Hillarys Blinds Country Crafts Competition

Hillarys Blinds have been running a Country Crafts Competition which challenged designers to use one of four Hillarys fabrics to create a piece of craft design.

I chose their “Patina” houndstooth fabric, a very sumptuous fabric with a slight sheen to it. Well-suited for cushions, furniture covers or upholstery, its pattern is quite a large-scale dogtooth design and it’s a heavy-weight strong and sturdy fabric.

At first I sketched a few ideas in my notebook to figure out what kind of item I’d like to create. I looked through plenty of photos of cute dachshunds (more commonly known as sausage dogs) for inspiration. The name of this breed comes from the German language meaning “badger dog”.


After admiring all the cute dogs I made a few full-scale drawings on a piece of paper to establish the final shape and proportions.


I then placed the cut out drawing on top of the fabric to use it as a template.


I had to account for the fullness when the dog is stuffed with washable polyester fibres, so I kept adding extra allowances around the initial silhouette to achieve the desired result. When I was happy with the shape I set about cutting out the 2 pieces to create the body of the dog and a couple of ears too.


I decided to line the ears with contrasting fabric, so I used a nice red and white organic cotton gingham fabric to add a highlight to my creation. Using an overlocking stitch I secured the edges of the fabric to stop them from fraying and carried on.


So, having stitched 2 main pieces of fabric, I left an opening for turning it inside out and for adding padding too.

Then I stitched the ear details together – Hillarys “Patina” fabric and the gingham fabric – face to face, leaving an opening to turn them inside out. The shape of the ears was free-sketched as I went along to suit the shape of the dog.

After that I stitched the nose and the eyes of the dog using a strong woollen black embroidery thread. I added some polyester fibres inside the dog’s ears for volume and using a ladder-stitch I finished the ears and then attached them to the sides of the head of the dog. Then it was a case of stuffing the rest of the dog’s body with filling with a help of a tailor’s awl that I was given for Christmas (thank you Morag!), a very useful tool to have for reaching narrow places like the nose and the tail of the dog or for turning the corners inside out.

Using a ladder-stitch again, which helps to stitch the opening almost without any visible traces, if you are accurate of course, it’s not magic, I finished my piece and decorated it with a gingham bow on the neck. I hope you like my creation and it will now be sitting on my sofa. :)



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