Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Just A Simple Belt


A wide belt I had broke a few months ago, so I figured it was time to try making a belt. It was pretty straightforward. 

1) Buy a 2-inch-wide belt buckle from Dritz

2) Cut a strip from some black "yoga pant"-style knit fabric - 5 inches wide and as long as my waist measurement.

3) Bond a 2-inch-wide strip of fusible knit interfacing down the center of the fabric. 

4) Fold, unbonded sides together, and stitch, lengthwise, with a 1/2-inch seam allowance. 

5) Turn it rightside-out. Press so that the seam runs down the center of the back of the belt. 

6) Attach the belt to one side of the buckle. 

7) Try on, adjust for fit, and attach the other side of the belt to the other side of the buckle. 

Voila!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Carefree Apron Love


I picked up this Carefree Butcher Apron pattern a little while ago. I think "sample" means it must have been free? Maybe? In 1975? It's fairly common on both Ebay and Etsy, if you want a copy. I'm guessing McCall's Carefree patterns was that company's answer to Simplicity?

Check the awesome cover art. Girl in the red apron - are you getting married in that thing? Seriously. It's so big! 

Love the highlight over Notions. It appears to have been printed that way.

I made the shortest one, because this is kind of a fabric hog. Even with that, I had to piece a little bit of one of the backs and cut it upside down. It's in back, and mostly covered by the other side, so I expect to live. I also added 1-inch belt hardware to make the neck strap adjustable.

I also made the waist ties in black, since I think this cute mostly-white fabric would get pretty grubby if I was tying it all of the time. 


That's the shortest one! It hits me at my knee. The girl in the blue must be 14 feet tall. 

With that said, I LOVE this pattern. It has bust darts! I don't know if anyone else has this problem with overall-style aprons, but they sometimes slide around on me and before I know it, one of my boobs is hanging out of the apron. It kind of defeats the purpose of an apron. 

The fabric is a quilting cotton from SR Harris that's on the heavier end. I've decided it's impossible to find Paris-themed fabric that isn't at least a little crazy, so I might as well lean into it. If you look closely, you can see that this fabric is based on the story of three cats who go on vacation in Paris. They like the Eiffel tower and bicycles. It's adorable. 

I used a yellow chaco-liner for the first time for this project. It freaked me out a little, at first, since it didn't just wipe away the way the white stuff usually does. As soon as I finished sewing it, I applied quite a bit of Shout to the marks and washed it in the washing machine on cold. I laid it flat to dry. I generally air-dry most of the clothes I make, but I especially didn't want to put this in the dryer, in case the chalk hadn't come out all of the way.

It did come out! Yay! 

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Turtle Stuffy Toy

I ran into some sweet old ladies at Jo-Ann's when I was picking up remnant fleece to make this little guy and they were like, do you have kids? Are you a teacher?

No.

Um, why are you making a stuffed toy?

Because...I want to? Besides, so cute!



The finished turtle, sitting on the awesome model pincushion/ footstool that my nieces made for me for my birthday last year. She's cuddly and cute and I love her. The bear in the pattern looks cute but also has about 20 pieces to it. I may try it, at some point, and/or the elephant. It's nice to have options!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Review: All New Fabric Savvy by Sandra Bertzina


I first encountered Sandra Betzina in her wonderful Craftsy classes. So, I was super happy when I saw that she had a new version of a wonderful book: All New Fabric Savvy.

If, like me, you hoard magazine articles about different types of fabric and pore over fabric choices in blogs, this book is for you. If, also like me, you can never remember where you saw those great tips on sewing scuba fabric, this book is DEFINITELY for you!

Each entry gives you the background on the given fabric and also has tips on pretreating, pressing, hemming and (most importantly, for me) matching the fabric to the project so that you can get the most out of your sewing time.

My favorite resources are in the back of the book: a visual glossary of techniques, details on interfacing, presser feet, tools, choosing knit fabrics, determining fabric content, linings and stain removal.

The knit fabric section, in particular, is invaluable. I love that Sandra includes tips on choosing the best fabrics and also knowing when to stay away from certain fabrics that look great on the bolt but are either hard to sew, tend to pucker or just aren't worth it.

She even covers Cotton for Quilters and, instead of saying, "Just don't do it!" suggests the types of garments that work the best for those super-popular, cute and relatively inexpensive fabrics.

Overall, I recommend this book heartily for sewists of all experience levels.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Gray Shirt

This is Stretch & Sew 760, and I made it as sort of a test.

Would a Stretch & Sew pattern really work with woven fabric? The answer: yup, this one does. 

A lot of side-seam shaping and no darts might make this a good candidate for a plaid shirt. I would reshape the collar, though. 1975, I think? That collar could achieve liftoff!

The shirt-tail hem is fantastic. I'm planning on basically grafting it onto a lot of my other shirt/top patterns in the future.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Basement Sewing Space

What have I got to show you?

Last year, our water softener went haywire and flooded part of our basement because our floor drain backed up.

Fortunately, we have insurance for sewer backup, so after a little angst, we got it all cleaned up and had new carpet installed.

That room is what I would call semi-finished. It has carpeting and some drywall, but also some areas that are straight-up 1950s basement, complete with concrete walls that probably shouldn't ever have been painted, since now the paint is flaking off.

We had to move all of the stuff we were storing in there so that they could put in the carpet. Dee and I talked about it. She said, why not just make that your sewing cutting area and storage space? It already has closets.

I said, "I love you."

So, we did.

Weird closets that I will now stuff with my sewing stuff.

Cutting area. Storage under table for trash, scraps and patterns.





Tunes.

Boomer, plus some storage. (BEFORE)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

New Knitting Bag!

Way back this spring, I stopped by Yarnover, met June Hemmons Hiatt and purchased a knitting belt from her. I wasn't looking to learn a new way to knit, but these things happen, apparently. :)

I really like the belt, but there was just one problem. The 30 cm needles I bought with the belt were too long for my favorite sock-knitting bag.


Obviously, I had to sew a new knitting bag, right? 

Enter Kwik Sew 3728, view B. I've written about using this pattern before, but it was a different view.

Oh, and I used this awesome Wonder Woman-themed fabric from Joann's.





I LOVE it! I made a few changes. 

- No piping. 
- Fusible fleece (Pellon 971f) to give it some body. 
- I used nylon webbing for the straps and buried them in the seam instead of attaching them to the sides. 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Thrifty Lined Shopping Bags!




If I had more time when I was working on Crafting the Resistance, I would have added this shopping bag! Instead, it's now available as a stand-alone sewing pattern on Craftsy and Etsy.

I designed the Thrifty Lined Shopping Bags to be easy to sew and fun to use. They are fully lined and can be cut out of a 40-inch-wide piece of fabric. This means they will fit on most quilting cottons, even if the yardage shrank a bit during prewashing.

These bags only require 1.3 yards of fabric if both lining and fabric are the same, or 2/3 of a yard of each fabric if they are different. You may find it easier to keep track of which layer is the lining and which is the outer bag if you use contrasting fabrics for your first few bags. 

Have you heard of the burrito method, but aren't sure you want to try it on a garment? I included step-by-step photos for using it, so this is a great first project to try that technique!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Holiday Ornament Variation + Party Notes for Tonight



Like most crafters, I have a stash. Some of the things in my stash are so old that I can't remember where I bought them! 

Such is the tale of the glass ornaments I used for my Pussy Hat Holiday Ornament. They were nice and big - about 3 inches in diameter. That's around 75 mm. One of the larger ones is on the left in this photo.

I found some 70 mm ornaments. Sounded like, basically, the same size, right? 

Well, 5 mm is 5 mm! I followed the exact same directions to make a hat for the smaller ornaments. All I had to do to "make it work" is flip up the brim of the hat. I think they're super cute! Why not make 2 larger ornaments to represent parents and smaller ones for the kids on your list?

P.S. - Three notes about the party tonight!

1) The weather is pretty cool today, so if you have a hat, wear it!

2) I made two of the "original" Holiday ornaments and eight in the "kitten" size. They will all be available for sale at Knit and Bolt tonight. If you want one, you should arrive early! I suspect we will sell out.

3) It's not too late to RSVP. We would love to make sure we have enough treats for everyone, so please RSVP, if you can!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Alternative Stuffing

In Crafting the Resistance, I told you I stuffed my pet bed with scraps and leftovers from other projects. I told you about that, here, too! Here's Travis, enjoying his bed last April.


So, you can see that the stuffing works! All it needs is a good shake and maybe some massaging to be very comfy. But, it's pretty heavy and bulky, which may not be too practical if you want to, say, toss your pet bed in the back of your car when you take your pets with you on vacation or just give a bed to a friend of yours without making them feel like you're passing off a bag of old laundry to them.


