Friday, 1 January 2021

Handmade Bunnies & A Teddy Bear

What about ye folks, it's Lee here and welcome back to my blog. Firstly, let me wish you all a very Happy New Year.  Let's hope 2021 is a kinder year for us all, and we stay safe and healthy. 

I want to share with you some wee cutie patooties that I made as Christmas gifts for 2 of my nieces and wee nephew. The girls are both 4 years old and the wee boy is only 6 months old.

These are not my own designs but I do want to tell you about where I got the patterns because I think the creator is incredibly talented and generous. I happened to be watching Micheline from Michoumakes and she was sharing some cute little makes that she had sewn up, when she kindly gave a shout out to the actual designer.

Before I go on, on a personal note, it is incredibly important to me and all us creative types that we give credit where credit is due. Now I know nowadays it's hard to come up with an original idea. However, if you are inspired by another crafter or artist, under Copyright Law you are legally obliged to say where you got your inspiration from. So please, if you are inspired to make something, having seen it from someone else, please do them the honour of crediting them. It only takes a second and it'll mean the world to that person too.

Anyway, off my soap, box. Micheline said she got her FREE pattern from Lisa on her YouTube channel, PayItForward. So I went along to have a look and oh my giddy aunt, I fell in love with the wee bunny and Teddy Bear. The patterns are completely free and the videos are incredibly detailed and easy to follow. Lisa doesn't ask for anything in return for her free patterns, just that you pay it forward and do something kind for someone else. What a beautiful gesture.  So I want to pay it forward by making these for my nieces and nephew and giving Lisa a massive shout out and encouraging you all to go over and check out her channel. Tell her Crafty Loops sent you. 

Boy oh boy am I glad that I came across Lisa's channel. I've never made a doll with a pattern before. I've always just come up with my own designs and to be honest, they're never that great teehee. Now, my makes aren't perfect by a long shot. Sewing is very new to me. But even with all their imperfections, I like they're so cute and perfectly imperfect. I did change a few things but I'll explain that down below.

Check them out.

The bunnies are for the girls & the bear is for the wee baby boy
My first task was to cut the pattern pieces up. I wanted to make the little Teddy dungarees first and I'm so chuffed with how they turned out. Instead of using the snap closure that Lisa uses, I just sewed the straps down with buttons. You can add snaps if you know you want to change the bear's outfit. Click here for Lisa's tutorial. 
Now the heads are made. I actually didn't reinforce any of my pattern pieces with fusible interfacing like Lisa suggested. My felt is really thick and it didn't need it. I also left out the stuffing from all the ears too.....mostly because I forgot, lol....but once I realised, I preferred the ears without stuffing, as it made it easier to sew, for me anyway.  Plus the ears were softer because they weren't stuffed.  But you stuff yours, if you wish. 
As suggested by Lisa, I added safety eyes to them as these are being given to a baby and 2 young kiddies. So I didn't want there being any choking hazards. I also didn't used the bear nose pattern as I felt it was too big for his face.... Because of my doing.... Not the patterns fault. 
Then I simply followed Lisa's incredible video instructions and here are my little cuties. As I said, they aren't perfect and, by the time I got to the last bunny, I was slowly improving, lol. 
Unfortunately, I didn't quite stuff his little head enough so his wee face and nose are a bit soft looking.  But I just love his little blue eyes and his turned up Dungarees.  I want to make myself dungarees now, teehee.

I wanted to add a little Artistic signature, so to speak, on the bear & bunnies.  I added a little square patch to the back of the bear's leg......but then forgot to add it to the bunnies.  Oh well, hopefully I remember to do it the next time I make these.
Look at that happy wee face.
This was the last bunny I made....you can probably tell as I improved my stuffing technique and made sure she had plenty of stuffing in her wee face.
The wee skirt is meant to be removeable but I was very aware that it might be the first thing to go walkies or missing.  So, I added a couple of tacking stitches on both sides of the skirt, at the waist and just sewing a few strong stitches onto the body of the bunny.  That way the skirt won't come off and end up lost.

I think they turned out so cute and I will definitely be making many more of these in the future. Well anyway, that's it from me folks. Hope to see you again soon. 

