Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Beary's crown

K requested a crown for her bear, Beary. (We're imaginative with names in this house). She was very specific, Beary is a princess, so she needs a heart on her crown. I am resistant to the princess phenomenon*, but I try not to be obnoxious about it, so Beary got a heart, but non-standard colours.

I have a half-written post about K's own crown (which no doubt inspired her request), but I have no process shots from that one, so I was extra careful to take photos today. It took me a little over an hour, which is not bad going.

You work it, girl!

I was delighted to see that my template from previous crowns worked really nicely on Beary.



I also had a leftover piece of elastic which was exactly the right size. This kind of serendipity happens to me all the time when crafting. I love it. It makes me feel like things are going right.

This is the colour combination I settled on:


I like to use multiple layers of felt to give the crown stiffness. Here's my trick for cutting out layers so that the foreground is framed by the background. (I've used two layers for this crown, but it also works on three layers). Lay the layers of felt on top of one another leaving approximately DOUBLE the amount of margin you want.

As I said, I already had a template to cut the crown shape, but it's just made from stiff paper. You could eyeball it if you're confident enough, but I wouldn't recommend trying to fold the felt in half to get it symmetrical. I also recommend that you don't use your best scissors. Felt is a harsh taskmaster, especially when it's made of recycled plastic bottles.


Now move the top layer down so that it is evenly framed, top and bottom, by the background layer.



Trim to the point where your patience runs out or your perfectionism gives up.



Above you can see the decorations cut out, but not attached.

At this point I moved on to covering the elastic for the back. I probably wouldn't do it this way again, but in case you're interested, here's how I did it.

Random bit of cotton, (very) approximately one and a half times the length of the elastic:


Sew each end of the elastic securely.



Apparently I didn't take a shot of the process of sewing the covering closed while holding the elastic under tension. Whether it was because it was a stupid idea, or because I didn't have enough hands, is immaterial. Not recommended!

Next I sewed the embellishments onto the yellow layer. I don't have any process shots of that either, but then I was running out of time to go pick K up from pre-school. For the small pink circles I found a nice little flower stitch on my Sewing Computer (as the manual likes to call it). The diamondy things are sewn by eye. The horizontal line is not straight; the centre third of it is, but the other two thirds slope up towards the edge. It's subtle, but I think it lends it a 3-dimensional quality.


I used a zig-zag stitch to attach the heart, which gives it a slight puffiness that I like. I then accidentally used the same stitch for the edge, because of the impending deadline. Another bit of serendipity, I think; I really like it. I couldn't stand the wonkiness at the bottom right (felt sometimes stretches as you work with it), so I trimmed it again before sewing the bottom down.

I had left the sides open to slip in the elastic and stitch it in with more zig-zag. If this were for a child I would have spent more time securing the elastic, but I think the bear is responsible enough to be careful with her crown.



I love the way her ears poke up in the gaps there. Overall a very successful afternoon's sewing.

* It's been touch and go sometimes, but it seems to be working out okay. She requested Lord of The Rings Lego today because it had scary monsters in it.

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