Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Purple Tuxedo Chef Apron

This is the first apron I've done with a faux tuxedo style. The colors were selected via a custom request and I think the finished product is really fun! The apron has a lapel with a flower, as well as a faux shirt front with buttons and a faux vest, also with a matching button. All of this is topped off with a large comical green bow tie. The neckstraps and waist ties are green to contrast with the purple. The "jacket" has tails that hang loosely in the back, which I really love. Since this apron has a clownish appearance, I put a picture of my other clownish apron below, which I am calling "the Court-Jester." That one is just for the ladies :-) (and don't make fun of my pajamas...I couldn't put the project down and it was late and that is really how my hair looks most of the time!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crochet Hook Storage Problem--Make a Roll!

I recently accepted that I had a crochet hook problem. I kept losing them and was tired of trying to keep them organized. If you have the same problem with knitting needles or paintbrushes or anything else long and skinny, this crochet-hook-roll tutorial would work well for those too! See the finished product all rolled up below.

1. Cut out two rectangles (a front and back) wide enough on the short sides for all your hooks. I put two pockets on mine, one on top of the other, so this kept it from getting too wide. The height should be about 150 - 175% of the length of your tallest hook. (Mine is approx. 16" x 13.5") Cut out your pockets, the same width as your rectangle. The height of your back pocket should come up about 3/4 the length of your longer hooks (keep in mind you will hem the top and need seam allowance on the bottom, mine was 5.5") and the smaller top pocket about 1/2 the length of your shorter hooks (mine was 3"), if you want to add this pocket at all. You will also need a strap to tie your roll together once it's finished.

2. Hem the tops of both pockets, then use your hooks to figure out how wide you want your slots to be on the smaller pocket (approx. 1") and pin there. Sew the top pocket on to the back pocket along these lines.   The plaid helped me keep my lines really straight.

3. Place the joined pockets onto your larger rectangle front, lining up the bottoms. (Ignore the excess plaid at the bottom because I decided my back pocket was too tall, 5.5" is what I cut it too). Sew down the same lines you sewed for the short pocket to attach the back pocket. In some places I skipped a line to make some bigger slots in the back pocket (2") for my big crochet hooks. I also left space at the ends, as shown in this picture by the folded back piece, for bigger things like rulers or scissors.

4. Make a strap or find an existing strap to tie your crochet hook roll together and attach it on the lower left-hand side of the large rectangle back piece. The exact measurements for where to put this depend on how large the roll is, but about 4" in from the long side and 4" up from the bottom worked for me. My strap is just under 2' long, but if you want to tie a bow, you'll need to make it longer.

 5. Place your back rectangle onto your front rectangle, right sides together, lining up edges and making sure your strap is tucked inside so you won't sew over it. Sew around the edges leaving a 3" gap on one side to turn it out.

 6. Top stitch around the edges to close the gap and make it look nice and neat. Now you can put your hooks in it!

 7. If you were wondering why it was so tall, that's so you can fold over the top before you roll it up. This keeps your hooks from falling out if you turn it upside down or throw it in a bag when crafting on the go!
 8. Roll it up and tie it! Now you have a cute, functional way to keep track of your crochet hooks!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How to Make a Fleece Viking Hat

 So you want to make a Fleece Viking Hat for your little barbarians? I posted an entry about doing this a year ago, but I never really showed how I did it, so here's my best attempt at doing so.  All images can be seen larger by clicking on them.

First, make a hat dome!!! This tutorial is using the dome top of a basic fleece hat. I wrote a tutorial on how to make it here. This pattern does something different with the hat band though.

1. The Hat Band and Center Strip: Cut out a band the circumference of your child's head by 4", and a matching strip that is the length of your hat from the back center to the front center (going up over the crown of the head) by 2". Also cut out a total of 9 (or however many you want) 1.5" circles that will become the rivets on your hat. The number of circles really doesn't matter. If you want one in the center front, make sure to line one up in the dead center of your hat band.

2. The Rivets:
Sew 4 circles to your top strip, evenly spaced, about 3/4 of the way around. This opening will be where you put a pinch of stuffing into the circle. You don't really need much stuffing to make them look 3-D. After each circle is stuffed, sew closed the gap. Do the same thing for the hat band except that since the hat band will be folded in half, sew your circles to top (or bottom) 2" of the band only. I spaced my rivets so that one would be placed on the back center seam of the hat band once it was sewn together. Sew the two short ends of the band together and (if necessary) sew your last circle on top of the seam and stuff. You can now fold your band in half. You should have one side with rivets and one side without.

 3. The Horns:
Cut out 4 horn pieces (2 for each horn) the size and shape you want. Don't make them too long or they won't stand up very well. Cut out 2 circles (1 for each horn) that will be the base for the horns. These circles need to be about an 1" bigger around than the base of your stuffed horns. Sew two horn pieces together, leaving the bottom open, and stuff. There are a few ways to sew these to the circles. I demonstrated one in this graphic. Another way, for a cleaner finish, would be tuck in the bottom of the horn and hand sew it to the circles.

4: Final Assembly
Now that you have all the parts made, sew your top strip over the center seam of your hat dome. Sew the circle bases of your horns to each side of the hat, centering them over the seams on the sides. (the circles help support the weight of the horns more than sewing the horns directly to the hat). Lastly attach your folded hat band to the base of your hat dome. I show how this is done in my basic fleece hat tutorial.

Here are some photos--more can be seen in my original blog post here. 

