Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Stockings for Our Family

My mum started a tradition of making us all our own Christmas stocking for our first Christmas. As kids, we always thought our stocking were the most awesome Christmas stockings around and we still all love them! When I got married, I decided to continue the tradition and made my husband a stocking for our first married Christmas. I did the same for Max's first Christmas and today, I've just finished Sam's Christmas stocking just in time for his first Christmas. I'm so relieved I got it done in time. Life is a whole lot busier with 2 little boys to look after. :-)

They are lined with batting in between the fabric and lining and the names are embroidered in chain stitch. The edges of the cuffs are done in satin stitch and clipped close to the stitching. I never really intended it but they've all ended up in a shade of red!! I think they look really nice all together and our little stocking family is complete. :-)

Christmas stocking are something that you can make for anyone including those special boys in your life. I used an old McCall's pattern for these stockings so I can't post a pattern online but here's a few links to some great stocking tutorials if you'd like to make some yourself.

Tip Junkie's list of stocking tutorials
Fabric Worm's stocking tutorial
Prudent Baby's stocking tutorial
Sew Like My Mum's stocking tutorial

That should be enough to get you going and give you some great ideas. Happy stocking sewing!!

***UPDATE: Here is a pic of the pattern I used just in case anyone is interested in tracking it down. You can often find it available online second hand. :-)***

Friday, December 9, 2011

Ideas for Boy's Themes

If you're new to making things for boys, it can seem daunting and quite tricky coming up with themes or ideas of things to make. To help you out, I've brainstormed a heap of themes that boys love. You should find something there to get you started. :-) I've avoided anything branded as I think some of the best homemade stuff comes from our own imagination or at the very least, is based around a timeless theme, not the most popular TV show. Feel free to make any suggestions of extra themes that could be added to the list! I know I'll be adding more as I think of them. :-)

Bikes & Scooters
Construction vehicles
Town & Roads

Under the Sea
The Beach
Wild West, cowboys, indians
Arctic/Antarctic animals and landscape
The Zoo

Cave Men

Farm Animals
African Animals

Armed Forces - Army, Navy, Airforce
Firemen/Fire trucks
Policemen/Police Cars
Ambulance Officers/Ambulances
Roman Soldiers
Secret Agent/Spies
Kings & Queens

Sports (football, soccer, hockey, basketball, cricket, athletics etc)
Computer games & consoles

Friday, December 2, 2011

Fixing Up The Download Links...

I have just discovered that none of the links to my templates work at the moment. I am so sorry if you have come to my blog to look at my tutorials recently and have tried to download templates only to find they don't work! I have my husband on the job fixing up my website and getting everything working again so they should all be functional very soon!

***Update! Downloads for my own patterns are now fixed! :-) Lets hope they don't disappear again!***

Monday, November 21, 2011

Baby Samuel Has Arrived!!

Sorry I haven't been posting the last month or so. Was super tired those last few weeks of pregnancy and was desperately trying to finish off portable change mats, breast pads, nursing covers etc. before bubby arrived. I managed to just get a maternity apron that I designed finished (and photos taken thankfully!) before Samuel arrived on November 14th. Here's a few pics of me and my boys. :-)

Just a couple of hours old.

My 3 favourite people in the world.

Max cuddling his little brother for the first time. 

Sammy all ready to go home.
Once things settle down again here, I'll have to get back to posting some of the things I've been making and discovering. I'm about to get into Christmas presents for the boys and have found some awesome supplies for making baby toys that I'd love to share with you so stay tuned!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Free Monster Doll Tutorial & Pattern from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores!

Here's another wonderful tutorial with pattern completely free! Seems I can go for weeks searching for something really good and then all of a sudden, tutorials pop out of the woodwork! Can't believe I've found 2 in 2 days! :-)

This is in a PDF format and has pattern pieces for the monster and 3 costumes for him. Although I don't celebrate Halloween, it would be perfect for anyone who does and I'm sure little boys would just love this at any time of the year. Unfortunately, I haven't made this yet and again it will be added to my list of projects but it certainly looks well written and worth a try.

