Aug 30, 2013

Aug 28, 2013

D153-54: String Bag - A Modern Trawler Haul

We suddenly have a lot of bath toys for Bub and it occurred to me that I also have a lot of crochet cotton - string bag ahoy!

Not a single fish in that catch!

I used the pattern from Erika Knight's Simple Crochet and it took me a bit under two evenings.  I used a contrast colour on the last row of the handles so they're easy to find and grab.


In hindsight though, I was a bit gung-ho and should've waited till I could get some plastic or nylon kitchen string like the pattern asks.  As it's cotton, I'm not keen on leaving the cotton bag hanging from the bath taps, like I'd prefer, coz it would never dry (especially since our baths has a permanent puddle) and would probably rot*.  Ew.

In the meantime, the bath toys are tidied away with by a project that was totally do-able and quick.  Hurrah!

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*Really, I'll be replacing this because it has rotted.  Who am I kidding.

Aug 24, 2013

How to: Personalised Bunting!

I decided to make a birthday bunting for my daughter for her first birthday. Hopefully it'll last for many birthdays to come.


Without a pattern here's how we went about it.  This a long post and includes how I did this bunting, plus instructions for variations.

1. Chose a font


Tip: Keep it simple and sans serif. That is, pick one without tails on the letters, like Arial.  There are a lot of corners and extra bits in fonts like Georgia or Courier.)

On the computer, we used 100% zoom on the screen to view the letters, then folded some paper to an equivalent size and held it up to the wall to see how big it would feel.  Our letters are about 8cm wide and 12cm tall (about 3" x 5").

What to print
I chose to print "HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATE!" because the exclamation mark gave me letter groups of 5, 8 and 5 - nice and symmetrical.

All the letters were printed and cut out.

Reinforce skinny corners with tape. Label your vague letters.

2. Decided on a triangle size


The triangles don't have to be equilateral (sides all being the same length); they can be isosceles (two sides the same length). (Really, they can be square if you like - it's your bunting!)

Our triangles are 20cm wide and 25cm tall (26cm sides).

3. Made a template.


I wanted variety in my bunting, not uniformity.

Uniformity across the front and back of a bunting shows up most with linear patterns, so the template and fabric needs planning to achieve this.

For uniformity with patterns that run in several directions, make a diamond shaped template and align the pattern along the length.
For uniformity with patterns that run only one direction (such as words you'd like to be read from both sides), cut out two triangles, remembering to add any seam allowance.  Align the pattern with the top of your triangle.

If uniformity is unimportant, I recommend a kite shape because it has only one side seam to sew.
Mark your grain to run down the centre of the front triangle.

Remember to add a seam allowance around all the cutting edges.

A step I did later, but should be done now: Mark the space for the letters.  See Step 8 for a picture.
Left: The original template. Right: The kite-shaped template for cutting

4. Bought (more) fabric


When buying the fabric, you need to decide which way you want the pattern to hang and make sure you get enough fabric to fit as many templates as you want.

I wanted a lot of different bright colours and chose three patterns each of blue, green, red, pink, purple, orange and yellow - 21 colours.  My rule for this fabric that the patterns be one colour, maybe with some white.

A fat quarter gave me two kite shapes on the grain, rotated 90° (42 flags). This meant that I was sure to have my patterns varied between flags and across the front and back.

Trace the letters back-to-front
You will also need fabric & stiff interfacing for the letters. I used between 50-100cm of interfacing and two different white-patterned fat quarters.

5. Made the letters


I cut out the printed letters and traced them back-to-front onto interfacing.
I cut the interfacing into a convenient shape that evenly divided the letters into two lots, one for each white-patterned fabric.
Then I attached the interfacing to the fabric.

Once they were securely adhered, I cut out the letters along the traced lines.

Don't cut out the traced letters before you iron them - that's too much work!

6. Cut out the flags


Remember to arrange your template carefully if you care about the pattern directions.  Otherwise it's just important to align the grain with the length or top of a triangle so that it doesn't warp upon hanging or stretch when attached to the bias tape.
I recommend using a rotary cutter and, depending on how long your bunting will be, this would probably justify getting a cutter & mat if you're without.

If you are doing diamonds that will be flopped over the bias strip (one long seam, nice and easy) you might like to use pinking sheers or a decorative rotary blade to make the edges more interesting.

7. Arranged the colour order

To do this I arranged my fabrics in a colour wheel and collected them in a sort of skipping phrase - next colour, skip a colour, next colour, skip two colours, next colour, skip a colour, etc - to create variety.
Then I swapped fabrics so that stripy patterns were separated and so that there was no repetition in the sequence.
There's something soothing & satisfying about rainbows...

