Friday, 6 December 2019

Felt Doves: Sew Pretty Bird Ornaments for Your Christmas Tree

As I mentioned yesterday, this month I'm sending out TWO free festive sewing tutorials to the subscribers of my pattern newsletter.

In December you can learn to sew sweet little felt robins (follow the link if you missed yesterday's post!) and pretty felt doves:

The doves tutorial includes a step-by-step guide to sewing the ornaments, and templates for two sizes of the birds.


You can stitch plain white doves or add embellishments for extra loveliness. The bigger doves are particularly great to decorate as there's more space to work with!

I added sequins and beads, and also embroidered one of the doves' wings with some snowflakes.


I love how all of the doves I stitched turned out, but I'm particularly pleased with the snowflake one!

The ornaments are double sided, so you make two sides that are a mirror image of each other. Here's an in-progress pic of one of the sequinned doves:

Want to sew some dove ornaments for you Christmas tree, or to give as gifts this winter?

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You can choose to just sign up to my monthly pattern newsletter for regular(ish) free projects in your inbox, and/or sign up for crafty updates from me and my shops.

The dove and robin tutorials should be sent out to my current pattern newsletter subscribers this week (fingers crossed!) then they'll be available as a download for new subscribers until next month's project is released.

Click here to visit my tutorial archive for lots more free Christmas patterns and project ideas.

P.S. I talk about these designs as being Christmas craft projects, but of course you don't need to celebrate Christmas to want to sew a winter robin or a sparkly dove! If you're not a lover of Christmas I hope you'll forgive my linguistic habit and stitch yourself some felt birds anyway xx

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Sew a Felt Robin Brooch or Ornament for Christmas!

This month subscribers to my free pattern newsletter will recieve not one but TWO free festive projects! Hurrah!

The first tutorial? A step by step guide to sewing a little felt robin:

You can make the robins as brooches or as decorations for your Christmas tree... with or without sequins :)


These little robins are an old design I used to sell in my shops many years ago. It's been so nice digging out the old templates and sewing some again! Here's an old work-in-progress photo from a busy winter:

Both of December's free projects will be sent out to my current pattern newsletter subscribers soon (hopefully this week!), then they'll be available as a download for new subscribers until next month's project is released.

Click here for more info my newsletter and subscribe!

If you sign up to my monthly pattern newsletter you'll recieve a free project from me in your inbox once a month, and you can also sign up to hear about what's new on my blog and in my shop (I'm sharing lots of behind the scenes updates at the moment).

Click here to visit my tutorial archive for lots more free Christmas tutorials and craft ideas.

P.S. I'll share pics of this month's second freebie tomorrow!

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

A Year of Wreaths: December Embroidered Snowflakes Wreath Tutorial

The final wreath of the year features embroidered snowflakes, silver sequins and seed beads, and some fabulous metallic thread. It's perfect for Christmas, or for just adding a bit of sparkle to the dark and gloomy days of winter.

the finished sparkly snowflakes wreath

As well as making the full wreath, you could also use the snowflake embroidery patterns (which I shared last month) to sew felt snowflake ornaments, stitch a snowflake in a small embroidery hoop or sew snowflakes onto anything you fancy!

embroidered snowflakes

This tutorial originally appeared on The Village Haberdashery's blog - visit their shop for lots of crafty goodness! I've shared all twelve seasonal wreath tutorials here on my blog as this year progressed. Visit my tutorial archive to find them all.

You will need:

The pattern sheet provided (click here to view, download and print the PDF)
A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
Dark blue yarn to wrap the wreath (I used 2 balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Navy)
Navy blue wool blend felt
White stranded embroidery thread
Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread shade 41 (or another metallic silver thread)
Assorted silver sequins and beads
Sewing thread (any colour)
Tissue paper
A biro or other fine point pen
Sewing scissors
A sewing needle and pins
A glue gun and glue
A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips

To make the wreath:

1. Start by embroidering the snowflakes: one of each design included on the pattern sheet. Trace the snowflake patterns onto tissue paper with a biro or other fine pen then cut them out as shown.

