Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cloth Doll

This is Lala. Lala in Polish means doll and because she is singing, we named her so. Lala is a very happy 29 cm. toll person who likes to cuddle, play and sing. She also likes to share some candy which she hides in her dress' pocket.

You can download the pattern part 1 and part 2 here. Again, I am not a seamstress and this is the second or third pattern that I drew for myself. My doll came out ok, but I remember that as I was sewing her, I had to improvise a bit here and there. Your comments to improve the pattern are welcome.

1. Reduce or enlarge the pattern to the desired size. Our Lala is about 29 cm. Seam allowances are not included.
2. Trace the arms and legs onto your canvas fabric. I painted my shoes on with fabric paint (washable after heat setting). If you would like to sew the shoes on, do so before sewing the leg together. Sew first, then cut out with pinking scissors
3. Turn and stuff.
4. Trace and cut out the body piece out of canvas fabric. Lay it right sides together pinning the stuffed arms and legs on the inside. Sew leaving an opening to turn. Turn and stuff firmly.
5. Cut out the dress pieces. Zigzag the bottoms of the lining pieces Lay one the lining pieces (top portion of the dress pattern till the dotted line) and one of the full dress pieces right sides together and sew all around the neck and underarms. Repeat for the second part. Turn and iron. Sew the pocket on the front dress piece. Lay the front and back dress pieces right sides together and sew. Iron the seams and zigzag if necessary. Iron and sew the bottom seam and sew on the decorative ribbon if you like.
6. Trace the tights onto a double folded piece of fabric. Right sides together. Sew then cut out and zigzag the seams if necessary. Clip the seams on the curve between the legs. Iron and turn. You can machine sew the top and bottom seams and insert an elastic if you like the tights to be removable. I hand stitched mine needle turning the seams.
7. Cut the hair out of wool felt and sew right sides together on the dotted lines. Turn and stuff the pigtails.
8. Try if the hair fits. Depending on how firmly you stuffed the head, you might have to trim the felt a bit on the sides at the back of the head. Sew the hair on with a matching thread and attach the pigtail ribbons.
9. Paint or embroider the face. If you are painting, heat set in the oven according to manufacturers directions.
10.Dress your doll. I made my clothes non removable. If you want the dress to be removable, attach snaps at the shoulders.
11. Hide something in the pocket and let your little on enjoy.

If a singing face expression is not your thing, maybe you can be inspired by this sketch or create your own expression. For the hair you can also use wool if you like.
My very first doll for Tina was Clara made from the Hatched and Patched pattern. Too bad that the dress (pattern from Burda) fitted only 2 summers.

Door Mobile

"Mommie, we live here!" - says my little one when we are at the door. Here in Germany it is very popular to have something hanging at the door. Mobiles of any sort are popular here. For the door, most people have a wreath of some sort. People with small children have usually something more colorful and all change their door decoration according to the season. I do not even remember, do u guys in the US hang stuff on your doors?
Well, anyway I will show you our spring- summer mobile and will dig out the winter one to show you.

I am not a seamstress, and have made this pattern up as I went along. I have also never written any kind of a tutorial:) This is my first one. Hopefully with time I can write better tutorials.
You will need a background fabric of your choice, a piece of quilting batting, a piece of 5mm textile felt for the back, wool felt for the girl, some ribbon for the hair, for the string in her hands and for the bottom portion. If you do not have a "bird" fabric - I used my leftovers from the Ikea fabric that I already used in Tina's room, I will give you two sketches of birds that you can make either out of scrap fabric or wool felt. Optional is fabric paint for the face and the exchangeable letters. I use Marabu. Last but not least, thread, sewing machine, some stuffing, bis tape and some clothes pins for the letters. 

Download the pattern here nad here

Reduce or enlarge the pattern to the desired size. Our is about 42 cm top to bottom. Print the pattern pieces and align on the letter A. Trace the appropriate pieces onto fabric and cut. Take the background fabric and the batting. Trace the swirls and flowers onto the background fabric, pin together and embroider by hand. Next, apply the felt pieces of the girl, either by hand or with the machine. When you are applying the hands slip your string or ribbon underneath before sewing on. Paint on the facial features. If you are not painting them, embroider before applying. Next make the birds.