Click on the link below to get your free PDF and enjoy!!

Free Halloween Project from Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Free Car Pillow Tutorial from Noodlehead

I just had to share this gorgeous tutorial with you! I haven't tried it myself but it is well written and has plenty of photos...and is simply perfect for boys! Gorgeous tutorials like this NEED to be shared. :-)

It's from a fantastic blog called Noodlehead. Just click on the link below to view the tutorial.

Noodlehead: car pillow tutorial

Now get sewing and enjoy! I can't wait till my current list of projects are finished so I can get to this one. :-)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Make Your Own Wooden Toys for Boys with Toymaker Press!

2/11/12 UPDATE: Toymaker Press has changed to Toymaking Plans. They are exactly the same...just their name and url have changed. You can see their website here and check out my latest post for more info. I will also add that since I did this post, I have learnt that they change what plan they offer for free and sometimes don't have one so it's worth signing up to their newsletter and grabbing those free plans when you can!

If you're in to wooden toys and making things for your boys, then you might like this website. 

It's on my dream list at the moment...as is my own scroll saw. :-) When I was a teenager, I made gifts for friends using my dad's scroll saw to cut out the wood. Then I'd put the pieces together and paint them up. I love cutting and preparing the wood but the construction and decoration is probably not my favourite crafty activity. It's worth it though when you give your gift and see the receiver's reaction. :-) I'll have to dig out my old photos, scan them in (we're talking film days here!) and post a few pics of the things I made.

Anyway, this website has some amazing books full of patterns and instructions for a whole range of wooden toys that would be just perfect for boys of any age. Individual PDF patterns can be bought for specific toys so you don't have to buy a whole book. You can buy the books in hard cover print format or PDF so if you don't live in the US, you don't have to spend a small fortune on postage. I looked into postage to Australia and it was ridiculous compared to the price of the actual book so as much as I'd love to have the real book, I'll probably buy the PDF when I get my scroll saw.

However, to get you started, they offer free PDF patterns that are easily downloadable from their website!!! Seeing this has given me great confidence in buying their other books. You get to try before you buy!! They seem to change what they offer from time to time so keep checking back for new patterns. Below are a couple of pics of patterns they have offered.

Astronauts Acrobats

The types of toys you can make from the books include:

  • wooden boats
  • planes
  • cars and trucks
  • trains
  • fire engine play set
  • cranes
  • dragons, knights & fair maidens
  • dinosaurs and cave men
  • houses including furniture, people and scenery
  • animals
  • Noah's ark
  • baby and toddler toys including pull along animals
  • space rocket set
  • dude ranch set
  • ice hockey game
  • zoo set
  • and even a full size rocking horse!

It really is best to check out the website because they offer so much!! Have fun!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quick Version of the Free Bunting Tutorial & Pattern

I tend to write quite detailed tutorials based on exactly what I did which is handy and can save confusion and questions but can take awhile to read and work through. I thought I'd post a super quick and easy version of the bunting tutorial for those who don't need all the details because it really is an easy thing to make.


- Fabric of your choice (how much depends on how many flags you want to make...it's a great project for using up your scraps!)
- Bias Binding or Ribbon (length depends on how long you want your bunting to be)
- Cotton thread

1. Print the template. Choose the size flag you want and cut it out.

2. Cut out 2 triangles per flag for as many flags as you want.

3. Pair up your triangles and pin each pair with right sides together.

4. Sew down the 2 long sides of each triangle with a 1cm seam allowance.

5. Clip all corners of the triangle making sure you not only clip across the main point of the triangle but up the sides a little too.

