Friday, December 31, 2010

Gift #2 - for a first birthday

OK, this one is nearly a week late, but it's done now and off to the birthday girl tonight!
The pattern is Gracie by Sandi Henderson (Portabellopixie). I made version A, a reversible jumper, in size 12-18 months. The main fabrics are both Wildwood by Erin McMorris, and for the yoke I used those gorgeous pink honeycombs from Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry. I really love how they work together, especially with the trees.
The jumper went together quickly, but I'm glad it wasn't one of the first garments I'd sewn - whereas Oliver + S patterns tell you exactly what to do at every step, this pattern left off a few basics. Some of the things I did that the pattern didn't mention include: trimmed all seam allowances to 1/4 inch; added some iron-on interfacing along the back edges for the button holes and buttons; and clipped the seam allowances for smooth curves.
Do you like the big green buttons? I love them! They were from my stash so I was amazed how well they matched.

Hope the birthday girl (and her mum) loves the new dress!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well, at least one gift got finished on time...

And it wasn't even a Christmas present! This blouse was made for my girlfriend's daughter's 2nd Birthday. I finished hand stitching the bias edges on the sleeves, wrapped it up, and went to the party.
I used the Oliver + S 2+2 blouse pattern, size 2, short-sleeved version. The main fabric is MoMo Wonderland and the contrast is from Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow. I love those honeycombs!
As I am still quite new to sewing, this project, again, had lots of firsts: first time cleaning and oiling my machine (so not as scary as I thought); first time sewing buttonholes (wow, not hard!); first time making lots of my own bias tape (fiddly, yes, but definitely easier having rotary cut the strips); first time using fabric from, gasp, not the same fabric line (still not too sure how much I like this combo).

This took a lot longer than I expected to sew, as it was quite fiddly throughout, and many seams were ripped and redone. However, those concise and well-illustrated Oliver + S instructions made every step clear. Overall, I'm happy with the result. I look forward to seeing it on its recipient to make a final judgement.

Tonight, I worked another baby birthday present and am nearly done. Next up is a belated Christmas present - another Left Bank Granny Bag. And yes, I still plan to post those links to all the amazing patterns recommended during the giveaway. In the meantime, I'm using all my inner strength to resist buying some of this (already sold out at Hawthorne Threads but still available at fabricworm):

Monday, December 20, 2010

Smashed Grapes - Free Fingerless Mitts Pattern

I've been a bit neglectful of both my knitting and my knitting friends. So please, have a free knitting pattern. The pattern is shown below and is also available as a free download on Ravelry. If you're not on ravelry and would prefer a pdf of the pattern, leave me a comment with your email address and I'll email it to you.

With many thanks to 1funkyknitwit
test knitter and photographer

Smashed Grapes 

I have quite a few pairs of fingerless mitts. This is the pair I put on when I need free movement of my fingers. They add a bit of warmth and style while you drive, type, or hang out the washing. This simple mitt pattern, with a thumb gusset, is knit the same for both hands. They match the Berry Bramble Hat by Cosette Cornelius-Bates (cosymakes), using the same moss stitch pattern on the cuffs as for the hat brim. While this pattern is written to be knit using the magic loop method or 2 circulars, it could also be knit on double pointed needles by dividing the stitches equally amongst 3 needles. They can easily be knit 2-at-a-time.

Women’s S (M, L)
Malabrigo Merino Worsted: 100% merino wool, 192m per 100g skein; 1 skein; shown above in Velvet Grapes colourway; shown on cover in 1funkyknitwit’s handspun
1 x 4.5 mm (US 7), 40” circular needle for magic loop OR 2 x 4.5 mm circulars OR 4 x 4.5 mm double-pointed needles
4 stitch markers (only 2 required if knitting one-at-a-time)
Approx 24 inches smooth waste yarn in a contrasting colour
Tapestry needle
18 st = 4 inches
Pattern Notes
pm – place marker
sm – slip marker
m1L (make 1 left-leaning stitch) – insert left needle from front to back, under the strand of yarn between the last stitch on the left needle and the first stitch on the right needle; knit this stitch through back loop.
m1R (make 1 right-leaning stitch) – insert left needle from back to front, under the strand of yarn between the last stitch on the left needle and the first stitch on the right needle; knit this stitch.

Cast on 32 (34, 36) stitches. Divide equally and join to knit in the round.
Rounds 1-2: *k1 p1* repeat
Rounds 3-4: *p1 k1* repeat
Repeat these 4 rounds once more, for a total of 8 rounds.
Knit 8 rounds stockinette.
Thumb Gusset
Next round – Begin thumb gusset: K16 (17, 18) pm m1R on the first needle, then K1 m1L pm K15 (16, 17) on second needle.
Knit 2 rounds stockinette.
Next round – Thumb increase: K16 (17, 18) sm m1R K1 on first needle, then K2 m1L sm K15 (16, 17) on second needle.
Continue to increase in this manner, every 3rd round, until there are 15 (15, 17) thumb stitches between the markers. Note: the increases are always immediately after the first marker, and just before the second marker.
Next round: K16 (17, 18), transfer 15 (15, 16) thumb stitches to waste yarn, cast on 1 stitch in the gap (backward loop method) on the second needle, k15 (16, 17).
Knit 7 more rounds stockinette.
Decrease 2 stitches in the next round as follows: k2tog, knit to end of needle; k2tog on second needle, knit to end (30, 32, 34) stitches.
Knit 8 rounds of moss stitch as described under first Cuff section.
Cast off in pattern.
Pick up the 15 (15, 17) stitches from the waste yarn and then pick up 3 more stitches in the gap. 18 (18, 20) stitches.
Divide stitches evenly and knit 4 rounds of stockinette.
Cast off loosely.
Weave in ends and block if desired.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Giveaway Winners

Wow, over 700 comments but it had to come down to just one winner for the Red Letter Day bundle:
Jenniffier said... So I just found this website today, but it has tons of sewing info, patterns and stuff.

