I know there are lots of tutorials on how to make pumpkins, but hey, just like spiced lattes, I’m sure you can find room for another really good one!
So, start with a top I bought from a car boot sale for 25p.
I gave it a good press, broke it down into it’s main parts and used different plates as templates to cut out as many circles as I could squeeze out of it. I would always recommend pressing the circles again before you use them, it just helps.
Start with a running stitch about 5mm in from the edge of the circle. (Do you like the circle frames, do ya?!) and go all the way round the edge. As a tip, if you’re using two different colours of thread, have two needles and thread one with one and one with the other, it’s a lot easier than having to thread and un-thread one needle.
At this point I put down my pumpkin body to make the stem. You can of course use a twig or piece of rope, but I like to use either a ribbon (this top came with some matching ones which helps a lot) or a strip of fabric cut from the same stash, or something contrasting. If you’ve ever liked rolling a ribbon into a tube and then wondered if you could use it for something, then this is for you – you start by rolling the ribbon round on itself, then keep rolling it round in a downward spiral. If you overlap as little of the ribbon as possible, you’ll create a thin tube for the tip, then as you work down you over lap more and more of the ribbon on itself, which makes the over all shape fatter. Pin it to hold it together, and then sew the layers together. I find as it gets wider, you can fit your finger into the ribbon tube which really helps to hold it as you work. When you decide it’s long enough, cast off your thread and feed a little piece of wire up inside. You can attach this with a few stitches, and to make this easier, bend it into a sharp, hairpin bend first so it doesn’t poke out when you’re finished.
To stuff the pumpkin, you can use wadding, but if you’re working with light cottons which can be slightly transparent, I’d recommend using scraps of the same fabric instead. I also use something like dried lentils or rice, as this adds weight to the finished thing. Pull the thread to draw up the circle, stuff the pumpkin and pull it all the way up until you can’t tighten it any further. I then like to do some long stitches from the underneath, round and back through the top to create the sections of the pumpkin.
I can then poke the wide end of the stalk into the opening and stitch through the opening and the stalk to fix on to the other, working round the wire. Don’t worry if there are raw edges and threads from the fabric edge showing, that’s part of the charm. With this one, I added one of the self covered buttons which came with the top, and then split another piece of the ribbon and stitched it into a loop, leaving the ends trailing to create the effect of vines. As a final touch, I heated the ends of the trails with a flame to melt them, and of course give the stalk a spiral shape to finish.
I’m off to make some more of these, when I next blog I hope to show you what I do with them all.