Blooming in my garden today

by onblueberryhill on April 13, 2014

bleeding hearts 1Spring in Oregon brings bleeding hearts . . .

bleeding hearts 2

bleeding hearts 3And Mt. Fuji cherry blooms:

Mt. Fuji cherry 1

Mt. Fuji cherry 2

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Spring butterflies dress

by onblueberryhill on April 12, 2014

Spring butterflies dress 1

This was a wonderful fabric for this dress – I love how it looks almost denim, but it is incredibly lightweight – a “light, crisp drape,” as they describe it.  The fabric is Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Crossweave Indigo – I bought 4 yards of it, which was WAY too much, so I’m guessing that I only used approx. 2 yards (if that, because the fabric is 57″ wide).

Spring butterflies dress 8

The pattern is Oliver + S Hide & Seek Dress, and as with previous Oliver + S patterns, I found the sizes in the upper range to be incredibly far off.  I suspect that this company sizes their patterns based on young kids, and then just mathematically increases the proportions, without actually checking to see if they fit real kids that age.  Because my daughter just turned 9, I sized up and cut for the size 10, and cut the size 12 length for the skirt pieces.  The fit ended up almost too tight in bodice, but a little oversized in the skirt, and the length was ridiculous – even cutting the length for a size 12, I had to add a FIVE-INCH panel at the bottom, just to make it reach beneath her knees!  Since my daughter is at the 50%tile for height – that is, exactly average for a nine-year-old – I’d like to know which 12-year-old this length was sized on!

Spring butterflies dress 6

Also, this pattern was only available in downloadable form, which I’ve decided I don’t like – yes, you get it immediately, but it is a huge pain to print out the partial pattern pieces on regular-sized pieces of paper, and then to have to cut them all out, match them up, and tape them together.  I much prefer the “hard copy” patterns!

I get really frustrated with patterns that don’t have a good, accurate fit, because even though you can make adjustments as you sew, at some points, there’s just nothing you can do, especially if the pattern pieces have been cut too small.  Luckily, my sizing up worked (with the exception of having to add the bottom panel) and it fits her well enough.

Spring butterflies dress 7

What I do like about Oliver + S is the clear directions – by and large, I found them easy to follow, and I didn’t make any modifications.  I also like all of the unique design features – welted pockets, cuffs on the sleeves, and the way that the dress has side panels that go all the way up and over the shoulders is really cool.

Spring butterflies dress 5

I used the Heather Bailey Embroidery Blooming Borders for the design across the bodice (inspired by a similar sewing project I saw on Pink Chalk Fabric’s blog).  I love how much the little touch of embroidery adds, although I was amazed at how long it took me to embroider this small design – probably because a lot of it required fill-in satin stitch, which is definitely not my best embroidery stitch!

Spring butterflies dress 4

I used a really beautiful lawn fabric from my stash for the bodice lining – I think that the pattern actually calls for using a different fabric for the outside of the bodice, but since I used the same fabric for the entire dress, I wanted something pretty for the lining.

Spring butterflies dress 3

The buttons are also from my stash – handmade ceramic in a beautiful spring green, I found them years ago at a yarn store and they’ve just been waiting for a perfect project to use them for!

Spring butterflies dress 2

I’m amazed by how differently the color of the fabric photographs inside vs outside – I would say that the outside, natural light gives the more accurate color, although really the true color is probably just about in between the inside and outside photos.  I love the cross weave patterning in the fabric, and how it gives flair to the simple chambray.

Spring butterflies dress 9

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Hester hat and mitts

by onblueberryhill April 10, 2014
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I knit up this quick gift set as an excuse to get to use Sincere Sheep’s Bannock yarn again, this time purchased from my LYS (I love it when my local yarn store stocks such great regionally local indie yarns!)  This time I used color Hester, and one generous skein allowed me to make both [...]


Baby hoodies

by onblueberryhill April 6, 2014
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Seriously, this has got to be one of the best patterns that I’ve ever knit!  It’s the R&R Hoodie from Tanis Fiber Arts, and the construction is absolutely ingenious.  It’s completely seamless and I love how she fashions the pockets, how she designed the hood, and the i-cord edging is the perfect edge to sew [...]


Seashell memories

by onblueberryhill April 4, 2014
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The beaches on Turks & Caicos had an amazing variety of beautiful, teeny-tiny seashells – so small that dozens of them would fit in your hands.  The girls filled their pockets and we brought home some of the really special ones as souvenirs.  When we got home, I didn’t want them just sitting in a [...]


April ski day

by onblueberryhill April 3, 2014
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It’s so ironic that it’s already April, and only just now is the snowpack getting really good on Mt. Hood!  We took advantage of a break in the spring rains for a late-season family day on the slopes. The results of our traditional heading-up-the-mountain stop at Joe’s Donuts. We can already tell on the drive [...]


