Category: alipyper likes to sew

embroidered birthday badge

I’m working with the Young Women in our neighborhood now. We wanted to recognize the girls on the Sunday before their birthdays. I couldn’t really find something that I liked online, so I came up with this.

The badge measures 7″ x 9″ and hangs around the neck like a lanyard (didn’t want a pin or crown or cape to interfere with Sunday best outfits). It’s made from muslin, fabric and felt with a grosgrain ribbon. I actually made two, and might need to make more, just in case we have more than one birthday in a week.

Crocheted flower and leaf pattern here.

doll clothes for emily

Last year I made a little doll for my godchild who lives in London. She named the doll Emily. It was such a fun thing to make!


For Christmas this year I made a couple more outfits for the Emily and mailed  them to her before Christmas. I had to make another doll, whom I’ve named Freya, to get the dimensions right for the clothes. Every second I worked on the outfits was complete joy.

There were lots of adjustments as I worked the fabric to make the clothes fit. This next year I’ll actually make re-usable patterns so that making clothes is not such a bespoke endeavor.

I think that the embroidered cross-stitch heart on the inside pocket of the coat is my favorite detail. It was also super fun to adjust my Knit Pixie Cable Hat pattern to a doll size and make matching mittens.

Little Emily will now be ready for her New Year’s Eve celebrations!

the incredible power of handwork

I was deeply touched by this short clip of Renate Hiller, co-director of the Fiber Craft Studio at the Threefold Educational Center in Chestnut Ridge, New York, who speaks on the transcendent and meditative qualities of creating with our hands and the importance of using natural and beautiful fibers in our work.

To quote from the video clip:

“…in handwork, in transforming nature we also make something truly unique that we have made with our hands, stitch by stitch, that maybe we have chosen the yarn, we have even spun the yarn — even better, and that we have designed. And when I do that, I feel whole. I feel I am experiencing my inner core because it’s a meditative process. You have to find your way; you have to listen with your whole being. And that is the schooling that we all need today. Because we’re so egocentric and this makes us think of what is needed by something else. So we are in a way practicing empathy — empathy with the material, empathy with the design. I think this practicing of empathy that we do in the fiber crafts is paramount for being healing to our world. And it’s a service for the divine that we are surrounded by.”

Thank you Amanda!

Colonial Day with {K}

I volunteered down at the school for Colonial Day today. I cut off a pair of thrift store pants to make breeches for {K} and made a simple mob cap out of muslin and a long skirt and apron for myself. I was able to help teach the children how to tie quilts. The kids were so smart and quickly learned how. They finished 6 baby quilts that will be donated to the Humanitarian Center.

{K} was such a pill about the tri-corner hat I wanted him to wear! Apparently the rest of the school was having “Crazy Hair Day” and he thought the hat would get in the way. He would only wear it for a picture – and then only begrudgingly. Oh well.

Learning to Smock, a Bake Sale, and Granny Squares

I signed up for the Smocking Class at Harmony and I’m over the moon to finally learn how to embroider smocking!! I’ve wanted to learn since {G} was a baby and for one reason or another I never have. Thank you Harmony!! And I also learned how to embroider bullion roses. Bonus. My lines are a little wonky, but I’m thrilled with how it’s turning out. Just need to sew the smocked panel into a skirt and I’ll be done!

I promptly put Sabrina‘s cute new logo that she painted for me to good use! {K}’s soccer team was having a fundraiser so I made a little tag and put them on my famous Peanut Butter Cookies with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies, and my mom’s Gingersnaps to help raise a little bit of money. Super happy with the logo!!

I’m teaching another class at Harmony on Saturday November 3rd from noon to 2 pm. Do you want to learn how to crochet Granny Squares?? I’ll discuss how to quickly change colors, weaving in ends as you crochet, different methods of circular crochet and joining the blocks together as you go! The 2 hour class will be jam packed with tips and tricks that you can apply to all your crochet projects. Come join us for a great class to elevate your basic crochet skills to the next level. Only $20!

Eyelet Lace

I recently designed a crochet edging that looks kind of like eyelet lace. When I was trying to find a crochet pattern to edge my robe, I came across these laces available from the famous Britex Fabric shop in San Fransisco. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Britex Fabric Eyelet Lace Selection
I’m thinking I need a couple yards of each of these! So beautiful!

Eyelet Lace Crochet Edging Pattern

I finally made myself a housecoat (is that what they’re called? is it a robe? a muu muu? I don’t know!). We all share one bathroom right now, so it was high time. One of my small indulgences is a subscription to the French craft magazine Marie Claire Idées. In the March/April 2012 edition they had this picture (and pattern) and I had to make it!

Unfortunately for my husband and children, the decision to make myself a housecoat was not prompted by necessity. It only came about because I saw one that I felt like I could tolerate wearing. If I hadn’t seen it, I would be still be slinking between the bathroom and the bedroom in a towel.There are other areas in my life where this principle applies, to the detriment of my family members. But why compromise for bad design?? I’d rather slink in a towel than buy an ugly robe.

Granted, it’s autumn and the linen/cotton I chose will not be very warm in the coming winter months, but it had to be linen. I decided to trim the housecoat with a simple crocheted lace and I had it in my mind that I wanted the crocheted lace to look like white eyelet lace. So, I searched high and low to try and find a pattern in my books and online, but to no avail. So, I made a pattern up! It’s not EXACTLY like eyelet lace, but for a simple crocheted edging I like it quite a bit.


Pattern repeat is 7 sts +2. 

On a foundation row (see this tutorial for ideas on how to attach crocheted edging to your linens): ch 1, sc in beg st. Sc in next st *Skip 2 sts. 7 dc in next st. Skip 2 sts. Sc in next two sts.* Repeat from * to * until you reach your last 7 sts. Skip 2 sts. 7 dc in next st. Skip 2 sts. Sc in last 2 sts. Ch 3, turn.

Row 2: Skip first 2 sc. *Sc in 1st dc of shell. Ch 3. Sc in 3rd dc of shell. Ch 3. Sc in 5th dc of shell. Ch 3. Sc in 7th dc of shell. Ch. 3. Skip next 2 sc.* Repeat from * to * until the last shell. Sc in 1st dc of shell. Ch 3. Sc in 3rd dc of shell. Ch 3. Sc in 5th dc of shell. Ch 3. Sc in 7th dc of shell. Ch 3. Skip 1 sc. Sc in last sc.
Knot and weave in ends.

I’m thinking that I need to figure out how to attach this edging to some linen handkerchiefs or napkins. I’m thoroughly in love with it!

ps. The Intro to Crochet class at Harmony was a hit last night! I’m so excited to continue for the next two weeks with the great group that signed up! Hooray for crochet!!

Christmas Granny Squares and Harmony in Provo

A brand new fabric, knit, and gift shop is opening in a historic house in downtown Provo this weekend! It’s very exciting, especially since I will be teaching some crochet classes in the new shop! Laura Harmon and her amazingly talented daughters are opening up Harmony at 315 E. Center Street in Provo this Friday September 14th.

Isn’t it kind of funny that during Rivalry Week (BYU plays against the U of U this Saturday in football) that we’re going to get some Harmony in Provo??

I’ll be teaching an Intro to Crochet class, which will be a small class to allow lots of one-on-one help for beginners, and a Granny Squares class where I’ll teach lots of great tricks to update this iconic classic crochet motif! It is going to be so much fun! Stop by this weekend to sign up and check out this amazing new shop.

I’ve decided to crochet a Christmas Granny Squares afghan as part of the Granny Squares class. The other week {G} was horrified that I had already started planning what I wanted to make for Christmas, but with hand-crafted gifts you have to start early! I’m really, really excited about how this afghan is going to turn out and super excited about Harmony!

Mouse in the House

This wee mouse in a tin pattern from Larissa Holland at mmmcrafts is so much cuter than the REAL MOUSE that is pooping in my pantry and gnawing open bags of barley. No joke. The thorough cleaning that I’ve been procrastinating since the beginning of the new year is in full swing now. I’m sorry little grey field mouse that is running across my floor and giving me the heebie jeebies, but you can’t live with us! You must go!

THIS little mouse could live with us forever, though! 

When I’m done being grossed out by the real mouse in my house, I think I’ll make a little fabric mouse like this one so that I can tuck it away in it’s tin when I’m done playing with it.

All images Larissa Holland for

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