Sunday, June 14, 2009

FSC - Are You Curling?

When I was first learning foundation single crochet (fsc), I found that I made the chain part of the stitch very tightly.  This is because I wasn't pushing my hook through the loops all the way; I was just using the tip when I made the chain.  When the chain part is tight, your fsc row will to curve in on itself, like so:

Three or four people have emailed saying, "What am I doing wrong?!?" and every time, they are doing the same thing I did.

To keep you from making the same mistake, I added a note to the foundation single crochet tutorial.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Tutorial: Foundation Single Crochet - Supplement

This is a supplement to the original foundation single crochet tutorial.  Here I show you how to make a foundation single crochet bridge in the middle of your work.  I first used this when making the Icelandic Turtleneck for the arm holes.  I also use it to make the handles on my handbags.

The tutorial is broken down by each teeny-tiny step and includes a quick video demonstration at the end.

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

1.  To start your fsc you will put your hook in the place where you made the previous single crochet.  I've marked that hole with the blue yarn needle.


2. Put your hook through where you made the previous single crochet.


3. Yarn over.


4. Pull through one loop.  This is the link part of the fsc.


5. Yarn over.


6. Pull through one loop.  This is the chain part of the fsc.


7. Put a stitch marker around the left and middle strand of the chain.  This marks where you will put your hook in to start the next fsc.


8. Close up.  Same as step 7.


9. Yarn over.


10. Pull through two loops.  This is the single crochet part of the fsc.  First fsc completed.


11. Put a stitch marker in the top of the first fsc, so you know where it is.


12. Put your hook in the chain part of the first fsc where the stitch marker is.


13. Yarn over.


14. Pull through.  This is the link part of the fsc.  Continue fsc stitches as normal.


15. This is a bridge of ten fsc.


16. Close up of the last fsc in the bridge.


17. Put a stitch marker in the top.


18. Put two stitch markers in the bottom to mark the left and right bars of the bottom of the stitch.


19. Close up of step 18.


20. The blue yarn needle marks where I'll be attaching the fsc bridge to my work.


21. Put your hook through the chain  bar closest to you.


22. Put your hook through the crochet piece.


23. Put your hook through the other chain bar.  You've just made a yarn sandwich on your hook.  The chain bars are the bread and the crochet piece is the peanut butter and jelly.


24. Yarn over.


25. Pull through the sandwich ... aka the two chain parts and the crochet piece.  You should have two loops on your hook.


26. Yarn over.


27. Pull through two loops.  This completes the single crochet.


28. Close up of step 27.


29. Close up of the back of the stitch.


30. Complete the rest of the row using normal single crochet stitches.


31. Close up of the front of the start of the bridge.


32. Close up of the back of the start of the bridge.


33. Close up of the front of the end of the bridge.


34. Close up of the back of the end of the bridge.


Movie Time!

Well, I still haven't gotten around to my title cards, crafty montage opening, or theme song.  Oh, well.  You've got 5minutes 34seconds of crochety goodness to watch, and that's good enough for now. :)



As always, I'd love any feedback (good or bad) you have about this tutorial.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tutorial: Foundation Single Crochet

This foundation single crochet tutorial is broken down by each teeny-tiny step and includes a quick video demonstration at the end.  When I first attempted to learn this technique from a magazine, I had pretty good illustrations to go by, but I was still totally confused by the whole thing.  It took me 3 or 4 tries over a couple of months to even feel confident that I was doing this correctly.

Hopefully with photos of each step, you'll be able to learn this a little easier than I did.  Foundation single crochet is a wonderful technique.  Any time you start with a chain and a row of single crochet on top of the chain, you can use this technique, and that's the bulk of the crochet patterns out there!

For using a foundation single crochet row in the middle of your crochet piece, like the handles of my handbag or the armholes in a sweater, check out my foundation single crochet supplement.

Foundation crochet stitches were developed by (or popularized by - I haven't actually seen his book, so I don't know if he came up with this himself or if he discovered the technique from another source) Bill Elmore.  There is foundation single crochet, foundation double crochet, foundation triple crochet, etc ... and the idea is that you're making the initial chain row and the single (or double or triple) crochet row at the same time.

The reasons foundation stitches awesome are:
  • You won't have to rip everything out and start again if you miscounted your initial chain row.

  • You won't have a loose, floppy chain row dangling off your first row of single crochet.