8. Placed the letters


I 'matched the middles'.  That is, I found the centre of the colour sequence and the centre of the words and pinned the letters (just one pin at this point) to their matching flags.
Then I laid out the whole thing to check the spelling and see the colour groupings.  I did a bit more shuffling so I was happy with the colours, although it meant the stronger, bolder colours (my favourites) were used for the words and the weaker ones ends up in the ends.
I used the template to centre the letters on each flag and carefully pinned their parts so that they wouldn't shift during sewing.
Using the template to mark the centre-top of each letter.

9. Sew the letters


I like to put my start/end point in an inside corner, should I have one.
For example, I began the A in the corner of the bar as you can see in the photos below.

I used a zigzag set on 3.5 wide and <0.5 long. (The stitch length was rotated off zero about a quarter turn.)

To create square corners on zigzag edgings
  1. Sew begond the end of the edge for about 2mm (no more than the width of your zigzag). 
  2. Lower the needle to the outside of the turn.  If it's turning left, lower it in the right; if it's turning right, lower it into the left.
  3. Raise the foot and rotate your fabric.
  4. Lower the foot and resume sewing.
This creates a square corner on your sewing line rather than a dint. (See the H in the third photo below.)

Stitched beyond the edge;
the needle lowered on the right, ready to turn to the left.
The needled lowered on the left; foot raised and fabric turned.
Some finished letters. I began with some nice easy ones - K, A, T & E!

10. Sewed the sides of the flags


You don't need to do this step if you've cut diamonds and plan to flop them over the bias strip.

For both two-triangle flags and kite shapes: Sew the side(s) of your flag with right sides facing (inside out).

Regardless of how you aligned your grain, be mindful to not stretch the edge when sewing.


11. Trimmed and pressed the flags


For kite shapes:  Trim the tips by snipping a long triangle off the end.  It doesn't need to be right up against the point, you just need to remove the bulk from the tip for turning out.

For two-triangle flags:  Carefully trim on both seam edges.

For trimming that was too close: A stop-fray liquid, or even a dab of glue, can help keep fraying at bay.  Apply this when the flag is inside out.

Turn out your flag and use something pointy to push out the tips.

Press your flag so that it lies symmetrically and flat.

For diamond shapes that will be hung over the bias strip:  Fold and press your diamonds in half with wrong sides together.  This step is important if your fold is not on the grain (maybe for pattern reasons) because it will help prevent stretching.

12. Prepared the bias tape


I used two packs of 5m x 12mm white bias tape.  It comes with the raw edges folded over and pressed.

To join two lengths of bias tape
  1. Open out the ends of the two strips of bias tape and press flat.
  2. Cross the ends so that they are perpendicular (90º to each other - one up/down, the other left-right).
  3. Sew across the widest part of that overlap.  Your sewing line should go through the two points where the fold lines cross and should be at 45º to the edges.
  4. Trim off excess tape.
  5. Press open the allowance and re-press the folds.
My apologies for not providing pictures.  This site does a nice job and begins with making your own bias tape.

Diagram
From http://www.sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/bias-tape-how-make-it-attach-it

13. Attached flags to bias tape


I began attaching my flags from the middle of the tape, starting with the middle of the words (between the T and H of birthday) and worked my way towards the start and then in the other direction, towards the end. This way, I knew the flags would be centred and I'd use the tape economically.
The middle of the tape was already marked by the join I'd made in Step 12.
It was also easier to seal the ends of tape as a finishing step rather than at the start.

For made flags:  Fold your bias tape in half, length wise.  Tuck the top of the flag into the fold of the bias tape.  Use a pin, if you like, to hold the start in place.  Sew along the length of the tape at an appropriate width.  For a 12mm bias tape, it's about 4-5mm from the fold, which should collect the back of the tape too.

For diamonds: (I would recommend pressing your bias tape in half, the way it will be sewn, so that it doesn't push itself out of the flag fold as you sew.)
Fold over your bias tape and tuck it into the fold of the diamond. Sew along the fold, catching the bias tape in the stitch.  The colour of the bias tape will be hidden.

How you space the flags is up to you.  I intended to put a bit of space between the words, but realised I wasn't sure of how much tape I had spare at the ends.  It's not that important with familiar phrases like 'Happy Birthday', though.
A gap of about 1cm to half an inch is sufficient.
I thought that if the flags were very close the bunting might become stiff and not drape easily.

