Monday, October 22, 2012

Make an Easy Bustle with no Sewing Machine

This bustle was a super easy project that I completed in one afternoon, so if you are still looking for a last minute bustle for your steampunk Halloween party or your Victorian Tea, don't fret!  
Here are the supplies you need:
2 floor length skirts. 1 is for you to wear as a skirt, and 1 is to make the bustle with.
Needle and Thread to match
1 Pillow (optional)
Safety pins and/or other pins

I am fortunate to have a mannequin to do this on, but if you don't, you can either use a friend or simply try the skirt on several times throughout the process.

1. Put both skirts on your mannequin. I started with the skirt that was to be my main skirt, the copper one, and then put the black skirt over it. The black skirt will be the bustle.


2. Cut the top skirt up the center front, stopping in the center of the pelvis area. Do not cut it all the way!

3. If you are using a bustle pillow (or any kind of padding), insert it now. I pinned mine in with safety pins so that it would be removable.

4. Start pinning up your bustle. Most bustles have multiple layers they are gathered in. I created 3 main rows of gathering, then went back to fine-tune it.

5. Pull back the sides of your overskirt, taking care to pin them back in a way that keeps your pillow/padding hidden.

6. After pinning, hand-sew the points you pinned, taking care to sew them well since you don't want them to rip out. And that is really all there is to it!

I later decided I didn't want the bustle pillow because it got in the way of some other accessories I was using, so I took it out. I pulled the front of the bustle up tigher around my waist to make up for the lack of padding.

It was easy to do and added some fun contrast to the copper skirt. I got both the skirts at a thrift store (as well as a lot of the other things you see in these pictures!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Eleanor's Lacy Crochet Ruffle Skirt--Tutorial

I had a vision of making a cute skirt to be worn over leggings, and after searching the Internet for inspiration, and finding the perfect stitch to start it with, I came up with this! I wanted something open and lacy, not just because it is pretty, but because it works up quickly. The ruffle has lots of "flounce" to it!

Supplies: I used a J/10 hook and worsted weight yarn (I believe it was Red Heart) Less than 1 skein of each color.

Eleanor's Lacy Crochet Ruffle Skirt:

Chain the width of your child's waist, making sure it is in a multiple of 11 + 1 Chain. (For my daughter, who is an average sized 5 year old, I chained 66 + 1 for a total of 67 chains)

If your child is like mine, a multiple of 11 probably won't fit her exactly--that's okay! Pick the multiple of 11 that is as close as possible without being to big--you can extend the skirt width later.

Rows 1-10: Follow the pattern for the "Fans Lacy Stitch" through to row 10. The pattern is available here, and includes photos and diagrams. This will complete the "yoke" of your skirt. (You can go through the pattern for additional rows if you want the yoke to be longer)

Note: Any rectangle of crochet can be the yoke of your skirt--this is just the pattern I used to make mine look lacy--don't be intimidated by it!

Rows 11-12: Complete a row of DC around both the top and the bottom of your skirt. To do this at the bottom, complete 4 DC's in each 4ch space and 1 DC in the top of each DC of the previous row.  

If your work fits your child well, whip stitch it up the back to form your skirt and skip the width extension. 

If your work fits too snugly around your child, as mine did, continue from here:

Skirt Width Extension (Optional): Cont. from last DC by turning work to the short end of your "rectangle." Chain 3 and do 1 DC around the post of the last DC you worked before turning your work and continuing working DC's into the side until you reach the end.

(Work 2 DC's in each Row of your Fans Lacy Stitch pattern. So if you stopped at row 10, you should have 20 stitches plus 2 on each end for a total of 24 DCs, but note that it doesn't matter how many you do on the short ends as long as your work lays flat and you do the same number on the other side).

Fasten yarn off, and complete an equal row of DC's along the other short side. Whip-stitch your skirt together. This adds a couple inches as pictured here. If you need more width, just keeping working rows of DC's until it fits your child's waist. 

The Ruffle:

The ruffle is a Bethany Sew-&-Sew Original and creates a very full, twirly skirt. My daughter calls is "Hula-ish." :-)

Row 1: Fasten yarn to a DC at the bottom of the center back of your skirt. * Chain 5 and SC in the next stitch. Repeat from the * all the way around, ending with a slip stitch where you originally fastened on your yarn.

Row 2: Slip stitch into the the next Chain-5 loop, Chain 3, and DC twice into the same chain-5 loop, Chain 1, * 3 DC into the next chain-5 loop, chain 1. Continue from the * all the way around ending with a chain 1 and slip stitch to join the round.

Row 3: Slip stitch into the next DC, Chain 4 (counts as DC plus 1 chain), * DC in next chain-1 space, Chain 1, skip next DC, DC, chain 1. Continue from * all the way around ending with a chain 1 and slip stitch to join.

Row 4: Chain 4 (counts as DC plus 1 chain), DC in same stitch, * skip chain-1 space, DC in next DC, chain 1, DC in same stitch (create a V-stitch). Cont. from * all the way around, slip stitch to join.

Row 5: (Color Change) Slip stitch into the center of the next V-stitch. SC in same space. * Work 5 DC's in the following V-stitch. SC in next V-stich. Cont. from * all the way around, join with slip stitch.

Row 6: Chain 6 (counts as DC plus 3 chains), SC in center of next shell. * Chain 3, DC in next SC, Chain 3, SC in center of next shell. Cont. from * all the way around, join with slip stitch.

Finish with a row of SC in your contrasting color around the top.  If the skirt is too big, or slides down, you can add a ribbon belt to it by weaving it in around the waist.

Monday, October 15, 2012

How to Piece Together an Easy Crocheted Sweater

 This is the first sweater I've ever made, and I've got to say, it was waaaay easier than my imagination worked it up to be. Like a lot of crochet and sewing projects, it's just a matter of putting shapes together, and in this case it's rectangles. Rectangles are super easy to work with in crochet, so if you know the most basic of stitches you can make this!

I drew a little diagram to show you the 5 rectangles you need to make your child a sweater. The dimensions I'm giving are for a size 18 months, but using measurements from a shirt that fits your recipient will let you make this in any size you want.

Sleeves (Make 2) = 10"x10"
Front panels (Make 2) = 6"x12" (measurement excludes contrast colored trim. If you are not adding any trim, make these 7"x12" so you can button it)
Back Panel (Make 1) = 12"x12"

The front and back panels are attached at the shoulders by sewing them together 3" in from each side (the red in the diagram). Leave the middle open for a neckhole! After this, you can attach the sleeves, which at this point are just squares, by centering them on the shoulder seam and sewing them on (the green in the diagram). Now you can fold the entire thing in half (the blue in the diagram).
Once the sweater is folded, it will start to actually look like a sweater! At this point you need to sew the sides together from the end of the sleeve to the bottom of the side on both sides. After this you are free to add contrasting trim. I added about 1" to the inside edges of my front panels so that they would overlap nicely for buttons (so the finished size for these 2 pieces was 7"x12" up to where I wanted my collar to start).  

I folded down the top inside corners of the front panels to make a collar and tacked those down. The trim color goes clear around the neckhole and the bottom of the sweater. I also trimmed the bottom of the sleeves. If you don't want to add any trim, make your front panels have an inch or so overlap when you put them on top of the back so that you can button it.

Crochet these rectangles, using any stitch or hook size you want. I used a size I hook, and several different stitches. The sleeves are done with the "silt stitch." The front and back panels are mostly double crocheted with some crossed doubles and a variation of shell stitches. I just had fun with it!

I'm really happy with how it turned out considering it was my first sweater!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Little Girl's Crocheted Ballet Slippers

I made my daughter slippers a year or two ago, and she has finally stretched them as far as they will go. Making slippers is fun because it's a relatively quick project, and for this pattern, it's super simple. These slippers are made entirely in one piece. The pink trim could be made the same color as the body of the slipper, and bows on the top are not-functional and just there for decoration, so they could be left off. 

The pattern I based these on is called "in-a-jiffy slippers for your princess" via The Longest Year.  I did change it a tiny bit to fit my daughter's feet better by adding an extra round of double crochet after Round 5 in the pattern linked above. This made them cover the top of her feet better, and stay on better as she is running around the house. I also stopped counting rows as I neared the end and just crocheted until the were the right I'm not sure how many rows are there!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Time to Crochet your Kids Awesome Hats!

The moment the air turns a notch colder, I surround myself with yarn and start crocheting. This year I began by making hats for my two lovely children.

First up is this adorable Hello Kitty inspired ear flap hat for my daughter. I have to admit that this wasn't my idea, but rather a hat I came across, and once my daughter saw it, it had to be made! Here is the original pattern for the Hello Kitty Ear Flap Hat, as written by a lovely lady named Amy. I would call this an "intermediate" skill level. I also will admit that I didn't follow the pattern exactly, but pretty much :-) My chica bonita loves this hat!

Now onto my son! As a little guy, he needs a new hat every year for his growing head, and this year I thought I'd stick to a traditional beanie style hat. The problem is that I get bored doing simple projects so I started adding some various stitches in it and mixing up the colors a bit. This is the pattern as written by "Celtic Mommy" that I used to get the "ribbing" you see on the hat. I planned to follow this pattern the whole way, but added a few rows of single crochet and slip stitches in there kind of randomly. This didn't change the pattern really, but I did add a different band to the bottom.

Instead of continuing the FPDC pattern clear to the bottom (front-post-double-crochet--this is the stitch that creates the raised vertical rows on the hat), I did a row of Crossed Double Crochet. It sort of looks like a row of X's. Here is the pattern for making Crossed Double Crochet. Then I finished it with a row of single crochet.

Some other fun hats I've made:
Ridiculously Pointed Winter Hat
Crocheted Butterfly Beanie
Easy Crocheted Bonnet

This is Eleanor in her new hat, a wet suit, and some slippers I made her (which will be the subject of my next post). She begged me to take this picture, so here you have it :-)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Crafting Award for Bethany Sew-&-Sew!

How about that!  Yay!

Craft Corners recognizes you!
Craft Corners Crafting Award

Monday, August 6, 2012

More Birthday T-Shirts! Happy 5th B-Day Eleanor!

Another year, another birthday shirt! This year my beautiful baby girl turned 5 years old and received a fish aquarium. Her party had an "under the sea" theme, so it was fitting that her shirt did as well. With the help of my husband, I was able to cut out a shark shaped like a #5 (since all her birthday shirts proudly proclaim her age!). It was a lot of fun to make. My daughter decided to make the mermaid's hair blue, and she really liked the jellyfish's tentacles. The fins on the two green fish and the purple "shark" are 3-D. The mermaid is holding a wand and has beads sewn on for eyes. The shark's eye is two buttons sewn on top of each other.

 Here's everything pinned down before I sewed it. As you can see I moved stuff around a bit.

Eleanor wore her shirt to the zoo the day of her birthday party!

I was given the opportunity to make this birthday shirt for the son of a friend of mine from grade school. They had a sock monkey theme, so my challenge was to create a sock monkey with a large #1. I decided to make the monkey's mouth 3-D since that is the feature that is so prominent on the dolls, and of course the poof on top of his hat!

Click here to see my son's 1st birthday shirt, and links to my daughter's 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthday shirts.