Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Patternless Plush - Winter Strawberries

 They're only my favorite fruit in the whole world!  Alas, they are not in season, but you can still have strawberries in the winter.  Practically the very first moment when the weather feels winter-y, I find myself searching in my fabric closet for scraps of felted wool and thick, nubby fabrics to use in small upcycling projects.  I covet scraps of bright red wool and save them to make tiny strawberries...nothing is more adorable than a tiny plush fruit.  I defy you to try to find something cuter!  

Okay, boys and girls...I'm going to share the secret with you so you can make your very own.  No pattern necessary, which is why it's part of the Patternless Plush series.  Here's what you need to get started:

scraps of thick red wool
scraps of green wool
needle and thread
white embroidery thread & embroidery needle
small handful of polyfill or other stuffing 

See those pieces of red wool?  Heavenly!  See, this is why crafters save everything.  Those discarded scraps will become something marvelous.  The first thing you do is cut out a strawberry shape, front and back.  Lay two pieces of wool together and cut out two tapered half-ovals.  Remember that when you sew the body shape, it will make the strawberry a lot smaller, so cut out a shape a little bigger than what you want the final plushie to be.   Now, cut out some leaves.  Make some small, some bigger, a little variety is nice.

No plush fruit of mine will be faceless!  Embroider a face on one on the body pieces. It will help here if you know one of two basic embroidery stitches - a back stitch or a chain stitch - easy-peasy.  You can see here that each eye is three back-stitches wide with two eyelashes and the mouth is two back-stitches.

Now, place the right sides together and stitch around the edge, leaving a small opening at the top.  You can use a sewing machine OR hand stitch this part, it really doesn't matter.  Turn the strawberry inside out and, hey!  You're halfway done!

Put some stuffing into the strawberry.  I like a firm strawberry!  Choose three green leaves.  Insert the green leaves into the opening of the strawberry and, while holding the opening shut and the leaves in place, stitch the strawberry closed. 

Boy, is he cute or what? 

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