Do you have children, nephews, friends who love playing with cars? Why not create a DIY drawstring car play mat, perfect for storage of cars, plus play. I love how with the addition of a drawstring means the play mat pulls up into draw string bag. So easy to tidy away when the child has finished playing.
This play mat includes a zoo, park, street of houses, hospital and garage, but only your imagination is the limit! If you are making it for someone in particular you can add what appeals to them. You may remember that my son loves animals, I had to include a zoo!! If you include a zoo here is a free downloadable template for the lion, giraffe and elephant.
This is my sketched design. I found this very helpful when placing the fabric shapes to create the various areas.
My top tip is to allow time, this playmat took two solid days to make.
To make a drawstring play mat you will need:
Two circles of fabric measuring , one for the external bag and one for the play mat side
Strong, heat reactive, sheet of glue which permanently bonds one fabric to another when ironed
White fabric paint
Scraps of fabric
Start by measuring a circle in your fabric. Fold your fabric into quarters. Measure out in a quarter circle with tailors chalk. I added string to mine, holding it tight at the central point then drawing out and round. Once you have one circle use it as your template for the other circle. My circles are 50″across (25″ string).
Cut out fabric to create your roads.
Due to the size I suggest using fabric glue to hold them in place, then stitching along the edges in zigzag to firmly hold them in place. Paint on your central markings on the roads with fabric paint.
Now you have a frame work to start building up the different areas.
Decide on fabric choices for each building, tree, shape. Iron your sheet of glue onto the reverse. Cut out the right size in the fabric and then iron into place on the playmat. Use parchment paper to protect your iron.
Once you have finished the shape, such as a house, stitch the applique in place.
Hand stitch the details onto the animals. I used french knots for the eyes.
To make a sign for your garage use freezer paper. Cut a piece larger than A4, iron the waxy side to the wrong side of your fabric. Trim your fabric to A4 size. Place in your printer and print the design. You can download it here.
Here are some close ups of various areas.
Let’s finish the play mat. Create two small button holes on the external fabric 3/4″ in from the edge.
Place the right sides of the fabric together. Stitch round the circle except a turning gap.
Clip into the seam allowance. Press. Turn right sides out and press, including turning in the edge of the turning gap.
Top stitch round the edge. Then stitch round again 1/2″ . This creates a tube for feeding the drawstring through.
Lastly feed the drawstring through and secure with a double knot.
This post is sponsored by Volkswagen – check out other recycled and/or car related tutorials by fellow bloggers on the Volkswagen collaborative pinterest board “DIY Bloggers for Volkswagen“.
Have I ever shared how I love to read? I am a massive fan of my local library service, visiting almost weekly to pick up fiction books. I am almost addicted to reading at bedtime. Escaping into fiction helps me switch off and wind down for a good nights sleep.
I still have a small amount of shibori inspired dyed denim – remember the pencil cases I made?. It dawned on me that I could adapt this rather nifty technique for making bag handles to create a neat book mark.
Today I am going to share my various shibori inspired denim bookmarks.
Elastic bookmark tutorial
Tip – of you have think denim you may wish to omit the interfacing
Iron the interfacing to the back of the denim
Fold the fabric in half lengthways right sides together. Press.
Fold the long length in half again wrong sides together. Press. Repeat for the other side.
Place elastic in the middle of the denim sandwich. Hold with a pin. Refold fabric.
Sew short ends.
Trim the seam allowance, this reduces bulk. Turn the fabric so the inside is now on the outside.
Poke the corners out. Press and finish with a top stitch all round the denim.
Use the same technique to create a bookmark with ribbon.
Or how about a different take on elastic? Lengthen the denim, create an elastic loop and add a button.
Personally this is my favourite – I am tempted to start a bullet journal, if I do this is the style bookmark I will use. Naturally you can use any fabric scraps you have.
Have I ever told you I’m a last minute person? Today is the closing date for an upcycling competition being held by Korbond, with a prize of a sewing machine its got to be worth an entry!
This week I read a great article “It can take an incredible 2700 liters of water to produce the cotton for just one single t-shirt. With only one percent of the world’s water supplies being clean and accessible, this is highly significant. Cotton farming also takes up agricultural land that could be used to produce food for local communities and it uses an extremely high number of chemicals during production.” (1millionwomen) Any competition which encourages extending the life of clothes needs to be supported.
The competition is to upcycle two garments into one. I new straight away that I wished to experiment with an old patchwork liberty waistcoat I made for a school project (25+ years ago) with sashiko inspired stitching.
A plan formed to create a skirt from a pair of cotton trousers, to be embellished with sashiko stitching and pieces of the liberty waistcoat.
Yesterday I finally spotted a pair of suitable trousers in a charity shop – today I spent stitching whilst listening to the radio, bliss.
Firstly I made the skirt (if you would like to know more about how to do that check out this tutorial).
Then the fun bit, I played with pieces of liberty fabric patchwork.
Lastly I hemmed the skirt – initially the plan was to turn under the hem ad hold with bondaweb. However this didn’t pan out so instead I used bias binding.
The project took the morning, what a lovely morning.
Plus I was treated to a great radio program “Tunes from the Trash” all about trash turned into musical instruments in Paraguayan. A program after my heart:)
Shortlisted garments will be shown at the Sewing for Pleasure event at NEC on the 19-21st March, with the winner chosen by the public. I expect there to be some high caliber entries, I look forward to seeing the upcycled garments.