This month’s Makerly box (https://www.makerlycrafts.com/) was very festive indeed – a reindeer doorstop! The tartan fabric alone just screams Christmas! It’s a great seasonal ornament and is so simple to make.
Included in the box was:
- Tartan fabric
- Gingerbread felt sheets x2
- Paper template
- Berry and elderflower teabag
I started off by cutting out all the fabric pieces using the paper templates. The instructions said to leave a one inch seam allowance around each piece, which I thought was quite big, considering some of the pieces were quite small. I made the ears first and after I had sewed the tartan and felt pieces together I trimmed around the edge before turning them right side out, otherwise they would have been too bulky. I then moved onto the arms and once again trimmed the seam allowance down, however this time when I turned it out the seam split apart and I ended up with a hole in the arm as the fabric had just frayed away down to the stitches. I found the whole time I was sewing that the tartan fabric was fraying and it was quite difficult and slippery to work with. I had enough spare material to cut new arm pieces and from then on I didn’t trim down the seam allowance, even though this made it quite tricky when turning the pieces out.
Once all the smaller pieces were sewn together they could then be sewn into the body. After pinning them in place between the two body pieces it was just a case of sewing around. I thought this part would be tricky as the limbs, ears and antlers made it bulky and I was worried about them moving around, but it was actually really straightforward. Once the body was turned out I could really see my reindeer taking shape.
Before stuffing and sewing up the reindeer I added the face using the safety eyes, which are so easy to use as they just press together and they feel so secure, and sewing on a pom-pom nose. There was a choice of brown, red or green pom-poms for the nose. I decided to go with brown as I thought he was jazzy enough with his tartan body!
After the face was on it was time to stuff! The top half was filled with stuffing and the bottom half was filled with rice. The instructions suggested rice, seeds, dry beans or sand; anything to give it some weight to be able to hold a door open. I raided my kitchen cupboards and found an old pack of brown rice that we had obviously had one serving out of and decided we didn’t like, so I used it to fill up my reindeer!
With all the stuffing in it was time to sew up the bottom. The instructions suggested whip stitch, but I decided to use ladder stitch as I think it gives a neater finish. Lastly I added the ribbon and bell for a finishing touch! He looks so lovely and friendly that I might have to find a door for him to hold open all year and not just at Christmas!