Thursday, December 7, 2017

Flower Puddles Blanket - Pattern Review

I somehow stumbled across this beautiful pattern from the MadMadMe blog:



http://madmadme.com/flower-puddles-collection/

Flower Puddles


https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flower-puddles-ripples-blanket


**Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links on this site, I may receive a small percentage of that sale. See my full disclosure policy.Thank you for helping support this blog!


And I fell in love! The pattern is now $4.00 and as a pattern writer, I have a hard time purchasing patterns if I absolutely cannot come up with a similar design on my own (for my own use). I couldn't get very far so I took the plunge and purchased the pattern and I love love love how it turned out.


I began working on in right away. I got so excited to see the ripples form and the petals blooming. I just love the way the back post double crochet stitches make an elegant design across the entire blanket. It only took me about 2 weeks and I was able to finish a 26" mini blanket.

I really love this color yarn. As you might know, I use, almost exclusively, Caron's simply soft yarn. This color is called soft green, although I like to think of it as a muted mint. The color is so gorgeous this photos simply don't do it justice.




The soft green blanket took me 2 skeins of yarn with a size J hook. The pattern continues so you can make it as big as you want but I decided to stop at this point.




I loved this pattern so much, I have already started a second pattern made with two strands instead of one. I'm interested to see how large this piece will work up, and I love how the thicker yarn is making the ridges and ripples more defined. 


I purchased this pattern on Ravelry:

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/flower-puddles-ripples-blanket

and I highly recommend the pattern. I wasn't a huge fan of how the pattern was written, the author put in parenthesis the British crochet terminology right inside the pattern, which was written in US terminology. It was kind of agitating to look for a stitch count only to have those terminology bits stand out so much. 

The pattern is written out in a paragraph format, so there are no shortcut quick reference to look at really quickly to remember what I'm supposed to do for a certain round. After working through the pattern I simply wrote down one line translating the paragraph format into a shorthand crochet pattern so that I could quickly review what the pattern was for that line. It made it SOO much easier and I was able to work through the pattern much more quickly with the reference.

I also had a problem with gauge. There is no explicit gauge on the pattern, only that "if it starts buckling, use a larger hook". I know I crochet a little tightly, so I went up from an H hook recommended by the yarn manufacturer to a J. There was still buckling in the back but I think it is going to happen no matter what because of how many back post double crochets are in the pattern.

Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase and I highly recommend this design.

Happy crocheting!!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Dressmaking with my Daughter

A few weeks ago I was getting some fabric at Joann's Fabric and Craft Store. They were having an amazing deal on quilting cotton fabrics and since I promised my daughter we would start quilting together, we went to go look at some fabrics.

As we were perusing through the aisles and different swatches of fabric, she found one that really caught her eye.

"Mom, I love this fabric. It would make a beautiful dress!"

Well, I had to get it for her! If she wanted to make a dress instead of a quilt, who am I to complain? It has been a while since I made a dress for my girls, so I figured we could put this one together.

We went to the pattern section to pick out a pattern. I knew that at home we only had patterns in smaller sizes, and she is about to turn 9. We flipped through the books and found out that Simplicity patterns were on sale for $.99! What great timing!!

We had picked out a couple but only one was in stock in the size we needed. So we picked that up, had our fabric cut, and went home!



First I cut out all of the pattern pieces and laid it out on the fabric. I had my daughter help trace the correct size onto the fabric, and she did most of the cutting.

I showed her how we follow the directions, starting with the stay stitching. We stitched all those pieces and started putting together the bodice. She kept getting SO excited as each piece was added and created a more finished look. I showed her how to iron everything flat.

Then, I put the sleeves on. Sleeves are one of those beasts that you just don't tackle at 8 years old. I had her watch me so she could see HOW it was done.

We started putting together the dress. I lined up the pieces and pinned them and she sewed them all together. She attached the dress to the bodice, but I had to do it one more time because her line was a little zig-zaggy. This line HAD to be straight.

We ironed the hem and I showed her how to do the first few feet. How you should hold your hands and help keep the fabric flat, how you should keep the stitches close to the edge so that it has a nice finished look. I was thoroughly impressed at how well she did this hem!



After that, all we had left was the zipper. I explained to her how that was done, and I sewed it in. After so much sewing experience, zippers don't scare me at all. I can even do it without the zipper foot and without pre-sewing the seam. I'm all about efficiency and speed!!

And this is how it all turned out! She was jumping and so excited to see how beautiful it turned out.



My daughter turns 9 this week and with how well this project went, I think we will be turning out more projects together! Do you enjoy crafting with your kids? Post a comment with a link to your projects!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Waving American Flag - Free Crochet Pattern

This year I wanted to create a cute, patriotic pattern to celebrate the 4th of July. After looking at some patterns that were already out there, I decided on this concept of a waving flag, not just the flat, motionless two dimensional flag. I wanted to give it some texture and some life! So here is the pattern I came up with!


*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item through one of the links on this site, I may receive a small percentage of that sale. See my full disclosure policy. Thank you for helping support this blog!

Materials:
Size H hook (this is the set I use)
Worsted Weight Yarn (I used: Caron Simply Soft in Red, Caron Simply Soft in White, and Caron Simply Soft in Royal Blue)
Sewing Needle

Gauge:
With materials listed the flag will end up being about 6" x 4"


Notes:
SC2TOG: insert the hook into the first stitch, yarn over, and draw the yarn through the stitch, insert the hook into the second stitch, yarn over, and draw the yarn through the stitch, then yarn over, and draw through the three loops on the hook.
COLOR CHANGES: The American flag alternates between red and white rows. I have written the pattern so that you do not have to cut the blue yarn between each row. Before attaching the new color, take the end of the blue yarn and put it to the back. This way it will be ready where it needs to be when you are ready to pick it up again.
ROW 1 TIP: If you want to make the bottom row of red not as large as the rest, try doing your single crochet stitches in the top two loops of the foundation chain.




