Gertrude The Guinea Pig

There is a new lady guinea pig in town Gertrude.

Gertrude is the latest toy from Funky Friends Factory. I seem to be making a lot of Funky Friends Factory toys of late but it was love at first sight when I saw this toy and I instantly went and purchased her. She will be a gift for a 3 year old next month.

This toy is a great scrap busting project and I made her all from scraps but you could also do it from a set piece of fabric or two. This is not a difficult toy like some of the FFF toys can be but I will be honest and say I did struggle with trying to get the pattern pieces to fit with the scraps. Some pieces were easy other pieces you had to do one in reverse and it got me. I messed up 2 pieces during the cutting stage but luckily I was able to salvage them or cut more and later towards the end I discovered a big boo boo which I think related back to the cutting in reverse issue. I think if I slowed down and really thought before I cut I could have avoided a few errors but I must admit I was just wanting to jump in and make her.

Sewing wise I didn’t have really any issues with her. I did a lot of hand tacking first and she even has stuffed limbs! For those who have read my previous posts about toys know I hate sewing in stuffed limbs. I hand tacked each limb then went over each one with a basting stitch on the machine so by the time it came to sandwiching them in between a seam they were not going anywhere. On some seams as I was reversing or starting the seam my sewing throat did eat the fabric a few times, when I got to the ears which were light weight and had nothing in between them they jammed down in the feed dogs. To over come this I cut a narrow strip of tear away stabiliser (about an inch wide) and used that just under the tip of each piece. It feed much easier through my machine and didn’t jam. I then just tore it off after I finished that section. When it came to do the other end of the ear I grabbed my strip again and placed it underneath, once again it didn’t jam. I’m now going to always have a piece next to my machine to use on ends when it looks like my machine will eat the fabric. If you didn’t have tear away tissue paper or even a bit of old computer paper or envelope would also work. It was easy to pull away from the seam line at the end.

So my big boo boo. Once I had sewn on the head I noticed she had a hunchback (Kyphosis – yes I looked up the official terminology) I laughed and called her the Hunchback of Notre Piggy but she didn’t look right. At first I was going to leave her but she looked like a rhino or buffalo not a guinea pig. It was when I looked at the pattern pieces again I realised I had cut one the wrong direction or got confused which was the way I was meant to pin it on the fabric or something along those lines. At this stage I only had 2 small seams to do to close her and I really didn’t want to pull her apart and start from scratch or ditch her. I decided to do a bit of cosmetic surgery to remove her hump.

From mid way down her spine to her head I pinned her and drew a curve with a pen. I machine stitched from my original seam line on her back to down past where her head was joined. I went over the seam twice then cut the hump away with pinky shears.

She looked much better after her surgery and it was a very simple way to fix her. Ok so she is a little more rounder than the one in the picture but I have never known a skinny pig, all the ones I have ever owned became round.

Pauline has created a tutorial to go along with this toy. I only followed it in sections as the construction of this one is pretty straight forward. If I was to make another one I would as mentioned take more time to make sure all my pattern pieces were the right way up. I need to do more research on how to easily do one piece in reverse. I tend to cut my pieces double layers, for non directional fabric that isn’t an issue but if I am working with scraps or want things the same direction I need to learn some tricks. She was fairly quick to sew up. Her facial features were just some leftover wool felt scraps from my stash.

Don’t be put off by my little adventure with her she is a fantastic toy. She is a nice size too, great for cuddles, now I want to be a 3 year old so I can have one too.

Cassiy

 

Eel Softies

I do love it when an idea in your head works out the way you hoped it would.

I have made another version of the Flosstyle Spiral toy and again I have made it a little different to the basic pattern. Last time I turned it into a snake this time I turned it into eels well to the point Parramatta Eels and have created two little Erics. If you are not familiar with Rugby League in Australia there is a team that’s mascot is an eel called Eric, I have a work colleague who is a devout fan of the team so this year when she finally became a Granny I thought it was only fitting to make her grand kids little eels.

I followed the basic pattern but omitted the ribbons. Once I joined all the circles which formed each side of toys together I created stripes down each piece using a twin needle, on each piece I marked where to stop so the lines would be even on each side. The yellow fabric I found in my stash and I just had enough to do all the pieces. The wool felt on the eyes came from my scrap stash, using pearl cotton I did a French knot in each pupil before I stitched it to the toys. The mouth is done in regular embroidery floss using a back stitch, I didn’t mark it this time I just eyeballed it.

Once again I left multiple stuffing gaps in the toys not just the one just suggested in the pattern. The spirals can be very tricky to stuff and the multiple gaps allowed you to stuff smaller sections which made it much easier and I think quicker. I used interfacing on these ones too which made it a little bit stiffer than the first time I made this so the stuffing smaller sections was a must on these.

This week the toys were given to the new Granny and she loved them. She couldn’t believe that I had made them. She has already given one to the first grand child’s parents who are excited to put it on their pram, the other eel is ready to be given to her next grand child later this year when they arrive. I had a lot of fun making these. I looked at the mascot and thought of how can I recreate this. I thought about ways to do the stripes down the side so they would stand out. I loved the challenged and even I really don’t like the team I do like these little guys.

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

Travel Tray

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For a while now I have wanted to make some sort of tray that you could collapse when not in use and finally I have made one. I found a free pattern on Craftsy by Angie’s Bits and Pieces. This is a really basic pattern to make and it took about an hour from start to finish to do so super quick to make up.

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I’m going to be using this one as a money tray that will live in my sewing tote for when I go to Sewing Guild. I collect the member’s dues each month and I’m always searching for something to keep the money in so people have one spot to place it. This tray is perfect.

