I have been making little lavender stuffed fabric hearts today … I think I must be getting in the mood for Valentines day!
As I was getting ready, I thought that some of you crafty people might like a little fabric heart tutorial so you could make your own ….maybe not as a Valentine gift to the man in your life, but maybe a birthday present for a friend, or for mother’s day, which is sneaking up fast! …. of course, you are still more than welcome to buy one already made up (or order a custom one!) from my Etsy shop 😉
You will need …. a template, fabric (these little hearts are a great way to use up scraps … you can even piece strips of scrap together to make up a piece big enough for your heart). Cotton or linen is best – very light cottons, voiles, etc aren’t great unless you interface them first, and very heavy fabrics like wool or upholstery are a pain when it comes to turning right-side out and make it harder to acheive a smooth curve. Add to that a little ribbon or lace for embellishment, maybe a button or beads …. whatever you fancy.
So … to start. First, you need a template. The easiest way to do this is to take a piece of card or paper, fold it in half, and draw the outline of half a heart onto it, then cut it out. (This means that both sides of your heart will be the same).
Unfold the heart, and lay it over 2 pieces of fabric, right sides facing …. draw around the outline with tailors chalk, or a fabric pen, and cut it out ….
(simple so far, no?)
For this particular heart, the fabric was so pretty I didn’t want to add any embellishment …. but if you want to embellish your heart with a strip of ribbon, or a piece of lace, or some embroidery, or some beading, now is the time to do it …. BEFORE you stitch it all together, as I did with this little selection ….
Once you’re done with any embellishment, put right sides together, and pin so that they can’t slide around …
And ….. off to the sewing machine we go. If you don’t have a sewing machine, or you’re phobic about machine-sewing around curves, you can hand-stitch – a fairly small backstitch should leave everything secure enough.
The important thing to remember in either case is that the fabric heart is, at this point, inside out. So, DO NOT SEW all the way around. Believe me, I’ve done it, and it is possibly the most irritating thing in the world.
Leave a gap of approximately 1-1.5 inches (between 3 & 5 cm), and run a little back-stitch at the start and end to stop the seams pulling apart when you stuff it.
Trim off the loose thread ends, and trim the seam allowance to about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) and clip the curves. (This means that you make small snips from the outer edge in towards the stitching, *without* cutting into the stitches).
Now you can turn the heart the right way round …. it can be a bit of a fiddle, as you need to pull the right sides out through the hole you left. (You did leave a hole, didn’t you 😉 ). Use your fingers to push the heart into the right shape once it’s right-side out …. a pencil, knitting needle or even the end of a paintbrush can help you get a nice point at the pointy end – just be careful you don’t push it right through the seam.
Iron it …. this will help when it comes to stitching the hole closed. Promise.
Now you can stuff your heart …. I generally use lavender, but you can use wadding, or rose petals, or wheat if you like (but if you use it as a wheat pack, you may get some staining from the moisture released when its heated). A teaspoon is your best friend if you want to use lavender, otherwise you’ll be there all day fiddling around. Pack it in nice and tightly so that your heart is well stuffed and plump …
Then slip-stitch the open edges together …. where you have ironed, you’ll have a nice fold line to guide your stitches – the needle makes a small stitch just inside the ironed line, moving from one side to the other. When the hole is closed, tie off the thread, and lose the end inside the heart.
And there you go.
You can stop here, or you can carry on and add a little hanging loop if you like ….
Job done …. simples, and so pretty 🙂
Now it’s over to you ….. if you do make one, I’d love to see it …. drop by and leave me a comment to let me know how it went, and post a link so I can be nosy and have a see!!