Sunday 31 May 2020

Flexible Felt Flowers Sewing Pattern

I've added a new printable PDF pattern to my shops this weekend: an easy flower pattern you can use to make LOADS of different floral projects!

I've called this pattern "Flexible Flowers" because there are just so many different possible variations to choose from. I think of the basic design as a seed you can use to sew a whole garden of felt loveliness.

I've used this pattern to make and sell hundreds if not thousands of felt flowers over the years - and now you can, too! When you buy any patterns from my shops you have my permission to use them to make handmade things to sell at craft fairs or online.

The Flexible Flowers PDF is a massive 40 pages long and includes the basic flower tutorial, lots of suggestions for different ways to embellish and use the flowers, plus full-size templates. There are clear step-by-step instructions, lots of photos, and plenty of tips for getting your flowers looking their best.

I've sewn so many flowers with this pattern over the years I really struggled choosing which photos to use for this post!

You can make simple but deliciously chunky flowers from thick wool felt and recycled jumpers...
... super pretty double-layered flowers...

 ...  and flowers topped with a fun felt button (these flowers were always particularly popular!).
The PDF guides you through sewing all of these plus how to embellish the flowers with sequins, embroidered butterflies, buttons, and more.

The pattern includes instructions for making felt flower brooches, of course, but also hairclips and headbands.

I've also included templates and instructions for sewing larger flower headbands...

... flower necklaces...

... and a floral cocktail hat!

Click here to buy my Flexible Flowers pattern from my Etsy shop (the file will be available to download immediately after purchase). If you're based in the UK you can also buy it from my new shop (I'll email you the file within 24 hours).

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Saturday 30 May 2020

Lots of Fabulous Felt Bundles!

One of my big projects this week has been turning a pile of wool blend felt squares into some lovely colour-themed felt packs.

The felt delivery arrived on Monday, I sorted them into colour order on Tuesday, wrapped them all up neatly with ribbon on Thursday, then got them photographed and in my shop yesterday - hurrah!

The Soft Pastels pack includes 12 pretty pale and pastel shades:

Then there's Pinks & Purples...

... Blues & Greens...

... and Fire Tones (thus named because Reds, Oranges, Yellows, & Peach/Coral Pinks was just too much of a mouthful!).

If you want a wider mix of colours, you can choose from the Bright Rainbow...

... and the Bold Rainbow, which has much deeper, richer tones though I'm not sure I've fully captured the difference between these packs in these photos! I think I may need to take a photo of the two rainbow packs together for really clear comparison. *Adds that to the To Do list*

I've also put together a pack of squares inspired by the British coast, which I'm calling Coastal Walk:

Then the last pack is Useful Neutrals, which is currently only 10 squares (unlike the other packs which all have 12) because my stockist is out of stock of white and ivory felt and I'm planning on adding those to this bundle as soon as I can get hold of some.

As well as the felt bundles, I've also added a few new crafty supplies to the shop this week. It's been a fun challenge working out the best ways to photograph everything!

There are lots of different buttons...

... some lovely metallic pencils...

... and vanishing fabric marker pens. I use one of these pens regularly in my projects, especially when I'm working with felt and want a guide line for something like a cute smiley face. If I mention an "air-erasable pen" in a tutorial, this is the kind of pen I mean! Some pens in this style only write well on fabric but this felt-tip-style pen is great for fabric and felt, I highly recommend it.

I've also added some gorgeous 15mm wide rainbow ribbon to the shop - the 6mm ribbon was proving so popular I thought I'd get some of this in, too. I'm now selling both ribbons by the metre or in 10 metre reels.

Finally, one of the other tasks I ticked off this week was buying some packaging to use when posting my shop orders. I bought envelopes, etc, of course, but I also stocked up on pretty stripey paper bags. They're so lovely I've popped some in the shop. They're available in blue or sunny yellow, and I'm selling them in bundles ranging from 10 to 100 bags.

As I've mentioned before, my shop is currently set up just to accept orders within the UK because of the effect COVID-19 is having on the post. However, if you're based elsewhere and are happy to wait for your order to arrive, please do get in touch and I can give you a quote for postage and sort the payment out via Paypal.

Wednesday 27 May 2020

How To: Sew Felt Pocket Hugs to Send to Your Friends

Today I'm sharing a cute and easy tutorial: how to sew a felt pocket hug!

Pocket hugs have started popping up all over the place recently: little tokens you can send to a loved one at the moment to send them a virtual hug while we're not allowed to give real ones.

They can tuck the hug in their pocket, carrying a reminder of your friendship and love wherever they go. It's such a lovely idea!

Obviously I couldn't resist sewing some felt hugs :)

These are quick and easy to sew and would be a great little project to work on in the evening while you're watching TV. You can stuff them like I did or keep them flat so you can pop them inside a card. They'd also be a great project for working on with kids, especially if you're teaching them to sew as part of homeschooling.

You will need:

- A heart template (I used the one from this tutorial, but you could make bigger hearts if you'd prefer)
- Tissue paper or an air erasable marker pen
- Craft and sewing scissors
- Felt
- Sewing thread to match the felt
- A contrasting shade of embroidery thread (floss) (I used white)
- A biro or other fine pen
- A sewing needle and pins
- Toy stuffing (don't have any toy stuffing? felt scraps would also work!)

How to make a felt hug:

1. Use your heart template to trace a heart shape onto tissue paper. Then write HUG in the centre in nice clear letters.

2. Roughly cut around the tissue paper heart and pin or hold the heart onto a piece of felt. Secure the heart with some large tacking stitches, using any shade of sewing thread and avoiding the lettering.

Don't have any tissue paper but do have an air-erasable marker pen? Use the pen to draw around the heart template directly onto the felt then write HUG in the centre. You could also use an ordinary felt tip for this but some of the pen marks will remain visible on the finished heart.

3. Embroider the lettering. I used three of the six strands from my embroidery thread (floss). You can sew white lettering like I did, or choose any colour that contrasts nicely with (and will stand out clearly from) the felt.

Sew the lettering with backstitch, following the pen lines and using smaller stitches as you sew around curves (this will help make the curves smoother and neater).

4. Remove the tacking stitches then cut out your heart, cutting through the tissue paper and felt at the same time.

If you've used a pen to draw your heart, just cut along the pen line. 

5. Carefully tear away the tissue paper then use your felt heart as a template to cut a second felt heart shape.

6. Place the two heart shapes together and sew around the edge with matching sewing thread. I used blanket stitch but whip stitch also works well.

Make sure you leave a gap big enough for your finger so you can stuff the heart in a moment.

7. Use toy stuffing to stuff the heart. Stuff it lightly, gradually adding small pieces of stuffing so you fill the shape evenly.

Don't have any toy stuffing? Use felt scraps instead! Cut them nice and small then add them to the heart in place of stuffing.

8. Finish your hug by sewing up the gap with more blanket or whip stitches and finishing your stitching neatly at the back.

And that's it: one happy little hug to send to a pal.

Click here for more lockdown craft ideas!

(The rainbow boxes would make fab gift boxes for sending your hugs. You could draw a smiling yellow sun in the bottom of the box when you colour it in then add your hug to the box, or use the sun template to make round hugs instead of heart-shaped ones).

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to stitch as many hugs as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire  post on your site. Thanks!

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Visit my shops to buy felt and colourful craft supplies, plus my printable PDF sewing patterns: