My house, in the middle of my street.

My hasn’t Lady Moss been busy! Apart from returning to our Scottish roots at Bundanoon is Brigadoon (more on that some other time), watching Ari lead yes LEAD her ballet class and discovering the joys of cool nights and icy Baileys, we have most regretfully neglected ye olde blogey. So sorry.

This afternoon we happened apon a hidden (nice try Mossy) block of Cadbury Snack and set to work annihilating the entire thing as it sat propped against the sewing machine. I had a cute idea from retro mum that I wanted to play around with using beloved bits of scrap fabric.

This project is great for a beginner sewer as it introduces you to a few hand stitches, cutting and just general experimentation. The more hand crafted the better I think, it takes almost the same amount of time to make one as four so get cracking for Mothers Day! I also think it would be a fabulous way for a fabric designer or store to display its wares, demonstrating nicely how various prints work so well together. Liberty of London anyone?

To make one house you will need no more than the following:

one piece of linen/calico/beige cotton fabric 9×9 inches

fabric scraps, the most measuring 9×3 ish inches

poly stuffing

the usual machine, thread, needle, cutting mat etc

To begin:

Slice your beige fabric into a 9×9 inch square

Using your ruler and grid, cut an equal diagonal side off each top corner, mine are 3 inches long. This will form your roof. From the bottom corners you need to cut out an inch square from each side as shown.

Cut a piece of rick rack or pom pom trim the length of your longest roof line (like a string of lights), giving yourself a small allowance on each side. Cut a 9×3 inch piece of printed fabric for the roof.

Pin the trim in place along the roof line and then pin the roof fabric right sides facing on top, using the pins from the trim. Make sure its all securely held in place.

Sew along the line of the roof and trim carefully so that your trim is showing when you turn the fabric out.

Turn the fabric right way out.

Using your cutting mat (or scissors if you only have those) trim the printed fabric to match the roof line.

Using contrasting fabrics, cut a door (4×2 in) and a window (2×2 in) and trim to your liking using pinking shears.

Sew in place, using a straight stitch in plain or coloured thread if you fancy. You could mess around with applique techniques and the like here but really who has the time when they have a two year old sleeping and a small naptime window?

Cut a chimney (1.5inx1.5in), fold the fabric in half lengthways and sew right sides facing, leaving one side open to turn out the fabric. Once sewn, trim the corners, turn out and press flat.

Add any extra embellishments you like here, a little felt bird, mailbox or house number would be lovely. I’ve sewed buttons for front doors.

Pin the chimney and a little ribbon hook to the top of the roof. Point them downwards as you will be attaching the other house side in the next step.

Pin both house “walls” together right sides facing and sew using a quarter inch foot if you have one.

At this stage you will only sew:

across the roof

down one full side

along the bottom (leaving the corners)

down one side leaving an opening for turning out and stuffing (in the middle is advisable)

Match the corners together at the seams as shown and sew (this is much like the lunch bag we created). Doing this will create a flat base for your house to sit on.

Turn your little cottage inside out, press everything nicely and proceed to stuff not with Cadbury Snack, but with polyfill.

Using a ladder stitch close the opening.

For beginners, the ladder stitch is a great one to learn, really the only hand sewing Lady Moss does. Simply thread a needle and knot the end. Insert inside out, ensuring the knot is hidden and bring the tread across, under and out the other side of the fabric. Continue doing this from side to side and you will find your openings neatly closed. There are many diagrams on the net, or just ring my mother, she will gladly demonstrate.

This is such a satisfying project to undertake. We made four in an afternoon and have Mothers Day quite well sewn up, plus a few spare to hang from various corners. One could slip a few dried lavender springs inside whilst stuffing for a truly old-school experience!

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