I'm a big fan of specialty fabrics. They add a bit of extra style, texture & fun to projects. Today I'm going to share my love of Softie fabric and why I think it's a great addition to any fabric stash. So what the heck is Softie?
Softie is an incredibly cozy polyester than has plush nap on its right side and a smooth finish on the wrong side. A bit softer than velour, and with just a bit of stretch, so you can use it for clothing, blankets, toys, quilts & all sorts of other things. If you want to make something cuddly, this is the fabric to use. You can't help but want to sink your hand in it - it's that soft.
Sewing with it is easy - just use a lot of pins to keep it from sliding while sewing together. Doing a quick tumble in the dryer will take care of any loose fuzzies after cutting too, but both of these things are pretty minimal compared to a lot of other fluffy fabrics. One last tip - it's not meant to be ironed, but because of it's fluid softness it rarely creases.
I used some of the new Timeless Treasures Softie dots & solid green to make a reversible hooded pullover for my little lady. The pattern I had called for knits and worked great since the Softie has just enough stretch. It was an huge improvement over using knit since each side was cloud-soft and cuddly. It's now my 2 year old's favorite top!
I also love Softie fabric because unlike fleece and other cuddly fabrics, it keeps its plush feel and doesn't pill up as much over time. Staying ultra soft over time makes it ideal for children's projects. And speaking of projects, how about a tutorial for one right now?
My Little Lovey Doll is easy to make. Even a beginner can have one made in about 30 minutes. And being part doll, part blankie means it's a perfect bedtime or travel companion. I used the pink squiggly lines & solid chocolate Softie fabrics from Timeless Treasures for mine.
- 3/8 yd Softie print fabric
- 1/8 yd Softie solid fabric
- Batting (11in wide x 12in high piece)
- A few ounces of polyfill
- Embroidery floss
- Tiny scrap of felt
- Hand embroidery needle
- Sewing Notions (thread, pins, sewing machine, pencil)
First make the patterns. On a paper square that is 11in wide by 12in high make a pear shape with rounded arms. From a square that's 1.5in wide by 1.5in high, cut a "U" shape to make the hands template. And from a square of paper that is 3.5in wide by 3.5in high make a rounded head shape that that narrows slightly at the bottom (to make a neck).
Cut out the front & back of the body from the print Softie and a single body from the batting. Cut a front & back of both hands and the head from the solid Softie.
On the head front, using the floss, hand embroider some "U" shapes for the eyes and cut out a small "U" from the felt and stitch that on for the mouth:
With the flat end of the head lined up with the neckline of the body (and the right sides facing), stitch the head to the body on both the front and back pieces:
With right sides facing, sew the front & backs of the hands together leaving the bottoms open. Clip around the curve (I use pinking shears to make this fast & easy around small curves like this) and turn right side out. Stuff with a small amount of polyfill.
On the front line up the open ends of the hands with the wrist area on the body:
Place the back side over the front and then place the batting on top. Pin all the layers and then stitch together with a .25in seam allowance, leaving a 2 inch gap at the bottom for turning.
Clip around the curves (or use my time-saving pinking shears trimming). Turn the doll right side out and stuff the head section with polyfill, using a pencil or knitting needle to help pack it in. You can add a few hand stitches through all the layers at the neck to help keep the polyfill in place (although I didn't and it hasn't shifted out of place). Hand sew the bottom opening closed. Next cut the two triangles, that are 4 in wide at the base and 4 inches high, for the hat:
Sew the sides of the hat together with a .25in seam allowance and turn right side out:
Fold the raw edges of the hat under and place it on the lovey's head. Pin together and hand stitch in place:
Now there's a soft & cuddly lovey doll for a little person to love! My daughter immediately took to hers and it's now her new best friend. They go everywhere together:)
What would you make with some Softie fabric? I'd love to hear your ideas!
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