If Christmas were a drug, I'd be addicted. I can't help myself. I'm not sure if my blog enables that addiction or if I'd be just as bad without the excuse to write free Christmas tutorials. Sigh.
But Christmas is not where my addiction ends. I always seem to have a hankering after making period style crafts - there's my medieval doll Stitch in Time and my Victorian inspired Finders Keepers and the Regency-esque Gather ye Rosebuds. Double sigh. The only thing for it, was to combine the two addictions and give you this free Regency Christmas ornament tutorial.
- Small piece black felt
- Extremely small scrap white felt
- Small scrap green felt
- Small scrap red felt
- Fat quarter piece of linen or other white or cream fabric for oval background
- Sewing thread
- ¾ yard (0.75m)of ½" (13mm) wide flat trim in two different colours to trim oval
- Approx 1½ yards (1.5m) ⅛" (3mm) wide white satin ribbon for loop and bow
- Assorted ribbons in different colours and widths (no wider than ½" or 13mm) - wired ribbon works well
- Miniature picks of holly (each holly leaf in the picks I used are ¾" or 19mm long x ½" or 13mm wide)
- 2 x miniature feathers
- Freezer paper or mechanical pencil for tracing patterns
- Tacky glue
- Standard sewing equipment such as sewing machine, thread, hand sewing needles, pins, sharp pair of fabric scissors
- The free pattern Download Regency Silhouette Christmas Ornament Pattern
Read the instructions through before beginning.
All seam allowances are ⅛" (3mm) unless otherwise stated.
Your stitch length on your sewing machine should be set to 2-2.5 which is 12-13 stitches per inch. Remember to back-stitch at the beginning and end of every seam.
Cut out the Felt Silhouettes
1. Either print the patten page directly onto freezer paper or trace the silhouettes onto the freezer paper by hand. Iron the freezer paper to a piece of black felt.
2. Using a sharp pair of scissors cut out all four silhouettes from the felt following the outline on the pattern pages as closely as possible. Pay particular attention to clipping carefully into the mouth and nose areas with the tip of a very sharp pair of scissors to make the shapes as clear as possible. Peel away the freezer paper. If after the whole silhouette is cut out there are areas where the fuzz from the felt is obscuring the shape, trim the fuzz away.
3. Add some extra touches to the gents' silhouettes to start. First lay out the silhouettes so that they face each other and assume that the side facing you is the right side. Cut small wedges from white felt to represent the starched shirt collars using the pattern collar pieces as guides. Apply a small amount of tacky glue to the back of the the narrow white felt wedge and place it along the collar area on the top hatted gentleman. Apply a small amount of tacky glue to the wider collar piece of felt and apply it to the hat-less gentleman along the collar area. Remember, in the Regency period, collars of this style were worn very high so that they actually came past the jaw-line; keep that in mind when placing the wider collar, in particular.
4. Use the tip of a sharp pair of scissors or an awl if you have one, to bore a hole in the felt along the hat band of the top hatted gentleman and on the lapel of the hat-less gentleman, respectively.
5. Slip a small pick of holly through the hole in the hatband of the top hatted gentleman and apply some glue to the stem of the holly pick at the back of the silhouette to hold the holly in place.
6. Strip one miniature pick of holly of its leaves so that only the berries remain. Slip the small bunch of berries through the hole in the lapel of the hat-less gentleman. Apply some glue to the stem of the berries at the back of the silhouette to hold the berries in place. Set the gents' silhouettes to one side for now.
7. Decorate the ladies' silhouettes with Regency bonnets. First lay out the silhouettes so that they face each other and assume that the side facing you is the right side. Print or trace the bonnet patterns onto freezer and iron one bonnet pattern to a red piece of felt and the other bonnet pattern to a green piece of felt. Cut the bonnets out and peel away the freezer paper. Make sure that you have one bonnet laid out with the brim facing right and one laid out with brim facing left so that when placed on the silhouettes you will have one lady facing one way and the other facing the opposite direction.
