Christmas Designs – Fabric Deer Head

Christmas is still some way off I know, but if you’re planning to sew decorations or gifts, then you do have to plan ahead a bit – at least that’s my excuse!  I love the festive season, especially as my birthday is just over a week before Christmas, so it has always been a special time of year for me.  

As well as adapting some of my existing patterns for Christmas (more on that in a future post), I have plenty of new designs for 2012.  In my October e-zine I included my Baby Owls Advent Calendar  as well as the  “I Saw Three Ships” Table Runner.  And now … I am (slightly) proud to present to you:

Fabric Deer Head

My fabric reindeer head mounted on (of course!) an embroidery hoop.  I say “slightly” proud as I had hoped that he would be a noble beast but, like all my softies, he has turned out to be cute and whimsical instead!  He is very cheerful-looking though and I feel sure that he will enhance my Christmas decorating scheme this year, maybe with some tinsel or tiny fairy lights wrapped around his antlers.

deer 005

When designing my reindeer I referred – as I always do – to this wonderful book by Rudi de Sarigny published by Mills & Boon in 1971.  My copy was a hand-me-down, but if you’re interested in softie-making and you find a copy then I recommend you snap it up instantly!  It has lots of excellent advice on pattern cutting and technique – and I was delighted to discover in the section on adapting patterns that there is a whole paragraph on changing a horse head into a stag head!  What could be more useful?!!  


I did indeed note the placing of the antlers, ears and eyes.  It’s obvious when you think about it, but when I was trying to visualise my reindeer I couldn’t remember whether it was antlers in front of ears (given that they both had to be inserted in the seam) or the other way around!  But thanks to Rudi I got it right!  

Fabric Deer Head

My reindeer is not at all hard to make if you’ve done any softie making before – his antlers are wired, but that’s all – some firm stuffing ensures that he sits firmly on his embroidery hoop base.   I did think I might try to make a video demonstration to go with the pattern – he is a bit fiddly in places and it’s often easier to show rather than to try and explain.  I need to make another one now to make sure all my pattern pieces really do fit together properly and this would be ideal for demonstrating too.  

Now all he needs is a name!!  I feel a competition for e-zine subscribers coming on ……..  Meanwhile his pattern (hopefully with video tutorial) will be in the November e-zine and available to purchase separately after then.  


I can’t wait to make one of these! Do you have a mailing list for when your e-zines are released? If so, get me on there!

I have a real deer head, OH calls him Dennis, you can borrow the name if you like 🙂


Hi PennyDog – yes my ezine is published on the last Thursday of every month – it’s just $5.50 for subscribers. This month I already have my Deer Head, Hodge & Podge and Cosy Cat Cushion lined up to include – and we’re not even half-way through October yet, so there’s sure to be much more!! Helen xx

marina genovesi

E’ davvero tenera e molto bella, non vedo l’ora di ricevere ezine di ottobre!
Io lo chiamerei Mr. Renna.
Un abbraccio.


What a wonderful, whimsical reindeer, I think he’s terrific. Where do you get your blanket fabric from?


Hi Amanda, all sorts of places, I’m a real magpie! This is a vintage wool flannel, found on eBay. So pleased you like him, pattern will be in this month’s ezine. Xx


Helen he is sew cute, I just love him and can’t wait for the ezine!! Know this name is corny but Rudy!! comes to mind!! and I don’t mean the one with a red nose!!!! As a kid growing up my Daddy and Grandaddy came home from a hunting trip with a mounted antelope head and we called him Elmer!! That could work too!!!

Jan G.


I actually have a copy of that toy book but I found it awful. It was only when I put it away and started to think about it for myself that I could get the idea of head gussets etc. and it only came together by actually doing it. Sadly I found it extremely confusing and I was very disappointed with it. I got it after a soft toy maker recommended it, it obviously works for some people but just not me.


sorry i didn’t get into the drawing on time but did want to compliment you on such a creative fun reindeer. loved the way you selected the winning name too.


Hi There LOVE LOVE this ! I would really love to purchase the pattern if you could tell me how to go about it?
Thanks so much!


Hi Abi – you’ll find the pattern in the softies section of my store. Helen xx


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