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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Heather Ross Sneak Peek & STC Craft Giveaway

Edit: You have to go to the STC Craft blog to leave the comment to possibly win a book. Good luck!

Heather Ross: Far, Far Away for Kokka
If you haven't checked out Heather Ross' sneak peek of her upcoming line, Far, Far Away — it's extra special good with sprinkles on top. Makes me consider a third in hopes of spawning a girl child.


Melanie Falick over at STC Craft is wanting to know what you are making for your Handmade Holiday. Five lucky commenters will win an STC book of their choice. I've got my eye on AlterKnits Felt. That rug! Oo la la, as my two-year-old would say.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Sweater Apron Winner is...

There's a lot going on over here. So, without making anyone wait any longer, I'm stopping in to announce the winner of the Sweater Apron Give-away.

Congratulations, Joanna! Unfortunately, I don't have a link to contact you. Oh, the joys of using Blogger (see more about this below).

This is Joanna's sweet comment:

"I love this tutorial, and I really love the orange halter version! I linked to your giveaway and tutorial on my just need to scroll down past the top post...I love your blog and have added you to my blogroll, if you don't mind..."

So, Joanna, please email me with your mailing address and I'll send the apron off. I hope you don't mind it's not the orange one.


About Blogger:

I'm furiously working on redesigning (about time, no?) and setting up my blog using WordPress, and if all goes well I'll be able to switch over seamlessly, without anyone needing to update RSS feeds. This change will make it so that I can easily reply to comments, which has always been Blogger's downfall. Don't they know we like to have dialog?

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Kids Sweater-Apron Tutorial (Re-visited) & Give-Away


Remember my Kids Sweater-Apron Tutorial from a while back? Well, I decided to post the entire thing over here on my blog, instead of redirecting everyone over to my Flickr. It's another one of my ploys to draw readership and get to know more about my readers (last time I got to meet so many lurkers — fun). And, just to make it exciting for youz guyz, there's going to be another give-away. Since my sons love the original two aprons, I've made up another one (solid gray with stripe-y pocket and navy trim) for the lucky winner. This time it's cashmere — what it lacks in density and structure it makes up for in softness — mmmmmmm, cashmere. It's big enough for a five-year-old, but could be worn by someone more wee.

Same rules apply: leave a comment on this post, AND, link back to this tutorial on your blog or flickr. In about a week, I'll have a kid pick a name out of a bowl. I'll post a reminder with the actual cut-off time before then.


Green Kitchen's


One shrunken adult-sized wool sweater
Seam binding or other edge trim
Buttons (optional)
Sewing machine
Thread to match or contrast

Getting Started: The Rough Cut
Step 1: The Rough Cut
Take one fulled/felted/shrunken sweater, and, using pinking shears, cut along the seams to separate the pieces (front, back, sleeves). You should be able to make two aprons out of one sweater. Hold the body piece of sweater up to the recipient for sizing. Make adjustments to length, width, neck shaping, etc. This sweater was just right for my son, so I didn't alter the shape. The second apron I made (see end of this post) was a slightly different design with more altering. Use your imagination and let the sweater give you ideas for what works best.

Trim Seams
Step 2: Trim the Seams
Trim off any thick seams. You only want to have one thickness of sweater to work with.

Make it Symmetrical
Step 3: Even Things Out
Fold sweater piece in half vertically to make sure the sides are symmetrical. Trim where necessary.

Choose a Binding
Step 4: Choose a Binding
I used a polyester knit seam binding because that is what I had around. Having a knit binding is important because you need to stretch the binding around the thick sweater edge. I'm sure you could do it with a woven, but you'd need to make sure it's pretty wide to take the sweater thickness into account. Make sure you have enough binding before you start sewing. Don't trim it until you have sewn it on.

Sew Binding to Back
Step 5: Sew Binding to Back
On wrong side of sweater, zigzag stitch the seam binding around the apron. Try to keep the stitching close to the edge of the sweater, so, that when you turn the binding to the other side, it gets hidden by the binding. I went quickly and some of my zigzag shows on the front.

Miter Corner
Step 6: Miter Corner
At corners, lift foot and miter the corner of the binding. Lower foot and continue. The knit binding is pretty forgiving, so I didn't worry too much about making perfect corners. I just tried to not have obvious gaps or lumps.

Binding End
Step 7: Binding Off
When you get all the way around the apron, trim off extra seam binding, leaving a couple inches for finishing.

Cut Corners
Step 8: Cutting Corners
Because of the thickness of the sweater, clip the corners to make it less bulky before finishing the binding.

Binding Front
Step 9: Binding Front Side
Fold seam binding over to the front of the apron and straight stitch it close to the edge of the binding.

Seam Binding End
Step 10: Seam Binding Finish
This is how I finished off my binding. It's not beautiful, but I couldn't really think of something else to do to make it look better without doing some hand stitching. I zigzagged the end, overlapped, and stitched. Folding over the end would have made it much too bulky.

Neck Strap & Ties
Step 11: Neck Strap & Ties
To ready the seam binding for the neck strap and apron ties, I zigzag stitched the seam binding to itself so that it wouldn't flap open. You could leave this step out if you are in a hurry. You can see by my uneven stitching that I was in a bit of a hurry.

Neck Strap
Step 12: Attach Neck Strap
Fold over ends of neck strap and stitch to sweater fabric just under the binding at the shoulders. I didn't stitch the neck strap to the binding because I didn't want it to show on the front. This made for a bit of extra work because I ended up hand stitching the front of the neck strap to the shoulder of the apron to avoid the gap.

Apron with Neck Strap
Step 13: Strapped
This is the back of the apron after the seam binding and neck strap are attached.

Fashion a Pocket
Step 14: Fashion a Pocket or Two
I used one of the sweater sleeves to make the pockets. A contrasting sweater piece could also be nice. Cut along the seam on the sleeve to see what you have to work with.

Layout Pockets
Step 15: Lay Out Pockets
I used the sleeve cuff for the little top pocket and the bulk of the rest of the sleeve for the big pocket. Trim pockets to fit, making sure to square them up as you go. Use your creativity when choosing pocket placement, size, and orientation.

Pocket Detail
Step 16: Pocket Detail
The little pocket at the top is made from the sleeve cuff. Since it's edge is already finished I didn't do any seam binding, just turned the edges on three sides and top stitched.

Pocket Binding
Step 17: Pocket Binding
The big pocket needed a finished edge on the open side, so I put some seam binding on it, same as the apron edge. But, this time, I just ran a zigzag stitch on the front.

Sewing Pocket
Step 18: Sewing Pocket
Pin pockets in place and then sew, hand turning the seam, and top stitching about 1/8 inch from edge. At the top of the pocket, where the binding is, I did a bunch of reinforcing stitches so it wouldn't tear out.

Apron Ties
Step 19: Sewing Ties
To make the apron ties, cut two equal lengths of seam binding. I guessed on length and they turned out a little long. Just make sure they're not too short. I attached the straps directly to the binding on the back side. It seemed like the strongest place and I didn't mind that it would show on the front because it's an area that is mostly hidden. Reinforce with many back and forth zigzag stitches.

Tie Front
Step 20: Tie Front Attachment
This is the front of the tie attachment.

Tie End
Step 21: Tie End Finish
I zigzag stitched the end of the ties to keep them from unraveling. It's not the prettiest solution, but for a utility garment I thought it was fine.

Button Detail
Step 22: Button Detail
I attached a button to the front of the apron to cover the stitches from the neck strap.

Finished Apron
Step 23: Ta Da!
You are finished.

Blue Apron


Variations on a theme:

Because of the kind of V-neck sweater I had on hand, my next apron became a halter style one. The front pocket was large, so I divided it into one medium-sized pocket and smaller ones for putting kitchen tools.

Sweater Apron (orange)Sweater Aprons

Buon Appetito! And, don't forget the link-o.

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

And the Winner is...

Nancy of Belle Epoque — who even wrote up a post about the pincushion she made from my tutorial.

Thank you everyone who played my little give-away game. I got many delurkers out of that happy experiment. This blog gives me an endless amount of entertainment. I enjoyed that give-away so much, that I want to do a Kids Sweater Apron give-away as soon as I can sew one up.

In another subversive attempt at boosting stats, I will to be pulling in my stray tutorials and re-posting them on my blog. The sweater tute has been living over at Flickr and that just doesn't boost ye olde blogge stats, mwah-ha-ha. [Amusing oneself while riding the world's longest summer vacation crazy train.]


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Giveaways and Giggles

Here's your reminder to comment & link for a chance to win this wrist pincushion. Comments will close Tuesday, September 1st, at midnight Pacific time. I'll announce a winner on the Wednesday after.

Here's the guy that makes me smile everyday. He climbed up and over to get into the sink/refrigerator section of our play kitchen. He would open the door to slide out, then do it again.

