Posts tagged free

(k)need for knitting

Just because I’m typing it, it will be 100 by the end of the week. I know it. But things have finally cooled off a bit. That makes me want to start playing with yarn again, and in fact, I picked up my knitting needles last week. Last year I started on a couple of projects to try and teach myself how to knit – the most successful being the honey cowl. And I’ve made some progress on it which is building my confidence.

Honey Cowl Progress

And then a friend posted her list of things to knit for the winter. Oh my. I felt really inspired and went and revisited my yarn pinterest board. Isn’t this top beautiful? Maybe someday my knitting skills will be up to par.


Something simpler? That yarn looks really fine which makes me nervous. But how cute are those color blocked arm warmers.

Source: via Beth on Pinterest


Can you even stand those scallops? I love those colors.

Source: via Beth on Pinterest


And I would love to make a little something for the boy. This sweater totally caught my eye to the point that I went out and bought some yarn for it. I’ve been practicing my stitches on the fingerling weight yarn and I’m not very good with such a fine weight. Yet. More practice is needed. And the pattern is in Dannish. . . but with the power of Google translate . . . and my friend to help me knit through, you may see something that looks like a garment come off my needles, hoping by the end of the year.

Source: via Beth on Pinterest


Of course, I can’t get away without doing some crochet. I bought the pattern for these leg warmers awhile back and will be hooking them up soon. They look pretty simple to do and I’m looking forward to having some fun colors peeking out of my boot tops!

Source: via Beth on Pinterest

What are you working on if you knit or crochet?

Simple Gathered Maxi Skirt Tutorial

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You may remember that I made a maxi skirt a little while ago. It was so cute and so comfy that I thought I would make another one and I had the perfect fabric just waiting for me (got it from a little local shop – The Fabricker)! It’s seriously like wearing pajama pants in public, but much more attractive (although I’m still not very fond of the name – why ‘maxi’? It sounds like a feminine product). I’ve had a couple of real-life friends ask me how I came up with the pattern, so I thought I would do a little tutorial to show you guys what I did. There are a total of 4 seams (plus one gathering seam) in this skirt so it comes together pretty quick and easy!

salmon maxi skirt

First off, you need:

  • 2 yards of jersey fabric
  • 2″ wide no roll elastic
  • ball point needles
  • scissors
  • thread
  • marker/sewing pencil
  • walking foot (optional but very helpful)
I choose to use a walking foot because it reduces how much I try to push or pull on the fabric. A lot of people are afraid of jersey because of the waviness that can develop when sewing with a stretchy fabric – for me the combination of a ball point needle, zigzag stitch, walking foot and ironing the seams regularly as I go takes care of any waviness. Most importantly, do not push or pull the fabric! Let the jersey feed evenly through your machine. I choose to use a zig zag stitch because it is the best looking stretch stitch from my machine. Your machine may have several stretch stitch options – try them all out on some scrap jersey fabric and see what you like best!

The seam allowances I used were about 1/2″ – I was not very precise as jersey is very forgiving. Back stitch all seams unless otherwise stated.


You will need your waist measurement (x) and the skirt length measurement (y). Add about 1/2″-1″ to your length measurement to allow for the hem and the attachement of the skirt top to the waist band.

Take your waist measurement and multiple it by 2 – this will allow you to get the gathers at the top of the skirt. You are creating a rectangle that is 2(x) by (y). Check the selvedge of your fabric and make sure to cut off any edges that look bad. The past two jersey fabrics I’ve used have had a glued (?) edge that needed to be removed before I started sewing.

Cut all pieces of fabric.

  • The waist band is 5″ thick by (x) wide.
  • Your skirt body is 2(x) by (y). Here is the easiest way I saw to cut the pieces from the fabric. Lay the fabric out on the fold, selvedge edge to selvedge edge. Cut your length (y) and waistband.
  • You can also cut your elastic to be the length of (x) at this time.
Then sew straight up the open (y) edge to create a tube. This seam will go in the back.


Next up, the waistband. Fold the fabric in half long-ways and sew up the long side.


This will create a casing that will just fit the 2″ elastic.


