Monday, January 19, 2015

Tee Shirt Surgery

  A friend of mine brought me a cute tee shirt fom Aruba recently. Unfortunately, it was way too small. It sat in my closet for a while until I figured out what to do with it. I didn't want to just give it away to the thrift store, especially since it travelled all the way from Aruba! I finally decided to add some panels to the sides and see if that would help it fit better. I'll show you how I did it. Here is the before picture.

  The picture doesn't do it justice. It is a really bright, almost neon coral color. The first thing I did was crochet a panel to go in the sides. I used worsted weight yarn and a size J crochet hook. I made a sort of triangle shape using a half double crochet stitch that came out to be about 16.5 inches long and about 5 inches at the widest part. You can use a piece of lace or another kind of fabric if you like. Just cut your panel to be the length of the shirt.

  Then cut the side of the tee shirt, staying as close as possible to the seam. As you can see in the picture, I've already done one side.

  Fold the sides of the tee shirt in so you have the raw part hidden on the inside. Press the fold. This will make it easier to sew.

  Place the panel inside the shirt where you want it then match up one corner of the cut tee to a corner of the panel. It's ok if your tee shirt doesn't match the exact shape of your panel. You can't see the overlap on the inside anyway. If you plan to do your final sewing with a machine, loosely hand sew the tee shirt to the panel using a contrasting thread. (This is also called basting if you didn't know the sewing term.) If you plan to hand sew, then use a thread that matches your tee shirt.

  Here are my basted panels on the shirt. It already looks like I'll be able to breath in it! I love the color contrast too. If you're happy with it, sew it up with your machine if you haven't done that yet and remove your baste stitches.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Do you want to build a Snowman?

   One day I was thinking about crocheting a snowman. We don't have any snow right now, but it would be perfect for this time of year. I was looking online for some inspiration and I came across a free pattern for Disney's Olaf from the movie Frozen. Click here to go to the pattern. I love how it came out (after a few boo boos that I had to fix).

   When I put the eyes on, I started my count from the wrong side and ended up with an upside down head. Whoops! I probably would've put it together like that had it not been for my daughter who pointed it out. I almost gave up on it at that point because you can't remove safety eyes without cutting the plastic piece off and the head was already stuffed and closed off. There was no way to get to it. Luckily, the felt piece for the mouth was big enough to cover it. So I glued it on with some fabric glue and you can't even tell where I messed up. (Unless you feel for it.) I opted out of making the crochet arms. They just hung there, and I didn't like that. I had some leftover brown pipe cleaners from my Baby Groot project and stuck it through his body. It took a minute to figure out his fingers. In all the pictures I saw of Olaf, he has 4 fingers, so I cut another piece of pipe cleaner for each hand and twisted them together. Overall he is very top heavy and floppy, but I actually got him to stand up for his photo shoot. I was thinking next time instead of sewing his head on, maybe I'll use velcro so it can be detachable.

   Looking at the bottom half of his body gives me ideas for Baymax from Big Hero 6. Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Tinkering with Wire

  Lately, I've been tinkering with some wire. It's been a long time since I've made any kind of jewelry accessories. There are lots of tutorials and videos out there for jewelry making and I've been taking advantage as well as coming up with my own designs. Here are some of my creations. Everything is made of brass, copper, or aluminum. I haven't made my way to the more expensive metals, since I'm still experimenting.

Ear Cuffs

Ear Cuffs
Love Ring

Bead Rings

Knot Rings

Treble Ring
Perfectly Imperfect

Silver Hearts

Lil' Tree Earrings

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quick Easy Winter Beanie Tutorial

  I've been meaning to make this video to go along with my pattern for a long time. I finally got a chance to get to it. It's my first time actually talking in a video. It was a little weird at first and I ended up recording over my initial audio. Let me know what you think. Some parts are a little slow going, but overall not so bad for an amateur. Here's the video:

Click here for the link to the written pattern.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Crocheted baby Groot

   If you haven't seen Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy yet, you most likely don't know who this little guy is. He's baby Groot. Seen it or not, he's still so cute. I found this pattern featured on the home page of It's a free pattern written by Twinkie Chan and can be found at this link. 

