Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Fabric Baby Rings Tutorial

I have decided to start making a few little things for our baby to be. One item that I thought was really cute is a fabric ring stacker. I have seen these online when looking for ideas but all patterns required payment. So I decided to make my own. Below are simple instructions to make the baby rings.

You will need:
-fabric scraps
-paper for patterns
-protractor set (for drawing circles)
-sewing machine
-needle & thread


1. Begin by drawing your pattern. For the rings, I used the protractor to draw 6 different sized circles. Their radius (half the diameter) sizes are as follows from largest to smallest:  8.5cm, 8cm, 7.5cm, 7cm, 6.5cm & 6cm. The best way to draw these is to set the protractor to that measurement and use it to complete the circle. I then used the protractor to draw the centre circle. Their measurements are as follows from largest to smallest: 2cm, 1.9cm, 1.6cm, 1.3cm, 1.2cm & 1cm. These measurements all include a 0.5cm seam allowance around the outside of the circle and on the inside circle. 
Now draw the base square. Mine was 18cm square with a 2cm radius hole in the centre (to attach the pole). The cone shaped pole in the centre of the rings was 21cm high and 17.5cm wide. You will need to curve this at the bottom to create the circular shape, making sure that the sides also measure 21cm.

Finished pattern pieces

2. Cut out the base squares, making sure to cut the centre hole into only ONE of them. Cut out the cone section. I cut these in different fabrics, but you could do them the same.

3. Sew the sides of the cone together making sure to round the top point of the cone as you sew. Insert the cone into the hole in the base square and stitch right sides together around the opening. This part is the hardest part of the whole project. Be careful not to create tucks in the base fabric while sewing. Clip the finished seam. and turn the cone the right way.

4. Cut the wadding to a square the same size as the remaining base square and attach it to the inside of the square. This wadding holds the base stiff, so make sure you use enough. Sew the two base parts, right sides together. Leave a 5cm gap through which to turn the base and stuff the cone.

5. Turn the base right side out and firmly stuff the cone with stuffing. I also added some extra stuffing to the base section to help it sit stably. Once you are happy, hand sew the opening closed.

In this image you can see the base properly.
6. Cut out two of each circle size and make sure to cut the inside circle out. Make one cut straight through the circle side to the centre.


7. Sew the inside seam, right sides together. 

8. Turn one end of the circle back and stitch the seam allowance down. (This makes the final step easier).

9. Sew around the outside of the circle and clip the inner seam before turning it the right way.

10. Stuff the circle until it is reasonably hard. Once the two open edges meet, pin them together with the finished edge on top. Hand stitch the opening closed. You will find that you do not need to fully stuff all the way to the ends as the doughnut shape doesn't need all the extra fabric.

 11. Put all the rings on the base and enjoy. This toy is machine washable, so it should last for a long time!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

My Own Designs

I have finally completed my last pattern making assignment. In the end, I made two blouses, a skirt and an evening dress. I'm very happy with the results and most items will work with my baby bump for at least a little while!

Blouse with a waterfall ruffle and tie back

Yoked blouse with floaty sleeves

Panelled skirt with godets

Who can resist the twirling picture??

50's Inspired Cocktail Gown

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Block of the Month Quilt so far...

I couldn't resist beginning to put my baby quilt together. I have most of the blocks now... just waiting on instructions for the last couple. The quilt is bigger than I expected, but it's going to look pretty good finished!

The finished quilt will have a border around the outside to tie it all together!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

July Quilt Block of the Month

July's block of the month was a new take on the traditional tumbling block pattern. This block was created using strips instead of the traditional three diamonds to make up each block. It came together quickly and with little trouble! Only a couple blocks to go before I can complete the quilt now!

Front view

Back view

Monday, 1 July 2013

Vintage Cocktail Gown

This gown is another of my own designs. It is based on the 50's silhouette and many beautiful wedding dress bodices that I have seen over the years. The navy fabric is a slightly stiff silk impersonation and the lace an ordinary fabric from a discount store, but the overall effect is lovely.
The fabric and notions overall cost around $70.00. Couture evening wear was never simpler, or cheaper.

The lace section of the bodice, outlined in a self bias binding

The bodice and lace stitched together

The completed gown, ready for wear

Worn to a wedding...
No-one would guess it was home made

Baby Overalls

The other day I decided to start making some baby clothes for what will be the newest addition to our little family. Not knowing the gender of my child, I went for a simple little overall pattern. The pattern and official instructions can be found here.
I made a few little adjustments to the pattern before sewing, but mostly kept it the same. I chose an orange linen for the overalls and a patterned yellow poly cotton for the lining and contrast. The pattern is designed to fit a new baby, though I think it would be a little large.

Finished overalls

Front pleat and button details

Lady beetle lining

Press clips for easy nappy access

The back view
This is an incredibly cute pattern and very easy to use. I recommend it to others. It could easily be enlarged for an older child and could have the legs shortened to make a little romper suit. The buttons could be shifted for a longer child and the waist lengthened. Overall, a great, free find!