Thursday, August 21, 2014

DIY: slouchy backpack

Linen + Rope = the perfect summer match

While in the winter I am constantly dressed in black and grey, when summer come, I switch to the natural / earthy palette.
I live in Superga and/or Espadrilles in the summer, and now they are in good company with the slouchy linen backpack I just made! 

perfect match with my Superga Linu
Inspiration came last year, when I saw the Raffia Crochet Backpack from ShopBop: the pictures were sitting on my "to-do-folder", and I had all the materials needed, so the other night I just got my sewing machine out and made it happen.

top photos: ShoBop - collage by moi

DIY slouchy backpack // supplies

I made my backpack slightly smaller than the dimensions indicated on the ShopBop website, the concept doesn't change. 
- Heavy linen fabric -1/2 yard
- Cotton fabric - 1/2 yard
2 yards Cotton Rope 3/8 Inch Diameter
8" - 1-1/4" Medium Heavy Weight cotton webbing (or you can cut strips with the linen fabric folded two or three times to make it sturdier)
Dritz Extra Large Eyelet Kit - Nickel
- sewing machine / scissors and/or Rotary Cutting Kit / matching thread / few drops of  E6000® glue / hammer

DIY slouchy backpack // tutorial

cut the linen fabric into a rectangular:
mine is (including seams allowance) 30" wide x 22" tall
sew a french seam (tutorial here) to make it into a tube 
I sew down the two sides of the french seam to keep it flat
Cut the cotton webbing in two 4" pieces and zig-zag the edges
With the linen tube wrong-sides-out, keeping the seam in the center,
fold one piece of cotton webbing in two,
place it inside the tube, pin it firmly and sew the whole edge. 
Cut and sew the lining of the backpack:
to avoid extra bulk in the correspondence of the center back french seam,
I cut a long strip of fabric (32" long x 15" wide), folded in half and sew along the sides.
Before sewing the sides, add a pocket (if you like) 
with the wrong sides out, fold down the top of the backpack at 1" and press,
and then 3" and press
With the backpack wrong side out, and the lining right side out,
place the lining (like a sock) onto the backpack, 
with the pocked on the same side of the back seam.
Fold down the 3" fold of the backpack, pin it in place, and sew it all around.
The final circumference of the backpack is 29", 
mark where the grommets will need to go, equally spaced at 3-5/8".
Prepare the holes for the grommets as indicated on the package, I cut the hole through all the layers of fabric, and then added a small amount of E6000 with a toothpick around the edges to avoiding any possible fraying.
thread the cotton rope as indicated in the picture
Use the second piece of the cotton webbing, to create the slide piece and fold it in a "8" shape",
sew the center with a wide zig-zag stitch: go back and forth few times.
Get the rope through the slide.
Make a overhand knot on both sides of the rope, leaving about  2 to 3" from the edge;
the rope is made of three wrapped strands, pull the wrap which will unravel really easy,
and trim the bottom of the "tassel" to make it even.

xox, d. 
keep in touch! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

new rings ... for sale, maybe.

These rings are all the same, but the different focal bead make them so different from each other.
It's like having a "mood ring" for each mood and outfit, pick a ring that goes with it :)



I'm not sure yet, but I think I might get around to get these kind of rings for sale
(at a reasonable price, of course!)

What you say? Like them? I'll make more once I get more supplies ready.







xox, d.
keep in touch! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

DIY open knit sweater with t-shirt yarn

inspired by Richard Nicoll Resort 2015

I love chunky knits: even in the summer


This is extremely chunky, but because it's an open knit, it's perfectly wearable.


When I saw this shirt by Richard Nicoll Resort 2015 collection, I was immediately intrigued.
photo: Style.com - Richard Nicoll Resort 2015


This sweater has no seams to avoid un-necessary bulkiness on the sides.
It's all knitted in the round: front and back 
from the bottom-up; and the sleeves are top-down. 

t-shirt yarn open knit sweater // supplies needed:

to make the t-shirt yarn (AKA "tarn"):  check out this post and tips
7 blank t-shirts 
(2 white (size L) and 5 grey (size 2XL) - the grey ones were provided by Shirts.com)
Seam Ripper
Rotary Cutting Kit

to make the sweater:
24" - 60 cm Circular knitting needle size US 19 - 15 mm
(but, of course, I made my own - see the modified tutorial here: DIY circular knitting needle)
8" - 20cm double pointed needles - size US 19 - 15mm (and, again I used my DIY ones)
a large crochet hook to pick up the stitches for the collar and sleeves (or... again: make your own  roundup of tutorials here)
needle and thread to connect the yarn and sewing down the end tails.



t-shirt yarn open knit sweater // pattern:

as most open knits, this sweater is extremely stretchy:
the measurement were taken with the sweater laying flat and un-stretched
STITCHES:
P - Purl
K - Knit
DR ST - Elongated Drop Stitch For the entire project, the DR ST is executed wrapping the yarn over twice (Drop Stitch video tutorial)
P2 TOG - Purl 2 together
K2 TOG - Knit 2 together


