Posted On April 10, 2017
Learn how to make these cute birds in time for Easter. Make in your choice of fabrics, a great way to use up scraps! Follow our detailed YouTube tutorial to learn how: Link!
Start by collecting the materials that you will need to create the decorations:
– Wadding (optional)
– Ribbon (for hanging)
– Stuffing (100% Polyester)
– Embroidery Floss or Beads / Buttons (eyes)
The following equipment will also be useful:
– Chalk / Removable Pen
– Template (download for FREE – click here)
Begin by cutting out the template. Feel free to trace this onto card for ease.
Draw around the template on the wrong side of the fabric, use chalk or a removable pen. If you are working with a patterned fabric think about the placement of the pattern.
The template does not have any seam allowances, having the stitching line drawn onto the fabric will help with accurate sewing. Draw the seam allowances onto the fabric using a ruler and removable pen. Measure 1/4″ (5mm) from the stitch line.
Remember to flip the pattern piece to cut out two opposites.
Cut around the line for the seam allowance, you should be able to see the stitching line drawn onto the fabric.
Next prepare the wings. If you decide to quilt the fabric I would recommend quilting the fabric first. Only one side of the wing will need to be quilted, therefore you will need to quilt 2 pieces of fabric for 2 wings.
We used a lightweight cotton wadding and 1/4″ (5mm) quilting lines to provide support to the wings (2.5mm stitch length). You may need to interface the wings if you choose to skip the quilting (depending on your fabric). New to quilting? Check out our video and blog post: Blog Post / YouTube Tutorial.
Position the two pieces of fabric together, RIGHT sides facing, hold in place with pins. For this example one of the pieces is quilted and the other one is plain.
Place the template onto the layers of fabric and draw around the template. As this shape is small we found it easier to work with squares of fabric, drawing the stitching line onto the squares, rather than adding a seam allowance and cutting them down. If your fabric is printed or directional, think about how you position the template onto the fabric.
Draw around the template with a removable pen and mark the notches along the bottom edge. The drawn line is the stitching line. Remember to flip the template to create 2 opposite wing shapes.
Stitch around the drawn shape at the sewing machine, start at one notch and stitch to the other notch (leaving a gap between the notches allow you to turn the wing around). Use a small stitch length, 1.5mm for extra strength. Back stitch at the start and end for security.
Trim the fabric down to 1/8″ (3mm) away from the stitching line. Leave a larger seam allowance of 1/4″ (5mm) at the opening. Trim off the point at the corner of the wing.
The smaller stitch length used at the machine should prevent the seam from breaking when turning the small shape around.
Turn around and use a point turner or pencil to poke out the corners.
Hand stitch the bottom opening using a ladder stitch. Complete using a thread that blends into your fabric, this stitch should look invisible. If you haven’t completed a ladder stitch before we recommend watching our tutorial – link!
Complete the above process for 2 opposite wings, try and achieve the same shape and size.
Assemble the Bird
Now it is time to assemble the bird. Cut a piece of ribbon or cord for hanging that measures approximately 6″ (15cm).
Fold the ribbon in half, right sides on the outside and pin the edge of the ribbon on the notch near the birds head. Pin onto the RIGHT side of the fabric, of one bird. Watch the video for a detailed how to!
Baste or tack in place if you prefer.
Take the two pieces of fabric and position them right sides together. Match the stitching lines and pin through the stitching lines for accuracy. Make sure the ribbon stays in the correct place between the two layers. The raw edge of the ribbon should be flush with the edge of the fabric. Baste or tack in position if required.
Starting at the bottom edge stitch from notch to notch around the shape of the bird. Stitch on the drawn stitching line using a small stitch length of 1.5mm.
Leave a gap between the two notches along the bottom edge.
Trim the seam allowances to approximately 1/8″ (3mm) away from the stitching line. Cut off the points at the corners of the beak and tail. Do not trim the ribbon.
This small seam allowance will allow the shape to be turned around neatly. We would recommend leaving a larger seam allowance along the opening, of about 1/4″ (5mm), this will make it easier to hand sew.
Turn around to the right side and poke out the corners.
Introduce 100% polyester toy stuffing into the bird. Make sure the stuffing gets into the nose and tail.
When you are happy with the amount of stuffing added fasten the hole at the bottom edge with a ladder stitch or slip stitch by hand.
Finally attach the wings onto the bird. Position the wings in place (make sure they are same on both sides) with pins and hand sew using a slip stitch around the front of the wing. The back of the wing should not be sewn.
Finish the bird by adding an eye, attach a bead or button or stitch a french knot by hand. We cover how to sew a french knot in the tutorial – click here!
I really hope you enjoyed the tutorial and video and having fun making these cute birds. Stay tuned for our Easter Egg tutorial later on in the week.