Saturday, 26 January 2008

Blogging Break

Things could be a bit quiet around here for a while. We're off on a small holiday where computer access is unlikely. If we get a chance we might post but don't hold your breath!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Under the Sea

This is the result of my Dad asking for a seahorse. I have no idea what he wanted it for but he got one. Crafty Things and I ended up designing him ourselves, my first softie design! We drew the outline and used the freezer paper method to sew it on a brightly patterned fleece fabric. I like using fleece fabric as it doesn't fray, it makes things so much easier. The fins are felt that was stuck in the seam and cut later. The eyes are buttons from the stash.

It wasn't all simple though. The top fin took a couple of tries to sew in but the cutting helped a lot. When stuffing him, I managed to break the knitting needle I was using to poke the stuffing into the tail, cutting my finger when it snapped.

He's approximately 23cm tall. The broken knitting needle was an old small beginners needle that I still used for very small knitting projects. I can't do that now I've only got one left!

The blue background in the top picture is a lacy scarf draped over our usual fence. It does a good job of disguising it and creating a sea-like atmosphere for Dad's Seahorse.

My First Amigurumi

Whee! I made my very first amigurumi! It's also the first time I've ever crocheted in the round so I'm very happy!

The pattern comes from here, and looked so simple I just had to try it! Lucky for me, I had lots of help from Crafty Things, a much more experienced, albeit left-handed, crocheter. She showed me how to do everything while making an owlet of her own. Considering my lack of experience, I'm very happy with my owlet.

Two little owlets-in-progress seem to create a bit of mess!

Here they are, roosting in a tree. I'm amazed at the difference in texture created by the different ply of the yarn used.

A woolly green MONSTER

I'm still making heaps of stuff! This is going to be a monster like this one but not felted.

He's made from green Bendigo Woollen Mills Aran yarn. He didn't take all that long even with knitting the arms and legs. His face is sewn-on felt.

Here his is! Sitting on the fence.

Back to basics

I made this pillowcase to practice my sewing skills as I haven't really been sewing that long.

I used a fairly simple pattern but following it exactly, the pillowcase came out far too big. So I Turned it back inside out and adjusted it and I'm happy with the final result. However I probably wont use the pattern again because it doesn't have a flap to hold the pillow inside.

I used this fabric from the stash. It's an unidentified light-weight cotton? Maybe... It's been there for a very long time.
The photo is rather dark - it's actually white with a pastel paisley design.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Starfish and Geckos

Being at home and not doing much seems to be good for me making things. I made these from this pattern.

The starfish are by far the easiest, the gecko was slightly more complicated to turn through.

I used two fabrics from Frangipani Fabrics to create a contrast for the underside. They are being quite useful paperweights on my desk at the moment but one at least will be given as a birthday present.

They are all filled with rice as we had no fine sand or kitty litter as recommended by the pattern which worked fine for the starfish but didn't get into the smaller points of the gecko.

He was also probably overstuffed and could have been floppier.

They were taken down to the the beach for pictures to be taken where we discovered this handy tree just right for gecko photos.

Friday, 11 January 2008

A pair of Pandas, a Penguin and a Sore Mouth

Well here are the other pictures of the penguin and panda:

After sewing the large panda, my friend made a small one from the Cute Book to match.

Here they are all together on the fence.

And the penguin by himself.

As for other crafting happenings, well there hasn't been much because of a short trip to hospital to have some teeth removed under general anaesthetic. The past couple of days I've been on painkillers and not able to eat much so haven't really felt like making much. The reason for having them removed? I get braces on in April because my teeth are very overcrowded. So it'll all be worth it in the end.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Two Cute Dolls

Oops it's been such a long time since my last post! What with Christmas and all I just never got around to it.

Included in the wonderful crafty stash I got this Christmas was this book - Cute Dolls. It has bigger versions of some of the cute creatures in The Cute Book as well as a few new ones.

I tried them out for the first time with a friend of mine. She did the panda and I made a penguin.

We sewed them slightly differently to the instructions because we used a different fabric. The instuctions said to use jersey cloth but we didn't have any and used fleecy fabric instead. Their method involved tracing the stitching line and other details onto the back of the jersey cloth which wouldn't work on the fleecy back of our fabric. We used the freezer paper method instead.

They have a few arms and legs that are individually turned through. For the panda (which for some reason is on top of the penguin pattern??)

And my penguin's feet:

The flippers were done the same way but I don't have any pictures of them.

They were a little tricky to sew as the limbs all get stuffed inside the body and sewn on before turning the whole lot through. The penguin was especially tricky because of a rather small hole to turn through and big flippers that didn't really want to go through. There wasn't much room inside the penguin for all those feet and flippers so the flippers were hand sewn on - no way would it fit through my sewing machine.

After that the panda was simple. It was just stuffed and sewn up and the face and tail were attached. Before you know it - a finished panda!

The penguin took a little longer to finish because the head had to be sewn onto the body, which also resulted in quite a floppy neck. However, closer inspection of the pictures showed that their penguins also had very floppy necks. I haven't got a picture of the finished penguin yet because they haven't been uploaded off the camera yet but hopefully they'll come soon!

All in all these dolls took two fairly new sewers a day and a half to two days to make. Of course, we had some help from Crafty Things whenever things went wrong, like the sewing machine eating the fabric as mine seems to have a habit of doing!

Monday, 7 January 2008

More of the Christmas sewing!

I know that Christmas is over but after is the best time to share what was created as gifts. For my niece I wanted to sew something so out came all the old patterns and a call was made to confirm sizes. Boy is it hard to sew for someone only seen every now and again.

The pattern finally decided upon was New Look 6724 - view 3.

Not at all difficult for a last minute gift. The cross over bodice is one that I used lots when my daughter was little. I used snaps for the shoulders because I just didn't feel like facing the buttonholes at the last minute but am a little worried that this active little girl will kneel on the dress and the pulling might open the snaps. Putting the snaps in was a drama on its own with a lapse in concentration leading to one being applied the wrong way round and having the be carefully prised off and another one applied.

The hem was finished with one of my favourite techniques. the hem is pressed up first and then I apply the lace to the hem facing with the overlocker, re-press the fold and stitch along the hem from the right side. It gives a sort of mock petticoat look. This applies the lace and finishes the raw edge of the hem in one go. Fortunately for me I had this pretty lace sitting in the stash and it was just the right amount!

I was not able to see the dress on the little recipient but got some feedback that it was a little too big. I would rather that than it be too small. The depth of the armhole makes it a very loose fit but it also allows room for a t-shirt to be worn underneath.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Christmas is over and Happy New Year

Well Christmas is over and the new year has begun. I can now share some of the things crafted before Christmas as the gifts have been given, opened and taken to new abodes.

First up the finished product from this post.

From Secret Christ...

Thanks so much to Autum from Creative Little Daisy who created this wonderful applique based on the owls created by Moonstitches from this book.

Autum was so generous in giving me permission to use her applique design on a big, roomy bag that I made for my Mum for Christmas. I had previously made one of the little owls following Moonstitches tutowlrial for her and when I came across this design on flickr I just knew that it would look great on a bag. The bag is big and had a pocket on the inside with two sections.

I based the construction of the bag on the instructions for a tote from the Bend the Rules Sewing book. I also found the flickr group for Bend The Rules Sewing to be very helpful. It has lots of great pictures of finished products and also has many useful discussions about all the patterns in the book.

I also sewed some little drawstring bags following the instructions from here. Unfortunately as these were created very close to Christmas there are no photos. One was for a little teddy to live in, one was for a travel games bag that held a Yahtzee score pad, dice and two packs of playing cards and the last one held a stretchy frog.

I made two more pencil rolls as blogged about here. One was made from bright yellow fabric with coloured dots and the other from some blue fabric with soccer players. The only modification was to add a layer of fabric to the felt closure as I have found that the felt stretched when used on its own.

Last was a little dress which I will save for another post.

Happy New Year to anyone who wanders past.