Scissor Fob #2 Tutorial (with corded edging)

This is the latest tutorial I’ve just posted on the Focus on Finishing blog … I hope someone finds it useful! ūüôā

Scissor Fob #2 (with corded edging)

This time round the scissor fob I’ve chosen is a simple pillow with a corded edging. ¬†I think it is better to use a home-made cord for this, as it is softer to manipulate, but you can always try to use purchased cord if the home-made cord intimidates you too much!

P1080011

Materials needed:

  • Your chosen stitched piece, including a front and back
  • Polyfil stuffing or other stuffing of your choice (eg teddy bear pellets or crushed walnut shells)
  • DMC pearl cotton or cotton floss for cording
  • DMC cotton floss for attaching the cord
  • Sewing needle (either a sharp or tapestry needle)
  • Pins and scissors

P1060958

1. ¬†First of you you need to cut the front piece of your stitching into the desired size. ¬†I find the easiest way is to count the number of threads when using linen or the number of holes when using aida. ¬†In this case I followed the design’s suggestion and counted out 25 threads from the stitching, then I pulled out the next thread – this makes a clean line for you to cut the excess fabric away. ¬†Then once all 4 sides of the front piece have been cut, place it face down onto the back piece, with right sides of the stitching facing each other, and cut out the back to be the same size (don’t forget to make sure the back piece is centred correctly before starting to cut – I usually do this by holding the two pieces up together in front of a light source such as a bright window). ¬†Pin the two pieces together.

P1060960a

P1060961

2.  Sew a seam around the edges, but leave an open gap at the bottom seam to allow you to turn it inside out and add the stuffing.  I usually leave one long tail of the sewing thread that I use for sewing up the opening at the end.

P1060962

P1060963

3. ¬†Cut away the corners, but don’t cut too close to the stitching, otherwise it may unravel when you turn the piece inside out. ¬†Then trim back the side seams a little so they aren’t as bulky when turned inside out.

P1060964

P1060965

4. ¬†Turn your stitching inside out. ¬†You may want to ease the corners with a chopstick or something similar for a crisper ‘point’ at the corners – be careful, though, so you don’t make holes in the corners (yes, that’s the voice of experience talking from my first attempt years ago!).

P1060966

5. ¬†Now it’s time to stuff with your choice of stuffing material. ¬†In this case I’ve chosen Polyfil, and once again I use a chopstick to ease some of the stuffing gently into the corners. ¬†The amount of filling you use is down to personal preference – I prefer mine not to be over-stuffed, but firm enough to feel ‘full’.

P1060967

P1060968

P1060969

6. ¬†Next you close up the opening in the bottom seam. ¬†My preference is to use a ladder stitch,¬†however you can use a whip-stitch if that is easier for you. ¬†To do a ladder stitch you just work your way alternatively up each side of the seam, taking a few threads in your needle for each stitch ‚Äď this looks like the rungs of a ladder when the stitches are loose, and when you pull them tight they close up the seam very cleanly.

P1060971

P1060972

7. ¬†Now it’s time to make your cording. ¬†To do this you’ll need to have quite long pieces of thread, and I used 3 strands of pearl cotton that was supplied with my scissor fob kit. ¬†Details of how to make cording yourself can be found in Scissor Fob #1 Tutorial.

P1060973

8. ¬†Firstly you need to fold your cording in half and place a knot at approx 3 1/2″ to 4″ from the end. ¬†Of course you may prefer a longer hanger, so feel free to make it as long as you want, just as long as you have enough cord to go around the edges ūüôā

P1060975

P1060976

9. ¬†When we start to attach the cording around the edge of the scissor fob ‘pillow’, I find it easiest to place a pin through the centre of the cord knot and take it down into the pillow at the centre of the top seam. ¬†From there I take the cord along the top seam and add two more pins to hold the cord in place temporarily. ¬†I start off my thread by poking my needle through the top of the pillow, through the stuffing; pull the needle so the thread just disappears from view under the fabric, then add a few little catch stitches at the back of the knot (because I’m using black thread you can’t see these stitches, if you’re using another colour where the stitching thread shows up, you may want to do your catch stitches underneath the knot out of sight).

P1060984

P1060985

P1060986

P1060987

Bring your needle to one side of the cord and take a small stitch under the seam – I try to put my needle in about 1 thread away from the seam, and come up approx 1 thread away from the seam on the other side, so it’s less likely to be seen. ¬†(I pulled my knot up out of the way to show you the stitches, which pulled my loose tail out, so you need to be careful if you do this yourself!)

P1060989

P1060990

Now you take your needle and thread over the top of the cording to the right-hand side once again, and this time put your needle through the fabric just in front of the next twist in the cord. ¬†You should use the cord as your guideline here for the length of your stitches – your top thread should follow the ‘furrows’ in the cording and sit neatly in the shape of the cord.

