Monday, 9 December 2013

Dress Up Fun

Hi all,
Hope you are all well and having fun preparing for the holidays. Today I've just popped on with a little snippet from the life of the ELF girls. Recently I've been crazy busy with preparing for my last ever exam  for my degree, eek! However being a parent waits for no exams and it's been nice having a break from study to do one of my most favourite things in the world..... letting my kids play fancy dress! I really love planning and creating their outfits, and often get a bit carried away with myself, can anyone say over-achiever. Well this month Lois had a 'people who help us' dress up day for the end on her primary one (Kindergarten for the US folk)  school topic, and Evie had a fancy dress themed birthday party invite.

Last year when Evie was in P1 she dressed up as a Midwife and she won' best costume'.

I thought I could perhaps get away with using the same costume for Lois this year but she had other ideas. Her request was for someone who wears a skirt. Ok so my first thought was a Nurse, but this idea was poo-pooed by Lois as she "won't win because everyone else is going to be a nurse!"


I racked my brains and thought perhaps a cute Shirley Temple style sailor girl? This idea was poo pooed by their father who was horrified by the short skirted costumes on offer....


I thought about it for ages but could not find a suitable idea, I types the topic into google, pinterest etc. and eventually stumbled across a clip art of a librarian.


I hatched a plan, off to the charity shop to find an old lady skirt. I found the perfect wool checked skirt in the British Heart Foundation for £3. I also got a little jewelled scarf clip for £3, perfect as I was a bit weary of placing a brooch pin so close to her neck. I measured it up, cut, hemmed and resized the skirt to keep the original zipper. The skirt was teamed with a plain white round collared school shirt and a little cardigan. I actually ordered these  Mrs Claus style glasses on-line as an accessory but they didn't come in time, although glad they didn't because they were pretty wide and would've been huge on her face. Luckily i bagged a simple pair of reading glasses from Primark for £1 and on the off chance a mini hair doughnut for 50p, what a bargain. I finished off with a pair of thick white tights and her regular school shoes. You can't really see it too well but she has the little scarf brooch in between the collar at the top button of her shirt. One thing we wanted but couldn't find in time was a spectacle chain which I thought would have been a nice little detail, but hey ho they don't call  us Virgos perfectionists for nothing!

Not that I'm being bias but I think she looks adorable (sorry for the super crappy lighting my house is super dark in the mornings). And guess who won best dressed? Librarian Lois! The best thing is she loves this costume and always wants to play libraries with Evie.

So onto Evies costume, and although I didn't make this costume I just wanted to show off the results of this video hair tutorial I found by Mindy at Cute Girls Hairstyles. If you've seen Disney Brave you'll know all about Merida and her wild ginger curls. Although Evie has naturally curly hair they tend to be more wavy now her hair is really long. I didn't want to put a wig on her as I knew she wouldn't keep it on. So we gave this tutorial a bash and hoped for the best.

This is the curl making in progress complete with her natural hair colour for comparison compare with the finished pics below.

We sprayed on some orange colour hairspray and put on her Merida costume and crown and this is our finished princess.

The whole process literally took around 50 min and that was including 25 min under the dryer. We were super happy with the results with Evie exclaiming that she was "the actual real Merida"and everyone raved at how authentic it looked, so thank you Mindy.

Hopefully this post may inspired some other parents who are desperately seeking ideas for dress ups! If you like this post let me know and I'll try and share other hints and tips for any more dress up days the girls have.

Raynor x

N.B We got the Merida costume in Tesco for £7.50 with the crown, but this is the link to get the same one on Amazon, or there are loads of other cute ones on there and also some cute wee bargain costumes on Ebay.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Olive & Pea Knitted Doll Pattern

Back in 2008 I started out designing toy patterns with my knitted animal pattern shop Jelly Bums. Once I got the sewing bug and started designing the Elf Pop dolls I realised that I'd love to mix my sewing desings with my knitting skills. So for the last few months I've been slowly working away on this pattern and finally finished her over the last few weeks.So here is the knitted version of the Elf Pop Olive & Pea dolls.

Seeing double?
I tried to recreate the sewn version on Olive as much as possible including sizing, so that Elf Pop clothes sewing patterns can be used on the knit dolls too.

Creating a doll was something I've always wanted to do with my knitting but I found the hair can be a bit of a challenge as I don't like the idea of given a doll with yarn hair to a young child. So my main aim was to create everything so it was well and truly stitched in and sewn down so that the doll is suitable for little ones from birth.