Bring the short ends together and sew just the inside half of the casing together, allowing for enough room to thread the elastic through.


Thread the elastic through and overlap. Pin.


Sew several times so that the elastic lays flat and trim off any excess elastic.


Pull the waistband so that the elastic lays flat within the casing. Hand sew the opening shut.


Now to finish the skirt – set your machine to the longest straight stitch and baste, close to the top. Do not backstitch.


It will look a little wonky when you are done, like this.


You can see that waistband is much smaller than the top of the skirt, so gently pull the top basting threads, distributing the gathers across the top of the skirt, until…


The waist band and skirt top are the same width.


With the skirt still inside out (seam on the outside), place the waist band inside the skirt, with the raw edges matching. Pin.


Sew, with a zig zag stitch, just below the basted stitch, careful not to catch the elastic. Trim any extra bulk in the seam and iron flat. Hem if desired. I chose to fold the bottom edge up about 1/4″ and zig zag stitched it in place for a clean finish, but since jersey doesn’t fray, this is not a necessary step.

Enjoy your new maxi skirt!



father’s day freebie printable

In case you have forgotten, this Sunday is Father’s Day! In honor of Father’s Day I sketched up a little card for you guys (well and for Jason too). Here’s the little super hero boy (maybe slightly resembling my  little one):


With a simple inside and plenty of room to add your own notes.


I left it black and white for a couple of reason. . . it’s easier to print and you can color it yourself or have your little ones color it! Turns out those AD Markers I have from college still work! I am going to have to remember that for future projects. . .

Free Father's Day Printable

This may be a hint into another little project that I’m working on right now . . . but you will have to wait and see!

For now, you can download the free 8 1/2″ x 11″ printable card here!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.


Christmas decor

Leave it to pinterest to inspire me to get some Christmas decorations going. I found this free holiday subway art, printed it at Costco (so cheap!) and stuck it in a 1/2 price frame from hobby lobby. Slowly but surely, our modern Christmas stash is growing.

christmas subway art

Something else we typically lack on our door is a wreath. Our door is already pretty so I haven’t felt like it really had to be dressed up! But I have really been loving all the yarn wreaths I’ve been seeing. After some inspiration from pinterest, I decided to make one of my own. I didn’t use a wreath form though, you want to know what’s under all that yarn? A $1 pool noodle from this summer. Wreath forms are $8 or so! Why spend that when you already have something in the house that works?

yarn wreath

And I know, in my previous post, I said we weren’t red and green Christmas folks. . . well my door is already red so I just had to go with it! I still feel like this wreath has a pretty modern feel to it! And this felt dahlia. So. Much. Work. But it has been on my ‘to make’ list for quite some time now, so I was happy to utilize it on this wreath. It’s reminiscent of another flower that is way too popular during this time of year that I happen to dislike quite strongly but much prettier. (Read: don’t ever give me a poinsettia.)

felt dahlia flower

Then I made a quick fringe felt flower and a couple little rosettes to round out the wreath.

felt pom pom flower and rosettes

I’m really happy with how it turned out! It is a little light weight so it doesn’t hang quite how I envisions (I love asymmetry!) but we will work on that in years to come. Right now, it will just hang how it is on our door!

bit by the yarn bug

I can’t seem to get enough crochet these days. I guess it’s because the weather is finally cooling down and I can tote these projects with me wherever I go.

I finished my scarf! I love the crocodile stitch. It looks so complicated! And how funny that it kinda looks like fall in this picture. The red leaves behind me are actually dead red tipped photinia. We’ll just pretend that we get fall color in Austin, right? Right.

crocodile scarf

I even love the way the back looks. Very interesting.

crocodile scarf

It ended up a little too wide and a bit too short, but that’s why I’m keeping this guy for myself. I added tassels but I think I might take them off. Not sure I’m feeling it.

crocodile scarf

In fact, I loved this stitch so much, I crocheted up another one as a birthday gift for a scarf-loving friend. I skinnied it up and made it longer. I used the Stitch Nation yarn by Debbie Stoller once more in ‘full ‘o sheep’ in Thyme, ‘bamboo ewe’ in sprout and ‘washable ewe’ in kitten. Love that grey kitten color with practically any other colors.

