Saturday, July 15, 2017

Tea Towel Softie's



Do you ever sew with your kids? I started sewing simple projects with my girls when they were younger and it kind of got them hooked. The excitement that comes from realizing that they can actually MAKE something all by themselves is priceless. We had completed a few basic sewing projects mainly involving items for their American girl dolls prior to last year when I accepted a request to participated in the 'Sew a Softie' Event organized by the talented Trixi from www.ColouredButtons.com. If you are yet to discover Trixi she is a sewing teacher in Australia who has lots of amazingly simple sewing projects for kids great for the most beginner sewer. The girls LOVED everything about making their own softies, you can find their butterfly softies  from last summer here or search for the Christmas Softies and Valentines things they made. 

So as you can imagine we were delighted to participate once again in Trixi's Sewing Event for the Summer 2017. This year as veteran sewers the girls were asked to be Ambassadors and to teach someone else to sew during the month of July. They came up with the following project and their first sewing guinea pigs were their bothers - They are hoping to teach their friends how to sew these fun Softies too though!

So here we go, heres a very loved tea towel softie proving you can make something out of pretty much anything. They recycled these tea towels into fun toys for young kids. They left the dangly legs and floppy hair because "We know little kids like twiddling things as they cuddle them".


Big Sister teaching little bro (age 6) the running stitch 


Ella teaching little brother (age 8) how to stop his thread tangling up


Lots of Softie silliness 



HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN

You will need:

Tea towels
Embroidery Thread
Stuffing
Scissors
Buttons or bits to decorate


Step 1

Fold you tea towel in half, then fold it in half again as shown below.



Each tea towel makes two softies but by folding it this way it helps with the measuring of the softie. Now taking a pen draw a rectangle shape on the quarter of the tea towel facing you, the top of the softy is going to be where the fold is - this is important because when you cut the hair you want the loops to be at the top. Draw on two arms and legs that meet the edges of the fabric.


Once you have drawn the shape you can cut it out. You only need to cut through two layers not four so remember to half open your tea towel up.



Step 2

Once you have cut around your shape you should be left with a shape similar to that pictured below. Note the head still loops over, this helps to keep the fabric lined up as you begin sewing.


To begin sewing the girls used a simple running stitch. Up, down, up, down and so on. We started sewing the head first, do this an inch or two down from the fold you'll see why later when we make the hair.




Once you have gone across the top sew down the side and around the bottom of the shape. No need to sew around the arms or legs for this project - you are just sewing a rectangle. But remember to leave a gap at the end to stuff the filling in!!!





 Step 3

Stuff the body of the softie with the poly filling, no need to make it rock hard they are more fun a little floppy. Once it is stuffed finish sewing up the side and tie off with a knot.




Step 4

At this point we added the details, we hot glued on buttons and cogs to create interesting faces.



We also cut the hair, you do this by making short cuts across where the fabric loops at the head. (Remember when we said to leave a gap at the top of the head this is why.) This creates your softies floppy hair style. 


And you are done!!



 We hope you enjoy your new friend as much as we do! Be sure to tag us on IG @thebluebarn with your pictures if you make one.











Friday, April 7, 2017

Easter Bunny Necklace Pouch




Spring is here. Easter is right around the corner and I was thinking how I hadn't nearly got my A game on this year in regards to crafts pre the spring season. My son was home for 2 weeks having had a surgery and I seemed to skip March because of it! Anyway this quick project doesn't require too much planning and only some simple supplies; scraps of felt, embroidery thread and a few beginner sewing skills. It was well received by the kids and I thought it worth sharing so that your young sewers could make one too.


You will need:

Felt
Embroidery thread
Yarn
Needle - both for embroidery thread and the yarn

Step 1

Print template and cut out shapes. Use the template shapes to create and cut one pouch and two bunnies from the felt.


Step 2

Take one of the bunnies and sew on details such as eyes, nose and ears. Always start with your thread on the back then you won't see any of the knots.



Step 3

Once you have completed the details take the second bunny shape you cut and line it up on the back. Take the embroidery thread and sew the two pieces together around the edges.


Sew the entire way around the bunny and knot the end. you now have a little tiny bunny ready to place in the pouch. If you like you can glue a small pompom or bead to the back of the bunny as its tale.


Step 4

The pouch. Take the other piece of felt you have cut and fold in half so the edges line up. Using a length of yarn about 2 foot long and a yarn needle, thread one end through the marked hole on the pouch. Repeat on the other side and tie two knots.



Now using embroidery thread again sew around the edge of the pouch - don't sew the top opening you need to put the bunny in there. As you reach the corners fold the two triangles that are wider over the top of the knots you tied in the yarn, this will hide them and help secure them.


All done! Told you it was easy, a great first sewing project because its small and finished quickly.


Now you can put the sweet little bunny in its pouch and carry him around as you hunt for easter eggs.



Perfect. Happy Spring to you all.




Wednesday, March 8, 2017

'My Color is Rainbow' inspired Necklaces


Have you heard of the new book by Agnes Hsu called 'My Color is Rainbow'? It is a beautifully illustrated children's tale that takes you through the colors of the rainbow whilst teaching children about the positive qualities of kindness. The little white arch learns that he can have more than one wonderful characteristic so by the end of the story he becomes RAINBOW.


Inspired by the beautiful illustrations which were the work of Yuliya Gwilym the children and I decided to create some pretty necklaces to go along with the story. Heres a quick 'how to' and a few more pictures of the necklaces. They would also double as great book marks if you aren't a necklace wearer.


You will need:

A copy of my color is rainbow
Sharpies
Shrink Film
Hole Punch
Necklace thread and beads



Step 1

We drew some of our favorite characters onto the shrink film with sharpies and colored them in. Once they are drawn and colored cut them out leaving a small space around the outside. Hole punch the top where you wish to hang them.


As well as drawing pictures we wrote the key characteristics about kindness from the book to add to the necklaces too. My son called these dog tags, and is now happily wearing his rainbow dog tags!



Once you have punched the hole bake the shrink film in the oven. It only takes a couple of minutes to shrink down. Get grown ups help around the oven. Watching them shrink is half the fun, they curl up first but don't take them out then, wait for them to uncurl before you remove them. If any are still slightly curled flatten while still warm.


Step 2

Once they are baked and cooled you can have the children thread them and add some rainbow beads.


We created some individual characteristic necklaces too with the traits that were written out.


And we couldn't leave the Rainbow Unicorn out...




We hope you enjoy them as much as we do, the colors are sure to delight and the positive kindness message that exudes from the pages are great lessons for young and old alike.


Spread Kindness