These Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls are an excellent scrap busting project! Not only can you use the littlest pieces of scrap fabric you can stuff them with scraps too. And also a great little gift to sew for boys or girls and I think a baby would love one too! You could even add a few folded pieces of ribbon as in my Baby Taggie Blanket/Comforter Tutorial for that texture little ones love exploring.
We are currently on school holidays here in New Zealand, the rainy and cold middle of the winter kind. With the weather finally turning in after the mildest winter on record, the kids don’t know what has hit them! So needless to say we needed some inside activities. With a complete lack of soft balls to through at each other…I mean play a game with I got to work! I had a quick squiz around www land to see if there were any I could quickly whip up and I wasn’t finding the quick and easy answer I was looking for. So naturally I designed my own Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls Pattern.
What you will need to make your own Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls
- Scrap Fabric – It pays to use similar weight fabrics so it doesn’t distort the ball. I have a lightweight denim with some cotton prints and it still worked fine.
- Stuffing – You can use store bought stuffing or left over wool from knitting, or even a holey merino jersey.
- Basic Sewing Supplies – Needle, Thread, Pins, Scissors and Iron (optional but recommended for 4 piece ball). You could sew this all by hand but it would take a lot longer.
- Soft Stuffed Fabric Balls Template Pdf – Printed and cut out. Make sure you measure the test square! It will print on A4 and Letter Paper. The ball will be roughly 35cm (14”) in circumference a little larger than I remember a softball being.
1. Print your Pattern and Cut Your Pieces
I have enough there to make two four piece balls. Your pattern will say ‘Cut Two or Four’. If you are wanting to make a two piece ball fold the pattern over at the line on the right hand side, and cut your fabric on the fold. Remember to mark the center of the circle using a pen, chalk, marker or even pin.
2. Join the halves to Make Two Pieces
Match up your pieces and decide which ones you will join together. If you are making a two piece ball you can skip to step 3!
Lay the pieces right sides facing each other and pin on the straight end.
Sew together using a 1cm (3/8”) seam allowance.
Repeat for the other pieces of the ball!
Head over to that trusty iron and press open the seam.
3. Assembling the Fabric Ball
If you haven’t already mark the centers with a pin (or marker, or chalk).
And line this center mark up with the seam on the other half of the ball. All the pieces will need to be right sides facing each other. Pin in place.
After pinning the four centers it should look like this!
Carry on with the pins until all the seams are joined together. Remember to mark a gap to leave open of about 4cm (1 1/2”). If your fabric is thick then leave a little larger gap. I like to mark the gap with a double pin at each end.
4. Sewing the Scrap Fabric Ball Together
Starting from one edge of the gap, lockstitch (or sew and reverse over a couple of stitches) and sew all the way around back to the other side of the gap. This is one continuous seam. You will need to be careful that both layers line up and stay flat. You may get a couple of little folds if one fabric gives more than the other!
Turn your ball around the right way and now you are ready for stuffing!
5. Stuffing Your Fabric Ball Using Scraps
If you happen to have some store bought stuffing lying around than sure use that! But if not I have two other options for you.
For the scrap stuffing in Hannah’s ball I used many different small balls of wool I had left over from my baby knitting days. Knitting is nowhere near as fun for larger children! Just unwind the balls and stuff it in.
For Harry’s I had an old merino jersey which I cut the seams out of and cut into little strips. Now don’t panic I didn’t waste a perfectly good merino jersey it had lots and lots of holes all through it!
My review, the wool stuffed ball is a little softer and lighter than the merino scrap filled one. But there really isn’t much in it…
6. Closing the Gap
Using a needle and thread use a ladder stitch to close the gap. Tie on the thread on the inside at the start,
And go from one side to the other evenly. I think the photo above explains it better than I could!
Once you have done that all you need to do is gently pull your thread tight and the gap closes before your eyes. Tie off your lose end and tuck it away inside and trim of the excess. Do you all know how to do that? I’m wondering if I should a basics tutorial for the beginners…contact me if you need to know more!
There is your finished scrap fabric ball!
Do you have any favourite scrap busting ideas?