The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow

During this Fall I have been trying to give a new look to our sofa. Poor little thing, serving a family of four with two dirty little children and a not any less dirty dog, this sofa could tell you horror stories of poured cereal, apple juice, sharpie marks, melted candy, chocolate biscuits, mud, wild wet dog running in from the rain, and whatsoever. It has a central part in our everyday life, and therefore it gets used and shabby. However, we are not going to replace it with a new one, not just yet.

Instead, we made a cover for it, that can easily be washed, many times a week if needed, and the sofa itself goes under heavy cleaning once in a while. So with the new cover the sofa got a new life, and a new, funky colour (ok, probably not so, funky, but a bit more fresh at least). And it needed new cushions too. (Yes, the old cushions were all chewed up by our dog when she was a puppy, and for a while I decided to go cushion-free for safety reasons, but it is a different story.)

Besides sewing cushion covers of my favourite fabrics, I decided to make two round cushions with crocheted covers. I did some research for patterns, and for the core I went with the lovely sunflower pattern I found as the center of a granny square pattern, you can read the tutorial here. After that I carried on crocheting granny style. As I didn’t find a pattern I could directly interpret to my pillows, I went the good old trials-and-failures path, but finally I found the right way, and ended up with the perfect pattern. As I said, I made to pillow-covers, the first took me literally 3 weeks, because of all the trying and failing, pulling downs and starting overs. Once I was done with that, and had my little pattern in writting, I completed the second cover in less than 2 days 🙂

I took the completed mandalas, sewed them together with some fabric of my choice, and stuffed the pillows inside them. Aren’t they lovely? 🙂

The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow

I know you are interested in the pattern, so I am going to share it with you. But first things first, I would like to introduce you to my lovely photoassistant of the day 🙂

My Little Photoassistant

Now the pattern: This pattern is going to fit a round pillow of 40 cms in diameter. I used a size 6 (or 4.25 mm) crochet hook, and used up all the sweet little acryl yarns I had in stash already. These are all kind of thin yarns, so I used them doubled up. I also went with as many colours as possible per cushion, but of course the colour choices are completely up to you 🙂 I am using US crochet terms in my description.

The Sunflower Granny Circle Pillow:

  • Start with a magic loop
  • Rnd 1: Chain 1, 7 scs in the ring. (You will get 8 scs this way) Slip stitch into the first chain stitch.
  • Rnd 2: Ch 3, dc in the same st, 2 dcs in each st all around. You will get 16 dcs in total. Sl st in third chain of the beginning.
  • Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in the same st, 2 scs in each st all around. You will get 32 scs. Sl st into first chain. – Now the core of your sunflower is made.

Rnd 1-3: The Core

  • Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc3tog, ch 4, * dc4tog, ch4* , repeat * * 6 more times. You will end up with 8 petals. Sl st in top of chain. – Now your sunflower is done.

Rnd 4: The Sunflower

  • Rnd 5: Ch 1 and 5 scs in the first 4chain-space. 6 scs in each 4chain-spaces around. You will get 48 scs in total. Sl st into first chain.
  • Rnd 6: Ch 4, * skip st, sc in next st, ch 3*, repeat * * all around. You will get 24 chains of 3 chain spaces. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 7: Ch 1 plus 2sc sin the first 3chain-space. 3scs in each 3chain-space around. You will get 72 scs. Sl st into beginning of round. – Now the lacey part is done.

Rnd 5-7: The Lace

  • Rnd 8: Let’s start the grannies! Ch 3 into the first space in between two scs of the previous row, 1 dc into the same space. *Skip 2 spaces, 2 dcs in the next space*. Repeat * * all around. Sl st into beginning. Here in this row you will have to cheat a little bit, because at the end you will only have to skip 1 space to reach the beginning.

