Knitting Pattern: Aviator Hat with Chin Strap

1 Feb

This pattern will make a hat to fit approximately 9 – 18mos.

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Materials:
1 skein Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (Super Bulky Weight)
size 10 needles, set of dpns and 16″ circular
tapestry or darning needles for weaving ends and sewing on buttons
3 buttons approximately 1″ in diameter (2.5cm)

Make Earflap A:
CO 3 sts
Row 1: k3
Row 2: kfb, k3, kfb
Row 3: k5
Row 4: kfb, k5, kfb
Row 5: k7
Row 6: kfb, k7, kfb
Row 7: k9
Break yarn and place stitches on stitch holder (or you can just leave them on the needle).

Make Chin Strap + Earflap B:
CO 3 sts
Rows 1 – 3: k all sts
Row 4: k1, BO 1 stitch, k1
Row 5: k1, CO 1 stitch, k1
Rows 6 – ?: knit garter stitch until strap is desired length. This was 7.5″ for me or about 40 rows but I realized I probably should have made it shorter, more like 35 rows.
Row 41: repeat rows 2 – 7 like Earflap A but do not break yarn.
Row 47: k9, CO 7 sts, move the reserved stitches from Earflap A onto needles and k the 9 sts.
Rows 48 – 50: k all sts
Break yarn and place stitches on stitch holder

Make Forehead Flap:
CO 15 sts
Rows 1 – 14: k all sts (this should measure approximately 2.5″)
At this point you are going to join this flap with the earflaps and start knitting in the round
Row 15: k across the 15 sts of Forehead Flap, CO 3 sts, move reserved stitches from earflaps onto needles and k the 25 sts, CO 3 sts, place a marker and join in the round.
Rounds 16 – 22: Knit all round in garter stitch (now that you’re knitting in the round this means purling one round to the marker, knitting one round, and alternating in this manner. These 6 rounds should have added about 1.5″ to the whole piece.
Remaining rounds: knit stockinette stitch about 1..5″ and then start decreases.

Decrease Rounds (switch to dpns when necessary):
Round 1: [k2tog, k7]*, repeat to last 10 sts, k2tog, k8
Round 2: k all sts
Round 3: [k2tog, k6]*, repeat to last 9 sts, k2tog, k7
Round 4: k all sts
Round 5: [k2tog, k5]*, repeat to last 8 sts, k2tog, k6
Round 6: k all sts
Round 7: [k2tog, k4]*, repeat to last 7 sts, k2tog, k5
Repeat round 7 until you have decreased to 16 sts, then k2tog all the way around. You should have 8 sts remaining. Break yarn and draw through these 8 sts.

Finishing:
Weave in all ends and sew on buttons (see photos for reference).

Notes:
You could incorporate button holes into the forehead flap in the appropriate places if you want to be able to unbutton it.And if you come across any mistakes while following this pattern, I would like to know so I can correct it before others attempt to follow it.

If you’re not a knitter or you don’t have the time to make your own, you can buy some in my shop! Visit Bebe Bijou Boutique on etsy.com. Also, you may reproduce these for sale as long as they are reproduced by you, in your home and design credits go to Bebe Bijou Boutique. You may not, however, reproduce this pattern for sale. If you would like to share the pattern please refer (or link) directly to this post. Thanks for looking!

I shared this pattern with the following link parties:
five days five ways | because every day is different

Sewing Tutorial: Wall Storage Pocket

25 Jan

This project was born of a need to have an area where my husband’s and daughter’s hats could be stashed. My husband seems to have trouble keeping up with his own hats and I always find an overabundance of wee hats and mittens in my purse or on the dining table.

This is the first pocket I made and it’s hanging on a wall in our kitchen so that things can be tossed in or fished out just as we are leaving the house. It’s nice to finally have all of my critter’s accessories in one place. It apparently isn’t large enough because things keep spilling out. I guess I should mention that my daughter has a knitted hat for every day of the week.

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I decided to make a larger pocket for my daughter’s toys which I’m featuring in this tutorial. I used old sheets for both since sheet fabrics tend to have a tighter weave and therefore more durability (oh yeah, and you can get them pretty cheap at thrift stores).

