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Charlie Brown, does your tree need a star?

From: Lesley
My website: http://mrszed-acraftylibrarian.blogspot.com/
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.

12 Responses to Charlie Brown, does your tree need a star?

  1. Aww, I have so been there. So many times. Ha hahahahahah! Charlie Brown’s tree definitely needed this star at the top. Thanks for your awesome submission!

  2. Callipygian says:

    The comic timing of your post was perfect. I read your description and examined the in-progress photos before scrolling down, at which point I laughed out loud at the picture. Fantastic work!

  3. quinn says:

    This is my favorite craftfail in a long time…maybe ever! :)

  4. vee bee jay says:

    In the interest of full disclosure, I know Lesley, and I know that she is meticulous when sewing or knitting or doing the dishes. And the fact that she made this star is truly proof that no one is perfect and the best laid plans of mice and men and all those other little sayings are true. Lesley, you are a brave soul for sharing this with the world. I hide most of my craft fails in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet… you rule, etc.

  5. jenn says:

    Try putting a lace trim or jersey (tee shirt) ruffle around it – this will mask the irregularity and if it doesn’t look like a star, you can tell folks it’s a snowflake?

  6. RB says:

    Brilliant! I think Charlie Brown would be proud! ;-)

  7. Tammy says:

    awww, I’d write “2010″ on it and keep it forever.

  8. Cindy d says:

    Fabulous! I LOVE this blog and your entry is as good as they get. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh my gosh, I have a whole trainload of the fabric in the middle!

    That’s all I have to saw… Carry on :-p

  10. Brie says:

    Okay, while trying to laugh quietly at this, I snorted really loud! Which sadly means it is hilarious! I only laugh because this is exactly what a star sewn be me would look like too :) I can’t sew a straight line to save my life.

  11. Marg says:

    Sensational! I LOVED this!! :D

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