Monday, 16 February 2015

Bellydance Choli Pattern - By Annabella

Back when I was still dancing, I used a fantastic choli pattern made for stretch panne velvet that was made by an Australian dancer by name of Annabella.  She has graciously given me permission to post her choli pattern with instructions here.

In the photo above, this was one of my cholis that I had made using this same pattern.  The only difference is that I used a stretch cotton for this choli in the picture. (I also realize it's being slightly hidden by the decorative bra)

Her pattern will also be posted up on in the near future. 

I will be putting the pattern pieces at the bottom of this post so the instructions don't get squished.

I have added annotations for what I did to tweak for a better fit or adjustments, and each of my annotations will be easily spotted.  I have also added suggestions for needles, fabric suggestions, and other suggestions on how you might want to sew it for a better fit.  However, I have added a minor watermark overlay to the pattern pieces (with Annabella's permission), but I have not changed the pattern itself.  I also typed out the core instructions as they were written originally, with the exception of the annotations I added.

Please note that all choli pattern pieces, original pattern, and images on this post belong to  Annabella, and original owner of Turbans Tassels and Tattoos and Aussiebellydance,   This pattern is not for commercial use, and is not to be sold.  This is for personal use only.  Instructions, patterns, and images on this blog post are being used with her permission.

Thank you Annabella for allowing me to host your pattern on my blog!  

Before I get into the directions, a few things I wanted to mention:

Each square on the pattern is 1 inch.  So, you either need a lot of photocopies to blow it up to that size, or use a photo-editing tool to increase the size so each square is an inch for the sizes listed.

Secondly  You don't have to go full sleeve if you don't want to.  I made some with half sleeves that turned out just fine.

Thirdly: For any stretch fabric you decide to use, be certain to pick up a BALL NEEDLE for your machines.  Any needles labeled "sharps, leather, denim" will put holes in your stretch fabrics and make little runs like panty hose that has a hole in it.  Ball needles works itself into the weave without causing runs. I cannot stress this enough.  You don't want your choli to last only one gig before having to make another one.


Fabric!  It doesn't really specify how much to use per se on the pattern, but if you use the pattern layout guide in the photos provided, and double the amount (because you need 2 of each piece), this should help  Fabric recommendations on the pattern are for stretch panne velvet, but you could use anything that has a decent stretch, such as knitted cotton, or certain types of baithing suit material might even do well here.  Be careful with the see-thru-ness of your fabric.  If you are using bathing suit material, you are going to want to pick up a matching non-stretch cotton for the lower band because bathing suit material has often a 2 way stretch.  The reason for this is so that the bottom band of the choli doesn't stretch out, keeping it firm  and tight under your bust so you don't have a wardrobe malfunction in the middle of a performance.

Bias tape:  I think I used 1 inch width for this pattern, but there is one choli that I used some quilting cotton and my (i think) half inch bias tape maker to make the bias edging on this pattern.

Matching thread to your fabric


Paper: to either trace out, draft, or copy out this pattern.  I use artist rolls that you can get in the kids section at Ikea for their art stand.  there's lots of paper on it and its fairly inexpensive.

Basic sewing with a sewing machine is a must for this pattern.

And now, the directions:

 (retyped from the original instructions. Most of my annotations are in brackets. )

Sewing instructions for all sizes:

-Please note that 1/4" (6mm) seam allowances are already included on all your pattern pieces

-When I make my cholis, I use both regular sewing machine and a 4 thread overlocker (serger).  In these instructions I will refer to both machines, but you can of course just use a regular sewing machine.

(Kiera-oona's suggestions:  I tend to use a zig zag stitch on the sections where it recommends an overlocker to be used.  This will help prevent your stretch panne velvet from unraveling and make it a bit nicer to wear rather than having a bunch of seams rubbing in the wrong places)

-Panne velvet can be a bit floppy and curly to sew with.  Handle it gently and be careful not to stretch any of these seams as you sew.

-Band, Band ties, and neck ties:  These strips MUST be cut as shown on the cutting layout (if using stretch velvet) - That is running from top to bottom of the fabric.  That will make them non-stretch.  If you were to cut them across the width of the fabric, they will be far too stretchy and would not make for secure bands.  The last thing you need is a baggy choli coming loose at the wrong moment.

