This soft toy bird project is an extract from ‘Sew A Monster’ by Fiona Goble and published by IMM Lifestyle Books, priced at £9.99. You can buy the book here to make this collection of cute and charming cuddly monsters!
With the quirky appeal of a strange species of Albert duck, Albert is the perfect fleecie monster for bird lovers everywhere. With his smart striped breast and curvy yellow wings, he stands tall and proud. Best of all, he will never utter a single annoying quack.
Some sewing experience useful for this project.
Albert is approximately 26 cm (101/4 in) tall.
Materials and Tools
• a piece of orange fleece measuring 16 x 28 cm (61⁄4 x 11 in). If the fabric has an obvious pile this should run down its shorter length.
• a piece of yellow fleece measuring 28 x 14 cm (11 x 51⁄2 in). If the fabric has an obvious pile this
should run down its shorter length.
• a small piece of red fleece
• a small piece of multicolour striped fleece for the breast
• a scrap of lime green fleece or felt for the eye
• two odd buttons for the eyes – one about 17 mm (3⁄4 in) diameter and the other about11 mm (1⁄2 in) diameter
• 30 g (1 oz) polyester toy stuffing
• matching threads for your fabrics (except for the lime fleece or felt for the eye)
• sewing needles
• dressmaking pins
• water-soluble pen or quilter’s pencil
• sewing machine (optional)
Print the Template for Albert the Bird and cut them out. Place the orange fleece right side down on a flat surface. Position your body template and draw round it with the water-soluble pen or quilter’s pencil. You will need to cut out two body shapes from the orange fleece. Make sure that any pile on the fabric runs down the length of the pieces in the direction of the arrows shown on the templates and remember to mark the position of the dots.
From the red fleece, cut out two face pieces – one using the template the right way up and one using it face down. From the striped fleece, cut out one tummy patch. From the yellow fleece, cut out two leg, two wing and two beak pieces. You will also need to cut shapes that roughly match the two leg and wing pieces, bearing in mind the direction of the pile.
Place the two wing pieces face up on the wrong side of the corresponding pieces of yellow fleece, making sure that any pile is going in the same direction on all pieces. Using a machine or hand running stitch, sew round the wings about 5 mm (1⁄4 in) from the edge, leaving the flat edge open. Trim away the excess fabric on the corresponding pieces of fleece so that they match the original wing shapes.
Place one of the leg shapes onto its corresponding piece of fleece, making sure that the right sides are together and any obvious pile on the corresponding fabric is going in the same direction as the main piece. Sew round the leg shape 5 mm (1⁄4 in) from the edge, leaving the top end open for turning and stuffing. Trim away the excess fabric on the corresponding piece of fleece so that it matches the original leg shape. Complete the second leg in the same way. Turn the legs the right way out and stuff.
Place the tummy patch in the centre of one of the body pieces, making sure that any obvious pile goes downwards, and pin or baste in position. Sew round the patch using a small zig zag stitch if your machine has this option. Alternatively, use an ordinary machine stitch or oversew by hand. Place the beak pieces right side down on the face pieces so that the flat edges line up and the beak points towards the back of the head. Seam together leaving a 5-mm (1⁄4-in) seam allowance.
If you want Albert to face right, as shown in the photo, position the green outer eye on the head piece with the beak pointing right, using the position guide shown on the template. If you want Albert facing left, sew his eye to the head piece with the beak pointing left. Sew in place using a machine or hand running stitch and red thread.
Seam the two head pieces to the two body pieces in matching threads, remembering to seam the head shape with the eye piece to the body shape with the tummy patch and leaving a 5-mm (1⁄4-in) seam allowance. Remember to leave an opening between the dots for turning and stuffing on the pieces that will form the reverse of the creature, as indicated on the template.
Position the wings along the sides of the creature, as shown on the template, so that the curved sections point inwards and the raw edges of the wings line up with the raw edges of the body. Baste in position. Place the two creature shapes right sides together, checking that the neck and beak seams line up, and stitch round the complete creature in matching threads, 5 mm (1⁄4 in) from the edge, leaving openings between the dots for inserting the legs. Turn the right way out through the gap at the back of the neck. Stuff then slip stitch the opening closed.
Insert about 5 mm (1⁄4 in) of the top of one of the legs into the opening at the bottom of the
body. Secure by oversewing across the front and back of the leg top. Position and
secure the other leg in the same way.
To make the feet, turn up 4 cm (11⁄2 in) at the end of each leg and hold in place so that the
foot is at a right angle to the leg. Now, using your thread double for strength and starting at one of the
side seams, work a few large, loose slip stitches across the curve at the front of the ankle.
Pull up the thread fairly tightly and secure.
Complete Albert by sewing the two buttons in place, one on top of the other, as shown in the photograph.