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Archivo del Autor: Pipistrellina

Renewing the closet I – a new top from an old one

Camiseta original

This was the original top. I didn’t like its small neck, so I decided to make it larger

*Versión en español aquí*

We open our recycling section with a very common object: that t-shirt we once bought and don’t like any more but is still in too good condition for using it as cloth. In my case, I didn’t wear this long sleeve top because I found it quite boring and also had a very small neck that wasn’t really fetching. I don’t like dumping things that are still usable, so I decided to try my sewing skills and modify the top to make it look better.

Corte para ampliar el cuello de la camiseta

Marking where to cut the new neck

Detalle de pespunte del cuello de la camiseta

A detail of the backstitch in the neck

First I cut a wide neck, using another top I had as a pattern. After cutting, I sewed a little turn-up to prevent the fabric from fraying and make the result look nicer. To prevent the new neck from stretching I sewed it using backstitch.

Blonda utilizada para rematar cuello y puñosNow we can add something to decorate the top. I chose a black blond lace, a quite narrow one that looked nice but not excessive. I sewed it to the inner part of the neck, and sewed little wrinkles at the “corners” to make it fit better. And I added the same blond lace to the cuffs. In my case, for a medium size top (UK 12, USA M/10) I needed 75 cm (29.5 inches) of blond lace.

Aspecto de la camiseta reformada

This is the final result. Now I’m thinking on adding some blond lace to the lower part, or some embroidery to the neck…any ideas?

A different lamp

*Versión en español aquí*

I made this craft six years ago. I was about to leave my parents’ home to start university, and I wanted something to decorate my new room. I had some weird idea that after talking to the family’s handyman started looking more feasible. It took several days of work and we had to solve some unexpected problems, but the result was pretty similar to the original idea:

Lámpara papel maché

I used the following materials:
1) An old plastic mug (one that you don’t like too much…)
2) Wire
3) Newspapers, kitchen paper, liquid glue, water, a brush and a container (for making papier mache)
4) A glass sphere or similar element (the idea started when I saw the egg-shaped glass globe at home). As our handyman said, this was the bulb of a lamp from a street lamp post, something that can be found at waste recycling centers. First, we’ll have to remove the metallic base using an emery, and then carefully remove the white powder that covers the inner side of the globe.
5) Glass paint, and tempera or acrylics.
6) A bulb and some electric cables.

First of all, we remove the mug handle. Then we use the wire around the mug to shape the arms and legs of the lamp. We use newspaper balls to add volume to the wire structure. After that, we make the papier mache mix and start applying it with pieces of newspaper to the structure. At this step it may all seem chaotic and about to collapse, but don’t lose hope!

This step requires some patience, and we may need some days to apply several layers of papier mache, since each layer should be dry before applying a new one. We should keep an eye on the shape of the arms that will hold the glass globe, since they may go out of shape. To avoid that, we can try periodically to fit the glass globe in the structure and thus correct any deformation before it turns permanent. When working with papier mache, I always start using newspaper that is a tough material and makes the structure strong, and finish using kitchen or toilet paper that is soft and allows making little details and getting a smooth finishing touch.

While the papier mache is drying, we can dye the glass globe. We decided to do it in the inside to make it easier to clean the lamp once it was finished. To get an even result we can put some paint inside the globe and start spinning it so the paint can cover all the surface. If there’s too much paint we can just let the excess drop out of the globe. We let it dry and repeat the process several times, since the paint is quite light.

When the papier mache is dry, we can paint and decorate it.

Now if we are not very skilled on electrical works we can ask (as I did) for some help to install the bulb and the electric cables. It is important to choose an energy-efficient (we want our lamp to be as “green” as possible) long light bulb, so that it fits in the base of the glass globe.

And finally, we only need to find a nice place for our new lamp. Maybe we won’t be able to use it for reading at bed, but it will provide a soft light that will make our room look very cozy =)

Lámpara 2 @

Unfortunately, and even using a special packaging for it, after five years of using and moving it to different homes the glass globe cracked. We took it to the emergency room and now it seems healthy, although it cannot travel any more. We’ll keep it well protected and stored until we find a definitive place for it.

Photo frames made with plastic bottles

*Versión en español aquí*

Surfing the Internet I came across this idea that is both innovative and ecological. In the following link we can learn how to make photo frames using plastic bottles:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dukwNu9TOes

Thanks for the idea, TheBrisalatina!

I made two frames. I needed 5 bottles for each of them, since we can only use a small part of the plastic.

Marco azul botellas de plástico recicladas

This was the first frame I made, using transparent and blue bottles. I also used a punch for engraving some details

Marco verde botellas plástico recicladas

In this second frame I added some green details to the transparent base

Crochet wallet

*Versión en español aquí*

This is a simple and light wallet for those who need something that easily fits into any pocket. I have used cotton thread to crochet it. It has some advantages over paper wallets, as it is more malleable and more resistant.

Cartera_ganchillo

Cartera_ganchillo_abierta

In this case I didn’t include any compartment for bills but it could be easily added, or otherwise we could put the bills in one of the card pockets. But this is basically a wallet to carry a couple of cards and some coins (for the coffee machine, for example).

