Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Princess Peach!

My next scheduled event where I will be selling aprons in person is the Free State Freecon in Lawrence KS on May 22, 2010.  It's free admission, so if you're in the area, come on out!

Also, I have been busy making more superhero aprons including Harley Quinn.  I will be sure to post some images as soon as they're ready!

After Harley Quinn, I have some ideas for Princess Peach, and maybe even Shera (you know, the Princess of Power!).  If anyone is interested in either of these characters, shoot me an email.  I'm personally a big fan of Princess Peach, and designed my own Princess Peach dress for Halloween 2009 as pictured below.  My friends went all out and even turned their garage into Bowser's dungeon!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Super Mario Crocheted Pillow Tutorial

In honor of Planet Comicon this weekend, my first tutorial will take you deep into the world of nerds.  I made this pillow for my husband for Christmas this past year.  I was inspired by other "nerd-projects," including a granny square Mario rug.  I didn't want to commit the time that such a large project would take, so I developed my own smaller project using the same idea.
My Mario/Boo pillow is pictured below.  To complete this project you need 8 yarn colors (I used gray, red, blue, brown, cream, yellow, black, and white), a mid-sized crochet hook (I used a size J), and scissors.  For the internal pillow you will need thread and about 3/4 yard of fabric for the pillow case (I used black behind Mario and white behind Boo) and 1 package of stuffing.

Skills involved: single and double crochet stitches, and a basic granny square.  For this project I did very small granny squares (only going around 1 time) measuring about 1.5" by 1.5", as pictured below.  If you can single and double crochet you can make a granny square! 

I will be focusing this tutorial on Mario (and will not be using white yarn).  To complete Boo, simply adjust these instructions.

To determine the number of squares and what colors I needed, I found pictures of the subject matter and then used a Paint program to break them down into "pixels" or little squares.  The picture I used was missing Mario's back hand, which is why that one is drawn on!  Images of this character, as well as lots of others, can be found online in this pixel format.  I simply used the Paint program to put a dot on each one to make them easier to count.  If the character you want to do isn't "pixelated" for you, you can put the picture under a grid to "pixelate" it yourself :-)

From here I simply counted the squares and began making my granny squares.  I don't remember how many I made, but it was a lot.  Fortunately I chose to make very small squares, and as you get going, you become much faster. 

Once the squares were made, I then simply used the image above to put them together.  I "sewed" them using the same color yarn.

You could at this point decide how big you want your pillow to be and then make squares out of your background color to complete the pillow entirely out of granny squares.  I chose to fill in around Mario using double crochet to fill in all the gaps and to form the image into a square.  I wasn't particularly "professional" about this.  I crocheted both up and down and across depending on which direction was easiest for the given space and involved less yarn cutting. I used gray, and afterwards, using single crochet, randomly placed black lines to make the background look like bricks from one of Bowser's castles.

If you choose to do an image on the other side, make sure you form that square to the same size as your original.  If you are leaving the back alone, just crochet a square the same size as the front.  Sew these two squares together on three of the four sides using yarn.

At this point you can cut two squares of fabric to make the internal pillow.  You shouldn't sew and stuff the pillow without a liner because the openness of crocheting will allow your stuffing to leak out!  I measured my fabric squares to be slightly larger then my crocheted ones so that I could stuff it really well.  I made my pillow half black and half white because I wanted black fabric behind Mario and white fabric behind Boo.  The fabric will show slightly through the crochet work, so pick a fabric that will blend well with the yarn colors you're using.

Sew your fabric squares right-sides together all the way around leaving about a 5" gap to turn it right-side-out and stuff it. The more stuffing the firmer it will be.  I used an entire package of stuffing.  After it is stuffed, sew up the gap to seal it all in and insert your pillow into your crocheted square.

Finish it up by sewing together the 4th side of your crocheted pillow.  I then chose to add a ruffled border around the edge to make the edges look more finished.  Learn how to make a ruffled border here.

This also makes a great pillow for your cat to sleep on!