Phildar Phil Flocon Review with Chevron Cowl Pattern!

I was contacted by HobbyCraft a few weeks ago, Emily [she deals with the knit/crochet side of things there – check out @knitcraftHQ on IG] thought I’d be interested in trying out some yarn for them.  As you know, I have an inability to refuse free stuff so I was very happy to take a few balls off their hands! I was given a choice of any yarn from their Phildar range. I have a feeling that all things floof will get pretty popular in the coming months (Yep, I’ve been saying that since last year when I tried out Wool and the Gang’s Take Care Mohair). I need to do my bit in fulfilling this prediction so I chose Phildar Phil Flocon. It’s not mohair but it’s just as fluffy.

It’s a blend of all sorts but usually if I see alpaca on the label, I’m sold. I love anything with alpaca in it. This yarn is alpaca, wool, acrylic and polymide and it has a yummy woolly smell.

Did you know that Flocon can mean both flock as in wool (think flock wallpaper) and flake, as in snowflake! It’s wool and looks like fluffy snow!! Brilliant!

I had lots of fun working with it. From experience I know that this isn’t yarn you want to frog. Whatever I made had to be super simple. I didn’t want to make mistakes and have to waste hours with failed rescue attempts. I decided on a cowl, you can’t get much more basic than that. I love the result, it’s fab. It is also super quick to work up. The fluffy nature of the yarn means it comes out quite chunky. Chunky is excellent, chunky means less work as far as I’m concerned!

Because I got the yarn for free and because it’s a super easy crochet design I thought it’d be a nice idea to pop up the pattern for free too. Whilst you’re here, please do bear in mind that on the next episode of my podcast/vlog I’ll be doing a Giveway for my Phildar dregs. How appealing does that sound!!? Ok, sorry, not dregs. I have two full balls that I didn’t use and would love to pass it on. Keep an eye out for Episode 10, which is due to come out on the 21st July.

Sooo, fancy and warm and cosy crochet cowl for winter (a winter that’s ages away!)? Here’s the pattern…

You’ll need Phildar Flocon: 2x Creme, 2x Glacon and a 6.5mm hook.

Pattern is written in UK terms. 3tr=cluster.

Chain 65.

Row 1: 3tr in 7th from hook. (skip 2 st, 3tr in next) nine times. Ch2, 3tr in next st, (skip 2 st, 3tr) nine times. Skip 2 st, 1 tr in last st. Turn.

Row 2: Ch3. 3tr in space between clusters, nine times. (3tr, ch2, 3tr) in 2 chain space. 3tr in space between clusters, nine times. 1tr in last st of row. Turn

Row 3 – 35: Rep row 2, changing colour every six rows.

Row 36: As row 2 but slip stitch to join to Row 1 between each cluster. (Check the pics below to see the join) Fasten off and sew in ends.

I wish I’d worn eye make up the day I took this!

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By the way, this pattern belongs to me, please don’t publish it, pinch it, or do anything with it other than use it for your own personal fun. Give me a shout if you want to talk about that. Thanks ever so much. X

 

 

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How to Crochet a Beach Bag. Free pattern

At the very beginning of April I had an email from Hobbycraft asking if I’d be interested in designing a crochet project for them. It was really exciting to be asked and really exciting to learn that I could pick any materials from stuff they sold in their stores! Caron Cakes took my fancy, it’s self striping so no colour changes!! The brief was “summer” and what’s more summery than a bag for the beach?! The pattern pretty much uses two entire “cakes” including plenty for pompoms. Honestly, it’s a super easy crochet pattern and pretty fast to work up too.

Hobbycraft have an Instagram account and blog page especially for knitters and crocheters. The bag pattern is up and ready to grab over on Hobbycraft (see below). The best thing of all is that it’s totally free!! They’re asking lots of IGers to come up with patterns. It’s a lovely idea to include crafters who are already connecting in a virtual community. There are some fabulous patterns available and they’ve all been designed by us!

Crochet Beach Bag PDF : Crochet Beach Bag_zeens and roger

Or pop to Hobbycraft, here.

And if you spot my error, please keep schtum!! 😀  It was very late at night, I was tired and mistakes happen. I kicked myself for not noticing until it was beyond changing. What a silly sausage. Ah, you’re gonna seek it out now. Psshh.

