Lego Pencil Case

It is really hard to get Lego fabric in Australia. Luckily I was able to get one print from Find A Fabric

This pencil case is pretty basic. I didn’t follow a pattern I just cut rectangles from the fat quarter of fabric I was able to get. The inside is lined with a bright blue homespun fabric I had in my stash. For the front of the pencil case I hand stitched on some felt letters I cut from some yellow felt in my stash to make the name. From memory I did also need to buy the zipper for this. Some projects you manage to find all the items in your stash and other projects you need to pick up a few things.

The little recipient of this got his birthday gift which also included Lego Man earlier this week and he loved it, now to start planning his birthday gift for next year 🙂

Cassiy

Hair Accessories Organiser

I found this great hair accessories pattern in One Thimble Issue 12 and thought it would be perfect to make as gifts this year so I added it to my ideas list.

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I had 4 girls I thought this would be perfect for so I cut all the fabric out and made one of my “kits” containing all the fabric and notions that I needed for the project. Although there are 4 each one is slightly different so I noted down the fabric combination for each child. When it came to sewing I thought why make 1 when you can make 2 so started and on them and then thought why make 2 when you can make 4 and stitched the 4 of them up a once. It might seem tiresome and you would think it would take longer but I think it was actually much quicker. You use the same equipment on each one so you only need to take out that equipment once.  Your brain in remembering each step in the process and how your actually doing it (even if you are following a pattern) so you don’t have to re-think back. At your sewing machine you only need to change your stitch length once for the same step you do on all 4 so it does make sense to batch sew if you can.

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The front and back fabrics for these I got last year from a sewing magazine. They are fun and pretty but not childish so as the child grows and feels they are a grown up (even though they may only be 8 or 9) they don’t feel they have something babyish in their rooms. For the long lengths of ribbons that run down the front of each the pattern called for gross grain ribbon which I didn’t have large amounts in my stash but what I did have was a large roll of jacquard ribbon so I used that, the tiny hearts on it are so sweet. The ribbon is stitched down in sections so you can hold large amounts of clips in each of the lengths of ribbon.

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The organiser has a pocket to hold all the hair ties that you can’t clip on to the ribbon. It expands out so you can fit a lot of hair ties in there and we know little girls have heaps.

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At the bottom are hanging loops that you can place headbands in. Headbands never really went out of fashion but I think they are becoming popular again.

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This organiser makes a great gift, it is an all one hair station to keep all hair accessories in one spot. You could make it for a child of any age. Like any homemade gift you can personalise the fabrics to suit the child. The pattern has some embellishment on the top where the hanging loop is but I didn’t bother, I left more space for clips. On each gift I added the clips and bobby pins I made and of course a headband. I think the girls would like it. My inner 9 year old would like it so I think they will too.

Cassiy

Bonus Play Mat

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In the Activity Go Case pattern there is a bonus play mat that you can make that fits inside the case nicely held in place by the elastic on one inside panel.

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On the front I used the same tan fabric I used on the case and some wool felt for the track. The road lines I stitched on with white thread

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On the back I used more of the motorcross fabric. The play mat is constructed like a mini quilt. My inside lay is a piece of pelon. I quilted it from the front side just going around inside the gaps of the road way. Very basic quilting but that is all you need.

This was a super quick project to make, I actually made this up before I made the case. I really like the track design and I’m sure I will make it again. It is a good size and you can easily add this to other toys. The mat doesn’t have to be a race track, you could make it in plain fabric or even make a grid pattern and use it for naughts and crosses if you made tokens.

Cassiy

Activity Go Case

The Activity Go Case by Love ME Patterns was a pattern I got in a Sew Box. It looked a good pattern so I put it on my to sew list for 2017.

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How to put this elegantly… some patterns you succeed at others you don’t. Now I firstly must stress this has nothing to do with the pattern. The pattern is well written and Mel has made a great video explaining how to do the binding on it as well. It was the execution (ie me) that didn’t work.

zipper-fail

The case has vinyl pockets on the inside. In the past I have worked with vinyl when making the luggage tag but that was onto fabric, sewing it on to zippers is completely different. Me and vinyl are not friends. It kept sticking even when I put tissue paper under it, I couldn’t get my stitches to look nice. With clear vinyl you can’t hide wonky or ugly seams. It wasn’t a matter of throwing a tantrum but I decided to scrap the vinyl pockets, I wasn’t happy and I didn’t want to waste my time getting stressed out because I couldn’t get it to look right (sewing is meant to be fun) I came up with an alternate plan.

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Instead I decided to a fabric centre pocket and a netting side pocket in place of the vinyl pockets. I used netting from my stash, the binding pieces are pieces from the original pattern pieces I had cut out. I attached the binding pieces to the netting then attached the piece to the lining fabric.

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For my centre pocket I used the original centre pocket zipper but shortened it. I used leftover fabric to create the lined pocket (it is basically a zipper pouch) I used one of the original binding pieces to cover the centre join and attached my zipper pocket over that doing a couple of rows of stitching at the bottom of the pocket to hold it in place.

