The Eternal Maker Crafts

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Doll's Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Coming Soon!

This blog post has been a long time coming.  I first posted pictures of this project a few years back (here) and always planned to do a tutorial, but what with one thing and another, never quite got round to it.  You know how it goes.
The original project was made for my goddaughter, and around that time another friend requested one for her then unborn child.  I agreed, but there was no rush, I thought, because the baby wasn't even born yet.  And then I forgot, as I so often do with these things.  Roll on two years, and said child is long since born and perhaps at exactly the right age to play with this, and it again cropped up in conversation, so I thought it might be about time I did the things I promised, and give you guys a tutorial, and give Frida Betty her doll's bed-in-a-suitcase.

This suitcase is covered, has a perfectly fitting mattress, along with a fitted sheet.  It has a duvet, duvet cover, pillows, pillow cases, quilt, and blanket.  Perfect for all a doll's needs.

It's a huge project, so I thought we'd do it as a sew-along.  To get started, you'll need a couple of things - the first one being one small vintage suitcase. 

Now, it's going to be pretty hard to tell you exact measurements because it's a vintage suitcase.  And we all know they come in completely mixed sizes and shapes.  Find a small one, in as good a condition as you can manage, as the better the condition the easier the job.  Mine was approximately 35cm x 55cm.  The last suitcase I made, was possibly slightly smaller, and easier to work with as it had a plastic handle.  This had awkward slightly rusting hardware, which was a lot trickier to maneuver around.

So despite the fact that your suitcase will no doubt be a completely different style and shape, here's some really detailed instructions so you can hopefully pick up a few tips! 

This is my suitcase - as you can see, it's a little beat up and dirty.  Stitching is coming undone, and there's a little bit of rust.  But it'll do for the job.  You can see in the top picture that the handle was plastic and that was a lot easier to cover.

You'll need about 75cm each of main fabric and lining fabric (more if your suitcase is bigger, less if smaller).
You'll need glue, either mod-podge, or this awesome stuff is perfect.

But alternatively, if you want to skip this step altogether, find a case like this and follow this great tutorial on the Beautiful Mess blog here.
image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess blog.
We'll go through how to cover the suitcase in the first proper installment which we'll do on the 2nd January 2016, and we'll do every Saturday until we're done!

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Thursday, 17 December 2015

Christmas Stocking Tutorial!

Hello! Sarah here, I recently joined the lovely team here at The Eternal Maker and I'm so excited to share with you my first blog post! 

So with Christmas just around the corner and feeling fully inspired by our lovely range of christmas fabrics I decided to make my nephew a stocking, and I'm pretty chuffed with the results! I wouldn't say I'm a particularly advanced sewist and I managed to make it in just a few hours - so fear not, there is still time to cram in those last few christmas projects before the big day arrives!

So here it is, my tutorial to make a fully lined and padded christmas stocking with fur trim and  hanging loop!

What you'll need to make your stocking:
Pattern/tracing paper
Outer fabric (we used this) (approx 1/2m, but depends on the size you want to make)
Lining fabric (approx 1/2m, but depends on the size you want to make)
Wadding (approx 1/2m, but depends on the size you want to make)
Furry fabric for trim - 1/4m

1. Draw out the shape of your stocking onto tracing paper - I used an old stocking to trace around, then add about 1cm around the edge for your seam allowance. Use this as a template for the lining but make it about 5mm smaller to allow for the wadding. Then measure the width of the top of the stocking, double it and add a few cm for the trim width, work out how high you want the trim to be then add about 4cm for the seams. 

2. Using your templates, cut 2 from your main fabric and lining fabric (use your inner template to cut 2 from your wadding) and cut one trim from your furry fabric. You'll also need to cut out a piece from your lining fabric to make your hanging loop, mine was about 8cm x 20cm (it can be any size but make sure the height is 4x the size you'd like it to be when finished.)

3. Take your two outer pieces and pin right sides together. Take your lining pieces and pin right sides together with the wadding either side (so wadding/lining/lining/wadding)

 4. Sew together remembering to leave a good 4-5inch gap at the bottom of the lining/wadding piece

5. Next take your rectangular loop piece and fold the long sides into the middle, press, then fold again.

6. Sew along both the long edges of your loop piece...

...So it looks like this!

7. Next take your fur trim piece and with the fur facing down fold up the bottom edge by about 1inch. Pin and sew along the folded edge.

 8. Fold your fur, right sides together and pin along the short edge, it's a good idea to "try it on" the main stocking piece to make sure it fits before sewing, then trim any bulky seams.

9. Pop your trim onto the outside of your main fabric and line up the two back seams

 10. This is the bit that never makes any sense to me but it works! So with your fur trim on the outside of the main stocking piece, pin your loop fabric to the outside facing down and stuff the whole thing into the lining piece, so your main stocking fabric is right sides facing out and lining is right sides facing in. Then sew around the top through all layers.

 11. Now for the fun bit! Pull your main stocking piece through the gap you left in the bottom of the lining and sew the gap closed (don't worry if it isn't very neat as it'll be on the inside - no one will know!) then push the lining inside the stocking, and you're all done!