Sew a Softie Paisley Bird

Maybe it’s my hippie roots showing, but I don’t think I’ve ever met a paisley I didn’t like. So while surfing through some of the crafty, sewing, DIY blogs I’m addicted to, a little bird caught my attention. It was a clever little bird with lots of body parts and fancy stitching.  It was more trouble that I was up for at the time, but the wing was in the shape of a paisley. And voila. This little bird was born.

I started doodling paisley patterns and came up with something I liked. This tutorial is part of the ‘ Sew a Softie for the Festive Season‘ tutorial hop. Check out the list of other softies over at Coloured Buttons,

I literally made this little birdie out of scraps, but if you’re new at this stitching stuff and don’t have a stash to raid, you’ll need two or three colors of crafting felt and a smidge of cotton fabric. Pick one color for the bird, one color for a wing, one color for the beak, and a scrap of cotton.

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

Use regular all-purpose sewing thread for the basic assembly. You’ll need black and matching or contrasting colors of embroidery floss or pearl cotton. The bird will hang on a scrap of ribbon, cord, twine or other trim. A handful of fiberfill is all you’ll need to stuff it.

The tools you need are basic: sewing needle, embroidery needle, some pins, and scissors. Small scissors will help you manipulate the curves a little easier.

So download this pattern and get started.

Paisley Bird Ornament Pattern-JanMadeIt

Cut out the pieces and start with the top layer.

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

I used white sewing thread to tack the scrap of calico to the wing. I stuffed it with a tiny bit of fiberfill as I made my way around the shape.

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

OK, I know that’s not a tiny bit, you know how things will take more stuffing than you think they will. But you’re right, most of that didn’t go into the wing. In fact, a little snippet of quilt batting, just a bit smaller than the scrap, would probably work as well.

Anyway…

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

After you get the calico wing attached, stitch it to the body of the bird in the same way. Start at the back and stuff it as you go. Notice I’m still using the white thread which is practically invisible on these colors.

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

At this point I realized the checked homespun was going to fray more than I wanted, so I appliqued it with a satin stitch to seal the ragged edge. I used red pearl cotton.

Now pin the front to the back and put the body together. I used the same red thread and a blanket stitch. I started at the center back and did the tail first. I had to stuff it along the way to get stuffing pressed firmly into the tip of the tail. Use the eraser end of a pencil or other pointy object, but not your scissors, to cram the stuffing all the way to the corner.

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

Keep stitching and stuffing your way around the body. As you get to the face, have the beak handy and pin it in place.  I used two little triangles for my beak, but you only need one to do the job.

Don’t forget to stitch a little black eye.  A cluster of satin stitches or a French knot will do the trick.

Paisley Bird Softie on Jan Made It

Fold the ribbon in half and insert it at the back of the head. If you put the ribbon on the top of the head his tail will droop when you hang him. Center the ribbon between the front and the back of the bird to keep him on an even keel when he hangs on your tree.

Isn’t he cute?

This is the first time I’ve included a pdf pattern with one of my posts. The illustration is rather primitive, but now that I have my feet wet I’ll get better. In the meantime, it will do the job.

Let me know what you think and if you make one, I’d love to see how it turns out. If my instructions aren’t clear, just ask.

Hope you enjoy this little guy.

Jan

 

 

 

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Effie’s Makeover

Well, Effie the Elephant was cute before, but now she’s just too, too, two times as cute.

Effie the Felt Elephant on JanMadeIt 1

Just seemed like she needed a hair bow and a bright flowery blanket with appliques and lots of embroidery.

Effie the Felt Elephant on JanMadeIt 2

I just can’t seem to leave well-enough alone. Now all my other critters look naked.

Might have to do something about that. If so, I’ll be figuring out how to make little bitty hats, scarves, and other teeny tiny fashion accessories.

What d’ya think? Better with clothes, or without?

Jan

Effie the Elephant

Here’s a little felt elephant I made recently. She’s made out of plain ole craft felt and is about four inches tall. Her name is Effie. Effie Bass Miller was my great-grandmother.

Felt Elephant JanMadeIt 1

She has a yellow tail and yellow feet.

The tail is crocheted cotton perle thread, probably size 5. I chained about 12–15 stitches and then turned around and single crocheted back down the chain.  I added a little tassel at the end.

She’s assembled with three strands of embroidery floss.

Felt Elephant JanMadeIt 2

Her trunk was too short so I used the half-circle scrap from between her legs to add some length and give her a little personality.

Felt Elephant JanMadeIt 3

That’s why the end of her trunk is orange on one side and pink on the other.

Felt Elephant JanMadeIt 4

I picked blue for her ears and used blue thread to attach little button eyes.

The trickiest part of the whole assembly was the ears (I made two sets that were too small), getting them in the right spot (they were first too far back, and then too low), and making sure they were lined up on each side of her head.

I might add and embroider a little blanket across her back. If I do, I’ll give you an update.

She makes me smile.

Jan

Bias Tape Birds–Vintage Applique

I’m enamored with this pair of birds.

I found them on a pillowcase I bought at an estate sale a few years ago.

Vintage Applique Bias Tape Birds on JanMadeIt 02

It’s just snips of ordinary half-inch bias tape appliqued to the cotton.

Vintage Applique Bias Tape Birds on JanMadeIt 03

A few strategic embroidery stitches complete the illustration.

I had to make a pair of birds for myself.

Jans Appliqued BiasTape Birds on JanMadeIt02

I dug into my box of scrap trim (that sounds like I only have one! Ha!) and found a few pieces of bias tape to use. I couldn’t find a scrap of blue, so instead of a bluebird and a red bird, I made a pair of cardinals. The male on the right, and the less colorful female on the left.

Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone and decided to fold the bias tape in half.

Jans Appliqued BiasTape Birds on JanMadeIt 03

First I tacked down the green for the branch but was not happy the little stitches are still visible. So I found matching embroidery floss and used an embroidered back stitch to stitch down the birds.

Since my birds are much smaller than the originals I wasn’t able to put as many details on their heads, but I think it works.

Jans Appliqued BiasTape Birds on JanMadeIt 01

I can’t decide what to do with them now so they are still living in this little embroidery hoop.  I didn’t trim the green bias tape in case they need a longer branch when I find a permanent home for them.

Vintage Applique Bias Tape Birds on JanMadeIt 01

I just love finding old linens, don’t you?

Any suggestions on what I should do with them now?

Jan

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