Thursday, November 18, 2010

Artful Thursday - Sigh

I have been wanting to make little stuffed trees for a long time and late last night I finally sat down and got started...

They are so easy, yet there is great scope for playing around...

Start with drawing a half-tree shape on a folded piece of paper, as below, and then make a sturdy template.

Fold a piece of fabric in half, wrong sides together and trace the template on the fold (see the blue line below). Sew on the blue line, beginning at the tree top and make sure you take a few backstitches! Leave an opening of about 1 1/2" in the base of the tree. (I didn't mark it, but don't leave the opening at the fold - the stitching should come out from the fold out about 1/2", with the opening between that point and where the line begins to curve up to make the tree branches - should have drawn that on the paper pattern - darn!)

Stuff with polyester fibrefill and sew the opening closed - I found a zipper foot best for this task.
You need to make 5 if stuffing pretty full, six if stuffing more lightly; I used 5 but made six. Sigh.
Trim the edges about 1/8" beyond the stitching line. If you want a raggedy look you could use pinking shears or take a nail brush to the edges after trimming.

Begin by sewing together, whip stitching along the spine. I had pressed these really well before stuffing so the creases were still there as a guide.

Continue adding the pieces one at a time, always overcasting along the spine. I used hand quilting thread for this - just make sure whatever you use is strong!
If you want the tree to stand by itself you might want to weight the bottom with plastic pellety things. I have a little stand mine will hang from (I'll get that picture up soon - sigh again!)

This little jewel looks much better in real life than it does here (third sigh - I am photo challenged!) but I intend to play with all sorts of embellishments. 

For now though, I am pretty happy with it!


Createology said...

Your fabric tree is tres chic. Thank you for sharing your technique. Happy weekend ahead...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this tutorial!These are just what I am looking for as a relatively quick little project.

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne,
your tree looks so sweet, and beautifull, thanks for the tutorial, love that you added the bling, on top-
Have a lovely friday, friend-

Tina Eudora said...

Love it Jillayne! I always wanted to make one and now I know how! All I have to do now is find fabric and time and I am on it!!
Have a great weekend!
Tina xo

Diane Kelsey said...

Just the pattern I have been looking for since July. Thank you

Suztats said...

Great tute for a fun tree with lots of decor options. I have a pile of Christmas fabrics just crying out for a project, and I think yours will be perfect. Thanks so much for sharing!

FredaB said...

Hi Jillayne

Thanks for the pattern. This looks like fun and I will try it when I find some pretty cotton. I like the soft look like you used.

One question - when sewing them together do you sew by hand? I can't imagine sewing on the machine when you get a lot together.



A Gift Wrapped Life said...

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Debby said...

HI Jillayne,
I totally adore your gorgeous tree, they are really beautiful and so unique.

Anonymous said...

I love this, Jillayne. You can see the fabric design best in the photo where you show the drawn line on it when it's flat. So it must be really, really pretty finished - aged looking. It's lovely fabric. I'll bet it was a real challenge stitching all of the already-stuffed parts together in the middle!

Anonymous said...

Love that tree, Jillayne... the fabric and the "star" on top would fit perfectly into a shabby chic home... beautiful!
Jo :)