Doll’s Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Part 2 – Making the Mattress

Making The Mattress To Fit a Vintage Suitcase


You will need:
Main fabric – we used a lovely brushed cotton stripe
Bias binding
Self Cover Buttons 19mm x 6
Long doll needle
Thick thread

around the base of your suitcase.  Then, using this template, cut 2
pieces of fabric this size.   Then cut two strips at that are
approximately 2cm shorter than the height of your suitcase.  I endied up using
approximately 60cm of 110cm wide fabric.

Join your two strips together along the short side, to create one long strip, but cut two 20cm pieces off the end of this.
one of these pieces, create a handle.  I did this by pressing in the
ends, then folding the piece in thirds to create a piece that was
approximately 15cm x 5cm.  I sewed several lines along the length of
this piece, and all around the edge, and then stitched each end to a
central-ish point of the long strip.

sure that the handle falls in the centre of one of the long sides of
the main pieces, and then, wrong sides facing, I started to sew the top
of the mattress to the side.  I did this wrong sides facing because I
wanted to bind the edges, but if you don’t want to bind, do right sides
facing and turn through at the end.

stitching the top to the side, I then bound the edge using a lovely
satin bias binding.  Satin binding is such an old fashioned bed type
thing, don’t you think?  It’s always on mattresses, or around blankets.
 I wanted this mattress to have a bit of a vintage style appeal – purely
for my aesthetics, but that’s as good a reason as any, when you think
about it.

I then repeated these steps to join the bottom to the side, and then bound it.
you get to the join, fold each edge in, and overlap slightly before
sewing into place.  Make sure the top and bottom line up nicely, so when
it comes to it you have a nice easy to stitch finish.  This hole will
be your stuffing hole.
all made and bound, it’s time to stuff.  I used 2 whole bags, and the
leftovers of my duvet and pillow set.  That was probably about 700g of
stuffing.  Stuff firmly, making sure your spread is even and not lumpy.
Once you’re stuffed, slip stitch the side opening closed.
 I feel like I should say a word of warning about the buttons, in that
they are small parts and this is designed predominantly as a small
person’s play thing.  Make sure, if you use buttons, to use thick thread
and sew them tight.  Make sure they’re not likely to be pulled off.  If
you’re too worried about doing these, just don’t use buttons.  You can
still create the effect but with little crosses of thread, rather than
the buttons.

Anyway, back to the making.  Cover your buttons with the remaining 20cm piece of fabric you cut earlier.
If you’ve never made covered buttons before, here’s how:

a circle of fabric approximately 1cm wider on all sides than your
button.  Turn your button upside down on the fabric, then using your
fingers, push the fabric around to the teeth of the button back so it’s
gripped into place nicely.  I like to alternate the sides I’ve pushed
from and rotate the button as I go, so I get a nice even finish.  Once
your fabric is all gripped nicely into place, push the back on your
button.  Make sure you can hear it click into place.  If you don’t hear
or feel the click, it’s not pushed in properly.
you’ve covered your buttons, take out your doll needle.  (It’s amazing
how something that can look so much like an instrument of torture can
have such an innocuous name as a ‘doll’ needle.)  Thread your thick
thread doubled on your needle.  Then finding the middle of the mattress,
anchor your thread in the spot firmly.  Then push the needle through
the mattress to the centre of the other side.  Come back to the first
side, making sure to find the centre point, and repeat back and forth a
few times, cinching in the mattress as you go.  Once you’ve got it
cinched in nice and firmly, thread the button on your needle, looping
over a couple of times for security, and then thread back through to the
other side.  Thread your button on the other side, looping double
again, and then secure as firmly as possible.  Tie off, and lose the
threads somewhere in the body of your mattress.

Next find the spot between this centre button and the left hand edge and repeat.  Then repeat for the right hand edge.
 That’s one mattress done.  I made a pretty fat mattress, and at this
point I looked at it in the suitcase and thought to myself that it would
make a really awesome bed for a cat or a little dog.  So unbelievably,
there are other uses for this mattress.  Would you believe it?
The next installment will be on the 16th January, and we’ll start making the bed!

