Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Felt Seahorse Tutorial

Because I offered and because you said "yes please", I present my very first tutorial, I hope you enjoy it.

The big girl took photographs and read me stories from the Faraway tree as I sewed - thank you sweetheart xx

Ok..so you will need:
* a piece of wool felt - approx 6" square. I made my own felt but commercial wool felt is fine too. If you would like to make your own felt, the very talented Linda over at Natural Suburbia has a simple child friendly felting tutorial which you could use.
* small scraps of felt for the fins
* embroidery floss in your chosen colour. I like to use a contrast but really what ever you fancy
* a piece of pipe cleaner about 2.5" long
* about 10g of wool fleece for stuffing
* two beads or similar for eyes
* Oh! and my free seahorse pattern

The most important thing you need to remember when cutting the seahorse pattern pieces is to make the two body pieces mirror images/left and right sided - otherwise they won't go together and you will have to make two!

Right..once you have cut out your two body pieces put them wrong sides together and begin sewing with blanket stitch down toward the tail from the underside curve of the tummy.

continue in blanket stictch until you get to the outside curve of the tail - i.e you are starting up the back side of the seahorse. At that point put down the seahorse and get the short bit of pipe cleaner and a little bit of stuffing wool. Bend the pipe cleaner into the tail shape.
Pull out a little fleece/wool to a few inches in length and begin winding it around the pipe cleaner - this will form the tail section so you are aiming to pad the sharp metal ends as well as have it fat enought to fill out a nice tail shape.
ok. once you have your little fat wooly pipe cleaner poke one end into the curve of the tail and lay the length along the open side of the tail section - then continue your blanket stitch up the back side of the tail, poking stray bits of fleece in as you go.
When you reach the placement point for the back fin (as marked on the pattern) open the two body pieces enough to put the fin between them - you can fiddle with the placement, when you are happy stitch (in blanket stitch) right up to the bottom of the fin edge and then switch to small straight/running stitch for the length of the fin. Be really careful to make sure you are stitching through all three layers, or your fin will fall off!
Switch back to blanket stitch until you get to the head fin placement spot - then, as previously, fiddle with the fin placement until you are happy, then using small straight/running stitch through all three layers to attach the fin and then switch back to blanket stitch to finish off the head.
Stop sewing when you reach the top of the belly - you need an opening to stuff through - but leave your length of thread still attached to sew up the opening when it it stuffed.
Using small bits of fluffed out fleece begin stuffing the head - make sure you get right down into it's nose section first. If you try to stuff too much in at once it balls up and you won't be able to get a nice nose shape, so go slow to begin with.
Next stuff the top of the tail section and last of all the belly. Put enough in that it feels firm but not hard. I used a chopstick to help poke into the narrow bits, but a pen or pencil or skewer would work too.
Once you are done stuffing close up the belly section with blanket stitch. To secure the ends tie a knot in the thread with your needle and then bury the knot by pulling the needle out through to the middle of the belly section and snip the end.
Nearly there!
Eyes..you could have none or do a couple of french knots I chose to sew beads on for eyes - I made them pretty secure like sewing on a button, wrapping the thread around the bead a few times and then poking the needle all the way through to the other side.

To finish; knot the thread with the needle close to the last eye and then bury the knot by bringing the needle and thread out under the seahorse's chin and cut. Yay you are done - have fun, make a whole school of them!


Linda said...

Thank you, thank you, I love this tutorial!

The Everyday Mum said...

Awesome! Thank you so much. When I have finished all my other projects, it's seahorse time!

S said...

Thank you both, you are very kind.

Heidi said...

Oh S, you are amazing! I saw Linda today and she told me that you also blogged... I admit I never thought to try and see if people who came to visit me were also bloggers! (my bad :0 )
Your blog is lovely! And I love your tutorial :) Thank you, I think I am definitely going to make some for a gift for a sweet little boy called Josh (as soon as I have a moment...) Thank you, and have a fabulous day, my friend!
Love and Hugs,
Heidi :)

S said...

Thank you too Heidi - lovely this blogging world isn't it?

indigomumma said...

beautiful thank you so much - will bookmark this tut for summer thanks xxx

Val said...

This is a lovely tutorial and I hope it's ok that we've linked to you in this post

Many Thanks Val

earthboysblog said...

It's beautiful - I would love to make it.

CastleofCostaMesa.com said...

Beautiful website and seahorse, thank you! love, Jzin. California, USA

Barbara said...

You're an artist, I love your patterns, my kids enjoy very much having so cute little felt animals to play with when we travel and I get so relaxed by making them!!