Big World for Little One

402

2

About: Hi! I really love craft products, and they are becoming more and more popular now. These things are unique, beautiful, full of warmth and heartedness . When my little princess was born I decided to create a...

Hello everybody!

My name is Ella and I like to sew unique developmental toys made from cotton and felt for children.

This class I created especially for contest «Big and small». Because I usually create small characters and objects and this contest is perfect for my hobby. At all I could sew any item in a small or big version. And I thought that the biggest item in the world is… the world! It’s our planet =)

It would be interesting for children to play with small map, to travel everywhere by small ship and plane, to see small fishes and animals! I also want to create not decorative, but useful toy for children of any ages for this contest. It can develop motor skills, mind and fantasy of your child!

So, this map is really very little if compare it with real Earth’s sizes. It’s about 1 to 35 000 000 meters!

Explore our world with your child!

You can make it even if you have never sewn before. However please bear in mind that this master-class is not simple, it can be quite challenging for beginners, but it’s a very interesting task because of its complexity!

I have tried to give you the most detailed and clear instructions possible.

This following tutorial consists entirely of the author's own ideas, instructions, patterns and photographs.

So, let’s begin!

P.S. I’m not native-speaker, so, my English is not well. Sorry =(

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Preparation

Color spectrum

I am giving you my choice of colors, but you can select any you like. It’s not necessary to use the same shades of color in your felt, you can use different ones. Choose according to your own personal taste! Also, you don’t have to match sewing threads with felt but using the same or complimenting colors will result in a more coherent and appealing product.

Product size

50х25 cm

All sizes in this class are in centimeters!

Necessary equipment

  1. Household sewing machine
  2. Needle for dense materials, size 80 (If not, use any).
  3. Fabric scissors
  4. Ruler in centimeters
  5. Template / Stencil with circles
  6. Fabric Pencil
  7. Sewing needles and pins
  8. Lighter


When working with felt I don’t recommend using a fabric marker – it can leave very dark marks! Use a fabric pencil instead =)

Be sure that your sewing machine is configured correctly, adjust the tension of the upper and lower threads!

I want to pay attention that for this class you need special equipment - plastic snap buttons and the snap pliers for fixing them. You can buy it on sewing equipment shop or order on Amazon. Usually it sold together as a set =)

But before buying be sure that nozzles and buttons have one size! Also, a complete snap assembly has four parts: two covers, the socket, and the stud!

For example, I give you this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B078K4DQVW/

So, You need:

  1. The Snap pliers (9)
  2. Nozzles for hole or an awl (10)
  3. Nozzles for buttons (11)
  4. 6 sets of plastic snap buttons size 16-20 (11-12 mm in diameter) (12)


Necessary materials

1. Felt and threads

For this map I use polyester hard felt, but you can use more organic felt if you prefer - for example wool, or 50% wool felt, you can also use soft felt for details. But if you choose other materials, don’t forget about the appropriate temperature settings for washing it! And it can be difficult to sew small details in soft variant!

  • Suitable thick of the hard felt: 2 - 3 mm for the base, 1 – 1.2 mm for details
  • Suitable thick of the soft felt: 1.2 – 1.5 mm for details
  • Suitable density of the hard or soft felt: 200 – 220 g / sq.m

Often felt is sold by the sheet, so you need 1 sheet of each necessary color. You need A4 size of each color for details, and you need not less than 50х25 cm for the base of map.

I prefer Korean felt, it’s non-toxic, pliable to work with, and has a good range of color palettes!

So, you need:

  1. 50х25 cm sheet of 2 mm hard felt in blue colors
  2. 10 sheets of 1-1,2 mm hard or soft felt. I have blue, light blue, dark green, light green, olive green, yellow, orange, red, white and black.
  3. 10 spools of sewing threads according to the tone of the felt, 400 yards. It’s better to choose threads at a sewing shop, putting the thread on the felt sheet and choosing the closest shade of color


2. Additional materials

  1. Velcro ribbon (soft and rough parts), you need 10 cm each. I chose the blue Velcro which matches the color of the base part of my map.
  2. Embroidery threads in black and red colors, density shouldn’t be less than 125 grams / m. You can also use sewing threads.
  3. 52х27 cm of interlining or oilcloth for the back side of map. You can also use a felt, but it’s better to use oilcloth for easy cleaning. Suitable thick of back side is your own wish. If you want stronger map - you can use more dense material.

Step 2: Cut Out the Patterns

I have included the pdf-file with the necessary patterns for this master-class in A4 formats in color and lines. You can download them. There is 2 parts here. And also the jpg-files in A4 with ship and plane.

