Tag Archive | slip

Sammy the Seal

DSCN2357DSCN2358It didn’t last long, but then it never does.

I broke my current crocheting criteria of only making patterns that I have had for a while, but that I could never seem to get made. The minute I saw this new pattern for this seal, I knew that I wanted to make it and it became my next project.

Even though I have piles of old patterns that I have been trying to get around to making, for some reason I just wanted to make this one instead and so I did.

The pieces for the seal crocheted up without any problems and I enjoyed the process. The pattern was well written and easy to follow. The stuffing and stitching together of the pieces went smoothly as well. It was a little odd for me to not stuff the flippers of the tail but to put stuffing in the tail portion only. I thought about stitching a line between the tail and the flippers just to keep the stuffing in the right spots, but the stuffing seemed to stay where it was suppose to, so I did not stitch the line. The seal’s nose and mouth were easy to design but his whiskers took some work to get just right. The pattern had 3 big long whiskers but in the end I liked my 2 short whiskers better.

DSCN2340DSCN2155When it came time to crochet the hat and scarf, I had a little trepidation. The seal had been turning out so cute without the hat and scarf, so why go to the trouble of making them? But, as I looked at the pictures in the pattern, the hat and scarf added to the seal’s cuteness, so I decided to get crocheting and get them made too.

The hat was easy to crochet. It was crocheted in rounds just a little bit larger than the head with double crochets for the last round to give it an edge. When it came time to make the pompom for the top of the hat, I had to have the husband help again. I could not get the knot tight enough to keep the yarns from just falling out of the pompom. The husband was able to tie the knot tight enough and the pompom came out really cute. My hat is a little squarish. If and when I make another hat, I will vary the increases in the round to keep it a little more rounded.

DSCN2335DSCN2285I liked the scarf that I made for the Hello Kitty so much that I decided to make the seal’s scarf the same way instead of following the pattern for it. I made a chain of yarn to the desired length, then double crocheted back to the other end. Next, I changed to the white yarn and slip stitched around the double crochets and chains. I was concerned about how the back of the scarf would look in the places where it would be seen when the scarf was tied to the seals neck, but the tied on scarf looks great.

I used a dab of clear fingernail polish on the yarn ends of the hat and scarf to finish them off. The nail polish will seal the ends so that if this seal is played with, there will not be any yarn ends coming loose. I thought about stitching the hat and scarf to the seal but then I decided that if the seal is being played with, that being able to remove the hat and scarf might be more fun for someone.

DSCN2184DSCN2158This seal was a fun and quick project that turned out so very cute. It was easy to pick the name Sammy for this seal. What else would you name a seal? With Sammy the Seal completed, I will again return to my crocheting criteria of picking my next project from patterns I have been longing to make. Unless another more fun pattern pops up first that is!

Until then, crochet forth and seal on!

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Hello Kitty

DSCN2341I debated about it a long time, but I finally decided to crochet a Hello Kitty for a coworker/friend of mine. She just adores Hello Kitty. I have seen a couple of patterns for Hello Kitty during my internet pattern browsing and they all look very cute. So I picked one that I thought my coworker would like and got started on it.

DSCN2280The pattern that I picked has Hello Kitty in a dress with a scarf and of course the bow on her ear. The red dress and scarf gave the Hello Kitty a Christmas type of vibe, so I thought about changing the color of the dress and omitting the scarf, but the husband liked the red dress and the scarf so I decided to follow the original design and colors of the pattern.

I started with the legs as I like to do when I am crocheting an amigurumi. In this pattern the legs and body are crocheted as one piece. I followed the pattern and the little feet and legs came out so cute, but when I got to the body and finished crocheting the body’s last row, something was not right. 

Where was the rest of the body? I re-read the pattern again. No, I had not miscounted. This short stubby piece on top of the legs was the body. I debated about adding more rows but then decided to crochet the other pieces and see how it all looked before I started modifying the pattern.

DSCN2157The arms and ears were crocheted next and then I got started on the head. Crocheting the head took some time and concentration. It took a lot of counting while crocheting. When I finished the head it looked so funny and misshaped to me. I wondered if I might be in an alternate universe or something where everything that should be right was wrong. 

I was beginning to have second thoughts about completing this project, but I decided to press on instead. After a lot of debating and the husband’s help I got the eyes inserted and then I started to stuff the pieces.

IMG_1787Stuffing the head presented another challenge. It would have been easy to overstuff the head and make it round but Hello Kitty’s head is flat like the rest of her body. So, I had to stuff the head with enough stuffing that it was full and firm but still flat which was very unusual to me. 

When I finally got all the pieces stuffed to where I liked, I laid all of the pieces together on my cutting table. I was not pleased with what I saw. The head was misshaped and it looked funny with the short stubby body and the long legs. At this point, I really wanted to abandon this project and move on to another project, but I had too much invested in both time and yarn in this amigurumi to quit. So I soldiered on.

DSCN2350As I started to stitch the pieces of this Hello Kitty together, she finally started to come to life. Her head did not seem as misshaped once her ears were actually stitched on to her head. And her body was not as stubby once it was stitched to her head and it was even less stubby once I had crocheted her skirt to her body.

