Friday, February 28, 2014

Photo Tutorial - Zombie Apocalypse Panel Soft Toy

The Zombie Apocalypse has started at the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show (20-23 March 2014). Come and visit us at Stand E15 to pick up a Zombie Toy panel which will only be available at the show.

We first saw Emily Taylor's Zombie Apocalypse doll panel while looking through images of the Riley Blake Designs booth from the Houston Quilt Market at the end of October last year (2013). To say we were excited would be an understatement.

Original Photo from Riley Blake Design's blog
There are only limited written instructions included on the panel so to help our newer sewists we thought a photo tutorial was in order. Please note that all seam allowances are 1/4" (6mm) unless noted otherwise.

Step 1 - Cutting out the pieces: All of the pattern pieces are printed on the fabric and should be cut out on the printed line. Make sure you transfer the pattern markings for the arm positions onto Zoe's body and the pattern markings for the dog's ear and underbelly positions onto the body before you cut them out.

Step 2 - Zoe's Arms: Take an arm piece and fold it in half with right sides together. Stitch down the long straight edge and around the curve leaving the top edge open (the instructions say stitch from point A to B, this is incorrect). Clip the curve, we have used pinking shears on our sample. Make sure that you don't clip too close to the stitch line otherwise the seam will be weakened and may burst when you stuff the arms. Turn the arm right side out. Repeat for the other arm.

Step 3 - Zoe's Legs: Take a leg piece and fold it in half with right sides together. Stitch down the long straight edge and around the curve, leave the top edge open. Clip the curve. Turn right side out. Repeat for the other leg.

Step 4 - Stuff Arms and Legs: Stuff the legs and arms, leaving approx. 1/2 - 1inch (about 2cm) clear at the top. Baste the tops closed to keep the stuffing in place.

Step 5 - Attaching the Arms: Using the marks you made as a guide, place the arms on the right side of one of the body pieces so that they are facing inwards. Pin or baste in place. Zoe is Zombie on one side & pre-Zombie on the other. Make sure you put the Zombie sides all in the same direction.

Step 6 - Attaching the Legs: Place Zoe's legs on the right side of the same body piece so that the top leg seam is even with the bottom of her skirt and her toes are pointing up towards her head. I placed mine approx 1/2 inch (about 1.5 cm) to either side of the middle of the bottom of the skirt. Baste in place. Zoe is Zombie on one side & pre-Zombie on the other. Make sure you put the Zombie sides all in the same direction.

Step 7 - Zoe's Body: Place the body pieces on top of each other, right sides together with the arms in-between. Fold the legs down so that they are outside of the body and out of the way. Sew around Zoe's body leaving the bottom edge open a few inches for turning and stuffing. 

Step 8 - Finishing Up: Turn Zoe's body right side out and stuff firmly. Fold in the open edges and use ladder stitch to close.


Step 1 - Ears: Place one spotted ear and one black ear piece together, right sides together. Sew around the ear leaving the top edge open. Clip the seams and turn right side out. Repeat for the other ear.

Step 2 - Bones' Underbelly Part 1: Place the underbelly piece onto the left body piece, right sides together and matching points F and E. Sew around the legs from point E to point F.

Step 3 - Bones' Underbelly part 2: Fold the sewn side of the underbelly up and out of the way so that you can place the remaining half onto the right body piece, right sides together and matching points C and D. Sew around the legs from point C to point D.

Step 4 - Bone's Body: Pin or baste the ears to the top of one of the body pieces using the ear placement markings. Sew around the top of Bones' body from points C/E to D/F catching the ears in between. Make sure you leave an opening for turning, I left open the section between the two yellow pins on his back.

Step 5 - Finishing Up: Clip around the curves and turn Bones right side out. Stuff with Toy stuffing and close up the opening using a ladder stitch.

Congratulations you have finished your Zombie Doll and Dog !!

For those of you who like to pin here is a pretty Pinterest image for you :)

Fabric Friday - It's in the Stars

Buy some fabric for the star in your life... even if it's you :)

As an added bonus, today's Fabric Friday collection will be 10% off for the day !!! 


- Ky

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Serendipity Studio Camilla Insulated Lunch Bag Pattern Test Drive (with tips for sewing with laminated cottons)

For Christmas last year I made my Mum the Camilla Insulated Lunch Bag from Serendipity Studio. There are several sizes available in this pattern and it can be made as an insulated lunch bag or as a non-insulated tote bag.

Today I am going to share a few tips and tricks that you may find helpful when sewing up this bag.

I chose to make the medium size insulated version of the bag. To make things extra tricky I have used laminated cotton on both the inside and outside. Handy if you have a spill as you can simply wipe the bag clean.

Always use a pressing cloth so that you don't touch the iron directly onto the laminated side of the fabric.  I keep the temperature fairly low as well. Nothing is worse than melted laminate on your iron.

To add structure and insulation I used Insul-Bright by The Warm Company. The contents of your lunch bag is kept hot / cold by this specialty interfacing. It is non-fusible so the layers need to be quilted together. 

505 Spray Adhesive is great for sticking layers together while quilting. It holds everything in place but won't gum up your machine needle. When using a spray adhesive use a cardboard box or similar to make a spray booth so that you don't end up with glue all over your work table like I have :) If you are looking for 505 Spray Adhesive, we stock it in our showroom.

When topstitching or quilting the bag you can't sew directly over the laminated cotton with a regular metal presser foot. It sticks to the laminate and your fabric won't feed through the machine. A Teflon foot is recommended for sewing with laminated fabric, but you can also use baking paper. Just place it on top of the laminate, under your regular presser foot and sew. Once you are finished stitching, tear away the baking paper. You can also draw your quilting lines onto the baking paper which makes sewing straight lines a lot easier too!

Pinning beyond your seam allowance lines is also a no-no with laminated fabrics because they leave permanent marks. Clover Wonder Clips are a great alternative. You can use them to peg the baking paper to your fabric and not leave any holes.

Sewing on the velcro was a cinch once I basted it down with some more 505 Adhesive Spray.

A little mini iron is perfect for getting inside the bag to fuse the Peltex base. 

The final bag construction requires you to stitch through two layers of fabric plus two layers of Insul-Bright which makes for quite a bit of bulk. Even if you aren't using laminated cotton all of these layers would be too thick to pin together. Clover Clips to the rescue!

My mum loved her new lunch bag and I hope that this blog post has offered some helpful tips for sewing with laminated cottons.

- Ky 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

New In Store - February 16

So much new fabric has arrived and been added to our web store this week. New Folklorico and Frida Kahlo designs from Alexander Henry, Surreal Joli Pomme designs from Cosmo Textiles, Japan. Flamingos and reversible dobby fabrics from Sevenberry, Japan. If that isn't enough we have a few new laminated cotton fabrics from Tula Pink (Free Spirit) and Michael Miller !!

Top Row
2nd Row
3rd Row
Bottom Row

Top - Bottom

Till next week, happy sewing :)
- Ky

Friday, February 14, 2014

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Travelling Bunnies - Cotton Carnivale and Riley Blake Fabric

I've been a jet-setting bunny so far this year, first I was in Melbourne attend a bag making workshop with Nicole Mallalieu and last weekend I was off again to attend Cotton Carnivale in Noosa. Cotton Carnivale is a retreat/convention for fabric store owners and teachers held by Millhouse Collection and Riley Blake Fabrics.

Cindy (left) and Jina (right) are from Riley Blake Designs and flew over from the States for the event. They are pictured with Sue Daley the english paper piecing queen.

As well as talks about running a fabric business and Riley Blake fabrics, we had the opportunity to attend workshops to learn new techniques and meet some new pattern designers. Here were are looking very studious as we learn english paper piecing with Sue Daley.

I made this cute little reversible dress with Monica Poole in 2.5hrs!!! The best thing about this dress is that all of the seams are enclosed so you can get a very professional finish without requiring an overlocker. We have been looking for a range of children's patterns and I think that these will be the ones we will stock.

Cute little fox soft toy with Melanie McNeice from Melly & Me.

