Fes­tive soft­ies

Sew a lit­tle fes­tive magic with An­abella Cah­wje’s Nutcracker- in­spired heir­loom soft­ies

Mollie Makes - - Contents -

Three Nutcracker cuties to make


Q 20 x 20cm (77/ 8 x 77/ 8") cot­ton fab­ric in light grey, nat­u­ral and beige Q 15 x 15cm (6 x 6") cot­ton fab­ric in baby pink, red, navy, aqua and white Q 15 x 15cm (6 x 6") pat­terned cot­ton fab­ric in red and pink Q 15 x 5cm (6 x 2") cream tulle fab­ric Q 30 x 5cm (117/ 8 x 2") cream polka dot tulle Q Wool felt in red, navy, yel­low, baby pink, black and gold Q 10 x 5cm (4 x 2") cream fleece fab­ric Q 15 x 10cm (6 x 4") cream faux fur Q Gold ric rac, 7mm (¼") wide Q Gold metal­lic frog­ging braid, 1cm ( 3 /8") wide Q Gold metal­lic cord, 3mm ( 1 /8") wide Q Gold fring­ing, 1.5cm ( 5 /8") wide Q Gold glit­ter rib­bon, 2mm ( 1 /8") wide Q 50cm (19¾") wired sparkly rib­bon, 1cm ( 3 /8") wide Q 20cm (77/ 8") cot­ton crochet lace in cream, 1cm ( 3 /8") wide Q 20cm (77/ 8") gold rib­bon, 1cm ( 3 /8") wide Q Three 1.5cm ( 5 /8") jin­gle bells Q Stranded em­broi­dery thread in black, gold, navy, pink and red Q Polyester ma­chine thread in cream Q Soft toy stuff­ing Q Erasable fab­ric marker Q Wooden skewer We reckon the real magic hap­pens on Christ­mas Eve once the house is quiet and still. There’s a mince pie and a car­rot wait­ing on the kitchen counter, and care­fully wrapped parcels sit­ting un­der­neath a twin­kling tree. That’s when you might just see some­thing stir­ring from the cor­ner of your eye, or hear a rus­tle of move­ment be­hind you – th­ese three lit­tle pals com­ing out to play.

Sew a sugar plum fairy bunny, a mouse king and a Nutcracker lion as Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions or ex­tra spe­cial stock­ing fillers, us­ing a 0.25cm ( 1 /8") seam al­lowance through­out. And, turn to page 98 for an em­broi­dery stitch guide.

01 Cut the fab­ric pieces us­ing the tem­plates on page 98. For the bunny, cut two body pieces, four arms and two ears from the nat­u­ral cot­ton. Cut two ears from the pink pat­terned cot­ton and two gar­ment pieces from the pink cot­ton. For the bunny skirt, cut two skirt pieces in polka dot tulle and one in tulle. Fi­nally, cut one bunny col­lar piece in faux fur and one star in gold felt. For the mouse, cut two body pieces, two ears and four hands in light grey cot­ton and two leg pieces in white cot­ton. Cut two ears in pink cot­ton, two shirt pieces and four arms in aqua cot­ton, one cape piece in red pat­terned cot­ton and one cape col­lar piece in fleece. Cut one crown piece from the yel­low felt. For the lion, cut two body pieces, two ears and four hands from the beige cot­ton. Cut two ears from the pink cot­ton, two shirt pieces and four arms in red cot­ton and two leg pieces in navy cot­ton. Cut one hat piece in red felt and one hat piece in navy felt.

02 For each of the ear pairs, place the in­ner and outer pieces with

right sides (RS) to­gether and sew around each one, leav­ing the base open. Press, then turn RS out.

03 For the mouse and the lion, lay the hand pieces on the arms with RS to­gether, align­ing the straight edges. Sew where in­di­cated, then fold open and press the seam.

04 Pair the arm pieces with RS to­gether and sew around each one, leav­ing the ends open. Turn out and lightly fill with stuff­ing.

05 For the mouse and lion, fold the neck of the shirt to the wrong side ( WS) by 0.25cm ( 1 /8") and sew in place on the body, as shown. Align the short edges of the body and leg pieces with RS to­gether, then sew as shown. For the bunny, fold the neck and leg edges of the gar­ment to the WS as marked on the tem­plate, then sew in place on the body.

06 Press all the body pieces. To as­sem­ble, choose the piece that looks best to use as the front for each an­i­mal, then pin on the ears and stitch them fac­ing down at the a-b and c-d tem­plate marks on the front of each head, as shown. The bunny’s ears need to be folded in half at the base. The mouse ears need a tiny fold at the up­per edge.

07 Pair the body pieces with RS to­gether, then sew leav­ing the e-f and g-h marks open. Place the arms in­side the body within th­ese marks, align­ing the raw edges, and sew leav­ing a 3cm (1 ") gap un­der the arm on the g-h side.

08 Care­fully turn each body out to the RS through the g-h gap. Stuff the legs, then sew a line across them with match­ing thread to al­low them to bend.

09 Stuff the rest of the body, then neatly sew the g-h gap closed us­ing lad­der stitch.

10 For the bunny tutu, stack the three tulle lay­ers to­gether with the plain one be­tween the two polka dot ones. Fold in half along the length, then sew a long run­ning stitch 1cm ( 3 /8") be­low the fold. Next, fold the skirt in half along the width and sew the short ends to­gether, leav­ing the ends of the run­ning stitch at the top free. Turn RS out, po­si­tion the tutu on the bunny’s hips with the seam at the back, then pull the ends of the run­ning stitch threads to gather the fab­ric. Knot them and trim. Sew the tutu to the body with run­ning stitch. With­out cut­ting the back seam, trim the top layer of tulle slightly to re­veal the lay­ers un­der­neath. Thread a bell onto a length of gold glit­ter rib­bon and tie it around the bunny’s waist, over the tutu skirt.

11 To com­plete the bunny de­tails, cut a 4.5cm (17/ 8") piece from the wooden skewer for the wand and glue the gold star to one end.


Sew the wand to one of the arms. Re­fer­ring to the main im­age as a guide, sew the faux fur around the neck and tie a length of crochet lace around the bunny’s head as a head­band. For the wings, make a big and smaller bow with the wired rib­bon and sew to the back be­tween the arms. Sew the ears onto the back of the head with two lit­tle stitches in match­ing thread.

12 For the mouse, fold the cape piece in half, RS to­gether, and sew leav­ing a small gap. Turn RS out and sew the fleece piece along the cape’s fold line. Sew to the mouse’s neck and add the bell. Fold the crown in half and sew the short edges to­gether with match­ing thread, then sew it onto the mouse’s head. Sew on a length of gold ric rac trim around the waist to cover the shirt and leg seam.

13 For the lion’s hat, lay the red felt piece on top of the navy piece and sew on a length of gold glit­ter rib­bon, fol­low­ing the zigzag. Add a bell in the mid­dle. Fold in half with WS to­gether and sew the short edges. Sew the red cir­cle to the top of the hat with whip stitch.

14 To com­plete the lion de­tails, use gold thread and whip stitch to sew the gold frog­ging ver­ti­cally down the cen­tre front of the shirt, start­ing at the neck. Stitch a length of gold cord around the hips and a 0.5 x 9cm ( x 35/ 8") piece of black felt un­der­neath it as a belt. Sew a 4 x 1.5cm (15/ x ") piece of faux fur 8 along the side seam ei­ther side of the head, be­tween the ears and the neck. Sew the hat onto the head.

15 Us­ing six strands of gold thread, stitch a short line in the cen­tre of the black belt as a buckle, then stitch two par­al­lel cuff lines around the end of each sleeve. Stitch the fringe around the neck, fold­ing the ends so they don’t tear.

16 Stitch the bunny and mouse noses us­ing three strands of black em­broi­dery thread. Stitch a straight line fol­low­ing the a-b mark, then take the nee­dle out at c and back in at d. Take the nee­dle out at the neck­line and se­cure with a knot.

17 Use three strands of black thread and fly stitch for the lion’s nose. Fol­low­ing the tem­plate marks, stitch two di­ag­o­nal lines ei­ther side first as a guide. For the eyes of all the an­i­mals, use French knots in six strands of thread, fol­low­ing the tem­plate marks. Cut six tiny cir­cles from pink felt and glue un­der the eyes for cheeks.

18 Us­ing the im­ages as a guide, em­broi­der the shoes with six strands of pink thread for the bunny, gold thread for lion and navy for the mouse. If us­ing as dec­o­ra­tions, cut a length of gold rib­bon, fold in half, then sew the short ends to the back of the head.

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