Tag Archive | circle

It A Trap (ezoid) Skirt!

DSCN2926When I found this trapezoid scalloped edged girl’s skirt pattern on the internet, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the scraps that I had leftover from my minion shirt. The combination of the minion fabric, the banana fabric and the blue fabic had made for a fun shirt and it would definitely make a fun skirt too.

I was excited to get sewing but I knew that I had to start with a little math before I could take the first stitch.

Yes that’s right kids! Your teachers WERE RIGHT about the using math outside of school thing! Imagine that!

Since I was sewing empirically here, and not making this skirt for anyone in particular, so no particular size, I had to calculate how big I could make the trapezoids versus the amount of scraps that I had.

DSCN2554Luckily I’m not afraid of a little math, so after a few calculations, I found that I had enough scraps for a girl’s size 6 to 8 skirt, making the trapezoids 3 inches at the top and 5 inches at the bottom and 15 inches long. And as per my calculations, I would be cutting out 18 trapezoids in total, 6 from each of the three different fabrics and that would use up all the scraps I had.

I first cut myself out a trapezoid pattern piece and then I used it to start cutting. I tried to cut as accurately as possible so that all the pieces fit together nicely and would be even.

DSCN2717Cutting out the pieces took some time, but sewing the trapezoids together took even more time, plus each seam had to be pressed after I sewed them. I sewed each trapezoid from the bottom to the top to keep them as even as possible.

After the trapezoids were all sewn together, I used the skirt as my pattern to cut out the lining for the skirt. The pattern only called for only a small strip of lining to be used at the bottom of the skirt to make the scalloped hem, but I decided to fully line to skirt. This would take care of finishing all the trapezoid seams, and it would keep the girl’s panties from showing through the thinner minion and banana fabric and eliminate the hand stitching the pattern called for at the hem from only using a strip of lining.

DSCN2718Cutting the lining caused me a few moments of anxiety because of the amount of fabric needed to cut the lining. The skirt was made of scraps so really no large or useful sizes of fabric were used, but when the trapezoids were sewn together, they formed a circle skirt, and cutting a full lining on grain for a circle skirt did require a real size piece of fabric.

In fact, cutting this lining pretty much used up all the yellow lining fabric I had purchased on sale a while back. I was sad that this lining fabric was now all gone. It had been a great piece to turn to when I needed a lining for the little girls dress I had made. But, the husband comforted me by reminding me that there was now one less piece of fabric in the stash and that now I could go and buy more lining fabric. And who doesn’t love to go fabric shopping? Not me, that’s for sure!

DSCN2720With the lining all cut out and the its side seams sewn, placing right sides together and matching the hem, I sewed around the hem. At this time I cut out a cardboard circle to use as the pattern for the scalloped hem. I traced the circle onto the skirt, matching the seams of the trapezoids and the stitch line at the hem. After tracing a scallop on each trapezoid, I carefully sewed around each scallop edge. Trimming and snipping around each scallop was the next step followed by turning the skirt right side out. It was now time for a lot of pressing to the skirt hem.

DSCN2727Once the scalloped hem was done and pressed, it was time for the waist band. I had planned to use 3/4 inch elastic in the waist, so with a few more calculations, I cut the waist band from the blue fabric 2.5 inches wide and long enough to go around the top of the skirt. With right sides together, I sewed the waist band to the top of the skirt, serged the edges and pressed it towards the top of the waist band. I then serged the top edge of the waist band and pressed it over about 1/4 inch. I then folded and pressed the waistband over and stitched in the ditch to finish it off. I left a small unsewn portion to insert the elastic. I also added a small tag to the waist band to denote the back of the skirt from the front, although this skirt really does not have a front or back.

DSCN2723After the waist band was sewn up, it looked short, too short to fit 3/4 inches elastic into it. I am not sure where my calculations went wrong but I should have cut the waist band wider. I debated about unpicking the waist band and cutting a new wider waistband, but the thought of unpicking all the serging was unbearable, so I decided to use 1/2 inch elastic instead of the 3/4 inch that I had planned on. The 1/2 inch elastic fit into the waist band just fine and I think because this skirt is for a younger girl, the 1/2 inch elastic will wear fine too.

DSCN2725To determine how much elastic to use in the waistband, I measured the length of my finished skirt of approximately 15.5 inches. Looking at a chart I had downloaded off the internet, I cut my elastic 25 inches in length. 24 inches for the waistband and 1 inch for sewing it together. This length of elastic plus the length of the skirt meant I had made approximately a small size 8 skirt.

This worked for me. I do not think an eight year old girl is too old for a minion skirt. If I’m not too old for a minion shirt then an 8 year old girl is certainly not too old for a minion skirt. Perhaps I am just still young at heart!

DSCN2734I decided to do a decorative top stitch around the scalloped edge of the hem of this skirt. I think the scallops were sewn fine before I did this, but because this is a play skirt, and I am expecting it to be worn while running and jumping, a little extra strength at the hem certainly won’t hurt.

