Bella Bear

Remember Bella Bear from earlier in the year? Well she’s been patiently waiting for me to show her finished look, so here she is!

I stitched her arms and legs into place rather than using toy joints, as I prefer the softer feel. I was aiming for more of a Gund style feel to Bella – understuffed and cuddly. I think I might have gone a little too far in the understuffed line though, as she does feel rather lightweight!

I fussy cut a couple of the purple stars for her paw pads. I was originally going to make them as ‘tickle toes’ hence the trimmed fur at the top, but I didn’t have the confidence in my hand sewing ability to make a decent job of them.

I think maybe I could’ve made her neck a little shorter. That’s one disadvantage of not jointing the head, as it does tend to lead to a very long looking neck. Maybe next time I will add a joint on the head even if I omit them for the limbs.

Ok, I admit it – she’s only 98% finished in this photo. I ran out of black thread for her nose, so she was waiting for me to finish…. then the stitches just started looking worse and worse, so in the end I cut a piece of black acrylic felt and stitched that in place as a nose instead.


Pattern: Belladonna Bear by Emma’s Bears
Fabric: Starry faux fur from Fabric Land

The Three Bears at Minerva

I’m back at the Minerva blog today, with four makes from a metre of Christmas cotton!

This was a really fun project to make and as you can probably tell, we had lots of fun taking the photos too!


Patterns: Delight by Emma’s Bears | Sketchbook by Buzzing and Bumbling
Fabric: Christmas cotton supplied by Minerva

Bear Phone Case

I couldn’t decide on the fabric to make Mum’s phone case – so I made her two! This one is made from the same fat quarter design as her baseball cap, in case you’re wondering where you’ve seen it before!

Thankfully Mum’s phone is quite small, as when I tried testing the case for size with my phone, the strap wouldn’t meet the front section so there’d be no way to close it.


Pattern: Smartphone Case Tutorial by Dragon’s Flame Designs
Fabric: Fat Quarters from Hobbycraft

Woodland Phone Case

I never know what to make my Mum for her birthday, so it is always helpful when she puts in a request! This year one of the things she asked for was a new phone case… so of course I need to go one better and make her two.

This is made from my Phone Case Tutorial, although due to user error in marking out the pattern pieces, this is a little shorter than the original. As luck would have it, Mum’s phone is quite small, so it still fits perfectly!

Because it was a little shorter than it should be, I added in a popper and strap to close the case just to give a little ‘wiggle room’ in sizing. I do need to redo the popper though, as it has actually fallen off since then (oops).


Pattern: Smartphone Case Tutorial by Dragon’s Flame Designs
Fabric: Fat Quarters from Hobbycraft

Softshell Eden Jacket

Ok, I admit I’m not exactly sewing seasonal projects right now! But I have managed to get the Softshell Eden Jacket finished…. and my Mum has already claimed it for herself!

I wanted to make the topstitching quite noticeable, so I used some multicoloured Guttermann thread just to liven up the plain navy fabric. Unfortunately my sewing machine decided to skip stitches at times, so it’s not quite as evenly stitched as I’d hoped. I discovered on a later project that if I used a regular needle rather than a sharps needle, it actually sews an even stitch – just don’t ask me why!

I did purchase some poppers, but I haven’t yet tried adding them – Mum seemed quite happy with the jacket not having popped pocket flaps, and she never uses the poppers on her bought waterproof coat anyway.

The “alien” stage of turning the Eden jacket out – not the easiest of things to do with such thick fabric!

I’d never sewn a “proper” coat before, and certainly hadn’t even considered bagging out a lining… but it all went surprisingly smoothly, even down to the thread chain to finish it all off.

The finishing touch – a thread chain to hold the lining and outer fabric together under the arms (never done one of these before)

I couldn’t resist using a rainbow zip on the front of the jacket – the front placket does cover it, but it does give a flash of colour when you go to zip it up / unzip it.

And of course a colourful lining, to make up for the very understated plain dark blue outer.

All we need now, is some suitably cold weather so Mum can test it out!


