Sunday, January 31, 2021

Free Pattern - Puffy Heart Tutorial

Hi there!  I have a fun little project for you and the kids to make during lock-down.  These adorable puffy hearts are perfect for beginner sewists and can be made from either fabric or felt.  You  can make them into hanging ornaments, pincushions, cat toys or fill them with some lavender to create sweet smelling sachets for your drawers.

Here's what you'll need to make one Puffy Heart:

Sewing machine and thread, a pair of embroidery scissors, pins, bead needle, long doll needle, pinking shears (optional)  
5x7 inch piece of fabric or felt for the Heart
4x4 inch felt for Strawberry Leaves
2x2 inch felt for Strawberry Flower
Stuffing and an orange stick or chopstick and a plastic drinking straw (to aid in turning heart right side out)Dried lavender, catnip (optional)
Embroidery thread/floss 
Disappearing ink marker  ed beads (3 red for Strawberry pincushion), crystal beads, charms, bells, ribbon, lace

Please read through all instructions first before beginning this project. 
Print pattern onto regular printer paper.  There's no need to re-size the pattern or to add a seam allowance. 
Cut out pattern pieces.  Fold heart fabric/felt in half and pin paper pattern piece directly onto the fold (as marked) and carefully cut around pieces. 
I used a pair of pinking shears to cut out my heart, but a pair of regular pair of dress-making scissors will work just fine. Cut out felt leaves and flower if you're making a strawberry pincushion. 
I've used two strands of embroidery thread/floss to sew the gathers around the top of the heart.  Keep your stitches small, neat and evenly spaced. 

A. Pin fabric together, right sides of facing.  Mark lines for opening with your disappearing ink marker. Stitch from the dot at A. to the dot at B., about a 1/4 inch away from the edge.  Begin and end the seam with a back stitch, leaving a long tail to be used for sewing up the opening later on.

Stitch from the dot at C. to the dot at D., back stitching at beginning and end and snip of the pointed corner at the bottom being careful not to nip into your stitches.
B. Press the seam open and run a row of small gathering stitches about 1/4 of an inch below the top opening with a needle threaded with two strands of embroidery thread.

C. Once you've reached the center, pull the thread to gather up one side of the curve.
D. Continue gathering all the way around then pull the thread firmly to close the hole.  Make sure that the pleats are evenly spaced around both sides and that the hole is tightly closed before sewing a few stitches to secure the thread in place.

.A. Turn heart right side out using a plastic drinking straw to aid in turning. 
B. To do so, insert the straw into the opening in the fabric then insert a chopstick/orange stick/wooden skewer through the fabric on the outside and into the hole at the top of the straw. Gently push the stick down into the straw to turn the heart.
C. Add stuffing to fill out the top curves of the heart, pushing it in firmly with your stuffing stick to round out each side.  
D. Fill up the bottom and center of the heart, adding a few pinches of lavender or catnip if you'd like. 
A. To make an ornament loop, thread a bead needle with a long length of embroidery thread, making a knot on the end.  Insert the needle into the center area of the hole, catching it on a piece of fabric and bring it up and out the middle.  
B. Decorate with crystal and/or seed beads and then slide the needle back down into the beads and out through the bottom of the bead at the base, making sure to leave enough thread for the hanging loop above the beads.
C. Make a knot in the thread just above the last bead to secure the beads in place.  This will prevent them from moving around on the hanging loop.
D. You can either end off your thread now at the back of the heart, or, if your thread is long enough, switch to a long doll needle and take it all the way through the center of the heart and out through the bottom point.  Add more beads, ending with a knot at the bottom to secure beads in place.

 Above is an example of an idea for decorating the fabric heart. 
Strawberry Pincushion
A. If you're using felt for your creation, be aware that the hole at the top might not close as tightly as it would with fabric after gathering.  This can easily be remedied by sewing a few stitches to close the hole after turning and stuffing.

B.  Mark a dot at the center of the leaf base with you disappearing ink marker.

C. Make a loop for hanging with embroidery thread, stitching securely in place underneath.

D.  Position leaf base onto the top of the heart, pin in place.  Insert a needle threaded with two strands of green embroidery thread underneath one of the leaves, near the 'top' area of the leaf and bring it out through the front.  Make a small stitch down the center of the leaf bringing the tip of the needle in through the heart and out through the leaf beside it. Continue around in this manner until all the leaves are secured onto the heart.
To complete, pin the flower onto the leaf base and stitch in place adding a few seed beads to the center.
And that's that!!  Super easy, right??!

 I hope you've enjoyed this little project! 
I think they'd be fun to gift for Valentine's Day or make with the kids during lockdown.  And don't forget, you're welcome to sell your little makes, I just ask that you offer GINGERMELON design credit in any written description please.  Thank you!