Adventures in Amigurumi

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.comHaving a knack for creative hobbies can lead to a serious passion of collecting new hobbies and skills (and sometimes ditching them shortly after). I’m certainly guilty of hobby hoarding. During my blogging break this winter I had the urge to try something new. I’ve always adored Amigurumi figures and as they look incredibly complicated to make I never thought I had the time to learn how to make them myself.

One evening I had sat down with an old crochet hook and some leftover yarn and watched a couple of YouTube videos on making Amigurumi bunnies. A few weeks later I’d made three bunnies for my nieces and nephew and was so in love with this new hobby that I treated myself to some more supplies. See, with collecting hobbies there always comes a massive collection of supplies with it and since I will run out of space sooner rather than later, I try to be more selective about what I really need to buy. I loved this technique so much that I knew I wanted to spend more time making crochet animals and found the amazing Yan online, an Amigurumi pattern designer on Instagram. Luckily, she’s got some books out already which had really great reviews.

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

I bought the pattern book¬†“ANIMAL FRIENDS OF PICA PAU” as well as a basic set of crochet hooks and was addicted from the first second.¬† I’ve made almost half of all the patterns in the book and the enthusiasm doesn’t seem to run out!

What I love most about the book¬† – apart from the amazingly cute patterns – is that it doesn’t leave any gaps. As an absolute beginner I was able to recreate the animals as shown in the photos just following the step-by-step patterns with the help of a crochet 101 guide also included in the pattern book. The instructions are really well photographed so that even the more complicated bit and bobs weren’t that hard to wrap my head around.

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

I was a bit worried about what wool to use, but learned that I doesn’t need to be the exact same wool as used in the book. You could use pretty much any wool you’d like as long as you used the same one in different colours for one project. The animals turn out bigger or smaller depending on the yarn and hooks you pick. Using a similar yarn and hook size as recommended, my animals measured pretty much the same size as the ones in the book. I got hooked on (bad pun intended) a really nice cotton yarn from Schachenmayr, called “Catania”, which is perfect for Amigurumi as it is silky smooth and slightly shiny. On German Amazon it is about 2,50‚ā¨ per ball, quite a reasonable price for the quality you get. I used approximately 1-2 balls of yarn (main colour) for the animals plus small amounts of all the other colours.¬† They have a really nice range of nice brown, cinnamon and taupe tones. They also have really lovely pastel and vintage looking colours that I prefer to bright and glaring reds, yellows etc.
Here in Germany they sell Schachenmayr Catania in pretty much any wool and sewing shop I found out, so this is sort of my go-to brand now. The only thing that annoyed me a bit is that they apparently release limited series of “seasonal” colour ranges, which they stop selling online after a while. Naturally, I ran out of one of these mid-project and had troubles finding it online. I bought some of off Ebay, which was alright but annoying nonetheless.

So all supplies considered, the cost of making an animal is somewhere between 5-10‚ā¨. For the stuffing I recycled some Ikea pillow stuffing, which works perfectly and is much cheaper than the plush toy stuffing they offer in stores.

Pica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.comPica Pau Crochet Amigurumi Animals by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

So, in case you’ve been itching to learn how to make Amigurumi yourself, I can only encourage you to try! It’s fairly easy and soooo relaxing! Another plus: lots of cute presents for you friends and family!

The ones in the pictures I’ve given all away except for the wolf which I cannot part with. I’ve made a couple more that I didn’t photograph which also found happy new owners already.¬† They bring so much joy, it’s incredible!

Have you meddled with new hobbies lately? Anything you’ve fallen in love with and would like to recommend?

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!

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Having Fun Sewing for Toddlers Pt.1

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comToddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

  MEOW, MEOW!

I don’t enjoy sewing for others. That’s a fact.

I don’t really know why, and I’d love to be able to rejoice in it. But I don’t. Sewing for others makes me feel frustrated and in that case it becomes more chore than pleasure. There’s one exception, though: Sewing for my toddler nieces.

Again, I’m not sure why. I guess it’s because you can go wild with ideas and also fitting isn’t as big an issue as with adults. Toddlers aren’t that hard to please when it comes to new dresses.¬†They can be as crazy, loud and colourful as you like and they’ll love it! It’s also a great way to use up larger fabric scraps and try out combinations you wouldn’t be able to pull off yourself.

Last year I made a bunch of dresses, jumpers and a jacket for my oldest niece, who is 2.5 years old. I completely forgot to post these, as I mostly blog about things I make for myself. But I’m quite proud of them and they are too cute not to be shared.

