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Spooky Spiders

I was lucky enough to be one of the pattern testers for the Sweet Briar Sisters Spooky Spiders pattern, and thought it was about time I shared my spider creations with you.

I started with the Baby Spider, which is about 4 inches tall. Not only because I was short on stuffing, but I wasn’t too sure how much polycotton I had left in this colour, and didn’t want to run out before I finished sewing all those legs!

Dragons Flame Designs - Spooky Spiders

Meet Nigel the spider – Mum decided that he looked like he was wearing a suit, with the business-wear-colour polycotton I’d used, and thought he needed a traditional sounding name.

Apart from getting two legs facing the wrong way (he has a slightly knock-kneed look on one side), he came out really well. I deviated from the pattern and used a stiff cotton instead of felt for his eyes, adding some interfacing to the back of the polycotton so the zigzag stitch didn’t catch up too much.

Dragons Flame Designs - Spooky Spiders

Rummaging in my “I started making this but abandoned it” bag, I found a dress I’d started making from this orange leaf patterned polycotton. Realising that the dress wouldn’t suit or fit me, I decided to unpick it and turn it into a Mama Spider!

Dragons Flame Designs - Spooky Spiders

Turning the legs on Norma the Spider was so much easier than with Nigel! This time I had some white wool felt, so the eyes are stitched properly – I added another layer of fabric behind the eyes and mouth again to assist with the zigzag stitches.

Nigel’s mouth was hand sewn, but Norma’s was just zigzagged on the machine, which leads to a clearer line. I do need to hand sew some detail on her eyes, but so far the outer line is machine stitched, with a little pencil mark in the centre so I know where to sew!

Dragons Flame Designs - Spooky Spiders


New Look 6231

Finally I’ve completed the hem on the jacket! This was the first jacket I attempted, and it’s been sitting on a clothes hanger for ages while I plucked up the confidence to tackle the hem.

The peplum gives the jacket an interesting shape, but unfortunately it also gives it a curved hem…. and that was something I really struggled with.

The inside of the hem isn’t the neatest and there are some tucks and folds in there, but from the outside it looks pretty neat and that’s what matters. After all, who’s going to see the inside of the hem anyway?

Knickers again!

With two weeks to go, Kerala Crafts have just £455 to go, to reach their target of £1,200, to purchase an industrial sewing machine for one of their projects in Southern India – a small co-operative of women, who sew clothes to sell locally, and also create Fair Trade knickers that are sold in the UK, with all profits going back to India, helping to fund various community projects.

That’s just £32.50 a day that Kerala Crafts need now, to reach their target…. but if they don’t get to 100%, then they get absolutely nothing 🙁

So, lets see if we can raise enough money to get these ladies the sewing machine that will enable them to meet the demand for these Fair Trade pants, which in turn will bring more funding to community projects as well!

Even a donation of £1 helps, and if you can’t afford that, or don’t want to, then a mention on your blog, or a post on twitter will help!

Messenger bag success

I found some fantastic material in the sale at just a pound for a metre, and was wondering what I could use it for. Browsing through the Crazy Little Projects site, I came across Amber’s Messenger Bag tutorial, and decided that would be the perfect use of my bargain material. Of course then I had to find something suitable for the lining as well – cue more shopping!

Messenger Bag

I spent most of the day tackling the cutting & sewing, and considering this is my second ever bag I’ve sewn, it came out looking quite nifty 😀 The orange material I used for the lining is slightly furry to the touch, so it makes the underside of the strap feel slightly padded (as I didn’t use any interfacing or wadding on that at all).

I added a pocket to the inside as well, and although some of the stitching isn’t anywhere near perfect, who would know, to look at it? 🙂


messenger-bag-2-site messenger-bag-3-site


It’s been a while

It’s definitely been a while since I added any posts here, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy with knitting & crochet!

Meet “Rose the Duck” knitted for a friend’s young child. I added the little rose under the wing, just for a unique look 🙂

Knitted Duck


Using Alan Dart’s Nursery Rhyme Mice pattern for the basic mouse body, I decided I wanted to try making a Gandalf Mouse…. so, meet MouseDalf!


