Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Cute Free Owl Embroidery Pattern

It's embroidery time again! Today I'm sharing the pattern for sewing this fabulous little owl:

This pattern is the second in a new series I've started where I'm reworking some of my old designs from my free tutorial archive and turning them into embroidery patterns.

This owl was orginally a tutorial for sewing a felt plushie, which I later adapted to show you how to make felt owl ornaments... and now you can embroider an owl, too! Hurrah!


Here are three of the designs I've stitched so far:

I shared the folk flowers embroidery pattern last month, and next month you'll get to stitch that rainbow LUCKY PANTS design (so much fun).

You'll find the owl embroidery pattern at the bottom of this post.

I stitched my owl mostly with backstitch, using three strands from six-stranded embroidery thread (floss). I also added single stitches for the very short lines and two French knots for the pupils.

I used a kitsch colour combo of purple, pink, turquoise, and minty green but there are so many colours that this owl would look spectacular in! You could even choose a realistic palette of browns if you prefer your owls less cartoony :)

I stitched my owl on white fabric to make the colours really pop, and framed it in a 5 inch embroidery hoop.

I actually started out sewing the owl on some pale brown felt. The colours looked okay but didn't stand out brilliantly and it looked rubbish when I took photos! It was a faff having to start again, but totally worth it as I'm really pleased with the finished version.

As for that owl I embroidered on felt? I didn't let it go to waste! I cut it out carefully, added a matching backing piece of felt and a ribbon loop and now have a little embroidered owl ornament.

Luckily it looks much cuter in real life than in the photos! Haha. (Note to self: check how your chosen materials look when photographed together BEFORE you start sewing with them).

This pattern is for non commercial use only: you can use it to stitch as many owls 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  post or share my pattern on your site. Thanks!

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Click here to open the pattern in a new window, make sure you're viewing it full size then print it at 100%.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

How To: Appliqued Heart Bag for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day in the world of crafting basically means LET'S STICK HEARTS ON ALL THE THINGS... and there's nothing wrong with that, right?

Sooo today I'll be showing you how to embellish a small bag with a felt heart patch and some simple embroidery.

This tutorial was originally designed for The Village Haberdashery's blog - visit their shop for lots of crafty goodness!

You will need:

* The template sheet from my Valentine’s wreath tutorial.
* A blank cosmetic bag or other small purse.
* Felt in the following colours: pink, bright pink, lilac, and dark purple.
* Matching embroidery threads (floss).
* Light pink sewing thread (i.e. to match the colour of the largest heart).
* Sewing needles and pins.
* Optional: an air-erasable fabric marker pen.

To decorate the bag:

1. Use templates A, B, C and D from the Valentine’s wreath tutorial to cut out four heart pieces. A = bright pink. B = lilac. C = dark purple. D = pink.

2. Follow steps 5 and 6 of the Valentine’s Wreath tutorial to sew the layers together, using contrasting embroidery thread (I used pink thread, then bright pink, then lilac then dark purple) to decorate the hearts and stitch them together. Use half the embroidery thread strands only – so for six-stranded thread just use three strands.

3. Iron the cosmetic bag if required then position the felt heart in the centre. Hold or pin it in position then sew it in place with whip stitch and matching pink sewing thread. Take care to only sew through one layer of the bag!

4. To complete the decoration, fill in the space around the heart with embroidery. I stitched backstitch lines radiating from the heart, alternating between bright pink and dark purple and using half strands as before. Use an air-erasable fabric marker pen to draw guide lines from your stitching or just stitch freehand.

Make sure not to sew through the fabric edge of the zip (hold this away from the bag fabric when you’re stitching near the opening). Knot your thread at the end of each section of stitching and start afresh when sewing the next section, don’t carry threads across the inside of the bag (you don’t want whatever you put in the bag to “catch” on trailing threads!).

If you're giving this bag as a gift, why not fill it with Valentine's candy before wrapping it for a sweet (PUN ENTIRELY INTENDED) extra gift.

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Saturday, 1 February 2020

Sewing Tutorial: Felt Teacup and Teapot Brooches

I'm running a little behind with 2020's first freebie for my pattern newsletter subscribers... so I thought I'd make it a double tutorial!

This year's first free project will be a step by step sewing tutorial for making cute little felt teacup brooches...

... and felt teapot brooches, too.

A felt teacup or teapot (or both) would look lovely pinned to your favourite jacket this spring, and one of the brooches would be a fab gift for the tea lovers in your life (along with some tea, of course!). You could also swap the brooch clasp for a hairclip to make Alice in Wonderland style hair accessories, or add a ribbon loop to make a cute teacup ornament.

Polkadot or other patterned felt is optional when making these brooches but it looks super cute. If you just have plain felt you can easily add dots or other patterns with sequins, seed beads, or some simple embroidery.

If you've been following my work for a really long time you might remember these designs (and these photos) from the days when I sold lots of tea-themed brooches. It's so nice revisiting these old projects to share them with you guys and having a nostalgic browse back through my photo archives.

I used to make blue and red versions of the teacups and teapots, both on a zingy yellow felt background but you can of course make yours in any colours you fancy.


Choosing matching sewing thread will help your brooches turn out lovely and neat - I took this photo when I sat down to sew blue teacup brooches and had dozens of blue threads but none in the shade I needed!


Here are some teapots and flowers in progress - I love looking back at these colourful work-in-progress pics.


Since I took this photo back in 2008 the forget-me-nots have evolved into a design I included in my first book, and a version of the primrose design is now available in my shop as a printable pattern. Aaaaand of course now I'm working on a tutorial for the teapots,.

Want to sew some felt teapots or teacups?

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Friday, 31 January 2020

A Very Special Set of Felt Ornaments

I'm sharing photos today of an old project that I've realised I never blogged about!

I stitched these ornaments for a special couple about a decade ago. Each decoration featured one of their hobbies or other favourite things: from a stack of beloved books, to a tent to represent their many camping holidays, to a portrait of their cats.

Working on these was quite a challenge but a very fun one and I'm still really proud of the end results.

I loved the camera ornament so much it became part of my shop range for many years and I'll be bringing the design back later this year as a printable pattern.

I'll also be revisiting the books design very soon as I'm planning something book-themed for February. (Make sure you're signed up to my free pattern newsletter if you're interested!)

Here's a closer look at the other ornaments in the set...

A film clapperboard:

An acoustic guitar:

Knitting needles and yarn:


 A tent:

A Nick Drake record:

A pink gerbera daisy:

A cup of Tim Hortons coffee:

And those cute kitties!

What themes would you pick if you made a set of ornaments like this for yourself?