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stuffed bell pepper (pattern)

warning!  this is not a recipe post for stuffed bell pepper.  it’s a post on how to sew a stuffed bell pepper…this is useful for those of you that happen to have a child or know of one who likes to keep bell peppers as pets!  my previous post enlightens you on why i embarked on this quirky task to make a stuffed bell pepper.

even though i couldn’t find any bell pepper sewing patterns online, i did come across mqsquare’s pincushion tutorial that gave me instructions on how to create my own templates.  this, i tell you, isn’t just giving me a fish, it’s teaching me how to fish!

so i applied my newly learned template making techniques on a bell pepper.  i must say it went quite smoothly.  but there were 3 things i discovered while putting the bell pepper together.

  1. when sewing the panels together, to make a more bell pepper-y lumpy effect i would sew a more curved line into the straight part of the panel.  the curvier the line, the more cinched the “waist” of the  pepper.
  2. i wanted to make a bigger bell pepper.
  3. i needed to get a longer needle (doll needle).  i did manage to dimple the pepper with my regular sewing needle, but i had to squish the pepper down a lot before the pointy end poked through…and quite a few times i was almost certain i would lose the needle somewhere in the stuffing.   i would definitely need a longer needle if i was going to make a bigger pepper.

the following day i made another trip to jo-ann and got my doll needle and proceeded to make a bigger pepper.  i also decided to make a stuffed stem instead of a skinny rolled up stem (which was what i did on my first pepper).  bell peppers have thicker stems and my first pepper looks like it’s got a strawberry stem.

how to make a 4″ tall bell pepper (pincushion):

instructions:

the pepper…

  1. cut out 7 pepper sides.
  2. pin two of the pepper pieces together, right sides together, and sew up the long side from top to bottom with 1/4″ seam allowance, stopping 1/4″ from the top end.
  3. when sewing through the straight middle part of the pepper piece curve the sewing line in so the allowance is 1/2-3/4″ in the curviest section.  the more you take in the more cinched the “waist” of the bell pepper will be.  depending on how much you vary the curves the pepper will be more lumpy, bumpy, wonky and or lopsided…like a real bell pepper.
  4. sew the next panel onto an unsewn edge of a previous piece (right sides facing each other).
  5. continue until all the pepper pieces are attached all together.  then sew the last unsewn edged of the first and last panel together (right sides facing each other).  this time leave a 1″ opening from top for turning and stuffing.
  6. don’t forget to clip curves!
  7. turn the pepper right side out and stuff with polyfill.  close the 1″ opening with a slip stitch, and proceed to close the opening on top with a tight running stitch.

the stem and cap…

  1. cut out 2 stems and a cap.
  2. sew the stem panels together (right sides facing each other), leaving the bottom open.
  3. turn stem right side out and stuff with polyfill, and sew the bottom close.
  4. make a small slit the size of the width of the stem in the middle of the cap piece.  insert stem into the slit and slip stitch the stem and cap together.
  5. then sew the cap onto the top of the pepper.  after securing the cap on with a few stitches, i like to  blanket stitch the edges.  but any kind of stitching will work as long as the cap is secured on.

final touch, dimpling the pepper…we’re almost there!

  1. this next part is what makes the bell pepper look like a bell pepper.  and i highly suggest using a doll needle for this step.
  2. use a stronger thread or double your thread (make sure the thread length is about double the length of your pepper so you can pull it through multiple times), tie off the end with a big knot (small-ish knots will slip through the fabric–i’m speaking from experience here).  push your doll needle through the bottom all the way to the top somewhere near the base of the stem.  then poke the needle through another part around the base of the stem and push through to the bottom.
  3. tighten the thread so it creates a dimple at the top and bottom of the bell pepper.
  4. follow steps 2 and 3 one or two more times for better security.
  5. voila!  you now have your very own stuffed bell pepper to squeeze and hug! if you don’t know any tiny tots that keep bell peppers as pets you can use it as a pincushion.  (just don’t use it as both.)

p.s. i put a little sand bag at the bottom of my bell pepper before stuffing and sewing it up for it to stand better on its own.

(9 sep 2012:  ikatbag gives great step-by-step instructions on how to attach they stem.)

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