In The Hoodie

DSCN1257Even though Leftovers the bunny turned out so cute and I love his turtle neck bulky yarn sweater, I still wanted to make a version of bunny with the hoodie from the pattern. This lead me to my next amigurumi project, another bunny from the same pattern but this time with a hoodie.

DSCN1252Instead of looking for a specialty yarn to make the hoodie, I just picked some good old Red Heart yarn, and since it was almost time for my relay for life raffle donations, I picked breast cancer pink as the color.

The pieces of this bunny were easy to crochet especially since I had made the pattern before. I crocheted all the white parts, the ears, head, and legs but after finishing the body with the pink top, I realized that I had underestimated the amount of yarn I needed yet again. I was not going to have enough of the pink yarn I was using for the sleeves on the arms and to finish the hoodie.

DSCN1250This time though, I had used a normal Red Heart yarn so I could easily get more if I needed some. I first turned to the stash where I have numerous skeins of pink yarns, but guess what? None of the pink skeins in the stash matched the pink I was using. I would need to go to the store and buy more yarn to match the pink yarn or undo the body and use another pink. Bemoaning either of these options, the husband stepped in. He looked at the pink skeins of yarn in the stash and picked one he said was close enough. Hmmm. I had enough of the pink I was using for the hoodie but not the sleeves. Was this other pink close enough? I decided to go for it and see. So, I crocheted the hoodie next.

DSCN1253The hoodie crocheted up smoothly. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. To make certain I was on the right track as I crocheted the hoodie, I stitched the head, ears, and body of the bunny together so I had something to try my hoodie on. I was able to crochet the entire hoodie from the current pink yarn I was using. I then crocheted the arms of the bunny with the other pink yarn and stitched the arms and legs to the bunny. The husband was right. If you know I used two different pink yarns and look really closely, you can see the difference. If not, the second pink yarn matches the first pink yarn just fine.

With the bunny stitched completely together, I pulled the hoodie on and handed the bunny to the husband. After inspecting the bunny, he said that the hoodie needed to be bigger, at least one more row around the bunny’s face. Now, how was I going to add one more row around his face since it was made out of the that pink yarn that I had ran out of?

DSCN1248The answer was a white decorative edge all around the hoodie, around the face and the neck, and to make the hoodies ties white as well.

I tried a couple of different decorative stitch edges around the hoodie, but I finally settled on just a simple half double crochet. It was easy to do and it added a simple but decorative edge. The husband liked the extra white row as well.

DSCN1255I debated about whether to leave the hoodie removable or stitch it permanently to the bunny’s head. The pattern did not stitch the hoodie to the head and after bugging the husband about it repeatedly, I decided to leave the hoodie removable. Since I expect a child to play with this bunny and to remove the hoodie often, I had the husband give the ears a good tug to make sure they were secure and would withstand the hoodie being pulled on and off repeatedly.

DSCN1242I’m not really happy with the hoodie, and to me, it looks like a bonnet, but that might be because of the pink or the white decorative edge, or because it is removable. The bunny is still very cute though, with or without the hoodie/bonnet on, so I am not too disappointed with the end results. I think some little girl will really enjoy playing with this bunny. I do see another bunny with a hoodie in my future. Next time though, I will use a dark color or gray for the hoodie and no decorative edge and maybe stitch it to the neck so it can be taken off the head but not removed. We will see.

Until then, crochet forth and hoodie on!

The Making of the Doctor Who Reversible Sling Bag – Part 2 – The Construction

DSCN1157DSCN1149The construction of the Doctor Who reversible sling bag began with cutting out the pattern pieces from the fabric. I remembered to cut the length 1 inches longer and the strap 3 inches longer as I had previously decided to do as I cut the black bottom weight pieces and the Doctor Who Dalek fabric.

DSCN1150DSCN1139But as I cut out the striped fabric, the stripes started to play with my brain and I cut out one piece correctly, and three pieces incorrectly with 3 inches extra on the bottom and only 1 inch extra on the straps. When I realized my error, I thought about cutting the 3 pieces out again correctly but I hated to waste the fabric. I had purchased this fabric for another project and had cut the pieces for this bag conservatively as to leave as much fabric as possible for that other project. That lead me to decide to make my already cut out pieces work out some how instead of cutting out corrected pieces.

DSCN1128DSCN1126The sewing process started with the insert seams and the bottom seams. I matched the insert seams at the top of the bag because of the extra inches at the bottom of the stripes, then cut off the extra before sewing the bottom of the bag. Next was the seam that I called the pinch. This is the seam that squares the bag to give the bag a bottom. It is sewn by first pinching the corners of the bottom seam of the bag and then stitching across the pinch. The pinch was easy with the bottom weight fabric of the Dalek fabric side of the bag. I measured and sewed carefully and the pinch turn out great.

