Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas ornament exchange

"It is the beautiful bird which gets caged."
~Chinese proverb

I finished the ornaments for my bloggers ornament exchange. I used a bird pattern from spool sewing and tweaked it a bit to make three fun fabric bird ornaments.

Here's how I did it:

First I downloaded the bird pattern as mentioned from spool sewing. I knew I wanted three ornament so I chose 4 fabrics, the crazy striped one to be the belly on all of them and then one for each of the 3 bird bodies.

I cut out the two pieces from the contrasting fabrics - one bird body, on the fold, and one bird belly.

Next as per the directions on spool sewing (just want to be sure I give them their due credit), I pinned and sewed the belly, first to one side of the bird body, right sides together, then to the other. Spool sewing touts this as a good simple hand sewing project, but I went ahead and carefully and slowly used my machine and I think it turned out ok.

I will mention that always starting from the tip of the belly no matter which seam I was sewing made the intersections come out quite nicely.

Next, I inserted a piece of looped gold cord so that the loop was on the current inside of the bird (which flipped to be the outside).

I found it easier to sew if the two ends of the cord were side by side rather than on top of each other.

Then I carefully stitched the bird's head closed stitching the cord into the very back edge of the seam.

You might notice that the thread I used in this demonstration picture is red, but I found it very important to use matching thread for the real deal because I liked to stuff my birds pretty tightly which caused the stitches to show a bit.

Next, I clipped the corner of the beak and turned it right side out. With the cord on the right side it made it much easier to flip the bird right side out. I found the tip of my closed scissors worked nicely for popping the beak right side out.

I then stuffed the bird and hand stitched his tail closed. I repeated these steps three more times with the other fabrics and my fabric bird Christmas ornaments were born!

But did I stop there? Oh no! I thought they needed a bit of je ne sais quoi, so I sewed on a few beads with gold metallic thread to give them a bit of shininess and flash. They sparkle nicely in the glow of the Christmas tree now. Though, I think the simple fabric birds would be quite lovely hanging on a tree as well!


Anonymous said...

Oooo, Christine, they're just exquisite!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to post the step-by-step instructions. Did you stuff them with batting?

Jan and Tom's Place said...


I'm visiting from Miss Linda's blog...and have to say how pretty these bird ornaments are. You did a beautiful job.


Gwen said...

Very nice photo tutorial! And other your somewhat dubious choice of dangerous creatures as Christmas gifts (just call me scarred for life by A. Hitchcock), they came out very, very nicely! ;)

Anonymous said...

Your ornaments turned out so nicely! Nice job :)

Sharlene said...

I have come over from the SMS blog. These are lovely decorations. Thank you for sharing your adventures.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, very pretty!

Anonymous said...

Oh this was so much easier to follow! Thank you for the picture turtorial. Pictures of what I did will be up later on my blog with feedback to yours. :)


Nana said...

Very cool keep it up.