Monday, September 30, 2013

Pattern testing -- the All-In-One Bag by Flutter from.Kat

Last week, I had a really fun opportunity to test out a bag pattern for a great sewing/crafting blogger -- Kat, from Diary of a Flutter.Kat.  She sews amazing quilts and other fun things in New Zealand, and her blog has many free tutorials as well as some terrific patterns for sale.  When she put out a request for pattern testers for her new bag, I jumped at the chance and was thrilled that she picked me.

Here is a shot of the "All-In-One Bag" I made (as posted on Kat's Instagram feed):


It really was a blast sewing a pattern and being able to make comments.  Kat and I e-mailed back and forth a few times over the past week about various parts of the pattern, and she did make some alterations to the instructions that I and the other pattern testers suggested.  The pattern was already in great shape when I tested it, and now it's perfect as far as I can tell.

Here is a shot I took as I started sewing last week.  I love capturing all of the various pieces that go into the bags I sew.  (Too bad I forgot to lay out the magnetic snap and the material I had cut for the strap.  Just ignore the second lobster clasp I laid out -- I really only needed one.)

The bag has a neat shape due to the darts Kat has you sew in at the top on the outside and on the lining.  It can be carried like a traditional bag if you attach the lobster clasp to the opposite side . . .

. . . or it can be more of a clutch/wristlet if you attach the lobster clasp at the same side.

I should have put cards in the card pockets to show how perfectly they fit.

There is also a divider inside created by an internal zipper pouch -- so handy to corral the band-aids, chapstick, tissues, etc. that I need to carry.

Here is the view from the back.

It's a purse!

No!  It's a clutch/wristlet!

I loved the bag so much that I wanted to try making it again after Kat sent me the second draft of the pattern.  This time I tried the alternate strap suggestion involving a ribbon sewed to twill tape, and I think it turned out pretty cute.  I'm mad because I accidentally put the magnetic clasp on the wrong side of the flap (it was totally my fault -- not the pattern's!) so the brown should have been the underside and the salmon/coral color on the outside.  (Yes, it appears I am on a floral fabric kick right now.)

Here it is converted to clutch/wristlet.

On the other side of the bag from the card pocket is an internal patch pocket that fits my cell phone perfectly.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to test this great new pattern, Kat!  It was fun corresponding with someone on the other side of the world (it's something like 17 hours later there, which is pretty cool).  Best wishes on selling the pattern -- it's worth every NZ$!

Click here to purchase a digital download of the All-In-One Bag pattern directly from Kat (in NZ$).

Click here to purchase the digital download of the All-In-One Bag pattern via Craftsy (in US$).

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ike's Stork

Ike is one of my favorite kids in the whole wide world.  His mom, Emma, is awesome and loves to go on fun adventures, so Sonia and I have been all over Chicagoland with them.  Sonia and Ike are almost as close as (and sometimes fight like) siblings!  So for Ikey's fourth birthday, I knew I had to find something really special to make for him.

One of Ikey's adorable traits is his obsession with animals.  Any animal.  He doesn't discriminate!  Stuffed animals are his constant companions; he is totally that little kid that you see at the store, dragging a huge stuffed shark with him.  He also loves unusual animals-- how many little kids are passionate in their love for cassowaries?  During the months leading up to Ikey's birthday, he was loving storks.  Luckily, due to the whole "stork bringing babies" thing, stork crochet patterns are actually not that hard to find!  I found a really cute free pattern on Ravelry and had a great time crocheting it for my little animal-loving buddy.

Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't call for my beloved safety eyes, and because the head and body are worked in one piece (starting with the head and going down from there), I had no idea which side of the head to place the safety eyes.  If I had chosen wrong, the eyes could have ended up on the side or back of the head.  So, I had to wait until the body was complete and sew on buttons for the eyes.  Hopefully, they'll stay on okay.  They're too small to be choking hazards, anyway.

Knowing how hard little kids are on their toys, I shoved a thin wooden dowel up inside the neck in an attempt to keep the neck straight for as long as possible.  I love the wings and tail!

