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Topic: Felt Owl Brooch From Idea to Finished Project (Tutorial)  (Read 2287 times)
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TechnicolorAquahearts
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« on: December 09, 2012 06:17:48 AM »

First of all let me say that this is my first tutorial so if it is a little disjointed forgive me! Second of all this tutorial is for a project but more than that it is for a design process, if you take the steps of this process and make something completely different than the project featured here than I have done my job well! Of course if you make an owl pin than I will feel successful as well.  Smiley Lastly this tutorial includes pictures of my original pattern, which I don't care if you make an exact copy of what I make, but I will not give you a printable version because the whole point is to go through the entire design process meaning drawing your own pattern, also please do not copy this pattern and sell it.

So let's get started first of all you will need the following tools and materials:
-Paper to plan and draft your pattern on (graph paper is best)
-Pencil
-tracing paper
-straight pins
-scissors
-embroidery floss 2 colors
-a few sheets of felt in the colors of your choice (I used 5 different colors of felt but you could use as little as two, also the pieces of the project I made are very small so 5 sheets of felt makes many owls making it a very affordable craft)
-a tiny bit of polyfill (optional, will explain later)
-pinback, barrette, anywhere clip, headband or any other finding you choose, in the project I made I used a pinback.
-reference material, this project includes embroidery stitches, very easy to follow directions for embroidery stitches are readily available through a simple google image search for embroidery stitch instructions. you may also want to have a few images of the type of thing you want to design, if you want yours to be a cat or another bird besides an owl, go and fins a few pictures to use as references for your own design.

Step one:
      The first step of any design project whether it be a small one like this or something as complicated as a Broadway theatrical set is making some decisions and writing your decisions down. As a creative person notes are your best friend! So make your decisions:
-What kind of project do you want to make? I chose to make a pin or brooch, The type of project you choose makes a good header for your notes.
-What material do you want to use? I chose felt and embroidery floss
-What theme and color scheme do you want for your project? I chose to make an owl in purple and pink with blue and lavender accent thread
-some other things to include in your notes would be the reference material previously mentioned, any ideas for variations on your project, and any ideas on how many of them you want to make and what you plan on doing with them when you are finished.

Step two: now that we have made all the important decisions to define our project we want to make a rough sketch of what we want our project to look like. We will use this sketch to plan our pattern and identify the parts that need to be included in the pattern, as well as solidify a plan for the details. Here is my technical sketch along with my notes:



Step three: after you make some sketches, and notes, it's time to tighten up your drawing into a pattern. This step takes patience with yourself and you may want to use things like templates or a compass to make circles or ovals. Look at your sketches and identify the basic shapes of your design and draw just those basic shapes. When you draw each part of your design leave the shapes over lapping so that you can see the lines of the shapes underneath, you will need all the lines of the shapes available to trace in different parts even if there are other parts underneath the part you are drawing. Here is a picture of my pattern:



Now that you have your pattern drawn, Identify the separate parts of your project. For the owl I identified the following parts:

-The body, (the background of the owl, I will need two of these one for the front and one for the back)
-The Tummy (I only need to cut this shape once because it is a layer that only appears on the front of the owl.)
-The eyes (cut 2)
-The beak (cut 1)
-The wings (cut 2 of each wing, because I plan to embellish the wings with embroidery stitches I am going to want a felt piece for the front and the back of the wings so that I can hide the back of my stitchery)

Step Four: It's time to trace the pieces of your pattern onto the tracing paper, make sure to follow your list of parts so that you get what you need.



after you trace your pieces pin the tracing paper pieces to your felt and cut your felt pattern pieces out:

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TechnicolorAquahearts
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012 06:50:19 AM »

Sorry if you are reading this. I only have half of it up right now because my power went out I'll get the other half up as soon as I can!
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TechnicolorAquahearts
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012 07:50:15 AM »

Step five: Embellish first!
After you have all your pieces cut out it is important that you applique all of the features to the front piece of your project, in my case the tummy, eyes, and beak of the owl, and embroider all of the decorative stitches on the various parts, again for me that included the feather detail on the wings, the irises of the eyes, and the feather detail on the tummy of my owl. You don't want to have to try and add this stuff when your project is already stuffed, and you want to be able to finish it off hiding all the wrong sides.





Step six: Now its time to begin the assembly of your project for me that means that I am going to stitch the two parts of each wing together and stitch the two parts of the body together leaving a gap in the stitching of the body to add a little bit of stuffing. Now here is where you have a choice. You can add stuffing or you can leave it flat, both look really good, and are good for different things, if you were making a barrette or a headband finishing it off without stuffing might be better for you. The one thing you definitely don't want to do is over stuff a small felt accessory like this. In my experience with making these owls over stuffing them makes it extremely difficult to work with the pin back or barrette on the back. You just want enough stuffing to give it some dimension. Here is a picture of what it would like like if left flat:



Step seven: Finishing up. Lastly we want to sew up the hole we left for stuffing, attach it to whatever finding you chose, and make sure there aren't any stray ends of the thread hanging out. With the owl it is at this stage that I chose to attach the wings. If attached prior to stuffing the stick out weird, if you put them on after you stuff it then you are able to contour them along the body of the owl and they turn out much better that way. I only stitch them on the outside of the owl about a third of the way down because having them a little separate from the body allows them to look more dimensional and like a toy owl. I chose a pin back that had holes on it so I could sew on the pin back instead of having to mess with glue on a small felt object, but glue may be your best bet if you are working with a finding that can't be sewn on. The way you get rid of stray ends it to make sure to leave them long enough when you begin a thread so that you can go back and thread the end onto the needle and plunge it into the center of the stuffed area and lose the end inside of your project. Here is my finished project, I don't have a picture of the back, i should have taken one, but its just a simple pin back sewn on.



Thank you for reading my tutorial! I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to ask me any questions, and i would love to see what you make if you use my tutorial!
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lovesclutter
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2012 08:48:54 AM »

So many possibilities with felt, and wonderful of you to share. I will bookmark this and come back to it for the process. I don't usually think out my ideas, and I probably should. Thank you for sharing.
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wendiek
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« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2012 12:49:42 PM »

I love it! And I love your tutorial, hahaha sounds like me loosing power and being done.  Grin

I sketched out and made finger puppets of felt for a swap and it was a lot of fun. I used characters from a picture book so I had to sketch that first. Great to see you do that the same way!

Thanks for sharing your tutorial, I love your owl brooch. I am bookmarking this for future use and will pin it too!


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TechnicolorAquahearts
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2012 07:45:38 PM »

Thanks Lovesclutter and wendiek! I'm glad you liked it, I was a little nervous about it at first  Grin
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etsy: www.lynnaquaheart.etsy.com
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ErinAquaheart
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012 05:09:21 AM »

So proud of my gf!  The final picture doesnt really do the cuteness of this little owl justice.  Its at least 10 times cuter. hehehe  Grin
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