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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Fur Vest Fashion Trend + 5 Free Crochet, Knit and Sewing Vest Patterns made from Faux Fur

Read more at Fab Fashion Fix
FREE Crochet Pattern at Lion Brand Yarn!
This is another fashion trend borrowed from the 70's that I just love! It's SO retro. They come in all shapes and sizes, different lengths and all different colors. Some are extra thick and bulky, while others are thin and smooth. I happen to like the ones that fit in the middle of this catagory - furry, opening in front and past the hip. My color of choice would be medium brown or darker taupe. This would be very easy to recreate in crochet, since there are so many "fun fur" type yarns out there to choose from. I am going to try my hand at designing a fur vest, but in the meantime, I've posted a link (below) to a free crochet pattern at Lion Brand yarn. And if you are a knitter scroll down to the bottom of this post for a free knitted pattern! I've even posted a link to a DIY YouTube easy sewing pattern if you prefer to sew a vest with fake fur from the fabric store. See link below.

Fashion Fix.com

The mobious scarf pictured below was crocheted from 3 strands of yarn. (2 fur type yarns and 1 worsted weight solid color yarn). See below for more info on the scarf. This post is acting up and when I tried to copy and paste this text below so it would be next to the picture, it deleted the other pictures of yarn as well. Frustrating!

Free Crochet Fur Vest Pattern at Beautiful Crochet Stuff
The Crochet Crowd Mobious Scar

Another fur type yarns is Red Heart's Boutique Fur SureI can see a Chewbacca jacket or scarf made from this!

Then there's Yarn Bee Haute Fur - a Hobby lobby Brand.You may decide you'd like your vest in a different color Such as this pretty olive green!

More info on the Mobious Scarf pictured above
1 Ball of Patons Moxie Russian Sable, 1 Ball of Patons Moxie Red Fox, and 1 Ball of Red Heart Super Saver Coffee Color. 

 I'm sure she added the strand of Red Heart Super Saver, a #4 worsted wt to carry along with the Fun Fur, making it easier to see the stitches.
Whenever I use any tyep of fun fur yarn, no matter the brand, I always use a solid color carrying yarn and a larger hook, and it works up like a breeze!

                                     Free Knitting Pattern for this Fake Fur Vest with Yarn
                                           Click on Link Below
Free Knitted Fur Vest Pattern HERE at Chris Knits in Nigeria

Free Pattern at LA VIE DIY here - http://laviediy.blogspot.com/2013/04/diy-easy-springsummer-faux-fur-vest.html

FREE Sewing Pattern with fake fur click HERE - YouTube DIY Video
DIY YouTube easy sewing pattern

Another sewing project at The Style Projects

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Kimono Trend in Fashion + DIY Tutorials

26 Ways To Wear a Kimono at Style Caster

I never intended this blog to be only about crochet fashion. I am interested in all fashion trends and that's what moves me to design trendy fashions in crochet. You'd have to have your head buried in the sand not to have noticed the kimono trend. If you're not aware of it, you may be picturing the long robes worn in Japan with wide belts. The kimono trend of today is not quite the same as the old fashioned style you may be thinking of. Today's kimonos are different in that they are usually shorter, lighter weight fabric and are left open in the front when worn.
Many of them are made from floral material, but just whatever suits your fancy would look great as a print. Some kimonos hang a little longer in the front, but I prefer the kind that hang longer in the back. You'll also see a wide varietyof sleeve lengths as well as some that are much wider and deeper than others.

Traditional Japanese Kimono HERE
Keep reading for links to make your own DIY kimono. There are many step by step tutorials with pictures on how to make your own kimono from fabric or from a large scarf. I like the ones with fringe the best! People make these from different size scarves but the largest ones are best in my opinion, unless you want a shorter kimono. I bought around 12 scarves at thrift stores in all shapes and sizes I thought might work.  I was thinking the smaller square scarves would be great for younger girl's size kimonos!
You also may be interested in the many YouTube videos I have listed below. I've looked at them all and some are sewn by machine, others are hand sewn and then there are even some gals who show you how to hot glue your seams to make the kimono. Imagine that! I've also posted one by Gloss and Sparkle who shows you how to make the kimono from just tying the corners together. So there are no excuses for not making your own, in your very own print picked out at the fabric store! You can make many custom made kimonos and I think it would be so much fun to make them as gifts for your fashion conscious friends, your mom, daughters or granddaughters. They're usually worn with casual clothes such as jeans or shorts but they look just as good with a long or short skirt.

