... we made a spicy-scented Christmas decoration.
Ooo it's frosty this morning. First proper frost of the year round here in Buckinghamshire. I wish I could have taken some photos on my drive in this morning (it was such a beautiful drive) but this is what the garden here at Layby Farm looked like ...
So it's beginning to FEEL a bit Christmassy at last - and my friend did scare me by telling me there are only four more weekends before the big day - eek! SO, without further delay, let's get to the project....
The lovely peeps over at Dashwood Studio invited us and lots of other shop owners and makers over to their gaff yesterday to have a little peek at what they've been up to of late. With the invite came the challenge to use their latest collection, Cuckoo's Calling by the hugely talented Bethan Janine (she designed Wildwood for Dashwood, too) to create a decoration for their Christmas display. I love this collection - it really is pretty special.
Not really Christmassy but it's made up of lots of lovely jewel-like colours which I just LOVE. The one difficulty with making a Christmas tree decoration is that by their very nature, they're small so as much as I just love the main print, I decided to use these two lovelies for my decoration. And being a sucker for a pixie-esque stocking, I knew just what I was going to make!
To make your dec you will need:
- two co-ordinating fabrics
- stocking template found here
- some Christmas spices
- a neutral or co-ordinating thread
- a piece of ribbon or twine
- your smashed up spices
- a template of the stocking shape
- First off, get some lovely Christmas spices, bung them in a bag and whack them with a rolling pin til they're in little pieces then add a little rice for weight.
2. Cut the cuff off the template and take one of the fabrics, fold it in half, right sides together and place the cuff template on the fabric. Draw around it, adding in your seam allowance. Repeat with the bottom part of the stocking template on the other fabric. You will now have two cuff-shaped piece of fabric and two stocking shaped pieces of fabric - the pieces should be mirror images of each other (sorry, in my haste to get this done I forgot to take a picture at this stage!)
3. Place the two stocking shaped pieces together, right sides facing and sew together, leaving the top open. Snip into the seam allowance wherever the edges are curved (be especially careful NOT TO SNIP YOUR STITCHES!) and very carefully turn your stocking in the right way. You might need a bit of care and patience when you get to the very tip of your stocking toe, but it is so worth it to have that lovely skinny end to your pixie boot!
4. Next, fold the twine or ribbon in half and sandwich between the two cuffs with the ends at one corner (where the arrow is) and sew around 3 sides, leaving the bottom open. Be sure to do a couple of extra stitches through the twine to hold it in place - it will be holding the weight of your stocking so it must be securely stitched in.
5.Turn both your boot and cuff in the right way and give a good press.
6.Fill your boot with some of your lovely spice before you attach the cuff.
7.Fold in the seam allowance on the cuff and press. then place the cuff on top of the boot as below, making sure that the edges of the fabrics are lined up nicely at the top, right sides of boot and cuff together.
8.Add a bit more of your spice and begin to stitch the cuff to the boot using your pressed line as a guide.
9.Keep sewing the top on for as long as you can before it gets fiddly and then flip the cuff up the right way and then use a blind slip-stitch to finish the last length of fiddly bit.
10.Hang it somewhere pretty (obvs haven't got my Christmas tree yet so had to make do with a picture frame) and you're done!
Here's a shot of it in situ at Dashwood .....
.. and if you need some more inspiration, here's some other ways Cuckoo's Calling has been used at the Studio ....
Fabric stretched over hoops....
Katy Jones' awesome cushion cover ....
Lynn Goldsworthy's stunning quilt - how cool does that main print look in the centre like that?
...and of course, these super-cute little cuckoo clocks!
We've had a bit of a run on Cuckoo's Calling - especially the main print but we're expecting a fresh delivery of it this week. Check the website to see when it's in next - it's sure to fly ('scuse the terrible punnage!) pretty darn quickly again - also make sure you check back again later this week for our fourth make of Christmas ... crikes!