Pattern:
Foundation: IN RED, Ch 27
Row 1: in RED, sc2tog in the 2nd and 3rd ch from hook, 1 sc in next two chs, 2 sc in next ch, *1 sc in the next 3 chs, sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 chs, 2 sc in the next ch, repeat from * once, then 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. Fasten off and change to white
Row 2: in WHITE, ch 1, Working in the front loops only, sc2tog in the first two stitches, 1 sc in the next two sts, 2 sc in the next st, *1 sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st, repeat from * once, then 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. Fasten off and change to Red
Row 3: in RED ch 1, Working in the back loops only, sc2tog in the first two stitches, 1 sc in the next two sts, 2 sc in the next st, *1 sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st, repeat from * once, then 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. Fasten off and change to White
Row 4: in WHITE repeat row 2
Row 5: in RED repeat row 3
Row 6: in WHITE repeat row 2
Row 7: in RED, ch 1, Working in the back loops only, sc2tog in the first two stitches, 1 sc in the next two sts, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next 2 sts, then COLOR CHANGE TO BLUE, 1 sc in next st, sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next 3 stitches.
Row 8: CONTINUE BLUE:  ch 1, Working in the front loops only, sc2tog in the first two stitches, 1 sc in the next two sts, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog, DROP BLUE (do not cut) CHANGE TO WHITE, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in next 3 sts, sc2tog, 1 sc in next 3 sts, 2 sc in the next st, 1 sc in the next 3 stitches. Fasten off and change to Red
Row 9: in RED, repeat row 7
Row 10: CONTINUE BLUE, repeat row 8
Row 11: In RED, repeat row 7
Row 12: CONTINUE BLUE, repeat row 8
Row 13: In RED, repeat row 7
Fasten off, and weave in all the ends.

With WHITE, use a sewing needle to stitch any number of stars you want onto the blue portion of the flag. I used cross stitching techniques to put x's on every other single crochet stitch in the blue section, and staggered the rows.

Attach the applique to any bag, outfit, or decor to give it a patriotic flair!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Crochet Feather Headbands

I got a batch of photos from a photographer friend of some headbands I made from my feather crochet patterns. My friend Alicia Hubbs of Hubbs Home Photography took these fantastic photos! Check out how they turned out!

I made the crochet peacock feather, stitched and glue them together, and put a felt backing with room for a headband to fit through. This makes the headband interchangeable, if you're going for a specific look.

I didn't even think of doing this! Last year I put the feathers on a barrette and shared that photo on Facebook. This would have been much easier! Just wrap the headband around the bun to add a beautiful touch!

  
Aren't they just lovely!!


I also made some beautiful Feather Headpieces and added some felt backing with room for a headband. I actually made it possible to wear this piece in two directions, this one has the feathers sideways parallel with the headband.

This is what it looks like if you put it perpendicular to the headband. Also another beautiful look! 


Once again, you can wrap the headband around a bun to style it up! I just loved how beautiful all these photos turned out, and I love seeing my pieces being worn and loved!

Happy Crocheting!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June Scarf Donation

I am excited to share with you the news that I have another delivery of scarves ready to go! I made 5 scarves and I am almost caught up on orders made from the purchase of PDF pattern compilation.

I thoroughly enjoy being able to try out new patterns and make beautiful products that I know will be loved. These scarves get donated to the Handmade Especially for You charity that donates these handmade items to women's shelters in my area. These items are loved and cherished because many times the women leave everything behind.

I appreciate your help and support through donations, visits, etc that makes these efforts possible.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Archery Quiver - Free Sewing Pattern

For Christmas this year we got our younger two bows (because our oldest had one and it was SOOOO COOL!), and one of their grandparents got each of them a set of extra arrows. Now I went from 1 bow and arrow set (which held the arrows and bow together) to 3 bows and 15 arrows! We tried to go to the archery range nearby, but trying to manage all those arrows became a hassle! I thought quick... I need to make quivers to hold those arrows!

I looked online to see if there were any patterns already, but I didn't see one that was simple, had a way to distinguish whose was who's arrows. So I came up with a pattern myself!



I think it turned out fantastic, and with the awesome little accent piece that each child picked out, they know which one is theirs!

The pattern does get a little tricky when you have to layer the straps to attach them at the top, but I made a nifty little diagram that will hopefully help you.
Post a comment if you would like to see a step-by-step pattern, including your email, and when I get 50 comments on this post I will make the tutorial and give away 5 copies of it for FREE!




Happy sewing!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Diaper Cover Pattern Updated

So I am in the process of going back and editing and updating some of my first (less experienced) patterns to improve some design flaws, make them easier to understand, and provide better photos. This Newborn Diaper cover is the first one that I am sprucing up!

So here you have the new and improved Newborn Diaper Cover!!


The pattern has been updated on the old post, and the revisions include:
  • Improved readability, writing, and corrected stitch calculations
  • Improved pattern design allowing for pattern to be completed with a separate trim (the trim was part of completing the diaper cover before)
  • Updated photos
If you are still having trouble with this pattern, feel free to purchase my photo tutorial for the Newborn Diaper Cover on ETSY. This photo tutorial comes over 100 photos with step by step instructions, added tips, and close up photos on tricky parts. This tutorial will help anyone make it through the creation of this diaper cover.


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