The legs were hilarious to make.... You take two 30 cm long pipe cleaners, bend them in half, and then stick them through a 10 cm length of drinking straw, leaving 2.5 cm of pipe cleaner hanging out at the top and bottom of the straw.  On the side with the four pipe cleaner ends hanging out, you splay those ends out into the four toes.  Then, you crochet over the whole thing (well, up to the top of the straw), stick the remaining 2.5 cm of pipe cleaners up into the body, and sew the legs to the body.  If the stork weren't so top heavy, it would actually stand up pretty well!  But the merest hint of a breeze knocks it over.  Here are two somewhat blurry cell phone pictures I took (to send to Niki, of course) of the legs in process:

So funny....  I love that technique!  I ended up crocheting the leg tube first and then sliding the straw/pipe cleaner support inside.  Then, I crocheted over the toes.  It was tricky and took a lot of concentration, but the result was great!  I love the subtle "knee joints" that the pattern includes.

The pattern is actually for a stork who is delivering a baby inside a blanket.  I didn't bother making the blanket, but I did make the hat in case Ikey wanted to accessorize his stork friend.

Sonia posed with the stork to give you an idea of how tall he ended up.  Love the finished result!  I would definitely make this pattern again. (Note the gorgeous t-shirt sundress Sonia is wearing.... Another lovely creation by Auntie Niki!)

Happy fourth birthday, Ike-a-buddy!  I hope you have many fun hours playing with the stork (and that the legs and eyes stand up to all that play).  Good luck to Emma in figuring out how to make Ike a stork costume for Halloween!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quinn's Bicycle Bucket

In the latest installment of "Why Anna from Noodlehead should start charging me to make gifts from her free tutorials", here is a gift I sewed for my nephew, Quinn, from my favorite Bicycle Bucket tutorial.

I checked my voicemail a few weeks ago and on it was a hilariously sweet message from Quinn (who is four and a half) asking me to please please please make him a bicycle bucket like Maisie's so he can take Kayla Dog (his favorite stuffed animal) on bike rides.  How could I say no?

A quick consultation with his mom led me to buy some Lightning McQueen fabric for the outside, and of course I had to line the inside with my favorite flame fabric.  I kind of cheated with this bike bucket because I only had single-sided fusible ultra-stiff interfacing on hand.  I fused it to the inside and the shape of the bucket holds the outside in place nicely.  (If I had fused it to the outside pieces, then poor Quinn would have kept pulling the loose lining out accidentally, I figured.)

My in-laws took it to Quinn last weekend and it was a big hit.  They sent me this sweet cell phone pic of Quinn  and Kayla Dog testing it out:

Thank goodness Kayla Dog won't be left behind (or worse, my sister-in-law forced to carry him) on bike rides anymore.  Glad you like it Quinn -- nothing makes me happier than to sew something upon request (as opposed to my usual m.o., which is foisting sewn gifts upon unsuspecting recipients).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Girly handbag with piping

I love piping, but I haven't tackled too many projects with it because it still intimidates me.  Don't ask me why -- it just does.  I decided to try this little handbag (The Whim of a Trim Bag from Sew Can Do) solely because I thought the piping was awesome.  So, I took a deep breath and jumped right in.

The outer fabric is home decor weight that I found in  -- where else? -- the remnant bin at Jo-Ann's.  The lining is also a remnant bin find, but it's more of a quilter's weight cotton.  The straps are some I bought in the purse accessories section at Jo-Ann's, and they are the same kind Erin and I put on our crochet purses.

The piping went in great -- I think I have finally conquered my fear of piping.  I love how the tutorial taught me a foolproof way to sew in the piping.  I am going to have to put piping in more projects!  Now if I can only learn to sew straight and keep things pinned properly I will get a better finished product.

I added the pink button on the flap because I forgot to put padding over the backing of the magnetic clasp and it was making the fabric look worn there already!  I just hot-glued on the button because I obviously couldn't hand sew through a metal clasp.  The button ties in the lining nicely, which is important because the lining is so visible from the top view of the bag.

The lining matches better than this photo makes it look.  It's really overcast here and my photos didn't turn out so hot.  There is an interior patch pocket that I made from the outer fabric, but I wish I had placed it lower.  As it sits now, the top of the pocket is so close to the top of the bag that anything I put in the pocket would likely fall completely out of the bag if it fell over.

