Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Angry Birds party bags

One thing that really surprised me when I started reading sewing blogs is that some sewing mums sew their kids' party bags.  I've seen this a few times, and at first I thought whaaaaat?  Where do they find the time? But over time people have started asking me where I find the time for things and I realised you just sort of make time for things.  Otherwise nothing would ever get done!  With Big Cub's 5th birthday approaching I decided to make Angry Birds party bags, and sure enough I somehow found the time.

These are pretty simple really (though getting them done was a real group effort).  Long-suffering husband made templates from a print out of an Angry Birds picture.  He also cut out all the pieces for my prototype bird!  My sister joined me for a trip to Fabricland to buy 2 metres of red felt and lots of felt squares for the smaller bits.  I bought all of their 5- and 6-inch red zips, plus a few green and blue too because I needed 30 and they only keep large stocks of black and white.

When I was making up the prototype bird I had the bright idea of using KAM snaps for the eyes.  They look very professional!  I had to order some in black and accidentally ordered a size smaller than the ones I normally use, but actually I think this size worked better anyway.

There was no way we could draw around all these pieces on felt and cut them out.  No way.  It would have taken forever.  Each bird had 2 eye pieces, 2 beak pieces, a tummy piece, a tail and a face.  That's 210 pieces for 30 bags!  As well as a front, a back and a strap.  So I tentatively tested a piece of bondaweb on the felt and... phew!  The felt didn't melt (Ha!  That sounds like it could be a Dr Seuss book!).  So we traced the pieces onto bondaweb and ironed them on, which made them super quick to cut out.  I say super quick... there were three of us working on this so I guess it does add up to a lot of time!  It was quicker than I expected anyhow, and we also ironed the beaks and eyes onto the faces before I sewed around them, which was easier than pinning them in place.

I cut the backs with the felt folded into 6 layers, and rough cut the fronts the same way.  No way could I have been precise enough, through all that bulk, to cut their hair too, so long-suffering husband was given the task of styling their hair by hand.  He has a flair for this sort of work and did a great job.

The handles were cut in long strips with my 50cm ruler, then folded in half and serged along the raw edge.  I made them all into one long, 12 metre strip and cut them off as needed!

Once all of their pieces were sewn on, construction began.  I sewed the zips onto the front first, along with the handles, then pinned the back in place before sewing that onto the zip too.  I placed a pin to mark each end of the zipper, so as not to sew over it and break my needle, them sewed around the edge.  And finally trimmed the edges to make sure they matched up!

They look really good.  They're not super neat, or super professional.  The zips are a bit wobbly and
the stitching is a bit uneven.  But they were fast to make and the kids loved them!  With more time I could have made them perfect, but who cares?  The party bag was the main party 'gift', rather than the party bag contents.  We just put in a mini box of smarties and an angry birds rubber and stickers.

Thanks so much to long-suffering husband, and my sister (who was also rather long-suffering in this endeavor!).  I just might keep one for myself...
 P. S. Little cub says "you know what?  I'm totally going to sit on your party bags so you can never take a decent photo of them!"  Cheeky little monkey.

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