Rnd 8-9: Granny Starts

  • Rnd 9-10: 1 sl st to next st, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 10-11

  • Rnd 11-13: 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 3dcs in the same space, 4dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 14-15:  1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 4dcs in the same space, 5dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 16: 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 5dcs in the same space, 6dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 17:  1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3 dcs into spaces between every 3rd dcs of the previous row, all around. This way you can form cute little hearts 🙂 Sl st into beginning.

Rnd 12-17: Hearts are formed

  • Rnd 18: 1 sl st to next st, then sl into space. Ch 3, 2dcs in the same space, 3dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 19: 1 sl st to next stitches, then sl into space. Ch 3, 3dcs in the same space, 4dcs into next space, all around. Sl st into beginning.
  • Rnd 20: Ch 2 into dc of previous row. ‘ hdc in every dcs, all around. Sl st into beginning. You are done with your mandala:)
  • Fasten off and weave in any loose ends.

The Mandala

Now you can pick some fabric for the back-side, or make another mandala for that purpose and join them together for your pillow cover 🙂

Little Girl’s Tee Dress

I am on a serious stash busting mission recently. Yes, I guess I have a problem – when I see some cute fabric, especially when it’s designed for kids, and even especially when they are on sale, I just cannot help it, I have to buy a meter or two of them… Probably you know the feeling 🙂 Anyway, this habit of mine actually leads to a storing problem of the above mentioned cute fabrics. So I decided that this summer I am not going to buy new clothes for my kids (or for myself), I am going to make them. Because I can 😉

Tee Dress

So I decided to make a small, girly version of the summer dress I made for myself, and asked Cherry to choose a fabric from my stash. She picked a lovely, summery fabric with funny peacocks on it. After picking the fabric, she pointed out, that one of her little horse toys is very sad, because he doesn’t have his own blanket, and is freezing, poor thing. So after I am done with her dress, will I make a blankie for the horsie of the same fabric please? Well, of course I made one. I don’t want to be blamed if the horse catches a cold, or something 🙂

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Making the dress again was super easy and super fast. I just picked a shirt that fits Cherry perfectly, folded in half and placed it on a piece of pattern paper. I draw along the edges, and prolonged the pattern at the bottom to the desired lenght, so instead of a shirt, it becomes a dress.

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Once the pattern was done, I took the fabric, and folded it into 4, with the wrong side out. I placed the pattern alongside the fold, and cut it. This way I got two pieces of dress-like fabrics, that I just had to sew together along the shoulders and sides.

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After that i adjusted the lenght of the dress and cut a little bit more of the neckline in the front, zigzagged all over, and sew a hem on them. And done 🙂

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Told you. Easy 🙂 Now we just have to wait for the nice summer weather to return, so Cherry can wear it.

 

Summer dress

Oh, hello! How have you been? Haven’t seen each other for a while, eh? For about a month…

I haven’t been lazy, though… I have done a lot of things, I just haven’t found the opportunity to write about them. Well, probably I could have if i really wanted to, but I guess I was suffering from some kind of writers’ block. Anyhow, I am back, rejoice 🙂

This is going to be a relatively short post, since I have the board of the School’s Support Association coming for a meeting in the evening to discuss a lot of important things, and I still have to make the house look presentable, and bake something for them.

But let me tell you about my new favourite dress! Originally I am not a very big fan of dresses, somehow the shop bought dresses simply don’t seem to fit me properly, they all hang on me in a weird, uncomfortable way. Even the jersey ones. At places they are far too tight, at other points they are just too loose. But now I decided to end this, and make my own summer dress! 

I found this very nice tutorial of a Tee dress from ICandy, and I followed her steps. It was so easy, I cannot even tell you! I might make a few more of the same dress, in different colours, probably also different lenghts…

I just took my favourite T-shirt, drew a pattern around it, extended it to a comfortable dress lenght, grabbed a piece of summery-flowery knit fabric, and tadaaa!

