knittin’ like a bitch


… the Kittyville hat from Stitch ‘n Bitch on my favorite kitty (my child on left – duh!):

Knit with:
BS Lamb’s Pride worsted in Old Sage ($8)
Size 8 16″ circular & dpns
Finished with little green pumpkin beads on the end, $2.50 apiece and totally an impulse buy!

How do I modify an adult hat pattern to a toddler size? Well, that’s simple. Just start by making the hat as if for yourself. Knit with needles one size up to obtain gauge, but then knit so tight it STILL remains too small for my adult-sized head (23″).

That was knitter sarcasm, BTW.

For the record, with a little blocking this hat would fit me fine. But I actually like a fairly loose fit, and it was skullcap-tight. I am a little amazed at just how tight I knit. The project calls for 7s, I used 8s, and we still have what you see here.

By the time I was done with the body of the hat, I knew it would be a Sophie hat. So I modified the earflaps to be shorter. I knit the earflaps as instructed up to Row 4. Then instead of going on to Row 5 (seed stitch) I continued with the same pattern as Row 4:

(K1, k2tog, sead st to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1)

Until you get to 4 sts, then continue on with the rest of the pattern. For the ears, I only PU 10 sts, not 12.

Otherwise I knit the hat the same as the adult pattern!

hobo bag

Check Out My Phat Hobo Bag.

The tutorial for this li’l treasure can be found here at craftster (my new favorite place!). The crafster tutorial and ensuing versions of the bag speak for themselves and I won’t repeat the directions, but I will post my directions for the ruffled snap-closure pocket – sturdy and cute – that I embellished mine with.

These instructions will yield a 5 1/2″ wide by 5″ tall pocket. Use 1/2″ seam allowances.

Cut out the following:

What to cut
to make a fabulous pocket.

From pocket fabric:
1 strip, 6 1/2″ by 1 1/2″
main pocket piece, 6 1/2″ by 6″

5 1/2″ by 5″

From contrast (for ruffle):
1 strip 12″ by 2″

Don’t forget – 5 1/2″ of 3/4″ snap tape.

Fuse interfacing onto WS of large pocket piece, leaving an even 1/2″ allowance on all sides.

Finish one long end of small pocket piece (6 1/2″ by 1 1/2″ strip) by zig zag. Sew snap tape on to RS of this piece, making sure to place snap tape clear by 1/2″ from all sides. Sew other side of snap tape onto appropriate location on body of purse (duh!).

To make ruffle – I have a cool ruffle trick taught to me by Pam from the sew-whats-new forums! First, fold ruffle piece lengthwise, WS together. Press. Take a piece of floss or fishing line and zigzag OVER the floss on the raw edges:

My *bombastic* ruffling trick…

Pull floss, ruffling the ruffle piece to size – about 5 1/2″, remember? Pin ruffle to top of pocket with RS together (raw edges matching). Baste 1/4″ from raw edge, making sure ruffle does not extend into 1/2″ SA of pocket. Pull out floss / fishing line.

Sandwich the pieces so that the RS of the strip and the RS of the pocket are facing one another, with the ruffle in between:

Pocket Sandwich.

Sew top raw edges with at a scant 1/2″. To finish top edge of pocket, sew 1/2″ at sides like so:

A half-inch seam allowance on top & sides o’ pocket
(before clipping).

After you sew this seam, clip close to the seam allowance on the top part of the pocket, then turn right-side out. Push out top corners, press top and edges, and mitering bottom corners. Pin to purse body – on top of snap tape – and topstitch, ending with a triangular reinforcement stitch.

Closeup of pocket closure.

Finish bag a la tutorial and..


ufo post

What am I making here?
Let me give you a few hints: kitschy, kitchen-y, plus now that I’m looking at it, I’ve included the pattern in the picture. Anyway, I’m making birthday gifts for two women who don’t read my blog. I don’t think.

Soon, I will be in the mood to start knitting again.
Re-blocking some hats this evening. The one on the left is from this last winter; only the second thing I have ever knit. Turned out great – not one extra or dropped stitch – and is even more fabulous on a head. Sadly, the tassels wrapped around one another irrevocably when I washed the hat today so they were mercifully amputated. I’ll have to add some new ones. I hate making goddamn tassels. I’d rather knit an entire hat. Somebody spare me the trouble and mail me some good, homemade tassels!

one for the noggin

can you say “saucy maiden”?
Not without looking like a dork, I can’t.

My first hat pattern – McCall’s 4607, reviewed at

Cut lining out from something soft.
I used a $0.25 pillowcase from the thrift store!

Make pattern marks on the WS of the interfaced piecing.
I also recommend sewing the lining top + crown before the main body of the hat – so that you can get the darts down well.

Edgestitch from the WS of the hat! It will be more accurate. And don’t use contrasting thread unless you are an amazing topstitcher or have big, clanging brass balls.

Hat and lining basted –
and the ribbon (just what I had lying around) ready to be tacked to hat lining.

Sassy “backwards” position. Note how edgestitching really shows up – so don’t f*ck up!

Frolick outside in the garden!
My version turned out big enough for me to grow some nappy dreds in there.

goodwill t-shirt + snot-nosed brat = S-A-S-S-Y

look as good as your white-trash momma!

