Monday, April 23, 2012

A blast from the past...

Back in the day, when I listened to what other people said, I had someone tell me that I should switch from Blogger to Wordpress.  I tried it, but no one could find me.  And I felt like I was abandoning Kirb Appeal.
So, I'm back on Blogger, but there are a few good posts on the wordpress that are well-written and informative.  (I know, right?  It's like I was a whole different person over there!)  And, just in time for Pillowpalooza, I have gone to my former blog and resurrected this:

It's Bernice!  She's come back!

A tutorial that isn't terribly bad!  (I may be a teacher in real life, but this whole 'write it down and take pictures' thing is a little out of my scope.)

1.  I take some fabric.  In Oscar's case, it was an old boiled wool sweater that was a size small (which I will never be again) and had some moth holes.

this is the holey sweater

2.  I cut an owl shape (keeping it simple) out of newspaper.  This is just like cutting out a heart; fold your paper in half in order to keep it symmetrical.  Then pin the pattern to the sweater, avoiding the holes.

3. You need to use a lot of pins if you use an old sweater, because knits shift a lot.

4.  Then, I cut the owl shape out.  I do the same thing with another piece of fabric, for the back.  For the back, I used a woven fabric, because if you use stretchy fabric both front and back, it tends to stretch out of shape and get all lumpy.  Bernice was woven fabrics both front and back.

5.  Put the back aside, and go back to the front.   For the front ruffles, I cut out two long strips of fabric, probably about 30".  I brought the edges together, and sewed them, forming a tube.

These look sorta like snakes, which I despise.  They are scary and have snakey tongues, which completely freak me out.

6.  I lightly press these tubes, trying like the dickens to keep the seams sorta in the middle.  Later, I'll flip this seam to the back when I apply it to the front of the owl.  (Generally, I watch Murder, She Wrote when I iron. Love me some JB Fletcher!  Please feel free to watch whatever you like, though.)

7.  Then, I gather the fabric tubes.  I do this by hand stitching (with a needle and thread in my hand) a running stitch (that's just the in-and-out kind--you can look all this terminology up on-line.  I am licensed to teach Family and Consumer Science aka Home Ec, but there are a multitude of reasons you don't want me to.  Terminology is just one of those reasons) that are about an inch long all the way across the tube.  Tie a really good knot in the end, then pull gently to gather.  Then pin the heck out of it again, because knits can be cranky.

8.  Then, you can secure the gathered tube to the front of your owl by using your sewing machine.  (WARNING:  please pull out the pins just before you get to them with your machine.  I have had pins break, and it is not pretty.  They can completely mess up your machine, or, in a freak accident, your eye.  I cannot stress this enough.)

9.  Now we have some more fun stuff to do.  I get felt (which I LOVE!  Felt and modge podge and DL and the kids and Brandywine.  And beer.  And lasagne) and something to trace--in this case, masking tape.  This will become the back part of the eyes.  I need two.

10.  Gold triangles for the beak.  And smaller white circles for the inside part of the eye, which I traced with a funky dollar coin.  The gold color ones.  Aren't they odd?  They almost seem fake. And two big buttons, in this case black, for the eyeballs.  The two layers of felt  I zig-zag on with my machine, and the buttons I attach with perle cotton, which is really strong.  This will keep those eyes on.  We don't want blind owls.  We'll save blind for the mice.
Hallelujah!  I can see!!  It's a miracle!!

11.  Now it's time to grab the back and pin the back to the front, making sure the face is on the inside.  In Home Ec terminology, we say "right sides together."  I pin the heck out of this, too, but make sure when you sew you follow my pin rules.  (NO SEWING OVER PINS!!)  I leave about a six inch gap at the bottom, where the little owl butt would be, so that I have a way to turn it inside out and stuff it.

12.  Here's a back view, turned inside out.  I press it lightly from the back side so that I don't stretch him out or ruin his ruffles.  Then he's ready to stuff with fiberfill.

It might look like cotton candy, but it doesn't taste like it. 

13.  Then I have to sew up the bottom so that his innards don't fall out.  I generally do this by hand, with a ladder stitch.  Sometimes, I zigzag it on the machine, but it's not always reasonable to do so.

Here's Oscar.  He now has a good home with my daughter (not her real name).

If you need better directions (and I don't blame you), you can just message me with any questions.


Tammy of {Tattered and Timeless} said...

How cute. Was nice meeting you at the marketplace yesterday. Wish it had been dryer, warmer and busier but maybe next time. I'm thinking of maybe setting up again - on a much smaller scale- on June 24th..we shall see what is left after Cameron Day. :)

Susan said...

I was gonna say how cute, but the person above me beat me to it! They really are darling!

Andrea said...

Whoooooooo knew an owl tutorial could be such fun!?

Sweet Posy Dreams said...

I love how in the final picture, Oscar looks a little cock-eyed. Great, entertaining tutorial! And a cute owl!

Thrifty Crafty Girl said...

That is too adorable! Oscar does look a bit cock-eyed, maybe he's been drinking.

I am not planning on moving over to Wordpress either... I'm far too comfortable here!

Bliss said...

Owls used to be all the rage when I was about 14. I cleaned house for a lady and she had a collection and I had to dust every last one of her massive collection.


Linda @ it all started with paint said...

Love it that you pulled this out to give us a lesson just in time to link up to Pillowpalooza! What a good bloggy friend you are ...

I'm blog blessed,



Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Oscar is so danged CUTE!!

What an adorable owel pillow!


01 09 10