green crocodile scarf

It’s so cute bundled up and ready to be given away! I did toy with the idea of making these to sell but they just take too long to make. I would have to charge over $100 per scarf which seems so silly to me (although Anthropologie doesn’t seem to have a problem doing that . . . hmm . . ).

green crocodile scarf

And because my fingers were still itching to crochet, I made this little newborn cluster hat for a friend that is having a little girl in December. I am so not good at girly colors but I do love yellow and grey (there’s that kitten color again and I had just enough honeycomb to make a four petaled flower), and the flower makes it girly, right? I love this cluster stitch and I can’t believe that a simple slip stitch makes that awesome ribbing on the bottom of the hat. It only took about an hour to make! I am going to have to make an adult sized one of these for myself!

newborn cluster hat

Got a couple other yarny project planned in the next couple of weeks. Anyone have any good patterns they think I should know about? What are you crafting lately?

Phoebe Bag

I don’t want you guys to think I’m not sewing! I am! And I have some great projects that I’m going to be starting soon…. I mean, Christmas sewing is starting now!

I whipped up this little beauty as a gift for my mother-in-law’s birthday. The clarity of writing in this pattern is fantastic although I think it helps to have sewn a few purses already to understand where the steps are taking you. Best of all, this pattern is free from artsycraftybabe! Click here for the free PDF pattern for the Phoebe Bag.

I really like that this bag fits perfectly under your arm when you wear it on your shoulder and I think it’s a good medium sized purse, just perfect to carry what you need, but not big enough that things get lost. The thing I would do differently if I made this again… I think it might be nice to add a zipper to the opening in addition to the flap and magnetic snap. Overall a fun little sewing project! I hope she likes it!

Reversible Pocket Sling Tutorial (with padding)

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Alright, the time has finally come for me to share this tutorial. I really feel that this sling has made it so much easier for me to calm Jude and just easier to keep myself sane! A new mama needs both her hands from time to time! The nice thing about this method of sling making is that you will have enough materials to make two slings. This tutorial only covers making one sling.

You will need:

2 yards of cotton fabric – exterior
2 yards of cotton fabric – interior
1″ thick upholstery foam (two 9″x2″ rectangles)
coordinating thread

Make sure to pre-wash all of your fabric in baby friendly detergent and then iron everything so it lays nice and straight! Also, you want 100% cotton fabric – nothing stretchy – you don’t want the sling to stretch out of shape. This could be dangerous.

Step 1: Preparation
Fold exterior fabric in half lengthwise and iron a crease. Cut down the middle of this crease.

You will end up with two pieces of fabric that are 2 yards by approximately 22.5″ (depending on the width of your initial yardage). You will only use one piece to make the sling.

Repeat on interior fabric. Again, you will only need one of the two pieces.

Cut 1″ thick upholstery foam into two 2″ x 9″ rectangles. This is your padding. For newborns, it pads their head from bonking on door frames and such. As they get older, it can be flipped to be worn on the bottom, padding their dangling legs!

Step 2: Sew edges
Right sides together, line up the edges and pin.

Now is a good time to trim off any excess if the fabric doesn’t line up properly.

Back-stitching at each end, sew the long sides with a 1/2″ seam allowance.

Turn fabric so that the right sides are facing out and iron flat.

Top stitch up each long side with a 1/4″ seam allowance, back-stitching at each end.

Step 3: Sizing
The best way to determine sizing is to take a piece of string and wrap it from your shoulder to your opposite hip and back to your shoulder. It will form a loop around your body, mimicking how the sling will lay. Don’t do this too tight though! Cut the string so that it hits the top of your mid-hip; you don’t want the sling to hit below your hip and you don’t want to be too far above your hip. Match your length to the chart below to get your correct size. Round up if you fall between sizes.

X-Small – 52″
Small – 56″
Medium – 60″
Large – 64″
X-Large – 68″

Step 4: Create the curve
Fold fabric in half width wise

and then again length wise.

