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Felt Cactus Tutorial

Hello all!

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!!!).

cactus-illustartion

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.

plastic-potted-plant

Then I cut the pieces (two of each) of felt and arranged them in the desired shape like so:

planning-the-shape

Next I added simple v-shaped embroidered spines:

felt-needlepoint

Now it was time to assemble –

I started with sewing the smallest pieces and filling them –

adding-the-filling

Then, I attached them to the larger pieces before filling them –

attaching-the-pieces-togetherattaching-more-pieces

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 –

final-result

Here you can see it along with my new pincushion 🙂

 

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Squirrel Appreciation Day?!

It’s Squirrel Appreciation Day, Everybody!
I only heard about this existing yesterday for the very first time so I decided to dedicate my next project to squirrels.

Project #2 – Plush Squirrel – Mini Tutorial of the Steps to Sewing a Burdastyle Pattern
Squirrel
I found this cute little pattern of a plush squirrel on Burdastyle magazine (May 2014 issue) and thought I would go through the steps for making any burdastyle pattern while I make the squirrel. Back when I was just starting out I really wanted to make a lot of the patterns I’ve seen in the magazine but had no idea where to start. This is a pretty basic project which doesn’t include any of the more complicated steps usually included in a clothing item such as zippers or buttonholes, but it’s a good way to understand the basic process and gain a little more confidence before jumping into bigger, more complicated projects. So, if you’re new to sewing and feel a little intimidated to try a project from Burdastyle magazine, then this is just for you!

Every project can be broken down to three basic steps. Pattern pieces, fabric cutting and sewing which is usually the most difficult and time-consuming step. Well, let’s dive in!

Step 1 – Pattern pieces

The first thing we need to do is trace the pattern pieces. For this you need to check where to find the relevant pattern pieces in the instruction section. There is a box which details where to look.

burda pattern

Gently remove the pattern sheets from the middle of the magazine. before tracing the pieces check in the instructions regarding the seam allowances. Most Burdastyle patterns don’t include them but some do, so you should make sure before cutting the traced pattern pieces. If the pattern doesn’t include seam allowances, I like to add them to the paper pattern but it is also possible to add them on the fabric. While tracing, make sure to add the details of each pattern piece including: the pattern piece number, straight grain, and any notches or darts included.

Step 2 – Cutting the Fabric

Now we are ready to cut the fabric. For this purpose, we pin the pattern pieces to the fabric. Make sure the straight grain on the pattern pieces is parallel to the fabric selvage and that the pieces that should be cut on a fold, are.

pinning pattern pieces to fabric

Step 3 – Sewing

Now we begin the sewing process. I recommend reading the instructions carefully before starting the sewing process. I usually follow the order of the instructions but sometimes you may find it easier to change the order. For example, the order for this project was sewing the body,head and tail, stuffing each piece and then hand sewing the pieces together. That order makes sense. However, the order for making the head of the squirrel did not include the directions for adding the embroidery for the eyes and nose. It appeared only at the end of the instructions for the construction of the head. That is why it is very important to read the entire instruction before beginning to sew.

Final Product 

Squirrel final product

Family portrait

Family portrait

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed making this project. It is a fun and simple project which is excellent for using scraps both for making it and for filling it. It’s great for gift giving if you have a baby shower coming up, home decor and just for fun!

Hope you had a happy squirrel day and I’ll see you next week for the next project (Valentine’s day special – don’t miss it).