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The Crochet Elephant Ripple Blanket

Hello! Happy May! Love May, May makes me happy. Proper spring you see, it’s magic! Plus it’s my birthday in a couple of days and that always gets me giddy (I can’t believe I still get excited about my birthday). It’s been a while since I wrote a post about crochet. They’ve all been videos haven’t they?! I’m starting to see a divide between blogging and vlogging, that I had no idea about. It’s not a problem but I’d like to not neglect anyone.

Anyway… blanket. At the beginning of April a friend got in touch with me and asked very nicely if I would make a baby blanket for her friend. I liked the ideas she had and fancied having a go at something different. It was nice that I could do a brainless ripple but there was also going to be something interesting in the mix as well.

I know that the baby in question is having a safari themed nursery and because grey was to feature in the blanket’s colour palette, it was elephants that sprang to mind. I did a quick search online and came up with these cuties. The pattern is from Repeat Crafter Me and it’s exactly the sort of thing I wanted.

I like how the secret elephants are hidden inside when it’s folded up. You might think it’s a boring blanket. But tumble it open and the cuteness is revealed!

They had to go trunk to tail, that’s something I definitely wanted. I hadn’t thought much about how they’d be attached. I’m glad it dawned on me not to merrily stitch through to the other side. I paid lots of attention to making the stitches only on one side. I had to forgo safety eyes for the same reason (they’d poke right through to the other side). I forgot to take pics of the other side to prove that there’s nothing on show. Watch my latest vlog, the evidence is there!

I used Stylecraft Special dk as it’s perfect for baby blankets. I ordered the yarn at the same time as the release of the new shades so I knew Buttermilk had to be part of it. It’s like someone has added mayonnaise to the Mustard. They go very nicely together. Also in the mix are Teal, Sage and Grey. It looks quite nice on my fabulous(ly cheap) sofa too!

And let’s not forget the ubiquitous Neat Ripple! I have no idea how many times I’ve made Attic 24’s Neat Ripple! So many! I did 8 pattern repeats and 64 rows before adding the grey. At each end I added a ripply row of grey and then a straightening row. You can straighten it off by following this useful guide from Little Tin Bird. Then it was just a case of making a couple of rounds of UK trebles before going back to Attic24 for the edging, which was pilfered from Lucy’s original Granny Stripe. Phew! What do you think? I like it! Anything with grey and mustard floats my boat though. Grellow they call it.

Anyway, I’m late for an evening walk that I must do. I’ve been very lazy recently and done no proper exercise. And I need to go to the shop for bread and milk…

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How to Make a Granny Square Bag. Free Crochet Pattern

I had no idea that I was going to make a bag last week, no idea at all! I was dashing off somewhere and felt I could do with taking a little crochet project with me. Hurriedly, random balls of yarn were grabbed and off out I went. Thus, a granny square bag was made! Yay!

I’ve had a few new friends come and join in the fun here recently, so I thought it’d be nice to share the pattern with you guys as a thank you. Thank you!

I didn’t have enough yarn to make a blanket, which made me wonder what else I could turn the squares into. I considered making a cushion, but what got me really excited was the idea of a bag! It’s a tricky thing to take a picture of, the bright colours were shouting loudly. I used leftover Paintbox aran and joined as I went (I’m fairly sure I used the Attic 24 method)

If you’d like to make a crochet granny bag you will need the following:

-Colourful yarn (I used aran weight but any yarn is fine)

-4.5mm hook

-Bag handles (search”bag handles” on ebay to find some, that’s what I did!)

-Lining fabric (something measuring a couple of inches bigger than your finished crochet piece)

-Sewing needle for yarn, pins, sewing needle and thread.

The main body of the bag is a bog standard gang of grannies; super quick and easy to do! Rounds of three, joined together in 8 rows of 5 (you’ll either need more rows or more rounds for each square if you’re using DK yarn). Every now and again all you need to do is check to see that the spread of colour is even! My piece measured 15.5×27″ (40x68cm)

Once the main body is complete,  the handles need to be shaped. It’s not as tricky as it looks and luckily, accuracy is not paramount. I don’t mind a project that needs a bit of bodging and crochet is usually very forgiving when it comes to bodging! Not that you need to bodge it, I’m just saying!!

