Posted on

Step 5 – Stitch up your baskets!

To make your baskets you’ll need your felt basket pieces (4 x basket sides, 4x basket base), 1 skein of white embroidery thread and a long needle.

These little baskets are quite simple to make, it’s just about taking your time with the stitching.

First, sew five rows of running stitch across the basket side. Next, whipstitch the ends together, and flip the tube the right way out. Lastly, whipstitch on the base.

Tip: you can stitch the whole basket using just one long section of thread!

Now to attach the baskets to the balloon. You can do this using a length of thread taken through the base of the balloon as shown above, create a knot inside the basket to hold securely. Repeat on the perpendicular side to create 4 little ropes.



Posted on

Step 4 – Close up and trim

OK so we’ve cut out, stitched up, and stuffed our balloons, now it’s time to close em’ up. Take one balloon base and 10cm of trimming per balloon, you can use ricrac, mini pom-pom trim, or even ribbon. I’ll be using white pom-pom trim. You will also need a sewing needle and matching thread.

First, whip stitch the felt to the balloon base. Dont tie off the sewing thread just yet, we are going to use the same length of thread to sew on the trimming. This part can be a bit fiddly, hang in there! Using a backstitch, sew the trimming over the ragged edge of the balloon base, then, you can tie off the thread and cut off the excess trimming.

Repeat for the rest of your balloons. Mix and match the trimmings for a bit of creativity.

Posted on

Step 3 – Time for Stuffing!

It’s time to fill those balloons. Here’s a video on how to stuff your balloons, it’s also a great tutorial for stuffing any kind of plushie or softie – the key here is to get your shape, plump, smooth and firm.

Before we get into stuck into the stuffing remember to string up the balloons. Tie a knot onto the end on the hanging thread and thread it through the top of the balloon. I always forget to do this part and end up having to pull out all the filling and start again!

How are your balloons looking? All taking shape nicely I hope! Leave a comment or share a pic of your nice round balloon tops #HotAirSewAlong

Posted on

Step 2 – Stitch up balloon panels

Today we’re going to sew up the balloon panels. In the video below I go through how to pin and sew a balloon using a sewing machine. However, you can easily hand stitch these panels if you dont have access to a machine: just use a simple running stitch sewing from top to bottom.

It’s important to pin your panels together before sewing them up as the pieces can slip and move easily, I know, I know, who can be bothered?! But, trust me on this one, it’ll save you tonnes of time unpicking all them stitches!

Once you’ve sewn up all your balloon panels it’s time to flip them the right way out!

So, how are your balloons looking? Leave a comment, post a pic on twitter with #HotAirSewAlong, ask a question… I’d love to hear from you!

Posted on

Step 1 – Cut out fabric and felt

Welcome to the hot air balloon sew-along! This is the first step to making your baby mobile. If you haven’t already got your pattern you can buy one here or you can buy a DIY kit like the one I’ll be using in this sew-along!

Before we begin, here’s an outline of what we’ll be covering over the sew-along:

  • Gather your Supplies
  • Cut out fabric and felt
  • Sew together the balloon tops
  • Stuff the balloons
  • Close and trim the balloons
  • Baskets
  • Clouds
  • Mini bunting
  • Assemble the mobile

Please ask questions, make comments and send pics along the way! No question is too silly.

Step 1 – Cut out fabric and felt

Cut out all of the pattern pieces first. If you have a craft kit you’ll have these pre-printed onto heavy weight card. Otherwise remember to print your pieces at 100% scale, that is, don’t “fit to page”!

Next up we’ll cut out the balloon fabric panels. Just cut around the dotted lines printed around the balloon shapes, or, if you are using your own fabric trace around the balloon pattern shape onto the back of your fabric with a biro pen or heavy weight pencil and cut. You will need 6 pieces per balloon.

Next, we’ll cut the felt for the baskets, clouds, and balloon base. Trace around the pattern shapes onto your felt using a biro pen or pencil, then cut out all your pieces.

Now that everything is cut you should have:

  • 24 x balloon fabric tops
  • 4 x balloon base
  • 6 x clouds (2 per cloud)
  • 4 x basket base
  • 4 x basket sides

How did it go? Don’t worry about the bunting, that will be made and cut later.

