There is a nifty concept by fat quarter gypsy called a stacking pop up. It is basically a heavy duty metal spring that is enclosed in two closed bottom cylinders. The concept is fun, hip and cool, it is easy to make, but it seems it is not so easy to understand the written directions. I got mine at Hip Stitch in Albuquerque. Love shopping local!
This is what I did.
I went home with the instructions and a package of three different sizes of springs, which one would assume would be Small, Medium and Large. Like Starbucks, the sizes are not straight forward. The package instructions are for a Medium, Large and Extra Large. Somewhere there must be a small, right?
For the smallest size in the pattern and kit, which happens to be a medium, you need to cut the two rectangles 26.5 x 9.5 inches. and two circles that are 8.5 inches. Nifty, this fit nicely on the 1/3 yard fabric in the instructions.
The instructions call for the interfacing to be cut larger than the fabric. I like to use fusible interfacing, and I always cut the interfacing smaller than the fabric. Years of cleaning stray fusible bits from my iron and trimming bulky seam allowances have taught me to cut my fusibles a bit smaller. So armed with a 9 inch strip of fusible, and a 9.5 inch strip of fabric, I fused the entire length of the strip. this left about a quarter of an inch on each side of the strip unfused. Glad I did this, it came in handy later.
The spring kit came with templates for the circles, but in cutting out the 8.5 circle, you would loose the next size up, the Large Circle. I did not want to do that, but I wanted a nice circle, so I looked through my cabinets and found that the largest Fiesta Ware Bowl we own is – you guessed, 8.5 inches in diameter. So I traced it, however, I used black interfacing on my fabric, and the lines were hard to see, so I put it on my cutting surface and used a rotary cutter. At 8.5 inches, one could trace the circle from a sheet of 8.5 x 11 copy paper as an alternative. Once both circles are cut, mark with a reasonably sized mark quarter marks around the circumfrence. You will use these twice, so accuracy is key.
The instructions had a lot of photos to show you how to place the tag into the side seam of the tube. I am not a big label person, so in my rush to get this done, I skipped the label.
So next up is stitching the tubes. Quarter mark the tubes, making sure to mark the bottom of each tube if your fabric is directional. I used the cameo fabric from the Riley Blake Ardently Austen collection, and I wanted to be sure Jane’s head was right side up.
Pin the quarter marks of the circle to the quarter marks of the tube. Then with the tube down and the circle up, stitch around the circle with a quarter inch seam. Remember that quarter inch we left unfused above. It is handy here, as a fused fabric is less flexible and forgiving than an unfused fabric. The pattern does not call to clip these seams, which would weaken them, so I was glad for the little bit of flexibility that unfused end gave me.Craftsy has some nice tips about sewing curves to straight, here. It helped to slip my left hand under the circle to help to guide the straight sides of the tube. You will find one way that works best for you. A fellow seamster told me that he likes to run a line of ease stitching, or basting around the edge of the tube, (just less than a quarter of an inch. Says this helped that fabric behave nicer.
Repeat the above steps for the second tube. Then, hard to see in the directions, place the two tubes, (that are still inside out) together at the circle ends. Match up those quarter marks to each other (interfaced sides of the circles will be facing each other. Offset the seams of the tubes so that one is east and the other west (will reduce bulk later). and stitch the two circles together at the 1/4 inch seam line. Now you have this long awkard tube with the middles sewn together.
Decide which will be the outside and which will be the lining.
Pop the lining inside and push all around the inside of the circle.
Slip the spring in between the two tubes. Place four safety pins equidistant around the tube (going thru both layers of fabric) about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the tube where the circle joined the tube. This will keep the spring out of your way when you stitch down the top. Then carefully cut the tape with short sharp scissors. The spring will try to pop up, and remain contained by those safety pins.
Make straps for hanging, or tying closed. This is a simple project, using long strips of fabric being folded towards the center, and folded again, as in bias binding. A ribbon or elastic will work well here too.
Fold over the top 1/4 inch and again 1/2 inch. I found that the un fused 1/4 inch on the edges of both tubes was a nice edge to fold. Alternatively one could use a bias bound edge for a fun pop of color. I started stitching just before the ties were inserted, went around the circle and stitched over the ties once more before finishing my seam.
If the metal tubes are not available, or you prefer your project to be easily washable, try inserting a tube of Annie’s soft and stable in between the tubes instead.
Easter is around the corner, try adding handles to your collapsable pop up and make a basket!
Must dash, today is a good planting day, so need to get some gardening done!