Fabric Yoyo Lion Toy Pattern

Fabric yoyo lion

Fabric yoyo lion

My fabric yoyo lion is a sweetie.  I had seen fabric yoyo toys before now without ever working out just how they are made.  In fact it’s very easy to make them.  It took me a bit longer to make than I had anticipated, but it certainly wasn’t difficult.

I used three different fabrics all within a lion range:  brown,yellow, light brown, and I used two different sizes of yoyo.  I should probably have used a greater range of sizes but I was trying to keep it simple.  The circles that I used were 6.1/2″ and 4.1/2″ diameter and I think that it would have become too fiddly if I had tried to use smaller circle sizes.

You can buy the kit for this project at this week’s special offer.




Cutting requirements for the fabric yoyo lion

6.1/2″ circles:  six each in three different colours (eighteen in total)

4.1/2″ circles:  sixteen each in two of the colours and eight in the third colour (forty in total).  In addition you will need two more circles for the lion head.

Thin elastic (I used 1/4″):  about 1 yard.

Cut the circles

Cut the circles

Make the fabric yoyos

For the templates I just chose kitchen crockery that was roughly the right size.  Draw around them to make a paper template and then cut out the required quantity in each fabric that’s eighteen 6.1/2″ circles and forty 4.1/2″ circles.

Stitch around the edge

Stitch around the edge

Adjust your sewing machine to give the longest possible stitch length and sew round the edge of each circle.  Try to keep to about 1/4″ from the edge of the circle.  That really just means taking it nice and slowly and lifting the presser foot often in order to straighten out the fabric.  Leave a good 6″ thread at the beginning and end of the seams.

Pull the threads to gather the edge

Pull the threads to gather the edge

The seam will begin to gather as you are sewing the circle edges.  Now take the outer two threads and pull gently to continue the gathering.  Ease the gathering so that it is even all the way round.  Continue until the gathering is quite tight.  Tie the ends of the thread to hold the gathering in place.  I try to use a triple knot just to be safe.

Flatten the centre with fingers only – don’t iron the yoyo.  It should now look like the shape in the top right of the photo.  Keep going with all the circles, keeping the two sizes separate from each other.

Make the body for the fabric yoyo lion

Make the central holes

Make the central holes

Use the larger yoyos for the body.  Thread the end of the elastic on to a hair grip or a thick needle.  Begin to make the central hole in each yoyo.  For this I use a large needle, a very large needle and then a knitting needle.

Use a knitting needle

Use a knitting needle

You can judge the middle of the yoyo quite easily.  You want the needles to go through one layer of fabric only, so the needle needs to pass through the hole at the centre of the gathering on the back.  Push through the first needle and move it back and forth to create a small hole.  Then push through the next size needle to enlarge the hole.  Finally push through the knitting needle to enlarge the hole enough for the elastic to be threaded through it.

Body and tail section

Body and tail section

Now you can thread the elastic through the hole and push the yoyo up next to the others on the elastic.   Add all eighteen large yoyos in this way.  The first ones should be threaded with the smooth side on the left.  The final one should be threaded with the smooth side on the right so that you have a smooth end at each end.

Select eight of the smaller yoyos to use for the tail and add these to the elastic immediately after the larger ones which form the body.  Measure the length of this body and tail section.  Add 1.1/2″ at each end for fastening and cut the elastic to length.

Sew elastic loops

Sew elastic loops

Finish the elastic ends

My first instinct would have been to tie a knot in the elastic ends to secure them.  However this is not the best method as the knot could be pulled through the fabric, enlarging the hole and causing the whole thing to disintegrate.

Instead, fold the end of the elastic over to form a loop and sew in place.  This is shown on the left hand end in the photo.  Then flatten the loop by pressing down the middle to give a section of elastic on either side of the middle.  Sew this in place to form a bar of elastic as shown on the right hand end in the photo.  This provides a larger surface area which is unlikely to pull through the fabric.

One pair of legs

One pair of legs

Make the fabric yoyo lion legs

The legs are made in a similar fashion but they are made in pairs with a length of elastic between each pair of legs.  Divide the remaining yoyos into four piles of varying colours.  Thread eight on to the elastic then leave a gap of 2″ of elastic and add another eight yoyos.  Make sure that each leg has a smooth yoyo side at each end.

Cut the elastic and finish each end in the same way as above for the body.  Make another pair of legs using the remaining yoyos.

Sew the leg elastic to the body

Sew the leg elastic to the body

Join the body and legs

Fold up the first yoyo of the body so that you can work on the second yoyo.  Sew the elastic between two legs across  the bottom of this second yoyo.  This joins the first pair of legs to the body.

Now fold up the last yoyo of the body – the one before the smaller yoyos of the tail.  Sew the second pair of legs to the second to last body yoyo.

Use a small amount of stuffing

Use a small amount of stuffing

Make the lion head

For the head cut two more 4.1/2″ circles from scraps.  With right sides together sew around the edge, leaving a gap of about 2″ to turn the head right side out.  Clip into the seam and turn right side out through the gap.  Add a small amount of toy stuffing through the gap – just enough to make the head softly rounded.  Slipstitch across the gap to close it.

