Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 26 - penguin toy design

I started the day with a goal to complete a design for a penguin bean bag/soft toy.  After studying patterns and Google images of penguins for several hours, I started on my own design.  After drawing, redrawing, cutting and sewing - I had one lone penguin.  His neck looked a little too long, so I made some modifications.  I stopped before I finished the second one to take some photographs.  I like to photograph in natural light and the day was quickly drawing to a close.  Here are the shots of my penguin design project - try number 1 and 2.

Note that my husband's comment on these shots was, "It looks like the standing one is protecting his wounded partner."

August 25 - packaging design

I spent some time today working on packaging design for my bean bags.  Here is what I choose.  I will be listing products on Etsy after we return from our September vacation to California.  I am working on inventory now.

August 24 - fabric shopping

On my way home from Greenville today, I stopped at one of my favorite fabric shops - Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC.  I stocked up on some small prints in bright colors to replenish my stash.

August 23 - little goldfish

I made an orange fish today and accidentally reversed the main body piece when I was sewing it together.  I joined the end of the tail to the head section instead of the larger side that should have been joined.  It made the body a slight bit smaller and the tail larger.  I actually liked the way it turned out and will repeat this for the orange fish I make up.  I think the larger tail looks more like a goldfish.

August 22 - little labels

The little labels I ordered from on etsy from worldwidelabel.etsy.com arrived today.  I immediately sewed one into my latest fish.  I love them!

August 21 - pattern cover shot

I spent time today trying to finish a pattern cover for my "Little Fishy" pattern.  Here are the shots I took today and chose for the pattern and tutorial cover.

August 20 - more sewing

My photographs for my photo a day project have featured sewing lately, as I have been doing a lot of sewing and pattern design lately.  When I pull out my camera, I tend to focus on the latest project.  Here is today's work in progress.

August 19 - a pile of fish parts

I like to have some needlework by my chair in our den to work on while I watch TV with Dan in the evenings.  I have sewn up bright colored scraps from me scrap basket to make scales and fins for my little fish bean bags.  Here is the pile I clipped, turned, and stuffed while watching TV last night.  I love the colors and prints!

August 18 - another fish joins the growing pile

I finished another fish today to join the pile that is growing on my work table.

August 17 - More fish

I spent time today sewing and testing my new pattern.  Fun!

Friday, August 17, 2012

August 16 - Little Fishy Pattern and Tutorial

I spent some time today finishing a tutorial and pattern for the Little Fishy Bean Bag/Soft Toy I designed.  The tutorial and pattern have directions to use poly-pellets and buttons.  To change it to a soft toy for a small child or baby, just replace the buttons with appliqued felt circles and fill the entire toy with polyester fiberfill.

Enjoy!  If you want to make them, please do - but please limit them to personal use only (no sales). 

Finished size is approximately 7 inches x 6 inches
Supplies you will need:
  • 1 fat quarter main fabric (head, fins, back)
  • 10 2-inch square cotton scraps in coordinating colors for scales
  • 1 2-inch square scrap of wool blend felt for heart
  • 1 1.5”x5” fabric strip in 2nd print in same color as main fabric
  • 1 5.5”x5.5” fabric scrap in 3rd print in same color as main fabric (#7 body/tail)
  • 2 buttons (5/8 to 3/4 inch for eyes)
  • Polyester Fiberfill for stuffing
  • Poly-pellet beads for stuffing
  • Thread
1.  Print template onto card stock and cut out pattern pieces.

2.  From main fabric print - cut one 9”x6” rectangle for fish back, one 4”x6” rectangle for upper and lower fins, and one fish head (pattern piece #6).  Note:  I like to use 3 different prints in the same colorway for the fish front pieces and have the back and fins match the fish's head.

3.  From 2nd printed fabric in same color as main,  cut one 1.5”x5” strip.
4.  From 3rd printed fabric in same color as main, cut one pattern piece #7.
5.  Cut one pattern piece #3 from felt.

    6.  Fins:  Fold  4”x6” main color rectangle in half with right sides and short ends together.  Trace upper fin (#5) and lower fin (#4) on one side of folded rectangle.
    Sew on traced lines leaving straight sides open for turning.  Trim and turn right sides out, stuff with fiberfill, and sew edges together within seam line.  All seams are 1/4 inch unless noted otherwise.

