I love this softie pattern. Polly is my go to dolly. She is from The Big Book of Softies This one would be the 4th if not 5th one I’ve made over the years.
I’ve never made her the exact same as the book ever (she has ears in the book) When I was looking for fabric for this Polly instead of searching my stash for new fabric and prep it, I looked through the fabric I was about to put away back into my stash from making the skirts and meerkat. The fabric had already been prepped so it was one job done. Where possible I used smaller offcuts of the fabric so I didn’t have to cut into any larger pieces.
This is the first Polly I have ever made with yarn hair after learning how to make it this year. Also I’ve satin stitched the eyes. Even though this is an old favourite pattern I’ve continued to challenge myself to make it.
After my jewellery boxes didn’t work out I needed a plan b to present the jewellery I’d made.
I went to my scrap fabric stash and looked at what I had on hand and came up with the idea of tiny tote bags. Each side of the tote is a 9 patch made of 2.5″ squares and a 7″ cross grain ribbon handle. The bags were all done on the serger. After deciding on the pattern I stitched up my rows then assembled the rows to form the block. I serged across the top of each block to finish the top edge of the bag. By chance I have purple and pink threads on my bottom serger loops so it looks a bit decorative. Once I had the 2 blocks assembled I serged them together to form the bag. The handles are simply hand stitched into place.
These took no time to assemble and look great. I can see the idea being used as a larger bag by either doing more squares or just larger squares. By doing them on the serger you don’t need to line the bag as all seams are finished. For larger bags I will do a stronger handle.
I’ve made my first batch of earrings to give as Christmas gifts to 3 little girls this year. These are so simple to make all you need is the earring studs, cabochons (charms) and E6000 glue all which I got from Jackobindi. I made them up in minutes then let them sit for a week or so to fully dry. I don’t think you really need to leave them that long but I’m always overly cautious. My advice is when working with E6000 glue you really do need to be in a well ventilated room as the glue is very strong smelling.
I’ve made another fabric colours book like I made before.
Again the designs I used were from the Crinkly Critters book by Kids Quilts. I also set myself the same challenge of only using fabric from my scrap stash. Some of the pages I found really easy to do but others I had to really sort through my scraps to find amounts of fabric. I was going to do a red page but couldn’t find the fabric quantities to do any of the designs in full.
Even though I used the same fleece as last time to line the pages I did have a little trouble sewing them at the end to bind the book. I divided the book in half so I would be sewing 2 lots of completed pages (a completed page is once it is turned right side out so has a back and front) together at time with the intention of then sewing those 2 separate segments. I was able to sew the 2 pages without problem but at the final stage of sewing all the segments together my machine had a tantrum. In the end I stitched all the segments together on the spine by hand using an upholstery thread. I coved up the spine with a scrap of blue I found in my stash that I slip stitched into place.
Its funny how you can do the same project yet have different issues each time you make it.
I’ve made another ball however this one is a little bit different. The green floral fabric that I have used is from the stash of mum’s old pj’s. The ball is for a niece whom has only just arrived this year so won’t get to play with Nanna in person, however with this ball she’ll always get to play with Nanna. As the ball doesn’t look like a baby toy I can see this staying with the child as she grows. It’s a great little size to be tossed around a bedroom without damage when she is older.
On the sewing side this is done with English Paper Piecing using off cuts in my fabric scrap stash. I tack the pieces with leftover bobbins to empty them off. To whip stitch it together I used a tiny reel of thread I found in my stash that I can’t put on my sewing machine. This project is a good project to use up bits and pieces in your stash.
2 more Christmas presents finished. These bookmarks are from Farmyard Friends by Julie Lembit which was published in the Holiday Craft 2011 magazine. There are 6 designs but these little guys just spoke to me. Even though these guys are very simple I did have a boo boo moment when I was stitching them together. In the haste of not paying attention to what I was doing I put the backing on the wrong way and when I stitched the dog realised I was meant to have the pieces right sides facing therefore I couldn’t turn it out the right way. When I was stitching I had the embroidered side down and my mind was thinking something is wrong here but instead of stopping I kept going. I was going to trim around the edge and call it a design feature but I wasn’t happy so got out my unpicker for some reverse sewing and un did it all. I’m glad I did. Had a I used a contrasting colour it would’ve looked ok but plain white just looked out of place around the edge.
This is a little softie that I will give as a Christmas present this year. As it will be the child’s first Christmas I can get away with showing this early. I used my embroidery machine to do the lettering then placed the train pattern around the letters to ensure if it fitted before cutting it out and stitching it up. This is a really simple gift that I have also made previously but in that instance I hand embroidered the letters. What I really like about doing this toy is that it can be given to a young child without risk of them hurting themselves as it has not parts or choking hazards yet the child can hold onto it for years to come as a keepsake as it doesn’t look like a baby toy. I hope as a teenager this is still in their room.
On a personal note I think this is a great first project if your just starting machine embroidery. It started as a rectangle square that I backed with stabilizer, hooped up, attached to the machine, set simple lettering on the machine, hit start and 5 minutes later I had a piece of fabric I could then cut into a toy. I was very intimidated by machine embroidery but this was a simple project that I could do where I was testing out how to use the machine yet making a practical item at the same time. I find it very hard to do an exercise or project without a purpose.