Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Felt Play Cookie Dough and Cutouts

Felt Cookies on Ikea kid's baking sheet

  For Christmas this year my kids' "BIG" present was a Ikea play kitchen. I wanted to make some extra special food items for them to play with. My daughter is always asking me if she can help out in the kitchen, and our son just wants to make loud noises with the pots. In addition to the kitchen we got them the baking set from Ikea. I used this as my template to create the play cookie dough and cutouts. I was able to finish this project in about two hours, or in parent language - one nap time.

A little back story, I got into felt sewing about three years ago because of a blog called Imagine Our Life. She has some pretty amazing tutorials and way too good to be free but are patterns. My first big project was a quiet book with a Firehouse theme. That particular quiet book took me a year to make, but all the things I learned in the process really helped me to be more fearless in my crafting adventures.



Materials Needed:
+ Felt - 2 pieces of 9 x 12 dough color felt (or any size as long as they match). I purchased my felt from American Felt and Craft, and used the color Buttercream.
+ Fusible Fleece - 1 piece of 9 x 12 (or whatever size to match your felt pieces). I used Pellon's TP971F and that seems to be holding very well. However I am sure other types would work just as well.
+ Scissors  - They need to be sharp since the cutting has to be very precise.
+ Pins - I like glass head pins because you can iron over them!
+ Ink marking tool - I use these pens by Pilot. They disappear with the steam of the iron. With that said please do some research into these before you use them on anything nice (expensive), they aren't specifically designed for fabric and technically leave a invisible ink mark behind that can magically reappear at the right cold temperature.
+ Cookie cutters - I used the ones that came in the Ikea baking set linked above.
+ Iron
+ Pressing cloth
+ Wash clothes - ones that aren't important
+ Sewing Machine - I used a zigzag stitch throughout this project. This can also be done by hand, but probably not in one nap session. You could use a blanket stitch to join and finish the edges. If you are new to hand sewing and want a book for reference try the library before buying anything, I borrowed “Handsewn: The Essential Techniques for Tailoring and Embellishment” by Margaret Rowan many times before I finally purchased it. Your library might also give you access to different databases that offer free video subscriptions, such as to "Films on Demand". This particular database offers very basic hand sewing videos made in 1991, but free is free if your library offers it!
+ Matching Thread
+ New needle - If needed, I used the denim needle that was already in my machine. A universal needle would work also.

+ While sewing this the layers of fabric shifted some and I would have to realign them, and in some places you can see the fleece on my cookies. If this is something that you think will bother you it might help to fuse all layers together (either with a temporary adhesive or a paper backed fusible webbing) before cutting out the cookie pieces. As I said I didn't do this, so I am not sure if this extra step would have improved the final product.



Construction:


1)  Ensure that your two pieces of felt are the same size, or cut them to the same size. ** When choosing what size you want this to be consider two things:  1) the size of the baking pan and how many cookies will fit on it and does that match up to how many cookies cutouts the dough can accommodate 2) consider where this will be stored, will the dough fit on the kitchen shelf **

2) Trace one piece of felt onto the fusible fleece, and cut along traced line.






3) Fuse the fleece to one side of felt following the manufacturer's instructions. If you have lost the instructions and it is Pellon, the instructions can be found on their website in a PDF format on that particular item's page. In the picture below the order from bottom to top is: press cloth, fleece, felt, and wet wash clothes.

Pellon, fleece, felt


4) Now would be the time to fuse all the pieces together if you want. I pinned the second piece of felt to the felt/fleece combo with the fleece in the middle. I wanted to round the edges of the dough, so I used the cookie sheet and traced that onto the felt and cut along the drawn line.

Before rounding the edges

After rounding the edge

5) Time to get that sewing machine ready (or hand needle) and use it very briefly. Checklist: Matching thread, bobbin wound, new needle, right presser foot (for zigzag), right settings (for zigzag), do a test run of the material to ensure stitching is good (I used a leftover scrap from when I rounded my edges), and lastly are kids still napping or safely entertaining themselves. If all systems are a go, or as good as it is going to get, time to sew briefly! Zigzag stitch around the entire perimeter of the cookie dough. Once done it is time to go back to the drawing/cutting table.

6) Plan how you want the cookies to layout on the dough and ensure the amount you want fit. Trace the outside edge of the cookie dough cutters and cut along the drawn lines. Put a pin in the middle of each traced cookie, this will help the layers stay together. Be very careful when cutting, I used a rotary cutter to do the first cut through all the layers then switched to a pair of small sharp scissors to do the trace cutting.



7) Yeah! Time to go back to the sewing machine. First, double check the settings and the kids though. I started with the dough first since there is more room for error with this piece. Zigzag all the edges where the cookies were cutout. For the points on the stars and bottom of the heart, go past the point by a stitch or two, than lift up the pressure foot and rotate the fabric. In regards to the opposite points, I have nothing - I literally just went with it, trying to keep the thread in line with the edge and did a lot of hoping. For the most part this worked, however there are a few minor missed sections on mine. It does help to reduce your stitch length around the tight turns though. Once you are done with the dough it is time to test your skills with the cookies.

8) Check your bobbin, do you have enough thread! Check the kids! Time to zigzag the edges of the cookies. These sweet things kept me on my toes. The fabric layers shifted, especially around the tight corners and points. I had to lift my pressure foot and readjust the layers many times. I also tried not to tug or force my fabric around the corners and curves to aggressively, I noticed if I forced it too much it would shift the layers more. Again reducing the stitch length on the tight corners and curves can be helpful, but it is also an additional step you need to remember. With things in reverse, the parts that were easier to sew with the dough are now the hard parts, oh those star points. Go slow and try to think a few stitches ahead, you will make it through.  Can you smell the sweet victory of cookies yet?! Lastly remove any tracing marks left on the fabric, with my pens I used the steam from the iron.


This project was well loved by the time I took this picture.
The cookies had actually been hand washed once already due
to the typical drama of having children.

9) Show off your amazing work to the kids!

My youngest posed like he had put the cookies in the oven!
All this baking is making me hungry, there has got to be
something to eat in here.
Smell those sweet felt cookies!



Time to get them on the cooling floor
My work here is complete!


I hope you enjoy this tutorial. My kids have already enjoyed these cookies for about a month now and they are holding up extremely well. Besides some wrinkling from the hand washing, and a small stain or two that won't come out, they look great and no stitching has come undone!

Written by: Shawna

















2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this tutorial! I haven't tried it yet, but it's exactly what I was looking for :)

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    Replies
    1. I hope it works for you - we are still playing with the cookies 8 months later though some of the frostings have been misplaced!!

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