15 August 2008
Tutorial: Felt Pizza
To make a felt pizza you need:
*1 piece dark brown felt: bottom crust
*1 piece light brown felt: top crust
*1 piece red felt: pizza sauce
*1 piece yellow/orange felt: cheese
*small piece of Warm & Natural batting
*needle and thread
*sewing machine (not pictured)
*circle template; I used a trivet. It should be somewhat smaller than your felt is across.
I get my felt at Hobby Lobby. It's about the same size as a piece of notebook paper and it's $.20 a sheet. Warm & Natural is more expensive, but you don't need a lot, just the width of the felt sheet. It will be long enough to make several pizzas.
Center your circle template on the light brown felt. This will be the top crust in your pizza.
Cut around the template. Don't worry if the edges are a bit jagged, they will be hidden. Just keep it circular.
Cut and set aside.
Place the template on the red felt, but let the edges hang over just a little on the sides and the bottom. Cut a square, which will be just a bit smaller than the light brown circle.
Check to make sure the square is just a bit smaller than the circle.
Round the edges, making a circle. Mostly. This will be your pizza sauce, and pizza sauce on real pizzas is never quite perfect, so don't sweat any irregularities.
Sew all the way around, just inside the red circle. Tickle the assistant.
It should now look like this. I've used light colored thread here because this isn't going to show much, and the thread will be just about right when sewing on the cheese. I don't much like to change my thread color. But if you don't mind changing colors go right ahead and use red thread for this. Set this aside.
Cut a bunch of strips from the side of your cheese color.
Then cut your strips into smaller pieces. I cut from the narrow end of the felt and got 4-5 pieces from each strip. Make a good size pile of these.
Take a piece of cheese and place it on the edge of your pizza top, but don't let the cheese go clear to the edge of the crust because it will make it more difficult to attach the bottom crust later.
Sew about halfway down the piece of cheese.
Tuck one corner of the second piece of cheese under the first to make it easier to move from one to the next without stopping sewing. This will be faster and stronger than sewing each individual piece on. Set them at random angles one to the next.
Continue adding cheese, starting new rows as needed. (If you want to add pepperoni you'll need to add little circles of pepperoni-colored felt during this step. They can go either under or over the cheese, depending on your preference. I couldn't find any felt in the right color so I skipped it & went with plain cheese pizza.)
Overlap the cheese, keep things random looking.
Stop when you are happy with how it looks. I like to leave a little more red peeking out than what I like on real pizzas because I like the way it looks.
Place your pizza top on the Warm & Natural batting. It's shown here on the brown bottom crust because the Warm & Natural is nearly the same color as my counter top. But this step is dealing only with the Warm & Natural. Do not cut your bottom crust yet.
Cut around the pizza top, making a Warm & Natural circle that is slightly larger than the top.
Now, cut the bottom crust to a circle slightly larger than the Warm & Natural, the same way you did the Warm & Natural. Again, these edges will be tucked inside, so it doesn't need to be perfect, just circular and slightly larger than the other layers. You should now have a "sandwich" of pizza parts: dark bottom crust, Warm & Natural stuffing, and the completely assembled pizza top.
To "cut" the pizza and attach the layers to each other, sew down the center line of the pizza sandwich. Go from one edge of the bottom crust clear out to the opposite edge, sewing through all the layers.
This will divide the pizza in half.
Rotate the pizza one third, and sew down the middle, dividing the pizza in half again.
The pizza should look like this; two small pieces, two large pieces.
Rotate the pizza one third again, and sew down the middle to cut the large pieces in half.
Your pizza should be "cut" into six roughly equal pieces. Thread your needle. I happened to already have button thread that was almost the same as the top crust so I used that. If you are good at doing the hand stitching part the thread wouldn't have to match too well and any brown you have on hand should work. If you struggle with hiding your hand stitching, get thread that matches your bottom crust. All-purpose thread would work just as well as button thread, although you might want to double up the strands, which I didn't need to do with the tougher button thread.
Tie a knot at the end of your thread, then come up through the top crust to hide the knot on the inside of the pizza.
Roll your bottom crust once,
...and again, being sure to fully conceal the Warm & Natural. I like to start by the stitching that divides the slices. Be sure to line that stitching up when you come to it so your crust will line up nicely with the rest of the slices.
Take your first stitch. I always end up doing this one top to bottom. Make sure to catch both the top and the bottom crust with each stitch.
As you sew, catch the pieces of felt on the top of the pizza, but do not put the needle all the way through to the bottom of the pizza. This is what your bottom will look like when the pizza is complete.
After the first stitch is in, switch to going from bottom to top. The stitches are easier to hide this way. Your stitches don't have to be really close together, but don't let them get too far apart either.
As you work roll the bottom crust under, hiding the raw edge and creating a fluffy pizza crust on the outside of the pizza.
After making your stitches, pull them tight. This will hide them as it makes a puckery-looking crust.
Continue working your way around the pizza, rolling the crust, lining up seam lines, and pulling your stitches tight as you go.
When you get back to the beginning of your stitches continue 1 or 2 stitches into the area that is already sewn. To tie off the thread, begin by tying a knot. Make a stitch, then take the needle through the loop of the stitch before you tighten it down. Do this twice.
Slide your needle between the layers of the pizza, starting as close to the last stitch as you can. Come back up a little way away from where you were sewing.
Clip your thread. If there is a nub of thread showing bend the pizza a little to gt the nub to pull back in to the interior of the pizza.
Inspect for quality and workmanship, and you're done!