Woebegone pines, forlorn little trees who do not concern themselves with perfection. These trees are all about heart and the particular magic that something made by hand possesses. I’ve made you a sewing pattern with three sizes: small – 3 inches, medium – 4 inches, and large – 6 inches (the little guy is my favorite). You can add a little trunk and base or just set them on their bottom.
And Woebegone Pines sounds like a lovely place – doesn’t it? A perfect spot for a mouse to take a stroll and think his wistful thoughts.
The seam allowance is 1/4 inch. You could use a variety of fabrics – I’ve used cotton, linen. wool and felt – all worked well.
- fabric for the tree and scraps for patches
- matching and contrasting sewing thread ( I think cotton works best)
- stuffing ( I like wool)
- thin cotton batting (felt works as a substitute)
- cardboard – corrugated and thin- a cereal box is good
- pencil or disappearing fabric marker
- sewing and embroidery needles
- chopstick for turning and stuffing
- large bamboo skewer or similar pointy thing
- paper and fabric scissors
- wire cutters for snipping twigs
- Elmer’s glue
- glue stick
- twigs for trunks
- bases – I used little wood discs and drilled holes – or you can find spools, wood beads and other pre -drilled shaped at any large craft or art supply store.
1. Cut out the cardboard base and one or two squares of corrugated cardboard – smaller than the circle.
2. If you plan to add a trunk to your tree glue one of the corrugated pieces to the center of the circle. ( If you are making the large tree glue two – one on top of the other).
3. Use a glue stick to attach the circle to cotton batting and cut out. Let the glued cardboard dry completely.
4. Pin the tree and tree bottom patterns to a single layer of fabric – cut out one of each.
5. Fold the tree piece in half (right sides together) and mark the seam lines on the tree and circle. Stitch the seam – marked in red. Leave the center of the seam open – about 1/3 of it – enough to fit the cardboard circle through later.
6. Snip the seam allowance at the top and bottom of the opening, fold over and press.
7. Stitch the tree bottom to the tree – matching the edges as you go. I don’t find it necessary to pin the circle for the little trees but I do for the largest. Stitch all the way around – maintaining a 1/4 inch seam allowance and making small, tight stitches.
8. Clip little notches around the bottom – being careful not to snip your seam.
9. Snip the top corner of seam allowance off.
10. Use the chopstick to turn the tree right side out.
11. Use your exact knife to poke through the cardboard and batting – make two cuts – an X in the center. Use a bamboo skewer and chopstick to enlarge the hole – just enough for your twig.
12. I also used my exacto knife to taper the end of my twig – to make inserting it easier. Check to make sure your twig fits and then remove it.
13. Insert the cardboard – flannel side down. (If you are not adding a trunk skip steps 14 – 17 and I suggest putting a couple pennies inside the bottom before stuffing for weight -add the weight only if you are skipping the trunk).
14. Use a needle or pin to feel for the hole in the cardboard – mark the spot.
15. Use your exacto knife to poke a hole for inserting the twig – couple little slits – just big enough.
16. Push in the twig.
17. Open up the tree and use a paintbrush to add a little glue to the twig and cardboard. If necessary use pins to keep the fabric away form the glue while it dries. Let the glue dry completely.
18. Stuff your tree.
19. Whip or ladder stitch your tree closed – I’m not worried about visible stitches on my forlorn little tree so I’m making no attempt to conceal them.
20. Use a large needle to move stuffing towards the bottom edge and anyplace else where you want to adjust the shape.
21. Add some patches and stitches for maximum woebegoneness.
22. And finally add a base – you could use spools or wood beads. I drilled holes in little disks and used the exacto knife to taper the twig so it fits snuggly.