Meet Callie Lapin…

p3

Callie is cousin to Luna Lapin, a little French hare.

book

Originally I planned to use wool felt for Callie’s body, and I ordered it online from The Felt Pod. But I couldn’t work with it – allergies. So I opted for grey kona cotton, which works really well.

Some pics along the way…

I drafted my patterns with a 1/4″ seam allowance and sewed everything on my machine. I find it easier to sew small doll pieces using the pattern on top of the fabric, with a very small stitch length (2.2 on long edges, 1.2 around curves).

sewing the pattern

After tearing away the tissue, I cut out my pieces with pinking shears. The pinked edge is safer than clips on curves and adds ease to all the seams.

sewn and pinked

I happen to like floppy ears on rabbits, so I redrew her head and lengthened her ears (more in a later photo).

head

I’m always happy when all the body parts are sewn and I can start turning and stuffing. Over years of making fabric dolls, I’ve collected and adapted some great tools.

tubes

Chopsticks, manicure sticks, cocktails skewers, hemostats, and tweezers.

tools

stuffing

I also find doll needles to be indispensable.  I used one to stabilize the head while I attached it, and ran one side to side, straight through the body and head, to attach the arm buttons and eyes.

Doll Makers Journey is my go-to source for tools, fabrics, and much more!

Callie has a pink nose, eyes, and shoulder buttons. Outlining her nose with thread made the embroidery work very simple.

 

p2

Cute bunny.

p1

Of course she’s after me for something to wear. The fitting of her first outfit (dress and knickers) is scheduled for this afternoon 🙂

first dress

She was fun to make, and I plan more outfits as well as some flip-flops in her size. Rather than do more posts here, I’ve set up a Pinterest board for Callie and any other Sarah Peel designs that grab me.

Ciao! Coco

Quilted eyeglass cases…

2 versions

The holidays are right around the corner…time to get busy on handmade gifts!

But first – thank you for all the nice comments wishing me a speedy recovery. So appreciated, and I’m doing great now. You guys are the absolute best.

These quilted eyeglass cases are perfect for readers and sunglasses – the ones that get lost on the bottom of a handbag. I used to make them back when Ashley and I sold handmade fabric and mixed media items at charity craft fairs. We even had a moniker and logo: Back Alley Five & Dime (because most of our items were $1, $5, or $10).

square 5x5 rose scroll

The case is basically a small drawstring pouch, with a quilted shell and plain lining.

Quilted shell
Inside of shell, showing fused fleece, quilting and curved bottom.
Lining
Lining, showing 1.5″ circle template to draw bottom curves.
Shell in lining
A chop stick works great to push the shell into the lining!
Turning the case
Turning the assembled case through the side of the lining.
Press it
Turned case, nice and pressed.

Once the lining is pushed back inside the shell, I topstitch the case 1/2″ from the top edge, forming the casing for the drawstring.

Corded-tile

The drawstring goes in, the cord lock goes on, and, voila, done!

Materials and so on:

  • Finished size 3.5″ x 7″.
  • 1/2″ seam allowance.
  • Shell, lining, and fusible fleece or low-loft batting: Cut 1 of each, 17″ x 4.5″ (or 2 pieces, 8.5″ x 4.5″, if using smaller scraps). I prefer the fusible fleece over batting, because it makes the case a little stiffer.
  • Drawstring: Cut 1, 14″ long  x 2mm or 3mm. I like faux leather or waxed cotton cord, found in the jewelry making section of craft stores.
  • 1 medium cord lock. There are loads of sources online, and JoAnns carries these as well.

So, I’m thinking I’ll make some more little things to match, maybe card wallets. These are perfect to tuck into a clutch or wristlet, where a wallet just doesn’t fit.  Actually, I use mine to hold my Coco’s Loft cards, just in case someone asks for one (or I want to force one on people!) There are loads of DIY card wallet ideas on Pinterest.

case and card

I love the holiday season! Bye for now – Coco

Sewing thingies for the sewing room…

New year, cleaner loft? ummm. No! But I did take time to brighten it up a couple days ago.

First, my pin cushion. Much loved, much used. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have a ‘roll’ that fits right in front of my machine. And is long enough for me to segregate my pins by type.

I made my first one back in 2011, and it was looking pretty drab after 6 years. So, a new one. I took the oldie apart, both to re-use the sand bag that was inside and to retrieve any lost sewing needles. The latter was gratifying – I rescued 12 needles, most of them self-threading needles that I use all the time to sink thread tails.

The pin cushion is easy to make. It’s basically a rectangular bag, finished at about 7″ x 3″, with a opening on the side for inserting the innards.  Inside, on the bottom, I have a fabric bag of super-fine sand that I found at PetsMart (bird department). The bag is sewn from a high-thread count fabric and hasn’t leaked at all. On top of the bag, poly batting and fiberfill, stuffed in until I just couldn’t stuff any more. And the opening is just hand-sewn to close.

Those sewing needles. Usually they’re on a magnetic card that’s stuck on the metal base of my lamp. This works great, because they’re right at hand and not populating my pin cushion. I still see this Singer notion at JoAnns, it comes with a few needles and is very inexpensive.

Next up, a notions tray for the little things I use constantly at the machine. Seam ripper, measuring tape, long tweezers, Frixion pen, hem gauge, 7″ ruler, spool caps…lots of stuff 🙂 I’ve been using a pasta bowl from my dinnerware, which bugged me no end. Making a quilted fabric replacement was easy peasy, I should have done this sooner.

The materials are simple: A top, bottom, and batting layer, all cut at 10″ x 12″, then sewn as a bag, turned right side out, and quilted. 

 

Ta dum!

 

I’ve made these trays so many times as travel gifts. Most of them are smaller, about 7″ x 5″ – they pack flat and have snaps to close the corners. They’re great for holding jewelry, change, and keys on a hotel nightstand. And in my living room right now, this one has the notions I’m using while basting a bunch of quilt blocks.

I’m glad I took the time to spruce up the loft, but it was just exhausting. LOL – actually I’d rather be sewing.

Bye for now! Coco