softie love

This is my first entry in Sew Mama Sew’s “Spectacular Softies” contest. The grand prize is this Pfaff Creative 3.0 sewing and embroidery machine … something I could really really use! (I should do a post some time about my much-loved-but-quirky vintage metal Singer. I bought it used for $65 and it is great in many ways but … one of its quirks is that it sometimes eats my fabric.) You can enter up to three times, so I’m hoping to get a couple more entries in before the deadline.

softies - cat

I had to abandon my first “shall-remain-headless” prototype half-way through because I realized the overall dimensions were just to small to be workable, but once I sized my pattern pieces up just a little everything went pretty smoothly (sewing machines issues aside! some of this is machine-sewn and some is by hand). I was going for a kind of classic-homemade rag doll look and I’m pretty please with how it turned out. The next one will have some accessories I think (^_^).

softies - cat

softies - cat

In the meantime, Sew Mama Sew is doing a Six Weeks of Love for Softies series, with advice on making softies, and features on some amazing designers for inspiration.

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Toddler-sized tote bag

patchwork toddler tote bag

I know a little miss who is really into bags and purses. With Valentine’s Day coming up I started sewing this little heart-themed tote, the perfect size for a library book or two.

The bag is adapted from two different patterns.

The first is by Kristin from Grandma’s Chalkboard, via Make It & Love It. I used almost the exact same method of assembly, but changed the dimensions so that the bag is longer and more rectangular vertically, and folded each yellow piece in half, right-sides facing, before sewing side seams.

The second pattern is by Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew. She’s designed a very sweet heart patchwork block and very helpfully provided cutting instructions for several different sizes. I made one that is 4 inches square in size (finished) and added 1.5 inch borders on all sides.

The diagram below shows the size of each piece you’ll need. Instead of using a single piece of fabric for the “outside” (the bag is actually reversible), I worked in the heart block 2 inches from the top of that side. If you’re using a directional fabric, be sure to make sure the print is oriented the right way as you cut the pieces that will be sewn to the top, sides, and bottom of the heart patch. These measurements are just to give you an idea of how to piece this bag in an alternate way – if you’re comfortable with this kind of project you can probably wing it and make a bag of any size you like, the original instructions are that simple/adaptable.

mini tote bag piecing

Fabrics used

outside: Far Far Away Frogs (in yellow) by Heather Ross
inside: Pearl Bracelet (in yellow) by Lizzy House

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