Bed pocket tidies

I’ve been slacking a little lately with blogs. I’ve been so busy I’ve really been making much and I keep forgetting to post. One reason I’ve been busy is moving my kids around. My biggest kid needs his own room and littlest kid needs a new bed so we’re shuffling about meaning they all need a handy bed tidy and this is the perfect project to use my Aldi Harry Potter fabrics for.

1.First up you need pattern pieces you will need 2 of each:  main pieces 27 x 34 cm, book pocket (middle red fabric in pic 1) 20x34cm, front pockets 12 x 34cm and 6 strap pieces 36 x 8 cm.

2. Place both pieces of book pocket and front pockets with pattern sides facing and sew along the top edge. With the straps place them pattern sides facing but will be sewing 3 of the sides ( both long edges and one short). The unfinished edge will be tucking in to the book tidy so if you’re bother about pattern direction ensure its goin up from the unsewn edge.

3. Open each piece out and iron the seam flat. Fold back over so the pattern is now showing and iron again to flatten,

4. Place front pockets on top of book pocket and find the centre. Sew through the centre on top of front pocket to create 2 smaller ones.

5. Once you’ve turned out and ironed the straps  place them pattern side down onto front main section piece. I place 2 outer ones 2.5 cm in and the middle was lined up with the centre. Place the back main piece on top and sew across the top. Repeat step 3 and iron it open.

6. Place the sewn book and front pocket piece pattern side down on the back piece. Keeping straps out of the way of seams place the front piece down and pin in place. Sew around all sides ensuring you’ve sewn the sides of the pockets in place. Leave a gap for turning and turn out then top stitch.

7. Cut out 3 lots of Velcro and place as shown in picture. One should be hook one should be loop on each strap. Sew in place.

Originally I wanted 2 smaller pockets for the book section but I also decided to do a bigger pocket version for my toddler because toddler books are never small. The small front pockets are great for cars, lego figures, mini torches, lip balm even tissues and trinkets.

Due to the fact I didn’t interface my fabrics the book pocket does gape a little but doesn’t affect use at all. Now to make 2 more and see whether I can perfect the design or not.

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Soother Clips

We lose so many of this damn things it drives me crazy so I decided to make a rainbow set and use different clips. My last lot kept pinging off due to way they were designed so you may have a soother clip but no actual clip attached!

You’ll need clips mine are 25mm wide, lengths of ribbon the same width, lighter, ruler and some snaps. (1) Mine were around 35cm long.

Start off by sealing one end of your ribbon with the lighter and placing through the clip so it goes towards the back (2). Once through fold over the raw edge and pin in place just above the clip so that edge is hidden (4). Now measure from the folded edge to 22cm along then add enough extra so it will go through a dummy and clip in place. I like to fold the edge under so may need an extra 1-2 cm for this aswell. You will be folding at the 22cm mark and pin in place where you want your snaps to meet.

Using a triple stitch – number 17 (6) stitch down the clip end of the ribbon. (5) If you don’t wish to sew you can attach a snap here to join this section with smooth side facing up.

On other end go through all 3 layers or 2 if you’re not folding it under with an awl. This is where your snaps will go. (7) Place your snap through so the working side is on same side as fold and neater smoother side is facing out. (8) Place the opposite side into other hole again so the working side is facing same way as other one or they wont meet.

You’re done! Why 22cm though? well this is the maximum legal length a soother clip can be before its deemed a strangulation risk. Of course it is your choice but please only use when supervised and be aware of the dangers. These are also not designed to be used when sleeping

Clips were bought here. Various ribbons were bought on eBay just search for grosgrain ribbon.

Fabric Fish – Pattern and Tutorial

So my youngest is obsessed with fish. It’s easy to say and the most common animal he will see in water which also fascinates him so I decided he needed a fish.

I took an image off google and adapted it into a pattern for sewing (original source is linked on the file) Start off by cutting 2 of every piece: fabric fishREMEMBER to mirror them or cut on folded fabric so you have 2 opposites of each. I used cotton for most the fish and felt for piece 3 due to size.

  1. Pin under the curved edge of fish head (piece 1) and pin into the main body of your fish (piece 7).
  2. Top stitch fish head in place then position number 3 fin and stitch along straight edge.
  3. Again remember to sew these on opposites. I’ve shown the fish pieces the same way but they don’t match due to being mirrored. Sew the rest of the pieces in pairs and turn out.
  4. Using original image as a guide pin all your pieces on to one fish section as shown.
  5. Place other piece 7 on top and sew round leaving a gap for turning ( I left my gap at the bottom) Turn out and stuff full. Using a ladder stitch close up your fish.
  6. You’re done. You can add eyes at step 2 or leave it as it is to reduce small parts.

