PlanetJune Craft Blog

Latest news and updates from June

baby sea turtle applique in thread!

My first thought after seeing my Baby Sea Turtle Appliqué was to wonder how it would look in crochet thread, so I decided to find out!

baby sea turtle applique crochet pattern by planetjune, made in crochet thread

I tried a few thread/hook combinations but my favourite ended up being size 10 thread and a size 7 US / 1.5mm steel hook. This size is not ridiculously small, so it’s not too difficult to crochet, but it’s still fine enough to give a satisfyingly petite and lovely baby turtle for an embellishment!

baby sea turtle applique crochet pattern by planetjune, made in crochet thread

My thread sea turtle applique is only 2.25″ (5.5cm) long and it looks so good in crochet cotton! The pattern works really well scaled down like this, provided you have a fine enough needle (with a large enough eye) to weave in the thread ends. (The clever simple assembly technique from the pattern works perfectly too, in case you were wondering!)

baby sea turtle applique crochet pattern by planetjune, made in crochet thread
It’s a perfect miniature!

Seeing how cute this tiny baby turtle turned out, I’m tempted to buy a denim jacket and have turtles ‘swimming’ up one side… A crochet thread appliqué would pair perfectly with denim, and it could go through the wash with no problems. What do you think? Should I do it?!

baby sea turtle applique crochet pattern by planetjune, made in crochet thread


PlanetJune Appliqués

PlanetJune applique crochet patterns

I’ve been developing my own style of appliqué, neither worked in rows (I don’t like that horizontal stripy look) or rounds (I dislike the look of that too, e.g. a leaf that has a big circle in the middle with the points of the leaf formed around it).

In my style, the design builds out from a base crocheted ‘skeleton’, which gives the finished pieces a more uniform look, without the visual distraction of rows or circles breaking up the shape.

I realised that I’ve accidentally built quite a library of appliqués already – especially if you include the flowers of some of my potted plants that could double as appliqués, like my pansy pins.

pansy pins from pansies crochet pattern by planetjune

In case you’re specifically looking for crochet appliqué patterns, I’ve added an Appliqués category to the PlanetJune shop, so you can browse more easily.

And you can expect more flat designs like these in future! (Do let me know if you have any requests…)

Comments (4)

review: Contoured Face Mask sewing pattern

I’ve been experimenting with various mask sewing patterns since April. With the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 imminent as schools start up again, I decided to spend part of my Labour Day long weekend making a batch of masks I’ll really enjoy wearing, now I’ve settled on my favourite design.

contoured face mask made by planetjune

This is the Contoured 3D Face Mask pattern from the Japanese Sewing Books blog and I love it because the structured shape keeps it away from your nose and mouth (so I find it much easier to breathe), while also fitting closely all around the edges (so it’s more effective) and going right up to my eyes (so it doesn’t steam up my glasses).

I also love it because of the clever design – it’s like fabric origami! There’s only one piece of each fabric (outer and lining), and the shape and structure is all formed from folding and seaming.

3d Contoured Face Mask tutorial from Japanese Sewing Books blog
image courtesy of Japanese Sewing Books blog

The video instructions are incredibly clear and I’d encourage you to watch it even if you don’t plan to make one of these masks – it’s so satisfying watching it come together! I do wish there were also text instructions with diagrams, but once you’ve made a couple of masks you won’t need the instructions anyway; just the printable template.

Tip: This pattern comes in 6 sizes to cover all head sizes from children to men, which is great, but I think the sizes run a little small. I used the ‘ladies’ size (L), but I’m quite petite and this size is only just large enough for me, so you may well need to size up.

contoured face mask made by planetjune

I’ve only made one change to the mask design, and it doesn’t change the sewing instructions at all: I like to use one long tie instead of elastic. I thread a 48″ length of cotton tape onto a yarn needle and pass it down through one side casing and then up through the other. The loop goes around your neck, then you pass the ends above your ears and tie them together at the back of your head to get a secure fit without the discomfort of elastic behind the ears.

contoured face mask made by planetjune

My other innovation is in folding the mask so I can keep one in my bag or pocket. Instead of just folding it in half, I tuck the lower third up under the upper third and fold in the sides so it lies flat. Then I fold the resulting rectangle in half and wrap the ties around it to secure it in a compact square shape – it’s so small and convenient!

contoured face masks made by planetjune

Until I find something like the gorgeous Japanese Hello Kitty fabric used in the tutorial video, I’m using my favourite sakura fabric to make all my masks. I bought it as a remnant many years ago and the need to make masks has finally given me a reason good enough to use it – and a way to make wearing masks at least somewhat enjoyable.


Isn’t this a great mask design? I highly recommend it. I hope you’ll try making one, or at least enjoy watching the video to see how it works!

