I love a crafty challenge. It makes me think outside the box and test ideas that have been bouncing around in my head. Suddenly, I find myself making Christmas decorations in August! (And I apologise for making you think about that event – less than 4 months away, aagh!)
Sarah Lauren and Fabric Fusion (two great Aussie craft supply businesses) teamed up to create the ribbons and remnants challenge. I (and 9 other talented bloggers) received this bundle of goodies and were challenged to see what we could make with it:
The red and green colours immediately made me think of Christmas. The geometric layout of the heart print was perfect for trying out some hand-smocking (one of those crafts on my “to try” list ).
Armed with a couple of second-hand books about smocking, I dived right in. Here’s how to make hand-smocked Christmas decorations:
1 fat quarter of fabric
1. Cut a fabric strip wide enough to cover your Styrofoam ball (for a 5cm ball, I used 9cm of fabric. Using 1 or 2 strands of embroidery thread, so your gathering stitches evenly across the fabric. I used the heart pattern to make this easy, just going in and out the top of each heart.
3. Tie off the end so that the fabric is wide enough to almost wrap around your Styrofoam ball (around 10cm for a 5cm ball). It doesn’t have to be perfect as the pleats will loosen when you remove the gathering stitches, after you’ve done the smocking – but I’m getting ahead of myself!).
4. Sew stitches with embroidery thread between the pleats, joining two pleats together with each stitch, creating your desired pattern:
5. Continue sewing your smocking stitches until the fabric is all done:
6. Pull out the middle rows of gathering stitches, leaving the top and bottom in place.
7. Turn your gathered fabric into a tube and pin in place.
8. Hand-sew a seam along where you just pinned using a matching thread, creating a tube.
9. Place your Styrofoam ball inside the tube. Gently pull the rows of gathering threads to enclose the ball. You may need to trim excess fabric.
10. Tie off the threads. The top and bottom may look a little messy.
11. Loop around some ribbon to create a hanging loop and to cover the messiness. Pin the ribbon straight into the Styrofoam ball (or glue into place if you prefer.
12. And if you want something a little fancier, add some sequined bows:
And there you have some cute handmade Christmas decorations.
To hang on a random bush in your backyard in August – the things you do when you’re a blogger!.
What would you have made for the Ribbon and Remnant challenge? Check out what the other crafters made on the Pinterest board, and next week, you can vote for your favourite.