Pattern: Eden Jacket by Tilly and the Buttons
Fabric: Navy softshell from Fashion Fabrics
Other supplies: Zip from Mibs

Nautical Product Testing

Hop over to the Minerva Crafts Blog to see what I made from this nautical polycotton – it’s never too late to think of summer sewing!


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Patterns: McCalls 7381 and Endless Summer Shorts* by WinterWear Designs
Fabric: Nautical Polycotton supplied by Minerva Crafts

Magic Softshell Bag – take two

I started a Magic Softshell messenger bag earlier in the year, almost finished it, then realised the dimensions I’d used for the pocket weren’t quite right. After some (unwise) unpicking, where I ended up making a small hole in the lining, I shelved the bag in the depths of my UFO pile.

Then I made the mistake of going for a 3 mile walk in torrential rain…. which came through the waterproof bag I had taken with me. So I realised I was going to have to make a replacement waterproof bag before the winter, as being England it’s likely to be quite wet!

Luckily I had enough of the Magic Softshell left over to cut a fresh bag, and armed with some patterned polycotton which I had left over from a previous project, I set to work cutting out a fresh bag, using current favourite bag pattern from Crazy Little Projects.

It’s not the easiest thing to get a photo of (the original softshell colour I was after, didn’t get enough interest to make the preorder, so this one was my second choice), but when the fabric is wet, the pattern of clouds and stars appears.

I’m sticking with my previous ‘hack’ of the pattern, to include a patch pocket with flap on the front flap, rather than messing with a zipped pocket. This actually makes it a lot easier to open, and there’s less things that can go wrong (like the zipper pull coming off when I try using the pocket!).

All the seams are sewn with a triple straight stretch stitch for strength, and I also zigzagged the curved corners just for ease of mind if I put anything heavy into the bag. The main seam stitches should be fine without that, but I like to be certain.

Just the lining to sew, then I can start putting it all together!


Pattern: Messenger Bag by Crazy Little Projects
Fabric: Magic Softshell from Mibs Fabrics

Woodland Baseball Cap

Having made a baseball cap for myself, one for my Dad and one for K, I couldn’t very well leave out making one for my Mum, could I? I spotted this woodland themed fabric at Hobbycraft, and realised it would make a great Clovelly Cap.

This is the first time I’ve tried using topstitching thread, and the first line I made was clearly the wrong stitch to use! I stuck with a regular straight stitch for the other topstitching, and that worked a lot better.

The peak is stiffened with fusible buckram and a layer of clear pvc (vinyl) above that. My hope is that the pvc will stop the rain from soaking in too much, while the buckram gives the peak better shaping.

I also bought myself a self-cover button kit, and my fussy-cut dragonfly fitted the button perfectly! I was doubtful that the kit would be worthwhile, but it did make covering the button a great deal easier.

No modelled photos unfortunately, as Mum is a little camera shy! But in the two months since I gave Mum this cap, it’s had a lot of wear, so I think we can safely say she approves!


Pattern: Clovelly Cap by From the Studio (Jamie Kemp)
Fabric: Fat quarters from Hobbycraft

Spotty Atilla

My original plan was to make a cuddly dog from this spotty faux fur fabric, but I didn’t have a suitable pattern, so I decided to make this a furry Atilla the Bun instead!

I tried to fussy cut the paw pads, as the spots looked more like hearts in places, and I thought it would be a neat idea to have a heart on each pad.

I wanted to practise making non-jointed toys, so Atilla’s arms and legs are stitched into place. I still haven’t quite got the hang of angling them correctly, as one leg faces down and the other is kicked out in front of him…. but he can still sit down properly.

Since I took these photos, I have added in a small piece of black felt for his nose – after all, you can’t have a bunny with no nose, can you?


Pattern: Atilla the Bun by Emma’s Bears
Fabric: Faux fur from Fabric Land

A little change

Rather than sticking with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, I thought this envelope needed a change…. so I flicked through my book of how to draw dragons until I found some inspiration.

This one was coloured with fine liners, but I also added in some random dots of metallic gel pen just to give the colours a little lift when the light catches it.