Cartera_ganchillo_monedas@

Paper wallets

*Versión en español aquí*

This craft was in fashion some years ago. I remember making little purses out of plastified comic pages, sewing them with coloured cotton thread. We sold it at school to get some money for our study travel =)

Here I show one of the wallets I have been making since I learned the technique. Sometimes we look for something that fits in our pocket, that is not very thick…the best solution: DIY!
The wallet is made using images downloaded from the Internet. For the inside I have used both printed frames and newspaper. This time I did not include a purse for the coins, since the wallet was only intended for holding cards and bills. If we’d like to include a purse, we’d just put the card holders in one side, and sew a little bag with a cover that can be held close with velcro in the other side. In the inside of the card “pockets” we can cut a little window that allows us to see easily what is in the inside.

Cartera walle cerrada @

Cartera walle abierta @

As a big version of the idea I made some classifying folders for my notes. The first one had plastic bags, and the second one cardboard sheets to separate compartments. They look pretty old now but still work nicely. And since they were designed by me, they are unique =)

Amigurumies

*Versión en español aquí*

Amigurumies are crocheted or knitted stuffed toys. This is actually a Japanese art, where different figures (mainly animals) are crocheted and then stuffed with cotton, cloth or seeds. Once we get to know the technique, we can make our own designs. There are several simple patterns in the Internet that we can use as an easy start. This mouse is an example:

This little mouse is easy to make. Click on the image to open tutorial (in Spanish)

This little mouse is easy to make. Click on the image to open tutorial (in Spanish)

Learning how to make spheres may be very useful for many designs, since most amigurumies are made of several spheres of different sizes.

Ragamuffin, a character from “Lenore, the cute little dead girl

Ragamuffin, a character from “Lenore, the cute little dead girl

Inspired by the videogame “Teeworlds”

Inspired by the videogame “Teeworlds”

Beads

*Versión en español aquí*

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERABeads are tiny pieces of different materials that have been used since ancient times for making jewelry or accessories such as bracelets, necklaces, talismans and charms. They are usually spherical, but we can also find them cylindrical, cubical, and almost in any shape we can imagine. Materials are also varied, from wood to fine crystal, metal, plastic, rubber or even paper.

There is a world of creations with beads, from simple necklaces to complex 3D figures. Here I show a collection of figures I made during some holidays, after I learned how to make the classical bead crocodiles:

Some 2D figures and a 3D giraffe

Some 2D figures and a 3D giraffe

It is hard to stop once you start making figures! I prefer to work with copper thread instead of nylon, since it is more malleable and easier to work with.

Two complex figures

Two complex figures

An angel

An angel

A funny shepherd with his sheep

A funny shepherd with his sheep

Star stitch

*Versión en español aquí*

When I got tired of making lovers’ knot, I started working on this other design I found on the Internet. It is called star stitch. At first I tried to make a scarf, but after some lines it looked too compact (or maybe it was my fault, since I usually make tight stitches), so I decided to alternate two lines of star stitch and two of double stitches. This is how it looks:

punto_estrella

This scarves look nice if they are not too long; just enough to cover the neck and join the two ends with a simple “brooch”.

bufanda_punto_estrella

Although we’re used to wear long scarves that wrap several times around our necks, this other style looks simple and nice, and feels warm as well

The “brooch” is very easy to make. First we make a circle on chain stitches, and we make several lines of single stitches one over the other, until it takes the shape of a button. Then we make a chain that is long enough to embrace the two ends of the scarf when bent in two parts (the chain). Finally, we sew the two parts together to get the accessory ready to use.

Here we can see the chain that is used to keep the scarf in place

Here we can see the chain that is used to keep the scarf in place

I’ve seen some other new stitches I want to try, so when I learn any of them I’ll post it here to enlarge my pattern collection =). I also want to try new styles on the ends of the scarves…

Pompoms

*Versión en español aquí*

I learned how to make yarn pompoms when I was a little girl playing a crafts game we had at home. Well, it was my sister’s game so she made almost all the pompoms, but I also learned by looking at her!

First of all, we have to make a cardboard donut the size we want to make the pompom. Then we cut a very long piece of yarn, and start covering the donut with it. We’ll need to be patient here because we have to cover the donut with several layers of yarn, and do it carefully so the yarn doesn’t tangle. When we reach the end of the yarn (or, if it’s too long, when we cannot pass it through the central hole of the donut) we have to cut the yarn following the biggest circle of the donut. The threads won’t fall because they’re still held by the cardboard donut. With a piece of the same yarn we make a tight knot around the threads to keep them together. Finally, we take out the cardboard and “comb” the yarn to make a perfect sphere.

And now, imagination!

Espíritus del polvo @

Susuwatari, from the film “My neighbor Totoro”

Broche pompones @

Two brooches as an accessory for a scarf 

Crochet flower brooch

*Versión en español aquí*

This is the third kind of brooches I’ve recently made. This time, I chose crochet and a kind of yarn that has a pattern on brown and white. Making this brooch is this simple:

1) We make 5 chain stitches and we connect the first and the last with a slip stitch to make a circle.

2) We make 10 single stitches around the circle, covering the chain by working through the central hole of the circle.

3) After finishing the previous step, we make 7 chain stitches and connect them to the second single stitch with a slip stitch. We make other 7 chain stitches and connect them leaving a free single stitch. We repeat this to make the five petals.

4) We make a last round of slip stitches on the chain ones to strengthen the petals and make them look nice.

And that’s how we make the flower. I have sewed a little pearl in the center of it to hide the brooch’s base, e pronto! Here we have our little flower:

Broche flor ganchillo @

We can try as many combinations as we can imagine; for example, I made this other design:

Broche flores ganchillo doble @

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