Monthly Archives: April 2014

Things 88 & 89

Esther’s good friend, Vicky, who lives in Ireland, came for a visit a few weeks ago. They don’t see each other nearly often enough, so when they do they make it count. This time they decided to be superheroes. Very moral superheroes. They called themselves the “Superheroes to Stop Swearing.” I’m not making this up.

I overheard Esther say to Vicky, “Let’s ask my mom to make us capes.” With such a noble cause, how could I refuse? I pulled out a pile of old shirts and let them each choose their colour. Vicky chose darker blue and Esther chose light. They ran off and I got to work.

I started by cutting off the collar, sleeves and most of the front, leaving the top part for shoulder coverage. I hemmed all the way around and attached fasteners at the neck (snaps on one, velcro on the other).


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For the appliquéd initials I used some shiny fabric from Esther’s stash (yes, even my child has a fabric stash), and cut out a large E and V. I attached them to the capes with iron-on adhesive and sewed with a zig zag stitch around the edge.

I did not measure or draw anything for this project – lots of eyeballing and estimating was involved – and the capes were ready in about an hour. The superheroes deemed this speedy enough for their superhero standards.






Vicky’s mom promised to make masks, and a week or two later Esther received a special package from Ireland.


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Off to save the world, one clean word at a time.


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Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €120.69


Things 86 & 87

Koningsdag (King’s Day) is just around the corner. Time to make some more crowns!





I followed the same tutorial as I did for Things 2, 3 and 4. However, I didn’t realize that I actually changed the pattern slightly then — instead of beginning with a chain of 80 stitches, resulting in a 10-point crown, I reduced the chain to 72, giving 9 points.

When I made the first of these new crowns, I followed the pattern and ended up with a 10-point, man-sized crown. Won’t my husband be thrilled?  I made the next one 9-point. Both are crocheted with a 5mm hook and bright orange acrylic.


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Just to clarify, this is not the queen of the Netherlands. This is my sister, Heather, who is visiting from Canada. I made her model for me. (If you visit me I will put you on my blog. You can take that as a threat or a promise.)


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Doesn’t she make a great queen?


Cost of these Things:  €5.98 (2 balls of orange yarn, enough for 5 or 6 crowns)
Cost of all Things to date: €120.69


Thing 85

I made my first Coco!

But first, an update on Thing 78. Remember the 86 tissue pouches? Which was going to be plenty, with lots left over? Riiiight. A bunch of last minute sign-ups ate up all that buffer and some. This afternoon I whipped up another 18. The fabric squares were already cut, so with speed sewing I was done in under 40 minutes. My serger may have cried a little.




But back to Coco.

The preparation was the biggest job. Because I bought the pattern as a PDF I had to first print it out and assemble it. I think it was 33 pages; I lost count. I traced the size and version I wanted onto Swedish tracing paper and from there I cut out the fabric. All this took a couple of hours.

I decided on Sunday afternoon to put it all together. I only had about two hours to get it done, but because the pattern is so easy I finished with half an hour to spare.


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The fabric is a heavy cotton, like a corduroy but without the raised ridges, and has a little bit of stretch. It has a bit of an upholstery vibe to it and I was afraid I was going to look like a sofa.

(There’s a wonky crease by the collar in these photos, but that was easily adjusted by refolding the collar down.)


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I love my Coco. It’s comfortable and I don’t even care if it makes me look like a sofa. There will be more Cocos.


Cost of this Thing:  €14.10 (€9.60 for the pattern, €4.50 for the fabric)
Cost of all Things to date: €114.71


Thing 84

Last year my yarn lady gave Esther a big stack of knitted yarn samples. She loves that Esther is crafty and learning to crochet. She doesn’t get a lot of ten-year-olds in the shop.

Esther made a patchwork quilt out of the blue, green and purple ones, leaving a stack of reds, oranges and browns for me. The wool is beautiful — soft and richly coloured. But what am I going to do with a bunch of knitted squares? Pull them apart, of course.




And turn them into hats!


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Using a 5mm hook, I crocheted rounds of half double crochet until the last few rows and switched to single crochet for the band. I finished off with a row of crab stitch and improvised a flower with some gold cotton.


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Then I made Martina model it for me. Good thing I work quickly…


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…because I think this photo shoot is over.


Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €100.61

Things 82 & 83

I found a couple of mobile phone hangers in my beading supplies. I bought them on a whim once several years ago but didn’t know what to do with them. My recent loitering at Lucy’s blog gave me an idea: teeny tiny turtle charms.

Using green cotton, brown acrylic and a 2mm hook, I had these little guys done in under an hour and attached to the hangers.

I’ve made these turtles before, but this time I got the shell right (tidy little ridge around the edge).


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These Things get tossed in the gift stash. Do you have a birthday coming up? Maybe if you’re really lucky you’ll get a turtle hanger. You know you want one.


Cost of these Things: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €100.61

Thing 81

On beading evening this past Wednesday I made one last bracelet for our sale tomorrow.


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I strung three strands of lapis lazuli rounds and chips with some blue and gold seed beads, and then braided the strands loosely before attaching the clasp.


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It fits me perfectly. Maybe I need to keep this one for myself. I’m working on a navy blue Coco that could use some accessorizing…


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Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €100.61

Thing 80

I went to the Haagse Markt on Wednesday and picked up fabric for a couple of projects. I found a soft pink micro jersey for another Renfrew, as well as a heavy stretch cotton for my Coco

But before I started either of those, I needed to make Part Two of a gift: a dress for the birthday girl.

I saw this tutorial for a child’s dropped waist t-shirt dress and knew I could make something very pink and princessy with that idea.


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I used this free pattern for a child’s t-shirt and about a quarter of a metre of the pink micro jersey, leaving plenty for my Renfrew.

The gathered skirt is made with an old curtain, lined with an old sheet. Vintage, baby. I attached it to the t-shirt and the dress was done. Aside from the top stitching on the shirt, the entire dress is sewn on my serger.


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I suspect it will be a bit on the big side, but that will give her many years of princessy pleasure.


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It’s time to party, Princess!


Cost of this Thing: €9 (micro jersey & pink thread for the serger — enough for several Things)
Cost of all Things to date: €100.61



Thing 79

Martina and Esther are going to a birthday party for a sweet little girl and that calls for a sweet little gift.

Julianna, the birthday girl, has an obsession with all things pink. For Part One of her gift (Part Two to be featured tomorrow), I wanted to make a party dress for her American Girl doll, in pink, of course.

I found this pattern, exactly what I was looking for. I rummaged through my stash for the pinkest of pink fabrics.




The bodice is a scrap of pink satin from my stash and the skirt is fuchsia gauze from an old curtain. The whole thing is lined with pink cotton from an old sheet.




The pink flower and ribbons are the finishing touch and American Girl is ready to party.







Special thanks to Martina for the lovely photography today!






Cost of this Thing: 0
Cost of all Things to date: €91.61


Thing 78

Last night I bought a pattern, a total impulse purchase. I was reading one of my favourite bloggers, Karen at Did You Make That, and she posted her latest Coco, the third in three weeks. I needed to have that pattern.  I raced over to Tilly’s site, threw it in my basket, and quicker than you can say, “But what about your budget?” the PDF was in my inbox. Tomorrow I’m going to the Haagse Markt to find some cheap but wonderful knit to make my very own Coco.

But about today’s Thing. I debated with myself about this one. Because today’s Thing is actually lots of things. My plan was to count them as individual Things and thereby give myself some buffer, both Thing-wise and budget-wise. (And if last night’s purchase is a portent of things to come, I can use some buffer.)

Then I changed my mind. It felt like cheating, like taking the easy way out. Buffer isn’t challenging.

(I’m going to regret this.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Thing 78:


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That’s 86 tissue pouches. 86.


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They’re for the goody bags for an event that my friends are putting on. Technically I’m on the organizing committee, too, but mostly I just show up for coffee.

I started out with the usual tissue pouch method from So Sew Something. However, they say necessity is the mother of invention and since I needed to not take 10 minutes per pouch I invented a quicker way.  I dropped several steps and did them on my serger. I can run them up in three to four minutes a piece now. Maybe someday I’ll post a tutorial about my method.


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But for the time being, I am done with tissue pouches. Done, I tell you.


Cost of this Thing: 0 (the fabric was purchased last year)
Cost of all Things to date: €91.61