Toodles Noodles..... Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

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Friday, 25 December 2020

Diamond squared handmade Quilt

Diamond squared quilt pattern, from Jordan Fabrics on YouTube

What about ye folks, it's Lee here. Welcome back and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!. 

This is a big one for me as a novice sewer because I've never made anything this technical or difficult before. But the free pattern that I got from Jordan Fabrics and their fantastic video on YouTube made making it simple. The cutting out probably took longer than the actual sewing. Donna Jordan is an incredible teacher when it comes to breaking down intricate patterns and making them easy to sew for beginners like me. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd be able to make a quilt this detailed and geometrically intricate. But I'm overjoyed with the end result.

This is the quilt in natural light.  I love the colour and these gorgeous fabrics
This is the size, on my king sized bed.  Its probably a double sized quilt.
The quilt is made using fat quarters.  
I love the design it made.  My favourite so far....even though it's only my 3rd quilt ever teehee.  And even though I'm a novice sewer, the tutorial and instructions were fantastic and made it easy for me to make.  Thanks Donna!

This was a Christmas gift for my wee Mamma and she absolutely loved it. She's lucky that she was able to pry it from my hands because this was a hard quilt to let go of, lol. And it was all made from fat quarters. Now mine didn't quite turn out as big as Donna's pattern as the packs of fat quarters I used were a wee bit shorter in length. But it still made a sizeable quilt, I'd say, a double sized quilt. 

I love the blue colours and the pattern it made. Who knew sewing long strips of fabric together could make such beautiful shapes. 

Well that's it from me folks. See you in the next one. 
Toodles Noodles.... Lee....aka Crafty Loops xx

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Friday, 13 November 2020

Tutorial - How to make beaded Christmas charms & Jewellery


 What about ye folks, its Lee here.  How cute are these?!  Ugh, I just love them.  They're such cute makes.  Like in my previous post, these were made using beads and crystals from Beebeecraft.com.  The quality of these products are incredible.  Honestly, I wouldn't steer you wrong.  I'm so chuffed with these.

I've been making little Angels for well over a decade now, in one form or another.  Should they be charms, stickpins, jewellery accessories etc.  And these little charms would be perfect for a keyring or as a handbag charm.  You could also convert them and make them into earrings or a necklace pendant.

These are so cute!  Little candy cane earrings.  I saw this design on Pinterest and knew I had to do something similar with the glass pearls and teardrop crystals from Beebeecraft.com  They worked out perfectly.  I can't wait to rock these this Christmas, lol

We've had Angels and candy canes and I certainly couldn't leave out Santa.  These are sweet and cute and perfect if you don't like wearing earring that are too big, like the candy canes.  This is Santa with his Christmas hat and I just love how they turned out.  These are the glass pearls and tear drop crystals from Beebeecraft.com

If you would like to see tutorials on how I made these little cuties, please see the video below.

I wasn't paid to promote Beebeecraft.com.  They simply asked me did I want to try some of their products and this is what I made with them.  

Here are the products I used with their links:


Jewellery tools

That's it from me folks.  I'll be back with another project very soon....and maybe even a peek of my newly decorated Art Room!

Toodles Noodles.....Lee aka Crafty Loops

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Sunday, 8 November 2020

How to make Beaded Christmas Icicles


What about ye folks, its Lee here.  I was recently contacted by Beebeecraft.com to see if I wanted to try some of their products and do an honest review.  Now, I have not been paid for this at all, they simply sent me some products of my choosing.  I agreed on the premise that any review I give would be completely honest.  Oh boy am I glad they got in touch.  Their site is a bead lovers paradise with so many beautiful items to craft with.  My order arrived within 7 days which is incredibly quick and the products I got are awesome.

I'm sharing a couple of videos with you today.  The first is the haul of goodies that I got and the next is a tutorial sharing these beautiful Christmas icicles.  These can be put onto your key ring, used as an accessory on a handbag or backpack or, as I will be using them, a Christmas decoration on my Christmas tree.

The quality of the beautiful glass pearls and tiny crystal bicone beads is exceptional.  And the tools I got for jewellery making are the best I've ever used.  The other beads and supplies are from my own stash.  So, if you want to grab some beautiful craft supplies at a competitive price, have a look on Beebeecraft.com and if you do buy anything, tell them Crafty Loops sent you.

