Tag Archive | puppy

It’s In The Bag! – Part 2 – The Lining

DSCN3886After completing the shell, I sewed the lining next. I serged all the seams and edges of the lining because the gray lining fabric just loved to fray. This was not difficult, just time consuming. I left part of one of the sleeve seams unstitched for the bagging of the jacket. With the shell and the lining sewn, it was time to sew these together and bag the jacket.

DSCN3880Even though I knew what do sew next, I decided to read the tutorial for bagging a jacket one more time, and I am glad that I did. At the top of the bagging tutorial was a link to a tutorial on how to cut a lining for a jacket. I had not read this tutorial before and even though my lining was cut and sewn, I decided to read the tutorial.

I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that I had made my lining incorrectly. There were more steps to cutting a lining out than just cutting out the pattern pieces again from lining fabric. I debated about just using my finishing lining and learning the lesson for the next time but then I read how if the lining is not cut with ease, the jacket will not fit or wear well.

Darn!

DSCN3909I was going to have to make another lining! And this time I would be following the tutorial to get it right!

DSCN3890I returned to the cutting table and I cut out a new lining with the extra inches at the fold in the back and the ease at the armscye and sleeves. I once again cut the lining 2 inches shorter at the bottom and at the sleeve’s hem. At the sewing machine, I made a box pleat in the top and bottom of the back piece to gather in the extra inches. I once again serged all the seams and edges to keep the lining fabric from fraying, and I once again left part on one of the sleeve seams open for the bagging. With a whole new lining, one that had appropriate ease added in, I was ready to once again bag the jacket.

DSCN3892Following the steps of the bagging tutorial, I sewed the shell and lining together. Next I sewed the sleeve hems together, and then turned the jacket through the unfinished seam on the sleeve. This worked fantastically! The zipper turned beautifully to the front of the jacket, the collar was finished, with no twill tape or facing needed, and the hems both at the bottom and sleeves rolled up 1 inch. The last step was to sew the unfinished seam of the sleeve together.

DSCN4004Normally, this is where the hand sewing would be required, but the tutorial said just to sew along the edge of the sleeve seam with wrong sides facing. Yes, this left a little ridge, but it would be inside the sleeve where no one would know that it was there, or see it, or even notice it while wearing the jacket. Even with the jacket off, it would be highly unlikely that the sleeve would ever be turned inside out to reveal this seam. This was great for me! A quick easy seam to finish the jacket plus no evil hand sewing!

DSCN4007As I zipped my completed jacket up, I figured out why the making of the lining tutorial kept talking about the facings. I assumed that since I was lining the jacket, the facings were not needed, but after zipping the jacket and having the lining exposed where the facing would have been, I could see how the facings from the shell fabric would look and wear better than the lining.

DSCN4000At this point in the construction I did something I don’t normally do when I am sewing kid’s clothes. I needed to remove the top stabilizer that I had used to hold the fleece down while embroidering on the pockets. I could have just ran a little water over the pockets and let them air dry, but I decided to wash and dry the whole finished jacket instead, just like a mom would do after the kid had spilled ice cream down the front of it.

DSCN3992I was a little disappointed when I removed the jacket from the dryer. The fleece had fuzzed up a little and some of the shiny new look was gone, but all the seams held well and the lining did just fine. So at least I know this is not a dry clean only type of situation, which wouldn’t be good on a child’s garment, and that the jacket can be machine washed and dried without ruining it.

DSCN3990Despite the exposed facing and the fuzzing fleece, this jacket turned out just too cute. I love the paw print, the contrasting colors, the side patch pockets, the Dalmatian embroidery designs, the zipper and the lining.

Let’s face it, I love the whole jacket! I especially love the bagging of this jacket and the lack of hand sewing. I see another jacket just like this one but with facings added in my near future, so stay tuned!

Until then, sew forth and bag on!

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It’s In The Bag! – Part 1 – The Pockets

DSCN3898I found one more way to finish the edges of polar fleece seams on a jacket. Just put a lining in the jacket! Now, lining a project has always frightened me just a little because it required hand sewing to finish it up and as you know hand sewing is evil and must be avoided at all costs. But, I found a great tutorial online explaining how to bag a jacket, i.e. how to add a lining to a jacket, with little to no hand sewing so I was excited to try bagging a jacket for the first time.

