Would you like to make a few ornaments for your Christmas tree, or someone else's? Here's the promised tutorial for the decorations I wrote about the other day. Put on your favourite album, make a cup of tea, and enjoy some Christmas crafting.
It's quite likely you won't need these templates or instructions, but I thought I would include them here in case you're new to hand-sewing and embroidery. These ornaments make a great beginner's project if you are keen to try embroidery, because they're small and simple. It's easy to get a good result quickly. And who doesn't like that?
If you don't want to do the embroidery, these would look just as nice unadorned, or you could sew on beads or sequins instead.
On the paper template drawings, I've included the stitches you will work on each piece and describe how I do them below. Obviously, you can use any colours or embroidery stitches you like. These ornaments are backed with pieces of cotton or silk fabric but you could use felt on both sides if you prefer. I wanted a delicate look for these, so I used ordinary sewing thread to work tiny blanket stitches around the edge. (You can click on the image below to enlarge).
Template for ornaments
Small amount of felt fabric in charcoal, white and red (I used a wool blend from Stitchbird)
Embroidery floss in white and charcoal (I like regular stranded DMC thread)
Machine sewing thread in white
Small amount of stuffing (I used wool roving)
White narrow ribbon, cut into lengths of 10.5''
Small amount of scrap fabric - a light cotton works well (choose something that won't fray too much)
Paper scissors, fabric scissors, hand-sewing needle
Prepare the front and back pieces:
For each ornament, cut out one shape from felt and one from cotton fabric.
To work the embroidery, you'll only use 2 kinds of stitches: straight stitch, and chain stitch. Separate a length of floss so you are working with only 2 strands. Take the felt shape and work the straight stitches first and then the chain stitches, using the template as a guide.
(This is a good explanation of working a chain stitch, and this is an innovative way to work them in isolation, like they are here!)
Sew the front and back ornament pieces together, beginning at the point where one of the asterisks is placed on the template, and finishing at the other. Because the back is made from cotton with a raw edge, I use ordinary sewing machine thread and very small blanket stitches around the edges, to minimise fraying. (There are some good YouTube videos on working this stitch). Pull the stitches quite taut. When you get to the top of the ornament, poke the ribbon loop between the front and back, and attach with small running stitches. Resume with blanket stitch once you have passed the ribbon loop.
Stuff the ornament through the gap left (between the asterisks on the template). Don't over-stuff them - they don't need to be too firm or chunky. For best results, pull the stuffing apart into wispy pieces before pushing inside. This way it won't clump together. Sew up the gap with blanket stitch.
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