Here's an alternative, if you want one. Make your bed fleece cover and zippered insert as written in the book. Then, instead of stuffing the insert with scraps, use the same pattern pieces to cut out 2 layers of 1-inch foam. You may need to trim the foam a bit to get it into the insert, but experiment to see what works best for you. This version is light and lofty!

This could work as a cushion for people, too, of course!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Launch Day!


It's the official launch day for Crafting the Resistance! I'm getting ready for our launch party, which is on Friday, since, you know, Tuesday night isn't the best time for a party. Megan, at Knit and Bolt, had a great idea for the samples from the book - so I'm labeling them all with their page number.

I hope to see you all Friday!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Book Launch Party!



Come meet me and get first crack at my new book, Crafting the Resistance: 35 Projects for Craftivists, Protestors and Women Who Persist. There will be samples from the book to be check out, books to get signed, donut holes to be eaten, and new friends to meet.

“Craftivism is a way of looking at life where voicing opinions through creativity makes your voice stronger, your compassion deeper, and your quest for justice more infinite.” ~ Betsy Greer

Spend your Friday evening with us and let's start Crafting the Resistance.

Let us know you're coming!


If you can't make it, try to catch me at the other events where I will be vending! No matter where you buy your book, I will sign it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Purple Reins of Power Scarf



I had to include a small nod to Prince in the book. Now, I know that he isn't connected in everyone's mind to liberation and rights for all. But, for me, his music was a window into a world where it was OK to be a woman, man, or something people just didn't get.

I included tips in the book about how to create a very neat hemmed edge, even in a slippery fabric like polyester chiffon. I do have this warning, though - in general, more expensive materials will be easier to work with. No matter what fabric you use, make sure to test your stitching!!!! That is one of those things that is always true, but even more crucial when you're using a tricky fabric.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Freerange Pussyhat Symbols



One of my coworkers thought this looked like a bow and I spent about 4 hours brooding about it. It just goes to show that you can only see some things if you are looking for them!

This is practically a no-effort project, so, like the yellow rose pin, would make a good first project for a beginner.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Yellow Rose Pins



The yellow rose was a symbol adopted by suffragettes. It was connected with purity and truth, since it's the color of sunlight. This project is very, very easy and would make a pretty good introduction to sewing.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Nasty Nag Pouch



You don't have to use this pouch to nag yourself. It could also be used to "nag" other people. Fill it up with to-nag notes or simply use it to keep your daily supplies in order.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Jabot-Inspired Scarf



This scarf needs just a little lace and shirting fabric to come together. It's perfect for days when you want just a little more pep in your step and would also make a pretty good gift, in my opinion.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Reclaiming Our Time Socks

I was going to start a new sewing project for myself (or maybe finish one) today, but, instead, I spent a little too much time staring at Twitter and decided that I had to finish this pattern and publish it today.



These socks are knit from the toe up – with a twist. When the toe is finished, half of the stitches are put on hold and the top of the foot is worked. Then, the leg is finished. Lastly, the sole and heel are made. A little grafting at the top of the heel finishes the sock. This is all accomplished without seams, as stitches are picked up to join the top of the foot and the sole as you go.

Why put yourself through all of this? If you ever get a worn spot or hole in the sole or heel of the sock, you can simply tear it out and re-knit it. Also, in self-striping yarns, the color changes will be stretched out along the top of the foot, which is fun. If you want to save your prettiest yarn just for the top of the foot and the leg, you can work the toe, sole and heel in a contrasting color (or several colors, or in scraps).

In case you can’t tell, the message behind these socks is “we won’t stop.” We will march, speak and work to reclaim our time, and we have the everlasting, fabulous socks to prove it.

The pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry and I think there will be a kit coming up for it from KnitCircus Yarns.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

PussyHat Bombs



I want to stipulate that these are 100% nonviolent bombs. Make them from leftover scraps and share them with the world!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

PussyHat Holiday Ornament



Now, I'm not saying that this SHOULD be a gift for your relatives at the end of the year who may or may not agree with you on politics. But, if you wanted to share, I would sure love to see photos of their reactions!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

PussyHat Pet Bed



This was a bit of an adventure.

You should know that the first fleece bed I made for my boys ended up being thrown away. I didn't make the fleece cover removeable and, eventually, there was just too much fur on it to make it something I wanted around. To get around that, this one has a pillowcase-style back.

