Thursday, 16 March 2017

Four-leaf clover headband for St Patrick's Day






Since I dyed my hair green in January, I have had people telling me that I'm "a bit too early for St Patrick's Day!". So I decided to just embrace it and make myself a huge and slightly ridiculous four-leaf clover headband to wear! If you want to make your own, it is quick and easy and you could most definitely finish it before St Patrick's Day ^___^



 Materials needed:

  • assorted green yarn (including a fluffy novelty yarn)
  • crochet hooks to match yarns
  • yarn scissors
  • tapestry needle
  • scrap cardboard
  • pencil
  • paper scissors
  • hot glue gun


To start, you will need some green yarn. I went through my stash and pulled out as many different shades of green as I could find. They are all different weights and are a mix of acrylic and wool - and that is ok! You will only be using small amounts of each colour, so small stash balls are perfect for this project. Also, make sure you pull out a selection of crochet hooks so that you can match the hook to the yarn.


I used Twinkie Chan's free lucky clover pattern to make my clovers; it's a nice and easy pattern and once you've made a couple, you probably won't even need to read the pattern to make each one. I had six different yarns for my clovers and I made three clovers for each colour so I had eighteen clovers total. The amount you need will depend on how big your clovers are and how extreme you want to go with your headband ~___^


Next, you need some scrap cardboard; I pulled a small box out of our recycling bin and cut it into an arch shape. I used the top of the headband to determine the bottom curve of the arch but then free handed the rest. It's ok if it is a little lopsided, but the closer to even you can get it the better ^___^ 

 

Use hot glue to attach the cardboard to the headband and then wrap the headband and cardboard arch with more yarn. I used Moda Vera Honey Joy (100% polyester, colour number 08) which is a fluffy novelty yarn which reminds me of moss. I don't know what project I originally had planned for this yarn, but I was pleased to find it in my stash! I put a small amount of hot glue on the end of the headband, stuck the yarn down and then began winding it all over the headband. You may need to add small amounts of hot glue on the cardboard arch as well, to prevent the yarn from slipping down.


Once your headband is completely covered, you can begin to stick the clovers on with hot glue!
 

 Ta-da!


I had much more clovers than I needed so I added some to the back as well! I still have one large light green clover left so I may make myself a matching brooch ^___^



I'm not going to lie - this headband is pretty massive! But I really love it. Good luck and no pinches, what's not to like? ~___^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Tassel silky scarf


Do you ever pick up a piece of fabric and it kinda just screams who it wants to belong to? This is what happened with a massive piece of silky fabric I found in my stash! I completely forgot I had it (I *really* need to tidy my craft room more often) but I found it when I was looking for inspiration for a birthday present project for my mum. And, yup, it really, really wanted to belong to her! ~___^
 

Mum's Pinterest style board is full of outfits accessorised with scarves, so I figured that was the way to go!
 

Since the fabric is very light and drapey, I made a rather thick scarf; it's 15cm wide and about 160cm long. I thought a plain rectangle scarf would be a bit boring so I cut the ends at a diagonal and added lots of colourful tassels!
 

I cut two identical pieces of fabric and sewed them right sides together, leaving a gap for turning. Then I turned the scarf right way out, sewed on the tassels, and top stitched around the edges. This had the advantage of closing the turning hole and giving the scarf a little more structure. I top stitched in yellow which works with the colour scheme and is a little more interesting than white.
 

I made the tassels with embroidery thread that matched the colours in the fabric. They are very easy to make, albeit time consuming! I got through quite a few episodes of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries while make this project ~___^
  

I did end up making too many tassels however, and I have a lot of this fabric leftover still ... perhaps a matching jacket is called for?

- Lisa xx

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Softies for Mirabel



In 2016, my crafting group and I decided to dedicate a couple of sessions to making Ninni monsters to donate to the Softies for Mirabel handmade toy drive. To make our crafting more streamlined and efficient, we made Ninni/ RevoluzZzionary Monsters - it's an easy free pattern and is also super cute!


