Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dress Form Pin Cushion

So, I have been eyeballing this adorable pin cushion in the shape of a dress form at Joann's forever, but I didn't want to fork over $16 for it! So, I held off. Plus, it didn't have the sand/emery stuff that keeps pins sharp.

Well, I'm super happy I held off because I found a pattern for one (from Pinterest, of course). I want to modify it just a bit, but here is my first attempt and I think it worked out reasonably well.

If you want to give it a try, the link is here! Of course, the ones they make look just a tad better than mine, but the second try should prove better results. I'm not thrilled at how huge it is just for a pin cushion and putting it on a candle holder doesn't help either, so I'm on a mission to find something else to put it on, but for now, it was all I could find . . .

Saturday, October 8, 2011

*Updated* Pod Pillow Tutorial!

Okay, so this is my first tutorial! I’m pretty proud of myself for figuring out the pattern for the Pod Pillow and I am happy to share it with the rest of the world.

My directions might be flawed but bear with me and ask as many questions as you need. Hopefully, someone in cyber space will stumble upon my humble blog and be delighted at this piece of iPhone magicalness. 

You will need:
Disappearing ink pen
1 Fat quarter of fabric
I bag of rice
A funnel
A spoon

Update: I've read a lot of comments on Pinterest and other blogs that making the triangles is kind of a pain! I have run into this very problem and after making these over and over, I've found that different measurements work better than equilateral triangles.
So, you can now download the pattern here! It comes with a layout of the pattern NOT drawn to scale, then two separate pattern pieces.

1) Cut the pattern pieces out. You have two options: you can cut each piece individually or cut the two pieces out and tape them together. I prefer to leave them in two big chunks and tape them together once. It's really up to you though. The latter looks like this:

This pic is old, but it does show you how the pattern should look once all taped. I've changed the letters to each triangle side. Now, you just match the letters together and sew!

2) Now, once you have taped your pretty pattern, its time to cut the fabric!

      3) Draw lines with a disappearing ink pen on the fabric, front and back. This will help when you are constructing the ramp. It's hard to see in this pic because I didn't choose the best fabric to contrast with a disappearing ink pen, but you get the idea . . .

4)      4) Press triangle lines. This really helps when you are stitching up the sides of the triangle.
     5) Match, pin and stitch together the following sides:
a.       E

b.      F. 

c.       G. This is the side I like to have the opening. Make one about 1 to 1 1/2" wide

6)   Match and pin ramp corners together. Stitch one side closed (it's the right side in this photo). I tried using the best contrasting thread I could, but again, it's not the best.

7)      7) Turn triangle right side out

8)      8) Press the fold line on the ramp

9)      9) Press a ¼” seam allowance on the opened side of the ramp. I usually just eyeball this.

     10)   Sew ramp shut. Basically, you are closing off the ramp from the rest of the triangle body. I've drawn a line across to use as a guide when stitching it shut.

    11)   Make a seam 1”away from the folded edge of the ramp.

    12)   Make 3 to 4 decorative stitches along ramp (ignore the filled stopper, that will come next)

    13)   Grab a funnel, your bag of rice, and a spoon.
                        Fill tunnel with rice until around ½” away from opening. This is about 1 ¼ Tbsp of rice.

a.       Be sure to pack the rice down so it gets really dense.
b.      Leave about a ½” space from the top

    14)   Stitch opening closed completely (From corner to corner)

    15)   Now, fill the triangle body with about 1 ¼ c of rice. Be sure to pack it in and move it into the corners. Pack it as full as you can so the very top will be filled. The opening should sit open like the picture shows, but you should have no trouble pinning it shut.

    16)   Hand stitch the opening shut. My hand sewing skills are the greatest, but I just do a stitch that looks like a "x"

    17)   You are done! Hooray!

This pic is the original pattern I made that didn't include a printable pattern for you!

Here is a pic of the "new" pattern:

I hope this is easy to follow. It’s a really simple and quick once you get the hang of it.

You can make the triangles smaller or bigger, too if you prefer (check out the ipad pillow tutorial). You might also like a shorter or longer ramp, too. Here is a pic of the 2nd Pod Pillow I tried out before I made this tutorial. The triangles are 6 x 6" and the square is 6 x 6 1/2".

It looks like a throne for my little iPhone . . .

As far as the filling goes, be creative! You can use lentils, buckwheat, sand . . . anything that has some weight. I wouldn’t recommend pillow stuffing for the whole thing, but you could use something heavy like rice or sand on the bottom and fill the top with pillow stuffing, I suppose. The possibilities are endless!!

To all those who stumble upon this blog, please post pics of your Pod Pillows!!!! I’m eager to see any creative deviations from this pattern! Please feel free to share this pattern!