One of the other issues with pet beds is that there aren't exactly a lot of pre-made inserts to stuff them. I mean, no one wants to buy a pet bed to fill a pet bed! So, I had to come up with a way to make it work.

First, I mocked it up with a plain, rectangular pillow as a filler. It looked more like a totoro than a cat. So, I decided to use the same pattern pieces to create a custom-fit fill piece. It was surprisingly very fun and extremely easy. I included instructions in the book for making the fill piece with a zipper. This is great because it's not always easy to judge how much stuffing you need in the bed. If it zips, you can always add or remove more stuffing. Also, frankly, stitching the last little bit closed when you have stuffed something isn't my idea of a great time. I'd much rather just close a zipper!

Speaking of stuffing, I wasn't about to invest in the amount of fiber fill that you would need to fill up this sucker. Also, I'm not sure if fiber fill would feel "solid" enough to the cats for them to use it. They're both a little old and seem unwilling to stand or sit on anything that's very soft or shifty. Instead, I raided my big bucket of sewing scraps and used that as stuffing. Fleece scraps are the loftiest and lightest, but I mix all of my scraps together - fleece, knit fabrics and wovens. I'm really happy with the results I get. Travis loves the bed and basically didn't get off of it for a few days when I first made it.

The ears stay relatively plump and flat because they aren't stuffed with stuffing. Instead, a smaller layer of fleece fills each ear. I have washed this particular bed twice and both times the ears just needed a good shake to look  nice again.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

PussyHat Throw Pillow



This is a simple, fleece pillow, filled with a purchased insert. If you have never sewn with fleece, this is a pretty good introduction! I just wish Sabine looked a little more happy about it.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Quilted Mug Rug



This little mug rug was too much fun to make! If you're cutting a fabric and you definitely want to place a certain motif in a certain spot, there are a few options that can make that easier. Quilters call it "fussy cutting," but it's a lot less fussy if you have the right tools!

1) Template Plastic
2) Swedish Tracing Paper
3) Just regular old wax paper

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bleeding Heart T-Shirt



The "bleeding heart" shirt was one of the first ideas floated for Crafting the Resistance. I found it really fascinating!

It's a simple reverse applique using knit fabrics, which means that you don't have to get too worked up about finishing edges or turning anything under. Certain stabilizers help make this type of sewing easier, and those tips are in the book. But, I want to point out that I made this using just my trusty Singer 328k. You don't need a special sewing machine to create this project. You do have to be a little careful when trimming away the top layer, but that doesn't have anything to do with your machine.

For the heart fabric, I cut the sleeve off of a thrift store find. Searching for just the right color of red was fun!

I really can't imagine the heart motif on any tee other than plain black, but I don't wear a lot of shirts that aren't just "plain" something. What do you think? If you added the heart to an old band shirt or a shirt from a vacation, would it make the message too muddy and confusing?

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Mobility Ankle Pocket



This is a little, zippered pocket that you wear around your ankle. I was inspired to make it by tales from my friends who grew up in NYC. They all remembered stuffing a little cash into their socks so that they could make it home even if they lost their wallet or got mugged.

Socks aren't quite as secure as I would like, so I designed this little guy. It's probably too small to hold a cell phone with comfort, but you could probably fit your ID and some cash in there without too much trouble. Before you wear one on a long day marching, test it out and make sure it's not going to bind or chafe.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Security Waist Belt



This is a pretty simple project from Crafting the Resistance. I love it, though! I included tips on sewing stretchy fabric to a non-stretchy zipper and how to make sure the end of your zipper tape is as hidden as possible.

For this project, you should measure the intended wearer's waist and make your pattern piece yourself. This automatic customization is a fun feature, unless you don't happen to have your wearer around! If you're making a gift for a family member or friend and you can't measure them, search around online for sizing guides based on clothing brands you like. I've been really happy with Title Nine, in the past, and I've used their guides for this purpose. It is stretchy, so an exact fit isn't completely needed, but it's great to have a starting point.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Persistent Marker Message T-Shirts



This shirt was made possible by a marker-based discovery that BLEW MY MIND. They make fabric markers, now, that you can use to mark fabric permanently. Not just sharpies, but pens actually designed for that purpose.

At the best drag show I ever saw (at Bryant-Lake Bowl), one of the performers ripped apart their top T-shirt to reveal a scrawled message on the white tee underneath: "This Is What A Feminist Looks Like." The crowd went wild. This is a very easy, cheap, DIY way to take any message anywhere.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

No-Purl Pussyhat



Kids all go through phases where they don't want to wear hats. Our little model, Lila, is about 3 seconds away from ripping hers off in this photo. She's wearing it backwards, but she still looks super-cute (and only a knitter would know)!

