Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Making a fabric angel

Here's my latest project, made using elements of the 'Resolutions' Quirky Kit - a festive fabric angel: The main body of the doll was made from a section of the 29x19 inch piece of heavy cotton canvas in the kit, and as I promised in the post on my blog yesterday [where there are more images] here's a quick tutorial on how you can turn your blank canvas into your own heavenly host!

To make the body:

  • Pin together two layers of fabric.
  • In pencil draw a basic angel shaped outline onto the canvas:
  • Cut around the outline - through both layers of fabric at the same time - you should now have a front and back section.
  • Pin them together.
  • You can either tack around the edges or run directly through the sewing machine [or hand stitch if you prefer].
  • Starting at the bottom of the skirt stitch up one edge towards and around the head and then back down the other side.
  • NOTE: DO NOT stitch the bottom of the skirt closed. This must be left open so that you can turn the shell inside out and then pack in the filling.
  • Turn the shell inside out.
  • If you haven't any wadding you can stuff the body with the filling from an old pillow or cushion. Failing that - socks / tights could also work but may be slightly lumpy. Cotton wool could also work [but beware not to ever get it wet!].
  • You can use the handle of a long, thin paintbrush [or similar tool] to help push your filling into the body. The dolls look their best and stand tall and firm when the wadding is packed in very tightly.


  • Once the body is filled you can sew the bottom of the skirt closed. However, as I wanted to keep the raw edge of my fabric visible - I cut a disk of fabric and glued it inside the skirt to close the body and prevent the stuffing escaping!
  • I used Hi-Tack Fast Tack glue which is great for sticking fabric ..and almost everything else too.

To make the wings:

  • Take one piece of the golden yellow netting and make a running stitch along the centre line - from top to bottom.
  • Gently pull your thread to gather the fabric together.
  • Stitch the gathered fabric to the centre of the back of the doll:

  • Once the wings are secure - decide on the shape and size you'd like them and trim the ends to suit.

To make the halo + face:

  • For the halo you can either use the off-cuts from where you trimmed the wings or a another sheet of netting if you need to.
  • Make a running stitch along the off-cuts / lengths of netting and then pull thread to gather the netting.
  • Stitch the gathered sections around the outer part of the head section.

  • Glue on the glitter cabochons [from the 'Resolutions' kit] and add golden / yellow buttons and beads.
  • Cut a small ovel of felt for the face.
  • Make a few simple stitches for eyes and a mouth.
  • Cut a scrap of fabric for the hair and glue or stitch to the face - then glue or stitch this to the doll.

Finishing touches:

  • You can now have great fun choosing choosing how to decorate your angel's robes.
  • The second trimming down is a length of Italian cotton lace from the kit - everything else came from my own ribbon box. As this is only meant as a decorative item [not a toy] I simply glued the trimmings in place around the body.
  • Again, for this I used Hi-Tack Fast Tack glue. Where the ends of each ribbon met, I pushed in some pearl headed pins [temporarily] to prevent the ends them from curling up as they dried. Once the glue begins to 'set' - remove the pins.
  • You can add any other finising touches you wish - eg. you might want to add some hands amde from felt, or wrap ribbons aaround the entire length of the body and skirt.

You could attach a ribbon loop to the back so she can be hung up on a tree or simply find her a nice cosy place to stand and watch over your Christmas festivities!

Or ...you can use this as inspiration to make a doll for any time throughout the year - you don't have to create a Christmas angel. The basic structure can easily be adapted to create any style or theme of doll you wish!

If you do make a doll like mine - I'd love to see it. You can always share it, along with any projects you make using the Quirky Kits, by:

I hope you've enjoyed my festive take one the 'Resolutions' kit. Have a wonderful Christmas time, may you have good food, good company, great gifts ...and at least one moment of time to yourself! Whether you fill it with crafting or eating chocalate is entirely up to you!!

Julie :)

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