Congratulations Jenniffier! I've also sent you an email.

And the mystery prize goes to:

JuneBug said... My current favorite tutorial is the Lil Cutie purse pouch:
I've made many for holiday giving, and they're great for scrap use and working with funky fabric combinations. Plus, no pins!!!

JuneBug has a really cute blog and it seems that she's recently discovered the joys of online fabric browsing (and purchasing). It will be easy for me to put together a bundle of fabrics for her...perhaps to make some more Lil Cutie Pouches? Check your email JuneBug!

Many thanks again to everyone who commented, to my new followers, and to my loyal followers that have been with me from the very beginning. I wish I could send each of you a bit of Red Letter Day!

So what's next? I'm still in the process of compiling everyone's pattern suggestions, and will post the list as soon as I finish it. Tonight, however, I need to cut some patterns and choose fabrics for two birthday presents before Christmas - an Oliver + S 2+2 blouse (size 2) and a Portabellopixie (Sandi Henderson) Gracie Jumper (size 1). Hopefully I'll have photos to post very soon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank you!

Click here to go to my giveaway post

Wow! I am truly overwhelmed by the response to my giveaway (more than 500 comments already). I'm so glad to have found hundreds of others who share my love for those ducks. I'm also delighted that so many of you have chosen to follow my humble blog. You are all inspiration and motivation for me.
With so many comments, I apologise if I don't reply personally to each of you (though I'm still considering it!). However, I have read every single comment and looked up the pattern, or blog, or book, or tutorial that you've recommended. You've introduced me to many new patterns and blogs and my brain is swimming with ideas. As a thank you for all of the time you put into your comments, I've started compiling a list of all of your pattern recommendations that I will post on my blog shortly.
With so many entrants I'll just have to give out another prize (to the second number selected by random). I'm not sure what it will be yet - fabric, supplies, or a small handmade item. I may wait till I've chosen the winner and stalk their blog to decide!

Thanks so much for joining me at Ducks and Rabbits. And good luck on this and all of the other giveaways!

Monday, December 13, 2010

My First Giveaway!

Comments closed - winners to be announced shortly!

I'm fairly new to sewing, and even newer to blogging - I started this blog about half a year ago after the last Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day. It was an avalanche of inspiration that led me to starting this blog, making my first quilts, and a new fabric addiction. So it's my turn to give back to the blogging community as part of another Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day.
Those that already read this blog know that I have some particular fabric obsessions, namely Lizzy House's Red Letter Day and MoMo's Wonderland (thus the name of this blog). So for this, my very first giveaway, I am offering up some Ducks - a gorgeous bundle of Red Letter Day fabric. I hope it makes someone as happy as it makes me!
One lucky winner will get 12 pieces of fabric totalling about 2 yards - all 6 prints in both the Galosh and Feather colourways (including that hard-to-find Ugly Duckling in Feather).
The Galosh colourway (on the left) includes a fat-eighth of each print, except the stripes which is a larger quarter yard.
The Feather colourway (on the right) includes a range of sizes from some large squares to fat eights to two fat quarters. 
Aren't they gorgeous?!

And here's how to enter:
  1. I like to sew a bit of everything - accessories, quilts, clothes - but need some more patterns. Please leave me a comment telling me one of your favourite sewing patterns, designers or tutorials.
  2. For a second chance, leave another comment if you are already a follower of Ducks and Rabbits or have become one.
The giveaway is open till Friday December 17th and the winner will be chosen randomly on Saturday. It is open for international entries.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New stash + giveaway soon

Firstly, I'm ever so excited to host my first giveaway very soon, as part of the Sew Mama Sew! Giveaway Day:
Sew, Mama, Sew!
Tonight I'm pulling out my stash and even cutting into some of my precious goodies (perhaps some of the collections alluded to in the name of this blog) to prepare my giveaway. So check back tomorrow to see what made the cut!

Now for my new stash...

First, here's a giveaway I won - a beautiful bundle of Heather Ross scraps from The Mad Quilting Librarian. Having only seen Heather Ross fabrics online, I was overjoyed to win this scrumptious bundle, and even more excited when I actually saw them in person - the colours are so vibrant and illustrations so precious.
Then I stumbled upon the tadpoles below on ebay and bought one yard. I'm keen to swap some fat quarters of it, especially if I can get some of the goldfish in exchange.
I also bought 2 fat quarters of Flea Market Fancy on ebay. Again, this is the first time I've seen these fabrics in person. Love them!
Finally, I bought a few metres of fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew! during one of their recent sales. I've been lusting for the Modern Meadow Honeycomb in Pink for ages, and was happy to get it for such a good price.
And also some It's a Hoot of my very own. I love the cute selvages! These fabrics are even more beautiful than they looked online. The bottom fabric is for a skirt for me, and the top for some type of bag.
Now, I better start gathering my giveaway bundles!
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