DSCN1129DSCN1130The striped fabric was not as easy. Because it is a thin lining fabric, it wanted to slip and slide as I measured and sewed the pinch but with patience, I finally got acceptable results. These pinch seams weren’t that hard so I stopped being as careful and learned very quickly that that was a bad move. My next pinches went terribly wrong when I did not carefully measure and sew them. I ended up unpicking and re-measuring and re-sewing all 4 of the pinches on the second bag to get nicer pinches. Lesson learned, take the time needed to do the job right the first time.

DSCN1132DSCN1141The next step was to sew the two parts of the Dalek/black bag and stripe/black together. With rights sides together, I sewed around the curves of the top of the bags. Each bag was then turned right side out through the strap. This was a bit of a challenge but with time and patience the bags were turned right side out.

Now it was time to fix my cutting error. The striped fabric was 4 inches too short on the strap, 2 inches on each side. I had several options for fixing this problem, like just sewing more fabric to the stripe fabric DSCN1146but I wanted to make sure it was very secure at the shoulder. I finally opted to DSCN1144make a patch from the black fabric to cover the missing stripe fabric. I cut a piece of the black fabric big enough to cover the missing piece with seam allowances. I folded over the edges and ironed them in place then applied some seam to seam to the edges. I then ironed the patch in place. I sewed the patches in place as I top stitched the edges of the bag. The patch worked great to solve my cutting error, and because the patches are at the shoulder, it looks like I meant to add the patch to the strap as reinforcement.

DSCN1134DSCN1136The final bags turned out great. I was concerned at first about the bag not having a closure as it gapped when I placed it my shoulder but when I added a book to the bag, the weight of the book closed the bag. I took the bags to my coworker the next day. I showed her that they were reversible and told her if her daughters wanted a closure on the bags to bring them back to me. Her daughters called me the next day to tell me how much they liked the bags and that they had used the bags for their books at school that day instead of their regular back packs. I was excited to hear that the bags were a success and that they liked them and that they used them. It did my sewing heart good.

DSCN1135DSCN1159These bags were great fun to make and as always I learned some new sewing lessons from making them. After this project, I see more sling bags in my future. Maybe next time with pockets and closures with Snoopy or Mickey Mouse fabric or maybe even more Doctor Who fabric. I also have some great Marvel Comics fabric that I was wondering what to do with and San Diego Comic Con is coming up shortly!

 

DSCN1155DSCN1154Oh, this is going to be fun!

Until next time, sew forth and Trust the Doctor on

 

 

 

The Making of the Doctor Who Reversible Sling Bag – Part 1 – The Design

Doctor_Who_diamond_logo_by_gfoyleAs promised, this post will tell you the trials and triumphs of the making of the Doctor Who reversible sling bags. Just to recap, the pattern for this sling bag was the April pattern of the month over at Project Run and Play. Although I don’t usually participate in the link parties on that site, this time I had already purchased a yard of Doctor Who Dalek fabric that was on sale and a bag of some type was just what I wanted to make from this fabric.

One of my coworkers has two tween daughters who adore Doctor Who and making something for them is why I had bought the fabric in the first place. In deciding what I wanted to make the girls, this sling bag came to mind and I thought it was a great idea. I would not have to worry about the size Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 2.34.13 PMor fit, and since they have to wear uniforms to school, the bags would be something they could use all the time instead of just on the weekends. I was excited to get started.

The hardest part about making this sling bag was deciding on the details. The pattern is very simple, and it is reversible so you don’t have to worry about finishing edges. It has no pockets and no closure, but it would be no problem to add pockets and/or a closure. Did I want to add pockets? If so, what kind of pockets should I add, a patch pocket, a zippered pocket, or a welt pocket? Did I want the pockets on the outside of the bag or the inside? If I add a closure, should it be a button, a snap or velcro? If I add pockets or a closure, would the bag still be reversible? I finally decided that I wanted the bag to be reversible and very simple to make so I decided on no pockets and no closures for these bag.

DSCN1125The next decision was what other fabric to use with the Doctor Who Dalek Exterminate fabric. Since I wanted to use the Doctor Who Dalek fabric on multiple projects, I chose it for the middle insert of the bag. I knew I wanted a heavier bottom weight fabric for the rest of the bag in either black or blue, so I did not have to worry about interfacing anything. I found some nice black bottom weight scraps in the stash that would work great. But, what should I use for the inside?