At the top of the tutorial, the statement was made that any garment could be lined regardless of whether the pattern called for a lining or not, so I did not bother to look for a pattern with a lining. I just grabbed my tried and true kid’s jacket pattern, Simplicity 8902. It took only a minute to pick out the red puppy paw print fleece fabric and some gray lining to use to bag this jacket.

DSCN3873I gave the design and construction of this jacket a lot of thought before I made the first cut into the fabric. I decided I did not need the facings on it since the lining would replace them. Next, I would cut the lining 2 inches shorter at the hems of both the bottom and the sleeves so that the lining would pull the fleece around to complete the hems. Last, I wanted to embroidery a design on the jacket, but I knew that it would get lost in the busy puppy paw design of the fleece.

DSCN3874So to remedy this problem, I decided to make side patch pockets for the jacket from some grey fleece scraps and to embroider the designs on to the pockets. I also decided to make the collar from the grey fleece too to match the pockets. I thought about using the lining fabric for the bottom of the collar, but the grey fleece was not that heavy so I decided to make both sides of the collar using the fleece. With that plan in mind, it was time to cut the fabric and get sewing!

DSCN3876The cutting process went smoothly. I cut out the pieces for the shell or outside of the jacket from the fleece and then I cut matching pieces from the grey lining. I started the sewing process with the shell of the jacket which was going along just fine, including the sewing on of the zipper, until the pockets.

DSCN3879The husband picked out the Disney 101 Dalmatians for the embroidery designs so I embroidered Perdita on one pocket and Pongo on the other. With the embroidery done, I decided I wanted to line the pockets to protect the back of the embroidery designs from things that would be put in the pockets and to protect little hands from the embroidery designs rough parts. But, how should I line the side patch pockets?

DSCN3991To line the pockets, I cut two pockets from the lining fabric minus the fold over flap. I serged the edge of the lining fabric where the flap would have been. I folded the fleece flap of the pocket to the wrong side of the pocket and then placed the lining on top. I then sewed right sides together on three sides of the pocket. Next, I turned the pocket at the flap. After ironing the pocket, I folded the flap over, encasing the exposed but serged lining under the flap, and then I sewed the flap down to the pocket to complete the lining of the pocket. It was then simple to sew the pockets onto the front shell of the jacket.

I am going to pause here and let you catch your breath for a minute. I still have a lot of story to tell about the sewing of this jacket. So, stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in part 2 of It’s In the Bag.

Until then, sew forth and bag on!

 

Triangulating The Joint

P1040340Remember Thready the teddy bear? Sure you do. He was the cute, but bulky teddy bear that I crocheted a while back. He was my first try at making an amigurumi with thread joints. I have been wanting to make another amigurumi with thread joints to see if I could change the things that I did not like about Thready, like the bulky look that he had and to incorporate all the things that I learned recently from making several different types of thread joints. This made picking out my next amigurumi project easy. I found a pattern for a puppy with thread joints, but with a little variation to the joints that I had been making.

P1040350Starting with the crocheting of the pieces, I quickly found out that this was not a particularly easy pattern. I had to watch my rounds and stitch count more closely than usual. This was not difficult, just a pain. Unlike Thready’s pattern, the arms and legs of this puppy tapered in at the ends. I was also careful not over stuff the arms and legs.

The instructions in this pattern for the thread joints were a little different than for the ones on Thready’s joints. This pattern called for a separate piece of yarn to make the joints, not just to use the tail of the yarn left after crocheting. The separate yarn piece was pulled from the bottom of the puppy’s body into the leg but then angled towards the front of the leg, and then pulled out of the leg at the front. The yarn was then reinserted into the leg, not catching the crocheted yarn, pulled through under the crocheting but close to the outside of the leg to the back of the leg. Finally the yarn was pulled out from the leg at the back, then, as before, reinserted into the leg, once again not catching the crocheted yarn, pulled to the inside of the leg where it first entered the leg, then out the bottom of the body at the starting point. This formed a triangle for the joint inside the leg.

