Wednesday, December 11, 2013

More recycled denim projects

I love working with blue denims :) Here's some of the denim placemats I've just finished, and I've yet to complete the order after the holidays.

Denim placemats
denim projects

I like it a lot myself...the faded denims are my favorite ;)
I'm also liking sewing projects more...instant gratification! Besides, I had to make use of the scraps of denim left after making the placemats, and its a challenge to make useful and decorative items as well :)
But here's one project that I didn't sew, I just used SewNoMore Fabric Glue. Its a bit expensive though. I tried sewing this kind of project, but its hard on the hand and takes too long to get done.

Denim coaster, round
This round coaster was made from the inseams of the denim jeans. And here's another design I came up with, that use the outer seams. I used the fabric glue in some parts, and sewed the border.

Denim coaster, square

Lastly, here's another sewing project I made at the last minute to add to the items I bought for my niece's baby shower. This was inspired by a design I saw when I searched on denim baby bib...

Recycled denim
Recycled denim, baby bib

A not so neat, but so cute project...hehe ;)

Denim Baby Bib

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Blue Christmas :)

I think I will have a blue Christmas...not blue as in sad - but blue as in denim blue :)

Shown below are some recycled denim projects I'm making...mainly the placemats ordered from me. I'm already getting more ideas on what to do with the scrap denims. Hmm...hoping these designs I have in mind will turn out well so I can make them holiday gifts ;)

Recycled Denim Projects
I'd like to mention again how I started with these recycled denim projects...A married couple,business friends of mine, had some neat and creative ideas for their new food business establishments. Their theme was kind of country style, and the color scheme was blue and white. They suggested that I make denim items for kitchen and for dining, and consign these to their store.

The Breakfast Store
I made assorted coasters and mug cozies from denim fabric and crochet yarn. Since I was the only "employee" in my craft business, I made only a limited number of items...most of it were sold out. However I did not continue consigning, since it took up a lot of time and wasn't as much fun as designing crochet wearables :p
Now they have another new business, its a small restaurant and as can be seen in these pics, they have the same country blue theme going.

The Breakfast Table
They've ordered the placemats from me. I'm so glad everything in their decor and in their menu, including their service, received good reviews and high ratings :)
If you are in Quezon City or nearby, please check out The Breakfast Table along Maginhawa St.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Free Holiday Crochet Patterns

There are now hundreds of free holiday crochet patterns available, just go over at Ravelry and search the database! Example, here's a search for Santa Hats. Included is my pattern Playful Santa Hat :)

If you're looking for more holiday decors and ornaments, check out Crochet Me's free ebook, you might still have time to whip up some.

As for me, I might find more time next year to try out other Christmas projects :p I'll just reuse my past decors again...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crochet Mittens

Now the weather is getting a bit colder...I might make one of these mittens ;)
Can't believe there are now over 500 free patterns for crochet mittens!

Crochet Mittens Patterns

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Super Typhoon Haiyan :(

Destruction from Typhoon Haiyan

It was in the news all over the world when one of the strongest typhoon in history hit the Philippines, destroying lives and properties. The horror it brought our brothers and sisters in the Visayas region was unimaginable. All the news and reports cannot convey all the stories that happened to countless people - how their lives were changed that day, November 8, 2013.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Some Crafty Stuff :)

EmpireMe vintage
vintage Boye crochet hooks
I bought some vintage craft supplies on Etsy, collectible and very usable stuff. Vintage sewing threads in my favorite colors! These threads are so thin yet so strong, unlike the local sewing threads here that could break easily. I was looking only to buy the threads, but the seller also had some vintage crochet hooks...and naturally, I couldn't resist ;)
I love these...thank you EmpireMe shop!

Bergere de France
Several weeks ago I received the Bergere de France 2013-2014 catalog I requested from Bergere de France,UK...It got wet from the rain though, upon receiving I had to carefully dry out the pages before I can enjoy browsing through the beautiful models, patterns and yarn samples. Lots of yummy yarns, stylish and lovely patterns, (as usual only a few are crochet)...Hope to be able to buy some Bergere yarns next year ;)

As for crochet projects, I have more than the usual. I think we all crochet more at this time of the year. The weather here is getting colder too, and some projects are Christmas gifts for our love ones.
I made sure to gift myself first, and bought a new cellphone, ahaha...just a simple one.
I wanted to protect my phone so I crocheted a case. I was thinking of a notebook cover style, and after a failed attempt I came up with this -

Cellphone cover
I like it a lot...I already accidentally dropped my phone, and its still good as new ;)

Lately, I'm also more inclined to come up with new designs and couldn't keep up with all the design inspirations..Either I don't have enough time or I lose the idea if I didn't work on it at once. However, I managed to finish a top which made me happy. Its made from size 10 cotton thread. For now the other details will be kept secret ;)

Now to brighten up the mood, I decided to make these necklaces yesterday and I finished them today :) I've always wanted more lightweight accessories (have yet to finish a statement necklace, though...)
These designs look really nice using the Ice yarn made of paper, rayon and viscose. I hope to finish other samples using other novelty yarns in my stash.

