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1  Jake the Dog in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: June 28, 2011 06:20:06 AM


"Dude, be calmed by my saliva." Yeah! It's Jake the Dog.  I made this plush because I'm doing an Adventure Time-themed plush week on my blog, and who could resist to make Jake?! NO ONE, that's who!



I made up the pattern myself and hand and machine sewed his body out of golden anti-pill fleece.  The face was all handsewn out of fleece and felt.  All in all the cutting and construction took two evenings, which is not so bad.  Jake's arms and legs are stuffed loosely so that they can bend and wiggle and go all loopy, as Jake's limbs are want to do! His backside also includes a cute little tail!



If you missed them I have also posted plush of the Bugs from the Credits and Gunter from Adventure Time on Craftster as well. 

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2  GUNTER! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: June 27, 2011 06:05:05 AM
By far, Gunter is the most evil thing I have ever made.  This cute penguin dude(tte?) is from the one-and-only Adventure Time!  



The pattern from this one was pretty easy to come up with, out of paper I cut the shape I thought I would need for the rounded-cylinder shaped body.  When I figured that what I had come up with would work, I then cut out the piece that would become the belly and then just went with it!



I used black anti-pill fleece, faux shearling, and various scraps of felt and fleece to make him up.  

I'm kind of thinking it would be cool to make up Gunter's egg from the Ninja episode (Gunter's Preggers!)... and his/her glowing feline progeny..?   But we'll see if I get the ambition, probably not.  Mostly, I'm looking forward to making an Ice-King-sized army of these little guys, it really isn't bad once you get used to the smell of penguin manure!



I'm doing a week of Adventure Time themed plush crafts on my blog and Gunter is smack dab in the middle of the week, stay tuned for more as I post them to Crafster as well! ^___^
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3  Adventure Time Credits Bugs! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: June 24, 2011 05:41:06 AM
You might recognize them from the Adventure Time TV show, they are inspired by the little guys that crawl by under the credits. WATCH IT HERE>>> http://youtu.be/UnWDXrnquPI

The first is the bee.  I used a pattern for a mouse I created and modified it to make the bee body, added in his details, and stuffed.  I think my favorite part about him is his stinger, but don't worry, it's soft fleece! Also, here's a tip I learned while making this, when doing small details, like the legs for example, felt is not going to work, it doesn't have enough strength and will tear if any amount of stretch is placed on it, NOT GOOD. The best thing to use is fleece, but make sure you cut it in the OPPOSITE direction of the stretch, otherwise, when it is stretched it will curl and look bad too!



The next critter is the lady bug, he was pretty straight forward. I used half of the mouse pattern I was talking about earlier and then added a circle to the bottom so he ended up more like a dome than a sphere, and then added his details.  For whatever reason, I think that his legs turned out extra soft!



Lastly is the worm, again, I used that same spherical mouse pattern but made it much smaller and added a "shank" to make the piece more lightbulb shaped.  I then added a striped cylinder of fabric, closed it at the end, and added a face.  I wish I would have had some wire to make him poseable, oh well, you can still make him inch by using your hands!



If you want to see more I'm doing an Adventure Time themed week of post on my blog, I would love it if you stopped by and shared some of your AT love there too! Otherwise, stay tuned, I'm sure they'll appear on Craftster soon! Cheesy
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4  Cute Girly Mouse in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: April 14, 2011 08:32:27 AM
Doesn't she look gorgeous in her Easter-y colors?



She is sewn in orange anti-pill fleece with felt details.



Her cute bow is securely sewn onto a metal, jewelry style pin-back. It can also be moved the bow down to make a handsome bowtie if you choose. You can also take it off and pin it yourself if you want!

Wouldn't it be cool to have an Easter basket full of these?  ...Except they would probably nibble on all your candy. Yuck. :-P
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5  Aeki the Red Panda in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: April 14, 2011 08:16:26 AM
Isn't she cute?  I think I still want to do some experimentation with the face of the next one, but I think that she's looking pretty red-panda-ish!  I need to find the right colors for the face and tail markings, which is easier said than done.  It took forever to find something in the correct rusty red for the body.



