Wednesday 19 September 2012

Tutorial: Fabric Pumpkins

~by Kendal


I know it’s Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day, but I’m afraid this is not pirate themed. The Mosley-Chalk’s are a house of ill at the moment so I decided to make something using resources I had in, and hey-ho…Fabric Pumpkins!

I love pumpkins. Real ones, knitted ones, felt ones…I love everything about them. Their shape, their oddness and the simple way they symbolise everything lovely about Autumn.

The instructions are a little longer and more in-depth than usual, but don’t be put off - these are super easy to make. Each one takes about 30-45 mins and require no sewing skill whatsoever. 

 You need:

Fabric (scrap fabrics work great)
Scissors or rotary cutter
Contrasting Embroidery Thread
Stuffing (I used an old pillow's stuffing)

How to:

1. First of all, cut a rectangle out of your fabric. Any fabric works well, but I happened to have some pumpkin fabric. You can make these any size, as long as the rectangle is always twice as wide as it is long. For this pumpkin, I cut out a rectangle 6” by 12”. I used my quilting ruler and cutting mat but you can easily just measure out a rectangle too. It doesn’t need to be too precise either.

2. Fold the rectangle in half, wrong sides together. Draw a line ½ inch away from the short sides and sew these together using a simple backstitch and 2 strands of your embroidery thread. Make sure you knot the end of the thread.

3. Next, using a running stitch, sew along the top of the fabric….this take about 30 seconds! Once you’re all the way round, pull the thread, cinching it together as tightly as possible, then secure the thread by pulling it tightly and doing a few stitches back and forward, then making a knot.

4.Turn the fabric right side out until you have an odd looking bag, and stuff. Stuff until there is stuffing pouring over the top, the more the better! Once you have your stuffing in, you’re going to do another running stitch along the top just like you did in the last step. Pull it tightly at the top and make sure all the stuffing is inside. Do a few stitches again to secure it and tie a knot. (It doesn’t matter that the top looks a little messy as you’re going to cover it with a stem)

5. Now, for the fun part – Giving your pumpkin shape! You can use embroidery thread or yarn for this (yarn works best for the larger sizes) and use a long needle too, if you have one. I did not, so had to use pliers to pull my little needle out (not so fun). Thread your needle with all six strands of embroidery thread and tie a knot in the end. Put through the bottom of your pumpkin and go straight through to the top.

6.Now, make a ‘segment’ by bringing the thread over the pumpkin and back down to the bottom, where you will repeat the process several times (always inserting needle in the bottom and pulling out through the top) Make sure you pull the thread tight – the tighter you pull, the more defined each segment – and there you go! Your pumpkin is nearly done!

7. Once you’ve made all your segments, pull the needle through to the bottom and tie the end of the thread through several of the segment strands and tie a secure knot. Now, for the stem!

8. This is pretty much guesswork, but all you do is cut out two identical stem shapes from a contrasting fabric. Hopefully you can see from the photo what sort of shape they are, but it really doesn’t have to be perfect, or uniform. In fact, the variations make all the pumpkins look all the nicer. Just try to get a good sized stem in proportion to your pumpkin.

9. With wrong sides together, sew the stem all around the curved sides using a simple backstitch, and the turn right side out. Stuff tightly! Then, using a whipstitch, stitch the end of the stem closed. Nearly done now…

10. This bit is a little finicky, so be careful not to poke your fingers. Sew the stem onto the top of the pumpkin by stitching through the bottom of the stem and pulling it closely to the pumpkin. You can gather the stem a little if you want, as long as you make sure that the stem is securely fastened to the top, with a knot finishing it off.

And there you have it, one little fabric pumpkin. Lovely, no? The other pumpkin was made out of an 8” by 16” rectangle.

We have ours on our dining room table, but I’ll be making a few more for our seasons table, too.

1 comment:

  1. These are adorable, I will be making some for our Autumn display! Thanks!