Tutorial Tuesday | Felted Easter Egg

Today’s tutorial is very easy, versatile, and super fun for the kiddos!

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Tis the season for pastel colors, so pull them out and get ready to make some cute felted Easter eggs. They are reusable, unbreakable, and don’t stink (when cooking or dyeing)! They’re great for holiday decoration or games. The best part is that they’re fun to make!

Materials needed:

  1. poly-fil or core wool
  2. pastel colored outer wool
  3. felting needle
  4. felting pad
  5. warm soapy water
  6. cold tap water

So, let’s get started.

First, shape a small ball of poly-fil using the felting needle.

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Just keep stabbing until it’s close to the right shape. This doesn’t have to be perfect.

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Wrap the egg in pastel colored outer wool and use the felting needle to secure the fibers.

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You can spend as much or as little time as you’d like felting the egg. We will be wet felting this, but you could just needle felt it. If you choose to only needle felt, you’d want to spend more time making sure all the fibers are entangled well.

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Add some embellishments with another pastel color. My son wanted stripes. On other eggs, we did polka dots, zig zags, multiple colors. Get creative!

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Secure the fibers using the felting needle. Again, no need to spend too much time or be too perfect with this.

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Dunk the whole egg into the warm soapy water.

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The heat and the soap further secure the fibers.

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Roll the egg between your hands. The more you play with it, the more harder the felted shell will become. This is where the felting magic really happens. The friction and pressure of playing with the egg cause the fibers to entangle. They get matted and entangled enough that the whole egg begins to shrink and become more compacted. DSC_0225

This is a great activity to do outside, if it’s warm enough. It can be a little messy.

 

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When you’ve played with the egg enough, rinse it in cold tap water to remove all the suds. Allow the egg to dry outside or even in the dryer. (It will likely continue shrinking in the dryer- so just be aware)

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After your egg is dry, you can add more needle felted embellishments or leave it as is.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed this fun and simple felting idea. I’d love to see if you try this craft- let me know!

 

 

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Come see me on Facebook for latest projects. (Click the following image to go directly to Puddy Pad Designs on Facebook.)

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Tutorial Tuesday | Needle Felting Basic Supplies

Hello! Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday!

Today, I thought I’d give you a quick checklist of needle felting supplies and a little bit about the basics of needle felting.

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The tools

  • Felting Needle(s)
  • Felting Surface
  • Wool or other fiber

The list of tools is short, but there’s a lot of available variation.

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Let’s talk about needles. Felting needles are very sharp (and cause a lot of pain if you stab yourself). They have little barbs at the end to grab the fiber and entangle it.

dsc_0080Felting is simply matting fibers together by heat, moisture, or friction and pressure. I will show you how this is done in a later tutorial.

Fun fact: felting needles are not actually designed for manual use. They are designed to be used in felting machines with thousands of needles. Because of this, they are not really very comfortable to hold unless you use a multi tool, as is pictured above.

Needles come in different shapes: triangle, star, and spiral; and different gauges: 32, 36, 38, 40, 42– the larger numbers are for finer details. Each of the shapes and gauges have a specific purpose, but I think a good all-purpose needle is 38T (38 gauge, triangle shape).

You can use a single needle, or a tool that holds multiple needles, depending on personal preference and the type of project you are working on. You will have most control with a single needle.

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Next, you need a felting surface. There’s pretty much only two different surfaces used to protect your table (or lap) and your needles: foam or tightly compacted bristles. I have only ever used foam: camping foam, specific felting foam, and even couch cushions.

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Finally, you’ll need some sort of fiber for felting. This is where there’s the largest array of variations. For most of my projects, I use wool roving. The dyed stuff is usually merino. The more natural colored wool is usually a coarser wool like Corriedale. Raw curls can be used, making some interesting textures (Santa’s beard, for instance). You can use silk and even synthetic fibers. You could even unravel acrylic yarn and use that fiber to felt with.

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If you are doing 3-dimensional pieces, I recommend either core wool or polyester stuffing. These are not necessary, though; you can make an entire piece with your outer wool. Core wool and stuffing are much less expensive than other wool,though,  which is why they are a good tool to have.

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It is relatively inexpensive to get started with needle felting. I would suggest picking up an inexpensive kit to experiment with. They usually come with a small block of foam, a needle, and some wool. You may even find some kits with everything to create a 3-dimensional object. Someday, I may offer some starter kits. Would you be interested in something like that?

