If you attended the fabulous 2021 Knit and Escape virtual conference you saw me give a video presentation on how to transform a dress form into a Dress Form Christmas Tree. Here I am on the set in our studio getting ready to go live.
Normally, when we teach our Dress Form Christmas Tree class to the general public, the trees are decorated with traditional Christmas ornaments, deco mesh and ribbon. But Kristy Glass of Kristy Glass Knits — one of the conference organizers — encouraged us to find ways to incorporate yarn into the finished design.
Since we are big on recycling at Mannequin Madness (about 40% of the mannequin forms we sell are secondhand mannequins that we’ve recycled from retail stores that are closing), we decided to incorporate ways that knitters could use their leftover yarn and unfinished knitting projects.
Here are 5 unique ideas:
1 For the “skirt” part of the tree you can cut up that sweater, hat, sock or blanket that didn’t turn out quite as planned and wrap it around an existing ornament. Or follow this YouTube tutorial from Reese Dixon to make an ornament with a Styrofoam ball and a cableknit sweater from a thrift store.
2 You can cut the sleeves from a sweater and use it as a belt for the Dress Form Christmas tree.
3 Leftover yarn can be made into a fluffy Pom Pom ornament of various sizes, colors and textures. This tutorial from Sheep and Stitch will show you how to make the perfect Pom Pom every time.
4 For the top, you can really let your creativity go wild (and use up all your leftover yarn remnants) by wrapping each strand around the bodice to create a corset, bandeau or halter style top. We used about six different remnant yarns from various projects on this one.
You can also use your remnants to make an off-the-shoulder crochet crop top with this YouTube tutorial from Dearly Monica who is based in Portugal.
5 While we like adorning the dress form with a piece of statement jewelry, we decided to add a choker made out of yarn to bring that additional pop of color. Another type of necklace with yarn is a finger knitted necklace you can make following this tutorial from Diyncrafts.com
You can use this same design concept to decorate a dress form for other seasonal displays. That is why we now call them Dress Form Holiday Trees instead of Dress Form Christmas trees.
Here is a video of one of our staff designers wrapping the bodice with black yarn for the Halloween themed dress form tree we made. So easy, no sewing, no pattern to follow. You just let it flow.
Here is the finished project
We added black pom poms on the belt we designed and skulls from the Dollar Tree.
After Halloween is over we are going to remove the skulls and orange embellishments and replace with silver decorations to create a silver and black themed tree. That is how you can get two seasonal looks with very little effort.
We just discovered this report from intoresin.com that cites that “arts and crafts suppliers saw increasing sales during the pandemic,” with embroidery crafts at the top of their list. We’d love to see some embroiderers take a shot at creating a dress form holiday tree featuring embroidery. Please reach out to us with your creations, embroiderers.