Tutorial: Hanging Heart Decorations

This is what I made with the fabric from the March Sew Hayley Jane classic subscription box. Click here to head over to the Sew Hayley Jane website to have a gander at the boxes and treat yourself to a subscription.

Every Easter, my family puts up what we call an ‘Egg Tree’. We head out to the woods (we are lucky enough to have some lovely woods a 10 minute walk from our house) and collect a whole bunch of dead sticks – trying to avoid any which look like they might’ve been slobbered on by dogs – and pop them in a vase. Then, we cover the branches with little hanging Easter decorations; eggs, chicks, flowers – anything remotely related to Spring – and put it in the middle of our kitchen table to get us all excited about the new season. While on its own this might sound like quite a strange idea, we really enjoy doing it every year, and it really gets us in the Spring mood! So, this year, I decided it might be nice to make some hanging heart decorations to add to the mix. Here’s how you do it:

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED: A heart-shaped stencil, fabric pencil, fabric scissors, pins, some thin ribbon/string, stuffing.

Draw and cut around your heart shape twice. Bear in mind that the finished heart will come out slightly smaller thanks to seam allowance, so it’s better to choose a heart slightly too big. Make sure that the dip at the top of the heart is nice and pronounced, so that you end up with an unmistakeable heart shape!

Cut a length of ribbon/ string/ twine. Figure out the length that you would like the loop to be, and then add around 4cm for overhang/ seam allowance. Pin the ribbon to the right side of one of your fabric hearts, at the centre dip of the heart, as shown in the picture below. If you’re using string or twine rather than ribbon, place the ends next to each other (as shown in picture). If you’re using a flat ribbon, stack the ends on top of each other. Once pinned, baste the string in place.

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Pop the second fabric heart on top of this one right sides together, sandwiching the twine in between. Pin around the edge of the two hearts, leaving a gap big enough to turn the heart through and fill with your stuffing. The best place to leave this gap is along the straightest part of your heart, to make sewing this little bit up later as easy as possible.

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Stitch with a small seam allowance – I lined the raw edges of mine up with the edge of the presser foot- in a matching thread (I’ve only used black so that you’re able to see it better). When you get to the curved corners at the top of the heart, take it slow! I found the best way to stitch up these fiddly curves was to turn the wheel by hand rather than using the foot pedal. Every stitch or two, lift up the presser foot and pivot the heart a little bit so that you end up with a smooth curve of stitching, without any harsh angles.

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Snip some shallow notches into the curves of the heart, being careful to avoid your stitching, and turn the heart through. Then use a point turner (or if you don’t have a point turner, lots of other things will do the job as long as you’re gentle and don’t poke through the fabric!) to eek out the curves and points of your heart until it’s a shape that you’re happy with. Give the heart a speedy press with the iron.

Stuff the heart, using whatever filling you’ve chosen – overlocker cutoffs will work well for this! Once you’re at a level of plumpness that you’re happy with, pin closed the gap in the side of your heart and handsew it closed using matching thread. And then you’re done!