Hooked on Needles

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gingerbread Family for Kindergarten

Gingerbread people are so fun and easy to make, and not very messy if you make them with brown felt and odd bits of trim and fabric from your stash! So fire up a gingerbread flavored candle, pull out your scraps of ric rac, lace, yarn, fabric, buttons and anything else you want to use, and whip yourself up a little family! Here's how I did mine...

The first thing you need is a shape to trace. You can freehand one yourself if you are talented that way. I am not, so I found a shape online and printed it in several sizes so I could pick which would best suit my purpose.

Gingerbread FamilyThen I traced two large and two small shapes onto my brown felt which was still folded just like it was on the bolt, so that I would have two pieces exactly alike for each little person. Looks a bit like a crime scene after something horrible happened. Oh my!

Gingerbread FamilyAfter pinning around the inside edges of each shape, I used my pinking shears to cut each person out.

Gingerbread FamilyI think the pinked edge adds to the character of the gingerbread people, but you could always use regular scissors if don't have pinkers and yours will still look great!

The next thing I did was to pick out ric rac, lace and other trims for each of my gingerbread people and sew them on in the appropriate places, but only on the front layer of each, since cookies are only decorated on the front, right? So that I would not have to keep changing my thread, I used invisible thread on the top of my machine. I thought that would be better than having lines of white thread through the colored ric rac.

I sewed on buttons for the eyes and down the fronts too, and made little fabric skirts for the mom and girl. So that the ladies would have proper undergarments, I stitched a row of pretty lace on the felt just under where the skirt hem would fall.

Then I sewed around the outside of each with about a 1/4 inch seam, stitching the fronts and backs together, and leaving an opening for stuffing. After filling each gingerbread family member with just a medium amount of stuffing, not too much but not too little, I stitched the opening. Then with some yellow cotton yarn, I gave the two ladies some hair.

Gingerbread FamilyAnd here they are, Gingerbread Man, Gingerbread Girl, Gingerbread Boy and Gingerbread Woman, just waiting for their adventure with Mrs. O'Neil's kindergarten class.

(By the way, don't you just love my electrical outlet just above my ironing board? The electrician thought I was crazy for wanting to leave it in the middle of the wall. Besides choosing a pocket door for my sewing room so as not to waste space for a swinging door, leaving that plug right in the middle of the wall was the best decision I could have made...so handy!)

Gingerbread FamilyI see a little family resemblance, don't you?

Gingerbread FamilyCould be the eyes, or perhaps that mischievous grin they all have. I think they are planning something fun for the children! Hopefully they are not thinking about running away, like that other little gingerbread boy who ended up on the nose of a sly fox and was never seen again! We'll have to wait and see.

I realized after stuffing this family that the traditional shape of the gingerbread man was sort of lost in the process. If I were to make these for myself, or smaller to use as ornaments, bookmarks or on a garland, I would use very stiff interfacing between the layers of felt instead of stuffing so that they could remain flat and retain the proper gingerbread man proportions but not be floppy and limp. Perhaps that will be a project to save for next Christmas.

Happy Stitching!

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