6. Turn all triangles out the right way and press.

7. Fold and iron your bias binding or ribbon in half lengthways.

8. Measure 30cm-50cm from one end of your binding and slide the top (unfinished edge) of your first flag in between the fold and pin it in place. Do the same for the next flag leaving a gap between flags that is whatever length you desire. Repeat this with the same gap between all flags until you have them all pinned into the binding.

9. Trim the end of your binding so that it is the same length as the piece you left at the start.

10. Fold each end of the binding in slightly to create a neat finish and pin in place.

11. Sew along the open edge of the length of the binding making sure you catch in both sides of the binding and sewing in all flags. And you're finished!! :-)


- Use fabric that is not see-through. I got caught out with this even using quilting fabric. Thicker fabric won't show through the other side and will hide the seam allowances better giving it a much nicer look.

- Use bias binding or ribbon that is not see-through. Again like the fabric, I found the bias binding I used showed the fabric underneath and it will look a lot nicer if you can't see patterns from the flag fabric showing through.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Free Bunting Tutorial & Pattern

The first time I ever saw fabric bunting, I fell in love with it. Granted, it was in beautiful florals and girly colours so just a bit different to what I will be making for my boys. I am part of a due date group for this bubby and seeing everyone else's photos of how they are decorating their nurseries has really motivated me to put more effort into decorating the boy's rooms. I am making bunting for bubba first so that his room is ready when he is born. Max will have to wait a little longer. :-) Anyway, here's my tutorial and pattern. It's quite simple and can have many modifications to suit all kind of themes.

If you are more experienced in sewing and don't need the fine details, I will be posting a super fast cut down version of this tutorial soon. :-)

Bunting Tutorial

- Fabric of choice
- Bias binding, ribbon or something similar
- Sewing thread

1. Print out the template. Choose your desired flag size and cut it out. I used the medium size and all measurements referring to the flags is based on this. The template includes a 1cm seam allowance along the 2 long edges and the top edge will be enclosed in the tie.

2. Before cutting out your flags and tie, you need to figure out how many flags you will need and how long your bunting will be. You can either just make it a certain size (say, 10 flags long) or you can measure your space and make it specifically to fit. If you want to just make it a certain number of flags long, you need to add up the length of the tie or left over at each end, the width of each flag, and the spaces between. The length of the tie or left over at each end and the spaces between is entirely up to you. I have made my ties 40cm long at each end and the space between each flag is 3.5cm.

Eg. for 10 flags, you would add:
Tie 40cm, flag width of 14.5cm x 10, spaces between flags 3.5cm x 9, and the tie at the other end 40cm.
So that's 40 + 145 + 31.5 + 40 = 256.5cm or 2.565m

If you want to make it specifically to fit a certain space, measure the space you want to hang it in and lower the tape measure until you get a nice drape. If the space is quite long, you may need someone to hold the other end or even 2 helpers to hold the ends so you can stand back and have a look (or you could blue tack each end to the wall). You can also use string if the space is longer than your tape measure and then measure this later.

Now divide your measurement by 18cm. This is the length of 1 flag and 1 space. You will most likely find that it doesn't divide evenly so you will have to decide if you will go up or down to get an even division. Multiply 18cm by that number to figure out the exact length from the start of your first flag to the end of your last flag and just measure this out in your space to make sure you are happy with the drape. If you went up a flag, you will have more drape than you originally measured for. If you went down a flag, you will have less drape.

Eg. My measurement with drape was 81.5cm.   81.5cm ÷ 18cm = 4.52    Obviously I don't want 4 1/2 flags so I went up to 5 flags.     18cm x 5 = 90cm     So the distance from the start of my first flag to the end of my last flag is 90cm. 

Don't forget to add in the length of the ties at each end (40cm each). So the total length of my piece of bunting is 1.5m (90cm + 80cm). Leave an extra 1cm at each end for turning under or neatening the edge.

3. An easy way to cut out your flags (and method that needs the least amount of equipment) is to simply pin the pattern onto your fabric and cut out your flags. Make sure you line up the grain line with the straight grain of you fabric. You will need 2 triangles per flag.

