Crochet Owl Hat Pattern

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I have been wanting to make one of these adorable hats since I first saw one but for some reason felt that it would be too fussy and time consuming.

I couldn’t have been more wrong!  The pattern that I used was from http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/p/about-me.html and it was easy and quick….

Unfortunately I made the newborn size for a babe born July 14th….don’t think that will get much use in the summer!  Lucky then that the pattern comes in a variety of sizes.  I am moving on…they are so fun to make that I am just going to crochet up a bunch in different sizes for kidlet gifts!

Adorable and easy. My favourite combo!

Adorable and easy. My favourite combo! Click for pattern…

My little owl!

My little owl!

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Six Free Granny Square Patterns

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granny square

the basic granny square pattern

So, I have decided to try and use up some of the “lots and lots” of extra yarn that I have around here.  It’s ridiculous….I mean, who needs storage tubs full of yarn that just isn’t getting used?

It is the curse of the crocheter  (and knitters too, I would guess).  You just can’t let go of ANY yarn, regardless of how long you have had it or whether you have a project for it.  I guess that is why they are called stashes…But the stash is too big!   My closet is full and the garage is getting the overflow. The time has come to take this abundance seriously.  What can you use yarns of all different colours and weights for?   I mean, it’s not as if they all coordinate and I really want to make a large size dent in the pile.

SPRING LOOPS 6IN (2)

Thinking back to the very first projects of my youth gave me the answer.  What did every beginning crocheter learn to make in the seventies?  What did I hook with my coveted, scrounged up, mismatched yarns?  What says seventies crochet like nothing else?  You betcha… granny squares!

Funky, hipper than hip, psychedelic inspired, granny squares !  I was a self taught crocheting kid and I remember the joy that I took in each slightly misshapen but “oh so cool” granny square that I made.

bea's square

bea’s square

Granny squares seem to have come a long way from my memories of them and there are some really beautiful, intricate patterns out there.

So, I have chosen six that I am intrigued by and will play around with them.  Other than the basic square I have used flowers as my unifying theme.  I thought I should have something to tie it together as the yarn choices are going to be so random.

african flower square

african flower square

purple daisy

rosie posie granny square

Squares are so satisfying.  Each one is a little project of it’s own, with it’s own personality and pizazz.  I have a feeling that this is going to make me one very, special afghan!

Six Cutest, Free Crochet Slipper Patterns

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IMG_0173colourful

brown-crochet-slippersblack slipperthree slippersflower slipperMy slippers are super ratty and tatty and it is time to crochet up a new pair.

I give you my word that I really  tried to branch out into something different than the ballet flat or Mary-Jane style that is my usual fave.

Well, that didn’t work.

Found lots of boot style, felted and big and cozy but nope, I just had to have me some cute.

Six cutie, pattootie slipper patterns to choose from.

Mine are almost finished and they are looking mighty adorable I must say!

DIY Bridal Headpieces…the fascination continues

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Bridal Ten

Here’s my plan. Start with creating the hairpiece and once it is designed, decide how to incorporate the netting.

I am really leaning towards using netting as part of the design rather than as an actual veil. I don’t actually want a veil but netting has such great visual “texture” and immediately invokes both bridal and vintage.

The hairpieces pictured all feel very delicate to me yet with a bit of punch….  I have a fear of being overwhelmed by anything TOO grand and just like my dress I want to wear my ensemble not have it wear me.  At the same time I do like a bit of spark so it will be a balancing act.  And there’s the fun!

NadirPhoto8

click for tutorial

click for tutorial

click for tutorial

roses

click for tutorial

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Tunic Dress Take In……how to downsize a dress

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I picked up this silk Jacob dress at the thrift store awhile ago because I just loved the print and silk is so nice and light to wear.  Unfortunately, the flip side of silk’s lovely lightness is that it lacks the weight to hang well sometimes. This dress was a titch “flimsy”, but I was sure that I could make it work by belting it and anchoring it to my body.

dress

It is a very blousey tunic with no side definition at all and even though it is not a large size it has a lot of material at   the waist once it is belted.  I tried the belt at my natural waist, drop waist and hips but I still had this pile of material that wanted to stick awkwardly to my body…the silk just didn’t have enough weight to hang away.

So that plan didn’t work?  What to do?

Time to put my money where my mouth is and “re-fashion”. Not really a re-fashion so much as a straight forward alteration really, but a little anxiety provoking none the less.

I probably could have gone online and used any of these helpful how-to’s but for some reason I did that afterwards. Doih!

550px-Take-in-a-Dress-at-the-Waist-Step-4

click for how to

click for how to

No, I just blundered ahead semi-confident that it wouldn’t be a stitch ripping disaster.

