1 August 2014

Hello Buttercup......








Sometimes (well quite often!) when a new fabric arrives for the website, I think I must have some of that..... So the other week when Sweet Home arrived I knew it was just a matter of time before I would have to make something out of it.  I was equally rather desperate and curious to have a go at the pre-printed panel to make Buttercup Bunny..... my opportunity came yesterday.....  Poppy was at Dance School for the day and Jamie, well he was in the land of Minecraft.   I grabbed a Fat Quarter of each of the prints from the collection and some yellow stripe from Unforgetable and settled myself down for some bunny making.......
This is the first time that I've used a panel like this, so I thought I would share the process with you, not a step by step tutorial as such, but hopefully some little helpful tips on how to get the best result.  The panel itself is printed with all the pieces that you need to make Buttercup, plus instructions on how to make her.  In addition to this you also need toy stuffing, 61cm of jumbo ric rac to trim the dress, 15cm x 20cm of both lightweight fusible fleece and heavy fusible interfacing, which are used in the construction of the ears.   Now as this was a spur of the moment thing I didn't have any fusible fleece, so I used fusible interfacing instead....more of that later.

The first step called for me to cut out all the pieces.  For the duration of the summer holidays, I have decamped my sewing machine into our conservatory, so that I can be on hand (which actually means keep and eye on) for the children.  With the current spell of excellent weather, I have every available window and door wide open, so I pinned the pieces together with the labels also printed on the panel, so that they didn't blow away, it was also very useful for limb identification purposes!
I could then start sewing.  The body was constructed first and I was instructed to leave an opening for each of the ears.  The position of these was marked on the fabric, but to make it extra clear I added some pins to help.  I should mention that a 1/4" seam allowance is included on all the pieces.
The ears themselves are made up of two pieces, a stripy front and a spotty back.  The pattern calls for fusible fleece to be adhered to the stripy front piece and heavy fusible interfacing to be adhered to the spotty back.  As I mentioned earlier I didn't have any fleece so I used the interfacing for both pieces, which has worked brilliantly, albeit I would imagine that the fleece would have given them a little plumpness.
As with all softies, the pieces tend to be rather small, so when it comes to turning them right side out and stuffing them I find a chop stick invaluable.  I've also seen other crafters use surgical forceps and tweezers to help them, although personally I've always got on fine with my trusty chop stick!

The Sweet Home collection is designed by Melly and Me who is not only a fabric designer she is also very well know for her softie toy patterns.  As a result, the instructions for Buttercup are extremely easy to follow and also include some top tips themselves.  For example when it came to filling the legs and arms, she recommends stuffing them firmly until you reach the top 2" and then stuff lightly.  The end result means that she is lovely and flexible, which makes her very endearing I must say!

Right back to Buttercup, not the most flattering of photo's, but once her legs had been attached and her body stuffed, the gap inbetween her legs is stitched closed using ladder stitch.  This is one of my favourite stitches for sealing closed stuffed items, such as hearts, cushions etc.  Once completed it is almost invisible....here's how you do it.....

I like to sew with a double strand of thread for added strength and I always bury my knot inside the opening.....

You then take the needle to the opposite side and insert it in the fold of the seam, bringing it back out a very short distance along......
 You then return to the original side, insert your needle bring it out as before a short distance along....
 you then simply repeat this process until the gap has been sewn closed.....

finally, pull the thread tight and you end up with a lovely neat closed seam.  The arms are also attached using ladder stitch.
 Once I've finished sewing and have knotted off securely, I also like to hide all my end threads inside.
When it came to the dress, again the instructions were super clear and easy to follow..... the dress itself is trimmed with jumbo ric rac.  This is sandwiched in between two layers of fabric (the skirt and lining) and so that I didn't have the ends showing on the outside of the dress I made sure that I positioned them away from the fabric, trimming away the excess before turning the skirt through to the right way.
A pretty tie fastens the dress and is threaded through a casing, a safety pin makes this process extremely quick and easy!

Before I knew Buttercup was ready to be cuddled and what a joy she was to sew.  Of course I couldn't just stop there...... I mean all bunnies need a quilt don't they!  To make this I cut out some 3 1/2" squares from the other fabrics from the collection and sewed them together in exactly the same way as I made the front and back pieces for my little patchwork bag

  For a change I crosshatched quilted and to finish added a binding using the pretty yellow diagonal stripe.