14. Admire work
Check the back of your flags to see that both sides of the tape were stitched.  Re-do any sections that need to to avoid wear and tear from catching.  Use a needle to hide thread ends in the bias tape.

Hang your bunting somewhere obvious and remember to take a photo of it in action!

D152: Little Awesomenesses

For Bub's birthday party cake I used Nigella Lawson's Awesome Vanilla Cake recipe.

Tonight I tried out my idea for a chocolate cupcake variation.  The CTAW chocolate variation for butter cake is done by substituting 2tbsp of flour for cocoa.  This being quite a large recipe, I substituted 3tbsp of the plain flour with cocoa.  

After 25 mins at 180°C/350°F the skewer came out clean. 

I filled the cupcake patties a skinny cm short of the rim and got 24 from one batch.

I shall ice them in the morning when they've cooled and use a milk/butter frosting :D

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Ed note: I couldn't wait...


That there is two batches of glacé icing with some cocoa and shaved dark chocolate added.  Oh yeah!

Aug 19, 2013

D148-51: oh my goodness gracious me oh my

I

Am writing this

With a tall cup of tea in front of me

And nothing in particular to do

Just for a while.


Here are my Maker wins at the end of our first First Birthday season.

One: The Bunting

I finished the birthday bunting on Friday night, in good time for the in-laws' visit on Saturday.  Even more rewarding was that Bub noticed it as soon as she entered the dining room that morning and made lots of sweet noises and pointing gestures.  *glee!*

Sub-wins include it looking nice and neat and not having to correct any spelling errors.

Two: The Party Favours

Sorry for the poor pics. The colours were rather cool though!
I finished the biscuit icing in good time for the party, though wish I'd been quicker on Saturday morning.  I was finishing them off as family arrived, but it did help explain everything I was doing.

I even chose to 'delegate' in a way.  I had thought 6 biscuits in a bag might be too much for little kids, but two bags for bigger kids makes it clearly unfair.  So I had bags of four and of two, and explained that parents could decide how much was enough for their children, considering how many chocolate crackles, corn chips and pieces of fairy bread they'd already had.  And there was heaps that way, with lots of choice.

Deciding to do bags of twos and fours meant I didn't need to bake and ice more biscuits so that every child would get six.  Yay for brains!

Three-A:  The birthday cake

What was left after the party
I took a risk and used Nigella Lawson's Awesome Vanilla Cake recipe.  The risk was in never having used the recipe before and that it uses oil instead of butter.  I've made cakes with oil before, but not with no butter at all.  Initially I could smell the oil really easily.  However, I think that smell largely left once it cooled and the butter icing made a good difference for the taste.

I chose the recipe because it's ridiculously quick to make and there was a pretty good recommendation on the webpage.  And it is very quick to make.  Seriously.  You couldn't even use it in a race, it's that quick. Beat egg and sugar for 1min, add the rest, beat for another minute. Pour.  See?  Zoom.  Took longer to line the pan.

On Saturday night Hub helped me make it a random rainbow cake, which was fun and successful.  In the end I didn't get a proper shot of the cake.  I thought it looked rather amateurish, but it tasted yum and looked happy, which is all the really matters.

Three-B:  The birthday cake again

By Sunday morning I was worried one cake wasn't enough.  So I did the time calculations and after putting Bub down for her morning nap I made another layer, this time without colour.  It had cooled enough to sandwich the two cakes together with blackberry jam, cover it with butter icing and arrange some Smarties on top (all the pink, red and purple ones in the shape of a 1), all completed mere minutes before we left.  Two helpers made a difference too, which leads me to...

Four: Asking for help

I called on one of my BFFs. She's the kind of person I'd trust with my baby, my keys, my kidneys.  She's that good.  At less than 12hrs notice she came to the party 90mins early, bringing her fiancé, and they helped us chop, slice, scoop, decant, sort, decorate, arrange, glad-wrap, pack, transport, arrange, heat, serve, tidy, clean, wash, vacuum and mop.  It was above and beyond the call.  I sincerely look forward to being able to pay it all back, coz I don't think I can thank her enough to actually match my gratitude.  It could not have happened without them.

And not a Maker aspect but a win nevertheless...

Scoring the venue!

We had hoped to use the park on the day and told our friends a few weeks ago.  Then we realised there was a hot plate there so thought sausage sizzle, yeah? Little casual, whatevs.  Then we got into the week before and knew that we'd been kidding ourselves.  August has been windy. (How windy? More italics please.)  It's been showers and generally random <10°C all over the shop.  Yuck.  And we were going to take our friends to the park?  In the wet wind?  With food that rolls?  Hurrrrrrr...