Skirt A (on left) is made from a t-shirt and velveteen remnant ruffle; Skirt B (on right) has a contrast casing and is made up of old t-shirts and embellished with a sharpie.

Rokken like Dokken.

RS, WS – “right side” and “wrong side” of material
SA = seam allowance

Use 1/2″ SA unless otherwise specified.

Cut the body of the skirt:

Skirt A:
The width of this piece will be equal to (hip width + 2″). The length of this piece should be (desired skirt body length + 1 1/2″). To get an idea for the body, you want this part of the skirt to come down to the top of the thighs. For my three year old, I wanted a skirt body length of 6″. Her hip width is 21″, so I cut out a 23″ (21″ + 2″) by 7 1/2″ (6″ + 1 1/2″) rectangle (Figure 1).

Figure 1: rectangular body piece.
For Skirt B, your casing would be the same width.

For Skirt B:
You would keep the width the same as Skirt A, but the length would only be skirt body height plus 1″. You would also cut a casing piece 2 1/4″ inches by the skirt body unfinished width (23″, in this example).

The width of the ruffle piece is about twice the length of the body: 1.75*(skirt body width) or 2* (skirt body width). in this example, (2 * 23″) = 46″. This does not have to be exact. The ruffle length is the desired length of the ruffle plus 1″. Sew a double-fold hem on bottom edge.

This is the point you would embellish the body or ruffle of the skirt (baste lace, applique, etc). If you’re going to applique, consider stabilizing the knit piece first.

Use half-inch elastic and cut (waist size – 2″). My toddler’s waist is 20″ so I cut 18″.

Skirt A:
Join skirt body sides. Clip seam and zigzag finish. Turn skirt inside out. It should look like a tube. Fold the top raw edge down to the WS 1″ and zig zag evenly, close to the raw edge on the WS. Leave about 1″ open. Thread the elastic through. Pin elastic together and try the skirt body on your model, if you like. Sew the elastic together, overlapping about 1/2″ and making sure it is not twisted. Slide the elastic in evenly in the casing and close the seam.

Skirt B:
Fold the casing strip in half length-wise, WS together. Pin folded raw edge to top raw edge of skirt body RS together; sew. Press. Thread elastic through casing, making sure not to twist. Pin elastic ends to edges of casing. Join skirt body sides. Clip seam and zigzag finish (Figure 2).

Figure 2: finished side-seam.

Adding ruffle to body of skirt:
Mark in 1/4 increments on body of skirt and ruffle (Figure 3). Sew together, matching the marks and pleating by hand as you go (Figure 4).

Figure 3: quarters marked and pinned.

Figure 4: pleating as you sew.

Please note that I made a ruffle out of velveteen on the Skirt A. If you use a jersey knit (i.e. t-shirt) the ruffle will be less stiff and flounce out less. For a flouncier effect with a woven, you would cut a large piece shaped like a doughnut.

make ’em cart their own stuff

Packing to preschool, in style.

Here is a cute little backpack I’ve been making for the toddlers around the hood. The pattern used here is called totpacks and can be bought from Sewbaby. It is a good beginner pattern and provides a lot of opportunity for embellishment.

RS, WS – “right side” and “wrong side” of material
SA = seam allowance
FF = fashion fabric
CF = contrast fabric

As per all tutorials here, these instructions are in addition to (not replacing) those in the pattern.

Cut out all pieces and make markings on the WS of fabric. If you plan to use webbing and fittings for the straps, cut the straps out at 1/2 the length supplied by the pattern. If you plan to make an overlay (which I did for the top front piece) cut out the appropriate pieces in the CF. In the case of the front or top-front piece, you can cut the FF / heavier fabric along the fold line, rather than the specified raw edge. Then fold your overlay fabric over as the pattern suggests in step 1 and topstitch.

Continue on as pattern specifies. If you like, you can make a different pocket (I made a gusseted pocket with a buttonhole closure on the flap). If you do make the pocket provided in the pattern, there are some tips to getting a good looking curved pocket. First, consider cutting out a cardboard template that is 1/4″ smaller on all sides than the desired finished size (I keep this with the pattern, see Figure 1).

Figure 1: pocket piece and guide (project with gusseted pocket).

After cutting out the pocket, clip the curves and iron the pocket around the template. Pin pocket in position and go slowly on the topstitching. This needs to be near-perfect on the curves, especially if done on with a contrasting color. Sew from the center bottom of the pocket and end with a triangular structural stitch (Figure 2), then repeat for the other side.

Figure 2: reinforcment pocket stitching, blurry-style.

Baste straps as marked to RS of back piece (Figure 3). This is the opportunity to use webbing if you want to have adjustable straps. After basting straps, you may want to pin them to the back so you don’t catch them as you finish the project.

Figure 3: strappy.

While fitting the side piece to the front and back, be sure to clip the side piece as specified and pin well for a good fit (Figure 4).

Figure 4: Pin like you mean it, girl!

After the side piece is sewn to the front and back pieces, clip to 1/4″ along inside SA. Finish with zig zag. Turn right-side out and top-stitch the back and front side seams (Figure 5).

Topstichin’ is bitchin’!

This is a bit tricky when you are doing the front of the backpack, so go slowly. Topstitching will add more durability and look more professional (Figure 6).

It’s the minute details your child will care
much about!