Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


Closet Case Files Pouf

There comes a time in every stitcher’s life, when there are just too many scraps. I’m not someone who finds throwing things out easy, especially clothes and fabrics. Hey, I still have clothes I wore to sixth form still in my drawers (and I still wear them). But somewhere along the line I’ve ended up with carrier bags full of scraps; too small to make anything with, but too large to just discard. Enter the Clost Case Files Pouf.

I’ve seen many versions of this online. It’s a great free pattern, that lots of people have made. Reading some of the blog posts, I took note of those who said that the pouf ended up quite heavy and a couple of handles are useful for dragging it across the floor. So, mine has handles too.

My version is mostly made of denim and corduroy, so using all the remnants from jeans- and trouser-making essentially. It also used some scraps that remained from the cushions I made for the sofa, so it looks like it fits in with the living room.

Closet Case Files Pouf

Closet Case Files Pouf

In the spirit of using scraps I even made my own piping with denim scraps that I made into bias-binding. I wouldn’t recommend doing this, unless you have a high tolerance for boring tasks. Making your own bias-binding then making two metres of piping has to be just one of the most boring sewing tasks I have ever done. I much prefer hand-sewing any day. I noticed some people had only, applied piping to the top of the pouf. I was certainly a glutton for punishment because I did the top and the bottom!

I made the base of the pouf out of slipper-sole fabric. You know the fabric with the little rubbery dots on it? Master Steely will be using it as a “gaming” cushion. Therefore, I thought this would be good to make sure it didn’t slide too much on our wooden floor.  I also added a little tag to cover the zip-pull, so that the metal of the zip won’t scrape on the floor.

Bottom of the pouf made of slipper sole fabric

Bottom of the pouf made of slipper sole fabric

I finished this at the weekend, but I’m struggling to fill it with enough scraps. Obviously, there are plenty of scraps, but I need to cut them up a bit smaller, and I’m doing a bit at a time (so my hands don’t get tired).

Anyway, just in case you were thinking of making one yourself, here are a few examples for reference of the different modifications:

Additional handles:

Ruthie Sews


Handmade Shelby

Internal scrap bag:

Goheen Designs

Without piping or piping used only on the top of the pouf:

Belle citadel

The Demented Fairy



Skirt Experiments

You may recall the True Blue Skirt from earlier in the year which is quite a simple self-drafted skirt I made. After I made that skirt, I experimented with a couple more variations.

I introduced some in-seam pockets and lots of top-stitching for the blue denim version. I think this version has a seventies vibe about it. I love the little tricolore buttons I found too.

Denim Viale 2

Denim Viale 1

The black and white version has some piped details and the pockets too. To my mind, this is definitely a sixties mini skirt.

Black-White Viale 3

Black-White Viale 4


Black-White Viale 2

Of the three skirts, the back and white version is my absolute favourite. I wore this quite a few times during Me-Made-May and it makes a perfect work skirt worn with tights as it isn’t too tight getting on and off trains! I’m not so sure about the denim version. For some reason the yoke doesn’t sit as flat as on the other versions – it bubbles a bit. In fact, now I’m looking at the photos even the hem doesn’t sit flat. Perhaps the fabric was too stiff. It is, what I would call, a medium-weight denim so I thought it would work. Perhaps I should put this down as a bad fabric choice on my part. On top of this, I’m not that smitten with the colour of denim. It really is very similar in colour to the first blue skirt I made and I was really after a darker indigo type of denim. Still perhaps it will grow on me as a skirt. I’m debating whether some applique or embroidery on it might give it a lift.

So much for my skirt experiments! I also thought I’d share something with you that I’ve been working on for the last few months. I’ve been dabbling with pattern drafting….well, all the cool kids are doing it! I’ve drafted a digital pattern for this skirt. It’s called The Viale Skirt.

I hadn’t realised quite how much work this was until I started and I’m really in awe of those who manage to produce more than about one pattern a year. But, I’ve had to do a lot of learning and I’ve been using a rather badly installed version of the freeware program Inkscape, which might explain my woes. So, because this is an experiment and I’m unsure of my abilities in this area, I’m offering the pattern for free!

Click here to download the Viale Skirt PDF pattern.

Click here for the Viale Skirt Instruction booklet.

Any feedback is very welcome. However, there are some things that I know I will definitely include or spend more time on. I’ve only tested this pattern on myself, for instance and there isn’t a cutting layout in my instructions. I simply ran out of time and I really wanted to post this during the monthly stitch’s indie pattern month. Enjoy and tell me what you think!