If you have been following me for a while you will have noticed that I have a lot of kid orientated makes and fabrics. My little one is nearly 3 and I have done more sewing since he arrived than I ever did before. Even before he arrived, the main reason I had to sew was for friends and families babies and children. This has meant that I have ended up with a lot of fabric left over from dozens of projects. Like most crafty people I would never throw them away.
George got a game of pairs for Christmas and while we were playing one time I thought "I could make a fabric version of this!". With endless colours and patterns I would easily have enough to make a game and so here it is. I have also made an envelope pouch to keep it in and labelled it with applique.
A lot of what I make is really simple and a quick look at the pictures should give you a good indication of how to make it if you are a regular sewer. Hopefully it is the ideas that help inspire you to make something new.
Smaller fabric patterns work well but if you have fabric with images or characters on, this will also work, you will just have to fussy cut and have identical images so you don't get them confused.
YOU WILL NEED
1. Cut out your fabric - Have a sort through your fabrics and pick out a variety of fun designs that you can get two pieces out of. I have included some of my Natural History Museum fabrics and fussy cut them to include the facts and names of dinosaurs and animals to add an educational aspect but I have thrown in some superheros and unicorns too. I also had a few simple patterns like stars and stripes and a good range of colours. I have found that the variety and contrast helps them be more recognisable and encourages my little boy to use descriptive words and colours.
Cut your chosen fabrics into 3.5" squares.
I have backed mine with plain black cotton. You could use a pattern but be careful with the design. If the pattern is too big it could make them recognisable when they have played a few times. Cut the same number of backing squares as you do patterned.
I got a bit carried away and ended up with 39 pairs. In hindsight that makes for quite a long tricky game for a two year old but I have taken a few pairs out and will add them back in as he gets older.
2. Sew your squares - With the right sides together, pair up your patterned fabric and backing and sew all the way around but leaving a gap to turn it out. Back stitch at the start and end of the stitch.
3. Clip corners and turn your squares - I sat with a pile on my lap and turned them all out in front of the TV and clipped all the corners into a pot (they will go to George's nursery for crafting). I use my loop turner to push out the corners but a pencil or knitting needle works well too.
4. Press - Iron all your squares. I did it with the backs facing me so I could make sure as little of the patterned fabric could be seen from the back.
5. Top stitch - It took me a while to decide what top stitch thread to use but I settled with black to match the back. Any uneven stitches will show up in any other colour and might make them recognisable. With a straight stitch, sew around all four edges and ensure the opening is caught.
Now all your pairs are done you are ready to make your pouch.
6. Cut fabric for pouch - I thought about making a patchwork of a selection of the fabrics I had used but I had some good sized pieces of these 2 nautical fabrics that were part of the pairs so I just kept life simple and used these. Cut 2 pieces in each fabric 11" x 9.5"and 11" x 15".
To make the envelope shape, fold the biggest piece in half long ways and crease to find the centre. Make a mark 6" from the top on each side and cut from the centre to the mark.
7. Make letters - Using a scrap piece of paper (I used some junk mail) write the word PAIRS. I have just free handed it. Use a sharpie or similar so that it will show through the back of the paper. With the paper side of the Bonderweb facing up and the word facing down, draw around your letters using a pencil. The letters need to be the wrong way round at this point.
8. Cut and iron - Cut out the Bonderweb letters you have drawn, just roughly at this point. Using no steam, iron them with the shiny side on the back of the fabric. When they have cooled a little, cut them out. I do not use my best fabric scissors for this but I have some in between fabric scissors I use for these sorts of occasions.
9. Letter placement - Peel the backing paper off your letters and place them on the larger piece of fabric, somewhere in the centre of the square bit. Iron them into place.
10. Applique - Although they look pretty secure now, they won't stay stuck like this forever so they will need to be sewn into place. There are a couple of options here. You could hand sew a running stitch around the edges of the letters. You could put your free motion foot on and draw around them. You could use a zig zag or decorative stitch. I have used my regular sewing foot and done a straight stitch around the edges. You will need to lift your foot and move your fabric to get around the edges and corners but this method shows you can do it without any fancy attachments.
11. Put pouch together - Pair up your matching fabrics, right sides together and sew all the way around, leave a gap for turning out, back stitching at the start and end of your stitch. Clip your corners, turn and press.
12. Sew your two pieces together - Line up your twp pieces with the PAIRS facing out. Top stitch using along the three edges to create your envelope pouch.
13. Add popper - I have used my trusty KAM snapper to add the popper. If you don't have one you could add a button, velcro or hand sew a popper instead.
Bag your pairs up and your game is ready. I plan on using the pieces in some other games, I haven't decided exactly what yet but possibly some kind of bingo. We also worked out that it makes a great game of guess who too.
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