  • You won't have a tight, constricting chain row buckling your first row of single crochet.

  • You can use foundation crochet to determine the size of a row when it's not set because the stitches are true-to-size unlike a chain, which is impossible to use as a row-length gauge.

  • You can easily attach crochet stitches to the top and bottom of the foundation row because the top and bottom look identical.


Basic Instructions

First Stitch
  • Chain two
  • Insert hook under top two strands of first chain
  • Yarn over, pull through the two strands of the first chain (link)
  • Yarn over, pull through one loop (chain part)
  • Yarn over, pull through two loops (single crochet part)


Second (And All Other) Stitch(es)
  • Insert hook in chain part of previous stitch under left and back strands of chain part
  • Yarn over, pull through the two strands of the previous chain (link)
  • Yarn over, pull through one loop (chain part)
  • Yarn over, pull through two loops (single crochet part)
  • repeat to end


Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

FIRST STITCH

1.  Chain two.  The chain is an upside down teardrop shape.  I will refer to the sides of the upside down teardrop as the right and left strand of the chain and collectively as the top strands of the chain.


2. This is the back of the chain.  I will refer to the vertical piece of yarn behind the upside down teardrop as the back strand of the chain.


3. This is showing you where you will insert your hook from the right to the left between the top strands of the chain and the bottom strand of the chain.


4. Here the hook has been inserted from right to left between the top strands of the chain and the bottom strand of the chain.


5. The same as photo 4 except that I'm holding the piece.


6. Yarn over.


7. Pull yarn through the first chain strands.  You will now have two loops on your hook.  This links this stitch to the initial chain.


8. Same as photo 7, but a different angle.


9. Yarn over.


10. Pull through one loop.  This is the chain part of the foundation single crochet.  I've marked the left, right, and back strand of the chain.  Be sure to make the chain part of your fsc stitches loosely.  If it's too tight, your row will start to curve in on itself.  See evidence here.


11. Insert a stitch marker in the chain part so you separate the left and back strand from the right strand.  When you start the next foundation single crochet stitch, this is where you will insert your hook to link the stitches.  This marker will also be helpful if you are going to connect your foundation single crochet row into a loop.


12. Same as photo 11 except turned a little so you can see the back strand of the chain part of this foundation single crochet.


13. Yarn over.


14. Pull through two loops.  This is the single crochet part of the foundation single crochet.  The first foundation single crochet stitch is now complete.


15. Insert a stitch marker under the top two strands of the single crochet part of the foundation single crochet to mark the first stitch.  This marker is helpful because you can easily find the first stitch when counting the stitches in your row.  This marker will also be helpful if you are going to connect your foundation single crochet row into a loop.


SECOND STITCH

16. Insert hook into the chain part of the previous foundation single crochet so the left strand and back strand are on the left and the right strand is on the right.  This is the place where we put the stitch marker in photo 11.


17. Yarn over.


18. Pull yarn through the chain strands.  You will now have two loops on your hook.  This links this stitch to the previous stitch.


19. Yarn over.


20. Pull through one loop.  This is the chain part of the foundation single crochet.  I've marked the left, right, and back strand of the chain.


21. Insert a stitch marker in the chain part so you separate the left and back strand from the right strand.  When you start the next foundation single crochet stitch, this is where you will insert your hook to link the stitches.


22. Yarn over.


23. Pull through two loops.  This is the single crochet part of the foundation single crochet.  The second foundation single crochet stitch is now complete.


THIRD STITCH

24. Insert hook into the chain part of the previous foundation single crochet so the left strand and back strand are on the left and the right strand is on the right.  This is the place where we put the stitch marker in photo 21.


25. Yarn over.


26. Pull yarn through the chain strands.  You will now have two loops on your hook.  This links this stitch to the previous stitch.


27. Yarn over.


28. Pull through one loop.  This is the chain part of the foundation single crochet.  If you think it would be helpful, move the stitch marker from the chain part of the second foundation single crochet and insert it here like in photo 21 so you will know where to insert your hook for the next stitch.  I prefer to grab the chain, like I show in the next photo.


29. After I make the chain part of of a foundation single crochet, I like to grab it.  Grabbing the chain part give me leverage for making the single crochet part of the stitch *and* it helps me find the place where I'll be inserting my hook when I start the next foundation single crochet stitch.


30. Yarn over.


31. Pull through two loops.  This is the single crochet part of the foundation single crochet.  The third foundation single crochet stitch is now complete.


