Monday, December 30, 2013

End of 2013 Post

As we wrap up the year, I thought it would be good to go over what has happened this year.

Top 5 posts of 2013

The top blog post of 2013 was the End of February post  where I talked about the poll results and the direction I was hoping to be headed. Funny that 10 months later I am in the SAME position, sick, needing to organize my sewing space, and start on those projects! 

Introducing the pattern poll was a very popular post, which isn't surprising as I posted a link to it on several forums.
I posted a who series on pattern formats, but this post on  (paper) Pattern Covers was very popular. I took a look at other patter types in other posts

With slightly less views was this entry on Pattern Envelope Backs.

In fifth place for view numbers was the post where I announced which of the two corset patterns won the poll. The Skeleton Corset came in first place, in case you didn't know.

Now for the 5 least popular blog posts of 2013, Have you seen these? Why not?

The very least viewed post, when I created an image for sharing about the pattern poll.

Balancing Steps was the post right after the introduction of the poll. In this post I talked more about where I was at than any creating happening.

Food, not Sewing, yes I blogged about cooking once, I am not much of a cook, so there will not be many of these posts at all. This was also the first thing I made from something I pined on Pinterest. I eat Gluten Free and this is still a recipe that I use on a regular basis.

My most recent post has not had many views, likely due to the holidays and the fact that not many would be interested in making a pair of wings for a purchased stuffed pony. I am pleased to report that even though Making Twilight into an Alicorn is not a top post of the year, my Child is very happy with it an that is all that matters.

Spiral Ornaments on my Tree had only a handful of views,  Probably due to the holiday season. It was only my second pattern release.

Well Here is to New and Better things in 2014, I think I need to go tuck myself back into bed now.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Making Twilight into an Alicorn

For Christmas I got my children the 7” My Little Pony plush made by Ty. 

I knew they would want Twilight Sparkle to be an Alicorn (winged unicorn), so I made “Princess” wings for Twilight Sparkle out of polar fleece.

 I spent that last few days sewing these wings up, in plain sight of my children, telling them they were dragon wings (they almost believed me) and then attached them on Christmas Afternoon.

In case you too want to turn your Pony into a Pegasus, here is the pattern for the wings.
The pattern is for PERSONAL USE ONLY

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Spunky Hedgie

As part of my market reserach, I purchased Dolls & Daydreams' Hedgehog pattern to make up for a friend of mine.

While I had brown curly fabric like that shown on the pattern cover, I decided to see what my fabric store had. I ended up getting this fake furn in my friend's colors: Red, Black, & White.

I cut my pattern out with the fur direction going UP, in the hopes that this would give a more spiky look when finished.

Now this fur is long, especially for the size of the pattern, I didn't want extra fur in some places, so I cut off the fur 1/2" inside where the tummy and face would be. To do this I printed out a second pattern piece, cut out the sections that would be covered, drew around that on the back of the fur, then stitched using long stitches on the fur side, short on the back, and carefully found my stitches in the fur and cut off a boarder inside that stitch line.

I don't like using iron on bonding products, preferring to sew, so for the tummy and head, I traced the shapes onto my fabric, stitched on the lines, cut out, made a slash on the back THROUGH ONE LAYER ONLY. Then turned RSO, pressed and stitched down.

I added trim around the belly and decorated her belly with some fabric markers. Her face is also done with fabric markers. The scull on the bow is not a charm or button but a motif from a quilting cotton, It was small and fiddly but I knew it was just the right touch.

This was a gift for my dear friend, But she was sitting around my place for several months. I will however miss seeing this happy face around my house, but I can always make up another, I still have plenty of the fur (and no other idea what to do with it!)

Dolls and Daydreams pattern was clear and simple to follow, being a "flat" doll shape. There were clear step by step instructions. I did change things up a bit, besides the fabric choices (she recommends having the fur going DOWN, which is what you normally do with fake fur, but isn't very hedgehog-like.) I do however prefer to use the template method for small pattern pieces like the arms and legs, which is what I did.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Spiral Ornaments on my Tree

Last pattern for 2013 is this set of 4 spiral ornaments.

This pattern was designed back in November. I participated in a stuffed ornament swap with other soft toy designers, while technically I think they were expecting an animal, this was the design that popped into my head.
I came up with at least 6 different shapes, some didn't work out too well, others were to similar. Each pattern has gone through at least 2 revisions, some more than that!

This is a pattern I couldn't have created quickly without the use of CAD, no it wasn't a 3D model build, but it would have taken FOREVER to do with paper and pen.

There are 4 different ornaments, each has enough variations to distinguish it from the others.

Ornament C was actually the first pattern I developed, it is the most difficult of the lot do to the pattern piece doubling back on itself. It is the longest at 6 1/2" (16.5) long

Ornament A, at 5 1/2" (14cm) long, was then created, I essentially chopped off the center section of the pattern, this is the easiest of the 4 patterns, as it doesn't have as steep of curves. This is why it is listed first, instead of Ornament C

Ornament B followed quickly on the heels of A, but was a totally new draft. I was drawing inspiration from traditional glass ornament shapes. 4" (10cm) long.

Ornament D was created while the pattern went through its first round of testing. I decided I needed a sphere shape to round out the set. You saw this 3" (8cm) sphere in my last post.
This pattern has step by step photos as well as a lot of tips on sewing curves. The general consensus of the pattern testers was that this was NOT a beginners pattern, so it is described as intermediate. There is quite a bit of hand sewing involved in this pattern, so knowledge of hand sewing techniques is required.
This pattern is a good use for scraps as the largest pattern can be made from just three pieces, each measuring  4"x16" (10cmx40.5cm)

I have been able to make one up in an afternoon. I love knowing that my children will not be able to turn these ornaments in to dangerous shards, like they have out glass and plastic ones. I am already planing on making a few more up in other colors for other holidays!

Pattern can be found on Craftsy and in my Etsy Shop at an introductory price of just $6.00USD for the next week. Regular price is $8.00, that is 25%!

There is still time to make something for Christmas, don't put it off too long!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Shapes around us inspire us.

Have you ever looked at an object and wondered how you could make it out of fabric?

I find myself doing this all the time. I have studied banana peels, my own hands, boat hulls, the list goes on.

It is winter here in the Pacific Northwest, which means the grocery stores are carrying Satsumas, Clementines and Mandarin Oranges. We like them as snacks, so easy to peel, portable, relatively seedless and sweet.

Of course we always try to get them unwrapped in one piece, it just makes the eating process more fun!

What do you get when you lay that orange peel flat? Why a Spiral of course!
And that is the inspiration for my newest pattern!

A set of 4 spiral shaped ornaments, here is just one of the shapes.
The pattern has been through one round of testing already and having received feedback, I have improved the pattern shapes and instructions as well as added a fourth shape. I will be calling for a second test on Wednesday. Would you like to sign up to be a pattern tester?