Knitting Pattern: Baby Bag Lady Mitts and Matching Cowl

28 Dec

When I can’t quite find useful things for my daughter for sale anywhere, I’ve learned that it’s usually easier to just figure out how to make your own. Namely, fingerless baby mittens. My daughter is a lot like me in that she’s not too crazy about accessories which would include socks, mittens, hats and the like. I thought I could get her to keep her mittens on by knitting some with a little hole she could still suck her thumb through, but she still pulled them off within minutes every time I put them on her. These fingerless mittens were born of the need to keep her hands (at least a little) warm and still let her inspect rocks and leaves on our jaunts outside last fall without the mittens getting in the way. The cowl was just an afterthought and an attempt to use up some of this mustard-colored yarn I have stashed, but we actually use it more than the mitts!

This is definitely one of my favorite photos of my daughter. The hat I made was a little too big and kept slipping down over her eyes.

baby bag lady mitts and matching cowl

Making hot breath art on the glass.

baby bag lady mitts and matching cowl

Cozy, warm neck.

baby bag lady mitts and matching cowl

And this photo was taken on a different day but I wanted to show you that she really does keep them on as long as she can still play in the dirt.

baby bag lady mitts and matching cowl

And the name of this pattern is, in all seriousness, no offense to homeless women but nearly every bag lady I’ve seen portrayed on TV is wearing some version of fingerless gloves.

Materials:
2 skeins Dolce Merino DK (wool/microfiber blend)
size 9 needles, set of dpns and 16″ or 24″ circular
tapestry or darning needle for weaving ends

Notes: Seed stitch (aka moss stitch) is just [k1, p1] repeated all the way around if you are knitting an odd number of stitches in the round. If using an even number of CO sts you will need to mark the beginning of your round and switch to [p1,k1] for every other round. Otherwise, you are just making a 1×1 rib stitch.

Cowl:
Holding yarn double, using circular needle, CO 101sts and join in the round, being careful not to twist. Knit seed stitch until the piece measures about 2 1/4″. BO all sts loosely in pattern. Weave in ends.

Mitts:
Holding yarn double, using dpns, CO 21sts, distribute sts evenly onto 3 needles and join in the round, being careful not to twist. Knit seed stitch for 10 rounds. Knit stockinette stitch for 7 rounds (knit every stitch). BO 5sts and continue knitting stockinette for another 5 rounds (rejoin your round over the gap of the bound off sts). BO all sts loosely in pattern. Weave in ends.

This size will fit approximately a 9-18mo child but you can adjust the size by going up or down in needle or yarn size, using a single strand, adjusting the number of stitches, etc. Just realize that if you are trying to making these for an older child, you will need to add a thumb gusset (which is not necessary for chunky toddler wrists and hands). 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!

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DIY Reusable Snack Bag Tutorial

21 Dec

To get this blog off to a start I’m posting a tutorial for an item you can sew yourself (beginner or no).

You will need:
2 different styles of fabric, at least 7″x12″ in size each
fusible interfacing, at least 7″x12″
7″ strip of hook & loop tape (velcro)
sturdy paper for pattern
the obvious other things like scissors and thread

Start off by designing a pattern. I wanted my snack bags to have pull tabs at the top so that my daughter could open them herself with ease and I also based the size roughly on a standard ziploc snack bag which is 3.25″x6.5″ but I’m using 3″x6.5″. On top of that size, you must add seam allowance (1/4″ in my case), space for the velcro (I want the actual snack area to be snack-bag-size without velcro taking up that space), space for recessing the velcro, and space for the pull tabs. So the width of my pattern needs to be 7″ [6.5″ + (1/4″ seam allowance x 2)]. The height of my pattern needs to be 5.75″ (3″ + (1/4″ seam allowance x 2) + 3/4″ (width of velcro) + 1/4″ (space to recess the velcro) + 1.25″ (the height of my pull tab). The main rectangle of my pattern is 4.5″Hx7″W and the curved pull tab extends 1.25″ above that. Still with me? If the math is all really confusing you can just cut a rectangle 5.75″x7″ and cut some curves around the top to create a shape like this:

Use your pattern to cut out 2 pieces of interfacing, 2 pieces for the lining and 2 pieces for the outside of the pouch.

Fuse the interfacing to the 2 lining pieces using the instructions that came with the interfacing and sew the velcro in place. I pinned the velcro 1/2″ down from the top of the body section to accomodate for the recessing and the seam allowance and I sewed 3 total lines along each piece of velcro to make sure it stayed in place pretty well. Sew more if you’re worried.

Take one outer piece and one lining piece and pin them with right sides facing. Stitch 1/4″ along the top only (curved side). Repeat this step with the other 2 pieces. Then clip at the curves.

Turn both of these right side out, poking out as much of the pull tab as possible and press. Then turn both of them back inside out and pin so that the right side of the lining pieces face each other and the right side of the outer pieces face. Sew all the way around, leaving a 2 or 3″ opening at the bottom of the lining pieces (which you will use to turn everything right side out. Reinforce the gap with backstitching!! (I should have picked a contrasting thread for this tutorial, sorry.)

Clip the corners! This will help all of the corners look pointier when the pouch is complete. Just be sure you do not cut through the stitching.

Pry the velcro apart through the fabric and push everything out through the opening.

Push all of the corners out as much as possible, press, then sew the opening shut as close to the edge as possible (about 1/16″ seam) with backstitching to reinforce.

See how close my seam is?

This is roughly what your pouch should look like. Turn the lining into the outside of the pouch, press again, and topstitch 1/8″ from the top (optional).

Fill and enjoy!

It’s not as easy to take photos of things my daughter recognizes while she’s awake. She totally thought this pouch was full of treats for her.

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