Monday, July 21, 2014

Nephew Gifts

Remember those socks that just needed the ends woven-in?

I've had them on my mind the whole time, but I had deadline knitting (and no, not the Oranje, that deadline was a fun challenge, whereas here I'm talking serious deadline, and I'll tell you about it some other time, I promise) and so I left them a little longer, but they are now complete.



The little black dots are from a liquid latex you can buy from Regia to make treads on your socks. I find it tricky to work with, but felt it was necessary in this case, as this little guy does not have my kids' experience wearing hand-knit socks, which by the way, are extra slippery for some reason. He's always on full-speed mode, and I want him safe in these socks, so I gave the dots my best shot. They look fine in the photo, but that's because you can't see the treads on the other one! You won't be able to see them when he is wearing them anyhow.

Now, I also have another hand-made gift for the guy, and all because I saw that amazing fabric with the foxes with hats, ties, and monocles. I could not resist it's cuteness, and so:



The pattern is the Camp Shirt by Nina Martine Robinson, from Fabric by Fabric One Yard Wonders. It was a pretty simple one (though I may not attempt snaps again; glad I switched to buttons in the end. The pattern suggests either/or). The pattern does not indicate any finishing steps though, so I worked flat-felled seams, and understitched the facing at the neckline. I also worked a lot of top-stitching that didn't come up in the instructions either.

I suspect this sort of thing gets left out of pattern instructions not only to save space, but also so as not to intimidate beginners. However, I found, when I was a beginner, I always felt like my work looked awful, and all that finishing (that wasn't often in the instructions) is what actually makes it look good.

My advice to those of you who are not confident in their sewing, or any of you just getting going on sewing, whether you are enthusiastic or frustrated, here is what you can do to improve your technique:

-Don't skip the pressing step.
-Read about seam-finishing and decide BEFORE sewing what you are going to use in each case.
-Top-stitch anywhere you think it would look good.

I'm only just starting to feel like I've made the leap from beginner to intermediate where sewing is concerned, but that leap is almost entirely due to improved finishing planning.

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