Use thick paper for printing! After printing you must cut out all the elements. Notice that the details on the pattern are superimposed onto each other, and you need to make a few copies of it! See the colored picture to understand how to find the outline and cut the elements correctly.

If you have a template or stencil with circles, you don’t need to cut out tiny elements like eyes by guesswork, it’s much simpler to draw them out with the aid of the template!

Be sure that you have the patterns of:

1. Waves

If you want, you can make the map without waves.

Be careful with the big wave pattern because it has only left part. Right part you can draw, or you can make only left. It depends of the sizes of your map. You have to oriented on you sizes to continue this wave! So, when you line out the wave pattern - draw this wave up and right. On the photos for this step you can see how I make the wave.

2. Continents

Pattern «Arctica continent» consists from two parts, you must join them! And be sure that this pattern is covers the waves and not less than the place for it!

3. The Flag

4. The Ship

5. The Plane

6. The Fish

7. The Penguin

8. The Whale

Now the patterns are ready to be used!

Be sure that you have this set of patterns like in the photo.

So, everything is prepared and we’re ready to get started!

Step 3: Cut Out the Base and Continents

If you use my selection of colors, you can print the colored pattern (Step 2) and look at the colors of each detail. If you prefer you own color palette, change it accordingly and follow your customized picture.

  • First of all, take the blue felt for the base and cut out the rectangle 50x25 cm. When you draw straight lines, use a ruler! I prefer round edges to make the map more beautiful. If you want the same – use a template or stencil. So, cut out the rectangle and our base is ready!
  • Then cut out the continents and the waves. Use different colors of green felt for different continents.
  • Also, you need 6 circles (diameter not less than 2 cm) – this is the places for our small flags. I make them yellow.

How to cut the felt correctly? Put the felt sheet on the table, it doesn’t matter what side of the felt is on top. Take the patterns, put them on the back of the felt and draw around them with the help of a fabric pencil. In order to avoid wasting your felt try to put the details close to each other.

For drawing little circles it’s easier to use a template or stencil.

Cut out the details slowly and carefully.

To make your felt detail more secure, stop it from fraying and help it keep its form for a long time, seal the edges with a lighter! But Be Careful you must barely touch the edge of your felt to the flame or you can spoil the cut-out! Practice on another (scrap) piece of felt before doing it on your actual detail!

The last step of this section is to put all the details on the base. Be sure that you have cut out all the details correctly and check to see if they have all been sealed with the lighter!

You should have the following result like in the last photo for this step.

Step 4: Sew Waves Into the Base

It’s better to fix the details with pins, or outline their position using your fabric pencil! It’s important to securely fix the felt during sewing.

If you don’t want to be confused about markings and colors, refer to the picture!

For all the felt details use a machine stitch A-2 or A-3.

To start this step cut out the white seagulls and sew them to the left part of big wave in the middle.

Our waves will be fixed only in bottom parts like pockets for the fishes. So, we don’t need to join the top to the base, but instead stitch around the top edges of waves.

How to sew precisely around the edge? - Don’t hurry! Sew very slowly and press the pedal gently turning the detail carefully! It’s better to practice on other pieces before.

You can sew the details by hand, using a sewing needle and a “forward needle” stitch.

We do not sew anything to the base around its perimeter!

Step 5: Sew Continents Into the Base

Take yellow circles and mark their placement on the continents. If you don’t want to be confused about markings - refer to the picture! Sew them into the continents.

For a tidy and ‘professional’ look pull out the threads from the back and tie them together. Do this for finishing all felt details! It helps to keep them secure and avoids an excess of messy thread! (Look at the photos).

Now we are ready to install Plastic Snap Buttons!

If you never do it before – don’t worry, it’s easy =)

  1. Be sure that your snap buttons and snap plier nozzles have one size!
  2. A complete snap assembly has four parts: two covers, the socket, and the stud. Be sure that you have all parts of set!
  3. Decide on your snap placement. Using a fabric pencil, mark the center of each part of the snap.
  4. Using the nozzles for hole or the awl, gently poke a hole through the felt at the marked center point.
  5. Insert a pronged cover through the hole, working from the front through to the back.
  6. Place a socket over the exposed prong.
  7. Slip the snap halves into the pliers. The cover should sit against the die tray and the socket should face the rubber pressing head. You will hear a "click" as the cover drops into the tray - this lets you know it has been properly seated.
  8. Remember, you are working with plastic not metal. You don't need super-human pressure - just press the handles all the way closed.
  9. The opposite half of the snap inserts using the same method.

