January 10, 2011

Christmas Crafts: Stuffed Tree

My mom and I both decided to make some stuffed trees over the holidays.  The pattern, McCall's 7274, belongs to my mom, and is (as she estimates) at least 30 years old.  She, herself, made one of these stuffed trees just as long ago, and we place it in our living room every year at the holidays.  We rediscovered the pattern last year when we completely reorganized our sewing room, and knew we had to make some of these "retro" stuffed trees.  This year, my mom made two as gifts, and I made one for myself.

But my tree is more than just a cutesy Christmas craft project.  The tan fabric is, in fact, recycled from a Christmas dress my mom made me when I was young.  My mom used to make a lot of my clothes as a kid, and I couldn't get enough of the gorgeous frilly, swirly dresses (wait... I still feel that way).  When I found the tan Christmas dress I really wanted to recycle it into something new, so I made the stuffed tree and gave the dress a well-deserved second life!  The green fabric was purchased specifically for this project.

The old McCall's 7274 includes various Thanksgiving and Christmas crafts, including cornucopia with stuffed fruit and veg, and several placemat and napkin patterns.  Though this exact pattern isn't sold today, the stuffed tree still exists in McCall's 5778, although without the adorable wreath placemats which I intend to make someday.

Making the tree requires a bit of patience and a lot of fiber-fill.  It is tricky to get the points of the "branches" sufficiently stuffed, and mine are still a bit under-stuffed.  I also recommend reinforcing the stitches at the branch points and curves with another row of stitching, as these areas receive a quite bit of stress during the stuffing process.

More Christmas crafts to come, so check back soon!

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