It’s always better to over stuff than under as it gives a better shape even when it’s flatten from being handled, sat on or thrown around. This was a simple make for my son with no small parts. He is 2 and I supervise his play however if you are giving as a gift or selling please consider looking into CE testing.

Rip Stop Makes- game bag and wet bag

Rip stop is a great strong fabric that is thin enough to be flexible, water resistant but also super easy to wash even on a hot wash. It is also cheap at about £3-5 a metre.

I have used this fabric to make small drawstring bags, sling covers, bags and many more things. Today I’m going to show you have to make a bag for playing games and a large wet bag.

  1. Start off with 2 squares 31×31 cm. Placing them right sides together pin in place.  From the bottom corners mark up 10cm and the same across the bottom. Do this for both corners.
  2. Start sewing from the top using a 1 cm seam allowance. When you reach the first pin start to curve around the corner to the second pin along bottom then do same for other pins to create a curved bottom. Trim and turn bag right way out
  3. Cut  5 strips of webbing at 8cm long. I used 2.5cm wide webbing and sealed the ends with a lighter.
  4. Fold around D-rings a suitable size and pin.
  5. Fold over the top edge inside 1 cm and pin in place
  6. Pin the webbing around the top edge so the top of the webbing is level with the edge of the bag. I placed mine approx. 8 cm apart.
  7. Sew around the bag securing the 1cm turn over and at same time securing the webbing. Then sew crossed squares onto each strip. This helps secure it well and strongly
  8. Now place a ball inside and thread rope through the rings and knot.
  9. This is a perfect group game- stand in a circle with one side holding the rope. Swing around so it should hit the legs of the circle but the goal is to jump as you spin it round and if you get caught you’re out.

Next up is a large wet bag.  Cut out 2 large rectangles to size you want. I used the rest of my fabric pieces were around 30x50cm.

  1. Place one side of a zip onto the top edge of one piece and then using the other side place along top edge of other piece and sew into place.
  2. To sew past a zip stop about 5 cm away from the zip, ensuring needle is down lift the foot.
  3. Turn your work so its horizontal and gently push zip open so when you continue sewing it sits behind the foot and you can continue sewing without it getting in the way.
  4. Once in place find both hard stopper ends. Place needle back in at the top so the hard end is to the right of the foot and more importantly the needle then sew down 1cm. Keeping needle down and foot up turn your bag so youre sewing away from the zip. Sew along top, side, bottom and other side.
  5. Once you reach the other corner make sure your zip is open so when you finish you’ve not accidental sewn it shut. Repeat step 2 and 3 to sew across the opposite side of the zip but in reverse.
  6. Turn out the right away and bingo you have a large wet bag. This is fab for swimming, for the beach or for cloth nappies. You can throw it into wash just open the zip and throw it in.

Janome XS50 sewing machine review

After a hellish few days my machine decided to also give up! I can’t cope with not sewing and had orders to complete so it was the dreaded credit card purchase. I have spent the last 5 years paying it off so was  hard using it again but for sewing it’s worth it.

I chose the Janome XS50 due to the stitches it provides, its computerised, a great make and out of the 2 I liked it was the cheaper one. So after a week of using it here is my review.

It’s a simple looking machine with no complicated buttons and controls. There are about 50 stitches which normally I don’t use all of them but I like the option and when you get a machine with less it doesn’t have the stitches I like to use on it which is 24 mainly. (2).

The plate has more seam allowances marked on it then I’ve ever seen (5) and this is fab news for me. I love the option to make bigger seams without needing to sew perfectly straight and hope for the best. I also like how they are marked on the bobbin cover as allows me to see more comfortably.

I have a couple of gripes the ‘extenstion’ table which is usually something that is used for all sewing and not an extension as such is tiny. I’m used to a draw I can use but this is no good for storing anything in as have to remove to get inside and usually everything flies out when try (3&4)

It comes with 2 spool holders and unusually the stand up one is at the front of the machine which isn’t something I’m used to but doesn’t effect the sewing one bit. (9) The bobbin winder however is naff its the worse thing going and needs tightening left to wind it goes loose, winds around under the bobbin and wastes a lot of thread. I combat this by holding the thread as it winds to give it some tension.

The digital display shows your stitch number, length and width (7). Underneath is a speed control and handy button to have needle up or down at end of sewing. The width and length isn’t always able to be changed but for some stitches it can and is very simple. The speed button is great but not something I find myself using much.

