shannon: December 2010 Archives
Need some ornaments? If you're like me I can hardly bear the thought of actually BUYing ornaments. I'd rather make them, or receive them as gifts...or make them FOR gifts! Although making ornaments can be time consuming, I find that during the holidays, it doesn't feel like Christmas until I've made something. These stuffed bird ornaments are easy and fun and I know they will be gracing my Christmas décor for years and years to come.
Start by cutting the bird body template (<-- click here!) With right sides of the fabric together, pin your ribbon on the X of the back, place your ribbon loop inside the body. Stitch ¼'' seam allowance, including the ribbon (careful not stitch the rest of the ribbon inside as you sew around!). Leave the tail open. Clip the corners and curves. Cut the tail end with pinking shears, because this will remain open. Turn inside out, your ribbon loop should be out and functioning.
Now stuff it! Use craft stuffing* to fill the body to your liking. Use a thread to wrap around and gather, forming the tail. I tied the thread around 3 times, double knotted. I like using this metallic thread because even if the thread shows a little (and it will) it will still look festive and nice. Take 2 matching buttons for the eyes and hand stitch the buttons on THROUGH the head securing both at the same time and keeping the bird brains stuffing in place. Embroidered French knots for eyes would work too.
For the wings, with right sides together, stitch with ¼ seam
allowance and leave an opening between the dots to turn inside out. Depending
on your fabric choice, you could add interfacing for extra stiffness; I didn't
find it necessary for quilting cotton. Clip the corners and curves. Turn inside
out to show the right sides of fabric. Carefully turn under open seam and top
stitch along the whole wing. Place the wings where you want on the bird body.
Pin the wings and whip stitch around the bottom to secure.
Suggestions & other fun stuff:
- For extra embellishing, you could get some feathers* and position them IN the tail so they would plume out of the opening.
- Complimentary color thread or embroidery floss for attaching the wings would also be cool for an extra pop!
- Place the wings slightly off from each other so you can see a peak of the 2nd wing in profile view.
- Use these fabric markers to color and decorate your bird, great for kids too!
- Choose a blender fabric for the wing, and choose a busier print for the body, like retro-mod quilting cotton, or vice-versa. This helps your bird stand out!
- Get crazy and pick different fabrics for each of
the 6 pieces! Remember, it doesn't have to be Christmas fabric, these birds can hang all year long! Anything looks Christmas-y when you put it on the tree, right?
*available at local craft store
Big flopsy hats are big this year. And I love them. Hats are
one of my favorite accessories. They are an easy, fashionable way to add the
finishing touch to your outfit- and you don't even have to do your hair! They
also make great presents!
The only drawback
I've experienced with this style of hats is sometimes they are so flopsy and
heavy, they don't stay on your head very well. This crochet pattern I've
created is a quick project that solves this problem! I love crocheting with
super bulky yarns because it provides almost instant gratification and I like that chunky look.
For this hat I used Berroco Sundae Yarn in Ale, with a Rosewood Crochet Hook size P. I love the color variations and single texture- makes for excellent stitch definition. You can use any super bulky weight yarn of your choice. I used this floral chiffon and made a thin scarf. You could also use ribbon.
CH 4, SL ST in first CH to form a ring.
Round 1: CH 3, work 11 DC in ring- 12 ST. Join with SL ST in the beginning chain. Place marker at the start of the round, move marker up if needed.
Round 2: CH 3, work 2 DC in each BL around - 24 DC, join with SL ST in beginning CH.
Round 3: CH 3, DC in the next BL. work 2 DC in the next BL, DC in the next ST, repeat alternating 2 DC and 1 DC around - 36 DC. Join with SL ST in the beginning CH.
Round 4: Repeat round 3- 54 DC. Join with SL ST in the beginning
Round 5: CH 3, DC in each BL around, join with SL ST in the beginning CH. Place marker at end of round 5.
Round 6: repeat round 5
Round 7: repeat round 5
Round 8: CH 3, DC in BL, skip a stitch, DC, decrease around, for 26 DC total. Join with SL ST from the beginning of the round. Fasten off. This last round creates openings to thread scarf/ribbon through, as well as decrease the diameter of the hat.
Take a scarf or ribbon and weave the scarf through Round 8 and tie in a bow or let hang! You can make your own scarf with chiffon or other lightweight fabric. I cut a 58'' x 6.5'' strip and used a roll hem stitch on my serger. Enjoy!