Tag Archive | Panda

Go Pirates

 

I fell in love with this pattern, Simplicity 1020, the minutes I saw it.

You may ask why?

It looks utilitarian, but  I could see potential color blocking opportunities and some fitting in the color block seams.

There was a big problem for me since this pattern did not come in my size. So, this meant a lot of measuring of myself, the pattern, and my sloper patterns to make it work.

Since I had to resize all the pattern pieces, I did not want to use my best fabric to make this shirt, so I picked the purple scraps from the husbands last shirt and some light yellow from the baby fabric stash pile. Purple and yellow go together don’t they?

Yes they sure do. They were my high school colors. Go Pirates!

After completing the shirt, which sewed together nicely with extra attention paid to the v-neck ribbing, I did not think I could bring myself to wear this newly made cheerleader top, even if it had a Woodstock embroidered on it. But, I did wear it. It was very comfortable, and I even received some sincere compliments on it.

Inspired, I headed for the sewing room, and made a second shirt, from some precious gray knit fabric and embroidered a favorite panda design on the front. This shirt is just as comfy and fun to wear as the first one.

Stay tuned for more sewing adventures!

Until then sew forth and “Go Pirates!” On!

 

Drop Down the Cuteness – Part 2

DSCN0901The panda bear’s pattern was easy to follow so the crocheting of the pieces was fun and it stitched up quickly. Then something changed. As I began to stitch the panda bear together, cuteness did not burst from every stitch. What went wrong? Upon completing the panda bear, I sat the latest cute bear and the panda bear side by side and studied the differences.

DSCN0903Of course there were the obvious difference in the bears, but as I studied their faces, my attention was drawn to their muzzles. Now, the size of the muzzles of these two bears are quite different from each other, but that is not what caught my attention. It was the placement of the muzzle on the head. The first bear has a big muzzle so it had to be sewn lower on the head, closer to the neck and the eyes needed to be inserted right above the muzzle. The panda bear had a tiny muzzle in comparison, so it could be stitched up higher on the head with plenty of room for a space between the eyes and the muzzle. Was the placement of the muzzle on the face in a different position the answer to the cuteness issue? Was the panda’s face just too high and separated on his head?

I turned to the pattern and, yes, the pictures showed the eyes and muzzle of the panda stitched lower on the head and closer together. I also pulled out the only other teddy bear pattern that has turned out cute for me as I crochet it, the pattern I used to make Madison and Tux, and, yes, because the head is crocheted sideways in this pattern, the muzzle is even with the neck and the eyes are inserted right above the muzzle. If my theory was correct, lowering the muzzle and placing the eyes closer to the muzzle of my amigurumi bears would bring out the cuteness.

DSCN0939I was excited to test my theory and make another amigurumi teddy bear with a lower muzzle and closer eyes, but first I had to try and fix this panda bear. I was not willing to unstitch his head and muzzle plus his eyes were already permanently snapped into place, so I crocheted him a bow tie. I found a free bow tie pattern for a dog on Ravelry and modified the size to fit the panda bear. The bow tie filled in the distance between the panda’s neck and muzzle making the neck and muzzle seem closer together. Whether it’s the illusion of bringing the neck and muzzle closer together or just that the bow tie is cute, adding the bow tie help bring out some of the panda bear’s cuteness that wasn’t previously there.

DSCN0942I did not have a quick fix for lowering the eyes to see if my theory on their placement versus the bear’s cuteness is correct. I will just have to place the eye closer to the muzzle on the next amigurumi bear I make and see if the cuteness appears spontaneously. I am betting it will.

I don’t know if my next amigurumi will be a bear or not, but I see I a bear with a lower muzzle and eyes closer to that muzzle soon in my future. Perhaps then I will know if that was truly the answer to bear cuteness or not. I hope it is and I will have another crocheting mystery solved.

Until next time, crochet on and cute on.

One Large Combo Puppy To Go

Since I was still in a puppy making mood, I decided to mix up my patterns and take parts from several different patterns to make my next puppy.

I started with a pattern I have made several times before. Remember the bunny, Cali, the bear and Ming Long, the panda? Yep, I started with Ana Paula Rimoli’s pattern Toys In Pajamas from her book Amigurumi World Two. I have really enjoyed making this pattern before, so I was looking forward to crocheting it again.

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I crocheted the arms and legs as written in the pattern, but I took the idea from the daddy puppy pattern to make one of the paws a different color. This puppy’s muzzle and ears though came from the patchwork puppy pattern from Crochet World, with his eye spot coming from the daddy puppy pattern. The last piece, his tail, also comes from the patchwork puppy pattern, but I did change it a little, making the tail shorter and fatter.

While crocheting the body, I decided to insert the arms and legs into the body as I did on the puppy love puppy. This took some counting and decision making to figure out on which row and which stitches I wanted the arms and legs inserted at. I like the arms and legs when attached into the body, and this puppy will sit very well because of this and  he looks fine when standing too.

