Sunday, 30 January 2022

It's all about the bee's knees - DIY Handmade Large Tote

Whatabout ye folks, it's Lee here.  So I made another one of Debbie Shore's large tote bags...well, it has been a wee while since I last made one, lol. I've made so many now that I could probably sew them in my sleep, teehee.  Here's the link to the bag in case you want to have a go...  Debbie's Large Tote Bags.  

As usual, I made a few modifications which I'll share below.  I think this is the first one I've made where I didn't make many of my wee "Lee mistakes" as my wee Mamma affectionately calls them, lol.  This one is going to my Auntie Fiona, or Fifi as she's affectionately known.  She loves bees and this fabric was a dream to work with.  No issues at all.
I wasn't sure which fabric Auntie Fifi would prefer as the main body so my Wee Mamma let me know that the Honey Yellow was the way to go.  The bag has a really good sized zip pocket on the outside.
And both sides of the bag have the expanding pockets made from the contrasting navy fabric, which are great for your phone and a water bottle.
A nice secure zip closure keeps the contents of your bag nice and safe
I added 2 divided pockets which are a perfect size to keeping your mobile phone secure
And on the opposite side of the bag there is a large zip pocket to keep items more secure.
It's a really good sized bag which would be perfect for weekends away.  My Aunt and wee Mamma love to take themselves away for a few days to a hotel somewhere on the Island of Ireland,  So hopefully this bag will be great for their many adventures away.

That's it from me folks.  See you next time.  
Toodles Noodles.......Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

All links were valid at the time of typing.  Sorry if the items are gone by the time you read this. But if the links no longer work, a simple Google search for the items should work a charm.

Honey yellow bee fabric - Ebay
Vlieseline/Vilene Volume Fleece Fusible interfacing H640 - Amazon This is the interfacing Debbie Shore recommends
Zips - purchased on Ebay.  The exact ones are now gone but click the link here and the seller has many more zips available for you to choose from.

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Saturday, 22 January 2022

Handmade Artist Teddy Bears - PayItForward FreePattern

What about ye folks, it's Lee here.  So, here I am to show you these 3 wee cuties.  I know they are all the same...well, they all look slightly different in their faces as they are handmade, lol.  Again, this is a free pattern from Lisa Pay from PayItForward on YouTube.  I did a few adaptions in that I made clothes for these wee bears as apposed to the cute wee poncho that Lisa made.  Please go over and have a look at Lisa's YouTube channel.  Her patterns are so delightful and her tutorials are second to none.

Of course, as usual, I will put my shopping list below for as many of the items I used that I can remember, lol.
These bears were a little different from the others I've tried from Lisa.  These artistic bears definitely felt like a more professional make, if that makes sense, lol. But they were actually incredibly easy to put together. These bears have cotter joints and articulating limbs.  So their little arms and legs move independently as apposed to being sewn to the bodies.   Here I'm showing what the bears looked like just before getting their dungarees and shirts.  
For the dungarees, I used Lisa's dungarees/overalls pattern but I graded it up to fit these bears as these are much bigger than the other wee bears/dolls.  I've never graded a pattern before, so it was an experience.  But I only had one dodgy toile pair that I made that didn't fit, but I was able to see what needed fixed and I managed to get the dungarees to fit them all pretty well.  They aren't perfect....but then nothing I make ever is, lol.  My wee Mamma said that my little mistakes can be "my thing"
I wanted the bears to have little shirts to wear but because the dungarees were so patterned and detailed, I decided to go with a plain black shirt.  It's just plain black cotton.....and I made it with my own pattern!  What???? barely knows how to open a pattern.....made her own design and it turned out great......not perfectly professional, but pretty damn good for what I needed.  
In order for the the shirt to fit properly, I made the pattern open at the front.  I couldn't make the top to go over their heads because in comparison to their shoulders, the heads are pretty large.  So to make a top to go over the head would mean that the opening would be very large and ultimately hang off the shoulders.  So I made it that the shirt opens at the front for ease of putting on and I sewed a tiny thin strip of velcro to each front opening seam.  I didn't want to add buttons as they would be too bulky underneath the dungarees.  It was a bit of trial and error with the shirt design as, as you can see from the photo above, these wee guys have chubby little tummies.  But I made it work......and any flaws are secretly hidden beneath the dungarees, teehee.