You can buy the Olive and Pea doll knitting pattern in my WebshopEtsy Shop (instant download).
If you like her feel free to share on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

For the time being I'll be selling the knitting patterns from my Elf Pop ETSY shop, however I may open up a new shop in the future if it gets to hectic. I'll still use the same website, blog and facebook pages to update on both the sewing and knitting patterns.
Over the next while I'll be working away on converting all of the girl dolls to a knitted version so keep an eye out for any updates.
Happy knitting (and sewing!)

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Snail Sewing Pattern

I've had this little guy on the back burner for a while now that I've been on placement for the last month.  I wanted a boy garden themed doll to match the girly ladybug pattern, and a little snail seemed like the perfect toy. Snipes and snails and puppy dog tails and all that!

We had so much fun taking the photos for this pattern, my little boy didn't want to let this little snail toy go.

  I hope your little ones love the design just as much, I'd love to see some of your creativity using some funky colours.

You can buy the snail sewing pattern in my Webshop & Etsy Shop (instant download)

 If you love him feel free to share him on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

 I have two more designs being drafted at the moment, but I'm undecided as whether to bring out some holiday themed patterns instead. I've had a few people ask for Halloween and Christmas themed patterns so I'll get my design head on and the sketchpad out and see what I can come up with. As always I'll keep you all updated with any Elf Pop developments.

Happy Sewing

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Lady Bug Sewing Pattern

So it has been a lovely summer here in Scotland with temperatures hitting around 30C (86F). This is probably cool for some of you guys but it's like a desert here in our usually freezing rainy country. So recently I've been very garden inspired by spending a lot of my free time outdoors with the kids. So I got to doodling and out popped this little ladybug. Well we actually call them ladybirds over in the UK but i think ladybug sounds cutesy just like this little doll.

This little darling is working those spots!

You can buy the ladybug sewing pattern in my
I can't wait to see what you guys make from the pattern, she seems to be a hit and I'm so glad you all liked her. So if you make a little ladybug then please send on  photos or post them on our facebook page and I'll pop them on the gallery page.
I've missed being immersed in my world of design and sewing whilst back to the day job. At the moment I have two weeks holiday until I start my last placement of 2nd year. Although  I have a yucky  essay to complete I'm trying to sneak in completing my new designs in between. I have an awesome little design coming up next which I'm working away on and hope to have out hopefully by the end on July or start of August. As always I'll let you know when I have any updates on new releases or sneak previews because I know how you love those.
Toodle pip for now
Raynor x

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Pug Dog Sewing Pattern

Our 6 year old Evie is obsessed with pugs and has been for the last two years. Whenever we enter a family discussion about the possibility of getting a dog she is insistent that we get a pug. I don't think we are quite ready to let her have her own dog just yet but I promised her I would make her a little pug softie if she helped me design it. So off she set with her pens and got scribbling and this is how she wanted her pug toy to look.

So I set about refining the drawing and creating it into a pattern to make her dog. After a few drafts we finally had the finished toy and Evie already decided that he was a little boy and called Peanut Butter!


I was a little indecisive about whether I would release this pattern as part of the Elf Pop range as it's a little different to the other patterns I have available and unfortunately the clothing patterns will not fit his tubby little tummy and stumpy legs (although I'll let you know how to adjust the new skirt pattern so it can be used for the pug too). However I thought perhaps it would be nice to introduce a few different designs and also I've had a few customer requests for a pug too.
I've decided that since Evie actually designed the toy, that for every pug pattern that sells she can have the money to save up. She has informed me that she is going to save for a pug puppy. I don't think she quite grasps how expensive they are but I figured that as it would take her at least a few years do so this she will (a) be older and more responsible to actually care for a dog or (b) have lost interest in them altogether yet have a little bit of savings for when she's older.

Want to win a copy? Then enter here
You can buy the pug dog toy sewing pattern from my
Webshop & Etsy Shop (instant download)

If you are making it for a child who is older than three or an adult then I'd recommend using some plastic toy safety eyes as I think it would give a more realistic look to a pug and their little sticky out eyes. I love toy safety eyes because they are perfect if you aren't comfortable with painting or embroidery, however please don't use them if there is a possibility they will be gummed by a small child or chewed by a pet as they can be a choking hazard.

I hope you like this pattern and if you make any of these little tubby pups then remember to show them off, or if anyone has a real life pug and can take a photo of the dog next to a finished pug toy, it would literally make Evie's (and my) year. 

Oh and one last thing, my apologies for the delay with the boy freebie, I got a bit carried away with this pattern and so i'll be working on it over the next few days and will have it available by next week so rememeber to keep an eye out for any news on a release date.

Happy Sewing
Raynor x

Thursday, 9 May 2013

FREE PATTERN: Simple Doll Skirt

Yay, the very first Elf Pop Freebie has arrived! I'm going to share the instructions on how to make your very own simple little skirt for your girly dolls. These are super quick to make and can be whipped up in about 20min. Have an off cut of a fat quarter you've had stashed away but never found any use for? Or how about another excuse to add to your repertoire when questioned 'you're buying more fabric?', well yes darling little Sarah needs at least 10 new skirts for her dolly.

These are the skirts I've whipped up for my girls dolls, they even chose their own fabric. Amber and Violet  are kindly modelling them for me.

For this skirt  I used the Light Pink Bo Peep & Miss Muffet from the Nursery Rhymes Collection by Vita Mechachonis which was a medium pattern print. By the way this Violet doll is another version I made to possibly replace the original Violet doll? What do you guys think, change to this one or keep the old verison?
NB Just as a side not if I ever update any of my patterns I will always make the newer version available free to those who have purchased the original prior to the update.

For this white skirt modelled by Amber I used Princess Kingdom Natural by Alexander Hendry which was a large pattern print-(probably a little too large for this pattern but would look so sweet as a child's skirt.

These skirts are perfect for dressing up your little dolls as well a fun way to provide some manual dexterity for little fingers. Be warned your little girls will want you to make as many of these as possible and they will change them often, and they will still fight with their sister over which skirt belongs to whose doll (or maybe that's just my girls?)

So you want to make one right? Click below to access the free pattern (PDF file)

I hope you enjoy making these little skirts and as always I want lots of photos sent in the me or the Facebook page please I want to see all those lovely fabrics.

Oh and before I forget, this freebie is one for the girls but I'll be releasing a boy themed freebie within the next week so remember to look out for any updates on the boys freebie.

Happy sewing everyone
Raynor x

Monday, 6 May 2013


Peek-a-boo where are you?
Hello all, my apologies for being a bit missing in action for the last month. Since starting up Elf Pop last June I have tried to build up a good selection of patterns which would be available before this time come. 'This time?' I hear you say like as I write my cryptic gibberish! Well as some of you may know in my non sewing life I'm also a student midwife who is currently on a gap year from my studies. Well actually it's a gap two years as one of those was maternity leave and then an optional year out on top.  At the start of this month I had my recommencement meeting with my course tutor and I'm to return to my course on 17th June only 6 week away - eek!

Although I'm excited to get back into the swing of all things midwifery it means that I now have very little time to create new patterns.The majority of my day is now taken up by my study timetable in an attempt to ease myself back into revising the vast number of lectures which have been stored away in my brain somewhere for the last few years. Although I don't have much time to create new patterns I will always have time for any one who purchases one of my patterns, whether it's to say 'hello', show me some finished toys or assist with any queries you may have so please don't ever feel like you are bothering me by getting in touch because it gives me a chance to focus on something else other than studying!

Even though things have slowed down at bit at Elf Pop HQ I just want to say that I will be releasing more patterns in the future they will just not be as regular as they have in the past. I have a few ideas for new patterns in the sketch stages and will always keep you updated with any news or upcoming releases. Which brings me to the news that I will be releasing a little freebie (or two) in the next week as a thank you for you ongoing support to Elf Pop, so remember and keep an eye of for those.
Have a lovely week everyone and happy sewing.
Raynor x

Monday, 25 March 2013

Retro Boy Doll Clothes Sewing Pattern

Well those girls couldn't surely be having all that dress up fun to themselves! So we have to have our boys looking mighty dapper too.

Check out the new Retro boy dress up set.

You can now dress you boys (or girls!) up with their very own shirt, bow-tie, shorts, waistcoat and shoes.Well Easter is fast approaching after all and we want our little men to look smart and they certainly will in this little outfit.

You can buy the Retro Boy Clothes Set pattern from my
This pattern is a little fiddly compared to the doll pattern but honestly it's no harder than advanced beginner or intermediate level. Honestly doll clothes are so worth making, you'll be surprised how much your kids love them. How cute would these little guys be for your dolls looking their Easter best?