I cut out my flags by using a rotary cutter, quilting ruler and self healing cutting mat. I found this quite quick and think it gives straighter edges and neater triangles. You just lay the pattern on your fabric, line up the ruler with each edge and cut. You can cut more than 1 triangle depending on how thick your fabric is.

4. Lay a pair of triangles on top of each other with wrong sides facing lining up all edges and pin. Sew with a 1cm seam allowance down one long side, pivot at the point, and sew back up the other long side leaving the top of the triangle open. Do this for all your triangles.

5. Clip the points of the triangle as shown in the picture below. This makes your point less bulky and helps it sit flatter.

6. Turn your flags out the right way and use something pointy to carefully turn out the point neatly. I used a small crochet hook. Pencils also work well or chopsticks.

7. Iron (press) all of your flags making sure the seam allowances sit flat and straight. This step makes a big difference to the look of your flags and will help them look neat and like proper triangles.

8. Now you need to sew all the flags into your ribbon or binding. Check the top edges of your flags to make sure they are straight and trim any as necessary. Carefully fold and iron your bias binding or ribbon in half length ways.

Measure 40cm from one end of your binding and slide in your first flag. Slide the flag right into the fold and pin. Measure 3.5cm from the end of this flag and insert the next flag in the same way. Continue to do this until all your flags are inserted and pinned in place. You should have about 40cm of binding left-trim off any extra. Before sewing everything together, turn in each end of the binding to cover up the raw edges and pin this in place. 

Now stitch along the binding close to the open edge and your finished!

All finished and ready to hang. Now I just need to clear out the baby's room so I can hang them. :-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wooden Toys for Boys

I wanted to share a fantastic Australian website that sells wooden toys. Check out www.mywoodentoys.com.au. I stumbled across this site when I was hunting for ideas for wooden toys that my dad could make for my boys for Christmas. It is a family business based in Perth, Western Australia.

They have wooden toys including blocks, puzzles, stilts, spinning tops, boats, cars & trucks, car garage, cash register, vehicle to robot transformers, bead or roller coaster toy, trains, skittles, pirates & a pirate ship, various play sets, posable figurines, food & tea sets, musical instruments, castle, boardgames & other games, nativity scene, hammer and peg toys, puppets, lacing/threading sets, fishing games, letters and numbers, and a toolbox among other things.

We have bought some pirates, an alphabet puzzle with capital letters, and a threading toy. The quality is just beautiful and I have been quite impressed with a lot of the prices! There is a set price for shipping per order and there is even a great selection of toys that have free shipping!!! I have found that great for birthday gifts for friend's kids. We even got the pirate set gift wrapped with a gift tag and I was VERY impressed with the presentation. We are planning to get the pirate ship to go with Max's pirates for Christmas...I hope it doesn't sell out before we get to buy it. :-)

Max opening his gift wrapped present.

The pirates!!! They are so cute! (and so is Max!)

They also have a great range of wooden toys for girls, infant or baby toys and some toys that are not wooden but I particularly wanted to point this site out as I have found some beautiful things for boys here.

I highly recommend this website! We have been very happy with our purchases. :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Free Taggie Blanket Tutorial

Here's my tutorial for this cute taggie blanket/toy. It is so quick and easy to make, not to mention inexpensive so it makes a wonderful gift for your kids or someone else's. :-) There are so many variations you could do but for this tutorial, I will just tell you exactly what I did. We can look at variations later. In writing this, I've realised I should have taken a lot more photos so I'll add more in next time I make the blanket...it's only a few weeks before the next baby is due. :-)
  • 2 coordinating fabrics, at least 35cm of 110cm wide fabric (you may want a little more to account for crooked cutting by the salesperson)

  • Scrap of velcro approx 1cm x 1.5cm

  • 1.6m of ribbon approx 1.5cm wide in your choice of colours (this will be cut into 10cm lengths)

