Tag Archives: tip

Lessons from learning to crochet doilies

Six crochet doilies

It has been a while between posts because I’ve been busy making the first items for my brand new Etsy shop, give me a crown. To create my items I’ve been experimenting with a variety of techniques and materials including making my first proper doilies. I’ve attempted and made a few simple doilies before but these latest ones have been specifically to test my skill and learn about different combinations of crochet stitches.

A few things I learned on the way:

  • Reading charts saves timeĀ - having used written and photographed tutorials for amigurumi and potholders, for doilies I decided that I had to learn how to read charts. When I started out it took some time switching between the chart and the descriptions of the symbols to learn this new language but it’s been worth it! I find looking at the charts much quicker now as a reference than continually going back to written descriptions and having to visualise where the stitches are going. One useful note I read was that the crochet symbols were made to symbolise how the stitches look on the crochet piece. A useful reference chart for crochet symbols (with US terms) can be found at actors, dancers and yarn – oh my!. Continue reading

Tips for sewing a skirt with a large pattern

After writing my holiday-timeĀ sewing catch-up, I was inspired to give the Newlook 6872 skirt pattern another try, this time in a fox-patterned Japanese Lawn that I had also bought from Spotlight. When I began the project I realised I was working with a large pattern that would need some planning so I wanted to share a few things I learned along the way.

1. Use a visual cue from the pattern to ensure a straight cut.
I used the tops of the foxes ears at the top of my skirt piece to make sure my fabric and pattern were straight. If you’re cutting pieces on a fold, make sure that you’ve aligned the back and front of the fabric and pinned it before you lay down your pattern to avoid any slips on the back.

Make sure the visual cue you use has enough room for the seam allowance. You’ll see at the end of this post that when I’ve attached the waistband I’ve chopped off the heads from this top row of foxes (oops!). It doesn’t look too obvious due to the gathering in the waist but ideally I should have cut the fabric a little higher.

Use a visual cue for cutting straight lines


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Morning by Morning’s sling bag

Time for a new bag, I decided to try out Morning by Morning’s Sling Bag Tutorial.

It was an afternoon project and I found the instructions easy to follow. A few tips from my attempt:

  • Three pockets instead of four – I decided to only have one pocket on the outside (or what I expect to be the outside most often because the bag is reversible).
  • Casing for the elastic – The first pocket I made up was one for the inside just in case it didn’t work out very well, and, to be honest, I wasn’t happy with the approach of stitching the hem to the elastic because the white elastic was a little visible. If the pocket hung open then the elastic might be seen. I decided to create a casing for the elastic on the other pockets and I think they look better.
  • Length of the elastic - My pockets look more slack than the ones in the tutorial. Perhaps my elastic was not strong enough or I didn’t attach the pockets correctly. If I try this tutorial again, I’ll use shorter elastics and try to position the top corners of the pocket better so it creates more a secure, puckered pouch.
  • No handle tube - I only folded one of the strap ends inside itself to create a kind of hem, then slid the other one inside and sewed a few stripes on top as decoration.
  • Top-stitch after the joining the handle – Because I didn’t have the handle tube, I top-stitched around both sides of the handle after the handle was joined.
  • I wish I’d used a magnet clasp – It’s a sizable bag and if it’s full then it will need to swing behind me to rest against my back. I might add a decorative closure of some sort to keep the bag from gaping open.

Sling bag front

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Crochet mobile phone pouch (without a button)

Crochet mobile phone pouch with a mobile phone inside itI wanted to make a mobile phone pouch to protect my phone while it bounces around in my bag. As usual, I searched online for patterns however many of then used buttons to close the pouch. I’m wary of buttons because something in my bag bumping the hard button could push it against the phone and crack the screen. So I made up my own mobile phone cover that didn’t need a button. Continue reading

Storing leftover yarn

In an effort to be less messy with my yarn crafts, I’m trying to manage my project leftovers so they don’t end up randomly at the bottom of boxes or bags never to be used again.

Storing short pieces of yarn

Short yarns are gathered in a snaplock bag. I’ve delved in to the bag a few times for scraps to add details on amigurumi crochet toys and at some point I’ll think of other ways to make use of them.

Ziplock plastic bag containing yarn ends

Storing partial balls of yarn

For half-used balls of yarn, I’m keeping the label, squishing the yarn to one side of the label and then stapling the label for a tight fit. This helps the label stay in place when I rumble through my yarn box and helps me know what type of yarn it is when I consider using it for another project.

Small balls of yarn with labels stapled for a tighter fit