Reinvent last year’s comforts with fancy new covers created from blankets or jumpers. Not only can they be kept for yourself, they make great gifts wrapped and dished out to your pals at Christmas too.
- Fabric: woollen jumper, patterned; woollen blanket,
- cream; felt, red, A4 sheet Wool,
- coordinating Embroidery thread: red, cream Buttons,
- red: patterned, three; small, two Beads: red,
- seven Fusible webbing French knitting doll
- 22cm x 37cm
Stitch a redwork cover
Using the hot water bottle template on page 84, cut the three pattern pieces from a felted blanket. Overlock or zig zag stitch across the machine stitch a 5mm hem on both pieces. Press fusible webbing to one side of an A4 sheet of red felt.
Use the heart templates from page 84 to cut out two small hearts and one large from the red felt. Position the motifs along the centre of the front blanket piece, spacing them evenly. Peel off the backing paper and fuse them into place, using an iron and pressing cloth.
Thread a needle with three strands of cream embroidery thread and work blanket stitches around the hearts. With a length of red embroidery thread, work French knots around the outside edge of the large heart, with even spaces between each.
Draw a scrolled heart onto the large heart motif with a chalk pen. Thread a needle with three strands of cream embroidery thread and work the chalk line in chain stitch. At the ends of the scrolls and in the centre of each of the hearts, sew lazy daisy stitches. Attach a small red bead to the centre of each of the flowers as well as at the centre top points of the smaller hearts. Then sew red buttons to the bottom of the small motifs.
With right sides facing, layer the three pieces together, so the edges align and the bottom back piece overlaps the top section. Pin them together and machine stitch around the edges, sewing over the joins twice to reinforce them. Turn the cover right sides out and press.
Transform a felted jumper
Using the templates on page 84, cut each piece from a decorative section of a felted jumper. Overlock or zig zag stitch across the shortest edges on the two back pieces, then create a 5mm hem on both with straight stitch.
With right sides facing, layer the three pieces together, making sure the sides line up and the bottom back piece overlaps the top. Pin the fabrics together and machine stitch around the outside edges, working over the joins twice to strengthen them. Turn the cover out and press.
Mark a central point on the top back piece, 1.5cm up from the hemmed edge as well as more points 6cm either side, for the buttonholes. Pick three decorative buttons and sew a rectangle of backstitches around one of the marks, big enough for the chosen fastening. Snip across the mark to create a narrow slit.
Using two stands of coordinating embroidery thread, sew small whip stitches across the raw edge to create a neat buttonhole. Work the other two buttonholes in the same way. On the bottom back piece, mark the positions for the fastenings and sew them into place.
Sew decorative running stitches across the top front piece in coordinating wool. To make a pom pom cut out two 12cm discs of card, with a hole in the centre of each. Place the discs together and wrap wool around until covered. Cut the folds of wool.
Slide a length of wool between the discs and tie tightly into a knot to secure the pom pom. Trim the wool into shape, if required, remove the card and make another in the same way. Use a French knitting doll and wool to knit a length of cord measuring 35cm, alternatively plait the yarn.
Thread one end of the knitted cord or plait into one pom pom and stitch it into place. Thread the other end into the second pom pom, stitching to secure. Tie the centre of the cord into a bow and stitch it to the top right corner of the front of the cover.