Psst… Wanna buy some charms? Tutorial

Psst... wanna hold some charms?A mildly naughty charm holder tutorial!

One of the guilds I belong to awards two types of charms for larger finished projects.  The first is the coveted Golden Thimble, which is for projects that are entirely stitched and quilted by hand that measure at least 280″ in perimeter. I don’t have one of those, but am hopeful my EPP project will get there (someday).  The second, which I’ve earned several times, is the Golden Scissors, which is for projects of the same size, but made with a sewing machine.  After collecting a couple of these tiny golden scissor charms, I started thinking I needed a fun way to hold them. And I started thinking about the random “scissor guy” that shows up at any sewing expo, who in fact has a legitimate booth, but I imagine him in dark alleys with a trenchcoat trying to push illicit scissors. So I made this guy in that vein.

To make your own version, you’ll need a couple things:

  • Pattern pieces, cut out (PDF format – please print using “Print Actual Size” option in Adobe)
  • At least 10×7″ scrap of flesh tone fabric. Or go crazy with whatever color you want.
  • Various scraps of brown and blue fabric for trench coat, shoes, and fedora.
  • One piece of Peltex heavyweight interfacing 5×7″
  • A lightweight fusible (like Mistyfuse, or your personal favorite)
  • A heavyweight fusible (like Ultra Heat n Bond – the “red” one)
  • Thread to match your fabrics
  • A safety pin
  • Various charms

Psst... wanna hold some charms?First, cut two pieces of your flesh tony “body” fabric to 5 x 7″. Cut two pieces of your lightweight fusible to 5 x 7″.We’re using a lightweight fusible on the body because we’ll be stitching through all these layers, and a heavier weight fusible can gum up your needle.

Lay the Peltex on your applique pressing sheet on your pressing surface, then place one of the fusible pieces and one of the body fabric pieces right side up. Press per your fusible’s instructions.

Then flip that piece over and repeat the process with the remaining piece of fusible and body fabric. Once pressed, you’ll have a “sandwich” of stiff flesh colored fabric that measures 5 x 7″.

Psst... wanna hold some charms?Take the body pattern piece and trace the shape onto your body sandwich.

Using your sharp scissors, carefully trim your man out just inside the marked lines.

Congratulations! You now have a naked man in your sewing room. If only he did dishes and windows, eh?

Now let’s make him some shoes, because isn’t that the order that everyone gets dressed in?

Psst... wanna hold some charms?Put a scrap of lightweight fusible (around 3″ square) on your pressing sheet, and put a 3 1/2″ square of brown fabric on top, and press to make a sticky-backed piece of brown fabric. Trace the shoe pattern piece on this scrap, then flip the pattern piece over and trace the mirror shape (so you don’t end up with two right shoes).

Cut those pieces out with your sharp scissors, and lay them out on your man.  These are going to be fused directly onto his feet, so make sure he’s committed to this shoe experience!

Fuse the shoes on per your fusible’s instructions.

Next up, the trenchcoat!  These pieces need to be able to open up, so we’re making two double-sided trenchcoat pieces.  On your pressing sheet, layer a 5×6″ piece of trench fabric (right side down), a 5×6″ of the heavyweight fusible, and a 5×6″ of the trench fabric (right side up) to make a trench sandwich. Fusible per your fusible’s instructions so you end up with a stiff piece of double-sided trench fabric.

Psst... wanna hold some charms?We’re using the heavyweight fusible here because these pieces need to stand up to opening and closing, and the heavyweight fusible does not require stitching to hold permanently.

Using the trenchcoat pattern piece, trace two copies of the pattern piece and cut out with your sharp scissors.

Eyeball about an inch in from the long straight side of the trenchcoat and crease the trench piece open. As you lay the sleeve portion on your man, the coat should flap open a bit.

Using a near satin stitch (on my machine, it’s a stitch width of 3.0 and length of 0.75) and matching thread, stitch the trench coat to the man starting at the crease on the bottom, up the side under the arm, the sleeve, and stopping at the crease near the neck. You’ll want to do it so the right side of the needle is just off the fabric so that side of the zigzag encloses the raw edge of the fabric.

Make sure you leave the coat pieces free to flap open!  Repeat this process for the other side.  I also did a straight stitch along the crease for extra security (see picture below).

Psst... wanna hold some charms?Now let’s prepare the fedora! I did a fedora mostly so I wouldn’t have to draw a face, because I’m horrible at drawing faces. We’re going to create this piece the same way as the trenchcoat.  Layer one piece of fedora fabric (about 3 1/2″ square) right side down, a piece of heavyweight interfacing, and a piece of fabric fabric right side up on your applique pressing sheet and pressing per your fusible’s instructions.

Trace the fedora pattern piece and cut it out with your sharp scissors. I used a pencil to free-hand a curved line where a trim piece would be above the brim; you can click through the picture to the right to get a bigger size in Flickr to see it.

Psst... wanna hold some charms?Now switch your thread over to one that matches your shoes and hat. Keeping your satin stitch settings, stitch around the shoes from top of the foot to just above the ankle on the back of the foot.

Position your fedora where you want it on the head (I used a small scrap of fusible to tack it in place), and zigzag stitch where the trim would be above the brim (see the picture to the right).

A helpful tip for any of the pieces: the Peltex I used to stiffen the body is white, and my fabrics for the clothes are dark. You can lessen the look of the white Peltex that might peek out of the edges of the body by coloring it with a marker.

Now comes the fun part – adding the charms! Now, you may have noticed that your man is wearing a trenchcoat and hat, hiding his face and lacking pants. It’s rather shady, in fact.

Psst... wanna hold some charms?

And that ain’t no twelve inch block!

If you object to having your man be naked under the trenchcoat, you can make him a pair of pants using the bottom half of the body pattern, the same as the shoes were made (one layer each of lightweight fusible and fabric).  Make sure you add the pants after the shoes but before the trenchcoat.

To make this wearable, I handstitched a safety pin to the back of the piece so I can wear it on my lanyard that holds my nametag.


15 Replies to “Psst… Wanna buy some charms? Tutorial”

    1. Haha, I can just imagine all those “charming” men hanging out and comparing the size of their blocks.

  1. Awesome. I love it. I have to admit that when you said Fedora I was imagining Fez (too much Dr Who in me I think) and I was thinking… how is that going to cover his face… now I get it…. bit slow in Australia today

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