Making Hugh the Hound

As soon as I saw Hugh the Hound, I just knew that I would be making him at some point! He’s a bit tricksy but lots of fun to make and I’ve included some tips for sewing his head and inserting the foot pads (which you can use for all of Luna Lapin and friends).

Making Hugh the Hound (pattern by CoolCrafting) and tips for sewing dungarees and handsewn scarf by fabricandflowers

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I ordered a Make Me Hugh the Hound kit from CoolCrafting in the tan colourway but had already decided to use the patterns from Sewing Luna Lapin’s Friends to make some clothes.

Having already made Luna and Alfie Rabbit, I wasn’t feeling too nervous about making Hugh. Like the rabbits, most of the body parts are over-sewn together. The construction of the legs and body is slightly different, as the legs are fully poseable (similar to Luna’s arms) but the instructions are easy enough.

Sewing the head for Hugh the Hound

The head though……now that required a little bit of head-scratching!!!! A few things I did (sometimes as a result of some un-sewing!) which might be useful are;

  • Tacked the side head on the upper head before sewing in place with a blanket stitch on the machine as this gave me much greater accuracy.
  • Hand sewed the nose in position, leaving a 1cm overlap, as per the pattern. On the underside of the flews (jowls) I used double thread to sew the little roll of felt in place (to help give the nose shape) and each corner of the nose down.
  • Used a long pin when pulling the nose into position to try and get it just right before sewing, using the tail of the doubled up thread! I found that trying to match up the two corners of the nose (that were sewn down in the previous step) on the underside of the mouth gave the best result.
  • When securing the nose in position, try to not to pull the threads too tight. Even though I thought I hadn’t, it still looks like there is a slight dimple on one side so I would be more careful at this stage next time.
  • I wasn’t entirely sure from the instructions on how to sew up the neck so that there wasn’t a gap left between the neck and the lower jaw. Eventually, I ladder-stitched one flap in position, before folding the other flap over, going back over my stitches and down the neck. This seemed to give quite a neat finish.

Inserting the foot pads for Hugh (and Luna Lapin’s Friends!)

I thought it might be worth adding a few pics of how I sew the foot-pads as it seems to be one of the steps people find a bit tricky. I’m not sure this is the recommended way, but it’s what works for me!

  • Fold the foot in half lengthwise and place a pin on the centre line at each end.
  • The foot-pads are ever so slightly narrower at one end, so you want to make sure that you are inserting them both the same way. Fold them in half – heel to toe – to identify which end is narrower.
  • Decide which way round you want to position the narrow end of the foot pad, and match the centre pin with a foot seam. Pin in place.
  • Repeat at the other end of the foot.
  • With the foot-pad facing up, start sewing halfway down one of the sides, using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. Sew slowly around the curves, re-positioning the felt if you need to until finished.
  • Turn the foot out.

Other tips for sewing Hugh

When adding the legs to the body, I actually snapped the elastic thread whilst trying to pull them together! Nightmare! My top tip is – if you have someone to hand – ask them to squeeze the legs together whilst you’re knotting the elastic. That way, there’s not as much pressure on the elastic and two pairs of hand definitely make this bit easier!

Making clothes for Hugh the Hound

When it came to dressing Hugh, I was going for an artists vibe! The dungarees for Freddie Badger from Sewing Luna Lapin’s Friends seemed the basis of the perfect outfit. I used a cotton-linen mix fabric that is loosely woven and I’m not sure that Hugh has the same body shape as Freddie which led to a few challenges!

Making Hugh the Hound (pattern by CoolCrafting) and tips for sewing dungarees and handsewn scarf by fabricandflowers

I made the dungarees up as per the instructions in the book and tried them on Hugh before adding the facing and the straps. They were huge! To get a good fit I made a few tweaks;

  • Hand-stitching the hems for the pockets, although I think this helps to add to the artist vibe!
  • Took another 1/4″ off the front and back centre seams (but did not adjust the crotch).
  • Left a 1″ hole in the back seam for the tail to go through (I tried the dungarees on and eyeballed where this should be placed!!!)
  • Took approximately 1/2-1″ off the height of the front and back bib so that they fitted properly. Reshaped the back to get the right shape at the top to attach the straps.
  • Joined the facing all the way around except across the top of the back bib. I then placed the straps on to figure out how exactly where I should sew them in position before finishing the seam (if I were using a cotton fabric I might have gone for trial and error but this fabric was not very forgiving!!!).
Making Hugh the Hound (pattern by CoolCrafting) and tips for sewing dungarees and handsewn scarf by fabricandflowers

The final touch was a little Liberty Scarf with a hand-rolled hem (partly because it was a tiny piece of fabric and also because I was finishing it in the car on the way to the party!!!). There are excellent instructions for how to do a hand-rolled hem here if you would like to do the same.