32. Here I am inserting my hook into the chain part of the third foundation single crochet stitch.  These are the strands that I grabbed in photo 29.  This is the first step of stitch 4.

Repeat from photo 24 to 31 until the end of your row.

Movie Time!

I've been wanting to make a tutorial video forever.  Months ago I had Andrew write a theme song for me, and I've been dreaming of playing it during a funny, over-the-top opening montage of me being ridiculously crafty.  But I'm going to take this in baby steps, so my first video sorta sucks, but it fulfills it's purpose.  Much like the photos in my first post.

In the video I wanted to show you how you can get in a rhythm while doing foundation single crochet, and how your work will flow down from your hook.  It always helps me to actually see something being done, so I bet many of you would benefit from it, too.



As always, I'd love any feedback (good or bad) you have about this tutorial.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Foundation Single Crochet Samples

I'm preparing to write a foundation single crochet tutorial for the blog.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with foundation single crochet, it's the act of creating a row of chain and single crochet all at once to use as a foundation for more rows.  It replaces the initial chain that starts most projects.

The question I wanted to answer before I started the tutorial is which strands to go under on the initial foundation single crochet.  You start with two chain stitches, then you put your hook back into the first chain to start the first foundation single crochet.

In my little diagram above, I labeled the three strands of the chain A (right), B (back), and C (left).  I made samples that had me putting my hook behind AB, A, C, and AC*.

After making all the samples of foundation single crochet, I also made samples starting with a chain and single crocheting into the top and another where I single crocheted into the bottom strand of the chain (which is what I normally do) .

I compared my foundation single crochet samples with the traditional chain and single crochet samples.  The blue sample (C) matched the white sample (chain with single crochet in the bottom strand) most closely when viewed from the side and end.

But when I compared the yellow (AC) and blue foundation single crochet samples, I liked the profile of the yellow sample more.  Also, the yellow sample's leading yarn (the starting yarn end) was securely anchored to the piece.  

Many of the samples' leading yarns were loose and would tighten up a lot and pinch the end when you pulled them.  And, if you didn't pinch the end by pulling them, they were awfully loose and looked like they might unravel themselves.  The yellow sample couldn't be squished up by pulling on the leading yarn bit and it wasn't loose, either.  Perfect.

So now I just need to do the tutorial!

* As I was typing that, I realized I didn't do a version where I put my hook behind B, so I tried it real quick and compared it to the rest of the samples.  There was a weird space I didn't like.  I didn't bother trying BC because I'd have to twist the chains and I'm sure it would look weird.

Argh.  OK, so I just tried BC and it's almost identical to C.  So I'm still set on AC.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tutorial: Seamless Single Crochet, Even Better

This way to do seamless single crochet is way-better than my original single crochet tutorial, especially if you're doing color changes.  Why?  Because it's simpler, the color changes are cleaner looking, and there are no complicated stitch depths involved. I posted a comparison of the two techniques if you'd like to see the differences.   Even a newbie will be able to follow this tutorial.

Notes
· The blue thing on my hook is a hook cushion.  I use them for comfort.  Since they cover up the engraved hook size, I write it on the cushion with a sharpie.
· My favorite hook is a 4.5mm hook, which I'm using in this tutorial.  I've been using this one since the early 90's.  It came in a set of crochet hooks I bought at the drug store.  I recently discovered this was not a common US hook size when I went looking for a back-up and had trouble finding one.
· I make my own paper clip stitch markers.
· I use TONS of stitch markers when I crochet.  Whenever I need a visual cue, I use a stitch marker.  So, if while you're using this technique, you find that you can never figure out which stitch is the first one of the row (into which you will need to slip stitch), then mark it with a stitch marker.  Or maybe you can't tell the slip stitch from the last stitch of the row after you turn, well then, mark the last stitch with a stitch marker.  There's no shame in using stitch markers.  Even after making dozens of my handbags, I still use stitch markers when I make them.

The text is above its corresponding photo.

FIRST ROW

1) It doesn't matter how you've done your first row, but for the sake of this tutorial, I'm going to start with a magic ring (here is a wonderful magic ring tutorial at Planet June) in which I will make 19 single crochet stitches. (The slip stitch that joins each row will take up the space of one stitch, so my 19 single crochet stitch ring will be 20 stitches around, practically speaking.)