Laying on the cutting table was this striped lining fabric that I had purchased at Walmart for the lining for a different upcoming project. I did not really want to use a thin lining fabric on this bag, but the husband convinced me to use it when he said that the stripes were the Doctor Who scarf colors. This lead me to decide to use the black bottom weight as the middle insert with the thin, striped fabric to give it more structure.

doctor-who-daleks-exterminate-poster-GBfp3134The last design decision for this bag was size. After printing and taping the pattern together, I measured the size of the middle insert. I wanted the Doctor Who Dalek fabric to be the highlight of the bags, so I wanted the middle insert larger than what the pattern called for. I taped the pattern pieces together and then I drew a new cutting line for the insert, making the other pieces of the bag not as wide.

I then measured the size of the bag versus a big book and decided to make the bag one inch longer. I then held the strap pattern piece to my shoulders to measure the length of the strap and decided to add 3 inches to each side of the strap for a total of 6 inches in length added to the entire strap.

DSCN1190I thought about taping some scraps of paper to the top and bottom of the pattern and drawing in the changes I was making to the pattern but then decided that I would just try and remember the changes I had made. This was a poor choice on my part which you will learn about later.

With all the decisions, the design, the fabric and the size, finally made, it was time to start cutting out the pattern and get sewing.

Stay tuned for the construction process in the next post!

Until then, sew forth and Doctor Who on!

Simplicity 2480 – The Jacket – Part 4

DSCN0984With the pockets now completed, it was finally time to stitch the jacket! The first step was to insert the zipper. Remembering the lessons that I had learned from inserting the zipper in the little girl’s peplum jacket, this zipper sewed in much easier. And I did not need to move the needle over to sew the zipper on like I did the last time. The only challenge I faced with this zipper was deciding just how long I wanted the zipper to be. Did I want it to extend into the collar or stop just before the collar? DSCN0807The pattern called for the zipper to be inserted into the collar, but If I stopped the zipper at the collar, I could attach the collar as I would the collar of a camp shirt, finishing it off with a little twill tape. If I followed the pattern instead and inserted the zipper into the collar, some hand stitching would be required to finish the collar. Now, you know how much I just “love” hand stitching, so you can guess which plan I was leaning towards, but then I remembered that I was making this jacket to learn so I decided to follow the pattern and insert the zipper into the collar, and then do the required hand stitching. After sewing on the zipper and facings, I hand stitched the edge of the collar to the back of the jacket. This went a lot smoother than I expected it to. I think I did a pretty good job on the hand stitching and that it will hold up with wearing. Now that it is done I am pleased with the results of how I attached the zipper, collar and facings. DSCN0737Before I started this pattern, I read some pattern reviews for this pattern on the internet and one of the things mentioned about this pattern was that the sleeves were extremely wide. I could see this as I traced the sleeve part of the pattern, so I decided, based on the size of my wrists, to grade 4 inches out of the the width of the sleeves starting at the wrist. I think the wearer of this jacket will like the thinner sleeves and it saved on fabric. I inserted the elastic at the bottom of the sleeves as the pattern called for. I think that will also help with any extra blousing from the wide sleeves. DSCN0989I interfaced the facings and collar before sewing them on. I just grabbed the first interfacing that I pulled from the stash to use, but I wished later that I would have looked a little closer. Now, with the interfacing applied and the jacket sewn up, the interfacing that I used is too heavy for the fleece. The heavy interfacing makes the collar stiff so that it only wants to stand up. The heavy interfacing is also a problem at the inseam pockets. Because I used two pieces of fleece to make the pockets, they are already bulky but when I added the heavily interfaced facing on top of the pockets at the bottom of the jacket by the zipper, it is even bulkier. Lesson learned. DSCN0987Upon completion, I stared at the jacket and it looked very odd to me. It looked like it would never fit anyone. It’s was so small in circumference but long in length in both the sleeves and the body of the jacket. Who would have such odd body proportions. Then it dawned on me what I had done. I had made a extra small adult jacket, and not an extra large child’s jacket. Once I figured this out I could finally picture a young slender adult wearing this jacket without any problem. An unforeseen lesson in sizing and fit was learned this time around. Although this jacket may not be perfect, and some of the seams are not very straight, I am still pleased with the end results. I learned a lot, and it has left me with several ideas and sewing techniques that I want to try and work on in the future. I hope some one will enjoy wearing this jacket and that it will fit them well. Until next time, sew forth and jacket on!

The Whovians of Whoville

I have been reading the Project Run and Play website for awhile now and some of their monthly projects interest me, and some don’t since I don’t have children.

But this months (April 2015) project challenge of a Reversible Sling Bag really caught my eye! I know several Mom’s that have young daughters that would just love for me to make them one. I also figured it would give me a chance to try out something new and fun and to increase my sewing skills along the way.

