Miniature braided wreath tutorial

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I've been spending my days working with miles of flannel which means I end up surrounded by piles of flannel scraps.  While I sew, I ponder what I can do with all the scraps.  Then I remembered about the stuffed fabric wreaths that my mother and I made one year as a fundraiser.  They were cute, but large and involved much turning of long fabric tubes and then much stuffing of the tubes.  So I came up with a miniature version which does not involve stuffing and has an easy way to turn the little, tiny tubes.  Here it is:

It's hard to judge scale, but this little wreath is barely 2 inches in diameter.  I will probably use it as a Christmas ornament, though it would also look pretty cute on top of a package.

How do you make it?  It's pretty easy.  First you need to cut three strips of fabric, approximately 8 inches long and 1 inch wide.  I used flannel, but you could use anything.  I would be sure it is not too think, though.  You don't even need to measure that carefully.  The first wreath I made, I just cut the fabric in what looked to be the right size and never even got out a ruler.

Now we need to sew them into tubes.  First, take you top thread and bobbin thread and pull out enough length so that the threads are longer than the tube you are going to sew.  Lay them on top of your fabric strip, with the right side of the fabric UP.  See the threads hanging off the bottom of the fabric?

Now you are going to fold the fabric in half, with the threads all the way over at the fold and sew close to the outside edge.  You must be sure you do not catch the long threads in your seam, or what I'm about to show you won't work.

Once the seam is sewn, you are going to very gently, but firmly pull on the long threads while using your other hand to encourage the seam to turn down inside the tube.  It can be a little fiddly to get it started.  If the fabric is at all stiff, I found it was easier if I opened up the tube a bit by cutting off the corner from the top (where I began the seam).  Be very careful that you don't cut your threads at the same time.

Once the tube starts to turn, it is very easy to pull and turn the whole thing right side out.  Here you can see it halfway done (the long threads you are pulling are the ones you see at the right, attached to the part of the tube which is right side out).

Complete the other two tubes the same way.  You now have three little tubes and you are done with the tricky part.  Take the three tubes and sew them together (sometimes I had to "encourage" them under the presser foot with my seam ripper).  You could also sew them together by hand.

Once they are sewn, braid them and sew the other end as you did the first.  Join the two ends together either by hand or by "encouraging" them under the presser foot.  They are thicker at this point and need a bit more encouragement.  Use a coordinating ribbon to cover the seam and tie a bow.  You're done!


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