Saturday, 28 January 2017

Softies for Mirabel

In 2016, my crafting group and I decided to dedicate a couple of sessions to making Ninni monsters to donate to the Softies for Mirabel handmade toy drive. To make our crafting more streamlined and efficient, we made Ninni/ RevoluzZzionary Monsters - it's an easy free pattern and is also super cute!

I printed out the pattern for the monsters onto both A4 and A3 pieces of paper so we have some big monsters and some little ones. The Ninni monsters have tiny little ears and arms which can be a bit tricky to stuff so having them printed a bit larger made that step easier.

A few members in the craft group were looking to reduce their fabric stash, so we ended up with an eclectic mix of fabrics! The good thing is because this pattern is so simple to make it works with basically all fabric types; we used up cotton, denim, and knits. I think a satin Ninni monster would also be pretty awesome! ~___^

The eyes, hearts, and little teeth are all felt and, along with the mouths, were sewn on with a combination of machine and hand stitching. 

We made the monsters in a kind of construction line process; we had some people cutting out bodies, some cutting out the facial features, a couple of people sewing the seams on machines, some people stuffing, some people hand stitching up the turning/stuffing holes ... Both days were a lot of fun and I think we did pretty well with how many monsters we were able to create.

In total we ended up with 29 Ninni monsters! (One of which is not in the photo below because I wanted my rows to be even ~___^) Each Ninni monster is slightly different and so has a little spark of personality shining through. We hope the children they go to love them!

If you'd like to make a toy to donate to Softies for Mirabel, you've still got time! If you are able to, it's a wonderful cause ^___^

- Lisa xx

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Marceline the Vampire Queen amigurumi

Hello! The second edition of what-I-made-this-Christmas is all about Marceline! Marceline is the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time and, hoo boy, was this amigurumi an adventure to make! I made this amigurumi for my mathematical pal, Rebecca ^___^

If you're not familiar with Adventure Time, a picture of Marceline is below! I decided not to make the hat, gloves, or guitar though; mostly because I didn't think I could make the guitar and I kinda ran out of time to finish the hat and gloves.

I started off with the Bat Girl pattern by Ilaria Caliri, which was published in the 49th issue of Simply Crochet. I used Patons Dreamtime Merino 4 ply in grey for Marceline's body and a 2.50mm hook. I did add in extra rounds for her legs and arms though, to fit in more with Marceline's proportions. I added wire to her limbs so she is slightly posable.

Marceline's lush hair was easy but time consuming to do; I crocheted a wig cap and then looped lots and lots and lots of lengths of yarn through each stitch of the wig cap. I used three balls of Bella Baby cotton wool 8ply in black for the hair, but I didn't use up the third ball completely. The good thing about this lengthy process is that her hair is super thick and therefore can totally be done up in different hairstyles without showing a patchy looking scalp.

Marceline's boots are simply tubes, with red bows tied onto them. I put a little dab of pva glue on each bow, to hopefully prevent them from coming undone. I used the same Bella Baby brand yarn for all of Marceline's hair and clothes, by the way. It's a 75% cotton, 25% wool blend and it's very soft and nice to work with.


I wanted to make all of Marceline's clothes removable so that there is potential for making more of her outfits for future gifts. Her pants were a bit tricky since I've never crocheted any dolls clothes before and had little idea of what I was doing. I crocheted two tubes to go up her legs, and then kinda crocheted a big tube around the tops of them. I sewed up the gap between the pant legs afterwards. I didn't write any of the pattern down though, which I totally should have done. A lot of the time when I am trying to create something without a pattern I just end up trying things and frogging them and trying again until I get something close to what I want, and I am terrible at keeping records during this process.

Marceline's top was very simple; it is just a rectangle with slightly curved in sides (to make it fit to the curve of her torso better) and straps made with a chain stitch. I sewed snaps onto the back edges for the closures.

The last thing to do was to add details to her face; I used embroidery thread to create her mouth, her fangs, and the bite marks on the side of her neck.

Overall I am pleased with how she turned out, although I think a haircut might be needed to give her a proper fringe and tidy up the ends a bit. I did attempt a bit of a trim, but then I was worried I was going to mess up her hair (her time consuming hair!!) and didn't go any further.

The hat and gloves are definitely on my to-make list, and then perhaps I'll do another outfit for her. There is a cute blue dress which I think might be easier to make ...

- Lisa xx