Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sew Your Own Pumpkin Patch

Spending time in my sewing room, I'm finding all sorts of projects to work on.  With Fall in the air, the leaves are starting to turn and pumpkins are everywhere.

Well, once again, I didn't get a pumpkin patch planted but I can sew my own!

Last year, I came up with my own pattern and made them in four sizes.  I decided to share my secret with you and help to remind myself how to make these cuties.

I started by looking at a real pumpkin.  Pumpkins look like they are made up of sections so I isolated the shape of one section and decided it looked like a leaf or a football.  Using old file folders for my pattern pieces, I folded a piece of folder in half in one direction, and then in half the other direction.  This way, if I create one arch, my pattern will be a perfectly symmetrical leaf.

My wanted to make four different sized pumpkins.  My pieces are about 6" x 2 3/4" for the small, 8 1/4" x 3 1/4" for the medium, 10 1/2" x 4" for the large, and 12" x 5 3/4" for the extra large.

This is the perfect opportunity to use up all those old upholstery fabric scraps.  I like to choose fall colors for obvious reasons, but I've also made these in burlap and multi-colored upholstery fabrics (not shown).

For this post, I've chosen a beautiful velvet.   I like to trace my pattern on the back of the fabric using a Sharpie marker.

When I made the pumpkins last year, I cut 8 pieces from the same pattern.

Apparently, this year I had a distraction and only cut 7.  The good news, 7 worked too.  That's nice to know in case I don't have enough fabric for 8 pieces.
My pieces were pretty wrinkled so I pressed them from the back side with a pressing cloth and cleaned them up with a sticky lint roller.

Pin two pieces right sides together and stitch along one edge from point to point.

Repeat this with all the pieces, leaving an opening on the last one for stuffing.
Turn the pumpkin back to the right side out and this is what it should look like.  Time for stuffing.

You can purchase a bag of stuffing; or if you're like me, you have scraps of Dacron from all those upholstery projects.  I don't like to waste anything so I save mine since it's new material.
 Take the scraps and start pulling them apart and you end up with a pile of stuffing.
 It took this pile of stuffing and a little more to fill this pumpkin.

Blind stitch the pumpkin closed.  To do a blind stitch, insert your needle straight across and come up through the same side from the bottom making a stitch about 1/8".  Pull the thread taut and then go straight across to the other side and do the same thing.
Don't worry if your seam isn't completely "blind", this can be the bottom of your pumpkin and won't show when it's finished.

Since my pumpkin looks more like a ball at this point, I needed to figure out a way to make my pumpkin more of a pumpkin shape and find something to use as a stem and tendrils.

I decided that hemp twine could accomplish both issues.  For this step, you'll need hemp twine and a large upholstery tufting needle.  You don't need a ruler, this is just to show you the size of needle I'm talking about.

Cut a length of hemp twine long enough to tie around half the pumpkin leaving enough for long tails.  This is why you need the long needle.  The eye is large enough for the twine and the needle's long enough to go through the pumpkin.

Once you've put the needle through the pumpkin, remove the needle from the twine, pull tight at one of the seams and tie a knot.

 Move to the opposite side of the pumpkin and do the same thing.

Then, tie the two together in a knot.

Move to the opposite two sides and do the same thing.

 Continue tying each section until you've gone around the whole pumpkin and then tie a few knots creating the length of your stem.

Grab the two sections of tails, one in each hand, and twirl the pumpkin away from your body.  This will put a twist in the twine.

Keep spinning until you end up with a tight twist like this.  Hemp has a little bit of a waxy or sticky quality to it; this will help the twine hold it's shape.

You'll notice you have straight ends of different lengths.  Use the tufting needle and wrap the individual straight ends tightly around the needle and hold them in place for a few seconds.  This will create little tendril curls.

And there you go, your own little pumpkin made from scraps of fabric.

Now you can sew your own pumpkin patch.  Don't be afraid to mix it up.  I've made some where I've placed the twine in between the seams creating even more of a sectioned look.  I've also made some mixing the fabrics within one pumpkin.  Burlap is also a fun material to use.  Try old grain sacks, coffee sacks, etc.

To see many other great projects, check out The Brambleberry Cottage's Thursday Night Link Party,  Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special, and Sew-licious Home Decor's Show-licious Craft Showcase where you'll find creative projects by a host of talented folks.  Have a great weekend!


  1. These are GORGEOUS Sherri!!! I have an addiction to pumpkins and fabric, so this fits me perfectly! :) Thanks for sharing.

    Amy Hendricks

    1. Thank you, Amy! It's so nice to see someone is actually reading my blog :) I always appreciate feedback. Hope you had a great weekend at Three Speckled Hens. Your booth looked awesome!

  2. Beautiful pumpkins! Compliments!

  3. Well done well done! I love how dimensional your pumpkins look and the how to for the twisted twine is great. I will definitely use it. Thanks for including your patterns, too!

    1. Thank you, Ann. And you're very welcome. Always happy to share when I come up with something that I "think" is original; although with so many talented and creative people out there, I'm sure it's probably been done before. Have a great weekend.


  4. Sooo cute! I love it! I have a craft party going on if you would like to be a part of. :)

    xoxo, Marti

    1. Thank you, Marti for following my blog and the nice invitation. I didn't see this until this morning so I hope my addition made it into your showcase.

  5. I so love the velvet pumpkins in those rich colors. The twine is SO beautiful! i LOVE how elegant yet rustic they are!!! ;)

    1. Thank you so much! That's me....I love rustic and I love really yummy fabrics and trims...thanks for your comment. Hope you'll stay tuned for more projects.


  6. Wow, what a pretty pumpkin patch, Sherri! Your lovely project reminds me that I have a stash of vintage fabrics awaiting its own transformation. ;)

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. I hope to see you each week. Be sure to stop in tonight to see yourself featured.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

    1. Thank you Liz, for the feature! I hope to link up as often as I can produce new projects. I'm still very new to this and enjoy all feedback. Thanks you for hosting Time Travel Thursday each week. You are greatly appreciated!


  7. Wow, that seems like a lot of work but they turned out so cute! Nice job!

    1. Thank you, Karee. I find great pleasure and relaxation in sewing, so it doesn't feel like work. I'm glad you enjoyed this post. Hope you'll check back from time to time. I did look at your site as well and will follow your creative journey. Nice to meet you!



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