Thursday, October 10, 2013

Doll Halloween Costumes

This is a spur of the moment blog entry. I really planned the next blog to be a crocheted scarf pattern which I’ll be posting soon. As I write this, it's October and Halloween is nearing so I'm sharing this fun little post first in the hope that these costumes make you smile.

The photo above shows 5 of the 10 Bratz dolls that I costumed last October. After I made each one I placed it on my mantle in the living room and every time I passed by I just had to chuckle at the growing group. That's Frankenstein on the left, who is trying to scare everyone. Next in line is the cupcake girl complete with frosting and a cherry on top of her head. I call the middle one Hoodie girl. She's in Halloween color knits made from striped socks. Fourth from the left is a boy clown with a wig that I crocheted from fun fur and finally is a little girl with a candy corn hat that I knitted.  She's also sporting a candy corn sweat shirt, a black skirt and orange and black leggings.

I’m in a group on called Good Things Together in which one of our threads is called The Dollhouse. This year will be the third consecutive year in that thread that we are having a Halloween doll fashion show. I haven't started my costumes for this year so I'm sharing some that I made in the past two years. 

One of the careers I wanted to do when I was a child was fashion designer. I guess I still have that love deep inside because my favorite TV show is Project Runway. Along the way, in years past, I also designed and made costumes for college theater productions. 

Here’s my black swan Bratz from last year. I did make a little black partial mask but it is not on the ballerina in this photo.

Photo above: I call these two little fairies Paris Hilton and her sister. They got scared out trick or treating and, while trying to run, one of the girls dropped her bag of goodies and everything spilled on the ground.

These fairy costumers were so easy to make! I used little girl’s frilly socks for the clothing and found the butterfly wings at the dollar store. With only a little sewing to close up the panty part of each costume, the outfits were done in a flash—very little fussing.

Photo above: I did manage to make this flapper outfit, as modeled here by a Liv doll. They have proportionately larger heads than Barbies.

While I’m at it, I’ll include two more photos from the year before. Below is another Liv doll as a nightclub singer.

The basic dress is from a commercial pattern. I crocheted the flower which took longer to make the whole dress! I also made the microphone and base formed using Fimo clay that I installed on a thin dowel. 

The Liv dolls are so much fun to pose. While no longer manufactured and rather short-lived in production, they are still easy to find at thrift stores for very little money and on ebay. They are bald but have wigs that fit with a nob on the crown of the head. Many times, if I have a head that I like from another kind of doll but the body is not articulated and can’t be posed as well, then I match skin colors of body to head and switch them out.

Finally, here is my Carmen Miranda outfit on the right, made two years ago.

Not everyone knows Carmen Miranda unless they are as old as I am or if they are old movie buffs. Carmen Miranda was a very popular movie star, singer and entertainer in the 1940’s and 50’s. She wore the most amazing costumes with fancy headdresses. 

I sewed the costume (no pattern) and crocheted the pineapple (also no pattern) and formed the bananas from Fimo clay. The grapes are little felted wool balls.

I am including a close up of the headdress. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crocheted Easter Eggs

Introduction: We kid around in ravelry groups about “fiber therapy,” saying it's our way of dealing with stress. It's actually true. I guess you could call it "creative meditation" and in the process we make fun, unique, beautiful, interesting, huggable, and/or wearable items.

Recently crocheting Easter eggs has been my personal fiber therapy. I had so much fun doing them I thought I’d pass along this little how-to for others who may want to create—whether or not they seek fiber therapy. The results will be the same for everyone—lovely little eggs to bring out and enjoy year after year.

What: These are crocheted Easter eggs that cover the regular size plastic ones that measure about 5¾ inches (14.5 cm) around the middle and 3½ inches (9 cm) from top to bottom. These eggs are very simple to create because each is a continuous spiral of single crochet stitches using multi colored (ombre) yarn—no need to change colors.

Let’s get started!

Crocheted Easter Egg (Ombre)

What you will need:
• a G Hook (4.0 mm)
• ombre cotton yarn, such as Peaches & Crème or Sugar ‘n cream (4 ply)
• scissors
• a tapestry needle
• a plastic Easter egg

Start: ch 2
Rnd 1: 6 sc in 2nd st from hook. Mark start of rounds but do not join on this or in future rounds.
Rnd 2: 2 scs in each st (12)
Rnd 3: *(1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st). Repeat from * around. (18)
Rnd 4: *(2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st). Repeat from * around. (22)
Rnds 5-10: 1 sc in each st around.

Decreases start in round 11. To decrease, draw up yarn in each of the next 2 sc, YO and draw through all 3 loops (dec made).

Rnd 11: Dec 2 st in this round like this: sc 9, dec, sc until you reach the last 2 st and then dec. (20)
Rnd 12: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 13: Slip egg inside with pointed end up. With egg inside your work, sc in each st around being mindful to keep your stitches tight.
Rnd 14: *(Sc 4, dec). Repeat from * around.
Rnd 15: 2 scs *(dec, 4 sc). Repeat from * around.

From this point forward, repeat the following: 2 sc, dec until you have a ½ inch (1.5 cm) opening. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch (20 cm) yarn tail. Using your tapestry needle, gather up your stitches to close up the hole. Secure and hide your yarn tail. 

Addendum: I've been making other crocheted eggs, too—in all 24 of them this year. Most require color/yarn changes. Using solid color cottons, these eggs feature stripes and other patterns. 

Here is one of the baskets of crocheted eggs. These eggs feature various patterns and a limited color palette: pink, cream and periwinkle. 

Here is another set of my crocheted eggs. These eggs also feature various patterns with an even more limited color palette, only two colors: cream and cornflower.