I printed out the pattern for the monsters onto both A4 and A3 pieces of paper so we have some big monsters and some little ones. The Ninni monsters have tiny little ears and arms which can be a bit tricky to stuff so having them printed a bit larger made that step easier.
 

A few members in the craft group were looking to reduce their fabric stash, so we ended up with an eclectic mix of fabrics! The good thing is because this pattern is so simple to make it works with basically all fabric types; we used up cotton, denim, and knits. I think a satin Ninni monster would also be pretty awesome! ~___^


The eyes, hearts, and little teeth are all felt and, along with the mouths, were sewn on with a combination of machine and hand stitching. 
 

We made the monsters in a kind of construction line process; we had some people cutting out bodies, some cutting out the facial features, a couple of people sewing the seams on machines, some people stuffing, some people hand stitching up the turning/stuffing holes ... Both days were a lot of fun and I think we did pretty well with how many monsters we were able to create.
 

In total we ended up with 29 Ninni monsters! (One of which is not in the photo below because I wanted my rows to be even ~___^) Each Ninni monster is slightly different and so has a little spark of personality shining through. We hope the children they go to love them!


If you'd like to make a toy to donate to Softies for Mirabel, you've still got time! If you are able to, it's a wonderful cause ^___^

- Lisa xx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Marceline the Vampire Queen amigurumi


Hello! The second edition of what-I-made-this-Christmas is all about Marceline! Marceline is the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time and, hoo boy, was this amigurumi an adventure to make! I made this amigurumi for my mathematical pal, Rebecca ^___^


If you're not familiar with Adventure Time, a picture of Marceline is below! I decided not to make the hat, gloves, or guitar though; mostly because I didn't think I could make the guitar and I kinda ran out of time to finish the hat and gloves.

http://adventuretime.wikia.com/wiki/Marceline_Abadeer


I started off with the Bat Girl pattern by Ilaria Caliri, which was published in the 49th issue of Simply Crochet. I used Patons Dreamtime Merino 4 ply in grey for Marceline's body and a 2.50mm hook. I did add in extra rounds for her legs and arms though, to fit in more with Marceline's proportions. I added wire to her limbs so she is slightly posable.


Marceline's lush hair was easy but time consuming to do; I crocheted a wig cap and then looped lots and lots and lots of lengths of yarn through each stitch of the wig cap. I used three balls of Bella Baby cotton wool 8ply in black for the hair, but I didn't use up the third ball completely. The good thing about this lengthy process is that her hair is super thick and therefore can totally be done up in different hairstyles without showing a patchy looking scalp.

Marceline's boots are simply tubes, with red bows tied onto them. I put a little dab of pva glue on each bow, to hopefully prevent them from coming undone. I used the same Bella Baby brand yarn for all of Marceline's hair and clothes, by the way. It's a 75% cotton, 25% wool blend and it's very soft and nice to work with.

 

I wanted to make all of Marceline's clothes removable so that there is potential for making more of her outfits for future gifts. Her pants were a bit tricky since I've never crocheted any dolls clothes before and had little idea of what I was doing. I crocheted two tubes to go up her legs, and then kinda crocheted a big tube around the tops of them. I sewed up the gap between the pant legs afterwards. I didn't write any of the pattern down though, which I totally should have done. A lot of the time when I am trying to create something without a pattern I just end up trying things and frogging them and trying again until I get something close to what I want, and I am terrible at keeping records during this process.


Marceline's top was very simple; it is just a rectangle with slightly curved in sides (to make it fit to the curve of her torso better) and straps made with a chain stitch. I sewed snaps onto the back edges for the closures.


The last thing to do was to add details to her face; I used embroidery thread to create her mouth, her fangs, and the bite marks on the side of her neck.