Crocheted necklaces

Pattern coming up soon...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Nature's way...

Today is a holiday here in observance of a muslim celebration. It would have been an ordinary holiday and a peaceful one, but today made history when a devastating earthquake hit Bohol and Cebu.
In our Crochet in the Philippines group we have two friends directly affected by the earthquake, Fatima of Crochetology in Bohol and Geraldine (gerykho) in Cebu...
Watching the news on TV is already scary... Hope they are safe and hope only few people got hurt. As of now, news say that at least a hundred people had died because of the earthquake. Damages to property were severe, including that of several old Catholic churches that were destroyed. These churches are historical and have stood the test of time, till now :(

Loboc church
Baclayon Church

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Crochet for Halloween

I'm not really into halloween activities, but here are two free patterns for halloween from my original designs. Just for fun. Hope you make one and share your project :)

Just Got Stitched-up crochet choker  Just Got Stitched-up Choker

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Thrift store finds for my crochet hobby

I love crocheting, and I also love buying/collecting crochet least those that I could afford and be able to wear. I do have a simple and practical taste for crochet or regular clothing, so its mostly affordable. I buy some in bazaars or at the malls. When I see someone's thrift store finds though, I'm quite envious...when will I ever get as lucky? Here in the Philippines, thrift stores (ukay-ukay shops) are everywhere, but I'm not really eager to get inside the shops. Its kind of smelly and its hard to find interesting stuff in the racks stacked with used, worn clothes. Well, I think I got lucky one day in one shop, and another day in another shop ;)
I got these several weeks ago, when I was scouting thrift stores to buy denim pants to make the recycled denim placemats. As I said, I don't like going to those shops...and whatever I bought I immediately wash it and dry in under the sun.

These two shawls still look new, they're easy to wash too...

This one looks like a machine-knitted shawl

This is a motif-based crocheted shawl, most probably cotton

Blueberry Hill crochet cardigan
This crochet sweater is made of very nice yarn, rayon with metallic. Its a bit heavy and big sized, and I immediately saw the potential of recycling the yarn...

Karen Millen knitted pullover
 This hand-knitted pullover is a Karen Millen product made of 100% viscose ribbon yarn. I also got it for the yarn...

I think they're all wonderful finds. The shawls i got for P90. each, the sweaters I got for P40. each at another shop.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rainy days crafting...

The rainfall was heavy these past 3-4 days, for some here in Metro Manila or other provinces of Luzon its disastrous...

Luckily our area is safe from flooding. And its good I can choose to stay home when the weather gets bad...and I have an excuse to just craft all day :p

I need to finish first the order of placemats made from recycled denim. But I have to take a break at times, since I'm not an avid sewer... (Besides, I do get tired cutting and ripping off the denim pants.) 
I've been thinking of more ways to use the denim scraps...Meanwhile, with the idea I got from the internet a while back, I gathered the inseams to make coasters. I just sewed it on as I rolled it into a circle. The different shades of denim and colors of thread, make each coaster a unique creation ;)

denim coasters

I made three coasters, and now I have a centerpiece! This way everyone will remember to use the coasters and not harm the wooden table :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In-a-jiffy Crochet Belt

In-a-jiffy belt
In-a-jiffy belt
I whipped up the belt at the last minute to complete the look and to match the crocheted bag and the wooden button pendant (purchased a while back, here on Etsy). I rarely use a belt, but after watching Project Accessory many times, I was inspired. My old clothes just got a new look!

A pattern isn't really necessary, but here's how I made the belt. I chose the hemp cord for its color and texture. Other thick or textured yarn can be used. Change hook size and/or add more stitches per row as desired.

In-a-jiffy Belt
by Mimi Alelis,  © 2013

Hemp cord
Crochet hook size 4mm
Button for closure
Yarn needle

Row 1: Leave enough tail of yarn for sewing-in the button later. Ch 4, dc in 4th ch from hook, turn.
Row 2 onwards: (Ch 3, dc on top of ch 3 of previous row, turn) repeat up to desired length of belt, then ch 5 or 6 (or chain just enough to fit the button), sl st on same row, fasten off.
Finishing: Sew button at the 1st row. Weave in ends securely.

