Sunday, July 12th, 2015
Multi Layer Felt Cloud with Beaded Accents
This is the second cloud embroidery piece I have done lately. In this one, I layered four felt clouds one on top of the other and sewed them with embroidery stitches. The smallest felt cloud is cream, then it was dusty blue, crimson red and grey. I used running stitch on the smallest three clouds and blanket stitch on the outer one. If you’re not sure how to do blanket stitch I’ve included a small “how to” below that will show you how it is done.
I added a series of seed beads in similar colors as the ‘rain’. The beads are threaded onto very light wire and, at the end of each is a small teardrop shape bead.
The embroidery is on grey linen and uses DMC Pearl Cotton and I used wool blend felt. I like working in natural materials like linen and wool felt – wool felt in particular because it is stronger than the plastic stuff and it doesn’t disintegrate when cut in small pieces. Pearl Cotton has a wonderful luster which adds just the right amount of shine to the embroidery. The piece is small – just 4″ in size.
If you want to make this yourself, here is a free pattern. You just need to print it at the desired size and then cut out the felt fabric pieces.
And, here is how to do blanket stitch. It can be done with the thread on the outside or the inside, this is the outside version.
Labels: beads, blanket stitch, cloud shapes, cute embroidery, dmc pearl cotton, felt, free download pattern, free template, grey linen, mini embroidery, pattern, running stitch, wool felt
links to this post
Friday, December 13th, 2013
Simple shapes and mini embroidery hoops add up to a quick and fun project
I am a big fan of small embroidery hoops – they are inexpensive, cute, fun to use and they let you make a project in a short time. Don’t get me wrong – I love longer projects – it’s just sometimes I only have a short time. In fact I made this project in about an hour, while chatting on Skype with a friend in New York.
The embroidery hoop is an interesting one. It has a hook at the top but it is so small it doesn’t have a screw to hold it together – instead the outer rim is a bit elastic so it stretches over the inner ring. This might sound like it is insecure but I’ve found the fabric gets held tighter with this hoop than many of the screw to tighten ones. I got these faux wood ones and some colored plastic ones from an Etsy shop.
The base fabric is from another Etsy shop. I bought a few stacks of 3 inch square fabric pieces for using for small projects and this fabric was one of the pieces in that stash. Since the embroidery hoop is a tiny 2.5 inches – the fabric fits perfectly.
The sail boat is felt – I buy wool felt when I can. It’s more robust and it is natural – it’s made from sheep wool! This too is from Etsy – can you see that I love Etsy? The shop owners there catch onto trends more quickly that many bricks and mortar stores and, when you support them, you’re supporting small business not big business and I like that.
To make the boat, place the backing piece for the embroidery into the hoop so it is held securely. Cut the pieces from felt for the boat – here I used a complementary color scheme – colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. They provide a vibrance which works well for such a tiny project – if it is going to be noticed the shapes need to be simple and the colors need to attract your eye.
Here is a template you can use to trace and cut your felt pieces for the sail boat:
Sew the shapes onto the backing fabric using a simple running stitch and a matching color thread.
Then, when you are done, flip it over and cut another piece of felt slightly smaller than the inside of the hoop – I used a spare hoop as a template to cut the circle but you could make a template and cut the backing felt before you begin.
Finish the back by sewing around the felt backing to cover up the uneven edges of the fabric and the stitches and make it all look neat. A mini project like this really calls out to be finished neatly. It might be small but it’s not like we should be cutting corners with it.
Labels: applique, boat, complementary color scheme, cotton, embroider, embroidery hoop., free download, gift project, mini embroidery, pattern, sail boat, sailing boat, sew, simple sewing, wool felt
links to this post
Sunday, October 6th, 2013
More Union Jack goodness – this time an embroidered pouch
I’ve been thinking all things Union Jack lately and in my research I found a wonderful pouch from my favourite store – Accessorize. It was from their catalog over a year ago so you’d never get one new. However, I was only looking for ideas so I decided to make my own knock off. Here’s the original design:
I used a burlap pouch from Target. They had these in the $1 area about a year ago. I bought a lot of them – but it turns out too few of them because they are awesome. And of course, you can’t get them any more! I did a post here on making your own if you need to make one to use.
I managed to find one that hadn’t been used so I had a good starting point. What I gleaned from the Accessorize pouch was the idea of using different fabrics for the ‘blue’ in the flag. I had some great 3″ squares I had purchased from Etsy which gave me plenty of good fabrics to use. A search of my ribbon stash turned up a yummy pink velvet ribbon and some pink satin ribbon.
I also planned to use some beads or something dimensional – I ended up using some faux pearls that I bought years ago – they are permanently fixed to the string base so they are easy to sew on – I’ve used them here and there for projects and I’ll be sad when they finally run out – right now there is still a few feet of them to go.
Like the previous Union Jack project I made a template by measuring around the burlap pouch and then I drew the flag onto the shape allowing around an extra 1/8 inch just to be sure it all fit. I cut the fabric to the exact size – no seam allowance as I didn’t plan to turn under the edges – rather just sew it roughly to the pouch. What I did do was to use an iron on fabric adhesive which is a filament with glue both sides. It is great for applique and fixes everything in place while you sew and also ensures that the piece will be a bit more resilient in use.
I ironed on the fabric pieces and sewed around each of them. I then added the ribbon pieces and sewed them in place. I finished off with the pearls.
The final result is a bit shabby chic – way more so than the original – but since it is built on a burlap base it seems to work.
Labels: applique, burlap, faux pearls, pattern, pouch, purse, satin ribbon, sew, Union Jack, velvet ribbon, zipper pouch
links to this post
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
links to this post
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
links to this post