And, something to make you laugh. That's my sexy beast, and I'm proud of it. More biergarten pictures here.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Wrist Pincushion Tutorial and Give-away

I have listened to all your suggestions about how to make Green Kitchen a more fun and exciting crafty place to be, and I have decided that more tutorials = a better craft blog (good for you). Also, more tutorials = a boost to my viewership and technorati rankings at the same time (good for me). And, to make this post even more fun, it's also a GIVEAWAY, which makes this a win-win-win situation. The only rules are: first, that you need to leave me a comment telling me that you have linked to this tutorial, and, second, that you actually link to the tutorial. If you only have a Flickr account and no blog, you can add a link there. No blog? Maybe now is the time to start one up. I'll be choosing a winner in about a week. I'll announce the final deadline time soon. Now, don't you want the cutest, Little Red Riding Hood pincushion ever? Go ahead, link a mother up.




Embroidered Ribbon (a piece about 2 x 10 inches)
Embroidery Floss (in a complementary color)
Cardboard (I used a piece from an old seam binding package)
1/2 Inch Elastic (long enough to go around your wrist, plus a couple inches)
Stuffing (I used polyfil, but I'm sure wool would be great.)
Heavy Duty Thread (for attaching the elastic to the pincushion, I used Coats & Clark's button thread)

Step 1: Choose your ribbon. It needs to be at least a couple inches wide.

Step 2: Using pinking shears, cut the ribbon to size — about ten inches long.

Step 3: Fold the ribbon over on the back side. You'll want a bigger, stuffing end and a shorter, flap closure end.

Step 4: Prepare your thread. I used two strands of embroidery floss.

Step 5: Starting at the bottom corner of the bigger end, put the needle from the inside to the outside of one of the corners. This is the beginning of the blanket stitch.

Step 6: Blanket stitch along the long end. Working from front to back, put the needle through both layers of ribbon starting about 1/8 inch away from the corner, while making sure to keep the end of the thread behind the needle. Pull thread tight, but not so tight that it starts to bunch up the ribbon. If you need more instruction: Alice at futuregirl has a nice blanket stitch tutorial here.

Step 7: Continue to blanket stitch, keeping stitches 1/8 inch apart, up the one side to where the doubled up ribbon ends. Tie off and cut, leaving enough thread to tuck in later.

Step 8: Do the same on the other side. Tie off thread, again leaving enough to tuck in later.

Step 9: To make sure you don't poke pins through the pincushion and into your wrist, you'll need to make some wrist protection. Cut a piece of thin cardboard to fit inside the sewn ribbon, making sure the flap still has enough room to have its end turned in and sewn close.

Step 10: Cut radiused corners on the cardboard, so it doesn't poke through the ribbon.

Step 11: With the cardboard inside the ribbon, start stuffing the pincushion. The cardboard should be on the bottom side of the pincushion, the stuffing on the top side.

Step 12: Fold over the ribbon making sure there is enough to hem and overlap. If there isn't enough, you can trim the cardboard. The red lines show how the closing stitches are going to be worked.

Step 13: Starting at the top corner, work a blanket stitch down toward the closure, stopping before the end of the ribbon to make room for the finished edge.

Step 14: After folding in the ribbon end, continue the blanket stitch to the end.

Step 15: Before working across the flap, it helps to put in a pin to hold the ribbon from pulling away.

Step 16: Because it's a little easier, and won't be seen, whip stitch across to the other side. Leave the thread attached. Now, make sure the stuffing is as you want. You might need to rearrange it and add a couple pinches. If you need more instruction: Alice at Futuregirl also has a nice whip stitch tutorial here.

Step 17: Finish up the seam by blanket stitching to the end. Tie off thread and work in the end by poking the needle back through the pincushion, pulling the thread tight, and cutting the thread.
Step 18: Measure your elastic. Wrap the elastic around your wrist, making sure there is an overlap of an inch or two. Mark where the overlap ends.

Step 19: Using a strong thread, like button thread, blanket or whip stitch the elastic together along the edges. Try on for size. You want it tight enough so it doesn't slip around, but loose enough to be comfortable.

Step 20: Hiding the thread knot and end between the elastic and the pincushion, whip stitch the elastic onto the pincushion.

Step 21: Try on the finished pincushion and make slight adjustments for comfort by carefully bending the cardboard to fit the wrist.

Enjoy! And, don't forget to sign up for the give-away.

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