Either Side

DSCN0636I always find a lot of fun free amigurumi patterns when I look around on the internet. This time though I found a free sewing pattern for a little girl’s reversible wrap top. This top looked like a fun sewing project, plus I knew just the fabric that I wanted to use for it. And with that, this top became my next sewing project. I would also be expanding my sewing skills while making it which was a plus too. This would be the first reversible garment I had ever sewn.

I had purchased this fabric at a thrift store many years ago, and it was promptly tucked into the stash for just the right future project. Now, many years later, the right project had finally emerged, but is the pattern on the fabric too dated to use? Are these funky cats too far out of style to make this into a top? I decided that I really like the funky cats and that I still want to make this top from this fabric. I had planned to make the ties for the top from the funky cat fabric too, but I found some small white bias tape in the closest and decided to use it instead.

DSCN0632With the fabric washed, dried and ironed, it was time to get the pattern ready. After reading the instructions for the pattern, printing out the pattern pieces, taping it together, and cutting it out, I decided that since I had plenty of fabric to work with that I would make the largest size of the pattern in a size 4/5. The pattern was easy to cut out and I was soon ready to sew.

The sewing process for this top was fun and easy. The most difficult part was sewing the bias tape together. It was difficult to sew a straight seam so close to the edge of such a small piece of fabric and not have it bunch up under the needle or sew off the edge. After struggling through the stitching of the 4 ties, I thought about using seam to seam adhesive instead. So the next time I will not stitch the bias tape together, but instead I will fuse it closed with some seam to seam adhesive and save me a lot of time and trouble.

I did not use the floss method to gather the flutter sleeve because they were so small. I just stitched a row of long stitches and pulled the threads to make the gathers. I was careful to pull the gathers the same amount on each sleeve, making sure to keep the sleeves the same length.

DSCN0641Sewing the ties on to the top took some thought. The ties on the front pieces were easy, one tie on each front piece. On the side seams though, I had to make sure that I had one tie on the pink side and one tie on the white side.

The hem also required some thought to finish. At first, I thought I would hem this top as a big circle. Then I realized that this would leave exposed seams inside the top. Since this was a reversible top, I had not finished any of the seams, knowing that they would just be tucked inside the top. With this in mind, I stitched the white and pink fabric together at the hem to seal the unfinished seams inside. Sewing the hem this way was not hard. I just had to be careful to keep the pieces of fabric folded evenly as I hemmed. I finished off with some topstitching around the edges to match the hem and reinforce the ties.

DSCN0639The top turned out just too cute. The funky cats are fun, and it is great that the little girl wearing this can pick if she wants to wear pink or white that day. I do have some questions about the wearing of this top. Does the little girl wearing this top find the inside ties uncomfortable? Are two ties enough to keep this top on while playing? Do the ties stay tied through out the day or is the little girl constantly needing her top tied back on? Do two fronts make the top hot and bulky to wear? Man, do I miss the little neighbor girl. I could have given her this top and got some feedback from her mom on these wear issues. I like this pattern and it is well written. The top was a fun project and I would like to make more of these reversible tops in the future, but I hesitate to do so until I know more about how well it wears.

Until next time, sew forth and reverse on!

Several Snoopy’s But Just One Woodstock – Part 3, Pattern #3

DSCN0215DSCN0153Because I had made this Snoopy pattern before, I decided to try and change it up a little this time and use a heavier yarn, and my 4.5 mm hook. I would get a little larger Snoopy than the first one I made using this method. Snoopy’s pieces crocheted up great and he was easy to stitch together. Since his legs are not stuffed, I stitched his legs to the front of his body so he would have no problem sitting. This pattern did not call for a spot on Snoopy’s back either. I don’t remember if I added a spot to the first Snoopy that I made from this pattern or not. I would have to ask my sister who has him. I doubt that I did though, because at that point in time I would not have dreamed of deviating from the pattern’s original design. This time though I thought that Snoopy needed a back spot. I used the spot pattern that I had used on Paulie the penguin for guidance to make it.