P1040227Forming the triangle joint pulled the leg closer to the body, decreasing some of the bulky look. This was a good thing. The problem, though, was that the leg was very loose. I did not feel that it was secure enough to the body to withstand any play or pulling from a child. So, I cut some more yarn and stitched the joints again the same way. While this did tighten up the joint so that it was more secure it caused another problem. I now had a ton of loose ends of yarn to knot and hide in a small space at the bottom of the body.

P1040231The idea of the triangle thread joint was good, but the execution needed to be refined, so when I made the arm I changed it up a little. I had left a long tail at the end of my crocheting of the arms, as I did with the legs but then cut off to use a separate piece yarn for the joint. On the arms, I decided to use the tail from the crocheting for the joint instead of cutting it off and using a separate piece of yarn. I pulled the tail from one arm through the body to where the other arm was to be attached. I did the same with the other arm. Then using the tail from the opposite arm, I made the triangle thread joint in the arm and then pulled it into the body. I did the same thing for the other arm. The arms were so much more secure than P1040343the legs with only one time through. Just to be safe though, I repeated the joints again but with the same thread I was using, and not a separate piece of yarn. I am glad I left a long tail on the arms so I could use it for the joints twice. This worked out great for making the thread joints, plus I could knot and hide the loose end through out the body instead of all in one spot and I only have one piece of yarn for each joint to hide. But more importantly, the arms were very secure whereas I still would have liked the legs to be tighter.

P1040351Even with the tapered and less stuffed arms and legs and the triangle joints that pulled that appendages closer to the body, the puppy still looks bulky to me although much less bulky than Thready. Maybe I just don’t like thread jointed amigurumi’s or maybe I need more taper and even less stuffing and even a tighter pull of the joints. Like Thready though, this puppy has grown on me. He is fun and cute and I hope someone will enjoy playing with him.

Until next time, crochet forth and crochet 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.

Daddy and Son

Because my crochet bag was still filled with shades of brown from the previous patchwork puppy and turtles, I decided to make more puppies. The first puppy pattern that came to mind was the first amigurumi that I had ever made, a yellow puppy from a pattern from Ana Paula Rimoli’s book Amigurumi World.

I have learned much about the construction of amigurumi’s since I had made the yellow dog. When I made the yellow dog, I didn’t pay much attention to the stitch count. If one row had an extra stitch, I just did not increase as many on the next row, or I decreased an extra stitch on the next row, whichever it needed. I didn’t worry about keeping my tension even and I had never stuffed anything before. When I stuffed yellow dog, I poked some stuffing into the crocheted parts and called it done. I did not fuss over the stuffing to make sure it was smooth, or even, or packed as I do today. Even with all these things done wrong though, the yellow dog came out so cute that my amigurumi career was off and running.

Now was my chance to try the yellow dog’s pattern again with all I had learned, so I did. Because of now having more experience crocheting amigurmi’s, this pattern worked up easily and smoothly. The end results are so cute. The new daddy puppy turned out just adorable.

Being in the car again at the completion of the daddy puppy, I decided to make the baby puppy on the next page too . As with the baby turtle, the pattern was easy to follow but not as much fun to crochet because of the smaller parts. The results, although cute, just lacked the details of the larger daddy puppy, so baby puppy is just not as cute. The daddy’s eye spot is shaped, where the baby’s eye spot is just round. The daddy has a different color paw, where on the baby the the whole leg is a different color and it did not turn out as cute as just the paw being a different color.

Side by side the daddy and baby puppy are adorable and turned out great. But, as with the baby turtle, I like the daddy pattern better and would happily make it again, but I would probably pass on making the baby puppy again. Instead I would spend my time on the larger pattern.

The Magazine Puppy

If you need to waste some time, I highly recommend perusing the web site Ravelry, but be careful. After seeing so many cute crocheted amigurumi’s, you can go into overload and may find that you have to purchase some of the patterns or even worse, a magazine subscription or a book of patterns. That is exactly what happened to me when I saw the cutest multicolor puppy made and posted by one of the crafters on Raverly. When I clicked on the pattern link, I found that the pattern for this puppy came from the magazine Crochet World and after a visit to their web site, I am now a digital subscriber to this magazine. The exciting part about my subscription is that not only does it give me a years worth of the upcoming magazines, and it allowed me to down load the last two years worth of back issues of the magazine. So, even though the puppy pattern was in a back issue, I was still able to get the pattern by subscribing to it.

