Upcycled Baby Romper and Headband

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I bought this sweatshirt off a clearance rack without trying it on first and it was too big!  I loved the floral print on it so I thought, why not try making it into something new?

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Since it was stretchy fabric, I also got to practice using my serger!

I purchased the PDF pattern on Etsy from “Brindle & Twig patterns” .  You can purchase the pattern here.  The pattern was really nice to read.  It was really clear with detailed photos of every step.  It had nice big font and it even came with photos and terms to help beginners cut out the pieces correctly.

Instead of making fabric straps and snaps like the pattern suggests, I used soft, fold over elastic.

To complete the outfit, I created a matching headband which was really easy to make. Seriously easy.  Like, you can make it in 5 minutes easy.  Here’s how:

  1.  Choose a part of the fabric you’d like to use (in this case, a rose.)IMG_0865
  2. Cut out a piece of heat n’ bond lite approximately the size of the rose and iron on to the wrong side of the fabric with the paper side up.IMG_0868
  3. Cut out the rose with the paper still on the back.IMG_0869
  4. Peel off the paper on the back and place on your backing fabric (in this case, some felt) and iron on using a pressing cloth to prevent the synthetic felt fibres from melting!  I used felt because it gives the rose some added stiffness and texture.

    5. Cut it out and stitch around the rose to secure it to the felt.  If you use Heat n’ Bond Ultra hold however, it can stay in place without stitching.IMG_0876

    6. Tack it to the elastic with a few stitches and sew your elastic to size.  FullSizeRender-1

Voila!

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Let me know if you give it a try!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

 

“Whatcha Got?” pouches

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Alas, a  moment to blog again!  It’s been a bit of a whirlwind having a baby and moving to a new country – but we’re settled in, the baby is napping and I feel like I’m back!

I made these little pouches during my last week of pregnancy.  I was 40 weeks pregnant and reallllllly antsy!  I needed something quick and easy to make to keep my mind off the upcoming labour but also something I could realistically finish in time.

I LOVE these pouches and use them every day.  The small size is great for travel diaper items.  The larger size is great for packing an extra onsie or hat, etc.

I purchased the pattern from my local quilt shop.  It’s by “This and That.” The pattern was really easy to follow and it was fun to learn how to sew with clear vinyl.  It actually wasn’t too hard!  My only advice is to use a larger stitch length when sewing through the vinyl.  I’ve heard that if it’s humid in the room, the vinyl can stick to the sewing machine and make things difficult but I didn’t run into any problems.

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For the smaller pouch, I altered the instructions slightly and didn’t sew together small squares for the front of the pouch.  By doing it this way I could make it even faster!

Let me know if you give it a try,

Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Handmade Plush Fox

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I really enjoyed making this little fox for my niece who just turned 2!  I based it on a lovely FREE doll pattern by “Make It & Love It” which you can find here.  (Thankyou, Make It & Love It!)

I experimented with my own designs by making a fox head with a white face instead of making a human face and hair.  I made the skirt with fold over elastic (not folded over), I made little shoes with a “V” shaped opening, I sewed a cute little bow to match and I hand embroidered the eyes to the face instead of using plastic “safety eyes” because as we know, small plastic pieces can be a danger to kids under 3!  Sounds like a lot but it was a fairly quick process.  Overall I’m pleased with how it turned out and just might have to make a tutorial of the new elements I added to the original pattern.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn how to simply embroider eyes check out this great video tutorial I found here.

Until next time, happy sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

How To Sew a “Welt” Pocket

image_4 See that little black rectangle inside the bag?  That’s a little welt pocket.  I made it to fit an iPhone 5.  This tutorial is about how I made this welt pocket and you can make this pocket any size that fits your needs.

Before you begin, determine what fabric the outside of the pocket/the lining of the bag will be (in this case, grey) and what fabric the inside of the pocket will be (in this case, black.)

To start.  I ironed interfacing to the wrong side of the inner pocket fabric (black.)  I didn’t measure a size.  I just made sure that it was wider than the iPhone and when I folded it in half lengthwise, it was longer than the iPhone.

From here, follow these simple steps: Measure 3″ down from the top edge of pocket fabric and draw a line in pen.

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Draw a parallel line 1/4″ above and below the line you just drew.

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Draw a vertical line 1.5″ in from the outer edge of pocket fabric on both sides.  Draw another verticall line 3/4″ from there on both sides.  Now you have drawn perfect, little rectangular boxes.

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Inside those boxes, use the points of reference to draw 2 triangles pointing inward.

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Fold both the pocket fabric and the lining fabric in half widthwise to determine the centre midline.  Line up the 2 pieces, right sides together, and pin together.

