Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Crayon Roll Tutorial

Hey howdy hey! I think this is my first sewing tutorial. YAY for me!

Now the crayon roll is not a new idea, I've seen them before. I wanted to do my own and so here it is. I started making these because I'm using up leftover material and sending them to Angelsfortheforgotten which will go into their bags for kids going into crisis or foster care. Yes once again its another charity pattern. What can I say, I just enjoy helping!

This really is easy to make, and if you were to set up a bit of a production line you could easily make a few in an hour. As always, do what you will with these patterns just don't copy the images and text and pretend it came from your brain, that's a no-no ok. I think these would do well at school fetes and boot sales as well as fundraising!

For this tutorial you will need:
Some material. I have some cotton blends.
50cm of ribbon
a measuring tape or ruler
some cardboard or paper if you want a pattern.
a marker
and a sewing machine.

First some measurements. I'm using Ben10 crayons that are thick and chunky and excellent for smaller hands. They need pockets that are 3cm wide to fit in snugly.

My template is a simple square that measures 22cm x 17cm This includes seam allowance.
On my template, you can see I've marked off the spaces for the crayons. I put a mark at 11cm, then counted on each side 3cm gaps.

The material! You need to cut 3 pieces of material out for one roll. I use 2 colours, however you can use multiple. I have one for the pocket and one for the back and front. Cut out your three pieces!

Fold your front pocket piece in half, and pin it to the backing piece. Right sides up and so the fold is at the top!

Using a fabric marker (if you have one, or you can be a slaphappy like me and just use one of the kids markers) put some small dots on the bottom of the pocket material so you know where your lines need to be sewn.

Now its simply a matter of feeding the material through your sewing machine to create straight lines, starting at the bottom and going right to the top of the backing piece of material. You should up with 7 stitched lines.

I know I know, I could have picked a better cotton, but its all I had. Trim the cotton dags off.

Cut a piece of ribbon to 50cm. Fold it in half. Stitch the fold end to the material as shown below.

I put mine on the right side, but really you can put it on either. Just make sure that the ties are facing inwards.

Now place the 3rd piece of material on top of the pocket piece, right sides facing. Make sure to tuck the ribbon in so you do not sew over the free ends. Pin it down and sew around the edges, making sure to leave a gap about 3 inches wide so you can turn it.

Reach in and grab the ribbon and pull it through the gap, this will help you turn the whole thing in the right way.

Now you have this annoying little gap to deal with. Most people would go ahead and hand sew that closed. Alas, like I've stated before, my hand sewing skills are horrid bad shocking disastrous! So starting in the bottom left hand corner, I top stitch very very close to the edge up the left side, across the top and down the right side. This gives it a nice edge and closes that pesky gap for me!

Give it a quick iron to make sure its all sitting flat and all you have left to do is fill it with crayons!

And to prove that even I make muff-ups and these things don't just work out amazingly, here is my first one. Which is a little short, and has top stitching all the way around. I guess we all learn from trial and error huh!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Keepsake Pocket - Free Pattern

Today's pattern has been in the works for a while. Ive been doing some experimenting with sewing machines and crochet. It seems this works surprisingly well, providing the material is on top, otherwise the yarn catches on the foot. The basics of this are simple enough. Its just a granny square. I did not create the granny square, I just turned it into something else! I have no pics for the steps to make a granny square, but if you need step by step instructions I highly recommend http://www.purlbee.com/granny-square-project/
The idea behind this one was something to hold maybe a lock of hair or a hospital tag, something along those lines, but really you could keep anything in them.

Ok so onto the pattern!
I used a 6mm hook and dk weight cotton but really you can use any combination for this.

ch4, sl st to the first chain to form a loop.

1. ch4, *dc 3 times, ch1* repeat from * to * 3 times. Join to the ch4. You should have something that looks like this.

2. ch3, in the same gap, 2dc, ch1, 3dc (this creates your first corner) skip over the dc's and into the ch1 gap * ch1, 3dc, ch1, 3dc* Repeat from * to * to complete the last 2 corners. You should have something that looks like this.

3. sl st until you get to the next ch1 gap.  ch3, 2dc, ch1, 3dc in the first gap, *ch1, skip to the next gap, 3dc in the gap, ch1, in the next gap create a corner by making 3dc, ch1, 3dc* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. sl st to join

4. sl st until you get to the next ch1 gap.  ch3, 2dc, ch1, 3dc in the first gap, *ch1, skip to the next gap, 3dc in the gap, skip to the next gap, 3dc in the gap, ch1, in the next gap create a corner by making 3dc, ch1, 3dc* Repeat from * to * 2 more times. sl st to join

Now I stopped here to make a smaller pocket. Its about 5x5 inches. If you want a larger one just add more rounds, all you need to remember is in the corner gaps do (3dc, ch1, 3dc) and 3dc in each side gap, of course all with ch1's in between.

Now before ending off with the colour you are using, in the corner that you end on in that gap chain 4 and sl st back into the same st to make a loop. Check to see if the button you will use will fit through the gap, if not add another chain. You can now end off this colour.

Attach the heart colour to the loop with a slip stitch. Now we'll make the heart.

Chain 4

triple crochet  (TC) 3 times

DC two times

TC, ch1, TC

DC two times

TC 3 times

ch3 and sl st into the circle

Finish off leaving a 3 inch tail. Thread the tail onto a needle and slip it through the opposite side of the heart and pull to close the gap.


Ok so now we put away the yarn and pull out the sewing machine. You can also hand stitch the lining in if you choose to. I just really REALLY suck at hand sewing so I always default to the machine.

Ok so you need to cut a square of material that is about a cm / quarter of an inch smaller once hemmed then your granny square. I fold the edges of mine under, pin it into place and sew the hem as I'm stitching it to the granny, but you can certainty hem the material first. 

Sew around all 4 sides so it is attached well to the granny square.Ive just used some lightweight poplin but any material will work. If you use fleece or felt that doesn't fray you wont even need to hem the edges!

Once thats done, you need to sew the bottom together. Start by threading some yarn and join the 2 middle points together

Pull the bottom point up so it sits over the 2 side pieces and stitch both sides down. I just did a simple whip stitch.

Then sew a button into the centre

Thats it, Your done! Now mine is a little off centre, and thats probably because I didn't block my square. For the next one I will.

The other beaut thing about this pattern is you can do it with ANY square! Use some with pretty flower centers, change the yarn, make them bigger, the possibilities are endless! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Adding braided ties, a picture tutorial.

In response to an email asking for more details on how to add the braided ties to hats and bonnets. This is how I do them, I'm pretty sure this is how most people do :) So here are some piccies for anyone that has not tried it before. I promise its easy peasy and once you have done it once, you'll want to add cuteness to everything! Try mixing it up by using strands of contrasting colour.

I usually use 3 strands of yarn, because once they are folded over, you have 6 strands, which means you can divide them into 3 lots of 2 for even braiding. I'm using my dainty ear flap hat (previous post) as an example.

Fold your yarn in half evenly so you have a loop

Insert your hook from back to front in the stitch/gap/section you want to add your tie to.

Take the LOOP and pull it through your work with the hook so it comes out the back side.

Like this!

Lift up your loop and make sure you have the centre of it.

Pull the other end of your yarn (the 6 loose strands) through the loop.

Give it a tug to tighten the knot!

That's it! You have just tied on your yarn to make a braid. Now all you need to do is braid (plait) the yarn and tie a knot in the end. 

I generally cut my yarn longer then it needs to be so that I have plenty of space for adding the knot at the end and trimming so they are both the same length. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Dainty Earflap Hat Pattern

This hat is designed to fit around 18-20 weeks gestation but is easily changed by upping your yarn and hook size. Ive done mine in pink but they would look equally good in boy or neutral colours.

For this pattern I used a 4ply sports weight yarn in pink and a 5ply sports weight yarn in purple.
3.5mm hook for the hat and a 2.5mm for the flower
needle for sewing in ends and attaching flower.
As always, worked in AMERICAN terms
All joins are sl st to the top of chain3
hdc = half double crochet
dc = double crochet
tc = triple crochet ( youtube video HERE )

Dainty Earflap Hat

1. ch3, 8dc in the 1st chain, sl st to join.
2. ch3 (counts as first dc here and throughout), dc in the same space, 2dc in each stitch around, join (16)
3. ch3, dc in the same stitch, *1 dc, 2 dc in the next stitch* Repeat from * to * around, join. (24)
4. ch3, dc in each stitch around, join.
5. Repeat round 4.
6. slip stitch in the next 4 stitches, ch1, in the next stitch (hdc, dc, 2tc) This creates the first side of the earflap, in the next stitch (2tc, dc, hdc) slip stitch in the next 12 stitches, ch1,  in the next stitch (hdc, dc, 2tc) in the next stitch (2tc, dc, hdc) slip stitch in the last 4 stitches and slip stitch to join. Finish off and weave in ends.

Adding an edge colour.

Join your yarn at the centre back and ch1, then sc in every stitch around, including the earflap stitches, join and finish off.

