Tuesday, 22 November 2011

'Toot Toot'

Another up-cycle project, this time with a couple of magnetic pull along wooden toy trains I picked up at a baby market.
Each train carriage has grooves that must have once held something that you could slip in and out, but this wasn't part of the purchase so I decided to make my own.  This was the result.  A perfect stocking filler for the Little Imp!

Part of this project was playing around with my sewing machine and some free motion embroidery.  I had a go using this to attach the felt letters to the fabric backgrounds and although I have a way to go until I am happy to embroider something a bit more special, I was surprised that it wasn't as hard to do as I expected.

Although I have made these little fabric letter cards to fit into the train carriages, they would also be great for kids for lots of other things - attach magnets for sticking on the fridge, adapt as a memory game or shape recognition with different felt symbols....

Basic 'How To' 

Cut out cardboard, background fabric and felt letters
  1. Measure and cut pieces of firm cardboard (e.g. from a box) to the size you want
  2. Measure and cut your background fabric  (here from blue & orange spotted patterns) - it needs to be double the length of the card with approx 1-2cm seam allowance all around 
  3. Cut out letters (or shapes/ symbols) from felt to fit the card
  4. Sew the felt letter onto the bottom half of the background fabric, positioning it to allow for bottom and side seams in the next step. This is where I played around with free motion embroidery, but you could  do this with a standard machine stitch or by hand)
  5. Fold each piece of background fabric in half, wrong sides together.  Using the cut cardboard pieces as a guide, mark the position for the side seams leaving a few extra millimeters on each side.  Then machine straight stitch up each side along these marks.  
  6. Trim side seams and turn right side out
  7. Slip cardboard piece into fabric pocket that you have created
  8. Slip stitch the bottom seam closed
Pieces from left to right demonstrating steps 4 - 8