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I was very excited to make this puppy, but I had decided right away that rather than crocheting the puppy in multiple colors, I wanted to crochet my puppy in shades of brown. So, I started this adventure with a trip to the yarn stash, where I pulled out all the different shades of brown I had including several variegated skeins. Next came the difficult part, to decide which color I wanted to go where in the pattern. After deciding, I made a color chart by taping snips of yarn to a piece of paper labeled with each part so I would remember what I had decided. Even with the color chart next to me as I crocheted the pieces of this puppy, some of the colors changed as I stitched.

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The pattern was easy to follow and the pieces of the puppy crocheted up nicely. When it was time to stitch the pieces together, I about gave up and threw the puppy away. After sewing the muzzle to the head and the head to the body, I saw that I had made a brown duck. I was so disappointed. It looked so much like a duck to me that I wanted to name the puppy Fred the Duck. I decided to press on and sew the legs on next. Even after sewing on all four legs, it still looked like a duck to me, just a four legged duck. So, to put my mind at ease, I told myself I was making a bird dog but that really did not help much. Since I was so close to finishing it, I decided to go ahead and complete this puppy/duck. But, once I sewed the tail and ears on the puppy, the duck faded away and it became a puppy. If I look at it just right, I can still see the duck in him, but since he is done and is such a cute looking puppy, I will do my best to not see the duck in him.

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This puppy has already found a home and I hope is being loved as we speak. I would like to make this pattern again sometime. But for the next one I am thinking about crocheting it all in one main color with a second accent color, or maybe in a variegated brown color. What do you think? Would that look good with this pattern?

And They Call It Puppy Love

When I received one of my issues of Crochet Today magazine, the first advertisement for Red Heart Yarn caught my eye right away. They were advertising their free Valentine’s day patterns, one of which was the cutest pair of puppies. I fell in love with the puppies  at first sight and knew immediately that this cute little puppy would move right up towards the top of my  amigurumi project list.

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After visiting Red Heart Yarn’s web site and printing out the pattern, I found a couple of techniques used in this pattern that I had not tried before, so I was even more excited to make this puppy. The first thing that was different from other amigurumi’s that I have made is that the arms and legs are crocheted into the body instead of being stitched on after the body is crocheted, stuffed and stitched to the head. Since you know how much I like to sew the pieces of an amigurumi together, I was quite excited for this to work and save me the sewing hassle. I followed the instructions exactly on this puppy only to discover that I would change it a little the next time I crochet the limbs into an amigurumi. The pattern called for 4 sc to attach the arms and legs to the body. I did the 4 sc but next time I would do 6 sc. I think it would give it a cleaner look, a more complete attachment. I learned that this is a quick and easy way to attach the limbs of an amigurumi but only if you want the amigurumi to always be sitting.

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There were two changes in the way this puppy was stuffed that are different from other amigurumi’s I have made. First, the pattern called for some kind of weight in the bottom of the body to counter balance the weight of the head. I have heard of using something weighted inside amigurumi’s to get them to sit, but I have never tried adding any weight to any that I have made. I’m not really sure what to use as a weight, I followed the suggestion of a commenter and used pony beads, 30 of them to be exact. Now that the puppy is done, I think a little more weight or a heavier weight might have been better, but I really couldn’t say until I try out different or heavier weights. Next, the pattern said not to stuff the neck so that the after the head was attached the neck would fall and you could see the details of the face better. I have always stuffed my amigurumi pieces to the max and then a little more as I am stitching them together. So, it was a little strange to leave the neck unstuffed for me. But now that the head is attached and I see what the author of the pattern was after, I like the end results and the unstuffed head seems to hold the head up just right.

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The last detail of this puppy is his heart shaped eye patch and nose. I have never crocheted a heart shape before and it took a couple of tries to get something that was heart shaped rather than a triangle but I think I did ok on it. I had to be really careful when I sewed the hearts on the head to keep what shape these hearts had and not pull them back into a triangle shape.

Pleased with the end results of this little puppy, I think he turned out very cute, I can see more puppies made in a variety of colors especially green and blue. Now, I have to decide if I want to make more puppies or more of the other patterns I saw on the Red Heart Yarn’s web site. Decisions, Decisions.