I found this lovely Christmas Somerset Star after trawling the internet for new ideas for my Christmas themed blog. The original post was on www.sometimescrafter.com and dated back to 2010. I was intrigued by how it all came together and, as I haven’t found anything similar elsewhere, I thought it would be a charming little project to try and learn some new skills and techniques too! It can be hand or machine sewn and doesn’t take long to make – a couple of hours at most (unless, like me, you get side-tracked by thinking of lots of others things you could make too!)
So here goes, I hope you enjoy making it as much as I did.
What you will need:
*Fabric 1 for Layer 1 – 2½” x 10” strip (or 5” x 5”) Cut into 4 x 2½” squares
*Fabric 2 for Layer 2 – 2½” x 20”strip (or 5” x 10”) Cut into 8 x 2½” squares
*Fabric 3 for Layer 3 – 2½” x 20” strip (or 5” x 10”) Cut into 8 x 2½” squares
1x fabric circle 4¼” (can be any of the fabrics above)
1 x 4½” square of calico
1 x 3½” square of iron-on interlining
Strip of binding 1” x 18” cut on the bias from any of the above fabrics or twice the amount of lace/ribbon.
Strip of ribbon 5”- 6” (to hang the decoration)
Circle template/s (3¾” and 4¼”), scissors/rotary cutter, needle and cotton, steam iron.
*I used a lighter coloured fabric for Layer 2 (cream/gold) and darker fabric (red/green) for Layers 1&3, but you can use any colour combination you like.
RS = Right Side
POINTS = refers to the triangular shaped fabric pieces.
Assembling the POINTS
Fold a 2½” square in half to make a rectangle and repeat (I used a dressmaking pin to hold it in place and repeat until all 20 are folded).
PRESS them firmly.
Fold the rectangle in half and use your fingers to create a ‘fold line’ down the centre.
Fold towards the centre to create the triangular POINTS as shown below.
Pin and repeat until all 20 pieces are folded. I found it much quicker to do it this way than fold and press each one individually.
PRESS them firmly on both sides to help them lay flat.
Assembling the Somerset Star
Take the piece of calico and iron-on interlining. Find and mark the centre by folding into four. Lay the interlining on top of the calico.
The calico can be replaced by any cotton fabric and is optional. The original pattern did not use this but I found it helped to keep everything in place more easily.
Take the 4 POINTS from fabric 1 and place them on the interlining/calico. I chose the green fabric for this layer.
The POINTS go to the CENTRE as shown with the flat side down (little flaps are . Make sure there is no space between the points.
I pinned the ‘points’ in place first then tucked the ‘excess’ interlining underneath so it would bond onto the calico. PRESS firmly on the ‘calico’ side first, then turn it Right Side (RS) up and PRESS again.
Using a sewing needle and thread, pop a stitch into the centre points to hold them firmly in place.
Stitch around the outer edge of the four points to hold in place – this can either be by hand or machine sewing.
With Fabric 2 lay the POINTS on top of Layer 1 in exactly the same position. Use a ruler to measure ¼ inch away from the CENTRE of the Star, and a ¼ inch away from the CENTRE LINE. Pin into place. Repeat for the other 3 POINTS.
Now take the remaining 4 POINTS and place them over the Layer 2A ¼ inch away from the CENTRE and CENTRE LINE as before. Pin into place.
Using a sewing needle and thread, pop a stitch into the centre points to hold them firmly in place. Baste around the outer edge by hand – this will help to maintain the position of the POINTS. You could machine stitch but hand sewing is just as effective at this stage.
Repeat as Layer 2 but this time the POINTS will be ½” from the centre of the Star (¼” from layer 2A points). Don’t worry if you think it looks wider between each ‘point’ – this will be evened out once you add the final 4 points – see picture below.
Now take the remaining 4 POINTS and place them over the Layer 3A a ½ inch away from the CENTRE and CENTRE LINE as before (¼ inch away from layer 2B). Pin into place.
Again –pop a stitch into the centre of the points to hold them in place and either baste around the edges or use the 3¾” circle template and machine stitch around the edge of the template approx. 1/8 inch away (outer circle). Trim the edge carefully.
There are several ways to ‘back’ your Somerset star. I tried two different ways:
One way is to cut a 4¼” circle into two semicircles, add a half inch overlap and cut out using your chosen fabric. Turn one edge of one semi-circle ‘straight edge’ to make a ¼ inch hem – this is only needed on one side as the raw edge on the other semi-circle will be tucked under and not seen.
Tack the hanging ribbon in place and then place the fabric RS down over the RS of the Somerset Star. Make sure the ‘hem overlap’ is placed correctly before sewing in place.
Sew around the circle with a ¼” seam. Snip towards the seam carefully taking some of the thickness out near possible. My X-Cut 4½” craft scissors are great for snipping but any sharp pointed scissors would do.
Turn it RS out and hand stitch the opening. PRESS firmly with lots of steam!
Take some ribbon of your choice, gather it using small running stitches and pin or baste to the edge of the star on the reverse side.
Here is your finished Christmas Somerset Star:
Alternatively, cut a strip of fabric on the bias 1 inch wide x 18 inch long. Cutting it on the bias will help it to ‘ease’ around the perimeter of the circle. Join the strip by placing the ends at right angles to each other RS together, pin or draw a line diagonally and sew (see picture below). Do not cut at this stage as you may need to adjust it slightly depending on how it fits around the star.
Pin the binding into place RS Star to RS binding. Adjust the length of the binding (if needed) before sewing a ¼ inch seam.
Once sewn ease the binding to the reverse of the Star.
Pin and sew a length of ribbon in place. Using the 4¼” circle turn down the outer edge to make a ¼ inch hem. Baste the hem and circle onto the reverse side of the Star. Sew in place – preferably by hand.
And here are the two finished Christmas Somerset Stars. Don’t they look great? I feel rather proud of these Stars and I’m already thinking of different colour combinations, bigger versions of the circle or even a different shape …. !!!!
So, if you are feeling adventurous (or brave) and fancy making an even BIGGER Somerset Star – why not check out this site and have a go at making this fabulous cushion. Just type the web address into your browser and follow the instructions there.
I’d love to see your version of the Christmas Somerset Star so why not show off your own ‘make’ on any of UKQU social media sites below.
Happy sewing everyone.