In-a-jiffy belt
Crochet Belt

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Custom-made Crochet Items

I don't usually take orders for crochet items since I'd like to take the time to just sit down, do some research and use my imagination to create something new. Also, I tend to be stressed-out if I have to finish on a deadline.
However if the order is for an item I have already made before and especially if its made from my own pattern, I feel confident in doing it. Right now I'm working on an order for recycled denim and crochet coasters. Surprisingly, I find it fun to do this same item many times over ;)
Thanks to the breakfast table for their order of placemats and coasters. They will be opening here in Quezon City in September :)
Here are some of the coasters I finished:

I've also agreed to do another Romantic Shrug for a friend. This time she wants it in red. I think I'm taking too long to finish it, since there's no deadline. 

Romantic Shrug

But now I realize I have to finish this soon. Its time to come up with new designs for next year's crochet ;)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Crochet a Hemp Tote - free pattern

This bag cost only about P80 for the yarn. It is hemp rope made in China and its available in Daiso or Japan Home shops here in Metro Manila. The hemp rope is rather coarse and hard on the hands, but I still like it for its natural qualities ;)

Hemp Tote
by Mimi Alelis

Hemp rope, 60m/ball, 3 1/2 balls 
Crochet hook size 4.5mm 
Imitation leather handles 
magnetic snaps, one pair 
yarn needle 
stitch markers 
lining fabric (optional) 
Finished measurement: 15” L x 10” H (when laid flat and unwashed) Note: after washing, it shrank by about 3% and became less stiff. 
Gauge: 15 sts and 7 rows in dc = 4”

Note: Increase or decrease length, by adding or subtracting from the beginning chain. Increase or decrease height, by adding or subtracting dc rows on the main body. 
Rnd 1: Starting at the bottom, ch 34, sc in 2nd ch from hook and on each ch across, 3 more sc on the last ch, turn to work on opposite side of ch, sc in each ch across, 3 more sc on last ch, join with sl st on the 1st sc of this rnd (note: there are 5 scs in each ch at both ends, the 3 scs in the middle and the succeeding sts thereon will be refered to as the corner; place a marker at the 1st st of each corner and move the marker up as you go) -- 74 sc 
Rnd 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc across, 2 sc in each of the 3 sc at the corner, sc in each sc across, 2 sc in each of the 3 sc at the corner, join with sl st on the 1st sc of this rnd -- 80 sc 
Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in each sc around with increase at the corners as follows: 2 sc on next sc, sc in next sc, 2 sc in each of the next 2 sc, sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; join -- 88 sc 
Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in each sc around with increase at the corners as follows: 2 sc on next sc, sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; join -- 96 sc 
Rnd 5: Ch 1, sc in each sc around with increase at the corners as follows: 2 sc on next sc, sc in next sc, (2 sc in next sc, sc in next 2 sc) 3 times, 2 sc in next sc, sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; join -- 108 sc 
Rnd 6: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in each sc around, sl st on top of beg ch 3 to join, turn -- 108 dc 
Rnd 7: (WS) Ch 3, dc in each dc around, sl st on top of beg ch 3, turn -- 108 dc 
Rnds 8 to 19: Repeat rnd 7. (Note: Add more repeat rnds to increase height). 
Rnd 20: (RS) Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each dc around, sl st on 1st sc to join -- 108 sc 
Rnds 21 to 25: Ch 1, sc in same st, sc in each sc around, sl st on 1st sc to join -- 108 sc 
Edging rnd: Sl st on back loop only of each sc around, join. Fasten off and weave in ends. 

Finishing: Attach or sew handles. Line bag with fabric if desired. Attach magnetic snaps.
Tip: Crochet handles can be made using same yarn. 
Step 1: Measure the length of desired handles. 
Step 2: Make a starting chain in the measured length, less 4 chains. 
Step 3: Follow rounds 1 and 2 of bag. Fasten off.
Step 4: Sew handles in place.

Pattern and photos copyright by Mimi Alelis, 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My latest published design on Interweave Crochet

Have you seen the projects on Interweave Crochet Summer 2013? Its packed with lots of lace designs and one of it is my own creation, yay! :)

I started to work on this design about two years ago...using size 8 cotton thread, and I wasn't able to finish the sample since it was a bit big and I realized I had to change some design features. I saved it for submission to Interweave.

I guess it really had to be in the summer issue, not just because its lacy, and lightweight...but also because its pretty and relatively simple to make. Only a bit more patience is needed compared to making a lace shawl ;)
Initially I was going to make the sample using Bamboo thread size 10...but I couldn't work as fast with the softer material so I was sent the cotton thread. They chose a nice peach color for the model.