Materials:
Approx 1 yard of fabric or upcycled bedsheets
Interfacing
Eyelets or grommets and a tool to install them
Obvious things like needle, thread, scissors, etc.

This is the basic shape of the pocket that I came up with. All of the measurements you see include a 1/4″ seam. Cut 2 of this shape from your fabric and cut 1 of this shape from the interfacing.

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Fuse or baste interfacing to the wrong side of one of your fabric pieces. (I suppose the interfacing could be skipped, but it will really help make the pocket sturdy. I even added a layer of batting to the first pocket I made, but chose not to for this particular one.) After applying interfacing, put both fabric pieces right sides together and stitch 1/4″ seam all the way around, leaving about a 5-8″ opening for turning (my opening was at the top). Clip your corners, turn the project right side out through the opening and press the entire thing flat while also carefully pressing in the seam allowance at the opening. You can either blind stitch across the opening or just top stitch it closed about 1/8″ from the edge. Be sure that you backstitch at both ends.

Finger press the ‘tab’ and pin it to what would be considered the ‘back’ of the pocket.

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I pinned the tab to the outside for this tutorial but you can pin it to the inside as well. (This photo shows the whole project flipped over so you’re looking at the back.)

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You will want to stitch these tabs on and it may take some maneuvering to get it through your machine (I actually had to use my quilting foot for the first pocket I made because I had to feed the pocket in diagonally as it was too awkward to go in straight.) Make sure you backstitch both ends! You don’t want pressure from a full pocket undoing this seam.

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Insert a couple of eyelets at the top. Alternately, you could use your machine to make small reinforced button holes.

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Hang your pocket on the wall.

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Fill with goodies!

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Thanks for checking out this tutorial! It was shared with the following link parties:

five days five ways | feature friday free for all

I’m a Slacker

18 Jan

So I know that I promised a tutorial or pattern or something every Friday but I have had a very frustrating week in sewing. Or maybe it’s that I thought I need to become reacquainted with my seam ripper. I’ll probably expand more on this later but if I put this project down now I will more than likely be too pissed off at it to want to finish it later. So, ciao until next week.

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Tutorial: Add Knitted Patches to Children’s Pants

11 Jan

I wasn’t sure what sort of tutorial I would post this Friday and as I was thinking about it through the week, Friday just kept getting closer and closer and I still hadn’t organized anything to post. And then I was folding my daughter’s clothes last night and something about a pair of her pants reminded me of a project I’ve had in mind for a while.

We love love love these pants. The tag reads Baby Gap but we got them second-hand at a children’s clothing swap. They are such a perfect fit: I don’t have to roll the bottoms and they accommodate her cloth diaper butt. There is only one problem. And it’s such a tiny tiny problem. Can you see it?

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There is this microscopic hole in the knee (it was there when we inherited them) and now that my daughter is walking, running, climbing, and sometimes falling, I thought it might be time to try and make a patch that would serve two purposes: cover the hole and cushion her knees during future falls.

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So, here’s my fix. I knitted two swatch-size squares from some organic cotton yarn in my stash. The yarn is worsted weight and I used size 8 needles. CO 15 sts and knit stockinette stitch for 15 rows. BO purlwise. I also slip the first stitch of every row to make the edges look smooth. Make two of these.

When the patches have been knitted up, you don’t have to worry about weaving in ends because they can just get tucked underneath. Flip the patch over and try to fold the corners so that they look rounded on the right side.

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Pin the patches over the knees and be sure they are straight.

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Thread the smallest possible darning needle you can manage with the same yarn and sew the patches on. If you use the same yarn, you don’t have to be careful about making the sewing look invisible on the patch. If you’re using thread or a smaller weight of yarn, be sure that you make the stitches look hidden under the face of the patch.

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Here’s what the inside should look like.

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You could simply tie a knot with both ends of your ‘thread’ on the inside, but you don’t want your child to feel that knot every time they land on their knees. I pulled both ends through to the front and very very carefully wove these ends into the face of the patch (without sewing back through the pants).

