jaycotts.co.uk - Sewing Supplies

1st Class p&p just £1.50

FREE for orders £25+

NEWS

EASY TO SEW CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AND TABLE WEAR

POSTED BY ANGELA ON 05 DEC


I wanted to show you how to make some very easy Christmas decorations and table accessories.
These are perfect for you to sew with your children as no special skills are needed for any of these.

 These are some of the items which I am going to show you how to make




You will need a pattern . This one is by Simplicity - available here : Simplicity 8035 There are other simple toy pattern's in the range so do take a look.
You will need some felt pieces in assorted colours,  I bought mine from Minerva Fabrics. There are plenty of colour choices plus some sparkly ones. I used sparkly felt in white, green and black as well as other plain colours. You choose which ones you like best, there are no Rules!


When making the smaller ornaments I found it easier to photocopy the pieces and to cut them out in thin card so that I could then draw around them on the wrong side of the felt to make cutting out easier.
I am starting with the stars which I think are really cute, and I am using white felt which has a sparkle all over it.
Cut the felt shapes out and mark the position for the eyes and the mouth. You will need to embroider the mouth with a back stitch or a stem stitch. The eyes are safety eyes and are available from MinervaCrafts you will need various sizes according to which decorations you are making. The sizes are included on the back of the pattern envelope
The cheeks are made by colouring them with a soft red pencil. Once you have done the features sew two stars together with a blanket stitch, or even  a straight stitch or to be honest any stitch you fancy so long as it is small. Enclose a hanging thread at the top. This can be ribbon or string or a thick embroidery thread as I used. Remember to leave a gap so that you can stuff it.


You need some toy stuffing, pull it apart a bit to get rid of the lumps and push it gently into the shape using a chopstick or something similar so that the stuffing gets right into the corner's.
Then sew up the gap and  sew on a felt bow, which is just a small rectangle of felt gathered in the middle and sewn on by hand .

I made the large star too, you will find it fiddly to sew up the gap where you put the stuffing inside on a machine so iether sew it by hand or use your normal zipper foot. Please take care that your chosen stitch  is not too wide though or you will break your needle.



This is the start of my Star family.

The gingerbread man is slightly trickier, but to make it easier I cut out the body, head, legs and arms all in one piece. Make it up the same as you did the stars, stitching the frosting on the head on before joining the two bodies together. After you have finished sewing ,glue the arm and leg bands in place, Holding them with clips.
Cut out the holly in green felt and stitch it on along with a tiny red pom pom. He also needs a felt bow tie which you make exactly the same as the bows in the stars. For the buttons you could glue on tiny felt circles or just make a dot with an indelible ink pen.



The stars and the gingerbread man are having fun playing with the machines at Jaycotts.co.uk

The other toys in this pattern are all made the same way. The Yeti is made from some fur fabric but if you do not have any use some cuddle fleece or similar.


You will notice a Christmas tree sat among the ornaments. There is no pattern for him, but he is easy to make too. I will show you how to make more decorations.

 If you are good at drawing then draw some other Christmas shapes into thin card and cut them out. Hearts are also a good choice as are snowmen.
I made two Christmas trees, one is stuffed and has features made from safety eyes and an embroidered mouth.

The other tree and the stockings are made by simply stitching two felt shapes together and decorating in your own style.
You will find that these wonder clips are so much better than trying to hold two pieces of felt together with pins. They come in various quantities and sizes Clover Wonder Clips I love them and use them as much as possible in place of pins.



When you sew your tree decorations together it is nice to use a metallic thread or a variegated thread. For the metallic threads you will need to use a metallic needle , they have an elongated eye which helps prevent the thread from shredding.  Machine needles for metallic thread
For some of my decorations i used a variegated thread Variegated thread  and used some fine ricrac as a hanging thread.
I also used various colours of Gutterman Sulky metallic thread when I was making them which add extra glitter to your project.

I make plenty of these stockings every year, and I put sweets inside them (the top is left open) Some go on my tree but I also hang them on drawer handles. They are always popular with both expected and unexpected guests of all ages.


These are two Christmas trees, one has a face and is made in the same way as the stars.The other is made by stitching two tree shapes together with a metallic thread and sandwiching a hanging loop between them The felt has a glitter pattern all over it.


Nobody says that decorations have to be red or green, these glitter sparkled black stars are lovely. You could use whatever colour matches your decor. My friend has pink and purple on her little girls own special tree.


These are some of my decorations finished and ready for the tree.
I made some blue stockings too and trimmed them with gold stitching and gold braid



Another is trimmed with lace and sequin stars. These are just to give you ideas, you will have plenty of your own.
Now to make some table wear.
I bought a large length of this red and white Christmas fabric from Abakhan Fabrics, 
Minerva Craft also sell a good range of Christmas fabrics 



First I made a tree skirt.
To make it I did it the old way by drawing a circle on the back of my fabric with a pencil tied to a string.
You need to then slit it up to the centre and cut out another circle to go around the tree.
I finished the edges off by using my Bernina sewing machine with an overedge foot attached.The Bernina 350PE This is a fabulous machine, do take a look at it on Jaycotts web site.
The reindeer is featured in my previous blog post and you can read it here How to sew your own gifts


In my opinion I do not see the point of spending a great deal of money on Christmas table cloths . If I were hosting an important dinner it would be different, but for a family get together I like a cheerful tablecloth and napkins. Let's face it, I don't want to have to even think about red wine or gravy skills - which are going to happen!
First make sure that your fabric is wide enough for your table. Cut a length which overhangs a few inches but not so much that it is easy to pull off, you don't want somebody becoming tangled in a large tablecloth no matter how lovely they look. We are talking practical here.


Lay the fabric on the table and make sure it is the correct size. Trim it a bit more if you feel it is too large.



To make it easier to sew on my overlocker I cut the corners off to make the ends rounded. Cut the first corner until you are happy with the shape and then cut the other three corners to match.

Cut some squares for napkins and round the corners off too, it just makes them that bit different. I like to make plenty of napkins, at least two per person because they do get grubby and if you serve a tea or a supper later in the day then you will need them again. I serve sandwiches and cake in the early evening and set the coffee table instead of the dining table, so I also made a tablecloth to cover my coffee table, I left the corners square.

The reason I cut rounded corners on my table cloths is because I wanted to make it easy to use my overlocker, having no corners to deal with meant that I could literally whizz through finishing everything in less than an hour.
I got my overlocker manual out because I wanted to use a narrow rolled hem finish and I always like to have the manual handy to refer to. It's good to remind myself exactly what my machines are capable of so I am constantly referring to the manuals.


This fabulous machine is the Brother 1034D Brother 1034D overlocker  The Rolled hem finish involves removing the stitch finger and stitching with just three threads instead of four. It is very easy to set the machine to do this and it makes a really lovely narrow overlock stitch which I use a lot.

This is what the rolled hem finish looks like . If you do not have an overlocker then use a overedge foot on your sewing machine or fold under a double hem and top stitch.if you are doing a hem this way then you may want to keep the corners square.

This is my finished tablecloth and napkins. I tied ribbons around the napkins for added decoration.


You can see them closer in this photograph.


This is my coffee table with the smaller cloth covering it.



 I am extremely pleased with my hand made Christmas. You can of course make all the decorations in the pattern and decorate your tree exclusively with your own makes.
This is a project which does not take long and which you can get the children involved with. The decorations could be glued together with a PVA craft glue so long as any young children are properly supervised of course.




Thank you for reading this post, I hope you will have a happy time doing your Christmas sewing.

 Angela