More Miniature Dinosaurs

I’ve discovered the benefit of preparing to move to a different house. You find all the unfinished projects languishing in a box. Some are a quick stuff and finish, like the mini dinosaurs I’ll show you in a minute, some are a case of straight into the old rag bin and some may be salvageable with time and effort. I have by now managed to reduce my stash of 6 boxes of scraps and UFOs to only one box. I’m quite proud of this actually. It also, in a way, frees you to put your mind to other things than the old projects still hiding away in a corner.

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During the big clean up, I found a bag with some old knitted mini-dinosaurs parts in it. Back in the day (here), I finished three of them, but apparently I didn’t complete the last two. So I took an hour or two and stuffed and sewed up that last pair. They are just the simple version of a toothless T-rex, but I still think that they are quite sweet.

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I’m still trying to get all my yarn, fabrics and sewing accessories into plastic bins that I already own, so wish me luck!

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Tooth-ish

I brought the big Toothless to work in the days after I’d finished it. I felt it unfair to keep his glory all to myself. So people told me he was awesome and adorable, which was nice. One person completely missed a meter long dragon on my desk until another colleague asked why he had not commented on it yet, which was funny. Another colleague said that he wanted one too, and since it was his birthday soon, I’d better go home and start working on it. Well, it was too involved to do that, so I refused, however, I did suggest another option, a dragon (heavily) inspired by this one.

The deadline was today, and I had failed to start until about 11 o’clock at night on Saturday… I used this pattern and cut my pieces from the same fleece blankets as the original Toothless. I took some felt in green, black and white for the eyes, a zipper, thread, scissors, pins and needles and put it all in a ziplock bag. Why? Because I had plans to go to Amsterdam on Sunday to watch two roller derby games. I figured the train would be the perfect place to hand sew the Tooth-ish head together. The train certainly gave me enough time, it took from 8:15 to 12:15 to get to the place I needed to go, with some nice chatting with a grandma for about half of it.

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The roller derby games were super awesome, extremely exiting and both games down to seconds left on the period clock and the necessity to do another final jam. We were on the edge of our seats. The Amsterdam B-team lost with 1 point against the Namur B-team, while the Amsterdam A-team won with 8 points against the Namur A-team (10 points scored in that last jam!). It’s so nice to see derby in action from the sidelines instead of the screen. I was very happy I went.

I finished all the sewing in the train/at the game and at home I used iron-on hem tape to affix the eyes. I put some candy in it and wrapped it up. The reaction was nice, so I’m happy! Let’s hope the new owner also likes it! Toothless to rule the world! – So why is this one called Tooth-ish? Because when you open him up, he’s got teeth!

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Toothless

It all started a long time ago when I watched the How to train your dragon movie. I immediately fell in love with the cutest dragon in the film: Toothless. A while later, I found a picture on Pinterest of a giant Toothless plush. I knew that I needed one of those for myself. The picture, this one, contained a free pattern of said Toothless from a DeviantArt user named nooby-banana. So in May last year, I printed it out, cut out all the paper pieces and put them in a folder. Only to have it stay at the back of a drawer until a few weeks ago, when I organised said drawer. Immediately, I felt the need to make the toothless dreams come true…

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I’d already collected most of the materials and set to work last Sunday. I cut out all the pieces, for which I needed one fleece blanket and a tiny strip of another one and started sewing up my little monster. It all came together much quicker than I could have anticipated, especially for a critter that is 1.10 m long and with a 1.15 m wingspan.

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The instructions were mostly clear and I followed them closely, the only deviation was that I sewed the top of the head first, not the bottom and that I added a little line of stitching above the eyes. I don’t think that the head order made a big difference in the final project, but it made my life a lot easier. I also followed most of the instructions for the eyes from Katy-A here. Although I used safety noses as I have a lot more of those hanging around that I won’t use very often.

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All in all he was made from 1 and a 10cm strip of fleece blanket, a little left over brown fleece from a hood project, his nails were from my medieval dress fabric, polymer clay eyes, some plastic pellets (75 grams per foot in a bit of pantyhose) and a lot of stuffing. I think he’s really cute, and it’s real nice to cuddle with him as he is so big. He’ll probably live on my bed or on the chair as pictured below for a while.

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The view below shows his wings and his wings lifted up.

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I really like it, so thank you nooby-banana for making this wonderful pattern available to us all.

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Put a Bow on it

[Update below!]

At some point I saw a girl with a large bow in her hair. I immediately wanted one too. This was… 2 years ago. Now, I know bows are not the most difficult objects to make, but apparently I was to lazy to actually do something about it. Until now!

I grabbed a bit of felt, cut a long strip, cut pointy bits on the two ends, did a bit of folding, a bit of sewing, some more cutting and I had myself a hair bow! Then I figured out that my hair is so dark, that my bow doesn’t actually show up very clearly in it… I may have to remedy that with another 5 minute bow in another colour.

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I put a hair elastic on the back so that I could wear it. This seems to work fairly well. So I’m happy with it. Now I just need to see whether it will swoop down or fall out during the course of the day. On to testing it is!

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UPDATE:

I decided that I indeed needed some more, after wearing the black one all day yesterday. So this morning I set out to create two more. One identical to yesterday’s but in red, and a blue bow with a clip on the back and no .. pointy end bits? Here they are!

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And here’s how I wore it, for about 2 minutes (never do this in real life….). Also, in case you are wondering, yes, my hair is partly grey; natural highlights or so they say.

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Birdy Scarf

After my failed skirt project from the last post, I wanted something quick and easy that was useful and I could finish and wear quickly. Winter is coming (and/or arriving), which means that I’ve been layering up with a scarf daily again. One of my favourites is a double sided scarf from something cottony that is just a long loop. It has a blue and white plaid on one side and a different yellow and blue plaid on the other. I found that it wears really nicely and that you never have an end hanging in your food. Clearly I needed another and since I have a number of thin fabrics in the stash it seemed like a perfect solution.

Birds

Now, have you ever heard of the Dutch proverb (loosely translated) ‘A donkey doesn’t walk into the same rock twice’? Well, I’m most obviously not a donkey, I’m way, way worse. I tend to walk into the same thing at least… oh 5 million times. As I did now. I should have remembered from previous frustrating attempts that you cannot just turn something inside out and expect it to be good. I made a tube, but it was the wrong way round, somehow. Instead of it being a loop of birds on the inside and a loop of stripes on the outside, it turned out to be half a loop of birds on one side and half a loop of stripes on the other side. It also didn’t fit comfortably over my head anymore. So I gave up and chucked it into a corner.

Stripe

Cue a few hours ago.. I unpicked one of the long edges, ironed out the other long edge and edgestitched around. Then I ironed the other long edge and folded both sides inwards and edgestitched those around too. Magic, I had my scarf. I used 65 cm and the full width of both fabrics for this scarf.

Scarf Scarf

Just the coverage of something around the neck helps tremendously with the cold that’s coming. I need to see how the little birdies hold up, but I hope that this project will be successful. Both sides will show a little but they go with nearly everything (if you ask me, which you don’t but I’m telling you anyway), so I have high hopes.

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Shiney, Wrinkly Shipwreck

Sometimes you just choose the wrong fabric, or the wrong pattern or both and you produce something that you’d rather send to recycling immediately. That is what I did this Monday… I had found a (seemingly) nice pattern on Papavero with a very interesting cut. They call it the Autobusowa spódnica (here) but my Polish is limited (read, non-existent, so google translate is my friend). I liked the idea of the wrap around skirt without side seams and with the godet in the back.

I printed and assembled the pattern on Sunday and tried to figure out what kind of fabric to choose. I basically also wanted to see if I could even fit in it, so I chose a fabric that I didn’t have any other ideas for, the remainder of the Twirly Graduation dress fabric. I cut everything out and stitched it together…

Front

And I hated it! The back stuck out even after cutting the godet a lot smaller, the fabric is too shiny for a slim skirt and the fabric wrinkled so much that this happened in about.. 0.5 seconds:

Whaa Wrinkles!Maybe I’m just not fit for slim skirts like this, but I didn’t like it at all. It’s been put in the ‘go to goodwill’ pile so someone else may still enjoy it. Anyway below you can see the side (stick out) view and the back in all their g(l)ory.

Side Back

That same night I also started a scarf and promptly managed to forget all the rules about turning things inside out and created a tube in the wrong direction. However, I did manage to solve that problem, so a success story will show up here soon.

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Ceremonial Jumpsuit

Yesterday we opened the Academic Year. This is an event in which new students are welcomed to the community, and teachers show up in black gowns. I try to make a fun thing for the events that we do, but this time I wanted something different. I have been dreaming of a jumpsuit for a while now, and I figured that yesterday’s celebration would be a fine occasion (and necessary kick-in-the-butt) to get my ass in gear and get cutting.

I decided to check out my stash for some fabric. I eventually found some fabric that is very stable, but very stretchy in one direction. It was the only bit that I thought was large enough really, as it turned out, it was also perfect. The pants pattern I used is the free Helena Culottes pattern by Ralph Pink, which by now has seen numerous alterations. I started by cutting out the pants as frugally as I could, using some striped fabric as used before in a shirt as pocket fronts. I also changed the grainline a little, because in the past there have always been weird folds in the back leg. The size of the pocket opening was also decreased, significantly, and a bit of the top was left off.

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For the top, I first gathered some inspiration on Pinterest (e.g. this and this and this). It was quickly determined that I should do a v-neck, preferably with some overlap and maybe even sleevesies (church event and all). So searching though my pattern stash, I found a pattern in one of my old Burda magazines with all those characteristics (Burda Style 11-2007, pattern 112). Unfortunately the pattern only came in a size 76 (size 38 for long people), and I’m both smaller than size 38 and short. On the pattern piece you can see three (or four) different line colours to distinguish between the different sizes to create an approximate size 36. I then pinned the overlap together at the center and pulled the points down until they would fit my front and not be overly large. Sewed that all to the waistband that I sewed on to the inside, such that the inside waistband would be clean finished.

Inside front Inside back

I then added the second layer of the waistband and zig-zagged that on. I used a zig-zag stitch, because I found out that the fabric was so stretchy, that I was able to pull it over my butt without having to use closures! This makes it approximately the easiest thing to put on and be ready to go out. It’s easier than most knit dresses, as it has pockets!

Front Pocket

The top is a little wide-set, so to not show bra straps (and it being.. 9 o’clock on the night before the event), I found some fur-hooks to hook the straps behind and keep them from view. They do double duty with keeping the top on my shoulders. Although I have to take care when putting bags over my shoulder as that can dig in.

Bra-hook Front Back

So now for the full length view, in front of my closet. These pictures are unfortunately not the best ever. So I’m hoping that event photographers managed to get me once with some better light and stuff. I got a number of compliments (and people being surprised that I made it) which makes me very happy. It was worn to work today and it’s perfectly fine to do an entire day of office work in too.

Conclusion, I really, really like it and will enjoy wearing it in the future!

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