Colored sprinkles hats

by onblueberryhill March 31, 2014
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A new set of patterns from Tanis Fiber Arts, yay!  I’m always happy to find a new excuse to knit with her yummy yarn  Tanis has just released a new collection of baby knits, and I’m working my way through the patterns, starting with Frosted Alpine Hat.  This is a great hat pattern because it’s [...]


Jellybean hat and mitts set

by onblueberryhill March 29, 2014
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I made my oldest daughter her own matching set of hat and mitts, so she’ll quit stealing mine  I’ve knit (and loved) both of these patterns before – the hat is Ida’s Kitchen, but instead of using multiple colors of yarn, I just alternated between Jellybean and Elderberry in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Orion (100% [...]


Primary colors baby sweater

by onblueberryhill March 26, 2014
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Another quick project for my stash of go-to baby gifts – really, just an excuse for me to get to play with colors  The pattern is Henry’s Sweater, and the yarn is Knitted Wit Superwash Merino Fingering (held doubled) in color Picante (just about one skein) and color Turks & Caicos for the striping (along with [...]


Maude cardigan redux

by onblueberryhill March 22, 2014
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I’m in love with Quince & Co’s new Owl Tweet yarn, and I knew that there wasn’t a more perfect knitting project for it than the Maude Cardigan, so I made an exception to my “never knit the same pattern twice” rule  This time, I experimented with a closer fit – I really liked the [...]


Welcoming blooms

by onblueberryhill March 21, 2014
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I always pictured the drive up to my house being lined with flowering cherry trees, so that it was like walking through a tunnel of cherry blossoms . . . the years later, my baby trees have grown into exactly how I envisioned them! To me, cherry blossom season is always a reminder to stop [...]


Picante stripes baby cardigan

by onblueberryhill March 19, 2014
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This is such a cute baby sweater, and I love the colors!  There’s nothing as quick and satisfying as a baby sweater knit in worsted yarn  In this instance, I actually used Knitted Wit fingering super wash merino (colors Picante and Naked), held double.  I used just about every bit of the 380 yards of [...]


First sign of spring in Portland

by onblueberryhill March 17, 2014
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Although rain clouds threatened during my run along the Portland waterfront yesterday, it still afforded me a beautiful view of Waterfront Park’s flowering cherry trees, from the east side of the river: And the west side: Pin It


Toffee and maple syrup pullover

by onblueberryhill March 4, 2014
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This was a kismet project – I was gathering up my collection of leftover Plucky Knitter yarns to put them away, and I was holding these two yarns next to each other and thought, these colors look great together!  Because I only had two skeins of the Cozy and a partial skein of the Traveler [...]


Kitty Dreams

by onblueberryhill March 2, 2014
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This sewing project was both a success and a failure.  First, the success . . .it was my first time sewing with knits, and by using a specialized sewing machine needle and knit stitch on the machine, it went very smoothly.  Another successful aspect of the project was the clearly written directions – I was [...]


Raspberry drawstring pullover

by onblueberryhill March 1, 2014
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This is a classic example of a pattern that was not well-suited to me.  The pattern is Eased (bulky version) by Alicia Plummer.  Although I knit with the same yarn as the sample pattern, got gauge, and knit the size that best fit me (40.5″), it’s just not flattering.  I like the top half well [...]


Zippered pouch goodie bags

by onblueberryhill February 26, 2014
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I used this tutorial to whip up a few zipper pouches to use as teacher gifts.  I’ll tuck some Moonstruck chocolates and a Starbucks gift certificate in, and they’ll make the perfect goodie bags! I bought some Robert Kaufman Essex Linen yardage at Bolt and then pulled the colored panels, lining, and batting from my [...]


Cafe Society cabled cardigan

by onblueberryhill February 25, 2014
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My second time with this pattern – and I much prefer this version!  I wasn’t too happy with how my first Chocolate Stout turned out, so I wanted to give it another try.  I used Plucky Knitter yarn again, but this time I used Primo Aran (merino/cashmere/nylon) instead of Rustic, and I think it looks [...]


Sherpa kid’s robe

by onblueberryhill February 21, 2014
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Great new project from Purl Bee!  I swear, I’m constantly amazed by how many creative and wonderful ideas the Purl Soho staff come up with, month after month and year after year.  I really enjoyed this sewing project – simple but the finished product is very user-friendly and high-quality. The pattern is Purl Soho’s Kid’s [...]


Improv pieced rainbow placemats

by onblueberryhill February 19, 2014
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Inspired by a Pinterest posting, I visited Bolt and bought several yards of Robert Kaufman’s Essex Linen in color Flax (fronts of placemats) and one-half yard of each solid color in Andover Textured Solids (backs and binding). I raided my stash fabric for matching colored prints for the striping.  I started by cutting rectangles of [...]