Make your own modern kimono from one of these tutorials!
Check out these links for easy tutorials on making your own kimono!
Elle Apparel - madd from fabric - shows how to make it longer in back
PeaBrain DIY- your own fabric - 1 hour kimono cardigan
True Blue Me and You - made from a scarf
LaurDIY - YouTube channel - kimono tutorial
Loves punk - fabric kimono tutorial
Cotton and Curls - how to make a long kimono
CollegeGloss - made from a scarf
Babble - 30 minute kimono
Ester from the Sticks - she calls it a Kaftan Throwover
icandyhandmade -  from fabric
Lesley Converse - YouTube video - one of the BEST tutorials on the web!
Shop Style Conquer - easy YouTube kimono tutorial
Xmerredithx - no sew kimono seamed with hot glue gun! YouTube video
Earnest Home Co - kimono with fringe to the knee
The Wonder Forest - DIY video - large scarf that's wider but shorter
College Fashion - pictures of lay out
You tube video - clear step by step instructions from fabric
Soft Wear Hacks - 3 ways - kimono diy - short and long
Life Ann Style - Kimono tutorial from fabric
N.89 - No sew Kimono
ChelseyHijabLove - BEST tutorial if using fabric so far in my opinion. She has videos to show you how to do this in detail. This is video # 1. #'s 2 and 3 are at the right.
Fashion to DIY For - Printed layout (follow the Pinterest link)
Angela See - 2 minute video on how to make a kimono 3 ways - from an oversized shirt, from a scarf and from fabric.
Gloss and Sparkle -  NO sew and NO glue Kimono! You just tie the corners!
Meesha TV - YouTube - How to make an oversized Shrug - similar to a kimono but it's circular and doesn't hang down in front. Very cool.
Mellon - YouTube - different way of making the kimono. Instead of folding the scarf at the shoulders, she has the folds at the sides, so the fringe that was at the bottom edges is now hanging on the edges at the center fronts. Cool
Pretty Crafty Girl - great video for sewing with fabric
Candice - Brilliant idea on how to make a kimono for a child from a woman's long skirt! It's adorable! See the picture below.
True Bias - cacoon style cardigan kimono

Candice's tutorial for a child from a skirt

Another thing I'm excited to share with you is this adorable kimono for a child that Candice made from a woman's long skirt! Isn't it precious? When I went to some thrift stores yesterday I saw some long dresses and skirts that I was thinking could be transformed into a kimono, then I found this link online this morning. She shows you how to do it! As I was looking through large scarves that I thought would work for a kimono I found smaller ones also and decided to buy some so I could either make kimonos for my 4 granddaughters or even had the idea to have a "Kimono Making Party" for them and their friends! I think they will love that idea! They're so simple to make.

See iCandyHandmade tutorial HERE

As I was searching I came across another adorable girl's kimono made by iCandyHandmade.  I just love the pom poms and she has the best step by step picture tutorial on how to make one from fabric for the little girls in your life!

I am into the Kimono trend right now because I'm designing one in a crocket pattern and am really anxious to get started. This will be part of the Bohemian / Boho book I'm working on as a trial, self published book. My bohemian book will be full of exciting 70's fashions with an updated look for 2016.

I'll let you all know when my crochet kimono pattern is for sale. Isn't my yarn gorgeous? It's Alegria, made in Uruguray - a # 2 fine fingering yarn, superwash merino wool. I bought this at Fiberworks (owned by Arlene Graham) in Beavercreek, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton. I love these colors and my kimono will be a pretty lace pattern.

To see a SLIDESHOW on kimonos go to

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Pumpkin Curry Soup Recipe

Pumpkin Curry Soup 

This soup is SO yummy, especially on a cold fall day like today! It would be nice served with crusty bread, but is great all by itself! There are lots and lots of recipes for pumpkin soup out there, but I took ingredients from several different recipes to come up with this. If you use an ingredient in your soup you think may be missing from mine, by all means , let me know!

