Category Archives: easy project

Embroidered Christmas tree tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

I have made a number of Christmas trees over the past couple of years like my Patchwork Christmas softie, an old version of the tree softie and even a no sew Christmas tree.

For these ones I have used embroidery as the main technique.

You will need some white scrap fabric, stranded cotton in your colours of choice, some felt for the base and polyfill or batting scraps for the filling.

You will also need to download the tree softie template (pdf) which contains both tree sizes. Alternatively, if you would like a different size you can draw your own template by using a compass as the cone is just a quarter of a full circle.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Pick any number of thread colours to produce a gradient down the tree.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

For the lettering I used stem stitch.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

For the gradient I used a long and short stitch.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Just draw the cone onto the fabric using a water soluble pen.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Stitch from the top down using darker colours at the top. Alternatively you could start with a snowed top and then do a gradient between the whites and the next colour.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

The embroidery is done.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Now trim the fabric leaving a 1/4 in seam all around the cone.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

The piece is ready to stitch.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Fold it in half as per picture.

When using a hoop the embroidery tends to stretch the fabric so your sides may not be the same size.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

You may  need to trim the bottom for the sides to align.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Stitch along the long side making sure no white gap is visible on the other side.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Trim the top to remove bulk.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Turn inside out.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Now fill it with polyfill or batting scraps.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

For the base, place the cone on a piece of paper and draw around it.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

It doesn’t matter if it’s not perfectly round.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Place the circle of paper on a piece of white felt and cut around the drawn line.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Now that you have the base it is time to stitch to the cone.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Using 1/4 in seam allowance stitch the base to the cone using a slip stitch.

 

If you wish you can pin the base to the cone first.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

The larger cone is done.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

 

Now do the same for the smaller cone.

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Embroidered Christmas tree ornament - free tutorial

Easter crafts – 3 free patterns and tutorials

Easter bunny basket tutorial

Perfect for the kids to collect all those chocolate eggs!

Spring chicken softie – free pattern

Chicken softie made with a free pdf pattern provided by Amy from Badskirt .

Funny Bunny softie – free pattern

Free pattern download and instructions at Sew4Home.

New year embroidery notebook cover with lattice smocking accent

Back of notebook cover. The back features a strip of lattice smocking.

Do you need to make a gift for someone special? Why not making a New Year notebook cover?

Note: For this tutorial I am giving measurements for a notebook whose top cover is 8 3/4 inches high x 7 inches wide and 13 3/4 inches from cover to cover.

BUT this tutorial can be adapted to any notebook size. Just add 1 inch to the initial measurements.

This is how you measure your notebook:

Measure your book all the way around, from top cover edge to bottom cover edge. Do this with the notebook closed.

My notebook is 13 3/4 inches all around.

Now measure the height.

My notebook is 8 3/4 inches high.

Now, add 1 inch to both measurements.

When I add 1 inch I get a rectangle that is  14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. This is the final size of cover, lining and fusible interface.

The pockets are the notebook height  x whatever the depth you want to use multiplied by 2 (you multiply by 2 because the pockets are folded in half).

In this case each pocket requires a piece of fabric that is 9 3/4 inches x 6 inches. Using a 3 inches deep pocket is ok in most cases though you could use a deeper pocket if you’re covering a large A4 notebook for instance. Just make sure you double the depth. For a 3 inch pocket you need 6 inches fabric for instance.

Materials

Fabric

  • Linen for cover
  • Stranded cotton in different colours suitable to make a gradient
  • Matching cotton fabric for the lattice smocking inside and pockets

Cut

Lining: 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in

Pockets: 2 rectangles 6 in x 9 3/4 in

Cover:  1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in. This rectangle is made of 3 pieces:

    • 8 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in linen
    • 2 1/2 in x 9 3/4 in (lattice smocking)
    • 3 3/4 in  x9 3/4 in linen

Fusible interfacing (iron on one side)

1 elastic band

1 fabric covered button

Stitch used: seeding stitch

Download pattern: Year characters (pdf)

Instructions

Trace the pattern on a piece of linen and embroider it using seeding stitch doing a gradient.

The photos below show the embroidery progression.

I used several shades of browns and yellows.

The embroidery is quite tight around the numbers and quite sparse just at the end.

When the embroidery is finished, stretch on a padded surface and lightly press using steam.

Cut the piece to 8 3/4 in x 9 1/2 in.

Lattice smocking

The lattice smocking piece is 2 1/2 in x 9 1/2 in when finished.

This is how to make lattice smocking:

To start cut a piece that is 15 in x 7 in. Then follow my lattice smocking tutorial to sew the lattice.

Trim the lattice to the required measure after it has been sewn and stretched, not ironed.

Stitch the embroidery piece, the lattice and the other rectangle into one single piece.

Press making sure the lattice remains intact.

Now cut the rest of the fabric:

Lining: 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in

Pockets: 2 rectangles 6 in x 9 3/4 in

Iron both pocket pieces in half.

