DIY - Restyle, Sweatshirt Makeovers 2

Restyling Sweatshirts-No Sweat
Top Row:
1. Simple Embroidery stitches in bright, fun colours dress up a blah sweatshirt with fashionable style.
2. Zip & Contrast Sleeves give this shirt a fashion edge by sewing a zipper into the raglan seam and adding contrast tshirt sleeve bottoms.
3. Spray Paint Skyline is so easy - fabric paint spray, a cardboard cutout of a city skyline, spray and voila, a bright skyline.
Middle Row:
4. Gathered Shoulders restyle this oversized sweatshirt into something special.
5. Uptown Sweats by breaking up a necklace, spray painting the beads and sewing on in allover pattern.
Bottom Row:
6. Fuzzy Felt Elbows using felt or felting with a heart cookie cutter.
7. Lacy 'n Feminine and sheer by attaching lace fronts to a hoodie.
8. Knitted Up Front and attaching the knitted piece to the cut out front of a sweatshirt.
Thank you for the overwhelming popularity of the original post - No Sweat - Sweatshirt Makeovers - it inspired me to post No Sweat 2.
Hopefully the ideas in this post will be just as inspiring. Enjoy!


Needlecrafts - Knitting Stitch Primer, Eyelet Stitch

Needlecrafts - Lace Eyelet Stitch Pattern
When we are in the learning stages of acquiring new skills, I'm always amazed at what I found to be difficult and others learned easily.
Lace knitting was definitely a skill I accomplished without too much stress but cables, even the simplest pattern stitch was an ordeal I avoided.
Maybe it was the cable needle that scared me. I'm not sure but lace knitting was all about two needles and counting.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a knit wunderkind pumping out intricate lace patterns, but the yo or yarn overs and k2tog or knit two togethers didn't intimidate me.
Certain lace stitch patterns create a sheer fabric, which is very much in fashion. Of course the finer the yarn, the sheerer the fabric.
But you don't have to pull out the 2 ply fingering weight to get exposure.
A lightweight worsted in a simple lace net stitch will give you the sheerness you want, as illustrated in the design above.
Understanding how to make the different decreases for the holes and the direction is really all there is about simple lace knitting.
Read further and find helpful information regarding decreases, their abbreviations and meaning. Video tutorials show how to accomplish them.
Read further for more inspiration, stitch tutorials for your library and free patterns featuring the Lacy Eyelet Stitches.


Needlecrafts - Knitting Stitch Primer, Drop Stitch

Needlecrafts - Drop Stitch Pattern
Making Waves | Ravelry-ForestWeave,purchase pattern here
Cables and Twists | vogue.com
Leafy Vines | no further info
Sheer Delight | here
It's always interesting to see how any trend evolves. Patchwork, colour blocking, combining knits with wovens and creating sheerness with different guages.
Machine knitting allows the knitter to create see-through areas easily, mixing heavier yarns with very fine guages.
Handknitting is a different story. You can use a heavier guage yarn such as a chunky weight and use the same needle size for a fingering weight. This will lighten the yarn and provide some sheerness.
Another way is through stitch patterns called Drop Stitches, which can be used in a variety of ways.
While knitting you wrap a stitch once, twice and even three times, letting the wraps go on the next row.
This stitch is especially effective and pretty with tape yarns.

Read further for further inspiration, stitch tutorials and free patterns featuring the Drop Stitch.


Needlecrafts - Knitting a Side to Side Basic Top

Needlecrafts - Knit the Basics, Side to Side Top
Image | here
Note: this pattern has been adapted from the pattern on Kat Coyle's Blog
Another interesting basic top you can add to your library is knitted from side to side. There are several reasons for liking this pattern.
The basic garment style, a sleeveless shell takes on a totally new appearance by adding panels.
Knitting in a variety of yarn types can also create contrast in texture.
Add bottom panels and you have tunic length. Add the collar panel and you have a funnel neck. Folded in half, the collar has a more traditional look.
Basically you are knitting two squares for the body. That's it! Again, you can't get any easier than that.
Create directional dimension by knitting texture patterns that have a stripe effect. Look to the many rib stitch patterns for this effect.
Different colours for the panels create visual excitement such as marls or variegated with solids.
Heavy textured yarn on top in stocking stitch and smooth yarn for bottom panels in garter or moss stitch.
Once more, the possibilities are endless.

Read further for pattern, style and finishing tips and helpful sites.