(Kiera-oona's suggestions:  For the neck ties and the bottom band of the choli, what works really nicely is a printed or solid color matching non-stretch tight woven cotton or quilting cotton.  That way it won't stretch and you can add a bit of personality to your choli.  I have done this in the past and it works really well)

Fabric layout for the pattern:

(this is the layout you should use if you are using stretch panne velvet)

(you can click on each picture to see it full sized)

1) Make darts in front.  Stitch the darts with the sewing machine and trim away spare fabric to reduce bulk.  Finish them neatly with the overlocker.

2) Sew back to front at shoulders. Sew using your machine or overlocker..

3) Sew in sleeves.  Pin sleeve to choli, matching the centre dot to the shoulder seam.  Sew using machine or overlocker, easing the fullness at the top.

4) Edge finish the sleeve using your overlocker or Zig Zag stitch on your machine.  Don't actually make the hem yet.  just neaten the edge of the fabric. *Note: I stretch this edge when sewing, so the end of the sleeve stays stretchy

5) sew underarm and side seam in one long continuous seam using machine or overlocker

6) Finish sleeve hem using your machine straight stitch.  I stretch the hem when sewing, so that the end of the sleeve stays stretchy.  Keeping the stitch means you can easily push the sleeve up when you are wearing your choli without it becoming too tight.

7) bias edging.  This gives a lovely smooth and neat finish to the neck of your choli

     -Take the right half of your choil,  Beginning at the bottom back edge, place your choli on the sewing machine with the right side up.
     -Open up one side of the bias tape, so that the inside is facing you.  Line up the outer opened edge of the bias tape with the edge of your choli.  Using a regular machine stitch (not a stretch stitch), begin to sew along the crease of the bias fold.  Be careful not to stretch either the fabric or the tape.  Be sure to keep them both nice and smooth.
     -Sew up the back, over the shoulder, and down to the center front.  Stitch to center front dot.  Cut off the bias binding, leaving a 1/2" (1.25 cm) tail.
     -Now, take the left half of your choli.  This time you begin to sew at the center front.  Leaving a 1/2" (1.25 cm) tail of bias binding when you begin.  Sew the crease of the binding as before, up the front, over the shoulder, and down the back to the bottom edge.
     -Take the left half of your choli again, beginning at the lower back edge, turn the sewn on bias tape out and over the wrong side of your choli, enclosing the seam.  Smooth it flat and pin in place.Place your choli on the machine with the wrong side up, and stitch close to the other edge of the bias tape.  Stitch up the back, over the shoulder, and down to the center front again.
     -Repeat wiht the other side, beginning at the lower back edge, and sewing down to the center front.

8) Sew centre front seam using the sewing machine (not the overlocker just yet).  Take the time to match the darts, the bottom edge, and the "V" perfectly (or it will annoy you forever!!!).  I use the sewing machine first to make SURE those darts are perfectly aligned. Then I edge finish with the overlocker.

9) Stabilize the bottom edge of the choli

     Cut the length of bias tape that matches your choli size:

     Your size:              Cut to this length
       32-34" A-B-C         20" (51 cm)
       34-36 B-C-D          21" (53 cm)
       36-38" C-D-DD      22" (56 cm)
       38-40" D-DD-E      23" (58 cm)
       40-42" D-DD-E      24" (61 cm)

Lay the choli, right side up on the machine
     -Open up one side of the bias tape so the inside is facing you.  Lining up the outer opened edge of the bias tape with the bottom edge of the choli, pin the center of the bias tape to the center seam of the choli.
     -Pin the ends of the bias tape to the edges of the choli, leaving a 1/2" (1.25cm) tail of binding at the beginning and end.
     -Using a regular machine stitch (not stretch stitch), sew along the crease of the bias fold.  Be careful not to stretch the fabric or the tape.
     -Now turn the sewn on bias tape out and over to the wrong side of your choli, enclosing the seam.  Place your choli on the sewing machine with the wrong side up, and stitch close to the other edge of the bias tape.

10) the lower band

     -Sew the two strips together, end on end, making one long strip.  Press the seam open
     -now, fold the long strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew down the long edge using an overlocker or machine.  Keep both ends open.  Turn right side out.  At each end, tuck 1" (2.5cm) inside to finish the end.  Roll the seam between your fingers to ease it flat.
     -Pin the band to the right side of the choli, matching the center front seam of the choli with center front seam of the band, with the folded edge of the band lined up with the bottom edge of the choli.  The band ties will hang at each side.
     - Place choli on the machine right side up.  The band will be on the top of the choli, with the bottom edge of the band sitting right on top of the edge of the choli.  Starting at the very end of the left tie, stitch close to the bottom edge of the tie, sewing towards the choli.  Continue sewing all the way across the bottom of the choli and down the end of the right tie.
      -When you are stitching this band, because of the way it was cut, you will find the nap will make stitching in one direction a bit difficult (because you are stitching against the nap of the fabric).  Just pull it a bit to help the machine along.  By the way, the effect of the nap gripping itself makes for really secure ties when you are wearing the choli!
     -Now, stitch close to the top edge of the tie you just finished on.  Sew towards the choli again. When you get to the choli itself, you want the band to lie flat and smooth on the choli with the center seams matching.  Continue sewing across the choli right to the end of the other tie.
     - Go to the part where the band meets the edge of the choli.  We want to reinforce this section.  See the stitching line that holds the bias tape in place along the choli back?  Using your sewing machine, continue that stitching line down across the band to the bottom edge.  Then sew backwards and forwards at least twice more to reinforce that section.

11) the neck ties

     -Fold each strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew a 3.16" (5mm) seam using the overlocker or machine. Sew one end closed.  Turn right side out (A knitting needle, a dowel, a chopstick, or that little tool to turn tubes of fabric inside out can be used for this).
     -Pin the open end of the tie to the inside of the back of your choli - About 1" down from the shoulder seam.  Position it so the open end is towards the edge of the choli, and the tie is hanging inside.  Sew the tie back and forth along the inner stitching line of the bias binding.
     -Now flip the tie out towards the outside, folding and pinning the tie flat over where you just stitched.  Stitch through all the layers over the tie along the outer stitching line of the bias binding.  This makes a neat and secure attachment.

12)  Now to Try on your choli!

I hope that it fits you well!  You may need to adjust the shoulder ties to get a better fit.  The tightness of tying the shoulder ties really does make a difference to show how your choli fits.  Play with it and adjust it till it sits nicely.

Once you've got the neck ties just right....DON'T undo them!!  Just slip the choli over your head.  (Its much easier to put on when the neck ties are done up anyways!)

Now its done!!

Pattern pieces

Click on each image to see the full size

Front pieces:

Back pieces:

Sleeve tops:

Sleeve extentions:

Enjoy and Happy Dancing!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Finally finished my temperature scarf!  Better late than never right?  There is some slight variation on some of the color of the yarns cause....I ran out of one type, so I had to switch to another.  I tried to make sure there was a distinction between colors for the temperatures though (especially the blues). 

It measures about 14 feet 6 inches in length, as you can see by the tape measure in the photo.  The top is the start of January 2013, and the bottom is December. 

I realize I haven't been posting as often, but with constantly working, it's rather difficult to find time or energy to get all my crafting and drawing in. 

With the finishing of a long project, here's hoping there will be more finished projects done in 2015!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Kiera-oona's personal sock pattern

I know this pattern the way it's written might not make much sense, nor is it very fancy, but I have big feet.  These socks fit quite well, and I can't really complain much about how they turn out.  I do have to tweak it a bit still tho.

Considering most of the socks Ive made with this pattern have lasted over a year without getting holes in em, that makes me happy.

I'm also typing this down so that I don't loose the information if my travel pattern book ever goes missing or gets permanently damaged.

These are for size 10 ladies shoesize.