2) Now slip stitch to the first stich of the row (insert your hook into the top of the first stitch, yarn over, pull through all loops on your hook).  The next two photos illustrate this step.



3) Chain one.


4) Turn.  The photo shows the already turned piece.  The arrows show you the direction you should always turn your piece when doing seamless single crochet.  Turn so the right side passes toward you and becomes the left side.

SECOND ROW

5) Make your next crochet stitch (which is the first stitch of this row) in the last stitch of the previous row.  You will skip the slip stitch that completed the previous row.  I marked the first stitch of the second row, which we just made, with a green paper clip stitch marker.


6) Continue around to complete the row.  As you can see, your last stitch is in the top of the first stitch of the previous row (the stitch with the red paper clip stitch marker.)


7) Slip stitch (put your hook in the stitch, yarn over, pull through all loops on your hook) to the first single crochet of the row (which is marked with a green paper clip stitch marker).


8) Chain one.


9) Turn.  The photo shows the already turned piece.  The arrows show you the direction you should always turn your piece when doing seamless single crochet.  Turn so the right side passes toward you and becomes the left side.


THIRD ROW (which is the same as the second row)

10) Skip the slip stitch that completed the previous row and single crochet in the next stitch, which is the last stitch of the previous row.  I marked the first stitch of this row with a blue paper clip stitch marker.


11) Single crochet around.  This image shows you the second to last crochet stitch of the row.  I wanted to show you that the place where you will make the next stitch, which will be the last stitch of the row, already has a vertical yarn coming out of it.


12) This is the last stitch of the row.  Complete the row as you would in steps 2 through 4 or steps 7 though 9.  Cake!

COLOR CHANGES

13) First, I want to show you what I mean by a two-row set.  When you crochet your rows back and forth, they create a natural two-row set that look like a single row because there is a deep rut on top and bottom of it.  I usually do my color changes in between these two-row sets.


14) Here we are at the end of a row where we've completed the second-to-last stitch of a two-row set.


15) To complete the last stitch of the row, put your hook in the proper place in the previous row, yarn over, and pull through a loop.


16) To complete the last stich, yarn over using the new color, and pull through both loops.


17) Tie the yarn ends in a square knot.  Sometimes I do this at this point in the crocheting.  Sometimes I leave them loose and tie them at the end when I'm weaving in all the ends.  It doesn't really matter when you do it.  If you do it later, be sure to not pull the ends too tightly because it might make the stitches on the front look weird.


18) Slip stitch to the first single crochet of the row.


19) Chain one.


20) Turn.  The photo shows the already turned piece with arrows indicating the direction in which the piece was turned.


21) Skip the slip stitch that completed the previous row (which is sage-colored) and single crochet in the next stitch (which is yellow and is the last stitch of the previous row).  Continue around.


22) Here is one row of the second color.


23) Here is a two-row set of the second color.


24) Here is the square knot when I switched back to yellow.


25) This is a shot of the "seam" in the seamless crochet.  It's easily detected by an experienced eye, but I think most people wouldn't really see it.


26) Extreme close up of the 'seam.'


27) This is the non-seam side, for comparison.

As always, I'd love any feedback you have about this tutorial.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tutorial: Weaving In the Last End

I encountered this technique in Creepy Cute Crochet and the Flower Purse is my first opportunity to use it.  Before learning this technique, I would just pull the end tightly and weave it in.  That leaves a little bump in edge of the crochet.  

This technique show you how to "fake" a crochet stitch to connect the last stitch to the first stitch of the row, which looks awesome.

Explanation text is above its corresponding photo.

This is the end of the last row of crochet.  The stitch marker on the left is the first stitch of the row and the stitch marker on the right is the last stitch of the row.


Thread your yarn on a needle.  Put needle through the first stitch of the row under both top yarn strands coming in from the front of your piece and coming out the back of your piece.  Pull through.


Put the needle in the middle of the last stitch of the row (where the yarn end starts) and go under the top yarn strand that is on the back side of your piece.


Ta da!  After this, you can weave in the end and knot it in an inconspicuous place.  Since I'm folding these handles over, I knotted it a couple rows down because it'll be hidden in the fold.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tutorial: Sew A Lining Into A Crocheted Bag

This tutorial shows you how I hand sew a fabric lining into a crochet bag.  There is a line of stitching at the top of the fold in my lining as reference.  If you make a lining, you don't need the stitching line.   The Detailed Instructions are numbered to make it easy to refer to them (or keep your place) ... not each numbered item is really a step to follow.

