This week, Benzie is delighted to bring you a tutorial from guest blogger Jennifer Long of @beesewinspired. Jennifer is the creator of numerous doll and quilt patterns and wants others to feel empowered to sew for themselves. Her Beach Day Frogs are a perfect introduction to machine embroidery!
Hello! This is Jennifer Long of Bee Sew Inspired - modern rag doll designer, educator and former professional ballet dancer. Do you remember playing with paper dolls? When we were young, my sister and I loved collecting, dressing and acting out elaborate scenes for our paper dolls! They were wonderful because we could take a whole collection of them almost anywhere - in the car, on a picnic, camping, even to church! We had hours and hours of fun but it sure was disappointing when their heads or hands ripped off. Sometimes the tabs on their dresses would get overused and not fold over anymore. I am so excited to introduce to you the solution for avoiding the disappointment of ripping, crumpling paper dolls - Felt Dolls! These dolls are constructed completely "in-the-hoop" of your domestic, home embroidery machine! They are full of wonderful details and are stabilized so they will never rip or tear! Best of all, felt naturally sticks to felt, so you don't even need anything extra for attaching their clothes! Are you ready to enter this world of imagination with me?
Skill Level: Beginner
Time: 1 hour per doll
5 x 7" or larger Embroidery Machine Hoop
Applique and Straight Scissors
Heat n Bond Craft Extra-firm Fusible Interfacing
Spray n Bond Basting Adhesive
One 9x12" sheet of Strawberry Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of Mustard Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of Moss Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of Fern Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of Olive Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of Swan Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of Black Wool Blend Felt
One 9x12" sheet of White Wool Blend Felt
Beach Day Frog Pattern Set
Beach Day Frogette Pattern Set
The Frog and Frogette Pattern Sets above include Embroidery Step sheets. You can download, print and follow the patterns to know when to change colors and trim applique steps. The files are formatted in DST, EXP, JEF, PES, VP3 and XXX to work on all home embroidery machines.
Each Felt Doll or Felt Doll Accessory, is made in one complete hooping. You will need to have at least a 5x7 hoop on your machine.
Stitching the Felt Frog
1. Placement: Stitch out Step 1 so you know where to place your felt fabric.
2. Tackdown: Using a coordinating thread color, place extra firm interfacing and main body felt fabric face up over the entire placement stitch. Stitch out the tackdown step.
3. Placement: Stitch out Step 3 so you know where to place your felt fabric.
4. Tackdown: Using a coordinating thread color, place accent body felt fabric face up over the entire placement stitch. Stitch out the tackdown step. Using applique scissors trim closely around the outside perimeter of the applique.
5. Frog Feet Detail: Change to an accent thread color and stitch out the frog feet details.
6. Eye Detail: Change to a black thread color and stitch out the eyelash details.
7. Cheek Detail: Change to a pink thread color and stitch out the cheek details.
8. Nose and Belly Button Detail: Change to a green thread color and stitch out the nose and belly button details.
9. Lips Detail: Change to a pink or red thread color and stitch out the lip details.
10. Bikini Placement: Stitch out step 10 so you know where to place your felt fabric.
11. Bikini Tackdown: Using a coordinating thread color, stitch out the bikini tackdown step. Using applique scissors trim closely around the outside perimeter of the applique.
12. Bikini Dots Detail: Change to an accent thread color and stitch out the bikini dot details.
Backing the Felt Frog
13. Remove the hoop from the embroidery machine. Flip the hoop over and cover the entire stitched area with backing felt (right side of fabric facing out). Make sure the backing fabric is larger than the stitched area.
14. Baste the edges of the fabric to the hoop or stabilizer so the backing does not shift when stitching the final steps.
15. Flip the hoop right side up and reattach the hoop to the machine.
16. Finish the outline steps. This is called “floating the backing.”
Finishing the Felt Frog
17. Using your coordinating body color threads, stitch out outline steps so all three layers are stitched together.
18. Remove the felt frog from the hoop. Using your straight, sharp scissors, trim evenly around the outside perimeter at 1/8” through all the layers of the frog.
Your Felt Doll is complete! Repeat this process for the Frog and Frogette Doll and Accessories.
Place your Felt Dolls and Accessories in a little bag and have them in your purse or vehicle for “on the go” fun anytime! This is the first in a series of Felt Doll embroidery patterns being released monthly. Make sure you sign up for the FREE Doll Making Newsletter at www.beesewinspired.com to be INSPIRED and know when the next patterns will be released!
Thank you to Jennifer for designing and writing this tutorial and for the free digital files. You can follow her on Instagram @beesewinspired or visit her website. Be sure to share your felt dolls on social media and tag @benziedesign and @beesewinspired!