These bears are surprisingly easy to make.....other than having to correct silly mistakes that were completely my fault....see photo below......**facepalm**
Can you see my mistake?  Yep.....the arms/hands are on the wrong way around.  Each of the buttoned paws are meant to be the palms of the on the inside.  And I put them on wrong on all 3 bears!  I couldn't believe I had made such a stupid mistake and so very close to the end of the making of them.  And my big issue was, I had already added the arms with the cotter joints in place AND stuffed each bear and sewn them up.  What a disaster!  I didn't want to have to take them all apart.  So I fudged it the best way I know how, teehee. 
I cut off the buttons firstly from each bear.  Then, I took the paw template and made it slightly bigger than the original paws and remade the paws but without stuffing....then, I placed the "new" paws over the old one like a pair of gloves and hand sewed as best I could, an invisible stitch around the wrist.  It actually worked pretty well...but was definitely one of the reasons that I wanted to add a little shirt onto each bear.  Now, the new paws are slightly bigger now, but you can barely notice the mistake and I think I rescued my mishap pretty well.  My Scrubby suggested removing the buttons and just adding them onto the palms, but that would have meant that the outside of the paw was a different colour and it wouldn't have looked right.  Plus I had glued and sewed the paw pads down and no doubt, they would have left residue of glue behind.....So my paw gloves remedy was the best solution and I was actually pretty happy with the outcome.
And just look at those cute, oversized feet....I think they are so stinking adorable.  Cute little toe-beans, lol.
As their limbs move so beautifully, they look great sitting.....
Or standing.
Here is each little bear's face.  Because the artist bears are larger than others I've made, I found these so much easier to make.  Getting the smaller sections under my machine was so much easier which meant I didn't really have to do any hand sewing (which we all know, I am not a fan of, teehee) of the actual structure of the bears....other than a tiny bit of hand sewing to close up seams.  Their little noses were hand sewn on over a felt template that was glued to their faces and then I added a coat of pva glue to them, just so the sewing threads had no issues with moving or slipping over time.  The glue dries clear and gives the noses a bit of rigidity. 
I thoroughly enjoyed making each one of these....mistakes and all, lol
And I know that they will put a smile on my 2 Nieces and nephew's little faces.    Because of the type of joints that are used and the fact that they are so tightly packed with stuffing, I wouldn't class these bears as a "cuddle" type bear.  Lisa even states this in her tutorial.  She classes them more as display bears.  So as these bears are probably more for display purposes, I think they'd be perfect for sitting at a Teddy Bear's picnic that your child could have or sitting beside your little one during their bedtime story or watching over them as they sleep, maybe sitting on a book wouldn't want to be flinging them around the place....even though the cotter joints are strong and tightly installed.  In my opinion they are probably a bit too stiff and with the tighter packing, a bit too hard to be a "bring to bed" bear or a "cuddle" bear.  But then, what do I know.  The kids can enjoy them whatever way they wish.  

As of typing, the links to these items are available.  However, I cannot guarantee that the links will always work.  Therefore, I suggest a quick Google search and that should help you out.

Hollow Fibre Toy Stuffing - Ebay
Teddy brown felt - Ebay - other colours of felt from same seller
Cotton Medium woven interfacing - Ebay
25mm Cotter Joints - Ebay
Fabrics - from my stash but was probably all bought on Ebay
Buttons - again from my stash

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That's it from me for now folks.....Toodles Noodles....Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Altered laundry basket

This past Christmas, my wee Mamma wanted a new laundry basket.  She recently did a few bits and pieces in her bedroom and wanted something to go with her duck egg blue colour scheme and if I could find some way to fit butterflies into the theme too, that would be great.  Well, I searched and I searched and could not find anything that would go with that theme, at all.  So, I decided to jimmy rig and alter one myself, lol....not sure if that made it any better mind you, teehee.
I bought this one on Amazon (click link, if you want one, lol) as it had a removable fabric liner that I could add to.
I then purchased this stunning Laura Ashley curtain fabric on Ebay.  It was just a 1/2 metre remnant but it was a perfect amount for what I needed.  Not only was it duck egg blue, but it had butterflies on it!
On a piece of the scrap fabric left over, I decided to sew around one of the butterflies to make this little padded dangle butterfly to add to the front of the basket.  I couldn't resist adding some bling to the wee butterfly too.
I removed the inner liner fabric and sewed the Laura Ashley fabric to it, making sure I orientated it the correct way, as it would be folded over the top of the basket.  I left a little gap for the closure and added the wee handmade butterfly dangle.
I think it turned out cuter than what it originally looked like.  My wee Mamma loved it and that's the most important thing.

I hope everyone had a fantastic festive season and a very Happy New Year to you all.  Here's hoping 2022 is a great one!
That's it from me for now folks.  Until the next time......
Toodles Noodles .....Lee aka Crafty Loops xx

Would you like to buy me a coffee?  Every penny helps me keep this blog going and helps towards the payment for my domain renewal every year.  I don't run Ads on my blog so every little helps.  No pressure though....none at all.
CLICK HERE FOR MY KO-FI PAGE.  Cheers big ears xx