Basic pattern:

US 0, 2.00mm needles

Sisu Sandes Garn Superwash or Patons Kroy superwash yarn

(note slight modifiers between the two yarns.  Kroy is ever so slightly thicker)

Cast on 76 stitches

Rib stitch for 20 rows

Knit for 30 more rows (to row 50

Seperate 34 sts (17 sts on each side of your row marker)

K1, Sl1, k to end of row, turn
p1, sl1, k to end of row, turn

Repeat till you have 26 rows for heel so far

K1, sl1, k2tog, k to end of row, turn
P1, sl1, p2tog, k to end of row, turn

Do this till there's 16 sts left (8 on each side of the marker)

Pick up all your stitches, dec every 4 sts till you get to 68 sts  left on your needles  Best to do this over 2-3 rows.

From stitch pickup, knit for 60 rows, (which should be about 2 inches from end)

Dec on sides of toe for 1 inch (11 rows)every other row (I do k2tog, ssk for each side of the toe)
Dec every row on sides of toe for every row (11 rows)

Bind off, sew up toe. (whichever your prefered method is)

For the super long socks:

These ones come up to just under the knee.  Next pair I make I will probably make it a pinch longer.

I used Pattons Kroy yarn for this pair, US0, 2mm needles

Cast on 112 sts
rib sts for 10 rows, knit to row 50,
dec 1 stitch ever 11 sts on row 51
knit to row 55
dec 1 sts every 10 sts, on row 56
knit to row 60
dec 1 st every 9 sts on row 61
knit to row 65
dec 1 st every 8 sts on row 66
knit to row 70
row 71, dec 1 at beginning and end of row
knit row 72, and 73
row 74 dec1 at beginning and end of row,
knit to row 130
seperate 34 sts (for heel)

Follow the rest of the basic sock pattern (above)for the rest of the foot.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Hallowe'en Quilt WIP

 I know it's been a long time since I've posted anything.  I have been crafting.  Just been busy with other life stuffs too.

This is just a current work in progress.  I have added to it since I took the photo, but this is a project I've been wanting to get started on for a while.

I've always loved Hallowe'en, and the spooky, nerdy motifs that go along with it.

This is going to be a star quilt.  This is just the middle of it.

I have also since tighened up the middle of it a bit.

In other crafting projects, I've been experimenting with a bit of craft felt needle felting.  I've also been knitting the odd project here and there.  I also haven't abandoned my temperature scarf.  I will get it done one of these days.

Other photos of other projects will come along soon.

X-posted to Quilt-a-Long

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Granny Square Jacket

I've been working on this jacket for a while.  All the little squares took quite a bit of time.  In this jacket there is several yarns that I hand spun, or hand dyed (food coloring).  Most of it is wool, and I decided to felt it a tidbit so that it shrank a smidge.  Before the felting it was a bit too long. I do plan on adding a belt to it for shape and snuggness (i do have belt loops on it).  I might even take it for a test run today for a walk since it is on the cooler side today.  I've had some friends comment that this reminded them of coats their mum used to make them when they were kids. 

The original plan is to use this for LARP so that I have something like a house coat to put on when the rest of my gear gets soaked and I need to get dry and warm in a hurry.  I'm not planning on using this outside of the building I sleep in.  There's lots of burrs out there at our game site, and I don't want this getting coated in them.

This jacket is also the largest crocheted project (That actually fits well).  I usually knit moreso than crochet, so this was a big accomplishment for me.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Crazy Quilt progress - Sandwiching by hand and finishing.

This is a follow up to the Crazy quilt tutorial I did quite some time ago.  People have been asking me how to sandwich a quilt together.  Please understand, dear viewers and interwebs, that I am doing a LOT of this by hand, and doing things by hand (while also holding down two jobs) takes time, and patience.

You can do this by machine but there are some things you have to remember when doing so, which i will explain further along in this pictorial tutorial.

I wanted a slightly thinner quilt this time around, so decided against putting batting in between the layers.  If you want a thick cushy quilt, by all means, feel free to add a layer of batting to yours.

There is no "right" or "wrong" way to quilt per se.....everyone has different techniques they use.  Some pros will give ideas on how to improve your quilt, but as long as you come out with a quilt that you are happy with in the end, that doesn't come apart at the seams, that is all that really matters.

