Hi Angel! I posted about my work in progress last week, a "love chickie", and since then you have received it in the mail for Silas' birthday. So, it is time to show you the fascinating behind-the-scenes process for making these. I have made 3 so far, and I have to admit, they are pretty darn cute!
I wanted to make a little toy for Silas' first birthday. When browsing through my favorite blogs' archives, I came upon a link to this little Love Bird by Molly Chicken. It is meant to be a tiny Valentine's Day gift, with a soft heart and a heart note in the pocket. I thought it was adorable and decided to adapt the pattern into a baby toy by enlarging it and adding a string from the pocket to the heart so Silas could pull it out but not lose it. (I think Gymboree makes baby overalls with that system, with a tiny stuffed animal living in the front pocket).
Prepping and sewing this project is quite straightforward. It is a great one for using up cute scraps! Here, I used linen and fun fabrics like polka dots and Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy. Sewing these with the machine was fine once I made a point to set my stitch to a short length (1-1.5) to smooth out my curves. The embroidery is also simple: a misshapen beak and two black dots.
The heart was a bit trickier. It is quite small, and I sewed around it with a 1/8 inch allowance, which made the finishing pretty atrocious. When I made it a third time, I cut the pattern piece larger and sewed with a 1/4 inch allowance -- much better! I sewed the cord into it, securing it in place with a tiny piece of masking place (I love masking tape!!).
I then added the heart inside the pocket before sewing it to the chickie's body (which you can't see in the pics above, because I forgot to do it and had to rip a few stitches at the bottom to insert the cord...).
I added the little felt comb and legs. These were pretty tricky to cut out, I think I need better scissors. I sewed the front to the back fabric. Then, I flipped them inside out, ta-da!
Unfortunately, when I flipped Silas' chickie inside out, one of the felt legs stretched out and nearly ripped! Tragedy!
I decided to be practical about it, thinking that a one-year-old would most likely have been quick to rip out those chicken legs if I hadn't, so I cut them off altogether. The other chickie is for an older child, the daughter of an acquaintance who's been ill and having to undergo a lot of procedures in the recent past. I thought a love chickie would be a sweet gift for her to tote along to doctors' appointments.
Stuffing these chickies takes about 2 minutes. Sewing them shut is another story. My finishing skills are atrocious, as mentioned above, and I am less than pleased about the final result. I say that so often, don't I? Oh well.
Hearts in, hearts out. Sounds a little surgical, he he.
Just because I'm a bit of a masochist, here are some detailed shots of my poor stitching. I really should have picked matching thread to sew those shut, it probably would have helped to hide my crappy handiwork. Lazy, lazy.
All in all, I think this is a quick and easy project with sweet results. It took me a total of about 5-6 hours to make 2 on my first try. It took me about 3 hours to get my 3rd one made -- that's because I hurried like a madwoman and, of course, made a bunch of mistakes. This 3rd one was for a friend who underwent surgery last week. This gift really is a lovely way to share some love with someone who needs or just deserves it!
I'm proud to report that all 3 chickies were enthusiastically received. I hope Silas enjoys squishing and playing with his!
What a surprise! I didn't guess that you'd put that into the box, I was so happy to see him in there. Silas loves him dearly and is carrying him around (as he's WALKING) and I even caught him giving it a little kiss yesterday. I absolutely love the materials you used, this type of pattern could be quite cutesy using pastels or satin or something like that, but the linen and felted sweater combined with the embroidered features and the eclectic patterns give it that organic modern look I am so attracted to.
I will post a picture of Silas with his baby bird this week, I had the camera out and then he fell asleep........