Tomorrow we’ll be sewing the balloon tops!

Posted on

Preparations – time to gather your fabric and materials

Here’s a guide to help anyone gathering together their own craft supplies to make a Hot Air Balloon Mobile.

Below is the full list of everything you’ll need to make your baby mobile:

Supplies list:

  • Quilting fabric or Fabric Panel {four x 20cm x 40cm/ 8 x 16″ pieces}
  • White felt square {20 x 20cm/ 8 x 8″}
  • Felt for baskets {10 x 20cm /4 x 8″}
  • Hemming web {50cm/20” x 2.5cm/1” strip}
  • Wood hoop { 8″ diameter}
  • Embroidery thread {2 skeins for baskets and clouds}
  • Bio, recycled or poly toy fill {approx 300g}
  • Fabric scraps for bunting
  • Ric Rac, ribbon or mini pom-pom trim {around 30cm/12″}
  • Matching all-purpose thread

Useful tools:

  • Scissors
  • Biro pen
  • Large needle for embroidery thread
  • Iron and Ironing board

balloon-mobile-fabric-supplies

Helpful Advice:

Here’s the inside scoop on what I use and recommend.

Fabric:
You can use any quilting weight fabric you like for the Hot Air Balloons. Gingham and linen also work beautifully. Another option is a Fabric Panel that comes with the balloon craft kit.

Décor weight can be a bit harder to work with for turning and so on. Stretch fabrics aren’t appropriate for this pattern I’m afraid.

Felt:
I recommend wool felt which is just beautiful and so great to work with; you can also buy great quality wool/synthetic blended felt which is more durable, but still baby soft. You’ll need a basket colour; I usually go with wicker brown or greys, and also white for the clouds.

Embroidery thread:
I use Anchor Cotton Stranded Thread skeins because it holds well for the baskets and is strong enough to be used for hanging the balloons. You can just use one colour for the whole project, or you might like a basket colour and a different balloon hanging colour like white or pale blue.

Hemming web:
1 inch wide hemming tape works perfectly for this – it’s already cut into a strip so you can just lay it down and fuse together your little bunting flags. Grab it in craft stores and you can often find this little gem in supermarkets too.

Wood hoop:
An 8″/20cm wooden hoop that is roughly 1cm thick is ideal for hanging the balloons and clouds. You can find these at craft stores or an alternative is to use the inner of an embroidery hoop.

Stuffing:
You can use any kind of stuffing for these – polyfill (regular toy fill) works well, recycled bio-fill is great and wool works well too. A note that wool stuffing will make the balloons a little heavier.

Feel free to leave any and all your questions in the comments, happy to chat all about supplies! The sew-along will officially start on the 20th February and I’m so excited to be sharing it with you.

Posted on

Ready Steady SEW! Hot air balloon sew-along

Announcing the hot air balloon sew-along! Begining on Monday the 20th February, I will be going through, step by step, the process of making and sewing a hot air balloon mobile. You’re welcome to sew-along and share your balloons with me on instagram or twitter! #HotAirSewAlong.

How it works

I’ll be making a series of blog posts with videos and photos detailing each step of sewing, stuffing and assembling your balloons.  You can make just one or create a whole mobile. You can sew along with me, ask questions, and share your experience and advice with others.
Posts will go up here on the blog, on our facebook event and pics will be posted to twitter and instagram. Please get involved and leave comments, ideas, questions and photos. The more the merrier!

What we’ll cover

First up I’ll be posting about fabric and supplies for the Hot Air balloons. Actual sewing won’t start until the 20th of February so you’ve got time to gather your supplies and order a balloon craft kit or gather together your own fabric and supplies.
I’ll begin with cutting and sewing up the balloon tops, then move onto felt baskets, clouds, bunting and assembling it all together.
The sew-along will finish on the 04th March, all in good time to show it off at Easter!

What you’ll need

You’ll need the Hot Air Balloon Pattern and you can choose any fabric and felt, or purchase one of our balloon kits here. Tune back in this Valentines day for a full post about fabric and supplies.
Please share this with all your crafty friends, let’s sew balloons together!