Monthly Archives: April 2014

Minted!

The big colour story for this summer/autumn is mint green, every collection seems to have this colour included in it, what do you think – love it or hate it, we would love to know…

trendsetter mintflower patch mint good natured mint primrose leaf

Share Your Makes with Us for a Chance to Win

We love to see images of the things you have used our fabrics for, and judging by the number of inspirational pinboards on Pinterest there are lots of other people out there looking for, and storing up ideas for future projects.

We have set up a special pinboard just for your images, and to encourage you to send your images in, we will give 500 points to our favorite new image every month.  We can add your images anonymously (if you are a little shy) or shout how great you are from the roof tops, with links to your own blogs/pinterest boards/Etsy/Folksy/Facebook pages etc…

Just send your images to printstopolkadots@hotmail.co.uk and we will get them posted.  We will reveal the winner each month here, and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/printstopolkadots), and email the lucky winner to let them know.

Our first image has already been loaded, sent in by Lucas, who has her own blog, a copy of the image is below and if you click it you can visit our pinterest page, and from there view her blog!

lucas

 

 

Summer Breeze By Bella Blvd for Riley Blake

We have a real soft spot for Bella Blvd designs, previous collections include Too Cute to Spook, Puppy Park and Sunny Happy Skies.  We are almost out of Melly and Me’s Snug as a Bug collection and we think it would make a great substitute for your planned projects, a little louder, but full of fun playful colours and patterns.

Click here to jump straight to the collection in store, or on the image below to visit our Pinterest board, full of inspirational images and links to free tutorials.

summer breeze pinterest board

Riley Blake’s Country Girls Collection Has Arrived!

A great collection for a sunny Spring afternoon – screams out to be made into clothes for little people, grown up aprons and bedroom bunting!

We have included our favorite images to inspire you, click on the images to visit our Pinterest board, from there you can click straight through to view fabrics and free patterns./tutorials.

Want to visit Prints to Polka Dots and view the fabrics now?  Click here.

country girls long banner

Soft Toy Giraffe Free Pattern

giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing
Finished Size: Approx 13” tall

Requirements:

20.5” x 14” main fabric (we used Riley Blake’s Giraffe Crossing collection flannel) you will need more fabric if the pattern has a clear direction and you aren’t happy to use it at an angle for inside legs.

6.5” x 11” contrasting fabric or fabric scraps for ears, horns and hooves (we used Riley Blake’s Sasparilla collection).

Toy filler/stuffing.

Method:

Cut out your pattern pieces, taping together the two halves that make up the main body piece.

step 1 giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Fold you main body fabric in half, vertically, so that the right sides are facing each other, place your body, legs, ears and tail pattern pieces on the folded fabric, trace and cut out (the layout shown works for fabrics where you don’t have a right way up, or where you don’t mind which way up the pattern appears inside the legs).

step 2 cutting giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Fold the contrasting fabric in half, right sides facing, and trace the hoof pattern piece on top x4, the horn piece x2 and the ear x1.  Once cut out you will have x8 hooves, x4 horns, and x2 ears.

step 3 cut shapes giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

 

Making up the Parts

Starting with the ears.  Place an external and internal piece together, right sides facing, and sew around the curved edges (see image below).  Snip into the seam allowance around the curve, turn out and iron flat.  Repeat with the second ear.

step 4 ears giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Complete the same process with the tail pieces, this time only sewing along the two long edges (see 2nd image below).  Once turned out, sew a line across the tail as shown in the 4th image, then snip into the part of the tail below this line, up to the seam, to create the tassels on the tail.

step 5 tail giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

For the horns, place one piece of horn fabric in front of you, right side facing you.  Tie a large knot in a piece of cotton and lay this down the centre of the fabric, so that the knot is just above the piece of fabric, and the other end of the cotton is below the fabric.  Place a second piece of horn fabric on top, so that the right sides of the fabric pieces are facing each other, and sew around the outside edge, leaving the bottom edge open.   Snip around the curves (in the seam allowance) and turn out, the piece of cotton you inserted will make this easier, it gives you something to hold onto, and once you have started pushing the shape through, a quick tug and the rest will follow.  Cut the cotton away from the top and bottom.  Repeat these steps with the second pair of horn pieces.

step horns giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing


Attaching the Hooves

Take one of your main body pieces and pin a hoof to the bottom of each leg (fabrics right side together, with the curved edge of each hoof at the top (see image 2).  Sew the fabrics together along the bottom edges, iron flat.  Repeat with the second body piece and then with the remaining hooves and the leg pieces (see final image in sequence below).

step body feet giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing


Attaching Legs

If you are not used to sewing soft toys this step may panic you, just go with it, it will be fine.  Take one of the leg pieces and fold the top (tummy section) over at the point where the tummy meets the legs (image 2 below).  At the top of each leg measure in 1” from the outside edge, and then 5/8ths of an inch down from the crease line, make a dot.  Draw an oval shape, starting and finishing on the crease line, and going from one side of each leg to the other (see image 4 below).  You will sew along these lines to remove excess fabric from the leg joints, which will help the giraffe keep its legs together when stuffed!  The important thing is to start and finish at the crease line, so that you are not reducing the overall length of each leg.  Go for it, sew a seam along each of your lines and give your giraffe some dignity!

step joining legs giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Repeat with the second leg piece.

Now pin the two leg pieces together, right sides facing, and sew a seam long the top curve, leaving a gap of 1-2 inches in the middle for turning out and stuffing.

step join legs 1 giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing


Attaching the Tail

You now need to decide where you want your tail to appear, bear in mind that the body will end up ¼” smaller on all sides, making the gap between the tail and the body bigger, so you need to place the tail approx. ¼” closer to the body than you think.   Once you are happy with the position of the tail, flip the tail over 180 degrees at the point it meets the body.  Pin the two pieces of fabric together, close to the edge of the body piece, in the direction of the yellow line in the second image below, then bend the tail back across the pin, you are now looking at the final position of the tail, if correct, tack into place just under a ¼” from the edge of the body piece (so that this seam falls outside the final ¼” sew line when you sew the body pieces together).

step 5 tail on body giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Attaching the Horns and Ears

Place your body pieces together, right sides facing each other, place the body template on top of the fabric and draw over the guidelines for the horn slits.  Remove the template and as long as you pressed hard enough, you will be able to see soft creases in the top layer of fabric marking the slit lines, draw over these.  Cut along the slits, through both pieces of fabric.

step slits for ears giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Put one body piece to one side and turn the remaining piece over so that you are looking at the right side.  Fold an ear in half vertically or gather to create a shape of your liking, and slide it into the largest slit.

step inserting ears giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

When you are happy with the position, fold the body fabric down over the ear so that the slit is on the fold.  Sew the slit closed, sewing just below the slit, using the smallest seam allowance you can get away with.  Fold the fabric back over and check that there are no raw edges or holes showing around the join.  Don’t panic that the fabric doesn’t lie absolutely flat, the creases will disappear when you stuff the giraffe.  Repeat this process with the horn piece.  Now repeat these steps with your remaining body piece, ear and horn.

step sew ears ub giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing


Sewing Together

Pin one half of the inside leg piece you made up earlier, to one of the body pieces, right sides facing each other, starting at the join between the two leg pieces.  The leg fabric won’t look like it lines up at the top, just manoeuvre it into place, remember this is a 3D shape and so it shouldn’t lay completely flat at this stage.  Sew from the top of one of the leg pieces; all the way round to the top of the other side (don’t go over the join between the two leg pieces).

step legs to body1 giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Fold the remaining legs down (as in the second image above) and then place the second body piece on top (right sides facing).  Pin the body and leg pieces together, moving the first set of the legs and body back out of the way first. Sew together as above.

Lay your giraffe out in front of you and pin the unsewn edges of the body pieces together, ensuring that the horns, ears and tail (except the tacked edge), are tucked away inside the giraffe.  Sew around the raw edges, from the top of the legs on one side to the top of the legs on the other (second image below).

step legs to body 2 giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Turn out through the hole in the middle of the leg pieces, making sure you push out all the edges and curves. Stuff with toy filler and sew up the gap, we recommend using ladder stitch – If you are new to ladder stitch we recommend the following clip for a great demonstration.

step stuffing giraffe soft toy free tutorial pattern riley blake giraffe crossing

Finished!

giraffe final giraffe crossing free tutorial

Fabric used: Riley Blake’s Giraffe Crossing and Sasparilla
(flannels for extra softness but also available in cotton).

Click here to download the templates

Click here for printer friendly instructions

Click here to view more free patterns and tutorials

Riley Blake’s April Brochure

Full of fab fabrics and ideas for makes, click the image to open the brochure.

When the collections are arriving at Prints to Polka Dots: Lazy Days – May, Little Ark – June, Sweet Home – May, British Invasion – May, Witch Hazel – June, Hexi and Chevrons already in store!  Bunting – visit our bunting department for a wide range of bunting triangles, pre cut, and specialist tape.

riley blake flyer april 2014

Union Jack Rag Quilt Free Pattern

union jack rag quilt riley blake fabric free tutorial pattern
                     Finished Size: Approx 37” x 45”

Requirements:

32 flags (16 for each side)

16 pieces of wadding/batting of flannel fabric for inside the quilt, each 9.25” x 11.25”

Method:

Cut out your flags, leaving a ½” border on each side of each flag.  Cut your wadding into 16 pieces, each measuring 9.25” x 11.25”.  You should end up with 32 flags and 16 wadding pieces.

Lay out the first 16 flags, moving the flags around until you are happy with the pattern.  Place the remaining 16 flags on top.

rag quilt union jack tutorial riley blake free pattern cut fabrics

Take the first pair of flags from your quilt, place one piece in front of you so you are looking at the wrong side (the back of the fabric).  Place your batting in the middle, so that there is a ½” border around it.  Place the second piece of flag fabric on top, so that you are looking at the right side, and making sure the corners of the two pieces of flag fabric line up, pin together.

You now need to sew these pieces together, traditionally, for a rag quilt, you would sew diagonal lines across each quilt sandwich, making a cross, but due to the nature of the flag pattern, we chose to sew in the white spaces as indicated on the image below (middle bottom image), we did this as it fitted the flag pattern, but also as these white spaces are quite large, so are forgiving if the two pieces of flag aren’t completely lined up.

union jack rag quilt riley blake fabric free tutorial pattern piecing panels together

Repeat the last two steps with all your fabric pairs, you will end up with 16 ‘sandwiches’.

One side of your finished quilt you will have a traditional seam between pairs of flags, on the second side the join between each pair of flags will be ‘ragged’.  Lay your pieces back out in your desired pattern, so that the side you want the rag finish to be on, is on the bottom.

union jack 124

Take the first two fabric sandwiches and put together so that the sides you want the traditional join on are facing each other.  Pin together and sew a 1/2” seam down one vertical edge (the seam will run along the edge of the batting in the middle of each quilt sandwich and along the edge of each flag). Open up and you will see that the raw edges are on the front of the quilt pieces sewn together, on the back the two flags should be lined up, and there should be no white space visible between them.  

union jack rag quilt riley blake fabric free tutorial pattern piecing panels together2

Go back to your quilt pieces and add the next sandwich to the chain, always remembering to place the pieces together so that the sides you want the traditional seam on, are touching.  Continue until you have completed one row.

Place this row to one side (or back in your pretend quilt on the floor!) and start the next row.  Continue this process until all your squares are sewn into rows.

At this point you need to start snipping the raw edges to create the rag look.  Snip at regular intervals along the raw edges between the flags you have sewn together, taking care not to cut into the seams.

union jack quilt rag tutorial free pattern riley blake fabric rows

Now you need to sew the rows together.  Take the first row and place the second row on top, so that the sides you want the traditional seam on are touching (you will be looking at the side with the raw/rag edges between flags).  Pin together, taking care to make sure the joins between squares line up.  Then sew a 1/2” seam as before.

Open up and check that the rag edges are where you expected them to be!  Add the rest of the rows in the same way.  Snip all the raw edges along the seams just sewn.

union jack 137

Now sew a 1/2” top seam around the outside of the quilt and snip into the raw edges, on all sides, at regular intervals, taking care not to cut into the seams.
union jack rag quilt riley blake fabric free tutorial pattern ready for washing

Now put your quilt in the washing machine, once washed tumble dry it, the tumble dryer action will create the fluffy edges on the squares.

You have finished your quilt!

samsung 4023

 Fabric used: Riley Blake Union Jack fabric, Sew Simple super soft bamboo batting/wadding.

 Click here to view printer friendly instructions

Click here to view more free patterns and tutorials

Union Jack T-Shirt

union jack tee shirt quick applique free pattern tutorial

We bought a pack of 2 white t-shirts from M&S for £3, and you get 4 flags for less than £3.50, making these t-shirts ridiculously cheap to make – and with the world cup on the horizon, just the ticket!

Requirements:

The Union Jack image is 9.25” x 11.25”, we used it on a UK size 9 child’s t-shirt and adult size 12 long sleeve top, you could go smaller but would have to consider losing some of the image if you went much smaller.

T-shirt/top in your chosen size

Union jack x1

Heat n Bond Lite adhesive or tear away stabliser, a minimum of 9.25” x 11.25”.

