A fabric ball pattern – what a great way to use up fabric scraps and make something playful! Now you can learn how to sew a balland with a simple free sewing pattern to follow, you can make these great toys in no time at all.
Fabric Ball Pattern Tutorial
Take advantage of this free pattern and these simple instructions to sew a DIY fabric ball. A ball is fun for the whole family, including your fur kids. Fabric balls are not likely to damage your furniture, and they are easy to handle for little fingers.
There is no limit to the ‘teachable moments’ you can have with a toddler and a fabric ball. Colors, patterns, numbers, and a favorite theme all lend themselves to a cotton fabric ball.
SKILL LEVEL: Beginner
Free Fabric Ball Pattern PDF Template Download
Make use of this free pattern PDF with six shapes to sew together and make a soft round ball or sphere. The fabric ball pattern comes in small and large sizes, but you can use your photocopier to reduce or enlarge the pattern. Regardless of size, the cutting and sewing principles are the same.
>>DOWNLOAD THE PDF PATTERN (ball or sphere sewing pattern)
Supplies to Make a Fabric Ball Sewing Pattern
The supplies you needed to make a DIY fabric ball are really simple. They are sewing basics that most sewers have.
- FABRIC SCRAPS – Quilting cotton works well as it is a light to medium weight densely woven fabric. Choose small prints and 2 or more different fabrics. This ball sewing pattern has 6 pieces.
- CUTTING TOOLS – Scissors or rotary cutter and cutting mat.
- SEWING BASICS – Matching thread or neutral for multiple colors of fabric, pins or clips, and a sewing machine.
- FILLING – Polyester stuffing
- PRESSING TOOLS – Iron and ironing board.
It is a really simple little pattern piece, and it fits onto all sorts of fabric scraps to make up the ball. The choice of fabrics is yours, but I think this ball looks best in 2 or 3 different colors or prints. Cut out multiple pieces at a time, and you will have a stash of ovals ready to make fabric balls.
This is what the pattern looks like for the small ball and the large ball.
Best Fabrics for Sewing a Fabric Ball
One of the great features of a fabric ball is the opportunity to alternate colors and prints of your favorite fabrics. Cut out a selection of your favorite quilting cotton and play around as you mix and match them.
Fat quarters are ideal for this soft fabric ball pattern. A fat quarter is a pre-cut piece of fabric, usually in quilting cotton.
Other options could be playing with textures using a fluffy fabric and a smooth and rough one. Velvet, corduroy, Minky plush fabric, and knitted fabrics all give a different texture.
The main criterion is that the fabric pieces need to be cut on the bias to form a perfect sphere sewing pattern. If they are not stretchy, they need to be soft enough to curve into the shape of the ball.
How to Make a Fabric Ball – Step by Step Instructions
Follow these carefully prepared steps to get the best fabric ball or sphere. Once you have your pattern, you are good to go on this easy project for beginners!
Here is how to cut, stitch and embellish a fabric ball:
Step 1 – Cut the Fabric
Once you have printed and cut your paper pattern, you are ready to cut out your fabric.
Remember to place the pattern piece on the bias of the fabric. Cut out six segments of the ball or sphere sewing pattern in fabric and arrange them according to your design.
CUTTING TIP: Remember, it is the bias cut that gives the stretch element to the fabric and is the key to making the ball round.
Step 2 – Arrange the Pieces
Now is the time to have fun and play around with your pieces. Arrange them in a pattern you think is the best combination. If you enjoy mass production or sewing for a business, you could cut out multiple pieces and enjoy arranging different combinations.
You can see here that I used 3 fabrics and cut 2 segments from each fabric. I arranged them in 2 lots of 3.
Step 3 – How to Sew a Ball or Sphere
Get a nice round shape by sewing the ball in 2 halves.
Start with the first two pieces of fabric. Pin right sides together, place pins horizontally, and sew from the top to the bottom using a ⅜ inch (1cm) seam allowance.
Backstitch at the top and bottom for security.
Trim and clip the seam and press seam allowances.
With the right sides together, stitch the 3rd piece. Trim, clip and press the seam.
Repeat with the other 3 segments, so you have 2 halves.
Put the 2 halves with right sides together. Stitch around with a ⅜ (1cm) seam allowance leaving a gap of 2 inches (5cm) as shown on one side.
Step 4 – Turn
Trim and clip around the seam leaving the area at the gap untrimmed.
Pull the entire ball through the opening. It is a little difficult to press the seam but try the best you can. Once stuffed, you can give it a little more of a press.
Step 5 – Insert the Stuffing
Slowly bit by bit, take small amounts of the polyester stuffing and insert it into the ball through the opening. Inserting small amounts at a time will result in a nice round ball.
Keep pushing in the stuffing while you fill the ball to the right amount of firmness to make it round and plump.
Step 6 – Handstitch the Gap
The best stitch for an invisible method of sewing up the gap is a ladder stitch. This stitch pulls the gap closed and is easy to do:
Take a needle and thread using a matching color. Stitch up firmly, starting with a knot to secure and a double back stitch to finish off.
If you decide to put a bell or rattle option inside the ball, do this before sewing up the gap. This is a personal choice, and it is best to skip this idea because of safety factors for babies, young children, and pets.
Step 7 – Decorate the Fabric Ball
The final step in the process of stitching the ball is to stitch on any added decorative or fun things to make it more playful and interesting.
Decorating a DIY Fabric Ball
There are many interesting embellishments to make to the fabric ball. Think of ribbons, embroidery appliqué and texture.
Sew a loop at the top for a baby to gaze at the ball as it dangles from the pram hood. Use shiny fabric to catch the light and pom pom trim for a magical fantasy ball.
Here are some original ideas of ways to use your finished fabric balls.
- How about Christmas fabric balls to hang on your tree. Use Christmas fabrics and sequins to make a really sparkly bauble to hang on the tree. The big bonus is the ball won’t break if it is accidentally dropped off the tree!
- Make a bucket of small fabric beach balls and teach your child to toss the balls into a bucket.
- Fancy learning how to juggle? Fabric juggling balls are easy to handle and don’t hurt if dropped on your foot.
How to Sew a Fabric Ball Pattern – In Conclusion
Throw it, catch it, roll it or just watch the fabric ball. It has so many uses and adaptations, including both educational and a source of entertainment. You really will ‘have a ball’ making this lovely toy.
Fabric Ball Pattern
Get this free fabric ball pattern and learn how to make a fabric ball.
More Free Sewing Patterns
If you like this free sewing pattern, then why not try out some more tutorials. Simple sewing patterns are a great scrap buster.