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 🙂

SAMSUNG CSC

 

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.

SAMSUNG CSC

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.

 

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

New Year, New Plans, and the secret of the Origami Cranes

Life is back to normal. We returned to Denmark, holidays are over, kids are in care again, husband left to Copenhagen for 3 days, snow is falling.

I realised that I haven’t even said hello to 2013 in a proper way, so here it is: Well, hello 2013! I have a lot of plans for this year. I don’t call them resolutions, because they don’t really call for any radical changes to my current lifestyle, but plans, because they need to be done.

First of all, I would like to apply for Danish citizenship, and I plan to get it as well 🙂 That means an exam, how exciting!

Second of all, This year, and hopefully soon, I will open my own Etsy shop! Yay, hope you guys are excited about it too 🙂

There are some DIY projects I would like to accomplish this year, like finishing Cherry’s retro circle blanket (almost done, by the way!), and make another blanket for Paddington, plus a huge, XXL size crocheted blanket for our big bed too. Lot of crocheting for this year 🙂

Furthermore, I am certain that I am going to keep up a (relatively) healthy lifestyle, with good food, a lot of motion, gonna keep a better order at home, and train the dog, you know, the usual stuff 🙂

 

Now, I also realised that I haven’t posted anything creative lately, well it is not easy while being on a visit and limited computer time, so to fill this gap, I am going to share with you the secret of the origami cranes, whether you’re interested or not 🙂

 

the origami crane

 

  • Start with a square sheet of paper

 

steps 1 and 2

 

  • Step 1: Fold it diagonally with the blank side out, bring a corner to its opposite corner. Open up. Repeat it in the other direction. Open up again. Turn it.
  • Step 2: Fold your paper in half, this time the coloured side out, open up and repeat to the other direction. Open up. Now you have a sheet of paper with 4 folding lines in it.

step 3

 

  • Step 3: Using the creases you made, pick up the sheet by holding it by its middle, and bring the two and two of its corners to meet each other. Flatten in out.

step 4 and 5

 

  • Step 4: With the open side pointing downwards, take one of the side corners, and fold the upper triangular flap into the center and unfold. Now do the same to the other side.
  • Step 5: Turn it around, and repeat Step 4 to this side too.

step 6 and 7

 

  • Step 6: Now take the uppermost corner, and fold down a little triangle to one side to create a crease, unfold it, turn it around and repeat to the other side as well.
  • Step 7: Unfold the flaps you created in steps 4 and 5. Lift the upper flap and carefully open your model up while pressing the sides inwards at the same time. Flat it out along the creases.

step 8

 

  • Step 8: Turn it around and repeat step 7 to the other side.

step 9 and 10

  • Step 9: Fold top flats into the center, both left and right side.
  • Step 10: Turn it around and repeat step 9.

step 11 and 12

 

  • Step 11: Take of leg of the model, open its upper flap up, then reverse fold the leg upwards. 
  • Step 12: Repeat step 11 to the other leg.

step 13 and 14

 

  • Step 13: Take the wings, and fold them downwards, making a crease.
  • Step 14: It is time to decide, which “leg” is going to be the crane’s head, and which one is going to be its tail. Hold the top of the head, and invert fold a part of it downwards. Now gently pull the crane sidewards by holding its wings, to flatten its back a little bit. And ta-daaam, we’re done 🙂

 

I heart the heart garland

Since we only moved in to our house, well, let’s see… 4 month ago, there are still many things that are under progress. I am not talking about my family’s ability of making a terrible, stinky mess all over the place in less than four seconds, that part is totally working… Right now I mean that the whole concept of decorating is still evolving, mainly in my head 🙂 But slowly-slowly, the small ideas are taking physical shape.

Like this easy little heart garland I wanted to make for so long for a door, that is standing in between our living room and the dining room. Watch out, a new tutorial-like post is coming up 🙂

 

This afternoon I got a very long break from being a Mum, Paddington decided to sleep for almost 4 hours (whooa!), and Cherry was having a little rest, sitting with her Dad in the living room, watching (surprise) My Little Ponies. So after finishing some chores, and before starting to prepare dinner, I decided to make the heart garland at last.

I took out some origami paper, and ended up with  7 pieces of 7 different colours. I mainly went with the blueish-greenish colours, but for a pop I decided to include one piece of dark red paper, as a statement 🙂 Then I folded very simple hearts of them, here is how I did:

(I would like to apologise for the poor quality of the photos – I guess you all know, that good photos require a lot of natural lights, but unfortunately we have just entered this few months of the year, when natural light is going to be a very rare guest in the Scandinavian countries)

The Origami Hearts:

Step 1: Fold your paper of choice in half twice, to make creases along the diagonals, then fold back

 

Step 2: First fold the upper corner to meet the center. Then fold the bottom corner to meet the top.

 

Step 3: Fold both sides into the middle, to meet the center line (Hey, it almost looks like a heart already 🙂 )

 

Step 4: Turn your heart around, then fold in the little corners on the sides and on the top.

Step 5: Turn back around and you will find love 🙂 See? I told you it was going to be easy 🙂

Now I had a bunch of pretty paper hearts in front of me, it was time to make a garland out of them

The Garland:

I placed the hearts next to my sewing machine (well,you don’t really need a sewing machine, you can sew them together with hand) in the order I wanted them to hang, from top to bottom. You might have realised, that this kind of heart is tricky, because it opens up easily in the middle. So instead of just sewing them with simple stitches, I decided to zigzag them along the openings, to make them a little bit more, well, stable. As you can see, the little hearts turned out to be a little bit Frankensteinish this way 🙂 Or, as if they had been broken, then mended, bless them 🙂

So starting with the uppermost heart, I zigzagged along it, then pulled the thread still connected to its bottom for about 10 cms before I started to sew on the next heart. I tried to keep an approximately even distance in between the hearts.

Voila, about 15 minutes after I started to fold the first heart, I had a garland in my hands 🙂 I just needed to hang it on the door, and secure it with some tape.

Cherry said: “Look, mummy! Ohhh, how pretty…” 🙂 She is my best critic 🙂

 

 

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 🙂