Adding Ties

cut 3 pieces of yarn approx. 30cm in length (12inches) fold in half and feed the loop end through the earflap (between the middle triple stitches) pull the long end of the yarn through the loop and pull to secure. Braid the tie and knot the end. Repeat for the other side.

Flower (2.5mm hook)

ch3, 9dc into the first chain and sl st to join.
ch5, sc in the same stitch, (ch5, sc) in each stitch around, sl st to join. You should have 9 petals. Finish off leaving a long tail to sew to side of hat.

Hope you enjoy this pattern and don't forget to check out the crafting and caring raffle (Image on the top left  side of the blog) and let me know if you have any issues <3

Friday, May 11, 2012

Crafting and Caring Raffle

Crafting and Caring Raffle

To celebrate my blog here hitting 20k views, I have decided to host an awesome amazing super cool raffle

Thats right, A raffle!

As you all know, I submit all of my patterns to Ravelry. On Ravelry, users can submit "Projects" that connect to patterns. They give others a chance to see how patterns work, colour combos others have used, yarn suggestions and ofcourse let me know how they came out. I would like to see some more projects added to my patterns on Ravelry and thats what this contest is all about.

But here's the twist. In entering yourself, you also give a charity of your choice a chance to win too!

The winner of this raffle will receive a bag of brand new mystery yarns, (RRP of $50) There will be a lovely combination of fun yarns, interesting yarns, unique yarns! Yarns for all occasions!

To enter, all you need to do is use one of my patterns, and submit a project to Ravelry. The project page must be complete. This means you need to include a photo, rate the pattern, mark if its complete and on what date and if you can add the yarn type used.

Now, if you add in the description what charity your piece was donated to, and you win the main prize, the charity will also receive a cash donation from me of $40 (Must be an actual charity that has donation information publicly available so I can see its A. Real and B. able to receive the prize)

You may add as many projects as you like however each one must be a new COMPLETED item (no photographing the same item 10 times)

You can use ANY of my patterns, so long as you are making them for charity.

Each project you add counts as an "Entry" and will grant you 1 ticket into the raffle

Winner will be picked at random via Random.org

You can find my patterns on Ravelry  HERE

Ravelry is free to join, you can do so HERE

You can read on how to add a Project HERE

You do NOT need to notify me when you add a project, I will see it when it is added and will assign your project a number.

You do not need to "Like" any Facebook page to enter, but it would certainly be excellent of you popped by and checked out the ones I have listed at the end of this blog to see if they are places you may be interested in supporting. It would also be great if you shared this post with your chosen charity so the members can also join in!

Raffle starts at the time of posting and ends on the 30th June

Sharing this post is much appreciated! Charities, feel free to promote this to your members as much as you like, so you have more chances to win!

Tl;dr: Add a new project featuring one of my patterns to Ravelry. Mention the charity you made it for (direct link would be best). If you win, you get mystery yarn and your charity gets $40!

Good luck and happy crocheting!

Some suggested charities (FB pages linked)

L.A.M.B - https://www.facebook.com/LittleAngelsMemoryBoxes

Lisa's Stars - https://www.facebook.com/LisasStars

Calvin's Hats - https://www.facebook.com/calvinshats

Angel Baby - https://www.facebook.com/AngelBabyInc

Chance's Clothes Project - https://www.facebook.com/chances.clothes.project

PreemiesUK - https://www.facebook.com/PreemiesUK

If you have more suggestions please feel free to link them so I can add them.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

1 Ball Project #1

Every now and then I like to challenge myself to see just what charity items I can make from one ball of yarn. I figure its high time I started sharing these so people can see just how many families can be helped with one ball. Its also a good way to use up yarn!

For this one ball project I used: 1 ball of Craftworks Acrylic Print 100g 8ply (dk weight) yarn, purchased from Chickenfeed for $2.49

1 Summer gown
2 Bonnets
1 Pair of booties
8 Hats in various sizes

This lovely little dress pattern came from the crochetville forums The only alterations I did was to work back and forth instead of in a round so the back stayed open the entire way down.

Simple hats for 20-22 weeks gestation. No pattern but I can put it together if you like

Booties pattern from lovinghugsfamily.com which is listed on Bev's crochet page. These are my go-to preemieb booties. So very easy and simple to make and they use hardly any yarn.

Bonnet patterns are my own, the bottom one from this blog and the top a variation I havn't released yet, look for it in the next week! 

The other hats are just made up as I go along. One has a nice ribbed bottom so I may put that into a pattern at some stage too. SO there you go, all that from a $2.49 ball of yarn! Half of the hats will go to Memory Hats Australia, everything else is being sent to Chance's Clothes Project.
Perhaps you'd like to try a one ball project too! Feel free to share them, I love seeing what you guys make <3