I used fleece and adapted a simplicity pattern to make my own "Cuter" version.



Hand and machine sewn.



What do you think?
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6  Red, er, BLUE Panda plush in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: March 22, 2011 01:01:54 PM
This is my new little friend named Blueberry.  I made him because I'm super-obsessed with Red Pandas right now.  They are probably my new favorite animal, it's like all the cute elements of kittens, pandas, raccoons, puppies, and foxes got mixed up to create a creature of ultimate cuteness...  Cheesy

His body is based off of a Simplicity pattern (2613) but I've altered it to be cuter.  I plan on making more but I need to make some more adjustments to my pattern, the most important is to come up with a better solution for the tail.  Something less skinny and lemur-y. Maybe a tad shorter too.



I didn't have the appropriate red panda colors when I started Blueberry so he's kinda funky looking, but still super cute, right?! Cheesy



I'm really happy with how this little guy turned out, I just wish that he was a little easier to make, there is a lot of piecing and hand-stitching going on with this one! With the bad weather going on today I might have to cancel my evening plans, but that will also give me a start on the next one (with the right colors)!



What do you think about Blueberry? Do you think he looks too much like a raccoon or does he look just right?
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7  Bouncing Belly-Button the Mouse in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: February 11, 2011 01:52:50 PM


Backstory: When I was little I had a little toy mouse that I got in a gumball machine, you know the ones that you out a quarter in, turn the crank, and a little plastic capsule comes out? (Back in my day, you actually got good stuff from those.) Anyway, he was a little gray mouse with black ears, and a black string tail, but he had no legs! That's why I named him "Bouncing Belly-button" because that was the only way he could get around.  I loved him for a long time, he was the perfect size to fit in your pocket or hold in your hand, but one day he got lost at my grandpa's house and I never saw him again...



This little mouse is based on my memory of BBB. He's all handsewn and works up in about one episode of Burn Notice (I know this from experience).  He's super fun for humans to play with but I bet if he was a little smaller cats would love to play with him too! (p.s. his name is Mr. Sniffles)  He's got no tail at the moment because I didn't have anything suitable in my craft room!
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8  Baby Octopus in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by thecuteoctopus on: February 07, 2011 01:10:14 PM


I have a new addition to the family of octopuses in this post. He is based off the Cute Octopus pattern I shared here, but is modified to have the usual 8 tentacles, or arms to be more precise, and is mini, about 85% of the size of the adults.  I'm also working on a micro-baby that's only 75% of the size of the adults.

This little guys is a member of the species Octopus cyanea also known as the Big Blue Octopus.  You can learn more about these interesting creatures here and here.



Species: Octopus cyanea
Common Name: 'Day Octopus' or 'Cyane's Octopus'
Nickname: Lil' Blue

Lil' Blue is just a baby now, but he has big dreams.  He practices his singing everyday, which sounds a lot like high-pitched squeaking now, but he hopes that when he grows up he can be the bassist and lead singer in his own metal band called "The Kraken." Until then he'll play tambourine and sing along to "Octopus's Garden" when it comes on the radio.



Materials: Felt, Anti-pill fleece, Cotton print, Polyfil
Hand and Machine Sewn with LOVE.
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9  NOT-raw Sushi (Korean Kimbap) in Recipes and Cooking Tips by thecuteoctopus on: January 26, 2011 10:03:51 AM

I know lots of us are squeamish about eating raw meat, but just because you don't want to try raw fish, doesn't mean you can't enjoy sushi.  There are a lot of vegetables and cooked things you can put in a sushi roll that are nutritious, delicious, and not raw fish meat!

The Korean version of sushi is called Kimbap (or Gimbap, or Kimbob, or other permutations like that) and it uses all cooked things or veggies.  It's a fun way to mix up your lunch and to try out your favorite flavor combos.