In the first picture below, the first thing you want to do is make sure you have a base fabric that is as big as your quilt top  (the stripey fabric to the left is my bottom fabric).  If you are using batting, also make sure that its at least as big as your quilt top, or maybe slightly larger than your quilt top so you can square it up a bit later.  Be sure to have the layers facing the right sides out. I'm using a pre-purchased bed sheet for my bottom fabric.  I know some professional quilters will say this might be not the best idea because bed sheets can be quite stiff, and hard to sew through, but I'm using one because it will be the size I want in the end.

As you can see, there is some overlap between the quilt top and the edge of the bottom fabric.  I plan on adding more to square it up to the edge of the bottom fabric a bit later.  I'm working on this one from the middle of the quilt and going outwards.  This is different from what most people do, but I am also limited to space in terms of squaring up my projects, so this will work best for me.  For those of you out there who have a decent amount of floor space, I recommend finish your quilt top to the size you want, square it up (using rulers to make sure your quilt is straightened out, and your corners are 90 degrees)

Once you have your top squared up so you don't have uneven edges, you will want to centre your quilt top (and batting) on your bottom fabric, and safety pin the heck out of your quilt all over at about 5-10 inches apart depending on how secure you want it, as can be seen in the picture below.  This will stop your fabric from shifting all over the place and prevent bunching while you are sewing it.

Next, if you are hand sewing, or doing embroidery, or adding embellishments, A quilting hoop (also known as an embroidery hoop) is going to be your lifesaver.  I would recommend starting in the middle of your quilt and working your way outwards.  That way as you are quilting (sewing the layers together), it will prevent bottom fabric bunching, and make it easier for you to make sure your not sewing something you shouldn't be.

You can also use large quilting frames if you have the space (and funds) to support your quilt to work on it.

In this photo, you can see the bottom fabric, the hoop, and all the previous stitches I've already made in my quilt.  Make sure when you are doing your stitching, that you knot your thread really well.  You don't want loose threads or stitches coming undone from wear and tear when you start using your quilt.

When setting up your hoop, make sure all the layers are tight in the hoop and flattened, but not so tight you will rip your fabric.

In this next photo below, you can see all the different kinds of stitches and embellishments I've used.  If you want to stick to one type of stitch, that's ok.  If you want to add buttons, beads, little sewable trinkets, embroidered patches, that's ok too.  There's no right or wrong way to make a crazy quilt, just so long as you have enough stitching to hold all your layers together.

To learn how to do embroidery stitches, I highly recommend this website. Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials.  It's a site I've been using to figure out how to do some of my stitches.  

Once the hand sewing section of my quilt is done, I do plan on going over it in certain sections with my sewing machine and doing even more stitching.  This way it will make sure both layers are secured.  The tricky thing is with this quilt, is I do not have a "long arm" quilting machine.  I have a small-ish home sewing machine.  I have sewn some pretty large quilts with a small machine, but its tricky.  The key is to make sure you don't get bunching underneath. I have my own techniques for doing so, and some quilters think I'm crazy for doing the sandwiching on a smaller machine, but I have found ways that work for me.


For those who want to take a look at machine quilting, I am going to refer you to one of my favorite tutorial sites. The Free Motion Quilting Project.  She demonstrates sewing techniques on her machine with videos, and shows how to go over different quilting stitch patterns.

I have also found for you all a tutorial on how to sew large quilts on a standard sized machine (about the same size as the one i have, just a different model and make.)

As for finishing your quilt, I am going to refer you to a good binding tutorial that the Bronze Wombat recommended I follow (and have been referring to it since). This will show you how to put a final binding on your quilt.  Please view the video below for the binding tutorial.

That's all for now. Happy Quilting!

Nintendo DS case finished

Here's just a photo of my finished case that I was working on.  The teal colored yarn glows in the dark for ease of finding it if the power goes out (similar to problems we already had this winter).  Made of plastic canvas, there's a charging hole in the back for the plug, and felt interior with pockets for a few games.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Plastic Canvas Nintendo DS pattern

I've been working on some Nintendo DS cases for myself and my hubby over the past little while.  The cases I improvised the pattern for are for the older DS's where you can play the Advance games with the slot in the front of the console.  My hubby's case doesn't have a strip of velcro or button or snap to close it with.  I may put snaps or something on mine to hold it closed, but I'm not sure which method I'm going to use yet.