Machine appliqu├ęd and quilt as you go table runner with Zoe Clifton. No I didn't finish this one during the workshop I had to do the last bit at home. Typical isn't it, you go away to a sewing retreat and come home with new UFO's !!

Fussy cut english paper piecing with Sue Daley - we will be stocking EPP products very soon!

Embroidered pin cushion with Natalie Lymer of Cinderberry Stitches, yeah still a bit to go on this one...

On Saturday night we attended a maskerade party. I love to dress up and I'm pretty thrilled with my new The Ghastlies Marilyn dress that I made for the occasion. Steph from Cake Patterns was at the party as well. 

By the end of the weekend I was exhausted but full of new ideas and plans for Voodoo Rabbit, keep an eye out for new products and classes over the coming months.

The last big event for the firs quarter of this year is the Brisbane Stitches and Craft Show in March. There is a lot of prep is required for this show so I'd better get started, only 5 weeks to go !!

- Ky 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Union Jack Repeat Panel by Riley Blake - Tote Bag Tutorial

Riley Blake fabrics have just released this cool little fabric panel featuring the Union Jacks. I saw a tutorial for a cute quilt and bag over on the Riley Blake blog. I didn't have the time to make up a quilt but these bag sew together super fast.

I have a few step-by-step photos that I took while I made up the bags. While I have made a few changes to the instructions the original tutorial can be used to fill in any blanks. Seam allowances are all 1/2" unless stated otherwise.

Step 1: Cut out your fabric
Bag Outer - 2 flags from the Union Jack Repeat Panel approx. 30.5cm x 51cm (12 x 20"). This is only 1/4 of the panel so you have plenty left to make more bags :)

Cut out lining and straps
Bag Lining - 30.5cm x 51cm (12 x 20")
Long strap - 10cm x 107cm (4" x 42") or
Short strap/s - (4" x 18")

Optional: Cut out and fuse Medium Fusible Interfacing to the wrong side of the outer bag and strap/s.

Step 2: Fold the bag outer in half with right sides together and sew the side seams. Trim the corners and press seams open.

Step 3: To make the boxed corners line the side seam up on top of the bottom fold of the bag to create triangles. Measure up 2.5cm (1") from the corner and draw a line. Sew over the line and trim off the excess fabric.

Step 4: To make the handles/strap fold the long edges into the middle of the fabric strip and press. Fold the pressed edges together and press. Topstitch on each side. You can also add extra rows of stitching in between these two lines of stitching.

Step 5: Pin the straps to the outside of the bag, matching the centre of the strap to the side seam. Stitch in place inside the seam allowance.

Step 6: Fold the lining in half with right sides together. Sew the side seams but leave an opening in one side, this is where the bag will be turned right side out once the lining has been sewn to the bag outer. Make the boxed corners as per step 3. 

Step 7: Put the outer bag inside the lining so that the right sides are together. Match up the side seams and sew around the top of the bag to join the lining to the bag outer.

Step 8: Pull the bag right side out through the gap you left in the lining. Press and stitch around top top of the bag 5mm (1/4") down from the top seam.

Step 9: Slip Stitch the lining closed.
The finished bag is approx. 23cm x 21c x 5.5cm (9" x 8-1/4" x 2-1/4")

Enjoy your new bag :)

- Ky

Sunday, February 2, 2014

New in Store - February 2

This week the focus was on adding Haberdashery items to the web store including scissors, insul-bright insulated wadding and clover sewing aids. There is also new bag making hardware, Rasant thread and a new class. 

Top Row
Middle Row
Bottom Row

Rasant thread has also been listed this week. We have a select range of colours that we feel work well with the majority of the colours throughout our fabric range.

New bag making hardware now available, these items are all 20mm (3/4") and we sourced them specifically for the Madison Wallet Bag Pattern by Sew Serendipity.

Top Row
Bottom Row

Last but not least, we have a new sewing class available - Introduction to Sewing with Knit Fabric (April 13). This is a great little course for both beginners and experienced sewists who aren't confident using stretch fabrics. Once you make your first tee you will never buy one off the rack again! Super quick, super easy and sweatshop free.

Till next week
- Ky