Instructions for a Fabric Bird Pattern

    CRAFTS CLASSES
    TO INSPIRE CREATIVITY
    by Michelle Powell-Smith

    About the Author

    Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing on a variety of subjects from finance to crafts since 2004. Her work appears on various websites. She holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, which has provided strong research skills and a varied range of interests.

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    Playful and whimsical stuffies, or small handmade stuffed toys, add personality to your home or office. Birds of all sorts are an excellent choice for a charming and cheerful toy, and a fabric bird pattern is ideal for a beginning toy design project. Your fabric bird should look handmade, so relax and enjoy the process of creating and making your stuffed bird. Use fabric scraps, beads, lace and any other materials that appeal to you.

    Making a Pattern

    Sketch a simple bird shape on thick paper, working from a side view. Allow a 1/4 inch seam allowance around all sides. While a hand-drawn bird is ideal for a whimsical stuffed toy, if you are uncomfortable with your drawing skills, a child's coloring page may be used for a basic pattern. Use a photocopier to adjust the size of your pattern as desired. Draw a narrow pointed oval to serve as a gusset -- a dimensional panel -- in the pattern, making it long enough to reach from the neck to the tip of the tail.

    Cutting and Sewing

    Cut two side pieces for your fabric bird. Cut one gusset. Stitch the two side pieces of the bird with the right sides of the fabric together from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail. Trim the seam and clip the curves nearly to the stitching. Pin the gusset into place, leaving a small opening for turning. Stitch, carefully backstitching at the points. Trim the seam allowances, then turn to the right side. Stuff your fabric bird, then hand sew the opening closed.

    Embellishing

    Add a small button or bead eyes. You can also paint or draw wings, feathers and other details onto your bird. Try adding a felt beak, wings and feet. Experiment with real feathers. Use embroidery thread to decorate the bird with tiny flowers, dots or edging.

    Creating a Flock

    After finishing the first bird, make a few more for a flock. Sew nylon thread into the top middle portion and hang the birds from the ceiling. You can also add small wired feet and stand your fabric birds on a shelf together. Make a group of small birds, wire them to branches and assemble them into a mobile for your office or craft room.