Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Another chance at a tutorial--don't screw it up!

A few years ago, a friend invited me to be a part of a linky party where we were all going to make pillows. (Looking at YOU, Linda!)

It's Bernice!  She's come back!

I told my friend that I'd been making pillows since birth (approximately) and I would be happy to try one. Tutorials are not really my "thing," even though I'm a teacher. It's different explaining things in person. This whole 'write it down and take pictures' thing is a little out of my scope. But here goes:

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.


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

these are adorable!!! i am not the best seamstress but know enough to get by on things that are just for us. emmy and i created a heart eye emoji pillow a couple of weeks ago and we were thrilled with it! not as fancy as yours but enough for us amateurs!

Bliss said...

I remember the pillow pallooza party. I made some burlap coffee sack ones. I think that was the last time I sewed. Everyone needs an owl pillow, you should make more.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Oscar is the are a very fine pillow maker!!!

Andrea said...

What a hoot!!!!!

Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

That's pretty adorable, Kirbs!

Junkchiccottage said...

How adorable! Kirby you did a great job. Love this little guy.

Art and Sand said...

Absolutely adorable!

Marie Blackburn said...

So stink'n adorable, Kirby😍

andi filante said...

I love love love your little owl!


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Darling owl.

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