Now one of those daughters just happens to be a huge Dr. Who fan, and I had just happened to come across this wonderful Dr. Who Dalek Exterminate fabric on my last fabric shopping trip and I was wondering what I should make with it.

Then the two just clicked together like LEGO’s!

And so here I present the Dr. Who Reversible Sling Bag! I hope you like it! Dr. Who Reversible Sling Bag I will post a detailed “The Making of the Dr. Who Reversible Sling Bag” soon, but for now I wanted to get this posted so that the other people making the project in April could see what I had done.

Until then, Sew Forth and Exterminate on!

Simplicity 2480 – Pocket #3 and #4 – Part 3

Version 4As mentioned in a previous post, I had already decided not to make the side in seam pockets with a zipper closure as the pattern had called for, so I set the pattern guide aside and thought up my own plan for sewing these pockets. Most of my ideas came from the in seam side pockets I had sewn in a little kid’s polar fleece jacket several years ago but with a few changes.

The pockets on the kid’s jacket were just one piece which was sewn to the front of the jacket to make the pocket. An open rectangle was sewn at the side seam for the opening of the pocket and then the pocket sewn to the front of the jacket to complete the pocket. The seam attaching the pocket to the jacket was seen on the front of the jacket.

DSCN0768The pattern I was currently working with called for these pockets to be make from two pieces so the pocket is not sewn to the front of the jacket. I liked the idea of not having a visible seam on the front of this jacket. So, to make the opening of the pocket, I placed one piece of the pocket on the front of the jacket, right sides together and sewed, cut and turned the rectangle for the opening. Next, I sewed the second pocket piece to the first pocket piece to complete the pocket.

DSCN0802 (1)The pattern called for the first piece of these pockets to be a lining fabric instead of using two pieces of the fleece. The reason for this was the bulk. It you were using a heavy polar fleece, two pieces would be very bulky, but I was not using polar fleece, my fabric was just a sweatshirt fleece, so I made both sides of these pockets with the same fabric. Two pieces of the fleece didn’t seem that bulky to begin with, but when it was added to a third piece, the front of the jacket, the pocket was then getting a little bulky. It was not so bulky that I was willing to unpick and restitch the pockets but the lesson was learned. Don’t double up fleece when making pockets with it!

With pockets #3 and #4 done now it was time to insert the zipper and finish up the jacket. That’s coming up next so stay tuned.

Until next time, sew forth and in-seam pocket on!

Simplicity 2480 – Pocket #2 – Part 2

Version 3I’ve sewn patch pockets before, so I did not pay much attention to the pattern guide as I sewed on the front patch pockets of this jacket, but when it came to the zippered front pocket, I read and studied the pattern guide throughly. When all was said and done, I wish I had not. Let me explain why.

Per the pattern guide instructions, I traced the cut lines for this zippered pocket onto a piece of interfacing and ironed it to the front of the jacket. Next, I cut on the cutting lines. The next step was to sew the shortened zipper to the small pieces that were made by the cutting lines. Because the pieces were very small, and the zipper was bulky and the fleece had stretch to it, this was not easy. It was difficult to sew a nice straight seam. I worked through it though and finally got the zipper sewn to the front of the jacket.

DSCN0753The next step was to sew the pocket to the zipper. Once again this proved to be a challenge. I had to sew the pocket to the zipper tape and the small cutting line pieces as I held the rest of the jacket out of the way and worked through the bulk and the stretch. My seams were not straight or even on this pocket but I finally finished it. The finished pocket is far from perfect, but it does not look too bad so I decided to call it done.

The reasons that I decided to call this pocket good enough for now was that I had no intentions of sewing another zippered pocket this way again. As I struggled to sew this pocket together, my thoughts drifted to what I had read about welt pockets. Wouldn’t it be easier to have sewn this pocket on like a welt pocket? Yes, I think so.

DSCN0756When I sew another zippered pocket, I will approach it as a welt pocket. I will sew the pocket to the front of the jacket, cut the cutting lines, and turn the pocket to the inside. This will give me a nice rectangle for the zipper. Instead of folding the pocket fabric into a welt at this point, the zipper will be top stitched to the rectangle, then the pocket fabric will be sewn together on the inside as if the welt had be formed and sewn in place.

DSCN0759I’m anxious to try the zippered welt pocket sewing plan that I have thought up to see it my ideas are valid. So, for about one second I did consider taking off the patch pocket and adding another zippered pocket instead. Then I remembered the liquid seam that I had used to finish the patch pocket and decided to leave the patch pocket alone and continue on with the rest of the jacket. My zippered welt pocket plan would have to wait for another project. And with that, it was time to sew pockets 3 and 4 to this jacket, the in seam side pockets. So, stay tuned to see how they turned out in the next post.

Until then, sew forth and zipper pocket on!