In other no pattern news I did fun 'behind the scenes' interview with Kid Independent this month which you can check out here. I love the site it's full of handmade, independent shops with dry goods  for kids. The site always has loads of great give-aways and eye candy a plenty, so lots of shopping inspiration for parents, Grandparents, Aunts, friends etc.

I'm taking a break from doll clothes right now and going back to some animal making but I promise I'll have more clothing designs in the future. As always I'll keep you all updated on any new pattern releases or updates.

Happy Sewing
Raynor x

Monday, 25 February 2013

Retro Girl Doll Dress Pattern

 Hey little cutie patootie you're looking peachy keen!

Introducing the Retro Girl dress set, complete with peter pan collar dress, reversible cape and Mary Jane shoes.

You can buy the Retro Doll Dress Set sewing pattern from my

  I love the prissy puff sleeves, collar, bows and full skirts of little girl 50's vintage dresses and used these as my biggest inspiration for this set. I like to think of it as a 'tea party' outfit which is why i've used pastels and florals. I can't wait to see all your dollies in various prints and colour combos.

 I have been itching to get designing some clothing patterns for the dolls and had drafted lots of ideas over the past few months. I set to work putting my ideas into fabric, and one thing that struck me straight away is that making doll clothes is very different from making 'normal' clothes. The main aims for the pattern were to make it look super cute but it also had to be easy to make, and reduce the amount of fiddly seams etc. which come with doll clothing territory.  It took me longer than expected and 12 prototypes before I 'got it right'.  My girls were more than happy to work as little guinea pigs for testing how easy it was for them to dress the dolls themselves and it was a thumbs up approval from them.

Creating this set has reverted me back to my 5-year old self and I can't help but dress up all the toys in the outfit, it's so much fun. My 4 year old has already put claims to the dress for her own doll (bad mama, I've been promising to make her one for ages).

Now I've started the ball rolling with the clothing patterns I'm now starting to work on a Retro Boy Set. I'm keeping the contents under wraps for now to keep you all in suspense. As it's still in prototype stage I'm not too sure when it will be available but as always I'll  keep you all updated with my progress and any sneaky peeks.

Happy Sewing
Raynor x

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Elephant Sewing Pattern

Here comes a baby elephant, to tickle you with his trumping trunk.


All floppy eared and wiggly trunked, this little guy loves to be cuddled, and why not he's a real sweetie pie. Although he may be loud, he's a real cool character and he never forgets a friendly face.

You can buy the elephant sewing pattern in my

Now we all know elephants love to be around their family so you can just sew up one of these guys, you have to make a whole herd! I'm seeing them now in all those lovely fabrics that I know you have in your stash.
If you love him feel free to share him on Facebook, Twitter or Pintrest and lets get a whole little bunch of ELF elephants from around the world.

As I mentioned last time on the bloggy blog, I now have a range of clothes and dress up pattern currently in design for the dolls, how exciting.  I will keep you all updated when I'm releasing anything, so subscribe to our feeds for any updates - you can find the links over thata way --->.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Monkey Sewing Pattern

Hey you cheeky monkey!

This little guy has been causing no ends of tail swinging banana eating havoc in the Elf Pop household. He's been teaching the ELF to be cheeky little chimperoos! That super cute look gets him out of lots of trouble.

You can find the monkey sewing pattern in my

How about buying this little guy along with one of my other designs as part of our new fangled pattern deals? The pattern deals mean that the more you buy the more you save which is always a bonus and there have been a few of you snapping them up already so i'm wanting to see those finished dolls.

With regards to pattern plans I working on one more animal pattern and then I'm going to add some little dress up clothes to the collection, but it's all still super secret and under wraps at the moment so if you want a sneaky peek then your going to have to join me over on the facebook fan page or on twitter.

Mucho love Raynor x

Friday, 18 January 2013

How to resize a PDF Sewing Pattern

Have you come across one of my sewing patterns and then thought it was perfect for you but then realised that a finished 12" doll or softie was too small or even too fiddly for your skill level?
Well fret no more, I'm going to show you how to enlarge (or decrease) your PDF toy sewing pattern to create a toy any size you wish.

