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141  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Octopus evolution- now with rough pattern... on: December 07, 2008 06:58:25 AM

I started making a few fabric balls for my toddler as he's reached that "lets chuck everything around the house to wind up my mum, stage" and I needed something safe and appropriate to use for indoor football practice.
When I'd made a few, an idea started to come together in my head and soon the simple ball pattern began to elongate and legs appeared.
With a wee bit more tweaking and some chunky textured velvet, my octopus was fully formed and ready to meet his public!

Except for a few sock monkeys,this was my first soft toy animal and I'm really happy with it.
I'm especially happy about how the pattern just kind of happened! Grin

Here's a picture of the paper patterns I used for the balls and the octopus.
I suggest that you try putting together a ball first, it's good practice for getting mr octo's head right:
 Cut 8 shapes, sew together in pairs then sew the resulting ball quarters together so you get two halves then sew these together leaving a gap to turn it right side out and stuff. I found doing it in this order made it easier to get the points to meet neatly at either end.

The octopus top can be pieced in a similar way, but only join the pieces together as far as the wide centre point leaving the righthand  sides (roughly marked with yellow dots- a bit to small to see on the photo... sorry) free as these form the tentacles.
The undersides need to be stitched together along the short left hand triangular shaped bit(marked with purple dots - you can see them if you zoom in) so they fan out into a star shape. leave the final join unsewn to give you a hole to turn him right side out through. Pin the underside of the tentacles to the tops and stitch together. turn right side out through the gap in his underside. it took me a lot of time and poking about with a knitting needle to get his tentacles right. Stuff the head and tentacles firmly but don't put too much in the flat skirt shaped part of his body. sew up the hole in his underneath and quilt in triangles between his tentacles to give the webbed effect.
His eyes were just circles of white fabric I sewed with a running stitch, then pulled up to make a little pouch which I stuffed and sewed shut then hand stitched on eyelids made of the body fabric and slot like octopus pupils made of black felt.

Sorry I couldn't find the time to do a more detailed tute with pictures, but I'm up to my neck with work all to be finished by Christmas!
142  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Space Cowboy Shirt (lots of pictures) on: November 30, 2008 02:30:43 PM
143  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Le sac de chocolat - puffy drawstring bag. on: November 04, 2008 07:08:38 AM
Made for the Chocoholics Unanimous swap.

I wanted something to contain all the tasty treats I was sending my partner and an excuse to try out a bit of free hand, machine embroidery.

The fabric was a tasty white chocolate coloured shot silk and I did the stitching in a dark chocolate brown thread.
Couple of close ups

144  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Triple chocolate wham bam bag on: November 04, 2008 06:51:58 AM

This was made for the chocoholics unanimous swap,

My partner had this fantastic looking "Triple chocolate wham bam" bar on her wists and since I couldn't run to 12 QUID (!?!)  Shocked for a chocolate bar, I thought I would have a go at producing my own rather more economic and practical version

For more frighteningly expensive chocolaty goodness have a look here http://www.hotelchocolat.co.uk/chocolate-bars-Chcoslab/

I had some dark brown linen, lighter brown brushed cotton and ivory silk in my stash, so I layered them up and traced the swirly design from an enlargement of the original picture on to the silk.
I straight stitched round the shapes and cut out various layers to produce a kind of reverse appliqu. Then satin stitched in ivory over the raw edges. I satin stitched some in contrast dark brown thread to make it look a bit swirly-er.

Finished bag.

Here's the lining, A lovely scrap of spicy orange silk with rusty red stylised flowers.

hope you like it!
145  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Chocoholics Unanimous Round 3! finished! send outs were Oct 23, 2008! on: October 25, 2008 02:37:39 PM
 Grin All posted and ready to share!
Check it out. I had a truly talented partner and the most fantastic parcel.

lovin it, lovin it!

g x
146  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Re: Choc Unan Rd 3 Gallery of Chocolatey Goodness! on: October 25, 2008 02:16:26 PM
Many apologies for the delay in posting all this beautiful and delicious stuff. It's been a wild and crazy day with the kids, who are safely in bed now so I can at last get on with this!
Thank you, thank you to my lovely swap partner. The contents of my package are fantastic and couldn't have suited me better if I'd designed it all myself.
Without further ado, here we go....
The fabulous bag as it came out of the box, packed to bursting with goodies.

The fabric is a truly lustrous and luscious colour and the bag is beautifully made, real attention to detail.

Here's the mountain of chocolaty stuff contained within (I feel really spoiled, it looks tasty!)

I tried to flash a bit of the bag lining, all lovely swirly autumnal colours.
At the front of the picture is a tissue holder made to match the bag. Wrapped around some intriguingly delicious looking sachets of hot chocolate on the right is an embroidered "hot chocolate" cup sleeve.

Here is my wee bald boy "helping" me unpack. He's got the M&Ms lip balm which smells unbelievably  chocolatey.

Also check out the chocolate cherry crocheted hat in the foreground.

Close up of cup sleeve with chocolate molecule embroidery most excellently executed on it.

Finally an action shot of one happy and satisfied, first time swapper, modelling the very warm, comfy and fantastic chocolate cherry hat!

'scuse the octopus, it lives on our couch.

I've had such a good time with this swap, I'll definitely be doing another. Alison, thanks once again for being a fantastic swap partner.

Gem xxx
147  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Chocoholics Unanimous Round 3! finished! send outs were Oct 23, 2008! on: October 24, 2008 04:32:20 AM
 Grin Grin Grin It's here, it's here, it's here!!!!!!!!!!!! Grin Grin Grin

 Wow! a complete box of delights!

I'm trying to fend my toddler off long enough to get photographing.

Thank you so much to 85%confusion, she's a very talented and generous lady.
148  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Chocoholics Unanimous Round 3! finished! send outs were Oct 23, 2008! on: October 20, 2008 03:30:46 PM
 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin Posted my parcel off this afternoon  Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
149  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Re: Chocoholics Unanimous Round 3! finished! send outs were Oct 23, 2008! on: October 18, 2008 01:50:16 PM
 >:(Bah! missed the post on Friday, so no chance to send til Monday....
Don't worry 85%confusion it's on it's way, just a little bit delayed.

150  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: 3 more hats on: October 16, 2008 11:32:12 AM
Fantastic! They have a really 20's flapper look.
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