I really do like the bag, but I probably would have preferred a thinner gusset and a line of piping around the top of the bag as well.  It was interesting how the Peltex was inserted after the bag was formed -- I had to stuff it through a tiny opening in the lining and then wrestle with the three pieces to get them straight before the final topstitch on the outside of the bag.  That took practically as much time as constructing the entire rest of the bag.  I probably would have preferred to fuse the Peltex to the bag's pieces before constructing the main portion of the bag -- even though the topstitching is supposed to hold the Peltex into shape, the bottom of the Peltex pieces flap free.  It should be better once I put my stuff inside the purse though.

The original pattern called for adding super cute pleather handles and a spring snap for the flap.  I already had a magnetic clasp on hand so I used that instead.  The only pre-made pleather handles at Jo-Ann's would have cost nearly $20 for two of them, so I chose the fabric ones instead (for less than half the price).  I could have sewn some from pleather yardage, but I wanted a more finished look for the bag.  Too bag my top stitching around the top of the bag looks kind of cruddy because I just couldn't seem to get my tension right due to the bulk of the Peltex combined with home decor weight fabric and interfaced lining.  Come to think of it, adding piping to the top of the bag might have been a disaster.

It would made a cute camera bag if I added some padding, but it is probably too open on top to give much protection to the camera.  It was a fun sew anyway, even though the very last step (adding some tacking stitches to the creases on the gusset) made my machine throw a huge tantrum (I forgot that while sewing through one layer of Peltex was a headache, sewing through two layers is a complete and total nightmare) and nearly caused me to throw the bag out the window.

I'm going to have to keep a lookout for some purse feet, because they would be perfect for this bag.  I have never used any before, but I love when purses have those.

Time to come up with an excuse to leave the house to show off my new bag!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAN! -- a toy bag and luggage tag for Peter

For some time now, my son has been obsessed with Batman.  He has worn his Batman Halloween costume so much that I had to resew most of the seams, and he has worn holes in his Batman cape.  We own Batman DVDs, Batman clothes, and countless Batman toys.  We have watched the old show from the '60s online many many times, and did I mention we have a few toys?  Said toys are forever getting separated from each other and spread all over the place, so I decided that he needed a Batman/Super Friends toy bag similar to the Star Wars bag that helps corral the toys from the Star Wars universe.

The bag is a slightly modified version of the "Drawstring Tidy Caddy" from the Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders book Erin got me for our birthday.  I had to modify it because I accidentally cut the first pattern piece upside down and then didn't have enough Batman fabric left to recut that piece (plus the four others I needed) the right way.  I used felt for the batting (which only goes up to slightly below the handles), and used my new basting spray on it.  I'm so glad I finally remembered to buy some.

Because of my cutting error, the bag is slightly shorter than it was originally designed to be, plus there is less fabric tucked down inside of the drawstring part.  That aspect of the construction was very odd -- when you sew together the outside and lining of the bag, you do so with a THREE-INCH seam allowance, and then that chunk of fabric just languishes unseen on the inside of the bag.  The pattern justifies it by saying the extra fabric adds some body to the top drawstring part of the bag, but surely that could be accomplished with a bit of interfacing rather than wasting fabric?  Because my pieces were already shorter than they should have been, I sewed the outside and the lining together with just a half-inch seam allowance.  I don't think the bag suffers for lack of body at the drawstring part.

I also didn't like how the handles were supposed to be constructed (sew a tube, turn it right-side out, then stuff in the batting?  Huh?).  I scoffed at the instructions and then just sewed the handles by folding and pressing the fabric like I was making binding, slipping in a layer of felt, and triple-stitching lines down it.  Much easier, and no tube-turning/batting-stuffing involved.

The last strange thing about the pattern that I changed was the drawstring casing.  I read the instructions 40 times and still couldn't figure out how on earth it was constructed.  Finally, I threw up my hands and just unpicked seams on opposite sides between rows of stitching to create exit/entry points for the drawstrings.  I added two instead of the one the pattern called for so the strings could be pulled in opposite directions to securely close the bag instead of trying to teach my three-and-a-half-year-old to use a drawstring stopper.

Here is the view from the top, with the drawstring closed.

The inside was supposed to be made from the same material as the outside.  That's no fun!  Instead, I looked through my stash for a coordinating blue fabric.  I didn't have enough of any one of the random blues I had, so I cut four different blues (which kind of matched the outside with its various shades of blues).  I love the way it turned out.

