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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My first Fringe Canopy

I'm calling this creation my "Circus Fringe Canopy"

I originally intended this to go to my cousins house for my niece but since I had never made one before I wasn't sure how it was going to work. Ultimately I decided to keep this first prototype and possibly make a second one for my niece once the kinks were worked out.  All in all I like how it came out but it was kinda tricky to make and not quite my best work.  I'd like to try doing the straps in velcro instead of doing them as ties.  That will make it easier to take on and off.  All in all it's cute, it's not slumping, and most importantly my piggies like it. I regret not making it bigger though. It only covers the back half of my kitchen.

Fleece for Thea ~ part 2

When my cousin told me was getting my niece guinea pigs of course I volunteered to make her some fleece for her cage.  I have finally finished her second batch of fleece items.  Two more tunnels, bridge style.  Two rainbow pads to fill in a gap between her kitchen box and the wall of the cage.  Two 1x2 pads since her piggies are corner poppers.  Three thick square pads for under water bottles and for extra layers in the corners and one big 2 grid x 4 grid cage liner, double sided with two layers of uhaul and fold over flaps.

 The pile:

1x2 pads double sided and smaller fill in rainbow pads:

 3 thick square pads, these are also double layer uhaul padding with fold over flaps: 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Graffiti Fleece

Simplifying this month...

I have been getting a little behind on my laundry and decided to down size the piggies cage for a while.  But since I love to sew and love new patterns, I whipped up some new graffiti themed fleeces.  

Two patio liners and one full cage pad:

View from the top:
 Futon from 

Peek at the kitchen

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Invertible, Reversible & Stuffable TWO Layer uhaul double FLAPS Pillowcase Pad

Here is how I do an 
Invertible, Reversible & Stuffable TWO uhaul Layered Pillowcase Pad
(with two fold over flaps!)

You can make these any size... for full cage, half cage, homemade flippers, lap pads, patios/lofts, catwalks, bottle pads, potty pads or any other pad you want to make!

The benefits of doing your pads this way:
First, the main reason I am making these this way is because two layers of uhaul in a fully sewn pad (a pad sewn all the way around on four sides) doesn't always get completely dry, which can cause bacteria to grow and making them stinky. Making the pad with one open end means after washing and drying you can turn your pad inside out so the uhual is on the outside and air dry it the rest of the way or throw it back in the dryer. Because the uhaul is sewn into the pad the lint isn't going to get all over the outside of the fleece. These can also be hand washed and air dried, since the two layers of uhaul are not touching when you invert the case, these pads will air dry almost as fast as a single layer of uhaul in a sewn pad.

Also, with these pillowcase style pads you can stuff them with extra absorbency layers and/or a coroplast insert (like a regular fleece flipper). This style also shows an additional fold over flap on each side which discourages burrowing and makes a nice tight finished product. If you want your pad to be double sided you need to do both flaps, if you want your pad to be single sided you only have to do one flap on one side.

How to start....
1. Pre-wash and pre-shrink your uhaul and fleece for best results. 
2. Cut your pre washed and preshrunk fleece to the sizes you need for your project.
You need two layers of fleece, they can be the same pattern (as shown) or two different patterns. 

Important information to know on how many extra inches to add:
FOR THE UHAUL: you are going to cut the size to whatever size your project needs to be plus add extra inches for the seam allowance, going up the cage if it's a full cage pad and for turning. I usually add about 3" for all that. 

For the width you need to take into consideration adding extra inches for turning the pad, for the seam allowance and forsizing it if you want it to run up the sides of your coroplast an extra inch. This will also be determined by if you intend to stuff your case with coroplast. You wouldn't want it to run up the sides of the cage in that case it would need to fit the bottom of your coroplast perfectly because then you wouldn't add as much to the final size. If you are confused about this post a question about your project and we can help you with how to measure and how much to add. These measurements are especially important for making homemade flippers with coroplast inserts.

For the length: You will need to add the same amount as you do for the width and then an extra 3"-6" more for the flaps. The bigger the pad the more flap length you want. A small lap pad would use about a 3" flap, A 1x2 size pad would need about a 4" flap, A full cage pad could go as much as 6". The wider the flap, the nicer it will hold. Sometimes you don't have enough yardage so in that case you gotta do what you gotta do, it's more important that it fits your cage well, you don't want it to be too short. 

Here is how you layer it all together for sewing: from the bottom up (uhaul/uhaul/fleece good side facing up/fleece good side facing down)
First start with your layers of uhaul. You can use one or two layers but the point of making this in this style is so you have two layer and can stuff with extra if you need to. So place the layers as follows: 

Two layers of uhual at the bottom with one layer of fleece on top. The fleece should be good side facing up. Line up the fleece so it is flush on all 3 sides and then fold over the extra material that will be come your flap as shown:

Next lay your other piece of fleece good side facing down. Now both good sides of fleece are touching each other. Fold under the extra material on the top layer of fleece to make your second flap. 
3. Pin it all together.
4. Start sewing. Put this folded over right corner in your sewing machine and stitch it from this corner all the way around. Backstitch several times when you start and when you end:

Here is what it looks like when it is sewn all around. 
5. Trim up your edges. I usually leave about 1/4" from the stitch line:
Here is what it looks like when the flaps are folded back. You can stuff these with extra absorbency (or a coroplast panel) in between these layers if you wanted to.