Here is the haul video:


And here is the Icicle Tutorial:


Links to items used:

Hope you enjoy.  I'll be back with some more Christmas makes soon.....so watch this space.  That's it from me folks.

Toodles Noodles:  Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

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Saturday, 25 July 2020

Mummy/Daughter Matching Maxi Skirts

Whatabout ye folks....its Lee here, aka Loops.  I hope you are all doing well and everyone is safe and healthy in these crazy times we are a'livin'.  I'm trying to get back into the swing of crafting and blogging again since, I upped sticks and ran for the hills. But hopefully I will be a bit more present on my blog and YouTube channel.  I have so many things I want to make and tutorials I want to share.  If you have any requests, please do leave a comment below and let me know what you would like to see.  Or you can contact me directly on the blog contact form at the top right of this blog.
I'm here to show you a little sewing project I've made for my wee sister and niece. Other than the time I made T a Dorothy Gale outfit (see post HERE), I've never made cloths before.  And starting my sewing garments adventure, I decided to work with probably the most difficult of fabrics...good old slippery chiffon.  But this fabric was a medium weight chiffon so I found that as long as I used a 70/10 needle and plenty of pins, the fabric was a dream to work with.

As I said, Im new to garment sewing.....or any sewing really, so I wanted to make something simple.  My sister, T loves matching with her wee 4 year old daughter, Lexi.  So I decided a simple elasticated waist maxi skirt would be a great beginner project for my novice skills.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember the exact Ebayer that I bought this fabric from.  And I can't find this exact fabric.  But this fabric is pretty similar...click here  and this fabric is similar in colour, also from Ebay
If you want a really great tutorial, check out Comicat Creations on YouTube.  She has fantastic tutorials that are so well explained and really simple.  Here is the tutorial of her Maxi Skirt here
This is Lexi's little skirt.  It is a simple elasticated waist.
To make the skirt, I used the complete width of the fabric and doubled it, ie., one piece for the front and one for the back.  So I basically had a massive rectangle of fabric, just sewed up the 2 sides.  This gave me a really big rectangle that is obviously too wide.....but that's what the elastic is for.
Use the elastic to make the pleats.  I just made a channel along the top of the skirt and added the elastic into it.  As the waist size is smaller than the large rectangle of fabric, the elastic creates the pretty and even pleats.  Such a simple make.  I think I will now make myself one....and I think I'll be very brave and add pockets!  Little Miss Confident, teehee...I've made 2 maxi skirts and suddenly I'm a fashion designer, lol.

That's it from me folks.  Hopefully I'll be back soon with another project of some kind....goodness knows what it will be, teehee.

Toodles Noodles.......Lee aka Loops xx

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Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Jelly roll race Quilt for my Niece

Whatabout ye folks?!!! I should have shared this years ago....but I'm a disaster, teehee.  3 years ago, I shared the little tiny rag quilt that I frantically threw together to give to my niece as her "proper" quilt hadn't been finished yet.  It only took me 2 1/2 years (yes you read that correctly...two and a half years!) but I FINALLY finish the long promised quilt for my little niece, Lexi.  The poor child didn't get it until Christmas 2017, lol....and here I am only sharing it now!

I am new to anything involving a sewing machine.  I mean, I'm so new to it that I haven't even made the simple beginner projects yet like table runners and placemats.  I still have to consult my users manual every time I thread my machine.....that's how new to all this sewing stuff I am.  So goodness knows where the confidence to make an almost King Sized Quilt came from.  I even quilted the monstrosity myself.  Ok, it was a simple, sew up this end, turn and sew up the other end, kind of quilting.....but I did it.  I found a tutorial on YouTube of the "Jelly Roll Race Quilt" by Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company  along with another tutorial from Angie at ChicNScratch YouTube Channel.  They are fantastic tutorials.  Granted.....it took me 2 and a half years to make and not the "1 hour" that Jenny made hers in....but hey, whats a few years between friends, eh?  Admittedly the actual quilt top does go together incredibly quickly, it was just the rest of it that took me a long time, teehee.