When using this pattern, I highly advise against using magnets for this may inadvertently erase your games or damage some of the hardware inside your DS if you do. 

However, the pattern I'm posting is for a DS lite case, but it can also be easily tweaked for a 3DS system as well.  For the 3DS, the dimensions might be slightly smaller and the only major change is you may have to move the hole in the back for the plug (from my best estimate on how to change it )

You might even be able to modify this case even further for other systems like a PS Vita or PSP.

The pattern, link to the original pattern maker's blog, follow the link below:

I've modified my case colors to be that of Zelda's Triforce, and Nyan Cat for my case.

Pictures will be taken once both cases are completely finished.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Deviant Art

I've taken a bit of time today to update some of my art on my Deviant Art page, as well as get rid of some older pieces on my featured submissions page.

You may recognize a few pieces from seeing it here.

My deviant art page is

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

A start to 2014, and wrapping up 2013

First of all Happy New Years to everyone!

I wanted to take some time to wrap up what happened for the month of December in regards to some of my crafting, and general life.

First of all, on the 15th of December, I was invited to share a table at the Comic Con with my friend Eryn, who runs a Facebook page and small business called Slythe.  She makes upcycled clothes and accessories, like the hand warmers on the model.  The moustash bears she also makes from scraps and recycled buttons.  I added my knitting and crochet to the mix.  I had made quite a few things for this convention since I had broken my ankle back in November, and couldn't go to my regular day job. So when you can't work, might as well knit or sew.

Getting to the convention alone was a bit tricky since we had a fair bit of snowfall.  Much more than we usually get in Toronto for this time of year.

After the convention, the great ice storm of the GTA 2013 happened.  We were without power for almost 48 hours.  Thankfully our building had a generator to get us water, and to charge important electronics like phones.  I decided to rock it old school like it was 1800 and do some hand quilting by candle light, and knit during the day while I could still see.

Below are some photos my hubby took of the nearby trees in their glazed state.

Eryn's family were kind to offer us a place to stay while the city recovered over the holidays to get power back. We were thankful for the kind hospitality of her family. We were very thankful for a place to have a warm meal and showers. We watched Bond movies, had wonderful food, and they gave us gifts that we were definitely not prepared for but grateful for. 

As for the projects I was working on, Creeper Hats and Granny Square blankets were made.

Now that 2013 has come and gone, I hope to finish at least my crazy quilt, and I will be posting some photos of the progress on that a bit later.  I'm also hoping to break into my stash and do a bit more sewing this year in between working. 

Here's to 2014!

Themes and Tutorial Lables

acrylic along -a -thon alpaca animals announcement Applique n' Patch Quilt Appliqué auctions Australia autumn awareness baby basics beauty bellydance birthday blackout blog books Bronze Wombat by hand camping Canada carving case cat causes charity Christmas cleanup clothing computers cool cosplay costumes crafts crazy quilt Creativ Festival creepy crochet Curiosity cute dance DIY DS dying Earth Day earth hour easter eco-awareness embroidery enviro-friendly environment errata fabric fall fibre Firefly fireworks flowers food for sale free fun funny furniture games garden gear geek general update gifts glass glitter glow in the dark h hair hallowe'en hand made happy Harry Potter henna herbs holidays home decor homemade hot injuries internet Jayne jewellery k kimono kit kitchen klutz knitting larp leather life thoughts makeup Mars medical mixed media movies music My Little Pony natural news Nintendo olympics painting paints paper piecing Patchwork Sanity pattern performance photos pink plant plants plastic canvas polymer clay preparedness presents public crafting announcment public saftey announcement quilting rant re-cover re-purpose re-upholstry re-use recipe recycle repairs s Science scraps selvedges Serenity sewing sheep shopping silk silly silly hats social sites socks Space sparkle special events spinning spoopy sports spring stash steampunk strange materials summer suprise tail tech difficulties thank you thoughts thrift tools Toronto Tour de Fleece toys trade show troupe TTC tutorial up-cycle updates vacation waste not weather weaving website links why? winter wonky star wool yarn