I think that this skirt turned out to be just adorable, and I am excited for a young girl to wear it and enjoy the minion and banana fabric as much as I have enjoyed making it!

This skirt has also given me one more option to use up my scraps with and I will keep it in mind that next time I am debating about what to do with a pile of scraps.

Until next time, sew forth and trapezoid on!

Halloween Time

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IMG_0012P1040200Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year. I enjoy the decorations, the costumes and the candy. Each year, I like to make some new Halloween amigurumi’s. This year I made two, a devil and a ghost.

I found the devil’s pattern on Ravelry. I like the pattern, but I loved the devil one crocheter had made from a red and black variegated yarn. I knew this had to be one of my Halloween amigurumi projects for this year. My sources for purchasing yarn are limited, but I kept an eye out for some red and black variegated yarn.

While in Joann’s one time, I came across the Red Heart Team Spirit yarns and there was a red and black variegated skein. It did not really look like the yarn from the other devil that I had seen but it was the best that I had found so far. So I purchased a skein of it and I got started stitching it up.

IMG_0018IMG_0020The pattern for this devil is well written and crocheting the parts was fun to make. Unfortunately, the Red Heart Team Spirit yarn is not really a true variegated yarn. It is a long section of red then a long section of black and so on. So this did not give me the look I wanted, but the pieces of the devil were turning out cute anyway, so I kept crocheting.

I could have saved the money spent on this speciality yarn though and just used separate red and black yarns for a similar look. The devil stitched together nicely and his tail turned out very cute. I like the heart shaped point at the end. I also really like his folded arms, one of the features that attracted me to the pattern.

All in all, this devil turned out quite cute and is a fun addition for Halloween.

DSCN0514DSCN0516The next Halloween amigurumi I made was a ghost. What enticed me about this pattern was the bottom of the ghost.

As you crochet the bottom of the ghost, you decrease on one side of the round and increase on the other side of the same round. When it is time to stuff the ghost, part of the bottom is already crocheted together, so there is less to be stitched closed.

With the increasing and decreasing on this ghost, I was having difficulty keeping track of which round I was on while crocheting. I had to keep counting the rounds from the head down. This was a pain and it was taking a lot of time away from the crocheting. I finally wrote the rounds I had left to crochet on a post it note, and marked them off as I stitched each round. This worked great. I will remember this trick if I have a counting problem again on other amigurumi’s.

DSCN0521DSCN0520I did not add safety eyes to this ghost as I crocheted it. My intention was to use wiggle eyes when it was done, but when it came time to attach them, they just did not look good. This lead me to use some felt eyes.

After trying several variations, I decided on the three layer black and white eyes that I made. I tried a yarn smile on the ghost but that did not look good either so I tried a frown, then a jagged line. Nothing looked good. As I debated over the design of the mouth, I dropped one of the felt pieces I had been cutting for the eyes onto the ghost and the black “boo” shaped mouth came to life.

This round felt mouth was perfect fit for this ghost.

While making this pattern I had my doubts along the way, especially with the eyes and mouth, that this guy would turn out ok. Not only did he turn out ok but he turned out great. I think he is fun and ready to do some scaring on Halloween.

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Until next time, Crochet forth and get your scare on…

ItsHalloween

Extras

After the puffy foam trials from a few blog posts back, I noticed that I was getting quite a stack of towels with designs embroidered on them. I decided that since I had the sleepers I was working on finished and the blankets all done and ready to go for gifts, I would go ahead and make these towels into baby bibs before I got started on another project.

I really enjoy making the towel baby bibs and in no time at all I had the ribbing picked out and I was sewing away on them.

Once those were completed I noticed that I still had some white and purple floral knit fabric left over from the little girl’s shirts I had recently finished, I decided to use up those scraps to make another sleeper with. I had previously picked out a Mickey and Minnie Mouse design to stitch on one of the shirts, but then I decided to use a Snoopy designs instead. But after that I still wanted to put the cute Mickey and Minnie design on something. Since the sleeper pattern was still out, I cut one out of the purple floral knit fabric and sewed it up. It turned out so cute and I just love the Mickey and Minnie embroidery design on it. And even though I thought that would use up all of that fabric, there is still plenty left over. I have not decided what I want to make next from the leftovers yet, so it might go back into the stash, but as a much smaller piece than before.

Putting the Magic Circle To The Test

After determining that I liked the looks of my sample magic circle better than my chain two sample, I decided to use the magic circle in my next amigurumi project. What I figured out was that I had more to learn about the magic circle.

