Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fabric Soccer Ball Tutorial

As I mentioned on Monday when I made the fabric soccer ball for my Soccer Monkey, I had a hard time finding information on making a fabric soccer ball. In fact I had a hard time finding anything at one place, I found tutorials on how to make a soccer ball on a computer program and I read posts of people who had made fabric soccer balls but all they were doing was showcasing their accomplishments, so I knew that I needed to attempt to write a tutorial, if not for others than for myself so that I can always refer to it.
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The thing that I love about these is that they are a nice way to get rid of all those extra scraps that you seem to collect. Now I’ll admit that I am not the best at keeping scraps but I do have a few and because of these balls I think I will actually start keeping more of my scraps.
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I enjoy math but I have never taken Geometry and I’ll admit I had a hard time keeping track of what shape was a hexagon(6 sides) and what was a pentagon(5 sides) so I actually wrote the names on my shapes. I was fortunate to find a pentagon and a hexagon that were the same size, because when I attempted to draw it, well lets just say it was a disaster. For the Monkey’s ball I re-sized my image to make it smaller and then for this soccer ball I enlarged it. I like that there is a starting point and I can determine the size just by adjusting it in my printer
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An official soccer ball has 12 Pentagons and 20 Hexagons you can download the template HERE and then adjust the size as you would like. I printed mine on card stock an then traced my image onto the fabric. My friend Len over at Crafty Homeschool has gotten me to start using washable markers to mark the fabric, I always check the fabric first as it can occasionally stain but I haven’t had any major problems and really enjoy using these.
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For the Hexagon I selected 5 different fabrics and for the Pentagon I selected 4 different fabrics, but you can adjust this for whatever you have. I also was kind of “boyed” out after making the baby boy gift, so I made this a bit girly.
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Because the ball becomes round as you piece it together it is rather difficult to plan out, so the only planning that I recommend is planning out the top and the bottom, in my case I wanted the top and bottom to be identical so I set them both up the same. You need to place 1 pentagon in the center surrounded by 5 hexagons.
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Take your pentagon and place a hexagon on top of it right sides together, matching up the sides and sew together.
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Stop stitching just before the end of the side as this will help align the remaining hexagons.
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The next hexagon piece will need to be connected to both the pentagon and the already attached hexagon piece. Begin by attaching the new hexagon piece as the first piece connecting it to the pentagon, folding in half the other hexagon as you are sewing it on. Now that it is attached to the pentagon fold it in half and sew the other half on.
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The hardest part in this step is making sure you get all the pieces attached together and not having a pucker. It should now look like this.
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Continue until all the remaining hexagons are attached to your pentagon.
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The top part is now complete, now repeat the above steps to make the bottom.
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The top and bottom are now complete and match, now comes time to attach the remaining hexagons and pentagons.
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Unfortunately, I don’t have a great image of the next step but if you look at the image below on the right is shows how to line up the next 5 pentagons.
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Attach them in between the hexagon using the same steps as above for attaching them. This time there are 3 pieces of fabric at the center so be aware to make sure that all of the fabrics are connected together. Do this to both pieces.
To attach the remaining hexagons (I have no image) only attach them on one of the already started pieces.
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When attaching the remaining hexagons you are now attaching 4 pieces of fabric. The easiest way to this is to attach to 1 side on the next side leave open, attach the furthest side, and then return to the middle piece and attach. I know this sounds rather confusing but it is the best way I can explain it and once you are at this step, it is easy to figure out how to complete attaching the shapes as you will find what works best for you.
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Check every single time to make sure your corners match up, are all completely stitched and look GREAT!
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All that remains are these 2 full pieces to attach, 1 piece is your original bottom with the added 5 pentagons and the other piece has all of the remaining pieces attached to it.
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Turn these pieces inside out and attach all of the sides together. For this ball I was able to leave only 1 side open, but for smaller balls you may have to leave 2 or even 3 sides unstitched.
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Pull the fabric through so that it is now right side out, clipping threads before hand.
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Now all that is necessary is to stuff the ball. I stuffed with just fiber fill but it would also be nice to fill it with Styrofoam beans, and hand stitch your opening closed.
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Now your ball is complete.
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My girls have been having a blast with this ball. It is soft enough that they can play with it in the house and “Princess” has been using it as a pillow, that is what she slept on last night. As mentioned above this would be great if this was filled with Styrofoam beads, and this ball could make an AMAZING look and find ball, by just replacing some of the shapes with the clear vinyl. I hope you enjoy these balls as much as we have and feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
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21 comments:

  1. This looks so good! I never thought of sewing a ball before!

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  2. That looks great! What a great idea, thanks for sharing!

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  3. That looks fantastic! Great job for not having any directions to follow. Thanks so much for linking up to my Catch a Glimpse party! Always nice to see a new face! :)

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  4. WOW! such a fun idea. i need to brush up on my geometry before attempting this! ;)

    -molly

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  5. I have the honor of being your "linky neighbor" over at Freckled Laundry, stopping by to say this is a darling idea! I love it, perfect for a girls room! My Grandmother was a quilter and this is just her style, well done, xoxo tami

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  6. That is so fun!!! I love it!

    I'd love to have you link up to my For the Kids Friday Link Party! Stop on by!

    http://sunscholars.blogspot.com/2011/03/for-kids-friday-2-part-2.html

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm definately going to try this. I'm your newest follower and featured you on my blog today! I'm so sorry I couldn't get the picture to link up.
    www.acreativeprincess.blogspot.com

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  8. So cute! I love this idea! Great tutorial! :)

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  9. I've saved this in my inspiration file. It's great.

    megan
    craftycpa.blogspot.com

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  10. wow that is truly amazing! It must have taken forever!
    -----
    If you have a chance please come link up to Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings...www.ladybug-blessings.com

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  11. Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I can't believe I didn't mention this in my extremely long post but this ball really doesn't take that long to put together. I can whip them out in about an hour, which by my rules not long at all.

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  12. Thanks for sharing at the For the Kids Friday Link Party at Sun Scholars! I look forward to having you back this Friday!

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  13. What a beautiful outcome! It turned out perfectly. Thanks for linking up!

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  14. That is just awesome...can a ball be gorgeous?
    xo
    Robin
    All Things Heart and Home

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  15. What a cute soccer ball! I'd love for you to submit this to the M&T Spotlight at http://www.makeandtakes.com/spotlight

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  16. Feature Alert! Feature Alert! This was featured today over at Today's Top 20! Come Check it out!

    Amanda
    www.todaystoptwenty.blogspot.com

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  17. Athena - this is super cute and such a fun idea! Thanks so much for linking up to the Sunday Showcase Party - I greatly appreciate it. I have featured this today.
    Hope you are enjoying your week
    ~ Stephanie Lynn
    www.bystephanielynn.com

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  18. Your link to the template goes to https://www.acrobat.com/welcome/en/home.html#d=sako0YxetxLCMUDcrja-qw
    No template there.

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  19. Its really fantastic work by you. Every child will like to play with this fabric soccer. Nice creativity and I would love to see basketball, football of fabric.

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  20. Very cool! Thanks for sharing this gem!

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