At this point, I did deviate from the pattern. I wanted to crochet her bow instead of cutting one from felt. I followed the same pattern I had used previously to make a bow tie but I made it smaller. With some red yarn, I chained four then crocheted 3 in rows till I had the desired length I wanted for the bow. I then folded the ends to the center and stitched them together. Because of the smaller bow, I did not crochet the center piece of the bow but simply wrapped the red stripe with white yarn to make the bow.

DSCN2273For the scarf, I did not count how many chain stitches I started with. With some red yarn, I chained until it looked like the right length around Hello Kitty’s neck and called it good. Next I crocheted once around the long chain, then slipped stitched around the edge with white yarn. I think both the bow and the scarf turned out very cute. As I stitched them to Hello Kitty, she took on a personality and came to life even more.

Stitching on Hello Kitty’s whiskers and glueing on a pink round felt nose were the finally touches to complete this Hello Kitty.

DSCN2352Even though there were multiple times I wanted to tuck this project away with other UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects), I am glad I did not.

It the end, she turned out to be very cute I think!

I gave my coworker her Hello Kitty and she thought it was adorable and that did my heart good. 

It made be think about the UFO’s I still have tucked away. Maybe with a little more work, they could turn out to be as cute as this Hello Kitty did. 

Maybe I had better pull them out of their hiding place and see.

Until then, crochet forth and Hello Kitty on!

Under and Over, Roger Dodger!

P1030970A while back, I made a tiered skirted dress for my niece. When I asked her mom how she liked the dress, the response was that she had not wore it yet because they needed to buy a slip for it. This was very disappointing to me. I had made the dress from yellow knit fabric and it was suppose to be a play dress, something she could run in or jump in or maybe even ride her bike in. Now, it needed a slip to be worn. Now, it was going to be a burden to have her wear it. I then remembered the last little girl’s dress that I had made from the thin yellow fabric/kitty print that the little neighbor girl’s mom has had to worry about finding a way to keep her panties from showing through at the top of the skirt through the thin yellow fabric. And this was disappointing to me as well.

IMG_2851So in remembering all this, I decided that I wanted to make another little girl’s play dress but this time I would add a lining so there would not be any worries when it came to someone wearing the dress. I wanted to make a dress that would be nice enough to wear to school but still fun to wear on the play ground too. This made picking my pattern to use for it easy. I picked a sleeveless short waisted bodice dress with a gathered skirt and buttons down the back. The pattern already called for the bodice to be lined, so I just had to line the skirt too.

I picked a fun yellow fabric with animals on it that has been living in the stash for many years for the dress fabric and the yellow lining fabric was a Walmart impulsive purchase because it was just $1/yard. At the time of purchase, I did not know what would become of it but I knew I needed it so I had picked it up. You see sometimes those fabric purchases do pay off! So luckily I had all the fabric I needed for this project on hand. Because the lining fabric was a Walmart special, I had no idea how it would launder. But I wanted this play dress to be machine washable, so I threw both the dress fabric and the lining fabric in the regular cycle of the washer and dryer. The dress fabric laundered just fine, and luckily the lining fabric washed and dried great too. It was now time to start cutting.

P1030908I followed the pattern to cut the bodice from the dress fabric and the lining fabric. I then cut out the skirt from the dress fabric as the pattern called for and then I cut a duplicate from the lining fabric. It was now time to start sewing.

Following the pattern guide, I sewed the bodice together first and then the skirt. I sewed the lining for the skirt the same as I had the dress fabric. I then placed the dress fabric and the lining of the skirt together with wrong sides facing and continued to sew as it as if it were just one single piece of fabric.

When that was done, I used the floss method to make the gathers for the skirt. I stitched zig-zag across the floss, being careful not to catch the floss in the stitches, and then pulled the floss to make the gathers. This is a great method for making gathers and It is so much easier than pulling stitches.

P1030909The most difficult part of making this pattern was the step after attaching the skirt to the bodice. Only the dress fabric of the bodice is sewn to the gathered skirt. The next step is to fold the lining of the bodice up, press then pin it in place over the seam that attached the bodice and the skirt. The next step is stitching on the top side of the dress fabric and catching the lining underneath. It sounds simple but it was not. After completing this step, I had a mess. Because I was using a slippery and stretchy soft lining, and despite the pins, the lining did not stay in place when I was sewing. In some places the seam missed the lining altogether. In other places, the lining slipped and the seam missed the fold so I had a raw edge exposed. So I started to unpick, trying to save any part that stitched ok. I restitched the bad parts and some came out ok and other parts still had the same problem. It was hit and miss all over the place again. So I unpicked and sewed some more and I finally got an acceptable seam. It does not look great to me, but it will have to do. And after this experience I decided that this is definitely a technique I need to work on to increase my skill set.

