We recently got back from visiting my sister and her family in Sweden. In the lead-up to the trip I suddenly decided to make some hot water bottle covers, or hotties, for my nieces, thinking they’d make the perfect gift for a cold climate. In the end their house is so lovely and insulated and cosy, but the girls loved them and they are also perfect for sore tummies when you need someone to cuddle (Buggy gave them a little test drive before we gifted them!).
There’s a number of events that excite a 5-year-old, one of those at the top of the list is losing a tooth! Buggy’s first tooth finally wiggled free a couple of months ago but was promptly swallowed by her while eating an apple. She didn’t notice right away – just went in for some wiggling activity with her fingers later that day to find the little peg gone!
When I was little through to my teen years, I spent my quiet time (ok, tv viewing time) plonked on two large floor cushions with batik covers from our Singapore days. Being nostalgic, I planned to make those same cushions for my home and even bought the fabric on a recent trip to Bali. But in this new house with our first designated toy room, I’ve wanted to create a room with a fresh popsicle palette for my little guys. Still, the idea of giving them something to rest and roll on was still on the agenda.
I used Dana’s Rollie Pollie pattern which makes HUGE round cushions with handy straps for pulling and pushing them where you need them even if this means on top of one another for kamikaze jumping.
Dana even makes a point in her instructions, make sure you make those seams real strong for the antics that will ensue. She was right! Bugs’ first move was a hurtling run and forward roll onto her Pollie, narrowly missing the corner of the coffee table with her skull.
The pattern is simple and effective – two end circles attached to four side panels, plus the strap. These babies are an easy and forgiving sew, I know because I was rather rough with my pattern cutting. Over New Year’s I cut the pattern out at our family’s farm. I made a mistake in the sizing, there’s no access to computer or printer to rectify the situation, and being the gung-ho sewer I am (take after my Dad, just gotta get things done!) I pressed on. Needless to say, my end circles ended up an inch or so too small which meant a generous tuck on both inner and outer cover. But really, who’s checking?! My squirrels? No they’re too busy jumping and whooping!
Yee haa! Again? Again?
Fabrics: the yellow chevron is a Riley Blake home dec basic and can you believe that delicious pastel choc drop is a no-name from Spotlight?! I filled my Pollies with a mixture of foam beans, softie stuffing, fabric offcuts and finally a HUGE bag of crumbed foam. It takes way more than you expect and I kept filling and filling and filling. I think a combo of foam beans and crumbed foam is the way to go, but the crumbed FOAM is super messy. Just warning you!
Biggest challenge, sewing up the inner cover once stuffed. Let me recommend you give yourself plenty of table space next to your machine for the RP to sit on while you sew. I did not, and ended up balancing it on my left thigh in the air while I had my right foot on the sewing pedal. Hmm, no floor contact? That took good balance! I wasn’t happy with the quantity of stuffing for my first bag so I actually unpicked the inner cover by a hand width and stuffed it some more. (Might be why I ended up with so much crumbed foam across the house). The second bag I ripped the outer seam trying to get my over-stuffed inner bag into its outer cover. So the moral of the story is, I reckon you 3/4 fill your bag, sew it up mostly, put on the outer cover and with the zip open, fill it up a little more until the final sew. What to do when it comes time to wash the covers I’m not sure. It will be a fight to get these babies back in afterwards!
I’m still going to make those batik cushions for our lounge room one day, but in the meantime the sight of these two and their books on their Rollie Pollies warms my heart!
Recently, I looked at our couch and was dismayed at how four of the cushion covers were torn. TORN! What an embarrassment. Sigh, the life of sharing a home with two little munch-cakes who go hard. So I decided a revamp of our poor lounge was in order and I had just the fabric in my stash.
The first cushions got a make-over with this great multi-colour fabric I picked up in Bali last year. I bought a bunch of fabric on that trip (not as much as I would have liked; hubby does not understand the need for copious reams of fabric) and I am glad to finally put some to use.
The rectangle cushions got recovered by some batik fabric my grandmother had in her stash and recently handed over to me. I love this fabric although it is a bit thin so I hope it stands up to the test of those aforementioned munch-cakes.
I re-used the cushion inserts and zips from the previous covers and tried my hand at piping. The cream one is store-bought and the blue one I made myself from the batik fabric! Very happy with how it turned out.
Oh! And momentous moment, this is my very first time sewing zippers!! Zipper foot on the machine – check; YouTube instructional videos watched – check! And for a first attempt it didn’t go too badly. I think the cushions now work in better with the African dolls and other room features than the previous lot.
While I was sewing the covers I left the batik fabric on top of my machine one night and then had an idea….
A NEW MACHINE COVER! Much better than the ugly torn plastic cover that used to be on my machine. Why is everything in my life torn!! My sewing corner shares the same room as the lounge so it ties in nicely. This cover reminds me of the cover my grandparents have on their toaster. Well maybe mine’s fancier with the batik fabric, but the shape, you know. Does anyone else own a toaster cover??!?
As I mentioned, the batik is a bit thin so I made it a reversible cover with a spotty stronger cotton and this gives me the option of another look
if when we move. Yes we are renting, so life is a moveable feast. I have a project up my sleeve for this fabric that is on the dining table mid-construction, so this was the off-cut. Very exciting project and will be unveiled when I get my act together!! Watch this space…
Yes the cushions may not get much life with this one around, but for now we love them.