So long story short, I found that the room my parents' group uses was not only for hire, and not only available for that afternoon, but about 60% the regular cost coz I'm a member.*  Full kitchen, outdoor play area and lots of toys appropriate for my friends' kids?  Yes please. The only downside was the start time being 90mins later, but in reality we needed all the prep time we could get.

And the extra icing on the cake: Bub enjoyed herself and rolled with the day in very fine form.  She was a star.
Our little One Year Old girl!

It was a total success.

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*At this point I knew I was about to do exactly what I said I wouldn't do, which was cater for all our friends at a hired venue.  I was sure panic attacks would ensue and I'd unravel in a pyjamaed, crazy-haired, watery, jittering mess.  Two things saved me: being too tired and busy to actually build up any anxiety, and knowing, in the back of my mind, that all my friends would be absolutely fine if I'd chucked it all and ordered a dozen pizzas.

Aug 14, 2013

D146&147: zzzzZZZZZZZzzzz!

All the letters are sewn onto the flags and all the flags are sealed.
What's remaining is trimming the tips, turning them out and ironing and sewing them onto the bias tape...  :D

Aug 12, 2013

D145: Tip of the day - Time yourself

 Last night it took 30mins to pin and sew three letters into place, and then sew five of them into flags.  So I knew, by the end of the night, that I had about another 3-4 hours of work left on this project.


This evening it took almost an hour to arrange and pin eight letter and sew on four.  With another nine letters to sew and about 18 flags to sew up, all of them to turn out and press, and then sew onto bias binding, I'm running on schedule.

On Saturday I only had a gut feeling that I hadn't enough time to finish this project; this maths confirmed it for me.  So, in hindsight, I was very glad I followed my hunch about the time available and not my desire to try to get the project done.

This is my take-away tip for myself and you: as soon as you get your groove, get your gauge.

Are you in the flow of knitting? About to do something you're going to repeat a lot? Glance at the clock and see how long it takes you to...
...pin the pattern and cut out the fabric for an A-line dress.
...get a cake in the oven from opening the cupboard to starting the oven timer. (Was your butter frozen or room temp this time?)
...ice three cupcakes. (Don't use the first two or three if you're learning).
...sew up the arm seam on a baby's jacket.  That's about a foot of sewing.
...knit a row, or 100 stitches, or five rows, or 5cm of jumper front with this weight yarn.  
...Figure out your actual stitch-per-minute or rows-per-minute rate for the current task: knit for 5mins straight, uninterrupted (or interrupted, telly on or off, whichever is more likely), count your stitches or rows and divide by 5.

Whether it's for this task right now, planning for coming events or so you can go to bed at a reasonable hour (HA!) knowing your working speed is empowering.

For longer projects, make a note how long it took to complete a project and the rate at which you worked.  For example, I'm going to go back in Ravelry, where I record all my knitting projects, and note in my Shawl Collar Sweater project that it took me a fortnight to complete it when I worked on it nearly every day.  If I knew how many hours it took, I'd note that as well.

For me, knowing how long I'm going to take can be motivating.  I can get my hands around the task and see the end.  I also find it quite rewarding to have an awareness about my work, as it feels like my experience is starting to show.  

Last thing:  I also recommend flipping thoughts like "Ugh! I have so many hours to go STILL" on a task that's become stale, into "Only this long till the next thing!"  This silver lining, folks. Talk it, work it.

Aug 11, 2013

D144: Nailed it.

Pretty much...  well, enough for me.

Only took 3 hours!


This is Royal Icing from CTAW.  It was quick to beat the egg white to a peak but slow to add the icing sugar while sifting.  Next time, sift first.  I had to add a few teaspoons of water to get it soft enough to go through the icing syringe.  By the time I'd done the last colour the first colour was pretty much set.  I'll leave them to set as long as I can though. 

I used Queen food colours, which are drops and not gels, and dry slightly darker than this.  I'm wondering about visiting Spotlight again and having a proper look at their icing options, maybe trying for stronger colour set.  It's all rather new to me - hopefully I'll be quicker as I get more experienced.

Perchance to dream... I'd like to do a set of each in a gift bag for the kids coming to the party.  Leftovers and 1s could go to adults... 


Aug 10, 2013

D143: Well, well, well... if it isn't the old alphabet...

