Having struggled with the smaller faux fur bear I’d tried making before Christmas (that one is currently in my “semi-abandoned” bag), I wanted to give the Delight pattern a go. This pattern is designed for faux fur or a non-pile fabric, so I thought it might work in fleece as a trial run. Given that the fleece Delight was a success, I cut the pattern pieces from some very tactile purple faux fur.
This fur is considerably thicker than the fleece, so I trimmed the fur in the seam allowance to make it a bit easier for my sewing machine to handle. The bear’s limbs are sewn into the body rather than being jointed, which means they’re firmly attached! I did use a toy joint for the head, as I found it quite challenging to line up the seam accurate in order to sew it directly onto the body.
Normally I’d use toy stuffing with some plastic pellets to give the bear weight, but I had some bean bag filling in the cupboard, and thought it could be interesting to try that out instead. It was a nightmare to stuff into the bear, as the filling not only has a has a static cling but also doesn’t compress when you try pushing down on it, so it ended up everywhere (including all over the floor at one point)! But it has given Delight a lovely crinkly sound when you squeeze his paws, and he is actually quite ‘squishable’ which is a bonus too.
As you can see, Delight isn’t quite finished yet – he still needs his ears, and a nose & mouth; those are the features which really give the bear character…. and are also the parts which I find the most challenging, as if the ears or mouth are slightly lopsided it really looks odd!
Fabric: Fashion Fabrics
Eyes and toy joint: Sew N Sew
You’d think that with a blog called Dragon’s Flame Designs, I would have sewn several dragons already. But while I’ve sewn lots of bears, I’ve never tackled a dragon…. until now! I’m reliably informed that K likes dragons, so Yoki Dragon looked like the perfect early Christmas present for him.
I thought the original size might be a little fiddly to sew, so I scaled the pattern to 150% before printing. I’m using some red clothing fleece rather than minky, as I think it’ll stand up to rougher play.
So far I have the head sewn, and you can just about see the dragon shape starting to emerge.
I’ve been working on my dress for the Simplicity Sewing Challenge, using a couple of really sleek satin fabrics from Minerva Crafts.
I measured out the bodice, stitched all the seams, then realised the waistline was about an inch lower than it’s meant to be (argh!). So I have to unpick the zip (which didn’t go in quite right in the first place anyway), to let me redo the horizontal bands and hopefully get everything lining up properly.
So, I’ve come to realise that there’s no way I will get it finished before the closing date. If I hadn’t needed to unpick the zip, I might have managed it, but unpicking stitches on a satin fabric has to be done more carefully than on a polycotton, so it’s going to take a while.
I’m determined to get it finished though – even if it will be too late to enter into the competition.
I was struggling to find any free “real” teddy bear patterns – there are lots of free patterns out there, but none that look like a true collector’s style teddy bear, so I decided to buy a pattern from Emma’s Bears. I picked Happy Bear, as I liked the idea of being able to make a two-tone bear.
I already had the rusty red and purple fake fur left over from previous projects, and knowing how the fake fur tends to slide around while machine sewing, I decided to be reckless and hand sew all the seams!
My hand sewing skills are somewhat limited – they tend to be a source of humour in the family, as I seem to have inherited my Great Gran’s skills…. the stitches don’t tend to be overly neat, and I always use a contrasting colour so they’re more visible against the fabric.
I used two strands of sewing thread to hopefully give enough strength, and backstitched every seam. I will admit I used a contrasting coloured thread, simply so I could see the stitches if I needed to unpick any! But with the stitches being on the inside, nobody would be any the wiser for which colour thread I actually used.
“Happy” is jointed to allow him to pose better, but I think he will look even cuter once he has ears, nose and a mouth.
A few weeks ago, I purchased a really nice looking duvet cover from Primark for 9 pounds. I figured that it’d give me about 2 metres of fabric from each side, so that’s about 2.25 per metre – not quite as good a bargain as the dress duvet cover, but still better than I could get for the fabric itself. I was thinking it might become a side-zipped top or possibly a button-up shirt…. but then I came across this:
In a strange coincidence, this lined blazer from CC has an almost identical pattern to the fabric that duvet cover was made out of! So, there was no other option but to start making a jacket from it 😀
In the current issue (Feb – March) of Make it Today, they had a free gift of three paper pattern packs, which included New Look pattern 6231 – two jacket options, a skirt and a pair of trousers. Although the trousers look the easiest to make, my legs aren’t really designed for tapered close-fitting trousers, so it had to be the jacket.
It’s not an identical style to the CC one; this has a peplum instead of the vent flap, and isn’t lined, but it should work really well with the fabric 🙂
So far I’ve got the front and back done, but a slight problem with the iron means that I’ve had to delay working on the collar until I can get the interfacing to stick to the fabric.
And speaking of Simplicity New Look patterns, have you seen their blogger challenge?
Ok, that’s not quite my first venture, as I’ve started a Kimono-style jacket, but this is my first attempt at a “proper” printed pattern (one that comes in an envelope and is worse than a map to refold!) 😉
The pattern is the Ruby Dress from Love Sewing magazine, and the fabric? Well I didn’t want to spend a fortune on fabric only to find that the dress didn’t fit, so I bought a single duvet cover for just under 6 pounds, washed it, then unpicked the seams to leave me with two large pieces of fabric. One of those was just enough to make the dress 😀
Now there’s a slight problem with the fit at the moment – I’m not sure if it’s just my measuring, my wonky seam allowance, or a quirk in the pattern, but using what I deemed to be the correct sizing, it’s an inch out at the back (oops!). So, I’m working on using the other part of the duvet cover to make a
second third bodice that I can then attach to the existing skirt, and hopefully that’ll fit! The second one I tried was closer – the back pieces meet, but not enough to allow any seam allowance for the zip.
I’ll get there in the end though!
At the moment this project is shelved, as I want to try working on a pattern for a slightly less fitting top, and a shirt – I’m hoping that those patterns will help me learn how to shape the bodice of the dress, so I can get the darts in the right place, and finally have a zip I can do up!