Thursday, November 10, 2011

Owl Bookends

Dear All,

I'm so sorry I have been boring you with such bland fonts! I promise to work a little harder to make my words a little more interesting with beautiful colors and large words. You're welcome.
*After posting this, it sends it right back to boring black. Fail.*

So today I finished my Owl Bookends that I'm not quite sure where I'm going to put yet. A classroom maybe? They are pretty freakin' cute!

So this is how I did it... I completely 'winged' it (Get it??? :)) and just looked at the picture to make them. Based on this, I'm happy for the way they turned out... as in not a complete disaster.

1. Buy your fabric. I ended up using about 1/4 yard of the main fabric (green polka dot) but I had bought over a yard... so look forward to seeing this fabric in lots of future posts! 1 sheet of felt in all the other colors. I followed the picture as close as possible because I was worried about straying too far and using my mind, but you can use whatever colors you want. Base it on this:
1/2 yard of main color (to be safe)
1 sheet felt contrasting color (for wings and nose... I used light pink)
1 sheet felt dark color (for pupils and feathers... I used dark brown)
1 sheet felt light color (for tummy and outside of eyes)
1 sheet felt complimentary color (for 2nd layer of eyes)

2. Draw the outline of your owl. I just drew mine on a piece of paper, cut it out, and traced it on the back of the fabric to cut out. You can use templates that are easy to find online. Here's an example. Make sure that your owl gets wider as you go towards the bottom so that it can wrap around to make it 3D. You might have to alter your template a little. Also make sure the bottom is flat, otherwise it won't stand straight.

3. Cut out 4 identical owls and set aside.

4. Cut out the rest of your pieces. You will need 8 wing pieces, 4 large circles, 4 medium circles, and 4 small circles (for layers of eyes), 2 triangle/ kite shapes for the noses, 2 tummy pieces, and however many feather pieces you want.

5. Construct your owls. Lay your face pieces on the owl the way you want them and pin.

6. Construct your wings: Sew along the outside of two wings, leaving the bottom open. Stuff with polyfil and set aside (don't sew up bottom!)

7. Sew on face pieces. I used a straight stitch and just carefully followed everything. Make sure you have your order right. Here's a suggested order of sewing:
Tummy, feathers, eye layer 1 (large), eye layer 2 (medium), eye layer 3 (small), nose. Make sure you're doing the same thing on both owls. Be careful and go slowly, this will take awhile.

8. Sew on the wings. If you do it right, you can sew up the bottom of the wings onto the edge of the face so that you get two birds with one stone. If you are worried about doing this, you can sew up the wings first and then sew them on along the same line.

9. Sew the front and back of the owls together. Remember... you are sewing a face piece to a plain piece on each owls... DO NOT SEW THE FACES TOGETHER. You will end up with a two-faced owl. I sewed them by putting the right sides together and the wrong sides out... pillowcase style. DO NOT SEW UP THE BOTTOM. If you do it right, you should have a dress-looking owl. Turn rightside out.

10. Fill with polyfil. If I were to do this over, I would have made sure I got lots of polyfil in the ears so they weren't so floppy and I would have made the animal more firm. Leave about 2" (wings down) at the bottom of the owl free of stuffing. This is where you will put your weights.

11. Make your weights. I filled sandwich baggies with rice about halfway full, folded the unused bag over on itself and taped with duct tape. This way, if I had to unsew it I wouldn't have to deal with rice flying everywhere. If you have a different way to weigh it down you can use that.

12. Put the weights inside the owls at the bottom. If you need to add more stuffing, you can take them out easily and add more. Play around until you have it right.

13. Add the bottom piece. This is the tricky part. All I did to make the bottom was cut out a rectangle a little bigger than the hole, put it inside, and fold down and sew the remaining body. It was a little tricky and I had to play around with it. I'm sure there is an easier way to do this, but what you want is a flat bottom so that the owls will stand up straight. Please let me know if you know how to do this more easily. I had to hand sew the fabric together. I then added ribbon around the seam lines with hot glue to hide my mess.

14. Enjoy your owl bookends!

Sorry my instructions weren't very clear and I didn't have pictures... I thought I should tell you how I did it since there aren't any tutorials for these cute things already made. If you make any, please let me know how they turn out, I would love to see pictures!!!

Here's both my guys together:

And here they are doing their job:

So what else have I been up to? Today I took on dying clothes... I needed to dye some white onsies black (If anyone can tell me where I can buy black onesies please let me know) to make some gifts for a friend. I had this whole bucket of dye I didn't want to waste, so I tried out dying an old shirt I was going to throw out anyways, a tank top I wanted to try fading, and a wonderful white blouse that I loved but somehow got something on that won't come off, no matter what I try. The worst part is, it looks like it's soap or something... like the laundry detergent got poured straight on the shirt and stained it, ugh. I just changed everything over to the dryer and it looks like the onesies and the tank turned black, but everything else is just kind of a navy blue. Looks like I need to soak them longer next time.


I'm also in the middle of a braided scarf I wanted to try out while the onesies were drying. More updates soon!!!

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