   I made this guy using a size F hook. My worsted weight wool was a bit old and thin. He's about 6 inches tall (7 if you count the tallest branch). I need to find a better pot to put him in. I just stuffed some green tissue paper in there to give him some height and help him stand on his own. It was purely for pictures, because I couldn't wait for the actual finished product. I'll have to make a special trip to look for his new planter home and update the pictures later.

**here's an updated picture**

Friday, August 22, 2014

Turtle Power!

   It's not a ninja turtle, but it can be a baby in a half-shell! I found another cute baby photo prop to crochet. A sweet turtle shell and baby beanie. I found the pattern on written by Ruth McColm at Simply2Irresistible. It is written in both US and UK terms and you can download the one you prefer. Unfortunately, this is not a free pattern, but it's a steal at $2.99. It includes the shell, beanie and a flower. I haven't gotten to the flower yet, but I will try it out. The only things I did different with the pattern was that I added a crab stitch in the last rounds of the shell and beanie and I made the tail a little wider than the pattern called for. It is easy to follow as well as easy to improvise with your own flair.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mer-Baby Headband

  I made a matching baby headband for the mermaid tail. I found the free pattern at this link. I sewed on one of the starfish that I crocheted. I can't wait to see some precious baby girl modeling my creations! What other photo props can I make?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Crochet Mermaid Tail Fin Pattern

   As I said in my previous post, I got the main mermaid tail pattern from this link. It's a free pattern written in UK crochet terms. If you need any help with the pattern just let me know by leaving a comment below or via email. This pattern is only for the tail fin pictured.

  • Worsted weight yarn or same yarn used for main body
  • Size I hook or same size used for main body
  • Needle for sewing and weaving in ends
  • Make 2
  • All stitches are to be crocheted in the back loop (BLO)
Begin with a slip stitch and chain 41
Row 1: Hdc in second chain from hook and each stitch across, ch1, turn (40 stitches)
Visual aid:  After turning
Row 2: Hdc in next 38 stitches, ch1, turn (38 sts)
Row 3: Hdc in each stitch across, ch1, turn
Row 4: Hdc in next 36 stitches, ch1, turn (36 sts)
Row 5: Hdc in each st across, ch1, turn
Row 6: Hdc in next 32 stitches, ch1, turn (32 sts)
Row 7: Hdc in each st across, ch1, turn
Row 8: Hdc in next 30 stitches, ch1, turn (30 sts)
Row 9: Hdc in each st across, ch1, turn
Row 10: Hdc in next 28 stitches, ch1, turn (28 sts)
Row 11: Hdc in each st across

Fasten off for first side then repeat the pattern for your second piece. 
At the end of the second piece (after row 11) do not fasten off.

You should now have 2 pieces that look like this:


Remove your hook and match up both pieces like this. The piece with yarn attached should be on the bottom. (Be sure not to pull any stitches out)

Place your hook through the first stitch on the first piece made and pull the loop from the second piece through the stitch, then ch1.

SC in same stitch and the next 25 stitches (going through both layers) for a total of 26 stitches leaving the last two stitches unworked. It is not necessary to do BLO here.
Fasten off.
Place the seam in the back. When you open it up it should look like this:

At this point, you would fold your fin around the rest of the mermaid tail. Place the tail on your fin with about a half inch overlap for sewing.

I only made a fin for this tutorial, so you may have to refer to the first pic for an idea. Fold over the sides meeting in the middle, like this:

I sewed the corners together, then sewed the fin to the tail. Unfold the bottom of the fin and shape as desired.

If you like, you can sew the sides to the rest of the fin to keep it's shape. I left mine like this. 

