Sunday, May 6, 2012

The owl and no pussycat

One of my new 'Before I Go' goals is to make Dear Boy some toys. I've been feeling a bit flat at the end of most days, largely because I feel I haven't done or achieved anything (except, of course, for the continued good health and wellbeing of my child). So I kicked off this goal by making a toy owl. I've admired a few of these from afar so tried my hand at it.


First I did some free sketching to find a design I liked, made up a paper template, chose some fabrics and then cut out all the shapes. I had to recut one or two pieces because I realised (luckily before I started stitching the bits together) that I hadn't allocated a seam allowance here and there. I would probably also not use a sharpie next time as there are a few seams where you can see it coming through on the patterned side of the fabric.

 

Once all the pieces were cut, I matched them up and got stitching, sewing the feet and wings first because they needed to be fully done and stuffed before the body could be put together. To make it easier on myself, I just roughly stitched the feet and wings on before going over them again when putting together the body. The main mistake I made here was not clipping some of the curves before turning the feet inside out. This made the fabric pull a little but once stuffed it didn't look too weird.


Once the body, feet and wings were stitched together leaving a gap at the bottom, I turned the whole lot inside out (with the patterned side facing out) and stuffed itwith a hobby fill. I was tempted to include a few bells but I wanted to make a few 'silent' toys first. When I do include bells, I'm going to stitch them into a fabric bag of sorts so if the toy ever comes apart, the bells won't be easily acessible for swallowing.


 Stitching up the bottom was probably the hardest/most awkward/ugliest bit because the feet were in the way and they pulled the lip of the fabric out as well as making it a thicker section to sew.


The bird, fully stuffed, just needed eyes. Next time, I'll probably stitch the eyes on before it's stuffed to make it easier on myself. This time, though, I hadn't decided what I wanted to do for the eyes so they were the final touch. Three layers of felt later, as well as a little felt beak, and the bird was in action. 


If I have the time or the inclination, I think I might stitch on a little tag with a message for Dear Boy or a name for the owl.

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