Doll’s Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Part 1 – Covering The Suitcase

 Covering a Vintage Suitcase with Fabric!
I’m going to start this with a bit of a disclaimer.  Suitcases come in all shapes and sizes, and they have all sorts of different fittings, handles, hinges.   They’re made from various different materials, and no two will ever be the same – even if they look totally similar!  So here’s a few tips and techniques to get you started, in the hope that you’ll be able to figure out the rest yourself.  Of course, if you come up against any problems, let me know and I can see if I can explain a little further, but for now, here’s how:
You will need two contrasting fabrics – one outer, and one lining.  I used around 75cm of each fabric for my size case.  To help see what you need, I’d measure the top, and the height.  You’ll need two tops and two strips of height for both the lining and the main fabric, and that should do it.
Glue – we used Cartonnage Glue (an awesome glue that is quite similar to Mod Podge)
A craft knife; scissors that you don’t mind messing up (no dressmaking shears here, please).

 Cut the your outer fabric to the same size as your suitcase, with 2cm extra all around.  Then cover the base of your suitcase with the glue, spreading it thick and evenly.  Lay the fabric over the glue, centrally, and smooth it so there are no creases or bubbles.

Cut snips at approximately 2cm intervals around the edge.
 Cover with glue around the edge 2-3cm up, and stick up the flaps you’ve cut.  The slits cut should help you go neatly around the corners.  Be prepared to get a little messy – think back to primary school and covering your hands with PVA type messy, and you’re on the right track.
It should start to look something like this.
 Measure the side of your suitcase, then add about 4cm to the width.  Cut a strip of outer fabric to this size.  You’ll need one or two strips to go around the edges, depending on the size of your suitcase.
 Spread glue over the side of your suitcase.  Lay the fabric face down, lining up 1-2cm in from the base edge of the case.  Then spread a bit of extra glue on the 1-2cm fabric that is touching the case.
 Fold the fabric up, and smooth down on the side of the case.  The last step gives you a nice neat folded edge. 
 Carry on in this method around the edge of the case, until you get to the hardware at the front.
 Carry on gluing as normal, sticking your fabric over the top of your locks etc. 
 With your knife, cut a cross over the metal parts to allow you to get to them later.  Then leave for the time being.  Cut extra space around your handle and any other hardware.
 Cut slits and the excess fabric over the top edge just as you did for the base.  Then repeat this entire process for the top of the case.  Then put aside to dry.
 Once your glue is all dry, return to the hardware, and using your craft knife, trim all around the edges as neatly as possible.  You may find that the fabric is stuck slightly to the metal, but give it a tug and it should all come free.  The fabric will have hardened so you can get a nice clean cut with your knife.
 Spread some extra glue all around the cut edges of your hardware.  It’ll dry clear and seal any raw edges so they won’t come undone over time.
Cover the handle the best way you can manage.  If the handle doesn’t need covering, don’t bother, as it can be one of the trickier bits.
Cover any hinge on both the inside and the outside before starting covering the inside.  Once this is done, start covering the inside using the same techniques you used on the outside.
Cover the sides first, folding a neat edge along the top, and overlapping the bottom.
I actually made a bit of a mess of the bottom of this one – but luckily managed to save it with the use of some handy apron tape…  It is worth pointing out that you need to keep the area around the rim of the main case and the lid as finely covered as possible, as if the fabrics are too thick, you’ll have trouble closing it.   With this case, I actually over did it.  With a few taps of a hammer to slightly soften and curve the rim on the base I got it back in to fit – but it is tight.  I’m hoping it will loosen up with use.  On the last one I made, a slight sanding helped.
Don’t worry about leaving too much glue on your outside – it’ll dry clear and you shouldn’t see it.  Put it to one side to dry while getting on with the contents of your case.

The next installment will be on the 9th January, when we’ll make a mattress to perfectly fit your case!

Doll’s Bed in a Suitcase Sew Along Coming Soon!

