Friday, 7 August 2020

Free Pattern Friday: DIY Floor Pouf


Welcome to my monthly 'Free Pattern Friday' feature, where I road test a free sewing pattern or tutorial: sometimes a children's one, sometimes an adult's one. And today, one for the home! I publish these posts every first Friday of the month, timed to provide inspiration for those who plan to get their sew on over the weekend. I firmly believe that, if you pick your projects carefully, sewing doesn't have to be a crazy-expensive way to clothe yourself and your family. Thanks to all the amazing pattern designers who have offered up their hard work for us to enjoy for free.


The free pattern that I'm reviewing this month has been round for a couple of years, but it's one that you kind of need to save up for. I'm not talking about money, of course, I'm talking about saving up fabric scraps. The DIY Pouf pattern by Closet Core Patterns (formerly Closet Case Patterns) packs a double scrap-busting punch: you can use up stable, mid-to-heavy-weight woven leftovers for the outer, and stuff it with just about anything at all. To access the pattern files you will need to sign up to their newsletter. Big thanks must go to the Closet Core team for helping the entire sewing community work out what to do will all their fabric scraps!

(image source: Closet Core Patterns)

Pattern type:

According to the supporting Closet Core blog post, this is a Moroccan inspired floor pouf which can be can be embellished by applying piping into the seams. The pouf has a zipped opening so the contents can be removed so the outer can be washed when necessary. The pattern consists of three pieces, and the instructions are in the form of an aforementioned blog post. 

Sizing info:

When fully stuffed, the pouf should be about 51cm/20" across and 28cm/11" high when fully stuffed, however I found that mine squashes down and spreads out so it is usually wider and lower than this. You could alter the scale on the printer settings to make it wider/narrower or taller/shorter. 


Fabric info:

For the outer pieces, Closet Core recommend 'sturdy, medium to heavyweight fabric; you can use lighter weight fabric if you interface them first'. You will also need a long zip, buttons, velcro or press studs to fasten the opening. As you can see, I took the opportunity to use up a bunch of the denim scraps that I still had leftover after making my patchwork denim coat. Inside are all sorts of tiny fabric scraps, hole-y socks, and unwanted/un-donate-able clothing. A friend of mine managed to pack hers with an entire double duvet set and still had room for more! 

Findings:

Making this was a whole load of fun. We used it as an opportunity for my daughter to have a go at using my machine to stitch a couple of seams on a 'real' project. The pattern pieces included all necessary information and fit together perfectly, and the tutorial in blog-post form meant that I could follow along on my phone without having to get my laptop out. Obviously, I left off the piping on my version. I'm not a massive fan of piping on soft furnishings, and excluding it made this an even speedier make. 

What I have found is that mine does NOT stay a perfect pouf shape. After being sat on (or receiving a battering from the kids), it gets easily squashed, and flattens and spreads out. I had to kick and whack it back into shape to take these pictures! My husband hates it as he thinks its a waste of space in our already cramped lounge. I have heard from others that the contents kind of settle, so I definitely need to stuff it some more, but I doubt it'll ever retain the desired shape permanently, unless we leave it untouched! 


Customisation ideas:
  • Alter the size or make it taller/shorter to suit your room and preferences.
  • If you have an old, unwanted bean bag, you could fill it with bean-bag-beans instead of fabric scraps. 
  • Tape together two of the wedge-shaped pattern pieces so you could make the top section from six wedges instead of twelve. 
  • Add top stitching along the seam lines for extra detail, which might be particularly welcome if you've used entirely solid-coloured fabrics, or even the same fabric, to cut all the pieces (I very nearly added gold, jeans-style top stitching to mine).
  • Instead of filling it with fabric scraps, you could use it as storage for soft toys.
  • Patchwork together smaller pieces to cut the pattern pieces from.

Would I make it again?

As much as I LOVE the idea of having the new-found ability to make pieces of furniture, I'm not sure how many of these realistically we need. Maybe I'll make another further down the line to go in one of the kid's bedrooms (in my fantasy-future home where my kids each have their own room!). I would like to encourage any one interested to make one of these though, as having a semi-useful depository for tiny, unusable fabric scraps has got to be better than chucking them all in landfill.

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