Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to sew a fabric balloon ball

Awhile back, I posted some pictures of the fabric balloon ball I had made and said I would make a tutorial of how I did it.

Here's what I did:

I used the gore pattern from Mad Quilter's website. I purchased two colors of fleece material. I like fleece because it doesn't fray. Shown here is 1/2 yard of each color. Total cost of material $2.94
Bag of balloons $.97 for 25 balloons. They are 9 inch or 22.5 cm.

The material is folded so it cuts two. As you can see you can get a lot from 1/2 yard of material. Save yourself the time of pinning by cutting out your first gore and then laying it on the fleece. It won't go anywhere!

You'll need 6 total. I chose to do half of each color. As you can see, I need my scissors sharpened. 

Now, it's time to put the pieces together. I still love my sewing machine that I got last year. 

Starting from one point and going to the next point. I like to use the foot of my sewing machine as a guide. The fleece does have a tendency to stretch so try not to stretch it while sewing or else your points won't line up. 

Line up the points as best as you can and continue sewing as you did for the others. Make sure you are sewing them with right sides together. If you're using solid color fleece like mine, there is no "right" or "wrong" sides. Though you do want to make sure your seams are on the outside. Don't make the mistake like I did and sew one half with the seams on the inside! It's no fun to have to use your seam ripper and re-do it! 

 This picture is just showing lining up the points. But see, how the yellow matches the other yellow? You'll want to flip it over so the blue is touching the yellow so the colors will contrast not match.

For the first balloon ball I made, I left about an inch for turning inside out, but found it a bit too tight, so I would suggest 1 1/2 inches instead. This hole left by the turning is where you insert the balloon into. You can put it in the middle of your ball or at the top or bottom. Where ever you choose!

You can see I still need to practice making my points line up, but I can assure you if you're making these for a gift for kids, they won't be concerned that the points don't line up! :-) Also, I found that if you don't blow the balloon up all the way, it will look bunched. 

That is the first balloon ball I made this morning. I also sewed another one to try a different technique.  I cut a slit in one of the gores like this.

Then, I sewed up the gores as before, leaving a 1 1/2 inch hole for turning inside out. After that I sewed up the opening. You can sew it by machine or by hand. I did by machine.

Happy Sewing! 

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