welcome To The One Thimble Blog
Hi! I’m Alicia from Felt With Love Designs. I contributed the Pretend Play Adventure Kit pattern to the current issue, the Woodland Creature finger puppet pattern to Issue 6, the Desert Fox Softie pattern to Issue 8, and the Circus Beanbag Toss Game pattern to Issue 9. The last three can all be found in our etsy shop now. Today, I am kicking off the Adventure Kit Sew Along with a few tips on choosing felt and cutting out the pieces. (If this is your first time hearing about it, head over to this post for more info.)
Please note: This post includes affiliate links, as indicated by an asterisk.*
I absolutely love hand-sewing. Don’t get me wrong, I love my machine too. I enjoy sewing my daughter’s clothes and other larger projects. But …
I have an itch to always be doing something. Just ask my husband, it drives him crazy! Hand-sewing satisfies that desire. I do the majority of my felt sewing while I watch my daughter play with her friends at the playground in the afternoon or while I watch a movie with my husband in the evenings. It makes me feel so much less guilty about spending the couple hours watching television (something he loves to do.)
It wasn’t until joining the One Thimble team that I realized not everyone shares my love of hand-sewing. So, Jen and I put together a little impromptu sew-along.
Choosing Your Felt
Before starting your Adventure Kit, you will need to decide what to sew it with. I love hand-sewing with felt because it doesn’t fray and it’s very difficult to mess up.
One Thimble recently interviewed Candice about her felt business and she does a great job explaining the differences between wool felt and acrylic (craft) felt.
For this project, both types of felt will work. When choosing which to use, keep in mind that craft felt will be thinner than wool felt. Wool felt is also much softer than craft felt.
It might help you decide between the types of felt if you choose which colors you would like to work with. In my experience, wool felt is available in a much wider array of colors. I sewed my Adventure Kit from boring grey but let your imagination run wild!
For the sew along, I will be making a more “girly” set, at the request of my daughter. It’s always fun to see ways people think outside the box with their color choices. (I am still in love with the pink, glittery Desert Fox Candice sewed incorporating her glitter felt.)
I strongly suggest using a heavy interfacing on the majority of the pieces for the Adventure Kit, otherwise the toys might turn out a little too flimsy. If you stuff them well, the compass and flashlight do not require interfacing. The magnifying glass needs interfacing in the main body piece and the binoculars need it for both the inner and outer cones. (It is ok to skip the interfacing for the sets of rings on the binoculars and the end piece on the magnifying glass, if you would like.)
You will need a few circles of clear vinyl for the flashlight, magnifying glass, and binoculars. Look around your house for things you might be able to repurpose for this step. I used the clear vinyl from an old pencil pouch. You can also use the little bags that bedding comes packaged in. I highly recommended using several wonder clips* when sewing the vinyl sections to hold things in place while sewing. They do not leave holes in the vinyl the way pins would.
I like to shred my small felt scraps with a rotary cutter and use them for stuffing (this also makes the toys denser and gives them more structure) but, when not using scraps, this* is my favorite stuffing. I would not recommend using scraps inside the binoculars. The binoculars only need to be lightly stuffed. Too much stuffing will crush the inner cone piece.
When hand-sewing, I generally use DMC embroidery floss*. Their floss is soft and doesn’t knot as much, in my experience, as other, less expensive brands (although those are totally fine to use also!) Floss comes in 6 strands. I sew most of my projects using two strands of floss (more if I want a thicker line.) In order to get two strands, I find it easiest to cut a length of thread TWICE as long as I think I will need (does not need to be exact), pull out one of the strands from that length, fold it in half, and thread my needle with the loose ends of the piece of folded thread. When I start sewing, I always thread my needle back through the the loop created by the end, on the backside of the project, instead of knotting it. (Stephanie has a great tutorial for this, if you need a little more guidance.)
Cutting Your Pieces
When cutting felt shapes, I always recommend a pair of sharp scissors. These micro-tip scissors* are my favorite (and I recently learned Fiskars has an awesome lifetime warranty!!) This pattern doesn’t have any super small nooks and crannies to cut so your regular sewing scissors will work fine too. When cutting the rectangles for this pattern, I used my rotary cutter.
Freezer paper* is my absolute most favorite supply/tool for cutting accurately. You can print directly on the freezer paper, saving time from tracing out the pattern, and then iron those pieces to your felt. Cutting is my least favorite step in the sewing process and I am so glad I discovered freezer paper. You can also reuse the pattern pieces 4-5 times. If you need more tips on freezer paper, check out my tutorials here and here.
When cutting your pattern pieces, do not forget to measure and cut the rectangles listed on the template. Pattern pieces are not included for those 4 pieces.
To cut the vinyl circles, I place the vinyl over the template (freezer paper or regular – it’s the same process no matter how you printed it) and trace the circle with a sharpie. Cut around the circle and then wipe the ink right off.
Be sure to join the One Thimble Sewing Enthusiasts group on Facebook. We will continue the sew along updates, starting tomorrow with the compass!
If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask!