Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Attaching Pieces to a Hat Seamlessly

I'm not sure about you, but I'm not a fan of being able to see my stitch work resulting from attaching separate crochet items together.  I have also found that after normal wear and tear of character hats, that over time a running stitch becomes loose, thus leaving certain pieces (eyes, mouths, etc) to pull away, and kind of hang off of the hat.  That to me is very unattractive, and decided to find a better way to attach separate smaller pieces to a larger piece more efficiently, and seamlessly.

I have used the mattress stitch for attaching blanket squares together for a seamless look, and thought I could use the same stitch concept to attach pieces/appliques to a larger item. After countless failed tutorial searches for attaching together crochet pieces using the mattress stitch, I did the only logical thing I could think of - I created my own way to use the concept of the mattress stitch to attach smaller crochet pieces to larger crochet pieces. The one catch was how do I make it Truly seamless, where my stitch work won't show through on the inside/backside of the item? The answer: work Through the larger piece's completed stitches when attaching the smaller piece to it.

Let's get down to How to attach facial features to a character and/or animal hat. The tutorials below show  how to use the mattress stitch to attach flat pieces on top of each other, but you can use the same stitch concept to attach 3D pieces as well. If your 3D piece is an ear, then work the stitch down the front And back side of the same stitches on the ear. That way your ears will stand straight out/up, without the need to double up your crochet ear pieces to make them "stiff." This is how I attach all of my ears on hats ;-)

Materials Needed:
  • A Completed Hat
  • Smaller facial features to attach
  • Tapestry Needle
  • Long Ball Point Pins
  • Scissors

Next you'll need to complete your facial features with an Invisible Join.  I have a quick photo tutorial below of how to complete this seamless join, or you can Watch my video HERE.

Once your piece has been closed up with an invisible join, then you'll have to pin your piece in place to where you'd like it to be on your hat. (I have used yellow long ball point pins to attach this sock monkey's mouth onto the hat.)

Now the mattress stitch is done in about 5 steps for each stitch you'll be securing to your hat. (For this demo, it'll be every single white half double crochet stitch of the sock moneky's mouth.) 5 steps per stitch may sound like a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it goes rather quickly. 

First, you'll be starting in the stitch to the Right of where your working end is currently coming out from (photo 1). Slightly lift up the piece you're attaching, and slide your needle under 1 piece of yarn from a completed stitch of your hat. This technique is now working through the completed stitch from the hat, and Not working straight down through the hat's stitches, into the inside of the hat, and back out again (photo 1). Now you'll Skip over the next stitch (the one where your working yarn is coming from), and slide your needle under the top loops of the next stitch to the left from the outside of the piece in (photo 2). You just completed your initial attaching stitch :-) Now the rest of the attaching stitches will be worked as follows:
Insert your needle in the stitch to the right of your working yarn from the inside of your piece out, and while slightly lifting up the edge of the piece to be attached, slide your needle through the middle of a completed stitch of the hat (photo 3). Now skip over the next stitch (where your working yarn is coming out of), and insert your needle under the top loops from the outside of the piece in in the next stitch to the left (photo 4). Tug on the working yarn (the yarn piece in the middle) to make sure the facial feature is as close to the hat as possible (photo 5).  Then pull the end of the yarn (the yarn piece all the way on the left) until the gap between the facial feature and hat is gone (photo 6). 

Continue repeating the process of photos 3-6 for every stitch around your facial feature, while minding your pin points.

Once you have completed the mattress stitch for every outside stitch of your facial feature, remove the pins you used to secure the piece in place. Now you'll need to fasten off your tail. Again, this method of securing the tail is worked not only through stitches, but underneath the facial feature stitches and above the hat stitches.

First, slide your needle through the middle of the outermost stitches of your facial feature (photos A & B). Now, you'll be doubling back over stitches to secure your work; your needle needs to go back underneath a few stitches you just went through the middle of, being careful to not snag or go through the hat stitches (photo C). Go back through the middle of the stitches that you just went underneath of (photo D). Then work your needle to go back underneath a few stitches you just went through the middle of, being careful to not snag or go through the hat stitches (photo E). Then finally slide your needle through the middle of the very first stitches you went through (photo F).  Then hold the tail taught, and snip off any extra yarn.

Your attached facial feature should now be completely flush with your completed hat.

When you look on the inside of the hat, you shouldn't see any of your attaching stitch marks.

I hope this tutorial has helped you, and made attaching smaller crochet pieces to a larger crochet piece a tad easier. Please share with me any completed items you've made using this technique!

Happy Hooking :-)

Here's the finished sock monkey hat :-)
(the ears were attached with the mattress stitch in the front and then the back of 5 stitches of the ears to the hat.)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday 2014!

I first must apologize that I neglected to make blog posts about my Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals. But my neglect means BIG SAVINGS for you!!!  So for Cyber Monday, I decided to do a combination of sales, and having a big blow out on patterns And orders (crochet and/or clay)!!

So without further adue, 

Make sure if you're taking part of the BOGO sale for patterns in my Ravelry, that you enter the code: CYBERMONDAY14, Before checking out; otherwise customer will be charged the full price of the pattern. Buyer's failure to use the code prior to checkout will not result in a refund at seller's expense.Sale ends 11:59pm CST on Dec 1, 2014. 

I'd love to see what pattern you choose to make! So make sure you Add your Project on Ravelry, so I can see your beautiful work and add your project to the pattern page!

Happy Hooking :-)

Looping with Love