Ok, so it’s the last page! For the 6th page of my frankenbooks, there’s going to be a big, lightly padded flap with applique design and a buckled strap across the top. Under the flap will be a pull-out fabric flower with button centre and a ring to post it through.
I’m making two of these with different designs (star and giraffe) at the same time, so please excuse pics hopping between them. I explain the star design to show how I did the applique – the giraffe was a motif on a baby T-shirt, and I just cut the flap fabric straight from the T-shirt.
Materials I used for this page:
Green and white flowery fabric about 11″ square.
Green striped fabric about 11″ x 3″.
2 x fabric pieces about 7″ x 8″ square for the flap (mine are green and burgundy flowery). The front piece of a baby t-shirt with motif would be great for one or both of these.
Smaller scraps to decorate the flap and to make flower petals.
Lightweight wadding the same size as the flap + any applique you want to do.
2 buttons for the middle of the flower.
4 lengths of 20mm webbing about 7-10″ long (mine are blue, green, purple and yellow).
Plastic buckle to fit the webbing.
Plastic curtain ring for posting the flower through.
What I did:
First make the flap. I cut the flap fabrics to the size and shape that I wanted (mine is a 7″ square with curved corners – remember to leave a seam allowance so my pocket pieces measure about 8″ square). One of my books just uses the design from a t-shirt, but I’m going to show how I appliqued the other, so skip the applique bit if you don’t need it.
I’m going to applique a lightly-padded star onto the flap. I cut 2 star shapes from fabric scraps, and took the wadding and top pocket fabric. I laid the pocket fabric face up with the wadding and then the biggest star shape on top, and pinned them into place.
I pinned on the smaller star in the middle.
I then stitched all around the bigger star, about 1 cm from the edge. And then cut off the excess wadding (cutting it very close to the stitching line so that it won’t show from under the star.
Now stitch around both stars, about 3-5mm from the edges. If your fabric is frayable (like mine is), you might need to seal the raw edges. I used clear nail varnish, but you could use craft glue or something else – just make sure you’re happy for it to be used on a baby toy. Done!
Now place your flap fabrics face to face and pin them together. Pin a flap-sized piece of wadding under them (so you end up with a sandwich of 2 flap fabrics + wadding at the bottom), and sew around the flap fabrics, leaving the top open. Trim off any excess wadding and turn the whole thing the right way out (the wadding should end up inside the flap). Pin around the edge and top-stitch around about 3mm from the edge so that it all lies flat:
And the flap is finished!
Now turn it over so the underside of the flap is facing up. Take one piece of webbing (mine is blue here), and thread it through the curtain ring. Pin and then sew the webbing to the middle of the top edge of the flap, making sure that the curtain ring hangs in the middle of the flap like this:
Now to sew it all together! Lay the flap face up in the middle of the background fabric (mine is white/green flowery). Lay the strip of fabric for the top of the page face down and edge to edge with the flap fabric (see first pic below), and pin through all layers to secure. Make sure the webbing and ring is hanging down where you want it to be when you lift the flap.
Carefully sew along through all layers, about 1/2″ from the edge of the top fabric. Open out and (if necessary) trim the top fabric to the right size. Then top stich along the top fabric, about 2-3mm from the seam you just made to match previous pages and to help everything to lie flat (you can just see this in the pic of the purple webbing below).
I then attached a buckle with webbing to add interest (since I’m not expecting my little one to be able to unbuckle it). With the buckle done up, I looped the 2 lengths of webbing (mine are green and purple) through either side of the buckle, and pinned the ends to the backing. I then sewed back and forth across each end a few times to secure it.
Now for the flower…
Take the last piece of webbing – mine is yellow. Fold the end over by about 10mm, and position the end so that it sits inside the ring. Pin in place. Move the ring out of the way and machine sew the end of the webbing to the backing fabric. Do this in the shape of a box with a cross across it – this will hold it securely and hide the ends.
Now you need your fabric flower – instructions for how I made mine are at the bottom of this page.
First cut the yellow webbing so that it’ll fold up and fit under the flap. Since this end of the webbing isn’t going to be sewn into a seam, I’m now going to seal the ends. Do this by running the cut edge of the webbing over the flame of a lighter or match. The ends of the fibres should melt and will seal together, helping to stop the whole thing fraying. This works for a lot of kinds of ribbon too. The second pic shows the sealed end above the non-sealed end.
I used the long end of thread I left when I made the flower to sew it really securely to the webbing like this:
To hide all the messy sewing and to look pretty, I then sewed buttons on each side. First I sewed a shiny mirrory metal button in the middle of the front of the flower, and then a flat blue button to cover all the stitching on the webbing on the back. As with all my hand-sewing, the thread is double-thickness and knotted at the ends for security.
Thread the flower through the curtain ring, and fold it all away under the flap.
If you wanted, you could add a toggle or popper or other fastening to hold the flap down. My flap is quite big so it says down fine on its own, but I safety-pinned it down until I’d finished the book so that the flower didn’t keep bursting out at me.
Here is the finished page…..lift the flap….and….post the flower!
Now to make your Covers and Hide and Seek Toy
The Fabric Flower
Was awaiting permission to share another mama’s fabby idea for the flower, but am sticking in my own description and pics here….
To make the fabric flower, I used this great blog: http://www.coolmummy.co.uk/bigandlittleartist/?p=69 (many thanks to Dee for her fantastic idea and beautifully simple method!)
I adapted the design slightly because I wanted my flowers to be a different colour on each side, so mine involved a little bit more sewing. I’m making a 5-petal flower which is pink on one side and cream on the other. You could add petals, or use semicircles or slimmer segment-shaped pieces to make flowers with different shapes and numbers of petals.
Here’s how I made my flower:
First I cut 10 squares of satin fabric (5 cream and 5 pink), about 6cm across. Then I cut in an arc from corner to opposite corner to make the squares into 1/4 circle shapes:
I took 1 pink and 1 cream, pinned them together face to face. I machine-sewed along the two straight edges, about 5mm from the edge, and then turned it the right way out. Repeat for the other 4 petals.
To make them into proper petal shapes, take a needle and thread for hand-sewing. Tie a knot a few inches from the end of the thread and sew a running stitch along the curved edge of the petal (don’t do this too close together – stitches 5mm or more apart is fab).
Repeat this for the other 4 petals, adding them all on to the same thread without cutting or knotting it – you’ll then find yourself with what looks like a very mini bit of bunting! Make sure all the petals are facing the same colour up (unless you prefer otherwise).
Now hold on to the last petal you added and simply pull the thread. The petals will all bunch up and it’ll start to look like a flower! Carefully tighten it so that all the petals look right, and tie the ends of the thread together to secure. Leave the ends of the threads long (these will get used and then hidden away later).
Now you have the petals of a lovely 5-petal flower about 3-4″ across (the middle will come later when we add it into the frankenbook) 😀