How (not) to make an angel

My latest craft project has been to make an angel.  When I heard that Burrswood was having a Festival of Angels this December, my original reaction was that I could crochet one.  After reflection and a look through my craft materials, I changed my mind.

I have several craft books with projects explained.  The Big Book of Soft Toys by Mabs Tyler has patterns for simple dolls.  I drew a paper pattern and cut out the pieces from some white polycotton material.

Paper pattern: doll and wing

Paper pattern: doll and wing

My sewing machine came in handy for joining the body apart from a gap for the stuffing.  (I used some recycled polyester stuffing.)  I also used the machine for the clothes, which I designed as I went along.  I had the remains of a frill from a petticoat.  My angel ended up with an underskirt and a smock.

I drew the pattern for the wings on a piece of scrap-paper.  I had some white felt and cut four wings.  Stuffing the wings lightly was a possibility, but I decided that two layers of felt made the wings stiff enough.  I embroidered them simply with feathers in mind.

At this stage I thought of an angel joke.  “Cross my wings and hope to fly!”

Her wings are attached to her clothes rather than her body.

I made a wig out of surplus tapestry wool and attached it to her head.

My biggest worry was her face.  I am not good at drawing faces.  I had a similar doll, which my artistic daughter made several years ago, as an example of what can be done.  She had drawn a face.  I was not confident.  Then I found a piece of flesh-coloured felt.  Embroidery is not permanent.  If it looks wrong, it can be unpicked and redone – several times.  So her face was attached after her hair.  (Not recommended.)

Back view

Back view

Perhaps my angel will give people some amusement.  It is not particularly beautiful, but I have tried.  Maybe it can fill a space where it won’t be inspected too closely.


Front view

And if you’d like to make an angel out of any material any size they are required by 20th November 2015.

A previous Christmas project at Burrswood was a knitted Christmas tree.  There is a short YouTube video about how it was constructed.

If you live within reach of Kent, why not go and see the angels for yourself?  I only wish I could, but due to distance, I’ll have to make do with photos.