I received an email from one of the many home décor stores which featured three small fabric pumpkins in gorgeous autumn tones. I am an absolute nut for anything pumpkin and had to see more. I found they were about 6” in diameter and for a set of three it was just $30. No way! I looked closely at the picture and decided it was time to try and make some pumpkins.
I happily rushed to my stash and pulled some fabrics I thought might work. I think I have enough (wink).
Using my trusty calculator, pencil and yellow tablet I set to figuring out the size of the fabric pieces needed. To end up with a six inch diameter I would need:
6 – 4 ½” x 9” pieces of cotton fabric
I sewed them side by side (the 9 inch sides together) and then made a tube.
I basted along the top and bottom edge so I could close the top and bottom of the pumpkin.
I cinched up the bottom, but it wasn’t quite tight enough for me. Okay, what now?
I turned it inside out and pinched the end closed with my fingers. I then took some perle cotton and wrapped around it tightly, tying it off. The bottom would lay flat so I wasn’t too worried about all this fullness being on the inside.
Time for stuffing! I didn’t have any stuffing, so I cut up some left over batting (the fluffy kind). Now time to close the top. This turned out to be a real pain. The basting thread broke.
Okay, bigger guns. I used a strand of perle cotton. Snap! It broke too! Okay, I am not messing around here… double stranded perle cotton and Michael’s finger to assist in the tie off. That did it. I also stitched across the top using the same needle with the double perle cotton just to make sure it didn’t bust open on me.
Now it just looks like a big ball. To make the indentions I grabbed that double strand of perle cotton again and knotted it on the top. I wrapped it around the ball following the seam back to the top. Think of it as going from the north pole to the south pole and back to the north pole again. I pulled the strands tight to make the pumpkin indent. Then, I tied it off and went around the world again this time on the next seam. I repeated it a total of three times so that each seam was pulled in.
I would have like to have had a darker perle cotton, but I am using what I have here at the house and making do. I fluffed the fabric out to let the perle cotton hide as much as possible. I am happy with how it looks so far!
Time for the stem and leaves. The easiest way to make the leaves would be to cut them from wool. They could be left with the raw edge and snip, snip, snip you are done. I do not have any wool or felt so I used fusible interfacing and fabric to make the leaves.
I began with transferring my pattern (I drew it from some pictures on the internet) onto the smooth side of the fusible interfacing. I placed the two pieces of the leaf fabric right sides together and placed the fusible interfacing on top (the wrong side of the fabric). Fusing the interfacing gave me a guide to sew and I did not cut until after I was finished. Stitch around following the lines, but leave the bottom of the leaf open for turning it right side out.
Trim close to your seam and snip the inside curves. Turn the fabric leaf right side out. I use a chop stick to get inside and push out those points. Then I take my iron and press the heck out of it.
Here is the link to the pattern for these three leaves (it is also at the end of the post).
It took three sets of leaves before I found a size suitable for my pumpkin. No worries. I will save the others for future pumpkins.
To give the leaves a three dimensional appearance, I tucked the open section of the leaf and stitched the opening closed.
For now, I have simply pinned the leaves in place. Time for the stem!
I was pondering how to make the stem and then thought I could use actual twigs from the yard. I mentioned it to Michael and he said he could make them for me. I was expecting a straight cut of a stick but he brought me carved detailed stems! I love how each one is different and unique.
This is addictive. I started thinking about different sizes and shapes.
For the next pumpkin I wanted a little larger. This one uses pieces 6” x 12”.
I wanted a tall one so I decided to make it 6” x 18”. This one was harder to manage, but worth it when I was finished. It didn’t bunch up as well as the shorter, fatter ones. I realized after I was done that I had really stuffed this one tight. If you stuff them loosely, the sides crunch down better and hide the perle cotton. I found some black yarn leftover from another project and wrapped it around to cover the cream perle cotton. This looked better!
Now for a taller and narrower one. I wanted to make it in lighter shades. The pieces this time were 4 ½” x 18”. Since it was so tall, it didn’t make deep enough indentations when I wrapped the perle cotton. I believe the ratio of width to length was too great. The best were ones that had the length double the width of the cut piece (i.e. 4 ½” x 9”).
Now for a tiny one, 3 ½” x 7”. I kept to gold and cream tones on this one. Small pieces are much easier.
Last one, 4 ½” x 12”. This one turned out nicely. Yes, the key is to not stuff them too full and keep the ratio of width to length no greater than 1:3.
So, if the width of your piece is 4", you will want the length of the strip to be somewhere between 9" - 12".
6" width = 12" - 18" length
3" width = 6" - 9" length
You get the idea!
I have to say, I love my pumpkin patch and am so glad I made them. You can do this too! Start small and work up to the larger ones. Think of the possibilities in color, fabric and texture!
Pumpkin leaves pattern