Thank you for the lovely comments on the yo-yo tutorial. This post is about yo-yo's too but heart shaped ones this time. Well, it is getting close to St Valentine's Day.
All yo-yo's are basically gathered rosettes of fabric which can be made to take on different shapes dependant upon the starting shape of the piece of fabric and the fabric you use to make it with. Therefore, a heart shaped yo-yo begins with a heart shaped piece of fabric. Just like the circular yo-yo's these yo-yo's aren't difficult to make so please don't be put off from trying one just because the instructions seem a little long. Once you've made one you'll wonder what all the fuss was about.
Note: The completed yo-yo will be half the size of the ’starting’ heart shape. This applies to both the width of the heart and the length. Hopefully this photo makes what I'm trying to say a little clearer.
Quite a startling difference isn't it.
To make a heart shaped yo-yo you will need the following things;
- fabric - cotton, felt, velvet, polyester cotton, sheers, denim, fleece - what else can you think of...
- sewing thread to match the fabric
- paper or light card (to make a pattern with or template with)
- non permanent fabric marker (to draw around template) or pins to pin pattern to your fabric.
I made this heart pattern using Auto shapes on Word - but you can trace shapes out of books or draw them freehand. Once you have your heart shape, you need to add a seam allowance all the way around the outside of approximately 5mm.
As you can see my paper pattern is 11 cm across the widest part of the heart. I added on a 5mm seam allowance and this gave me a completed fabric yo-yo of approximately 5.5 cm.
Pin your pattern to the fabric or if you made a cardboard template draw around it with your non-permanent fabric marker.
Cut out your heart shapes.
Thread your needle. I usually use a double thread for this, but you can use a strong, quilting thread if you have some. What you're trying to avoid is the thread breaking as you begin to gather up the fabric.
With the right side of the fabric facing down, start sewing at the 'indent' at the top of the heart. Fold over the 5mm seam allowance and begin sewing.
Using a medium sized running stitch, sew all around the outside of your shape. As you sew around the heart, do not agonise trying to make flat seams which lay nicely. The aim is to maintain the shape of the heart and if it tends to look just a little bit puckered, it's o.k.
At the bottom of the heart just fold the seam allowance over but avoid creating pleats or folds which will make pulling up the threads difficult. Sew all the way around the heart with the last stitch ending at approximately the same point as the first stitch. This ensures that the fabric gathers up neatly.
The fun bit. Gently pull up the thread to gather the yo-yo. You may need to push the fabric inside as you gather it. If your gathering thread snags at any point, just ease the gathers along gently.
At this point, what you will have is a gathered piece of fabric that may or may not look like a heart. Don't be disappointed we haven't finished yet!
For the next step you need to distribute the gathers evenly. Wiggle your fingers inside to push out any 'puffs' of fabric that have got caught up behind other bits. Centre the 'throat' or hole of the yo-yo and move it down a little to get that heart shape.
Note: I haven't fastened off the thread yet.
Once you're happy that you've distributed the gathers evenly, insert your needle through the 'hole' at the front, taking it to the back of the yo-yo. This pulls the gathers in nicely.
Next, bring the thread back over the top of yo-yo and insert the needle back through the yo-yo passing it from the front to the back. The photo will hopefully make this clearer.
What you've just done is make a loop from the back over to the front. Pull on your thread gently which will pull in the gathers at the front of the yo-yo and also pull in the top of the yo-yo creating that characteristic indent at the top of the heart shape.
Now, we need to fasten off the gathering threads. With your needle take the thread from the front to the back of the yo-yo and fasten off.
Your yo-yo really should be heart shaped now!
Nearly done. The last and final thing you need to do is to secure those gathers around the throat of the yo-yo.
If you've used a very fine and light fabric you may chose not to do this. Otherwise, thread your needle and insert it from the back of the yo-yo and using a small, almost invisible stitch, secure those gathers into position. This pulls the gathers in tightly around the inside of the 'hole' or throat of the yo-yo pulling them in, flattening the centre and emphasising the pretty little shape.
There, you see, all finished.
Pleased with it? Now you have a gorgeous little heart yo-yo which you can embellish with buttons and beads and braids and ..... let your imagination run wild. (I'd love to know what you do with them.)
If there's anything I haven't explained very well, then just 'comment' or send me an e-mail and I'll try and explain myself better. Enjoy!