So, do these steps for all 6 circles.

Look at the photos to be sure that you do all right!

Now our continents are ready for sewing! Let’s do it.

Always change the top and bottom spool of the thread according to the color of your felt! It makes your creation more beautiful.

Look at the photo, be sure that you have the same result.

Next, you need to cut 4 cm of the rough part of the Velcro. I also used rounded edges for it.

I recommend you seal the edges of the Velcro with a lighter! Don’t worry, the edges won’t be damaged, and it will remain sticky.

Mark where the penguin and the plane will be placed on your map and sew the Velcro here. Look at the photo and make sure that you understand the position of the Velcro!

Sew the Velcro not only at the edges, but also diagonally! It will fix it securely!

To complete this step, we need to make one thing more!

Take the fabric pencil and draw where you want the sea ways will be. Take red embroidery thread and create them, using a “forward needle” stitch.

Look at the photo, be sure that you have the same result.

Step 6: Complete the Base of the Map

Our Map Base is nearly ready, we just need to join oilcloth (or other material you want) to the back side of it.

We need if for closing stiches and making the item stronger and easier to clean, if your children loves playing on the carpet.

So, take you oilcloth and cut out the rectangle 52х27 cm.

If you are not sure that you can fix it with pins – sew it around by hands before.

So, use a white thread and machine stitch A-4 for doing this.

Сut the excess oilcloth along the edge of the map. And carefully seal the edges with a lighter several times!

Ready! You should have the following result like in the last photo for this step.

Step 7: Make the Small Flags

Take the pattern of small flag, put it on the back of felt and draw around with the help of a fabric pencil. You need 6 elements for 6 continents. Cut out the flags.

Next hour you must be patient for hand embroidery =)

Draw the names of the continents on the flags before sewing.

Use the black embroidery thread and a «back needle» stich to do it! It will be perfect if the names placed on the middle of the flags!

When you finished your embroidery works, take the sheets of felt in colors of continents. The back side of flags will have the color of continent this flag belongs. The top spool must be yellow, and the bottom spool – in the colors of bottom felt!

So, sew around the edges of flag.

Then, you must cut the excess felt, but! Leave it near the footing of flag to make it stronger. And carefully seal the edges with a lighter! We do all this to strengthen the flag and keep its shape!

Do it for all 6 flags.

To finish this step, you need to install the opposite half of snap buttons to the round part of flags. I think you know how to do it after you got the Step 6.

Our flags are totally ready!

Don’t forget to check the functionality of each button!

Step 8: The Penguin

So, we need to make animals for our planet!

We have one-side and two-side objects in this project. For example, the penguin has only front side, and there is a clasp in the back side of it.

Notice, if you didn’t make waves, you must sew only front side toys because there are no pockets to put the toy and you must make Velcro on the back side of it and on the map!

So, let’s start. Take the patterns and cut out all necessary parts from felt: a body, 2 paws, a breast, 2 eyes and a beak.

For drawing little circles it’s easier to use a template or stencil.

Take the dark-blue felt and cut out a piece about the sizes of the body. See the photos and be sure that you have all the details.

Next you need to cut 3 cm of the soft part of Velcro. I also used rounded edges for it.

Seal the edges of the Velcro and penguin’s eyes with a lighter.

Outline the position of eyes using your fabric pencil.

Place the black circles onto the white circles to make the eyes. Let’s finish the eyes and stitch around the black circles.

Sew the breast and the beak to the body.

Take the back side and sew the Velcro into it. Sew the Velcro not only at the edges, but also diagonally.

Next you need to join back and front parts and put the paws between them.

Cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter.

The penguin is ready! Put it to it’s place on the Map and check the Velcro.

Step 9: The Fish

Our fish has back and front sizes, so you need to cut out from felt 2 eyes, 2 fins, a tail, a body and a piece of yellow felt in sizes of a body. See the photos and be sure that you have all the details.

Seal the eyes with a lighter.

Outline the position of eyes and pins using your fabric pencil.

Place the black circles onto the white circles to make the eyes and stitch around the black circles.

Sew the pins into the body.

Take black embroidery thread and create the fish’s mouth, using a “back needle” stitch. If you are not sure about the shape of the mouth – you can draw it first.

Next you need to join back and front parts and put the tail between them.

Cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter.

We have the fish! Put it to it’s place on the Map.

