Monday, July 28, 2008

drum roll please...Molly Monkey pattern done!

NOTE: Please do not upload my PDF to another server. Leave it right here where it can be downloaded conveniently for free and also updated with any improvements or changes (which it has been, twice at least!). Links are always always welcome, but please do not link directly to the PDF download. Please link to this post. Thank you!

ALSO NOTE: If you are having trouble with the placement for the face, you can print an extra pattern piece for the face, then cut the eyes out and poke holes with a large pin on the lines for the nose and mouth. Then you can lay your template over the felt face piece to draw on the eyes and make dots to guide for the mouth and nose placement with a disappearing marker.

At long, long last, I've completed the Molly Monkey pattern, and it is here for you to download, gratis. Help yourself! It is a zip file that is 1.5 mb. Uncompressed, it turns into a nine page PDF file, which can be opened and printed by a variety of PDF reader programs, like Acrobat Reader.

I put a lot of crazy hours into the pattern and doll design, so please never sell, publish or distribute the pattern. That is a violation of my copyright.

Wonderful and intrepid volunteer crafters, Olivia and Chandra, made Mollies from the first draft of the pattern so that you could have the much-improved second draft. See their Mollies below: Chandra's is the Molly with the pink beret, Olivia's is the Molly with the blue beret. I was so excited to see their creations!

Chandra's Molly
Olivia's Molly
If you find any errors, be a pal and make a comment to me here. Feedback is most welcome. I've already had several suggestions to improve the pattern and I've been updating the PDF file as I get them. Thanks y'all!

If you make a Molly and would like to share your photos, I'd really love to see them. Pleassssse post them here in my Molly Monkey group on Flickr.

If you are just ecstatic with your pattern, perhaps you will click the donate button on the right and zap me a few dollars with PayPal. It would be most appreciated!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Katy Kitty in the works...

the design is mostly done...
and the fabrics are picked out.
daughter's birthday deadline approaching! can't find red corduroy! aaaaaaahhhh!
(edit: yes, I found some at Joann! whoo hoo!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

make a headband cover

I don't know about you, but good-fitting headbands are hard for me to find. They often give me earaches and headaches. Also, those elasticized headbands that go all around your head just don't stay on me well. They keep slipping off the back of my head. Maybe because I have such a freakishly high forehead. But I'm loving all the cute, wide, fabric headbands out there right now and I need some.

Soooo...recently I bought my daughter a handful of those el cheapo thin, flexible plastic headbands and noticed they do not hurt my head. So, I thought, why not cover it with wide fabric? And make it so I can switch covers at will?

So I stole a flashy gold one that she doesn't like for me to use. I measured the circumference of the headband with a measuring tape, added a bit for breathing room, then drew out a silhouette of a wide headband that tapers to a point just behind the ears. (sorry I didn't think to take photos of the whole process, but it is pretty straightforward, and there is a free pattern included below in case your headband is the same kind as mine)

I added the seam allowance, cut out two from my fabric*, and stitched it all around, right sides facing, leaving 2 inches open for turning. (before stitching, you could add interfacing too if you want a stiffer look).

*Savvy crafter Olivia offers this improvement: before you stitch, replace the slit with a buttonhole and you won't have to dab it with Fraycheck like certain impatient crafters named Larissa.

I turned it, then topstitched the opening closed. You could topstitch the whole thing if you were so inclined and liked that look. Then, on the bottom side, about an inch or so above one end, I used my seam ripper to cut a slit about half an inch wide in one layer of fabric, so basically I had a slit to feed in the headband (skip this slit/fraycheck step if you already did Olivia's buttonhole idea). I dotted Fraycheck around the cut to keep it from fraying.

Then I fed in the thin plastic headband through the opening until it was all inside. Voila. Instant, comfortable, wide headband, that I can switch out whenever I want with the other fabric covers I plan on making. You can see a lump where the thin headband is inside, but to me that just looks like a wrinkle in the fabric, kinda the look I was going for.

Pretend there is a Heather Bailey-esque arty photo of me wearing it here. Not happening.

Do you want to make one? Here's my free pattern, although you should measure your headband first to make sure it will fit. Make sure the pattern prints at actual size, not 'sized to fit'.

Friday, July 18, 2008

make your own shoulder bag

I made this messenger bag a while back out of Jade Somerset by Braemore. I found the pattern free from the good folks at Sew Young, Sew Fun. Sadly, their site no longer exists.

However, there are plenty of other options out there for a free bag pattern, including:

this tutorial by Tiny Happy,
this hobo bag at JCarolineCreative
this one on the Robert Kaufman fabric site
this free yoga bag pattern from Amy Butler (navigate down to free patterns, then scroll)
and this one from Craftbits

(Late note, I eventually posted my own version of a free messenger bag pattern since I can't point you to the Sew Young Sew Fun version. Here it is.)