This blog post has been a long time coming.  I first posted pictures of this project a few years back (here) and always planned to do a tutorial, but what with one thing and another, never quite got round to it.  You know how it goes.
original project was made for my goddaughter, and around that time
another friend requested one for her then unborn child.  I agreed, but
there was no rush, I thought, because the baby wasn’t even born yet. 
And then I forgot, as I so often do with these things.  Roll on two
years, and said child is long since born and perhaps at exactly the
right age to play with this, and it again cropped up in conversation, so
I thought it might be about time I did the things I promised, and give
you guys a tutorial, and give Frida Betty her doll’s bed-in-a-suitcase.

This suitcase is covered, has a perfectly fitting mattress, along with a fitted sheet.  It has a duvet, duvet cover, pillows, pillow cases, quilt, and blanket.  Perfect for all a doll’s needs.

It’s a huge project, so I thought we’d do it as a sew-along.  To get started, you’ll need a couple of things – the first one being one small vintage suitcase. 

it’s going to be pretty hard to tell you exact measurements because
it’s a vintage suitcase.  And we all know they come in completely mixed
sizes and shapes.  Find a small one, in as good a condition as you can
manage, as the better the condition the easier the job.  Mine was
approximately 35cm x 55cm.  The last suitcase I made, was possibly
slightly smaller, and easier to work with as it had a plastic handle. 
This had awkward slightly rusting hardware, which was a lot trickier to
maneuver around.
despite the fact that your suitcase will no doubt be a completely
different style and shape, here’s some really detailed instructions so
you can hopefully pick up a few tips! 

is my suitcase – as you can see, it’s a little beat up and dirty.
 Stitching is coming undone, and there’s a little bit of rust.  But
it’ll do for the job.  You can see in the top picture that the handle was plastic and that was a lot easier to cover.

You’ll need about 75cm each of main fabric and lining fabric (more if your suitcase is bigger, less if smaller).
You’ll need glue, either mod-podge, or this awesome stuff is perfect.

But alternatively, if you want to skip this step altogether, find a case like this and follow this great tutorial on the Beautiful Mess blog here.

image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess blog.

We’ll go through how to cover the suitcase in the first proper installment which we’ll do on the 2nd January 2016, and we’ll do every Saturday until we’re done!