Dress Collage

Please excuse my shiny, white legs, even though summer and sunshine is coming, I can reassure you, my tan will not get any better than this, sorry 🙂

I simply love this dress! I have been wearing it day and night (not literally, of course), it is simply perfect for everything! For example a lovely stroll around in Grenaa, when we visited my husband’s parents, for my mother-in-law’s birthday last Saturday.

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The Tilda Belt

Saturday’s gonna be a big day: Paddington turns 2! Yay 🙂 It also means a nice little family celebration at his grandparents, and Mommy (aka me) wants to look nice for the occasion 🙂

I have a beautiful, deep turquoise warm jersey dress, my Mum sewed it for me for Christmas. And though it is officially spring now, a warm jersey dress will just do fine in the current temperature…

However, I think the dress needs a belt. Something lovely. So today I fixed one for myself 🙂

I looked around a little bit on Pinterest, and found this tutorial on fabric belts. Didn’t look too complicated, so I gave it a go 🙂 I read the instructions once, chose a beautiful birdy fabric from Tilda, that will go in colour to the dress, and went over to the sunroom, which I currently use as a sewing room.

tilda fabric

 

This is how I did:

First of all I cut off a wide stripe of fabric, and zigzagged the edges, just to be sure. Then I folded it in half, right side facing up, and ironed it, to create a crease.

step 1

After opening up the fold, I folded a little part in and pressed it along both sides by ironing them.

step 2

The next step was to fold in and press the edges, just like in origami 🙂 All the way long I made sure that the folds are the same size on both sides.

step 3

Now I folded  the belt again, wrong sides facing, and ironed again carefully, to make it ready for sewing.

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Finally I sewed along all the sides.

step 5

And ta-daaam, it was already done 🙂

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I tried it on with my turquoise jersey dress. I really like the result, however, the belt could be a little longer, so I could make a nice big bow on one side. Anyway, maybe next time I will make a longer belt. Live and learn 🙂

turquoise dress

But you can also wear it with some jeans…

jeans

Ballon pants for my kids

When it comes to dressing my children, my first priority is that the clothes are practical and comfy. They are at the age of 4 and 2, they should have clothes on that allow them to crawl, to jump, to roll on the floor, to climb upstairs, to tickle each other (an the parents… and vica versa), to paint, to glue, to cook, to go outside and play catch-me-if-you can, to fight with the dog over food…

But I also like to dress them cute and stylish. In funy colours, with fun patterns, in clothes that are a bit unique and not everyone has them in the kindergarden.

When I shop for them, I mainly do it in H&M, because I find that it is good quality for good price, and also looks very nice. But last week, when I went to one these shops to find some new pants for Cherry (she seemed to grow out of all her trousers just overnight), I was a little bit disappointed. All the trousers offered for her age and size were the skinny style jeans, in different colours, or leggings. I didn’t want to buy her more leggings, she needs something a little bit more warm, and I am definately not going to buy her skinny jeans, because they are a pain to put on her, they are pushing her belly when playing in them and don’t allow free movements. Even I find skinny jeans a bit uncomfortable, and believe me, it is very rare that I am climbing over low fences or under small bushes in my free time, holding some plushies under my one arm and some sticks in my other hand… I understand that skinny jeans are in fashion, but for girls aged 2-8 years? No,thank you.

So I came home, and turned to my good-old pattern of balloon pants. You might remember, that I purchased some gorgeous fabric from Spoonflower recently. Well, when I was washing and hanging the fabric, Cherry saw them and immediately expressed her desire to have something made for her of the fabric with the dog cameos on. And Paddington did the same, repeating his favourite word, cars cars cars (so far that is the only word he says in both of his languages), pointing at the cute blue fabric with cars, buses, trucks and tractors on. So the choice of fabric was kind of clear 🙂

fabrics

Here are Cherry’s new balloon pants, with dog faces on them, nice and comfy, wide and warm around the legs, and with some soft jersey fabric at the waist, which is my favourite part in the whole pattern, because no matter how much she fiddles around in the pants, her little waist is never gonna get uncovered and exposed to the cold.

Cherrys

And here are Paddington’s, I don’t even remember how I managed to finish them, because he was always next to me when I was working with the fabric, petting it, and pointing out the figures on it, repeating cars cars cars and tractor tractor tractor like a broken record 🙂 He didn’t even want to let the pants out of his sight for the little time I was trying to make a picture of them, notice Paddington’s little fat feetsies next to them on the picture 🙂 2 seconds later he snatched the pants from the floor and started to run around with them in the room…

Paddingtons

 

Runs In The Family

For as long as I can remember, I always loved to make presents to my family and friends.

As far as I can see, so does Cherry. She comes home from kindergarden every single day with dozens of drawings, beaded necklaces and Hama pearl blades, and has a very accurate cataloge in her little head about what she had made and for who. A little bit surprising tough that most of the pinkish necklaces are meant to be my Dad’s 🙂 Good he is so touched every time, that he couldn’t be happier to receive the necklaces, because there is a certain little girl showing them to him via Skype, chirping: “Look, Granddaddy, I made this for you, you are going to be very pretty!”  😀

But today, when I picked her up, even I was amazed. She was waiting for me with a piece of cloth in her hands, she, my not even 4-year-old daughter embroidered it with colourful yarn, and she said it was for me 🙂 She also added that I should make a pillow of it, and sleep with it tonight in the big bed.

Cherry's cloth

So we came home, went through our afternoon-evening routine, and after dinner I took my sewing machine, a piece of Tilda fabric I had left in my stash, and some ribbons with horses on them (Cherry loves horses). Luckily I also found a lonely, small-sized pillow lying around, waiting for the perfect pillow case.

making the pillow

Cherry was very sweet and helpful during the sewing process. She helped me holding the fabrics, repeating a hundred times that this is going to be Mummy’s pillow, Mummy’s going to sleep with it tonight, she made it for Mummy, etc. Once it was done, nice and soft and fluffy, she laid her little head on it, to try it out.

loving the pillow

I think this is the most beautifil pillow on the whole Earth, and I am so happy for it, and so proud of my baby girl, and so touched by her warm gestures… I might even going to shed a few tears of emotion tonight, when resting my head on the pillow.

And now, excuse me, I have to go, I have a date with my new pillow 🙂

Fabric delivery

I feel like a child on Christmas Day 🙂 Not so long ago a very nice gentleman rang our doorbell, and presented me with the package I have been waiting for for sooo long: My Spoonflower order!

spoonflower

For those of you who are not familiar with it: Spoonflower is the most amazing thing that can happen to fabric! They take your design and turn it into fabric! Luckily for me, being not so good at designing, you can also choose from the thousands of gorgeous designs uploaded by other, very talented people. So I made my picks, built up a nice little stash, and now they are waiting in my “sewing room” to be used. Just look at these beauties…

the stash

I am so excited, have I told you yet? 🙂

girl and boy

The Princess Pony Skirt

It is nice to have a girly-to-the-bone 3-year-old daughter. It is nice, because she is sweet, she is a diva, she is affectionate, and she has her clear preferences.

My husband -not knowing then- started an avalanche on a nice spring day, by asking Cherry if she would like to see a new cartoon, and then put in “My Little Pony – The Movie” for her. Cherry became a fan at an instant. Her love evolved into crazy admiration, and before we knew, she became a pony horse herself. But not any horse, she became a horsey. And not any horsey, but a princess horsey!  It was around this time, that we went to a garage market, and found a pink pony castle for our princess horsey, and also got a huge bag of pony figures with it. By summer the situation became so serious, that Miss Princess Horsey refused to wear any outfits, if it didn’t include at least one item with a horse on… I managed to solve the problem by buying 10 pairs of socks with my little ponies on them, so if nothing else, at least the socks have ponies on them, but I also had to improvise a little bit more, and for example apply a pink horse-figure on a lovely green summer dress I made for her, but she simply refused to put on. After the horse was on its place, she was the happiest little girl on earth, to run around in her horsey dress.

As time went on, we watched more and more My Little Pony cartoons, and I have to admit, I started to like the new series by Lauren Faust, “Friendship is Magic“. So did Cherry 🙂 So when I made her the next skirt, I decided to make it a Princess Pony Skirt 🙂

I followed the instructions of Dana to make a very simple circle skirt. Instead of rubber, I used some pink jersey fabric for the waist, because I find it more comfy for kids. I also added some ribbons to spice the skirt up a little bit, obviously the ribbon had rocking horses on… 🙂 Once the skirt was done, I grabbed Cherry’s favourite colouring book, and copied an image of Princess Celestia, and one of Princess Luna (Don’t worry, a few months ago I had no idea either…) and drew them onto the skirt with chalk. I used an embroidery loop to keep the fabric smooth and tight.

Once I was done with this, I simply sew along the drawings. Here are the pony princesses, after being washed and ironed:

Yes, my daughter was very happy for the skirt, yay 🙂 The things we do for our children, eh…?

Naturally, the first thing she did in the skirt was to jump into the first poodle she found… Kids…

 

 

 

The Elephant Hat

Well, the time has come, I am going to introduce You to my very first tutorial, with pictures and description and a PDF and everything 🙂 So hold on to your keyboards, here we go:

Our story started, well, mainly when I got my kids, and they started in daycare. Winters are harsh in Denmark, and those little heads and ears need very good protection against the cold wind. Talking about children, it is a very good idea to have a winter hat, that covers their ears and somehow their throat should be covered too, and it is essential, that the small ones cannot take their hats off easily. However, in Danish daycares they have this rule, that no clothing should have any strings on, even scarves are forbidden, due to strangling hazard. Understandable. That is why every Danish kid wears these very practical, warm winter hats, that they call “elephant hats”. They cover everything that needs to be covered, and the small ones can definitely not get out of it alone.

We also have quite a collection of elephant hats in our home, obviously, most of them are leftovers from last winter, aka too small for my kids. For some reason, I have a couple of hats that fit my son perfectly, but there was only one of these elephant hats in my daughter’s size. And this one and only girly elephant hat simply disappeared mysteriously, I have the suspicion, that my husband, who tends to loose everything he gets his hands on, has something to do with this…

So here we were, winter came in suddenly, and yet, no elephant hat for my babygirl’s pretty little head. And since Wednesday is the big day of the week, when her preschool group goes on a trip, I needed a warm elephant hat very quickly. You can guess what happened, I decided to make one myself 🙂 I took some leftover isoli fabric (which is nice and warm and fluffy) for lining, and some stretch jersey, and created this very warm, funny looking hat. I got so excited, that I made one for my son as well 🙂

Here they are, my little elves, in their new and super-warm hats, on their way to the car:

But naturally one hat is not enough to go through a whole winter, especially in the case of kids. They just somehow get dirty and wet every time… So today I went on, and made another hat (I’m rolling :)) for Cherry, this time a little bit more girly one. And since I felt so amazing, I decided to create a little tutorial as well 🙂

First, if you, like me, haven’t slept for two days, thanks to a certain little boy who is growing his teeth and hence screaming all night, you need to start the process with a nice cup of coffee. And if you, like me, happened to start your day by cleaning up in the hallway after a pup with very healthy digestion, you might wanna pour a little bit of Baileys in that coffee too…

Feel better already, eh? 🙂 Now, look out of your window, embrace the sunshine, and if you can stare in the light without blinking, then you are ready to start sewing. If you feel the sudden urge to sing “Twinkle-twinkle little star”, then you miiight have poured a little bit too much Baileys in your coffee. In that case I recommend you not to go anywhere near your scissors or a sewing machine, you might wanna take a nap instead.

Now, lets assume we didn’t get drunk so early in the morning, as it would be disgraceful, and we are ready to work.