DSCN0272DSCN0269The next thing I changed from the pattern was Snoopy’s eyes. The pattern called for felt eyes and this is what I used for the first Snoopy. But, after just using some yarn for the eyes on the previous standing Snoopy pattern that I had just completed, I decided to use yarn for this Snoopy’s eyes as well. The last change was a smile. Neither the first Snoopy from this pattern or the standing Snoopy have a mouth. This Snoopy does and I like it so much, I may go back and give the standing Snoopy a smile too.

The next step to complete this Snoopy was to make his helmet, googles and scarf. I started with the helmet. Because I am a little more experienced at reading crocheting patterns now than I was the first time I made a Snoopy, I had no problem following the pattern and crocheting the helmet. When I first tried it on this Snoopy, I did not like it at all. Snoopy looked DSCN0213terrible in his helmet! I tried to think of different ways to crochet the helmet to get better results, but with no luck. I just did not like the helmet on Snoopy. I thought maybe if I made the googles that would help by covering up some of the helmet, so I started to crochet the googles, but stopped. I did not like the helmet and I would never put it on my Snoopy, so why waste more yarn and time. I thought about making his scarf still but then I decided on making a collar instead. Just like the spot on his back, Snoopy needs a collar. My standing Snoopy has a collar. So, I quickly crocheted this Snoopy a double crocheted collar with red yarn. And with that my Snoopy was complete! And he is as cute as can be!

My two Snoopy’s and the one Woodstock that I made are great! I would love to make any of these three patterns again and again.

Until next time, crochet forth and Snoopy on!

Several Snoopy’s But Just One Woodstock – Part 2, Pattern #2

DSCN0621The next Snoopy pattern that I purchased showed a picture of Snoopy sitting down. I was excited to get started with it, but I am glad I followed my rule of making the extremities first before the head and body. I crocheted Snoopy’s feet first. I followed the pattern but I was getting a round ball. Looking at Snoopy’s feet in the picture of the pattern, they were not round balls. They were the typical oval shape of Snoopy’s feet. I read the pattern again and counted my stitches and rounds. I had followed exactly what the pattern called for, but I was not getting the same results that the picture showed I should have.

DSCN0622I then read the rest of the pattern and much to my dismay, I would not be getting a Snoopy that looked at all like the picture. I was very unhappy. I returned to ravelry and look at other crocheter’s Snoopy’s made from this pattern, and sure enough, they did not look at all like the picture. I looked at the round ball foot sitting on my cutting table and immediately decided that I would not be completing this Snoopy and that I had wasted my money and time on this pattern. I am going to write a bad review of this pattern and the lady selling it. She really should have used a picture of what her pattern makes, not a picture of what she would like it to look like.

img_3142Disappointed with this pattern, my thoughts turned to the first Snoopy pattern I had ever crocheted long ago and I remembered just how cute he had turned out. I always meant to go back and make another Snoopy from that pattern. So, I decided that now was as good time as any to make this pattern again to sooth my heart and soul from the disappointment of the last bad Snoopy pattern. This Snoopy pattern came with a pattern for the cap, googles and scarf that Snoopy wears while fighting the Red Barren. When I made this pattern previously, I was new to the art of amigurumi and I was afraid to try and make these accessories for that Snoopy back then. Now I felt ready to take on these accessory patterns as well as the Snoopy himself.

So, next up, another Snoopy but this time with a cap, scarf, and googles.

Until next time, crochet forth and Snoopy on!

Several Snoopy’s But Just One Woodstock – Part 1, Pattern #1

P1040369P1040362Yes I do know that this is backwards. In the Peanuts comics there is only one Snoopy and he has several bird friends that are all called Woodstock. So, I should have made only one Snoopy amigurumi and several Woodstock’s to go along with him, but that is not what the patterns called to me to do. After playing around on Ravelry awhile back, I now own a couple of new Snoopy patterns but only one new Woodstock pattern.