  I love seeing finished products from my patterns. If you want to be featured on my blog with your finished items, just shoot me an email. If you don't want to be featured but still want to send me pics, that's great too! Just let me know in the email if you want me to post your pics or not.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Crochet Baby Photo Props

   I may have lost my mojo for a little while. I haven't been crocheting or crafting much lately. Maybe because it's summer time. I usually slow down during the summer, but not this much. I think this was more like a writer's block or crochet block, if you will. So I picked up a hook the other day and decided to get stitchin'. I'm in the process of making some photo props for a friend. I don't have any baby models, so you won't really get the full effect with my pictures. The first thing I made was a baby nest. I found the pattern on Ravelry and you can find it at this link. Hopefully it's a good size for her models.

   The next one is a Mermaid tail. I got the pattern for the tail at this link. The pattern is written in UK terms, so I had to frog it a few times before I figured that out. DC = SC, TR = DC. The shell increasing and decreasing was a little confusing, but once I got it, it wasn't so bad. I did something different for the fin. I felt like the fin in the pattern is a bit too small. I would think you need a rather large fin to swim around as a mermaid, but who knows for sure?  I made my own fin pattern, which I will post later. I got the idea for the fin at this link. The shell and starfish patterns can be found here. All of the linked crochet patterns are free! If you decide to try them and run into problems or get stuck, I will be happy to help you out. Just leave a comment or email me.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wedding Card Box

  Wedding Season is upon us. Have you received any invitations yet? I got two so far. All those lovely brides are busy spending time, money and making arrangements for their special day. Fun times.

   I volunteered my crafting skills to make a card box for my best friend's wedding. I've seen some of those fancy card boxes range anywhere from $20- $80!! Mine didn't cost so much. Fabric, boxes, a little bit of sewing, gluing, and sticking. I love the bright red and silver together. I happened to come across that shiny braided ribbon at Walmart. Well, everything except the boxes came from Walmart. They have a ton of cute stickers in the scrap-booking section for all kinds of occasions.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Crochet Flat Cap

  A few years ago I was searching the internet for a crochet pattern for a flat cap. The only one I found was a knitted hat and there was no pattern. Eventually I came across Men's Jeff Cap by Ken Jones AKA Crochetguy. It was the best flat cap pattern out there at the time in my opinion. If you've been with me for a while, you might remember that I made this a little over 3 years ago, and as you can see it is a bit small.

Even though I wanted it small, the first one I made was for myself and it was too small as well. I never got around to tweaking the pattern. I found another pattern recently and my hat turned out much more to my liking. It's a free tutorial by OneVirtuousWoman. She said her inspiration was from the Jeff's Cap pattern. I found her tutorial on YouTube. Click here to see it.

Here's my newest flat cap, or as she calls it "Crochango" as in crochet kango. Yea, why didn't I think of that?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Show & Tell

     I have two to show today. First up is Laresa's cell phone case. It's a lovely spring yellow and the butterfly is too cute! She added a button and a strap. Very nice! Click here for the free pattern.

     Next is Nancy's floppy sun hat. I like how she mixed it up with a different color brim. Click here for this free pattern.

     Thank you so much, ladies, for the lovely pictures! Have you made a project using one of my free patterns? I would love to see it. Email me! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Skirt and Matching Swag

    Here I am messing with my sewing machine again. Isabel actually started making this bag right after I made mine- Funky Little Bag. I used the extra fabric to make a skirt, or attempt to. I don't know what happened, but my measurements were way off and I ended up with a skirt that would fit one thigh and a half... maybe. I was trying to figure out how to save it with the least amount of work. I know, sad but true. So I used some scrap fabric from the circle skirt I made recently. My original idea was to add a piece to each side, but after the first side was added it was just the right size. Remember, we're going for minimal work at this point, so I decided to leave it as is. It doesn't matter how you get to fabulous, just as long as you get there. Right.. Needless to say, I am happy with the outcome.

     Like I said earlier, Isabel started the bag and like most teens with short attention spans, she got bored with it. Whatever her reason, she was taking too long to get back to it and it was taking up space in my craft room, so I finished it for her. I can't force her to like sewing. I added an insert with an inside pocket using the same fabric that I used for the side of the skirt. This bag is the smaller version of the other one I made. If I make another I think longer straps would be better. I think I had an issue with the straps on the other one too. Oh well, you've got to live and learn.