Today I decided to share the process for making a decorative felt cactus for a friend. I also took this opportunity and (finally!?) made myself a pincushion.
As with all my projects, this too began with an illustration which also gave me the opportunity to dabble with my new watercolor set (Yay!!!).
Then, I set out to find the right container. I found this really nice one with fake plastic flowers in it. I cut the flowers (Morticia Addams style…) and just left the stem to provide some support.
Then I cut the pieces (two of each) of felt and arranged them in the desired shape like so:
Next I added simple v-shaped embroidered spines:
Now it was time to assemble –
I started with sewing the smallest pieces and filling them –
Then, I attached them to the larger pieces before filling them –
Now I filled the base of the cactus and glued it to the base of the pot with the stem inside.
It turned out pretty well, in my opinion –
Here you can see it along with my new pincushion 🙂
After completing a couple of courses in sewing, pattern making and fashion design I was left with loads and loads of fabric and other materials that I didn’t want to see go to waste (including over 6 meters of tulle – stay tuned for that!!!). Being unemployed with a lot of time on my hands I came up with a plan for 2015 to use up all of the material I collected over the past couple of years.
Let’s get to work!
First Project – Owls in Love Ornament Tutorial
I’ve noticed recently that owls are very popular, so I came up with this idea as a gift for a friend’s house warming party.
I knew she was into owls and decided to make her something she could hang in her new apartment.
Every project begins with a sketch/illustraion
The next step is figuring out the pattern pieces. We need half a heart in two sizes which we will cut two of each color in each size. The pattern for the eyes which is basically an incomplete circle shape cut on the fold. We need to cut two of those – one for each owl.
Time to assemble –
We start by attaching two sets of hearts. two large hearts and two small hearts. Once you sew the hearts, you have a choice on how to attach the smaller hearts to the larger hearts. You can needle point or the applique function on your sewing machine (which is basically a very narrow zig-zag stitch – a very narrow and short zig-zag stitch should be just fine). I chose needle point which proved to be a very long process, but also a very soothing one. What you need to do is simple – you clip along the edges of the small heart. the notches should be about 1 cm apart and about1 cm long. Make sure they are the same length in order to maintain the heart shape. Next you should fold the edges toward the using the length of the notches as a guide and maintaining the heart shape and iron (that sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is – just fold in the notches). Now you are ready to needle point. You can do it with a contrasting color thread or with the same color thread. You can make the stitches very close together like I did or up to 1 cm apart. The choice is yours – you have the power!
The same process goes for attaching the eyes – you need to attach a “pair” of eyes to each side on the front of the larger heart. Don’t forget to attache the eyes at a reasonable distance from the edge to avoid stitching over the eyes while attaching the front and back sides of the ornament. This time I chose to use the applique option on my sewing machine just to save time. I recommend attaching a beak with fabric glue (I just cut a triangle out of red felt) prior to attaching the eyes. This gives a nicer finish.
Now it is time to attach the front and back sides – right sides together. Don’t forget to leave a couple of centimeters unsewn so you can turn it over. This is also the time to attach the ribbon for hanging.
Now it’s time to fill her up. You don’t have to purchase stuffing material especially for this – whatever scrap fabric you have could do the trick.
Now all that is left to do is sew up the opening and you’re done!
Ready to be sent to a good home
Tips and tricks
- Stuffing material – There is no need to buy stuffing material. You can use whatever you have on hand. I used some cotton batting I had left over from another project. This is great for tiny fabric scraps you can’t use for any other project
- Needle point vs. Applique – As I mentioned, the applique option is alot easier and faster than the needle point. However, you have a lot more control with the needle point option. Also, I ecommend using the notches technic, especially for a fabric that frays easily.
- This project is very versatile. Make it bigger as a couch cushion or smaller as a key chain.
That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, I know I did. See you soon!