Making Hugh the Hound (pattern by CoolCrafting) and tips for sewing dungarees and handsewn scarf by fabricandflowers

Have you made any Luna Lapin and Friends yet? They are quite addictive I have to say and I do love personalising them….how long until I make another do you think?!

S x

Today’s sky::: beautifully sunny and blue skies.

Tutorial – Easy fabric basket tray with handles

A little while ago, I was having a play and whipped up this easy fabric tray come basket (trasket?!) with built-in handles! It is a quick project, only needs a small amount of fabric, and is ideal for holding small bits and pieces.

Tutorial for an easy fabric basket tray - a trasket! - by fabricandflowers

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

Materials

Finished Size – 6″ long x 4″ wide x 2.5″ high
  • Outer Fabric: 11..5″ wide x 9.5″ high
  • Lining Fabric: 11.5″ wide x 9.5″ high
  • Medium Weight Interfacing: cut two (2) 11.5″ x 9.5″ pieces
  • Buttons, Rivets or Thread

Notes about materials

  • This pattern works best with non-directional fabric, which I didn’t do for the burgundy version but I figured a large scale print would be fairly unforgiving!
  • For the interfacing, you want to use one which is quite stiff. I have used a non-woven type which feels quite papery and helps to give the Trasket it’s shape and firmness.

How to Make a Fabric Trasket

Iron interfacing to the wrong side of both pieces of fabric.

Tutorial for an easy fabric basket tray - a trasket! - by fabricandflowers

Place the pieces of fabric Right Sides Together. Starting on a short edge, and an inch from the corner, join the pieces together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Stop 4″ from where you started sewing, to leave a gap for turning.

Trim each of the corners – I like to cut at a 60* (ish!) angle so that when it is turned out there is not too much bulk in the corner.

Pull the fabric through the hole so that the right sides are showing. Use a chopstick or something similar, to push out each of the corners gently. Fold the edges in where you turned through and give it a good press.

Top stitch around the edge of the rectangle with a small seam allowance to close the gap and secure the layers together. I like to leave long thread ends so that I can knot them together and bury the ends so that they are not visible.

Taking one corner, fold the short edge Wrong Sides Together with the long edge to create a 45* angle. Clip in place.

Tutorial for an easy fabric basket tray - a trasket! - by fabricandflowers

Using a ruler, draw a line at a right angle to the edge of the fabric, 2.5″ from the corner point. Repeat for each of the remaining 3 corners.

Tutorial for an easy fabric basket tray - a trasket! - by fabricandflowers

Stitch along each of these lines to secure. I like to start/stop a little bit in from each end, but you can go all the way if you like!

Note: You could miss out the squaring of the corners if you wanted. If you added poppers instead it would make a tray that can be folded flat for storage. However, I found that stitching the edges of the tray made it stronger, making it ideal for everyday use.

Fold each corner in towards the short edge and they should overlap by approximately 1″. Clip in place. If using a button to secure the corner flaps together, I sew through both layers at the same time.

Tutorial for an easy fabric basket tray - a trasket! - by fabricandflowers

To mark accurately – for example, to add a rivet – use a ruler to measure 1/2″ in from the corner point and halfway down, which is about 1/4″.

Tutorial for an easy fabric basket tray - a trasket! - by fabricandflowers

If using a rivet, it helps to use a punch plier to create a hole in each fabric corner for the rivet to go through. I always like to dab a spot of fray-check on the hole before adding the rivet to prevent the fabric from fraying over time.

I also thought about embroidering an ‘X’ or a flower if there weren’t buttons to hand…….lots of options!

Fill with pretty trinkets and enjoy! I’d love to see if you make one – please do tag me and use the #fabrictrasket.

See you soon,

S x

Today’s sky::: some blue sky but largely overcast. Boo!