Overall I am pleased with how she turned out, although I think a haircut might be needed to give her a proper fringe and tidy up the ends a bit. I did attempt a bit of a trim, but then I was worried I was going to mess up her hair (her time consuming hair!!) and didn't go any further.

The hat and gloves are definitely on my to-make list, and then perhaps I'll do another outfit for her. There is a cute blue dress which I think might be easier to make ...

- Lisa xx

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Cherry Amigurumi


Hello! Now that Christmas is over I can start telling you about the gifts I made! First up is this adorable pair of cherry amigurumi for my derby friend, Cherry! (yeah, I'm not super original ...)


I used a pattern from Amigurumi Food to make these, which a few minor adjustments.


I wanted my cherries to be bigger than the ones from the pattern, so I used Lion Brand Yarn's Heartland Thick & Quick and Hometown USA yarns, both of which are a super bulky yarn. I used Heartland Redwood for the cherries, and Oklahoma City Green for the steam and leaves. I also moved up to a 8mm hook and used larger safety eyes; the ones I used were about a 20mm diameter. Instead of embroidering the mouths and cheek blushes, I cut light pink felt to shape and glued it on with E6000 - that felt isn't going anywhere now! ~___^


Because I find weaving in the ends quite difficult with super bulky yarns, I attempted to reduce the amount I'd have to do by joining the seams to the cherries before casting on. I'm not sure that it looks as neat as sewing them on would have looked though, so perhaps I'll have to look into acquiring a super big needle for the future.


For size reference, the Fire-King bowl they are sitting in is 18cm diameter, so these cherries are more grapefruit sized ~___^

- Lisa xx


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Unicorn and T-Rex Roller Derby Trophies


Hello! As it's coming up to the end of the year, my roller derby league recently had the annual aWARDs ceremony (our league is named WARD, geddit? ~___^), where we recognise excellent contributions to the league! Obviously, we needed trophies, but we had a fairly limited budget. DIY to the rescue!
 

I was originally thinking wood for the bases of the trophies but then I started thinking about cutting thirty pieces of wood ... and sanding them ... and I decided that I didn't want to do that! Plus, not only did I have a limited budget, I also had a very limited time span to actually construct the trophies between work and other commitments (i.e. one day).
 

So I wandered around the hardware store under I stumbled upon the plumbing section and found these push on caps! They are solid white plastic, and pretty cheap! They did come with some raised writing on them, but a quick sand with my Dremel got rid of that! I will note here that if you're going to sand plastic, be sure you wear appropriate safety gear because there was plastic dust EVERYWHERE. A dust mask + goggles are a must, and if you've got one of those CSI style plastic coveralls then that probably wouldn't go astray either! ~___^
 

After sanding (and wiping away all the dust!) I super-glued my animals to the bases. I got my animals at the Reject Shop but unfortunately they didn't have enough horses for the unicorns. So some zebras and donkeys also got re-purposed!
 

I made horns using some Sculpey - I only used a tiny bit from my stash so if you were buying new, one little pack would be more than enough.
 

After baking for about ten minutes on a low heat and letting them cool, I super-glued them onto the relevant animals.
 

And also one dinosaur! Dinocorn? T-rexicorn? Unisaurus?
 
 

A couple of coats of gold spray paint made them look all shiny and special and then all I had to do was stick on the names of the trophies (I printed them onto white card and attached them to the trophies with double-sided tape) and give a quick coat of sealant. 
 

Here they all are, ready to be awarded!
 

Although I made the trophies, I didn't have anything to do with collating the votes to determine the aWARD winners so I was very pleasantly surprised when I was awarded Most Improved NSO! So one of the golden T-Rex trophies came back home with me; we're buddies now.

- Lisa xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Louise Belcher costume


Hello! I'm so excited to be blogging about this costume! I started this SO LONG ago; I think I was originally going to wear it to one of last year's comic conventions (?) but then that didn't happen and I set it aside. Uni and life got in the side of finishing it until I needed a costume to wear to the WARD Officials Halloween Quiz Night. So I pulled out my sewing machine again and tried to fit in lots of sewing in between study and work; and this time I finished it! Yay!


