarita and Cleo Tones Slate

Here’s what to do:

Cast on 44 stitches.

Knit one, purl one the length of the row. Repeat.

Purl one, knit one the length of the row. Repeat.

Repeat rows until you have reached a 10″ square.

Cast off, weave in ends.

I can’t wait to make more of these for holiday gifts!

Enjoy!