Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.

Review of final 2009 crafting

Here is a quick review of the final projects I hammered out in the final few months of 2009.

For me, there was the A-line skirt that laid around for months. I finally finished it when there was snow on the ground, way to cold to wear it until summer 2010 rolls around.
I struggled over how to sew on some fabric to make the back part of the skirt as wide as it needed to be. I finally cut out some fabric and just sewed a simple seam. I can tell where the additional fabric is, but the pattern is busy so it shouldn’t matter much.
Since this was a remnant given to me by my grandmother, I shouldn’t have been too worried if I messed up or if someone noticed where I added on the additional fabric. But I did. So I kept putting of completing this relatively easy pattern.
Now I don’t know why it took my so long. This is made from Simplicity 2906.

I also made socks for myself from “I can’t believe I’m knitting Socks,” By Cindy Guggemos. I’ve spoken of this before and I love it. This pattern is the eyelet chevron.
It’s a difficult pattern, but I liked it so much, I made my mom a pair for Christmas. And I plan to make my sister a pair too. Hers will be made in variegated yarn in beige, blue and brown.
I also made Mom placemats out of quilting fabric and a wide piece of double bias tape.
Since Mom, Dad and my younger sister and brother went to Hawaii a few years ago and really enjoyed the vacation, I thought I’d try to capture that. I went in search of a pattern with palm trees. But instead I found this and fell in love with it.
It depicts all things Hawaiian, from the islands and their names, to hibiscus flowers and ukuleles.
I also made some of Chris’ family members how fiber treats.
For Anita, Chris’ sister-in-law, I made her a sleeveless hoodie.
The pattern is from “Crocheted Sweaters: Simple Stitches, Great Designs,” by Susan Huxley. I actually received that book from Anita and Richard, Chris’ brother, last year for Christmas. I thought it fitting to make a gift from it. 🙂
I made a size medium and it fit Anita pretty well. It was a little snug, but that’s what she liked about it. It wasn’t big and boxy as some crocheted sweaters tend to be. I also made the shirt longer than the pattern called for because it seemed to be pretty short.
For Chris’ dad I brushed up on my embroidery and picked out three designs to stitch onto handkerchiefs — a “B,” a snowflake and a mortar and pestle, since he’s a retired pharmacist.

I’m also finishing up a wool shawl for my mother-in-law. I didn’t get it or my sister’s socks finished in time for the holidays. But I’ll get their presents to them as soon as possible. They know they’re coming.
I also baked four zucchini, two sweet potato and two lemon poppy seed breads for
Christmas and gave them away with homemade peach honey. I’ve heard rave reviews all since Christmas. 🙂

Labor Day Weekend crafting

Since Chris and I aren’t heading to West Virginia for some camping, rafting and visiting a friend this weekend, I’m going to take the opportunity to finish up my last summer project — a skirt.

My grandma gave me a bunch of fabric from her stash lately, and besides the shorts I completed earlier this summer, I had plans to make a skirt.

I’m also in the process of teaching myself how to draft patterns. I’m excited to embark on this adventure and can’t wait to see how the ideas in my head translate onto paper.

I’m using Rene Bergh’s “How to make your own patterns: An easy step-by-step guide to making over 60 patterns.” You can buy a copy here, although I have a different edition.

I haven’t picked up a pencil and paper yet, but reading through the instructions gives me hope. I didn’t realize how easy patterns can be made, just using various measurements of your body. I figured it would be much more complicated.

Besides basic skirt, shirt and trouser patterns, the book also gives you instructions on how to make different bodice details, such as tucking, darts, gathers and cowl, boat and v-necks.

I’ll let you know how my new adventure goes into creating my own creations. The theme for my first designs is wild columbine . . . a beautiful wildflower you can find growing in rocks and crevices here in the mountains and elsewhere.

My favorite is the red columbine with a yellow center. Here’s a good photo that shows you the color. It’s so striking! I’m surprised such a color combination exists in real life.