 

P1030854P1030900The first Snoopy pattern I got is for a large standing Snoopy with fingers on his paws and a large head. The pattern is great! It was easy to follow and done with joining rows. The joining rows caught me off guard at first, adding a slip stitch and chain with each round, but soon enough I had the swing of it and it wasn’t long before I had the all of Snoopy’s pieces crocheted up. The stuffing and stitching went smoothly too. I tried to keep Snoopy’s feet flat while stuffing so that he would stand upright. It kind of worked out that way when he was finished. Sometimes I can get him to stand and other times not. His big nose does not help the standing process since he is a little top heavy. All in all I thought that he turned out very cute.

 

P1040374P1040363Woodstock’s pattern was from the same designer as the Snoopy. The Woodstock pattern was also well written and his pieces were fun to crochet. I forgot on his hair pieces that I was supposed to do a joined round and crocheted them in a continuous round instead. I think they came out just fine crocheted this way. Woodstock took longer to make than Snoopy did because smaller does not always mean faster. Woodstock has a lot of details that took time to make and stitch together. But, the extra time was worth it. Woodstock is so cute and I love his details. I would not hesitate to make more Woodstock’s in the future.

Stay tuned for Snoopy pattern #2

Until next time, crochet forth and Snoopy on!

Another Bubble – Part 3, The Buttons

DSCN0544I was very unhappy with the serged seam that I got when attaching the bodice and skirt together on this bubble top. It is bulky and heavy and did not serge well. I think it is ugly. Even after top stitching it down to the bodice, it isn’t the result that I wanted. I had wasted my time and webbing worrying about the thread of the embroidery design under the lining being uncomfortable when this serged seam is far more of a problem that the threads would be.

One reason why this seam is so awful compared to the same seam on the first bubble top is the bulk of the bodice fabric. Rather than using a thin lining fabric for the bodice, I used the same fabric for both the top fabric and the lining of the DSCN0549bodice. This fabric is heavier than a lining fabric would have been. So by the time I was ready to serge this seam together, it was four pieces of fabric thick. Unlike on the last bubble top where all four of the fabrics were thin, three of the fabrics on this top were heavier fabrics, two of which were significantly heavier. It gave me food for thought on what not to do for the next bubble top. It also gave me another reason to make a third bubble top. If I am using a heavier fabric, I may want to do the stitch in the ditch type of seam rather than the serged seam to finish this part of the top.

DSCN0540Because I did not have the expected overlap for the buttons and buttonholes, I made the buttonholes vertical. But with the bulky serged seam attaching the bodice and skirt together, I could not make the first buttonhole as close to the seam as I would have liked. So this top only got two buttons instead of three and they were not stitched where I would have liked them to be. I don’t believe the button placement will affect the wearing of this top though. I think that part will be just fine. Even more food for thought on the next bubble top though. Perhaps I need to do the buttonholes before attaching the bodice and skirt, or solve the overlap problem first and then make horizontal buttonholes.

DSCN0533This bubble top was a huge learning experience for me, just like most of my sewing projects are. This top has convinced me that another bubble top is in my sewing future. I believe there are still things to learn from this pattern. Even with the issues that I will change on the next bubble top, this top is still very cute and I think will wear well.

I hope that some little girl will enjoy wearing it!

Until next time, sew forth and bubble on!

Another Bubble – Part 2, The Skirt

DSCN0543Sewing the skirt for this top was the next step. I remembered this time that I wanted to make sure and iron the hem before I stitched the skirt to the bodice. But after doing so I quickly learned that, no, I did not want to iron the hem before I stitched it to the bodice. Ironing the seam just smashed the gathers and flattened the bubble. So, after ironing the hem, I had to try to fluff the hem enough to get the bubble back.