Anyway, here it is.  The finished quilt in all its glory....and mistakes galore, lol.
This jelly roll was so lovely to work with and the fabric is so pretty. Details of where to buy are below. This was the topper section of the jelly roll.  I hadn't cut it all even at this stage.  This was literally just completed at this stage.
Here's a closer look at the fabric and how it all came together.  I was so chuffed when it all came together so easily.  I highly recommend the Jelly Roll Race quilt for any newbie sewers and quilters.  If I can do it, anyone can, teehee.  Check out the link to Jenny's video, above.  You basically just sew each 2" strip of fabric together is a massively long strip.  Match your 2 ends and sew those lines together, and so on.
 The Downtown Abbey label (purchase link below) was simply cut from a selection that was printed onto the fat quarter.  I hand sewed the message onto it....ok its not straight but I don't do hand sewing lol.  I (badly) hand sewed it onto the quilt, once I had everything else complete.  I made my own bias binding with a plain pink cotton fabric.  I used a zig-zag stitch to attach it, using my sewing machine instead of hand stitching it on like a lot of people do.  I did not have time (or patience) for hand sewing the binding on and the zig-zag stitching actually looks very pretty on the quilt.  It added an extra element of texture to the quilt.  That isn't a hole in the fabric by the way.  I edited the photo to obscure Lexi's surname.  
When it came to quilting, I just did simple vertical and horizontal lines.  I didn't worry about marking the quilt with evenly spaced lines as I wanted the quilting to look "handmade".  So although I did try to keep the space between each line of quilting even, I wasn't being too particular if a line of sewing was a few mm wider or narrower than its neighbour. 
Ok, this is where my lack of experience in sewing was ultimately obvious.  There are a few little (ahem...rather large, teehee) wrinkles in the fabric where I mistakenly pulled in folded fabric under the presser foot.  Realistically, if I had have noticed it sooner, I should have hand picked the bottom right third section of the quilt and resewed it, but of course I had the quilt turned the other way up so I didn't see it until I had completely quilted the vertical lines.  Of course I still could have unpicked all that sewing but honestly...I would have cried if I had to do that. So I hoped it would be hidden in the quilting and my mistakes would be forgiven, lol.  But for a newbie, I'm not going to beat myself up about it.  And the quilting did hide most of my faux pas, teehee.  I'll just know for the next time to keep checking the back of the quilt as I go along.
PRODUCT LIST AND WHERE TO BUY IT

My sewing machine is a Janome QXL605 sewing machine and I purchased it from Sewing Machines Direct in the UK (fantastic company by the way.  If you visit them and make a purchase...tell them I sent you.).
The fabric I used for the main "Jelly roll" section of the quilt was a Jelly Roll I bought on Ebay from cottonsquares on Ebay.  It didn't have a specific name, it was just called "pink/lilac".
The fabric for the borders, backing and binding was bought from fyvie.star.fabrics.ltd from Ebay also. (sadly, they no longer seem to be open).
The fabric quilt label was bought from eddiecw from Ebay and it was a fat quarter called Downtown Abbey.
The quilt batting was again bought from Ebay but I can't seem to find the seller for it, sorry.  But it is readily available on Ebay.  It was a cotton batting that is flame retardant and can be washed at 40 degrees in your washing machine.  If you are buying batting for a quilt, particularly one for a baby or child, please pay a bit more money for a flame retardant batting.  I'd rather spend a few extra pennies per metre for the safety benefit, knowing the quilt is safe for my niece to use, than not.  Plus it's always a bonus to be able to throw it into your washing machine too.

That's it from me folks.  I'll be back soon with goodness knows what.

Toodles Noodles....Lee aka Crafty Loops xx




Friday, 22 May 2020

Face Masks with Filters


Hello Folks.  Long time no see......for everyone, I suppose.  These are strange times we are living in and I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

I thought, as everyone and their garden gnome are making masks, I thought I would share 2 designs that I have made. These are not my designs, and I will share the links to the original posts.

I decided to go with 2 styles, as I wanted to ensure that everyone in my family got at least 2 that would fit them perfectly and safely.  I did change some of the features in both these masks but I will explain what I changed and why I did, below.

Firstly, was the Olsen mask that was recommended by a Hospital in the USA.  It comes with a detailed video together with the link to the pattern.  Now, this pattern is a lot more involved in that it isn't just a rectangle of pleated fabric.  You have to cut out 6 pieces of fabric to make one mask.  But its a great design and a really great tutorial.  Here is the link to the Olsen Mask, made by Gail Kollmer on her YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StMPYZ-waso&t=283s

The second design I made was a pleated mask.  Although this mask is basically a rectangle of fabric, I found that this one fits the majority of faces as the pleats allow room to fit the contours of each individual face.  And its so quick to sew up too, so if you need to make a lot of masks for a big family...like me....this might suit you better.  This is the link to the pleated mask made by Kim's Kitchen Affair YouTube channel.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K4dH3-LHLQ

SMALL DISCLAIMER:  I am not a professional sewer....or even a medium sewer....I am new to sewing and am pretty useless at it.  But I managed to make these, wonky sewing lines and all.  So please don't judge me on my sewing skills.  I wanted to make masks to keep my family safe and I don't think they care that the lines aren't straight and the pleats are wonky, teehee.

These are the Olsen Mask design and the first ones I made.  I don't think I changed much in the design of these as they fit pretty well.  The only thing is, these may need adjusting at the ear ties as not everyones face is the same size, so just keep that in mind.

I used polycotton and some 100% cotton fabrics.  And the over the ear elastics were just hair ties that I had.

Each mask also got a proper face mask nose strip to ensure the mask could fit around the wearers nose.  I did buy HEPA filter fabric from Ebay but to be honest, I didn't use it as I felt the 4 ply wasn't enough protection (Im sure it is, but I'm overly cautious when it comes to my family, lol).  Plus it cost a fortune for 5 tiny pieces of fabric.  So instead, I bought Meile HEPA filter hoover bags.  I cut them up and sewed around the edges with a zig zag stitch to ensure it stayed together.  These HEPA filters are 5-ply, super strong and thick.  I didn't just decide off the top of my head to use hoover bags.  It was recommended by a doctor on YouTube, who's wife was making them for him to use at work.  If it's good enough for a doctor, its good enough for me.  They simply slip into the inside pocket on the masks and can be removed and re-used when you need to wash your masks.
Sorry I'm not showing my whole face, but I think you get the idea of the fit from this photo.  It fits really comfortably.  The only issue I have with these masks is, that they aren't great if you are talking.  As there are no pleats, therefore no give, as soon as you start talking, the mask tends to move up and down a bit.  Which isn't complete protection in my opinion.  But great for a quick run out to the shops, without chatting lol
These pleated masks are my favourite as they expand and move with the contours of your face and allow for movement when talking.
In the original tutorial, the lady made these as over the ears masks.  I decided to make my design over the head.  So these masks wrap around your head and neck, rather than just over the ears.
I felt that I got a much better fit by making them over the head rather than just around the ears.  They are very snug and secure but comfortable to wear.  These masks also have the wee bendy nose wires in them together with a pocket for filters.
I added a full 1/2 inch to the original posters pattern as I felt they wouldn't be quite big enough, particularly for men.  I'm glad I did.  The fit is great.  I also came up with my own medium size and 2 children's sizes patterns and they also are great.
I didn't download Kim's pleat pattern, but she has the link there if you feel you need it.  I just freehanded all the pleats...which was probably a bit haphazard of me and resulted in a few wonky pleats, but they all turned out great and fit really well.
I couldn't forget about the wee people in my family, and I made teeny wee masks for my 4 year old nieces too.
These masks also got HEPA filter inserts too. These are a wee bit more fiddly to insert simply because of the pleats and the filter isn't pleated.  But its simply to fit in and adjust it once your mask is on.
The one thing I have told everyone to remember is...REMOVE your HEPA filter from your mask before you put them into the washing machine.  The filters can be reused over and over again but they will most like fall apart or disintegrate in the washing machine.  I haven't tested this theory, but I'm pretty confident that they should be removed.

Once your mask is washed at the recommended 60 degrees C, just pop your HEPA filter back into your mask and you're good to go.

That's it from me folks.  I hope this is helpful to some of you.  If you have any questions, leave a comment of send me a wee message through the link at the top right of this blog.

Toodles Noodles......Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

If you want, you can buy me a coffee which helps me maintain this blog so I can make bigger and better content, simply click the link below.  No pressure at all, its just if you want to.  Cheers big ears!

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