Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cozy Winter Gear

It's been years since I've done regular shopping for myself. I sew almost all of my own clothing, and what I need to buy, I buy second-hand. But one piece of clothing has always eluded me: socks. A few years ago my husband got me a book about knitting, and I learned the basic stitches, but I haven't been able to devote enough time to it. I desperately wanted to learn how to knit my own socks. Well, while time was passing me by, an easier solution came along.

cozy toes socks

These are the Cozy Toes Socks by Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop (affiliate link). Now if I don't learn how to knit until I'm old and grey, I can still sew my own socks! And obviously, they require such little fabric that it's basically a freebie sew! Can you tell I'm excited! More exclamation marks!

These are stretched pretty tightly around my foot
so my stitching is showing.

This pattern has a lot of options. There is ankle cut, crew cut, and knee-high. There are multiple foot sizes as well as multiple leg sizes (slim, regular, plus). There are templates for making animal faces, if you're so inclined. Following the pattern directions and measuring my foot and calf, I was able to correctly pick my size the first time. I did make a single sock as a muslin before proceeding any further, but it fit without adjustments. This is the ankle cut, with slim width.

 Now for the bad news. I have been sewing Amy's patterns for four years and this was the most difficult to assemble that I have ever experienced. All of the options I noted above are great, but I got very confused trying to put the paper pattern together. The sock is three pieces and not intuitive. Normally Amy provides a diagram of how each piece of paper fits together but for some reason there was not a diagram in this pattern. Maybe I just have mommy brain, but it was very frustrating.  I also could not print pattern without color ink. No matter which options I tried, it refused to print grayscale  or black-and-white. If you do not have access to a color printer you cannot use this pattern.

Once the pattern was assembled, the directions do a great job helping you put the sock together. I think a sewing machine was recommended over a serger, but mine was eating my fabric. It worked fine with a serger if you're comfortable on one. And once you've done a single sock, it's super simple to make more. I will definitely be using this pattern over and over. The fabric I used here is modal/cotton/spandex French terry left over from my Irena. Soft and cozy!

woman's beanie hat

The second me-made that's keeping me warm this winter is my Delia Beanie from Named. A month or so ago I suddenly felt the need for a hat like this, and scoured Pinterest for a free pattern. I found a kid's pattern, made my daughter one, made one for a friend's son, then enlarged the pattern to make myself one. And forgot all about it. Only to discover that I already bought the Delia ages ago. This is why it's a good idea to browse your Dropbox regularly!

There aren't a lot of Delias floating around the internet, but I love Named and their other patterns I've tried. This one didn't let me down. The hat is one-sized, self-lined, and finished with a small amount of hand-stitching. There is an option for an applique, which I left off this time but would be easy to do as it's clearly marked on the pattern.

There was some head-scratching going on here to make sure I did it all correctly, but if you make your fabric match the illustrations you can figure it out. It was a fast sew on my serger and I finished the hand-stitching in front of the TV.

This is my impression of a too-cool sk8tr grl.

I did not sew down the "flap" in case I wanted to make my hat taller and slouchier, or in case my 4 year old wants to wear it. She stole it right out of my hands when it was finished. The fabric I used is a cotton/wool/spandex knit leftover from these leggings. It's incredibly warm and I love those leggings, I knew it would be perfect for this hat. I had just enough left for it, and all the rest I can use for socks!

Side note: in these photos I'm wearing Named Jamie Jeans, my Hey June Lane Raglan hoodie, and my New Look 6216 dolman top. Plus a me-made hat and socks! Killin' it y'all.

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