Denim Roll Top Backpack Tutorial

I’ve been pondering for a good while over this Robert Kaufman Selvedge Denim – ever since it came in late last year.  On the one hand, this denim is thick, sturdy, durable, gorgeous colour, and has that awesome selvedge.  On the other hand, it’s super thick and sturdy, and has that awesome selvedge that you definitely want to keep – and it’s quite narrow.  What on earth could I make with it?

Continue reading “Denim Roll Top Backpack Tutorial”

New shop samples!

The girls are busy making up new samples for the shop and I thought I’d write about this one on the blog quickly! This tote is so simple to make and we’ve got a free DIY tutorial for it here! The outer, lining and straps fabric all came from the same single 80cm cut of fabric and because the fabric used is so fantastically different across the whole width, it makes the perfect reversible bag! The fabric used is Echino Decoro 2013 Rhythm, which you can find here amongst some other great options!

Little House Playmat Sew Along – Week Five

Welcome to the fifth and final week of our little house playmat sew-along! We hope you’ve enjoyed the project so far, we certainly have. Firstly I have to apologise for the slight delay in getting this post out – we lost power for a few days which caused a little bit of panic but it’s all back now – phew!  This week we will be making the little critters who live in your playmat – not only are these really cute on their own, they would make excellent christmas decorations if you add a little bit of ribbon! – OK, let’s begin!
This week you will need: 
First things first, you’ll need to print out your three A4 sheets of templates. Each of the links below will open up printable PDF files, when printing make sure you un-tick any box that says ‘Shrink to fit’, as this will alter the size of the pattern pieces.
Cut out your paper templates and pin them to the chosen coloured
felts and cut out as directed. We used our lovely woolfelts in a variety of plain
and marl colours.
Mark any embroidery you need to do with a disappearing
fabric maker – we found a “Sewline Duo Pen and Eraser Pen” was really useful at
this stage.
To sew on the
creatures eyes – take the white eye circle and place in position – then
use running stitches very close to each
other in varying sizes to create the pupil – this will also attach the white
eye circle.
Using  photo 2 below as a
guide, hand embroider the following components and remember if you have cut out
two pieces for a creature these both need to be embroidered but in a mirror
image to each other.
If you need a helping-hand with your embroidery, I’ve included a handy simple stitch guide for you here.
Photo 2

The Hedgehog’s Spikes – add some black v-shaped spikes

The Hedgehog’s body – add a nose and mouth and an eye –
sewing on the white eye circle as described earlier
The Squirrel’s body – add running stitch black stripes to the
tail, add a black V shape to accentuate the ear. Stitch a mouth and nose, and
attach and stitch the eye as you did for the hedgehog.
The Duckling’s Body – Attach the eye circle and stitch the
pupil as before.
The Bear’s snouts – add a nose and mouth
Owl’s Tummy – Stitch on some back V shapes for feathers
Owl’s Eyes – Stitch the black inner eyes onto the white
outer eye pieces using the same method as before. 
Wool Label – Stitch the word wool in black across the label
Ball of Wool – Stitch straight lines of running stitch in a
complimentary colour to the felt you have chosen to suggest the threads of
Parcel – use a back stitch to sew what looks like string or
ribbon tying up the parcel
Cake Case – use a running stitch to make the creases in the
cake case
Cake Icing – sew on the red circle cherries using the same
method as when you attach the creatures’ eyes.

