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Topic: Super Cute Owl Cushion + TUTORIAL!  (Read 65442 times)
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I'll try anything once... well almost anything

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« on: May 25, 2010 07:26:10 PM »

There are so many of us owl lovers out there these days that I thought I'd share an owl cushion tutorial which I created.

The text-version is below, however if you would prefer a printable tutorial with accompanying photos, you can find it on my blog here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/31708500/Owl-Cushion-Tutorial-by-The-Craft-Revival

Happy owl decorating!

What youll need:

   A sewing machine nothing fancy
   3 x pieces of complimentary fabrics (fat quarters work best and are cost effective!)
   2 pieces of different coloured felt
o   Optional you can have a third colour if you choose to do the inner eye also
   Complimentary coloured sewing thread (for machine and hand stitching)
   At least one embroidery floss colour.  You can use two different colours if youd like a little more contrast
   Embroidery needle
   A piece of heavy-weight cut away stabiliser a little larger than the eye mask (cut-aways are permanent stabilisers that remain on the back of the fabric and keep it stable during and after embroidery. They prevent the designs from stretching out during embroidery)
   Clean toy and hobby fill a 500gm bag will be plenty

Lets get started!

Firstly, print and cut out each template piece.  Once you have them all cut out, pin them to the wrong side of each fabric piece and trace around them using a fabric pencil.  For this tutorial I have used a fabric pen so that its easier to see the outlines in the photos.  You can use a fabric pen if you prefer as long as you cant see it through the right side of the fabric (it wont wash out).

When cutting out the body and belly pieces, leave a 2cm allowance around the lines youve traced.  These lines are going to be the ones you follow when sewing your pieces together.

For the mask, eyes and nose cut along the lines.

Take the front body fabric piece, stabiliser, felt mask piece and embroidery floss.  Sandwich the body fabric between the felt (front) and stabiliser (back) making sure that they are in the right position (you dont want your eye mask to end up too far down the body).  

Make a knot in the end of your embroidery floss and starting from the back (through the stabiliser) stitch the felt mask in place by making simple straight stitches ensuring you capture the stabiliser, body fabric and felt mask with each stitch.

Once your felt mask is attached, you need to follow the same process with each eye.  Place both circle felt pieces over the mask to make sure youre happy with how theyre going to look.  The further apart the eyes are the better and cuter it will look in the finished product.

With either the same colour embroidery floss or a different colour, start stitching one eye on following the same straight stitch method which was used to stitch the eye mask on.  Or if you want to do something different, you can use a running stitch around the inside rim of the felt eyes.  

Remember to start stitching from the back so that youre embroidery floss knot is hidden!  Once youve attached one eye, attach the other. It should look something like this once youve finished this step.

To finish off the eyes you can stitch an asterisk onto the felt using embroidery floss, or you can add another smaller circle to create an inner eye, stitching it on in the same manner that you did for the larger eye piece.

Next, its time to attach the nose.  Again, you can use whichever stitch you prefer.  Ive included photos of both options so that you can pick which youd like to use.

Once youve finished embroidering the felt pieces of the owls face, turn it over and the back should look something like this.  Pretty!  But dont worry, you wont see any of this when youre finished.

Now onto the belly.  Take your belly piece and trim along the curved edge (every 1-2cm) towards the outline making sure not to cut through the line you traced.  

Once youve done the cutting you need to iron the pieces down (wrong side) following the line you marked so that you get a nice smooth hem-line when you turn it over to the right side.  Otherwise you would have the ugly raw edges of the fabric exposed.

You then need to pin the belly piece into place onto what will become the front of the owls body.

Then as close to the edge of the belly fabric as possible (without running off the fabric), sew it into place to give you a nice neat finish.  Alternatively, if you feel more confident with a blanket stitch you could stitch the fabric into place using this method instead.

Now that youve embellished the front of your owl, its time to start assembling it.  Sandwich the front and back pieces of fabric which will make your owl bodys front and back with the right sides facing in (youll be looking at the wrong sides of fabric from both back and front).

Pin around the edges ensuring you catch both pieces of fabric in the pin.  Then stitch around the entire piece following the line as a guide.  Make sure to leave an opening where you dont stitch (as marked on the template) so that you can turn your owl right side out.

Now its time to trim off the corners on an angle so that when you turn it right side out, you will get nice clean corners.  If you miss this step, you will get the fabric bunching on the inside and it wont look right.

Also trim around and into any curved areas such as the sides of the owls body around the head and ears.  And make sure to take care and NOT cut through any stitches.  If you do, you will have to sew over the area again. Just remember if you dont trim the curves, you will get the fabric puckering once you stuff your owl.

Now comes the fun part.  Carefully turn your owl right side out.  To help you can use a wooden skewer or a pen (with the lid on) to carefully push out the ears, corners and curves lines.

Your new owly friend should look something like this now.  A little flat, I know, but youre almost there.

Now you are ready to stuff.  Take handfuls of stuffing and using the small gap in the bottom seam, start with the ears, make sure you stuff them so they are firm and plump.  You dont want saggy ears!

You wont believe how much stuffing this little guy will take.  As you stuff, make sure you hold the seams of the area you are stuffing so that you dont over do it and stuff yourself a new hole.  That would be a shame.  Keep stuffing until you have a nice even plump owl body and you think you can stuff no more!

When you finish stuffing, youre ready for the very last step.  You need to close the seam of the opening.  Using a ladder (or blind) stitch will ensure that you cant see where you have hand-stitched once youre done.
If youve never used a ladder stitch before, theres a great tutorial on it at Melly and Me right here http://mellyandme.typepad.com/melly_me/2009/11/cicada-season-tt-tuesday.html

And then youre done!

Enjoy my lovelies!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012 08:50:43 AM by sweets4ever - Reason: Updated to direct link to tutorial » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010 10:32:41 AM »

Thanks for posting this, the tute looks great and I can't wait to try it! 

If you are interested in making me some knitted dishcloths, contact me for a swap!  I'll sew you something or gift you with supplies!

When life hands you green velvet, make a green velvet dress.

My Wist:  http://www.wists.com/southernstitcher
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010 02:02:47 PM »

Super cute! I think this would look awesome in a kid's room. In fact, I'm going to bookmark this for future use. Thanks!!

« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010 08:12:41 AM »

I love owls, I'm definitely going to try this out for my daughter's bedroom Smiley

Curiouser and curiouser...
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010 10:29:40 AM »

awww this is super cute!! Thank you for posting..might just have to make one to sit on our couch.
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I can make that...

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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010 02:38:21 PM »

I LOVE the owl as well as the "piece" cushion behind it, beautiful work!
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Did he just go crazy and fall asleep?

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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010 07:04:31 PM »

Thank you for the tut! I love it!
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2010 05:13:09 PM »

Just bookmarked!!! On my list to do soon!!
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2010 03:33:46 PM »

This is so cute! Than you for putting the tute together.

« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2010 02:38:19 PM »

Thank you for the tutorial  - this is absolutely adorable!
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