I am lucky enough to have a dressmaker’s dummy (thank you long ago boyfriend for the lovely birthday gift) and I find it super helpful.  One of my difficulties with sewing is that I am very spatially challenged.  No, it’s true!  I have actually been tested..

My brain just can’t turn two dimensional instructions into three dimensional images with any real success.  So, the dummy is essential for this dummy!

ANYWAY,  I turned the dress inside out, popped it on the mannequin (which is fashioned to my measurements) and measured a one inch seam down either side armpit to hem, pinning as I went.  Took it to the machine and stitched inside the pins which gave me an approx 3/4 inch seam each side for an overall tightening up of 1 1/2 inches overall.

On me not the mannequin this time and definitely not enough of a difference.  Back to the machine….this time I used my previous seam as my foot guide which gave me probably another inch? of reduction.  I had to be careful since I did not really want to fuss with shaping so I only had so much wiggle room (literally!) before it would become too tight for my hips or thighs.

Scissors to the pocket that I had created and (here I would love to say that I seam finished..but I don’t want to lie to you) ironed it flat.  It was a thrift store dress and no one is seeing the inside but me.  As time goes on I would like to become better at finishing but right now the initial alteration is challenging enough.  Okay, I am being dramatic, this was super easy and I was just procrastinating.

I took a photo of the after but it doesn’t really show the alteration well so you will just have to take me at my word that it is much better, ironed and ready to wear with leggings and flats to work tomorrow!

To fascinate or not to fascinate?…TSBS

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I am set on the idea that I will make my own bridal headpiece and I have been Bridal Fourteenscouring for inspiration. Fascinators have really stepped into the limelight recently as an alternative to the traditional headpiece and veil . Waaaay back in the day when I got married the first time, traditional was “the way it was done” yet I wanted to wear a cocktail hat with a birdcage veil.  There was really nothing of the sort available at that time and I just capitulated to the norm.

Now every bridal salon has a full wall displaying Russian or French net fascinators (in those” long a go” times I didn’t even know the name of the headpiece that I desired ) and there is no end of selection online.
Bridal Seven

While I do enjoy the sass of a plucky feather I think that it is just a little too much with the dress that I have chosen and I run the risk of looking like I am dressing for Halloween rather than my wedding day. My thoughts are leaning towards a more traditional, era appropriate fifties headpiece. I want it to incorporate lace to jibe with my dress but I just can’t give up the netting.

click for diy

click for diy

click for tutorial

Bridal Four

There are some really lovely lace headpieces out there without netting and I am thinking that with a bit of tweaking they might be just the thing. After a lot of looking I managed to find some decent lace at the thrift store. Who knew that finding the lace would be the most difficult part? Craft store, fabric store, no luck!

Next came starching research…I went with the spray on starch method but didn’t find it nearly stiff enough to form the way that I wanted so will use a traditional glue method next.

Bridal TwoI researched a few different methods and so far found this link the most helpful.

http://www.brighthub.com/environment/green-living/articles/104910.aspx

Crochet was of course an option and off I went to find cotton thread (something I have never worked with before).  As flowers were a fave for a long time I had a few patterns floating around in my head so played around  to see what I could come up with.  I wasn’t sure that the result  was fancy enough but,  lo and behold found the identical cotton Irish Rose on a simple white ribbon hairband at the bridal store. Who knew?

Click on photo for pattern

click for pattern

click for pattern

click for pattern

easy diy

easy diy

click for tutorial

I have a couple peony type flowers that I picked up and will be playing with them next.  Maybe start with designing the “base” of the headpiece, get the tone right and then add the lace? netting?  Besides, I have no netting at the present time. There is NOTHING like that in the craft or fabric stores around here and that will have to be an online purchase.

Top Secret Bridal Stuff

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Yesterday was a very Top Secret Bridal Stuff stuffed day…you would think that I was getting married next week rather than having no date set!  My dear friend accompanied  me to a Pronovias trunk show at Blush Bridal where it became very apparent that the dress for me is the one that I had tried on here a few weeks previously.

I tried a few just because she wanted to see me in them and I thought that SOMEONE should have a good cry at the bridal store..( that’s just not me.. I am prancing around admiring myself…not crying!).  I think that she may not have needed Kleenex until THE dress  (it is tea/cocktail length so calling it a gown just doesn’t seem right..)  but she might have started with the first one.  Can’t be sure..I was rapidly critiquing and discarding as is my way.

Click to visit Blush Bridal Boutique…..

Turns out that my mind was already made up and that this was just a “because I should” bridal adventure.  As soon as I put it on I knew again that this was exactly what I wanted to wear. I was was already well on to accessories and had them chosen and ready to “jack me up” with before the dress was even on.
I didn’t want to take it off, just twirled around  (it’s very twirly!)  and around and around.  A dress that can move a woman of “mature” years to twirl like a little girl in a room full of strangers just needs to be worn!

twirl