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Done! Aren’t they cute?

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And if you’re a good knitter (and by this, I mean behaviorally and not skillfully), you probably have a lot of gauge swatches laying around that you could put to good use as patches. (Just a note on this: I really hate taking the time to knit gauge swatches. And sometimes I end up with little girl sweaters or little girl socks that are just too small. Or way too big. I call myself a bad knitter.) Hope you enjoyed!

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I shared this tutorial with the following link parties:
five days five ways | because every day is different

Sewing Tutorial: Faux-Ruched Headband

4 Jan

What is a ruche, really? A seamstress once told me that ruching is always done with elastic, either sewing with elastic thread or by sewing in elastic to create a gather. Is this correct? I really don’t know. I own no elastic thread to speak of and am really not fond of sewing with elastic, but I wanted to create the illusion of a fancy, ruched headband. This piece is made, quite simply, with two long gathers. But ‘faux-ruched’ sounds way cooler than ‘gathered’, (you know, being French and all), doesn’t it?

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For this tutorial I’ve tried to combine images so that this doesn’t seem like such a lengthy process because it’s really not. You should be able to whip a couple of these out in just 30 minutes. If you need to see any of the images larger you can click on them and it will pull it up in flickr where you can zoom in.

Materials:
fabric scrap, at least 24″x1 1/2″
bias tape, about 1 1/2 yds of 1/2″ single fold would be best
thread, scissors, iron, etc.

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Cut a strip of fabric about 1.5″ wide by a suitable length of your choosing. The best way to determine how long this should be is by measuring your own head in the area the headband would sit. I’m making this for my daughter whose head measures a little over 19″. I added some inches to account for the gathers and cut my strip 24″ long. It’s fine to cut it as short as 18″ (even for an adult head), it just means you will have to cut more length for the ties in the back. After cutting this strip, press it in half lengthwise, but this is only really necessary for the tips, about 6″ or so.

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Now you’re going to cut a diagonal so that the ends of your headband come to a point, but it’s best if it’s not too pointy. I held my ruler so that it was about 1/8″ from the fold near the ends and at a diagonal to about 5″ from the ends. (Excuse the green glow, but I wanted to be sure you could see the text in the photo.) Be sure that you are not cutting off the fold and that it remains intact. You’re cutting the other side. When you’ve cut both ends it should look like the image on the right. At this point you can press the ends flat again or just start sewing.

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When making gathers, you should turn the tension knob or dial on your machine all the way to one end or the other. I generally set mine at zero. This isn’t necessary, but it will make pulling the gathers a lot easier.

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Starting and finishing 5″ from the end, sew a gather on each side. I made mine at 1/8″ because of the width of my bias tape and if you are using 1/2″ single-fold you should sew yours at 1/8″ too. If you want the fabric gathered the entire length of the strip, you can do that too.

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When you’ve sewn a gather on each side, BE SURE YOU RESET THE TENSION DIAL ON YOUR MACHINE! Or you’ll be ripping stitches and cursing.

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Start gathering the fabric. It might be hard to see, but I put a pin halfway lengthwise so I could fold it in half and check that it was gathered the same on both sides. The bottom image is what yours should look like. Did you reset your tension dial? Better double check.

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Now you’re going to start sewing bias tape onto one side of the headband. I’ve gotten out of the habit of pinning things as you will see in my photos, but that’s really just because I needed to break the habit of putting pins in my mouth. I read somewhere that a lady inhaled a pin and it punctured her lung. I don’t know if it’s true, but it scared me a little and I’ve decided I should try not to put pins in my mouth. Apparently, it didn’t scare me enough to stop doing it because I still catch myself cramming three or four in just before I need to use them. So if I don’t pin, they don’t end up there. Simple. Your tape should overhang the end just a little (it will get snipped off later, but you don’t want to accidentally sew it just short of the end). My seam here was 1/4″.

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Flip the headband over and now you’re going to sew the reverse side of the bias tape. All of these photos are just to show you my fold, hold and feed method but you could alternately pin the tape in place and sew with either side face up.