Finally, I bought a hilarious backpack for Peter at Target for preschool.  They have to carry full-size backpacks (to fit all the 1,946,382 works of art they make at school), and it was a no-brainer to buy a Batman one.  Love the pecs and abs.  Anyway, we also have to label the backpack, and my usual Sharpie method wouldn't work on this black fabric.  Until I could sew a fun luggage tag, I slapped some painter's tape on there with Peter's name.  It looked totally ghetto, so I quickly stitched together a cool luggage tag from the same fabric as the bag using Craft Apple's Round Luggage Tag tutorial.

This project is momentous for me because it forced me to learn how to make buttonholes!  I didn't use the whole sensor foot because I wasn't trying to make it fit a button, but I used the buttonhole setting.  The directions in the instruction book were nice and easy to follow.  I made one on a scrap piece of fabric first, then jumped right in and made the buttonholes on the tag.  Worked like a charm!  I can now check that off of my learn to sew skills list (if I in fact kept such a list, which I probably should).

I typically don't like raw edges, but I made an exception because this tutorial looked like a quick sew.  Peter thinks it's awesome and now Charlotte wants one for her purple backpack, too.  I sewed the whole shebang shut instead of leaving it open to be able to replace the nametag inside, but to be honest I don't think there is another member of this family who really will ever use this tag.  It's yours forever, Petey Pie!  In hindsight, I probably should have printed out a cool-looking tag to slip inside rather than just scribbling with a Sharpie.  Maybe when I make Charlotte's tag I will print something out.

Aaaaaand wouldn't you know it -- just as I was tying on the new tag to Peter's backpack, I suddenly noticed a built-in nametag slot on the back of the backpack.  I put another label in there for good measure and kicked myself for not noticing it sooner.  Would have saved me a little time, but I had fun sewing the luggage tag and learning to make buttonholes!

Poor Peter is always stopping by my sewing table to see the things I make and asking, "is dat fo' me?"  The answer is virtually always "no".  Well buddy, I finally made you something!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bag to hold the Camp NanaB Car Wash

At Camp NanaB this year, we had a car wash!

Well, the kids mostly just rode bikes and scooters through it, but we called it a "car wash" anyway.  That's my nephew, Quinn, zipping through on the bike.  Barb had cut out directions for building this from a magazine years and years ago, and this year she enlisted the help of Larry and Corey to build it for the kids.  It's made from PVC pipes with holes drilled in them and it hooks up to a hose.  It was a huge hit, to say the least.

Now that fall is coming, it's time to pack up the car wash until next summer.  Barb asked me if I would make her a bag to hold it all.  The PVC pipes come apart, but some of the pieces are still nearly six feet long.  I grabbed some green duck cloth and added it to the brown duck cloth remnants I had left over from sewing Larry's 5-Gallon Bucket Organizer.  Then, I sewed a basic drawstring bag and boxed the corners.  The drawstring is parachute cord and the drawstring stopper is the same two-hole kind I used on the Double Skein Yarn Bag.

I forgot that boxing the corners would take a little from the height, so I hope it's still long enough!  If you mash it down flat, the middle part between the boxed corners is still six feet long though.  The lighting for this picture is terrible because it's really cloudy and rainy outside, thus it wasn't possible to take a nice photo with natural light.  Plus, this sucker is huge and not easy to photograph when your only potential photography assistant at home right then is less than four feet tall.

The bag would have been pretty boring if I had left it plain, so I added an appliqué car (made from the green duck cloth and some black felt).

I'm bringing it over to Barb's later this morning -- I hope all the pieces fit inside!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kym's Gathered Clutch

I should probably just consider this post to be my bid to be president of the Noodlehead Gathered Clutch fan club (if such a thing existed, that is).  This is the fourth one I have made, and I actually have plans to make another one as well.  There may be a restraining order out on me by the end of the week if Anna sees this post.

As a "welcome back to Michigan!" present of sorts, I made Kym this clutch from fabric she selected from my stash.  We though the band across the front would look better a little wider since she wanted the silver dotted burlap -- to make it the size the pattern calls for would only show one row of dots.  I also didn't sew the band into a tube first just to avoid a bulky seam across the center.  I just folded the edges of the burlap under and ironed it flat before stitching it to the gathered piece.  Worked like a charm.

Gotta put a "K" charm on the zipper pull, of course!