Download the bird sketch here

Assemble your mobile. Lay the finished front left sides together onto the back fabric and pin well. I used quilters safety pins to prevent puckering of the quilted piece. Finish all around with bias tape. When finished, attach the hanging ribbon and the ribbon for the birds with a couple of hand stitches from the back. String the bottom ribbon onto a thick tapestry or carpet needle and string the birds on. I also used some colorful wooden beads in between the birds. Cut out desired lettering out of wool felt. I decorated mine with fabric paints, but you can also embroider. Let your child pin the letters to the string in the girl's hands. You are finished! Hang it on the door. Now you know where you live.

In the beginning of the post I talked about the snowman. This isn't the best picture, but believe me, he looks really cute. You will need 3 wavy metal rings (i do not know what else to call them). You can get those in your local craft store in the florist section. White thread, glitter glue from the scrapbooking section, some wire for attaching the pieces together and some beads or small X-mas balls for the eyes, nose etc.

Wrap the thread all around the ring, decorate with the glitter glue, assemble the single pieces together, add buttons, eyes, mouth, nose. Attach a string for hanging on top. Now you will know during the winter where you live.
Another nice mobile I made from the Spool free bird pattern. Check out their online store for nice fabrics, patterns and kits. Thank you to the spool team for sharing.

This project made the Top Ten in the Weekly Challenge at The CSI Project


Bed Utensilo

Does your wall where the child's bed magically gets dirty all the time? Children turn a lot while sleeping and that is probably the reason why our wall was always getting a bit dirty. Another reason why I made this utensilo is that when she wakes up, she can look at the pictures, take a book or a plushy giving me a couple of minutes to wake up myself. There is nothing worse than running to your child's room being half asleep. At least I find it to be that way and get into a bad mood. With the utesilo I have even had the chance to have my coffee until Tina screams: " Mama, I aaaaaaaaaammmm awake!"

You might recognize the Ikea fabric. Tina has curtains made of the white version of this print and her bed skirt and sheets carry this pattern through her room. I have also made her a lamp and a night lamp using this fabric. This utensilo is not only practical, but it also adds splash of color to the room.
I used a piece of 5mm textile felt (100 % viscose) and applied the pockets and applique. As u can see, I used some of the animals from the printed fabric. I used steam a seam to attach the applique and then ran a series of small hand stitches around the shapes to make sure they hold and because I like the look. For the picture pockets I used an overlay foil which I zigzagged onto the fabric. She loves the picture pockets.
On the back I machine sewn a small tunnel for the wood that attaches the utensilo on top and stabilizes it on the bottom. We nailed it directly to the wall, but what one could also do is to use a round piece of wood, make it longer and attach curtain - rod hooks to the wall.

I am enternig this project for the weekly challenge at the CSI Project


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wool Felt Carpet

This is still a work in progress, and trust me the progress is very slow...
it is going to be a carpet, yes a carpet out of wool felt balls or beads if you may. You need to make the felt beads using the wet felting technique. Here is a link that explains how that works. Another link here. Since you need over a thousand of them to make a carpet between 90 and 100 cm, I recommend that you either make a felt ball making party offering lots of snacks and wine, or that you calculate several months to make these. I was way too lazy and made only about a 100 before my skin stated to peel off :) from the hot water and rubbing and bought the rest from a local craft woman. It is a pricey project, but it looks and feels fantastic! Wool felt is dirt and water repellent from nature, but I would not place this finished carpet in a high traffic area or in children's room where they can spill sweet drinks or throw up over it.

To make your balls you will need wool fibers which you can get for instance here. I use fine Merino Wool. If your skin is also peeling and you would like to finish your carpet sooner than later, just buy some hand made ones. You just have to make sure that they are all about the same size. I used 2 cm. This shop has nice looking ones 18 pcs for 11 USD. Once you have your beads lined up, you will need a strong tapestry thread and a long, thick needle. Next, you will string the beads in your choice of color sequence onto the string. My daughter was calling them snakes. Once you have those lined up you will roll them and begin to sew them together.
The first few rows should be rolled and sewn together tightly, after a few rows you can loosen up the stitches.
Notice, that I am always sewing the under- row to the top row.