      7.  Fish Scales:  Trace pattern piece #2 on to wrong side of 5 2” fabric squares.  Sandwich square with traced pattern together with another 2” square right sides together.  Sew each of the 5 sandwiched squares on traced line leaving straight sides open for turning.  Trim and turn each piece right side out and stuff with a small amount of fiberfill (just enough to give it a little volume, not stuffed full).

      8.  Position 2 of the scales (#2) on right side of fish body and tail (#7) as shown in placement guide.  Pin and sew in place within seam line.
      9.  Place 1.5”x5” fabric strip on top of #7 and scales right sides together matching edges.  Sew seam on straight edge, open and press with scales on side of #7. 

      10.  Place 3 remaining scales (#2) on raw straight edge of fabric strip as shown in placement guide.  Pin and stitch in place withing seam line.

      11.  Place fish head (#6) on top of strip with 3 scales aligning straight edges and right sides together.  Sew seam on straight edge, open, and press with scales towards the fabric strip.

      12.  Pin upper and lower fins onto fish body front right sides together aligning front edge with seam between fish head and fabric strip.  Stitch within seam line.
      13.  Place fish body top on remaining 9”x6” rectangle of main fabric right sides together.  Pin and stitch body from x to x leaving straight edge of tail open for turning and stuffing. 
      14.  Trim seams to 1/4 inch and clip inner curves of fish tail.  Turn fish carefully right sides out through tail opening.

      15.  Stuff head of fish with fiberfill, then fill body with poly-pellet beads to the middle of the tail.  Stuff remainder of tail with fiberfill.  Turn raw edges of tail in 1/4 inch and hand stitch to close.

      16.  Applique felt heart on tail positioning as shown in template’s placement guide.
      17.  Position buttons on fish head as shown in placement guide. sew buttons in place by taking needle/thread through button on top side of fish and through button on back of fish drawing thread to slightly indent the eyes.
      18.  Enjoy your fish, he is finished!  Here are shots from front, back, and side (showing multi-colored underside of the fins).

      Sew up a school of these for your favorite child!

      Pin It

        August 15 - Growing stack of sewing

        My shot today is of a growing stack of animal bean bags for filling and finishing.  Fun!

        Tuesday, August 14, 2012

        August 14 - A Robin and a Fish

        Here are the latest additions to my growing family of animal bean bags - a robin and a fish.  I finished both of them last night while catching up on the Housewives of New York.  I love, love, love the way the robin turned out.  The next bird will be a bluebird made the same way.

        August 13 - New "Funky Monkey" Fabric

        I ordered some more of the "Funky Monkey" fabric online and it arrived today.  I just love this fabric collection!

        August 12 - Designing and Sewing

        I spent some time today sewing and finishing some owl bean bags and working with Photoshop to design a banner, avatar, and tags to use in my Etsy shop.  I'm hoping to have some items for sale there towards the end of September.  I am thinking of stocking some of the toys and accessories that have been a hit with my grandchildren - bean bag animals, bean bags, soft toys, headbands, tote bags, crayon rolls, and marker/journal covers as a start.  There may be some sock monkeys in there also!  It is hard to build up any inventory there - as Emma seems to think that she is the sole recipient for every one I make!  If you have any good ideas for products you would like to see listed, let me know.

        August 11 - Cutting and Sewing

        I spent a quiet day today cutting and sewing some new bean bags for my inventory.  I focused on turtles and owls as a start because they seemed to be the most popular with my grandchildren.  Here is the pile I finished stitching today.  I figure I can stuff them and do the hand sewing finishing touches in the evenings next week.

        I love the bright colors!

        August 10 - Replenishing my stock of bean bags

        Bobby, Noah, and Emma took home almost all of the 20+ bean bag animals that I had made up.  I am planning to open an Etsy shop after we return from our vacation to California in September.  I am working now to replenish some inventory.  I made a couple of new chickens/hens and some traditional bean bags - one rainbow set of 6 and another set with sock monkeys and coordinating prints.  When asked about favorites - Bobby always responded, "All of them."  I let Emma, Bobby, and Noah take turns picking from the basket of completed bean bags.  Bobby favored the turtles, Noah the chickens, and Emma the owls.

        August 9 - Sprinkler Fun with Bobby and Noah

        Today Bobby and Noah spent some time playing in our backyard with a couple of balls and the sprinkler.  Of course, Emily was supervising and got wet too!  Here are some shots of their play.
        Here is a shot of them together watching TV after they came in the house.  TV Hypnosis got both of them!