First up, I improved upon the gold tinsel covering the base by making a proper tree skirt. I used the misprinted fabric left over from Style 2833 (the blotchy base colour didn't matter for this), and some gold trim from my stash.
|The completed tree and skirt|
Next came the baubles. My local fabric shop was selling some small and mini plain wooden reels, and these were the perfect starting point. Then I remembered that I had a box of mini spools of metallic machine embroidery threads, which I had bought ages ago and never used: I'd fallen for the pretty colours and somehow overlooked the small detail that I never do machine embroidery!
|The bauble raw materials|
At 40m per spool that was a lot of thread to rewind, but the end result was just what I'd hoped for. I added loops of gold thread to the larger reels, and arranged the mini ones in groups of three.
The element that I am most pleased with, however, is my sewing machine tree ornament. I worked out the position of the embroidery, and completed it on the black felt before I cut it, as it was much easier to work on the full sheet. I drew the design onto stitch-n-tear and worked it in double running stitch, with French knots for the berries. Next, I cut out two pieces in the shape of the basic outline, which included the cotton reel, balance wheel and base. These three were then cut out again from separate pieces of felt (the balance wheel is grey felt painted silver) and applied to the front shape. The 'needle' is a length of wire, bent into loops at both ends, with the loops sewn onto the back shape so that the wire cannot come loose. Finally I sewed the two pieces together, with a teeny, tiny pinch of stuffing to give the section under the holly leaves a slight curve.
|If Santa Claus made sewing machines!|