Tag Archive | kangaroo

Yay Sports! Go Team!

DSCN3421 (1)IMG (1)I am certainly not a big sports fan, and I am especially not a big football fan, but I am a BIG fan of fabric. So, you know, when I saw this football fleece on clearance at Joann’s and I also had a coupon for even more off the already low reduced price, you just knew I was going to buy some of it. And even though I may not be a big football fan, I am sure there is some one out there that is, and would want me to make something for them from this fleece.

In trying to fall in love with fleece again, I did some reading on the internet and I found some suggestions for sewing with fleece. I wanted to try out a couple of the suggestions, so I pulled out this football fleece and a simple pattern, Kwik Sew 3235, for a pullover fleece jacket. In making a pullover jacket, I won’t have to worry about buttons or a zipper, and I could focus on the seams and the suggestions I had read about.

DSCN2561DSCN2797I could not decide which size between a medium or large that I wanted to make, but as I mentioned in a previous post, the fabric decided for me. I would be making a medium pullover jacket. Also as previously mentioned, this pattern was not very easy to cut out due to the fabric. I had to really work to keep the footballs and helmets straight. When I cut out the pocket, I purposely did not match the design because I wanted the pocket to stand out from the rest of the jacket’s design.

With my pattern pieces cut out, I started the sewing process. The first suggestion I followed was to put a new needle in the machine. The suggestion said to make sure it was a ballpoint needle. I only use Schmetz universal needles so that is what I sewed it with and it did great. The next suggestion was to lengthen my stitch length because of the bulk, which I did. When it can time to iron it, I followed another suggestion of using a press cloth so I could iron the fleece a little more aggressively without hurting the fleece.

DSCN3426 (1)DSCN3429 (1)One article I read suggested three different types of seams that worked well for sewing fleece, a fake flat fell seam (sometimes called a faux flat felled seam), a lapped seam or a double topstitched seam. I was not impressed with the lapped seams but wanted to try the other two seams. As I started to sew, I found that I wanted to just sew double top stitch seams so that the seams matched. The double top stitch seam is sewn by first sewing your seam as you normally would, then sewing the seam allowances down close to the edge of the seam allowance, then trimming close to the seam allowance stitching. Since fleece does not fray, cutting close to the stitches finishes off the seam. On the top side, there is a cool double row of stitching encasing the seam. This is a fun look that looks like it took a lot of effort to sew but was really easy and it looks great! Especially if you sew straight, which I seem to have a hard time doing most of the time. 🙂

DSCN3424 (1)DSCN3423 (1)I was able to do the double top stitch seams on the shoulder seams, the sleeve seams and even the hood’s seams, but when it came time to double topstitch the underarm/side seams, I realized that would be impossible. Because the arm is a tube, there was no way I was going to fit the fabric under the presser foot and sew it. I tried to figure out a way to do the topstitching but could not. I turned to the internet for help, but pretty much everyone said the same thing that it could not be done with a normal home sewing machine.

There were a few suggestions on the internet for how to finish the seam but I was not thrilled with the answers. Pondering the possible ways to finish this seam, I stared at my serger and I shook my head. I have the tools, i.e. a serger, why not use it. So I serged the underarm/side seams to finish them. Because this is not a super heavy fleece, no issues occurred while serging it. I also used the serger to finish the edges on the facing. I could have just left the edge unfinished on the facings but that would have really bugged me.

DSCN3422 (1)For the hems, I folded and sewed the hems as usual but with out finishing the edge with the serger or folding the edges over. After completing the hems, I trimmed the edges close to the stitches as I did for the seam allowances so that all the inside seams matched. I did the same with the pockets opening edge.

Looking at the completed jacket, I liked what I saw from the outside. The top stitching looked great! From the inside though, the serged seams looked so much cleaner and finished than just the trimmed seams. But, I was not disappointed that I had done the double topstitched seams for the others. It was fun to try something different, plus I will have a new technique for sewing a heavier fleece that would not serge well in a later project.

This jacket was fun to make and turned out great!

So, am I in love with fleece again? The answer is maybe.

The cutting out of this pullover jacket was a real task, but the sewing was fun especially with applying the suggestions I had read about. I do see more fleece projects in my future so stay tuned.

Until then, fleece forth, and sports on!

Jill and Joey

IMG_0028I had never seen an amigurumi kangaroo pattern, nor had I thought about making one until I saw this pattern. I fell in love with this pattern the second I saw it and I could not wait to get started on making a kangaroo from it. So away I went in a furious display of yarn and hook spinning!

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IMG_0024The crocheting of the pieces of the adult kangaroo went smoothly and the pattern was easy to follow, but when it came to stitching the pieces together, I was a little unsure about attaching the legs to the body. The legs were crocheted and then flattened. The top round part of the leg was then stitched against the body. Then the leg was to be stuffed very lightly in the top against the body and then firmly at the bottom of the leg to hold the kangaroo up. The feet were then attached to the bottom part of the legs. This worked out great and I was amazed how well the kangaroo could stand up on its own.

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IMG_0026After stitching the head to the body, the legs to the body and the feet to the legs, I stitched the tail on. Looking at my results thus far, my thoughts turned to making some stubby little arms instead of the nice long arms that I had crocheted for this kangaroo. If I had made stubby little arms and reshaped the face just a little, I would have had a great t-rex. Oh, wow, wouldn’t that be great? But, I was making a kangaroo. I will keep the t-rex in mind for another project though.

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P1040007With the adult kangaroo all finished and looking great, I turned my attention to the baby joey. The joey’s pattern was very simple. It was just a head, two ears and a stick body so he would easily fit in the pocket. And, yes, designed like this, the joey did fit in the pocket easily but I did not like the “head on a pole” look. I thought that the joey needed arms and legs and a tail. My first thought was to just crochet tiny arms and legs, but I could not made the rounds small enough for the size I wanted and still be crochet-able. My next thought was to do a bobble for the arms and legs as I crocheted the stick body, but in P1040195the end, all I got was a lumpy stick instead of what I wanted. Looking at the ears, I decided to crochet some flat arms and legs for this joey. I chained 6 then single crocheted 3 times in the 5th chain then slip stitched to the top of the chain and back down the other side. This looked pretty good on the stick body. It had shape but it was still flat against the body and could be folded to easily fit in the pocket. Sticking with the flat and P1040197easily fitting into the pocket theme, I made a chain tail for the joey, but it looked awful. I tried to think of another way to make a tail that would not be a problem fitting in the pocket but in the end I left the joey without a tail. So, I apologize in advance to whatever child is going to play with the kangaroo that the joey is not anatomically correct.

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Since only female kangaroo’s have pouches, my adult kangaroo is a female, a jill, and therefore I named her Jill. And, of course the baby kangaroo is a joey and therefore I named it Joey. So this is Jill and Joey, my amigurumi kangaroos. What do you think of them?

Until next time, keep stitching!