I texted Kym a photo of the finished product and she was thrilled.  She doesn't know, however, that I added a super secret surprise lining.  Like Corey, she is an MSU alum (in a mixed marriage to a U of M alum!) so I thought she would get a kick out of the MSU fabric.  Let's just hope her husband, Drew, doesn't take offense.

It's really hard to take a good photo of the lining of a bag -- especially one this small!  Kym has an iPhone with a big Otterbox case like mine, so this will be perfect for that as well.  As with the first three I made, I added a layer of felt to each side for extra padding, rounded the bottom corners, sewed in a tab to attach a wrist strap to, and made the credit card slots vertical instead of horizontal.

She's back in Tennessee packing up the house this weekend, but we hope to have the whole family over for dinner Sunday.  Hope she likes it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A happy birthday clear vinyl zipper pouch for Corey

Corey really wanted a nice clear vinyl window zipper pouch for his car registration and insurance cards in the Mustang.  I kind of kept pushing it down the list because I had made the pattern before and was more excited about making other things.  When his birthday rolled around, I figure I had better bump it back up to the top of the list and get cracking!  Vanilla Joy's 30 Minute Peek-a-Boo Pencil Pouch is a great pattern for such a bag, even though it is a little bigger than you really need for the paperwork.  Better too big than too small though!

As with the previous two times I made this pattern, I was a little annoyed with the raw edges on the inside.  I took care of the most obvious ones by adding a topstitched border around the edge.  There are still some raw edges around the vinyl that shred a little, and it's not really possible to use fray check after it's sewn because you would be able to see the staining through to the front.  I guess I should either zigzag or fray check the edges of the pieces before stitching them to the vinyl.  Either that, or I am going to have to figure out a way to construct a similar pouch so that these raw edges aren't an issue.

Hopefully, this pouch won't get a ton of use (i.e., Corey won't be getting speeding tickets and having to whip out his license and registration a bunch of times) and there won't be little strings coming off that often.  Right, Corey???  Either that, or let's hope the police office is such a Michigan State fan that he/she forgets to give Corey a ticket because he/she is too busy admiring the pouch.

I added a layer of Craft Fuse to the peek-a-boo lining piece to give it a little more structure, but now I'm thinking I would like to try constructing the pouch with the front pieces interfaced as well.  That would probably help with keeping the fabric from stretching while I sew on the zipper (which is part of the reason why the top edge looks a little wonky).

Corey's Sparty Doll -- a free crochet amigurumi pattern

My brother-in-law, Corey, is a Michigan State University graduate and probably the university's biggest fan.  A few years back, his dog chewed up his Sparty (the Michigan State mascot) doll, leaving behind only Sparty's little Spartan helmet.  So sad.  Amigurumi to the rescue!  I scoured the internet for either find patterns or just to ogle others' creations, and I found very little Michigan State crocheted items.  Not one Sparty doll.  Curious, I searched for crocheted items relating to my alma mater, Notre Dame, and found just a few things as well.  I guess crochet mania has yet to truly embrace fans wishing to support their place of higher learning?  Time for me to put my amigurumi skills to work and go rogue.


Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

Since I would need to make two of several items, I realized I was going to have to write down the pattern that I created.  Can't have a Sparty with mismatched arms!  I am posting my Michigan State University Spartan Mascot (aka Sparty) crochet pattern to the Roonie Ranching blog to save it for posterity and help any other crocheters out there fulfill their Sparty crochet needs.

Michigan State University Spartan Mascot (Sparty) Doll

Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

Materials used:
- US - F/5 hook (3.75mm) and E/6 hook (3.50mm)
- Yarn needle
- Red Heart Super Saver Yarn in white, green (Dark Sage), black, gray, skin color (Buff), and brown (Coffee)
- 9mm safety eyes
- Polyester stuffing
- Marker to mark the end of a round
    Stitches/techniques/abbreviations used:
    - st (stitch)
    - ch (chain)
    - sl st (slip stitch)
    - sc (single crochet)
    - hdc (half-double crochet)
    - dc (double crochet)
    - trc (treble crochet)
    - sc inc (two single crochets in the same stitch)
    - sc dec (single crochet two stitches together)
    - 3sc dec (single crochet three stitches together)
    - hdc dec (half-double crochet two stitches together)
    - Rd (round), Rds (rounds)
    - Magic circle (can also just chain 2 and work the number of stitches in the second chain from the hook)
      Finished doll is approximately 12" tall. Crochet in both loops unless otherwise indicated. Do not join rounds or turn at the end of rounds/rows unless otherwise indicated. Use F hook for all items except nose.

