- Cut out the decoration pattern pieces attached.
- Cut your fabric scraps into strips no more than 5-7cm deep, ideally these all different sizes, with some tapering off at one end.
- Sew your strips together, this is best done in a truly random manner, just sit next to the sewing machine, with a pile of fabric pieces, and start patching them together, use 6mm (1/4”) seams.
- Stop every now and again to see if your patchwork is large enough for your pattern, if you are planning on making lots of decorations you will find it easier to make a large patchwork piece and then cut all your shapes out – remember, you need 2 cut outs for each decoration (one for the front and one for the back).
- When you are happy with your patchwork give it a good iron, and ideally a light spray of starch.
- Now you can start tracing your templates onto your fabric. For each shape you need to cut:
- one piece of fabric in the shape of your chosen template,
- one piece of fabric larger than this on all sides, it doesn’t have to any particular shape, as long as there is at least a cm or so spare on each side of the shape.
- 2 pieces of fusible fleece (or 1 piece of wadding) approx. 6mm (1/4”) smaller than your template on each side.
- Build your decoration by first positioning your fusible fleece (H640) or wadding centrally on the back of the main cut out shape, you should have a border running around the outside of the shape with no wadding or fleece on it. If you are using fusible fleece, iron to secure it to the fabric, then add your second piece of fleece on top of that one, and press again.
- Place the piece of patchwork you cut larger than the template in front of you, so you are looking at the back. Place on top of this your main piece with the fusible fleece attached, so that you are looking at the fabric’s front (if you are using wadding put this in position first, then the top piece of fabric). Pin together.
- Cut a piece of ribbon to create the loop for the top of the decoration (approx. 10-12cm long). Fold in half to create a loop and insert the cut edges between the fabric layers, securing it with a pin or tacking stitch.
- Sew around the whole of your decoration, using a stitch of your choice (we liked using a small zig zag). Depending how big you want your finished decoration, sew 3-6mm (1/8th to ¼”) in from the outside edge of the properly cut out shape.
- Finish by trimming any loose cotton tails, and cutting around the outside of the decoration, with straight scissors or pinking shears, close to the sew line.
- Once you have mastered the basics you can go onto create any number of shapes – you could spell out Merry Christmas or Ho Ho Ho!
- Fill shapes with lavender or add a small amount of toy filler for a puffier finish.
- String the shapes onto ribbon or between fairy lights to create alternative bunting or festive garlands.
- If you don’t like the raw edges being visible, you can use the same templates to create decorations with no raw edges, follow the instructions above until you get to the point where you build the decoration, here you want to place the fabrics so that the right sides are facing each other and you are looking at the wadding or fleece, place the ribbon so that the loop is inside the decoration and just the raw edges are visible, poking out of the top, and sew around the decoration LEAVING a gap to turn the shape out the right way. After turning out hand stitch the gap up, or fold the raw edges into the gap and top stitch around the whole of the decoration.