Here is what it looks like from underneath when the flap is folded over: 

You can take the time and finish these ends nicer than I did, since this is just a simple sample pad I didn't bother but you could turn the edges before you put it together so they are nicer. 
 Here is what it looks like on the top of the pad. If you added two flaps to your project your pad is reversible so you can use either side. Take advantage of this and use different fleece patterns for variety!

Here is what it looks like when you invert it for faster drying.

A note on drying:
Washing and drying your pad with the fleece out keeps the lint way down since uhaul padding is super linty in the beginning.  After you wash and dry it flip it inside out and let it air dry the rest of the way if it needs to.  You can also just reach an arm in there and feel and see if it's fully dry. It probably isn't fully dry with just one cycle out of the dryer.  By inverting the pad it will dry much faster!  You can even air dry this entire thing fairly quickly if you don't have a dryer. Invert the pad right out of the washing machine and lay in a sunny window.

If your pad is particularly dirty do a presoak layer and/or invert the pad before washing to separate the layers. I usually try to avoid inverting the pads when they are dirty because i don't want to touch the nasty but if your pad is particularly fowl you might want to do that.  If your pad is not fully dry do not put it back in the cage before it dries. If you do it may grow bacteria and get very stinky.

Presoaking your pad with a blast of dish soap and a cup of vinegar will help strip the pad, both before use and during normal cleaning.  Never use fabric softener when you wash your pads. It will effect the wicking ability of the fleece. 

The pile is growing

My cousin's fleece pile is growing! She also informed me she added a patio to her cage so I have to add a few patio and ramp liners to her pile. So far I have made one complete cage set, plus a couple of extra waterproof lap pads.  Here's what her pile looks like so far:

Invertible stuffable reversible full cage liner size 2x4 with 2 layers of uhaul padding. 
Able to be turned inside out for drying all that thick uhaul padding!  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sewing for family

I got some exciting news my BFF / Cousin is getting two piggies for my niece. After a visit she had with my piggies last month she has been begging my cousin for piggies of her own.  So of course I am compelled to share my fleece loving sewing obsession on my family! My plan is to make her two sets of coordinating cage pads, lap pads, tunnels, and bottle pads etc. I shopped last week and picked up some adorable purple unicorn fleece and a couple of coordinating stripes, stars and blue chevron patterns.  I'm trying not to go too overboard, I want to make sure my Cousin likes using fleece in the cage. Plus I am sure she would like to get a little crafty and make a couple of things herself.

I'm super stoked I have these projects to do, I am running out of storage space for all the projects I make for my pigs!  I might have to donate some of it.  Every once in a while I consider marketing and selling as a side business but I have done the whole turn your hobby into a business thing before and I   am not sure I want to do that. Not that I don't have enough hobbies LOL

So this is what I managed to sew up today, I have a lot more fleece to work with so I am not sure what the final package will look like for my cousin, I just know there will be at least two sets of everything.

I know at least the two unicorn fleeces are definitely going to my niece.
(Unicorn/Rainbow stripe reversible fleece tunne and 
Blue Chevron/ Unicorn reversible waterproof lap pad)

Here's the four projects I completed today
Two fat quarter size reversible fleece waterproof lap/cage pads:

Two reversible fleece tunnels, one with batting, one with uhaul pad 
(first and last time trying uhaul as the batting. I broke THREE needles 
and had to hand finish sewing over the seams!)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Sew" productive

When I sew, I try to do several projects and get as much bang for my buck as I can.  My sewing time is limited and I am not exactly the best or most patient sewer but my piggies told me they don't mind my sewing, they will pee on my wonky stitched fleece all the same. 

Here was the products of last weekends sewing session: 

Two ramp liners

Two catwalk liners

One reversible no sew fleece bed

Two tree catwalk liners

These are really neat. I used my Invertible Stuff-able Pillow case liner sewing technique to make these catwalk pads. They have two layers of uhaul padding sewn inside them and are able to be inverted for quicker drying and stuff0able if you need to add more padding or a coroplast panel inside.

Here are several of my past sewing projects:

Where the wild things are tunnels

Free standing Forest fleece fleece forest and hay bag

 Cage liners, corner pads, potty pads

Waterproof bottle pads, patio liners

another Wild thing tunnel

Assorted tunnels, costs, beds, and pads

 Close ups of pad and cosys

Heart shaped bed and storybook tunnel

Chevron waterproof pads

 Brown chevron cage liner and waterproof pads

Guinea TV grid hidey cover