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      (with buff yarn)
      Rd 1: Magic Circle 6 sc
      Rd 2: sc inc in each st around (12)
      Rd 3: (sc, sc inc) around (18)
      Rd 4: (2 sc, sc inc) around (24)
      Rd 5: (3 sc, sc inc) around (30)
      Rds 6-9: sc around (30)
      Rd 10: (3 sc, sc dec) around (24)
      Rds 11-13: sc around (24)
      Rds 14-15: 8 sc, 8 hdc, 8 sc (24)
      Rd 16: 9 sc, 8 hdc, 7 sc (24)
      **place safety eyes between rounds 9 and 10, 4 stitches apart, centered above where the half-double crochet stitches are forming the chin**
      Rd 17: (2 sc, sc dec) twice, sc, hdc, hdc dec, 2 hdc, hdc dec, hdc, sc, sc dec, 2 sc, sc dec (18)
      Rd 18: (sc, sc dec) three times, hdc, hdc dec, (sc, sc dec) twice (12)
      **stuff head**
      Rd 19: (sc dec) around (6)
      Finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto body.

      (with buff yarn and G hook)
      Ch 8, turn; working down side of ch, 2 hdc in 3rd ch from hook, 5 sl st, rotate to other side of ch, 5 sl st, 2 hdc in last ch, join with sl st to first hdc. Finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto face (with "wrong" side showing).

      Right Leg:
      (start with coffee yarn)
      Rd 1: Ch 6, turn & skip first ch from hook; sc inc, 3 sc, 3 sc in last ch, rotate work, 4 sc, 1 sc in last ch (13 st in an oval shape)
      Rd 2: sc inc in next two st, 4 sc, sc inc in next 3 st, 4 sc (18)
      Rd 3: In back loops only, sc around (18)
      Rd 4: In both loops, sc around (18)
      Rd 5: sc dec, sc dec, sc around (16)
      Rd 6: 3sc dec, sc around (14)
      Rds 7-12: sc around (14)
      Rd 13: 10 sc, switch to buff yarn, 4 sc (14)
      Rds 14-21: sc around (14)
      Switch to dark sage yarn
      Round 22: sc around (14)
      Finish off (no need to leave long tail for sewing).

      Left Leg and Body:
      (with coffee yarn)
      Work the same as Right Leg through round 20.
      Rd 21: 9 sc, switch to dark sage yarn, 5 sc (14)
      Rd 22: sc around (14) (do not finish off)
      **firmly stuff both legs**
      Rd 23: 8 sc, hold Right Leg next to Left Leg; start working on Right Leg in 1 stitch past where you finished off, 14 sc, switch back to Left Leg, 6 sc (28)
      Rds 24-25: sc around (28)
      Rd 26: (5 sc, sc dec) around (24)
      Rds 27-31: sc around (24)
      Rd 32: (7 sc, sc inc) around (27)
      Rd 33: (8 sc, sc inc) around (30)
      Rds 34-40: sc around (30)
      Rd 41: (4 sc, sc dec) around (25)
      Rd 42: (3 sc, sc dec) around (20)
      43: (2 sc, sc dec) around (15)
      44: (sc, sc dec) around (10)
      45: (sc dec) around (5)
      Finish off.

      Arms (make 2):
      note: Stuff arms as you go; you will be working from the shoulders down to the hands.
      (with buff yarn)
      Rd 1: Magic circle 6 sc, leaving long tail at top for sewing arms to body
      Rd 2: (sc inc) around (12)
      Rd 3: (sc, sc inc) around (18)
      Rds 4-7: sc around (18)
      Rd 8: (4sc, sc dec) around (15)
      Rd 9: (4sc, sc inc) around (18)
      Rds 10-12: sc around (18)
      Rd 13: (sc, sc dec) around (12)
      Rds 14-16: sc around (12)
      Rd 17: (2 sc, sc dec) around (9)
      Rds 18-19: sc around (9)
      Rd 20: (sc, sc dec) around (6)
      Rd 21: ch 3, skip 1st ch next to hook, sl st in next 2 ch, sl st in next st (thumb made), ch 2, 3 trc, dc, sl st (fingers made), then bypass thumb and sl st in the first sl st made in this round.
      Finish off and sew closed.

