Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yo-Yo Tutorial

The artist of Lillian's Stitches can now be found at Walking With Feathers.

This one's for my friend from high school, EMParker :-) She requested a yo-yo tutorial after this post.

Before I put together my own tutorial, google found the following:
I also give props to this book that I picked up at my neighborhood thrift store.

You will need:
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Marking device--water soluble pencil, tailor's chalk, marker, etc.
  • Circles to trace!

Circles from l-r: flask, dessert plate, German incense burner

When deciding how big a circle to trace, keep in mind that your finished yo-yo diameter will be half the size of the diameter of the fabric circle.

Gather your materials and you're set to go!

Step 1: Get ready to trace! Iron fabric, work on a hard surface, etc. Place your circle on top of your fabric.

Step 2: Trace or sketch about 1/4 to 1/2 inch around your circle. Here others recommend making a cardboard template. I like to skip this step and just go directly onto the fabric because (a) I'm not that persnickety, (b) it's just as easy to use a piece of fabric for a template, (c) it takes more time and (d) yo-yos are EXTREMELY forgiving!

Fully traced circle

Sketching other circles

One-fourth inch around the incense burner

Step 3: Cut out your circle!

Step 4: To make multiple yo-yos of the same size, take the original circle you cut out, layer it on top of another piece of fabric, and cut around. Pin if you want precision, but again, here's where the forgiving nature of yo-yos is so fabulous. Perfection is NOT required!

Circles of different sizes cut from templates of one another

Step 5: At this point you'll need your needle and thread. I'm using contrasting thread for fun and visibility. You may want to use coordinating thread because a few stitches will show on top.

With right side turned away from you, fold down about 1/4 inch of fabric towards you and insert your needle, making running stitches. Folding creates a finished edge. If you like the look of raw or frayed edges, don't fold.

As you stitch, keep in mind that you will be gathering the yo-yo with these stitches, so no need to make them tiny. The yo-yo will pucker as you go around. Again, a precise 1/4 inch is not necessary.

Step 6: Sew all the way around. Poke your needle up so that the thread comes out on the right side and begin pulling up your stitches. Pull tight so the thread doesn't show. Your yo-yo will look kind of like a puff ball mushroom!

Step 7: Flip your yo-yo to the back and flatten with your fingers, then flip and center your hole.

Flattened, centered front

Step 8: Pull the thread as tight as you want and pinch where it comes out. Stitch three or four tiny stitches to anchor your thread in place.

Anchoring the thread

Ta-da! You are done!

The following photos and captions describe variations and show contrasts between finished products.

Variation: longer stitches, half-inch turned down

Smaller stitches, 1/4 inch on left; longer stitches, 1/2 inch on right

Finished sizes

Finished sizes--backs

Happy making! :-)


EM Parker said...

Thank you! I love it :)

Fran said...

Thanks for all the specifics...especially the photo that shows the difference from different length stitches! Aunt Fran