Step 10: The Wheal

Our wheal has back and front sizes also, so you need to cut out from felt 2 eyes, a body, a belly, a fountain.

Next take a dark-blue felt and cut out a piece about wheal’s sizes of a body. Also cut out pieces from a white felt for the belly and the fountain. See the photos and be sure that you have all the details.

Seal the eyes with a lighter.

Outline the position of eyes using your fabric pencil.

Place the black circles onto the white circles to make the eyes and stitch around the black circles.

Take black embroidery thread and create the wheal’s mouth, using a “back needle” stitch. If you are not sure about the shape of the mouth – you can draw it first.

Join 2 parts of the belly and the fountain. Cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter.

Next you need to join back and front parts of the body and put wheal’s belly and fountain between them.

Cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter.

The wheal is ready! Put it to it’s place on the Map.

Step 11: The Plane

We need a transport for travelling! Let’s do it!

The plane has only front side, and there is a clasp on the back side of it.

So, take necessary patterns and cut out a body, a lower body, 3 portholes, an aircraft windshield and 2 aircraft wings. Take the yellow felt and cut out a piece about the size of the plane. Also cut out a piece for the big aircraft wing. See the photos and be sure that you have all the details.

For drawing little circles it’s easier to use a template or stencil.

Next you need to cut 3 cm of the soft part of Velcro. I also used rounded edges for it.

Seal the edges of the Velcro and portholes with a lighter.

Outline the position of portholes using your fabric pencil. Sew portholes into the aircraft body.

Next join back and front parts of the dark-blue wing. Cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter.

Outline the position of 2 aircraft wings using your fabric pencil. Sew them into the body and tail.

Take the back side and sew the Velcro into it. Sew the Velcro not only at the edges, but also diagonally.

Take lower body (I have red) and sew it into the back side of the plane. You have to markup the position of main body before.

Take main body, place it to the back side and sew it.

Outline the position of aircraft windshield using your fabric pencil. Sew it into the body.

Next you need to join back and front parts. Cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter.

The plane is ready! Put it to it’s place on the Map and check the Velcro.

Step 12: The Ship

This ship is more difficult than the plane because it has two parts, it’s two-sided.

Take the patterns and cut out all parts of the ship, and suitable pieces of felt for the back side. See the photos and be sure that you have all the details.

We will put all the parts of the ship into each other! So, you must leave the place for stitching!

You must leave the place for stitching on the top of yellow detail of ship – bottom, on the bottom of the pipe, of dark-blue and white detail of the ship. Only blue detail is still the same. If you have another color spectrum – see the photos for understanding of this step.

For drawing little circles it’s easier to use a template or stencil.

Seal the edges of all circles with a lighter.

First of all, we sew the ship portholes (I have them in blue color). Outline the position of portholes using your fabric pencil. Sew portholes into the ship body. See the photos to be sure that you got it.

Outline the position of circle decorative element (I have red) using your fabric pencil. Sew the element into the ship body. See photos to be sure that you got it.

Let’s make a steamboat pipe. Join back and front parts of it, cut the excess felt and seal around with a lighter. Take the red stripes, put them on both sides of the pipe, sew and cut the excess felt.

Make a bottom of the ship the same way.

Now we put all the parts of the ship into each other.

Join the front and back sides of dark-blue elements of the ship, put the pipe between them and sew. Cut the excess felt.

Join the front and back sides of white elements of the ship, put the dark-blue element between them and sew. Cut the excess felt.

Join the front and back sides of blue middle elements of the ship, put white element and yellow bottom between them and sew. Cut the excess felt.

Seal around all ship with a lighter. The ship is ready! Put it to it’s place on the Map! That’s all!

Step 13: Caring and Washing

I’d like to congratulate you on creating this wonderful toy! You managed to
complete a very difficult project, but it was worth it! You can iron the product with steam through a thin cloth.

Finally, I want to give you some advice about caring for your handcrafted creation.

It’s best to wipe it with a cloth and it will be enough to clean it.

Hand wash with cold water only! I recommend you use horizontal drying. It takes 8 hours to dry out completely.

Ironing is possible at high temperatures, press gently, and iron the felt elements through a thin cloth only!

I hope you enjoyed the class and feel proud of the beautiful creation you made!

I’d love to see photos of your maps in the comments!

Play with your child, show them how big and interesting our amazing world!

Big and Small Contest

Participated in the
Big and Small Contest

Share

    Recommendations

    • Make It Fly Challenge

      Make It Fly Challenge
    • Stone Concrete and Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete and Cement Contest
    • Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

      Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest

    Discussions