I have also knitted Bilbo, but I don’t have a photo of him yet 😉

And just in time for the third series of Sherlock to begin, meet Sherlock Mouse (ok, I know he is still missing his deerstalker hat, but he can still try and solve crimes)


Currently I’m working on a gift for a friend’s wedding, and a couple of birthday presents – I’ll post pictures once the birthdays & wedding have passed, so I don’t spoil their surprises!


These mice are fan art, and I am not making any profit from these.
The character of Sherlock was created originally by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Bilbo Baggins & Gandalf are from the Hobbit & Lord of the Rings books, by J. R. R. Tolkien.

A little update

I still need to get the photos sorted, but I’ve just finished working on a pattern for Faerie – it came out surprisingly well all considering it was the first time I’d tried making anything that kind of shape before!

My Crochet & Knitting resolutions for the New Year are to finish off some of the projects I have stashed away…. and then I don’t have to keep the wool stashed “just in case” 😀 …. so far I’ve started (and finished) something, but I still haven’t picked a half-finished item to work on. I might just have to reach into the bag with my eyes closed and work on whatever thing I pick out!

Simply Crochet – first edition cover

You know that magazine I mentioned a few days ago? Well, Simply Crochet have been utterly awesome, and sent me a picture of the front cover to share with everyone, so we can see what kind of goodies the very first edition will have!




Simply Crochet is a new magazine, from the makers of Simply Knitting and Mollie Makes, and looking at that front cover, it looks like it’ll be packed with patterns  and ideas 😀

Certainly for me, the dragon amuigurumi pattern, and the new ways with Granny squares will be “must reads”…. and maybe the 3 designs for blankets will help me to actually get my Refuge blanket completed! 🙂

If you’re a bit uncertain if you want to try the magazine or not, they do have a fantastic lauch offer:

So, that should help anyone who’s a little undecided still – be prepared to get “hooked” though *laughs*


And if you just can’t wait for that first issue to be released in the shops, you can always chat away to Simply Crochet on the web, and share your excitement of the new magazine:

Twitter: @SimplyCrochet_
Facebook: /simplycrochetmag
Pinterest: /simpcrochetmag
Ravelry: /groups/simply-crochet

Boots finished :D

And I’ve just finished crocheting the other boot for that plushie – it’s not an *exact* match of the other one, but I think I tidied up the pattern a little, so this one is actually a much better shape.

I added a couple of buttons that were free with a previous edition of Simply Knitting, and they look perfect! 😀


….just waiting now for the first ever edition of Simply Crochet to be released, so I can pick a new project to work on *laughs*

Amazing snail mail

I made a few gifts to send to friends in Amercia this year, and although it was a week after the last posting date for surface mail, I decided that I wouldn’t send them airmail, so surface they went…. a couple of days ago, I had a message from a friend in America, telling me how thrilled she was with her Christmas present (which arrived over 25 days early, even though I sent it late!) 😀

….if only I could get like that with my crochet, and speed up a little *laughs*


At the moment, I’m crocheting a pair of boots for a plushie bear – the seam on the foot of the plushie has split, so to save any more disasters once I’ve stitched it back up, I decided that a pair of boots would be a quirky solution 🙂 I’ve finished one, just a matching one to go (I hate crocheting pairs of items – I can never get the second one to look quite like the first!)

Bears and Squares…. well, just Bears actually

And here we have a selection of bears for the Bears and Squares knitting campaign from Simply Knitting….

Badger bear was finished quite a while ago, but I’d stored him in the hope of eventually knitting his ears…. but I think without them, he looks like a badger, so this is how he’ll stay 🙂

Sophie Bear is crocheted, complete with a crochet dress. I still need to work on getting my stitches tighter (I used the smallest hook I had), but I think she came out quite well all the same 🙂 What Sophie bear would be complete without a few friends? These are a couple of bookworms I knitted last year – they didn’t look quite as good as I thought they would though….

And because the purple bookworm wouldn’t stand up on its own, I had to get Sophie bear to hold that one as well *laughs*

And working on one of the older patterns I have for a knitted bear, the last one (who doesn’t actually have a name yet!) was knitted with two strands of wool, so he’s a nice cuddly size, with a mottled effect in his colours 😀