Now you need to appliqué on some components using the sewing
machine, and machine sew some components together – remember you can stitch
and then trim pieces you are stitching together for extra neatness. Have a look
at photo 3 below for guidance. Also, don’t forget if you are working on both sides of
a creatures to make the two sides, mirror images of each other.
Photo 3
Hedgehogs Body – Machine sew the hedgehog’s spikes to the hedgehogs
body, working down from his forehead, around the ear and down to the foot – repeat
for both sides  of hedgehogs body in
mirror image.
Duckling – Sew together the two beak pieces. Sew together the
two feet pieces and put to one side.
Bear – Sew together the two snout/nose pieces. Appliqué on
the bears’ ear pieces – remembering to work in mirror image.
 Owl – Sew together the owl’s two feet pieces. Then
machine appliqué – onto one body piece only – the owl’s tummy, beak and eyes.
Ball of wool – machine stitch the wool label across the centre
of one of the wool ball pieces.
Cake – machine sew on the icing onto the top of the cake, working
only along the wiggly bottom edge of  the
icing. Then sew on the cake cases to the bottom of both the cake pieces.
(Note: you don’t have to do any machine stitching for the squirrel
or parcel at this stage)
Now begins the sewing together of the creatures – hoorah!
For these stages you can also refer to photo 4 below – which shows
the finished creatures in all their glory.
Hedgehog – Place your two completed hedgehog body pieces together
with the wrong sides facing each other. You may want to pin these together while
you are stitching. Machine stitch around the edges, working around 3 to 4mm
from the edge at all times, joining the two sides together. Start your stitching
at the bottom edge of the hedgehog’s lower foot and stitch up around the body,
then follow the edge of each spike and the down until you reach the bottom of
his spikes – leave the bottom of the hedgehogs body open and use toy stuffing
to stuff through this gap. Use enough to give the hedgehog a little body but not
make him too plump (A pencil or chopstick will help you poke stuffing into all
his spikes and nose etc.) Once plump enough, sew up the open gap using the machine
and tie off, secure  and tidy up any loose
threads. As a last finishing touch you can trim any excess felt from the edges
of your work – you can go down to about 2mm away from the stitch line (just be
careful not to cut through your stitching at any stage).
Squirrel – He’s nice and easy – just place the two body pieces
with their wrong sides facing, pin, sew, stuff, trim and finish in exactly the
same manner as the hedgehog.
Duckling – Place the two body pieces together with wrong
sides facing and slip the beak and feet pieces in between the layers and pin in
place. Starting at the duck’s chin, machine stitch along the edge of the
duckling head enclosing and secure the beak as you go. Work around the rest of
the duckling’s head and wing – sew into the main part of the body following the
line of the wing to give shape to the wing. Stop stitching  in the middle on the body – turn and stitch
back to the edge of your work following this line of wing stitching, then continue
to work around the edge following around the tail and bottom of the duckling –
secure the feet with stitching as you did with the beak and then remember to
leave a gap for stuffing as before. Trim and finish.
Bear – Firstly place the two bodies pieces wrong sides together
and insert the snout in the correct position and pin in place in between the
two body layers. The bear is slightly different as some portions of him (his
ear, tail and one arm and one leg) are sealed off with stitching and won’t be
Start stitching at the base of the chin and firstly enclose and
secure the snout, and then begin working your way around the body – refer to
diagram 1 for the direction of your stitching.
Diagram 1
Leave a gap between his arm and snout for stuffing. Stuff
the bear lightly and you will need to use a pencil or chopstick to poke
stuffing into all the parts. Finish in the normal manner.
Owl – Place your two owl body pieces together and insert the
foot piece at the base between the layers.  Starting at the base of the owl, machine
stitch as normal, enclosing and securing the foot piece as you go. Work all the
way around the body, stuffing and finishing in the normal manner.

Ball of Wool – Place your two ball of wool pieces together with
wrong sides facing – stitch around the edge, stuff and finish as normal – easy!
Cake – Place your Cake pieces together with wrongs sides
facing each other. Starting at the base of the cake, stitch around the edge,
stuff and finish again in the same manner.
Parcel – Hey, we’ve saved the easiest to last! With wrong sides
together stitch around the parcel shape, stuff and finish as normal!
Photo 4
And that’s it, you’ve completed all your little critters for the house playmat! Don’t forget you can easily alter these by sewing in a piece of ribbon to make christmas (or any-time-of-year) Decorations! We hope you’ve enjoyed our sew-along as much as we have here at The Eternal Maker! If you’ve completed any part of this project we’d love to see!

