Fabric: Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Project design: Erica Jackman
Quick-to-sew soft little critters make perfect playmates for baby. These two softies (along with six others) are easy to make from a fabric panel. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Here’s the whole panel. It’s about 22×44″.
The materials given are for eight animal softies. Instructions are for making one.
- One panel (makes 8 animal softies)
- 8—9″ squares assorted prints or 2–18×22″ pieces (fat quarters) for backing
- Polyester fiberfill
- Water-soluble marking pen
- Chopstick (optional)
Finished hippo: about 8×4″
Measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances.
Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Assemble the Softie:
1. Cut out animal print along printed border. With a water-soluble marking pen, draw a line around animal shape about 1/2″ from outer edges.
2. With wrong sides together, layer and pin marked animal print and 9″ backing square. Cut out layers on marked line.
3. Pin cut shapes with right sides together (printed sides). Using a water-soluble marker, mark a 2″ opening along one edge of animal shape.
4. Using a 1/4″ seam allowance, sew around shape, leaving marked opening free.
5. Turn right side out. Stuff hippo shape with fiberfill, using a chopstick to pack filling into small areas.
TIP: Using small “tufts” of polyester makes a smoother finished stuffed softie.
6. Fold unstitched seam allowances to inside; pin in place. Using a needle and thread, stitch opening closed to complete animal softie.
Fabrics: Mixed Bag collection by Studio M for Moda Fabrics
Here’s a place mat that’s so easy you’ll be eager to sew a set of four! This quilt-as-you-go project means that when the top is done, so is the quilting! Add binding and you’ve completed a pretty place mat! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Want to see it? Watch the video for our quilt-as-you-go place mat here.
Materials for one place mat:
- 18×21″ piece (fat quarter) print for place mat backing
- 9 assorted print 2-1/2×14″ strips for place mat top
- 1/4 yard dot or print for place mat binding
- 14×20″ piece thin quilt batting
- Quilt basting spray (optional)
- Water-soluble marking pen
Finished place mat: 18×12″
Sew this project with 1/4″ seams. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width.
Cut the Fabrics:
From backing fabric, cut:
- 1—14×20″ rectangle
From binding fabric, cut:
- 2—2-1/2×42″ strips
Assemble (and Quilt) the Place Mat:
1. Lay backing fabric rectangle on work surface with right side down.
2. Place thin quilt batting piece on top. (If desired, use quilt-basting spray to secure the layers together.)
3. Using a water-soluble marking pen, mark a line 2-1/2″ from left short edge.
4. Align a print 2-1/2×14″ strip, right side up, between the left short edge and the drawn line.
5. Place a second print 2-1/2×14″ strip, right side down, atop the first strip.
6. Sew together along one edge through all layers.
TIP: Use a walking foot attachment on your machine during the construction to avoid puckers on the placemat front and back. With a walking foot, all layers of fabric move through machine at the same speed.
7. Finger-press the top strip open.
8. Continue adding assorted print strips in same manner, one at a time, finger pressing each open, until all nine strips have been added.
9. Finger-press ninth strip open. Press unit flat.
10. Centering strips, trim unit to make an 18×12″ place mat top.
11. Machine baste around outer edges of place mat top about 1/8″ from cut edges.
12. To bind and finish the edges of place mat use 2-1/2×42″ binding strips.
Fabrics: Jack and Jenny collection by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
A shower curtain is easier than you think! Choose your favorite fabric and turn it into a one-of-a-kind shower curtain to match your decor! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- 4-5/8 yards donkey print for the curtain
- One package curtain rings with attached hanger clips
- Purchased waterproof shower curtain liner
Finished curtain: 72″ square
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42″ of usable fabric width.
Measurements include 1/4″ seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
From the donkey print, cut:
- 2—39-1/2×81″ rectangles
Assemble the Shower Curtain:
1. Using a 1/2″ seam allowance and with right sides together, sew the rectangles along a pair of long edges to make a 77×81″ pieced rectangle. Zigzag-stitch the seam allowances to prevent fraying. Press the seam in one direction.
2. With wrong side inside, fold a long edge over 1-1/2″; press.
3. Fold the same long edge over another 1-1/2″; press again.
4. Topstitch (sew a straight line) along the first folded edge to hem.
5. Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 on the remaining long edge and the top edge of the pieced rectangle.
6. With wrong side inside, fold bottom edge over 3″; press. Fold same edge over another 3″; press again. Topstitch just inside the first folded edge to hem as you did before.
7. Reinforce top and bottom corners by stitching an X in each corner to complete your shower curtain.
8. To hang your shower curtain, slide curtain rings on shower rod and clip curtain and waterproof liner together.
Fabrics: Nana’s Pantry collection by Mama’s Cottons for Connecting Threads
Here’s a good first tote bag project that will instatntly become your go-to pattern! Plus, the bag is made with a doubled seam so no unfinished fabric edges show. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- 4—18×21″ pieces (fat quarters) assorted prints (bag, bag lining)
- 1-1/3 yards 1″-wide webbing (straps)
- 2—17×20″ pieces paper-backed, iron-on fusible web (such as Steam-A-Seam 2 or Wonder Under)
Finished tote bag: 15″w x 14″h (not including straps)
**Sew this project with 1/4″ and 1/2″ seams.
1. Press all fabrics to remove wrinkles and fold lines.
2. Following manufacturer’s instructions, center and press a paper-backed, fusible-web piece onto wrong side (unprinted side) of one bag fabric piece; let cool. Peel off paper backing.
3. Layer a bag lining piece wrong side down on first fabric piece; smooth out from center to edges. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse pieces together.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with remaining bag and bag lining fabric pieces to make two prepared fabric pieces.
From each set of prepared fabrics, cut:
- 1—16-1/2″ each square
From webbing, cut:
- 2—24″-long pieces
Assemble Tote Bag:
1. Turn under one edge of a 16-1/2″-square prepared fabric piece 1/2″; press.
2. Turn under same edge again 1″; press.
3. Insert ends of 24″-long webbing piece under last fold of prepared fabric 4-3/4″ from outer edges. Sew webbing in place.
4. Fold and press webbing toward top edge. Topstitch 1/8″ and 7/8″ from top edge to make a bag unit.
5. Repeat steps 1–4 to make second bag unit.
6. Layer the bag units with lining sides together. Pin in place. Using 1/4″ seam allowance, sew together bag units along sides and bottom edge.
7. Trim corners close to the seam line.
8. Turn to opposite side (lining side out); press.
9. Using 1/2″ seam allowance, sew along sides and bottom edge to complete bag.
10. Turn bag right side out; press.
Design: inspired by a design by Taryn Boyd
Wiggle your toes in this oh-so-soft rug. It’s hard to believe it’s made of cast-off T-shirts. Sew knit strips to a canvas backing; the strips flop over each other for a plush effect. This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
- Canvas (available by the yard in fabrics stores)
- Ruler or yard stick
- Heavy-duty sewing machine needle
- T-shirts (number needed depends on desired size of rug)
- Rotary cutter, mat, and acrylic ruler (optional)
- Rug gripper or non-skid carpet tape
Determine desired finished size of rug. Rug shown is 18×24″ (takes about 10 adult-size T-shirts).
- Cut canvas 1″ larger on all sides than desired finished size. (The canvas for an 18×24″ rug is cut 20×26″.)
- Cut T-shirts into 2×6″ strips (see Step 6)
Assemble the Rug:
1. Zigzag-stitch cut edges of canvas. (Dark thread is used in photos; for your project, use thread to match T-shirts.)
2. Fold edges of canvas under 1″; pin.
3. Sew folded edges in place, using a straight stitch about 1/8″ from the first stich line. (Shown is the view of the top after sewing.)
4. Using water-soluble marker or a chalk marker, draw parallel lines across the top of the hemmed canvas (long edge to long edge), 3/4″ to 1″ apart.
5. Fold canvas so four or five lines show; pin. (You will work from left to right across the marked canvas, keeping the unstitched canvas to the right of the needle and the bulk of the covered canvas to the left.)
6. Cut T-shirt into 2×6″ strips. Due to large quantity of strips needed for this project, we recommend cutting strips with a rotary cutter and an acrylic ruler.
7. Fold one T-shirt strip in half so it measures 1×6″.
8. Starting at top left edge of marked canvas, place center of folded T-shirt strip atop first drawn line, just inside the canvas edge. Sew across the center of the strip to secure the strip to thecanvas. (It doesn’t matter if you sew across folded edge or cut edge first.)
9. Without lifting the presser foot, add a second folded strip in the same manner, butting it up close to thefirst strip.
10. Continue adding and sewing strips in the same manner to cover drawn line. (Each line on our marked canvas required 18 T-shirt strips.)
11. Move to the next drawn line and continue adding strips in the same fashion until the canvas is covered. Repeat all the way across marked canvas. Adjust folded and pinned canvas as you proceed from left edge to right.
When the entire canvas is covered, shake the rug and use your hand to brush strips outwards over the rug edges.
12. Place a layer of rug gripper or strips of double-sided carpet tape between completed rug and hard surface floor.