Method:

Trim your union jack image down, we left ½” of white border on each side.  Next you need to stabilize the t-shirt fabric, which is naturally stretchy and so easy to pucker when sewing, you can do this by gluing the flag to the front of the t-shirt, or by applying stabilizer to the wrong side of the front of the t-shirt. 

union jack flag tee shirt t shirt tutorial image 1

If you are using Heat n Bond Lite (gluing the flag to the front of the t-shirt)
Cut your interfacing ½” shorter than the flag fabric on each side.
Line up the interfacing in the middle of the flag (wrong side facing you), and iron into place.
Take a pair of sharp scissors and snip into the fabric, up to the interfacing, all the way around. 

union jack tee t shirt applying interacing and rag border tutorial

Peel the paper off the back of the interfacing, line the flag up on the front of your top, pin to the front of the t-shirt and then iron into place.

attaching union jack flag to tee t shirt tutorial

If you are using tear away stabiliser
Take a sharp pair of scissors and snip the ½” border around the flag (as above).
Pin the flag to the front of your t-shirt, turn the t-shirt inside out and iron your stabliser sheet (cut approx ½” larger than your flag on each side) on the wrong side of the front of the t-shirt, so that it covers the area covered by the flag.
Turn your t-shirt back the right way.

Both methods
Sew around the edges of the flag, just below the snipped border, taking care to make sure the back of the top is well out of the way.

sewing border around the tee short flag union tee t shirt tutorial jack

Toss your top into the washing machine and then, if you have the option, tumble dry, this will ruffle up the snipped border.

Wear your top with pride (the more you wash it the better the border will start to ruffle up and look vintage rock and roll!).

Fabrics used: Riley Blake Union Jack fabric and Heat n Bond Lite Adhesive.

Click here to download printer friendly instructions.
Click here for more great free patterns!

Reversible Storage Basket with Handles

union jack reversible fabric basket riley blake tutorial free pattern
Finished Size: 7.5” x 10” x 5.5” tall.

Requirements:

We made our basket wide enough and tall enough to hold DVDs, if you would like to make a different size go to the end of this tutorial for instructions on how to work out how much fabric you need.

18” x 10” x2 for external fabric
18” x 10” x 2 for internal fabric
18” x 10” x 2 interfacing – as stiff as you like, we used fusible fleece in this example, for a stiffer finish try flexi firm.

9” x 2 ribbon or webbing for handles

Method:

Iron your interfacing onto the wrong side of the external fabric pieces.

samsung 3978

Place your external pieces together, right sides facing each other, and sew around the left, right and bottom edges. Snip the excess fabric off the bottom corners.

samsung 3979

Pinch the bottom corner of the basket so that the fabric moves and the side and bottom seams lie on top of each other, if you are not sure if you have done this correctly, look inside and check that the seams are ontop of each other (orange line in image 2).  Pin the fabrics together.

lining up seams in union jack basket tutorial riley blake fabric
Place your ruler on top of new shape, so that the seam runs inline with marks on the rule (see red line on image below).   Now move the ruler up and down this seam, until you have 3.75” on each side of the red line (if you don’t get even amounts on both sides of the line, then you need to line the seams up again).
union jack fabric basket with handles tutorial riley blake

Draw a line across, sew your seam along this line and then cut off the excess fabric.

union jack fabric basket box corners tutorial riley blake
Repeat on the other side. You will now have a basket shape.
samsung 3993

Repeat these steps with the internal fabric pieces (you will not need to add interfacing to these pieces).

Place one bag inside the other one, so that you can check your progress, and determine where you want the handles to go. We used the seam on the side to guide us, leaving 1” between each handle and the seam.  Pin the handles to the external fabric only (do not pin through the internal fabric).  Take the external basket off the internal basket and tack the handles into place with a seam allowance slightly smaller than ¼”.

union jack fabric basket attaching handles riley blake

Turn both baskets inside out, and place the internal basket inside the external basket (the right sides of the baskets will now be facing each other).  Make sure they are snug and that the handles are pointing down.  Pin the fabrics together around the top, taking care to line up the seams on the sides. Sew the two baskets together, leaving a gap along one of the longer edges of a few inches for turning out (shown in yellow on the image below), and making sure the seam is lower than the seam you made when attaching the handles. 

union jack fabric basket sewing together riley blake

Turn the basket out through the gap.

Fold the raw edges (left by the turning gap) inwards, it is a good idea to iron the fabric into place, then sew a top seam around the whole basket, this will strengthen the shape and secure the fabric across the turning gap.

union jack fabric basket top seam riley blake

Fill up your basket!

union jack fabric basket filled up tutorial riley blake free pattern

Fabrics used: Riley Blake Union Jack Collection, Vilene Fusible Fleece interfacing (for a firmer finish use Flexi Firm).  A range of webbing and ribbon available in store for handles.

Click here to view printer friendly instructions.

Click here to view more great free patterns!

 

working out fabric for basket tutorial