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guest post: sleep mask from tara

Today I'm so very happy to have Tara from Sew Tara guest posting with a super cute tutorial. Three things: First, Tara themed her project to go with this month's story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and even found fabric to coordinate. Second, it uses scraps from your stash. Third, she has an awesome scrap swap going (more info at the end of this post). Now, here's Tara!

Sometimes we all need a little nap and this sleep mask will help you have a restful slumber. All while looking pretty stinking cute!

My husband and I take turns having a 'sleep in day' on the weekends. I have to tell you I count down to that day every week. I started to use a sleep mask to maximize my sleeping in experience. It was just a silly freebie one from one of our airplane trips and I've already had to repair it a few times so I decided to just make a much lovelier one.

Here's what you'll need for this DIY project:
- sleepmask template
- batting or fleece
- fabric for the backing (something you won't mind against your skin while sleeping)
- fabric scraps at least 4 inches in height
- 16 inch piece of elastic
- usual sewing items, thread, machine, scissors
- embroidery floss and needle (optional)

I manged to find some Goldilocks and Three Bears fabric in my stash so I was a bit fussy with the placement of the pattern.

We're going to use quilting techniques to piece the scraps together. Think about how you'll want your pieces positioned if you have a particular pattern you want to highlight and place the next print at the edge of the first print with right sides together. Sew down the edge, seam allowance isn't really that important just make sure you have a straight stitch. My Goldilocks print was uneven so I lined up the brown swirly print to create a straight edge.

Add the next fabric print just like you did before. Right sides together and sew down in a straight line. Continue attaching pieces of fabric until you have a piece that measures at least 8 x 5. My last piece is lower because I was lining up the print in a certain way. Plus this way I'll still have some usable scraps left over!

Now take your printed template and trace the mask outline onto your little quilted bits.

Cut along the outline. Lay your cutout right side up on top of your batting. It's not important to trim it down just yet, we'll do that in a few steps. Add some stitches just to the right and left of your seams. This is a fun little decorative detail and will help hold the inner batting in place. I stuck with my cream coloured thread but you could use matching thread, or something crazy and contrasting.

I decided to get even more creative and stitched 'Shh!' onto my mask. If you'd like to add any embroidery stitches to your mask do it now. Draw on the design with a water soluble or disappearing fabric marker. Stitch through the 2 layers.

Now trace the template onto your backing fabric. Cut it out. Place your quilted fabric with the batting side on your work surface. Next put the elastic piece down with about 1/2 inch sticking out over the edge of the mask cutouts. Place the backing piece on top right side down. The elastic will be sandwiched between the 2 pieces of fabric. Pin the elastic ends in place. Make sure the pin is going through all the layers.

With the wrong side of the backing facing you sew around the entire mask outline with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Backstitch over the elastic bits for some extra stability. Leave an opening about 1 inch in length for turning. Trim the excess batting away. I usually make sure to leave a little bit at the opening just to make sure it will close when topstitching. You should be left with something like this. Make sure the elastic wasn't caught up in any of the stitching.

Turn the mask right side out. Use something pokey to make sure it's pushed out all along the edges, I use a chopstick.

Once it's all turned out you can give it a quick press to get the edges all nice and flat. Then topstitch all around the entire mask fairyly close to the edge with an even border. Again, make sure you aren't catching the elastic while stitching.

And you're done! Enjoy the many extra hours of sleep protected from the sun's evil "I'm here to wake you up!" rays.

It's really hard to take a picture of yourself pretend sleeping, but that's authentic bedhead and sleepiness. Sadly, the sleep mask won't stop your children from jumping on you and waking you up.
Thank you so much for putting this together, Tara! Now, about Tara's scrap swap. If you have lots of scraps around and you'd like to refresh the fabrics that are in that stash (think new inspiration for new projects!), you'll wan to check this out. Head over to Tara's blog for more info, and where you can sign up until January 26th. This sleep mask is just one of the pieces that Tara has been cooking up using small pieces of fabric, so keep an eye out (you know, when you aren't using this sweet mask)!


  1. That is sooo cute! Love it.

  2. very cute, love the fabrics

  3. Anonymous7:24 AM

    This is so lovely! What a great way to use up scraps x


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