This knitting pattern is super-easy, and involves nary a single purl stitch. I don't have anything against purls, I just don't invite them to the party when they're not needed.

The No-Purl Pussyhat can be made at any gauge, with any yarn, in any size. It's the only pussyhat pattern you need!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Tiny Hem Bandana



My niece, Maxine, modeled this bandana for me. It's the one with the tiniest writing and the fabric is called Tiny Nasty Woman, so I made it with a tiny hem. Check out the artist who made the fabric - she's giving all of the proceeds from this design to Planned Parenthood.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Street Casting



I wanted a photo of some women modeling my bandanas, and I happened to run into these ladies downtown at lunch. I think they're super-cute!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Nasty Dude Bandana



My coworker agreed to model the "Nasty Dude" bandana for me. The fabric pattern is by the same designer who made the Nasty Woman fabric. I think it looks pretty cool! The hemming method on this design can be sewn on a regular sewing machine with a regular foot. It just takes a little patience at the ironing board to look great.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pussyhat Bandana



For this little number, I used Donna Druchunas's Resist Pussyhat Pussycat fabric. It's really fun, even though the cats look super unhappy.

I used a really easy way to hem in a sewing machine for this bandana. All you need is a satin-stitch foot and a little patience.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

No-Sew Bandana



Did you know that they make pens that allow you to create your own iron-on transfers?

I did not know. Now everything in my house is in danger of being transferred onto. Even the cats.

Bandanas are important for when you are on the march. Of course, you can use them as napkins or handkerchiefs. Once you get used to having one or two on hand, they start to operate like a towel in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. However, they can also help reduce the effects of tear gas and other non-lethal crowd control propellants. Wet your bandana down with water and use it to cover or wipe your face. Don’t wear contact lenses if there is any chance at all that you will be in this situation. It ruins the contacts, anyway, and is extremely painful for you, too.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Go Anywhere, Say Anything Messenger Bag





I really love this bag! I've used it every day since I made it. It's just big enough for my essentials - wallet, phone, etc., but it's still so light that I want to wear it even while playing arcade games with Dee. As a bonus, it fits inside the backpack I use when I bike to work. So, I don't have any excuse for leaving my keycard at home.

I designed it with a full zip across the lining, so if you toss it into another bag, or anywhere else, really, you don't have to worry about it spilling.

A tiny bit of hardware makes the strap adjustable, which is handy if you're making the bag for someone else or if you're just a tiny bit indecisive about bag strap length.

Full patterns and instructions for the Go Anywhere, Say Anything Messenger Bag will be included in Crafting the Resistance, which is due out in August!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Clarity Vinyl Tote



Today, I'm starting a series of blog posts about some of the projects from Crafting the Resistance. The first one is the Clarity Vinyl Tote, shown here in my very own backyard studio. Check in every Tuesday and Thursday until the end of August for more!

I had the idea to make this bag after we used clear totes at the Women's March on Washington.

I was a little afraid of stitching through heavy vinyl, but, in the end, it wasn't any harder than working with leather or any other tough material. I included tips, in the book, about managing it.

The bag was a lot of fun to sew and I also like the idea that you could use just about any color for the straps and zipper (assuming you could find matching colors!) Conquering my fear of vinyl was exciting, but so was discovering that webbing for straps comes in more than two colors. It's hard to see here, but those straps aren't black, they're a Navy blue that matches the zipper. You may have to hunt around a bit to find a match, but if you can, it really takes the bag to the next level. There's nothing wrong with fabric straps, but they do tend to look a little homemade.

It was important to me to use materials that I hoped anyone could get at their local fabric shop, and I managed to do that for just about every project, including this one. I love ordering online, thrift shopping and hitting my favorite warehouse store, but I know that all of those methods can take an investment of time that not everyone has.

If this bag appeals to you, I hope you take the plunge and try to make it! It's much easier than you would think.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Peplum Top, Take 2


I made a version of this top back in November. I wanted to try again, with sleeves. 

This print is a bit of a departure for me. I call it "chaos plaid," or "Prince went to Scotland and had a party plaid." I saw it at SR Harris and I just LOVED it. 