You can enlarge a print out from your PDF print out settings. When you open your pattern PDF go to the 'file' tab in the top left corner. Scroll down and click the 'print' option. You should now see a box which looks like this

Step 1 ~ choose only the pages which contains your pattern templates otherwise you'll print the whole pdf at the enlarged size.
Step 2 ~ Enlarge the pattern by your desired percentage
Step 3 ~ Print

The pages will now print the templates over a few pages so you have to have some sticky tape ready to join the pieces together. This option is a quick way for you to enlarge the pattern at home, however it does  use quite a lot of paper so I suggest keeping the pieces or even using them to create cardboard templates if you intend to reuse them.

If you have already printed your pattern then you can use a photocopier to enlarge the template pages. Buttons will vary but most photocopiers have a zoom button which you can use to set your  percentage increase. Most photocopiers can increase up to around 300%, so it may be a bit pricey if your looking for a huge pattern. If the photocopier you use only prints on A4 then you might need to tape together some pieces. To avoid taping or if you need some help you can also take the pattern along to a copy shop and have them do it for you for a fee.

 An at-home alternate to using a photocopier is to scan your printed pattern and resize. All scanners will vary so have a read of your instruction manual if you're unsure of how to do this. You'll need to find out how to increase (or decrease) the size percentage . The default will usually be set at 100% so any size under 100% will reduce the pattern and any size over 100% will enlarge the pattern.

There is a site Rapid Resizer which allows you to resize a pattern to your desired size straight from your computer or scanned image. I haven't tried this site myself, and you need to sign up as a member but it does offer a two week free trial, and then a yearly subscription fee after.

 Another method would be to resize the pattern by drawing. This can be easily done with the help of an overhead projector to increase and trace  the projected template or using grid paper to extend each line of the template. I would only recommend this method as a last resort as it's quite time consuming and not always accurate.

This table can be used as a quick reference to calculate your percentage resize and approximate yardage requirements for your resized softie. If the pattern is printed at straight from the PDF with no adjustments (100%) it will measure approx. 12" when finished.

* cut size based on 44" bolt
Please note that all these sizes are estimated and will very depending on which fabric material you use and how full you stuff the finished toy. The fabric estimate is based on the assumption the pattern you are enlarging uses one main fabric, however if you use different fabrics this will be an over estimation. Remember to adjust the sizes need for any appliqué detail which would not be included in the fabric estimate above.

If you have the perfect leftover fabric to use but  for your toy or your bolt is smaller or larger than 44" then you will need to work out if you have enough. To accurately calculate how much fabric is needed for your resized toy you will need a measuring tape to measure how much fabric is needed for one piece (include the seam allowance) multiplied by of repeats required. For example if you have a leg piece which needs 3" wide and 6" long then you will need fabric 12" wide and 6" long to cover make two legs (2 pieces plus 2 reverse = 4 legs total). Repeat this for every shape required and add the total length and width together to work out how much of how much fabric is needed. I suggest you add or purchase a few inches more than required to allow for any mistakes, pattern alignment or fussy cutting.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Pig Sewing Pattern

Who's ready for another adorable pattern?

It's a little piggy wiggly with a curly wurly tail!
 I think these would be adorable to make for a valentines day gift, i'm sure all that pink fabric has gone to my head!

You can find the Piglet Pig Sewing Pattern in our
And the best news is that they are now available via instant download from Etsy,  you now only have to wait up to 5 minutes at the most to receive your pattern! I'm still trying to work out how to get them instant download from the website so bear with me while I try to work out computer codey gobbledygook!

I'm in the process of setting up some pattern deals giving a discount to those who purchase more than one pattern at a time.  It seems i won't be able to offer the deals as instant downloads due to their custom nature but that also helps to offer bigger savings. I'm still trying to work it all out and I'll keep you updated with any changes, so remember to subscribe to our updates though blogger, Facebook or Twitter.
Happy sewing

Friday, 4 January 2013

Cat Sewing Pattern

Hello all, I hope your all having a lovely start to your 2013.

I've dropped by to introduce the adorable Cat Sewing Pattern (or kitten is you wish). What a sweetheart, you've got to love an animal who has toes shaped like little baked beans!

Look at that swishy tail, makes you want to purr in delight. The cat measures 12" tall the perfect size for kiddy kisses, hugs and love. Cue the complementary baby squish to join the POP squad.

You can find the Kitten Cat Sewing Pattern in our

I also wanted to ask if you gals (or guys) would be intrested if I had diffrent size options available for my patterns or if it's easy enough for you to resize  yourself? I would love to know your thoughts on this so feel free to leave a comment.
Happy Sewing
Raynor x