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Then we came to the external zipper…. I used a sleeping bag zipper and shortened it. I couldn’t buy one long enough at my local stores and couldn’t afford near $20 to order one online. The zipper has 2 zipper pulls on the zipper head (one on each side) I almost cut the bottom one off but decided to leave it. When it came to attaching the zipper I accidentally put it on the wrong way. When you’re looking at the zipper open and it has zipper heads on both sides it is easy to confuse which way is the right side of the zipper tape, particularly when it is nearly 1m (90cm) long. Next time I will mark the right side of the tape with a pen. When I realised it was wrong I noticed I had stitched it pretty well and cut my binding to fit neatly so I left it. With the dual sided zipper I got away with it (really glad I didn’t decide to cut off the zipper pull)

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My next disaster was securing the binding. I hand finish my bindings normally but you couldn’t on this, you had to stitch it from the top side in the ditch. I have never stitched an actual item in the ditch before so this was a first for me. Some areas I did really well… then there was the section that I caught centre pocket . I unpicked the entire lot and started again. I was careful the second time to pin my pocket out of the way

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Also on my first attempt I didn’t leave an even amount of binding around the entire edge so on some areas I didn’t cover the internal raw edges. On my second attempt I kept an even amount of binding but I accidentally caught the zipper tape in one of the corners so I unpicked that section only and re did it. I did hand finish off a small section where my binding ends joined.

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You learn something new from every pattern and I did learn from this. Labels are awesome (blog post coming) I learnt a new way to do zipper tabs and finish off binding, I’ll be using this technique again.

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Despite all the little set backs I had I actually really like this. I quilted the front which was optional. Grid stitching is simple but effective. I love the way the handles turned out using the technique the pattern describes.

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I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with alternatives to the vinyl pockets. It made me stop and think about the sewing construction, made me think of what my sewing strengths were and how I could use them in this situation. I’m proud that I have the sewing skills now to be able to do that.

Cassiy

Pillows – E, N

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I do love a pattern whether it be PDF or paper packet that is multi use, by that I mean that you can make it multiple times for different people or for the same person but in different fabrics each time. That is certainly the case with McCalls 3274. The pattern has all the letters in the alphabet as well as 3 additional shapes.

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On this occasion I made the letter E just from some fabric I had in my stash. In the past I have used this fabric in baby blocks but I wasn’t sure what I would make with the remainder but it is perfect for this letter.

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This is meant to be a letter N, I’ll admit it looks more like a H. To me the diagonal middle section doesn’t have enough definition but I didn’t discover that until I had stuffed it fully. It isn’t the end of the world I’m sure the little boy who is going to get it will still like it as it has fabric that he likes. I’m planning to make another one later in the year (it is already cut out) but this time I’ve cut it so the diagonal section is more prominent.

Soft toy letters had been on my to make list for some time so I’m really glad I purchased this pattern last year. I’ll be making a lot of them this year

Cassiy

Fabric Covered Headbands

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Last year I got a pattern to make fabric covered headbands and this year I have finally made some.

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The pattern is by Arjay Creations. I made the slim line version of these so my fabric covering was the same size all around the headband. You can make them so they are wider in the middle. This is great scrap busting project as all of the fabrics used came from my scrap stash. To stitch them I used a mauve coloured thread as it was contrasting to all the fabrics used. These will be added to the gifts of four girls, on 2 of the headbands I have used leftover scraps from previous projects I have made the same girls. I like it when I can repeat a fabric in a different gift for the same child, they might not notice it but I do.

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Even though the pattern said to measure your pattern piece against the headband as some are of different lengths I didn’t so my fabric tubes were too long. Easy fixed once the fabric was on the headbands I top stitched the opening gap closed then folded over the excess fabric and hand stitched in to the inside of the headband. Your hair covers that part of the headband so you only see it if you take it off.

As a kid I was a big headband wearer so I really like these.

Cassiy

Art Caddy

This was the last of the birthday gifts I made for 2016.

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The pattern is Art Caddy by Miquita of Damaya Designs and can be found in One Thimble magazine Issue 5 It was one of those patterns I was instantly drawn too. You can buy back issues of One Thimble and I actually brought this issue just for this pattern as it was published before I discovered the fantastic magazine. The pattern has spots for both crayons and pencils as well as 2 extra pockets, perfect for putting some accessories and a notebook. It is smaller than most art caddy patterns I have seen but the compactness makes it more portable and perfect for travel.

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The alphabet fabric I used came from a Sew Box. The peach colour fabric is one I painted myself, originally I was going to use it in another project but the colour was too light but by chance it matches in with the alphabet fabric. The red fabric is some scraps I had which again worked in with the alphabet fabric. Instead of snaps you can use Velcro as closures but since I got my snap press I want to put snaps on everything.

Cassiy