Saturday, 27 June 2009

I made this! - Sock Mouse!

Always been a bit of an animal lover - especially anything cute and furry.

So I thought I would turn my burgeoning sewing skills towards creating something cute and woolly!

As I cannot knit I thought I would make good use of the many colourful pairs of socks that are bought for me each Christmas - many of which remain unworn.

If anyone wants to try making one of these here's my mini tutorial -

1. Firstly take a sock - preferably clean - preferably unworn. Cut down the back through the heel to the toe

2. Cut a heart shape out of the sock - any shaped heart will do!

3. If you want to add an appliqué shape on the belly then you will need to pin the sock heart shape onto an embroidery frame - I used some hideous fabric that I wouldn't dare use on anything else - don't worry no-one will see it!! Then I pin the appliqué fabric in position and draw the shape I want in chalk. Using a close together zig zag stitch you carefully sew round your shape.

4. Remove the fabric from the frame - cut off any excess hideous fabric then very carefully trim around your appliqué shape. The first time I tried this I snipped through the sock and had to start again!

5. Now is the time to decide to what kind of tail your mouse should have. On Marvin mouse I spent forever turning piping inside out - which creates a stiff rat like tail. For Molly mouse, she has a more simpler tail - a strip of fabric with the raw edges folded in twice - stitched one line along the whole length then knotted the end!

6. Once you have trimmed off all the fabric and made your tail fold the shape in half and pin. Contrary to my photo I would advise starting from the tail end - if you look closely at my photo you can see a white mark on the right hand side - this was my stop sewing mark. If you start from that end and sew towards the nose end it is much easier!! Learn from my mistakes. Before you start sewing tuck the tail inside and position - it is much neater and more secure if you machine sew this on as part of the seam.

7. Once you have sewn the back seam, turn inside out making sure the nose is as pointy as possible and start stuffing! I use natural lambswool but you can use anything you like.

8. When you have finished stuffing you will need to weight the mouses bottom - I use a large plastic button which weights it and creates a flat surface helping your mouse sit up. But I'm sure there are many other ways to do this!!

9. This is a rare sight of Molly's bottom! This part needs to be hand sewn. Naturally the open ends come together as shown above - but if yours doesn't just trim bits off until it does!! Tuck the raw edges in and use invisible stitching (ish) to bring it all together.

10. All you need to do now if add the finishing touches - The ears - are just two Pac Man shaped pieces of felt, and the eyes and nose very small buttons - but beads could work just as well.

The Beauty of these little meeses is that they will all be different - no matter how many you make!!

Would love to see other peoples sock mice - post a link to your image - or share on flickr. Other images of Molly and Marvin can be seen on my flickr gallery

Saturday, 6 June 2009

I made this! - Pleated Bag

Started making this in my soft furnishings class during the week. Was supposed to be learning how to make a fabric box. Due to my dodgy measuring the box wasn't going to work so to save wasting this lovely fabric I had a spark of inspiration to add a few pleats and a handle and hey presto a new bag!!

Used this for the first time today - such a pleasure to make use of something you have made - can't wait for the day that someones says "Oh I like your bag . . . " and I can say "Why thank you, I made it myself!!" (proudly). I'll have to swing it around a bit to get it noticed!!

As you can see my cat Fizzy decided to use it as a cushion whilst she had a little nap - nice - a hairy handbag!!