Christmas sewing project: Sew a squishy 3D Christmas tree
There's no denying that Christmas is on it's way! Writing this in the run-up to Christmas 2020, I'd say festive fever is peaking early this year. After the year we've all had, we all just need some fun and frivolity in our lives! So today I'm going to share with you a simple but effective sewing project to add to your Christmas decor.
For anyone who has stumbled across the Stitch Club sewing blog - welcome! Stitch Club started life as a children's sewing club in Sussex, UK. 2020 saw the launch of a range of sewing kits based on designs we've sewn successfully with kids as young as 9 years old. But plenty of adults are enjoying them too! Check out our shop pages to see the Stitch Club sewing kits.
This tree is a fun Christmas sewing project which we've sewn with both adults and children. The original version was the plain green fleece one, which we made with our young students at Stitch Club several years ago. They had so much fun with this as they got to sew little sparkly sequins and bells on at the end. It was a real hit!
Here's one of our students sewing sparkly things onto her tree:
In subsequent years we also sewed the printed fabric version with children, and additionally ran a really enjoyable adult class to make these! You can have fun with your fabric choices - go green if you want a 'real' tree feel, and then you could add embellishments afterwards. The tree is made from several different tree cut-outs so you can go for a patchwork mix and match effect too. For this sample I couldn't resist this candy cane and popcorn fabric!
To create the tree, pairs of tree-shapes are sewn together and stuffed. When you look at the photographs you'll see that the fleece tree has four 'sides' and the cotton fabric tree has six 'sides'. It's a good idea to stick to just four if you're using fleece because the project will be bulkier. If you're using woven cotton fabric you can choose whether to go for four or six.
Gather your supplies - what you'll need:
- Half a metre of cotton fabric if you're making the full six shapes.
- Quarter of a metre if you're sticking to four. A fat quarter is fine, but quilting fabrics can be quite narrow - some only 110cm wide. This does work, but is a bit of a squeeze. Plan your cutting carefully.
- If you're using fleece, this tends to be a very wide fabric, and quarter of a metre is ample.
- Sewing thread to coordinate with your fabric, pins, and a hand sewing needle.
- Sharp scissors.
- Around 150g toy stuffing.
- Any embellishments like bells or sequins that you'd like to use.
Preparing your fabric
Begin by preparing your pattern pieces. The pattern template requires you to cut out the two shapes and stick them together where indicated. Use your pattern piece to cut either four or six shapes from your chosen fabric.
When placing the pattern onto your fabric, make sure you position it straight. If you're tight on space and your fabric is either plain or has an 'any-way-up' print to it, then you can alternate positioning the template right way up or upside-down in your layout. This helps to nestle the pieces together and use less fabric.
With your tree shapes cut out, you're ready to get sewing.
Pin and sew
Take two fabric trees and place them right sides together (i.e. so that they look inside out, with the back of the fabric showing). Align the edges nicely and pin them together. Repeat with the other pieces so that you have either 4 or 6 pairs, depending on how many you decided on.
Mark an opening centred along the base of the tree. You can simply mark with pin placement, or use a sewing pen with disappearing ink. As the bottom edge won't be visible, a normal pen will be fine if you're careful to mark discreetly. The pattern has marks on the bottom edge to indicate the opening.
Sew around the edge at a 1cm seam allowance, beginning and ending either side of the opening. Make sure you back-stitch to secure the stitches well.
When you reach each 'turning point', in order to make neat pivot, leave the needle in your sewing, before lifting the presser foot lever and turning the fabric.
This next step is very important to the finished appearance of your tree! You need to snip open the seam allowance at each of the inverse 'corners'. Using a sharp pair of scissors, snip to within about half a millimetre the stitching line. Be brave! You want to get nice and close, but don't actually cut your stitches. If you do have a mishap here, just re-sew the seam a little further in.
You also need to snip off each 'tip' including the top point.
Stuffing and closing
I hope you enjoy sewing your tree! Let us know in the comments. If you're looking for some festive sewing that's ready-to-sew, take a look at our Christmas sewing kits.