Ingredients:

Nori ('seaweed') Sheets
Sushi Rice (I use Botan brand rice even though it's not marketed as "Sushi Rice")
Sesame Oil

Optional Ingredients: (slice all into strips)
Fried egg (beat the egg first)
Sweet potato (sliced into thin "fries" and fried in 1T olive oil until tender)
"Krab"
Avacado
Carrot
Cucumber
Pickled Radish
Cooked Beef
OR add in your own experiment!

Supplies:
Bamboo Sushi Mat



Instructions:


   1. Cook rice according to package (to feed 2 people you need about 3-4 sushi rolls, which means about 1.5 to 2 cups of COOKED rice)
   2. Drizzle about 1T of sesame oil on the rice when finished cooking and mix in, set aside to cool.
   3. Lay the nori sheet rough side up, shiny side down on your bamboo mat.
   4. Spread about cup of rice onto the seaweed, leaving the top inch empty.  Try to smooth it on gently rather than mash it on.
   5. Lay your fillings in the middle of the rice, if you are new to rolling sushi try only a few ingredients first.  The more ingredients, the bigger the roll, and the harder it is to make (and EAT!)
   6. Slide your thumbs under the mat and roll up from the bottom to cover your fillings, press down and squeeze down and back toward yourself making a tight roll.
   7. Continue to roll, making sure to tightly squeeze after every motion.
   8. Stop when you reach the empty space you left. wet your fingers and glide them across the flap and then complete the roll.  The water will seal the seam to hold the roll together.
   9. Set aside and continue with other seaweed sheets.
  10. Cut each roll into about 3/4 inch slices.
  11. Arrange on a plate and eat! You can also dip these rolls in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar as a condiment.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe, I have more how-to's and recipes at my blog. Happy cooking!
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10  Marie Skirt + Pattern Review in Sewing Pattern Reviews by thecuteoctopus on: January 25, 2011 06:43:03 AM

(The hem is taken out in this photo, it's not supposed to be all frayed like that!)

This weekend I made this skirt using the free MARIE skirt pattern on Burda Style.  Although I took my measurements to make this skirt, the waist ended up being looser than I anticipated.  The waist hangs lower on my hips than it was designed to, and thus lowers the hips of the skirt down below my natural hip making it look strange and ill-fitting (a.k.a. my butt isn't usually that big!).

Unfortunately I didn't make a muslin (since I am lazy and never do, especially because I got the fabric on sale for $6 and this is just the leftovers from my dress) and in my hurry to finish it, I didn't try it on before placing the zipper either.  I took out my hem and tried doing some alterations without moving the zipper, (i.e. pinning up the back or other side) but because of the pleats, taking it in too much caused them to pull and look strange (In the photos I had already taken in each side about 1.5 inches).

I don't know if I'll ever wear this thing, it's just not very flattering on my body and I don't know if I'm committed enough to it to tear the whole thing apart and start over if I'm not really going to want to wear it anyway.


Marie #9177

My Review:
Pattern Description:
Highwaisted Tulip-shaped skirt

Pattern Sizing:
34-44 (I made it in a 42)

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes

Were the instructions easy to follow?
The instructions aren't super clear if you are a beginner, they tend to be a little vague.  I really didn't look at them after my first skim through and just did my own thing.  It's a very easy skirt to put together if you have ever made a skirt with a waistband before. It took me an afternoon to sew it and then a bit longer to alter it.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I liked how easy the pattern was, I disliked that it ran larger than I expected from the measurements.

Fabric Used:
Black and White suiting (Joann Fabrics) and Cotton print for the inside waistband.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

    * Shortened skirt by 6 inches(?approx.)
    * Removed one set of pleats in the back to reduce fullness.
    * Added back seam because of fabric shortage!

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I probably won't sew this pattern again, and if I do, it will be with some alterations to the fit.  I think I would also invert the pleats so that the skirt doesn't dip in and give the illusion of baggy shorts.

Conclusion:
Interesting skirt for a beginning sewer.  Just learn from me and make sure you check your fit BEFORE you decide to finish!
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