Quick and Easy Fall Sewing

Quick and Easy Fall Sewing
Autumn is clearly nature’s transitional period from summer’s end with blistering hot days to the cold quiet of brisk cooler times. Looking for autumnal sewing inspiration? Consider the following:

Autumn Leaves Garland – Cut out several leaf shapes using autumn’s colors of red, orange, yellow and gold out of felt or cotton fabric. Stitch two right-sides together using a ¼-inch seam, leaving an opening for turning and slight stuffing. Turn, press, stuff very lightly with poly fill and hand stitch opening closed. Hand stitch the leaf surface to resemble veining. Attach several of the stuffed leaf shapes to jute or gold cord then hand across a window, morrow or from a mantel.

Simple Wooden Chair-Back Slipovers – Easy to make reversible, one with an autumn print and one for winter! A simple long rectangle of fabric can be used to drape over a wooden kitchen or dining room chair back, secured with ribbon ties at each side. For the length of fabric needed - measure the chair back from front side over to the back and adding two additional inches for a 1/2-inch seam allowance top and bottom as well to account for the small amount of fabric that curves over chair top. For the width – measure chair back from side to side and add one inch. This will allow for 1/2-inch seam allowances. Cut out two rectangles of fabric using these measurements from two fabric choices. Stitch right sides together 1/2-inch from all edges leaving an opening for turning. Turn, press and top stitch to secure. Add lengths of ribbon to all four sides to tie to the chair back at bottom edges or even at middle sides as desired.

Aromatherapy Rice Bags – Fill small easy to sew fabric bags (finished size approximately 4-inches by 6-inches or slightly larger if desired) and fill with scented rice. To make the bag, use unbleached muslin or any printed cotton or linen fabric scrap. Cut two of desired size, place right-sides together, then stitch around three sides using a 1/4-inch seam. Trim stitched corners diagonally to reduce fabric bulk when turning. Turn right-sides out and press. Fill with scented rice then hand stitch opening closed. Tie with ribbon for gift giving.

To add scent to rice, half-fill a pint-size or larger Mason jar with uncooked rice. Add one-quarter cup of lavender buds, scented tea or any dried potpourri blend such as cedar and balsam; jasmine and rose; orange and sandalwood. Cover tightly, shake to blend. Let stand for one day for scent to intensify.

Ruched Fabric Rosette (Yo-yo) Pumpkins – Use as table centerpieces or mantel décor. Using orange solid or print color fabric make yo-yos in several graduated sizes. Stack from smallest to largest in the middle and then continue with largest size back to smallest at the top. Insert a stem-lookalike made from a scavenged piece of branch or torn fabric rolled tightly. A leaf can be made from felt or borrowed from a silk ivy plant.

To make the quaint ruched fabric yo-yos (no yo-yo maker or circular cutter required), look for circular shapes to use as a template. CD’s, DVD’s, and plastic tops from round food containers make for ideal template shapes as their edges are sharply defined. Cut out various sized circular templates from card stock or cereal boxes. Use the templates to cut out fabric. Each of the circle sizes need to be twice the size of the finished yo-yo plus 1/4 inch. For example, an 8 and 1/4-inch diameter circle will make a finished 4-inch yo-yo.

Thread a hand sewing needle, single thread is adequate, and hand stitch around the circle 1/4-inch in from the outside edge using a basic straight stitch rocking the needle in and out of the fabric. Stitches can be 1/4 to 1/2-inch in length. No need for precision in stitch length however. The stitches will naturally fold along the needle length from time to time. Continue around the circle stopping at the beginning stitch. Pull thread gently so that the stitches gather the fabric toward the center, take a few small stitches at the center area and knot off.

Enjoy the change of seasons. Sew happy, sew inspired.

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