Add facial features

Add facial features

I had planned to embroider the facial features but I ran out of time so I have just marked the head using felt tip for now.  I had also planned to make two ears and sew them to the head.

Sew the back of the head to the first yoyo of the body.  From scraps cut five small rectangles or circles and use them to cover the elastic ends on the legs and the tail.

That completes the fabric yoyo lion toy.  How could I have improved it?  Hindsight being a wonderful thing, I think that I would have used a bigger contrast in the sizes of the yoyos if I was making this again – and I would have allowed myself more time so that I could embroider the head!

Here’s the video:

Globe Theatre

Globe Theatre

Last week I mentioned that I was going to London.  I saw The Play That Went Wrong at the Duchess Theatre.  It was very funny and we had a lovely evening.  The next morning we all met up for brunch at a restaurant just beside the Thames before moving on to a wine tasting festival.

On the way there I passed the wonderful Globe Theatre.  This amazing round theatre was built to re create a theatre where  Shakespeare’s plays were originally performed.  The whole project was masterminded by Sam Wanamaker so we have a lot to thank him for.

Golden Hind

Golden Hind

Further along the riverside walk I came across the Golden Hinde.  This is a re construction of the galleon used by Sir Francis Drake in the sixteenth century to circumnavigate the world.  It is a fully working ship.  You can just see the figurehead of a golden hind (female deer) at the front of the ship.

What a fascinating city London is.  So much to explore!

MakingDuvet Covers – Pattern andTutorial

Making duvet covers

Making duvet covers

Making duvet covers is easy to do and allows you to choose your own fabrics to match the rest of the room.  They also make quick gifts.  I’ve made a single duvet cover here but of course you can make any size – the method is the same whatever size duvet you are covering.

Making duvet covers – measurements

My duvet measures 52.1/2″ by 74″.  I have added 1″ to the width and 2″ to the length so I am cutting my fabric 53.1/2″ by 76″.  You can make any size cover – just measure your own duvet first.  I’m using crease resistant cotton 60″ wide so that makes it even more easy to make the cover – no piecing involved.

I have used two different colour fabrics – partly so that my duvet cover will be reversible and partly so that the photos will be more clear for you to follow what I am doing.  I have used 40″ of popper tape – most haberdashers will stock this, but mine came from Dunelm.  You can buy the kit for this single duvet cover here.




Sew pieces with wrong sides together

Sew pieces with wrong sides together

Sewing the sides and top

I’m using French seams so that there is no chance of any fraying on the inside of the duvet cover.  So begin by placing your two rectangles with wrong sides together.  Sew a 1/4″ seam on three sides – one short edge and both long edges, creating a pouch.

Press the seam allowances and turn the pouch wrong side out.  Using a slightly larger seam allowance, sew the same three sides together.  This encloses the raw edges within the seam.  Press the seam allowances.

Mark line 2" from bottom

Mark line 2″ from bottom

Making the hem

While the fabric s are still right sides together, mark a line 2″ from the edge along the open end of the pouch.  You need to do this on both fabrics.  Beginning at the side of the duvet cover, sew 6″ towards the middle along the marked line, sewing through both fabrics.  This will be the bottom corner of your cover.

Repeat on the other side.  You should now have a gap of about 40″ across the bottom of the pouch.

Turn under a double hem

Turn under a double hem

Create the bottom hem by turning the fabric up so that the edge of the fabric touches the 2″ line.  Then turn it up again so that the fold line is along the 2″ line and you have a 1″ double hem.  Make sure that you are only working with one layer of fabric at a time and do the same on both sides.

Popper tape

Popper tape

Add the popper tape

Turn the duvet cover right side out.  I find that this is safest, so that you can be sure that you are sewing the tape to the correct side of the fabric.  You want the tape to be lying along the hem on the inside (wrong side of fabric).

The popper tape comes in two lengths joined together by the poppers.  Turn under the end of the tape and pin one length to one side (eg red) and then do the same with the other piece of tape on the other side (blue).  Make sure that the poppers from one tape are opposite the poppers on the other tape so that you don’t have bumps in your fabric.

Sew the two tapes in place.  I began by using my normal sewing foot but soon had to change to my zipper foot because you haven’t got much room to sew around the poppers.  Even so, I still had a little bulge in the stitching around the poppers, but not enough for it to look untidy.

That’s it!  Making duvet covers really is that easy and I’m thrilled with mine.

Here’s the video:

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Rose

African Purse Pattern

African purse pattern

African purse pattern

Some of my African fabric has a design of squares which makes it perfect for a simple African purse pattern.  The squares are not necessary for the pattern, but they do help to make a pretty purse.  Usually when I make a clutch bag I layer the fabric and then fold it in thirds so that the front of the pouch part consists of three layers.  For this purse pattern, I have used a single layer of fabric for the front of the pouch and it makes for a very simple and quick project.