Little House Playmat Sew Along – Week Three


This week you will be completing more of your appliqué decoration
and construction of the appliqué pockets on your playmat. Refer back to week one photos if clarification of playmat parts is needed – remember that your “door panels” (inside and outside) are different components to your “door appliques” (inside and outside).

More Pockets – Boxes in the roof

Before you start thinking about your appliqué pockets, sew
on 12mm brown bias binding to create beams in the roof part of the house and roof
panel. Sew on the bias binding by stitching approximately 2mm in from each folded
edge of the bias. Have a look at Picture One below for positioning  – we made one central upright with two smaller
cross beams.
Picture One
Roof box appliqués

Choose from your scraps
some fabric for your roof boxes. You need to cut out two box shapes, one is
15cm x 10cm and the other is 9cm x 9cm.
Cut out the same size
pieces of iron-on interfacing and iron these onto the reverse.
Now stitch any
decoration you fancy onto the box before going any further. A disappearing
fabric marker is really useful at this stage to mark your designs before stitching – we used a sewline pen and eraser pen, our favourite fabric marker.
We used multiple lines of straight machine stitching to label one box as a tea
chest and then some zig-zag machine stitching on the larger box to give the
effect of wooden planks. Tie of all your threads and neaten up. See Picture two below
for reference
Picture Two
Now bind around the
raw edges of your two boxes with 25mm beige bias binding. Fold this over the
raw edges as you did with the window appliqués and stitch 2mm from the folded
edge of the bias closest to the centre of your fabric piece.  Stop stitching about 1cm before each corner – this will allow you to mitre the bias binding around each corner, pin the
folded mitred corner in place and continue stitching on the next side of your
fabric piece. (See picture three.) Fold over the raw edge on the cut end of your
bias binding and tuck this in before you finish stitching and tie off any loose
Picture Three
Once bound these
boxes are ready to appliqué onto the roof space of your house and roof panel.
Pin them into position (see picture four) and sew each one on with machine
stitching 2mm from the outside edge of your bound boxes – make sure to leave
the top edge of the boxes unstitched so that you form a pocket that your
animals will be able to hide in later.
Picture Four
Now it’s time to begin work on your door appliques!

Outside front door applique

Cut a 23cm x 16cm
piece from the fabric chosen for your “outside front door applique”.  Mark out door panels with bias binding (we
chose light yellow) on the front of your door – ironing on skinny strips of
bondaweb to the back of the bias binding makes this much easier to position –
try to mitre the corners and tuck in any raw edges for a neat finish.  Iron these on in position and then stitch
around working 2mm from each edge of the bias binding to attach it – we used a contrasting
thread to create a 3D sketchy affect. 
Cut a tiny circle of
fabric with bondweb on the back for a door handle, iron and then stitch this on
too. Then tie off any loose threads. (see picture five below for reference) Now
cut a 23cm x 16cm piece of bondaweb and iron this onto the back of the front door.
Picture Five

Inside front door applique

Cut a 23cm x 16cm
piece from the fabric you have chosen for your inside front door applique. This time we chose a brown fabric with a cross weave print for texture. Iron on some fusible interfacing to the reverse of your door applique – this will make it easier to handle as you are doing the decorative stitching. Now stitch any
decoration onto the door you like, again we found a disappearing
fabric marker is really useful. This time we stitched with a small zigzag stitch to mimic the panel design on the outside of the front door. Then we added a handle in exactly the same way as before. (Remember, if you’re a stickler for detail like me, the door handle needs to be attached on the opposite side of your “inside front door applique” to the “outside front door applique” – Just a thought!) Have look at picture six. 
Picture Six

Once you’re happy with your door design, tie of all your threads and neaten up!

Positioning and stitching on door and window appliques on the outside door panels

Take your “outside door panels” (from week one) and lay them out on your work surface – use picture seven below and the details below as a guide for positioning your windows and “front door appliques”.


