Bike Seat cover how to

I finally got the Pfaff back! It was a whole month of waiting and not sewing, but it's finally fixed!
My first project was a bike seat cover for Colin.
He, like most other people living in the Hague, rides his bike almost everywhere, rain or shine.
Bike seat covers are a pretty common thing, so you can ride after a rain without an awkward wet patch on the seat of your pants.
This is how I made it.
You'll need:
Water proof material - I used vinyl, but oil cloth or laminate cotton would work spectacularly and would be easier to work with. You'll need about a 1/4 yard total and you'll have leftovers.
Metal Eyelets
Spring loaded cording stops
A pattern traced from the top of the bike seat.
Colin's one request was that I make his bike seat orange.
Apparently orange vinyl and/or oil cloth is super hard to find.
I ended up using this mildly hilarious basketball texture orange vinyl.
First, cut out your pattern. 
Colin traced and scanned his bike seat for me and I printed it out on this neon printer paper. 
 Trace the bike seat template onto the wrong side of the vinyl. Leave about a 1/4 inch around the edges.
See, it's traced. Cut this out, again, leave about a 1/4 inch around each edge. 
Cut a strip of vinyl about 30 inches long by 4 inches wide. 
This strip will be the sides of the bike seat cover.
Cut out the long strip. 
Mark a line 1 1/2 inches from one long side. 
Fold the vinyl edge over to meet the marked line. Sandwich the cording inside. 
I find it easier to insert the cording now instead of trying to feed it through after sewing the casing.
This is my preference with super stiff fabric like vinyl. If you do this, you must be careful not to sew over the cording. 
 Sew the seam. Use tissue to make sure the vinyl glides through your feed dogs and under the presser foot.
You can rip the tissue paper off when sewing is done.
I reinforced this seam with a zig zag stitch.
 Now is the time to attach the strip to the seat shape. Find the center back, pin the pieces right sides together and sew. The casing edge is NOT the edge to sew. If you're working with vinyl, this will be awkward and difficult.
Go slow and stretch the curved edges to shape it correctly. Do not sew up the short edges yet!
 When it is done, it will look like this. Again, I reinforced the seams with a zig zag stitch.
Now insert the eyelets. I used single eyelets just on the outside layer of the casing. The cord will go through this from the inside of the casing to the outside.  
 See, just one layer of eyelet. These are little hammer set eyelets. 
Once they are set, push your cording through the eyelets to the right side of the fabric.
 Now finish the short edges of the strip to make a back seam. 
You can simply butt the edges, right sides together and sew a seam straight up the back.
Now we can attach the cord stops! Melting the ends of the cord makes this easier. 
Use a match or a lighter to just barely melt it, then smoosh it between your fingers to smooth it. 
 Once my stop was on, I tied a knot and melted the ends of the cord together.
 Finished back
Now go put the cover on your bike seat!
More updates in the days to come!


it's been weeks, I know...

Sorry for the long absence. 
Work has been intense. Who decided Christmas shopping started the day after Halloween this year?
And to top all of this off, we've started the 3rd week of the Pfaff at Missouri Sewing Machine Company.
I'm feeling drained, and I'm hoping family time will help.
More soon, promise.


blog traffic

I love the beauty of google analytics.
My chevron dresser was featured on the spanish blog Oh Mundo Cruel back in July... unbeknownst to me until now!
I don't read spanish, but the pictures are pretty amazing, and google translate will help with any text you might want to read.
Oh Mundo Cruel features a little bit of everything, fashion, interior design, product design and lots of images to copy into the inspiration file we all have sitting on our desktop.


Gezelligheid Hat

I knitted a hat ya'll!
See all those pretty little v shaped cables? 
However hipster I might look in this hat, I did not knit it for myself.
This hat is destined to be mailed to Holland for Colin.
I'm calling it the Gezelligheid Hat because I read somewhere that gezelligheid means cosy in dutch.
And I want this to make his head cosy in cold wintertime weather in the Hague.
 I'm just modeling it to show you how pretty it looks and how many weird faces I can manage.
Glare is what happens when you take pictures with overhead light and a camera flash at night indoors...
Anyways, I knit this hat in two evenings of stop and go knitting after work this week.
It's an easy project, and I thought I would give you the pattern, in case you love my hat so much that you want to make your own.
If you've never knit cables before, this would be a great little intro pattern to work, since the cables are pretty small and easy to work with.
I found the original pattern on Ravelry
It was originally written by Smariek Knits. She calls it a Cap Karma Hat.
Her pattern stops the cable repeats at the bottom, so the top of the hat does not follow the V pattern and is all just knit.
Brooklyn Tweed has written a modification for the crown shaping so that the cables continue all the way to the top of the hat, through the decreases. It's a really clever modification actually.
My hat is a combination of the original cap karma with the Brooklyn Tweed modification added after 4 cable repeats.
Below I've copied the directions I followed, renamed for your convenience.
Gezelligheid Hat
You'll need:
-1 skein worsted weight yarn

-one set of size 8 ( 5mm) double pointed needles
I used a fifth double point as a cable needle, 
but you could also use a traditional cable needle per your preference.
CO 96 sts, join with out twisting
Knit 8 rounds of *k2 p2* ribbing
Round 1 - k across
Round 2 - k across
Round 3 - k across
Round 4 - *CB4, k4*
Round 5 - k across
Round 6 - k across
Round 7 - k across
Round 8 - *k4, CF4*
Repeat rounds 1-8 three more times, or until desired length.

