Fabric

I MADE ME A SAILOR TOP

If anyone has ever read any of the sewing posts I have done you will know I am not a skilled sewer. I can make basic things that don't fall apart, but when you look real close you will see what a mess of a seamstress I am. I sewed myself a top and shorts when I was 9, in a summer camp, and I was so proud of it. It barely fit me at the time I was finished. To be honest, it was very ill fitting. Between that and not understanding sewing machines growing up, those were the end of my sewing days. Since the kiddos came into my life I have had to get over my sewing hangups and resolved to be better in this department. Last time I was at Fancy Tiger Crafts with a little creature we chose fabric and a pattern for something to make and wear. I thought maybe it's time to revisit this and sew myself a little something. This leads me to the sailor top I just made myself.

Reasons I chose this sewing pattern:

  1. I could see myself wearing it.
  2. It looked forgiving and flowy in fit & construction.
  3. It said BEGINNER.

I grabbed a dark pattern. I was thinking the darker it is the less likely to show all the mistakes I will likely encounter. 

I chose this one. It was reminiscent of a floral pattern my parents had for their bedroom drapes growing up, but a less sunny version. When I was folding the fabric after washing I saw it was designed by Leah Duncan, which was a delight. I had seen her illustration work here and there. This one is called "Central Park Fog" by Art Gallery Fabrics.

I have actually been sitting on this pattern and fabric for a while. Earlier this week I was feeling inspired. I ironed, cut the pattern and fabric on one day. The following day I sat down to sew thinking I would work on it a little bit every day. You know what? I didn't take me long at all! I was done constructing the shirt by the morning. All I had to do in the evening was finish up the hem. I would have finished it in one sitting, but I had to be somewhere, things to do, bread to bake, check the mailbox. You know how it is. I was shocked it took me such little time!

I am thrilled I actually accomplished this. The only critique I have  (of myself)  is I might have made it one size too big. I would still rather have a problem of it being too large than too small. 

If anyone out there wants to dabble in a beginning shirt project, I recommend this one. I didn't look at any video tutorials and felt that the pattern instructions were clear. I knew if I ran into a problem it wouldn't be difficult to find the support I needed through the resources noted in the sailor top pattern.

HOW TO MAKE A RUG OUT OF OLD KNITS

In attempt to clean out the closet and repurpose material I thought it would be a good project to make a "rag rug" out of some knit findings. We also don't own any bathmats, and I thought this might be an inspired way to combine these two things. It began with some t-shirts that had holes in them. My shirts love to get tiny holes right where my belt buckle is! There are a few ways to make these. One would be to braid strips of material and then sew the braids in the form of a rug. The ones I have seen of those are beautiful. For my rags and my time, I was fine to create as a go and went the crocheting route.

rag_rug_materials

What you will need:

  • old shirts, pillow cases, etc. I found knits with a little stretch were the easiest to work with.
  • scissors
  • crochet hook. I used a 12.0 mm. I went searching for one bigger, but this one worked fine!

Once you have your raw material cut it into 1/2 inch - 1 inch strips you want to work with. Try to cut the fabric in a way that gives you the longest strip possible. You will then add the fabric together. 

two_strips_fabric

You have your strips of fabric that is cut.

cut_fabric

Place the two strips of fabric on top of one another and make a small cut near the top.

cut_tie_fabric

Then bring the bottom of the top strip and place inside the hole you created. Then pull through.

tied_fabric_strips

Then you will have one continuous line of fabric to work with.

Once you have a long enough string to work with you can begin creating your rug. I did this by doing a slip knot, then beginning with a circle and then just doing the basic crochet stitch all around. The experience is pretty organic and I would just repeat rows, or move around based on where I wanted the color to be. When I find myself stuck in crochet work and stitches, I refer to this Harmony Guide: Basic Crochet Stitches

crochet_rag_rug

I really embraced the raggy-ness of this project. It's lumpy in some spots and not perfect by any means. When I was with it, I trimmed up the back of the work where any loose scraps of fabric were hanging out. I also had any of the lump parts from the way you knot the fabric together to sit on the backside. I was hoping to keep going with the white, but in the spirit of the reused fabric, I wasn't going to gather some to complete the project. 

This rug is just the right size for what we needed in the bathroom. In case you were curious this was made out of 3 t-shirts, one cloth napkin, and one and half of an old pillow case. It's approximately 1.5 feet x 2. Now that I have made one I think the next time I try to set this up it will be a little easier. It took me a while to get adjusted to the large fabric and large crochet hook.