I've had it in mind to make bikkies of ones, exclamation marks and the letters of Bub's name for her first birthday, and ice them too, of course.  A few weeks ago I bought some Fred & Friends Letter Pressed Cookie Cutters and Letter Pressed Numbers.  The cutters and the boxes were full of promise and I was delightedly keen to go.  

Tomorrow were seeing our family for Bub's birthday, so I'm doing a test run for next weekend when we see Hubs family and aaaaaall our friends (well, many of them).  I'd like for the biscuits to be the party favour, but I'll skip it altogether if they don't come up to scratch.

Below are some tips for working with this product.  
TLDR? Roll out the dough, and cut and stamp the biscuits before chilling. Stamp the biscuits deeply, chill them for a full 30mins, bake till browned (for me, 12mins).

I'm familiar with the CTAW biscuit recipe (which rises quite a bit) so decided to try the one recommended with the stamps.  Here it is, somewhat summarised.  I had to make changes anyway, so am taking liberties with the presentation*:

Fred's Favourite Sugar Cookies*


  • 1 cup (250g) butter
  • 1 sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups flour

  1. Cream the butter and sugar till fluffy
  2. Add egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly
  3. Sift together dry ingredients
  4. Add dry ingredient to mixture in two batches. Ensure it's thoroughly mixed.
  5. Split sought in two and roll out each between two sheets of parchment or grease proof paper. 
  6. Chill for 30mins.
  7. Use stamps to cut and impress dough.
  8. Bake for 8-10 mins, or until biscuits are browned around the edges.

Steps 5 - 7 are where I had concerns.
The stamps have rounded edges and are not that sharp. Even if I was to create a rectangular shape, and even if I could perfectly tessellate the stamps into that rectangle, there would still be off-cuts at the corners and under the stamp edge.
I wasn't sure of the purpose of the chilling.  Was it a binding/resting step? Or was it to control the spread and rise of the biscuits?  If so, that progress would be lost when the offcuts were kneaded, re-rolled and cut again.

So, I experimented. I rolled, cut and pressed all my biscuits and lay them on parchment in three batches.

The first batch was not chilled.  Also, I was still learning how deeply to press the stamps.
It was doing the 1 when I realised how much deeper I should be pressing.
The second batch were well pressed and chilled for 10mins.
See the slight bulge on the sides? That's how hard you press.
The last batch was well pressed, chilled for the full 30mins, and baked 12mins.
Finally, she figures it out.  Hope these ones are crunchy too.
So there you have it!  Press well, chill well, bake well.
I wonder if chilling the CTAW bikkie recipe would have the same effect...

In other news, I won't have my sewing project ready for my family's gathering.  If you've been reading for the last few days you've probably figured out that I've been sewing a birthday bunting for Bub.  I'm really pleased with how its going, but I've only done three letters of 18 and some flags.  This makes me a quite sad really, but I should spend the morning making a second thing for the arvo tea and icing these bikkies (more practise for next week). I won't have time to sew on the rest of the letters, the rest of the flags and sew the bunting together.  I don't know where the day went :(

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*It's worth mentioning, the recipe on the Letters box was wrong.  It listed "1 egg" twice and didn't list flour at all.  If I hadn't bought the Numbers box - with a recipe that was the same in every other way - I couldn't have used their recipe.  Admittedly, this did not bode well for the quality of the product, but Bub slept for 7hrs in a row last night so optimism lined the day.

Aug 8, 2013

D141: Cut some fabric

I can't believe I got these all done. Three patterns each in blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink and purple; two cut in each pattern; forty-two triangles... 22cm-ish per flag... Almost 10m of bunting.  
Too much?

 NAAAAAA.

Aug 7, 2013

D140: Did some ironing

That in itself is worth telling the Internet about.  Ironed some fabric, some interfacing and cut out some things...


Aug 6, 2013

D139: Humble Foundations

I'm out with a rotten cold at the moment.  Thank goodness Hub was able to take the day off and give me a sleep in and some help.  I'll miss him a lot tomorrow, which is why I bought paracetamol today.

A few more steps made in this current project...

Aug 5, 2013

D138: Grand Plans

I've made a start on something for Bub's first birthday.  We have three get-togethers for this milestone  - Hub's family, my family and then our friends. There's just too many people to fit them all into one occasion or available venue. 

I'm not confident I'll have this done for the last get-together, let alone the first, so I'm hesitant to even name the idea here lest I jinx myself.  Suffice to say, I'm not sure how fiddly or easy this idea will be, but I'm determined to do it, regardless.  Another project right up to the wire!

