Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Fabric Christmas Ornament Balls

Welcome to my Christmas Ornament Sewing Tutorial!

So first things first, you're going to need my free downloadable pdf pattern piece. Let me get you the link. If that link doesn't work, its over on The Patterns page of my design site, ReannaLily Designs. And wait 'til you see the recycle potential in this little project, from the fabrics to the filling!

First things first- you'll need 6 pieces of fabric cut from the template, right on the black line. A 1/4" seam allowances is already included in the piece.

This ornament is great for using up scraps from the fabric stash since the template only measures 6.5" tip to tip. (You can adjust this, if you use the SCALING feature on your printer when you print off the pdf. Ornaments of all sizes!) Oooh- or maybe recycle that shirt and jeans the kids each just out-grew. It would be a personalized, dated ornament for them when they grow up.

Now you'll need to sew your six pieces in pairs.

Don't fear the curve. These curves are the same shape so they are pretty easy to stitch. Use a 1/4" seam allowance and do be careful not to pull on the pieces as they go through the machine. You don't want them to stretch.

I made sure to sew only on the right hand side, with the same color fabric on top- this will ensure an "every other every other" design when I sew all 6 together. (That part will make sense when you make it.) Of course, you don't have to use just two colors, nor make the every-other pattern.

Now, sew the pairs to pairs. Do sew from edge to edge on the template. This will help you line up all the points in the end. Sorry the photo is blurry, but you can see the stitching line running all the way to the edges of the fabric.

Ok, in the picture above, I've got 2 outta 3 pairs sewn. Add the last pair. When you add the last pair, you'll have to stitch carefully at the top and the bottom edges, so when the ball is turned inside out, the 6 seams will meet at a point.

When you sew that very last seam, you need to leave a hole so you can turn your ornament inside out. I backstitch at each edge of the hole, so it doesn't unravel while ya turn it inside out.

Next step- turn it inside out.

Not a glamorous picture, but this is what it looks like during the "turn inside out" step.

Once its turned, get it all pushed out into its natural sphere shape. This will make the seams lay flat and look nice once its filled.

Oooh- and the filling, the best part- PLASTIC SHOPPING BAGS!!! We all have a ga'zillion of these things, from discount retail chains, and this little ornament, printed with the template measuring 6.5" end to end- takes 5 bags. Yes- 5 bags will fit crammed into there- You'll want to cram them in so the ornament is full and firm when its finished. (yes, I'll clip that big white string!)

Pin the opening closed and hand sew it shut with a blind stitch. This is the same stitch ya might use when you sew your quilt binding. You can search the internet for the diagrams and tutorials on that one. Mostly, you want to sew the ornament shut and NOT see big narly stitches on the pretty side of the fabric.

Next you'll need to attach the ribbon(s) so you can tie your ornament to... whatever you like.

Its tricky to see the needle in the above pictures, but basically I just tacked it in place as best I could. I used red thread, since the red ribbon is the only ribbon visible on the top. I didn't get a picture, but make sure you grab about 1/8" of fabric directly UNDER the ribbon when making the stitches. I made about 6 little tack stitches. *Its not the heaviest ball in the world, so I didn't need to sew "fortress style" to attach that ribbon.* If you can sew a button on, you can do this step- no problem!

Add a cute little charm from the BEAD isle of your favorite craft shop or online hobby shop.

Ta'DAH! She is finito! I tied mine to a chair, inspired completely by my Sister-in-law's decorations a last year. (agh, I cannot link the picture... I think its been archived. Anyway Dec 6, 2007) I think it'd be fun to have a fabric ornament variety collection and use them as name places for the holiday guests. Daughter's seat in the hot pink & orange, Hubby's seat in the uniform, Mine in more Spoonflower fabrics, etc etc etc.

Seeings how you can size the ornament, though, I think the possibilities are endless. Heck, leave off the ribbon and make tons of toys for the kids, year round! BUT if you give them to the kids, you might want to fill it with Polyfil and NOT choking hazard bags.

If you make it, feel free to share it in the ReannaLily Designs Flickr pool.

**let me know if you spot some typos**


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very cute! I love your designs!