Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sitting Pretty Chicken Paperweight Tutorial

This is officially my first tutorial. Wish me luck.

This is a tutorial for a felted wool chicken paperweight made from recycled wool sweaters. I'm still working on details of patterns and such - so I don't have the actual pattern pieces available for you - but they are simple shapes that can easily be drawn to a size that suits you. This pretty little chick happens to be approximately 5-6".

1. I wanted to do a collection of Valentine-themed chicks, so I first picked some fun sweaters in creams, pinks and reds.

2. With two basic pattern pieces - trace two of the body pieces and one of the belly piece in a different color. Since I wanted to make several at one time, I trace and cut all pieces out at the same time for all the chicks and then have fun mixing and matching the pieces together in fun ways.

3. Cut traced pieces.

4. Begin sewing with the belly piece. I usually sew one side first and then go back and pin the other pieces together at that time. You need to also pin in a small yellow piece of wool for the beak, an orange/rust colored piece of wool cut in the shape of top comb, and the fun and sassy tail. I use the "seams" of the felted wool sweaters for the tail.  First cut about 5 pieces at a length that will hang loosely from the chick. To help hold the pieces of seams together, run them through your sewing machine a few times. Then you can roll the up into a tight coil and pin in the tail area of the chick.  This is where it gets just a tad tricky - you have to be careful to keep all "inserted" pieces inside the chick and not get them caught in the seams while sewing.

5. Leave a small opening in one side of the belly area for turning and stuffing.  Turn right-side out.

6. Stuff with polyfil. Leave a small area near the closing to add some small pebbles to help weigh the chick in the belly area so she can "sit pretty".

7. Stitch the opening closed with a hidden whip stitch.

8. Add a fancy little brooch using wool, buttons, beads - anything you'd like to adorn her with.  Use small black beads for eyes.

9. Use a wool yarn or cording and a small wool bead to give her a pretty baubble necklace. Use an awl to poke a hole through the bead and carefully add a small drop of gel-superglue in the hole before poking the cord into the hole with a pin.

10. Enjoy your Sitting Pretty Chicken Paperweight!

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