Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to Make a Reading Shawl

I posted a few gifts I made for Christmas on my other blog SewPassionista by DIANA and was asked for tutorials on the reading shawl, the hair towel and the mug wrap . I'll do each in an individual post so check back a little later for the other two.

Here is the reading shawl.The idea is to keep your shoulders and arms warm while reading in be.

For the reading shawl, you'll need:

About  24"to  30" of 60" wide fleece or sweater knit.( In the one pictured above , I used 30" and was able to fold the upper edge into  a collar ).
1 meter or yard of 1/2" wide elastic (optional )

The pattern I drafted looks like this:

It was hard to photograph and give the right perspective of it so I made a drawing which will give you a better idea with measurements included..

As you can see, one length is placed on the fold  for about 30" and  then tapers out to the sides.
The opposite length is the opening and also tapers out to the sides.These tapered ends form the sleeves.

Sew along the dotted lines to form the sleeves.

There are two ways to form the cuff. In the picture above I took several tucks on the inside of the sleeves to fit around the wrist.I used the selvedge  for the edge of the cuff.


Finish the edges of the lengthwise openings  with a 5/8" seam. Add elastic to one long edge of the opening, if desired ,so the shawl will snug up against the neck. (I did not use elastic in the first shawl above ) In the above version, the upper edge formed a shawl collar ,which is pretty, I think
In the picture below I used elastic for both the cuffs and the upper edge.

I hope this makes sense and that you'll try one of these. I use mine every night in bed to read  during the cold months and I just couldn't be without it. It is also useful when on the computer or watching TV.

I gave one to my sister-in-law for Christmas , along with a book and a gift certificate to Chapters. She loved it!

Next up I'll show you how to make a mug caddy which will be  especially useful in your sewing rooms for all tose bits and pieces or on your dressers for keeping make-up and brushes organized and  at your fingertips.!

How to Make a Mug Caddy

I decided to give this little item the name of mug caddy for lack of a better term but it can also be used for tin cans, mason jars or some other such thing.

Here is the pic of the one I made as a sample for my Sewing Group.

And here is the pattern I used.As you can see, the dimensions are  approximately 10" X 10" but it tapers off at the top.

The only other piece is a long rectangle pocket piece which measures twice the width of the bottom of the above piece ( 2 X 10" so 20'' by about 6"".) and two strips of bias  tape or self made bias strips to coordinate with the body and pocket pieces.You should have enough to go around the body of the caddy and along the length of the long pocket strip.

Here are the pieces you need to cut out. I use flannelet between the two outer layers of the body of the caddy but you could use interfacing if you prefer.

Here are the steps.

1...Baste together the three layers of the body together. (Sorry no pic ).

2.Fold the long pocket strip in two lengthwise.

3. Sew the coordinating bias strip to the folded edge of the pocket strip.

4. Mark the midpoint of both the caddy body and the pocket strip and sew pocket at this juncture .

5. Sew each end of the pocket strip to the sides of the caddy and trim the corners.

6. Sew each half of pockets at their half way mark and then again until you have 8 sections .

7. Sew across the bottom to secure the sections to the caddy .Next the binding around the caddy and then across the top.

                                8. Press binding to wrong side and stitch in the ditch. Trim away extra fabric                                             close to stitching.

                                 9. Determine where best to add velcro closures and sew in place.

                                   10. Fit caddy to your choice of mug by folding upper half into the mug.

                                Fasten with velcro closures.

                                   For gift giving maybe you can add a sleep mask which should have a layer of                                        black out drapery lining in between the the two fabric layers because this will                                        make the mask much more effective in keeping out light.

                                 Here is another idea for this type of caddy. A friend gave me this one which has                                    been in my sewing room for years. It has a different design to fit over a tin                                            can with elastic at the bottom. It would need to be designed for a specific size of                                  holder but shouldn't be too hard to draft.

I hope this tutorial is clear and that you'll make one. It's quick to sew (1/2 hour ), and fun to match fun fabrics together and really useful for many things. I have one for make-up and make-up brushes that I find very useful.

Next up will be a short tutorial on how to make a hair towel
so more later from