Picture Seven
Firstly, concentrate on the right hand “outside door panel”. You want to position
the “outside front door applique” in the centre of your “outside door panel” about 3cm from it’s bottom
Remove the paper
backing from the bondaweb on the “outside front door applique” and iron the door in position. Stitch
around all edges of the door using a zig-zag stitch approximately 3mm wide to
attach it, working right at the edge of the fabric of the door.

Outside window appliques 

take your prepared “outside window appliques” from week two. Cut pieces
of bondaweb to the same size as your “outside window appliques” and iron
them on the reverse of each window.  Take your right hand side “outside
door panel”. Position one of your “window appliques” on the “outside door
panel” about 9cm above the door in a central position. Once you are happy
with the position of your window, peel off the paper backing of the
bondaweb and iron in position.
take your left hand side “outside door panel” and position your two
windows on this side (again use picture seven above as a guide). You will need to make sure they are both in a
central position and also to make sure the two, first floor windows, are
on the same level on both the left and right hand panels. Again once you are happy with the positioning of all your front windows and front door, peel off the bondaweb’s paper backing and iron your windows onto your door panels.
the windows are temporarily attached, you are going to use bias binding
to fix them in place permanently and to finish creating the window pane

Firstly have a quick measure round your window to work out roughly
how much bias you are going to need to go around the two long sides and the top of your window. Cut a length of 12mm white bias binding slightly longer than this measurement and iron a very thin strip of bondaweb on the back, along the full length (as you did on the panelling for the “outside front door applique”). 
Iron the bias binding in place so that it covers all the raw edge of your window applique on the two vertical sides and the top edge – mitre the corners neatly as you did when making the roof boxes. Once this is ironed into position stitch it down to secure it, using a straight stitch about 2mm from, firstly the inside edge, then the outside edge of the bias binding. See picture eight below. Repeat this process for each of the three “outside window appliques”.

Picture Eight

Now your are going to create window sills as shown in picture 9 below. To do this cut a strip of 25mm white bias binding long enough to cover the full length of the bottom edge of your window pane, with about 2cm extra on each end to allow you to tuck the raw edges under and to make a slightly extended window sill (Have another look at picture 9 – it’s simplier than it sounds!) Iron a thin strip of bondaweb onto the back of the bias binding as before and iron it into position. Again use straight stitching 2mm from the edge and work all the way around the bias binding window sill making sure you tuck those raw edges in as you go.
Again repeat this for all three outside window appliques.

Picture Nine

Going back to your front door applique, in exactly the same way as your window sills, create a door step under your front door using 25mm brown bias binding – use picture 10 as a reference – you will notice we have elongated it on the right hand side because we are going to applique on a pot plant later!

Picture Ten

Positioning and stitching on door and window pockets on the inside door panels

Now is the time to position your “inside window pockets” and “inside front door applique” onto the “inside door panels”.
You need to position these in a similar place to where they are positioned on the “outside door panels”. To do this we used the “outside door panels” as a guide. Firstly we laid the “inside door panel” that you’re about to work on, face down on our work surface then laid the completed “outside door panel” ontop of it, face up. (The wrong sides of the panels will be facing and all the edges of the outside and inside panels match – see diagram 1.)
Use pins to poke straight down through all the layers, at the corners of the window and door appliques . Carefully flip your panels over and where the sharp ends of the pins are poking out on the inside panel, mark with a fabric marker. This will give you your guide as to where to position your window and door pockets on the “inside door panels” (this will also help you make sure that both your “front door appliques” are on the same side panel as you open your playmat!) Anyway, you can put away your pins and “outside door panel” away for now and concentrate on stitching on your pockets.

