You'll love this tutorial if you're looking for something different for this Easter. It's a kind of Fabric Easter Egg made with fabric scraps and it has a zipper, so you can put a surprise toy inside.
This is a wonderful project for beginners but it would also be fun for more advanced sewists. It allows you to use up some of your fabric scraps while affording an opportunity to practice skills like installing zippers, bias tape application, and pattern drafting in a low-stress and inexpensive project. The end product will make a fantastic, and hopefully cherished, gift for your child or grandchild.
Here's the backstory for where this idea came from. When my daughter was a little girl, she carried with her a small bathtub with a little baby inside. I know it sounds strange, but we had purchased it at the Marche aux Puces in Paris for about 2 Euros or 2 US Dollars and my daughter just refused to part with “baby” and tub for any reason. This undoubtedly generated lots of looks and comments in snooty Parisian cafes as you can imagine.
One day before Easter, I had the idea of replacing the bathtub with a large egg made of paper mache. I covered the egg with a pretty fabric, made a bunny with a fantastic tutu and a bow that doubled as wings and a pillow. I hid it in the garden for the Easter egg hunt. When my daughter found it, she instantly latched on to it.
Soon this egg became a year-round companion for my daughter and replaced the old bathtub. Eventually, there were dresses, small tutus and tops to dress the little bunny. Time passed and the egg became dirty and tattered. Back then, I so wished that I had made the egg completely out of fabric so I could wash it easily to return to some sense of hygiene.
As happens with kids, my daughter eventually lost track of that egg. I am sure if I gather enough courage to make it to the back of our storage closet, I will find that egg and bunny somewhere. I think it would make for an interesting photo.
So this is the fabric Easter egg I wish I had made way back then. I thought in case you have a small child who would love an egg hunt and becomes attached to it, make it out of fabric so you can wash it. The bunny and wardrobe will be a separate tutorial in the near future.
I encourage you to dig into your scraps of fabric, recycle from an old project or better, reuse an unfinished project. You really only need a small amount of fabric for this project and the pieces can be relatively small.
- quilting fabric 1/2 fat quarter (9″x 22) (23cm x 56cm) you can make 2 eggs per fat quarter
- lining (9″x 22)
- fusible fleece (9″x 22″)
- sewable interfacing (9″x 22″)
- interfacing for lining (9″x 22″)
- 1 yard bias tape to match the fabric and zippers
- 1 nylon zippers 20″ long
- strip of ribbon 10″ long x 1.5″ wide
- sewing machine (optional)
- quilting needle or size 14 needle
- iron. (I got this new “smartiron” recently and it is just fantastic. You may want to check it out.)
- zipper foot
- walking foot
- seam ripper. (Here's a review of what I think it the best seam ripper around.)
- water soluble pen
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Step One: Fusing the Fabrics
Fuse all fabrics before cutting. Place the quilting fabric right side down. Place the fusible fleece on top with the glue side facing down. Iron to fuse.
Fuse the thin fusible interfacing to the lining.
Step Two: Cutting the Fabrics
Mark the little notches on the fabric following the pattern then cut the fabric. Don't forget to do this or you will have a hard time piecing the pieces together. Make your marks indicating which way is up and down. Place main fabric, lining and interfacing wrong side together so will have 2 sides for the eggs.
Trace the pattern onto the sewable interfacing and label each piece then cut.
Step Two: Sewing Your Fabric Easter Egg
Start by sewing the sewable interfacing using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Open the seam and use a large zigzag to keep the seams open.
Use the same procedure to sew the lining, but instead of using a zigzag, topstitch on the side of the seams so the seam allowance lays flat. Stop the topstitch 3/8″ before the edge. The reason will become clearer on the step below.Repeat on the main fabric. Remember to stop 3/8″ before the edge.After topstitching, cut off the seam allowance to reduce bulk and give the fabric Easter egg a more smooth appearance.
Step Three: Building up Your Fabric Easter Egg
You should have three layers to accomplish this step –fabric, interfacting, and lining. There are two halves of the egg with three layers each.
Place the sewable interfacing layer on the table and cover it with the lining layer.
Take the lining and sewable interfacing and stack it onto the main fabric layer. Zigzag (very large zigzag) the edges to catch all the layers.
Make a stitching line under the zigzag at 3/8″.
Using a seam ripper, take out the the zigzag. Yes, I know this is a pain and a dreaded word for all, but this was the best way I could find to reduce the bulk to be able to attach the bias tape. Cut the interfacing and the fleece without cutting the lining and the fabric. I tried cutting before zigzagging and you are welcome to try, but that just did not work for me. I had a hard time aligning the pieces.Pin a strip of ribbon 3″ long at the bottom of the egg. Line up the strip at the center and fold in half. There will be three strips of ribbon attached to the end of the egg. Two inside and one outside. These will be sewn when we attach the bias tape in the next step.
Step Four: Attaching the Bias Tape
Pin the bias tape starting on top of the ribbon. Place the crease of the bias tape at 3/8″ from the edge. Use the stitching line you have previously made as a guide. Sew the bias tape at 3/8″. Join the ends together, fold in, and pin. Continue pinning the bias tape around the edge of the egg. You'll be doing this on both halves of the egg. Place a 3″ strip of ribbon (if you have a print on the ribbon, place it print side down) exactly opposite the strip you have placed on the outside before.
Fold the strip of ribbon in half pin and sew the bias tape.
On the right side of the fabric, sew the bias tape. Use “stitch-in-the-ditch” method or just sew right on the edge like I did. Looking back, stitch-in-the-ditch would have been a better method for aesthetic reasons.Repeat the exact procedure on the other side of the fabric easter egg.
Step Five: Attaching the Zipper and Finishing the Fabric Easter Egg
There are a few patterns around for a fabric easter egg, but this is one affords you the ability to carry it as a toy storage. The zipper is what allows you do do that. You might think it is hard for a child to open a zipper, but it is a wonderful way to teach hand-eye coordination.
I had a hard time coming up with a way to attach the zipper to the fabric easter egg. So I did it this way to make it easier for a beginner to follow. Pin the end of the zipper exactly at the middle of the ribbon and continue pinning the zipper around the edge.Sew using your zipper foot leaving a 1/8″ gap between the teeth and bias tape.
One side of the zipper will be sewn to one side of the egg, while the other will be sewn to the other side as shown in the picture below. Attach another strip of ribbon ( 3″) on the other side but do not fold, leave it as a single layer. Sew the other side of the zipper. I would like to point out that it does not matter what side has the folded ribbon, as long as one side has a folded ribbon and the other does not. This ribbon serves to hide the zipper and also acts as the “hinge” for the egg, so it has to be a few layers thick.Bring the unfolded piece of ribbon to the bottom of the folded one and sew it down using a hand needle and matching thread.
Bring the folded ribbon on top of the one you just sewed and sew it down with the hand needle. I'm using a very bright pink ribbon so you can see clearly. I would have preferred to use a green ribbon instead but I think the pink looks OK anyway.
Lastly, tuck the bias tape under the zipper and hand sew around both halves of the egg.Now you are ready to stuff your fabric easter egg with chocolates, or a bunny. I hope your child enjoys it as much as mine did.
Until next time when we will be making a top to stay in tune with the current trends.