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Zippy Pouch Along – constructing the zip band, lining and pocket sides

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

Hello there! Shall we get started with the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch?! You may find it helpful – if you haven’t done so already – to print out the Cutting Instructions (page 4/5) and the Measurement Guide (page 18/19) relevant to the pouch size you are making. Although not necessary, you may find it helps to keep a track of the pattern if you are working off a screen.

Zippy Pouch Along - preparing the pieces and zipper tips by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I’m making a Not So Little Zippy pouch and have made a patchwork front panel with some lovely scraps I had lying around. I ironed my favourite interfacing to the back – I find it sticks well and adds a nice weight/stability to the fabric without making it feel stiff and horrible –  as I have run out of fusible wadding before layering with some wadding to quilt. Depending on the quilting that you do, it may be beneficial to baste around the finished edges of the panel to secure everything in place.

Constructing the Zip Band

If you’ve not used zips much before, I have personally found that adding tabs to the end of the zip seem to make them a lot easier to work with as it seems to stabilise them! The tutorial here details how to add the zip tabs. Some other tips that may help with inserting the zipper (or any zip actually!);

Zippy Pouch Along - preparing the pieces and zipper tips by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence
  • Pin the fabric/tabs in position with the pins at right angles to the seam that you are going to be sewing. 
  • For the tabs, if you can position the pins close to the zip, when you place the fabric under the machine you can add a couple of stitches to secure everything in place before taking the pins out.
  • Measure both sides of the zip for accuracy when marking.
  • When sewing the zip to the band pieces, begin sewing each side from the same end. This will mean that if there is any fabric creep, it will end up at the same end meaning you only need to trim one side, helping with accuracy.
Zippy Pouch Along - preparing the pieces and zipper tips by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

The Pocket Sides

When making the pocket sides, the only thing to really watch is when trimming around the excess fabric around the tab: you need to snip right up into the corner, but not through the stitching. Then, when turning to the right side, press from the top edge towards the bottom tab. Even then, the sides of the tab can still be a little bouncy! I have found that using scissors/seam ripper to gently hold the side out will help create a straight edge. 

Zippy Pouch Along - preparing the pieces and zipper tips by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Bag lining & Internal Zip Pocket

Using some of the zipper tips from above, sew the pockets and pouch lining together. If your zip is slightly longer than even better as it means you can keep the zip pull up and out the way and you won’t need to move it at all whilst sewing the zip in!!!

To close the bottom of the pocket (Step 20), ensure that you fold at the zip and if necessary use pins to keep the top lining edges straight. Smooth the fabric down from the zip, measure and mark the line that you will be sewing.  Once you have completed this step, the bottom of the pocket will be closed. When you have shaped the side of the pocket you can baste the edges together – which can be beneficial if you are not adding the pocket sides on straight away.

Adding Slip Pockets

In an attempt to be ultra organised (ha!) I’m adding two slip pockets to this version. For one of them, I thought it would be handy to create a divide with a pocket big enough to keep pens/scissors so that they don’t disappear to the very bottom of the bag. 

Zippy Pouch Along - preparing the pieces and zipper tips by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

To do this, I made a slip pocket following the pattern up to Step 3, before attaching it to the lining. I measured 3″ in from one side and using a hera marker drew a line. Starting at the bottom of the pocket, I stitched up to the top of the pocket, adding a stitched triangle to help reinforce the seam.

And there we go! That is all of our pouch elements prepped and ready to be put together – come back for our next post where we will add the pocket sides and join the layers together!!!

Zippy Pouch Along - preparing the pieces and zipper tips by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

Zippy Pouch Along Timings;

You can pick up a copy of the pattern here, and don’t forget to follow @fabricandflowers and @rosegardenpatchwork and use the hashtag #zippypouchalong so that I can see all the fabulous pouches that you’re making!

Sx

Today’s sky::: mostly grey and quite chilly!

Zippy Pouch Along – are you in?!

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

So, when I launched the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch, I asked if there would be interested in a sew-along and there were lots of ‘Yes’s’! It’s always fun to sew with others, isn’t it?!

So many of you loved the little macaron zip pull I made that I spoke with the lovely Lisa at Rose Garden Patchwork and she has very kindly agreed to sponsor the sew-along with a fantastic bundle of fabrics, pincushion and tulip needles, all pictured below. It’s a fabulous prize! The winner will be picked at random and announced on the 4th December. To be eligible you must follow @rosegardenpatchwork on Instagram and have sewn a pouch since the pattern launch in October.