FRONT & BACK
Cast on 60 stitches with the white t-shirt yarn on the circular needle.
ROW 1-2-3-4-5  1K:1P ribbing
ROW:
  6 - P white yarn
  7 - P grey yarn
  8 - K - DR ST
  9 - P
10 - K DR ST
11 - K DR ST
12 - P
13 - P
14 - K DR ST
15 - P
16 - K DR ST
17 - K DR ST
18 - P
19 - P
20 - K DR ST
21 - P
22 - K DR ST
23 - K DR ST
24 - P
25 - P
26 - K DR ST
27 - P
28 - K DR ST
29 - K DR ST
30 - P

from the 31st row it's knitted back and forth, 30 stitches on each side

BACK:
31 - K
32 - K DR ST
33 - P DR ST
34 - P
35 - K
36 - K DR ST
37 - K
38 - K DR ST
39 - P
40 - K
41 - P
Do not bind off, leave the stitches on hold for the three needles bind off on the shoulders

FRONT:
31 - P
32 - P DR ST
33 - K DR ST
34 - K
35 - P
36 - P DR ST
37 - P - BIND OFF 6 CENTER STITCHES (FOR NECK LINE)
38 - P DR ST (P2TOG 1 ST ON EACH SIDE OF NECK LINE)
39 - K - (K2 TOG 1 ST ON EACH SIDE OF NECK LINE)
40 - P - (P2 TOG 1 ST ON EACH SIDE OF NECK LINE)
41 - K
Do not bind off, leave the stitches on hold for the three needles bind off on the shoulders

SHOULDERS:
use the three needles bind off to join the shoulders (three needles bind off tutorial)

SLEEVES:
Using the grey t-shirt yarn, pick up the stitches on the vertical edges of the sleeves' opening with the large crochet hook. (tutorial here, but you need to get a bit creative, because of the elongated stitches)
I picked up 21 stitches in the round working with the DPN needles, 10 on each side and one in the center (armpit).
I placed two stitch markers, one on each side of the center stitch.

ROW
1 - P
2 - P
3 - K DR ST
4 - K DR ST
5 - P (P 2 TOG ON EACH SIDE OF THE CENTER STITCH)
6 - K DR ST
7 - P
  8 - P (P 2 TOG ON EACH SIDE OF THE CENTER STITCH)
  9 - K DR ST
10 - K DR ST
11 - P
12 - K DR ST
13 - P
14 - P (P 2 TOG ON EACH SIDE OF THE CENTER STITCH)
15 - K DR ST
16 - K DR ST
17 - P (P 2 TOG THE CENTER ST WITH THE LAST ST) - you should have 14 stitches left
18 - P - White yarn
19-20-21-22-23  - 1K:1P RIBBING
24 - BIND OFF LOOSELY

NECK LINE:
Pik up with a crochet hook 30 stitches around the neckline with the white t-shirt yarn.
ROW1 P
ROW 2 - 3 - 4: 1K:1P
ROW 5 BIND OFF LOOSELY


FINISHING: cut the tail of the yarn at about 1/2" length and sew it with few stitches on the near stitch to keep it from raveling.









xox, d.
keep in touch! 


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DIY t-shirt yarn and what to make with it

make t-shirt yarn, AKA: "tarn"

work in progress: using t-shirt yarn from my instagram

I already used t-shirt yarn, but the store bought kind, so I thought I'd give it a try to make my own using, clearly, t-shirts.

Crucial
use blank t-shirts that don't have seams on the sides, and the larger, the better: they'll give you more bang yarn for for your bucks !

You'll need a Seam Ripper, and a Rotary Cutting Kit (scissors will do, but will take longer, especially if you are going to cut many t-shirts)



To be able to use every inch of the shirts, I ripped off the bottom seam.
This trick gave me about 3 extra yard for each shirt of un-stretched fabric to use... in the DIY world every inch counts!
Then, wash, dry and press your shirts, so you won't have any bad surprises about shrinking.

I followed the 

Control the thickness

Another good point about making t-shirt yarn with t-shirts is that you can control the thickness of your yarn: you can cut strips of any width, and make yarn thicker of thinner, depending your needs.
For my coming project, I cut strips of 3/4", thinner than the usual store bought t-shirt yarn, because I didn't want to have a super-heavy finished garment.

Connecting t-shirt yarn: few stitches to avoid bulk.
Pay attention to have the fabric with the rolls on the same side.
The joined edges will be pratically invisible and will not add any bulk to the finished work.
Working with t-shirt yarn require rather large tools, whether knitting needles, or crochet hooks.
I used my own circular needle and made a set of DPN for the project that will be on the blog shortly.

the circular needle is a size 19US - 15mm - 
used a wooden dowel 5/8" diameter
it's a modified version of my previous DIY - check out the tutorial 

same size for the double pointed needles: cut 4 pieces of about 8"- 20cm long
and proceed to sharpen and smoothen the tips as shown in my tutorial here

need ideas? 




I set up a whole pinterest board dedicated to t-shirt yarn:  from small jewelry pieces to statement accessories for the home, to the latest runway garments, for women and for men - with plenty of tutorials and inspiration that will fulfill any t-shirt yarn desire.
Anything you could make from crochet, to knitting, to tunisian crochet, to macrame, weaving and more. 

Come back tomorrow for the new tutorial :)

xox, d.

keep in touch! 

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