Friday, October 19, 2012

Craft Pattern - Gnomes made from recycled tablecloth

I created this pattern yesterday.  It's a pattern for some gnome softies fashioned from a recycled embroidered tablecloth.  The tablecloth was quite damaged and only partly completed, but the flowers were lovely and I wanted a design that kept these flower stems and suited flowers and gardens.  Gnomes seemed a good choice. I think the pattern could be adapted to use doilies or any other embroidered surface provided there is room to draw a face on the top.
Materials (for one gnome):

  • Recycled embroidered tablecloth - laundered 
  • scrap red cotton fabric (about 20cm square)
  • small piece light weight iron on interfacing (about 40cm square)
  • small scrap beige, cream or pale brown felt for hands (about 10cm square)
  • small scrap vliesofix (about 10cm square)
  • 2B pencil
  • Light box (optional) or bright window
  • small amount filling
  • filling tool (optional)
  • turning tool (optional)
  • matching sewing thread
  • your choice of method to finish face or follow instructions for creating this face from my earlier tutorial (
(Note: some of my photos show multiple hands and feet as I made several gnomes at once)


Print out pattern sheet on an A4 size page. Cut out pattern for feet and hands.  These will be made first.

To make the feet: Iron a piece of interfacing to the back of the red cotton fabric of about 20cm square. On one end of the fabric trace around the foot shape twice onto the reverse of the fabric using the 2B pencil and marking the openings. Fold the fabric in half and pin and stitch around the two feet leaving openings for turning. Use a short machine stitch.  Trim shapes and turn through. If you would like help on turning small shapes try my earlier tutorial ( y-easy-turning.html).  Set the feet aside.


To prepare gnome hat: From the remaining section of red fabric cut two 7cm squares and set aside.

To make the hands: Iron a 10cm square of vliesofix to the back of the felt scrap. Using the hand template, draw two hand shapes onto the ironed on vliesofix, making one reversed.  Cut out the hand shapes and set aside.

Prepare gnome body panels: Cut two 15cm squares of iron on  interfacing.  Turn the tablecloth to the reverse and work out which motifs will be centred for your gnome body.  Iron the two panels of iron on interfacing onto the reverse of the tablecloth on the chosen motifs. Using a lightbox or bright window, draw the gnome triangle up to the hat joint onto the reverse of the tablecloth lined up with your motifs. Mark the turning hole.   Roughly cut out the two panels leaving around 1cm edge on all sides. You may like to turn the gnome front panel over and lightly mark the face in pencil as a guide for later colouring in.

Adding hat:  With right sides together, pin and stitch one of the red 7cm squares prepared earlier to the top of each of the gnome panels at the hat join.  Trim seam and press open.  Return the panels to window or lightbox and mark in the top point of each triangle.

Adding feet: Using the pattern sheet as a guide, position the two prepared feet on the bottom seam of the front gnome panel.  Feet are positioned with toes facing into the body (refer photo).  Tack the feet on just below the bottom line of the triangle.

Adding hands: Using the pattern sheet as a guide, position the tow hands on each side of the body and iron into place.  Stitch around the hand outline by machine to secure in matching thread.

Making the Body: The body is sewn using the stitch and cut method.  Matching right sides together, line up the gnome body front to body back.  Use a lightbox or bright window to assist.  Pin and stitch around the shape, leaving opening for turning as marked on the pattern sheet.  Use a short stitch length. Trim the shape clipping curves as needed.  Turn through the shape.  Fill to firm using filling tool and invisibly close the filling hole using ladder stitch.
Feet: Using the lillte holes left in the feet, fill lightly and invisibly ladder stitch close the feet.

Face: Add a face to the gnome.  Follow my instructions at my earlier tutorial to make the shown face ( or you could embroider face.  Your gnome is now finished.

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