Sunday, 30 October 2011

The Elves Christmas Garland - Christmas Tutorial no 11

I like working with felt, it is so forgiving and it is brilliant at making winter outfits for elves. Now as you all know, no self respecting helper of Santa Claus would dream of turning up for work without his mittens, socks and matching scarf... so in case of any elf being caught short you will now have a spare wardrobe hanging over your fireplace.
You will need:
Felt - I used 8 squares of 9" x 9"
Embroidery thread or fabric paint
Scissors and Pinking Shears
Aqueous Marker Pen
Ribbon and/or hairy twine
Wool scraps
Knitting needles
Crochet hook
Sewing machine
Greaseproof paper
Access to baby clothes...
First you need to create a template for your mitten and sock... this is where your access to baby clothes is really helpful as you can trace around a baby's sock and mitten.  Well OK, I suppose that you could also Google for a template but it really won't be quite as much fun!
Now the great thing with felt is that it has not warp or weft which means that you can place your template wheresoever you wish as there is no right way for the fabric to sit, however you cut it will always be right.  
You will need to cut out 14 of each shape - I decided on green mittens and red socks.

Mark the letters out on each mitten or sock.*  I used a simple chain stitch in white embroidery silk and for the snowflakes, a star stitch.  You could use a stencil and fabric paints if you do not feel confident in your hand sewing skills and you can further decorate the socks and mittens with buttons, sequins and you might even want to consider using your glue gun and the table decoration snowflakes.
Pin the mittens and socks together and sew them together with a .5cm seam leaving the tops open.  Using your pinking shears, trim around the socks and mittens and across the top to give your garland a decorative edge.
Now you need to decide if you are going to hang your garland from ribbon - I chose a cheery tartan ribbon - or if you want a more rustic look, use hairy or garden twine.  Cut a piece of ribbon or twine that is long enough to loop over the ribbon or twine, now sew the across the top of the sock or mitten.
To make a really simple set of scarves, I used leftover scraps of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, a pair of size 3.75 needles.  Casting on eight stitches, I worked a simple rib pattern, knit 1, purl 1 to the end of each row, to get the stripes, I worked four rows then changed colour and worked a further four rows and then back to the first colour.  Continue to work until your mini-scarf measures 12" and then cast off the eight stitches.

Using short pieces of wool approximately 3" in length, put your crochet hook into the cast off stitches, loop the yarn around the hook and pull it through, leaving two tails behind, pull the the tails through your loop and now you have your fringe.  When all the cast off stitches have been fringed, trim the fringe so that the fringing is of equal length.

Finally slip the mittens and gloves onto the ribbon or twine, remember to put it in the right order by starting from the back and work through to the front, I mean only an idiot would get that wrong (Ros looks embarrassed).  You can now tie the scarves on at the beginning middle and end of your garland and find somewhere to hang it up for Christmas.
In case you are interested, this is the fireplace in my bathroom!
*If you are feeling really adventurous you could cut out 12 mittens and 12 socks to make an Advent calendar, replacing the letters with numbers and leaving the socks and mittens open so that you can hide delightful treats inside.
Now if this has whetted you appetite for all things crafty, get yourself over to the lovely Wendy's Handmade Monday which is now in its 40th week - wherever does the time go?

And finally if you would like me to make anything that you have seen on the blog, like the rag wreaths, scarves or garlands, please do not hesitate to drop me an e-mail.


mcrafts said...

Ros you always come up with such gorgeous things to make! (I am loving your fireplace by the way.) Mich :)

Wendy said...

What a gorgeous cute project! I also love your fireplace. I'd have been tempted to make the garland in blue and white just to show off the fireplace! :-)

Jam Dalory said...

All your tutorials make things look incredibly simple. If I can find the time i'm going to have a go at this as it looks great. x


How lovely this looks - your tutorials are fantastic and I really look forward to each week's post.

Susie said...

I really like this, so easy and so cute. And now...I WISH I HAD A FIREPLACE! This is the first place I have lived without one in 30 years! Bah humbug. :( BTW are you not on Pinterest?

Polly Polkadot said...

Will the garland stay up until Christmas?! Good clear tutorial as always.

Kazies Magical Designs said...

what a lovely project and great tutorial xxx

itsamistry said...

What gorgeous project and what patience you have. Love the mini scarf that's just too cute.

Stephen said...

A very nice festive garland. If Santa sees it though, will he think it's the modern day version of stockings and fill every glove and sock with Christmas treats? Or is that what you are hoping for? :-D

Caroline Lovis (Redneedle) said...

Nothing more satisfying than a neat little pile of cut out felt shapes! I love the chain stitch detail, I've not done that since primary school. Great tutorial and I love the B/W photo to the left of your fireplace. (Nearly forgot looking forward to the crochet poppy)x

Emma Tustian said...

Would love to try this as an advent calendar...maybe next year! Although then I'd have to find somewhere to hang it.

Ali said...

What a great Christmas craft project - I just wish that a: there were more hours in the day so that I could fit in making one; b: I had a hearth to hang a garland on and c: I could sew!

Ali x

The Bathtime Team said...

I love this! I cannot seem to crack the sewing skill!

Fiona Maclachlan-Morris said...

Very, very cute and excellent instructions as usual.

Dr Sonia S V said...

What a gorgeous creation.
Cheers from Bangalore ,India
Dr Sonia S V

Planet Penny said...

Very sweet, love the fireplace!

Pickle Lily said...

Another fab creation - thank-you for sharing! Do you think these up throughout the year or are they all just swirling in the crative ether - you have so many good ideas!
Jo x

Picto said...

Really festive Ros, I may just have to do one for my grandson.

Jan x

Helen said...

I love your tutorials ros, keep them coming :)

Mrs A. said...

Such cute little socks and mittens. Thanks for the easy to understand tutorial. Hugs Mrs A.

Martha said...

what fab christmas creations! love the sewing and the interchanging colours! your picture makes me wanna hang my own decorations already!
well done!
im planning tiny socks and gloves as a decoration too!