UK terms are used (a treble is a US dc)

  1. At one end of the main body, (right side facing) make a strip of granny clusters starting with a ch3 and 1tr in the first st and ending with 2tr on the last stitch of the row. Straddle the square joins with 1tr, 2trtgr, 1tr.  You can see what I’ve done on the picture above.
  2. Turn the work. Ch2,  1htr in each st along to the end. Turn.
  3. Ch1, slip stitch along approximately 10 stitches (you want the narrow section to be the same width as the handle slot). Ch2, 1htr in each stitch along, missing the last (approx) 10st. Turn
  4. Ch2, 1htr in each st of last row. To widen the work again, ch13, Turn.
  5. 1htr in 3rd ch from hk. 1 htr in each st along to the end. Continue by adding 10 more stitches using a chainless foundation half double stitch. This is actually easy, I promise. I’ve found a good video that shows you how:  The half double chainless stitch. Skip the first minute of the video, the informative bit starts just after! Turn.
  6. Ch2, htr all the way along. Turn
  7. Repeat row 6. Fasten off. Repeat 1-7 on the other end of the bag.

Next, with right side facing, evenly stitch dc’s (sc’s) all the way down the edge of both lengths. Don’t fasten off yet…

Fold the bag in half and using the yarn still on the hook, slip stitch the sides together. Repeat on the other side.

Tuck the handle bits through the bag handles, fold down to the inside and pin ready for sewing closed.

The stitches don’t have to be neat, if you use matching yarn, you won’t see if you’re making a dog’s dinner of it! Try not to come through to the right side though, or if you do, make the stitches small so they’re not staring at you. Don’t forget the top bits at the ends.

Next you need to add the lining. It’s not 100% necessary but I think it looks better and you won’t have your stuff escaping through granny holes! Fold your length of fabric in half, right sides together. Place the bag on top and mark/draw where you need to sew. Also mark where you want the fold of your top hem to go. Sew down both sides to make the bag cavity. Next, iron the seams nice and flat, at the same time fold down the top hem and press. I went back to the sewing machine and top stitched the hem.

Tuck the lining into you bag, pin it in place and hand sew the top of the lining to the top of the crochet!

I think I need a course in how to photograph bright colours!!

I would absolutely love to hear if you make one of my designs, please do give me a shout. I’d love it if you said Hi! Don’t forget that I’m on Ravelry, so your makes can be added there. Oh, and I almost forgot Instagram! #zeensandroger

Thank you. X

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Oh, what have I done?! I vlogged myself!!!

opening-screen-copyHellooo!

What you’re about to see is somewhat of a car crash shambles but I’m biting the bullet and hitting publish. I could make more attempts but I reckon that’ll just prolong the agony.

So here we go, click on the image above to take a short journey to YouTube (I seem to recall embedding videos on here is a no go).

Here is how it happened….On wednesday morning (without really knowing what was going to happen) I got out my tripod and camera, hit record and just started talking. After that I put the files on the computer, downloaded a little jingle and then did what I usually do. I asked Husband for help. He just knows stuff. He found me a free bit of editing software (the one I’d found was questionable) and within a few minutes, he knew how to use it. I dutifully sat and watched, trying to take it all in. He’ll hand over the reigns at some point, and it’ll be me in charge. Oh crikey, what have I done?!

It hasn’t been plain sailing, I tried editing on my own at first and really messed things up. The computer crashed twice and a twenty minute video has taken four hours to upload! What’ll happen when I want a longer episode?! There is so much to learn but I also think this is a skilll worth learning. Wish me luck, won’t you!? And please subscribe to my channel!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Crazy Crochet Chevron Blanket

bright-crochet-chevron-blanketHellooo! After a two week absence I have returned!! That might be the longest I’ve been away, which is pretty good going. Phew! And I’ve finished my latest crochet blanket! For a relatively small blanket, this one seemed to take forever. I’ve made chevron blankets before but not for a long time. I now know why. Every stitch is so small that the build up is mega slow (yet very much worth it).

neon-pink-crochet-bobblesIt took a good week to get into the flow. Once I could see that the colours were making me happy, I sped up and started to enjoy the rhythm of it. It’s a classic chevron pattern, back loops only. I used this one from Meet me at Mike’s which has step by step photos. I think I did 11 multiples, maybe 12. I thought that would be plenty but it’s actually a lot smaller than I was aiming for. The nature of the stitch meant that there was a concertina effect and it shrunk dramatically. If I stretch it out, it does look bigger and I think that if I give it a wash, it should settle down more.

