Here’s my first felt food update. By Christmas I managed to make her 2 tacos with meat, shredded lettuce and shredded cheese; 6 eggs; 4 strips of bacon and 2 chocolate chip cookies. I still haven’t actually taken pictures of any of these, but I did put together another taco yesterday that I got shots of for a how-to – so here you go, enjoy. :-)
Oh, and sorry about the dark pictures, I got a new camera for Christmas and I have yet to figure out how to get the flash to work when I need it to. I can get it to turn off, and I can set it to auto, but I can’t just turn it on – it’s weird.
The supplies you need are a felt in a tan color for the tortilla, green for the lettuce, brown for the meat, gold for the cheese, and a small piece of batting. Officially mine were champagne, lime, gold, and brown – you just want something that looks tortilla, lettuce, cheese and meat. You’ll also need thread, I’d recommend matching thread for the tortilla, but other than that anythings game, if you want a variant thread to make other shades in your cheese or lettuce feel free. I use the same thread for my meat that I do for my tortilla because I sew the shape then cut it out (you’ll see later) and I like the contrast, it makes it easier to see where to cut. Also, optionally you’ll need a small piece (about a half inch) of 5/8 inch wide sew on velcro.
Other tools are scissors, a bowl to trace, and a marking pen. Optionally a rotary cutter, ruler and mat would also help – now let’s get started :-)
First, trace two circles onto your tortilla colored felt – I used disappearing ink and a cereal bowl. Then cut out your circles.
Place one circle on top of the other so all edges line up, then slowly stitch the two together close to the edges. Be careful to guide the circles gently through your sewing machine, if you pull or push too much, you’ll distort the shape of the felt, which stretches easily, and you’ll end up with puckers.
You’ll want the stitching very close to the edge, mine is about 1/8 inch seem allowance. It’s all done top side, there is no turning out or anything, it’s too much of a pain and not worth it in my opinion in this case. You do need to be careful and catch both sides of your felt though, if you miss any, just turn the circle over and go back and re-stitch those areas.
If you’re using velcro, now’s where it goes on. I have 5/8 inch sew on velcro that comes in two large strips, the grabby side and the soft side, and comes in a package that looks like this. I think I got mine at Jo-Anns but I know I’ve seen it even just at walmart.
Place your two small pieces of velcro across from one another on your tortilla and then stitch around the inner border of each piece. You don’t have to be 100% accurate with placement, just eyeball it.
For the meat you’ll need a small square/rectangle of brown felt and a small piece of batting.
Fold the felt in half sandwiching the batting between the two layers.
Stitch a wavy oval into the felt, then cut it out – think to yourself how remarkably it looks like a turd.
Put the felt piece on top of the tortilla and convince yourself it now looks like taco meat, and not a turd.
With your green felt, cut five to eight (however many you think looks right) strips, mine are about a 1/4 inch wide and run the full length of the sheet of felt.
Hold the strips of felt so that they are all about even on the ends, and place them together so they aren’t quite flat, but aren’t in a big pile (real scientific I know) then place them under your presser foot so that you’re stitching about two inches from the top end of the strips. Now slowly sew all the way across the bundle feeding the strips through, don’t worry if there are small gaps between some of the stitches, but make sure that there aren’t wholes either. When you reach the opposite side of the bundle, stitch in revers back to your starting point, and then forward again to the opposite side of the bundle. In essence you’re making a reverse/reinforcement stitch that runs the whole width of the bundle of strips.
Don’t worry if one of your strands breaks between the stitches, you’re going to cut them apart latter anyway.
Repeat every two inches or so along the bundle of strips, being sure to leave the opposite end free of stitching about two inches before just like you did at the front end. You’ll probably end up with four or five rows of stitching, depending on the length of your strands, you may have as few as three or as many as six.
You should now have four to five stitch lines across your strips. trim your threads.
Now cut between the stitching on your strips. You don’t have to be even or precise, you just have to be sure not to cut through your stitching. In fact the more random and imprecise the more realistic it looks.
Repeat until you have separated all your stitched bundles.
Once you’ve got all your sections sewn and then cut into parts, stack them on top of one another so they overlap slightly and look like a handful of shredded lettuce – kinda random and at different angles. Just play with the placement till you get it how you like. Just make sure that all the pieces overlap to some degree. Once you have the formation you want, place all the layers as one group on your machine. Stitch across the center of the pile fully from back to front, then go fully backward and the fully forwards again – kind of like one HUGE reinforcement stitch. This is the same way that we stitched the individual bundles when they were still long strips, so it’s not too weird.
All done, one chunk of shredded lettuce.
When I set it down into the “taco” it didn’t look quite how I wanted, so I trimmed some of the ends.
Cut and sew the yellow to make “cheese” in the same way we did the green “lettuce”.
My yellow felt had been used already to make other things so it was shorter, rather than do one clump of more strands, I chose to do two groups of four strands each.
Cheese done in the same way.
Tortilla, meat, shredded cheese, and shredded lettuce.
Yummy Taco all folded up.
Not that hard, and after the first one it is really easy to do since it makes since ‘cuz you’ve done it already.