I bought a little extra to make sure I would have enough fabric to make the peplum a double layer, as written in the pattern. It's interesting - basically the peplum has what I would consider a full-size facing/lining. This means that you don't have to hem the admittedly weird and very curved peplum shape, and it also gives it a little more weight. I made no attempt to match the pattern anywhere, since it's so chaotic.

The original sleeves were nuts, so I redrew the armhole to match a knit sleeve I already like, and simply slapped in that sleeve. One of these days, I'm going to actually trace off a sloper version of my favorite dartless knit pattern, without seam allowances. As it is, now I spend a fair amount of time monkeying around with different seam allowances and it feels like a bit of a waste. 

I'm super happy with it! I finished the neckline with knit stay tape, turned and topstitched it, and the sleeve hems, with a coverstitch. This is a semi-slinky ITY-style fabric, so I wouldn't normally think of it working really well with darts, but the darts in the back look really good. Maybe that's because they're vertical? 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On Making Bras



I've raved about Beverly Johnson before. (Yes, that's a long post, but it's in there.)

I'm not sure if I would have tried sewing bras without her class on Craftsy. I have a brand/style of bra that I've worn for a long time and it didn't really occur to me to try making my own.

That is, until a random, 1970 bra pattern showed up among a box of Stretch and Sew patterns that I bought on Ebay. The pattern isn't Stretch and Sew (I don't think Ann wrote bra patterns), and I didn't talk about it on the blog because the sizing was rid.i.cu.lous, so I threw the bra away, in frustration. But, it wasn't that hard to sew, really. It was just enough to make me curious. 

I watched all three of Beverly's Craftsy classes, bought a kit at Bravo Bella Bras, a pattern from Sew Sassy and it was off to the races. 

My first bra fit pretty well. It had a few errors that I figured were from my inexperience. So, I tried again. Bra number 2 (we're not counting 1970, thank you), was AMAZING. I felt (and feel!) so good in it! 

I'm short and short-waisted and I'm starting to think that part of why I've always had a love/hate relationship with bras is that the underwire, inevitably, is just too darn long for me. That makes it dig into my side/underarm. Ouch!

For the last few years, I've worn bras that are foam cups and very stretchy. Really - now that I've worn another style, I'm realizing that I probably liked them just because the underwire didn't actually do much. The bottom band hangs so low on my body, even when I wear a somewhat smaller size, that the underwire doesn't even really touch me, if that makes sense? The shape of the bra forces the underwire to rest lower against my chest than my assets actually are. Everything just hangs, with the bra more or less sitting like a cover, not like a sling. It looks ok, but it's not as comfortable as actually having support. At certain times of the month, everything would get so sore that I would swear to never eat salt, again. But, it wasn't the salt. It was my bras. 

I've read advice about how molded foam cups aren't great for a lot of women. As in, “(your breasts are) going to settle at the bottom of the contour cup and you’ll going to have space at the top of the strap.” I've noticed this in my foam cup bras, but I just was too afraid to try a different style and get murdered by escaping underwires, again. 

As an aside, the expert above also says that you should replace a bra after 8 months. Let's do the math. She suggests not wearing the same bra 2 days in a row. Let's assume she has 2 "everyday" bras that she rotates through every single day and never wears another kind of bra. I was told, when I was growing up, that you should really have 3 bras you rotate. If her 2 bras last 8 months, that's about 120 wears each. If I use her same idea and do it with 3 bras, I would be replacing them all after about a year. Which, actually, is pretty much what I did when I was a teenager. 

A wardrobe of 5 bras should, using these numbers, last for about 20 months, or almost 2 years! Not bad for $10 to $20 per bra, once you get into the swing of it. That comes to just over $50 per year spent on bras. I don't know about you, but there have been years where I've spent a lot more than $50 on bras. Heck, there are months where I've spent more than that. Plus, if my weight changes and I need a new bra after 3 or 6 months, I'll be way less annoyed about it, if I make it myself. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ball Band Dishcloth


I'm still teaching at St. Louis Park Community Ed. Right now, our "Adventures in Knitting" class is going on. I like to let my students choose among a few projects so that they can have fun and learn at their own pace, instead of forcing everyone into doing the same thing, all of the time. 

I love the Ball Band Dishcloth for what I call a "second step" student. They should be confident knitting and purling, but maybe they don't have a lot of experience reading a pattern or following a pattern repeat. The dishcloth is just difficult enough so that they can learn those things, but not so difficult that it's discouraging. 

Plus, they're relatively cheap to knit and make great gifts. What's not to love?