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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Which Witch is in the Wreath?

I make a lot of stuff, but I didn’t make these little witches. A friend made them and gave them to me a few years ago.

Halloween Wreath Witches JanMadeIt 01

Aren’t they adorable?

Halloween Wreath Witches JanMadeIt 02

They’ve been wrapped in paper, resting in a shoe box for several years but I was determined to show them off. My personal challenge to make a new wreath every season this year is the perfect way to do that.

After I removed the summer sun from my the styrofoam wreath I’m using this year, I realized I would only be able to use one of the witches.

I wrapped the wreath with this pink, rust, gold, mesh fabric I found in the red tag section at JoAnn Fabrics.

Then, my mom dug through her stash and started cutting out leaves.

Halloween Wreath Witches JanMadeIt 08

I pinned the leaves to the wreath and perched the smaller witch in the center.

Halloween Wreath Witches JanMadeIt 06 The first wreath I made was for Valentine’s Day.

The first wreath I made this year was for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Wreath on JanMadeIt

Next came lots of green sparkly tulle for St. Patrick’s Day.

St. Patriock's Day Wreath on JanMadeIt

Then crocheted flowers made up this Springtime wreath.

Spring Wreath on JanMadeIt.wordpress.com

In June when I went patriotic for Flag Day and the Fourth of July with a Stars and Stripes Wreath. which I updated here.

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

Patriotic Wreath on JanMadeIt

I had an idea about the “dog days of summer” for my next wreath, but couldn’t make my idea look right, so I went with a simple summer sun.

Summer Sun Wreath on Jan Made It

I updated that wreath for the eclipse on August 21.

SummerEclipse on JanMadeIt

And now it’s fall.

Halloween Wreath Witches JanMadeIt 04

My little witch will stay in place until Halloween, and then I’ll take her down and do something a little more harvesty.

I had in mind to make a wreath each month, but I haven’t kept up that pace. I think I’ll end up with nine or ten maybe. We’ll see what I come up with over the next few months.

Do you hang wreaths on your door or around the house throughout the year? I don’t usually, but this year I’ve had fun coming up with something new as the seasons change. And I really like not having to store something, or give it away, when the season is over.

Jan

Stars and Stripes Hat Band

I love to wear hats!  I have several I’ve practically covered with silk flowers just because I like them.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 14

I got this hat from my brother, David, who died May 7 of this year. It’s a tad big for me, but that cord around the crown threads through the hat to tie under my chin.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 11

That chin strap comes in very handy in the Oklahoma wind.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 08

These are the stars left from my wreath, and the garland I posted last night. This is the kind of holiday hat a man could wear.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 09

To make this hat band, I laid the stars out on the brim of the hat to line them up.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 03

Then with points aligned, I tacked them together with needle and thread.

Stars HatBand oN on JanMadeIt 06

With the fleece fused on the back it was easy to stitch through the backing and hide the stitches.

It doesn’t have to be pretty on the back. And it will be easy to clip those stitches when I want to take it apart and put something else on the hat or do something else with the stars.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 07

I had to match the right size stars and twist them just right to fit in the last opening of the band.

Stars HatBand on JanMadeIt 14

I would totally wear this somewhere, but the only place I’ll be going tomorrow is work.  And if I wore it I’d have hat hair and be stuck wearing it all day, no matter how hot and sweaty it was.

Does everyone have plans for a great Fourth of July? There will be lots of baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and all other things American going on. Be careful with the fireworks!

How do you plan to celebrate?

Jan

 

A Garland of Stars and Stripes

Here’s another take on the stars I’ve been making.  This very simple banner would be a fun addition to a child’s bedroom, bathroom or kids playroom. Hang in a window, over a door or a mirror or on a mantle.

Stars Banner 01 JanMadeIt

It’s lightweight and wouldn’t make much of a showing outside over a picnic table, at least not here in Oklahoma where the wind is never not blowing.

Stars Banner 03 JanMadeIt

It’s just a section of rick rack and some of the stars I’ve been cutting out the last few weeks. Check out my wreath and follow-up post. I pinned it all to a cork board to be sure I was pleased with the arrangement before I put it all together.

Stars Banner 04 JanMadeItThe rick rack–it could be twine, ribbon, or jute–is about four-feet long. That’s a decent length to adorn a regular width doorway.

Stars Banner 02 JanMadeIt

I’ll tack the stars to the rick rack, but I think staples would also work.  After I attach some stars I’ll let it hang free to be sure it’s balanced. Then I’ll continue adding stars until I think it’s done.

Stars Banner 06 JanMadeIt

Do you decorate for the holiday?  Or do you just decorate if the festivities are at your house?

Everyone be safe and have a glorious Fourth of July.

Jan

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