P1030976About half through the unpicking and restitching process I started to think about how this could be done simpler the next time I do this type of sewing. And my first thought was to sew both the dress fabric and the lining of the bodice to the skirt first and then serge them to finish off the edge. Why not? Except for the exposed serged seam, it would be the same as what I had just sewn. Exposed serged seams are not a problem for me on my personal clothing, even though I have read that it is not a very professional finished look. And by exposed seam I mean that it can be seen from the inside of the garment not the outside of it. I then decided that this technique was a sewing skill that I needed to acquire, and that although the serged method would be simpler and faster, I would continue to work on this sewing skill to see which way would work out the best for me.

It was at this point that I realized that I had not used my serger a single time when making this dress. This was very odd for me. I always serge my seams as I sew clothing for myself. But since all of the seams had been concealed so far in the making of this dress, I had not needed to serge the seams a single time.

P1030977The last step was the hem of the skirt. I had not yet finished the seams of the skirt because I planned to hem the dress fabric and lining together in one single hem. I had thought about serging the dress fabric and lining together before hemming but instead I decided to follow the pattern guide. So I folded up 1/4 inch at the hem, pressed it, folded up the hem, and then stitched with the dress fabric and lining held together as one piece of fabric. But once again because of the slippery, stretchy, soft lining this was a challenge when it should have been really simple and quick. After some very slow sewing and the use of a lot of pins, I finally completed the hem. Serging the two pieces of fabric together first would probably had made this much easier and quicker to do. Unlike the bodice/lining seam, this was not “a need to acquire” sewing skill. I should have just used my existing knowledge and sewing tools, the serger, to make this process easier.

P1030974While making this dress, I did some reading on linings and by definition, I had not technically “lined” the skirt. Instead I had “underlined” it. A lining by definition is only attached at a couple of points, generally at the shoulders, and/or at the waist. An underlining is done by using two pieces of fabric as one to make an a single item. So, technically, I guess had done both. I had lined the bodice as the pattern had called for and I had underlined the skirt when I hemmed the dress fabric and lining together. Regardless of what you call what I had done, I had completed this pattern and made a really cute dress for a size 6 little girl that hopefully is a fun play dress with no yucky fussy issues while she is wearing it.

Until next time, Sew forth and sew on!

Why Stand When You Don’t Have To – Simplicity 2907 – Part 2 of 2

P1030696Since I didn’t want the little dress I had started in my last blog post to become a UFO (Un-finished Object), I decided to get started sewing again on this project sooner rather than later. My wounds from the collar are still fresh but I wanted to complete the project and move on to something new.

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With the bodice part of the dress sewn together, it was time to sew the buttons and buttonholes. As I looked at the plain yellow front of the bodice, it was too bland in my opinion, so I decided to add a pocket. I dug through the remaining scraps of cat fabric and found a whole cat to use for the pocket. Because I did not want just part of a cat on the pocket, the pocket came out larger than I would have liked, but I stitched it to the bodice anyway. Luckily before I started to make the buttonholes, I noticed that the pocket was in the way of the fronts of the bodice folding over. When P1030755I folded the front over as though buttoning it together, the top front was on top of the pocket. ARRGHH! So, my choices were to unpick the pocket and make it smaller, unpick the pocket and move it to the other side of the bodice, or to fold the fronts of the bodice the opposite way as if it were a boy’s shirt. Since I was quite flustered with this whole project already, I chose the last option and placed the left front over the right and left the pocket alone where it was. I was smart enough though to run the buttonholes vertically rather than horizontally so that the big pocket was not in the way of the buttonholes stitching.

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The next step was to make the skirt. I decided to line the skirt with some black tricot. The skirt was a simple sew even with the lining and it was done quickly and P1030754ready to be attached to the bodice. There were no sewing problems when attaching the skirt to the bodice but after it was done, I realized just how much of a dropped waist the skirt was and just how thin my yellow fabric was. Ah Crap. You would be able to see the top of the little girl’s panties through the yellow fabric because of this. Here I had done so good about lining the skirt to hopefully solve this problem, but I did not even think about the top part. So, my choices were to try and add a lining to the completed bodice, make a camisole to wear with this dress, or just give the dress to the little neighbor girl and let her mom solve the see through problem with a camisole or undershirt that the little neighbor girl probably already owns. And since I just wanted this project to be done, I picked option number three again. I will ask her mom if she has a camisole to wear under this dress. If her mom says no, I will consider making one. But, since I am not really pleased with the whole construction of this dress overall, I am not excited to put any P1030753more time and effort into this project.

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With this dress completed, my first thought is to just throw this pattern out, but the dress turned out really cute and I still like the style of it. So, I have decided to keep the pattern for now just for the skirt portion of it. If I make this style of dress again, I will find a different pattern for the bodice, one that has a “real” lapel collar and facings but use the skirt from this pattern. I will also pick a larger piece of fabric to start with, make the pocket smaller or just skip the pocket, and line the dress appropriately. Yes, that sounds like a plan, but a future plan, and not one I am very anxious to start right away. But with most of my sewing projects I learned a lot and have taken lots of notes for future projects.

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See you next time and don’t forget to Sew forth and Sew on!