Aug 4, 2013

D137: Complete - Harrison's Shawl Collar Sweater

I finished the jumper for my lovely friend's gorgeous baby.  Unfortunately I have a cold this weekend.  It hasn't hit me very hard but I've no intention of inflicting it on my friends and their children (who knows what it might morph into for them) so at home I shall stay.

I'm sure the colour on these is off.  The decorative yarn is a light blue and the main yarn is a lovely warm charcoal.

Imagine a slighter lighter blue than the border...


D135&136: Construction & notes - A Shawl Collar Sweater

Yup.  I'm not particularly experienced in knitted garment construction, so was a bit lost on the skeletal instructions provided in the book.  Here are some notes on the different parts about what I did and the results.  For tl;dr go the blue text.

Since this gift should be being delivered right now (brain is calling you Hub - give the gift! Give the gift!)  I can reveal all and use proper pictures.

Pattern: Shawl Collar Sweater
Source: Debbie Bliss Essential Baby
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Chashmerino Aran in charcoal (decorated with leftover DB Baby Cashmerino in Light Blue)

Body neck edge


I was worried about the neatness of this area.  I used a slip-stitch edging to create a smooth edge on the neckline of the body front.  You can see in the images below that one of the edges is a smooth knit-style pattern, which is the slip-stitch edging. 

For a slip-stitch edge, knit the last stitch of the row and slip the first stitch of the next row.  It will create one 'knit' stitch for every two rows and does not affect the row tension.

I left long tails when casting on or off near the shoulders.  I used one of these to sew the neck on the right side as well as back & forth across the neck front.

Shawl collar - Side seam


Below are two angles of the same work - sewing the right-side neck edge to the shawl collar.  To manage the ease, I pinned and held the shawl collar and neck edge and stretched them while I worked.

I used a whip stitch and picked up two 'beads' of the slipped stitch from the neck and whichever shawl collar stitch matched it best, while under tension.

Picking up the slip-stitch from the neck edge to whip-stitch it to the shawl collar.
Same again from another angle

My goal was to ensure a neat and pleasing line on the front, which was a little tricky with the decreased rows.

The inside of the shawl collar side seam - whip stitching.
The outside of the shawl collar side seam.

Shawl Collar - Front seam


The pattern says to place the right collar in front of the left.  I chose to attach them one at a time rather than sew through three thicknesses.

On the body front edge, there's a little purl bump behind each bound-off stitch.  They sit at the back of the work and I used this purl row of stitches when attaching the left collar edge.

Picking up the purl bump behind the cast off edge.

To attach the left (rear) edge, I pinned the point of the collar of the opposite corner and stretched them gently to match the lengths.   I began at the pinned end and whip-stitched towards the left side.

The left collar edge whip-stitched to the body front.  Note the row of cast-off stitches in front.

To attach the right edge, I pinned its corner to the opposite side stretching the lengths even and I whip-stitched the collar edge to the upper 'bead' of each cast-off stitch. I did this for two reasons:
  1. I felt this way would create the least bulk and was most likely to provide a flat seam. 
  2. I liked the idea of the lower bead creating a border that was consistent and neat. 

Whip stitching the right collar edge to the front using the upper bead of the bind-off row.
Note the lower bead is exposed. I like how that pattern leads from a rib in the front all the way to the right.
The completed shawl collar

Shoulder seams


The book's directions describe how to join bound-off and selvage edges (p.33), which is what's required when joining the bound off sleeve to the shoulder's selvage.

The length of the sleeve that's joined to the body goes a few stitches beyond the bound-off edge on both sides.  I aimed to get the corners of the sleeves into the corners of the bound off rows.

To manage the ease into the shoulder, I skipped every fourth stitch (a purl) from the sleeve. The skipped stitch was always a purl stitch because it tucked into the seam better than a knit stitch.


Sewing the sleeve to the body.

Sleeve and side seams


The side seams were the easiest to sew because they matched and have no increasing or decreasing.  Conversely, the sleeves were hardest because of their irregular edges.  I have no advice here - just do your best to match up the changes on each side! :)

Cuff seams


The cuffs on this garment are turned out.  I've written before about being aware of this during knitting.  When sewing the cuff seams, you must work on the opposite side for any seam that will be turned out.

I recommend giving yourself a long tail when casting on the cuffs.  This can be used to neatly join the seam and you can easily hide the end near the elbow, or wherever if goes.


So there are my tips for constructing this garment!  I hope they have been helpful.  :D