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Now you’re going to sew bias tape to the other side of the headband but you will need to add some tape to make a tie. For this particular headband, I started 10″ from the end of my bias tape and started sewing to the tip of the headband. If you’re looking at the photo on the left, imagine 10″ of bias tape hanging from the top. You will sew this on like the first time, except you should hold/pin it at a slight angle so that a little triangle of the raw ends of bias and headband are to your right. You’ll see why later. You also need to do this at the end of the headband as the middle photo shows. Then cut your tape 10″ from the end of the headband.

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This next photo shows you why I hold the tape at an angle. When you flip everything over and flatten the bias tape you can see that those raw ends will be neatly encased in the new piece of bias tape you are adding.

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Those little ends should be trimmed before you start sewing the back side of the bias tape. Just cut so there is no overhang or you’ll end up with some bulk under the bias tape.

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Before you start sewing, you need to fold the tips of the tie so that no raw edges will be seen when you’re finished. I do this but folding and finger-pressing down about 1/4″, then folding the sides in toward the middle, then folding in half. See how nice and neat it turns out? Repeat with the other end of the tie and sew this length of bias tape in place starting at the tip of one tie and ending at the other. Be sure you backstitch at both ends and that all of the raw edges are tucked in.

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I’m still using my fold, hold and sew method.

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Trim all of the excess thread and you’re done!

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The wrong side of the fabric is visible on what would be the ‘inside’ of the headband, but this doesn’t matter. You could make the whole thing with another strip of fabric facing out so that the headband is reversible.

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Tie it onto your sweetie (or yourself) and snap a few photos! This next photo shows the first headband I made and you can tell my daughter wasn’t too keen on being a model this day.

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There are so many ways you can customize this headband. Make it reversible? Add a rosette? I would love to see what you’ve made, so please upload photos of your projects to the flickr photo group for this tutorial.

If you’re not a sewer (sewist?) or you don’t have the time to make your own, you can buy some in my shop! Visit Bebe Bijou Boutique on etsy.com. I encourage you to make your own to sell in your home-based business (but please notify me if you do). If you would like to share the tutorial please refer (or link) directly to this post. Thanks for looking!

Also, I’m new to the idea of link parties, but I’m trying to increase my fan-base. So I’ve linked up with this group:
five days five ways | because every day is different

DIY Mason Jar Sippy Cup

31 Dec

I always get asked about my daughter’s ‘redneck’ sippy cup when we are at restaurants or in stores so I figured I could share a quick tutorial on how I made it. It’s what you see pictured here.

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a preference to drink from a glass over plastic. There’s something about the plastic that kind of smells when you hold it up to take a sip and makes your beverage taste a little like that too. Could be all the chemicals.

So, naturally, when my child started needing to drink something besides boobie milk, I searched and searched for a safe sippy cup and found a very small selection of them, but many of them were still made in China (another thing I try and avoid). We did try the glass bottle with sippy top from Life Factory (made in Italy) but my daughter wasn’t catching on to the fact that she had to tip it back to get water out which meant we were having to hold it for her any time she needed water.

After a couple of trials, this is what I came up with: a Ball-brand mason jar (made in USA) with a Zo-li silicone straw (silicone is BPA and phthalate-free). I love this straw because you have to bite and suck to get water out which made my daughter slow down when drinking and it has a ceramic ‘marble’ on the end so that no matter which way she tipped the jar, the end of the straw was always in the water. Find some here. So I drilled a couple of holes in a canning lid, slipped a straw in and had my own homemade sippy cup.

Then I found out that Ball-brand canning lids and bands are not made in the USA and potentially have BPA. I was informed that the BPA is not released until you are actually canning (high temps from a pressure cooker or boiling pot) but didn’t want to take any chances. The metal lid was also rusting at the point where I cut into it, which can’t be all that good.

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So, the next best thing I could conjure up was to use a plastic (BPA and phthalate-free) canning lid from Tattler (made in USA). No rust. No contaminants. No fuss. Nice thing, too, is that Tattler has a ‘sample’ package that contains 2 regular-mouth lids and 2 wide-mouth lids with the rubber rings for only $2.50, free shipping. Buy your own here.