Needle Felting Basic Supplies at a glance

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other-felting-supplies

Suzy Sandal- Crochet pattern and tutorial

Introducing the Suzy Sandal

pdf link to the pattern: Suzy Sandal

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All of my previous babies were born in the fall or winter.  The crochet projects I did, while gestating, included beanies and booties- definite cold weather apparel.  This little girl will be born in the summer, so those go-to baby items just won’t work (for a while).  I have seen some cute sandals around various places on the interwebs and I thought I could come up with a cute version of my own.

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I I just made them, without writing down the pattern, but I had a bit of response from people wanting to try some, too.  So, I whipped up another pair, writing the pattern out for you.  🙂  They make size Newborn (approx. 3 inches), but you could easily make a 0-3 month size (3.5 inches) or 6 month (4 inches) by changing the hook size.  Perhaps sometime I will write new patterns for those sizes using the same hook size. 

I would love for you to try out the pattern, let me see your creations, and let me know of any problems or questions you run into.  A word of caution: they have not been tested on a live human, so I have no idea about fit.  If you try them and put them on your squishy baby, please let me know how they fit.  I will have a live model of my own come June, but until then, I just have to go with how it looks to me.

Oh, a word about the name.  When my oldest, Liam, found out that we were having a baby, he obsessed about it for days- before finding out that it’s a girl.  Every morning he’d see my growing belly and say, “I can’t wait to meet my new baby sister, Suzy!”  He even told his Sunday School class that his mom was going to have a baby girl named Suzy.  Well, I doubt that we’ll name her Suzy, but since we don’t have a name and she is referred to as Suzy, and since these were created with her in mind, that’s what I’m naming the pattern.

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So, let’s get to it, shall we?

Size F hook (3.75 mm)

worsted weight yarn

Sole:

Chain 9

Row 1: 3 sc in second stitch from hook, sc in next 2 stitches, hdc, dc in next 3 stitches, 6 dc in last stitch.  Working across other side of chain, dc in next 3 stitches, hdc, sc in next 2 stitches.

Row 2: Starting in the first sc of the last round, 2 sc in each of the next 3 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches, 2 sc in each of the next 6 stitches, sc in next 6 stitches.

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Row 3: Starting in the first sc of the last round, *sc in next, 2 sc in next,* Repeat 3 times, sc in next 8 stitches, *sc in next, 2 sc in next,* Repeat 4 times, sc in next 8 stitches.

Row 4: sc in next 2 stitches, 2 sc in next, sc in next 2 stitches, sc in next, slip stitch in next stitch

Row 5: slip stitch in each stitch around.  Fasten off. (39 stitches) Turn the entire sole over so that the back of the sole is on the inside of the shoe.  When you reattach the yarn, attach it only on the inside loops.

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Heel:

Attach yarn using a slip stitch 3 stitches from where you left off on the sole IN FRONT LOOPS ONLY.Image

(sorry about the blurry picture.)

Row 1: Chain 2 (This will be counted as your first dc), dc in each of the next 11 stitches (you should have 12 dc, including the first ch 2), chain 1, TURN

Row 2: hdc in next 2 stitches, hdc2tog in next, hdc in next 2 stitches, hdc2tog in next, hdc in last 2 stitches. Chain 1, TURN

Row 3: hdc across all 8 stitches

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For left shoe: chain 16, slip stitch in 2nd stitch from hook and each stitch across the strap and back of the shoe. (23 slip stitches) Fasten off.

For right shoe: slip stitch across the back of the shoe (8 slip stitches), chain 16, slip stitch in 2nd stitch from hook and each stitch of the strap.  Slip stitch strap to back of shoe. Fasten off.

Toe:

Attach yarn using a slip stitch in the 4th stitch from the left heel stitch on the sole IN FRONT LOOPS ONLY.

Row 1: Chain 4 (This will count as your first tc),* skip 1 stitch, tc in next stitch, chain 1,* Repeat 9 times, skip next stitch, tc in next stitch (this should be the 4th stitch from the heel.) chain 2, TURN

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Row 2: Making your stitch around the ch 1 that is between the  tc of the last row, dc2tog 5 times. chain 2, slip stitch to the first dc2tog stitch to close off the toe cap. Fasten off.

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Flower:

Make a magic ring with 7 hdc, slip stitch to first hdc and pull tail to close off ring.

Row 1:  *Chain 4, sc in next stitch* Repeat 7 times to make 7 petals.

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Row 2: *Chain 6, sc in back loops of the sc from last row (should create a petal right behind the petal from row 1)* Repeat 6 times, chain  6, slip stitch in last stitch to make 7 petals

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Fasten off, leaving a long tail to sew flower on to the toe cap.

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Weave in all ends, sew flower on.

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For the closure around the ankle, I used a small hook and eye closure and a button sewn on to the outside of the strap, just for aesthetics.  You can use a sew-on snap or other closure of your choice.

Repeat all steps for the other shoe.  Congratulations!  You now have a most adorable pair of summer sandals!

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Here is a link to the pdf version of the pattern.  Suzy Sandal

You may use this pattern as you wish, but please do not sell it as your own.  I would love a link back to this post if you use it.

Long overdue t shirt polo tutorial

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Back… oh, I don’t know when… I made a t shirt polo, posted some pattern pieces, and just kind of said, “Go for it!”  I have made more and intended on taking process photos to make a tutorial, but didn’t get to it until this week.  So, I present to you the long awaited t shirt polo tutorial.

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I only have the pieces in 12-18 month size, however, by simply lengthening the body pieces, you could make a 24 month size very easily.  Maybe use a bigger seam allowance to make a 6-12 month?

I’ve also made these into onesies, by extending the body pieces and adding snaps at the crotch, with good results.

IMG_4297These are very versatile and can be used for girls or boys.  The photos from the tutorial are a girly version, in fact. (I have boys, though, so the majority of the shirts I have made are for boys.)

Okay, let’s get started.  Print out the following pattern pieces at 100% scale.

T-shirt polo 1

T-shirt polo back 1

T-shirt polo back 2

T-shirt polo front1

T-shirt polo front2

Cut out your pieces.  You should have 1 front, 1 back, 2 sleeves, 2 collars, 2 top button/ collar pieces, and 2 rectangles for button placket facings.

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There is 1/2 inch seam allowance included.

Prepare the button placket on Front:  I will refer to the facings as A and B.  For facing A, simply press one rectangle in half, lengthwise, and set aside.  For facing B, press in half, lengthwise, and then fold in the raw edges 3/8 inch and press.  You are basically creating wide double fold bias tape (with your knit fabric).

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This is how to fold and press Facing B

I will also be referring to the two edges created by slitting the neckline on the Front Body piece as edge A and edge B.  Edge A will be the edge furthest away from the shoulder (left side of slit for girls/ right side for boys) and Edge B will be the other side.

Edge A: Sew Facing A to Edge A just to the bottom of the slit. (I surged the raw edge of the facing in this photo, but that is not necessary)

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Flip Facing A to the inside of the garment.  Press.  Top stitch.

Edge B: Sandwich Edge B between folded edges of Facing B.  Pin and stitch close to the folded edge to secure this facing to the garment.  Push the tail of Facing B to the inside.

Lap facings , lining up the neck opening, and sew together.

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Trim the excess tail from the facings.  Finish that edge by serging, zig zag stitch, or leave raw.

Top stitch two rows of stitching at the base of the facings (on the front of the garment)

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Collar:  Sew the two collar pieces together, right sides facing, along the two short sides and one long side (top).  Clip Corners, turn right sides facing out, and press.

Sandwich the raw edge of the collar between the two top button/ collar pieces, right sides facing.

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Stitch around the curves and top edge to secure the collar to the top button piece.  Be careful not to stitch too far into the bottom edge.  You only want to catch the collar at the top.

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Clip curves, turn right side out.  Press. Set Aside.

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Sew Front to Back at shoulder seams.

Pin and stitch the outside of top button/ collar along the neck opening.

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Turn inside edge of top button/ collar under.  Pin and top stitch (or hand stitch if you prefer to not see that stitching).

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Whew!  Hardest part is done!

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Next, sleeves:  Finish the hem of the sleeve as desired. (serge the raw edge, turn in 1/2 inch, and top stitch)

Pin and stitch to sleeve opening.

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I gave this sleeve a little bit of extra fullness and added a pleat to be more feminine. This is completely optional.

Stitch Front to Back under the arms and down the sides.

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Hem bottom as desired.

Make button holes on outside button placket.  Sew buttons on the appropriate placket.

You’re done!

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stripey t-shirt polo