Getting my ‘make’ on with Hillary’s Blinds
In a recent mailout of a Joe’s Bloggers newsletter, an announcement for a Hillary’s Blinds craft competition took my eye. I never normally enter these kinds of things, but I adored the Daisy Pistachio fabric – it seemed so ‘Orla Kiely’ to me. I do like to indulge in some of my own crafts as a hobby so I thought I’d give it a go. The idea was to create *anything* we liked with 1 metre square of a choice of 4 fabrics.
I had no idea what to make, and after checking out last year’s entries I was a bit intimidated! They were all so good and skilful and…useful! I only ever do small-level things that sometimes turn out okay and sometimes turn out … not so okay.
I tried to think of what I might need instead of something I could actually do so that I could challenge myself a little bit. As most of you might know by now, I recently moved to Newcastle from York where I lived for 6 years. This has been a huge upheaval and has meant I left behind a job and am searching for a new career. Like I said, I do love my crafts and I do love sewing mainly cross-stitch, but I have recently branched out and started making my own fabric pieces.
Hillary’s Blinds sent me over a 1 metre square of fabric. So, what did I settle on? Something cute, something handy, something that could help me further my sewing hobby. Got it. A mouse shaped pin-cushion!
What you’ll need:
- 1 metre of fabric for the main body of the mouse (mine is Daisy Pistachio)
- Small piece of complementary fabric for the base, tail, and inside ears
- Black cotton thread
- Stuffing fill
- Lining/tracing paper
- Sewing machine (although I think you could hand stitch, it may take some time)
- Fabric scissors
How to make Mr.Mouse
1. Firstly you’ll need to cut out the shapes for the mouse. Cut a ‘dome’ mouse shape out of your lining paper. This can be as big or small as you like, depending on what you want the finished item for. For the base, you’ll need a ‘pointed oval’ shape which needs to be quite a bit bigger than the body’s sides. This can always be altered later.
2. Pin the lining paper to your main body fabric and base fabric, and cut around leaving space for seam allowance.
3. (Optional) Use a machine to overlock the ends of the material for the base fabric.
4. To make the tail, cut out a thin parallelogram out of the same fabric as the base – about 1 inch height by 30cm length. Iron this in half, and take to your sewing machine. Sew across leaving about 5mm seam allowance.
5. Using a loop turner, turn the tail material inside out. This can be tricky! Sew up one end and then tie it in a knot.
6. To make the ears, cut out two ‘curved triangles’ out of both fabrics. Cut out Wundaweb to fit each pair of ears. Take one base fabric ear, put on the Wundaweb, and then put the main fabric on top. Iron these together.
7. Now for the main event! Pin all of the body pieces together with the right sides facing. At the sewing machine, stitch with a quarter inch seam allowance and leave an inch hole at the back.
8. Turn the main body inside out so that the right sides of the mouse are on the outside.
9. Begin to stuff Mr. Mouse with stuffing until he resembles your desired mouse shape.
10. Once Mousey is almost full, hand stitch the tail to body, and then hand stitch the remaining hole closed.
11. Fold mousey’s ears in half and attach to the main body by hand.
12. Finally, back stitch Mousey’s nose, eyes, and whiskers et voila! You have yourself a mousey pin cushion!
What do you think of him? I’m pretty pleased with how he turned out, and I had a lot of fun making him! A big thanks to Hillary’s Blinds for the chance to win £1000, and you can check out more of their gorgeous material over on their website!