For this hat, you can use any kind of material, as long as it is stretchy. Jersey, velour jersey or isoli. I chose two layers of simple cotton jersey. To begin with, I cut out the pieces, 2 times for every layer, and then sew them together, interlocking (in my case zig-zagging, as my machine doesn’t have other functions) any raw edges, as I went.

I decided to make this hat a little bit more girly and elegant, so I made a felt flower of the same colour as the lining of the hat. I stumbled upon this tutorial on Pinterest, of foodwineandmodpodge. I think this flower is very cute, and very easy to make 🙂 Now, that the two layers were basically done, I took the hat I wanted to be on the outside, turned it rightside out, and stitched the flower to its place. Oh, so cute 🙂

After this I began to sew the two layers together. To do so, I turned them again inside out, put them into each other, so the right sides were facing each other, and sewed them together along the face cut. After I was done with this, I turned the hat back again, rightside out. Yeah, there is a lot of turning during the process…

Now, I did something I learnt from my Mum. She says, that everything with a lining in it, needs some extra securing, so the layers don’t go sliding all over the place. So I reached up in the hat, grabbed it at its back, and found a spot, where I can stitch the lining to the outer part, so it remains in its place. Obviously I had to turn this part inside out again…

Our hat is almost done, happy? 🙂

The final step, aka finishing the hat by closing it in the bottom, caused a bit of a trouble for me. The original description I found about lined hats was talking about leaving a folding hole open in the lining, sewing through it, then turning everything out and closing the hole. Well, my friends, I tried and tried and tried. But simply couldn’t figure it out, how this folding hole thingy can work. I stayed up really late last night, ended up staring at hats with no opening whatsoever, trying to solve this logical game, but failed. (Remember, I haven’t really slept much recently). So I decided to do it my way.

I took the interlocked (or zig-zagged) bottoms of the two layers, created a fold of about 1 cm on each, turned them against each other, then pinned and pressed them, and sewed them from the outside. Probably it is not the most elegant and professional solution, but this is the best I could come up with 🙂 Please, take a look at the pictures, if my description is confusing 🙂

Anyway, if you are still with me, and haven’t stopped reading after the first inside-out turning of layers, then you might be interested in the pattern for this hat.

I, with not little difficulties, created a PDF pattern, belive it or not 🙂 I am very proud of myself, however, the quality is quite poor, please excuse me for this, this is my very first PDF pattern. I still hope, it is usable.

So far there are only two sizes, one for 3-4 years and 1-2 years. The PDF should be printed out in A3 format, and don’t forget to add an extra cm (or inch) before cutting!

The Elephant Hat

Well, enjoy 🙂 I am exhausted now from all this work, I’ll be  off 🙂

I love to sew balloon pants

Yes, it is true. I love to sew, in general, but sewing balloon pants is my favourite of all 🙂

Actually, balloon pants are the reason I wanted to learn sewing. Because the world is full of cute fabrics for kids, and what do cute fabrics fit better on, than balloon pants?

So when I found this irresistible brown fabric with cars, and the sweet birdie-flowerish-striped-kind of fabric, I knew, what was going to happen. I took the pattern from Minikrea, and made these:

 

I was very proud of the result, as these two pair of trousers were my very first sewing projects. Even my husband got a little bit surprised, saying: “they look like the ones you buy in the shop!” (always the tone of surprise… 🙂 ).

So I got bloodthirsty: I wanted to make more and more and more and more balloon pants! And I did, I took the cute owl-patterned fabrics, the boy and the girl version of them, I even paid attention to the details, and used an also owlish fabric for lining. The result:

 

And to include a life-situation photo with a real model, here is some pictures of my son, posing in the owl pants, and wearing the fluffiest bearish knitted vest, made by my Mum (I wish I could knit like her, she is so talented). Our model represents a sporty-elegant style 🙂

 

Finally, I would like to say thank you to my photo assistant, Miss Laika Troublemaker (yes, she is sitting on top of me on this picture) for her efforts: