Bel (or rather Beau) the unicorn

My crochet hook has been flying of late, with so many inspirational ideas out there, for cute animals . . . who could resist?  Not me! 

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Awwww, what a cutie, eh?  This little chap, from the book “Unicorns, Dragons and more fantasy amigurumi” (gifted to me at Christmas by my daughter).

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Pattern is by ANABU CROCHET and her version, in the book, is called “Bel”, with a pretty pale pink muzzle & hooves, and a multi-coloured rainbow mane & tail.  I decided to make my baby unicorn a little boy unicorn, so I’m calling him Beau.

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I gave him a variagated mane & tail, using Marriner DK, and didn’t bother adding the extra detail (re pattern) on his little horn.  I think he looks perfect just the way he is.

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He turned out so cute, I am going to crochet a second one, because I reckon Beau needs a little girl unicorn to keep him company.   Stay tuned!

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who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Well, when the wolf is such a cute, I’m certainly not afraid!

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This little fellow, crocheted for my second great nephew.  I followed the pattern, generously made available for free by Jess Huff:  Walter the Wolf.

I hooked using DK yarn, in medium grey & white, with a 2.75mm hook to keep things nice and tight.

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Legs are sewn on to be a little floppy, so he should make a great cuddle toy. 

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a second cushion happy dance for May!

After the fun of making the mermaid cushion cover for Cléo . . . I pulled out this little cross stitched piece.

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This photo was taken in June of last year.   A cute little robot, kit by Permin.  The kit gave all the necessary fabric to make this into a mobile phone pouch, but I wasn’t too keen on that idea. So, what did I do?  Patchwork around, and another cushion cover, of course!

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I had such fun with this, making use of several orphan 5” squares and then cutting into the blue oval print fabric to pull things together.  I’ve made this for my great nephew (not sure if he’s 7 or 8 but I’m sure a cushion will come in handy to brighten up his bedroom). 

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And, on the back . . . the same velvety fabric I used for the mermaid, with the same blue button fastening.

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I’m now off to pick up my crochet hook, as I’ve promised an amigurumi wolf for my second great nephew! 

happy dancing with mermaid cushion

Back in September of last year, I showed you this

mermaid

a very pretty mermaid, stitched from a free kit (with Cross Stitch Crazy).  Kit that was gifted to me by Carole.  I said then, that I probably wouldn’t finish her off in the bookmark card, that came with the kit.  And simply put her away in a drawer until a later date.  Well, the later date arrived, finally!  Prompted by a visit from our neighbour’s daughter, Cléo, who enjoyed having a good old rummage in my sewing room . . . found this mermaid waiting to be finished, and exclaimed at how beautiful she was.  It just so happens that it’s Cléo’s birthday in May . . . so what did I do?  Yup, spurred on by Cléo’s praise, I pulled out some strips of fabric to play with, and made a cushion cover for Cléo’s birthday present.

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Mermaid looks a little bit hemmed in, top and bottom, because the aida fabric in kit was only just big enough, so very little extra fabric even for 1/4” seams. 

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I used the walking foot for quilting, but had a sort of curvey thing going on . . . thought it went quite well with the ocean theme, but it’s totally haphazard.

And on the back

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a synthetic, sort of velvety fabric, and fastening with 3 plain blue buttons from MIL’s button box. I made cushion to my usual size: for a 16” insert. 

the spotty dotty top (NewLook 6483) warts & all

I seem to be on a roll with sewing at the moment.  And trying my hand at several new (to me) patterns.  Ones that I’ve had in my stash for quite a while, but never got around to opening.  After the two success stories with the shirt pattern recently, I decided to open NewLook 6483

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. . . another pattern that’s marked “easy” with promises of 1 hour sewing time.  When will I learn to ignore that sort of info?  I expect an experienced sewer would find this pattern easy, and would no doubt run it up in under 60 minutes.  But surely, it’s the beginner sewer who is drawn to the “easy” patterns?  In which case, a top like this will require several hours of patient sewing, and much head-scratching trying to understand some of the instructions.

Anyway . . . I picked a summery cotton print fabric from my stash (this is leftover from a huge piece I bought as backing fabric for my F2F quilt way back in 2017).  And selected pattern pieces to make top C (the red version).  I’m quite narrow shouldered so thought the way shoulders were shaped on this would be a better fit.  As usual, I ummed and ahhed for ages, about what size to cut.  Pattern didn’t give FINISHED bust measurement, only finished length so . . . since I’m rather busty (not meaning to get too personal, but the following proved to be a problem with this pattern:  I’m a 40” bust and wear a 36 D-cup bra).  I therefore cut the largest pattern size which was for a 38” bust . . . slightly worried that the top would be too tight, but deciding I’d take the chance.

Something I learned from this sewing experience is:  check out other sewers pattern reviews on the internet before cutting or sewing!!!!! Because . . .

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THIS is what I ended up with.  Absolutely massive!!!!  Now, I do have a tailor’s dummy, but I’ll admit, I don’t really know how to use it properly.  I’ve got it set to my vital statistics, but I don’t really know enough about clothes making to make the necessary ajustments to a pattern to make a “fitted” garment.  Besides, I have always felt I’m a fairly standard size. I can walk into any clothes shop and buy something that fits, off the rail.  I’ve made quite a few tunics, and the recent 2 shirts, without having to modify the pattern in any way.  In fact, I’ve used mainly NewLook patterns in the past so I had no reason to think there would be a problem with sizing.  Although, on hindsight . . . I did end up with exactly the same problem with NewLook 6602 in July last year – which funnily enough was also a tunic with facings for neck & armholes.   

Another view, to show you the gaping armholes

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The above photos were after about 4 hours of sewing.  I was not a happy bunny! 

This is when I went looking on the internet for pattern reviews.  And realised I should have started with that!  Of the twenty or so reviews I read . . . a good 75% of sewers had made pattern changes along the way, or quite simply not really followed the pattern at all.  Many chose not to bother with facings, and just added binding.  And almost everyone said that the pattern sized up way too big.

So hmmmmffffff!!!!  What to do?  I  couldn’t do a great deal about the gaping armholes because they were faced (and should have been cut smaller if I wanted a smaller size) but I did manage to make a few improvements.  First . . . I unpicked side seams, and unpicked darts which were simply there, and miles away from my boobs.  Redrew and sewed darts much lower and longer . . . which improved things somewhat, but not 100%.

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And I scooped out the neckline, simply drawing a curve freehand and bringing it down quite a bit.

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That doesn’t solve the too big armholes or the fact that shoulders are much wider than on the pattern picture because (as said above) I refused to unpick the arm facing and redo that part. 

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As long as I don’t walk about with my arms sticking out like that though, it doesn’t look too bad.

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Since I scooped out the neckline, I’ve got a button fastening at the back which is purely decorative as, with the saggy baggy arms, and lower neckline, I can just slip it on over my head without undoing the button. 

The big question is: will I use the pattern again? And to that I’ll say: I honestly don’t know!  I do like to try the same pattern several times, in different fabrics, to get my money’s worth, so to speak. In fact, I had big plans of making all five of the different options this pattern offered.  But that was before all the hassle with the first top. 

the “dances with hens” shirt (see & sew B6270)

On 9th of this month, I showed you my first ever sewing project with sleeves and a collar.

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made following the pattern

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Well, I was so pleased with how it turned out, I was raring to make a second one.  For my second version, I went for the rounded shirt tails, on both front & back, but kept sleeves as 3/4 and the grandad style collar. 

And just to make things a little different, I decided to use a white “piqué” cotton for the collar, front yokes and the button loopy bits.

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Main fabric is a very fun feather print . . . hence the Indian name for this new version of the shirt:  “Dances with hens” lol.

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I really love it!   It looks so different from the first version, because of the bright colours. 

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Just look how cleverly the feathers match up when sleeves are rolled!

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Everything went ever so smoothly this time around.  Collar went on first time.  Sleeve insertion was still rather daunting, but I’d done it before, so I knew I could do it again.  Overall, it really was a joy to make and I am already planning on making it a third time!  I’m even toying with the idea of making the proper pointy collar of version B for my next attempt, despite having said that I don’t like pointy collars.  Definitely won’t be adding a pocket or going for the full length sleeves though. 

ScrapHappy # April (making for Baby Viking)

Followers know that I became a grandma in August last year, to a bonny baby girl, who I have nick-named Baby Viking, because her dad, our second son, is known here as Daddy Viking.  Well, in true grandma form, I made some presents to celebrate the birth:  quilt, cloth book, crinkle toy, crocheted bear and a couple of bibs.  I then knitted up 2 very cheerful bolero cardies, as an excuse to get some practice knitting in February.

Since then, I have been busy at my sewing machine.  And using scraps for the first two items, so an excuse to link up with Gun and Kate!

First up . . . I made a little pinafore dress, using pattern NewLook 6970, and leftover fabric from a summer tunic I made myself a few years ago.  Buttons, came from the family button box, and I learned they were originally from the husband’s grandmother’s button box!  The husband affectionately called her “Bonne Maman” which is the title I have asked to be called by Baby Viking, when she’s old enough to talk.  How lovely, I thought, that as the newest Bonne Maman, I should have used buttons from Bonne Maman senior’s button box!  Meaning that this little dress was made for Baby Viking by one grandma, with buttons that came from her great great grandma’s button box!

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With the very last bits of the pretty floral fabric, a matching sunhat, using NewLook 6274.

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And then . . . worrying that the UK summer might not be as warm as a French summer, I decided Baby Viking might need something to keep those chubby legs warm.  Not to mention that she’ll probably be at the crawling stage this summer and those knees will need protecting . . . so, some trials with stretch fabrics.  First, making use of a free pattern by Made by Rae (but adapting the size)

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a sort of “sarouel” type of leggings, with (I hope) plenty of room for a nappy.  And then another attempt, this time to make a pair of 3/4 length, closer fitting leggings

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Husband kindly pointed out to me that one leg is longer than the other – thank you darling!  But I’m sure once they’re on (assuming they fit) and Baby Viking is crawling around, no one will notice.

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I thought they’d look rather pretty with the pinafore dress.

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Both “bottoms” were made from adult Tshirts.  The stripey pair, from one of my too small Tshirts that was otherwise destined for the Red Cross clothes bin.  The pink pair were made from a brand new adult Tshirt I bought in Noz for only 1€.   And, if you think the waist band looks neat on those, it’s because I used the original hem of the Tshirt bottom as the channel for the elastic waist band.

Anyway . . . here are links to other ScrapHappy posters.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn (me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki and Pauline