old-borderThe border was a bit of a pain. I knew I wanted the blanket to have a border and I also knew that many zigzag blankets don’t have them. Probably for a good reason. When I blogged about my progress Mrs Craft got in touch with me to suggest a tutorial of hers. I dutifully went to investigate, eager for the answer. It was the spark I needed. So, thanks very much Mrs “(crocheted) Caped Crusader” Craft!!

straightening-the-crochet-chevronI haven’t followed the tutorial exactly because my chevrons were much smaller but I did use part of the idea. I only needed two rows to straighten the edge. The first row was modelled on the tutorial (all the yellow bits in the above pic are done separately!) but the second row (cloud blue) was filling in with the method I use for ripples (a bit like this one from Little Tin Bird but with longer stitches crocheted together to prevent too much buckling). How I wish I hadn’t doubled back with another row of cloud blue dc’s (US sc’s) over the top of them. It looks so messy and it really doesn’t need to be there. By that time I’d got to this section though, I’d already unpicked a first and really ugly border attempt. I was fed up. I just could not be bothered to do it all again (I’d already gone round with the grey at this point, as I had done the first time too). So if anyone out there fancies having a go, don’t do a second row of blue!

completeI thought the grey was going to be the final colour but the blanket’s recipient (Youngest boy) came over and told me that he wanted the neon pink. He knew what he was talking about, it looks fabulous. I seriously love it. You know, I think grey would have been nice on its own but now it really pops!  (and I don’t use that word lightly-  I never ever say “pops”). There isn’t really a pattern for the border, it’s just 2 UK tr (each in their own st, not together like a granny) and ch1. Miss a stitch, 2tr, ch1 etc, twice round. The bobbles/pompoms are from when I did a Touch of Spice blanket nearly a year ago. This time I chained 6 not 7, made my 4trtgr in the 4th ch from hk and chained 2 not 3. Pop over and take a closer look.

crochet-chevron-blanket colourful-crochet-blanket-chevron-patternEssentially, this was stashbuster. I had so much Stylecraft Special that it needed to be made into something lovely and not stuck alone in the dark cupboard under the stairs anymore. I’m going to say that it was mostly random but there is a pattern repeat: Six rows of one colour, then 3x two rows, four rows of another colour, then 2x two rows, finishing with six rows again. I’ll also tell you the colours because I’m super proud that I remember them all off the top of my head: Fiesta, Grey, Citron, Wisteria, Aspen, Shrimp, Sherbet, Cloud, Kelly, Apricot, Lobelia, Fuschia, Plum, Pistachio.

on-the-banister-my-favourite-crochet-chevronAnd I’ve still got enough to make another sort of blanket…because there’s a chance I might have gone out and bought some more… you know, to make up the colours….Soooo…. what next? Granny squares or treble chevrons, maybe a sunburst? I’m torn.

 

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Crafty Catch Up…

i-love-this-picture-daffodils-with-my-crochet-cushionIt’s been a while since I had a round-up of current crafty WIPS. Today is the day to remedy that.

chevron-progress crochet-chevronThis crochet chevron has been my main focus. A very jolly, bright blanket.  I’ve wanted to make one for ages. I gathered all the colours together in October but they sat in a bag for months. I think I made over 200 stitches for the foundation. Unfortunately, the chevrons have a concertina effect and it’s smaller than I wanted.  I’m having a think about how to square off the zigzag  for the border. The chevron pattern is from Meet me at Mike’s.

pistachio-humbug-crochetI’ve made a start on the Humbug shawl with a pistachio coloured wool from Blacker yarns. The yarn was a Christmas pressie from Becki at The Dartmoor Yarn Company. The pattern is by The Crochet Project and I got that as a freebie for naming it! (Always happy to mention that). I started it a few weeks ago but put it down for a while. Last weekend I did a few more rows and I’d like to see it grow some more soon.

crochet-mandalaI made a mandala in yucky colours. Ok, they’re not yuck. Just not seasonal. I don’t have a vast collection of cotton dk to choose from. It seems I need some spring colours. Great pattern though. It’s a free one. Go here.

crafty-messingThe idea was to stitch it over a gaping hole in my jeans. It turned out that a great big doily stuck to my haunches was gonna look pretty dodgy so the idea was binned….

embroidery-on-jeans…in favour of something more subtle. I quite like how this turned out. I posted a pic of the finished article on Instagram the other day and it got a really positive response. I’m happy to wear my jeans with a piece of Liberty fabric embroidered on. Make do and mend etc.  I’ve got another pair of jeans waiting to have similar treatment but this time the affected area is round the other side. Do you know that awful feeling when you realise you’ve been walking round in public, all day, with a split in the seat of your trousers?! I do.

nebula-the-wool-kitchen custom-dyedI made a couple of naughty yarn purchases recently. I’m arguing that this is still Christmas money. Not sure how long I can get away with that excuse though. The pale one is a dye job I requested from Rhapsodye Yarns and the other is called Nebula from The Wool Kitchen. Both are aran.

crochet-trianglesBoth new yarns are for my continuing experiments with triangle infinity scarves. Once these are done, that’s it. No more messing about with triangles. I have to draw a line under this project. Still, I’ll make the most of it while they last. And maybe I’ll wear one of these to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival next month! That’s right, I got me a ticket!! I’ll be there with my sister on the Saturday. My birthday is the beginning of May. Do you think I can wangle some birthday money for March?!

ugly-granny-crochetOnce all the other stuff is done, I’ll pick this up granny square up blanket. I like getting it out every few weeks. It feels like a new project each time I work on it.

flapjackAnd last week, me and one of my boys made flapjacks. Not technically a crafty thing but nevermind.  I forget how yummy they are. I can even eat them when I put raisins in them. That means they must taste good; everyone knows how much I don’t like raisins! Maybe we’ll make some tomorrow too.

inside-crochet-magEdit: I can’t believe I forgot to mention my mini interview in Inside Crochet magazine. What a chump! I was so excited to see it in there too. It’s the “Blog We Love” section. Get yourself a copy. Lots of fabulous patterns too. X

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Speedy Crochet Bracelet. A Free Pattern.

easy-crochet-braceletI was working out the design for my recent crochet wrist warmers pattern; playing with different methods and whatnot, when this one popped up. It’s basically front post and back post stitches, which ended up being too bulky for the mitts but still had something I liked. It is such an easy crochet pattern, it only takes fifteen/twenty minutes from start to finish.

If you’ve not tried Front Post or Back Post stitches before, it’s a great pattern for practising. These stitches are much easier than they sound. They’re the same as normal, it’s just where you put your hook that counts. There are countless You Tube videos out there that demonstrate beautifully.

I’m not sure if this is a crochet cuff, bracelet or other thing but whatever it is, (seeing as it’s Christmas) here’s a lovely little free crochet pattern for them!

bright-and-colourful-crochetNotes: I’ve used Paintbox Aran (I used up loads of my old Stylecraft Special dk this year and allowed myself a restock of something new!!) with a 4.5mm hook.

I’ve used UK terms with US terms in brackets.

In Row 2 I work under the bumps of the foundation chain. This makes a neater finish but it does mean it looks twisty when you come to slip stich together. Ignore the twist and join anyway, it won’t be noticed in the final piece. Just double check that you’ve not got a twist in the stitches you’re going to work into next.

Crochet over the ends as you go to allow for minimal stitching at the end.

super-easy-crochet-cuff-bracelet-free-crochet-patternPattern:

Row 1: Chain 24 (I have wrists like twigs, you may need to go up to 26 or 28 stitches). Join with a slip stitch.

Row 2: Ch1 (does not count as a st), dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch to the first st. Fasten off. [24]

Row 3: Attach new colour to any stitch. Ch3 (counts as a st), 1tr (USdc)in each st around. Join to the top of the inital ch3. [24]

Row 4-6: Ch2 (does not count as a st), FPtr (US FPdc) in st at the base of the ch2, BPtr (US BPdc) in next st, *FPtr in next st, BPtr in next st. Repeat from* to the end. Slip st to the top of the first FPtr. Fasten off after row 6. [24]

Row 7: Attach new colour to any st. Ch1 (does not count as a st). 1dc (US sc) in each st around. Join with a slip stitch the the first st. Fasten off and sew in any ends. [24]

wrists  crochet-cuff-bracelets And there you have it. Easy peasy! Now go and crochet loads of cuffs, bracelets, sweat bands, whatever they are!

Happy Christmas! See you in the New Year. 2017 is going to be amazing!! X

easy-and-speedy-crochet-project crochet-bracelets

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A Crochet House Spider. A Free Pattern for Hallowe’en.

free-crochet-pattern-little-crochet-house-spider

I’m a little early but I couldn’t wait to get stuck into some Halloween crochet! Wahaha. This pattern is so speedy, it really only takes a few minutes. You could make an army of crochet spiders, it’d be brilliant! These guys are so much better than real spiders, which intefere with your telly watching (out of the corner of your eye, there they are stomping across your sofa, on their way to eat your face whilst you innocently watch Bake Off).