If you're not familiar with Bob's Burgers (which, by the way, you should totally be watching!) I am the youngest child, Louise Belcher. One of the awesome things about the quiz night was that my friend Beks and I managed to accidentally co-ordinate costumes! Beks came as oldest child Tina so we were sisters for the night! 



 I drafted the pattern for the dress myself. The skirt is a circle skirt pattern that I have used multiple times but I had to do the bodice and sleeves from scratch since I have lost my old bodice pattern >____<


 I am not totally happy with the fit of the bodice. I think it needs some darts to make it fit a little neater, and the neckline didn't turn out as flat as I would have liked. But it fits and looks fairly correct, so overall I'm happy with the dress! The fabric I used is a cotton drill so it has a nice weight, but I think this dress would also have been good in a knit. I just went with the fabric that came in the right colour!




For the hat (really the star of this costume!) I found this video by Zoe H very helpful. I did draft a pattern to fit my own head, so if you have a 55cm circumference noggin, then feel free to download it and make your own! Just click on the preview picture below to go to the download page on my Google Drive. This pattern is designed to fit onto two A3 sheets of paper, so make sure you print it out using the tiling option for .pdf files!
 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_MO0cK8Qg7mT3NjeGswUDhBaTA/view?usp=sharing

This patterns is the exact one I made for myself, so it has only been tested by me - there may be errors! Let me know if anything seems really wrong, and check out the video by Zoe H for a step by step on how to sew it together.






I also made myself a little Kuchi Kopi handbag. I used polar fleece for the majority of the bag; I originally brought some green sparkly vinyl for it - which I still think would be great! But I needed to finish the bag asap, so I decided to use the fabric which I could sew with my machine.


The bow and facial features are made from felt and were all hot glued on - again, time was of the essence with this project! The handle is ribbon and the loops attaching it to the bag are bias tape. I'm planning on turning this handbag into a plushie now and making the handbag again with the vinyl. If you'd like to make a Kuchi Kopie Bag (or plushie!) you can download the pattern I used by clicking on the preview picture below and downloading the .pdf from my Google Drive. This pattern is designed to be printed onto one A3 sheet of paper, but you could totally print it bigger or smaller depending on what size bag you prefer!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_MO0cK8Qg7mZGIySllHOUdmUlU/view?usp=sharing
To make the bag you need to ...
1. Cut everything out from your desired fabrics.
2. Sew together the arms (I didn't stuff them because my fleece fabric was quite thick enough). I sewed mine right sides together, leaving the straight edge open, and then turned them right sides out. I also top-stitched around them to give them more structure.
3. Glue or sew on all the facial features to one body piece.
4. For the bow, I cut the bow shape from felt, wrapped the bow middle piece around the middle (probably kinda self-explanatory, right? :P), and then glued it onto the bow strap
5. I also cut a rectangle in the back body piece (i.e. the one with nothing glued to it!) and hemmed the edges down so it wouldn't fray. I sewed a flap of polar fleece over the top of this hole to allow access but also to make it easy to sew up for when I make this bag a plushie, but adding a zip would be a better idea for a long term handbag.
6. Cut two short lengths of ribbon or bias tape and hold in half to make the strap loops of the bag. Place them on the right side of the back piece, pointing inwards.
7. Lay the arms on the right side of the back piece, pointing inwards.
8. Place the right side of the front piece down onto the back piece. 
9. Sew around the body shape, you don't have to leave a gap because you can use the bag hole to turn it right sides out.
10. Top-stitch around the entire bag.
11. Attach ribbon or chain to the bag loops for your strap.
 


I haven't quite got the Kuchi Kopi expression down pat, but we still had a lot of fun together! 

- Lisa xx