I was facinated by the cross stitching on a regulation baseball and wanted to duplicate it as a decorative stitch. After making several practice items, shown later, I decided how better to show the baseball or cross stitch than to make a baseball? Duh! It can be used as a pin cushion, of course, but could also be a toy, a pet toy, conversation piece, etc.
Step 1: Materials Needed
I made three different balls as shown, and all of them were made with materials on hand. The green ball is made with felt as the covering, and is stuffed with an old cut up t-shirt. The black ball is covered with old tshirt material itself, and the same goes for the white ball. Tshirt material is semi stretchable, so makes for a good material to use. It can stretch enough to smooth out any wrinkles, and is readily available. Various needles, threads, scissors, needle threader, pins, etc are used, all common items in most households.
Step 2: Make Some Practice Runs, If Necessary
Shown are some of my practice runs. It takes a little skill to get the threads to line up properly and give a finished look.
Step 3: Make a Pattern
To make my pattern, I cut a piece of bond paper to the approximate size. This was laid onto the baseball and the first shape was drawn or traced onto the paper. It's easy to trim the paper to the right shape using this method. A baseball is covered with two pieces of rawhide, both of which are exactly the same.
Step 4: Transfer Pattern to Cloth of Choice
Per the pictures, lay pattern on your cloth, pin it in place and cut out the pattern, allowing about 3/16 to 1/4 inch as a hem allowance.
Step 5: Sew Two Pieces Together
Using the real baseball as my model, I saw how the two pieces of the cover were oriented to each other, and place my two cloth pieces together in a like manner. Then I sewed the two pieces together using a stitch that went around both pieces, and through each side which made a very strong stitch. A one inch hole is left so that the stuffing can be inserted into the ball. After this sewing step is completed, turn pieces inside out.
Step 6: Fill Ball With Stuffing of Choice.
For my projects, I used old tshirt material as stuffing. Cotton balls, commercial batting, foam rubber pieces, crumbled styrofoam, etc could be used, so it's a matter of preference. Simply fill and pack ball with your material. I used a dowel to compress and pack my material into the ball in order to make a very firm ball, and to make the round shape of the ball.
Step 7: Do the Decorative or Cross Stitching on the Outside of the Ball
I liked the decorative effects of the cross stitch but for this project I used a modified baseball stitch. See photos to see how I duplicated the actual stitches on the outside of the baseball.
Step 8: The Completed Ball
Now go make some more!