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Okay, lengthy explanation aside, here’s what you need to get started:
power drill with drill bits for plastic
mason jar
tattler canning lid with rubber ring (or a metal one if you’re in a hurry to make this)
metal canning band
silicone straw

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This is what my drill bit set said: Split Point Titanium Coated for wood, metal, or plastic. Whatever you have, I would just make sure they are okay to use with plastic.

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Place the canning lid and rubber ring on the jar and screw down the metal band. This is just to hold everything in place so you won’t have to ask your husband to help.

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I used the largest bit I have to make a hole for the straw (5/16″).

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Then I used the smallest bit to make a hole to vent air (1/16″). This is necessary or you won’t be able to suck any water through the straw.

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Before you put everything together I would recommend scalding the glass, the canning lid and rubber ring and also cleaning the straw as the directions indicate. Check for any bits of plastic around the holes that might still be hanging on and pull or sand them off. Then you will very carefully pull the straw through the larger hole by rocking it back and forth. Basically, you don’t want to crack the plastic lid and you also don’t want to tear through the silicone in the straw. In the photos, you can see there are two ‘necks’ to the straw and one needs to sit above the lid and the other below.

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Fill it with water and test it before you give it to your child. You should experience yummy tasteless water (well, unless your water has a taste).

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I was able to make this sippy cup for under $10 ($2.50 for lids/rings and $6.99 for straws with a cleaner). The price of the mason jar was negligible as we have many of these on hand, but you can probably find them really cheap at thrift stores if you don’t want to buy a case of new ones. I have noticed, unfortunately, that they are no longer offering free shipping on the straws so your cup may cost you more than $10 but at least the package comes with 2, just like the canning lids, so you’ll be able to have a back-up on hand.

By the way, there is always another question paired with ‘where did you get that?’ when people see her cup. Everyone wants to know if I’m afraid she’s going to break it. I’ll let you know that she has used the very same jar for about 7 months now and has dropped (er…thrown?) it several times from her high chair to our linoleum floor and it has yet to break.

Also, if you’re looking for an adult version of this sippy, check out Cuppow for a plastic lid that’s also made in the USA and all that other good stuff.

Wait, so why wouldn’t I just use one of those instead of drilling holes in other lids and creating work for myself? The cuppow lid that’s made for a straw has a diamond-shaped opening that I’m not sure will be compatible with the silicone straw. If you try the cuppow with a Zo-li straw, I would love to know.

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Recipe: High-Altitude Oatmeal Surprise Cookies

30 Dec

There really isn’t much of a surprise to these cookies, but it seems standard for ‘surprise’ to get put in a name anytime there is something strange or different added. So, the surprise is really just a handful of walnuts and a shake of coconut from a bag, but it adds so much dimension to your run-of-the-mill oatmeal cookies. This recipe is adapted from the Quaker Oats recipe you get on the inside of the lid, but with some special little changes. They should come out a little soft and chewy in the middle but slightly crispy on the outside.

High-Altitude Oatmeal Surprise Cookies

Ingredients:
1/4 lb salted butter (1 stick), room temp
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (2.5oz)
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (2.5oz)
1 tsp vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut

1. Cream butter with the sugars, stir in egg and vanilla.

2. Mix the flours, gluten, b. soda and cinnamon. Combine with wet ingredients and stir until everything is thoroughly mixed.

3. Fold in remaining ingredients: oats, raisins, walnuts and coconut.

4. Refrigerate dough at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.

5. Bake on parchment-lined or greased cookie sheet approximately 12-14 minutes.

Notes: You can use unsalted butter, but throw in a dash of salt with the flour if you do. Also, I always weigh my flour and at 5800ft it seems 1cup = 5oz is pretty accurate. If you are baking these at sea level, reduce the flour slightly and adjust the baking time. And I tend to add gluten any time I’m using whole wheat flour when things aren’t normally intended to be baked with whole wheat flour (like cookies). Otherwise, you might end up with a total fail.

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