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Crocheting: Rosette Granny Square Cushion

 photo IMG_1031-160521-v2__zpsatlni0qz.jpgAnother cushion cover!

I have been seeing this beautiful rosette pattern quite a bit on Instagram, but I could not find any written instructions in English online.  After much searching, I found a video tutorial on a blog for this pattern.  Unfortunately, the instructions were in a foreign language – Turkish, I think.

I played the video forwards and backwards countless times to eyeball the stitches and after much hair-pulling, managed to figure it out.  It is quite an easy pattern to make and I have to find some time to write it down before I forget.

I thought it would be an overkill if I made a rosette on all the granny squares so I decided to alternate the rosette granny square with a plain solid granny square, and then made a lattice-style edging before stitching it to the fabric.

 photo IMG_1033-160521-v2__zpsgteoxeh3.jpgAnother milestone in my self-taught sewing lessons.  I made a zipper that is concealed.  It turned out quite well though the machine stitches could have been neater.

I love the print of this fabric which I bought from Sin Mui Heng at People’s Park Centre.  This is a lightweight and silky-smooth cotton fabric from Japan that costs $16 for a yard.  I could have bought something cheaper from Spotlight but I do not like the look and quality of their fabrics which are mostly from China.  I like going to Sin Mui Heng – most of their staff are elderly aunties who are helpful and polite.

 photo IMG_1034-160521-v2__zpsayh48voa.jpgIf someone were to tell me 30 years ago that I would resemble my mother 30 years later in that we both love buying fabrics (for making clothes in her case), I would say the person is crazy.

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Crocheting: Citrus Vintage Popcorn Stitch Cushion Cover

 photo IMG_0805-160504-v2__zpsazf7aomz.jpgThis is the third installment of my crocheting journey with the vintage popcorn stitch cushion cover.  I made one in a citrus colored cotton yarn this time.  The first two are in vanilla and taupe.

 photo IMG_0806-160504-v2__zpsdgw6ewhd.jpgThe cushion inserts in the previous two cushion covers were sewn into the cover and cannot be removed.  For this piece, I decided to sew a zipper to the fabric so that the cushion insert can be removed.  It was my first time sewing a zipper and as you can see from the photo, it was not sewn straight even with the use of pins!  I definitely need more practice with the sewing machine.

I like the bright and cheery prints on this fabric that I bought in Japan.

 photo IMG_0807-160504-v2__zpsdzc3pnpw.jpgThis time, I had a slightly easier time making a roll-hem on the fabric and sewing it to the crochet piece.  I can now see why some crafters use a plain fabric (as opposed to one with prints) so that you don’t have worry about the prints looking ‘crooked’ or ‘slanted’.

I am going to take a break from this popcorn stitch pattern for a while.  There is another 3-D rosette granny square pattern that I have been dying to try and have only recently found a video tutorial on it.

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Crocheting: (More) Vintage Popcorn Stitch Cushion Cover

 photo IMG_0709-160427-v2__zpsp81p47cc.jpg After pondering about it for some time, I finally went out and bought a Brothers sewing machine.  It has been nearly 20 years since I touched a sewing machine in school during Home Economics class.  Although the very helpful sales assistant at Courts gave me a 30-minute crash course in how to operate the sewing machine, but unfortunately, less than 30% of what she said stayed with me.  She also gave me her mobile number, just in case I needed “SOS” when using the machine, but I am glad that I have not had to call her yet.

I am not one to read the operating manual of a gadget from start to end.  The best way to learn something (at least for me) is to jump right into it and start doing it.  I decided to sew the fabric piece to another cushion cover that I had completed crocheting.  The last vintage popcorn stitch cushion cover that I had hand sewn together is here.

I watched a couple of Youtube videos on how to hem the edges of the fabric and make seams using the sewing machine, took a deep breath, and turned on the machine.  I managed to thread the sewing machine and wind the bobbin, hem all four sides of the fabric after re-doing it several times.  I could not really control the pedal well so the stitching came out looking uneven and very messy!  Sewing the crochet piece to the fabric was quite challenging because the thread in the bobbin kept getting caught in the machine which meant repeated un-picking and re-sewing.  After what seemed like ages, I finally joined 3 sides of the cushion cover using the machine.  All I had to do was stuff the cushion insert into the cover and hand-sew the last side (which led to even more messiness).

 photo IMG_0710-160427-v2__zpsucu2194g.jpgQuite decent for a first effort but lots more practice is needed in using the machine.  For my next cushion cover, I will learn how to attach a zip to the back.  This is really fun.  🙂

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Crocheting: The Angie Bunny Amigurumi

 photo IMG_0216-160404-v2__zpsjpwzfj0g.jpg I fell in love with this cute Angie Bunny amigurumi designed by CrochetObjet. She also designed a wardrobe – sweater, pajamas, ski boots, shoes, a dress – for the bunny. Every time I see a new photo posted by her of the bunny in a different outfit on Instagram, I feel like making a bunny immediately.

Which I eventually did.

 photo IMG_0223-160404-v2__zpsq90tjuzw.jpgIn addition to the bunny, I also wanted to make the set of pajamas for the bunny but the pattern proved too tedious for me.  I made one leg of the pants and decided to ditch this set of pajamas for a one-piece dress, using another pattern from CrochetObjet. The pajamas pattern is not difficult to follow, just time-consuming, and on this occasion, I needed the gratification of completing the bunny to come sooner.

 photo IMG_0258-160406-v2__zpsqu1l7xtc.jpgTa-dah.  Pink dress. Pink ballet shoes.  Purple crochet flower with a fabric button that I had made myself.  🙂

Using a 2.5mm hook, this bunny measures approximately 24cm in length.  I should have made the dress a little longer.

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Crocheting: Vintage Popcorn Stitch Cushion Cover

 photo IMG_0097-160329-v2__zpsay7enoqe.jpgI have been seeing this lovely popcorn stitch pattern around a lot on Pinterest, and I finally found the pattern online.  The final product has a 3-dimensional, vintage look that gives off a whimsical feel to the cushion cover.  Also, I like crocheting popcorn stitches (I make them using 6 double-crochets which unfortunately ‘eats’ up quite a bit of yarn.)

There is a lot of flexibility in the pattern.  To make a bigger or smaller piece, you could adjust the number of rows of popcorn stitches.

 photo IMG_0087-160329-v2__zpsrslmeqjj.jpgFor the back piece, I decided to use a fabric in a cheery yellow and blue Scandinavian print that I bought in Japan recently.  The problem is that I do not know how to machine-sew the fabric to the crochet piece.  So I sewed both pieces together by hand.  I have not sewed anything for at least 2 decades, and it took me ages to complete this task.

 photo IMG_0099-160329-v2__zpsfyyxsyyh.jpgThe result was rather satisfactory, though the stitching is obviously untidy if you look very closely. I am toying with the idea of taking up sewing classes (noooooo, I shouldn’t take up more hobbies), but in the meantime, I should just enlist my aunt’s help if I need to complete another cushion cover.

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Fabric Shopping In Japan & A Candy Bag Of Handmade Fabric Buttons

 photo IMG_9728-160306-v2__zpsexejswkt.jpgJapan is a haven for crafters.  Their stationery shops, fabric shops, handicraft shops are places where I can spend all day wandering around in.

With the husband in tow, I had to exercise restraint in the amount of time I spent in these shops.  Despite the limited time that I had, I managed to get some pretty good fabric buys.  I bought most of the fabric in ABC Mart in the Q’s Mall in Osaka (Tennoji), Hankyu Department Store in Osaka, Nomura Tailor in Kyoto and Yuzawaya in Takashimaya Shinjuku.  Pity that I did not have time to visit the Nippori Fabric Town in Tokyo.

 photo IMG_9792-160309-v2__zpsomjze5mx.jpgMade a bag of cute little buttons (11mm) with the fabric!

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Crocheting: The Never Ending Wildflower

I came across this crochet pattern on a blog called Little Monkeys Crochet and decided to give it a try.  The pattern is easy to follow and produces a beautiful floral crochet.  And before I know it, I had made more than a dozen of the flowers in a variety of colors and sizes.

This is such a versatile pattern.  You could turn the flowers into granny squares and stitch them together to make a cushion cover, or a blanket, or a bag.  For something simpler, you could make accessories such as brooches with them.

Inspired by some photographs on Pinterest, I settled on sewing most of the flowers onto a plain slate grey cushion cover.  It was something different from the crochet cushion covers that I had always been making.

 photo IMG_6756-151119-v2__zpshmwuxrgj.jpgTa-da!  The final product.  I was quite happy with the output though sewing the flowers onto the cushion was quite a tough job.

 photo IMG_6807-160213-v2__zpsukiyvh8q.jpg photo IMG_7447-151207-v2__zpsu81optr7.jpg photo IMG_7374-151205-v2__zpswwm8n9gu.jpgThen I went on to make hair-bands with some of the flowers.

 photo IMG_6516-151110-v2__zps4wxmiuc6.jpg photo IMG_7998-160213-v2__zpse6rnq4c6.jpgFollowed by a brooch for myself (which I seem to have misplaced) and a boutonniere (for a guy friend)!

This is definitely one of my favorite crochet patterns, and one that I highly recommend to crochet beginners.

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Crocheting: Popcorn Stitch Floral Cushion Cover

 photo IMG_8653-160204-v2__zpshuvuftt2.jpg photo IMG_8654-160204-v2__zpsubqggfry.jpgI completed this puff popcorn stitch (I don’t know why I keep referring to this particular stitch as the puff stitch!) floral granny square cushion cover after struggling with it for a couple of months.

I cannot seem to stick to a color scheme that I had decided at the start, and I inevitably end up with a color scheme that is quite different from what I had originally envisioned it to be.

In this piece, I had decided on a baby blue and baby pink theme but midway, I added purple to it (because I got bored with pink and blue and needed a new color to keep me going).  My aunt machine-sewed the back using a piece of Japanese cotton fabric in an ocean wave print.  Otherwise, it would have taken me an even longer time to crochet a back piece for this cover.

Front and back – two totally different looks.  And I think I should learn how to use a sewing machine.

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Crocheting: Cushion Cover In African Flower Hexagon Granny Squares

My second cushion cover. It is much smaller that the first one because I ran out of patience to crochet more granny squares needed for a bigger-sized cushion cover. I have always liked the African flower pattern and have been itching to make something with it.  

 photo DSC_0701-2-150830-v2__zps6nef5mpr.jpg photo DSC_0704-150830-v2__zpsrlxsr4ao.jpgI joined all the squares hexagons on the reverse side using a single stitch, and the cushion insert has also been sewn in, so it cannot be easily removed for cleaning.

This was quite an easy one to make.

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Crocheting: Cushion Cover In Solid Granny Squares

 photo DSC_0707-150920-v2__zpsuqgqc8wb.jpg

Didn’t get around to posting a photo of my first hand-made crochet cushion cover

I was thinking about autumn when I first conceived the idea of crocheting a cushion cover.  I don’t think this has a autumn-y feel but I am pleased with how the colors turned out.  The size of this cover is for a 20″ x 20″ cushion insert.  The one from IKEA is a perfect fit for this, if you like your cushion to be soft and cuddly.

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