So here’s the first one: A boiled-wool tartan and velvet dress with a fake Peter Pan collar and a grumpy kitten pocket.

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Such a great little project to try my hand at appliqué (using the satin stitch setting and fusible interfacing) and simple hand-embroidery for the nose and mouth. I also tried a different technique for inserting an exposed zip.

And, of course, the pocket is fully functional. Toddlers need pockets!

How did I make the kitten appliqu√©? I made a little drawing and created a paper pattern from that. I cut out the velvet (recycling an old velvet top) and interfaced it. I sewed on the eyes by machine and the pink nose and mouth by hand, using embroidery thread. I appliqued the kitten to the front of the dress using the same satin stitch I used for the eyes. The bottom of the cat which you can’t see fills out the whole of the pocket, so you can’t see “where the cat ends” when you peek into the pocket.

To create the paws, I cut two pocket pieces and pinned the paws in between before stitching them together, as you can see in the picture above. The paws are lined with wool, as the velvet alone would’ve stretched out of shape. After assembling the pocket, I topstitched it onto the dress, covering the bottom of the weirdly egg-shaped cat!Toddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.comToddler Kitten Dress by thisblogisnotforyou.com

The collar was made pretty similarly. I appliqued the velvet collar to the front of the dress, before assembling the dress. This way I could simply finish the raw edge at the neckline by¬†facing it. The pattern is a toddler dress pattern from LA MAISON VICTOR, that I adapted quite a bit. I’ve made another dress using the unchanged, original pattern which I’ll review on the blog soon.

I love how this little dress turned out. I feel the combination of pink tartan, black velvet and the golden zip give it¬†quite a cool, grungy look. I’d love to have one in my size!

How do you feel about sewing for others? Do you enjoy making kids clothes?

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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Burda Wool Coat & Mia Jeans

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.comBurda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Today I’m sharing two pretty amazing projects with you. One is an oversized coat I made last Winter and didn’t get around to blog until now and the other one is hot off the sewing machine: my first pair of skinny jeans!

Coat pattern: Let’s have a look at the coat first. For this cosy wool coat I used Burdastyle pattern 09/2015 #117A. View B is belted and slightly shorter than View A. The pattern is pretty brilliant as long as you use the right fabric. They’re asking for double-sided wool because it comes without lining.¬†Therefore, it’s a really quick, simple sew. No interfacing, no lining, no bindings. It’s pretty much just three pattern pieces: front, back and back sleeve (plus pockets). The sleeves are two pieces. The front one is cut as a kimono sleeve and part of the front bodice pattern.

 

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Fabric & construction: I found this amazing double-sided wool fabric at stoffkontor.eu¬†for a very good price. Unfortunately, they’ve run out of it since. It’s a lovely teal boiled wool on one side and a grey sweater knit on the other side. The pattern really requires a fabric with “two good sides”, so this one was perfect.

You might wonder about the contrast detail I did in the front. Well, this wasn’t planned I have to admit. I made a mistake I haven’t made in a long time: I forgot to mirror the front pieces. To my defense, I had to cut the coat with the fabric laid flat in one layer, because the pattern pieces are huge. I simply forgot to flip over the front pattern piece before cutting it out a second time. As I did not have enough fabric and couldn’t be bothered to order more, I decided to run with it.

Looking at it now, I think it looks pretty neat. The Mr thinks it’s the best feature of the coat, and he’s kind of right. Still, I sometimes catch myself thinking of it as a mistake, because I know it wasn’t planned.

The construction is very easy. So this is a great project for anyone who doesn’t feel ready yet to tackle a proper coat. As for finishing the raw edges, you simply fold over the edges and stitch them in place. So the only tricky bit is getting the mitred corners right and neat.

The coat closes as a wrap with two snap fastenings at the top.

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.comBurda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Skinny jeans pattern & construction: Let’s talk about my first pair of Mia Jeans! When SEW OVER IT published their Capsule Wardrobe pattern ebook, I couldn’t wait to try the skinny jeans pattern. I love a good high-waisted, simple pair of trousers and I love skinny jeans.

I was a bit concerned that getting the fit right might be a bit of a struggle. Luckily I had some really stretchy denim fabric in my stash which I could use as a muslin. Turned out I didn’t really need a muslin, as the fit was great and I only had to make minor adjustments. The pattern comes with an extra wide seam allowance at the side seam which makes fitting very easy.

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Sewing the pockets was so much fun. Next to sewing the front fly, getting the pockets right is probably taking longest. I basted them on by hand before stitching to get them perfect.

I had a lot of fun trying out decorative stitching with my new sewing machine. I did not use contrasting thread for all seams, just for the pockets. It’s a very minimalist pattern, so the pockets really are the eye-catcher.

Although I’ve sewn quite a few front flies before, I struggled a bit with this one. I accidentally sewed the front shut and overlocked the seam before realising I was missing the front fly. Stupid, I know. I had to cut off quite a bit of the seam allowance to remove the overlocked edge and there wasn’t much left to play around with. Which made constructing the front fly a bit difficult. That’s why the zip is showing a bit, which is somewhat annoying.

Lisa of SEW OVER IT made a wonderful video tutorial on sewing the front fly, which you can find on her youtube channel. There are photographed instructions in the ebook, but if you’ve never tackled a front fly before, I really recommend watching the video tutorial.
Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com
Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

(Very casually sucking in that tummy and hiding the showing zip)Burda 09/2015 #117 and Mia Jeans by thisblogisnotforyou.com

Both jeans and coat are amazingly comfy and therefore my new work uniform. I got a lot of compliments for the coat. Nobody mentioned¬†the jeans, which, I think, means they don’t look handmade and that is a good thing. ¬†I made a pair of skinny jeans that looks store-bought, ha!

Will I be making more? I definitely won’t make the coat again, as you do not need an indefinite amount of coats, and I am planning on making a properly lined and interfaced one this winter. But I will be making tons of Mia Jeans! In fact, I have already made another pair and bought fabric for at least three more! It’s definitely my go-to jeans pattern now and plain enough to use as a base for some great pattern hacks.

What’s your favourite pattern at the moment?

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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New Pattern: Hello, Keira Cardigan!

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

  HELLO KEIRA!

Have you been looking for the perfect chic little cardigan to go with most of your outfits? Well, look no further!¬†Say ‘hello’ to KEIRA, everyone! This lovely lady is the newest addition to my little pattern family!¬†

She is a true allrounder.

KEIRA is incredibly comfy with a wide cut around the bodice and snug sleeves for an elegant, feminine silhouette. The minimalist design will allow you to go wild with adding your own touches. Add a binding for a sleek finish or play around with decorative trim to add fun details.

Made in a warm wool or knit fabric it will be the perfect companion for cold winter days. Use a lightweight jersey and it will be perfect for layering in the warmer seasons. And if you don’t want to go without it in summer, whip one up in a breezy chiffon!

After two years, Audrey & Me Patterns (which is me!) is finally releasing a new pattern and I am so excited to share this one with you! Have a look:

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

This KEIRA is made with a lovely warm double-sided wool knit, which is the perfect fabric for this pattern! It’s super cosy and has enough stretch for the snug fit of the sleeves. As the armhole seam hits the upper arm just above the elbow, it is perfect for layering over t-shirts and thick jumpers without feeling restricted in your movements.¬†Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.comFree Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

This pattern is a really quick sew and suitable for beginners. It offers different ways to add own touches and variations, so advanced sewers will have fun with it, as well! Included are sizes 6-22 (UK), all nested together so it is easy for you to grade between sizes. (Edit:¬†Don’t be confused by Size 22 missing in the sizing chart. It IS included, I’ll update the chart asap!)

The pattern includes instruction for two different styles of finishes. You can add a wide binding for a clean, minimalist finish or leave the edges raw, decorated with fun trims and ribbons!

Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com
Free Pattern! Keira Cardigan by Thisblogisnotforyou.com

Oh, the best part? As my first pattern, The Fairy Tale Cape, this pattern is a Pay-As-You-Wish pattern! This means you can download it for free or donate whatever amount you feel is appropriate. So feel free to try out the pattern to see whether you like it. And if you do, you can show your appreciation by making a small donation if you want.

I’ll share some more variations and simple hacks of this pattern on the blog in the next couple of weeks – so keep you eyes peeled for more!

You can DOWNLOAD the pattern HERE.

xx

Charlie


Happy sewing!
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WOOL AND THE GANG Giveaway Winner!

congratulations-giveaway-winner

And the winner is…

random-wimmer

Congratulations, Anna-Marie! You won the WOOL AND THE GANG giveaway! The lovely folks over at WOOL AND THE GANG will get in touch with you to sent you two balls of Billie Jean Yarn in your colour of choice, so please check your inbox.

Thanks everyone for your great feedback and lovely comments! There’ll be more¬†chances to try your luck in the future – I promise.

xx

Charlie


Happy knitting!
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