DIY - Soft Shapes In Jewelry

DIY - Funtastic Yarn Jewelry
Images | vogue.com
There's something special about jewelry that doesn't take itself seriously. Jewelry is a decorative accessory, you don't need it but oh how appealing it can be.
This piece of adornment can be anything that makes me feel stylish, gives my outfit a shot of colour, texture, a playful lift.
Soft yarn "jewelry" has really grown up and become sophisticated.
Whether it's crochet, knit or macrame, the result is textured and tactile, begging us to touch it.
Tory Burch has fun with her accessories for the Spring season. Straw, shells, crocheted balls and pompoms in bright colours bring a smile to your face.
These accessories have an added benefit, they are easy and fun to make.

Read further for wonderful inspiration and tutorials on how to make some of the components in the soft jewelry.


Needlecrafts - Crochet, Aran Style

Needlecrafts - Crochet, Aran Style
Copenhagen Jacket | free pattern here
It amazes me how many women solely crochet or knit. Yet, there are a few of us that enter the "dark side" and do both.
This may also be the reason why I'm not a master class knitter or crocheter. I dabble in both and am pleased with my "dabbled" accomplishments.
Aran garments have predominately been designed for knitters who love the challenge of beautiful and complex cable patterns.
Crocheters have always had their pick of aran afghan and pillow patterns but not many garment designs.
Perhaps this was due to the finished bulk of the fabric and that crochet patterns are quite long when written in words.
Finding simple, yet interesting patterns with some detail and a bit of challenge, but not so overwhelming that you got a headache looking at the pattern wasn't easy.
Hopefully, you'll find the five patterns I found interesting, useful and fun to crochet.

Read further for the other four free patterns besides the one featured.
Video tutorials show how understanding post stitches and how they work will help when working any cable stitches you attempt in the future.
Also featured are several simple cable stitch patterns to add to your library.


Needlecrafts - Knits in Combination

Needlecrafts - Knits in Combination
Leather patches on sleeve elbows or suede fronts or trim on vintage men's sweaters are not new and have been around for a long time.
Combining knits with lace, leather, fabric and even fur caught my eye throughout the runway collections for Fall/Winter 2013.
Lace used to lengthen tunics to knee-length, allowing for some transparency was particularly feminine and pretty.
The showstopper for me was the fur sleeves at Max Mara.These sleeves combined with the cable knit sweater was modern, perhaps a jacket idea more than a pullover.
Shirt bottoms are attached to knit yoke in menswear . All of these ideas, to me, are modern and a continuation of the concept of restyling garments.

Read further for ideas and inspiration, tips for sewing with leather and other helpful hints.
Images | vogue.com


Needlecrafts - Knitting the Basic Top

Needlecrafts - Knit the Basics, Sleeveless Top
Image | Phildar 16
Having a library of adaptable, basic garment patterns is something I've always believed to be useful.
The first of these basic garments is the cap sleeve top.
This pattern can be made in cotton or cashmere, take you from winter to summer and is ideal for layering.
The pattern itself is very simple and if you read further, I've rendered four different possibilities for this style.
Basically you are knitting the body in one piece. Presto, a top! You can't get any easier than that.
Knitting short or long sleeves makes it different. Choose different colours for the front and back breaking the colours at the shoulder. You now have a colour blocked top.
Choosing different stitch patterns also differentiates the garment parts. Stocking stitch bottom, garter yoke. Garter sides, moss stitch middle panel.
The possibilities are endless.

Read further for pattern, style and finishing tips and helpful sites.


Needlecrafts - Knit, Garter Stitch

Needlecrafts - Knit, Garter Stitch Pattern
Garter stitch has always been looked down upon as a beginner's type of knitting. True, this is a great stitch to start with, however it is a great stitch, period.
I love any of the knit and pearl stitch patterns where you can incorporate garter for the pearl portions.
The first two garment show how effective garter stitch can be with more texture than stocking stitch, but still simplicity at it's best.
The second garment shows how two pieces, worked from side to side, come together to make up a very chic garment .

Read further for inspiration, lots of free patterns for simple Spring styles and an unusual edging stitch that can be used with any of these patterns.


Needlecrafts - Knitting Stitch Primer

Needlecrafts - Open Cable Stitch Pattern
Large Image | here
Side Images | style.com
Ever since Mark Fast and Tess Giberson presented cables in what looked to be fresh and new, I became fascinated with open cable stitch patterns.
The stitch pattern can be as simple as separating the parts of the cable creating a hole between the twists or knitting strips and twisting them into cables between solid fabric.
Mark Lupfer has used the open cable throughout his garment, while other designers have used this stitch as an accent border.
Read further to get more inspired, tutorials on different versions of the open cable stitch pattern and two knitting patterns that feature the open cable pattern .