Autumn Sewing Projects

Autumn Sewing Projects
Fabrics for approaching autumn and cooler weather include homespun plaid flannels, lightweight fleece (anti-pill, stretch, micro), denim (prints and solids) and durable corduroy in medium, narrow and fine wale. These fabrics are transitional fitting between the blistering hot temps of summer but not yet bone chilling cold of winter.

A few cooler weather sewing projects to consider:

Homespun plaid flannels make great mug mats, potpourri sachets, soft children’s toys, ragged edge patchwork throw blankets, u-shape neck travel pillows, rice-filled handwarmer bags, and fabric pumpkins and so much more. Flannel is a cotton fabric with a knap or directional weave. If making a garment, be sure all pattern pieces are cut in the same direction.

Fabric pumpkins lend themselves easily to flannel fabric. Cut out a fabric rectangle twice as long as it is wide depending on the desired size. Fold in half right sides together so short sides meet and stitch them in a ¼-inch seam. Then using a long running stitch sew one end closed and draw threads tightly at the end to gather and tie off securely. Turn right sides out, stuff with poly fil. Using a long length of embroidery floss, hand sew around the opening with long stitches encircling the top, pull to gather and then wrap the floss around the pumpkin to make sections. Secure floss by taking a few stitches in the top. Add a few flannel leaves to the top if desired.

Lightweight fleece is great for making outerwear jackets, hats, ear warmers scarfs, mittens and blankets as fleece is durable and warm. Nice to have a walking foot (presser foot that evenly feeds both top and bottom layers of fabric as they pass under the sewing machine needle) but if not, then pin fabric layers every few inches or use fabric clips to keep layers from sliding over each other as the feed dogs move fabric along. Increase stitch length and lower the tension. It is usually not necessary to press seams flat when using fleece however, a pressing cloth and very low temp iron can be used if needed.

Kid ponchos are especially easy to make out of fleece - 1/2 yard of fleece cut into a square 28-inches by 28-inches, fold in half diagonally into a triangle shape, from the middle of the fold cut out a half-circle shape for the head to poke through. Blanket stitch around the neck edge using a contrasting color embroidery floss for added support when pulling the poncho on and off. Add ribbon or braided trim to the outer edges if desired.

Denim scraps make wonderful wreaths. Tear denim strips 6 to 8-inches long. Lots of strips would be needed to tie onto a wire wreath frame. Decorate with simple denim flowers. To make the flowers tear a 2- or 3-inch width of denim fabric about 18 inches long. Hand stitch or machine baste a running stitch along one long edge, then pull to gather and the rose will naturally curl in. A few stitches on the back of the rose will secure the shape. Tearing the denim adds a shabby frayed look to the wreath and roses for a vintage touch.

Corduroy fabric makes for a beautiful autumn skirt. A simple A-line or straight shape looks stunning when made out of burgundy, deep brown, forest green or rust colors.

Slippers scuffs are easy to sew out of corduroy fabric scraps. Use a favorite pair of flip flops to make a template for the sole. Add 1/4-inch for seaming. Cut 2 out of stiff batting slightly smaller than template. Cut out 4 from medium wale corduroy if available. Cut out 4 pieces for a band (again adding 1/4-inch all around) that will go over the top of the foot. Sew 2 band pieces right sides together on their long edges, turn right side out. Top stitch long edges. Stitch 2 sole pieces right sides with batting on top. Leave an opening for turning. Clip curves, trim, turn right sides out and top stitch edges. Attach band to sole top towards the top of the sole turning under side edges and stitch to the sole.

These are just a few enjoyable sewing projects to welcome autumn and cooler weather.

Sew happy, sew inspired.

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