It does not matter what the stitches look like on the underside as they will be covered later. When the desired size is finished, sew or hot glue an anti skid mat.

Easter Chicken

Tania Ennor posted this free chicken pattern called The Chickummyjig on her blog Myrtle & Eunice. Thank you so much Tania for sharing this and other cool ideas and patterns!
For our easter chickens I added some pockets for two of them and a kind of pillow pouch in one to hide some candy and small things that the "easter bunny" brought. No one have seen or heard him, but he has also left a small present behind the door as well as a chocolate egg trail to the back of the house where he hid some other stuff. 

Check out the cute strawberries out of felt. Those are from a free pattern and tutorial from Ikatbag. I strang them here for the easter decorations, but normally they are in tinas store for sale or to feed the animals.

 The one with the pouch pocket could be also used as an egg cozy. Speaking of egg cozies, I made one out of felt for Tina. Ment to make a whole family, but one one hand I did not have the time, and on the other wet felting does not work for me so well.
What I also made were felt monster eggs. The original idea I got from aherjasper at Etsy. She makes some fantastic figures using the needle felting technique. You can get a set of 6 figures for only 85 USD. I made mine myself as with the shipping and customs to Germany I would have to pay almost twice that. If you are living in the US, please visit her shop and reward yourself.

Scrambled or over easy?

this is really cool, Algue from Vitra. Those a re plastic algue shapes that you can arrange any way you like and connect them. They come in a few colors and packages of 25 or 50.  You hang them either on a wall or in the window. We use them on the wall for seasonal decorations, cards drawings etc.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Stuffed pig

I bought this and another great pattern from Ikatbag. She makes some amazing stuff for herr children including some super cool cardboard projects. Our children today have so many toys and grew up having no idea about value and what it means to make something. On the other hand things like this pig or the Toadstool or the Chicken and the cardboard projects that this amazing artist made, allow the children to explore and develop their phantasie.
I was inspired by LiEr and made a carboard store together with Tina. It is one of her favorite toys. Many other bought toys end up in a corner somewhere, but somehow, probably because she helped making it, she plays with it all the time and that alredy for monts.

I simply melt away and get inspired to make more stuff for her when I live through situations like the one with a sponge... Tina ripped her blackboard sponge in 2 pieces once. She was about 1. 75 of a year. She came to me and cried. I told her: "Oh now it is broken", she answered: " Mommie make me a new one" I had to smile. She then suggested that we tape it,- again because she has seen me making stuff - and realized that that does not work. Next, she tried screwing it together with her play- screw driver. :)
In other situations, where she received bought things, she often asked: " Mommie did you make/ sew that for me?"
At this point I would like to thank LiEr for sharing her work and inspiring me so much. If I were a child I would like to have a mom like her:)

This is my version of Ikatbag's pig. I added some decorations and also made a daddy pig as Tina was shocked that there was no daddy pig. By the way, as I gave her the pig, she went tottaly nuts and was riding it for the better part of the day. With the lactating part, she had some trouble to understand until I showed her a video on Youtube how baby pigs drink from their mom.

Advent Calender

I have never made a quilt before and it was not as easy as it looks:) I wanted to make something that we can use for a couple of years and possibly to use it not only on X-mas. The base quilt can be used as a play- blanket or even a bed cover, but in the end we did save it to be used only during the holidays.

I used fabric paints from Marabu and some applique to decorate the little bags that the angel holds. It was the first time that I was trying those paints and I think that they are great! I even did some decorations on clothes with it and it washes great. The pictures on the little bags are mostly not mine. I either found some on the net, in a childrens toy catalogue or enlarged a stamp of mine.

Tina like it because there were many sweets in there and I liked it because it brought color into the hallway where we hangdet it up.

To make our space even more colorful for the holidays I made some window color decorations. I also used a product from Marabu. After using the fabric paints I fell in love with quality and decided to try other things from their palette.