I’m a little disappointed that this spider pattern didn’t become part of last year’s amigurumi Halloween collection but I hadn’t thought of it when I designed that lot. This pattern is a great partner to all the other spooky creations from that collection though…

[Edit: New for the summer of 2017 is a YouTube tutorial!! If you’d rather watch me make a spider on film, then pop over and take a look! Thanks]

Anyway here’s what you’ll need:

3.5mm hook (you could go up or down a hook size if you want), DK acrylic yarn, darning needle.

For the eyes you’ll need some sewing thread, a fine needle and little beads.

step-one-of-crochet-spiderCrochet House Spider

(I’ve written it in US terms, that’s what I’m used to with amigurumi).

  1. 6 into a magic ring [6]
  2. Increase around [12]
  3. Sc around [12]
  4. Decrease around [6]

Fasten off leaving a tail of about 50cm. Stitch the hole closed with a darning needle, looping through the 6 front loops. Pull closed and secure. Do not cut yarn, you’ll need it for sewing on the legs.

starting-headChoose where you want your head to be. Get a slip knot on your hook and attach the yarn with a slip stitch to the body. I put my hook on/behind row 3. (The pictures above are two different angles of the same thing. It’s just demonstrating where I’ve put my hook and where I’ll be making the slip stitch).

making-the-head-iittle-crochet-spiderNext, make a puff stitch. To get a nice plump head, yarn over and pull through 4 times (you’ll have 9 loops on your hook). Chain 1 and join back to the body with a slip stitch in the same place. Fasten off and sew in the head ends.

crochet-spider-legsMake four chains for legs: 1. ch18, 2. ch20, 3. ch22, 4. ch24.

Before you snip them short, pull the legs really tight to make sure they won’t become undone. This is why it’s best to use acrylic yarn, it’s less likely to break off when you pull.

Using the tail from before, thread through the middles of all the legs and stitch to the underside of the body. Shortest legs nearest the head.

attaching-crochet-spider-legsStitching the legs on is really simple. When they’re secure, thread the yarn out through the spider’s bottom.

stiching-on-the-crochet-spiders-legsPass the yarn through the ends of the two back legs.

crochet-spider-pattern

There is now a spider… where there wasn’t one before!

purple-red-eyed-crochet-spider

Little beads make great eyes. I went in from underneath with the thread, going in and out a couple of times to make sure it wasn’t going to go anywhere.

This sparkly, purple job has too many eyes but I wasn’t really concentrating. Most spiders have eight eyes if you want to go for accuracy!

And it’s as easy as that! A happy Hallowe’en house spider!

Crochet-Spider.-Free-Patter
I made one with t-shirt yarn too!

This is a free pattern that has been designed by me (Zeens and Roger). Please don’t sell the pattern or finished product. They’re all mine! Tis personal use only. Thanks very much. X

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How to sew a cute kitty brooch. A tutorial.

Finished kitty brooch.

Whilst I was sewing lots of felt bits recently,  I had a thought that it would be nice to share how I do it. It doesn’t happen often. Some kitty cats I made were quite popular so I decided to use my design to show you how to make a brooch. Sewing felt is great, no fraying edges to worry about, it’s versatile and quite sturdy.

I’m making a cat brooch here but you can create any design. Even if your drawing is shocking, something interesting will come out of it. I do not care for the excuse that a person is not creative, it’s complete nonsense. If you want to have a go, just do it. And, since we’ve just begun the summer holidays, I can tell you that this is a fabulous project to do with the kids. Mine love doing this kind of thing. Summer holiday crafts are a must.

Keyrings work well too. Or if you can’t be bothered to source brooch backs and keyrings (get them from Etsy or Ebay), then a few inches of ribbon attached means that it can become a hangy decoration.

This is a good craft project for those who don’t have loads of supplies. A square of felt and a couple of buttons costs less than a quid. You can use buttons, cut from old clothes. You can even use fabric off the same thing if you want. Change the thread for yarn, if that’s all you’ve got. Whatever.

What you’ll need:

Paper and pen/pencil.

Scissors.

Felt (or thickish fabric).

