confessions of a fabric obsessive

Tag Archives: Project fabric

Project Fabric tutorial

One of the things I like about Spoonflower.com  is being able to buy other people’s project fabric (fabric designs that others have put together that contain the pattern, and sometimes instructions too, for a toy, book, bag, bookmark…) and have a go at making a soft toy (or apron, ornament, skirt, etc) myself.

In retrospect I wish I’d got it in a heavier fabric, this is on quilting cotton and is a little bit thin, but what’s done is done, and it’s time I sewed it together.

First I needed to iron it;

then cut out the shapes OUTSIDE the thick lines;

(closely supervised by our cat, of course)

I carefully matched up the outlines on the fabric pieces right side to right side and machine stitched almost all the way around, leaving a gap to turn it the right way out and stuff it (as the fabric was quite thin fine, I also added an extra layer of cotton each side so that it wouldn’t rip or wear out as easily).  So now they all have a double layer of fabric, and are double stitched too (once from each side as I attached the extra layer of cotton).

The smoother (flatter, straighter) the curve on the stitching on the inside corners, the better the finished toy will be. This is what I mean:

I trimmed the fabric (with pinking shears, because I know what my trimming skills are like),  and clipped the inside curves and corners really closely so they would turn right side out properly. Then I stuffed them with child-friendly soft toy stuffing until they were nice and firm.

 You can see how the fabric on the rear wheel puckers a little, even before it gets stuffed. I stitched the curve too tight. The other curves next to the wheels turned out really well.

After I stuffed it, I looked at the light and thought:

“This is going to be played with an almost 2 year old and then by his tiny baby sister. That light on top is going to be the bit that gets ripped up/chewed off/bitten to shreds and then the stuffing will come out and that would be bad”

So I took all the stuffing out turned it back inside out, machine-stitched it, poked it back the right way out, stuffed it again, and stitched it up. If this had been a decorative item and not for little people to play with, I’d have left the light on top of the ambulance.

Voilà, a red ambulance (without a light, but he’s not even 2 years old yet so not a critic), a purple car and a little man.

Stuffed and ready to stitch closed. This car crash needs an ambulance. (I had to play with them just a little bit, just to check that it worked, honest.) New ironing board cover by the way, I managed to put several holes in my old one (with blue sky and white clouds).

My present for my sister’s little man as a distraction when his new baby sister needs attention.

Auntie ClaireBear

Find ClaireBear on Spoonflower here

New fabrics on Spoonflower

I’ve designed some project fabrics on Spoonflower.

In case, you don’t already know, Spoonflower is a US-based company that will print any design that you upload to their website.

This means that you can create your own designs and get them printed, or you can see what other people have created and order some of theirs. Spoonflower then print the exact amount of the design you chose in the type of fabric you asked for, and despatch it straight to you. I get a message from Spoonflower that someone has chosen one of my fabric designs, so I can send you a thank you email.

A project fabric is one that is designed for a specific task, usually to be made into shaped cushions or in the case of the one below, to be made into small padded blocks for children (or indeed adults) to “play” with to improve their literacy or numeracy.

Each number or sign is inside a 3 inch square, which will give you 2 inch blocks with a 1/2 inch seam or slightly bigger 2 1/2 inch blocks if you can manage a 1/4 inch seam. I’ll put post some photos of finished ones as soon as I can.

plain numbers

Hop on over to my shop on Spoonflower and see for yourself. While you’re there you can have a sneak peek at my designs-in-progress too.


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