These hats vary slightly because I was experimenting with the design and construction when I made them.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Basic Fleece Hat Tutorial plus Flower Embellishment

This is the same basic fleece hat I used to make my Viking Hats, which now belong to my friend's son and my nephew. I decided that I too needed a warm fleece hat but I wanted mine to be a bit more girly. This project can be done with scraps, but if you buy fleece, you'll just need about 12".
1. Cut out 4 pieces for the top with the dimensions written on my super high-tech graphic, plus one long strip to be the band. The band will be folded over so keep that in mind when deciding your heigth. My head is 23" so I divided that by 4 and got 5.75" for the base of each top piece. I rounded this to 6 for seam allowance.  I made my band piece 4" tall for a finished band of about 2".

 2. Sew two of your top pieces together along one of the curved edges. Do the same to the other two pieces. You should now have two "half-domes" as I'm calling them.

3. Pin the two halves of your hat together and sew around the entire length of the curve. Line up your seams in the middle.

 This is what you should now have (it's still turned inside out in this picture)


4. Sew your band together along the two short ends and flip right-side out.

 5. Fold this in half length-ways like in this picture, encasing your seam inside. This is the hat band.
 6. Pin your hat band to the dome of your hat, right-sides together...technically there is no wrong side to your folded hat band, just make sure you pin it to the right-side of your hat. I put my hat band's seam in the center of one of the top pieces instead of lining it up with a seam because I didn't want a seam running down the middle of the front of the hat. That is up to you.

7. Sew around the hat attaching the band to the dome. Turn right-side out and there you have it. A simple fleece hat.
Okay, so if that isn't enough for you, here's how to make a simple fleece flower.

1. Cut some circles the size you want your flower to be. The more circles the fluffier the flower. I used 4 bigger ones with one smaller one on top (the little one isn't in this picture)

2. Sew them together in the center and fluff up the edges. A button works nicely. Or you can sew a bead or something. 

3. Put it on your hat. You're done. Yep, that's all there is to it.

My bambino wearing mommy's hat.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Quickly Crochet a Clutch or Wristlet Purse

Here are my two finished purses. I crocheted both of these pretty quickly. The clutch is for my daughter and the wristlet is mine! I love the vintage look of it.

First, how to crochet a quick clutch purse:

1. Crochet a rectangle that is about twice as long as you want your finished purse to be (because you will fold it in half) and as wide as you want it. I think smaller ones are better since they aren't super stable. I use Double or Single Crochet because this purse isn't lined and I didn't want big gaps in it. Once you reach they height you need, it's time to make the flap. There is no need to cut off your yarn.

2. To make the flap, with your working yarn, make a row of single or double crochet (whatever you're using) in the BACK LOOPS across your rectangle, then proceed to make single crochet rows (or decorative stitching) once again in the front loops for your subsequent rows until the flap is as long as you want it. There should just be one row of crochet in the back loops. This will make a crease that lets it fold over nicely.

 3. Fold up the bottom of your rectangle having the edge sitting just about an inch or two below your back loop row (the beginning of your flap). Whip stitch the sides together.

4. (Optional) You can add a decorative edge to the top of your folded over piece to make it look prettier. You can also add decorative stitches or a fun edge to the flap. I put a button that my daughter picked out on mine to hold it closed.

 The Granny Square Wristlet:

This project will be as easy or as hard as you want to make it. You don't even have to use granny squares. The picture to the left is a mirror image because I took it on my webcam :-)

1. Make two rectangles of equal size for the walls of your purse. If you want to use granny squares like I did, make your two granny squares (one for each side) the same size then add rows on either side to make it a rectangle. I used a different granny square on each side. One has a 3-D flower on it. The pattern for this 3-D flower square can be found here. I added another row around mine in the dark blue because I wanted it a bit bigger. On the other side I wanted another flower but I wanted it flat. I made a "daisy" square. You can find the pattern for the Daisy square here.  I used a "crossed double crochet" for the rows on the sides of my squares because I like the texture.

2. Whip stitch or crochet your two rectangles together on the two short sides and one long side.

3. Attach a wrist strap to one of the top (open) corners. I don't like to use just a chain because it stretches too much so I made my strap about an inch think and used both of my colors on it.

4. Make a zippered pouch.  This is a really good tutorial on how to make a zippered pouch. This can be tricky even if you know how to sew, but zippers are so convenient! If you don't like to sew you can buy a pouch to put in it or make an open pouch that can be closed with snaps, magnets, buttons....whatever. Granny squares tend to have lots of holes in them so for functional purposes this bag needs a liner.

5. Place your pouch in the purse and sew around the top to secure the two together. I also sewed the bottom corners of my pouch to the corners of my crocheted purse so that the lining is more stabilized.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

How to make your Child a Simple Tunic for the Renaissance Festival!

Yesterday I showed how to make a Renaissance style "flat cap" so today I'm showing how to make a really simple tunic to go with it!

1. Take your folded fabric and fold it in half. (You should have 4 layers with the folded edge on top as pictured on the left.

2. Take a shirt or, in this case, jammies, that fits your child and lay them folded in half along the fold in your fabric.

3. Cut around them. I made the sleeves wider at the end and the base of the tunic wider as well. I wanted this tunic to go to my son's feet since he's a baby and wouldn't be walking in it, which is why I used footie pajamas as a guide.

4. Unfold your now cut fabric and using the neckhole on your child's shirt, cut a neckhole in the top of your tunic. I didn't make mine very big because the next step will make it slip over your child's head easily.

5. Cut a "V" in the front of the neck. It's up to you how to finished your seams. I decided to hem the sleeves and bottom and do a blanket stitch around the "V" to make it look a little more finished but still homespun.

6. Poke 3 holes on either side of the "V" to thread a lace through. I used some scrap suede I cut into a strip. You can use whatever you want! This little lacing detail makes it look less like a nightgown and more like Renaissance garb in my opinion.

 And you're done! See my other tutorial for how to make the hat you see my son is wearing!