Here in the UK, everyone in the crafting world is currently going Great British Sewing Bee crazy (for what it's worth, I am Team Lauren), although I suspect the rather easy on the eye
Patrick Judge may have a little something to do with it's popularity!
Anyway, in celebration of all the sewing machines which will no doubt now be being purchased, here is my contribution to get people sewing. In the Sewing Bee, they are making clothes. In my humble opinion, sewing clothes can be quite complicated, so if you are new to the craft, here's a simple little project to try which encompasses a handful of techniques, a sewing bee softie...
You will need :
selection of fabric : black & yellow (I used fabrics with sewing related prints!)
selection of craft felt
2 small buttons or beads
embroidery thread (I used Pearl Cotton 8)
paper, pencil & scissors
pins & a needle
Step 1 : First create 2 squares of fabric, (8x8cm) by patch-working together 3 strips for each.
Step 2 : Draft yourself a pattern for the Bees body by drawing an oval shape onto the paper that is roughly 6.5cm tall and 5cm across. Cut out and pin the template to the first of the fabric squares and trim to size. Repeat for the other piece.
Step 3 : Pin the 2 fabric ovals, right sides together, sew round the edge to join (either by hand using backstitch or on a sewing machine), leaving a small gap for turning it back right side round.
Step 4 : Through the gap, stuff the bee, tuck in the fabric edges and then stitch the gap closed.
Step 5 : Switch to the embroidery thread and add eyes by attaching 2 small circles of craft felt with a tiny button or bead in the center.
Step 6 : Make yourself another template, this time a wing shape (mine is kind of like a flower petal) and cut 2 from the craft felt. Stitch into position with the embroidery thread.
Step 7 : To finish off, after the wings are attached, take the needle up through the middle of the bee and tie a loop in this thread so you can hang your bee up.
And that's it, all done. A quick bit of sewing and you've practiced pattern drafting, patchwork, sewing, applique and embroidery! You could make lots and create a mobile, and even nip over to Whip Up for the Ladybird project I posted there, both insects are about the same size so will work great as a pair.