Half Suffolk Puff Tutorial

Inspired by a lovely top in the new AW11 Great Plains collection, I decided to use Suffolk Puffs, also called YoYos, to make a scalloped patchwork effect on to a new cosmetics pouch.

In essence, what we are doing here is creating a new more embellished piece of fabric to sew any shape into, once the Half Suffolk Puffs have been sewn into the original fabric.

So here’s the how to…

You will need

Scraps of lightweight dressmaking material or patchworking fabric in contrasting or tonal colours.

Card for template, Water Soluble Pen, Scissors, Thread, Needle,

Using a template for a 16.5cm diameter circle will make a 7.5cm finished Puff. Depending on how many you wish to make, use a stronger card, as it will be more durable. Trace around the shape onto the wrong side of the fabric, using a water soluble pen.

Cut out as many circles as you are going to need, remembering that you will get two halfs out of one circle. We cut 9 circles because we needed 18.

Turn a scant 1/2cm hem onto each circle using an iron to press into place Рthis is probably the most difficult part of the process. Then press each piece in half with wrong sides together. The fold will give you a guide for where to start and finish your hand sewing and provide you a cutting guide.

Using a tonal thread, doubled for strength, secure your thread 1cm away from the folded guide and use a running stitch as close to the folded edge as possible,  (probably about 1/2cm long stitches)  and work to 1cm away from the folded line. Pull the thread tight and secure with a couple of small stitches. Work the other half exactly the same way.

You will now have a Suffolk Puff, but with a nice flat central part.

Turn the puff over, and press flat. Your original pressing line should still be visible and with the gathering facing upwards, cut the Suffolk Puff in half.

Because you only started gathering 1cm away from the new cut edge these pieces have a flat 1cm allowance to be inserted into strips or panels. Having decided on your design, pin them or tack them onto your base fabric pieces, matching up the top edges and ensuring that everything along the proposed stitching line is nice and smooth. We wanted the gathering to be a feature and sewed it so that it was facing upwards.

Use a zipper foot when you are sewing the seams as it will allow you to get closer to the bulk of the Puff gathering without disturbing it as you sew.

Once you have sewn your seams press the new completed fabric back into shape with the seams always in the direction of the top of the Puff.

We used our Half Suffolk Puffs to create a pretty zipped cosmetic pouch, which you can find a number of tutorials on Рthis one by Flossie Teacakes is particularly good. All you will need to do is add in extra seam allowance when you are cutting and sewing the panels together. This idea can be used in many other ways, because essentially you are just using cut and sewn panels to make a new fabric to cut. Alternatively, these could be used to edge a skirt/ top and would look really lovely in  soft jersey.

If anyone wants the full ‘how to’ and dimensions for our cosmetics pouch, leave us a comment and we can get back to you. It was turning into a very long post and the new thing here is the Half Suffolk Puff, not the pouch.


2 Responses to CoolCrafting Jubilations

  1. christine morris says:

    I have just completed your Luna lapin bunny with her polka dot dress and coat. She is gorgeous and the kit was amazing. Everything was included. It’s kept me quiet all weekend, I couldn’t stop sewing her once I started. Thank you so much, I know I will be making more purchases . My daughter has tried to claim her already.

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