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I started my latest amigurumi project with a magic circle. Row 1 turned out great, but as I crocheted row two, the circle grew and grew. It ended up making a bigger hole than I have ever got with the chain two method. Confused and a little disappointed, I undid my crocheting and started again but got the same results, so I tried it again. Now, totally confused and flustered, I said to myself, “Strike three, you’re out.” and went back to the chain two method. But, after finishing a couple of the parts for this amigurumi, the magic circle started to haunt me again. And I just could not get over the fact that I could not get it to work, so I tried it yet again. And the same thing happened. After crocheting the second row, the hole was huge!  This is when the simplest thought ever hit me.  To fix the problem, I needed to pull on the tail again and tighten the circle again like I did on row one. And, guess what, it pulled that big hole in tight. Wow, how simple!  Sometimes I amaze and scare myself.

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With this new knowledge on how to use the magic circle, I started the next piece with a magic circle and it worked great. Now that I have done the magic circle with success, the only advantage I can see to the chain 2 method is that you have a little knot to push in the hole to hide it. The magic circle is smooth with no knots, but you still have the tail to cover the small hole.

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I don’t think I will discard the chain 2 method completely. I think I will let the project, the yard and the pattern determine which method I start with, but for now I think I will continue to work with the magic circle.

Chain 2 or Magic Circle? That Is The Question.

The first amigurumi pattern I ever followed, started each piece with chain two and then so many sc in the second chain for the hook. It was not until several patterns later that I was told to start with the magic circle or ring. I read the instructions from the pattern for the magic circle and was totally lost, and decided at that point just to use the chain 2 method I had always used. It was not until the construction of Blue and the monkey and the comment from a reader that I decided to look into the magic circle a little closer. According to the comment, if I would start with the magic circle instead of the chain 2 method, I would not get the big hole when the first row called for more than six sc. So, I decided to figure out the magic circle and see what I got.

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Since the written instructions I had for making a magic circle seemed to be written in a foreign language, I turned to YouTube and watched a couple of videos on how to crochet a magic circle. I learned very quickly that all videos are not created equally. The first video I watched left me more confused than my written instructions had. I understood what the next video I watched was telling me to do but when it came time to try it, I just could not get it to work. About to give up, I watched a couple of more videos and finally found one that made sense to me and that I could easily reproduce. Now, I am not going to tell you which one I finally had success with because it may not be the best one for you. What I will recommend is that you watch several different videos and determine what works best for you.

Now that I knew how to make the magic circle, it was time to compare it side by side with the chain two method. So, here are my samples with 8 sc as the first row. I know which one I like the looks of best but what do you think? Let’s just say, I will hate to give up the chain 2 method. It has served me well and is a quick and easy start.

Embellishing Baby Towel Bibs – Part 2

With the first appliqued Snoopy bib completed and the end result turning out fabulous, I quickly started to embellish another bib. This time for a little girl. And so with another piece of Snoopy fabric in hand, I got started.

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This time I wanted the back ground peace signs of the fabric to be part of the embellishment. Having already done a square, I decided to try a circle. I hunted around the sewing room and the kitchen for the perfect circle but I could not find the right size. I finally remembered the circle cutter I had purchased many years ago. This is one of those craft items that you use about once every 3 years, that you really shouldn’t have taking up space in your closet but are so happy you have when you need it. I quickly cut the size of circle I wanted with the circle cutter, and then traced and cut out my fabric. Next I needed to fold and press the edges over evenly.

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I decided there was no way I could free hand the folding of the edges and get anything that still resembled a circle. So, I pulled out the seam 2 seam. I cut a smaller circle of the seam 2 seam and applied it to the back of the applique circle. I then snipped the edge of the circle and started to fold the edge over sticking it to the seam 2 seam as I went.

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This worked out fabulously!

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My end result was an almost perfect circle. I then applied the circle to the bib, holding it in place with the seam 2 seam, and stitched around the edge. I wish I had matched my thread color better to the fabric, but the stitching was very simple so it worked out ok. I stitched around the circle twice for a fun look.

At this point the embellishment was done, but I was really not pleased with my end result. It was just a big circle on a towel. Even though it was a Snoopy in a circle on a towel, it still needed something else.

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I returned to my sewing closet and stared, hoping for inspiration, when my eye drifted to the far back corner where my old fabric paints lived. I have not used these in years. I was afraid they would be all dried up, but with a little shaking, the paint began to flow again and then the fun started. I created several peace signs in different sizes and colors with the fabric paints and they looked great!

Adding some pink ribbing around the neck was the final touch for this bib. The end results are so cute. I can’t wait to give it to some little girl.

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As I pulled the fabric paints from the closet, ribbon, lace and various trims fell to the floor. As I picked them up, my creative mind went crazy. Pink Disney princess ribbon with pink matching lace. Disney Cars ribbon with car tracks made from fabric paint. Rainbow Snoopy ribbon with many more Snoopy appliques. A whole new use for my leftover scraps from my other sewing projects. The possibilities became endless, and I became very excited about what to make next.

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I will definitely be making more baby bibs and embellishing them with and without my embroidery machine and maybe a combination of both. Let the fun begin!

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If you want to see my original baby bib post you can find it HERE.

And I hope you all had a great Summer of LOVE and PEACE!