I was designing a basic doorstop for my daughter's room this weekend. She's afraid of the dark and has been insisting on holding her bedroom door open with a bottle of prescription moisturiser for the last year. I thought it was about time she used something a little more attractive.
I'm not a prolific seamstress, so I thought I'd use this simple technique of making a 4 sided pyramid out of just one rectangle of fabric.
I made a prototype out of paper first, just to get an idea of scale. However when my daughter asked what I was making, she decided that she wanted her own design input. She didn't quite understand the concept of a prototype and so she disappeared off with my paper pyramid and started drawing Disney Princesses on the side...
I actually thought it was a lovely idea to incorporate her own artwork into a design for her room, so I decided to run with it... So, this was going to be a quick tutorial on how to make a simple pyramid doorstop, but it's evolved into a child's art work, paper piecing tutorial. I'm in no way a sewing expert, but we'll see how we get on...
You will need
- A rectangle of fabric - mine is cut from an old child's dress
- Sewing thread
- Sewing machine - not essential. There are just 3 short seams which could be done by hand.
- A selection of embroidery threads
- Small pieces of different coloured felt
- Fabric glue
- Plastic doll weights or rice for filling
If you want to skip the paper piecing part of the tutorial, here are the pattern pieces for the doorstop. The PDFs are here and here. It's 18.5 cm x 35cm which includes a 1cm seam allowance. The blue and white sections show the faces of the pyramid when it's complete, and the arrows show the way up that triangle will sit. The different coloured short lines show which parts need to be brought together before stitching. The X is just there to help you piece the 2 parts of the pattern together as it doesn't all fit onto an A4 piece of paper.
If you want to apply a pattern or design onto your doorstop, marking on the triangles will help in placing your design. The fabric I used came from one of M's old dresses that she'd grown out of.
First I scanned in her drawing. (If you're not quite up to speed on your Disney princesses, these are of course Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.)
Then I gave a number to every different coloured piece that I would need to cut out.
I enlarged her drawings to fit inside the separate triangles and then I cut out each individual piece of her design and pinned it onto the coloured felt that I wanted to cut it out of.
After cutting out all of the felt pieces, I then pieced her drawing back together again to fit inside the triangles that would form the different faces of the pyramid. I put a small amount of fabric glue on the felt pieces to hold them in place before embroidering around the edges. I thought I'd put an 'M' on the last face of the triangle, but you may have noticed that it's at the wrong angle. It should actually be another 130 degrees to the left...
... which is why I covered most of the last triangle face with felt. (Let's just pretend I meant to do that and we'll gloss over it.) I then stitched all of the felt pieces into place with embroidery thread and a combination of stem stitch, French knots, and back stitch.
Now it's time to start turning it into a doorstop.
Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides together and machine stitch along the side and top seam.
Then stitch the bottom seam. Create a 3 dimensional shape by bringing the side seam to the centre of the bottom seam and stitch, leaving about 7 or 8cm open to allow for turning it the right way round and stuffing.
Turn the doorstop the right side out, insert a funnel into the hole and then fill with plastic doll weight pellets. If you haven't got doll weights, grains of rice would work just as well.
Finally, hand stitch the seam closed using a small invisible stitch.
I'm really pleased with my child's artwork doorstop. OK, it may have taken me 4 days instead of the couple of hours that I'd originally planned, but I've now got a sweet little memento of M's "Disney Princess" phase that should hopefully last long after the dolls have been put aside for more grown up toys...
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