P1060998

Unfortunately it’s quite difficult to see this with the black thread, so I have use another piece of cord with a contrasting thread as an example so you can see more clearly what I mean …

DSCN0335

My cord is a dark colour, so I prefer to use the above method to attach my cording – sometimes, though, if you’ve used a variegated thread, or if your cording is a lighter colour, you may prefer to attach the cord with a small stitch underneath the cord attaching it to the fabric.¬† To do it this way you just need to take your needle through the cord at the bottom the cord:

DSCN0339

Then take your needle through the fabric seam underneath the cord, bringing the needle through on a diagonal … then continue the same way until the cord is attached.

DSCN0341

DSCN0342

Now after that little cording detour, it’s back to finishing off the scissor fob …

At this point you can remove the pins once your stitching is well underway.  Continue stitching the cord around the edge, stopping at the centre of the bottom seam.

P1080001

P1080002

Now go back up to the top of the cord and do the remaining side the exact same way, and finish off your thread by taking a couple of small stitches into the cord. ¬†Once again I ‘bury my thread’ by taking my needle into the pillow and coming up a wee way away and cutting off the thread flush with the pillow fabric … then you just give your pillow a quick squeeze and the end of the tail disappears.

P1080004

P1080006

P1080007

Lucky last, I pop a quick knot at the base of the pillow, and the scissor fob is finished ūüôā ¬†If you find your cording is too long, just make another knot at your desired length of each piece of cord, and cut off any extra length not required.

P1080008

10.  All that is left is to attach your fob to your chosen pair of scissors!

P1080011

I hope you have found the tutorial useful – if you happen to use any of the information I’d love to see your projects where you have used them ūüôā

Kindest regards,

Preview of the next tutorial

Yesterday I had a mini finishing spree where I did all the photos needed (almost all anyway!) for two scissor fob tutorials. ¬†As you can see from my previous post I managed to complete one of them and have it published … I want to take some more photos before I publish the second one, though, so the cord attachment is more clear. ¬†In the meantime, however, I can share my two finishes from yesterday – so you have a preview of which fob finishing method is coming next … ūüėČ

P1080012

It’s felt really good doing the tutorials once again … perhaps my finishing funk is slowly disappearing and a wee bit of mojo is returning? … I really do hope so! ūüėÄ

 

Stitching Tutorial #1

I have just published the following tutorial in my Focus on Finishing blog, but thought I’d include it here as well …

This is the first of a number of upcoming Scissor Fob tutorials … and is the type of finishing used by The Drawn Thread freebie designs and similar to Mill Hill treasure ornament series. ¬†The finish is a diamond shape, which I think is really attractive for a scissor fob. ¬†This one in my tutorial is a bit large for a scissor fob, in my opinion, but the finishing is the same irrespective of the design size you choose ūüôā ¬†If you are interested, this is¬†Pumpkin Keeper freebie by The Drawn Thread.

P1060957

Materials needed:

  • Stitched project – this needs to be a square design, preferably stitched in a diamond shape
  • DMC thread or sewing machine thread to match the stitching fabric (and contrasting sewing machine thread for basting, if desired)
  • Stuffing (your preferred choice, can be Polyfil, crushed walnut shells, or teddy bear pellets, for example)
  • DMC for cording, or ready-made cord
  • Pencil or cording drill

1.  Ensure you have equal sides on your stitching Рthe easiest way to do this is to count the number of squares away from each of your piece if stitched on aida, or count a specified number of threads away from each side when stitching on linen.  In this case I followed the Drawn Thread instructions, which was to count out 24 threads away from the stitched area and cut off the fabric edges.  I find the easiest way to do this is to count out your designated number of threads then remove the next thread, ie pull it all the way out Рthis leaves a clean channel for cutting a straight line following the weave of the linen, as you can see in the photo below.

P1040636

P1040636

2.  Once you have cut away your edges and have a nice square piece of fabric, fold your stitching in half across the centre of the design, with the right side of the stitching facing each other.  Pin the edges together, and stitch a seam allowance at each of the short edges.  As it is hard to see my thread on the fabric, I have highlighted with red stitching where the seam line is below.

P1060927

P1060927a

I usually prefer top snip the corners slightly to make them easier to make ‘points’ once they’re turned the right-side-out. ¬†If you do this, make sure you don’t snip them too close to the seam line, or it will unravel, and you don’t want that!

P1060928

3. ¬†Now turn your stitched piece inside out, and put out the corners – sometimes I use a pointed chopstick to help get a nice point in the corner, but this needs to be done gently so you don’t poke a hole in the fabric!

P1060930P1060931

4.  Next we turn over the seam allowance on the top raw edges.  I prefer to give the seam a quick iron to make it sit flat.  You can just pin the seam allowance down around the top, or do as I do which is to baste it down using a contrasting sewing machine thread.

P1060932P1060933P1060935

5. ¬†Next bring the two seams together to meet in the centre, and your stitching is in a diamond shape. ¬†I usually pop a couple of pins in temporarily to hold the seams in place. ¬†Turn your piece over to work out which is the top of your stitching, and where the cord will eventually be attached. ¬†In this tutorial, because the fob is so big I’ve decided to just have a cord hanger at the top without any tassel or embellishments at the bottom – another tutorial will cover the option of adding tassels to your fob later.

P1060936P1060938

6. ¬†Next it’s time to make your cord – obviously if you have purchased ready-made cord you can omit this step, but ensure your purchased cord is quite narrow so you can knot the ends easily. ¬†I made my cord out of DMC cotton floss, and because of the size of the fob I opted to use 4 strands of DMC for my cord as I wanted it to be a bit thicker (my preference is usually 3 strands of either DMC or pearl cotton). ¬†Sometimes it’s trial and error as to how thick the cord will turn out. ¬†It is generally much easier to have another person assist you in making cord, but as I’m on my own I have to improvise with whatever is handy! ¬†I apologise in advance for the poor photos in this section, I will do another tutorial soon to show the steps more clearly …

The first thing to do is to knot each end of the group of threads together.

P1060894

P1060898

Next you need to rope in an assistance to help out by holding one end of the threads tightly, or do what I do by finding something you can attach the other end to … in my case I have a portable clothes rack that I used, by snapping a metal ring over the rail and hooking the ring through the middle of the threads at the knot end. ¬†Alternatively you could tie the end around a door handle or something similar.

P1060899

If you have a cord drill, that’s perfect, otherwise you can make do by using a simple pencil to wind the thread. ¬†Take your pencil and insert it through the middle of the remaining end of the thread (at the knotted end), and walk back until your thread is nice and straight. ¬†Then start turning your pencil – it doesn’t matter in which direction you turn your pencil, as long as you continue to turn it the same way ūüėČ ¬†I prefer to use a cord drill as it’s so much quicker, so that’s how I finished my cord off this time round.

P1060900P1060901P1060911

You need to keep turning your pencil/cord drill until your threads are very taut. ¬†If you slacken off your tension a little bit and your thread starts to ‘kink’ and turn on itself it’s generally twisted enough. ¬†I let go of the tension a little bit here so I can hopefully show you what I mean about the ‘kinking’ of the thread.

P1060913P1060915P1060917

This next part is very tricky to photograph as I needed both hands … ¬†Once your thread is twisted enough, carefully hold the middle of your twisted thread with one hand, then using your other hand bring the two knotted ends together.

P1060918P1060921

I usually use a self-made weight that I hang in the middle, but forgot to use it this time! ¬†I’ll show that method another time, as it’s a really quick way to get the threads twisting onto themselves! ¬†In this case, however, I just used my left hand (my right hand was still holding the two ends together) to slide up the thread about an inch, and using my thumb and forefinger gave the threads a gentle twist. ¬†You continue to do that by working up the thread and helping the threads twice nicely onto themselves. ¬†Eventually you end up with a beautifully twisted cord. ¬†Then you finish off by knotting the two loose ends together so it doesn’t unravel. ¬†And voil√† your cord is finished!! ūüėÄ

P1060923P1060924

7. ¬†Decide how long you want your cord to be – generally 3 1/2 to 4 inches is about the right length, but you may prefer to have your hanger longer than that – it’s all personal preference! ¬†In this case I’d made my cord quite short so I could do the tutorial easier for you. ¬†Knot the two loose ends together at your desired length.

P1060925

8. ¬†Now it’s time to pick up your stitching once again, and we need to start stitching up the remaining seam. ¬†My preference is to close it up using a ladder stitch, however you can use a whip-stitch if that is easier for you. ¬†Start at the bottom of the fob, away from where the cord will be inserted. ¬†To do a ladder stitch you just work your way alternatively up each side of the seam, taking a few threads in your needle for each stitch – this looks like the rungs of a ladder when the stitches are loose, and when you pull them tight they close up the seam very cleanly. ¬†Keep stitching up the seam until approx 1″ away from the end.

P1060942P1060944P1060946

9.  At this point you insert your chosen stuffing.  I have opted to use teddy bear pellets for mine, as I really like the extra weight it gives the fob, especially for smaller fobs (in hindsight I probably should have used Polyfil for one this big!!).  When I stuff with pellets I use a little Tupperware funnel that I find really useful for this job Рalternatively you can roll a piece of stiff paper into a funnel instead!

P1060947P1060948

10. ¬†Now we’re on the homeward stretch, and it’s time to add the cord and close up the seam! ¬†Take your cord, and place the knot inside the seam opening, then continue stitching up the opening to the top. ¬†Sometimes I will take my thread through the cord at the top to stop it from moving around, but it wasn’t needed for my fob this time. ¬†You can now remove all your basting stitches.

P1060953

And that’s it, your fob is all finished and ready to adorn your chosen pair of scissors!!

P1060956

As always, please feel free to leave comments and let me know if you have any questions. ¬†It’s always good to know if you find the tutorials useful, or if there is something you would like to see more of, so the comments are always appreciated!

Kindest regards,