Now place the lining fabric right side up.

Place the pockets on top of the lining with the raw edges facing the sides.

Place the piece of rubber band, not longer than 3 inches, over a pocket, as per picture.

Important: The rubber band should be placed just directly under what will be the back of the book cover, i.e. the lattice side. I’m stressing this point because I didn’t pay attention and I had to unpick the band and sew it on the other side.

Cut 1 rectangle 14 3/4 in x 9 3/4 in of middle weight of fusible interfacing and iron to the embroidered panel on the wrong side of the panel.

Then place the panel on top of the pockets and lining.

You can see here the elastic band is on the wrong side. It should be on the opposite side, unless you want to stitch the button on the back of the notebook.

Stitch all around the book leaving 1/4 seam allowance and leave a 3 inch opening to turn cover inside out.

Trim corners after stitching.

Turn inside out. Pay special attention to the pockets and don’t get a fright because they look like they’re stitched to the wrong side. Just turn them towards the lining of the notebook.

Top stitch all around the cover as close to the edge as you can.

The cover is done. Insert the notebook.

The finished notebook cover measures about 9  in x 14  in open. The notebook is 7 inches wide when closed.

No-sew Christmas tree ornament

No sew Christmas tree ornament - tutorial

Materials

  • Scrap fabrics
  • Head pins
  • Sequins
  • Ribbon
  • Polystyrene cone (7 1/2 in high x 3 in diameter at the base)
  • Small beads

Downloads

Covering the polystyrene cone
Pin the tree background fabric pattern to the fabric as per picture.

Cut at least 1 inch below the pattern line. The extra fabric will be used to cover the base of the cone.

Cover the cone with the fabric and pin on the edge at three different locations as per picture.

Pay attention to the angle of the pin when you insert them near the top of the cone. The pin will need to be at an angle, otherwise you may stab yourself while pinning.

Then cover the base of the cone well, and pin each fold making sure the base is as flat as possible.

Adding texture to the cone

Cut 4 wedges out of the contrasting fabric. I used white but you could use something more festive such as golden or silver fabric too.

Press each wedge as per picture below aligning both sides of the wedge in the centre. I chose this method instead of stitching the wedge into a tube to reduce bulk in the central seam.

Place the 4 wedges as per picture below making sure they’re evenly spaced apart. Pin on the top. I folded the tops in to make it neater. Don’t worry, the top won’t show. At the end we’ll be adding a bow.

Now pin each wedge on the bottom too.

Pinning the sequins

Now mark with a pin where the sequins will go.

Pin at 5 in, 3 in and 1 1/2 in from the bottom folding the fabric inside or out as per picture below.

Use two pins for the top 5 in marks rather than pinning both sides of the fabric together.

Now, one by one get a small bead and put it through the headpin, and then do the same with the sequin. Then start replacing the pins in the cone with the sequinned headpins. For the pins at the top you will only need to replace one of them. Make sure that the second headpin is hidden by the sequin (see picture).

You can be as creative with your sequins as you like. I alternated sequin shapes and colours (golden, red and green) that matched the fabric and the Christmas theme.

Closeup of the sequins.

Hiding the raw edges of the fabric

Cut a rectangle 9 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in and a piece of ribbon the same size.

Press the top edge of the rectangle 1/4 in inside and do the same with one of the sides (see picture).

Start pinning around the base of the cone as per picture.

Pin as you go 4 or 5 times. Ensure the ribbon edge is hidden behind the white fabric at the end.

Pin the rest of the fabric to the bottom of the cone as per picture.

Make a bow with some matching ribbon and pin to the top.

There you have a Christmas ornament in no time at all and without using your machine.

No sew Christmas tree ornament - tutorial

Folded ribbon Christmas wreath tutorial

This is a quick project I made using cheap Christmas ribbon and some shear fabric that I had laying around the house. This post gives you an idea about what to do to produce a very quick and cheap Christmas wreath. I didn’t plan the project so the sizes and amounts are approximate. This project is quite easy and can be done by children. I actually made this wreath with my daughter.

You will need

  • a polystyrene ring. Mine was about 8 inches wide
  • 3 rolls of wide ribbon. The rolls usually come in 2 yard rolls
  • lots of headpins
  • shear fabric in matching fabric

Instructions

Using a share plain fabric in a matching colour cover the ring loosely as per picture and pin to the back of the wreath.

Measure the width of your ribbon.  Then cut the ribbon into squares. My squares were 2 inches wide.

Now take a square of ribbon and fold it as per picture, a bit like a prairie point with the edges to the middle.

Start pinning around the ring as per picture, placing a pin on each side.

As you pin your folded ribbon, make sure you hide the pins from the previous piece.

Once you finish pinning around the ring you can start covering the edge in the same way. You can use the same ribbon or a different one.

Once your ring is covered, add a big bow to hang.