Cutting requirements for the African purse pattern

6.3/4″ by 12″ rectangle in top fabric, wadding and lining fabric

6.3/4″ by 5.1/2″ rectangle in contrasting fabric for front of pouch

2″ strip of binding fabric about 45″ long

1″ by 4″ strip of fabric for button loop

button

Layer the fabric for the puse pattern

Layer the fabric for the purse pattern

Make a loop for the button

Make a loop for the button

Making the African purse pattern

Lay the lining fabric with right side down.  Add the wadding and then the top fabric with right side up – the same layering as for any quilt.  Pin to secure the layers.

Make a loop for the button:  fold the edges of the strip in to the middle and then fold in half so that all the raw edges are concealed.  Sew along the strip to keep the folds in place.

Add the small rectangle and the button loop

Add the small rectangle and the button loop

Sew the binding all round

Sew the binding all round

Turn under a small double hem on one 6.3/4″ edge of the fabric for the front of the pouch.  Sew in place.  Place this rectangle on the lining fabric with right side up.  Make sure that the hemmed edge is at the top.  Place the button loop in the middle of the bottom edge, on top of all the layers.  Pin.

Fold the binding strip in half along the length and press.  Place this on the top of the African purse pattern fabrics with the fold towards the middle and all the raw edges in line – just like any binding for a quilt.

Slipstitch the binding in place

Slipstitch the binding in place

Sew the binding in place and then flip to the other side to slip stitch in place.  I’ve chosen to have the hand sewing on the outside of the purse mainly because I wanted the purse lining to be on top when I was machine sewing the binding on – that way I felt that the button loop would be more secure, and also I could make sure that the loop stayed in place while I was sewing.

Sew the button on the front

Sew the button on the front

Fold the purse in half, pull the button loop out so that it is visible and sew a button in place to secure the flap.  It really hasn’t taken me long to make this African purse pattern and I think it will make a great small gift for someone at Christmas.  If you wanted to make the pouch more secure you could add a zip or a button to secure the front of the pouch to the lining, but I have made the most simple version here.

 

Here’s the video:

DIY MOBILE PHONE STAND

Mobile phone stand

Mobile phone stand

My mobile phone stand sits on the printer beside my computer.  When I’m working on the computer – or just sitting reading – I find it quite useful to have my phone propped up somewhere so that I don’t bury it under fabric or paper.  I made this simple mobile phone stand which I leave on top of the printer and I find it very useful.  It’s an easy sewing project made using scraps and doesn’t take very long to make.  I’ve made two cubes and sewn them to a base and to each other.  It would make a useful and unusual handmade Christmas gift as well.

 

Cutting requirements for the mobile phone stand

four 4.1/2″ squares in fabric and one in wadding

twenty four 2.1/2″ squares

 

Making the mobile phone stand

Arrange the 2.1/2" squares

Arrange the 2.1/2″ squares

Sew the squares together

Sew the squares together

Split the 2.1/2″ squares into two sets of twelve and arrange as shown.  The four in the middle will be the front of each cube and the pairs around the edges will be the sides of the cube.  Sew the squares together – on the right you can see one set with right side up and one set with right side down.  When sewing the top and bottom pairs of squares on, begin and end your seam 1/4″ before the end.  This will make it easier to complete the next step.

 

 

Sew the corner seams

Sew the corner seams

Sew the lid on the square

Sew the lid on the square

Sew the edges together at each corner.  This is where there is a square missing in the layout, so you will need to fold the patchwork along the diagonal in order to draw those two edges together to be able to sew the seam.  Now each shape will be like a square bowl.  Take one 4.1/2″ square for each bowl and with right sides together sew it to the bowl along three seams around three edges.  You can now turn the cube right side out through the gap.

 

Fill the cubes

Fill the cubes

Slipstitch across the gap

Slipstitch across the gap

Fill each cube with stuffing of some sort.  Don’t pack it too tight or you will find it difficult to sew everything together.  Slipstitch across the gap to complete the cube.  That is the first part of the mobile phone stand complete.

 

 

 

Making the base of the mobile phone stand

Three layers for the base

Three layers for the base

Leave a gap

Leave a gap

Lay down the wadding square with one 4.1/2″ square with right side up on top, finishing with one square with right side down.  Sew round three and a half sides to join the layers, leaving a gap so that you can turn the base right side out.

 

 

 

Clip the corners

Clip the corners

Quilt to hold the layers together

Quilt to hold the layers together

Clip the corners and turn the base right side out.  Slipstitch across the gap and quilt a little to hold the layers together.  That completes the base of the phone stand.

 

 

 

Assembling the mobile phone stand

Set one cube on the base

Set one cube on the base

Add the second cube

Add the second cube

Set one of the cubes on one half of the base.  Slipstitch the three edges of the cube to the base where they meet.  Add the second cube on the other half of the base and again slipstitch the three edges of the cube that meet the base.

 

 

 

Sew the sides of the cubes together

Sew the sides of the cubes together

Now it just remains to slipstitch the two cubes to each other up the sides only.  The top needs to be left open for the mobile phone.  If you want an easy sewing project for a handmade Christmas gift, this is definitely one to try!

 

 

 

Here’s the video:

Linking up with Stitch by Stitch:

 

Stitch by Stitch

Thanks for visiting my blog.

I hope to see you again soon.

Best wishes

Rose