snowflake embroidery patterns ready to sew

2. Tack each paper pattern to a piece of dark blue felt, using sewing thread and a few large stitches. Keep your stitches clear of the pattern so they’ll be easy to remove later.

secure the snowflake embroidery pattern to the felt

3. Stitch the snowflakes with white stranded embroidery thread, using backstitch and three of the six strands. When stitching, take care not to trail threads near the edges of the pattern and across gaps where you’ll be cutting later.

embroider the snowflake

4. Remove the tacking threads and carefully tear away the tissue paper to reveal the stitched designs. Use a pin to remove the smaller pieces of paper from the stitches – this is a bit fiddly, so take your time.

tear away the tissue paper from the embroidered snowflake
embroidered snowflake

5. Wrap the wreath base with dark blue yarn. I used two balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Navy.

Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base, and switch to the second ball when needed.

Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show.

wrap the wreath base with yarn

Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.

the yarn-wrapped wreath base

6. Now it’s time to add some sparkle! Tie the loose end of the metallic thread to the wreath base, knotting it securely at the back. Then wrap the thread around the wreath, creating a pattern of silver lines on the dark background. I worked my way around the wreath twice, adding a second set of lines between the ones shown in the first picture but you can add all the lines in one go if you prefer. When you’ve finished adding silver thread, tie a knot securely at the back and trim any loose ends of thread.

add silver thread to the wreath
wreath base wrapped with metallic silver thread

7. Cut out the embroidered snowflakes.

cut out embroidered snowflakes

8. Arrange the snowflakes on the wreath base, as shown, and pin them in position.

arrange the embroidered snowflakes on the wreath

9. Cut a long piece of the metallic thread. Tie one end of the thread to the wreath base close to one of the outermost snowflakes, knotting it securely at the back.

Thread a sewing needle with the loose end then gradually wrap this thread around the wreath, filling in the gaps between the lines of thread already in place and adding beads and sequins to the thread as you work. I added 1-3 embellishments per line, covering the front of the wreath with an even but random-looking spread of beads and sequins.

When the thread is running out use the sewing needle to sew into the yarn at the back of the wreath a few times to secure the thread, then knot it securely and trim any excess.

Repeat this process to gradually cover the wreath base with sparkles.

add beads and sequins to the wreath
add beads and sequins to the wreath

Once you reach the snowflakes again, wrap the thread underneath the snowflakes and add just a few beads and sequins in the gaps between them.

wreath decorated with beads and sequins and silver thread

10. One by one, glue the snowflakes to the wreath. Begin by moving the pin to one half of the snowflake, lift the other half of the snowflake up then apply glue underneath it. I added glue to the snowflake itself but you could add the glue to the wreath base instead. Carefully press that section of the snowflake in position on the wreath, remove the pin then glue the other half.

I glued my snowflakes so they curve slightly around the shape of the wreath base. For a different look, just add one dab of glue to the centre of each snowflake so the edges remain unattached.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Hang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark blue yarn.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many wreaths as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

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Saturday, 30 November 2019

New in My Shop: Felt Fox & Badger Brooches PDF Tutorial

There's a new printable PDF sewing pattern in my shops!

Sew a pair of cute woodland animals: a fox and a badger.

The pattern download includes clear step-by-step instructions for sewing the fox and badger (including lots of photos!), plus three easy-to-print sizes of the templates (the size shown in the photos and two larger ones).

The tutorial shows you how to turn your finished felt animals into cute brooches to pin to an autumn sweater or winter coat, but I think these little guys would also make adorable ornaments for your Christmas tree! Just add a loop of ribbon instead of a brooch clasp and, ta-da!, one woodland animal decoration.

You could also use the fox and badger to embellish other things, either by using them as a patch or by sewing them directly onto a larger sewing project.

Plus: when you buy my fox and badger pattern (or any other printable pattern from my shops) you have my permission to use it to make handmade things to sell at craft fairs or online!

Click here to buy my Fox & Badger PDF from my Etsy shop (the files will be available to download immediately after purchase), or click here to buy it from my Folksy shop (I'll email you the files within 24 hours). Shop before December 6th to get these designs at the bargain launch price!

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