Craft Your Own Clothes: Getting Started

There’s a wide range of reasons why you might be attracted to the idea of making your own clothes. Whether it’s to make sure that your whole wardrobe fits you perfectly, to know you’re not contributing to child labor and worker’s exploitation, or simply to carve out your own unique style. Whatever your reasons, I’m sure you’re starting to find that crafting isn’t as easy as it seems on the surface! Here are some of my best tips for getting started.

Network

I believe networking is one of the best ways to learn more about anything, and sewing and craftwork is no exception! If you’ve been looking at some patterns online and you can’t make heads or tails of them, then it may be a good idea to find someone a little more knowledgeable to translate it into plain English. The owners of fabric shops are usually pretty good for this. Aside from that, you could look for some sewing groups on social media, chat to the people there, and ask about anything that you’re not sure of. If you prefer doing things face to face, then you can always look for sewing workshops and classes in your local area. Networking and surrounding yourself with people who share your passion is one of the most effective ways to learn more about sewing.

A Few Warnings

tv-machine-sew-76240

Source: Pexels

Like with anything, it’s good to know about some of the common mistakes tied to sewing. First of all, don’t think you’re going to save an absolute fortune on new clothes! Quality wholesale fabric, along with thread, workshops, patterns and books will all cost you. If learning how to sew is a financial decision rather than out of a love for the hobby, then I advise you reconsider. Secondly, I’ll give you a more practical tip; when you first buy any piece of fabric, wash it on a normal cycle before you use it in any project. I’m sure you don’t want to spend hours on a beautiful dress, and then have it shrink in the wash!

Go Online

We’re all pretty lucky to live in 2017. Today, no matter what it is you’re trying to get good at, you can be pretty certain that there’s online materials which will set you off on the right track. Take this post, for example! When trying to get into sewing your own clothes, you should be leveraging these materials as much as possible. I probably don’t have to tell you this already, but start to eat, drink and sleep all the YouTube tutorials you can find. Even if the project isn’t something you’re interested in, watching these kinds of videos can teach you a lot of jargon and expose you to useful techniques. Losing yourself in Pinterest can also be a great way to broaden your horizons, find out more about the techniques behind certain pieces, and discover just how much you can do with a sewing machine. Of course, you’re not going to learn how to sew well without doing any sewing, so be sure to print off a few free or cheap beginner’s patterns and get working!

 

Posted in Crafting | Leave a comment

Introducing My Scrappy Granny Stripe Afghan

I have a new addiction….yep, you guessed it…another scrappy blanket! This one is a crocheted Granny Stripe afghan and I am totally loving it. I’m using lots and lots of minis to make it as scrappy as can be. Isn’t it gorgeous?!?

granny stripe

I’m following the general directions of the Granny Stripe pattern by Attic24 (an awesome blog, by the way!). I’ve actually crocheted a couple other Granny Stripe Afghans years ago and they are my favorite blankets that I’ve made. This time, though, I knew I wanted to use fingering weight yarn so I could use up some minis from Sock Yarn Swappers.

The cool thing about this pattern is that you can easily adjust it for whatever weight yarn you’re using. That’s exactly what I did. I decided to use a US size E (3.5 mm) crochet hook because I liked the drape that it gave. I knew I wanted the afghan to be super big so that Tom & I could cuddle underneath it so I chained 360 + 2 for the starting chain. Yea…that was a little bit of a nightmare, lol.

granny stripe

I decided to use a crochet hook one size bigger for the chain portion so that it’d be easier to get going after that. I’m so glad I did. Once those initial few rows were finished it was smooth sailing from there on out! It is total bliss to work on. I love how quickly crochet goes. And I really love using my mini skeins because of all of the beautiful colors that are making up this afghan.

One bad thing about using mini skeins is that there are tons & tons of end that would need weaved in. I found a “go around” for that problem though! I using the Magic Knot and am loving it. I found a great tutorial from Bella Cocco on YouTube that really walked me through how to do this technique. The cool thing is that once I crochet across the knot portion you can’t even tell that it is there.

Are any of you working on a Scrappy Granny Stripe afghan? I’d love to hear how it is going! And if you’re looking for some additional mini skeins I have just the answer for you. Actually I have two answers, lol. First, you can check out my Ravelry group – Sock Yarn Swappers – for lots of swaps, both regular and swapless (where you only pay a fee and get the minis shipped to you). We have a lot of really great dyers scheduled in the coming months. The second answer, especially if you NEED your minis right now lol, would be to check out my Sock Yarn Swappers Etsy shop. That is where I post minis that are ready to ship right now. I’m constantly updating the shop too so if you don’t see anything you’d like be sure to check back again soon.

Bye,
Lisa

 

Posted in #sockyarnswappers, Crafting, Crochet | Leave a comment

Get Your Kids Into New Hobbies With These Handy Hints

Some kids seem to get bored easily. They might struggle to develop friendships or get involved in group play. This can be really hard to watch for the parent too. One way to help your child find new interests is to offer opportunities to try new hobbies. You might already be noticing activities your child likes to do a lot. These can easily form the basis of a new hobby. For example, a passion for jumping around and tumbling could turn a gymnastics class into his favorite weekly activity.

Older children can also struggle with social relationships. Encouraging them to get involved in activities where all the participants share a common goal can help. Things like bowling can be a great hobby to take up. It can easily develop into club level league, providing a more competitive edge. This will encourage more team spirit and a sense of belonging for your child. Eventually, you might buy them their own bowling ball and become an active part of the coaching team!

softball-player-female-youth-163375

Photo credit

There are lots of other sports that young children can get involved with. Each of them could become a fun hobby or pastime that they may enjoy for years to come. Little Leagues, in particular, offer kids an opportunity to develop physical skills. It can be good for their social skills too. Letting your little one try out as many different sports and activities as possible gives them a chance to find what they really love doing. There are also choices for hobbies that your child can enjoy doing on their own.

Music is considered a valuable pastime for young children. Learning to play a musical instrument is thought to support other areas of a child’s education too. It isn’t easy, though. And music tuition can be very expensive. However, if your child has a natural ability here, chances are they’ll find it becomes a passion for life. Just like sports, kids can enter competitions. They can play music together and even gain recognized qualifications. Or they can just enjoy the creative outlet!

music-piano-hands-75149

Photo credit

Kids have to read for school. But some children love to read for fun. There are thousands of books out there for every age group. You can usually do a search online at the Kindle store for different themes and genres by age. And many eBooks are free to download and read as often as you like. You might worry that reading isn’t a very active thing to do. But all kids need some quiet time too. And you can always balance the time spent sitting with more energetic activities they might have read about!

You can usually spot a creative child from quite a young age. They might tell you tall tales. Or maybe they like to draw and paint. Building with blocks and tea parties with Ted can also be signs your child has an active imagination and creative streak. It’s often a good idea to find productive hobbies to nurture these natural skills. Write a story. Make a doll’s house. Find out what your child can learn to love as a hobby today.

Posted in Family | Leave a comment