Friday, 25 November 2011

Christmas Countdown project 25 - Shaker Angel

I love Shaker style! This simple Shaker style angel is my final project of the countdown. She is based on a a small conical glass vase from IKEA and makes a great ornament for a mantle or window sill.
You will need:
Small glass conical vase IKEA or similar (or a glass bottle of some kind) 
Fabric off cut in plain linen for wings
Scrap of wadding or interfacing for the wings
A fat quarter of Country style fabric (some will be left over)
Scraps of beige felt for hands
1 Stainless steel pan scourer for hair
Ribbon scrap for waist bow
Black pen
Stuffing for the head
1. Download and print the pattern pieces from here. Cut out two head pieces and two wing pieces in natural coloured linen,  leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.
I have modified an idea I saw in Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle Book I have used before in this countdown. I have made her head bigger and the base wider to attach her to the neck of a vase or bottle.
Stitch together and snip the curved seam so it id=s easier to get a nice curved shape when you turn it right side out. Stuff carefully using a pencil to pack it in securely and smoothly. Place the stuffed head over the neck of the bottle or vase and wind tightly with strong thread or linen string to secure it.

2.  Cut a long strip of fabric for the bodice and arms, this should be an inch and a half wide by the width of the fat quarter.
Fold it in half and stitch a 1/4 inch seam along the whole length of it and then turn it the right way out and press. I always use a "Rouleaux loop turner" for these fiddly pieces it is my most treasured tool and not expensive either (£2 or £3!) I would invest in one, it saves so much time!! Search "loop turner" on the famous auction site or buy anywhere that sells sewing items. Mine is visible at the top of the photo above.
3. Cut off a 12" strip for the bodice, the other 6" piece will be the arms. Wrap the 12" strip of fabric around the body of the angel to create a bodice, and secure in place with a hand stitch at the back.
4. For the skirt, work out how tall your bottle or vase is and measure a rectangle the width of the fat quarter by the depth of your bottle plus 1". Stitch the two short edges together for a back seam in the skirt. Stitch a narrow hem on both longer edges to neaten. Gather the top edge for the waist of the skirt, using a needle and strong thread, pulling it up tight as you sew. Place it over the vase and secure the gathering thread tight with a couple of stitches.
Cover the join of the skirt and bodice with a scrap of ribbon tied in a bow at the front.
5. To make the wings, stitch all the way around the two layers of fabric and one thin layer of wadding or interfacing for a slightly padded feel. Clip the curved seams. Make a slit CAREFULLY across, through one layer of the wing only, from side to side and turn the wings right side out. Close the gap with stitches that we will cover later with the arms.
Add some feather lines in stitching to the wings.
6. For the hands, glue two layers of felt together and cut some small hand shapes.
7. For the arms, wrap the remaining 6" strip of bodice in a loop and pin. Push one hand into the cuff of each arm and secure with glue or stitches. Stitch the two hands together crossed.
Place this strip over the opening in the wings and stitch in place through all layers using the sewing machine.
 Thread this over the head of the angel and secure with a stitch to each shoulder of the bodice. 
Pull the bow on the waist through to the front of the hands
This is what it looks like form the back.
8. To complete the features, mark the eyes with a black pen, then unravel a few curls from a pan scourer and secure to the head using a few stitches. I made a few metal halos out of mine rather than hair.

So there she is! A fitting end to the Christmas countdown 2011. I hope you have found some inspiration here over the last 25 days! I am all crafted out! I think I need a rest. I will be back tomorrow with a few Advent catch ups and Dec daily preparations. I will be blogging my December Daily everyday in the run up to Christmas, if you want to join in.  Happy crafting and please leave a comment if you have enjoyed this year's trawl! TFLx

1 comment:

jeanie g said...

Oh believe me I've enjoyed every one of these. Thank you sooo much for putting them up and I'm sorry I haven't had time to reply to them all but I do love your Blog, it's so interesting. I have done some Christmas door hangers which I'll be putting on my Blog soon and on the 9th Dec I'm making a Nativity Scene for the Sunday School I help with at Church, following the basic Angel pattern. Thanks again/ xx