You need:

the unlined crochet bag
the lining (use my lining tutorial if you need instructions)
needle
thread
scissors
pins
stitch markers



Basic Instructions

· Pin the lining into the bag
· Sew the lining into the bag

Sounds pretty easy, huh? :)  Perhaps I just have a flair for making the simple as complicated as possible, because a 28-photo tutorial detailing these two steps is below ...

Detailed instructions (text is above its corresponding photo)

· Pin the lining into the bag.

1) Find the crochet row where you will be sewing the lining into the bag.  I like to use a row just below the handle opening.  I marked the rows with red Vs to show you what I'm talking about.  You will only have rows that look like this if you crocheted back and forth.  You could use either of the rows.  I'll be using the one I'm pointing at.


2) Use a stitch marker to mark the midpoint of both sides of the handbag.


3) Put the lining in the bag.  Line up the lining's midpoint (for me, it's the snap) with the stitch marker.  Pin the lining and bag together so the top of the lining is aligned with the crochet row where you'll be attaching the lining.



4) I put the snaps in my lining in the exact middle of each side.  Then I align the snap with the stitch marker.  Since everything is lined up with the midpoint of the side, when my bag is snapped closed, the handles match up exactly and aren't off-set at all.

5) Close the snap and fold the handbag flat to find the right and left edges of the crochet bag.


6) Line up the fold in the bag and the lining seam and pin them together so the crochet row and top of the lining are aligned (where the picture says "left side").


7) Hold the bag so it's flat between two of the pins.  Put as many pins as you can between the two pins.  Repeat for all four in-between-pins parts.


8) Make sure you don't stretch or bunch up the crochet.  The fabric and the crochet aren't going to be perfectly the same size, because the crochet will stretch if you pull it.  Just do the best you can to keep from bunching it up in the pinning stage because that will make the sewing easier later.


· Sew the lining into the bag

9) Try to be slow and deliberate while sewing in the lining to minimize how many times you poke the hell out of yourself with all the pins.  I usually end up with several huge pin gouges.  In fact, I was already bleeding by this point in the photo shoot.  It gives me shivers just remembering it ... eeeewwwwww!

10) Cut a length of thread that is 3 times the length of your handbag.  That will be more than enough to finish the job.


11) Thread your needle and knot the thread.  This knotting tutorial is awesome.

12) Find a place on your lining that is lined up with a stitch in the crochet.  Any of the spots marked with a white arrow would work because they are just to the right of set of vertical bars that make a V.  Ignore my sewing needle marked with the red arrow.  I put it in when I took the photo to show you a spot, but now I realize it is confusing because you aren't supposed to start stitching here yet.  Sorry about that.


13) Come out of the top edge of your lining right at that spot to hide your knot behind the lining.  Remember, the stitching on the top edge of my lining is just for reference.  Here it is from the back.


14) Here it is from the front.


15) Make a stitch behind the two vertical bars of the crochet stitch.


16) You are just catching the two vertical bars.  Do not go through the crochet to the outside of the bag.  This part is not an exact science.  You don't have to get *all* of the yarn in the vertical bars ... just most of it.


17) Pull the needle and thread through.


18) Pull tight.


19) Put the needle into your lining so it's inside the top fold and comes out right at the edge of the next set of vertical bars. The needle is sandwiched inside the fold of the fabric.  I do not go through both pieces of folded fabric.  If you looked behind the needle, between the lining and the bag, you wouldn't see the back side of the needle because it's inside the folded fabric.  I've said the same thing four times here because I'm trying to be clear, but this is a tricky thing to explain in words.  Let me know if you still don't know what I'm saying.  Maybe this requires more photos.



20) Make a stitch behind the next set of vertical bars.  Pull your stitches tightly as you go.  When the stitches are pulled tightly, your lining will looked tucked into the crochet.




21) Here are the last couple of steps (14 through 17) as an animated gif so you can see what I mean.  The first frame is the one that also says "START."  OMG I wish I had time to make a video of this!  Animated gifs are so 1993 ...

I had to take down the animated gif because it was way too big.  It was eating bandwidth like cookie monster eats cookies.  I hope to come up with an alternative ...

22) As you sew, be sure not to stretch or bunch up your crochet.  Keep the pins in as long as you can and make sure that your stitches match up with the points you've pinned.  If you don't attach the lining evenly, the bunching and stretching will show up on the outside of the bag making it look uneven.

23) The first couple of times I sewed a lining into a bag, I didn't use a ton of pins.  When I'd get to the last couple of inches, I'd have a ton of crochet left and not much lining because I was stretching out my bag as I sewed.  That is the kind of mistake you want to avoid.

24) When you get to where you started, go back through the first couple of stitches you made.  To make my final knot, I put my needle through some yarn between two Vs, wrap the end of the thread around the needle, then pull the thread through the wraps.




25) I hide the knot by pulling my needle and thread behind the lining.




26) Here's a shot of the lining all sewn in.  I love the clean look of the lining edge where it's attached.  And since each stitch of the crochet has been used to secure the lining, the whole thing is pretty rugged and can withstand everyday use ... and washings.  My handbag is still going strong, and I haven't been very delicate with it  since I know I can always make myself a new one.

As always, I'd love to hear what you think of this tutorial.  Especially let me know if anything is confusing or wrong.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tutorial: Tablecloth Hemming

Well, it's unanimous ... everyone adores this gorgeous fabric!  It was bought to cover the serving tables at a baby shower.  What a cute idea, right?

When I was asked to make them I thought, "Super-cake!"  Then, when the ginormous 57-inch by 240-inch piece of fabric was delivered I thought, "Holy crap!"  Working large-scale has it's own unique challenges just like working in teeny-tiny-scale.  But I figured out a great way to easily do the hemming, so even though it wasn't super-cake, it was still cake.  And who doesn't love cake?!

Once I trimmed the huge-o piece of fabric into two tablecloth-sized pieces (thank goodness for the rotary cutter!), it was time to figure out how-in-the-world to hem the edges.  I sat there staring at the edge ... I knew I couldn't be fussy and do my normal "fold over the edge measuring as I go, iron, fold the edge again, iron, and then sew it" thing.

Then, as I stuck the fabric in the sewing machine to just "do something" I had an idea ... why not just sew a line half-an-inch in and use that as the fold guide.  So smart!  I'm so glad I thought of that before I started sewing a bunch of stuff I'd just have to rip out.

Here's the scoop with pictures:

(1) Sew along the edge half an inch in from the edge.

(2) Use the sewing line to fold the fabric over half an inch.  Then fold that over again another half an inch.

(3) Pin! The fabric should be wrong side up with the bulk of it away from you, like in the picture.  But your pins should be in the other way.  When they are in the right way, they'll be easy to pull out from underneath of your hem as you sew.

(4) See?  When you're pins are in right you can pull them out.  Or forget like I did a couple of times.  My sewing machine went right through the plastic heads like they were butter.  I love my sewing machine!  Sew a 3/8-inch seam.

(5) Here's the back side of the sewn hem.  All the raw edges are contained in the hem.  You can see the edge of my initial sewing line, but it doesn't look bad.

(6) And, finally, here's the front side of the seam.  Yay!

This system made quick work of this project, and that's saying a lot when you figure that I sewed almost 56 feet of hems.  That's almost nine yards!  Wow.  And the best part of this project is that they will have all this amazing fabric left over after the baby shower.  Imagine all the fun stuff you could make with it!  I keep imagining the cutest set of reusable grocery bags.  Shopping in style!

I tried to find it online so I could link to it, but I had no luck.  The edge says P/Kaufman, but that's it.  If anyone knows what fabric it is, let me know because I'm sure people are going to email me and ask.  It's a heavier weight cotton that has a stain resistant finish on it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Picture Perfect Knits

I won the intarsia contest for this book so long ago that I'd forgotten to expect Picture Perfect Knits in the mail.  What a happy surprise!  There are so many cool designers included in this book along with me, like my blog-friends Sister Diane of Crafty Pod and Manuela of Macati.  Rock!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sewing Vinyl

If you've ever tried to sew vinyl or plastic, you've discovered that the metal presser foot on your sewing machine STICKS to it like nobody's business.  

What can you do?  The solution is simple: just put a piece of tape over the bottom of the presser foot.  Really, that's it.  I used an xacto knife to cut out the bit where the needle and thread go through.  When you're done sewing the vinyl, just peel off the tape. Ta da!

I used this technique to sew a vinyl dress and to add a pocket to the inside cover of a small notebook.