I just discovered Weekend Designer. This weekend sewer gives lovely free patterns (for advanced sewers) on his site. Modern, fashion-forward, runway-style apparel, accessories, and even home decor. Thanks Don Morin!! Here’s the pattern that made me look – Zoot Alors! (the pants):
It seems he made his 100th blog post and decided to call it quits. However, his blog with all his wonderful patterns are still up! And I hope they stay up forever! Or long enough for me to try some patterns and archive them for my own future use.
He’s since started a new blog called Bag’n Tell. He is chock-full of sophisticated and fashionable ideas! Get your fix for do-it-yourself bags and accessories ideas here. Here’s a lovely example:
Crochet is one of the zippiest and convenient handicrafts around and is suitable for almost any budget, skill level, and age! Great for traveling like on a train or on a plane! Or a nice little weekend project. For little to no investment and some spare time here and there, anyone can try a crochet project for the first time and complete it!
Of course, with anything your tools are important and choosing just the right ones to suit your needs is an essential task. Anyone who knows me, knows that I tend to choose the best tools I can find in relation to their value and versatility. There are a myriad of higher end handcrafted artisan tools available. (I have seen $40 needles. Even knitting maniacs are hard pressed to own those!) If it’s you’re thing, go for it! I just chose the best quality and value within reason. They’re what I use! So here are my tools and recommendations. Also, here’s a list of where to find all these tools when ready to buy, Where To Buy: Knit and Crochet Tools.
Boye Aluminum Hook Set Sizes D-K by Wrights
On the heavier side but these hooks are great for beginners. The shape of the hook is very easy to learn on. They are very affordable and a popular brand found in many craft stores. The perfect starter set. Great for natural and synthetic fiber yarns. The ever popular Susan Bates Brand hooks have a slightly different shape than the Boye hooks. Many prefer the Bates version. Boye also makes a plastic hook called Balene and a wooden one in Rosewood.
Boye Giant Crochet Hook – Size Q (15.75mm)
This is a big blue plastic crochet hook on the right, #12! For extra chunky yarns or working with multiple strands of yarns at once. Excellent for quick yet stunning knits. Perfect for that First Crochet Project when getting comfortable with crochet. The only drawback with this is working with plastic hooks/synthetic yarns is kind of icky. I don’t know of any Size Q hooks that are not plastic. Given the size of the hook, it’s the only material that won’t be too heavy to work with.
Sewing patterns can be hard to find in New York City! We have everything here! Except the normals things.
Since starting my sewing class and seeing how wonderfully fun it is, I started looking for ideas and patterns to make my first at-home pieces. I was looking for vintage mod style clothing to make myself and came upon Sweet Sassafras. It’s a sewing blog by Sara from Portland, Oregon and has a lovely list of online resources for vintage sewing patterns! It is a treasure trove. They are conveniently listed from inexpensive to pricey. Sweet Sassafras’ Vintage Sewing Patterns Directory:
Not only a good selection of vintage patterns, but they have their own little line of patterns as well! The hawaiian sarong pattern is gorgeous!
A sweet little website with some real gems!
The Vintage Peddler
Vintage clothing shop with a selection of lovely patterns from the 20s to the 70s!
A nice selection of patterns from the 1950s to the present at this Etsy shop.
Several lovely patterns at more than fair prices.
Many patterns at good prices, but it will take some looking!
Main Street Mall Online.
Out of the Ashes Collectibles
Well organized, great selection, and good prices!
Very cheap, with lots of variety other than women’s clothing. Great place to look for cheap patterns from the 60s and 70s, especially.
Nicely organized by decade, and large selection.
So many patterns, at very reasonable prices!
OMG! Heart this talented sewer, Mena Trott, who was featured today on The Storque.
Mena’s blog, Sew Weekly, documents making a new dress a week! In the Fall of 2009 she decided she’d like to make one beautiful vintage-inspired piece a week and post them on her blog. Check out all her lovely creations so far, the lovely vintage fabrics she uses, and her wardrobe of clothes.
This reminded me of New Dress A Day. Another blog I discovered awhile ago that also began in Fall 2009. New Dress A Day makes a new dress from an old item of clothing every day for 1 full year! With a budget of $365 per year. That’s $1 a day. Their motto is “365 days. 365 items of clothing. 365 dollars.” They are on Day 333. It’s almost been a full 365 days!
Sewing is such a lovely hobby to pursue, make some lovely things for yourself and loved ones, and maybe even save some money all at the same time!
It’s that time of year again! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s! Which also means it’s time for fun and presents!
Every week until New Year’s I will be posting a variety of great quick knit/crochet patterns, either by me! or from all the wonderful resources on the web, for the upcoming holidays. Each one should be 4-6 hrs tops or less if you’re a quick study. Great for weekend or 1-day projects!
So why not try an easy knit or crochet project this year and make your own homemade presents at the same time?! Most are easy beginner level and easily customizable for him or her.
Here are some samples of past projects. I also list the yarns I used below. (not all the patterns are up yet):
Chunky, Heavy Scarf
3 Colors using 5 different yarns and Mixed Textures
Crocheted using 2 strands of yarn at once
Colors – Navy, Burgundy, Tan
Techniques – Chain Stitch, Slip Stitch, Joining Colors, Weaving in Ends.
Yarns I Used
Tri-Color Scarves: Red Heart Super Saver, Caron One Pound, Caron Simply Soft, Moda Dea Tweedle Dee, Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Berella Afghan Yarn
This was my first scarf ‘design’! I traded the blue scarf in the photo (and a hat) for an acoustic guitar! The red scarf went to my mother.
Luna Poncho and Luna Hat: Cascade Yarns 220 Wool Heathers
I made this for my friends’ baby, Luna! These were two of my very first crochet projects. The poncho to get the hang of crochet and the hat for circular crochet. Both are free form.
Honeycomb Blanket: Caron Simply Soft
I crocheted this afghan for a wedding present for two of my friends! Based entirely on crochet stitches I mixed together from this consummate Pattern Library: Crochet Stitch Library.
Crochet Pouch: An Irish Tweed I can’t remember
I also made Luna a small teddy bear out of this Irish Tweed. I used the leftovers to make myself a crochet pouch!
Bias Scarf: Noro Transitions
This one was for me! I got this pattern free with the Noro Transitions Yarn I went gaga over.
Ribbed Collegiate: Rowan Tweed. I made this for my brother! Free form using a Rib Stitch.
I’d been looking for a beginning sewing class for awhile and really had a hard time finding a suitable one. Many were too expensive, too basic, or didn’t fit my schedule. There seems to be a shortage of suitable places to take an affordable yet comprehensive beginning class. So after talking to a few people, doing lots of research etc. I finally decided to try Purl Soho. They were the friendliest on the phone, their store assistants are always knowledgeable and nice, and they have a cute store! Their store is also a wealth of (high-end) treasures for knitting, crochet, and sewing from tools to yarn and fabric.
Purl Soho ~ 459 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013 ~ (212) 420-8796
Beginning knitting or crochet needs very few tools and almost no space which is a premium in New York City. All you need is a pair of needles or a hook and some yarn!
But even that was hard to find when I started up knitting again several years ago. Googling “yarn store, nyc” turned up a humble handful of shops with very meager selections. Showing up to a store was even more dubious. Odd buildings, weird floors with no storefront, eccentric proprietors in dingy rundown spaces were what I found. And no ball winders! When I did find some decent yarns, they were pricey! Note: A decent yarn shop will have a ball winder! And will convert your hanks to balls as a courtesy.
Nowadays doing a google search brings up so many new ones that look promising. There was also a yarn renaissance of sorts a few years ago and stores began popping up all over. Anyway, here’s my list of yarn shops in Manhattan. It now includes Brooklyn, Queens, and Online stores.
For those who aren’t anywhere near us, try KnitMap! It’s a cute little website that is also a super comprehensive directory. It has shops from all over the world including contact info, hours, reviews, and ratings!
This is what started it all! Late last summer I wandered into a junk sale at the Moravian Church down the street and spotted this lovely sewing machine for $25. I had been considering sewing for awhile but didn’t know where to begin. I checked into a few things like classes and sewing machines just to get an idea of what it would take to get started. But I still hadn’t arrived at a suitable entree into it yet. Until I spotted this vintage Singer. It was in perfect working order, complete with sewing table and knee pedal, and all in excellent condition. After considering its vintage novelty and the fact that it was $25, I figured I would snap it up now to start.
So here it is. It’s a treadle-style sewing machine from the 1920′s. In cast iron black enamel with gold filigree detail and engraving and most all of its original parts! Even the motor and light are original. It only does a single straight stitch in various lengths. It came in a lovely sewing table with a knee-operated pedal instead of the traditional foot pedal. I’m told attachments can be added to expand the stitch selection. Something I’ll have to check into further. At $25 it was still a luxury for me though and I still hadn’t found a suitable way for me to begin learning. Only this year did I begin seriously getting in gear. This summer I managed to get it serviced and began looking into beginner sewing classes and information.
“OMG! Heart” is usually my remark to things I find especially novel. So that’s what I decided to call this blog dedicated to sharing all the crafty things I heart. It is a collection of craft patterns for knitting, crochet, and sewing. Along with some handy how-tos, resources, noteworthies, novelties etc. On the web and throughout New York City. All patterns are free and range from beg. beginner to adv. advanced!