Hanging Christmas Tree Tutorial

This is my first time to make my own sewing tutorial so I hope that you will bear with me if there are things that I have un-intentionally missed or left out. Please feel free to inform me so that I could make the necessary corrections and improve this tutorial. Since I never thought that I would be doing a sewing tutorial for this “epic” hanging Christmas tree, I only took photos of the finished project; thus, I had to re-create at least one layer just for taking photos of the step-by-step instruction. You will need: FOR THE RINGS: Steel Wire (around 3 mm diameter in thickness) – approximately 10 meters Tools to form the steel wire into rings of various sizes – we used cutting pliers and screw driver The hanging Christmas tree we made consists of 3 layers where 2 rings of different sizes are paired together (Note: These measurements are based on the one that hubby and I made) Layer 1 – 5” diameter and 10” diameter Layer 2 – 8” diameter and 19” diameter Layer 3 – 17” diameter and 33” diameter FOR THE BASE FABRIC: (this measurement is based on the one that hubby and I made) Layer 1 – 34” x 17.5” – with seam allowance of 1” on all sides Layer 2 – 62” x 21” – with seam allowance of 1” on all sides Layer 3 – 106” x 26” – with seam allowance of 1” on all sides FOR THE RUFFLES ATTACHED ON THE BASE FABRIC: 2 meters each of 3 different printed fabrics – 6 meters total of assorted printed fabrics Coordinating threads Needles FOR THE LIGHTING FIXTURE: Nylon String Electric Cable Wire Color bulbs – we used 3 but you can always use more Socket OR Ready-made Christmas Lights

MAKE THE RINGS FIRST. 1. Measure the circumference1 of each ring. Make allowance for the loop at one end and also on the other end of the ring. 2. Using your pliers, cut the steel wire based on the length that you came up with. 3. Create the small loop on one end or both ends before forming the steel wire into an open-ended ring. See photo below. Note: Each ring shouldn’t be locked as you will need to insert it into the base fabric. 4. Set aside the rings.

1

To get the circumference of each ring (Circumference = diameter x 3.14).

SEW THE BASE FABRIC. This is the base cover of each layer (consisting of 2 rings of different diameters) where you will have to attach the ruffled fabric later on. 1. Using your solid color fabric, cut it using the given height and width for each layer. The width is based on the circumference of the bigger ring, and the height is based on the distance you want to set between the two rings of each layer. You will come up with a rectangular shaped base fabric here. 2. Hem the sides (left and right). For more hemming instruction, (http://chuckngayle.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Hem-A-Garment). check this website

3. Make a ¼” fold on the top edge of the fabric and press. Make another ¾” fold and press again. Open the second fold. 4. Now you need to divide this into 4 sections of the base fabric. To do this, first lay the fabric out flat and measure the actual width from left edge to right edge. Now fold it in half and mark the center of the fold for buttonholes. Then from this mark, fold the fabric again, and mark its center. Repeat the step on the other half of the laid out fabric. No, we will not use buttons but these will be used to insert the nylon strings later on as you connect each layer together. 5. Stitch a buttonhole on the assigned markings.

6. After stitching the buttonholes, fold it back and sew.

7. Hem the bottom edge of the fabric. Only the top edge of the fabric for each layer will have buttonholes. 8. Both the top and bottom edges should have holes on both sides to enable the open ended rings to be inserted later on.

SEW THE RUFFLES. 1. Lay the base fabric flat out. Measure the distance from the lower edge of the buttonholes down to the bottom of the fabric. From this measurement, you can define as to how many layers of ruffles you would want to attach to the base fabric. In our case, I divided it into four equal parts; hence, I was able to get the length and the width for each of the ruffles.

2. Cut strips of fabric the width of the ruffle and additional inches for hemming and gathering. 3. Now, hem the ruffle on the left, right, and bottom edges. Just leave the top edge raw as this is where you will do the gathering later on.

4. The next step is to gather the top edge of the ruffle. Since I still consider myself a newbie in the field of sewing, I would suggest that you go to this website to follow the instructions in gathering fabric/making ruffles (http://sew4home.com/tips-resources/sewing-tips-tricks/360-gathering-madeeasy). 5. Repeat steps 1-4 with the rest of the ruffles fabric. ATTACH THE RUFFLES. Note: According to the instruction on gathering (the website mentioned in Step 4 above), once you have sewn the two parallel straight basting stitches on the top edge of the fabric you have to gently tug the top threads. However, with my own experience, I find it easier to tug the top threads once the fabric is already pinned on another fabric, in this case, the base fabric cover. However, feel free to have it your own way as long as it will give the same result, a ruffled fabric attached to a base fabric ☺, whichever is convenient to you. 1. Right-side- out, lay the base fabric flat and mark its center. Whereas, with the ruffle fabric, even before you gather or turn it into ruffles, fold it and mark its center. 2. With the base fabric right sides out, attach the ruffle fabric wrong-side-out and in an upside down position around the top edge of the base fabric just below the hem and the buttonholes. The raw edge of the ruffle fabric should be parallel with the bottom edge of the base fabric. Pin at the center. Never mind if there are extra ruffle fabric dangling on the left and right edges of the pair.

RIGHT SIDE
PIN HERE

WRONG SIDE

3. Now align both the left and right edges of the two fabrics. Pin those sides.

4. Starting at the left side of the fabric, start tugging slowly one of the top threads while holding the pinned center. As you ease out the ruffles being formed in the tugging process, pin whenever necessary. Once you reach the center, try to do the tugging and the easing on the other side until you completely eased out the ruffles on the base fabric and pinned it properly.

5. Sew along the stitching lines using the normal settings in your sewing machine. (Remember that during the gathering of the ruffle fabric, you had to adjust the thread tension, length, and bobbin tension)

6. You may now flip over the ruffle. You may also press just above the edge just so that the ruffles won’t be too bulgy.

7. Repeat the process until you have attached all the ruffles into the base fabric.

INSERT THE RINGS. 1. Get the smaller ring and start inserting it at the top edge of the ruffled base fabric (where the buttonholes are located). Ease in the fabric into the steel wire until it complete covers the ring and both ends of the wire meet together. You may lock the ring now by intertwining both ends of the steel wire.

2. Repeat the same with the bigger ring into the bottom edge of the ruffled base fabric. If you made a small loop on one end of the ring, it would be easier to lock it later on.

Once you have inserted the ruffled fabric into the rings, you just have to repeat the whole process of sewing the base fabric, sewing and attaching the ruffle fabric, and inserting it into the next pair of rings until you have completed all the three pairs of rings/three layers of your Christmas tree. WHAT’S NEXT? Now that everything is ready, you may start using the nylon string to connect all the three layers together. This will be a bit tedious and you definitely need a helping hand on this. Someone that should hold each layer as you connect them together. It will take a while to get the hang of it (no pun intended), but eventually, as you move from one layer to another, it will be of much ease on your part. Just be patient ☺ Anyway, I have included below an illustration of how to insert the nylon string into the buttonholes and also the framework of the Christmas tree as you assemble the three layers. This will at least give you an idea as to how the process goes. It will be best if you start assembling the three layers from top to bottom. Regarding the lighting fixture, if you cannot assemble your own, you can also use your ready-made Christmas lights to illuminate the interior of the Christmas tree. CAUTION: Once your Christmas tree is up and hanging, always be mindful and careful of the lighting inside as we wouldn’t want to have any accidents caused by the electrical fixtures. Hubby and I always make sure that we turn off the lights before we go to bed at night and whenever we are not in our home. As what they always say, SAFETY FIRST ☺

Have a blessed Christmas and a joyful New Year to all

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