Friday, February 4, 2011

Biscornu tutorial!

Yep, I did another mini biscornu, and this time I took some progress pics so I could write a tutorial on how to make the little critters! I should probably not say "little" because I've made one that is big enough to serve as a sofa pillow before, although most are in the 3" range.  I spent the weekend doing some hand stitching on my JCS class project, and was at a good stopping place to rotate on to my February biscornu, so here you go.....

This biscornu is another freebie from Tor Rhuann Designs, under Getting Squared Away. It is just 16x16 stitches and is called Entwined Hearts, perfect for Valentine's Day this month! I used 32ct Zweigart Baby Lotion linen and Crescent Colors Ruby Slippers thread. The center beads are real red coral beads from a rock shop in upstate New York.

After stitching the design, and backstitching around it (two threads out), I made the back by using the little corner motifs and adding my initials and the year ('11).

Then I cut them apart and added some small squares of iron-on interfacing to the backs of each side to give them some stability. They should not cover the outer backstitch lines. Trim the edges to remove bulk before you start, but not too close.

You should then finger press the edges along the bs line, and align the parts as shown, with the corner of the front lined up to the top edge of the back, at the center. That will make the back upright. The front on this piece is symetrical, so there is no "top edge".

Start whip stitching thru the loops of the bs line, matching them up as you go. Here is where you realize that the pattern should be square with sides having the same number of stitches in order to match up correctly.

When you come to the corners give an extra whip into the last stitch on the side, and the first stitch on the new side, just to reinforce the corners.

Keep traveling around the edge, whip stitching as you go. If you would like you can add beads every other stitch as you go to give it a nice edging.

Here you can see I have gone about half way around and the biscornu is beginning to take shape. You can also see how the interfacing makes it stiffer and easier to stitch around.

From a different angle....

If you peek inside now, you can see how the raw edges collect in the interior corners.

Nearing the end, you can see the points are staying sharp and crisp.

Take a small amount of fiber fill and poke it inside...

It won't take much on this tiny biscornu. Larger ones you can pack loose or tight, your preference.

Once you reach this point, with only two sides left to whip, it can get a little fiddley. I tuck in the long straight side first, stitch to the point and tuck in the final edge, reinforcing the corners and final connection well.

It is now completed closed. I finish at the same place I started, so now I sew on a necklace "bail" at the point. You can find these "bail" rings in the jewelry section at Michaels or AC Moores. If you want to use it as a scissor fob, add a cord or ribbon just before you close the final few stitches and make sure it's secure.

At this point, you can add a bead or button to the center by threading thru each side's bead two or three times and pulling the thread tight to dimple the center to your preference. If you'd rather leave it un-dimpled that's okay too!

Mine is now done, with a chain added to wear as a necklace!

Here are both tiny biscornu I have far! I plan to make one each month this year, and I will then have a complete set of interchangeable necklace fobs to wear year round!


  1. Great tutorial, it's seems so clear when you can see the pictures unlike the written instructions.

    Nice finished product too!

  2. Thanks for the clear tutorial Kat :) Lovely biscornu. REALLY must try making one!!

  3. I've never tried using interfacing on the back. Thanks for the tip!

  4. Thanks so much for this lovely tutorial! I've never made a biscornu, let alone a little tiny one, but I love the idea of a biscornu pendant, and would like to try one. They are both beautiful, especially the blue one with its lovely gold metallic threads :)

  5. I have never made one of these but they are so beautiful I am going to try. Your tutorial is very easy to understand and the pictures are a real help. They clear up any misunderstandings. Thank you so much.

  6. Your picture and written tutorial are perfect.
    Well done and Thank You.
    Beaj ..:)