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Now you’re ready to sew.  Sew around the perimeter of the main rectangle you drew.  Around the outer edges, sew with a small stitch length and in the middle sections, sew with a regular stitch length.  (I wrote, on the interfacing, the stitch lengths I used to help explain further.  For the edges, I used a 1.0 stitch length, for the middle section I used a 2.2 stitch length…ignore the inches (“) I wrote next to those numbers…)

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With a seam ripper, carefully rip through both layers of fabric following the lines.  You rip along the centre line and out towards the corners.  Be careful to stop at the stitch line.  You don’t want to rip through the stitches you just made.

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Turn your work by pushing one layer through the hole you just made.

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Press flat.  One side looks like this…

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The other looks like this…

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Secure fabrics in place by topstitching along the side, bottom and other side of the hole.  Don’t stitch the top side yet.

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Now it’s time to make the pocket.  Fold the pocket fabric (black) up towards the top raw edge of the lining fabric (grey.)

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When you’ve determined how deep you want your pocket to be, pin in place.  (I determined the size of my pocket by placing the phone inside.)

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Remove the phone, and stitch pocket in place along the top of the pocket hole.  (My sewing machine has a function where I can move the needle over.  To sew a straight line, I centred the foot of my sewing machine over the seam but moved the needle a little to the right so that I stitched just a little to the right of the seam like so.)

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Now it’s time to close the sides of your pocket.  Move the lining fabric (grey) out of the way and draw two vertical lines down from the edges of where your pocket opening is.

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Stitch down the lines and cut away the excess.

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And you’re done! (Don’t forget to remove the pin!)

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I LOVE this pocket because it looks impressive but is relatively easy to do. If you’d like to see a video about welt pockets, I found a great one here.  The technique in the video makes a more intricate looking pocket than what I did but he does a great job explaining how to do it.  I will definitely give it a try next time.

Here are 2 more examples of welt pockets I made recently on some handmade bags.  I give all credit to my teacher, Marlous.  Learn more about her patterns on a previous post here.

Let me know if you give it a try!

Feel free to follow me on instagram for updates about my sewing a crochet projects (@afriendlikeben).  You’ll see my instagram pics on the left side of this blog page as well.

Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Sewing!

-AFriendLikeBen-

Lined Tote Bag – A Sewing Pattern

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I recently took a “bag making workshop” that I really enjoyed.  I also recently had some complimentary photos taken of me and my hubby by my talented friend.  As a “thank you” for my friend, I thought, why not make her a bag?  You know…put my new bag making skills to the test.  Well, I’m thrilled that I was able to do it!  A little quality instruction and practice can go a long way.

The bag I made is based on this lovely FREE pattern by “The Inspired Wren” – thank you!  Her tutorial is available on her blog but I loved how I could get a PDF version as well off of Craftsy.  You can find the link to the Craftsy PDF here.

Her instructions were very clear and easy to follow, her pictures were great, and she had some handy tips.

To make the bag durable, the pattern suggested using indoor/outdoor fabric and/or duck cloth but when I saw this “camera” quilting fabric, I knew it would be perfect for my friend!  (I purchased the fabric at Hobby Lobby here.)    So, instead of using indoor/outdoor fabric or heavy canvas I ironed fusible batting onto the wrong side of the outer shell fabric and bottom panels – it worked wonderfully.  If you decide to do this however, you will need to trim off the excess outer shell fabric that ends up being underneath the bottom panel…feel free to message me if you do this method and have any questions!  I’ve included a picture below.

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I wanted the straps to be a bit longer so placed them 5″ from the bottom of the bag instead of in line with the bottom of the bag like the pattern suggests.

My proudest feature of the bag is how I added the “welt pocket” on the inner lining.  (See that little black pocket hole?  It fits an iPhone!)  I will be posting a tutorial on how to do that shortly – stay tuned!

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My friend loved it – yay!

Happy Sewing,

-AFriendLikeBen-

Plush Toy Sewing Pattern

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The other night, I got into some sewing again!  This was supposed to be a dog however, it turned into a mouse somehow!  I consider myself a beginner sewer so I wasn’t surprised to see the final product look a little different than the pattern.  I only had a small selection of grey and floral fabric at the time too which didn’t help the situation.  Still, it’s cute!

Here’s how it was supposed to look:

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I purchased the pattern on Etsy at “ElfPop’s” Store.  It was an instant download and I found the pattern very easy to follow.

I found closing the project along the bottom to be very difficult (as you can see in my project, the raw edges of the legs are showing!  haha).  Clearly, I need more practice with hand stitching fabrics.

I liked her tip of using fabric glue to hold the small felt pieces in place while you stitch them on the sewing machine instead of using pins.

I used interfacing and 6mm safety eyes for the eyes.

I emailed ElfPop a few questions so I can try this out again!  Stay tuned!

Happy Sewing!