One thing I wanted to do better on the next bubble top was to finish the ends of the serging on the seam attaching the bodice and skirt together. Because the serging is exposed and not hidden with a stitch in the ditch seam, I wanted a clean serged edge once I was done sewing it. After doing a little internet searching, I found two techniques for finishing off serging that I wanted to try on this top.

DSCN0157The first technique started with serging a chain of thread. Then the fabric is placed under the presser foot of the serger and the chain of thread is pulled around and laid on top of the fabric between where the needles will be stitching and where the blade will be cutting. As the serger stitched, the chain laid under the loop stitches, leaving a clean starting edge. This technique worked well for the start of the serging, but it would not work well for ending the serging so that is where the second technique came in.

DSCN0159For the second finishing technique, the fabric is serged right to the end, the presser foot lifted and the fabric pulled around, flipped over and placed back under the pressure foot. The next step is to serge down the already serged seam a couple of inches and then serge off the edge. This technique left a rough edge at the end of the serging, but not where the serging is exposed at the end of the seam. This technique worked well at the end of the serging but it would not work well when the serging starts.

So, between the two techniques, I had much cleaner looking serged exposed edges when finished. I still need to practice with both techniques some more before I would say that I am proficient at using either one. And so that is yet another reason that I will be making another bubble top in the very near future.

Next up, part 3, the buttons.

Until next time, sew forth and bubble on!

 

Another Bubble – Part 1, The Bodice

DSCN0533I love fabric. I love it so much that I hate to throw away any scraps. I measure and debate way too long about my scraps before they hit the garbage can. What could I make from these scraps? Is it large enough for another project? Will I want to piece it together with another fabric later? As I contemplated the fate of the scraps from my blue shirt with white sleeves, I decided there was enough scraps of the blue print and white fabric left to make another bubble top. There was not enough for a size 6 like the last pink and white bubble top, but enough for a size 3, so I reprinted the pattern and got started.

Because it has not been so long since I made the last bubble top, I remembered the things I wanted to do differently on the next one I made. While cutting out the bodice I added 1 inch to the back pieces of the bodice so there was fabric to cross over for the buttons. I also cut a 1 inch strip of interfacing and ironed it to the back bodice pieces to give a little extra support for the buttons and buttonholes. The rest of the top was cut the same as the pattern called for.

DSCN0538Since the bodice was made from the white scraps of the sleeves of my shirt, it needed something embroidered on it. The picnic ant design from my last shirt would work great and match the red in the blue fabric. Embroidering the design became the first step in the sewing process, which was odd. Usually embroidering a design on something I make is one of the last steps in the sewing process. I did iron some webbing on the back of the design to help smooth the threads even though there is a lining for the bodice that would hide the threads. This design would be against the little girl’s chest, and I did not want bumpy thread to be uncomfortable when the top is worn.

The bodice stitched up fine. When I had finished sewing it, I laid it out on the cutting table. There was a good two inches of overlap at the buttons. What had happened? Had I mis-measured? Maybe adding a whole inch was too much? I flipped the bodice inside out and cut 1/2 inch off my added inch and restitched. Laying it out again, I now had a 1&1/2 inch overlay. What? At this point I decided that maybe I cut the first bubble top wrong and that was why there was no overlap for the buttons, or maybe the size 6 pattern line was off leaving no overlap. So, I flipped the bodice inside out again and cut off 1/2 inch more. Cutting off the extra inch also cut off my P1040331interfacing so I had to reapply more interfacing for the buttons and buttonholes. I restitched the seam and turn the bodice right side out again. Guess what! It now had no overlap. What? This was going to require more thought than I wanted to give at that moment. The bodice was the same as the first bubble top. The extra inch had been cut off. Since I wanted to keep sewing and not solve this problem at that time, I decided that another bubble top was in my future where I would address the back overlap issue. Since I could not add the cut off inch back to the bodice, I would just finish off this top the way it was. It would just have the side seam issue of the first bubble top that I had made.

Stay tuned for Part 2, the skirt.

Until next time, sew forth and bubble on!