Decreasing - 
Round 1 - k all sts
Round 2 - k all sts
Round 3 - *ssk, k6*
Round 4 - *(sl next st to CN and hold in back, k next 2 sts, k st from CN) k4*
Round 5 - k all sts
Round 6 - *k5, k2tog*
Round 7 - k all sts
Round 8 - *k3 (sl next 2 sts to CN and hold in front, k next st, k 2 sts from CN) k4*
Round 9 - *k1, k2tog, k3*
Round 10 - k all sts
Round 11 - k all sts
Round 12 - *(sl next st to CN and hold in back, k next st, k st from CN) k3*
Round 13 - *k2, ssk, k1*
Round 14 - k all sts
Round 15 - *k2tog, k2*
Round 16 - *k1 (sl next st to CN and hold in front, k next st, k st from CN)*
Round 17 - *k1, k2tog*
Round 18 - k all sts
Round 19 - * k2tog*

Break yarn and draw through remaining sts, weave in all ends.


Abbreviations used above (and how I work them):
k = knit
p = purl
CO = cast on
CN = cable needle
ssk = slip, slip, knit. Slip 2 stitches from the left needle knit wise onto the right needle. Insert you left needle back into those 2 slipped stitches and knit them together as one knit stitch. 
sl = slip a stitch from the left needle to the right needle
k2tog = knit two stitches together as one stitch
CB4 = slip 2 stitches onto the CN and hold in back of work, then knit two stitches from the left needle, now purl 2 stitches from the CN
CF4 = slip 2 stitches onto the CN and hold in front of work, then knit 2 stitches from the left needle, now knit 2 stitches from the CN

hot dogs

The other day my dad and I tried a new hot dog restaurant here in KC, Big City Hot Dogs.
Here he is- my dad makes his triumphant blog debut. 
We had Soda Vie root beer. It's a local artisanal soda company.
Those bottles are so neat! Blue glass!
 My dad had a Detroit Coney Island style hot dog.
His is topped with yellow mustard, beef chili and chopped onions.
 I had a Kansas City BBQ style hot dog. 
It was topped with bbq sauce, diced onion, blue cheese crumbles and dill pickle wedges.
The restaurant service and food was good though the restaurant itself a little plain jane inside. 
It was also in a really odd spot in KC, sort of out of the way from where I would usually drive around.
I have more projects to share soon, including some holiday themed things.
I still haven't gotten my sewing machine back from being serviced ( Do you hear me Missouri Sewing Machine Company? It's been almost 2 weeks when you said it would take one!) so I still have yet to finish my upholstery projects.
I promise I will share those whenever I can actually finish them!


animal friends

I acquired two new animal friends this weekend.
Owl cookie jar looks sweet. 
I think it's a Mccoy, but it has some hairlines and a little chip inside, so I got it for $4!
He will soon grace my mantle!
Second, is this bulldog statue. 
I was convinced it was a Georgia bullie, but my dad seems to think its a US Marine Core mascot.
What do you think?

I can't wait to start decorating! Appliances are in, and the water is being turned on this week!
I'll share pictures as soon as I can!


burt the muppet from sesame street

Did you know that Bert's birthday is the same as mine?
Because it is. July 26th.
I was rooting around in my atic this morning when I found him, a mini Bert.


I voted!


Moving into the new house is going very slowly.
My dad is relying mainly on the help of one of my uncles to get most of the fix it work done before I can move in, and it's been one dramatic family crisis after another thats set things behind.
Among them, one of my cousins hit a deer and totaled her car in Kansas City the other day, so he had to go deal with her rather than get things done in my house.
Basically I'm waiting for my appliances to be installed (again, my dad's a landlord, so he all ready has them, they just need to be carried in and hooked up properly), some minor paint, re-attachment of some pieces of trim still left off from the floors being refinished, the water turned on and a countertop to be installed.

This is all very frustrating to me. But, I'll take what I'm given since my dad has been generous enough to give me somewhere to live rent free.


In the meantime I've been dealing with the future decor of the house.
When I lived in Baltimore, my apartment was mainly furnished by my roommates father. He brought us a mismash of things her family had given us- so I didn't have much by way of decorating in that shared space when I moved home, save for my bedroom furniture. Fast forward to furnishing a whole (but small) house. 

I've claimed a wooden daybed from my grandparents house, and made new cushions. 
I've been working on the reupholstery of the cushions for the last few days. 
I hit a hiccup with my mom's sewing machine yesterday, and ended up having to take it to be serviced and have the tensions aligned.
So with no real progress to show you, I thought I would highlight the color choices I've made.

The couch cushion fabric is this orangey-gold geometric print.
I never thought I would end up with orange, but this was the only fabric I liked throughout my exhaustive search here in KC of every fabric store known to man.
A plus is that I bought the last of this yardage in the sale section, so I got it for a song! 7+ yards for about $60! 
I even have enough left to upholster matching cushions for my side chairs!
 I'm using this fabric for throw pillows. It's a tapestry from urban outfitters from maybe 5 years ago. I really like the watercolor-y  cherry blossom print. The peach tones coordinate well with the upholstery for the couch.
It's super thin, more like drapery weight fabric, so I'm going to need to line it, but it will work perfectly well as a pillow cover.
 This is a better shot of the pattern repeat. I know I've seen something similar to this in dec weight fabric. 
I saw something on fabric row last spring in Philly, but I have no idea who the maker is.
This will the be other throw pillow fabric. 
I've been into animal print lately, and I made a freezer paper stencil and painted the fabric myself to get it in the shade I wanted. It's a nice peach-pink.
Freezer paper stencils are amazingly easy if you've never tried before. You just cut out whatever you want, like leopard spots, iron the shiny silicon impregnated side of the paper down to fabric with a warm iron, daub paint over the top, then peel the paper off. It's like magic.
This would have been easier to screen print, but without the wonderful studio of undergrad printmaking lore, I'm stuck with stenciling for now.

More updates once I get the sewing machine back and I finish up my projects. 
I'm so excited to show you the whole sofa ensemble!