I Heart Bowling – Lil Pip May Challenge

I was super excited to get started on the bowling set that Lil Pip set for the May sew-along challenge.

Nervous on account of a few new techniques that I would need to try I set out very slowly. Slow enough that I got through an episode (or maybe 2?) of Real Housewives of Melbourne and only cut 2 bits of the fabric out. May or may not have been distracted by delicious wine and/or trashy TV.

Only 3 pattern pieces, I can do this!


Each fabric choice needed the 4 pin sides, a pin base, and a ball segment. Easy enough!



Sewing the pins together was actually not as scary as I thought it was going to be. Unfortunately some of the cheaper and thinner feeling fat quarters slipped a fair amount during sewing so were a bit difficult to keep tidy. Interfacing required if I am to attempt this again I think.



All the colours of the rainbow! Well, not quite.. but still pretty! The pins sewn and ready for stuffing.



Eeee! Look! A ball! I was so stoked that the points lined up as well as they did.

Once I started to stuff the pins, I noticed that their tops were rather flat and boxy. I know exactly where I went wrong with the sewing of the pins to make this happen. Another mental note for next time.

Again, the thinner fabrics didn’t smooth out as nicely once stuffed, the fabric was less forgiving and showed lumps and bumps – whereas the thicker fabrics smoothed it all out for me.


When I was at the point of requiring stuffing for the set, we were not at a very forgiving stage of our pay cycle, so I couldn’t just trot off and buy supplies. I put on the money-saving hat and ripped up an old pillow and harvested its soft, cloudy innards. THRIFTY!

At the base of the pins, I used flat packs of dried lentils sealed with packing tape to create a flat base so the pins would stand up a bit better.

Sadly a couple still have a little kilter to them – slip stitching on the cheaper fabrics was a nightmare!


Super pleased with that ball, can you tell? I put a couple of mini bells in the centre for a little jingle sound when the ball is thrown. (Good tip from Lil Pip)



Am I happy with how this turned out? Yes and no.

Loved the colours, the pattern was really easy to follow, the ball turned out fabulous.

A few lessons learnt around fabric choices, interfacing, and changing how I sewed the pins to get rounder tops. My OCD tendencies make me want to start all over again and get those tops round – but as Jane reminded me, it’s only Miss A who will be playing with it (and the dog, who nicked off with a pin the other day!) and she won’t mind one bit.

How is your bowling set coming along? I’d love to see some of the other finished challenge attempts.

Looking forward to seeing what we will be creating in June!


EDIT: After getting to have a sticky-beak at Lil Pip’s bowling set I think I definitely under stuffed the pins. I gave mine a squeeze last night and they’re pretty soft, I think stuffing them firmer, and with smaller tufts of filling would have helped me avoid the boxiness on the tops and make them stand up a little more symmetrical. Oh well, next time!


6 thoughts on “I Heart Bowling – Lil Pip May Challenge

  1. They look great. I found the top of my pins a bit boxy too even after I clipped the curves in the seam allowance. What a clever idea using a pillow to stuff them!

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