Monday, June 8th, 2015
Learn to cut & sew felt oranges, lemons and limes
Citrus shapes are shapes you see around a lot. I think it is the color – the combination of yummy orange, yellow or green with the white of the fruit’s pith is a great contrast. The colors and shapes of a sliced piece of fruit lends itself to be rendered in felt. These projects are quick and simple enough for the beginner to sew which is great because you get a lot of dash for a minimal expenditure of time and learning. They also don’t take up a lot of product so you get quite a bit of sewing from just a couple of sheets of felt.
Now I like to use wool felt or at least felt with a high proportion of wool in it when I sew. It’s important that you use good quality felt for this project because the pieces are so small and you really need to be able to cut them neatly and to ensure when you sew them that the felt doesn’t pull away from the stitches. Cheap felt tends to fall apart when it is cut into small pieces and when you have to sew close to the edges. Good quality felt will stand up to being cut into small pieces and being sewn using small stitches.
Start by making a pattern by drawing a set of concentric circles. I find it easiest to draw the pattern on paper and then use the pattern as a template for cutting the felt. I start by drawing and cutting the outer piece, then I cut it a bit smaller each time until I arrive at the middle piece. I call this a lossy pattern because the pattern gets destroyed in the process but it’s easy to do. I’ve given you a template here that you can use if you need to do so – just copy it at the size you want it to be.
When cutting the smallest pieces – gently round the edges so they aren’t pointy – they look better rounded and they are easier to sew this way.
I like to glue the felt pieces together using a fabric glue stick – it helps stabilize everything while I sew and saves having to use a lot of pins. I hate using pins because they always seem to stick into me so I end up feeling like a human pincushion.
Then start sewing – I use white thread on the white pieces and a matching thread on the color pieces – sometimes the color thread I use is a bit lighter or darker – I find that a difference in shade matters less than getting the wrong color. Get the wrong orange or the wrong green and it looks bad. Get a lighter or darker version of the same color and it all looks just fine.
Here I’ve sewn split stitch around the lemon pieces and around the edges in the orange. In the orange segments I stitched a very simple seed stitch with the stitches all going in pretty much the same direction.
Here the felt pieces have been sewn to a backing fabric and embroidered with blanket stitch, running stitch, seed stitch and split stitch.
And then the finished piece is assembled into a flexi hoop – I love these cute hoops which I get from an Etsy seller – these hoops are faux wood (although they also come in red, pink and white). You just put the embroidery over the backing ring and then push the flexible outer ring on top. Everything gets held in place nice and securely.
I finished this one off with a piece of matt board cut into a small circle – it was small enough to fit inside the inner part of the hoop but large enough to fit securely so it stays in place. It’s a very simple finishing technique – I don’t usually do this but it certainly worked well for this piece.
Another option is to cut the inverse out and design the citrus from there. Then fill the inner bits with your embroidery.
Labels: blanket stitch, cute embroidery, embroidery, embroidery pattern, faux wood hoop, felt, flexi hoop, free, lemon, lime, mini embroidery, orange, running stitch, seed stitch, stem stitch, template
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Friday, March 29th, 2013
Ok, it’s only two days away but I couldn’t pass by this wonderful Easter download.
These are from fun.kyti.me and they are free and totally awesome. I plan to use the large rabbit – just so magical. Enjoy!
Labels: bags, easter, egg, free, printables, rabbit, vintage
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012
This felt whale is easy to make and very cute to boot.
I’ve been playing around with making my own stuffed creatures from wool felt and my own patterns. So far I have made an elephant, some hot air balloons, a helicopter and now a whale.
This little guy is made in blue felt but he could be any color. I filled him with some pony beads to make him more stable but next time I’d add a sealed bag of sand instead – I’m becoming a fan of sand in the base of these pieces as it weighs quite heavy, you can sew it into a little pouch to use really easily and it’s natural!
The pattern is free – from me – and you can download it here.
You will need:
blue wool felt (body, back and flippers)
white wool felt (belly and eyes)
pink wool felt (mouth)
black wool felt (pupils)
needle and thread
sand or something to weigh it down with
Cut two body pieces and a long strip which goes from the head across to the tail – all in one color is good. Also cut four flippers from this color. Cut a belly piece and eyeballs from white, and pupils and mouth. Please, do yourself a favor and use wool felt because it really is far superior to the other stuff. Wool felt stands up better to being stitched close to the edge and it really feels much nicer to work with.
Sew eyeballs and pupils in place on the face.
Sew the mouth to the body both sides then add the belly piece and stuff it with fiber fill as you go. Add a pouch of sand or something to weigh him down and continue to sew him up inserting the belly and long back strip between each side as you go.
When he is all sewn up sew the flippers together in pairs and stuff as you go. Sew to the body in a position they can help support him and you’re done. He would look great in a mobile for a kids room or he’s happy to sit on your desk to keep you company too.
Labels: blanket stitch, download, felt, felt toy, fiber fill, fiberfill, fibrefill, free, mobile, pattern, whale, wool
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Sunday, November 4th, 2012
This cute elephant is the first real 3D pattern I have made for an animal. I based it on a circle so its body is made from a circle with the base cut off and then I cut out the areas for under the trunk and between the legs. It is best at this point to trim just a little from the length of the trunk too so it doesn’t sit on its trunk later on. Cut pieces for the ears, tail, belly and then five tiny small ovals for the base of the feet and trunk. It is pretty easy to make the pattern yourself but I’ve scanned mine so you can download and use it yourself.
I recommend you use wool felt not the stuff that is made from non natural fibres. The reason is that wool felt stands up to more of a beating and stitches close to the edges are less likely to pull out. I used fibrefill and some eyes that I got for making amigurumi animals.
Start by sewing the legs and the underbody together, add the ovals for the bottom of the feet. Stuff as you go. Then sew up the trunk and add an oval of felt to the bottom of the trunk and then sew all around the piece.
Add the tail which is rolled felt with a fringe at the bottom. When you’re done stitch the ear pieces together and then stitch them to the sides of the elephant body. The eyes go into small holes made in the head – attach with a dot of fabric glue.
Link: Download free felt elephant pattern here.
Labels: 3d, amigurumi, download, elephant, eyes, felt, fiber, fiberfill, fibre, free, pattern, sew, wool felt
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Sunday, February 5th, 2012
Learn how to turn some wool felt into this fun hot air balloon.
I love felt balloons and this is the second one I have made. It uses the same pattern as the first one but this time the basket is hanging using string and not wire.
To make it you will need this pattern for the gores or panels for the balloon.
You will also need
- wool felt (or wool blend felt) in three colors for the balloon and a fourth color for the basket
- needle and thread
- fiberfill or wool roving to stuff it with
- wire for hanging
Make the balloon following these instructions:
Cut the pieces of felt – I cut two panels in each color so I will have three colors used for the balloon.
Use thread and blanket stitch, sew along the seams alternating the panel colors – the stitching will be on the outside:
Once this is done you’re ready to stuff the shape with fiber fill.
Push some wire through a small hole in a small circle of felt and twist to make a hook for the top. Splay out the ends of the wire so it won’t pull out through the hole. Sew the circle around the top of the balloon to cover the top neatly and to hold the wire loop in place.
Then cut a strip of felt in one of the colors and cut one side in a small scallop edge.
Pin it over the outside edge of the balloon and sew it in position.
Sew a small basket shape with a base and sew small lengths of string along the sides.
Fill with fiber fill and sew a top onto the shape.
Finish it by sewing the strings into the underside of the balloon and add a circle of felt under the balloon to hold the stuffing in!
Labels: balloon, download pattern, embroider, fiber fill, free, fun, hanging, hot air, how to, sew, simple craft, step by step, toy, tutorial, wool felt
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