Happy Spring + Tutorial

A very HAPPY SPRING to everyone! We are continuing to meet at my home through the end of May. In summer, please check our private Facebook group for meetings at parks, pools, beaches, and other field trips around the area. To join our private group you must first meet with me, and join the homeschool cooperative.

And here is a tutorial for making your own little upcycled sweater stuffies…Little Seedlings.

I created these sweet little seedlings that can be made from the most basic materials that you probably have on hand. These are best made using up-cycled, organic and natural materials. The seed body and leaves are created using felted sweater scraps, and the roots are made from garden string that is rough and natural. I used organic cotton thread and stuffing, but other types of stuffing, like wool or small scraps of fabric, could be used instead. They are easy to make, washable, and very child friendly. This is also a good project for older children who would like to try a little hand sewing. Little Seedlings are completely hand stitched.

Supplies Needed

  • scissors
  • 2 needles (1 embroidery and 1 sewing)
  • felted sweater scraps (for seedling and leaves)
  • embroidery floss (for eyes, mouth, and nose details)
  • thread
  • rough string/jute
  • stuffing
  • pattern LittleSeedlingsPattern
  1. Gather all of your supplies, and find a comfy place to sit.

  1. Cut out your pattern pieces and then cut out the seedling and leaves from your sweater material. I chose the little chickpea for the tutorial, but you can follow the same directions for all of the Little Seedlings.

3. Choose the front side of your fabric and draw two eyes in chalk.

4. Use a split stitch to outline the eye, then fill it in with a straight stitch. I like to use a diagonal pattern as shown in the photos, and then I like to add little lashes at the outer edges of the eyes. I included other ‘face’ options on the pattern, or you can make up your own. Take your time here, as this is where all of the personality happens. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be absolutely perfect either…part of ‘personality’ is those little quirks that make something/someone unique. As you can see below, my eyes are decidedly not perfect, but they turned out great! NOTE: while doing embroidery, do not pull too tightly on the thread as it will make the sweater material pucker. Maintain a nice medium tension…not too loose and not too tight. Continue with the mouth and nose using the same spit stitch.

5. Place wrong sides of the seed together and, using a blanket stitch, sew the two sides together starting at the ‘open’ line (on pattern) and continuing to the bottom center (where you will do the next step). The seam should be about ¼” in from the edge. I used red thread to make the stitch more clear (and I changed to cream thread to finish), but you should use a thread that matches your fabric. NOTE: my stitches are a little wide here, and they should be just a little closer together. The thread will be more obvious when you turn it inside out the wider your stitches are.

6. Cut three pieces of twine about the same length as the height of your seedling, then tuck the strands into the center of you seedling and close the fabrics together again. NOTE : Make sure the string is right in the center. Continue to use the blanket stitch, but go back over the string a few times using a straight stitch to be sure you have sewn down each root string. The second to last picture in this sequence is a photo of the seedling with the opening at the top, and fully stitched around the edge with the wrong sides facing out.Then turn the seedling right side out.

7. Using your stuffing of choice, fill the seedling so that it’s plump, but not bulging at the seams. Be sure to reach into all of the curves and spaces, until it is semi-firm.

8. Using your scissors, cut into the center of your stuffing to create a space for the leaves. Then tuck the leaves into the space at the depth you like.

9. Close the top of the seedling by using your needle to grab a little fabric on the front, a little fabric on the back, and then pull the thread through all the way. When you get to either side of the leaves, sew from the front through the reverse, back and forth until you get to the other end of the leaves, and continue to grab the fabric again as you started until the seedling is sewn together. When I get to the leaf portion I like to fold the sweater in slightly so the raw edge is tucked under. This maintains a clean look and the shape of your seed. This part takes a little time. Take a moment to look at the shape every once in awhile to be sure you like the way it’s coming together. You can always start over again if things aren’t looking quite right.

10. Unravel your root strings and trim them to the length you like, and now you’re done! Here is the little chickpea that was made for this tutorial. Below you will find examples of the apple seedling, and the chia seedlings. Doesn’t it look like a ‘she’?

More notes….

Chia Seedling: this one is so cute and tiny (my son’s favorite). For that reason, it takes a little more careful handwork to keep the round shape. Also, when using embroidery thread on the face, try using four strands instead of six to maintain the sweet details in the eyes and mouth.

Apple Seeding: This is an easy shape to create, but take extra time when closing the top in order to maintain the apple seed shape and symmetry.

If you’re not sure how to do a blanket stitch or a split stitch just Google “how to” and the name of the stitch. There are many videos showing these techniques online.

If you have any questions or need further explanation for a certain step, don’t hesitate to post a comment below. I will do my best to respond in a timely manner.

All patterns, tutorials, and photos at this blog were created/produced by Erica Daley and are copyright protected. You may use these patterns to create your own pieces for personal use, classroom use (one copy, not to be distributed to parents or throughout the school), or a limited quantity for re-sale (no more than 10 items total), but please credit “Erica Daley” when labeling them, or posting photos of them in a public format. If you want to create more than 10 items for re-sale, please contact me. DO NOT use any photos taken by Erica Daley. For more information on copyright regulations, please visit: Crafts and Copyrights.

© Copyright 2017 by Erica Daley. All rights reserved.

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