Saturday, May 3, 2014

Free Sewing Tutorial: DIY Fabulous Ruffled Cowl

Who wouldn't like to wear a fabulous cowl, filled with airy, light, luxurious ruffles? One that was made from light material, suitable for wearing throughout the summer; a fabulous cowl that would be perfect for special occasions or giving a plain outfit that little bit of 'oomph?'

Well I've made one for myself today, and today I'm stepping out of my knitting/crochet niche to share exactly how I made it through this free online tutorial. I must tell the truth and say that originally, this was meant to be a scarf. But because of the huge amount of material you need for this project, and the fact that I really like cowls because you can wear them for hours on end without worrying about adjusting them, this project ended up as a cowl that is nothing short of fabuloso. ;)

All you need is some soft smooth material, scissors, pins, a sewing machine, and some basic sewing skills. This is a perfect project for beginning sewers. I'm pretty sure anyone could do it!

Exactly what you will need:

  • About 2 meters (6'7") of some soft, smooth material
  • Sewing Scissors
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing thread (preferably matching with the color of chosen material) 

Okay, so let's get started....

Step 1:

Cut your material into strips exactly 15 cm (6") wide, then sew the top/bottom ends together until you have a long strip of material approximately 4.5 meters (14'9") in length.

Step 2: 

Run all the edges of the material through the seam foot of your sewing machine.

Tip: When sewing around the edges with the seam foot, trim a little bit off of the corners with your scissors (as pictured below) to get a smoother transition from the corner to the next seam.

Step 3:

Iron your material until it's surface is nice and smooth.

Step 4:

Set the stitch length on your machine to it's longest setting. (As you can see in the above picture, the longest stitch setting on my sewing machine is 4).

Step 5:

Before beginning to sew, make sure you leave a tail of thread long enough to pull at the start of your work. Do this by pulling both threads (from the machine and the bobbin) to the back by at least 7 cm (3"). Working on the wrong side of the material, sew 1 meter (3'3") right down the center of the piece; reverse a few stitches at the end (this holds the thread in place).

Step 6:

Hold the material from where you started sewing, and pick up the thread that is running through the back of the work; gently pull this thread (and I mean gently). The material will instantly start to bunch up.

As the material gathers up and you're gently pulling the thread with one hand, gently pull the ruffles downwards towards the bottom, until the ruffles are evenly distributed throughout the work.

Step 7:

Now make sure you knot the threads well before cutting off the ends. Otherwise your cowl may come undone and it would become a mess.

Step 8:

Repeat steps 5-7 until the whole piece of material is full of ruffles.

Step 9:

The cowl will be all twisted up by the time you are done. So unravel all the twists in the work, until the front seam is completely facing you. Measure your work. The seam from top to bottom should measure approximately 85 cm (2'9") long.

Step 10:

Being careful not to twist the cowl, place the wrong sides of the top seam and the bottom seam together and pin into place.

Sew these seams together on your machine.

That's it, you're done! You now have a fabulous ruffled cowl to spice up your wardrobe. May you wear it in happiness and good health for many days to come. :)

 While you are here on my humble blog, please check out my newly published interview at the awesome Craft Blog Ummi's House.

I've been interviewed by the both lovely and talented  sister Patricia Milton; participants who enter for the giveaway will have a chance to win a free copy of one of my most sought after patterns.


Copyright: You may sell the items that you make with this tutorial. You may not redistribute my tutorial (I worked very hard to make it!) Please share the link to my tutorial instead.

Adorable Angel Wings Baby Set

I was so happy to find the free pattern for the Angel Wings Pinafore dress when my friend gave birth to her baby girl. It took me a while to find a cap that would match, but after an afternoon of searching the patterns on Ravelry, I came across this free pattern for the Shell Stitch Beanie . They were both quick projects, and the results were great- the dress and the hat went together as a very nice set. Absolutely Adorable!

Free Pattern: Coming Home Poncho and matching Beret

I've been awfully busy these days, haven't been able to keep up my blog. Fortunately, I have some time this evening to catch up on posts of my latest projects! I recently made a green coming home poncho in green, as requested by the recipient, and a matching beret.

The links to the free patterns for the poncho and beret can be found here:

Free Pattern: Coming Home Poncho

Free Pattern: Bridgette Beret

I followed the instructions for the poncho, just left out the edging. The pattern for the beret also has a correction, which can be found here.

I was asked why the girl requested such a deep color green, I suppose she is a Raja soccer team fan; Raja is a Moroccan soccer team whose team color is green. I personally don't mind green, but I prefer emerald green or olive green, goes with my complexion. ;)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Free Pattern Friday

 Just wanted to share a project that I finished with this free pattern, Martha Stewart's 'home coming poncho' Found at . Just warming up with this nice little stash buster for my friend's 3 month old daughter, before I start an adult sized poncho for a girl in Casablanca. With a 4mm hook, I chained 48 with 4 ply yarn and followed instructions as written. Rnd 1-2 included 24 blocks. I worked 7 rounds, and  finished it up with picot edging, and 2 rows of sc for the neck. Started and finished in one evening. ‘twas a very relaxing project.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Free Pattern Friday

I plan to post up a free pattern every Friday, so please check in on Fridays and have a peek. Today I'll be talking about my own pattern, which is free for the month of March- my 'Quick-Knit Ribbed Gloves' pattern on Ravelry. The reason why I love this pattern is because it is easy to memorize, and it's a unisex pattern so I just change up the colors according to the gender of the wearer. I literally made these gloves for every member of my family this year. It started with me making some for myself, then my daughter requested a pair, then my toddler, then my two sons, and finally my husband. And on top of that, I made a pair for my sister-in-law, who has requested a second pair, and her daughter would also like a pair too. So that's plenty of knitting love going around this year. :)

If you download this pattern, please post up your finished projects on my Ravelry page! I'd love to see it.

Click here to get your free pattern.

Monday, March 3, 2014

African Flower Power Pot Holder

I finished a quick crochet project this morning, the DROPS Design 'flower power pot holder.' I made it in the same colors as the African violet, which is native to Tanzania. I actually started this project yesterday, but did it all wrong and frogged it back to round 3. I found a video by garnstudio, that shows you exactly how to crochet into the back of the flower, and was then able to finish it in no time. Here is the link to the helpful video:

A very nice project once you get how it's done- my husband agrees with me that it's not as useful being a pot holder as it is decorating my table. :)

If you'd like to make one for yourself, a link to the free pattern can be found on my ravelry project page-

Swish With a Twist Cloth

I joined a knit along with the Creative Magazine Group on Ravelry. The first pattern was the 'swish with a twist cloth'. It took me a while to figure out how to do the cables, but I finally did and the result was a very nice bright yellow cloth:

I did mentally take some notes, of which I will post here for others to benefit from and for myself to remember the next time I decide to knit up this cloth.

  • When you get to row 8: K8, yarn forward, sl 1 purlwise, yarn back over needle, k2, yarn forward, sl 1 purlwise, yarn back over needle, k4… and continue in this manner to avoid the awkward loop on the right side.
  • When slipping the sl sts on the right side, you don't bring the yarn forward. Just slip them purlwise.
  • When you get up to the first w2 on the wrong side, you bring the yarn forward, then you slip the needle purlwise into the first loop, then you drop the second loop. Yarn back into knitting position, k2, then repeat.
  • you are left with one loop from each w2 that you worked. The reason why you must wrap it twice on row 7 is to elongate the stitch.
And as for the second cloth released the next Friday, which was the 'turn back time' spa cloth, I tried knitting from the center out on a set of 4 dpn's, and what I ended up with was fumbled up yarn and fingers, and a hot mess. Never mind. On to the next cloth they released last Friday! After I get through all the loads of other stuff that I have to do. :D