The Creation of Hilly Billy The Vintage Citroen - Yarn Bombing at Emma's Fabric Studio Open Day July 2014

Posted on 04 August 2014

I have received some lovely feedback about our transformation of the vintage car at the July Open Day at Tithe Barn in Lenham. Hilly Billy is an old Citroen who is still road worthy and can often be seen driving round the village with her owners Valerie and John Arthur. They kindly let us give Hilly Billy a summer spruce up at the Open Day. Given how much interest there has been, we thought you might want to see how we went about the makeover and gave her a super cute/super star new look!

Judi, Chief of Yarn Bombing, has explained how we did the eyes, a particular challenge!

When we measured Hilly Billy for her new decorative overcoat I thought we would cover the lights from the back, a bit like a tea cosy, or light cosy. It wasn’t until later when I was looking at the pictures it occurred to me that they weren’t lights, of course they were her eyes!

So how do you go about making eyes for a vintage Citroen?
I googled crochet eyes, not much help and certainly no pattern to fit a vintage car. Well eyes are just circles right? So I found a pattern for a crochet circle, in this case it was a cushion cover, but the basics of how many increases in each round were fine - I was happily crocheting along until I had a circle big enough to cover the front of the light, then stopped increasing and carried on for 4 or 5 rows and that’s it - a plain white cover for the light but it doesn’t look much like an eye though.

A big debate came next in our household - what colour should Hilly Billy’s eyes be? - brown, green, mixed - no of course they should be bright blue. So the right shade of bright blue was located in my 'tiny' wool selection and another circle began - using the same pattern but a lot smaller this time.

After that her eyes needed irises (not the floral type!) - I started making a tiny black circle, It looked ok to me - Stu had different ideas though. A long debate about how the iris should look and lots of cartoon drawings followed - this resulted in a ¾ circle. I have to grudgingly admit that it does look better than my original circle did.

The final challenge - how to make eye lashes? Should they be long and curly, thick and bushy - what should they be made from? I contemplated pipe cleaners, fringing and various other options then it came to me, I could adapt the crochet rose pattern to make eye lashes - a few tries later and I got something about the right size.

So one eye complete - on to number 2!
For the remainder of the car, we pooled our collective crochet blankets, unfinished projects, etc.  We gave Judi anything wool related for her Hilly Billy vision.  Jan, our amazing Senior Yarn Bombing Engineer made a spare wheel cover, Sam (Chief of Pom Poms) prettied up the general look, using various other yarny creations.  Lorna (Chief Analyst, Director of Detail) ensured Hilly Billy was groomed to perfection.  Jo's collection of crochet blankets were put to very good use.  My unfinished projects were put to great use too (thank goodness)...  Judi clearly had a look in mind and it turned out wonderfully! Have a look through the gallery for more detail.
Hilly Billy in her usual attire
Taxed and road worthy!
Showing her age...
Measuring her up one spring day!
Hilly Billy de-constructed and ready for a makeover!
Very pleased my unfinished (not even joined yet) hexi 'blanket' was put to good use!
We used every piece of wool we could find!
Crochet bunting/Hilly Billy's headband
A massive selection of blankets ready for our star!
The owl would become a feature at the front of the car
She greeted our guests with a friendly smile
Here she is!
The main attraction (apart from the fabric....)
Lovely bunting
Specially made spare wheel cover - thanks Jan!
Her 'rear' end was looking super duper
Got to get the name in there somewhere ;0)
Eye detail
Every flower in our stashes was put to good use!
More flowers
Emma's hexi 'blanket' (thank goodness I'm not a completer finisher)
From the front
Owl detail
This was the most challenging part, Sam did a great job, but for Hilly Billy's decency we had to amend her look slightly, she ended up with a beautifully decorated handle!
The steering wheel got a brightly coloured cover
... and it fitted in beautifully with our colourful theme...
Erm, hello Finn! The children were particularly drawn to Hilly Billy and her new look.
Her bonnet cover was beautifully colourful.
What a hoot!
Even the gear-stick received a makeover...
The tax disc didn't get left out...
... nor did the running boards
Thank you Judi, you did a great job!
Oh and here's Lorna (centre) - anything detailed and little would most certainly have been done by her!
Trevor and Terrence didn't escape the cosmetic surgery!
So, until next time...
Be sure to come and see our new 'theme' for Hilly Billy in October!
oh, and we have our eye on this truck for next time too ;0)

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