8. Wrap a small piece of ribbon around the base of the crown of the hat where a hat band would go (see the right side of the green bonnet at left), with the ends wrapped around to the wrong side of the bonnet (see the wrong side of the red bonnet at right). Glue the ends of the ribbon to the wrong side of the bonnet. I used wired ribbon. On the green bonnet I folded the ribbon in half to make it look narrower and kept the full width of the ribbon in the case of the red bonnet.
9. Use the tip of a sharp pair of scissors or an awl if you have one, to bore a hole in the felt along the top of the ribbon on the red bonnet and below the ribbon on the green bonnet.
11. Strip one miniature pick of holly of its leaves so that only the berries remain. Slip the small bunch of berries through the hole above the ribbon on the red bonnet. Apply some glue to the stem of the berries at the back of the bonnet to hold the berries in place.
12. Apply a small amount of tacky glue to the end of two miniature feathers and slip the ends under the ribbon of the red bonnet next to the bunch of berries.
13. Pleat a piece of ribbon with your fingers into an accordion shape. Bend both raw ends of the ribbon to the back of the pleated shape and glue the ends in place. Glue the pleated ribbon to the green bonnet below the holly. Hold the pleated shape in place until it dries.
14. Glue each bonnet to the respective silhouettes so that the top and back of the head is covered and so that the nose and mouth can be seen below the brim.
15. Tie a piece of ribbon into a bow, apply tacky glue to the back of the bow and place it at a jaunty angle below the jaw-line of the silhouette in the red bonnet. Hold in place until dried. Set the ladies' silhouettes aside for now.
Create the Oval Base of the Ornament
16. Fold the light coloured fabric that you have chosen for the oval base in half with right sides together. Cut the oval pattern from a piece of paper and trace it four times onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the oval shapes, giving you four pairs of ovals.
17. Now to apply trim to one side of each pair of ovals that you have cut. I used two different colours, trimming two ovals with red trim and two with white trim. Starting at the top of the oval pin the trim to a the right side of a single layer of fabric with the base of the trim even with the raw edge of the oval and the decorative edge facing toward the centre of the oval. Overlap the ends of the trim at the top. Pin the trim in place and then hand baste the trim in place to save yourself aggravation at the sewing machine.
18. Place an un-trimmed oval on top of the trimmed oval and pin together with right sides facing, sandwiching the trim and loop between the two ovals. By machine, sew around the oval making using a ⅛" (3mm) seam allowance and making sure to leave an opening (marked on the pattern and in red on the photo below) through which to turn the oval base.
I’ve used red thread so you can see the stitch better. The blue lines indicate where the thread is travelling through the folded edge of the fabric. When you pull the thread taut, the two bits of fabric butt together. You should pull the thread taut as you go, but I have left it loose at the end here so you can see the stitch better.
20. Tie a piece of ⅛" (3mm) wide white satin ribbon into a bow. Apply tacky glue to the back of the bow and place it at the bottom of the looped hanger at the top of the oval.
21. Apply a thin layer of tacky glue to the back of a silhouette and press it firmly to the centre of the right side of an oval.
22. Repeat steps 16-21 for the remaining three ovals.
I hope that you enjoyed making these Regency ornaments with me. If you want to see more of my free tutorials click the link. If you don't want to miss out on any upcoming tutorials or any of the tutorials that I feature every Friday click the link to subscribe.
Now if you are my mum - stop right there! I mean it. Do not read anything further. Here is Il Divo singing Amazing Grace to distract you. There, that got rid of my mum!
If you are NOT my mum there is one more Christmas tutorial designed by me for you to enjoy. My mum can't see it because it will spoil a Christmas surprise for her. But if you are not my wonderful mumsie you are allowed and in fact, encouraged to take yourself over to Jen Hadfield's drool-worthy blog Tatertots & Jello. I am really excited to be guest blogging for Jen and sharing a Christmas project that is a very personalised, handmade Christmas "thingie". We'll have to call it a "thingie" just in case my mum is being naughty and still reading. You'll just have to visit Jen's blogto find out what that "thingie" is.