Friday, February 22, 2013

Child's Beanbag Pattern


I was dashing through Lincraft a couple of months before Christmas last year when some fabric caught my eye that I thought would make great beanbags for our four oldest grandchildren.  When I couldn't find a pattern to follow I drew one up that, (surprisingly, but one of those really nice surprises! :) worked really well.  I wanted to make the old-style tear-drop bean-bag shape that mimics a chair when you sit on it - and not the plain square or round cushions.  (You can see how to make a square bean-bag cushion here.)  On Christmas day each child received their beanbag and they spent the rest of the afternoon jumping around on them - they loved them!.  I already have orders for two more for next Christmas :)




I'ts not hard to sew a beanbag - pretty basic sewing really, so even if you don't have much experience I think you will be ok with this:


Materials

  • You'll need about 3 meters of some medium to heavier-weight fabric for each outer cover.                                 - (Six panels x 40cm x 91cm, plus a 51cm square piece for the bottom circle.  I originally bought two and a half metres (of 120 or 135cm wide), for each beanbag, and had to go back for more fabric.  Three metres of fabric should be just right.) 
  • You'll also need 3 metres of a strong lining fabric for each inner beanbag.  (I used an inexpensive poly-cotton.)
  • Sewing cotton to match your outer cover, (since you will be top-stitching and it will be obvious)
  • A medium to heavy-weight zip (continuous zip is easy)
  • Polystyrene beanbag pellets.  (I used about 115 litres for each bag)
  • Some tissue paper or similar, to draw up your pattern.  (I used cheap $1 tissue paper I had at home.  It doesn't matter what paper you use.)





Directions

  • Draw up your pattern, using the guide below (Diagram 1).  You can call this Pattern Piece 1.  (I drew this up free-hand.  You should be able to copy it successfully by following the diagram I think.  The pattern already incorporates a 1.5cm hem allowance.  If you click on the image it will enlarge.)


Diagram 1


  • Next, draw up a pattern for your bottom circle piece, by folding a piece of tissue paper in half, and marking 25.5cm from a middle point, in an arc to form a half circle.  Open the tissue out, mark the centre line of the half-circle, then add a 1.5cm seam allowance just along the centre seam (the outside of the half-circle already has a 1.5cm seam allowance).  Cut out and call this Pattern Piece 2.
  • Cut 6 beanbag panels from outer fabric, of Pattern Piece 1.  (That you can see above, in Diagram 1.)
  • Also cut 6 beanbag panels from lining fabric, of Pattern Piece 1.  (I ironed, then layered and pinned the six panels to cut them all out together - as you can see above, to save time.)
  • Cut 1 Pattern Piece 2 of the outer fabric, on the fold, then separate, to give you two identical pieces.
  • Cut 1 Pattern Piece 2 of inner lining fabric, on the fold, then separate the pieces.




  • Sew all of the side panels together at the long sides, then top-stitch each seam as you go for added strength, catching in the hem underneath.  When all of your side panels are assembled, the tip of the beanbag should look something like this:  (If your seam lines don't all meet perfectly in the middle, you can hand-sew a few stitches to bring the seams together to a neat point, and strengthen the junction.)




  • Join the two side pieces of outer fabric Pattern Piece 2 with your zip.  You can see how to sew in the zip here.)
  • Ease-stitch 1cm in from the outside of the circle made by your two joined pieces of Pattern Piece 2, then pin and stitch this bottom circle to the joined top side panels.  Topstitch this seam and clip the curve as needed.  You now have your outer bag all finished :)


(This is the bottom of your beanbag.  It's actually worked well that I used a match-in fabric for the this piece because you can see it better!)

  • Basically, follow these same directions to sew up the inner lining pieces too.  The only difference will be that you will not sew in a zip.  Instead, sew the two halves together but leave a 25cm opening (through which to fill with beans).
  • Put the lining bag inside your outer bag before you fill the bag with beans.  (I found this out by not doing so, and having an unnecessarily hilarious time trying to get the fat, filled little beanbag through the too-small zip opening of the outer bag.  Possible but difficult.  I possibly ought to have made the bottom circle piece a little larger, but in every other way it worked well so I thought...  nope :)
  • Fill the inner bag with beans.   (I won't try to direct how you accomplish this.  With lots of laughter, a second pair of hands to help, frequent looks of astonishment that indicate your bemusement that such little beans can be so very lively, and, one hopes, a good vacuum to finish, is my guess.  If you do manage to fill your bags with none of these, please don't feel you need to tell me about it..  Actually, no - I'd be fascinated to hear how you did it  :)




  • When the inner bag is filled, fold the open seams over onto themselves at least twice before pinning, then hand-sew the seam closed.  You will notice that I have used an easy-to-see thread to do this, and I actually have a reason for this other than that I was too lazy to get a matching thread: every now and again you may decide that it's time to add some more beans, because your beanbag has become a bit flat.  The bright cotton makes it easy to unpick the thread :)

Voila!!  Not too hard, no?

(If you do use this pattern, I would love to hear how it went for you and would love it if you left some feedback please :)

PS - Click here if you would like to see how I used the fabric scraps to make a child's bag.




29 comments:

  1. These bean bags are so so awesome. And so cute!

    I'd kind of like one too.... :) :)

    xo

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  2. My goodness mother, your talent astounds me! I'm so very impressed that you made it up all by yourself! And they look so fabulous!!
    I figure I should learn how to make one for Hallie in a year when she can enjoy it...unless you randomly decide to do it for me :P lol. Joking, I will learn!! Now that I have such awesome instructions :)
    xoxo

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  3. Hello :) The pattern looks lovely. What length zipper did you use?

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    1. Hi! If you click on the link to 'continuous zip' it will take you to a post where you can see what it is and see a picture. This is what I used, but a medium to heavyweight 52cm zip would be virtually the same thing. Continuous Zip is sold by the metre, with one zip pull every metre or so. Hope this helps! :)

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  4. Hello Beginner seamstress here!I am using your pattern and will blog about my experience! My son's 2nd birthday is coming up. Fingerscrossed I don't mess Up!

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    Replies
    1. Good luck! If you have any questions I am happy to try to help! :)

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  5. It turned out great!
    Thanks for the pattern!
    I used a 51cm zipper and lovely printed corduroy fabric. As I intend on giving it as a gift, I used a 2.5 cm seam allowence for pattern piece 2 lining and attached velcro. This way I figure extra beans can be added without any sewing ability :) If I could attach a photo I would!

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    Replies
    1. I'd love to see a picture :) I'm so glad it turned out well for you! :) Thank you so much for letting me know :)

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  6. Hi,

    I was wondering, do you have a rough idea of how much 115 liters of polystyrene beads are in KG. As where I am from they only sell it in KGs. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, I found this on the net:

      1 Cubic Foot/28Litres Beanbag Filling
      Total Volume (Cubic feet/Litres): 1 cu ft/28 ltr Weight (lbs/kg): 0.6 lbs/0.27kg Approx bead ..


      The beads are very light - it seems that 28 litres = .27kg, therefore, 112 litres would be about 1.08kg - and 115 litres would be approximately 1.11 kg.

      Hope this helps :)

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    2. The link for this is: http://www.custompac.co.uk/index.php?route=product/category&path=20_64

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  7. I am happy to have found your pattern my son has just asked if I would
    like to make two for his sons they are coming to vist next weekend
    We will have fun picking out the fabric together happy Oma

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    Replies
    1. Hello! I hope it works out really well for you! :)

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  8. I stumbled across your pattern hunting on the web for beanbag inspiration and I had a go. I used 2 single duvet covers as my fabric as I managed to pick them up for less than £5 each. Made one for my little boy and a second for my baby girl. So easy to do and they look great - I added a handle to the top of mine so the kids could move them around. Posted a picture of them on facebook and my friends are all asking for them now!!!

    Now my husband wants one and im not sure how much to increase the pattern by - anyone help me please!!!

    My pics are here: http://my-cox-moments.tumblr.com/post/56430649062

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jo. Your pictures look great! What a smart idea it was for you to use duvet covers - much cheaper and so many great patterns to choose from. Your children look totally adorable! :)

      Did you work out a pattern for a larger size?

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  9. Just used your guide...very helpful!!! If you fill the bean bags in the bath then all the escaped balls are easily contained and scooped back into the bean bag...saves you hunting for them for months!

    p.s. - the bath was empty!! :)

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    Replies
    1. Lynsey, that sounds like such a sensible idea, thank you! :)

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  10. I've just started making this bean bag for my little boys christmas. So far, so good!! :)

    p.s I've never sewn anything before in my life!

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    Replies
    1. Wow Michelle, that's great! I hope it goes really well for you! Please just ask if you're not sure of anything :)

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  11. Hello from the Philippines! I love your work and was inspired to make one for my room. Would you happen to have patterns for large beanbags? Thank you so much! :-)

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  12. Hi, Would you be able to tell me what width the fabric you used was please? Thanks

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  13. Hi I am a complete beginner but wanted to get my kids bean bags for Christmas as my son is getting an assistance dog and I wanted them to be able to sit comfortably on the floor with him. I couldn't find any I liked at a reasonable price I did a search and found this so I used your pattern and I am amazed at how awesome they turned out. Thank you for sharing. My kids are going to love them. I would share a pic but not sure how

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    Replies
    1. That's lovely to hear, thank you! I'm so glad they worked out well for you :) Happy Christmas to your family :)

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  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  15. Hi I would love to try your pattern but I need to make an adult sized one as my daughter would like one for her student flat? Can you advise how much to enlarge the pattern please?

    thankyou

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  16. I'm currently trying this out! I am using my sons bedroom curtains as they were so lovely but we had to replace them with black out ones and it's a shame to beet rid of them completely. Haven't got very far yet have only cut out all the pieces and tacked together. I've never used a sewing machine before so fingers crossed I don't make a mess of it! Thanks for the pattern and instructions.... hope mine turns out decent! Xx

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  17. Great pattern! Thanks for sharing

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