It’s worth noting here that these will be pinned and then
sewn on around the edges, rather than “bondawebbed” on as before. This is because you want to make
pockets for your creatures to hide in, not bog-standard appliques!
How to construct an inside window pocket 
Take your “inside window pieces” you created in week two. Remember you will have two pieces to each window pocket you are about to make (one” top window pocket piece” and one “bottom window pocket piece” per window – it’s all quite logical really!)
Use the marks you just made on your “inside door panel” to position the top corners of your top window pocket piece (double check you have got any birds on your sky fabric up the right way!). Pin this in place and then using a straight stitch 2mm from the outside edge of the bias binding, attach your top window pocket piece by stitching along the vertical sides and the top of the window piece. (See diagram 2 below) Do not stitch across the bottom edge of the top window piece – leave this open.
Now position your “bottom window pocket piece” beneath the “top window pocket piece” matching the bottom two corners of the bottom window pocket piece to the bottom marks you made on your “inside door panel”. You need to make sure that the top edge of bias binding on the “bottom window pocket piece” overlaps and covers the bias binding on the bottom edge of the “top window pocket piece” (this sounds more complicated than it is so have a look at diagram 3 and picture 11 if you are unsure – it basically means you only have one width of bias binding on view going horizontally across the inside of your window.) 
Picture Eleven
Again pin this “bottom window pocket piece” in place and then use a straight stitch 2mm
from the outside edge of the bias binding to secure it. Attach your “bottom window
pocket piece” by stitching along the vertical sides and the bottom of the
window piece. (again see diagram 3) Do not stitch across the top edge of the “bottom window piece” – leave this open and you have completed your first window pocket for your creatures to hide in – Well done!

Now repeat this process to create the other two window pockets on the inside panels. 

Making your inside front door pocket.
Take your “inside front door applique” from earlier and bind all four edges with 25mm brown bias binding using the same method of binding as you did for constructing the roof box pockets. Now pin this in place using the marks you made on the “inside door panel” as before. Stitch on the door pocket by working 2mm from the outside edge of the bias binding – only stitch the top and bottom edges and the right hand side edge. Leave the left hand side edge open to allow your creatures to hide behind the door! See picture Twelve and diagram 4 below.

Picture Twelve
Ok, now your inside door panels are complete – big well dones all round!
Other ideas for extra
appliqué decorations
Now we wanted to be a bit fancy and do a bit more applique on the “outside door panels” – you can let your imagination run riot here – you can really personalise your house in whichever manner you like – how about making it look like a mini version of your actual house? Or maybe your dream house? As always, it’s the little personal details that make projects like this so satisfying.
 We added a roof and some pot plants on our window sills and door step, but you can add as much (or a as little) extra decoration as you like.

An easy method to create the more fiddly additions (such as the pot plants) is to take some bondaweb and trace pictures (from magazines or books or print them from the web) onto the paper backing. Cut this out roughly, then iron the bondweb onto your chosen fabric –
leave the bondaweb paper backing attached and then cut out neatly
following your drawn lines – then peel away the paper backing – position
on your house panel, iron on, and stitch around as before to secure them – it really is that simple. 

If you are unsure, have a practice on some scraps first, but think about fabric and thread choices – there is a world of opportunity sitting in your scrap box I’m sure – maybe you have fabric with a great illustration on ready to cut out and applique right onto your fabric? And don’t forget to think about your stitching style as well – we used a
straight stitch for our tree trunks but a spikey zigzag stitch to attach
the pot plants and make them look like cacti.
Adding the roof
Finally we added the roof. To do this we firstly cut 50cm of jumbo ricrac in white and pinned this on about 10cm from the top of your “outside door panel”, running parallel to the slope of the roof. (See picture 13) Then cut a piece of red fabric about 50cm x 15cm, lay this ontop of the jumbo ricrac and again following the slope of the roof. One side of the bumps of the ricrac just needs to poke out at this stage (see picture 14). Pin this in place. Stitch through your red fabric, jumbo ricrac and “outside door panel” in a straight line following the centre line of the ricrac – then flip the red fabric over and iron it flat – the other side of the bumps of the ricrac should be secure but poking out from underneath the sewn on red fabric. Once this is ironed flat, we top-stitched along the folded edge of the red fabric (about 2mm from the folded edge) to secure it further and stop it moving around (picture 15). Then we flipped the “outside door panel” over again and cut off any excess red fabric and ricrac following the original edge of the “outside door panel” and returning it to its original shape. (picture 16).
Picture Thirteen
Picture Fourteen
Picture Fifteen
Picture Sixteen

Repeat this process to add the roof to your other “outside door panel”.

