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Celebrating Christmas in July with an Easy Little "How-to" for Making Snowmen
Submitted by Pam on Fri, 07/16/2010 - 20:58
I must admit, I have become a fan of snowmen only recently, having been a collector of Santas for over 25 years. At first, I was quite offended as manufacturers began replacing my beloved Santas with snowmen as the collectible symbol of the season. (Snowman, of course, appeal to a wider audience).
In time, realizing that snowmen could be displayed until late February without visitors looking at me as if I am a nut case, I began to appreciate their importance in the scheme of things and began a small collection. But then I realized how much more fun it would be to create and make my own!
In this post, I am sharing an easy, peasy way to make snowmen - of any size or shape you like - 3" to 3' - plump or not so plump!
Making the pattern
1. Head. Using any object you have on hand that is the size you want the head, trace the object onto the paper you have chosen for your pattern.
For the snowman above, I used a piece of 8 1/2"x11" scrap printer paper. But for larger snowmen, you could use tissue paper or newspaper or butcher paper. Drinking glasses and cookie cutters work fine for smaller head shapes. Dinner plates and platters will work for really big snowmen!
2. Body. Draw a curved line as shown starting at the head. The shape of the line will determine the shape of your snowman. Mine is fairly slim, but you could make yours nice and round if you like!
6. Open your pattern! A perfect snowman!
I added a 1/4" seam allowance as I cut the pattern. But you could just as easily include it in the pattern as you are making it.
Assembling your Snowman.
1. Stitch around the snowman using a 1/4" seam allowance. Leave the bottom open. If your fabric is loosely woven or ravels easily, stitch along the seam allowance a second time to give strength.
I cut a sample snowman from muslin so I could use a dark thread to show the stitching lines, but when stitching your own snowman, use a matching thread.
2. Stitch around the arm pieces.
3. Cut tiny triangles and slits into the seam allowance on all curves. Make lots of cuts as shown. Otherwise, your seams may pucker when you turn your snowman inside out.
Base construction - alternative #1
Fold the "base circle" into fourths and finger press to make faint lines.
Place pins at each line.
Divide the bottom edge of the body into four parts.
Pin the base and the bottom of the body together, matching the four marked points. Add additional pins in between as needed to hold the two pieces together.
Stitch around the base leaving most of one side open.
Turn your snowman inside out!
In her e-book "Stitch Village", Joan Gorman shared a tool for turning small items that is absolutely fabulous! How I have struggled all these years trying to turn a thin strap or casing. If only I had known about hemostats! My sweetie found mine at Harbor Freight for next to nothing. They make all the difference when turning stuffies.
Stuff your snowman with your favorite fiber fill, packing the head fairly tight and the body a little less tight.
Now stuff in a little bag of rice or beans (as shown below in Alternative base #2). This will give your snowman stability and allow it to stand without support. Whip stitch the opening closed.
Base construction alternative #2 - My preferred way to do this because it is so easy!
1. Make a pouch. Using a long running stitch, stitch around the entire outer edge of a square of muslin or other scrap, lightweight fabric. Draw the "pouch" slightly together by pulling on the thread. Fill with rice or beans. Draw the thread tightly closed and secure the thread by making several small stitches to hold it closed.
Your pouch does not need to be pretty or neat.
2. Using a long running stitch, stitch around the entire bottom edge of the body. Draw the thread up as shown and secure.
3. Stuff your "bean bag" into the opening. You may have to remove a little filling because you don't want the little bean bag to protrude beyond the base. It's whole purpose is to provide stability so that your snowman can stand without support.
4. Attach the base to the body. You can either whip stitch it into place or simply glue it into place!
Note: Keep in mind that if you are making a tiny little snowman to hang as an ornament, you will not need to add the "bean bag".
I prefer to attach the arms after the snowman is stuffed.
If your fabric is fairly thin, you can fold under the raw edge and slip-stitch into place. If the fabric is fairly thick, as mine is, just whip stitch the raw edges right at the side seam. I tacked my arms into place (near the "elbow" so they wouldn't flop around!
Now you are ready to make hats and scarfs for your snowman! This is my "snowman clothes" stash of felted sweaters that I picked up at SCRAP recently. They were already felted for me! Most are discarded leftovers from other felting projects, so I guess this becomes a reuse, reuse project!
You might recognize the hat and scarf I used on the little guy at the top of the post! Remember my Easter Bunnies? The sleeves of that little felted sweater worked perfectly to make a hat and the scarf.
Create a little face!
ACK! @%&#* I just realized I forgot a carrot nose! Ooops! I can't believe that in the past two days I haven't even noticed something was missing! That cute little face must have wrapped me in an enchantment!
Little black beads are perfect for the eyes. Stitch a little mouth using embroidery thread. If you want, you can anchor the threads in the back of the head since it won't show once the hat is placed on the head!
I used one of those wonderful blue line pencils that wipes away easily with a damp cloth to create the little face before stitching. Good thing too, because my first attempt at a mouth looked pretty stupid! Just ask for a Water Erasable Marking Pen at any craft or fabric store.
The nose - I'm working on it! Any suggestions?
I plan on sharing more of my snowmen in November so be sure to check back! And if any of you make snowmen, please post them on my Flickr with a link to your site. They will appear at random on my sidebar flicker.
I always appreciate and enjoy your company. Thank you so much for joining me for Christmas in July!.