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The fabric I used was the scraps I had leftover from making the Watermelon bags. I pieced them together to make them wide enough. My finished tray is a little narrower than the pattern, however the pattern can be made any size you want so you can go larger or smaller. Instead of batting I fused stabiliser to the back of the fabrics, because I want to carry money in it I wanted it to be a little more sturdy. I used of offcuts of pieces of stabiliser I had so it was good to use them up in a project.

I want to put snaps on everything after getting my snap press earlier this year. The snaps work well on this as they make it quick to undo and collapse down. You could also use Velcro or if you want to get more decorative use buttons. This tray would make a cute gift for anyone to use. I could see these in a little kids rooms filled with their treasures or filled with sweet treats on someone’s work desk.

I’m sure I’ll be making these again.

Cassiy

Scrappy Scotty

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Sometimes a stitchery just says to you “Buy me, I will be useful in something you just don’t know what yet” and that was a case here. Jodie aka Ric Rac recently released a new stitchery Great Scott. The pattern steps you through how to make the piece into a babies rattle but you can use the design on anything. Here I have used it as the central panel on a toddler’s shoulder bag. I traced the design onto a piece of pink scrap fabric I found in my stash that was just the right size for the design. I framed it with some leftover fabric from my quillow debacle. The handle is another piece of fabric left over from the quillow. I haven’t done any hand satin stitching in sometime (2-3 years) but I somehow managed to do a resemble job on the eyes and nose.

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For the back I used more of the green fabric that I pieced to make it wide enough. I really like this fabric, it must be the green with pops of pink and white that just make it seem fresh and happy.

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For the inside again I used quillow leftovers. From the quillow project I was left with a few long stripes of fabric. It was too much of it to just put in my daycare donation bag and since I liked the fabric I knew I would find a use for it so I kept on to it. This project was the perfect use for it.

This bag was super quick to make up. The stitchery only took me like a day to do in front of the tv. It is only back stitching so it is quick and simple. The piecing of the bag was very quick, it is just straight line stitching. You construct it together like any other tote bag except it just a little bit smaller than most. I love raiding my scrap stash finding fabrics I can use in a project. I’m a proud of a project like this where everything used is scraps. It makes you think and get creative. For a small project like this why cut up a big bit of fabric when you only need small amounts. I’m hoping little Miss 2.5 likes her new bag this Christmas.
Cassiy

Hungry Little Caterpillar

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This little guy came out of no where but I am so proud of him.

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I brought the pattern (Simplicity 8156)  on a whim at the ASG Industry Day. Prior to the day I had planned out all the patterns I would be buying but on the day I remembered I needed to make a gift for a 1 year old this Christmas. I was too lazy to find an existing pattern in my stash instead I flipped through the Simplicity catalogue and came across this pattern thinking yep that will do. To be honest I wasn’t really taken by the pattern but it looked easy and it was different to the other taggie toys I’ve made. As I was going to sleep that night I had an idea.

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The next morning I started work on him. I decided he would be the Hungry Little Caterpillar. I set myself a personal challenge of only using fabrics from my scrap stash. I love setting myself challenges like this as it really forces you to think. This toy was the perfect toy for a scrap challenge as you only needed small pieces for each of the various bits. I raided my scraps and found enough of everything.

caterpillar-tongue

I made him a little bit different to what the pattern says to. I used only cotton fabric for the body not cotton and fleece. I didn’t use ribbons instead for his legs I made my own fabric tabs from a left over piece of red cotton and for his antennas I used wool felt. I also decided he needed a tongue inside his mouth to add a bit more character. In real life I’m allergic to caterpillars so I would never have imagined myself making a Hungry Little Caterpillar 🙂 Essentially he is a taggie toy but because he doesn’t look babyish as the child grows the toy becomes a character in a book that the child can read whilst holding their little toy. Most taggies lose their use once the child stops teething. This little guy could be made for a child of any age.

I have also reviewed this pattern on Pattern Review. If you have never been on Pattern Review before and you like sewing you will find it a very interesting website. People post personal reviews on anything that you can sew, books, sewing machines. It is a very informative site.

Cassiy

 

Paw Pouch

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I mentioned in Paw Patrol Bag that I cut the red fabric to use in another project well here it is.

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A few weeks back I knew I was going to have a long stressful day at work. As craft is my relaxation I decided I needed to do something crafty between different meetings I had so the day before it I quickly cut out this project.  I found the Paw Patrol Paw image online and used that as my shape. I used a double layer of yellow felt (from the August Sew Box) to add texture to the shape. I did basic backstitch to applique the shape in place using yellow thread from a leftover bobbin. It was very quick to cut out and very portable.

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The lining is leftover scraps I used on the bag. The only item I brought was the zipper. I had no size in mind for this little pouch so just made it up as I went. Once it was all finished I did discover one small mishap with the zipper. I’m not entirely sure how this happened. I think what I should’ve done is either made the clearly longer than the zipper or made the bag smaller and shortened the zipper to size. Looking back the zipper was almost the same length as the fabric layers and I may have been worried of sewing over the metal stoppers on the zipper, if I had made the pouch larger or smaller this wouldn’t have happened. Oh well lesson learnt for next time.

This was very much a scrap busting project. All the fabrics were leftover scraps, the applique thread was leftovers from a previous project. It is a cute little pouch. This doesn’t have to be Paw Patrol related you could easily make it for any animal lover. Change the colours around to say black and white and you have a little purse for an adult, actually I may of just given away a future gift idea….

Cassiy