Let’s make minimalist chickens. They are quick and easy and the sort of thing you can make in batches. I bet you know at least a dozen people who need a chicken ornament. Stuff them with wool or something that smells good, they are a sweet and silly surprise either way.
The idea for them turned up in my sketchbook and then bounced back and forth between drawing and sewing as many things do for me in the percolation phase. As the design became increasingly simple I was more and more happy with it. The little legs especially make them expressive and animated. I used laundry starch to stiffen them so I could get just what I wanted.
You just need scraps (stay tuned for scrap swap news later this week) and a few other things to get started.
You will also need:
- fabric scraps – light cotton or linen
- felt (I like wool felt)
- embroidery thread
- glue stick
- a basic sewing kit
1. Pin the body pattern to 2 layers of fabric with the right sides together. Mark the seam line lightly in pencil. Cut out the three small parts from felt. Pin the body pieces – right sides together – near the tail end.
2. Fold back the front of the top body piece.
3. Add a tiny bit of glue to the edge of the beak and waddle felt pieces and place on the body fabric exactly as shown – note that there is a little empty space above the beak.
4. Fold the top body piece back down and pin in place. Stitch just the bottom curved seam. Place the felt comb piece as shown above the body.
5. Insert the felt comb between the layers – placing it exactly as shown – note the little triangle of space between the comb and beak.
6. Stitch the top seams leaving the center open.
7. Clip little triangle notches around the curved seam and clip off seam allowance the corners. Be careful not to clip the seam.
8. Use your chopstick to turn the chicken right side out.
9. Stuff the body.
10. Make a loop with embroidery thread and knot.
11. Fold the edges of the body opening in and begin to whipstitch closed. As you are closing the opening insert the loop tails with the knot just inside the folded edges and stitch it in place.
12. You might find this method for hiding your knots helpful for embroidering the details. I added an X on each side for eyes. Small buttons would be sweet too. Make a few stitches for the wings on each side. For the tail I stitched through both sides with straight stitches.
13. For the legs make a knot about two inches from the end of a length of embroidery thread. Make a tiny stitch in the seam about 2 and 1/2 inches from the point of the tail and pull until the knot catches.
14. Put the needle back in and come out about 1/2 inch away in the seam towards the head. Make a tiny knot.
15. Trim the legs. I like to add a little starch to the legs for stiffness. You can use spray or liquid starch and then iron them in the position you like.
hello little chicken!
I hope you make lots of silly chickens! If you do I’d love to see. Please use #annwoodpattern on instagram.