So, how will the Zippy Pouch Along work?

You will need to get yourself a copy of the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch pattern, decide which size pouch you would like to make and then chose fabrics and zips. You will also need some interfacing and (fusible) wadding. However, if you don’t have any fusible wadding to hand, I have found that if you interface the fabric for the front of the pouch and then quilt it, it will have the same structure. Other handy notions to have are a fabric pen, wonder clips, ruler and pins.

(Not So) Little Zippy Pouch Along, pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I will be making a zippy pouch with you, guiding you through the steps which can be a bit tricky and also passing on some tips. The instructions are the same for each bag, so you can make either size (or two, if you’re feeling particularly productive!), maybe a good way of getting some Christmas presents done?! To follow along with everyone’s progress, I have created a new hashtag for this sew-along on Instagram – the #zippypouchalong.

We will start putting the bag together next week, which gives you the weekend to start choosing fabrics and cutting out the pieces! The pattern includes instructions for the measurements needed to make a contrast pouch base. However, you could use some precious scraps to make a patchwork version, add a feature strip across the side or even add applique……so many options! I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Zippy Pouch Along Timings;

You can pick up a copy of the pattern here, and don’t forget to follow @fabricandflowers and @rosegardenpatchwork and use the hashtag #zippypouchalong so that I can see all the fabulous pouches that you’re making!

Looking forward to sewing along with you over the next couple of weeks!

S x

Today’s sky::: grey and miserable. Again!

New Pattern – The Little Zippy Pouch

NOTE: this post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

Hellooooo! Well, that was a slightly longer than intended break! We had an early half term and since then I’ve been working away on my next pattern and I’m so excited to finally share it with you today!

If you’ve followed me for any time, you may remember that I designed the Little Zippy Pouch a few years back for Quilt Now, and then went on to tweak it slightly by showing you how to add zipper tabs. It’s been one of my most used pouches as it’s the perfect size to carry just enough hand-sewing around with me.

Over the years, people have asked if I would look to release the pattern and, after lots of testing and thinking about tweaks, I set too!

The Little Zippy Pouch pattern is now available and has been completely re-written. It includes more step-by-step pictures, how to add zipper tabs, an optional slip-pocket and also a bigger size (the Not So Little Zippy Pouch!) – two pouches in one pattern!

  • The Little Zippy Pouch                 8”    wide x 5” high x 3” deep
  • The Not So Little Zippy Pouch     9.5” wide x 7” high x 4” deep
New PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

It would make a great project bag for sewing, knitting or crochet. For one of my samples, I added a little lobster clip – ideal for keeping stitch markers to hand! And if waterproof fabrics were used, it could make a great make-up/toiletries bag in either size!

The pattern calls for fusible wadding for the outer panel – this is both for ease and also structure. However, if  you don’t have any to hand (I ran out from making all the samples!) I found that you can achieve exactly the same effect by ironing interfacing to the wrong side of the bag panel, and then layer it with wadding and quilt as normal.

PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

There are lots of options for playing with colour on these pouches – you can use a piece of feature fabric, applique or patchwork for the outside and then co-ordinating/fun fabric combinations on the inside for the lining and pockets. A great stash buster.

PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

You will need a couple of zips for this project – I can highly recommend this shop as they do a great range of colours in lots of different sizes (they used to send a colour code card through with your order) – the shipping is a bit pricey if you’re in the UK but I went half with a friend a few years back, bought a huge bundle of zips in lots of different colours and they’re only just starting to run out, so it worked out good value in the end!!!

New PDF Sewing Pattern - the (Not So) Little Zippy Pouch. A great project bag, make-up or toiletries bag. Pattern by fabricandflowers | Sonia Spence

I really hope you enjoy making this – you can get the pattern here and if you would like some extra hints and tips then do check out the Zippy Pouch Along posts.

Speak soon, 

S x

Today’s sky::: raining and grey. And did I mention the rain?! Horrible weather!

If you would like monthly news and updates, please sign-up to my newsletter.
To check out my quilt and bag patterns, visit my Etsy shop.

For my favourite sewing equipment and tools, visit my Amazon store.