Archive for June, 2009

Unpadded Padded Footlets

I finished a knitting project!  And it is for myself, which is rare.  So I am excited to share the news.  I suppose the 90 degree days do not call for sock-wearing, but these are made of a spongy cotton blend that is very comfortable.  I like this yarn a lot.  It is KnitPicks Risata in Buttermilk.  My modification details are on my Ravelry page.  I didn’t do the padding.  I got too frustrated and I had to modify the overall size, so I left it out.

Footlets - 3Footlets - 4I’m planning to make a miniature pair for Claire soon.  But this week, I am putting my projects on hold while I help my sister paint their new home.  However, I can always put in a few minutes of relaxing knitting in the evening while Collin and I veg’ together.  I’ve been watching a lot of “House Hunters International” lately and dreaming about a getaway apartment in Paris.  I have noticed, though, that the people buying places like this do not have children.  I joked to Collin, If Claire goes to the Naval Academy (free tuition), we can get a Paris apartment.   He did not like that idea at all!  You can always identify an Academy parent by the Navy license plate on their shiny, new SUV.


Not so easy . . .

Um, my next post will NOT be the pattern for the Girly Jimbei because it is really hard to make a pdf file of patterns! Whew, my head is spinning. But it is not impossible and I will figure it out. It will just take a little longer than I thought.
I found this helpful tutorial on how to do it at Burda Style.

Until then, here’s a picture of Chuffy playing Scrabble.  He beats me everytime!


Girly Jimbei

Girly Jimbei - 8Here is a pair of Girly Jimbei with ruffles and a curved hem.  I also put ruffles on the shorts.  What is very satisfying about sewing for Claire is that she is starting to know that I am making things just for her.  She likes the special clothing and when she puts it on she smooths it out with her hands and says, “CUUUUTE!”

Girly Jimbei - 13
These take longer than the classic Jimbei because of the ruffles and puff sleeves, but worth the extra work for a little girl.  Being a girl takes time!  I wish I could throw on a polo shirt and khakis and look good and never be out of style, but I can’t.  I need a few “embellishments.”

I am going to add directions and a pattern for these Girly Jimbei in the very next post! (Update:  Making a pdf file for a pattern is beyond my capabilities at this point.  I need to learn a bit more first. Sorry!)

For a classic Jimbei pattern in Japanese, head to Fabric Tales, a very nice online fabric store.  They cut the fabric absolutely straight!  I really appreciate that.  It saves a lot of time and there is no wondering if you got the yardage you paid for.  This fabric is from Hancock Fabrics, where the saleswoman cut a little extra to make up for any unevenness, which is nice, too.

Stay tuned for my first free pattern!  I’m very excited to share something at last.

Girly Jimbei - 05

Little Achievements

The blogs I like best “celebrate”, whether it is a finished project or a new friend made or a pretty day.  You don’t see the whole life of the person, just the little bits.  You have to imagine the rest.  If you read my diary, you would see all my woes and despairs (with my hand held limply to my forehead and my eyes uplifted in a dramatic pose).  But I’d rather not bore my four readers 🙂 with that.  At the Amber Jamboree, I want to celebrate!

I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for the following achievements today:

1. Getting through a shopping trip with Claire with the help of this entertainment:

little achievements - 3They are called “yogurt covered snacks” and I know, they really are just candy!  Sorry Mimi and Nana!

2. Learning that bias tape is not just for decoration.  (So that’s why the elastic wouldn’t fit through the casing.  I had to turn the bias tape completely under the leg opening.  Now it’s fixed!)

little achievements - 1

3. After three different sleeve designs, I figured out a really cute one.  And now the Girly Jinbei are finished!

The print was inspired by Claire’s devotion to The Aristocrats.  “Everybody wants to be a cat . . .”

Girly Jimbei - 14

4.  I learned how to use the monograming feature on my new machine and made these little pockets for the aprons that Natalie and Claire will wear.

little achievements - 2

I hope these aprons will inspire me to host the Toddler Art Party I have been musing about.  I should call it a Toddler Art Jamboree!

5.  I downloaded some really cute, free bookplates.  I’m going to swap books with Dacia and bookplates will make returning her books much easier.  Plus, I just love bookplates!

helen_dardik_bookplate_2You can download some for yourself at her cool website:  Orange You Lucky.  Scroll through the comments to find out how to download and resize on a mac.

It was a good day for little things!

Boxer Shorts

boxer shorts - 2

For Father’s Day this year, The Old Man at Sea will receive two new pairs of boxers.  My brother-in-law is getting a handmade pair, too.  As TOMAS was packing, I stole a worn-out pair from his sea bag to rip apart and make a pattern from.  I don’t know how this stretched-out pair stayed up on his scrawny hips, but he said any clean pair would do.  I guess when they wash clothes on the ship, they come back even dirtier.  

These boxers have a saggy bottom, which seems very comfortable, but also meant one extra piece to sew.  The edges of each piece were pressed 1/4″ to the right side or wrong side, then matched up (a wrong-side pressed edge laid on top of a right-side pressed edge), pinned, and sewn with two parallel lines of topstitching.  I believe a welt seam is what this is, except that I didn’t follow the directions for that.  Next time, I think it would be faster without doing this (the last, fastest pair took 2 hours) but it is supposed to be a very strong seam and it looks good on the wrong side, too.  


Construction Details:
  • Sushi print and Airplanes from Whipstitch Lounge
  • Houses and flags print from The Fabric Hut
  • Pattern from old pair of The Old Man’s Old Navy boxers.
  • Interesting note:  the hip and leg opening measurements were the same on the size 32 as the size 36-38 and only the elastic was a different length.  So, I used the same pattern for both guys.  Thank goodness! 

Japanese Pajamas for Toddlers

IMG_1515This week’s project was to create a new set of “Jinbei” for Claire.  Jinbei are traditionally worn by men, women and children during the summer time, in the evening or night.  Wikipedia says you can collect your mail while wearing them.  🙂  What I find so great about children’s jinbei is that you can let out the tuck sewn in the shoulders to allow for another year of wearing.  

Claire's Jinbei - 9It’s looks a little 80’s right now, but it lies down flat after wearing and washing.

The top is your basic kimono top with bias tape for the neckline and tie. Usually jinbei have a wider (about 1 inch) tape applied to the neckline, but I wanted to streamline it by making the ties and the neckline the same width. The bottoms are garden-variety shorts.  I put side slits on the jinbei top for the after-dinner somersaulting that goes on here.  It’s an athletic jinbei.

jinbei 1

Construction Details
  • Fabric:  Japanese double gauze cotton (Minny Muu in Orange dot) purchased from the very friendly Whipstitch Lounge.
  • Size: 1-2 years old.  You let out the shoulder tucks when it gets too small.
  • Bias tape made from a soft quilting cotton.
  • Pattern:  To Be Continued . . .  I will provide a free pattern as soon as I learn how to make a PDF file!

Sewing Tools

Here is my makeshift lightbox:  a glass coffee table with a light underneath.  It works pretty good with daylight under the glass, too.

sewing tools 1

And here is my new way to organize sizable scraps of fabric.  I could even layer a few of these $10 shoe organizers from Lowe’s.  But I’m not a stashaholic–yet.

sewing tools 2


Coming soon:  Japanese Pajamas for Toddlers!