Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The "Merry Wedding-Mas" Beanbag

Be warned, al ye who enter here. The tale of woe ye are about to reade is longe and fraughte.
(or something else olde english-ey & forboding-ey)

My lovely friend, Shelley, got all married up in October 2009. Some months before that, she asked whether I'd make her & lovely hubby-to-be a beanbag for their living room as a gift. The story went thus: they had already purchased the fabric & knew exactly what they wanted, but Shelley's lovely mum wasn't able to make said beanbag and the gorgeous fabric was sitting around unloved, waiting for someone to whip it into shape. Cue heroic fanfare, and enter Santie, wearing cape and tights. (and other suitable garments. come on, this is a family show.)

In an almost identical fashion to the 'A-hunting We Will Go' waistcoat, we fast forward to November 2011. Aforementioned gorgeous fabric had been sitting in my sewing room among all my own fabric for such a long time that I had to review my Sewing Flagellation List* to remember it was still there and that I still hadn't even given the lovebirds a freaking wedding present.

*You know what I mean. The long list of lovely projects you dream up and that end up just making you feel guilty for not having completed them. I'm going to publish my SFL soon in an effort not to have one at all. It's a scary list at the moment - and I'm not the only one. Judging by how popular Tasia's recent post on her sewing stash, it seems many sewists are echoing the sentiment, 'It’s no fun if it feels like homework!'

The turning point came with the previously blogged frantic nature of preparations for Christmas last year. I couldn't possibly spend time on making them a different present when they had been waiting so long for one of their own conception ... so I got stuck in.

I used a pattern from the Singer Reference Library: Quick & Easy Decorating Projects book, which I found here. These are such amazing books and I am hunting them down one by one. They will be mine! Oh yes, they will be mine!!! Mwahahahaaaaaaa....

Ahem. The printer I've had for 8 years only works as a scanner these days - something to do with clogged feed heads or spurty things or little nasty green pixies cackling maniacally at my fruitless efforts to get it working again as a printer - so I just drew the pattern pieces onto newsprint free-hand with a few measurements in mind to keep the proportions right.

 As Shelley & Marty are also the proud parents of 2 lovely kittehs, I was conscious that they would probably need to wash the beanbag to de-fur it once in a while, so I decided to make an inner & outer for the beanbag. I cut 8 of the main body pieces, and 1 large circle and 1 small circle from both the lining fabric and the main fabric. The lining was the leftovers of the costumes I made for Hallowe'en, so both Ghostbuster & Bin Laden will live on elsewhere ;)

The rest was simple. Insert 'normal' zip into bigger circle (cut in half to accommodate the zip), sew up the 8 panels, attach the small circle to the top of the 8 panels & then attach the bigger circle (with the zip closed) to the bottom of the 8 panels. Open up the zip, turn the bag right way around and ta-da! Wash, rinse & repeat for outer. Ta-da. Like I said.

Beanbag inner bottom with zip

Beanbag inner panels

Beanbag inner top panel

The only complicated bit was that I had decided some time ago to embellish the beanbag with some embroidery. C'mon. Ya knowz me like-a to 'broider. I asked Shelley if there were any preferences, and she provided the CUTEST designs in confirmation of their nicknames for each other, the Monkey & the Cat. I've looked around to see who the designer of these prints are (Shelley had them as cards) but no luck - so please let me know if you know. You know.

So, here's the finished version, all 'broidered up.
Oh yeah. I couldn't use the 'You Rock my World' image for embroidering. Boo.

Here's my one annoyance with this project. Those leftovers, and the two zips from my stash, make the total cost of the beanbag about £1. EXCEPT for the bastard beanbag filling. People, take my word for it: this stuff is pricey. I'm not talking millions of squidoos, but £15 for a 2.5cu ft bag at Argos is taking the piss -- and didn't even fill this bag halfway. I know Hobbycraft do the same size for about half the price BUT, dah-lings, don't waste your time. eBay is your friend. eBay is always your friend. I got a 4cu ft bag for £10.95 with free P&P and it arrived the next day. Ta-freaking-DA!

Filling it was fun. Rose & I have developed a foolproof system, having developed a cat-food-bag-funnel prototype last year for a different beanbag ... luckily our prototype was not required this time around, hence the relatively unharried expressions.

Tip: it's much easier to fill the bag if your zip
opening is big enough to hold the the bag of filling!
And finally, some shots of the final (albeit half-filled) bag in use. Did I say this was a gift for Shelley & Marty? I'm sorry, my bad: this was evidently meant for Sophie & Oscar all along.

1 comment:

  1. wow! that's quite a skill you got there,
    well, I'm not into those kind of stuffs really, but my wife would definitely love them! oh, mind if I share something to you? They're freebies uk stuffs, if ever you'll be wanting to, just visit them. :)