      Epaulets (shoulder armor/decoration) (make 2):
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Row 1: Magic Circle 6 sc (do not join)
      Row 2: ch 1, turn; sc inc in each st across (12)
      Row 3: Turn; ch 5, skip first ch, hdc in next 4 ch; sl st in st #11 from Row 2. *sl st into next st, ch 5, skip first ch, hdc in next 4 ch, sl st in next st* Repeat from * to * four more times.  3 or 4 sc evenly across ends of rows, join with sl st to first ch in Row 3.
      Finish off, leaving long tail for sewing to shoulders.

      Wrist Gauntlets (make 2):
      note: do not turn work at end of rounds
      (with gray yarn)
      Rd 1: ch 12, sl st in first chain to form a circle (12)
      Rd 2: ch 1, sc in same ch as joining and in each ch around; sl st join to first sc of round (12)
      Rd 3: ch 1, sc in same st as joining, 5 sc, sc inc, 5 sc; sl st join to first sc of round (13)
      Rd 4: ch 1, sc in same st as joining, 6 sc, sc inc, 5 sc; sl st join to first sc of round (14)
      Rd 5: ch 1, sc in same st as joining, 13 sc; sl st join to first sc of round (14)
      Finish off, leaving long tail for sewing to wrists.

      Greaves (shin guards) (make 2):
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Row 1: ch 7, turn; skip first ch, 6 sc (6)
      Row 2: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 2 sc, sc dec (4)
      Row 3: ch 1, turn; 4 sc (4)
      Row 4: ch 1, turn; in back loop only, sc inc, 2 sc, sc inc (6)
      Rows 5-8: ch 1, turn; 6 sc (6)
      Row 9: Turn (no ch 1); sl st, sc, 2 dc, sc, sl st (6)
      Finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto boots. After greaves are sewn onto boots, use white yarn to sew straps around the back of the boots as if the white yarn is holding the greaves onto the boots (see picture).

      Skirt Armor:
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Rd 1: ch 30, join with sl st to first ch (30)
      Rds 2-4: ch 1, sc in same st as joining, 29 sc, join with sl st, finish off. (30)
      Rd 5: Count over 18 st from where you finished off on round 4 and join with sc, 26 sc (leave 4 st at front of skirt unworked)
      Rd 6: ch 1, turn; 26 sc, finish off.
      Rd 7: (with white yarn) Join at back of skirt; sl st around top of skirt, join with sl st; finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto body.
      Rd 8: (with white yarn) sl st around bottom of skirt, join with sl st, finish off.
      Rd 9: (with dark sage yarn) Working in back loop only of round 8, join with sc in last sl st of round 8 and sc around, join with sl st to first sc (30)
      Rd 10: turn; *ch 6, skip first ch, 5 hdc, sk next st, sl st in next st*, repeat from * to * 14 times.
      Finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto body.

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Helmet - main part:
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Rd 1: Magic circle 6 sc (6)
      Rd 2: sc inc around (12)
      Rd 3: (sc, sc inc) around (18)
      Rd 4: (2 sc, sc inc) around (24)
      Rd 5: (3 sc, sc inc) around (30)
      Rd 6: (9 sc, sc inc) around (33)
      Rds 7-9: sc around (33)
      Rd 10: 20 sc (leave remaining st unworked)
      Rds 11-13: ch 1, turn; 20 sc (20)
      Rd 14: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 18 sc (19)
      Rd 15: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 17 sc (18)
      Rd 16: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 16 sc (17)
      Rd 17: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 15 sc (16)
      Rd 18: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 12 sc, sc dec (14)
      Rd 19: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 10 sc, sc dec (12)
      Finish off.

      Helmet - visor:
      (with black yarn)
      Row 1: ch 3, turn; skip first ch, 2 sc (2)
      Row 2: ch 1, turn; 2 sc (2)
      Row 3: ch 1, turn; sc inc, 2 sc (3)
      Rows 4-6: ch 1, turn; 3 sc (3)
      Row 7: ch 1, turn; 2 sc, sc inc (4)
      Row 8: ch 1, turn; 4 sc (4)
      Row 9: ch 1, turn; 3 sc, sc inc (5)
      Row 10: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 3 sc (4)
      Row 11: ch 1, turn; 4 sc (4)
      Row 12: sc dec, 2 sc (3)
      Rows 13-15: 3 sc (3)
      Row 16: sc dec, sc (2)
      Rows 17-18: 2 sc (2), finish off.

      Edging: (with dark sage yarn) Rotate work and sl st along long sides, sc on ends. Join with sl st to first stitch of edging. Finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto hat.

      Vertical stripes: (with dark sage yarn) Embroider 6 vertical stripes with two strands of yarn. Finish off.

      Helmet - side circles (make 2):
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Magic circle 6 hdc, join with sl st to first hdc, finish off, leaving long tail to sew onto hat.

      Helmet - jaw protectors (make 2):
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Row 1: ch 4, turn; skip first ch, 3 sc (3)
      Row 2: ch 1, turn; 3 sc (3)
      Row 3: ch 1, turn; 2 sc, sc inc (4)
      Row 4: ch 1, turn; sc inc, 3 sc (5)
      Row 5: ch 1, turn; 3 sc, sc dec (4)
      Rows 6-7: ch 1, turn; 4 sc (4)
      Row 8: ch 1, turn; 2 sc, sc dec (3)
      Row 9: ch 1, turn; 2 sc, sc inc (4)
      Row 10: ch 1, turn; sc inc, sc, sc dec (4)
      Row 11: ch 1, turn; sc dec, sc, sc inc (4)
      Finish off, leaving long tail to sew to helmet.

      Helmet - neck armor:
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Row 1: ch 14, turn; skip first ch, sc across (13)
      Row 2: ch 1, turn; 13 sc (13)
      Row 3: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 9 sc, sc dec (11)
      Row 4: ch 1, turn; 11 sc (11)
      Row 5: ch 1, turn; sc dec, 7 dec, sc dec (9)
      Row 6: ch 1, turn; 3sc dec, 3 sc, 3sc dec (5)
      Row 7: ch 1, turn; sc, 3sc dec, sc (3)
      Finish off.

      Helmet - brush/crest:
      (with dark sage yarn)
      Row 1: ch 46, turn; skip first ch; 7 sc, sc inc, 14 sc, sc inc, 14 sc, sc inc, 7 sc. (48)
      Finish off dark sage yarn, leaving long tail for sewing.
      Row 2: (with white yarn) Join with sc, 6 sc, sc inc, 16 hdc, sc inc, 14 sc, sc inc, 8 hdc (51)
      Row 3: ch 2, turn; 7 hdc, 2 sc, sc inc, 14 sc, sc inc, 2 sc, 14 hdc, 2 sc, sc inc, 7 sc (54)
      Finish off, leaving long tail for sewing.

      Take the long green and white length of crocheting that you just created and fold into thirds to form the brush/crest.

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Assembly tips:
      The easiest order in which to assemble Sparty is:
      1) Pull skirt armor onto body over boots and legs and sew into place.
      2) Sew greaves (shin guards) onto boots and embroider white straps.
      3) Sew wrist gauntlets to arms.
      4) Sew arms onto body.
      5) Sew epaulets onto shoulders (covering the tops of the arms and touching the green of the body).
      6) Sew head onto body.
      7) Sew nose onto face and embroider eyebrows and mouth with black yarn.
      8) Sew all pieces onto helmet.
      9) Sew helmet onto head (unless you want to leave it unattached so you can remove Sparty's helmet during the national anthem).

      Here are more glamor shots of Sparty.... and a four-year-old Sonia to give you an idea of Sparty's size.

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Uh-oh....  What's that I spy on the water spigot?  A mention of a.... WOLVERINE?!?!

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Happy birthday, Corey!!  If any brave crocheters out there attempt to work up this pattern, please let me know how it goes... and definitely let me know if you have any questions or find any mistakes in the pattern!

      Title photo of Spartan doll -- free crochet amigurumi pattern

      Tutorial for personal use only, please.

      Linking up to: The Stichin' Mommy, Nap Time Crafters, Today's Creative Blog, Flamingo Toes, U.S.S. Crafty, And Sew We Craft