Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easy Cap Sleeves

Today I've got an easy way to add some cap sleeves to a sleeveless child's dress. (Note: You could do the same thing with an adolescent or adult dress as well if you can find lace trim wide enough).

I bought this lovely purple dress (pictured to the left, sans the sleeves) on Walmart.com for $5.

Alas, there were no sleeves, but I bought it knowing that I am capable of making sleeves if I put aside my laziness. Still, I really wanted to do this the easiest way possible (read: laziest way possible - I mean, the dress has been hanging in the closet unaltered and unworn for a month).

So to minimize effort, I thought that if I could match the lace trim around the neckline with some trim I have in my lace hoard I wouldn't have to 'make' my own sleeves - I could just sew the lace in place and voilĂ !

And this is what I found in my lace box, right on top:

I thought it was pretty much perfect and I only had to spend a total of two minutes in what I have endearingly christened 'the Pit of Hell' - our storage unit - finding it.

Double win.

I took a few minutes to position it the way I wanted it (you can gather it if you want - I didn't on this one. You can see in the picture that this particular lace already has gathering stitches in it - a lazy sewers dream). I just laid it in there straight and tapered the ends in at the underarms so there wouldn't be chafing.

Tapering under the arms:

I actually sewed it to the little lip on the innermost edge of the hem fold, if that makes sense. It only gave me about 1/8 of an inch worth of fabric to work with so it was pretty tight. But you can't see the stitching from the outside, which is exactly what I wanted!

Serger-like stitch on hem fold:



Sweet and perfect. My girl just looks radiant in purple.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Infamous Cupcake Hat

Ah, the infamous cupcake hat. I'm told by Stacy that the ones I've made for her two daughters always get compliments (I've made five of these hats so far, I think). To my knowledge, the original site where I found this pattern (several years ago) is no longer up. I've reproduced the pattern below, and subsequently left out all the crap that didn't need to be in there.

It should be noted that the pattern below calls for a red pompom for the cherry. The original pompom I made for my niece fell apart (her doing, no doubt), so I replaced it with a knitted cherry of my own design. The cherry and strawberry design are proprietary (i.e. secret, and what makes my hats special), so alas, you'll just have to make due with a pompom. I also have a blueberry design, but haven't actaully put them on a hat yet (everyone always requests the other fruits).

SIZE 1-4 years.


Acrylic yarn in the following colors:
Cup: 1 skein gold or tan, Worsted Weight
Frosting: 1 skein pink or cream or brown, Worsted Weight
Cherry: Scrap Red Yarn, preferrably Chunky Size
You'll need: US 7 (4.5 mm) Circular Needle (16") and set of DPNs, OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE; Large-eyed, blunt needle
Optional: Buttons, scrap yarn, beads, safety pins
GAUGE 16 sts and 22 rows = 4" in St st BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE.

Special Stitch: (MN) MAKE NUBBLE - Pull loop through the next st as if to K, then place this look on the left needle next to the original st(2sts). Pull new loop through the second st as if to K, then place loop on the left needle next to the second st (3sts). Repeat twice¡(5sts). BO 4 kwise. The fifth stitch is now on the right needle.

With Cup Color and circular needle, cast on 80 sts. Work in k2 p2 ribbing for 1 row, join in the round and continue k2 p2 for 2 inches. Switch to Frosting Color. K one row. Next row, *K1, MN. Repeat until you made one row of nubbles (40 times total). K until entire piece measures 5 1/2 inches.

Then start the decreases (switch to dpns when necessary): *K 6, k2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. *K 5, k2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. *K 4, k2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. *K 3, k2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. *K 2, k2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. *K 1, k2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. *K2tog. Repeat from * 9 more times. Continue to k2tog until 5 stitches remain. Break off yarn and thread the end through the remaining 5 stitches.

With the chunky red, make a pom pom, about 1 inch wide. Whatever looks best on your cupcake. (You should be able to find a simple pompom tutorial by Googling.)

**NOTE: If making this hat for a child 2 or under be sure to attach the beads, buttons, etc very secure. Otherwise, do not include them.

Mr. grumpy modelling a cupcake.