It took all the stuffing skills I have to finish up the last of the Simply Stuffing I had left in the bag to stuff this puppy without too many lumps and bumps. I am glad that the bag is now empty and I can open a new bag of the better quality Polyfil stuffing for my next project. But I still have one bag of the Simply Stuffing left. At first I thought I would just use it up but after stuffing this puppy, it’s going away instead. I am going to take it to Goodwill and hopefully someone else can use it. I am not really happy with the stuffing job I did on this puppy, but it is what it is.

The final piece of this puppy is his collar that I designed based on the collar on the last amigurumi Snoopy I made. I used a some scraps of Red Heart cherry cola variegated yarn left from three eyes and fries. I wanted a little color in his collar without getting away from the brown tones.

At first this was not my favorite of the puppies that I have made recently, but he has grown on me and now I think he is just adorable as the others. He is now in need of a good home though, just like the bunny, Cail and Ming Long have moved to.

Without Further Ado, I Present the Slit Plackets

First the good news! The slit placket on the last green kid’s shirt that I made came out of the washer and dryer with flying colors. It did not fall apart like the first one did. The fabric, the slit placket, and the interfacing did just great. The next step was to complete the shirt. But before I could do that I had to decide what design I wanted to embroidery on the shirt. It wasn’t so much my decision but the husband’s. I needed the husband to decided what design he wanted on his shirt, and then I would know what design to put on the kid’s shirt. If the husband picked a design I needed to try it out first before embroidering in on his shirt, and so the kid’s shirt became the best place to try a sample.

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The husband narrowed his choices down to two designs, a panda bear and a tiger. Since the tiger design was too large for the kids shirt, I decided to just put the panda on it and see how it turned out. When I finished embroidering the panda design, the husband like the design on the green fabric enough to pick the panda design without trying the tiger design first.

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After completing the husband’s shirt and the green kid’s shirt, I decided to go back to the first shirt with the placket that fell apart in the washer and see if it could be salvaged. With a little skill and a lot of luck, I was able to restitch the placket and get something useable from it. Since I had been viewing several panda designs, it was easy to pick a design for this shirt.

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After the husband’s shirt, the kid’s shirt and the trial and error samples with the green fabric, there were only scraps left, but enough to make a size 1 t-shirt with long sleeves. So, rather than putting the scraps back into the stash, I decided to just whip up this little t-shirt instead, and since all the embroidery thread and supplies were out I decided to try a design that was up for consideration on the kid’s green placket shirt. I like the design quite a bit and plan to use it again.

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Now that the my slit placket adventure is over, I am glad I went through it. I learned a lot and improved my skill of sewing slit plackets quite a bit. But, I am ready to move on and sew something else besides green fabric and slit plackets.

Meng Long – The Fierce Dragon Panda Bear

After perusing my usual crocheting web sites, I noticed that many people were crocheting amigurumi panda bears in various shapes, styles, and sizes. All the panda’s looked so cute that I decided I wanted to make one too. So, this is Meng Long. His name means fierce dragon but I don’t really find anything fierce about him. I think he turned out super cute, and is just adorable.

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Meng Long’s pattern came from the book Amigurumi Two by Ana Paula Rimoli. I used the “toys in pajamas” pattern. I have made this pattern a couple of times and just love it. It crochets up quickly and easily and the end results are  always cute. I really like the shaping on the hands and feet of this pattern.

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The time limiting factor in Meng Long’s construction was the details on his face. Did I want to use felt or crochet rounds for the black of his eyes? Did I want to add white felt to the eyes as well? Did I want to crochet him a muzzle or just use felt for his nose and mouth? If I crocheted a muzzle, did I want to use a plastic nose or embroider a nose to the muzzle? I finally decided to stop asking questions and just try a few things out. So, with that, I got started.

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I liked the felt on the eyes better than the crocheted rounds right off. And I decided on blue eyes early in the process even though I know that pandas do not really have blue eyes naturally. The white felt on the eyes was a must. It took a long time, with lots of trimming, and several tries to get the felt shapes I wanted for the eyes, but the end result was worth the time and effort. I crocheted a muzzle but it took only a couple of minutes to decide that I did not like it with the muzzle. I decided I wanted him to be cartoonish cute, and not look very realistic in the end. I embroidered  his nose square, but the husband said to add the point at the top of the square. After adding the point, I agreed with the husband. It looked better that way. The crooked smile I made him with was my idea though.

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After the face was designed,  Meng Long just needed to be stitched together. The stitching together of the parts went smoothly. I did not rush the process. I took my time to do it right, which kind of made it fun to see him come together. I decided to stitch his arms and legs closed and then stitch them to his body. This way he can sit down, but it is harder for him to stand. This is ok because I designed him as a toy to be  played with, and not a decoration to be displayed.

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Meng Long is having a great time in the sewing room playing with Sarah and the other amigurumi’s hanging out in there, but he needs a home of his own where he will be loved and played with.