I thoroughly loved this little project and Buttercup Bunny is delightful.  Just before I started her, I was doing a little catch up of my favourite blogs.  By co-incidence, Jo over at Three Stories High had happened to have made the sweetest knitted teddy, she commented in her post how the face of a softie can make or break it.  I absolutely agree with her and one of the things I love about Buttercup, her face is so pretty and being printed is a guaranteed winner whoever ever makes her!



If you would like to have a go at making your very own Buttercup, the Panel plus a separate Fat Quarter bundle of the pretty Sweet Home fabrics are available with a 10% discount on the website until 8pm GMT on Monday evening (4th August).  Find them here, you'll also find all the fabrics listed individually in a choice of sizes so that you can pick just the right amount should you have another project in mind.

I hope that enjoyed reading and found some of my little tips useful, oh but look.........it's obviously hard work being a bunny......night night Buttercup.......




12 comments:

  1. Well that looks seriously fun - and the face is done for you, I always struggle with toy faces. Jo x

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  2. This is just adorable! well done!

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  3. Oh Sarah, Buttercup is deliciously sweet - you've put her together really well and I love her little quilt too. I'm still hankering after fitting a doll out complete with bedding and quilt - there's so much of the little girl in me it's a bit of a worry! xoJoy

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  4. She is so sweet! And thank you so much for all the tips, they will come in handy with any stuffed item I make! Chrissie x

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  5. Buttercup is really lovely. Very useful tips - thanks for sharing.

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  6. Wow she is sooooo cute :) Do you sell all the fabrics then ? How do I buy them ? I am feeling a purchase coming on, I have a 9 year old who would love a bunny like this. (I also am a parent to two land-of-minecraft-dwellers, may have to make something a bit more manly for them ( and one of them is a tomboy not an actual boy LOL )
    Found you whilst blog hopping this evening, though I think I've stopped by before :)
    Jillxo

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    1. Hi Jill, thanks so much for your comment, oh yes, I do sell the fabrics......Buttercup is made using a pre printed fabric panel and the quilt was made using other fabrics from the Sweet Home collection plus a co-ordinating stripe for the binding. As a special offer, the panel and a fat quarter bundle is available until Monday with a 10% discount and you can find them both here:

      http://www.prettyfabricsandtrims.co.uk/ourshop/cat_883754-Riley-Blake-Sweet-Home.html

      the yellow stripe fabric is here: http://www.prettyfabricsandtrims.co.uk/ourshop/prod_3269997-Riley-Blake-Fabric-Unforgettable-Diagonal-Stripe-Yellow.html

      and I also used a jumbo ric rac to trim the dress which you can find here:

      http://www.prettyfabricsandtrims.co.uk/ourshop/prod_3352719-May-Arts-Jumbo-Ric-Rac-Yellow.html

      in addition to this you'll need some interfacing, toy stuffing and if you make the quilt, some batting/wadding.

      Please do let me know if you need any help!

      Thank you once again and have a lovely Sunday, Sarah xo

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  7. Buttercup is just beautiful Sarah! I love the fact that you made here her own special little quilt too, that is so you! Great tips for putting her together too. I tend to use a crochet hook for poking stuffing, and it doesn't work well all the time, so I think that I need to find myself a chopstick! xx

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  8. Beautiful makes and useful tips. I would like to say how much I love your shop. I ordered some bits and bobs from you this week, and will definitely order from you again. I posted a link to your shop on my blog x

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  9. What an adorable rabbit ;) Love all the fabrics, and also the fabrics in her quilt. I have a very handy tool for turning tiny projects, called a tube turner. It's a hollow metal tube with a thin wire that runs inside and out through the top. The top of the wire has a "piggy tail" which you twist into your fabric, and then pull the fabric through the tube and it turns inside out. There are a few different sizes of tubes in the set I bought. I use it A LOT! and it's great for stuffed toy limbs. Glad you enjoyed some sewing time while the kids were busy :) Wendy x

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  10. Buttercup is so adorable and her little quilt blanket is just sweet. Thanks for showing us how you made her. x

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  11. Buttercup is just gorgeous and so sweet! Beautifully made. I love how you have made her a little quilt and she looks very cosy tucked up in bed.
    Marianne x

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo