Thursday, November 17, 2011

Circular knitting needle case.

So, I just have to forewarn you, I'm NOT a seamstress. I'm not even sewing-inclined. Most of the time I'd rather knit than sew, but in this particular case I really needed a functional case for this purpose and a knitted one would both take forever and let my needles poke through, and the sewn one only took me 3 hours to construct. I referenced a couple other websites to help me with my lack of sewing skills... here's the video that showed me how to do the zipper pocket:
Here's the one that showed me the correct way to attach selvedge tape/bias tape/quilting whatsit that I use to finish off my edges so I don't have to worry about hemming stuff
OK so that's all the credentials.
Now for the bag. I made a basic pattern for what I wanted by drawing it out on printer paper (you'll need 5 sheets) tape 2 sheets together for the body piece. here are the measurements, everything is rectangular, so just use a ruler or tape measure and straightedge.
Body and lining piece - 16 inches wide by 8.5 inches high
Pocket 1 - 10.75 inches wide by 4.75 inches high
Pocket 2 - 10.75 inches wide by 6 inches high
Zipper pocket 8.5 inches high by 5 inches wide (this piece has ended up too large for both the cases I've made with it but I trim it later and haven't bothered to measure how much it gets trimmed)
Here's what those pieces all look like, cut out. I drew the outline of my pocket placement on the "body" piece, that's what those lines are. You don't have to do this, there's very little precision involved.

You'll need a few supplies. I got all mine at walmart - about a half a yard each of your main fabric and your liner fabric, you can also buy interfacing if you so choose. I did for the purple case but I don't feel like it helped with rigidity, I was more concerned with how sheer the white fabric was and the pattern of the main fabric showing through. It does anyway, so you can skip the interfacing unless you're really inclined to use it. You'll also need a zipper (longer than 9 inches - mine's 15. you'll cut most of it off) matching thread and 3 yards of bias tape (the quilting variety.)

Pin and cut your fabric. You'll need one of each piece of both lining and main fabric so just lay them over each other and cut both at once to save time.

With wrong sides facing, sew the 2 pieces of Pocket 1 together 1/4" from the top.

Turn them right side out, pin and sew along the top again to make that pretty 1/4" seam.
do this for both long pockets (Pocket 1 and Pocket 2) then set them aside.

With right sides facing out, sew the 2 pieces of your zippered pocket together along all 4 sides.

Pin zipper to the zipper pocket piece(right side of fabric facing up, zipper laying face down with top edge lined up as shown) and sew. I don't have a zipper foot, so my seam isn't very close to the metal part of the zipper, but make sure they're attached all the way across.

Turn the zipper up so that the right side of the fabric is up and the right side of the zipper is up as well (shown)  pin and sew to make that seam lay flat. Here's a back view.

Pin and sew a piece of bias tape to the other side of your zipper. Don't bother unfolding it, just pinch the zipper between the 2 folds of bias tape and sew straight across.

With right sides facing out, sew the lining piece and body piece together along all 4 sides.

Liner side up, measure 10 inches from left-hand side of body piece, line up BOTH long pockets (they should also be liner side up) pin and sew in place.

Flip both pockets around so that the main fabric faces out, edges should line up with the left hand side of the body piece now. If they don't, make sure the pockets lay flat and the edges can hang over and just trim the excess off later, you want  your pockets flat or your knitting needles will fall out. Pin the right-hand seam (the one you just made) and sew across again to make the edge look nice.

Sew across the left-hand side and bottom of the long pockets as well.

With your ruler, measure the length of the pockets from seam to seam and divide into thirds. Draw light lines with a pencil and sew along those lines from the bottom up to create your smaller pockets. You should now have 6.

Line up and pin the zippered pocket in place. The bias tape should be touching the longer pockets you've already attached. Sew along the bias tape 1/4" from the edge.

This is where that overly-long part of the pocket comes in. Pin the other 3 sides of the pocket to the body piece and sew them down. You can see in this picture from the back side of the work that the pocket itself overlaps by about an inch, make sure you're sewing it to the body all the way around. You will also sew over both sides of the zipper in this step - make SURE your zipper pull is inside your work when you do this or you won't be able to use it.

Trim the excess zipper as well as the overhang from the zippered pocket.

Unfold and pin the bias tape (start in the middle of the long side of your work so you don't get nasty corners, and make sure you tuck the raw end of the very beginning of your bias tape under.) pin one side, sew to 1/4" from the corner.

