the SewCanShe blog

Daily sewing and quilting tutorials featured here. Find free sewing patterns and tutorials for making just about anything.

Welcome to She Sews! The Sew Can She blog.

Hello sewing friends! This is the first of many blog posts journaling our sewing adventures using tutorials from the Sew Can She website. Don't expect a new post every day, or every single featured tutorial to show up here as well... But we'll try to give you something fun to read a couple times a week. :)

Sew Can She is all about sharing talents, I feel. There are so many fabulously talented women out there who are willing to take the time to share their ideas and patterns for free. I absolutely love these gals. And I love it when I get to use their ideas to expand my own skills and create something for my family, friends, or myself!

So for this first post, I'm going to share some along-the-way pics from the Toddler Nap and Play Mat, which is one of the free patterns you got when you signed up for the Sew Can She Newlsetter (you can sign up above if you haven't already).

This project kind of has a funny story. We got a puppy for Christmas in 2011 and this naughty animal tore up every dog bed we ever bought him. Very soon I saw what dog beds were made of (fabric and polyfill) and got tired of paying $10 - $25 for these cheaply made 'beds.' 
After several tries (the first one made from an old pillowcase). I finally came up with a cute dog bed that layed flat in his kennel and could be washed, plus for some reason he didn't tear it up. Yay!

Problem was, my daughter Cadie loved to play with that dog bed just as much as the dog did. So then I thought of making one for her and adding the pillow part so she could lay on it to watch her favorite movies and such.

It was my husband who suggested the straps so we could roll it up and put it away in the closet. This really helps with the confusion of dog's mat' mat, because of course the dog will lay on any mat he sees. And it just turned out that the straps wrap nicely around the creases in the mat so its really easy to roll up and stick closed with the velcro on the straps.

Fabricworm was sweet enough to give me the fabric for this particular mat. It's from the Jay-Cyn Commute line, which is so dang cute. I love how the geometric pattern on the print was echoed in the puffy squares on the mat. This little play mat has also been selected for inclusion in the next One Yard Wonders book (number three already!) which will come out sometime next year, I think.

Okay, I promised some along-the-way pics so here's me sewing the first lines over the 'bag' which will become the mat. 

And here I am stuffing the poly-fill in. Nothing too hard or fancy here. The pattern will give you all the measurements so you won't have to guess about how much to cut or where to draw your lines.

This is the final step, sewing closed the opening on the pillow. No hand sewing in this pattern (although you could do some if you love it so). For something that's going to end up on the floor, I don't think it hurts to use the pinch and stitch method.

Thanks so much for reading our first blog post all the way to the end! Now go sign up for the newsletter (if you haven't already) so you can get this Toddler Nap and Play Mat Pattern. If you've made one already, please share pics with us in our flickr group. If you have a blog and might be interested in guest posting here, send me an email.

Happy sewing,

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, probably to support my need for fabric. All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. :)