For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb
Psalm 139:13

Thursday 18 July 2013

the summer of making: little bird how-to

Hey internet lovelies, remember three weeks ago when I said I'd post a craft project every week?  Well, me and The Chap kinda moved somewhere without internet - oh dear. Anyway, broadband is go at long last, so let's put that dark time behind us and get making! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not a great sewer, so this is my super-easy, super-cute, idiot-proof how-to for a little hanging bird. 

You'll need to lay your hands on a pair of fabric scissors, pins, and a needle and thread.  Then roll up your sleeves and raid your nearest fabric scrap bin for ditsy prints and vibrant florals.  Find some toy or cushion stuffing to fill the birds, but additional fabric scraps could work too.  And of course, a nice bit of ribbon is a must. 

Believe it or not, this is the bird template

1.  Print or trace the bird image above, or you could draw your own.  Cut it out.  This will be your template or pattern piece.  
2.  Pin the template onto your fabric. 
3.  With the fabric scissors, carefully cut out your bird shape, leaving a gap of about a centimetre and a half all the way around as your seam allowance. 
4.  Remove your template from the fabric.  Flip it over and repeat steps 2 and 3.  You should now have the two sides that make up your nightingale. Stitch fabric or ribbon scraps in place as wings. 
5.  Sandwich these two pieces together so that the brighter (right) sides of the fabric are inside and the duller (wrong) sides of the fabric are facing out. 
6.  Cut a length of ribbon about 30cms long.  Knot the ends together to make a loop.
7.  Place this loop inside your ‘bird sandwich’.  The knot should be peeping out the top, just behind the bird’s head.  Pin it in place.
8.  Pin your ‘bird sandwich’ together, and then it’s ready to be stitched!
9.  Thread up your needle and sew all around the edge of the shape in small, neat stitches, making sure you leave a 1.5 cm seam allowance. 
10.  Don’t sew all the way around!  At the end, leave a gap of about 5cms.
11.  Cut notches into your seam allowance so your birdy keeps its shape.
12.  Using that little gap you left, turn the nightingale out so the right sides are facing out. 
13.  Stuff the bird with your filling, and then neatly stitch up the hole. 

Give your bird a beady eye with a French knot or vintage button.  You could even add some lavender to your filling and make a whole fragrant flock! Your bird can brighten up your wardrobe, sock drawer, or that weird drawer of bits you don't really know what to do with. You know, the one with the old batteries and keys to things you no longer own.

Say I'm a bird!

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