The machine also features a start/stop button so you can actually sew without the foot pedal should it break, you hurt yourself or are unable to use a foot pedal. I gave it a go and preferred using my foot.

It also comes with accesories such as a dust cover, seam ripper, bobbins, feet and needles. The zipper foot is one I’ve never encountered before and I love it (8). Depending on what side you want to sew depends on if you pop it onto the machine on the left or right. This saves picking a stitch and needle position that won’t smash into the foot and it holds down well unlike some I have used.

Other all its a great machine for the price and the service at Sewing Machines Direct is fab. I emailed a question got a reply within hours with an extra note that the machine I was asking about had good stock should I wish to go ahead with an order. This was all outside of opening hours too. I ordered and it came next day so no extra waiting. I am still getting used to it and miss my old machine a lot ( which is getting repaired) but I would fully recommend this.

 

 

Badge sewing

This Easter I gifted my older children a badge blanket each. Big one is in Scouts but has attended since Cubs and smaller one is currently in Beavers. A badge blanket is for occasional, fun and redundant badges they aren’t wearing on their uniform. It is a great keepsake and to take on camp.

I sewed most of them on the machine but for the badges that are edged I thought I would do a quick tutorial of how to hand sew them.

  1. Place threaded needle in material (shirt, jumper, blanket) so it is under where badge will sit and pull it through to the knot
  2. Place the needle in the embroidered edge at the back of the badge. You need to try line up where the needle comes out of blanket with where it goes into badge so when you’ve a few stitches you’re creating a ladder effect.
  3. Now do same back into blanket lining up where the needle came out of badge. | | | a bit like this. Repeat till you get back to the start.
  4. Once done and ready to fasten off place thread back into the blanket right by the edge so will be hidden underneath and pull through but not all the way
  5. Leave a small loop of thread and place your needle back through to knot. Do this a couple times and cut.

 

Felt Sandwich & Toast Tutorial

After making bacon eggs and sausages i decided we needed toast and a sandwich so here is how you can make your own.

First up templates.

1. Lettuce- draw a 9 cm square and draw a 2 cm stalk at bottom overlapping the centre line. Then draw a leaf similar to picture. This was done freehand so just give it a go. Cut 2 from green felt

2. Meat slice- 8 cm square, tomato slice- 5 cm & cucumber inner 4 cm. Cut 2 meat from each colour (pale pink and cream), 2 tomato from red and 2 cucumber from light green.

3. Cucumber outer 4.5 cm circle. Cut 2 from darker green

4. Bap- draw a 9 cm square and draw a slightly larger circle through. Cut 4 from light beige

5. Bap- Follow the circle to create your template but square off along sides as shown by the black line

6. Toast- Draw a 10 x 9 cm square marking centre line. Measure 1.5 cm up from centre line and 2 cm down from top left corner. draw a curve starting from the 2 cm mark and levelling out on top of the 1.5 cm line. I decided to draw this as half a template so when cutting out it would have even curves. Cut 2 from dark beige

7. Toast inner– Using your toast template draw a full slice. Measure around 0.5 cm at regular intervals marking with a dot then connect the dots. Cut 2 from light beige

You will now need to cut out 2 of everything for one piece of food. You’ll also need to cut 2 circles about 1 cm smaller than bap pieces and 1 toast piece from the inner template from wadding or similar.

8- Tomato- Place the 2 circles together and sew around outside as close to edge as can, around 0-5 cm is good. Next sew triangles in the centre they don’t need to be even. Trim

9. Lettuce- Sew around outside of both pieces.  Next  starting at the  bottom create the outline of the stalk in same colour thread.

10- Meat- sew around edge of both pieces and trim. Bap– Place the inner wadding between layers and sew around edge of 2 bap pieces to create one, repeat for other. You now have a top and bottom for your sandwich.

11. Cucumber- sew the lighter green onto a darker green circle. Create seeds using the chain stitch hiding any knots and thread at back. Place together with light green on outside and sew around edge.

Your sandwich looks good enough to eat!! is this how you’d eat your sandwich? Of course we wouldn’t normally have chicken AND ham on a sandwich but it gives you options. This is quite a flat style perfect for my own 2 year old and great for younger hands as it doesn’t create a bulky sandwich hard for small hands to hold.

toast

Time for toast!! Should have made this a while ago really who has a breakfast without toast.

1. Place a toast inner on the toast outer and sew in place.

2. Flip one piece over and place the wadding on top then the other piece on top of that.

3. You should have both inner pieces facing out.

4. Sew around the edge to complete and trim.