  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 cup (1 small) chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 can (12 fl. oz. Evaporated Milk or 1 can Coconut Milk
  • Pumpkin seeds, toasted in the oven
  • Note: if you have a big family you'll need to double this. I have made it with both evaporated milk and coconut milk, but think I prefer it with the evaporated milk. I do love coconut milk and use it a lot in Thai soups, but the evaporated milk makes this more savory.  

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder, salt and pepper; cook for 1 minute.

Add broth and pumpkin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in evaporated milk jus before serving. Serve warm and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Top 10 Fashion Trends for Winter 2015

It's always fun to find out what the new trends are. As a designer of crochet garments and accessories, its especially important. I love what I'm reading!

Some Trends for Winter 2015

1. Fringe - yeah! I love it!
2. Leather
3. White on white
4. Capes and Ponchos
5. Quilted fabrics and details
6. High Waisted dresses and tops
7. Sleeveless dresses and vests
8. Long vests, long dresses and long coats
9. Kimonos
10. Transparent fabrics
11. Fur vests, coats and collars

Many of these styles are 70's inspired. In the 70's I actually had a red, patent leather double-breasted maxi coat. I loved it! I just wish I knew what happened to that, because I never gave it away.

To read more , go to this link at Zee News

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Just Knitting Blog Video Review of Colorful Crochet Lace

I'm not really sure what her real name is so I'll just give the credit to the lady who calls herself "wearing purple" on all her social media. She received the book to review from Marly Bird after Marly did the podcast with me on the book and my design career.

Thank you for the review Wearing Purple! To see the video of her review click here.


To order Colorful Crochet Lace click HERE

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Library JOURNAL review of Colorful Crochet Lace

This is Library Journal's review of Colorful Crochet Lace. I got this ahead of time, so if you go to the link to read the review, it's not there yet, as it won't go public til Oct 1, 2015. Anywa, I've posted it here on my blog. As you can see I like collecting reviews and interviews! The more the merrier!. Thanks to all those who have given a review!

Colorful Crochet Lace
by Mary Jane Hall
Hall, Mary Jane. Colorful Crochet Lace: 22 Chic Garments & Accessories. Interweave. 2015. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 9781620336984. pap. $24.99. FIBER CRAFTS
Hall (Crochet That Fits) combines two of her passions—crocheted lace and vibrant color—in this collection of patterns, which includes both garments and accessories incorporating crocheted lace as an all-over pattern or an accent. The garment patterns feature a generous assortment of measurements, with a few sized from XS to 3X, and there are plenty of silhouettes included, allowing crocheters of all body types and sizes to find a style that works for them. Most of the patterns use lightweight yarn (fingering, sport, or DK), which lends itself nicely to the open, airy lacework. Patterns are both written and charted, and variations such as lengthening or shortening are provided. One of Hall’s areas of expertise is fitting crocheted garments, and she includes numerous tips for achieving the perfect fit without complex shaping, as well as a brief overview of her graduated stitch method, which allows crocheters to shape garments without using increases or decreases. VERDICT As Hall mentions in her introduction, crocheted lace is trendy right now, and this collection strikes a nice balance between homage to bygone eras and contemporary style.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Ma Chéie Scarf in Colorful Crochet Lace

The photos in the book do not capture the features of this lacy scarf with an arched edging. It is shown plaed on top of a black and white striped dress, which makes it difficult to see the pretty stitch pattern, so I am posting some of my own pictures. The edges are supposed to be curved into an arch, but by the time it was passed around to the tech editor, and stylist at the photo shoot,  I'm sure the scarf had stretched. I hope my personal photos do the scarf justice and give you ideas.

Colorful Crochet Lace - 22 lace garments and accessories. 100% Mulberry Silk yarn by Louisa Harding was used for this scarf. 
By Mary Jane Hall
Ma Chérie Scarf from Colorful Crochet Lace
Ma Chérie Scarf from Colorful Crochet Lace worn as a Cowl
Scarf worn with a Bow at the Shoulder
Scarf Worn as a Belt
Ma Chérie Scarf Tied into a Bow