  • Sewing thread in appropriate colour

1. First we need to cut out our fabric squares. Follow the instructions in this step for each of your 2 coordinating fabrics. 
I cut out squares for 4 blankets at once using a rotary cutter, quilting ruler and self healing cutting mat. First you need to make sure the cut edge of your fabric is straight. Fold one of your fabrics in half matching the selvages (the non-cut edges). Line up the selvages and the cut edge of the fabric on your cutting mat against 2 perpendicular lines. (2 lines at right angles) Make sure the cut edge hangs just over the line so that you can trim it straight. The bigger the cutting mat, the easier this is as you won’t cover up the whole mat with your fabric. Line up your ruler along the line that is only just covered up by the cut edge and trim it straight with the rotary cutter. 
Divide the width of your fabric (110cm) by 4 which equals 27.5cm. Measure 27.5cm from the cut edge at regular intervals and mark. Then rule a line across the width of the fabric using these marks so you have drawn a long rectangle that measures 110cm x 27.5cm. You can do this with the fabric folded in half with the selvages together or laid out flat as one long strip. It saves a bit of time if it is folded in half and I found it was easy to cut through 2 layers of fabric at once. Now line up your ruler on the line you just drew and cut out your strip.

Cut your strip into 4 even squares.

You just need to cut the strip into 4 even squares now. On the long edges of your rectangle, measure 27.5cm intervals and mark. Rule lines at each interval to divide the rectangle into 4 even squares. Then line up your ruler along each line and cut. You should now have 4 squares that measure 27.5cm on each side. Once you have cut out both fabrics, you will end up with 8 squares in total, enough for 4 blankets.

The 8 squares ready to be sewn up.

2. Now you need to get the ribbon ready. Cut the ribbon into 16 tags for your blanket that are 10cm long each. What ribbon you use is totally up to you. You can use only 1 colour, 2 alternating colours or as many as you like. I used 6 colours because I couldn’t settle on only 4 and matched them with the colours on the fabric I chose. 4 tags on each side works well for a blanket this size. Because I used 6 different ribbons, this didn’t work out evenly for me in terms of having an even number of tags of each coloured ribbon but it still looked good. It’s totally up to you as to how many colours you choose and how you arrange the ribbon. 

Taggies all ready to go!

Lay out the ribbons in whatever pattern suits you.

3. To make the velcro loop, you will need to cut out 1 rectangle of fabric that measures 25cm x 5cm.  Use the already straight edge from one of the fabrics you cut squares from as your starting point and simply measure out the rectangle using your ruler. Line it up with the lines on your cutting mat to make sure it is straight and each corner is at right angles. Cut it out. 
Fold this rectangle in half length ways with the wrong sides together. Using a 1cm seam allowance, stitch along 1 short end, down the long side, and then across the other end so there are no open edges. Cut it in half so you have the two pieces of the 'loop' approx 11.5cm long each. This give you open ends for turning. Clip the corners. Turn them out the right way with a chopstick (or something else pointy) and press so they sit nice and flat. I then just hand stitched a small rectangle of velcro to the finished end of each piece. Choose a corner of one of the squares and pin the 2 loop pieces on top of each other onto the right side of the fabric having the velcro ends point towards the centre of the square and the cut end almost lining up with the corner. Make sure they are the right way around so the velcro can close without twisting the loop once it is sewn in. 

Where to pin the velcro loop.

4. Now we’ll pin the ribbon tags in place. To determine where the ribbons need to be pinned, you need to divide up the sides evenly. First, take out the seam allowance so you know how long your finished side will be. For a 27.5cm square, with 1.5cm seam allowances, you will have a 24.5cm finished side. Then divide this by 5. Eg. 24.5cm ÷ 5 = 4.9cm. 
Along one edge of the square you pinned the velcro loop to, with right side up, measure 1.5cm from one end for the seam allowance, then mark intervals of 4.9cm. There will be 6 marks in total but you will use the center 4 marks to position your tags. Mark all 4 sides of the square in this way.  
Fold each ribbon in half and pin them on to the 4 central marks on each side. Line up the cut edges of the ribbon with the cut edge of the fabric so the folded end of the ribbon is pointing towards the centre of the square.

