29 November 2020

Christmas Charity Pattern ~ Advent Felt Christmas Decorations ~ Week 1

 

Coronavirus has greatly impacted on ALL our lives this year and has without doubt effected us all in different ways, for many causing moments of anxiety and uncertainty.  For those already living with mental health problems, it has been a particularly difficult year.  With Christmas approaching, the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic will be ongoing.

I have always believed that having a needle and thread in my hands contributes enormously to my general well being.  With this in mind I have designed a pretty set of Christmas Advent Felt decorations.  On each of the four Sundays throughout Advent,  I will be sharing the instructions and templates on our blog (alittlehappyplace.blogspot.co.uk), to make 6 little decorations, 24 ornaments in total.  The first set of templates is available today and then each Sunday for the nest three weeks  throughout Advent.

The pattern is free, BUT if at all possible, on this occasion we are also asking you to make a small charity donation to MIND through our Just Giving page... please give as much as you can... even £2 can make a difference!


I actually designed and started stitching my Advent Decorations a couple of years ago.... I had originally intended that I would release a pattern via the website at some point this year, but then earlier this year, in the height of the first Lockdown, I decided it would be far nicer to share them here!

Last year I hung my decorations on our little potted Christmas tree along with a string of fairy lights  and they looked so pretty......


You could of course use them instead of chocolates in an advent calendar, like THIS ONE, which is also a FREE pattern on the blog.  Or simply embroider some numbers and sew them to the back of the decorations ( the numbers can be download HERE)


Or if you fancy just making one or two, they would look equally lovely added to a Christmas parcel for someone special! 


I know some of you will ask if we’re doing felt bundles... I’m afraid not... we simply have run of time to do so.. but this project was never about making money for the business. It has been a whirlwind of a year for mum (Penny) and I, at both Pretty Fabrics and Trims and at home (oh yes..home schooling for months.. hats off to the teachers amongst you!) We are however extremely grateful for the amazing support that you have given our family business this year, so this is our way of giving back... thank you in advance for helping us to make a difference!

SO, LETS GETS STITCHING!

First off you'll need to gather some supplies.... 

  • You will need to print off the first template sheet, which you can do so HERE.  
  • Felt ~ this will be a great project for using up little bits of felt, but you will need a decent amount for the colours that you decide to use for the backgrounds.  I chose colours inspired in my head by the ballet 'The Nutcracker'...I am very excited to see what combination you use!  My felt of choice and what we use in all our kits is National Nonwovens Wool/Rayon mix felt.
  • Threads ~ I used Aurifil wool threads, but embroidery floss would be marvellous too, I would suggest that you use two strands separated from the main strand of floss.
  • Reynolds Freezer Paper (for tracing the templates on to...more about this below)
  • Twine ~ I used Red and White Bakers Twine, but in the example on how to stitch the decorations  you can see I used garden twine, you could also use ribbon if you like.
  • Bells and Buttons ~ optional, but I added some teeny buttons and jingly bells to some of my decorations, you could also add beads or sequins or replace them with felt or embroidery...have fun!
  • Plus all your favourite sewing notions!

CUTTING FELT AND GENERAL PIECING NOTES

Small sharp scissors are essential for cutting felt, personally I find my 5" Fiskers Needlework scissors are brilliant.  

The process for making each of the decorations is the same and the designs are very simple, here's what you do:

From the template sheet, I traced the stocking and the little cuff, toe and heel onto the non shiny paper side of the freezer paper.  Cut out, iron the paper shiny/waxy side facing down on top of the felt, cut out and peel away when you’re ready to sew.  The papers can be reused a number of times, so hang on to them.  


Place the main applique shape on to a contrasting square/rectangular piece of background felt....the background felt needs to be approx. 1/2" bigger all round than the main applique piece.....I eyeball this.    Then, cut a second square/rectangular background piece of felt the same size, put the second piece to one side for the time being.


You're now ready for the fun bit.....using Over Stitch, applique the main stocking to the background felt.  Try to keep your stitches nice and small and at 90 degree angle to the edge of the applique.


Next add the little applique details, again using Over Stitch....on some of the decorations, such as the Holly Leaves, I used different stitches, but I have stated this where applique on the instructions for each decoration.  You would also at this point add any extra decorative embroidery you would like.


Once you have appliqued and embroidered all the details, then, simply cut around the perimeter of the completed decoration leaving a scant ¼” border of the background felt showing....again eyeball this. 


Using the trimmed appliqued front piece as a template, cut a matching sized back piece from the second piece of background felt you put to one side earlier.


To complete, each little decoration will need a hanging loop.  Fold a 10” piece of twine in half and using tiny little stitches, secure the twine at the centre (loop) point to the wrong side* of the back piece. *i.e the side that will be sandwiched in the centre  of the decoration when you sew the back piece to the appliqued front. To keep things neat, make sure all your start and end knots are on the wrong side too.  You can if you prefer, tie a knot in the twine and secure with the knot end in the decoration, so you will end up with just a loop of twine...as shown on the decorations with red and white bakers twine.


Finally, with wrong sides together, sew the back piece and appliqued front piece together around the perimeter using Blanket Stitch.  There's a little happy tutorial for Blanket Stitch HERE from a few years ago!  To finish tie a knot in the twine, if applicable.  That's it, you little felt decoration is ready for you to hang and admire!


This week, we're going to make a drum, Christmas wreath, a rocking horse, a heart, a candy cane and a stocking.  They are all made in exactly the same way as the stocking example above, but for each decoration I have given a little breakdown of the order in which I made each one.......


DRUM ~ First applique the main drum shape, then add the applique felt trims, first the top band, then the zigzag, then the bottom band, slightly overlapping the zigzag if required.  I added a line of Running Stitch in a contrasting shade around the zig zag decoration and for the drum sticks, in charcoal thread, two long Straight Stitches, with a French Knot at one end.


CHRISTMAS WREATH ~ First applique the wreath shape.  Then, add the tails of the bow, followed the bow shape covering the top of the tails.  For the three holly leaves, I appliqued these with a line of Back Stitch down the centre and used a couple of teeny red buttons for the berries.


ROCKING HORSE  ~ First applique the main horse shape, then add the saddle.  I added three little Cross Stitches in a contrasting thread to the saddle.  When cutting out the background felt, I added a hole in the centre of the legs, you could of course leave the background felt as a solid piece, if you prefer.


HEART ~ First applique the main heart shape, then add some decorative stitches in contrasting thread to the centre.  I kept it simple and stitched a a little star with Straight Stitches and added a French Knot at each tip. 


CANDY CANE ~ First applique the main (red) candy cane shape, then cut a second contrasting candy cane (off white) and cut it into segments, applique these on top. 


STOCKING ~ Sew in the order as shown in the stitching example above, but in addition, I also added in a contrasting colour some little Cross Stitches on the cuff and a line of Running Stitch on the toe and heel. 


That's it for week one, I hope that you enjoy stitching your first set of decorations.  Here's the schedule:


If you're sewing along and sharing on social media please use the hashtags:

#alittlehappysewalong or/and #prettyfabricsandtrims

Finally, please remember if you can, to make a donation, the smallest amount will make a huge to difference to someone in need.........


Very best wishes and happy stitches,
Sarah xo

Share:

No comments

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, it really does make my day! If you have a question, please do ask away and I will do my very best to answer. Sarah xo

Update July 2020: Unfortunately, due to a large increase in spam and inappropriate comments, I have turned on 'Comment Moderation', so your comment will not appear immediately. My apologies for this!

© A Little Happy Place | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig