Pip the Pig is making his debut today as the first Abby Glassenberg Design pattern of 2014. Happy New Year and welcome, Pip!
In celebration of Pip's pattern release, I want to share an easy way to sew small softie parts together. This is the technique I use to sew Pip's hooves.
The pink hoof on Pip is small and cut from velour, a pretty thick plush fabric. Sewing such small, thick pieces together on a sewing machine can cause a bit of frustration. It can be hard to get the stitching going without the little pieces getting sucked down into the machine and if the fabric shifts even a little bit the seam won't be accurate. Grrrr…
Here's how it's usually done:
Typically you'd cut one arm and one hoof. Place them right sides together and stitch. This method works, don't get me wrong.
You can make it easier by pushing up on the presser foot bar to lift the presser foot just a bit higher so that you can slide thicker fabrics under the foot more easily.
And you can give the bobbin thread and top thread a little pull when you begin stitching. This will move the fabric along, engaging it with the feed dogs, and get things going.
But, if you'd like an even easier method, here's another way.
Seam two piece of fabric together.
Cut it in half and place the two halves right sides together. Put your pattern pieces on top, aligning the end of the hoof piece and the start of the arm piece with the seam. Place a pin right where the two fabrics meet so that you can be sure they are perfectly lined up. Use a few more pins and, if you're using freezer paper, like me, press the pattern pieces to your fabric (otherwise trace around them with a disappearing fabric marker).
Stitch around the pattern pieces. I do this with the freezer paper still adhered, then pull it off. Trim away the excess fabric so that you're left with a 1/8" seam allowance. Clip the curves, especially between the toes. Turn the arm right side out and stuff!
You can use this technique any time you need to sew two small pieces of fabric together, like a nose or paw. I used it in some portion of the following projects, among many others:
1. Bird (this is how I sew the head to the body); 2. Hadley the Horse(to make hooves); 3. Benji the Bumblebee (to make stripes on his body); 4. Humpty Dumpty (to attach the white upper portions of the egg to the striped lower portions)
It's little tricks like these that make sewing softies much more fun.