Hand crafted owls are all the rage. With a little prep work on your part, this project can be simple enough for the youngest sewer.
The amount of project preparation you do depends on the age and sewing abilities of your child. I am going to write this tutorial as if you are working with a very young beginner with you doing all the project prep.
If your youngster is already sewing, hooray for her! You can make the necessary adjustments to my tutorial and let her do some, or all, of the prep work.
What you need:Owl template from this link
All purpose scissors
Scissors for cutting felt
2 pieces of felt for body
2” square of felt for beak
Felt scrap for “eye feathers”
2 buttons for eyes
Stuffing, your choice of type
Something to trace a 1½” circle, I used the top from a baby bottle
Adult Prep Work:
1. Print the owl template from the link provided.
2. Cut printed paper template using all purpose scissors.
3. Layer 2 pieces of body felt.
4. Pin paper template to the 2 layers of felt.
5. Cut around template using fabric scissors. There are now two identical body pieces. (Mine are white.)
6. Trace around something round to make two approximately 1½” circles from a felt scrap for "eye feathers". Cut. (Mine are orange.)
7. Cut a 2” square in half, corner to corner (Diagon Ally - a little Harry Potter humour :) This is the beak. (Mine is brown.)
There are now 5 felt parts - 2 bodies (front and back), 2 circles ("eye feathers") and 1 triangular beak.
Find 2 big buttons for eyes.
Do the following to only one of the body pieces as this will be the owl’s front.
8. Using a running stitch, baste beak to one body piece referring to the template for placement. Ignore other markings on template.
9. Place eye feathers on body piece, covering up the basting stitches made to hold the beak in place.
10. Place buttons on top of eye feathers.
Changing the button position changes the owl’s expression. Let your little sewist choose the expression!
11. Once happy with eye placement, sew one button in place through both the eye feathers and the body piece. (Note: you may also be sewing through the beak depending on how everything is placed.)
|up though one hole|
|down through the other|
|now do the other|
|the face is done|
12. Mark dots every ¼” (or less) around perimeter of owl leaving a two inch gap on the bottom edge. Use a fine tipped Sharpie marker for a beginner sewist or an air soluble one for someone more advanced.
|dots mark where stitches go|
13. Line up the 2 pieces of the body and pin them together with straight pins. Three pins should be enough.
The owl is now ready to give to your little one to sew with a whip stitch and then stuff!
Skills your child needs to make this project: (click on each skill)
c) Tie a knot
d) Hide a knot
e) Whip Stitch
f) Lock Stitch
Helpful tips for this project:
I. Baste the beak with little stitches near the corners of the top edge, leaving the rest of the beak free to flop.
II. Sewing the buttons – I didn’t tie a knot in my thread. Instead I left a length of thread and went up through one hole and down through the other a few times to make it secure. Then I tied an overhand knot on the back; like tying shoelaces.
III. Sewing the tips of ears – I sewed on either side of the ear close to the point, but leaving the point itself without a stitch. This leaves the ears looking nice and pointy instead of trying to make a whip stitch right on the point. Doing that (trying to stitch on the point) will make it fold weirdly into a less defined point.
IV. Stuff the ears first. They are really tiny so use tiny amounts of stuffing poked in place with an unsharpened pencil to get into the tips.