After all that hard work your will now have completed two “outside door panels” (see picture seventeen) two “inside door panels” and one “house panel”!

Picture Seventeen
(ok you caught us! We hadn’t attached the roof here yet – but you get the idea!)
Well done again on all your hard work. Next week we will be joining all our pieces, constructing and quilting our playmat.

Little House Playmat Sew Along – Week Two


You will need:

  • Fusible web “Bondaweb” or “WonderUnder” – approximately 1
  • Medium iron-on interfacing – approximately 1 metre.
  • Scraps of fabric for door, curtains, boxes in the roof  and other decorative appliqués in a variety of
    colours. The largest size piece will be for the appliqué door which is 17cm x
  • 3 x grey fabric pieces 20cm x 16cm
  • 12mm bias binding in white for the sash windows –
    approximately 5 metres
  • 25mm bias binding white for the sash windows – approximately
    6 metres
  • 12mm bias binding for the door appliqué in a colour of your
    choice – approximately 2 metres
  • 12mm bias binding in brown for the beams in roof –
    approximately 1 metre
  • 25mm bias binding in brown for the inside door – approximately
    1 metre
  • 25mm bias binding in beige for the boxes in the roof –
    approximately 2 metres
  • (You will also need the fabric scraps that you saved from cutting
    your house panel pieces last week)
  • And a removable (either wash or fade away) fabric marker
    would also be very useful if you have one.
This week we begin the appliqué decoration of  your playmat – eventually you will be appliquéing onto
both the inside and outside door panels separately and the roof part of the
house panel.
Inside Window Pocket
You will need your two edges of sky print that you cut from
your house panel in week one.
Cut both of these sky pieces into thirds as shown in Picture
one below, making 6 sky pieces in total. (Each piece should have a long length of
approx 20cm)

Picture One

Now take one of these 20cm pieces and cut the 20cm length
into two pieces of 10cm. Then trim  the
width of these pieces to 8cm – making two pieces of 10cm x 8cm.  As you are trimming to 8cm wide try and avoid
any bits of print with chimneys or selvedge in your cut pieces and remember your birds should be
flying the right way up! (Four of these 8cm x 10cm pieces are shown in Picture
Picture Two
Keep cutting until you have 12 sky pieces of 8cm x 10cm in
total. These will make your inside window pockets. You may want to lay these out in set of four as shown in
Picture two to get some idea of how your windows will look.

To begin making your
window pockets use 12mm white bias binding to join two pieces down the 10cm
length. As shown in picture three.  Place
the two sky pieces next to each other on your cutting surface so that the 10cm
edges butt up against each other. The bias binding is then placed ontop to cover
the raw edges and top stitched on to join the two pieces of sky fabric. When
top stitching, stitch approximately 2mm from the folded edge of the bias,
firstly on one edge of the bias and then on the other. (Also see Diagram One below)  You will now have the two sky pieces joined by
a bias strip as shown in Picture three.  Repeat this process with all of your sky
pieces making six joined sky pieces.

Picture Three
Of your six joined sky pieces three will form tops of your
window pockets and three will form the bottoms of your window pockets.
Top of the window
Take one of your joined sky pieces and using 25mm white bias
bind the top and bottom edge of this joined sky piece. This time you will be
folding the bias over the raw edges and stitching on it on working again
approximately 2mm from the edge – this time only stitch the edge of the bias closest
to the centre of the window piece – see picture four below.
Picture Four
Then trim the edges of the bias to be flush with the edges
of your fabric and bind the 8cm edges  of
your sky fabric in the same way – this time remembering to fold over the raw
edge of your bias binding at each end to create a neat finish. Again only sew
the edge closest to the centre of your work – See Picture Five.
Picture Five
Repeat these processes to make a total of three top window
pocket pieces.
Bottom Window pockets
The process for the
bottom of the window pocket piece is very similar to the top window pocket
piece but has a lining.
Take one of the joined
sky pieces put aside for the bottom window pockets and use this as a guide to
cut three pieces of pocket lining from the fabric you saved when cutting out
the inside door panels in week one – See Picture Six.
Picture Six
Lay the joined sky piece on top of the lining piece with the
wrong sides facing and bind the top edge with 25mm bias binding as you did for
the top window pocket pieces as before . See Pictures seven and eight.
Picture Seven
Picture Eight
Now bind the bottom edge and the two side edges in exactly the
same manner as you did for the top of your window pockets. Repeat these
processes to create three “bottoms of window pockets”. These will be sewn to the
inside of your door panels next week.
Outside window appliques
Cut 3 pieces of grey fabric 20cm x 16cm.
Choose fabric from your scraps to make your curtains. An
easy way to do this is to firstly cut another 20cm x 16cm piece from your
scraps and iron on bondaweb to the reverse side leaving the paper on for the
moment.  Then fold this piece into four
and cut a curved line as shown in diagram two – this will give you two mirror
image curtain pieces.
Now remove the bondaweb’s paper backing from both curtain pieces and iron onto the
grey fabric as shown in picture nine, below.
Next sew on two pieces of 12mm white bias binding in a criss cross
fashion across the centre of your window to create a window pane effect. (Stitch
2mm from each edge of the bias binding when doing this.) Again see Picture
Nine. Repeat these process to create three 
outside windows.
Picture Nine
Now all your outside and inside window components are complete. Well done!

NEXT WEEK – We will be stitching some more appliqué decorations and attaching them to
your inside and outside of your door panels. The materials list at the beginning of this entry still stand for week 3, keep hold of all the bits you have and haven’t used and we’ll see you next week for part three!

Little House Playmat Sew Along – Week One

Welcome to the first instalment of our brand new sew-along series! For the next 5 weeks we will be showing you how to complete this super cool playmat – complete with
front-opening panels, window pockets and felt animals to ignite your child’s imagination and make playtime extra fun!!

This 100% totally cute play mat measures 80cm X 80cm when closed up, and opens out to approximately 160cm wide! Below you’ll find all the requirements you will need for each
week. We’ll be posting each stage of making every Monday for five whole weeks and you’ll have this project finished well in time for Christmas!
Each week be sure to have on hand general sewing tools and thread in a variety of colours. Outlined below I have added a list of materials you’ll need each week so you can be prepared!

For the first week we will be prepping and cutting out our fabrics ready to sew. This week you will need the following items:
  • One House panel piece Or create your own! (Ours measures 60cm x 80cm approximately.) If you  do create your own you will also need two pieces of fabric for the sky measuring approximately 60cm x 12cm. And don’t forget if you are making your own panel you could scale up or down if you wish.
  • 25cm x 110cm dark brown fabric for inside of roof.
  • 90cm x 110cm fabric for backing – we used this brick type fabric but you can use anything, you’re not going to see it most of the time it’s being played with as
    it will be facing the floor!
  • 90cm x 110cm fabric for the outside of your door panels –
    again we used the brick type fabric.
  • 45cm x 110cm of fabric for inside door panels  x 2 – these can match or be different  – it’s up to you.
  • 90cm x 90cm squares x 2 of wadding – we used “insul-fleece
    because it makes a nice rustling sound inside the mat but you can use any wadding you like.

