Archive for January, 2013

DIY Dog Toy

Right before Christmas, and after months of valiant service, poor Moriarty the Moose finally got entirely disemboweled by Boomer.  She loves having a cuddly toy but dog toys are pretty expensive, so I decided to make her a new one out of scraps of fabric.


This is Penelope.

I noticed that with poor Moriarty, his ears and fluffy bits were the first to get chewed off, so I designed Penelope as one piece and using cotton, to minimise the number of bits that could be grabbed and torn.

I also wanted to be able to stuff the toy but avoid having Boomer pull the stuffing out, so I made two layers – a plain inner layer that contained the stuffing, and an outer layer with the cute fabric and applique bits.  I was pretty pleased with how Penelope turned out, so here’s how to make your own.

1.  Decide on a shape and make a template on a piece of paper.  Use your template to cut out 4 pieces of fabric – 2 for the inner layer, and 2 for the outside.


For the inner layer pieces (left), I just used some fabric from the old pillow that provides all my stuffing.

Don’t forget to add a seam allowance when you’re cutting.  I thought it necessary to make the inner pieces smaller than the outer pieces, but when I put the thing together this turned out to be a mistake.  Make them all the same size.

2.  If you’re adding any kind of embroidery or applique to the toy, now is the time to do it.  I used some scrap sweatshirt fabric and embroidery to add a tail, paw/ear bits and a face.


It probably would’ve looked better if I had used the lighter side for the face. Luckily, the puppy doesn’t seem to care.


3.  Sew the inner layer together, leaving a small opening for the stuffing.  Stuff the toy firmly and close the opening.  I harvested the beanbag that were poor Moriarty’s innards and used that in Penelope, too.

I didn’t bother about turning the thing inside out to hide the raw edges, since this whole thing will be on the inside anyway. I did go for some pretty sturdy stitching, though.



4.  Now this is the tricky bit.

Pin the outer layer pieces right sides together and sew together carefully around, making sure you leave enough room to get everything else inside.  I left the whole top of the head open.  Now turn it right side out and insert the inner layer.  Finally, fold the edges over to the inside and pin around.  Sew the head shut. This will be pretty fiddly if you are using a sewing machine but I managed it.  Make sure there are no holes or gaps anywhere, and you’re done!














Now give your puppy her delightful new toy and hope it doesn’t get destroyed within a week.


Boomer likes Penelope a lot.


Happy crunching everybody.


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Christmas silliness and first Ravelry pattern!

Now that I’ve got the hang of knitting and am busting out knitted things at a seriously alarming rate, I’m getting a good idea about how things are constructed and starting to think of patterns of my own.  My eventual aim is to design the occasional garment and start up an Etsy store to sell them, as well as selling the patterns on Ravelry.


For now, I’m starting small so I can upload some free patterns on Ravelry and see how they do.  The first of these was a silly trio of Christmas ornaments I came up with while playing with some scrap yarn a few weeks ago.  I call it Santa’s Jolly Christmas Balls.  You can download the pattern for free here.  It’s my first pattern ever and very exciting!


Did I mention that this is my pattern?


Aren’t they cute?  They use almost no yarn, and took me just a few minutes to make each one.  You can easily do all three in an evening.


Apparently, people have actually been downloading my pattern and making these!  Eep!


I was on a roll all autumn making silly ornaments for our first Christmas tree, but we didn’t end up getting one since I figured Puppy Face would just destroy it.  I hung the ornaments from an obliging plant and bookshelf instead.




We can’t get enough of Dr. Who in our house. Both these patterns are on Ravelry, here and here.



Pattern here.


Of course this year I also had to make another 10 stockings, and I made some other gifts, such as this fabulous hat and some lovely mitts for my in-laws.  I even got the sewing machine out (more on that next week).  Now that Christmas is over, I’m starting on a few projects for me and some other house stuff.


Before I know it, it will be hot again in Savannah and time to put the wool away until next winter.  I’ve got some cotton and linen design ideas percolating, though, so keep your eyeballs peeled for those.


For now, happy crunching!

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Return to the Blogosphere

Apparently my last post was in August.


I have not in fact been hibernating under a rock since then, indeed I have been crafting more ferociously than ever to while away the time waiting for my US work permit, but I didn’t document any of it for the simple reason that I lost my camera charger so couldn’t take pictures of anything.

It’s kind of hard to write nice posts about making things with no visuals.  They look really boring, like this one.

So, after months of vague looking for my charger, I gave up entirely, then realized I could use Adam’s old smartphone as a camera.  Duh.  Thus, I am back.  And now it’s a whole new year. I have so much to tell you about.

Brace yourselves.

Happy crunchy new year!

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