At the corner, just force the tape around and start pinning it to the next side, sew, and repeat for the remaining sides being sure to backstitch well at the corners so it doesn't pull up. Overlap an inch or so at the end to hide the raw edge.

When you've got the bias tape attached all the way around, begin folding your bias tape back together and pinning it in place on the other side. Make sure the crease sits flat on the side you already attached before wrapping it around. Pin it completely folded over, hiding raw edges and seams all the way around. Tuck corners neatly (ish.)

Sew around, remove pins and snip stray threads. You're done! Now you can load it up with all your junk.

I used a piece of bias tape to tie it closed for display purposes, you might want to use a piece of ribbon for yours.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Crochet Sports Bag with drawstring

I decided to make one of those drawstring sports bag backpack things but couldn't find a pattern so I made it up. Figured I'd share to save someone else the trouble. I did every 7th row double crochets because it feels like it crochets up faster but it is ok to do the whole thing in singles and you just string the straps through the corners of the bag instead of through the row of double crochets.
I used an I hook and worsted weight yarn. I chose to stripe my bag - 7 rows green 14 black 7 green and so on

Chain 40
Row 1: SC in second stitch from hook. sc in every stitch across, turn.
Row 2-7: CH1, SC in every stitch across, turn.(38) (there are 4 extra rows here to allow for a seam at the top to slip your straps through)
Row 8: CH2, DC in every stitch across, turn. (38)
Row 9-14: CH1, SC in every stitch across, turn. (38)
Row 15: CH2, DC in every stitch across, turn (38) (are you seeing a pattern yet?)
Row 16-21: CH1, SC in every stitch across, turn. (38)
Row 22: CH2, DC in every stitch across, turn (38)
Row 23-28: CH1, SC in every stitch across, turn. (38)
Row 29: CH2, DC in every stitch across, turn (38)
Repeat this pattern until you have 106 rows of 38 stitches across and account for an extra 4 rows on either end of single crochets (for the seam)
Weave in ends, fold top 4 rows over and sew across with a yarn needle to create a wide seam for your straps to string through. Sew down both sides making sure your rows match up.

For the straps, you are free to get as creative as you like. I wanted to use cord from the craft store or something similar but in favor of finishing the project sooner rather than later, I went ahead and made my own. Measure and cut 4 lengths of yarn approximately 10ft long. String through both seams (all the way around. in one side, out the other, in the other seam on the same side and out at the beginning, this enables the draw string effect) see diagram below if that doesn't make sense, and please excuse my shoddy paint image LOL.

After threading the strands of yarn through the seams, ensure all ends are even and tie a knot at the top where the strap comes out of the bag (bag should be all the way open when you do this) and braid the strands together until you get to the end. Thread through the lowest row of double crochets on the bag, tie a large knot so the strap cannot come lose. Repeat for other side.

I don't mind if you sell the products you make with my patterns, just please give me credit. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chunky beanie with textured brim

This hat is really quick and easy. i used chunky weight yarn for the hat in the picture but you can use 2 strands of worsted weight together and the hat is almost exactly the same (just slightly smaller from my experience)
Begin with a magic circle
Round 1: Ch3, dc 11 more times around circle, join.
Round 2: Ch3, dc in same stitch as joining, 2dc in each stitch around. join.
Round 3: ch3, dc in same stitch as joining, *dc in next stitch, 2 dc in following stitch, repeat from * around, join.
Round 4: Ch3, dc in same stitch as joining, *dc in next 2 stitches, 2dc in following stitch, repeat from * around, join
Round 5: Ch3, dc in same stitch as joining, *dc in next 4 stitches, 2dc in following stitch, repeat from * around, join.
Round 6: Ch3, dc in same stitch as joining, *dc in next 6 stitches, 2dc in following stitch. Repeat from * around, join.
Rounds 7-10: Ch3, dc in each stitch around, ,join.
Rounds 11-15: Ch3, *fphdc in next stitch, bphdc in following. repeat from * around, join.
Weave in ends and enjoy! You are welcome to sell hats you've made with this pattern if you so choose but please credit me for the pattern. Thank you.

If you are not familiar with magic circles, fphdc's, bphdc's or dc's, I highly recommend the video tutorials by Teresa on youtube. Here is a link to her channel: