Introduction: Fleece Pumpkins

One of my favorite things about autumn is pumpkins.  I like to eat them, look at them, stomp through the mud to pick some out for jack o’lanterns and roast the seeds.  The only thing I don’t really care for is carving.  But, if someone wants to carve one for me to display, I’m all over it.  Since it’s a little early for that this year, I made some instead.

Step 1:

To make these, you’ll need about 1/4 yard of 60” wide orange fleece, a small piece of green fleece or felt, about a yard of cord or string and  a small bag of fiberfill.  You’ll also need the pdf pattern below.  For my pumpkins, I printed one at 100% and scaled the other two to 75% and 80%.  Cut two pumpkin pieces from each size.

Step 2:

Lay pieces right sides together and stitch around the sides and bottom with a 1/4" seam, leaving the straight edge at the top open.  Turn right side out.

Step 3:

Stitch lines from pattern through both layers, stopping 1 1/2” from top edge.  I eyeballed it, but you can mark the lines from the pattern if you’d like.  Just know, I eyeballed those, too.

Step 4:

Stuff the channels with fiberfill.  If you’re unfamiliar with it, fiberfill, sometimes called polyfill,  is the fluffy stuff to the right in the previous photo.  It’s used to stuff pillows, plush animals, etc.  It takes a while to fill these, but I found it helped to push it in with the blunt end of my favorite tool – the Pointy Stick.

Step 5:

For the stems, cut one 5” by 3 1/2”, one 4 1/2” by 3” and one 4” by 2 1/2” from the green fleece.  Also cut 1/4” strips perpendicular to the selvage edge.  Cut 3 for each pumpkin in varying lengths, none longer than the pumpkin is tall.  Set the strips aside.

Step 6:

Fold the stems right sides together.  Stitch the side and one end.  I decided to angle the top edge of two of them, so I stitched the end at an angle and trimmed away the excess fleece.  Turn right side out.  Stuff with fiberfill, stopping about 1” from the open end.

Turn the top edge of the pumpkin to the inside approximately 3/4”.  Stitch close to the inside edge, leaving a 1/2” opening in the back.  I won’t lie, this is pretty tricky, especially around the side seams.  You can hand stitch it if you’re more comfortable with that.  The casing doesn’t have to be perfect.

Lay the three strips, then the stem, so the edges are inside the pumpkin in the front.  Stitch through strips and stem, following and stitching over the original casing stitching line, to secure them to the pumpkin.

Step 7:

Feed the cord or string through the casing.  I did this by tying it to a safety pin and pushing that through.

Step 8:

Pull to gather the pumpkin.  Tie the ends tightly and push the ends and knot to the inside.

Step 9:

Now for the best part – grab the ends of the skinny strips and pull tight, just not to the point of breaking.  Let go, and they should twist and curl a little, just like tendrils on a pumpkin.

Step 10:

They can be stood on a mantle, like mine are right now, or you can sew a little loop on the back and hang them up.  Happy fall!

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