Please ignore the fact that I have a larger gap between ribbons in the centre of every side! ;-)

5. Lay the square of coordinating fabric on top of the first square with right sides together. Pin it together. I left the pins in the ribbon and just used extras to pin the two squares together between the ribbons. Then stitch around the square with a 1.5cm seam allowance making sure you leave a gap so you can turn it out the right way. Start near the middle of one side at a ribbon and finish back on that side on top of the ribbon right next to the one you started with. That way, all the ribbons are sewn in place before turning it out the right way and you don't have to fiddle to line any up after you turn it out the right way. I found that even though it was a small gap, it was just enough to be able to turn it out.

6. Clip the corners and turn the blanket out the right way. Press the edges so they sit flat and neat. Then sew a row of topstitching approx a 1/4 inch in from the edge right around the whole square. This seals the turning gap and helps it all sit flat.

Topstitch around the edge.

The finished blanket back - soft flannalette.

The finished blanket front - bright cotton.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Baby Taggie Blanket

This is it! My baby taggie blanket. It's not really a blanket - it's more a toy than anything else. Babies just love tags so why not give them a heap to play with? I am really happy with how this turned out because it's not often that something I imagined and then set out to sew turns out on the first go. I just love the bright colours!

It's got cotton fabric (red spots) on one side and flannelette (blue dots) on the other. The ribbons are a mix of satin and textured ribbons and I added a velcro closing loop to one corner so that it can be attached to a pram, cot or whatever.

I hope my friend's baby enjoys it. I'll have to make one for my own little bubba! :-) It was so quick and easy to make. The materials are also quite cheap too so it makes a very affordable but special gift. I'll write out a tutorial for it and post that soon with lots of pics of each step.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just a little bit proud!

I whipped up a little gift for a friend's baby who was born today and can't wait to show you! It turned out far better than I had hoped and I am very happy with the results. I have to wait until my camera battery recharges so I can upload the photos.

The only hint I'll give you is....


Stay tuned to see what it is!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Fabric Balls Tutorial

***UPDATE 15/03/12: I have finally gotten around to making up a pdf for my own pattern that I have since used after making the original green and blue fabric ball you will see in this tutorial. I have never been totally happy with the finished shapes when using free patterns I found online. They never gave a really nice, spherical ball. I know...I'm fussy! 

So I got hubby to help me with his wonderful computer skills and we came up with a pattern that is based off a perfect sphere and I'm very happy to say it has produced lovely, round balls! In the end, you will always get a little bit of irregularity cause that's the nature of stuffed toys but you just squash it back into shape and it looks great again. Here's a pic of a few I made Sam for Christmas! I put bells/rattles inside each one.

Hmmm...these actually look a little wonky and out of shape. lol Maybe I need to get a better pic. But anyway, they are definitely better overall. I also have a couple of tips I have learnt that help to get a better ball.

1. Use a shorter than normal stitch length...about 1.5-2mm. This allows for firmer stuffing and seems to minimise breakage and give smoother seams.
2. Stuff it as much as you can! It looks so much better and retains a much better shape if it is firmly stuffed. Just keep stuffing until you can't fit any more in! I said to stuff it firmly in the original tutorial but I want to emphasise....stuff it EVEN MORE FIRMLY! My original ball really doesn't look that wonderful now.

You can download my free fabric ball pattern right here! Please feel free to make this for yourself, friends, or even to sell in small quantities!***

Well I finished my first project since starting this blog and am very excited to tell you how it went. I have been planning to make some fabric balls for my boys for Christmas and wanted to make a trial ball to see how I liked the pattern and if it worked. Here's what I found. I will probably have to post a 'perfected' version of this tutorial at a later date. You will discover that I can be a bit of a perfectionist at times...I just like my sewing to be neat. Although other times, I just want something finished so am not as picky. :-)

PLEASE NOTE: This is quite a simple project but I have just explained lots of little things in detail to make sure it is nice and clear and to help you get good results. So don't freak out if you think it is a bit long!! Also, the photos are from my trial and I used fabric I didn't care too much about so they're not the prettiest. I will make sure I take more photos next time when I use my good fabric. :-)

I am always trying to improve my tutorials so PLEASE feel free to comment if you have any suggestions or if you simply like it! Thanks!

Fabric Ball Tutorial

- Fabric scraps of choice
- Sewing thread
- Filling
- Bell/Rattle (optional)

1. Print out your template and cut it out. The template includes a 1/4 inch seam allowance. I used a free template from Grand Revival but am in the process of creating my own so I will post that at a later date. Here is the post from Grand Revival and here is Grand Revival's template. Edit: Get my pattern here.

2. Pin template to your fabric and cut out 6 segments. I chose to cut out 2 segments each of 3 different fabrics. To get a nicer shaped ball, cut the pieces on the bias (at a 45 degree angle to the grain of the fabric).

3. Arrange your pieces in the order you want them to appear around the ball. For example, I used teddies, green, blue, teddies, green, blue. Then pair them up starting at the beginning. Eg. teddies and green, blue and teddies, green and blue. Place each pair of segments with right sides together and pin ready to sew the seams. Stitch down 1 side of each pair using a 1/4 inch seam. Press all seams open. Clip a little of the excess seam allowance off carefully near the ends so that when you sew the pieces together, the point where each piece meets isn't too bulky.

4. Place 1 side each from 2 pairs right sides together and pin. Make sure you choose the correct segments so that the ball follows the pattern if you chose to do one. Also make sure you pay careful attention to make sure the existing seams match up if you would like the end of your ball to look neat and all seams to meet up at one point. This can be fiddly but is well worth it. Once you have it pinned in place, stitch the new seam. Again carefully cut away excess seam allowance at each end and press the seam open. You will now have 4 segments joined together like the picture below.

5. Using the same method as in step 4, pin and stitch the last pair of segments on to 1 side of the first 4. Don't forget to continue your pattern of fabric and carefully line up the existing seams before sewing. Cut away excess seam allowance at each end and press seam open.

6. Pin the last 2 sides together lining up the existing seam allowances. Leave about a 2 inch gap in the middle for stuffing. Cut away any bulk in the seam allowance at each end and turn ball out the right way. If you can manage it without ironing major creases into the rest of the ball, press the ends where each segment meets. This will help them sit flat and look neater. Also press the seam open so that the section that was left open for stuffing has a clearly defined edge for when you sew it up later. Don't worry if the point where all the segments meet isn't neat...you will find a solution for hiding this in step 8.

7. Stuff the ball with polyfill or other soft stuffing. I found that if you stuff it firmly, it keeps a nicer shape. If you want to include a bell or rattle, insert it into the middle of the stuffing keeping it at the centre. Then stitch up the opening. Be careful to stitch along the ironed edge to keep the seam even. Otherwise you will get a wonky line along this seam that is quite visible once the ball is finished.

8. If you didn't manage to get the segments to match up properly, you can cover each end with a circle of fabric hand stitched over the ends. You could also use buttons or stitch on small iron on patches. It isn't too hard to sew it up neatly though so don't give up if you don't get it the first time. :-)

So that's it! The finished ball. I wasn't 100% happy with the shape which is why I am now drafting my own modified shape thanks to my wonderful husband who can make 3D graphics on the computer and then make a flat net for me to use. :-D Hopefully that will help me get a better sphere. Despite that though, Max got a hold of it and absolutely LOVES it so it just goes to show it doesn't have to be perfect. 
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