Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sewing With Fleece - The Wigi Way Part 2

I realized I had a lot of fleece left over from the cat bed I made and blogged about last week but I didn't know what to do with it.  Then my DH asked me a very important question.  "Do you have any of that fleece left over and if so, can you make a pillow for me?"

Brilliant!  What could be easier than a pillow, right?  Well, you would think that at my age I would know how much I underestimate things.  But noooooo, not me.  I made the commitment, now I have to follow though.

I started to research it.  I knew I wanted to make what is called an 'envelope pillowcase' since it would involve a little bit of stitching and no zippers.  I Googled it and found some patterns and tips I could use.  I also didn't know if I had enough of the left over fleece material, so I got some remnant fabric just in case.
The original Pirate material is on the left and the right side is the remnant fabric I picked up.
I also got 2 pillow forms.  One was rectangular and the other was square. Here's the rectangular one.

I had an inspector come though to approve my work.  Here's a picture of him too.
Here's TC (aka "The Cat")
Both pillows I made were cut into 3 pieces, one piece for the front and 2 pieces for the back.  The back 2 pieces would overlap.

Here I pinned the hem that would overlap in the back of the pillow.
There actually is a right and wrong side to fleece.  You can see here the 'right' side is more vibrant and the pattern is more clear.
I did the same thing for the other material and here are the results of my project.

First, the rectangular Pirate pillow:
Pirate Pillow Front

And back:
Pirate Pillow back

Square Domino pillow front:
Domino pillow front

Square Domino pillow back:
Domino pillow back

Once I got the hang of it, things went smooth.  This is a super easy project to do and it made DH happy, which was my goal all along.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Sewing with Fleece - The Wigi way

During the holidays Joann Fabric always has sales going on.  The particular time I was there the store had a sale on Simplicity patterns & fleece and I found the perfect combination for both.  You see, we got a cat from the local Humane Society and with winter here on the frozen tundra I wanted him to be nice and warm.

When looking at the different fleece patterns I had originally thought to have a 'pet' theme but they all looked to prissy.  Our cat is a tough guy, so I went with the appropriate themed material.

As a side note, it took us a while to name him since I wanted to see what his personality would turn out to be.  We ended up naming him TC, why?  Well, it was what we were calling him anyway.  You know - "The Cat".  :-P

So I got the pattern below.  I actually reviewed it on Amazon too.

 Simplicity Pattern 2297

When I selected this pattern to make I thought, "Well, it's simple enough and since it's 'no sew' it should be easy." Ha! Let me just say that once you get the pattern cut out, you have a lot of work to do before you even start putting it together.

You will need:
  • Fleece material
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Awl
  • Hammer (yes, that's right a hammer)
  • Marker
  • Fiberfill
I got some fleece fabric which always is on sale around the holidays. I washed it and then found a place big enough to lay out the fabric for cutting. (Note, I always fuse my pattern to some light Pelon interfacing as the pattern holds up better that way) I pinned the pattern on top and cut out my chosen view. Next I had to mark the pattern and make holes in the fleece. Do you know how hard it is to make a teeny tiny hole in this material? I swear to God it's like steel! You have to punch holes in the fleece so that you can thread it with the fleece strips you cut to draw up the fabric. 

What to do, what to do? So I asked my husband if he had any ideas of how to do this without me marking up my cutting surface with little punch holes. He gave me a piece of 1x2 wood to put under the fabric so that when I punched holes in it with the hammer and awl, my cutting surface wouldn't suffer. I also left the wood under the fleece so that my Sharpie marker wouldn't mar my cutting surface either.

Let me tell you that this project (for me) was an experience in patience. It seemed like there were a bazillion holes to punch and mark. Not only did I have to mark the holes, but I wanted to make sure I could see the mark from either side of the fabric. It wasn't a little dot here and there I had to saturate that hole. This paid off for me when the weaving part started. If you think you can skip any part of the 'making a hole or marking a hole' think again. 1) Punching the hole is a 'must do' because you have to weave that fleece strip through it and 2) If you don't mark the hole you punched you will never find it in the fleece. Trust me on this one....

Stuffing the bottom part of the bed after I had weaved the bottom was easy as was the rest of the instructions. For the sides of the bed the instructions had you make 1/2 of the side and then stuff it with the fiberfill material. I did this but it was hard to get the stuffing even, When I did the 2nd half of the side, I stuffed as I went and that went much better.

I think I will draw up the sides more than the pattern said to do, but I believe this is individual taste.

Would I make it again? No, unless someone paid me a lot of money to do it. Am I glad I made it? Yes, very much so.

Next week I'll share with you what I did with the left over material, this time my husband benefited from it!