Do you have a favourite mask pattern? Please share a link and why you like it in the comments – I’d love to see your recommendations too.

Comments (7)

Baby Sea Turtle Applique crochet pattern

You may be getting a déjà vu feeling right now – don’t I have a baby sea turtle pattern just like this already?!

Baby Sea Turtle Applique crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Well, no: there’s something completely new about this pattern! Although from the top it looks almost identical to the turtle from my incredibly popular Baby Sea Turtle Collection:

Baby Sea Turtle crochet patterns by PlanetJune
Spot the difference?

…from the side, it’s as flat as a pancake!

Baby Sea Turtle crochet patterns by PlanetJune
From top: 3D amigurumi turtle; 2D flat appliqué turtle

This is my brand new Baby Sea Turtle Appliqué crochet pattern. Crocheted appliqués are small flat crocheted pieces that make lovely embellishments – and in this case, a perfect addition to a beach or ocean-themed blanket, like my Turtle Beach blanket!

Baby Sea Turtle Applique crochet pattern by PlanetJune

About the Design

I designed this pattern to closely replicate my original Baby Sea Turtle in size, shape and appearance, so you can still keep that iconic Turtle Beach look with much less work.

The pattern is faster to crochet than an amigurumi turtle and, with only two pieces, needs almost no sewing or finishing. You can stitch it securely to a blanket (or anything else), and the optional embroidered eyes make it child-friendly and easy to launder.

Body: The head and flippers are all crocheted as one piece around a body that’s hidden beneath the shell. Not only does this minimise the finishing work, but the flippers naturally form at the perfect angles and in just the right positions with no effort or decision-making on your part (beyond following the pattern!)

Shell: If you’ve ever tried to flatten the original shell, you’ll know that, because it’s designed to be domed, it flattens into a strange overly-wide shape that doesn’t look right at all! I’ve designed a new shell that keeps the same style and finished shape from the top as the stuffed baby turtle, but is completely flat.

Eyes: I wasn’t sure about eyes – the appliqué turtle looks lovely without eyes (and, as we’re looking at the turtle from above, the eyes wouldn’t be visible in real life anyway…) so I decided to offer both options in the pattern. I think it looks cuter with eyes and more sophisticated without. My grey sample turtle has no (visible) eyes and the green turtle has my embroidered eyes – you can choose to add them or not; your turtle will look good either way!

Baby Sea Turtle Applique crochet pattern by PlanetJune

About the Pattern

This pattern includes full written instructions for the turtle, plus round-by-round charted stitch diagrams for the rounds that form the head and flippers, in both right- and left-handed versions.

It also includes:

  • Simple assembly instructions for attaching the shell (it comes together so nicely, you may actually enjoy this step for once!)
  • A complete step-by-step tutorial for embroidering the eyes securely with no visible knots or tails.
  • Tips for stitching the turtles neatly to a crocheted blanket.

Baby Sea Turtle Applique crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Baby Sea Turtle Multipack discount

Which baby sea turtle pattern should you buy? Why not both?! I’ve made that easy for you by bundling the two patterns together as a Baby Sea Turtle Multipack.

If you’re making a turtle blanket, you could attach some flat turtle appliques and give an amigurumi baby turtle set in the same colours as a matching companion gift.

Discount for Baby Sea Turtle Collection owners

If you’ve already bought the Baby Sea Turtle Collection and would like this new turtle pattern too, you can’t take advantage of the multipack discount, but I have you covered! If you’re buying the new pattern before the end of the month (August 2020), I’ll honour that multipack discount for you – just pick the option below that works best for you:

  1. Email me (june@planetjune.com) with details of your Baby Sea Turtle Collection order. Once I’ve verified your previous order I’ll email you back with a special discount code for the new pattern, and you can place your order.
  2. Place your order for the new pattern at the standard price and include the details of your Baby Sea Turtle Collection order in the message to me (or email me by end of Aug with the details of both your orders). Once I’ve verified your previous order I’ll email you with a PlanetJune Gift Certificate to the value of the discount, which you can use against a future order.

With either option, all I need is enough information to be able to verify your previous order, e.g. your order number or date of order.

Pattern Links

You can find all my sea turtle and turtle beach blanket-related patterns at www.planetjune.com/turtle – browse at your leisure!

Baby Sea Turtle Applique crochet pattern by PlanetJune

As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a sea turtle fan, and I already have a few ideas for how I’m going to use this appliqué to make or customize turtle-themed things for myself. (More on that later!)

I hope you’ll enjoy this pattern too, and I look forward to seeing what you’ll do with it – don’t forget to tag me @planetjune on all the socials so I can see your projects 🙂

Happy flat turtle-making!