General instructions – when sewing pieces together, unless
otherwise stated,  always stitch with
right sides facing, using a 1cm seam allowance, and then open out and iron
seams flat. Keep hold of all your scraps as they will come in handy later on!

OK, let’s begin! First of all, cut out your house
panel as shown in picture one  – removing the sky pieces from the sides and saving for later.
Picture One
Fold your cut out panel in half vertically and lay out on your cutting
surface. Take your 25cm roof fabric and also fold this in half as shown in
Picture two.  The folded edges of the
panel and of the roof should be on the same side. Now using the top corners of
the panel as a guide, cut down diagonally from the top of the folded edge of
the roof piece, to the top corners of the panel – making a triangular roof
shape when the fabric is opened out again.
Picture Two
Open out your roof piece and your house panel – now sew
these together, joining the long bottom edge of the roof piece to the top edge
of the house panel.
Now use these joined roof and panel pieces as a template to
cut out your backing fabric ( we used the same brick type print that we will
use for the front of the house as well.) These two stages are shown in Picture three below.
Picture Three
Take one of your inside door fabrics and lay it out on your cutting surface. Now take
your house and roof panel again and fold it in half vertically down the middle from the
point of the roof to the centre bottom edge. Lay this onto of your inside door
panel fabric. (You will use the folded roof and house panel as a template to
cut your inside door panels, and your outside door panels.) Cut your inside
door panel following the line of the roof exactly, and the line of the bottom
of the house exactly, BUT add  an extra
1cm to the longest vertical seam allowance – as shown with the arrow in Picture Four below – this is necessary so that the doors meet in the middle when the playmat
is closed up.
Picture Four
Repeat this process to cut your other inside door panel –
REMEMBER this must be the mirror image of the inside door panel you have just
cut  – as shown in picture five below. (Remember to keep
the scraps of  fabric you have cut off as
you will need these next week.)
Picture Five
Now repeat this process again to cut out two mirror image
pieces from your front door panel fabric (remembering to again add the extra
1cm to the vertical cut line) – we used the brick pattern fabric.
Now cut out your wadding pieces – you need to cut out one
large piece the same size as your roof and house panel and two smaller pieces
the same size as you door panels.
Now you are all cut out and ready to go.
To summarise, you should now have cut out……
  • 1 x house and roof panel
  • 2 x mirror image inside door panels
  • 2 x mirror image outside door panels
  • 1 x backing piece (the same size as the house and roof
  • 1 x wadding piece (the same size as the house and roof
  • 2 x wadding pieces (the same size as the door panels)
Make sure you save all your scraps as you will need these to complete your playmat. If you have any questions, please use the comments section or you can tweet us @eternalmaker! See you next  Monday when we begin the appliqué decoration!

Here’s what you’ll need for the following four weeks:

You will need:

  • Fusible web “Bondaweb” or “WonderUnder” – approximately 1
  • Medium iron-on interfacing – approximately 1 metre.
  • Scraps of fabric for door, curtains, boxes in the roof  and other decorative appliqués in a variety of
    colours. The largest size piece will be for the appliqué door which is 17cm x
  • 3 x grey fabric pieces 20cm x 16cm
  • 12mm bias binding in white for the sash windows –
    approximately 5 metres
  • 25mm bias binding white for the sash windows – approximately
    6 metres
  • 12mm bias binding for the door appliqué in a colour of your
    choice – approximately 2 metres
  • 12mm bias binding in brown for the beams in roof –
    approximately 1 metre
  • 25mm bias binding in brown for the inside door – approximately
    1 metre
  • 25mm bias binding in beige for the boxes in the roof –
    approximately 2 metres
  • (You will also need the fabric scraps that you saved from cutting
    your house panel pieces last week)
  • And a removable (either wash or fade away) fabric marker
    would also be very useful if you have one.
You will need:
  • Webbing tape – 1 metre
  • Sew on “Velcro” 1/2 metre


You will need:

  • Scraps of woolfelt and embroidery thread
  • Toy stuffing