Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You Know Dasher and Dancer... ... But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all???

Today we welcome Sarah of Prairie Girl Knits to the blog! Showing you a GREAT and fun use for the FREE Rachel Reindeer Pattern!

You Know Dasher and Dancer... ... and Prancer and Vixen.  You know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen.  But do you recall the most famous reindeer of all, Rachel the Red Nosed Reindeer...

What??? What happened to poor old Rudolph?  Well, let me tell you! There's a new reindeer in town, and her name is Rachel!  Rachel Reindeer is a sweet new free pattern from Sis Boom.  Designed by Jeanine Thomlinson (who although I've never met, I feel like she's practically my neighbour because we live only a few towns away from each other here on the prairies), Rachel is a fun, quick sew sure to please anyone this holiday season!

I'm sure I don't have to tell you how much I love sewing patterns from Sis Boom/Scientific Seamstress!  They are always such a treat to put together.  As soon as I saw this latest offering from them I quickly became obsessed with the idea of a Reindeer Wreath.  So here I am to tell you all about how I got that obsession from a vague notion bouncing around in my head to cheerily hanging on my door!

First things first.  As soon as I printed of the pattern I realized that Rachel in her original size was going to end up being one mighty HUGE wreath because I knew I wanted to do nine reindeer - eight for Santa's sleigh and of course one more for Rudolph (or in this case Rachel).  So, I decreased the pattern to 75%.  I figured that would give me a balance of a nice size of reindeer but not be too horrendously tedious to sew.
Ready to start!
Sadly, I had nary a scrap of Christmas fabric in my stash, having used up all of it last year making the annual ornaments for my kids.  So off to the fabric store I went.  I was pretty happy to be hitting up a 50% off sale at Fabricland and thought I'd go ahead and buy 9 different fabrics.  Once at the store though another inspiration hit me.  I could do pairs of reindeer in four different fabrics and then a totally different one for Rachel making her stand out of the crowd even more!  I bought .2m of each of my choices and that was more than plenty for my little 75% sized Rachels.
A little off on the stitching. Once at the machine I could barely see my sewing lines and I was going crosseyed trying to see where to sew...
I carefully traced my first Rachel with my silver chaco marker.  Ha.  Fooled me.  I couldn't even see the lines.  So then I tried my pink Frixion pen.  Nope.  Finally I dug through the boys bag of markers and grabbed a purple washable Crayola marker.  Yes!  I could see where I'm supposed to sew!  Whoot, whoot!!!!  I really need to remedy the marking choices I have on my sewing desk.  They're woefully inadequate.
All turned and getting their stuffing
I sewed these little beauties up following the instructions for sewing, turning and stuffing.  Then I had a problem on my hands.  Nine cute little reindeer with no clue how I was going to get them to form a wreath.  I started by stitching them one hoof to the next hoof, but quickly realized they were just going to flop about.  So then I stitched them from one chest to the next reindeer's base of tail.  Closer, but not there yet.  Still too floppy to stay in a nice circle.  Frustration was beginning to get the better of me.
Stitching hoof to hoof
As I was moaning and groaning about what to do next, (BF)G - bless him - came along and provided the solution.  He suggested a wire around the back.  I thought a coat hanger would do, but they never unbend and then reshape the way you want them too (or the way I want them to in any case...) but then inspiration hit.  I vaguely remembered having an extra embroidery hoop down in my craft supplies.  It was even the perfect size when I dug it out!  YES!!!!!!!  I covered the approximately 40" in diameter wooden hoop with some double fold, extra wide bias tape, then stitched the reindeer onto it.  It's perfect! (Thanks honey, for suggesting that!  Otherwise I'd probably be still standing at the kitchen counter trying to figure out what to do!)
All my supplies are gathered for my final steps
Embroidery hoop is covered and reindeer are all attached
Almost done.  Just a few more final touches left!
Because I had some left over space at the top on either side of Rachel I thought that I would fill it in with some fabric bows.  For the bows I cut strips of red broadcloth 6" wide by 26" long and sewed them together angling at each of the ends then tied them in a bow and tacked it onto the hoop the same way that I had done the reindeers.  I added a loop of ribbon at the back behind Rachel so I could easily hang the wreath.
All done and ready to put on the door!
So, some reindeer with festive ribbons around their necks, a red nose for Rachel/Rudolph, a couple of bows and there you have it!  A happy little herd to brighten our entrance way this holiday season!


MSL said...

Oh my! I love it.

prairiegirl said...

Thanks so much! It was super fun to make. :)

Danice said...

Oh so creative and cute! I have my Rachel all finished, and scheduled to post soon :)

wendy said...

I commented over in Ravelry but again here.....AWESOME ☺♥

Chelle said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!! This HAS to be the MOST creative thing I've seen done since I started following blogs in 2008-ish. I Absolutely LOVE this! (Yeah, think ya got it!) TFS!

prairiegirl said...

Thanks, Danice! It's such a fun pattern to play with! :)

prairiegirl said...

Thanks again, Wendy!! :)

prairiegirl said...

Wow! Thanks so much, Chelle!! That's so sweet of you! :)