A How-To Tutorial on Making a Pouf!
With everything that Christina does for all of us, I really wanted to make something for her to say ‘Thank you, you’re awesome, and we all love you!’. As many of you have probably seen by now, we have a new addition of space in the studio we affectionately call the ‘West Wing’. It’s pretty much the hub of all things ‘hand-sewn’. Christina clocks countless hours in our West Wing sewing the faces onto the dolls, and I thought it would be sweet to make her a foot pouf to rest her feet, a project I recently did for my daughter. Shauna has been secretly gathering all the wool clippings from her hair salon and bagging them for me the last couple weeks…trying to be re-user friendly here!…and last week we got some super gorgeous fabric in from Riley Blake that had a pattern maybe a little too big for frocks, but definitely had to be used somewhere special!
Before working at Bamboletta, I used to keep my own little family blog, mostly filled with moments of our lives, but sometimes with craft projects I did at home. As I have been super engrossed with web-stuff and graphics the last couple weeks at work, I thought this would be a great opportunity to do something I really miss (a totally fulfilling craft project at home) and tie it into our blog by documenting the making of the pouf, so if any of you feel so inclined, you can make one too!
So here it goes!…
For this project you will need: Pins, a measuring tape, and scissors! Paper helps too...and some basic math skills...which I lack, so you can get by without ;)
Leather needles...these guys are helpful, but you can do with just a standard needle too.
Here's the fabrics. When I made the last pouf, I used a thick wool as the main stable fabric. This time I went with vinyl only because there are so many 'wool bunnies' around the studio, I thought this would be easier to keep clean. Also, some piping...my favorite. Makes everything look so pro!
...and of course, the hair clippings from Shauna. Be warned, if you attempt this, you will be shocked at how much stuffing you will need! Using old fabric scraps is also an excellent way to reuse and save on some of the $.
Pattern pieces for this project are pretty simple. Basically you need to make a circle the size of however big you want this...mine is 17" across...I made it using two pencils and string...Professional! The 'body' of the pouf is just a long rectangle. Are you good at math? I'm not. I had to look up how to get the circumference and I still managed to screw it up!
Cut out the 'top' circle, and then the 'bottom' circle. I used the Riley Blake fabric for the top and contrast vinyl for the bottom. I also like to back the top piece with something a little thicker. Since I was using vinyl for this project and didn't want it to get too thick, I used some recycled cotton batting and cut that out using the circle pattern piece.
Kind of a cryptic photo! Well, this is me measuring out the 'rectangle' for the 'body' of the pouf. Again, trust your own math skills to get the right length. As for height, I made my daughters 10" because she is only 20 months old and tiny and hers was for sitting and reading. Christina's I made 12" which is a nice height for a foot stool!
Ok, now you have all the pattern pieces…Lets get to the fun part, putting it all together!
So lets put on our fancy piping! It's not really fancy, but I love how it makes any project look nicely finished. Pin your piping along the face-side of the top piece of fabric, lining up the piping raw edge with the raw edge of the circle.
Cut your piping about 1/2" longer than beginning edge.
Undo some of the stitching so you have exposed 1/2" of the cord.
Then snip the 1/2" chord.
This is where you make the 'fancy' happen...take the empty casing you have just created, and wrap it around the beginning piece! (Make sure both the cord ends butt up against each other). Pin in place.
Stitch along the piping stitching line. If you have the eyes for it, I like to sewing just barely on the inside of the line so it doesn't show up when you flip it right side out.
At this point, I like to sew the ‘stabilizing’ backing onto the top piece we just sewed. Just pin it to the back side of the top piece, and sew in place on the right side of the top piece, following your previous stitching line.
This next part, I didn’t take pics of but it’s super simple….
Sew up the side seam of the ‘body’ (use a small stitch length, as there will be a lot of pressure put on this seam). Because I used vinyl, I wanted to fancy it up a little so I did this…
Fold back the inseam and stitch two lines using the center seam as a guide. This is such a simple thing to do, but it has great finishing results!
Pin your 'top' piece to the 'body' and stitch together following your previous stitch line from when you put the piping on.
Now do the same for the bottom piece, but this time, leave about 6" open, making sure you back-stitch at the beginning and end. You need to leave this open so you can flip it right side out and stuff!
OK, so here is our flipped shell...(the piping!)...
...now stuff!!! I LOVE this part!
Once you have your pouf stuffed how you like it (remembering, it will pack down a little over time), you need to close up your opening. I used a simple back-stitch. This one, I stitched one way, and using the same thread, stitched my way back to the beginning to ensure it was closed up tight.
TA DA! Here's our finished pouf! So simple to make, but such a nice thing to do for yourself or someone you want to say 'Thanks' to!