Hibiscus Tunic
Interweave Crochet Summer 2013

This beach cover-up or tunic is made from Aunt Lydia's classic cotton thread, size 10. This can also be made using any brand of size 10 thread (or our local Monaco or Cannon size 8 thread), or any similar thread.
For those who are used to making shawls and a bit intimidated with bigger projects or those with shaping - this might just be the project for you to start making wearables. This is worked straight (with no shaping), and the resulting design includes horizontal mesh bands and vertical rows of small flowers. This is worked continuously from bottom going up, and is split evenly to form the neck opening, then it is joined again at the back and worked straight to the bottom. Only the sides are seamed, and there's no need to crochet edgings, since it is built-in on the main pattern :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Summer Crochet

Have you seen the latest crochet patterns for Summer 2013? I browsed the patterns on Ravelry and saw several interesting new designs. I can't wait to see the rest of it ;)
Summer crochet for me is mostly beachwear and accessories. I'm still on the lookout for patterns that I'd like to work on, or designs that I can create myself. There just isn't enough time to do this...but someday I'll come up with my own ultimate summer crochet collection :)
Meanwhile, here are some of my own designs from not so long ago, suitable for summer crochet. As usual, these are made from cotton thread.

Summer Crochet
Summer Crochet
1. Jellyfish Earrings - If you like using beads with crochet, this will be a fun project to make and wear. These earrings can be made as delicate or as funky as you like. Free pattern here on Facebook.
2. Knotted Chain Cowl or HeadbandThe soft fabric allows for it to be knotted, without being too bulky. The knot can be tightened or loosened to adjust fit. Pattern can be purchased here on Ravelry.
3. Pineapple Motif Earrings - This pineapple motif earring is pretty, lightweight, and about the right size at 4 inches high; though you can come up with any size you like with your choice of yarn and hook. More details here.
4. Tropical Shawl with Fringe - A simple mesh pattern make up this shawl, which requires only two balls of cotton thread. Pattern can be found here.
5. Going Around in Circles Scarf - A stylish and lightweight scarf made from one ball of Aunt Lydia's Classic Crochet thread size 10. Pattern can be seen here.
6. Blooming Flower Motif Shrug - A motif shrug for the more adventurous crocheter. Pattern can be purchased here.
7. Simply Striped ShrugA simple pattern design with unique cap-sleeves, makes this shrug a fashionable and practical summer wear. This shrug is crocheted from one sleeve end to the other. No sewing is required. More details here.
8. Stylish Chain ScarfA unique way of using chain loops to build a soft crochet fabric. A bit tricky at first, but you’ll be surprised at how this design works wonderfully. Pattern can be purchased here.
9. Breezy ShrugThis is a simple but nice little project. Crocheted from one sleeve edge to the other and finished off with two rounds of edging on the body. More details here.

More of my designs can be seen on Ravelry. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Crochet Pattern Updates

Good news for Etsy sellers who sell tutorials and patterns, and for buyers who prefer instant downloads! Sellers can now upload their pdfs to their listings, so customers can download it immediately after purchase.  Wish they had this sooner...but still its wonderful they have it now!

Btw, I'm still working on the pattern for the dress in my previous post...some of you are familiar with the pattern (some already have finished projects), since it became available in print a few years back. I'll be improving the pattern and correct some minor errors... I've changed the neckline for the back part, since a V- neck looks better and is more suitable for warm weather. The finished length is a few inches above the knee, though it can be easily modified by adding/subtracting repeat rows. Stay tuned to my blog for more updates ;)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Ravelry meetup, a wedding and my crochet dress :)

Ravelry meet-up at Glorietta mall, Makati

This was supposed to be a summer outing in Manila with our crochet group, since gerykho was visiting from Cebu. But since our schedules didn't permit, we just had an afternoon gathering at a coffeeshop in Glorietta mall. We also went to Dreams yarnshop to have a look and to buy some yarns ;)
This time we didn't have much yarny activities to do compared with our previous meetup with Fats (when she visited from Bohol)...Most of us were able to bring only a few projects to share, but still we enjoyed chatting about knitting and crochet. It was a fun gathering, thank you ladies and to the one guy from our group too! Yes, we have a Pinoy crochet dude ;)

The Wedding

Their adventure in love took a lot of turns and detours, which at last came to this time and place.

Shrine of Our Lady of Namacpacan, Luna, La Union

I wish them a long and happy marriage :)



My Crochet Dress

About 3 weeks before, I wasn't sure I could finish a dress in time for the wedding. I also wasn't sure I could wear it with confidence...but the thought of having to spend time and money to shop for a dress seemed more difficult to me. I just went ahead and made the dress. I felt good wearing it, and got some compliments too ;) The wedding was simple but memorable. We had fun since it was also a family reunion.

I don't have the official wedding pics yet, so here are some modeled shots I took at home:

more details on my project page on Ravelry