Monday, 22 October 2012

A simple Halloween & Autumn Decoration

In the past I've made some intricate stuffed fabric Pumpkins. Whilst many people liked these a lot of people said they were put off by the amount of time each pumpkin would take, and the amount of sewing. After some playing around I've managed to create a very simple, but in my opinion rather cool pumpkin pattern. Don't feel constrained to orange fabrics, you can make a very ethereal creation with  a shimmering white or pale pink, or something festive with a Brocade.

You will need:
A rectangle of fabric 15 cm by 30cm
Small piece of fabric for the stalk
Sewing Needle  (hand sewing needles  and Sewing  Machine Needles if using a machine)
Tailors Chalk
Toy Stuffing

Mark out a rectangle of 15cm by  30cm and cut out.

  Fold the fabric in half giving you a Square of 15cm by 15cm Stitch down the side opposite the fold

Sew two lines of parallel stitches at the bottom of the square. This is to perform a gather. You can do this perfectly well with hand sewing, just pull the threads tight and tease the fabrics into gathers. I used a sewing machine, anchoring the threads at one end with a back stitch but not at the other, then pulling the threads to make the gathers.

 Once you've gathered the fabric like this top stitch between the two lines of stitching to secure the gathers. Fold  right side out. You should now have a little bag with an open top and gathered bottom.

 Fill the pumpkin with toy stuffing. You can use cut up scraps of wool or fabric to save money here, But a bag of toy stuffing costs under £4.00 and my bag has lasted me many many projects.

With a hand  sewing needle run a stitch along the top of the pumpkin, pull this tight and secure to create a ball. 

To shape the groves into the pumpkin secure some strong thread with a stitch at the top and wrap it to the bottom of the pumpkin pulling tight, secure with a stitch and wrap the thread to the to and secure with a stitch  repeat   for as many grooves as you like. I started with four, equally spaced.

Take two rectangles of green fabric to be the stem. I used 6cm by 4.5cm. Sew together along the long sides and one short side (leaving an opening for turning through and stuffing. The line of stitching at the top doesn't have to be straight, making it a little slanty can make the stem look more organic.

Turn through using a pencil (yes I DID spend 10 minutes trying to use my finger before I thought of the pencil) and then use the pencil to stuff the stem with toy stuffing.

Stitch the stem onto the top of the pumpkin using small stitches going around the base of the stem.

And behold a pumpkin. I thought this was cute, however my favorite pumpkins have more grooves so I added another set of four using the same method as the original grooves.
 I am rather proud of my little pumpkin. There may seem to be a lot of steps but only because I wrote down EVERY little thing. You should be able to make up one of these little guys in 20 mintues or so. You could even cut out triangles  in felt to make a Jack-o-lantern and glue it on with fabric glue. As well as Halloween these decorations could be used for an Autumn display  or part of a costume (be it the green goblin or headless horseman)


  1. do you think that this would work using felt??

  2. felt is a little stiffer than the fabrics I used, but thinner or softer felt should work. An alternate would be to find a patern to make a sphere/ball and then add the groves as I have here. (SOME felts are too stiff to use the gathering stitch I have here)

  3. Gem c to make one from felt just start with a large circle, then sew the running stitch along the outer edge and pull it tight, the carry on as with the pumpkin above. That should work :)