Saturday, 21 June 2014

Making Little Winter Gnomes...


It was a cold wintry evening and my daughter Jess said let's make gnomes.......I haven't made any for quite a long time, but "yes" just the weather for an evening sewing together. 

This is a fun and easy pattern for the beginner sewer and needle felter. One that was given to my daughters on a scrap of paper when they were just 5 and 6 years old (Just be careful with the needle felting needle with children - you need to decide on their 'readiness' based on their fine motor skills, experience with a sewing needle and temperament!).  

To find what I think is the original pattern for these little gnomes look up the book 'The Nature Corner" by M. van Leeuwen and J. Moeskops. Here is the Link. This is a great book for the beginner felter, it is on my book shelf and a good place to start with a variety of sewing, needle felting and knitted projects.

Here for you is a photographic account of our evening sewing gnomes... 

Materials: Pure wool felt piece; cotton thread; wool fleece for stuffing; Romney or Corriedale Dry Felting Fleece in face colour; scissors; pins; crochet hook (using the straight end for stuffing!).


Make sure that you use good quality, sharp scissors when cutting out your felt patterns. I always work with 100% pure wool felt. There is no comparison between the quality of wool and synthetic felt. Wool felt gives you the added bonus of being able to sculpt more character into your creations by needle felting!

(Note: the younger the child - enlarge the pattern as smaller things are more difficult to sew!)

Begin by folding the felt piece in half and sewing from the tip of the cap to the front of the cap...in blanket stitch...


Now down the side...


and to the front point....


Now stitch the two sides together and continue back around to the top of the cap on the other side (Make an extra stitch on the last stitch and slide the needle along the seam and cut the thread off)...


Now sew down the front....


Leaving the thread attached, stuff fairly firmly...


Next, sew on the base (this isn't actually part of the original pattern - I added it on as I like the stuffing to be secure, but lots of people just felt the base and leave it open .... personal choice, but I make them with little children in mind so I think that having a base is better for a sturdy finish, ready for lots of play!).


We like to add a little bit of a pattern on the cap and sometimes the side of the gnome.....creative ideas here abound!....


Now using the natural coloured fleece, needle felt the face. Start fairly loosely so that the face slowly felts down to a smooth surface....




I also needle felt around the base of the cap to give the gnome some shape (see pics below)... and often crochet a little pouch for these little ones to travel with their new best friend....


This little one is cut out with an elongated and curved cap...



I have created some more shape on this one by needle felting around the base of the cap...


Our evenings work.... 


 Jess likes to cut our her own versions of this pattern, mostly freehand  and she creates all shapes and sizes, each with their own personality!


You can add facial features, beards etc like these little ones that Molly made a few years ago...



Happy Felting....





2 comments:

  1. A great step by step tutorial. So cute.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it is wonderful to have some feedback!

      Delete