Little House Playmat Sew Along – Week Four

Welcome to week four of our little house playmat sew-along! This week we will be stitching together all the finished
components, you’ve been working so hard on, to produce your house playmat.
The construction of the playmat is in itself simple but the
need for accuracy is quite important. As is the need for quite a bit of
patience – we don’t recommend doing these stages if you are in a rush!  You will be sewing through a lot of elements
in one go and fitting a lot of components together at once, so please don’t
become disheartened if the dreaded unpicker has to come out – we can assure you
that we had to use ours on a couple of occasions! Remember to refer back to
week one if you need clarification of the names of the different parts of the
Having said that, this should be a very satisfying week for you
all – your playmat will finally look like a playmat!
So let’s begin…..
Firstly lay your central house panel sized piece of wadding
onto your work surface, now lay the house panel, with it’s right side facing up,
on top.  Lay the brick fabric back house
panel on top of this, with the right sides of the two fabrics facing each
other. In between this sandwich of fabric, you will insert your webbing pieces
– this creates the hinges on the sides of the playmat. Cut 10 pieces of webbing,
each 8cm long. Peel back the back house panel slightly so you can see what you
are doing. Measuring down the side of the house and working from the top corner
where the roof meets the straight edges, pin your webbing pieces evenly, five on each side. The main part of each of the
webbing pieces needs to be laid on the
house panel with one end flush to the edge of your house panel. Repeat this on
the other side of your house panel. See photo 1 below.
photo 1
Fold the back house panel edges back over to completely
enclose the webbing pieces. See Photo 2 below
photo 2
Now pin all the layers together, all the way around. Sew the layers together, working up one side of
the house panel, up and down the sides of the roof and down the other side of
the house panel – make sure you leave the bottom edge of sandwich open and free
from stitching. 
Once stitched around the edges, clip any excess fabric away from
the corners of your work being careful not cut through the stitching and then turn the house
panel etc right side out as shown in photo 3 below.
All your webbing pieces
should be secure – give them a tug to make sure (re-stitch if necessary) see photos 3 and 4 below for reference.
photo 3
photo 4
Now is the time to quilt any parts of the house panel you
wish to. We firstly secure the layers together with safety pins (photos 5 and 6 below) –
this stops the layers sliding around but you can also achieve this by tacking
the layers together. You can use hand stitching or machine stitching and you can
quilt as much or as little as you like. In the end we choose machine quilting
and we followed the edges of the rooms for our quilt pattern.
photo 5
photo 6
So that’s the main part of your playmat finished for the
time being – now you can start constructing your first door panel!
To begin with you are going to need to make some Velcro tabs
that hold you playmat closed.
Cut three 10cm x 10cm squares of wadding from your scraps
and then cut six square pieces of 10cm x 10cm from the scraps of your brick
fabric. Then cut three 6cm lengths of Velcro (you need to use sew on Velcro –
stick on will not be strong enough) and separate the hooked sides from the
looped sides of the Velcro.
Take one of your fabric squares and sew one of the 6cm
strips of the hooked side of the velcro approximately 2cm in from three of the edges. Repeat this three
times over as shown on photo 7 below.
photo 7
Now take one of your wadding squares and lay it on your work
surface, lay the brick fabric square with the velcro attached, on top of it,
right side facing up. Then lay on top of this another brick fabric square,
this time one without any Velcro attached, right side facing down, see Photo 8.
photo 8
Sew around three sides of this fabric sandwich, leaving the side
furthest away from the Velcro open for turning. Again clip the excess fabric
away from the corners and turn your tab right side out. Repeat these steps to
make three complete Velcro tabs all with hooked Velcro attached. See photo 9 below – Save the other pieces of Velcro for
photo 9
Now take your right hand side outside door panel piece and
lay this right side up on your work surface. Working up from the bottom of the
longer edge of your front door panel, measure up approximately 10cm and place
your first tab here. Space the following two tabs along the same edge with
approximately 11-12cm between them each. Lay the tabs on so that half the tab is laying
on the panel and half of the tab is over hanging the edge. The velcro end of
the tab must be laying on top of the front door panel, see photo 10. 
photo 10
Once the tabs are pinned in place lay one of your inside
front door panel pieces on top of the right hand side outside door panel,
matching the edges and with right sides facing each other. Then lay a piece of
wadding on top, again matching the edges of your panels. See photos 11 and 12 below.
photo 11
photo 12
Sew around the long edge of this fabric sandwich enclosing
and securing the Velcro tabs, and then stitch along the roof edge. Leave the
short edge and bottom edge of the sandwich unstitched and open. Clip any excess
fabric from the corners of your work – minding that you don’t cut through any
stitching. Turn the front door panel right side out to check your stitching and
that the tabs are secure.  This will now
be known as your right hand door panel sandwich.
Now repeat this process of sandwiching up your fabric for
the other door panel. Take the left hand side outside door panel and lay it
right side up on your work surface. Then lay your left hand side back door
panel on top with the right sides facing. Then add another door panel sized
piece of wadding on top. (You won’t need to add any tabs this time.)