Using the chart below with your determined measurement:

Long Edge (along fold)
Short Edge (open)

Measure from the short folded edge, mark the long folded edge:

Measuring again from the short folded edge, mark the short open edge:

This is going to make the pocket for the baby’s bottom to sit in.

Use a ruler to draw a straight line with a fabric marker between these points.

Freehand a gentle curve between the points referencing the straight line as needed.

Cut the curve out through all layers. The remnants are great to make matching burp clothes or bibs!

When you are done, unfold it and it should look like this:

This is the overall shape that we’re looking for:

Step 5: Padding
Insert padding inside sling, one on each open side. Eventually the padding will lay against the straight seam, but for now, it’s just going to float freely until we sew the sling shut. Make sure it’s far enough back that it won’t get in the way of your stitching.

Step 6: Flat felled seam
Fold in half longways and match up the curves. Pin in place.

Sew a 1/4″ seam along the curve, back-stitching at each end, shutting the tube of fabric.

Trim the seam allowance to 1/8″.

Flip the fabric the other way and iron the curve so the seam you just sewed is on the inside. We’re going to encase this seam.

Following the curve, sew a 1/2″ seam around the curve, back-stitching at each end, encasing the raw edge of the seam inside. It will look a little weird because it will be sticking out (at this point, it’s called a French seam). No worries, the next step sews the edge that’s sticking up, down.

Lay the flap of fabric down and sew 1/4″ from the edge, back-stitching at each end, laying the seam down.

You might want to pin starting from the middle to help minimize any bunching. This is a sturdy seam and it needs to be! It’s holding the weight of the baby!

Step 7: Sew padding in place
Maneuver the padding so that there is a piece on either side of the flat felled seam. It should be as close to the top stitching and flat felled seam as you can get it. Pin in place. Starting from the flat felled seam, sew around the padding, back-stitching at each end, to keep it from moving around. Repeat on the other piece of padding on the other side of the flat felled seam.

One thing I’ve thought of several times but never followed through on, is that you could add a zippered pocket if you choose not to make the sling reversible. Could be nice to have a place to hold keys, a cell phone or a pacifier!

You’re all done! Click here for a pdf on how to use your new sling!

Much thanks goes to Whitney for letting me take pictures as I taught her how to make a sling! 🙂

It’s my first Blog-iversary (Free Apron Pattern!)

And for the occasion, I have another free pattern to add to the list! The Marie Apron!

the Marie Apron

That’s my mom, Marie. And she’s wearing her brand new Marie apron that I made for her birthday. Can’t you see how happy she is? 🙂

If you would like to make the Marie Apron CLICK HERE for the pdf of the pattern and the instructions! Now, I will warn you, the pattern is on a 24″x36″ piece of paper which means that you will have to take the pdf to a print shop (like Kinkos) in order to print it. I don’t believe this costs more than a dollar or two and I’m giving you the pattern for free, so don’t complain to me that you can’t print this at home! It’s a big pattern! I have included the dimensions if you want to draw the pattern on some pattern paper at home. The curves are up to you though. 🙂

There is a lot of bias tape in this one, so you might find this tutorial helpful if you have never used bias tape before. Feel free to give me feedback to improve the instructions or the pattern – I’d love to know what everyone thinks!

Also, I hate to be repetitive, but please do not sell items made from this free pattern and do not claim it as your own design! Feel free to link back to this post if you’d like to spread the word though. Also, if you make this pattern, I’d love to see the final results! Please add photos of the final product to the flickr group here!

Diana Hobo – Free Pattern

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Gosh, wouldn’t it be great if I could do a ‘free pattern Friday’ every Friday?

So Anna Maria Horner just released a new purse pattern that reminds me a lot of my new free pattern just without straps! I thought I’d show it to y’all because it seems easy enough to make a few small modifications to my pattern to emulate her new clutch!

So remember this purse and my promise to give you a free pattern?

Diana Hobo Bag

Download the Pattern on 11×17 Format

Download the Pattern on 8.5×11 Format

If/when you do make a bag from my pattern, please post it in the flickr group!

Diana Hobo

Also this should go without being said but I’ll say it anyways: please do not sell items made from this free pattern and do not claim it as your own design!