Comments

concussion & customer support

I think I was a bit optimistic in my last health update: post-concussion syndrome can take weeks or months to abate, and I definitely haven’t fully recovered yet. I still get incapacitating headaches on some days, and I sometimes struggle to find the right word when I’m talking. Plus fatigue, sleep problems and a severe lack of concentration and energy… I’m working when I can, but some days I’m just not up to it.

And I seem to be having some memory lapses too, which is quite unsettling. For example, I actually wrote last week’s blog post three weeks earlier, but not only did I forget to post it, I forgot I’d even written it

How does this affect you? Well, thanks to all of this, I’ve just discovered that a few customer support requests may have slipped through the cracks. I don’t have the energy to wade back through a month of email and messages from other channels and follow up with everyone to check whether I’ve completed your request, so I’m going to just start fresh from today.

  • If you’re waiting to hear from me, please email me again (june@planetjune.com).
  • If you’ve contacted me via social media or rav PM, please email me for help instead (june@planetjune.com).

Having all my customer support requests in one place will make it much easier to manage them as I continue my recovery.

Thanks for your continued patience, and I’m so sorry if your message is one that slipped past me – it’s incredibly frustrating to me too; this is not the level of customer service I’m known for, but I can’t just wish myself better! I highly recommend you try to avoid head injuries, if you have that option… 🙂

Comments (8)

amigurumi skills for Turtle Blanket makers

It’s amazing how popular my Turtle Beach blanket pattern is – I published it over four years ago, and it still gets viral boosts on social media every few months that make it consistently one of my most popular designs!

turtle beach crochet pattern by planetjune

Selling Turtle Blankets

I’ve even started a special section of my Sellers’ List page for people who are making turtle blankets to sell, because I get so many requests for finished blankets…

turtle beach crochet pattern (by planetjune) - blankets for sale by crocheters
Don’t they all look great? I love how people respond to this pattern – both makers and buyers!

(By the way, if you make turtle blankets to sell, see the bottom of that page for details of how to be added to the list.)

Turtle-Making Tips

Thanks to this unexpected and long-lasting Turtle Beach popularity, I’m seeing many experienced crocheters try to tackle amigurumi for the first time, to make the turtles for their blankets, and some are getting frustrated.

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone! Amigurumi is a special subset of crochet that requires its own skills. Even the most experienced crocheters can be startled when they pick up their first amigurumi pattern and discover it’s full of new terms and techniques, or amigurumi standards that aren’t specifically addressed within each pattern.

Although all my patterns point you to my main tutorials index (www.planetjune.com/help), the list below is a shortcut to only the tips and techniques you’ll need to tackle and master my Baby Sea Turtle Collection pattern, so you can make adorable turtles for your blankets with minimal frustration!

1. Magic Ring

The magic ring gives the perfect start to every piece of amigurumi: you can start crocheting in the round without any trace of a hole in the middle. Mastering this is a must!
Go to Magic Ring tutorial >>

2. Which loops to work into

Unless otherwise specified in the pattern, all amigurumi should be worked into both loops of the stitch below.
Go to Front, Back, Both Loops tutorial >>

3. Which is the right side

It’s very important that all your amigurumi pieces are right-side out before you stuff, close, flatten or assemble them.
Go to Which is the Right Side? tutorial >>

4. Invisible Decrease

Decreasing without leaving any bumps or gaps sounds too good to be true, but the invisible decrease (abbreviated invdec) really does live up to its name!
Go to Invisible Decrease tutorial >>

5. Changing Colour

Always change colour in the last loop of the stitch before the colour change.
Go to Changing Colour tutorial >>

6. Flattened Pieces

Vital to understand how to make your turtles’ flippers! What does it mean when a pattern says to flatten a piece of an amigurumi after crocheting it?
Go to the Flattened Pieces tutorial >>

7. Seamless Join

This technique creates a smooth, almost invisible join for stitching the flippers to the shell.
Go to Amigurumi Seamless Join tutorial >>

These seven tutorials cover every mistake I’ve ever seen anyone make with my Baby Sea Turtle pattern, so make sure you understand these seven concepts and you’ll be good to go!

Baby Sea Turtle Collection amigurumi crochet pattern by PlanetJune

Still Struggling?

Now, if you’ve decided you’re allergic to amigurumi and you never want to see an amigurumi turtle again, I understand! Although I love amigurumi, I know it isn’t for everyone, and I’m working on an alternative for you.

I’ve developed a flat applique-style baby turtle design that closely matches the look and size of my ami turtles, so you’ll be able to stitch those to your turtle blankets for a similar effect (except that the turtles will be flat instead of three dimensional). The new pattern will be much faster to make, with only two pieces, simple embroidered eyes, and almost no sewing! 🙂

Watch this space – I’ll post as soon as the new pattern is ready…

Comments

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