I don’t know about you, but after a summer of long hot days and beach towels drying over the backs of all my dining room chairs, I welcome the arrival of fall. The cooler temps, the return to normal schedules, and with the fall holidays coming, a reason to add more rustic and welcoming elements to my décor.
These fabric fruit apples and pears celebrate some favorite autumn fruits, but in unexpected hues and fabrics. I think the rustic and recycled fabrics fit nicely with the farmhouse style, but would also look pretty in more eclectic décor.
Plus, it’s fun to experiment with fabrics to see what they’d look like as stuffed fruit. Plaid flannel shirt? Could totally be an adorable pear. Those old wool pants would make a sweet little stuffed apple.
I’ve got a free pattern and tutorial for you below on how to make this fabric fruit.
Fair warning: They are addictive. Once I got started making them, I couldn’t stop!
I started with some apples and pears made from osnaburg, which is like muslin but with a toothier hand and a looser weave.
Loved that… so I made some more.
This time from some recycled gray wool and gray plaid shirting.
Loved them. So I made more…
From a pink tweed flannel.
Oh my goodness, I loved these. So I made more…
From recycled brown tweed and wool suiting.
And of course I had to make at least one RED apple, didn’t I?
I made enough to fill an entire bowl of them.
The glass bowl was a hand-me-down from my mother. She was going to donate it (?!?!) but gave it to me instead. I’m glad she did because it’s PERFECT for my farmhouse fabric fruit!
Want to make your own? Here’s how:
Fabric – suggestions: tweed, upcyled wool, muslin, osnaburg, etc. For a rustic look, I like to use osnaburg. It’s like muslin, but more rustic with a looser weave and little dark specks.
Scrap of vinyl or leather for the leaf
Brown pipe cleaner
Small brown button
Needle and thread
Sew the fruit
The photographs in the instructions show a pear being made, but you can use the same process to make the apple. The only difference is the pattern pieces you use.
All seam allowances ¼”. RST = right sides together.
Place 2 of your fruit pieces RST. Sew down one edge, starting and stopping ¼” from the corners (marked with dots on the pattern piece).
Fold the unsewn edge of the top layer over to other side. Pin in place. This will keep that layer out of the way while you sew another piece to the bottom layer.
Now, place another fruit piece on top RST.
Sew down the edge (the side with only 2 layers of fabric) as you did before, stopping and starting ¼” from the corners. Your seam should go right up to, but not crossing, the starting/stopping points of your previous seam.
You’ve now sewn 3 pieces together. Set aside and sew the remaining 3 pieces together in the same way.
Now we need to sew those two sets together. With each set of pieces, fold all layers but 1 over to one side and pin in place. The two sets should be mirror images of each other so you can stack them RST and sew through just two layers of fabric.
Place the 2 sets RST and sew down the edge that is just two layers of fabric, starting and stopping ¼” from the corners.
Tip: With this many layers, it can be difficult to maneuver the fabric under the presser foot so you can start sewing exactly ¼” from the corner. It’s easier for me to start my seam in the middle and sew down to a corner, then flip it over and sew from the middle down to the other corner.
Now find the remaining two edges that need to be sewn. Pin the other layers out of the way and sew down the edge, starting and stopping ¼” from the corner as you did before EXCEPT this time leave about 2” open to create a turning hole.
Clip the curves.
Turn right side out and stuff the fabric fruit.
Now to tuft the fabric fruit. We’ll keep the turning hole open for now. It’ll make tufting a lot easier if you can get your hand inside the fruit to guide the needle.
Thread a needle with a long piece of thread, at least 1 yard doubled.
Tip: The longer your needle, the easier it will be to pass through the stuffed fruit.
Pull the needle and thread through the top of the fruit, coming up from the inside so the knot is on the inside of the fruit. Take a few stitches to secure the thread.
Then, put the needle through the center of the fruit and all the way through, coming out at the center of the bottom. You’ll probably need to put your hand in the fruit through the hole on the side to guide the needle.
At the bottom, thread a button and pull slightly on the thread to create tufting, and then pass the needle through the fruit again, coming up at the top.
Pull the thread slightly to create tufting, and then repeat the stitch through the fruit and back up again. Knot the thread and bury the end.
Use a ladder stitch the close your turning hole.
All we need now is a stem and leaf to finish off your fruit!
Cut a 2” piece of pipe cleaner, bend it in half, and give it a few twists.
Hot glue a leaf to the bottom of the stem.
Then, glue the stem and leaf into the center of your fruit. I find it’s easiest to put a little puddle of hot glue in the center of the fruit, where the tufting has created a little depression, and then just stick the end of the stem and leaf into the glue.
That’s it! Your fruit is done!!
If you love this fabric fruit tutorial then you will enjoy these tutorials as well: