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Charlie Brown, does your tree need a star?

From: Lesley
My website:
Subject: The tree star that wasn’t…

When we put up our christmas tree recently, we didn’t have a tree star, but I was certain I could create a beautiful handmade one, and that’s when things went horribly wrong.

I decided I wanted to make a three dimensional fabric star. I’m not so great at free-hand drawing, so I took the time to create a pattern out of paper first. At this point, I would usually look for a pattern or some advice online, but it was already just so beautiful in my head I was sure I could pull it off.

Once I had my pattern I picked out 5 fabrics from my scrap basket. The first major mistake I made was using 5 very different types of fabrics: one was stretchy, the others were not; some were stiff and cotton-y, some were slick and satin-y; and one was quite plastic-y. I was certain I could overcome this problem: I would seam the fabrics together with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying and to accommodate the stretchy-ness, so I began oh-so-carefully cutting out my pieces.

I deliberately pinned and stitched each of my star points to the center, then cut off the extra seam allowance. Once that was done, my star was looking quite sloppy–if fact it was a bit deformed. I still had that overriding artistic vision however, and I was certain I could save it once I attached the backing and stuffed it with batting, so I persevered.

I cut out the backing and applied some fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric. Then I started stitching the backing to the front of the star on my sewing machine. In an effort to save my slightly deformed star, I sort of threw my 1/2″ seam allowance out the window and simply tried to sew straight lines, far enough inside the edges that it might correct the star deformities. I left one seam mostly open so I could turn my star inside out.

I was pretty shocked when I turned the star inside out. It seemed as if the deformities had not been corrected, but exacerbated by my desperate attempts. Still, I held out hope. “Well–it is kind of silly and endearing. Once I stuff it it will look just fine.” Stuffing it with left over tulle (I was unaware I was completely out of batting) only made the star more hideous and I finally realized that there was no saving it.

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