Again pin and stitch this sandwich together only working
along the shorter vertical edge and the roof’s sloping edge. This will now be
known as your left hand door panel sandwich. Again clip any excess fabric from
the corners of your work. Turn your left hand door sandwich so that it’s right
side out – and check your stitching.
While both your door panel sandwiches are turned right sides
out this is a good chance to check if your pieces are the correct size and will
meet in the middle of your playmat – lay them on top of your prepared central
house panel to check the doors butt up neatly against each other in the centre.
You can shuffle them in a bit if necessary. See photo 13.
photo 13
Now we’re going to attach the door panels to the main central panel, it is easier to do than it is to explain so bear with me and maybe read the
instructions a couple of times all the way through before you start. Maybe have
a practice of your construction where you just pin your elements together and
then turn them right side out to check you are indeed on the right track.
Ok here goes…..
Take your right hand side door panel sandwich and turn it
wrong side out again. Separate the layers so that what was the inside door
panel  lays flat on the work surface and
the outside door panel and wadding are lifted slightly up and away from it making
a kind of pocket. See photo 14. Also lay your completed central house panel
right side facing up, alongside it so that the two shorter edges match up.
Again refer to Photo 14 below.
photo 14
Now comes the slightly tricky part. You are aiming to fit
the central house panel inside the door panel sandwich. Firstly temporarily
fold down the roof part of the central house panel. Now, importantly, from the right hand side of the door panel start
rolling up your central door panel. Roll it like a swiss roll from right to
left,  enclosing the folded down roof as
you go. Roll it until just the webbing on the left hand side is poking out on
an edge of your swiss roll. Now continuing  with the rolling motion –  the central house panel swiss roll, rolls
over its webbing edge and into the ‘pocket’ you made in the last step. 
Your swiss
roll has now been flipped over inside the door panel pocket so that the right
side of the house panel is essentially facing the right side of the inside door
panel.  And the right side of the back brick
fabric panel is facing the right side of the front door panel. Have a look at
Diagrams 1 to 4 below for guidance.
Please take care distinguishing the turquoise and aqua colours below as they look very similar – to confirm, the higher line in this colour is turquoise, and is the outside door panel, the lower line is aqua, and refers to the inside door panel. If you’re confused by this please comment and we will help you decipher!
Diagram 1,2,3,and 4
You should now have something that looks like photo 15
photo 15
Tuck the swiss roll in so it that it’s edge is about 2cm further in than the raw edge of the inside door panel. See photo 16.
photo 16
Pin this in place, and now close the pocket around the swiss
roll, matching all the short edges of the sandwich together so they all lay
flush.  You will now have completely enclosed
the swiss roll and all you will see is a little bit of the webbing ends poking
out. See photo 17.
photo 17
You are aiming to
make webbing hinges of about 15mm so pin and tack all these layers together and
stitch through the sandwich layers only securing the webbing as you go. You do not want to sew through any part of
the central house panel. And you do not
want to sew along the bottom edge of your door panel pocket either at this
stage. See diagram 5 below for a cross section reference of where you should be
diagram 5
Check you have caught in all the webbing and all your layers
with your stitching and turn your work right side out through the hole still
left in the bottom of the door panel sandwich pocket. You should now have webbing
hinges between the central house panel and the right hand door panel that looks like photo 18 below.
photo 18
If anything has gone wrong at this stage don’t be afraid to
get the unpicker out and have another go – or turn your work back inside itself
to adjust your stitching. These stages do require a little bit of patience I’m
afraid, but preparation of the layers is the key.
To attach the left hand side door panel, work in EXACTLY the
same manner as before but work in the mirror image of what you did for the
right hand door panel.

Once you’ve completed this, your house playmat should now be fully functioning – with
hinged door panels on either side. These should fold closed to show the outside
of the front door panels and open to show the inside of the front door panels
and the central house panel.
Phew! All that remains to do now are two simple little
 Firstly, sew on, by hand,
the velcro pieces you saved earlier. Position them on the front of the right
hand side front door panel, matching them to the tabs on the left hand door
panel, so the Velcro sticks together when the door panels close.
Secondly, stitch up all the bottom edges of your playmat. You
can either over stitch with a machine or we found it easier to take our time
and hand stitch the layers together with an over stitch or ladder stitch. You
will need to do this in separate stages for each panel and enclose the raw
edges as you go. I found it easier to fold my raw edges in and iron a crease in
them before I started stitching (you may also need to clip away some bulk of
the wadding to make this easier).  Once
all the bottom edges are closed your house playmat is fully formed and ready
for little hands and feet!
I hope you didn’t find week 4 too confusing – if you have ANY questions (and I imagine you may have!) please please just ask away in the comments section and I will do my best to answer thoroughly for you! After all that hard work, next week we’ll have fun making
the felt creatures to live and play in our house!

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.