Buttons for eyes.

Embroidery thread (or normal sewing thread doubled up).

Sewing needle and a pin or two.

A small amount of polyfibre fill.

Brooch back, keyring or ribbon.

basic template

Draw out the design of your choice: cat, dog, fish, fruit, flower, blah blah.  Cut it out. A tip here is to go slightly bigger than you want the finished item to be. The finished thing will work up slightly smaller. Keep shaping to a minimum too, you don’t want to give yourself the headache of awkward corners, or thin poky-out bits. Simple is key.

getting pieces ready

Pin your template to both layers of felt and cut out. I do it together so that they’re both the same shape.

splitting your embroidery thread.

Cut your thread to about 40cm. If you’re using embroidery thread then you need to separate out two strands, as in the picture above. This might seem daft but a whole thickness of floss is too bulky and looks naff. Alternatively, use sewing thread doubled up. This doesn’t produce as nice a finish but it’s good enough. Tie a knot in the end (obviously). If it’s for the kids, I tie the ends of the thread together because they always yank it off the needle. Always. If that’s the case, I make the thread longer.

sewing kitty eyes

I start with the eyes. You can place them anywhere you like, I like to go wider (leaving room for edge stitching). Poke your needle right through his eyes! Keep knots on the back. I think three rounds per eye is good.

use a invisble ink pen.

I recently bought a fancy pen for drawing embroidery designs. It cost about £3 from a fabric shop. The ink disappears after a few hours so you can draw your face and not worry about scruffy pen marks. If you’re not that fussed, you can free style it or see if a soft pencil works.

satin stitch noseWith the embroidery thread, you’re essentially colouring in. For the nose use a satin stitch, which is just stitches placed really close to one another. For the bit under his nose, I change to a running stitch and follow the line I drew.

cat face embroideryYou Tube is your friend when learning stitches.

I ran out of my first lot of thread at this stage. It’s best to leave maybe 8-10cm of thread at the end to give yourself a sufficient amount to tie off and weave in. It doesn’t  matter about the tangle you create on the wrong side. Just as long as it is kept to the wrong side.

kitty face sewn

A little kitty face sewn! If you still have a decent amount of thread left, don’t tie it off yet as you can use it to sew the two sides together. Put this face to one side while you do the next stage.

sewing on a brooch back.

Sewing on a brooch back is similar to sewing on the eyes. I go in and out of each hole three times at the top and three times each for the bottom holes (bottom holes!!).  Make sure the brooch back is the right way up and that it’s placed towards the top middle. Make sure you sew it to the correct side of your felt/fabric too.

How to make a cute kitty brooch.

Almost there. Just need to sew them together.

stitching felt pieces together

Rethread the needle and it’s time to sew the front to the back. I use a whip stitch. I used to use a blanket stitch but it uses a tonne of thread and a whip stitch looks similar when looking straight on. Meh, you can choose. Just make sure the stitches are neatly done.

quick whip stitch

(If I was using ribbon, it’d be at this stage, near the top that I’d get it ready to stitch between the two layers).

Changing thhread half way through

Again, if thread needs changing, tie off the old stuff and knot in the new all inside your kitty. No one will ever know about the mess!

stitching together a kitty brooch

When there’s only a couple of inches left to sew, kitty needs to acquire some chub. I’ve got a bag of toy stuffing (bought from Amazon) but if desperate go and destroy a cushion (but perhaps you shouldn’t :/). I can’t think of what else would make a good alternative. Anyway, stuff lightly, match up the open pieces and carry on with the stitching.

tying off your work.

To finish off, the last stitch to the back needs to be poked upwards and out again, next to another stitch as in the left photo above. Check the front to make sure you didn’t go through to the face too. Go around the stitch you popped out next to and then repeat the process a few more times. I usually aim for five times or just keep going until the thread comes to an end. lose the thread inside newly made felt cat or carefully snip off any that is showing.

How to make a felt kitty brooch.

back of pink kitty brooch.

Pink kitty cat. Felt cat tutorial.

It is done. Miaow.

Feel free to and look at my Etsy shop where there are a few for sale! Here are some others that I’ve made before…

Even more felt things.

By the way, if I spot any of these for sale any where else, I will be cross that you’ve pinched my ideas, so don’t do it. Thanks. Have a good summer!

I have linked up here…

www.mrscraftyb.co.uk

 

Me You and Magoo